I have been following the downward trajectory of the America First movement for some time now. The initial Bleeding Kansas of the infighting within Nick Fuentes’ movement has escalated into what people online are beginning to call the Groyper Civil War.
After I wrote my previous article on the issue, it seemed as though things were calming down, and so the America First (AF) movement would continue to slowly decline as it has been since AFPAC II, and eventually fizzle out. However, it is now clear that AF is in a dramatic downward spiral. Indeed, the “movement” has degenerated into nothing more than the equivalent of an online discord fan club or gaming group.
Shortly after my last article on the issue was published, political activist Ryan Sanchez, also known as Culture War Criminal or CWC, let bygones be bygones with Fuentes. The tides of war seemed quelled in AF. Everyone seemed to agree, at least outwardly, that the goal was to continue activism in the US against COVID tyranny and ignore petty drama over inconsequential matters. CWC then made plans to travel from California to join an AF led protest in Springfield, Illinois to bury the hatchet for good and put personal antipathies aside for the sake of activism. However, that is far from how things played out.
A few days prior to the Springfield rally, some inconsequential streamer who apparently had a gripe against both CWC and Fuentes leaked private chats between himself and CWC. In these chats, CWC had vented about his discontent with the state of AF. Apparently, these texts were sent out immediately after Fuentes and his proxies had dog-piled on CWC (see my previous article). Understandably, CWC was disenchanted with AF in the immediate aftermath of his public struggle session. In those texts, CWC called it a “big grift” and said that he was “done with AF.” Obviously, CWC had a change of heart, given that he swallowed his pride and attempted to bring the movement back together again by standing in solidarity with men whom he mistakenly thought were his ideological comrades in Springfield.
Within hours of announcing his plan to attend, AF leaders were jumping down CWC’s throat. Both Beardson and Baked Alaska announced on a public livestream that they planned on “pressing” CWC. Beardson went so far as to shamelessly state that he planned on trying to trigger CWC into physically attacking him so that he could then press federal charges. This is a tactic straight out of an Antifa playbook. The game was on. CWC still made the choice to attend the rally, regardless of the drama. This test of wills is what ignited the Groyper Civil War.
Travis LeBlanc previously covered this happening, but I think he was unaware that CWC was attempting to make up with the Fuentes crew for the greater sake of the movement. I believe his analysis was flawed by this, though he did make an important point.
There seems to be a misunderstanding as to what AF is. Most rank-and-file Groypers see it as a movement, and therefore a scene. The AF hierarchy clearly sees it as a brand first and foremost. There is an inherent dissonance between these two viewpoints. The AF movement has always been referred to as just that, although the rhetoric has slowly changed to shoehorn “AF brand” into the lingo.
Furthermore, Fuentes’ “plan,” which he always harps on about, now seems to boil down to nothing more than growing the AF brand, and by extension, himself. This evinces that the AF hierarchy believes it is a brand more than anything else. However, what matters most in deciding whether AF is a movement or a brand is how the public actually perceives AF. According to the chatter on 4chan, Twitter, and YouTube, its followers overwhelmingly believe that AF has degenerated into a cult and see CWC as the good actor of the saga.
Turning back to the rally, CWC arrived at Springfield in an outfit reminiscent of a 1930s detective, donning a suit, leather coat, and hat. Immediately after arriving at the rally’s entrance, both Baked Alaska and Beardson Beardly pounced. It is quite telling of their priorities that they were right at the entrance to literally gate-keep the event.
It devolved into a shouting match in which a multitude of accusations were thrown both ways. The Baked-Beard duo had a crowd of dozens supporting them and shouting down CWC. Eventually, CWC became tired of the situation and simply walked off smirking. Later on, a similar interaction occurred in which Beardson was verbally reprimanded by MAGA-moms for being a nuisance at the rally and causing infighting. Even the most ordinary of normies seem to recognize this jerk for what he is: A troll who stokes division for thirty pieces of silver. Even among his supposed base, the far Right, it is quite difficult to find anyone who doesn’t hate this bearded hobbit man, whether online or in the real world.
