Russiagate. Black Pill. Popular Front.

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THE RUSSIAN MENACE

Russia and hostile Russian interference in American and European affairs is a multi-year story arc. It is a smokescreen. Not because Russian government doesn’t sponsor fucking around foreign countries – especially taking advantage of the cyber guerrilla potential (it’s indirect, kinda anonymous etc). But because it’s a minor force in the overall maelstrom of American and Western European national politics. Too minor to dominate media time. So minor, the very fact of it pushing out attention being given to real systemic injustice (which invariably boils down to some cunt corrupting an endemic mechanism to exploit a large number of poor sods, for self-enrichment) is plenty of reason to suspect the motives of the media fixation on Russian bullshit.

By way of example, here’s a bunch of Russia (Russiagate) stories that made headline news and all turned out to be horseshit:

  1. All 17 U.S. intelligence agencies backed an assessment that cyberattacks in 2016 came from the “highest levels of the Kremlin.” That was later corrected in congressional testimony to four (it was actually three):

   
  1. The Trump organization was communicating with Russia via a mysterious server tied to Russia’s Alfa Bank. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted the FBI concluded “by early February 2017 that there were no such links” yet stories pegged to anonymous intel officials persisted for years after that.

  2. Russia “hacked a Vermont utility,” according to U.S. officials! Except, the next day:

       
  3. Four “current and former American officials,” citing a “trove of information the FBI is sifting through,” said the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.” Months later:

   
  1. A “senior U.S. government official” characterized the ex-spy who claimed Russia had been cultivating Donald Trump for at least five years, and could “blackmail him,” was “a credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government.” But Christopher Steele was subsequently dismissed as an FBI source for his “completely untrustworthy” decision to talk to the media, and Horowitz not only discovered that both the FBI and the CIA (who dismissed his reports as “internet rumor”) had many reservations about his credibility, but that his famed “blackmail” claims about pee and prostitutes had been made in “jest” over “beers”.

  1. Former Trump adviser Carter Page was a “catalyst” for the FBI investigation into connections between Donald Trump and Russia, according to “current and former law enforcement and counterintelligence officials.” Similarly, the New York Times cited court documents in describing George Papadopoulos: “Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian to Discuss ‘Dirt’ on Clinton.”

    But Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified that as early as August of 2016, Page became the focus of secret surveillance because Papadopoulos had been deemed a dead end. This scarcely reported detail only rendered the entire predicate for the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation absurd:

   
  1. Jeff Sessions did not disclose contacts with a Russian ambassador in a security clearance form, Justice Department sources told multiple outlets, in what became a major front-page scandal. Except it came out later he didn’t have to make those disclosures, and as for the contacts themselves? “Brief, public, and non-substantive,” said Robert Mueller.

  1. “Senior FBI and national intelligence officials” told the White House and major news outlets that releasing the name of an “informant” in the Trump-Russia investigation could “risk lives,” one of many such stories (we heard similar warnings before the release of the name of Christopher Steele, his source Igor Danchenko, the “exfiltrated spy” Oleg Smolenkov, the “anonymous” New York Times editorialist, the Ukraine “whistleblower,” and others). The “informant” Haspel warned about, Stefan Halper, turned out to have been a professor outed by name as an intelligence source in the New York Times all the way back in 1983:

   
  1. Current and former intelligence officers” told the New York Times that CIA director Gina Haspel showed Donald Trump pictures of British children sickened, as well as ducks killed, by a Russian assassination in England using the deadly nerve agent Novichok. It turns out there were no such sick children or dead ducks, and Haspel didn’t show such pictures, an error the Times chalked up to lack of research time:

   
  1. According to “officials briefed on the matter,” New York Times reported, and the Washington Post “confirmed” that “a Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan.” Two months later, an on-the-record military official was less certain:

   

One could go on and on with this list, from the bogus claims about Maria Butina that ended up as Times headlines (“Suspected Secret Agent Used Sex in Covert Plan”), to overhype of the Cambridge Analytica story (which turned out to have little to do with Brexit), to the arse-backwards denunciations of the so-called “Nunes memo” (validated almost entirely by Horowitz), and on, and on.

Does this mean the Russians don’t meddle? Of course not. But we have to learn to separate real stories about foreign intelligence operations with posturing used to target domestic actors while suppressing criticism of domestic politicians. It’s only happened about a hundred times in the last five years — maybe it’s time to start asking for proof in these episodes?

 


The Red Pill

The red pill is the most basic of pills, and it can refer to almost any kind of political awakening (and does not necessarily indicate a move towards extremism).

In posts about American political parties, the red pill generally refers to the GOP, while the blue pill is aligned with the Democratic Party.

For many, the red pill is just the first step in a longer journey.  Being “redpilled” means shifting away from one set of beliefs to another set of (antithetical) beliefs.  This can be as basic as a Democrat becoming a Republican, or as radical as someone coming to believe that Jews control the world or that feminism is destroying the West.

