Monday, 21 April 2014

Nationalism - Too Much Information?





It has been a while since I put an article up, but as I was getting fed up with the last entry being the one that was stuck at the front of the site I thought I should do something about it. It is very stale information and felt I should stick something else there for a change!

I wrote the following for a comment to be posted elsewhere. It is relating to a suggestion that we need to be putting more material out there as part of our propaganda drive - and that putting more material out is more important than some other things, because it helps fuel action and funding.

I have decided to put it here instead because (to be fair to the person suggesting it) I have gone much more "general" in my position than what he or she may have been actually talking about. In addition, it may go some way to explain why I am not doing so much writing these days for the blog here.

Anyway, here it goes. (Sensible comments are of course welcome).

The cynic in me has come to think that, if anything, there is perhaps too much information out there.

So much information in fact, that is becoming a bit of a distraction for us all to be keeping up with all the sites, the news and the issues; and fooling ourselves that by reading and contributing comments to such sites that we are somehow helping to get something done.

All it may get done is to keep our existing movement engaged with each other and to keep an interest up among ourselves by being bedded into this endless loop.

That is important - but I would tend to be cynical at how much of this churn of articles and issues actually gets read outside of our own little world bubble - and when new people do come along to try and learn about what is going on, I often wonder what they think about some sites and some of the rhetoric being used. Is our "shop window" conducive to want people to buy our product? Do they understand what is on sale from these snapshots?

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of blog sites, forums, political party sites, etc pushing out various nationalistic messages across the spectrum between your counter-jihad sites to 'white nationalism' sites to your more hardcore national socialism.

We will never match the machinery and power of the mainstream media, for not only are they better funded and allowed free reign to peddle what they like - they also capture the masses by default whereas we have to try and drive people our way, otherwise they will never even look in our direction.

On that score, it is not so much a lack of propaganda material, but a lack of drawing people in comfortably to view it.

We have many well populated and viewed sites like American Renaissance, Counter Currents, Occidental Observer, Alternative Right, Radix, Taki Magazine, VDare, Western Spring, The New Observer, The British Resistance, Majority Rights, Occidental Quarterly, The Voice of Reason, and according to various tastes, The Daily Stormer, Stormfront, Gates of Vienna, Frontpage and so on.

Then there is the British National Party, the British Democratic Party, the National Front, the Traditional Britain Group, hundreds of personal blogs (with next to no readership participation apparent), facebook groups, as well as archived material like a load of old Spearhead articles from the National Front heydays, many books available to purchase and so on.

When it comes to our situation and our positions, I tend to think that amongst all this lot, everything that needs to be said has already been said. It is all there, somewhere. 

What is the purpose of endlessly regurgitating the same things over and over again, telling ourselves what we already know? I get tired of reading the same rhetoric all the time, laced with all the usual stab words of 'cultural marxist' and 'traitor'. I can't be bothered with it any more, so I would not expect my own readership here to have to suffer the same.

Considering how few of the wider population actually embroil themselves in our sites (compared to the already semi-aware, winnable and converted I mentioned earlier), I do wonder at times what the point is of pumping out all this stuff.

It is perhaps reassuring to be amongst like minded folk and no doubt it is cathartic to blow off some steam by making a sharp comment - and as I say, it does help to keep people 'in the fold' - but perhaps the time needs to come for quality and purpose over that of a mindless churn and what amounts to just one long moan about what is going on and what is being done to us.

We need purpose to the articles, purpose to the sites. We need to shatter the narratives of our opponents, provide people with the right tools to de-construct common arguments made against us. We need informative articles about what we are aiming for, why we are doing it, why people ought to join us and what we are actually doing about it.

Endlessly describing what is being done week in, week out - and thus angrily citing case after case of affronts to our nation (which fills so many sites) is perhaps not such a good use of our time and efforts. It is also hugely demoralising as well as being passive, as we generally wait for the next batch of woe and outrage to hit us for us to then read or write about.

I am alone in this view? Am I just battle worn and cynical? Like many sites like this, is there anybody out there at all?!!

You see, I think it would prove my point that this article is again the fodder for the already converted, that it says little about our situation, that the site is not well read, that volume of material is therefore not that important, that your average citizen is not going to be pouring over it or understanding what it is all about.....

