Alfie and the failure of the dissident right to ground itself historically.

The dissident right, manosphere, neoreaction, dark enlightenment, orthosphere, etc, whatever you want to call the giant tent of weird subcultures that are conservative-liking but not terribly conservative in thought all have the same problem.

They don’t appear to read or watch fiction made in the 20th century.  And they don’t read fiction from the 18th and 19th centuries.  They read and recite thirdhand commentary on commentary at best from three or four writers, and this results in many of them believing silliness such as PUAs being a brand new entity in the world, invented with the interwebs.

Alfie (1966) shows otherwise.  It put Michael Caine on the map and it might as well be called “PUAs: Behind the Mask”, because it is almost half a century old and reveals all the general spiritual decay behind the PUA front of insouciance and skirt-chasing in a way that blows any of the blogs about such things right out of the water.  It also reveals that the PUA pushing a guru system thing is hardly new, although Alfie certainly wasn’t making money off it.

But think about that one.  “Red pill” info about women *and men* was known and put into a mainstream British film in the mid-1960s.  If any of these self-proclaimed enlightened ones ever bothered to pay attention to media through the decades, they’d see that what they seem to think is a brand new round thing has been rolling along without them for decades.

Likewise, just reading fiction at all would reveal to them that a lot of the beliefs they have regarding how “realistic” they are about human nature are neither original, insightful nor true.  It’s so strange.  They are like very odd, very confused SWPLs.  No history, no sense of the past, and no understanding of how utterly ignorant this makes their proclamations and declarations of wanting to restore and honor same look.  At least the regular SWPLs think the solution is to keep moving forward and constantly redo the stuff that didn’t work.  These guys don’t want to do that, but lack the historical grounding to propose coherent or sound alternatives.

It’s not like this sort of fiction is being kept under lock and key by the liberal cabal.  It’s all hiding in plain sight.

 

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5 thoughts on “Alfie and the failure of the dissident right to ground itself historically.”

  1. Well, the manosphere (I don’t know about the others) is relentlessly philistine. Being ignorant of the humanities is part of its DNA – its adherents even preach that learning about the humanities is decadent and emasculating, although reading a handful of Roman writers is apparently OK.

    Which is why they don’t seem to realise that they’re recycling views that were only ever held by celibate clerics who were driven mad by their celibacy, or sexually dysfunctional Victorians like John Ruskin (who is the originator of the ‘pedestalization’ of women that they lay at the feet of feminism – the version they’re talking about comes straight from Ruskin’s Of Queens’ Gardens and Coventry Patmore’s Angel in the House.

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    1. The manosphere’s views weren’t held solely by celibate clerics or sexually freaky Victorians. That’s extrapolating a little too broadly from a handful of historical examples. That said, the rest of the dissident right tends to hold views that are inversions or subversions of modern views on the feminine and female nature and they would recognize this if they watched even a single old movie or read some Jane Austen that wasn’t Pride and Prejudice. (Ok, I guess there’s ONE PIECE of fiction they read. Which is relatively modern in tone and slightly unusual for the time it was written in.)

      The alternative right in general tends to be almost completely male-identified and unable to understand there is a feminine universe at all. Even their commentary on how (some) women behave (poorly) today is filtered through a lens of viewing women-as-wrongly-acting-men. The manosphere might specifically hate or dislike women as a class, but the rest of the alternative right doesn’t accept femaleness as part of the human universe, which makes them hilariously similar to the very left-liberals they endlessly read and comment on. The exceptions are notable because they are so few. Steve Sailer’s the only popular example I can think of because he likes women and also of course reads fiction. But he’s a forerunner to the alt-right and not really a part of it as it currently exists. Much of the alternative right is liberal in temperament and conservative in tribal affiliation, which can be very confusing.

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  2. I thought of this recently as I was reading a novel by Henry James, What Maisie Knew.

    Nothing new under the sun.

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  3. LOL Maeve you’re right! Remember A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Shakespeare and the Bible are all you need!

    Amanda

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