The day after declaring that fascination with hackers was just a nineties thing, I’ve come across a new article about them linked at Arts and Letters Daily. We’ve mentioned the group Anonymous before in connection with their declared intent to out all of us thought-criminals. (By the way, I haven’t heard about this actually happening to anyone. They must not be as great hackers as they make themselves out to be.) The cognitive dissonance of it is truly breathtaking: “We’re bold rebels against the status quo, so we’re going to give the names of our ideological opponents to journalists and employers so they can lose their jobs and be socially shunned.”
I think it will surprise no one to learn that these Leftist crusaders are really just a bunch of sadistic cyberbullies:
Lulz is a major aspect of Anonymous’s subversive political potential, as Coleman tells it. Lulz, a corruption of “LOL,” is essentially an evil laugh at someone’s expense. It is a holdover from Anonymous’s birth on 4chan, when trolls claimed that they harassed and attacked victims not because they were horrible people, but “for the lulz.” It was a sort of game: the bigger the reaction provoked, the bigger the lulz. Typical lulzy behavior includes spamming a teenage car-crash victim’s memorial page with gruesome photos of the accident scene. I first encountered the lulz when I wrote a story for Gawker about how Anonymous had harassed an 11-year-old girl into police protection “for the lulz” after she had recorded a YouTube video that annoyed them. Even as Anonymous has evolved into its current do-gooder phase, the mischief and deviance of lulz remains an important cultural lodestar.
The article is written by a Leftist at The Nation, who concludes that Anonymous is not really subversive at all, but is rather “Silicon Valley’s unwitting shock troops”. I quite agree! I wonder if writers and readers at The Nation realize that this is also true of all contemporary Leftism. Feminism, anti-racism, and secularism are, after all, working to destroy all rival forms of organization to corporate capitalism. Consider what’s happened to the word “social justice” over the past decade. During the 20th century, calling somebody a “social justice warrior” would be understood to mean, basically, calling that person a communist. Nowadays, socialism isn’t even on the radar. In 1930, a moderate Leftist wanted to tax corporations heavily, and a radical Leftist wanted to ship the capitalists off to gulags. In 2014, a moderate Leftist wants more female CEOs, and a radical Leftist wants more transgender CEOs.
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