CWC garnered overwhelming support online after defending himself — perhaps 30 to 1. This is telling, as these pro-CWC posters are largely AF, or formerly AF-affiliated people. It also calls into question how relevant the movement truly is months after the mass deplatforming in the wake of January 6. It is no secret that Nick Fuentes has refused to put a watch counter on his personal streaming website, which is highly damning, as all other streaming websites have this feature. This can mean only one thing: that the website, the show, and the movement are dying.
How can it be that, within this somewhat niche community, there is overwhelming support against the community’s main figurehead and his lackeys? This seems to indicate that a majority of AF support has fallen off and scattered in light of the new direction that AF has pursued. In my last article, I wrote against these tendencies toward NEETism, misogyny, inceldom, and so on. However, I was naïve to the fact that not only have these anti-social tendencies been allowed, or even encouraged, but enforced. In the months since January 6 and AFPAC II, Fuentes’ group has fallen from a cutting-edge, energetic political vanguard of the new and young Dissident Right to an incel support group. It is pathetic. It’s no wonder that the old guard of quality Groypers has backed off, along with quality movement leaders such as Jake Lloyd and Scott Greer, to be replaced by edgy 16-year-old irony bros and the Beard-Baked dysfunctional duo.
Let us also remember that there is good reason for CWC to be frustrated with the AF leadership, and not only because of the movement’s current trajectory. Fuentes supposedly has a robust intern team and a war chest of funding through the America First Foundation. He has accomplished nothing with these vast resources, however, except to possibly operate a spy ring to keep tabs on perceived rivals in the movement such as CWC.
To illustrate this, consider the America First Students (AFS) project. An oft-forgotten chapter in the AF saga, it was never treated seriously despite sending a letter to President Trump within weeks of forming. That letter directly affected immigration policy, as it led to an executive order which temporarily stopped 100,000 invaders from entering the country. Fuentes and AFS leader Jaden McNiel rarely if ever interacted with their own organization, and Jaden simply quit the nation-wide project to become Fuentes’ glorified sidekick. Without proper organization, AFS fell apart despite its incredible potential, sadly unappreciated by these incompetent gamers.
These opportunities are allowed to wither and die due to the culture of unaccountability defended by Nycophants. For comparison, consider how unlikely it is that any of us, outside the most Spencerian will-to-power sociopath, would defend the US military when it arrested Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller for “going off-brand” and criticizing the hierarchy when it was clearly called for.
The distinctly negative reaction towards the movement’s proclaimed leader, when juxtaposed with the positive reaction towards the relatively new CWC, indicates that the youth of the New Right are yearning for a strong leader who demonstrates accountability and action. The low turnout at the Springfield rally also corroborates these points. There were about 200 attendees; 100 of them were claimed to have been Nick’s interns, plus an additional 40 who had inside knowledge. This means that only 60 patriots from across the country responded to Fuentes’ call for support at Springfield who weren’t part of his relatively close-knit inner circle. Many of them were boomers who probably learned of the rally from various crossover-friendly activists, like Michelle Malkin.
CWC nevertheless seems intent on continuing to insist on preventing drama and infighting with the AF crew. While his intentions may be noble, there is a major problem with this course of action. The more he avoids confrontation, the less dignified and more cowardly he seems. Furthermore, since the AF leadership is so deeply flawed, it is only a matter of time until there is another confrontation. By avoiding infighting in the short term, CWC may very well be increasing infighting in the long term.
If my analysis is correct, then CWC is an Indian elephant tied to a tree. At first he could not escape the AF tree, but in maturity, he has the strength to escape, but sees the tree (Fuentes) as an all-powerful object. If CWC doesn’t acknowledge this civil war and capitulates without a fight, despite having clearly been able to take on the group’s elite, the far-Right movement in America will continue to be dragged down by AF, which has allowed itself to become yesterday’s movement.
