Left­ist snowflakes can’t land a glove on this gay, Jewish im­mi­grant with a black hus­band

The Weekend Australian - - INQUIRER - JANET ALBRECHTSEN

If you know the en­emy and know your­self, you need not fear the re­sult of a hun­dred bat­tles. If you know your­self but not the en­emy, for ev­ery vic­tory gained you will also suf­fer a de­feat. If you know nei­ther the en­emy nor your­self, you will suc­cumb in ev­ery bat­tle. — Sun Tzu

This well-worn piece of mil­i­tary ad­vice from The Art of War, dat­ing back more than 2500 years, may ex­plain why Milo Yiannopou­los is notch­ing up vic­to­ries in the cul­tural war. In­deed, the provo­ca­teur and free speech ac­tivist knows his en­e­mies so well he’s also fol­low­ing this sug­ges­tion from the Chi­nese gen­eral: if your op­po­nent is of cho­leric tem­per, ir­ri­tate him.

To say that Milo (like Bey­once, the sur­name is su­per­flu­ous) in­fu­ri­ates his en­e­mies is like say­ing most of the US main­stream me­dia is gun­ning for Don­ald Trump.

If you want to read the usual barbs about Milo and the con­tro­ver­sial ca­reer hic­cups, check out The Guardian, Huff­in­g­ton Post, The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and so on. Banned from Twit­ter, cen­sured by Face­book for of­fen­sive words. Re­signed from Bre­it­bart and cut loose by pub­lisher Si­mon & Schus­ter af­ter he spoke about sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ences that gay teenagers have with older men. It’s all there.

Milo apol­o­gised, ex­plain­ing he wasn’t con­don­ing pe­dophilia, as crit­ics claim, but talk­ing about his own ex­pe­ri­ences. If you’re cu­ri­ous about why Milo mat­ters de­spite, or in some cases be­cause of, these me­dia storms, read on.

In March last year, as a se­nior edi­tor for Bre­it­bart, Milo teamed up with Bre­it­bart re­porter Al­lum Bokhari to write “An Es­tab­lish­ment Con­ser­va­tive’s Guide to the Alt-Right”. Rather than point­ing the fin­ger at, or ap­ply­ing la­bels to, the emerg­ing and amor­phous al­tright move­ment, Bokhari and Milo sought out mem­bers, writ­ing that “for decades, the con­cerns of those who cher­ish West­ern cul­ture have been openly ridiculed and dis­missed as racist. The al­tright is the in­evitable re­sult.

“No mat­ter how silly, ir­ra­tional, tribal or even hate­ful the es­tab­lish­ment may think the alt-right’s con­cerns are, they can’t be ig­nored, be­cause they aren’t go­ing any­where. In other words, the left can’t lan­guage-po­lice and name-call them away, which have for the last 20 years been the only pro­gres­sive re­sponses to dis­sent, and the right can’t snob­bishly dis­so­ci­ate it­self from them and hope they go away ei­ther.”

Last month, the ex­citable Buz­zFeed site claimed it had an ex­plo­sive cache of doc­u­ments to show how Bre­it­bart and Milo courted the “in­sur­gent, racist, right-wing move­ment that helped sweep Don­ald Trump to power”. In truth, Buz­zFeed’s re­port sim­ply revealed how the left-lib­eral press has re­cast the term alt-right so sassy mil­len­ni­als keen to stick it to au­thor­ity and older folk con­cerned about the de­cline of West­ern cul­ture are all lumped in with racists, neo-Nazis and white su­prem­a­cists.

Speak­ing to In­quirer this week, Milo laughs off the al­le­ga­tions for an­other rea­son: “Buz­zFeed is try­ing to sug­gest that you should never get in touch with their sub­jects but in­stead should just throw rocks from a dis­tance. Well, that’s what the left does, but it’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to find out about them and what they be- lieve.” The re­sult­ing 5000-word re­port is a riv­et­ing read, and Milo’s book Dan­ger­ous hit Amazon’s best­seller list for pre-or­ders be­fore pub­li­ca­tion in July. The au­thor is head­ing to Aus­tralia later this month.

