In “White Pride and Prejudice”, Ross Douthat rhetorically posits the Internet itself as his interlocutor:
“Why my dear, you must know, it seems that certain young men of dubious character, not content with seizing ‘The Matrix’ and Taylor Swift and Pepe the Frog for their own, have taken to citing Austen’s novels in support of their racist and gender-essentialist beliefs; indeed one of the most celebrated of these bounders even quoted her words in some sort of anti-feminist diatribe.”…
Douthat then makes an observation that Culture is being reclaimed by the Alt Right, peppering his prose with requisite disapproval of the ‘racists’ on the Alt Right.
Now the internet is a creature of mean understanding, too much information and uncertain temper. But the experience of twenty years online has enabled me to understand something of her character. And in this case she has fastened on something genuinely interesting, a truth increasingly fretted over: many aspects of culture, high and low, that once seemed securely in liberalism’s possession appear to be vulnerable to appropriation by the alt-right.
Before the Bennets, Dashwoods and Woodhouses, it was the ancient Greeks and Romans. In November, a classicist named Donna Zuckerberg fired off an anguished piece about the alt-right’s affection for her discipline and urged her fellow classicists to watch for lurking reactionary sentiments among would-be students of the ancient world.
Things are moving fast.