Kill All Normies

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Kill All Normies
Killallnormies.jpg
AuthorAngela Nagle
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SubjectCurrent Events, internet culture, alt-right, political correctness,
GenreNon-fiction, cultural studies
PublisherZero Books
Publication date
2017
Pages136 pp.
ISBN978-1-78-535543-1

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right is a 2017 book by columnist Angela Nagle published by Zero Books. It focuses on the development of internet culture, the nature of political correctness, the far-right and the election of Donald Trump.[1][2] Nagle offers a left-wing critique of contemporary liberalism and its role in the creation of the alt-right movement in reaction.

Synopsis[edit]

Nagle presents her work as an attempt to map the online culture wars that occurred in the early 2010s and how it resulted in the development of Alt-Right which played a major role in the election of Donald Trump. Nagle introduces the 2010s as a period in which "cyber utopianism" began to reemerge popularity with the rise of internet-based social activism such as the Arab Spring, Occupy movement, Wikileaks, adbusters, and Anonymous which were based on decentralized leadership and online organization. This internet based activism was immediately embraced by the factions of the mainstream liberalism without properly appraising the limitations and organizational structure of the movements, which all resulted in consistent failure and the collapse of the movements. Many of these movements began on the medium of image-based forums primarily 4chan and 8chan, which were organized on focus on anonymity which formed a subculture among the users of these websites that embraced extremely transgressive and dark humor with a deeply misogynistic and racist subculture.

In the second chapter, titled "The Online Politics of Transgression", Nagle observes how political transgression historically is associated with the political Left, specifically that of the New Left which was adopted by the Alt-Right. Nagle frames this adoption of transgression by the political right, in relation to the concept of moral transgression which can be traced to the eighteenth century figures of Marquis De Sade, The Surrealists, Friedrich Nietzsche, Punk subculture, and contemporaneously in the 1990s 'male rampage films' like American Psycho and Fight Club. This 'transgressive anti-moral style' of the Alt-Right, according to Nagle, is their attempt to completely break away from the egalitarian philosophy of the Left and the Christian morality of the Right.

In chapter three, "Gramscians of the Alt-Lite", Nagle focuses on the popularity of the French New Right within the circles of the Alt-Right.

Publication and reception[edit]

Kill All Normies received polarizing reception from critics and columnists with Vice,[3] New York ,[4][5] The New Republic,[6] and Vox[7] publishing positive reviews of the book, whereas outlets such as The Daily Beast, Libcom, CounterPunch, and The New Socialist criticized Nagle's description of campus activism.[8] A review of the book at The Daily Beast said the book was plagued by "sloppy sourcing".[9]

Columnist Ross Douthat of the New York Times praised Nagle's "portrait of the online cultural war",[10] and the Times columnist Michelle Goldberg said that Kill All Normies had "captured this phenomenon".[11] Novelist George Saunders listed Kill All Normies as one of his ten favorite books.[12]

An episode of the Fusion Networks' TV series Trumpland directed by Leighton Woodhouse was based on book.[13] A Spanish edition was published in May 2018 by Orciny Press,[14] and a German edition in September, 2018 by Transcript.[15]

Controversy[edit]

Nagle's book has been the subject of controversy surrounding the validity of its research, allegations of plagiarism, accuracy of its sources, and Nagle's critical appraisal of political correctness and identity politics.

Allegations that parts of the book had been plagiarized were first made on the left-wing website Libcom.[9][16][unreliable source?] The article notes the similarity of a passage in Kill All Normies describing Alexander Dugin and the French New Right which had strong similarities to the Wikipedia article on Dugin. Libcom further questions Nagle's claims in regard to "campus panic", "cultural appropriation", "tumblr liberalism", and trigger warnings. In Chapter Five, Nagle alleges that on the blogging website Tumblr, there were an absurd number of gender options, which are listed out in length. Nagle does not provide any citations for this allegation.[17][unreliable source?][18] Nagle and her publisher both rejected the accusations.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kill All Normies || Zero Books || Book Info". www.zero-books.net.
  2. ^ Nagle, Angela (2017). Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and The Alt-Right. Zero Books.
  3. ^ Kiberd, Roisin (12 May 2017). "'Kill All Normies' Is About the Alt-Right But the Left Ends Up Looking Worse". Motherboard. VICE. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  4. ^ MacDougald, Park. "Where Did the Alt-Right Come From? This Book Finds Some Uncomfortable Answers". Intelligencer. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ ""Kill All Normies" is an Awful Book". www.counterpunch.org.
  6. ^ "What the Alt-Right Learned from the Left". The New Republic.
  7. ^ "How the alt-right uses internet trolling to confuse you into dismissing its ideology". Vox.
  8. ^ Dunbar, Mark (29 August 2017). "Book Review: Kill All Normies". TheHumanist.com.
  9. ^ a b Davis, Charles (19 May 2018). "Sloppy Sourcing Plagues 'Kill All Normies' Alt-Right Book". The Daily Beast.
  10. ^ "Opinion | Columnists' Book Club". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Michelle. "Opinion | How the Online Left Fuels the Right". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  12. ^ Saunders, George. "George Saunders's 10 Favorite Books". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  13. ^ "Trumpland: Kill All Normies". TV Guide. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  14. ^ "Muerte a los normies" (in Spanish). Orciny Press.
  15. ^ "Die digitale Gegenrevolution". www.transcript-verlag.de (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  16. ^ Harman, Mike. "Angela Nagle's Plagiarise Any Nonsense". libcom.org. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  17. ^ Libcom. "5 big problems with Kill All Normies". libcom.org. Libcom. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  18. ^ Nagle, Angela (2017). Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4chan and Tumblr to Trump an The Alt-Right. Zero Books. pp. 70–72.
  19. ^ Nagle, Angela (26 May 2018). "Angela Nagle's Statement Regarding the Daily Beast". Zero Books Blog. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  20. ^ Lain, Douglas (22 May 2018). "Our Response to Charles Davis' Attack on Angela Nagle". Zero Books Blog. Retrieved 30 June 2018.