Women’s ac­tivist Cle­men­tine Ford has sneered about Milo’s “saggy ticket sales” but she couldn’t be more wrong. His show in Ford’s home city, Mel­bourne, is sold out. So is his Syd­ney show, lead­ing to new shows in those cities, along with sched­uled ones in Ade­laide, Perth and the Gold Coast. Ford, like so many of his en­raged op­po­nents, may never un­der­stand that Milo rep­re­sents younger con­ser­va­tives who are, in his words, “ut­terly sick of the hand-wring­ing, school­marmish po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, of peo­ple telling us what jokes we’re al­lowed to tell, what’s sex­ist, what’s racist, what’s ho­mo­pho­bic, the im­pli­ca­tion be­ing that somebody in a news­room, on a desk or in a stu­dio knows what’s in the hearts of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans and is able to loftily con­demn per­fectly in­no­cent things”.

Add mil­lions of Aus­tralians to the list of those fed up with the cen­so­ri­ous or­tho­doxy and grow­ing il­lib­er­al­ism of those who call them­selves “pro­gres­sives”. And if the new pu­ri­tans stopped name­call­ing long enough to lis­ten, they might come to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of be­ing Milo.

“I am a re­sponse to that; a re­ac­tion to po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness,” he tells In­quirer. More than that, the provo­ca­teur ex­poses the grow­ing in­tol­er­ance now so fre­quent on the left side of pol­i­tics.

His Fe­bru­ary speech at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, was can­celled af­ter pro­test­ers made it im­pos­si­ble for the event to con­tinue. Stu­dent ac­tivists and black-clad demon­stra­tors set off fire­works, threw smoke bombs and dam­aged prop­erty. When he spoke at a south­ern Cal­i­for­nian col­lege last week, one of his sup­port­ers was punched by a scream­ing pro­tester who brought her baby along to the melee. A week ear­lier, vi­o­lent threats caused Milo to drop out of a free speech sym­po­sium in Ari­zona.

The man who calls his col­lege talks The Dan­ger­ous Fag­got Tour ad­mits that he says provoca­tive and out­ra­geous things to demon­strate that his op­po­nents are more in­ter­ested in virtue-sig­nalling and polic­ing lan­guage than ex­plor­ing the truth.

Chal­lenge fem­i­nist sa­cred cows such as gen­der pay gaps and cam­pus rape cul­ture, ex­pect to be called a sex­ist. Raise ques­tions about the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, you’re a racist. Ask about the con­se­quences of mass Mus­lim im­mi­gra­tion, you’re an Is­lam­o­phobe. Make jokes, and the vit­riol ex­plodes be­cause only the left-wing co­me­di­ans can be lauded for telling of­fen­sive jokes about their po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents. When Milo does it, he’s taken lit­er­ally by hu­mour­less hit squads on the left.

On the phone from his home in Mi­ami, the con­ser­va­tive who was born in Kent, Eng­land, tells In­quirer the other rea­son he’s hav­ing so much fun ir­ri­tat­ing those prone to cho­leric tem­per­a­ments: “I am the liv­ing, breath­ing refu­ta­tion of iden­tity pol­i­tics. I’m a gay, Jewish im­mi­grant with a black hus­band, and I re­ally like the Bi­ble and guns and free speech. They just don’t know how to deal with this, that’s why they splut­ter and go crazy and smash up places when I give col­lege talks.

“Long may it con­tinue,” he adds, ex­plain­ing that the vi­o­lence and hys­te­ria shows that pro­test­ers have lit­tle of sub­stance to of­fer in de­bates. “They know they can’t win on the mer­its, they re­alise that iden­tity pol­i­tics isn’t go­ing to work on me, they re­alise that they can’t scare or in­tim­i­date me, so their only re­main­ing re­sponse is vi­o­lence. And that, for me, is a mas­sive vic­tory.”

