This past year has been an interesting one for AltFurry. The hashtag has brought many furries together and created a lively community. The LeftistFurs drama has slowed down recently, and I would like to propose some ideas moving forward.
The Events Thus Far
AltFurry was started as a shitposting hashtag on Twitter by a panda friend who wanted to track the intersection of the furry fandom with right wing thought. Communities interested in non-PC furry chatter already existed, however, with several DM groups having been formed from a “Follow Friday” on Twitter. From there, an experiment was performed: In the past, leaderless online movements have never actually been such. They always end up with de-facto leaders who introduce their own goals as if they were the goals of “the people”. Due to O’Sullivan’s law, this leads to a drift leftwards. I wanted to see if this could be stemmed by installing myself as an official leader, creating official goals, and stating that the movement was explicitly right wing. This initial attempt was a failure: De-facto leaders still sprung up with their own agenda, took things in their own direction independent of the central leadership, and supplanted the original goals with their own goals. The only part that was a success was the declaration of being explicitly right-wing. The de-facto leaders who did eventually arrive were of stronger right-wing conviction than the average left-wing opportunistic parasite.
This had advantages and disadvantages. An advantage was a wider spread, as less centralization allowed more communities to form with different leadership and interests. However, the advantage of centralized leadership (unified goals, a single high-immunity point of blame, and official sanctioning of what actions are and are not under the movement’s purview) was lost.
This is the environment which led to the creation, and wild popularity of, “big tent” communities like the #AltFurry HQ discord. This was a tiered and vetted community that was left free to attempt its own brand of activism.
Vetting-plus-big-tent turned out to provide only limited protection. Most tiers ended up with leaks. Since confidentiality was assumed due to the vetting procedure, these leaks contained information that was not fit for public release, and was very damaging to group cohesion and reputation. It caught the attention of third party trolls, as they learned that a very small amount of pressure could elicit a very dramatic (and for them, entertaining) result. Finally, Discord’s administration felled any opportunity for further thriving on their platform by nuking the servers and banning their leadership. The combination of all of these led to a drop in morale and many divisions and schisms. There are only three possible paths forward: Return to single central leadership, proceed as a bunch of distributed “big tent” movements, or return to the origins of AltFurry just being a catchphrase to find like-minded people.
Single central leadership has been shown to be a pipe-dream. Tiered, vetted communities do not appear to be viable either. The one remaining path forward is clear.
AltFurry Stage One is Complete
Events such as AltFurry come in stages. The LeftistFurs can’t gatekeep the fandom anymore, and we have normalized the expression of right wing views in the furry fandom. This means that the events of stage one are complete, and we should start preparing for stage two.
The primary focus of stage two will involve actively taking back ground from the LeftistFurs. It will not look like a formal movement marching under the banner “AltFurry”, it will look very different indeed. It will also involve a new team of operatives with few of us actually taking part in the events. Those of us that do participate will take a backstage role in the shadows in order to keep the newfags from making the same mistakes we did.
Stage two will likely begin in about a year or two. Any sooner, and the events would just get lumped in with the AltFurry label. This new event won’t begin until it is impossible for that to happen.
Ditch the Sekrit Skype Cabals
The fact that it was very easy for someone to infiltrate the LeftistFurs telegram and leak the full logs should warn us that the same could easily happen to our groups as well. We must stop leaving ourselves vulnerable to shills. When creating new private groups, limit the number of people you invite. Ideally, they should be kept at three people, with a hard limit of five. If you’re already in a private group larger than that, you should automatically assume that it is actively compromised and treat it the same way you would any other public platform. Leakers can’t hurt you if you behave the same as you do public platforms like Twitter and Gab.
The World Will Judge You As Individuals
Most reasonable people understand that collective blame is wrong. Even if some desire a collectivist society, most of us don’t live under one right now. This means that we cannot act as if collective reward will ever come to us. It is the nature of all sentient beings to wish to take collective responsibility for success, but pass off failure as the fault of an individual. This simply does not work when living in a modern or postmodern liberal society. While we all have an ideal vision for the future, and some even dream of a time when ingroup-cohesion makes a celebrated return, for the time being, at least, we must treat each other as individuals. We can discuss doing otherwise after Donald Trump and Mike Pence institute an Evangelical Catholic Distributist society in America.
The Internet Is Serious Business
All jokes aside, stop taking ‘le furfag maymay’ ideology so seriously and have some fun with it. You’re someone who pretends to be a talking animal on the internet, and while you may idealize yourself as some neo-crusader defending western civilization, you’ll never accomplish anything if you spend all your time in pedantic arguments about how super serious you are. You will never be able to serve a higher purpose if you forget how to enjoy yourself and make new friends. Once it stops being about having fun, it becomes work and that’s when people wander away.
Social Media is Cancer: Be the Chemo
Don’t make political activism the entirety or even the majority of your social media presence. None of our lives ought to revolve around politics, and our public personas should reflect that necessary sense of moderation. Not every meme that you make needs to “own the libs” to be funny.
Additionally, I’ve seen many of you sharing entry level-tier red pill accounts like Paul Joseph Watson and Orwell And Goode. If you’ve made it this far, that means you’re ready to move on to higher-tier pundits, (Frame Games Radio or Braving Ruin, for example) whom you should be actively seeking out. You should also be forming your own original posts for social media. Original content attracts new people, which helps our communities grow. Try to put new original ideas out there. Some will travel, others will flop. Over time, you will improve yourself and come closer to truth.
Stop Taking the Bait
Stop reacting to bait posts. Stop giving obvious trolls attention. If you’re not good at telling the difference between bait and genuine attempts at dialog, ask someone who isn’t a newfag.
Also, clean your room, bucko. Someone who’s got their shit together is much more resistant to trolling attempts than incel NEETs.
Slouching Toward Xanadu
In thinking about how we want to develop and establish the venues for our community, we must seek to avoid forming venues that serve to advance or glorify an individual or venerated hierarchy, rather than serve the community. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll call these self-serving forms ‘Xanadus’.
In the 1941 film Citizen Kane, Xanadu was a beautiful, elaborate mansion, filled from floor to ceiling with the spoils of wealth; a perpetually unfinished vanity project undertaken by Charles Foster Kane. The most important thing to note about Xanadu, however, is not the grandeur of the estate; it is that in spite of that grandeur, Xanadu served primarily as Kane’s crypt, a place for him to die alone.
Naturally, we want to avoid sharing Kane’s fate, and there’s one really simple way to do that:
Build it so that it doesn’t need you to run.
Any community or system should functionally be able to operate and sustain itself without you; ideally, the members of the community oughtn’t even know that you’re running it, if you’re running it properly. If your group can’t exist without you, ask yourself why it can’t, and figure out what you’ve got to do to make it so that you (and your ego) aren’t irrevocably intertwined in its operation.
So long as there’s a visible, active right wing element in the furry fandom, it will be functionally impossible for LeftistFurs to gatekeep. Anyone who has been isolated from their “friends” over something as silly as political views will always have a home in our circles. With your help, we will persevere together.