On the other hand - do all the above kinds of sites help push our cause forward? Is the volume and tide of it all part of the push-back? Do we need to write more material, more often, no matter what it is? 

Where does one go from here?


5 comments:

  1. Well, IBN, it seems that the boiling frog may be cooling, if you trust in the cultural (glacial) shift inherent in UKIP's success, which bring great dangers, but also short-term advantages.

    I agree wholly on information overload. It's the nature of the online beast. Have you read / listened to 'The Shallows'? I'd prefer those who wish to engage in longer posts, to be required, like an academic essay, to preface it with a summary and a conclusion.

    To my mind, the 'where do we go from here' should be focused in a few of areas.

    1) Resource centralisation:
    a) a centralized compendium of intellectual and scientific arguments against the current progressive consensus. As your posts suggests things are too disparate.
    b) Pan-European networking of skilled people online and off.

    2) An empirical approach to our activities. What are we trying to achieve. How can we achieve it. How successful have we been.

    3) High level outreach.

    Targeting particular sectors and people. So those educated in particular fields might be tasked with trying out persuasive tactics in similar domains to their specialisms. Online commentaries for instance. Or leaflet drops outside key events or post-lectures at universities. Being responsive to the results.

    4) A broader based traditionalist approach: marriage, parenting, sexual interaction, farming, environment, community etc. One approach, might be to develop online media channels to drive awareness and interest.

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  2. Thankyou for your comment Dykeward. It is always nice to find a good comment in the in-box.

    What you speak of has been on my mind for a very long time, yet I have to admit I have always struggled collecting the precise thoughts required to construct an extremely 'focussed' argumentation that concisely grapples with 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    Coincidentally, I was again only discussing these kinds of matter this week at a nationalist meeting.

    I came away with my head buzzing about what I need to express about the proposals of the group I am involved with, and further, what it may need to do in order to clarify itself (and how to let it stick to the main agenda).

    My attention in recent years has been particularly grabbed with 1), 1a), 2), and 4).

    I have never known much about achieving or writing about 1b) or 3).

    There are so many ways this can be tackled from in terms of viewpoint and magnitude, and so many issues to contend with, that I doubt I could do justice to what is required.

    However, I may have to have a stab at it for the sake of taking that thorn out of my side.

    I did compile a five-part series a few years ago that rambled about this kind of stuff, but various situations in British Nationalism (and within myself) have changed since then.

    Not least, there has been this new venture/idea come along at Western Spring. Something which much more sense than anything else I have seen up to press.

    I hear various rumours that some situations may develop that will soon force a little more "resource centralisation" within the British Nationalist movement, but whether it can be achieved is another matter.

    I have not heard of The Shallows. A quick look revealed the preamble to the book, which contained this quote:

    "He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.".

    Indeed.

    Regarding online media channels, I made a comment on this about a fortnight ago. I said that I thought it could be relatively easy to set up such a channel, using existing providers and services.

    All it would need is some people capable of using a program like After Effects to create a professional look (well, know enough to modify templates for it), and the actual content itself to present a high quality presence and image.

    I tried a demo of After Effects for this aim and struggled, but even the latter aspect of sourcing content may prove to be the more difficult thing in the end!

    I think you're dead right though with your points and thanks for taking the time to express them.

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  3. Me too in a haphazard way, IBN (various discussions).

    I'm not these days affiliated to any political party and I think such things should perhaps be cross-party and no party to avoid resentment and ego. Perhaps, some form of Wiki-like resource, effectively servicing the requirements of political warfare with contributors there on a trust basis and backed up daily in case of sabotage.

    WRT 1b, there are so many of us globally, that certain skills are plentiful but in short supply in our little political hamlets who are not inclined to share with others in neighbouring tribes or hamlets. Something that could harness this global resource on a party neutral could be very powerful. It would also build bridges and good relationships globally. Nice if you fancy a week away discovering German, French, Italian (or further afield ) responses. With the growth of post-Fascist parties, some of their skill sets are developing fast, even if we might take a view on their ideological purity.

    If 1a works, then 3 should be a relatively simple matter with a generalised approach at least, not perhaps with an individualised one.

