What About Optics?

Ever since the “new right” has begun to make a name for itself there has been much discussion and often arguments about optics. After all, it becomes difficult to choose an aesthetic approach when one belongs to a conglomerate movement consisting of many groups with similar but sometimes different interests. With an alliance between far-right libertarians, paleoconservatives, ideological nationalists, white nationalists, neo-reactionaries, fascists and several groups that are a mixture of these ideologies, preference on optics depends from individual to group. One person might have an adrenaline rush as he marches with his comrades down the street in combat boots and black shirts whilst waving a flag depicting a warbird clutching the fasces, while others, no matter how far right they find themselves to be, find this off-putting and even appalling. Other people find that the best way to capture the hearts and minds of normal everyday people is through internet memes, music, entertaining podcasts, and comedy, while others think of this as childish and soft-core. And yet still others prefer intellectual institutions, conferences, and literature, while some find this to be boring, uninspiring and past say.

There can be no such thing as a right-wing “echo chamber” as there is so much variation among us. Solidarity and intersectionality, after all, have always been characteristic of the left and we should not desire the discouragement of healthy debate amongst ourselves or encourage a “cult” mindset. However, a large reason that the left has been so successful is that they attack on all fronts and hardly countersignal one another in front of the opposition. When their Antifa boot boys take to the streets to throw body waste and bricks there will be no condemnation heard from their clowns that call themselves entertainers and comedians. Not even their ivory tower intellectuals will complain in public about the optics of black-clad youth screaming for white genocide.

In much of the same way, right-wing movements must have their “boot boys”, their entertainers, their intellectuals and everything in between. With each of these groups comes a different set of allowable optics. The polished intellectual, writing best-sellers and giving speeches at well-renowned institutes will likely find little value in helicopter memes considering the audience he is trying to reach; the entertainer trying to host an edgy podcast might not find as much value in conferences or book clubs as the intellectual giants will; and the militant wing protecting our brothers in arms at political rallies will likely disregard discussion on optics altogether. What remains of importance is that no one should drag their fellow, like-minded man through the mud for the sake of optics if they are doing more good than bad for our political ends. And in addition to this one must consider that what constitutes for “good optics” for one group is totally different for another and the extremists push the Overton window in a way that makes things allowable in the realm of optics that we never dreamed of being so before.

There is no problem in disagreements over optics or even behind the scenes arguments and feuds over it. When concern about optics becomes “optics cucking” is when one attacks a person taking another approach, to signal his self-perceived superiority and virtue to the enemy as if he is trying to gain their approval. When one points to their otherwise ideological ally and says “At least we aren’t like that…those are the real extremists you’re after! Of course, I disavow! They’re probably a fed!” he is not only committing an act of cowardice but an act of treason. Such an individual would be better off casting his vote for the enemy or recruiting ground troops for them.
The fact of the matter is that we were declared “fascist right-wing extremists” the second we decided that raising taxes wouldn’t save the planet and that government handouts were not a right. The punishment given to us by the enemy for opposing anti-discrimination laws is no different than the punishment they will deliver unto us for “questionable” book covers depicting the should-be fate of our enemies or marching in lockstep while chanting “blood and soil”. The next time you receive a dopamine rush for countersignaling your allies for barely a half-hearted applause from the enemy, savor the moment to remember it well for the future. If you think that this will somehow spare you from their wrath, you might at the very best receive a mocking honorable message on a hatewatch list before they put out all of your personal information to set you up for assassination. The likelihood of this, incredibly slim as it is, is effectively what you sell your friends out for when you rush to signal against them. And if you are more offended by a different package for a similar message than the horrors that the enemy desires come upon us all then you may as well write them a check and doxx a few of your former allies while you’re at it.

Tony Canzoneri