Hands at keyboard

Black Pigeon Speaks: The Anatomy of the Worldview of an Alt-Right YouTuber

June 28, 2017, 8:30 am
By Zack Exley, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (spring 2017), organizer, author and former senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign

Disclaimer: This paper contains offensive content. “Alt-right” views quoted in this paper are not endorsed by the Shorenstein Center.

A new paper by Zack Exley, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (spring 2017), organizer and author dives into a little-known part of the alt-right media landscape, revealing its influence and worldview.

Exley writes that political channels on YouTube are currently dominated by the right wing. Although often overlooked by mainstream society, these channels receive millions of views, espousing recycled National Socialist and white nationalist ideologies with a modern twist. The alt-right uses these channels to build influence and spread its ideas among its audience, much as right-wing talk radio has for decades. Exley examines the content of one of these channels, “Black Pigeon Speaks,” uncovering the worldview put forth by the channel’s host, wherein Jewish bankers are ensnaring the world in debt slavery fueled by Muslim migrants, and women, who by their “biological nature,” are destroying civilization.

Listen to Exley discuss his paper on our Media & Politics Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio or Stitcher. 

Introduction: The Rise of the American Right

Donald Trump’s presidential win has been variously attributed, with justification, to the Clinton campaign’s flaws, FBI Director James Comey’s last minute letter, Christian conservatives who were willing to overlook Trump’s personal conduct, disillusioned working class whites, and other factors. Largely overlooked has been the right’s decades-long media effort, which now includes a more incendiary and radical component.

Fixated as they are with Fox News, liberals, scholars and pundits have failed to give talk radio—which is almost wholly conservative—its due, even though it’s now nearly three decades old and reaches millions each day.[1] They now stand to miss a new platform that, so far, is also dominated by the right wing. The platform is YouTube, which will soon overtake all of television in audience size and hours watched. [2]

Before delving into my case study—that of a right-wing YouTuber who publishes the channel Black Pigeon Speaks—it’s helpful to describe briefly why the xenophobic, misogynist, anti-elite, anti-Semitic, conspiracy-laced ideology he represents has failed to attract the attention it deserves.

Bolstered by their success with the New Deal and in World War II, liberals were convinced their ideology had triumphed. Conservatism was dead, a point expressed in Lionel Trilling’s 1950 book The Liberal Imagination:

In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation. This does not mean, of course, that there is no impulse to conservatism or reaction. Such impulses are certainly very strong, perhaps even stronger than most of us know. But the conservative impulse and the reactionary impulse do not, with some isolated and some ecclesiastical exceptions, express themselves in ideas but only in action or in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.[3]

Trilling misjudged the facts. Many Americans, in hundreds of conservative subcultures actively kept on thinking and organizing. They expressed themselves through ideas, and in national ideological debates and political movements, culminating in conservative Barry Goldwater’s capture of the 1964 Republican presidential nomination.

YouTube now has a large number of right-wing channels that collectively have millions of viewers who are exposed to theories too extreme even for talk radio.

Although liberal historians had some explaining to do, they stuck to their conviction that conservativism was beaten. In his classic 1964 article, published in Harper’s Magazine and titled “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Richard Hofstadter marveled at, “how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.” He assured liberal America that conservatives, at least those of the extreme variety, were a permanent minority. Hofstadter walked his readers through one 19th century conspiracy mania after another. Though they sometimes grew so strong that politicians had to pay them lip service, none of them had reached the pinnacle of power.[4]

But then came Nixon, followed by the Reagan revolution, and liberals began to reevaluate. Writing a little more than a year after Reagan’s victory, Gordon Wood, a “favorite historian of America’s liberal establishment,”[5] challenged Hofstadter’s psychological assessment with a reminder that Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and Washington were all at times adherents of conspiracy theories. Wood said that “to understand how ‘reasonable people’ could believe in plots, we should begin by studying what their view rationally implied.” Wood walked his readers through the  reasons why American revolutionaries could believe that British leaders were conspiring against the colonies, concluding with a thought about why today’s Americans might be even more susceptible to conspiracy theories:

The more people became strangers to one another and the less they knew of one another’s hearts, the more suspicious and mistrustful they became, ready as never before in Western history to see deceit and deception at work. [6]

As the right wing continued its rise with the Gingrich revolt and George W. Bush’s election, a new set of historians attempted, as Wood urged them to do, to understand the right on its own terms.

