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The reactionary right wing has had a massive resurgence recently. Figures like Milo Yiannopoulos, Richard Spencer, and Katie Hopkins are finding fame by spouting ‘Un-PC’ rhetoric and ‘triggering’ the left. At the same time a generation of angry young men are finding a sense of identity and purpose within this movement.
For a long time this groundswell of frustrated young men gathered on anonymous forums; 4chan’s /pol/, Reddit’s /r/TheRedPill, and Return Of Kings men’s rights website to name just a few. For a time these men were cloistered away in their imageboards and forums, a nuisance to comment sections everywhere. Offline, they had virtually no presence. Now, that’s beginning to change.
Founded in 2016 by reactionary and erstwhile co-founder of VICE, Gavin McInnes, the ‘Proud Boys’ are a right wing fraternal organisation. They describe themselves as ‘Western chauvinists,’ and a group who ‘refuse to apologise for creating the modern world.’ They have a clean-cut preppy image, and are obsessed with traditional patriarchal values. They’re a bit like a crypto-fascist fraternity.
The Proud Boys have been known to provide informal security at pro-Trump rallies and brawl with counter protesters. In early 2017 McInnes teamed up with Kyle ‘Stickman’ Chapman who rose to fame when he was spotted fighting Antifa at a protest in Berkeley, California with a baton and shield. Together they forged a militant street fighting wing of the Proud Boys; the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights (FOAK).
The right hand for saluting only
The Proud Boys have initiation rituals and a hierarchy they call ‘Degrees’. A first degree initiation is publicly stating that you’re a Proud Boy. The second degree is a ‘cereal beat-in’ where the Proud Boy initiate must recite five different cereal brands while his compatriots punch him repeatedly. The third degree is getting a tattoo in an approved font, and the fourth degree is achieved by getting in a brawl with Antifa. So far they sound like a more milquetoast version of Fight Club, but there’s one last tenet that an aspiring Proud Boy must keep to: a strict abstinence from masturbation, the so called ‘#NoWanks’ rule.
This is one of the core principles of the Proud Boys. Ascension through the wanks, sorry ranks, is permitted only to those who avoid self-interference.
The Proud Boys are not alone in this masturbation fixation. The humbly named ‘Golden One’ (real name, Marcus Follin) is a Swedish neo-fascist who runs a motivational YouTube channel. Follin preaches to his 54,000 followers on topics like: How the sexual revolution ruined women, ‘The Jewish Question’, and of course, how abstaining from masturbation is a physical and moral imperative. Follin claims that porn is a sort of opium meant to keep the men of Europe listless and disempowered, a poison, or spell cast by an evil wizard (he says wizard, but he means Jews).
Eschewing porn to preserve some kind of vital energy is a prevalent theme. The Proud Boys promote #NoWanks because they claim that masturbation is a danger to traditional marriage as it dis-incentivises men from going out and meeting women, and also drains some manner of life force. The Golden One has a more convoluted rationale that draws inspiration from boxers prepping for a fight, and some ethereal form of energy not dissimilar to Chi energy from Eastern mythology.
The Proud Boys and The Golden One preface their non interference pacts with the assertion that masculinity is in crisis. They call it the ‘pussification’ of man; a vampiric process caused by social justice, internet porn, and female Star Wars protagonists. The only hope for mankind (emphasis on the ‘Man’) is to adhere to their regimes of neo-masculinity so they can transcend the current failed paradigm of masculinity and become something more.
This is where these goofy groups take a sinister turn. There’s a type of vicarious reverence for the halcyon days of male dominance. They seem to revere their patriarchal ancestors who used violence and force to dominate others and ‘build the modern world.’ They draw a sense of identity and pride through the fantasies of their forefathers’ violence which they claim is their birthright. A birth right denied to them by the PC dilution of real men.
This idea of recreating and reshaping boys into a new, better kind of male has echoes of the ‘new man’ aspect of Mussolini’s fascist movement and, of course, the Ubermensch of the third reich; a superior caste of men that tower above the degenerates. Thanks to this message the exaggerated masculinity and nationalism of the Proud Boys and Follin’s ‘Glorious Pill’ can find ample recruits.
Despite their delusions of grandeur, as it stands the Proud Boys’ public presentation is transparently a bunch of entitled meatheads acting out for attention. Follin espouses militant fascist rhetoric to his audience on his YouTube channel but frames everything in video game and The Lord of the Rings references. His videos are for the most part ridiculous posturing (he goes so far as to open every video by flexing his muscles and admiring on how “Fuckin’ massive” he is).
These ‘New Men’ aren’t what they claim to be, they’re nothing more than a bunch of little boys acting out. That’s not to say that they should be ignored. They are useful tools in the right hands. That is why, when you see the the far right organising, no matter how foolish or ridiculous they seem, you must speak out.
The Proud Boys are lost boys, and as white supremacy raises its head again some Fagin-like Führer could easily take them in and clothe them in brown shirts.