Paedophilia is the first—and only—thing that should come to your mind from the name ”Milo Yiannopoulos”… according to the vocal opposition. Reflecting the escalated political polarisation in the United States, Milo’s political enemies machinated a public controversy by strategically releasing a year-old video recording right before the CPAC convention where Milo was to speak. While the controversy didn’t cost Milo his fan base, I believe it did further marginalise him from the mainstream.
More recently, there was an attempt to denigrate Milo with a video showing people, at a bar with Milo, making Nazi salutes. He swiftly addressed the video on social media, though, claiming it was intentionally staged.
Why these attempts to discredit Milo? Dangerous, Milo’s bestselling book on current political issues, doubling as something of an autobiography, explains Milo’s point of view. One answer lies in the book’s title: to his enemies, Milo is dangerous. I originally figured that his sharp delivery of politically conservative opinions is hard for leftists to argue against, making him dangerous. In Dangerous, Milo points out a different danger, referring to himself belonging to a sexual minority:
I’m also particularly terrifying to the Left because they see in me a repeat of the 1980s, when workers across Britain and the United States turned to Reaganism and Thatcherism. In the age of Trump, the Left are worried I might not be the only dissident minority. They’re afraid you might agree with me.
The Alt-Right isn’t what it used to be
A brief introduction of Milo Yiannopoulos is in place. He’s a journalist and an eccentric conservative political commentator. Religion Catholic, nationality British, with Jewish, Greek and Irish ancestry. A provocative personality known for outrageous statements and escapades targeting leftism, feminism, Islam, etc. Recently gay-married to a black man.
I’ve been thinking about the ”alt-right” recently. The mainstream media frequently discusses the movement whose mascot is Pepe the frog. The media doesn’t really get it right, though, according to Milo.
Is Milo alt-right?
He says he isn’t. But in his book, he clarifies the obscurity surrounding the concept. You see, something happened to it.
Milo credits himself for the ”most influential piece of political journalism” in 2016: ”An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” published on Breitbart, the popular conservative (alternative) news source. In this article, he described the alt-right as a movement for a wide variety of conservatives. Later, ”alt-right” was redefined as something exclusively sinister:
In effect, the extremist fringe of the alt-right and the leftist media worked together to define ”alt-right” as something narrow and ugly, and entirely different from the broad, culturally libertarian movement Bokhari [the Breitbart article’s co-author] and I sketched out. This wanton virtue signaling was wholly unjust to young members of the movement who were flirting with dangerous imagery and boundary pushing. Bokhari and I called them ”memesters,” and those are the people I will always speak up for.
Milo has something more to say about the media’s influence:
From day one, the media had an agenda with the alt-right: turn it into a synonym for ”Neo-Nazi,” and then accuse all young conservatives of being members of the movement. It’s an old game, and it’s growing exceedingly tedious. ¶ Because I was guilty of writing the only even-handed analysis of the alt-right—in other words, I gave them a fair hearing, as I thought journalists were supposed to do—the mainstream media decided to crown me the queen of the movement.
Milo uses several pieces of character evidence to disown today’s alt-right. While today’s alt-right is racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic, Milo is a Jew with a black boyfriend. In his speehes, in response to allegations of belonging to the alt-right, he always describes in obscene detail how he pleases his black partner in bed (humorous but distasteful; if there’s one thing I don’t trust about Milo it’s sexual moral, even if the paedophilia-advocacy allegations are unbased).
In addition, Milo points out that alt-rightists have repeatedly expressed their hatred towards him. This is a questionable defence, though, as recent revelations suggest Milo has been fraternizing with Richard Spencer, an alt-right icon and white supremacist, among other communications.
The culture wars
The aforementioned political polarisation in the Western world may interestingly have its roots far back in the past. Early on in his book, Milo educates his readers about Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s plan to undermine the foundations of the capitalist society—family values, nationalism, and religion—through culture in order to succeed in a proletarian revolution.
Today’s popular culture is to great extent like Gramsci envisioned, which feels like a grave concern to me as the society is falling to more and more insanity based on ”progressive” ideology rejecting the reality.
Milo writes that the left adjusted Gramsci’s ideas and practically won the culture wars in every field: media, academia, and the arts. (One artform refused to give in to ”cultural Marxism”: the gamers.) He fiercely criticises the right for failing to fight these battles and speak to the masses. Milo convincingly explains what makes left-wing cultural warfare so appalling: the left wants to eliminate all fun, strictly control artistic freedom, and make everything political. (Gaming, he claims, was the only artform ”naturally resistant” to this politisation. Milo’s insights into gaming and internet cultures are among the most informative contents of Dangerous.)
Milo believes his own approach to be winning: he constantly ridicules the left and disregards political correctness in doing so. So far, this has made him attract lots of attention among students, i.a. Students are a very important target group as universities are so thoroughly filled with left-wing hegemony. (We are reading more and more about the suppression of free speech on campuses and other such concerning developments.)