In her 2001 book, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, Lisa McGirr, now at Harvard, dismissed Hofstadter’s thesis in the context of the emergence of grassroots conservatism in the Sun Belt. Said McGirr of Hofstadter and others of like mind:

In effect, these influential scholars cast the Right as a marginal, embattled remnant fighting a losing battle against the inexorable forces of progress. The Right, they concluded, was prone to episodic outbursts similar to those of other “extremist” movements in American history that ran counter to the fundamental direction of change in American life—the tireless forward march of American liberalism.[7]

The same year, Rick Perlstein’s Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus told the story of the Goldwater campaign’s national political leaders and grassroots activists as the progenitors of the Reagan revolution. The book opens with the story of a Midwestern small factory owner buffeted by globalization and prepared to assault the institutions and ideas that liberals hold dear.[8]

Other writers tried to explain why so many Americans seemed to be voting against their—narrowly defined—economic interests. Among the books were Bethany Moreton’s study of Walmart workers, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise, and Shane Hamilton’s study of long haul truckers, Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy.[9]

The implication of these works was that most rank-and-file conservatives were ordinary people responding in a rational way to what they saw as threats to their interests.

Then came Trump, the embodiment of the conspiracy nut that Hofstadter had relegated to the dustbin of history and that more recent writers had dismissed as aberrations. In a post-election article in The New York Times Magazine, Perlstein apologized for failing to recognize the depth and strength of racist, xenophobic and misogynist thinking in modern conservatism. Perlstein’s article was titled, “I Thought I Understood the American Right,” and, in it, Perlstein wrote:

Writing about the movement that led to Goldwater’s 1964 Republican nomination, for instance, it never occurred to me to pay much attention to McCarthyism, even though McCarthy helped Goldwater win his Senate seat in 1952, and Goldwater supported McCarthy to the end. (As did William F. Buckley.) I was writing about the modern conservative movement, the one that led to Reagan, not about the brutish relics of a more gothic, ill-formed and supposedly incoherent reactionary era that preceded it.[10]

In truth, the hate-filled, conspiracy-obsessed right-wing movement was in plain sight the whole time, playing itself out daily on talk radio. And now there’s a new platform—YouTube, and other digital outlets. YouTube now has a large number of right-wing channels that collectively have millions of viewers who are exposed to theories too extreme even for talk radio.

YouTube videos are uploaded by users, who maintain “channels,” which are collections of their videos. Though much of the top-viewed content is now produced by major media companies (for example, music videos of top artists), the vast majority of videos watched on YouTube are produced by individuals or small, non-professional groups. For example, the single most watched video on YouTube, with nearly one billion views, is a video captured by a father of his infant son biting his toddler brother’s finger.[11]

One of the content genres on YouTube are political rants. The right dominates this genre. It is very easy to compile a list of 100 right-wing channels, each with more than one million total views. There are far fewer left-wing channels with that many views.[12]

The barrier to entry on YouTube is low. Political rant videos with high production values can be produced with a one-time fixed investment of only hundreds of dollars for editing software, and stock video footage. Even fairly small channels can earn significant income from YouTube ads and donations using Patreon.com or other sites.[13]

New and unknown voices sometimes gain large followings on YouTube quickly because YouTube aggressively promotes videos based on user profiles.[14] Thus, YouTube recommends right-wing videos to people watching similar kinds of right-wing videos. YouTube’s purpose is not to promote right-wing ideology. Its stated goal, applied across all genres, is “to help people find what they’re looking for—and find it faster.”[15]

Black Pigeon Speaks

One of the hundreds of major YouTube voices of the right publishes a channel called “Black Pigeon Speaks” (BPS), a name chosen because he has taken injured black pigeons into his care.[16] BPS’s YouTube channel has more than 180,000 subscribers as of April 2017, with each video usually reaching more than 100,000 views. His 120 videos have received more than 18 million views at the time of this writing.