Mainstream usage of the term includes conservative speaker Candace Owens naming her YouTube channel “Redpilled Black,” a reference to her “awakening” as a black American and moving away from liberal beliefs in favor of conservatism and nationalism. Similarly, Fox News once referred to Kanye West as having taken the “red pill” when the rapper expressed his support for President Trump.

Crossover between the term’s mainstream and extremist application was on display during the 2016 presidential campaign, when candidate Donald Trump tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David with the caption “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” This prompted well-known white supremacist David Duke to tweet: “Nice to see Mr. Trump slipping some ‘Red Pills’ to the American people!”

In extremist terms, being redpilled means you have bought into at least one of the antisemitic, racist and conspiratorial tropes of the far-right movement. For many, it is the first tentative step down the rabbit hole toward radicalization.

In MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) and incel circles, the red pill is extremely specific and serves as an introduction to a particularly dystopian and misogynistic world view.

The incel red pill can be explained by the 80/20 rule, which says that 80% of women desire just 20% of men. This means that the vast majority of men will never be desirable and consequentially will never find sexual fulfillment and happiness. Among incels, the red pill represents the realization that feminism has caused a massive shift in power, and that feminism (understood by incels as women having the right to sleep with anyone they wish), gives women far too much power, and has led to “hypergamy,” incel speak for women pairing up with men who are more attractive.  In most cases, the red pill is only a stepping stone; the far-right and the manosphere consider the red pill a call to action. For white supremacists, the redpill encourages political activism and fighting an anti-white system. For incels it means trying to be more attractive in an effort to join the 20% of men who get women. In this context, the red pill is almost optimistic. The world is unfair, and the odds are stacked against you, but you can fight back.

The Black Pill

For those on the extreme right, the black pill represents nihilism, or a realization that the system is too far gone to change. The powers that govern our lives are too deeply entrenched and too powerful to do anything about.

In the incel movement, the black pill is far more pernicious. The term was popularized on the men’s rights blog Omega Virgin Revolt, where it was first used by commenter Paragon in 2011.  Like their extreme right counterparts, incels believe that taking the black pill means realizing that their situation is hopeless. Where redpilled incels are not happy about their place in society, they believe there are ways out of inceldom, including working out, plastic surgery and a host of dubious self-improvement strategies; blackpilled incels believe that their situation is permanent and inescapable. In a blackpilled world the sexual marketplace is governed exclusively by genetics. A man is either attractive to the opposite sex or he is not, and no amount of self-improvement can change this.

This is where the incel movement takes on characteristics of a death cult. Taking the black pill leaves a person with relatively few options: Giving up, or in incel parlance “LDAR” (Lie Down and Rot), suicide (incel forums are filled with suicidal fantasies and threats, as well as encouraging comments to those considering suicide) and “going ER.” The latter is a reference to Elliot Rodger, who killed six people near campus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2014. In incel forums members, “Saint Elliot” or “The Supreme Gentleman” as they call him (and he called himself), is hailed as a hero.

While Rodger didn’t explicitly refer to himself as blackpilled, he displayed the key trait of the blackpill: He believed that attempting to change the status quo was futile and the only possible outcomes were death and violence. In a manifesto posted shortly before his killing spree, Rodger wrote:

[Women] think like beasts, and in truth, they are beasts. Women are incapable of having morals or thinking rationally. They are completely controlled by their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses…Women should not have the right to choose who to mate and breed with. That decision should be made for them by rational men of intelligence…Women are vicious, evil, barbaric animals, and they need to be treated as such.

Similarly, Alek Minassian, who killed 10 people when he rammed a truck into a crowd in Toronto in 2018, and Scott Beierle, who killed two and injured four in a Tallahassee yoga studio in that same year did not publicly identify as blackpilled, but were viewed as blackpilled by others in the incel community.


The Blue Pill

The blue pill is the counterpart to the red pill. The blue pill means remaining blissfully ignorant about how the world works. To those who have been redpilled, everyone else is bluepilled.

The Purple Pill

The purple pill is the incel version of centrism. It rejects both redpill and bluepill philosophies as misguided at best and idiotic or repulsive at worst. Purplepillers attempt to explain male-female behaviors in a more moderate and, relatively speaking, sensible way.

The Pink Pill

This pill is the female version of the incel black pill. While many incels argue that women by definition cannot be incels, since there will always be incels willing to sleep with women, femcels (female incels) do make up a small subset of incel culture. (Ironically, the original incel was a woman, a Canadian student who was outspoken about her lack of sexual activity).  The pinkpill is femcels’ realization that no matter how fully they embody the perceived ideals of femininity (being thin, submissive and fully made-up) they will never be attractive to men.

The White Pill

The white pill refers to an optimistic worldview in the face of adversity. Like the red pill and the black pill, the white pill is not limited to a single subculture and is used by extremists of all stripes. Being whitepilled is believing in whatever movement you belong to and feeling good about your role within it. For instance, when President Trump declared that certain U.S. representatives should go back where they came from, white supremacist podcaster Nick Fuentes wrote on Telegram:

“I’m totally whitepilled by this latest Trump controversy. It reminds me of the reaction to the “drugs crime and rapists” comment at his announcement or the Muslim ban.”


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