His take on iden­tity pol­i­tics is sim­ple: “Iden­tity pol­i­tics is the great can­cer of Amer­i­can pub­lic life. This idea that just be­cause you’re a woman, or gay or black, or what­ever, you have to be­lieve a cer­tain thing, fol­low a cer­tain set of po­lit­i­cal prin­ci­ples … This is so coun­ter­fac­tual, so anti-in­tel­lec­tual and so in­cred­i­bly down­right bloody pa­tro­n­is­ing to peo­ple, the idea that they have no free will, that their po­lit­i­cal views should be dic­tated by their skin colour, it’s so of­fen­sive and stupid.”

One of the pur­poses of his Aus­tralian Troll Academy Tour is to sug­gest how we can avoid go­ing down this US path of en­trenched iden­tity pol­i­tics. Start by un­der­stand­ing the en­emy, he says, and how they use feel­ings-based leg­is­la­tion (think sec­tion 18C of our Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion Act) as ide­o­log­i­cal weaponry to ex­cise from pub­lic life peo­ple they don’t like, us­ing imag­i­nary hurt feel­ings. “This is a recipe for abuse,” Milo says. He will find a re­cep­tive au­di­ence given how 18C has been used against con­ser­va­tives and free thinkers, from An­drew Bolt and The Aus­tralian’s car­toon­ist Bill Leak to stu­dents at Queens­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy.

Next, un­der­stand why the cul­tural left has be­come so il­lib­eral. “It’s a mark of com­pla­cency in rul­ing elites,” he ex­plains. “Lib­er­als (US par­lance for those on the left side of pol­i­tics) run Hol­ly­wood, the me­dia, the academy at uni­ver­si­ties. Lib­er­als have run ev­ery­thing for a re­ally, re­ally long time. They have be­come re­liant on au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism and bul­ly­ing and in­tim­i­da­tion, in­stead of hav­ing to per­suade peo­ple.”

As the cul­tural un­der­dogs, he says, con­ser­va­tives and lib­er­tar­i­ans have to per­suade peo­ple that this sta­tus quo is wrong and “they’re sharp­en­ing their tool kit, they’re hon­ing their skills, their rhetoric and rea­sons and logic”.

Part of the tool kit of per­sua­sion is to call out the “cry-bul­lies”, those who whinge about hurt feel­ings only to lob of­fen­sive ac­cu­sa­tions at op­po­nents. Per­haps he’s de­scrib­ing the Yes ac­tivists in the same-sex mar­riage de­bate who have howled down all op­po­nents as big­ots.

And fi­nally, Milo says we should un­der­stand what he has come to know. “These peo­ple only re­ally have the power you give them. If you turn around and stick a lit­tle fin­ger up at them … not very much bad hap­pens. So ev­ery time some­one says, ‘You can’t say that,’ ask them why, and who died?”

Milo ad­heres to the dic­tum of An­drew Bre­it­bart, the epony­mous web­site’s founder who died in 2012, that pol­i­tics is down­stream from cul­ture, hence cul­ture is the most im­por­tant battlefield.

Asked what suc­cess will look like on the cul­tural bat­tle­front, Milo says it’s more a case of what it will sound like. “When we start to laugh … when we see peo­ple pok­ing fun at the peo­ple who re­ally rule over us, jour­nal­ists and univer­sity pro­fes­sors and Hol­ly­wood ac­tors and ac­tresses, these lu­di­crous, pon­tif­i­cat­ing lightweights who think they can dic­tate to the rest of us how we should think, and what we should say. When we have belly-laughs on main­stream TV at their ex­pense — the cul­tural au­thor­i­tar­i­ans hate hu­mour and be­ing laughed at — when that hap­pens then we will know we are win­ning.”

On that score, Milo is surely one of the green shoots of suc­cess.

Milo at Berke­ley

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