BPS’s worldview overlaps with older ideas from many diverse movements and ideologies such as white nationalism, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, conservatism, classical liberalism, libertarianism, and Christian conservatism. But like most right-wing voices on YouTube, he does not attempt to align with any ideological dogma or organization. BPS speaks with a unique-sounding voice that some think sounds like a computer. Many right-wing political rant videos use a similar style of hyper-confident, sometimes monotone, almost robotic speech. A few are even based on computer speech.

I chose BPS because he represents much of what is characteristic of the rising global white nationalist movement. He is Canadian and speaks about developments across Europe, North America and Australia. He has spent most of his adult life living outside of his own country—mostly in East Asia. He is a self-styled intellectual who has read widely in history, politics and science. He used to be a lefty. He is a traditionalist in many ways, and is positive about Christianity as a cultural force and foundation of Western civilization, but he is not a Christian. He defies the post-war “fusion” of classical libertarianism and evangelical Christianity.

BPS believes in a global conspiracy of central bankers led by the Rothschilds who are driving immigration into predominantly white countries to increase the pool of “debt slaves” and to drive down wages; thinks that “cultural Marxism” is a Jewish conspiracy that is undermining Western civilization; and believes that women being allowed to do whatever they want, including choosing their own mates, is the deathblow to Western civilization. When it comes to economics, BPS sounds just like a lot of lefties and progressives—except that instead of Wall Street, he places blame on a Jewish conspiracy that he believes controls Wall Street. He reports that a common online “political compass” quiz identifies him as being a perfect centrist on its libertarian-authoritarian spectrum, and slightly left of center on its left-right spectrum—which says something about current common assumptions about politics![17]

Like Hofstadter’s “paranoids,” BPS has an overwhelming confidence in his holistic explanation of everything under the sun—though he speaks with a soft tone of intellectual curiosity that appears to engender trust. He introduces his channel with the description “un-obstructionist,” by which he means an “attempt to make sense of the increasingly nonsensical world that we all share.”[18]

His worldview is not as extreme as other proudly anti-semitic or racist channels, making it more acceptable for a wider audience. When he talks about Jewish conspiracies or IQ differences between races, his tone is one of delivering unfortunate news rather than a crusade (though the content of his speech does call for a crusade, in the Hofstadter tradition). More extreme white supremacists think he’s a useful recruiting tool but lacking in the purity they prize.[19] For example:

I never liked him. He’s good for throwing entry-level redpills to the masses but that’s about it. He stinks of controlled opposition.[20]

I used to think it was good to begin redpilling the retards. But I have since come to the conclusion, these jewish intermediaries are there to trap the stupid, and slow the wake-up.

le alt right youtube channel #420 / where the fuck did all of these people come from?

To analyze BPS’s videos, I watched almost all of them, and had many of them transcribed. Then, together with a research assistant, I combed through the transcripts and pulled out salient quotes that related to any one of a dozen topic areas, ranging from immigration to gender. Below is a selection of that content.

The Bankers

In a video on banking and money, “We’re ALL Debt SLAVES – Here’s Why” (117,110 views), BPS lays out a view of debt that could be found on an Occupy Wall Street blog:

Chances are that you live in a country whose money supply is controlled by a privately owned central bank.  They have lofty names that attempt to give them a veneer of credibility and being part of the public trust.  The Federal Reserve in the U.S., for example. And other than being able to appoint a minority of members to the board of governors in some instances, central banks are mostly independent from national governments.  These private institutions create the money supply out of nothing and the money they create is backed by nothing.

Like many leftists, BPS sees U.S. domestic and foreign policy as being driven largely by banking interests:

One of the first things the United States has done when it invaded countries in the name of freedom in this century was to enslave the populations with debt via central banks owned by global banking cartels that are integrated into the global financial system. In 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and by 2003, Da Afghan Bank was established by presidential decree, that president being Hamid Karzai, the man with ties to UNOCAL and was installed by the U.S. a couple of months after the invasion.

Just a few months after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. did not even wait for the cover of a puppet government and created the Central Bank of Iraq to, in their words, bring Iraq’s legal framework for banking in line with international standards. Or in layman’s terms, the U.S. as an occupying power foisted upon the people of Iraq a privately controlled central bank which then began to issue debt. And just an aside, I have done a video previously on why Libya under Muammar Gaddafi was destroyed as he attempted to implement a gold-backed currency that would be outside the central bank system and would have challenged the petrodollar.

