Saturday, January 9, 2016

For Allah and the Emir

So #YallQaeda have been on their #YeeHawd for a whole week now. And while it's fun for internet liberals to call them that - as well as kinda racist - it touches on a very real aligning of interests. Ammon Bundy and his followers are every bit as anti-modern as ISIS.

It's very clear once you look at the groups side by side. The one common factor among foreign - ie. not Syrian or Iraqi - volunteers is a reactionary misogyny, hearkening back to the days when men ruled and women obeyed. #VanillaISIS is every bad macho stereotype to ever put on camo and a cowboy hat.

Ammon Bundy and friends.

Which might make their weepy sentimentalism out of place but really it's exactly how the same reactionary fanaticism expresses itself in American culture. As Matt Taibbi learned while infiltrating John Hagee's megachurch ministry, behind all the hellfire and homophobia of American Protestantism sits a depressingly ordinary self-help system. Repenting in the name of Christ is less a mystical transformation and more a way for atomized suburbanites to feel better aout themselves. This often involves much overt displays of tears by men, which marks Ammon Bundy as a member of this culture that spurns in all things modern while at the same time being wholly committed to material capitalism.

And that there is the biggest part of the Oregon mess that gets so little press attention: This terrorist act was organized by and for wealthy rentiers. As the War Nerd so astutely observed, jihad is only ever pursued by vain middle class loafers and the Oregon militia are no exception. Their hard-bitten cowboy costumes are fresh off the LL Bean racks, their politics pure narcissism, their ultimate end as final and obvious as Jihadi John.

The Bundy Brigade are not rebels or freedom fighters. They are rallying to preserve the same systems of privilege and petty tyranny which have been the principle foes of democracy since the Enlightenment. So go ahead and wish violence by the state on them, they'd support it and try to shoot you first anyway.

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