    Regarding the media element, I tried commenting on WS's site suggesting one approach was YouTube videos and the projected growth of Smart TVs. I was highly sceptical of their 'get a financial war chest and then invest in shares in media companies' approach, but I did not want to be a consistently critical voice, so I left it alone. As I said to them the US programme YoungTurks developed on YouTube and ended up with an audience of a billion views a month. They're not 'us', but it is instructive.

    With the growth of Moocs and other online access education sources, I'm sure the learning process for media design, content and production could be relatively swift to get up and going and then be a learn-by-doing process. I assume the key thing is to have sufficient numbers of contributors committing to a minimum monthly input, rather than a few people ploughing a lonely furrow at all hours before becoming exhausted and disillusioned.

    The Shallows uses the term: 'the neurons that fire together wire together': day to day activities create brain connections that then become self-fulfilling, for good and bad habits. It also makes the point (backed by many studies) that the brain moves things from working memory to long term memory a thimble full at a time. So if there is a torrent of information, it cannot process any of it and all is lost. Worse if the information source contains many different types of information (if it's 'busy'). So books allow retention, drip, drip, drip, online viewing does not. It loses us the ability to think quietly and deeply. See the link I placed in the second comment. You probably should not authorise that comment, but FYI.

    Alongside WS, I also wonder whether the TBG might not be a good networking point for many different tribes, being non-party political. Their instincts are good. I also know some affiliated with WS have been both in attendance and as a speaker. Of course there are the London Forums too. A gentleman's type club would be ideal, but perhaps when that billionaire signs on.

    ;-)

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Hi Dykeward, I only saw the latter part of the first comment after I had submitted both to the site - so I took your advice and removed the second comment.

    Regarding the TV thing, I also commented on the WS site in relation to how it is not necessarily all that complicated to set up a well polished TV station using existing providers of such services.

    I found some on the internet the other month, many offer free packages and all sorts of different paid ones. They seemed quite smooth.

    If nothing else, I think it could provide people with some practice at it.

    I have also seen many templates you can buy (or find!) that would make a polished linkage between programmes, much like you may find on Channel Five or whatever. (We wouldn't want some glorified Youtube playlist on rotation, for example, we need something that looks and feels the part).

    I actually had a quick go at Adobe After Affects myself, to see if I might have been able to have a stab at it myself, but it was a bit beyond my capabilities despite me not usually being so bad with that kind of thing.

    I am sure I could pick it up if I watched enough traning material, but at the end of the day, I don't think it is something I ought to take up as a kind of lone-wolf.

    I think I would be making a rod for my own back via being a bit out of my depth with it, and in addition, I do not know enough about it all to decide what is the right platform and how to generate interest etc.

    I am sure anybody familiar with such suites will easily be able to manipulate templates though, as well as master the running of existing internet TV station hosts.

    I once had a station on Livestream, which I hosted some long videos on in the days before Youtube let you have more than 10 mins per clip!.

    But it was just used for hosting those long clips more than trying to set up an internet TV presence. The viewership therefore wasn't great, of course, and in the end they dropped me off the list when I did not update the channel.

    My reservations on WS (with a non-coordinated effort that could be achieved by a technology savvy nationalist), I suppose, was on the quality and quantity of the programmes (and whether we had enough high quality material in a wide variety of interests to retain any kind of regular viewership).

    However, as I am getting at in this article, if we go off too far on a load of tangents, it becomes nothing more than another distraction into a thousand issues rather than being the focussed tool I would hope it to be.

    In addition, although there may be some good hosting sites out there that provide such a service to host a TV channel upon, I don't think it is something that should be gone about in a half baked fashion, and later discovering that either we are on the wrong platform or otherwise left at the mercy of those providers if they are put under pressure to cease our contract.

    Ideally, it would require owning our own servers and whatever it is that makes it possible to present a TV station to the wider world.

    Although we are bound to say this, I think that the vast majority of people out there are completely ignorant of our whole scene and what positions we are actually coming from.

    Anything that might explain our views and encourage support - not to mention keep existing people in the fold - has to be a good thing, right?

    Regarding TBG and that crowd, they seemed to evolve in recent years and attract a much more "alternative right" crowd. That looked promising to me and much more up my street than that of the 'traditional conservatives' inception it had.

    Alex Kurtagic and Richard Spencer, amongst others, have spoken at TBG, so yes, it may be a good networking tool between some of these kinds of circles.


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