BPS is more aware, though, than the typical left-wing activist of how the banking system actually works, explaining the secret-in-plain-sight of fractional reserve lending:

Central banks control the money supply but it is commercial banks that create most of the money via fractional reserve banking, meaning banks only hold a fraction of the amount of its deposit liabilities. It creates money by loaning out money they do not have at interest and thereby creating debt. Voila. Our currencies are created in debt and our debt, whether personal or public, is created out of nothing.

But BPS see a Jewish conspiracy behind the scenes controlling the world’s banking system:

The Fed is privately owned and its shareholders are private banks.  Who those shareholders are is mostly unknown as this information is made as opaque as possible. However, most investigations by independent researchers all point to the Rothschild banking dynasty as being the key prime mover.

He also devotes an entire video to George Soros’s role in controlling, creating and disrupting global political movements.

Declining population in Western countries—a topic to which BPS returns frequently —is a threat to the banking system because profit requires new debtors. With almost no new territory left in the world to absorb into the capitalist system, population growth is required. BPS explains mass immigration as being driven by the bank-backed world power structure’s need for new debtors in rich countries where the native or white populations are declining:

So why do governments throughout the Western world speak of the dire horrors that await a country that does not expand its population?  With falling population, banks have fewer people to issue debt to and even more difficult for banks is that most throughout the Western world are maxed out on their ability to carry more debt.

…Without an expanding population, banks lose as they have less ability to issue debt that is created out of nothing via fractional reserve banking.

BPS’s explanation of banks’ need for constant population and/or territorial growth could be taken right from the pages of Lenin’s Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. But then BPS sounds like a traditional conservative when he rails against the welfare state and national debt:

The gutting of the middle class everywhere and the creation of McJobs forces people into endless years of seeking credentialism in the hope of getting a better job, thus more student loans and more debt. More people struggling means more people on government assistance, which means more people will vote to expand welfare benefits thus more national debt.

…The more immigration that is foisted on a country from the developing world, the more the political compass moves toward expanding the welfare state.

But BPS sees a much more sinister plot at work than the typical social conservative. He sees the banking system as a parasite that siphons wealth from populations and productive sectors of the economy. The welfare state is the mechanism for transferring value through taxation from productive sectors such as manufacturing industries and small businesses to banks, as populations collect welfare benefits while servicing debt payments. Again, without the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, this logic could be taken right out of any one of a number of left-wing and progressive sources dealing with the financialization of the economy.

Automation, Not Immigration

One of the ways that BPS differs from older types of white nationalists is that he doesn’t respond to white population decline by calling for increased white reproduction, but embraces automation as the immigrant-free solution—citing a 2017 study by Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo on the role of automation in sustaining GDP per capita in aging societies.[21] In the video “AUTOMATION will Save Western Economies, NOT Immigration: Here’s Why” (88,571 views) BPS says:

The political class that are puppets to the … banking cartels that fund their campaigns spout that endless numbers of migrants from incompatible cultures are needed, indefinitely, and it’s all for the good of the people of the West.

Leaders from both sides of the political spectrum have now for decades told the citizens of the West that open borders are needed in order to safeguard the welfare state as well as help grow GDP. With never having asked nor received permission almost without exception every country in the Western world is being flooded with immigration that is having not only a dramatic demographic effect but is transforming the targeted societies.

Many Westerners regurgitate the propaganda and celebrate the vibrant diversity and enrichment that African and Middle Eastern immigration brings. People are told that their countries will not survive without replacing the current majority people and their culture. This script is cloned and rebranded for every nation in the west with the same results. Those that do not celebrate at the altar of multiculturalism are branded heretics, and in the more deluded countries such as Sweden or Canada for example, open opposition to your own displacement and disenfranchisement can have serious consequences, especially but not limited to economic.

Make the lie big. Make it simple. Keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. We need mass immigration to help offset the economic losses that a declining population will eventually bring.