Milo’s outrageous humour is found on pretty much every page of Dangerous, making the book hilarious to read at times.
Victimisation is weaponisation
As we all have surely observed, the left is fixated with the settings of oppressors and the oppressed. A good position in the ”victim hierarchy” means prestige and benefits among the leftists. Milo explores the case of a Black Lives Matter leadership aspirant who turned out to be white according to his birth certificate. He’d also embroidered the story of how he got beaten in a racist attack. And there are other similar cases of forged victimhood accounts.
The social justice activists are distorting more than just their autobiographies, Milo claims. He points out how the BLM movement’s talking points are in conflict with factual social problems within the black community and how their actions are actually counteracting black people’s interests.
It’s sad that due to political polarisation, Milo’s suggestions for improving the conditions of people of colour are totally rejected on ad hominem bases by the left.
Milo proceeds to thoroughly and successfully criticise left-wing activists’ narrative. This is one of several chapters of his book that explores the disproportionate classification of people into oppressors and victims. It’s no news that the left evaluates whites on whole different standards than people of other ethnicities. Frustratingly, they are blind to their own racism when, say, redefining the term ”racism” in a racist way. Milo exposes blatant racism in speeches and actions of left-wing/”progressive” activists, ignored or downplayed by their co-leftists.
In separate chapters, Milo explores the wide-spreadedness of left-wing bias in the media and warns about the same biased censorship being implemented in social media. (The social media part is most unnerving.) He also addresses his own permanent ban from Twitter, which he says was the best thing that has happened to him publicity-wise.
Islam gets its own chapter in Dangerous, too. Muslims are a most challenging group when it comes to left-wing oppressor/victim classification.
A few quick points to cover the rest
- The most difficult thing to understand in Dangerous is the conflict between Milo’s religious identity and sexual orientation. His absurd synthesis between the two seems to be working for him, though.
- Milo is optimistic about the future of conservatism. His explicit optimism may also be a trick to motivate his followers. The book’s last chapter is advice for young minds about how to take on the cultural battle.
- ”Fake news” has become a politically biased characterisation of certain news sources. By the way, I also remember Milo stating earlier in a lecture of his that ”fact-checking” is a form of biased journalism (I don’t think he mentions it in Dangerous). This was sort of a revelation to me, because now I don’t have to wonder why the woman who has been labelled the fact-checking journalist of Finland is also one of the journalists with the most politically coloured updates on social media.
- There’s so much more than what I’ve managed to summarise. Dangerous spans numerous subject matters and even broadens the reader’s general knowledge.
Was my book review boring? I’m sorry, I don’t have Milo’s sense of humour. Entertainment-wise, I can promise you that Dangerous is far more interesting to read.
Knowing the media’s left-wing bias, the recent exposé by BuzzFeed must be taken with a grain of salt. Milo had this to say about it:
Recently I learned that Buzzfeed had acquired a large volume of my private emails. Within them are conversations with friends, colleagues and loved ones going back some years. Buzzfeed reproduces some of these emails in its coverage today. In addition, a video has emerged that shows me singing karaoke in a bar in Texas in 2016. Unbeknownst to me, Richard Spencer fans made racist hand gestures during my rendition of “America The Beautiful.” These same racists took a video of the event and sent it to Buzzfeed this week. As I have always said, the far Right hates me as much as the far Left does: I am told a figure on the Right paid one of Richard Spencer’s nutty goons $10,000 for this video. He has been bragging about it for weeks. Which suggests the whole thing was a set up, engineered by white nationalists to take me out. As some of you know, I have severely impaired vision and I did not see these hand gestures happen. Here is the statement I have just sent Buzzfeed: "I have said in the past that I find humor in breaking taboos and laughing at things that people tell me are forbidden to joke about. Everyone who knows me has seen me make jokes about some awful things. But everyone who knows me also knows I'm not a racist. As someone of Jewish ancestry, I of course condemn racism in the strongest possible terms. I have stopped making jokes on these matters because I do not want any confusion on this subject. I disavow Richard Spencer and his entire sorry band of idiots. I have been and am a steadfast supporter of Jews and Israel. I disavow white nationalism and I disavow racism and I always have. “I have severe myopia, due to a congenital eye defect, as has been widely reported and as many people know or have seen from my squinting during public speeches. In a dark bar, I did not see these hand gestures. If I'd have realized white nationalist losers were hailing me as their leader, I'd have immediately walked off stage. I stand for, as always, race-blind nationalism. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm enjoying my honeymoon with my black husband.”
It’s only fair that Milo gets to share his side of the story. Dangerous might work as quite an eye-opener. Even for those who mostly disagree, the book should bring about some healthy criticism when it comes to the mainstream media and political hegemony. That said, Milo certainly isn’t right about everything and does deserve his fair share of criticism. In general, you can’t leave your political convictions hanging from some ”hero”, for sic transit gloria mundi.