What can we learn from the death knells of America First? The lessons are not much different from past iterations of the grassroots right such as the Alt Right. Perhaps the greatest new lesson is that quality should not be sacrificed in pursuit of quantity. Fuentes remarked earlier in the debacle that CWC’s revolutionary ethos and “over-serious” demeanor don’t work in his experience. This may or may not be true, but if CWC’s supposedly austere demeanor can sigma-male through 30 incel soy gamers, it is clear that a glorious last stand of quality is superior to pathetic slouching along into the obscurity of quantity.
It has become clear that Fuentes wants to focus on marketing the AF brand, but not America itself. He has sunk to scraping the barrel and appealing to the lowest common denominator. He’s admitted that the purpose of his moronic sidekicks appearing on a BBC docu-hit piece by Louis Theroux is to “go viral” with the younger generation. But who will be attracted by Baked Informant blasting racial slurs in public areas for rent money and generally acting like a menace to society? It probably won’t be the high-quality youngsters.
The former Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement activists turned Groypers who were the Arditi shock troops of the Groyper War and other major operations have been chased off in favor of incel losers. Despite Fuentes’ claim that he made miracles happen in the Groyper War of 2019 (he’s definitely not an egomaniac!), the true miracle was the good-optics young white men, largely Identity Evropa (IE) lads, who embarrassed the nerdy establishment of both the Left and Right. These same men, whom Fuentes heavily relied on whether he likes to admit or not, have now been insulted for their past association with (gasp!) persona non grata Patrick Casey, the former leader of IE.
We can also learn – again — the folly of trusting a man above all else. Fuentes has claimed, with some truth behind it, that people follow a person, not an idea. However, until we find the person, which may be all but impossible, we will be led again and again into dead-ends by megalomaniacs like Richard Spencer.
The Right has been heading towards a coalescence. You yourself may have noticed that an idea you independently came up with was soon later repeated by someone else and then popularized. We are all coming closer together ideologically as more pieces of the truth are revealed by the powers-that-be as they conceal less and less of their true nature. Also, so-called “meme magic” only seems to be intensifying. Even complete normies and centrists are coming around to secession, an idea which only a year ago was exclusively on the fringe. Now, a decisive supermajority of 84% of Trump voters are worried about anti-white discrimination.
Unless a literal Jesus figure emerges, it not only can but must be an idea which guides us, and not an egomaniac with his own motivations.
Another lesson to this iteration of the Dissident Right is the association question. As I wrote in the previous article, you are the company you choose to keep. Fuentes’ folly, very much like Trump’s, was allowing bad or unserious people near power and influence. Fuentes’ almost exclusive association with losers and sycophants despite having a multitude of experienced personalities near him who were early investors in AF — and at personal loss — is simply embarrassing and unforgivable. He has made a point of pushing them all away in favor of his irony bro e-celeb internet friends. He did this to the detriment of thousands of potential activists and the embarrassment of a plethora of respectable commentators who are now associated with an incel nationalist gamer brand that only pretends to be a serious movement when it suits them.
Furthermore, not only does keeping and inviting those of low quality dilute quality in itself, it also drives those quality men who already there out. Quality is attracted to quality. When it becomes apparent that a group has lowered its quality, the high-quality individuals will naturally look elsewhere for a scene which fits what they are looking for. There is a vacuum forming. Let us hope and pray this vacuum is filled soon.
To conclude, this Groyper Civil War will inevitably lead to the disintegration of AF’s last vestiges. However, it can still teach us some lessons about how not to run a dissident movement. Some of these are new, while others are already known:
Lesson 1: Appealing to the lowest common denominator is a failing strategy in a dissident movement that relies on quality over quantity.
Lesson 2: It is easier, and yet counter-productive, to run a movement through a cult of personality rather than a creed that everyone agrees on. We must follow national movements, not personal brands.
Lesson 3: You — and your movement — are the company you keep.
Lesson 4: Choosing low-quality people causes high-quality people to scatter.
Lesson 5: Shunning criticism and good advice is folly.
The Sun is sadly setting on young Fuentes. I am not alone in having once been optimistic about his prospects. He seemed destined for much more, but what has happened cannot be undone. May we remember these lessons when a new, and hopefully better, iteration of American Dissident Right activism sprouts up. We don’t have time for more screwups.
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