Why is BPS so opposed to immigration? He has a few different objections. First, he sees Islamic migration as a calculated move to replace and destroy Western civilization. He blames the world Jewish conspiracy and sometimes commends Islam for being a more dynamic and driven civilization than his own. For example, in the 18 minute video “Creeping Sharia: The ISLAMIZATION of the WEST” (360,272 views) he argues:

A demographic tidal wave is washing over the West, and the vast majority of people coming to demographically replace indigenous western people are of the Islamic faith. Already, the adherents of this ideology have begun to displace native populations within cities, and projections hold that the Muslim population will continue to grow exponentially. But unlike most civilizations that were Islamized, it will not be by the sword alone, but via the Muslim womb and the pathological altruism of the West, who through taxation and redistribution are funding their own colonization.

With an exploding Muslim population, jihadist terror attacks are becoming ever more common, and terrorists that murder in the name of Islam are very clear about their motivation, as well as their goals. They unleash violence upon disbelievers to fulfill violent jihad, and wish wholeheartedly to subjugate the world for Islam, as is instructed by Allah in the Qur’an.

And they’re very careful to explain this, but it would seem those in controlled media and the political class do not want to listen to the Jihadists themselves, but instead provide their own explanations for Islamic terrorism. Leftists want you to believe its poverty, Rightists want you to believe they hate our freedoms, Sam Harris wants you to believe that Islam is inherently violent. Ben Affleck wants you to believe that any questioning of Islam is racist. Muslims want you to believe it’s only a tiny and unimportant minority.

BPS frequently cites academics, sometimes obscure ones from the early 20th century. This video relies on Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and a book called Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat by Peter Hammond that is popular in anti-Islamic circles. In the video, BPS explains Hammond’s theory of “Islamization” of communities that advances in stages with increasingly dire results as the percentage of Muslims reaches 2-5 percent, 10 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent and 80 percent.

The video cuts to a montage of news footage from many different stories covering cases of sex trafficking, street violence and anti-Western speeches involving Muslims, and then returns to BPS’s monologue:

All demographic projections lead to the same conclusion. If there is no dramatic shift in policy, then there will be an Islamic future for Western Europe. Islam is not coming to integrate any more than European settlers that arrived in North America intended on assimilating to Native Americans’ customs and way of life. Islam is not coming to be part of any multicultural tapestry, a distinct but equal group living side by side in peace and tolerance.

Islam is not coming to uphold or carry on the cultural traditions of Western civilization. Islam is coming and it is already in the process of doing what it has done to every society that it has ever come into contact with. Spread Islam by whatever means, whether through a suicide bomb or the womb. Nobody is saying there is any logic to any of this, but it is happening.

And the elected political class of almost every Western country is only accelerating the process. Just as the cultures of antiquity were snuffed out by Islam, so too will be the West if it does not realize that the respite in Islam’s desire to conquer Rome was a tactical truce, not the end of the war.

Black Pigeon Speaks presents a nearly complete world view capable of explaining anything from mass migration to the operation of banks. Though the root cause can always be traced to the Jewish transnational conspiracy being perpetrated by the Rothschilds, George Soros and presumably many others, there are other immediate causes such as the behavior of the Federal Reserve itself, the mainstream media, leftists who control universities—and women!


Another major actor in BPS’s worldview are women—not individual women but women “as a species.” BPS’s most most-watched video was on this topic, at 18 minutes with more than one million views: “Why Women DESTROY NATIONS * / CIVILIZATIONS – and other UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS.”

On gender, the BPS worldview maps closely to many other alt-right voices, as well as to other early 20th century right-wing pseudo-scientific views on gender, and views that were common among nationalist and “herrenvolk” movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.[22] Here the worldview offers explanations not only for problems in national and world politics, but also for problems in male viewers’ personal lives. In the video, BPS speaks compassionately to young men of the “MGTOW” movement (“Men Going Their Own Way”), a subculture of right-wing young men who basically abstain from dating and marriage.

In BPS’s view the enfranchisement of women in the West and the “feminization” of Western societies are a major immediate cause of the general decline of the West. It all comes down to the biological differences between women and men that—according to pseudo-scientific speculation—have developed over millions of years of evolution. Let me attempt to summarize his points before quoting the videos:

The biological nature of women in general prevents them from identifying with their group and therefore makes them unreliable group members.

