A few weeks ago, I wrote down some stuff I’d picked up about what we’re looking at in fake news and social disruption. It’s in one of the last chapters of How I Learned The Facts of Life:
Once again – but this time not unaware – we are facing an onslaught of lies, nutty conspiracies and fake news propaganda created by foreign governments, national antagonists, crazy internet sites and endless numbers of acolytes and true believers and dupes, all eager to spew out fakery.
The assault on facts has revved up, and there will be a few new twists in the methodology.
At least one conspiratorial gang is already staging its own political rallies. Did you smell this out in the bizarrely incoherent (and fully armed) protests against certain state governments’ efforts to keep us safe from COVID19? “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!” one woman’s sign read.
I wrote that a few weeks ago, before George Floyd was murdered.
I’m no Cassandra. Anybody addressing our immediate future in our bizarre world in which a certain proportion of our population seems to cling to conspiracy and fake news, rather than facts, would have looked for and found the same information. Presumably, the financiers of this crap — and violent groups — were encouraged by what happened in the 2016 presidential election and have decided to continue with it.
So this isn’t new.
But if America feels like a tinderbox at the moment, it’s not just because of pressure coming from the dispossessed. On Wednesday, the journalists Robert Evans and Jason Wilson published a fascinating and disturbing look at the “boogaloo” movement — “an extremely online update of the militia movement” — on the investigative website Bellingcat. “The ‘boogaloo Bois’ expect, even hope, that the warmer weather will bring armed confrontations with law enforcement, and will build momentum towards a new civil war in the United States,” Evans and Wilson write. They add, “In a divided, destabilized post-coronavirus landscape, they could well contribute to widespread violence in the streets of American cities.”
The boogaloo movement’s surreal iconography includes Hawaiian shirts — often mixed with combat gear — and igloos. (The idea is that “luau” and “igloo” sound like “boogaloo.”) People associated with the subculture had a significant presence at the lockdown protests, but some, motivated by hatred of the police and a love of bedlam, took part in the Minneapolis demonstrations as well. (According to Evans and Wilson, while much of boogaloo culture is steeped in white supremacy, there’s a “very active struggle within some parts of this movement as to whether or not their dreamed-of uprising will be based in bigotry.”) [Minnesota AG Keith] Ellison told me he saw boogaloo bois holding a flag with an igloo on it at the Wednesday night protest in Minneapolis.
If you take a look at that Bellingcat link, you’ll see that, whatever their overt rhetoric, the boogaloo bois have no interest in protesting violence — especially not by cops against black people.
They are white supremacists whose interest is in being violent, in starting a second civil war. And they’ll use any excuse to destroy.
As I laid it out in a previous post defining and attributing necrophilia — and crediting Erich Fromm and, separately, John D. Mayer for the thesis –– the boogaloo bois are demonstrating…
…lust-ridden destructiveness (“necrophilia”). The evidence of this desire to destroy – including the so-called Nero Decree – was so outrageous that one must assume that Hitler had not only acted destructively, but was driven by a “destructive character.”