On Andrew Tate
Ever since I (as an unvaxxed person) was transformed into a far-right racist by the mainstream media for deciding to stick with my pro-active health management instead of taking a novel, experimental vaccine with no long-term safety data, I have tended to view the vilification of individuals by the mass media and/or the social media mob with more than a little scepticism. Naturally then, I decided to watch the Tucker Carlson Andrew Tate interview for myself to see what the fuss was about.
Firstly, Andrew Tate is clearly a con man. That could be, should be, and would have been, the end of it, if people weren’t dumb enough to fall for his clear and evident manipulations. Every single adversary currently up in arms is simply mirroring the men he scammed for money (by way of a woman’s face/body). You have all fallen for it. This also goes for all the people currently signed up for his Hustler’s University, and for any woman who falls for his braggadocio. All of these discussions and subscriptions are making him rich(er). Are they you? (They’re not me, but do feel free to send me some loot. 🤣)
Secondly, if it is true that the human trafficking charges he is faced with are as he says, convincing women to make “pornographic” TikTok videos and giving him the money, well, that’s not quite what I would call to mind when I think of human trafficking. But I am going to park this, as he is as obviously motivated to lie as the BBC is motivated to vilify.
Thirdly, it is a given that I disagree with his opinions on a woman’s place and role in society as articulated during that Carlson interview. More, when I went back and listened to some older podcasts, his views are even more obviously objectionable to any woman who thinks she has the right to make her own way in the world. But, and it’s a huge but, as someone who listens to hip-hop, and spent five years working in the music industry in America, I did not hear a single opinion I have not heard a million times before from men and women, especially in the US and Scotland. In addition, Helen Mirren has said some pretty fucked up things about rape, but I don’t see people going after her.
Fourthly, it is also true to say that women can behave pretty appallingly too. Earlier today at the spa, a woman came out of the changing cubicle with a towel wrapped around her head. Her boyfriend then went into the cubicle and asked her for the towel as they only had one between them. She refused to give it to him as “she needed it for her hair”. My jaw dropped at her response (what a cunt!), but when all he did was say “oh okay” (so he was forced to dry himself and get dressed without the use of a towel), well, frankly, I could kind of see Tate’s point that some men need to man the fuck up and learn to say no.
So what gives? Why the furore over the views coming from Tate’s mouth? I do not believe for a moment that the media machine, and society more generally, really gives a shit about the welfare of women. If they did, why is the gender pay gap still existent? Why have so many women been raped in the absence of rapists? Why do so many women still have to take on (almost) all the burden of caring responsibilities and housework? Why do so many young women artists take the lowest common denominator of stripping for camera instead of allowing for their artistry, their music, to speak for itself? There is too much everyday gendered injustice for me to take the lady that doth protest too seriously. If people really wanted to tackle sexism and misogyny, there’s much more important places to start than Andrew Tate.
There were several moments in that Tucker Carlson interview where Tate seemed to be compared to Julian Assange. I would not be very happy about that were I Assange, and it speaks to Tate’s hubris that he could make or accept the comparison. But that said, Tate made a lot of points that I agree with and as much as I think him both paranoid and full of delusions of grandeur, I do have to wonder if some of his points are the real point of his vilification.
Like Tate, I would say the ease with which a great many people switched on totalitarian mode during covid was a wake up call. Like Tate, I too think people need to ‘fess up, admit they were conned, and apologise for how they let themselves be manipulated through fear. Like Tate, I too agree there are no ‘good guys and bad guys’: that human beings are more sophisticated and complicated than all that. And like Tate, I also agree that the powers that be find it easier to silence a person than to fix the issue the person is calling attention to.
I also agree with Tate that jobs are bullshit and simply exist as a form of wage slavery where we are coerced into spending most of our lives doing something we hate so we can buy things we don’t need. I agree, David Graeber agrees, Peter Fleming agrees, and so did EF Schumacher before them. Tate is also right that where once upon a time, if you followed the rules and worked hard, you’d get a decent enough life, now that is no longer true. So why are people still motivated to follow these utterly arbitrary rules which do not serve the vast majority of us? Why are we not in revolt?
I also agree with Tate that if you have two billionaires in a room – one black, one white – racism is not in that room with them. Tate’s argument that racism is used as a tool to divide and conquer those exploited by capitalism is neither sophisticated nor novel, but it is right.
I also agree that a great many people have been manipulated into disbelieving their own senses and own experience. If I am honest, this is one of the most upsetting parts of contemporary society: that a person’s digital life seems to have become more real than their corporeal one. That a person can disbelieve their own body in favour of their mental projections of self-hood makes me feel profoundly sad for them.
Finally, I also agree that virtue has been weaponised, and that within the weaponisation is an unseen, coercive and controlling force which will, in the end, do more deadly and destructive damage than people understand. I think this is such an important point, and I am genuinely terrified by how many people don’t see the hollowness of their performance in service of virtue, nor do they grasp the cage they are creating through their calls for safety and security. Soon, we will all be trussed.
I do not know what game is being played right now. But it is clear that people are being whipped up into a frenzy through hyperbole to go after straw men, and that politicians, business leaders, and local government officials are all comfortable lying even in the face of evidence which proves they are doing so. There is not a truth left to speak of which is why there is not a politics of resistance. The vultures are circling.