Additionally, in social life they have evolved to “play it safe” and to avoid risk or experimentation, which is another reason they make bad leaders (and voters).

Humans’ biological nature leads them to organize naturally into polygynous societies (i.e. a small minority of males controlling more than one exclusive mate, with a majority of males being excluded from reproduction).

Large scale civilization only became possible when women were controlled and disenfranchised by the invention of monogamous coupling on the principle of “one man, one woman” —which is effectively a ceasefire among men in general that allows energy to go into building civilization instead of fighting over women!

Sexual freedom for women is now destroying Western civilization. Islam’s control over women is partly what gives it its powerful “civilizational energy” that is allowing it to conquer the West.

It is also the reason most young men can’t get a date!

The video “Why Women Destroy Nations” begins:

If women’s sexual preferences are liberated and go unchecked, they destroy civilizations. If women are allowed to choose, harems form. If women are allowed a voice in matters that pertain to the safety of the nation then that nation will die inevitably. It’s as simple as that.  Once you realize this, you understand the entire basis behind civilized society. If not, you’ll understand by the end of this video.

As this is a complicated subject, let me state briefly what I’m talking about in this video so you can follow along more closely.

Women do not, on an instinctual level, care very much about her tribe, nation, or civilization. It’s in their nature not to. Women are biological creatures, like all others, and they seek to maximize their chances of having viable offspring. This half-century long experiment of women’s liberation and political enfranchisement has ended in disaster for the West. The damage done to the West may be irreparable and the only solution would be a return to a more patriarchal society and this seems highly unlikely.

After that inflammatory opener, BPS then indicates that he is not a simplistic thinker, is aware of the diversity among women and that in the real world, things are more complex than in simple mental models. This sort of disclaimer is part of what may contribute to making BPS’s “redpill” an easier one to swallow for viewers not coming from extreme right-wing backgrounds:

When I’m speaking of Western women, I’m talking of women as an organism or in general. Of course, there’s a spectrum and every individual is different. But for the purposes of this video, I’ll be speaking of Western women and their general characteristics. I realize that this is a sensitive topic and women with children are different from younger women, but it’s the broad strokes of Western women that need to be addressed.

If you’re a woman watching this and take offense to this video, please understand that I do realize that not all women are the same. But there are some very easily identifiable patterns of behavior that need to be discussed.

…Western women or, for that matter, any group of women are not consciously seeking to undermine the foundations of any particular society through calculation or deception or for any underlying agenda.  It’s just that women have never been the builders of any of the larger edifices of civilization and are not and have never been responsible for maintaining them. This is borne out across every civilization throughout history. So to be clear, I am not assigning any “blame” on any group or gender in this video. I’m only trying to explain how I see the world that we’ve all inherited.

In other words: Don’t be offended women—you’re destroying civilization, but it’s not your fault. And “prominent social psychologists” say so:

Women have been given the vote and, in a democratic society, they vote their biological imperative. Now, what do I mean by this? Well, recent genetic research has shown that before the modern era, 80 percent of women managed to reproduce while only 40 percent of men did. The obvious conclusion from this is that a few top men had access to multiple women while the bottom 60 percent of men had no mating prospects at all. Women clearly didn’t mind sharing the top man with a dozen other women, ultimately deciding that being one of many women sharing a man who leads was still more preferable than having the undivided attention of a man who serves.

Commenting on this, Roy Baumeister, a prominent social psychologist who teaches at Florida State University had this to say: “It would be shocking if these vastly different reproductive odds for men and women failed to produce some personality differences.” He went on, “For women, the optimal thing to do is to go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that a man will come along and offer sex and you’ll be able to have babies. All that matters is choosing the best offer. We’re descended from women who played it safe.”

In other words:

In our tribal past, if women of conquered tribes didn’t submit to their new masters, they faced death along with their husbands, brothers, sons, fathers. Even today, many women seek out aggressive men whether consciously or not as it seems that this psychology has been ground into women after countless years of our species’ evolution.  That means criminals, gangsters, and mass murderers are always going to be more attractive to women than hardworking, honest men. They always have been, they always will be.

