By Raphael Machado, Founder & Leader of Nova Resistência Brazil
(translated for Open Revolt by Comrade Jade Anguilar)
We all realize this with a little awe and astonishment. The Cosmopolitan Elite launched a campaign of “psychological terrorism” over Todd Phillips’s “Joker” movie, based on the character of the same name from comic book publisher DC Comics.
By Elite I am referring here to the “intelligentsia” made up of film and art critics in general, mass media journalists and specialized “intellectual” publications, and academics and intellectuals, who constitute the cultural arm of the liberal global order, those who in the terminology of the philosopher Diego Fusaro are called the “orators”, the priestly caste, guarantor of cultural hegemony, in the neo-feudal order of postmodern liberal capitalism.
In the last few weeks, even before the movie’s premiere, these elements have raised their voices vilifying the movie, saying that this movie is dangerous, that it should never have been made, that it is irresponsible, and many other things. According to them, this film is a “fantasy of violence” that can incite terrorism to millions of introvert and socially displaced young people radicalized by the Internet. Note, however, that this panic was not unique to the leftist portion of the liberal intellectual group. In Brazil, for example, the so-called “olavetes”¹ had a similar conspirator and neurotic reaction, accusing the film of being leftist, globalist, etc. The same happened abroad among neoconservative intellectuals and journalists.
Well, we know that, in general, the production of the American cultural industry is but an amorphous mass of propagandistic works whose purpose is, through soft power, to secure the cultural hegemony of the global cosmopolitan elite of financial capitalism. Its spokesmen in art criticism, journalism, and academy are the “priests” of this order, who impose consensus and determine “politically correct” according to the interests of the ruling class.
Thus, when practically in unison, these spokesmen go into hysterical panic over a work produced within the same cultural industry, our role as representatives of dissent and counter-hegemony is to stop to analyze.
Why did this movie make the global elite panic? What is behind their fear?
The essence of the problem lies in the very person of Arthur Fleck, the character who becomes the Joker. The cause of their fear is who and what he is.
Arthur Fleck is a white, heterosexual man who, though clever, is part of the precarious, new global slave subclass, having to do countless temporary and intermittent jobs arranged by him for an outsource agency.
To this economic precariousness is added a psychological precariousness. Fleck, suffering from an abusive family history and most likely because of all the social and economic pressures he experienced, has several psychological problems, schizophrenia probably among them. Fleck does therapy and relies on medicine to continue living a normal life. Finally, Fleck is an involuntary celibate and fantasizes about a nonexistent relationship with a neighbor he follows and who barely knows him.
When the Gotham city government decides to make several budget cuts due to an austerity policy, he loses access to therapy and medicines. In parallel, he loses his intermittent job, his abusive and schizophrenic mother dies and he has his talent as a comedian scorned and publicly insulted. Fleck sinks into an abyss, his personality dissolves and “dies”, and in its place is reborn The Joker, the avatar of nihilistic chaos and violence.
The Joker kills some young speculators, murders a live journalist-entertainer and throws the city into chaos.
We could say that the reason for the liberal elite panic is in this construction by Arthur Fleck/Joker. All the “triggers” that drove the cosmopolitan “intelligentsia” to panic are quite explicitly drawn.
But we Brazilians, rooted and involved in problems of a very particular reality, are often completely unaware of the great global themes. We, in our “provincialism”, have our horizon completely occupied by “Bolsonaro vs Lula”, while the great conflicts of our time go unnoticed by us.
The fundamental problem for the elite here is that Arthur Fleck’s entire identity is arranged in demographic layers that are viewed with a mixture of fear and hatred on the part of the cosmopolitan elite, and which are the subject of a deconstruction, liquefaction, and brainwashing by the whole cultural apparatus of social engineering. The notion that under certain unbearable pressures these demographic strata could resort to violence and terrorism is anathema to the elite because they know they will be the victims of this violence.
The cosmopolitan elite has built up myths of an “incel danger”, “white terrorism”, “toxic masculinity” and suddenly saw it all mingled in a character who, moreover, is the victim of an unfair and insecure economic system to the point of being prone to causing schizophrenia and other psychological problems, and “explodes” violently.
That’s why the effort to disintegrate these layers is immense. Incels? they deserve to be targets of bullying and more. Men? You have to have your manhood deconstructed. Whites? You have to make way for minorities and accept your own demographic replacement. Heterosexuals? The future is gender fluidity. Unsatisfied with the precarious existential conditions? Just forget the backward past of strong unions and effective labor laws.
Faced with the notion that certain trends promoted by this elite could lead to a violent reaction from the layers that see themselves as an object of hatred e demonizing propaganda, the elite’s response is not to backtrack or think twice, but to accelerate those trends.
In this sense, while the elite, through its propaganda and its caste of cultural “priests,” tries to convince the whole world to conform to the changes that point to the construction of a deterritorialized, borderless global society, privatized, financialized, with the peoples of the world turned into an amorphous mass, the deconstructed sexes and replaced by infinite genres, appears a film that points to a violent “escape valve.” If a lot of people will see the movie and identify with Fleck to the point of seeing him as a hero and his movie as heroic fantasy, for the cosmopolitan elite “Joker” is a horror movie. This terror is not forced, it is sincere.
To this add elements of the virtual “underworld” that make up the panic that the liberal and postmodern intelligentsia feel.
The Joker has been adopted as a mobilizing symbol by incels, gamers and antifeminists since at least 2017, when they began appearing on 4chan memes correlating the Joker with these demographic layers and interests. Gamers, more specifically, have been considered a “public risk” by global thinking police since at least 2014, when the GamerGate case revealed the expansion of feminist and SJW lobbying within the gaming industry.
At the same time, Trump’s disappointments have made a significant part of the alt-right, which interpenetrates with the aforementioned groups, take an accelerationist stance that welcomes the chaos and collapse of civilization as the only means to end perceived social decay. The figure of the frog “Pepe”, an alt-right meme symbol, has been replaced by the “Honk”, a “Pepe” dressed up as a clown, representing a cultural condition in which reality has become so absurd that it has become indistinguishable from satire.
For these accelerationists, Arthur Fleck’s phrase, “First I thought my life was a tragedy, then I found it to be a comedy,” became an extremely descriptive motto of his perception of the current situation of Western civilization. The postmodern absurdities of our day to day should no longer be viewed with anger and indignation, but with mockery, laughter, and satirization.
When the movie “Joker” was announced, therefore, all these groups embraced the project with absolute conviction and did their best to associate their image with the image of the film. The bait has been bitten.
Make no mistake, though. “Joker” is not a political movie. The Joker character is not a political leader or a revolutionary. He is a nihilist. He doesn’t want to save Gotham, he wants to see it burn. He does not want to replace Gotham’s faulty order with an improved order, but to bring chaos. That’s why he doesn’t care, for example, about using protesters as a human shield.
This work, however, is not apolitical. It is metapolitical. It deals directly with the deep myths and symbols that underlie politics and that move politics and are in contention in a “cultural war” that puts, on the one hand, a global elite and, on the other, the peoples of the world.
The Elite is not wrong to fear. Millions of people around the world have positively identified with the Joker.
It is up to us to constructively channel this identification, to give form, direction, and meaning to all this. Even if every revolutionary work depends, of course, on a first destructive and incendiary moment.
Only Chaos can clear the ground and allow the birth of a new Order.
FREEDOM! JUSTICE! REVOLUTION!
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