4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
Dale Beran


I don’t frequent 4chan nor do I buy into the chicken little hysteria that accompanies the change in US presidents.

But what I do know that this article entirely contradicts itself and is one giant exercise in ad hominem, fuelled by equal measures a vicious hatred of the political Other, the author’s ego and his faith in the utter righteousness in all things Left (tm).

It is ironic that you preach about how “gender-as-illusion” was meant to help set the disempowered free, and you make continued references to the right and bourgeoisie but you continually use outdated male stereotypes as a yardstick with which to beat the Other with. You continually frame them “as losers who live in their parents basements” and make reference to their supposed lack of success with women. You’re all but calling them “lonely virgins” — hardly the peak of educated discourse your verbose digressions holds pretensions to.

You’re also attacking them using the stick of socio-economic success - you quite clearly state that these aren’t (supposedly) wealthy men, they’re losers, they’re unemployed etc. For somebody who espouses the virtues of the Left and OWS, you sure do like to rag on people for being poor. It’s a damning indictment on your character: Equality for me and my bourgeoisie brethren; anybody who doesn’t agree with me however…

In fact, this seems to make up the bulk of your argument: “these people feel this way because they’re lonely, rejected virgins”; which in a way is quite circular because you imply that only lonely rejected virgins feel this way and that they feel this because theyre lonely rejected anime watching virgins.

That’s not the only hasty generalisation present. You are quick to present them as a causative agent in Trump’s electoral success, labelling people neo-Nazis (you should be careful doing that in print as whilst slander can be very difficult to prove, its quite clear that the sole purpose of this piece is to attack the characters of the political Other), but you fall inti the same trap as Hilary did, labelling all who oppose you ‘deplorables’. This might play well when preaching to the hyperliberal crowd- but most moderates just roll their eyes at this kind of leftist dogma.

You also betray a deep-seated sexism. You continually portray 4chan (well, you’re actually talking about /b but since you deal almost exclusively in generalisation and caricature it’s to be expected that your polemic lacks nuance; or factual accuracy) as almost entirely male. I know for a fact that its populated by many women, how many neither of us can say, but I can say your figure “90% male” is a number you pulled out of your ass. Significant figures are usually a dead giveaway — exactly ten percent are female?

Now its quite funny that the American hyperliberal will go on and on about female representation in tech and nerd culture. You even wank lyrical about how your games promote gender equality; but in practise you actually ignore what these women actually want, what they believe in and who they are as people. You don’t want gender equality in games, you want people like you in games; you’re not pressing for gender equality in games but for the preponderance of your ideology. Your philosophy is deeply, nay, universally unpopular amongst gamers, men and women both. But that’s irrelavent to a paternalist isn’t it? The masses must be civilised, if not with a cliche attempt at emasculation or being dismissed outright if youre a woman, then with force.

Just to reiterate, your piece is a stunning exercise in hypocrisy. It’s a hate fuelled rant that demonstrates a complete disconnect between your supposed values: equality, inclusion and your actions: bashing people you percieve as poor and social/romantic rejects, dismissing the opinion of women who don’t fit into the puritan feminine ideal. For somebody who loudly trumpets his enlightenment credentials, you sure do use outdated gender paradigms to attack your percieved Others, like, a lot.

There’s more irony to be had here. Despite 4chan being quite a large and diverse community, and an anonymous one; you feel entirely confident make wide generalisations about the character and socio-economic status of an entire online society based on the visible actions of a few. You also completely dismiss their participation in causes like OWS or protesting Scientology because [insert ad hominem attack based on gender or socio-economic status here].

Ironically, you refer to 4chan/Anon attempts at activism as “if mere bashing at a keyboard could affect change” then with an entirely straight face say “this is only a problem the left can truly solve” — what the fuck? How? The Democrats have been electorally annihilated at every level if government, even the centre-left has turned on you, moderates despise you, and the alt-right openly mock you. How did you plan to “truly solve” this apart from writing partisan sermons in liberal enclaves? How will your bashing on a keyboard effect change when you think it unsuccessful for Anon? Do you intentionally contradict yourself or has your impotent rage simply caused a disconnect with reality? I would submit that this piece is not about affecting change but is a peacock display of in-group credentials; serving as group therapy amongst those depressed about Trump’s ascension.

You know that you can’t affect political or social change. But that’s not your aim here is it? This is about affecting change in your status. Given how much you refer to the percieved status of the Other, it’s abundantly clear that’s what’s important to you.

Meanwhile you take great pains to differ yourself on the basis that you’re financially successful and more ideologically pure/dogmatic. How are you not bourgeoisie? How are you not the poor-bashing oppressor that you claim OWS protested against? Honestly how are you not the bully here?

I don’t care for the tactics of Anon nor do I condone some of the lengths that individuals went to persecute people; but nor do I care much for the hypocritical, condescending, generalising sychophancy that is pervasive in the American upper middle class.

Also, using a medium slide was a shit idea. Some of us can read faster than 200 words per minute and this piece was an interminable mess of tangents, OP’s political gripes and verbose variations on playground insults and outmoded gender paradigms.

The OP relentlessly piles on fallacy after fallacy. There’s something pathetically cliche about how the OP continually refers to his percieved Other as ‘Nazis’, I mean, really that’s the best you could come up with? Nazis? Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply to you?

And Pepe? You devote a whole section to a fucking meme. That’s bike shedding if I’ve ever heard it.

Your complaints and counterpoints are just so damn trivial. Couldn’t you at least muster some intellect, some creativity to come up with something more insightful than “they’re all basement dwelling neckbeard Nazis who can’t get laid or get a job”. Not only did you waste energy on such an asinine thesis but people upvoted it! To think of all the advances in human technology, all the coal burned to power our civilisation, all the calories consumed to ensure the wheels of society keep turning, 4500 years of human learning and yearning, billions dead in countless wars, and this, THIS!? is what you have to offer society in return?

You hate these people because they don’t share your values; I hold you in contempt because you don’t practice your own. With double standards, you wouldn’t have any; the only virtues you possess are those that you signal for the sole purpose of mutual affirmation.

It’s so mechanistic, it’s transparent and frankly, it’s a cliche.

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