Think of how many women throw themselves at drug dealers versus, for example, math teachers. Sexual attraction is based on this reality for many women regardless of whether they admit it or not.

Today, however:

Not only are women not punished for inviting alien and unassimilable armies of men into the West, they then vote for parties that force the entire society to have its national wealth redistributed to this army of aggressive and hostile men. And women who are in positions of power even openly celebrate the destruction that they bring upon their people and openly taunt those that seek to retain their culture and civilization from obliteration, as in the following video of German politician Dr. Stefi Von Berg in Hamburg.

The video then switches to a clip with audio and subtitles of Von Berg celebrating a prediction that in a generation the population of most German cities will be majority non-German in origin.

And why did Western civilization allow any of this to happen? He cites studies by an obscure social anthropologist from the 1930s arguing that when civilizations become extremely successful, in a fit of overconfidence they let their morals lapse and revert to sexual chaos, which leads to civilizational decline.

Many societies, including the West, long ago devised a simple plan to stop the inherent in-fighting that occurs because a large majority of men in the in-group don’t have sexual access to women or the ability to reproduce legitimate children.

The entire basis of Western society was the male agreement to keep only one woman in public so that every male has near equal chance at reproduction. It’s for this reason that organized and advanced civilizations have always needed to agree on the equitable distribution of women so as to incentivize its men to produce and have a stake in the society’s health and security.

But this, like other cultural arrangements that held the West together for centuries, is breaking down and can be observed in something as basic as the fact there are no Western countries that are even at replacement levels in their birthrates.

This, again, can be laid at the feet of loosening of sexual morality and the dating habits of young women.  Colloquially called the 80/20 rule, what it basically means is that the vast majority, the 80 percent are sexually pursuing the top 20 percent of men. This is highly damaging to the formation of monogamous couples and the successful formation of families and the children that will be the next generation of any given country.

And we’ll be talking about this more later in the video, but if you’re interested, see Google for more information on this.

There is a taste of what the extreme right is up to on YouTube. It’s just a click away. You can explore for yourself at: https://www.youtube.com/user/TokyoAtomic

Thoughts on the Alt-Right

BPS is a character right out of Pankaj Mishra’s powerful new book, Age of Anger: A History of the Present, about angry young men from Rousseau to ISIS.[23] BPS resembles the “angry young nationalists” of Mishra’s history in so many ways. Mishra tells a global story of three centuries of nationalists and revolutionaries—most of whom would be considered right-wing nationalists, racists, xenophobes and misogynists today—who seemed to become radicalized through the lived experience of being cut loose from rooted families and traditional communities. BPS has spent most of his adult life moving from country to country, and shares the western “internationalist” nationalism of the alt-right and Mishra’s 19th century angry young men.

One striking difference for a figure like BPS compared with 19th or even 20th century radicals is the low barrier to entry to reach mass audiences. This has radical implications. Though the angry young men of history have tended to be outcasts, they have nevertheless needed to collaborate with others and fit into a community of thinkers, writers and publishers to be heard. That is no longer the case. According to BPS’s interviews, he was someone who had been absorbing information from books, Wikipedia and, of course, YouTube, and then simply decided to make his own videos.

In other words: when reading historical accounts of past nationalist movements, there are the thinkers and writers, and then there are the masses, nameless and faceless, who are inspired to move and act by the thinkers. Today, however, a member of the masses can become the next voice heard by millions.

BPS is one of millions of shapers of a global white nationalist movement that sees Donald Trump’s unexpected presidency as a once-in-a-millennium opportunity. During the 2016 general election, the neo-Nazi site DailyStormer.com published, “A Normie’s Guide to the Alt-Right,”[24] to explain the gathering movement to people outside of it. It closed like this:

If Trump wins, we are going to have an opportunity to directly influence his administration, if we organize ourselves properly and develop a cohesive constituency (the latter we already have, I’d estimate numbering at 4-6 million people).

If Trump loses, we are going to have an opportunity to very vocally blame the Jews for his loss, which will serve our purposes nearly as much as a Trump win.

Either way, the future is very bright.

The alt-right is growing. To stem it, some liberals are calling for censorship. YouTube is threatening to revoke BPS’s account based on community complaints.[25] But censorship is no solution. It violates our commitment to free expression and almost never works. Censorship can have the effect of drawing attention to the voices being censored. BPS and thousands of other nationalist voices in the West—and, as Mishra discusses, in the Middle East and India as well—are succeeding because they are explaining the world to people who are watching their means of making a living crumble.

Donald Trump spoke about economic dislocation in nearly every stump speech he gave. His solutions mapped closely to the kind that are being preached on YouTube channels like BPS’s: expel immigrants, knock the bankers out of power. Of course, Trump is not following through with most of his promises, especially those targeting Wall Street. The alt-right has blamed this on the Jews in the Trump administration.[26] Accordingly, the author of the “Normie’s Guide” is getting the best of both worlds: a Trump White House to rally around, and a Jewish conspiracy in the White House to rally against.

The right-wing movement will continue to build power until liberals or the left finds its voice and begins providing answers—on YouTube and elsewhere—to the economic and social decline their societies are facing.


I am grateful to the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center for the opportunity to spend time in conversation with so many students and faculty of the Harvard community. The Center’s leadership, especially Nicco Mele and Nancy Palmer, created a wonderful experience for me and my fellow fellows Adam Berinsky, Helen Boaden, Farai Chideya, Rick Stengel and Meighan Stone.

I’m grateful for my talented research assistants Benjamin Clayton and Conor Hand. My special thanks to Thomas Patterson, Richard Parker and all my fellow Shorenstein fellows for providing feedback, pushback and guidance to make this paper better.


[1] Halpin et al., “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” The Center for American Progress and Free Press (2007). https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/general/reports/2007/06/20/3087/the-structural-imbalance-of-political-talk-radio/

[2] Feliz Solomon, “YouTube Could be About to Overtake TV as America’s Most Watched Platform,” Fortune, February 27, 2017. http://fortune.com/2017/02/28/youtube-1-billion-hours-television/

[3] Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society (New York: Viking Press, 1950).

[4] Richard Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Harper’s Magazine, November, 1964.

[5] Steven F. Hayward, “The Liberal Republicanism of Gordon Wood,” American Enterprise Institute, January 26, 2007. http://www.aei.org/publication/the-liberal-republicanism-of-gordon-wood/

[6] Gordon S. Wood, “Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth Century,” The William and Mary Quarterly 39 (1982).

[7] Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002).

[8] Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001).

[9] Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009) and Shane Hamilton, Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).

[10] Rick Perlstein, “I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong,” The New York Times Magazine, April 11, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/magazine/i-thought-i-understood-the-american-right-trump-proved-me-wrong.html

[11] Youtube.com. “Charlie bit my finger – again !” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

[12] Based on author’s search of YouTube channels.

[13] Patreon.com. “Black Pigeon Speaks.” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.patreon.com/blackpigeon

[14] Youtube.com. “Why do YouTube Views Freeze at 301?” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIkhgagvrjI

[15] Youtube.com. “YouTube’s Secret Algorithm – Computerphile.” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsCeNCVb-d8

[16] Youtube.com. “Black Pigeon – Questions Answered.” Accessed May 7, 2017.

[17] Ibid.

[18] YouTube.com. “Black Pigeon’s Channel Trailer.” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CKUSIMAeJQ

[19] Anonymous, “Black Pigeon Speaks Shows His Face,” Holla Forums, September, 2016. http://hollaforums.com/thread/7389320/politics/black-pigeon-speaks-shows-his-face.html

[20] “Redpill” is a commonly used reference on the right to the Matrix films in which characters swallow a red pill to wake up from a simulated reality.

[21] Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, “Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation,” NBER 23077 (2017).

[22] Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A History of the Present (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017).

[23] Ibid.

[24] DailyStormer.com. “A Normie’s Guide to the Alt-Right.” Accessed May 7, 2017. https://www.dailystormer.com/a-normies-guide-to-the-alt-right/

[25] Youtube.com. “Speak Against Child @buse= HATE SPEECH says YouTube.” Accessed June 22, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr8vaaYsmko

[26] Talkingpointsmemo.com. “Inside the Emerging Trumpian Alt-Right Snuff Novel.” Accessed May 8, 2017. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/inside-the-trumpian-alt-right-snuff-novel