/pol/

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This article is about something that is considered by the overpowering majority of /tg/ to be fail.
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
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"Gas the kikes! Race war now!"

– /pol/'s battlecry

"Gentlemen, I had a vision of the future. One day because we won this war, a man called Adolf Hitler will take power and he will make a lot of people angry about the Jewry. And also romani. And also the blacks. And the non-whites. Except for the Japanese, they're honorable Aryans, I guess. Also there will be a website called 4chan.org, and there will be a board called /pol/, and it will just be about what I have described. Its kind of a one-trick-pony, except the pony is retarded."

The Fresh Sorcerer's accurate summary of /pol/

Skub's OTHER final form, and the polar opposite of SJW.

/pol/ is 4chan's "Politically Incorrect" board, nowadays mostly populated by used for incarcerating people who identify as neo-nazis, alt-righters, ancaps, edgy contrarians, and other colorful characters who rant on Jews, black people, women, Marxists, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, and every variety of white depending on the time of day. This also entails dumb shit such as long passionate debates on whether Slavic or Southern European people count as white, or complaints about Jews causing everything from financial crises to World Wars to hurting your toe on a table leg (the phrase "Baton Roue" might come to mind).

If you ask /pol/, they'll claim to be the best and most enlightened board that can see through the lies of society, while everyone from the other boards will call their userbase arguably the most obnoxious and cancerous board on the whole site and nothing more than a far-right containment board to prevent them spreading their cancer elsewhere.

People who frequent /pol/ usually refer to themselves as /pol/lacks, but much more terms have been used to describe them by people outside of /pol/ such as /pol/io, /pol/luters, /pol/tards, /pol/yps, tad/pol/es, /pol/esmokers, and /pol/tergeists. The recently coined-term "alt-right" has quickly become for the right what the term SJW is for the left. On that note, some SJWs and /pol/acks aren't above having similar fundamental attitudes towards both their ideology and people who don't agree with it, which may seem odd - unless you're familiar with the idea of horseshoe theory as it applies to political radical behavior, though that in itself isn't always the case.

Origins[edit]

...What, the above wasn't enough?

Do you REALLY want to know more about this?

...alright, fuck it. Put on the helmets and bring the bleach, this is going to be real long and real boring.

4chan's userbase is naturally a product of the industrial society, i.e. it bred a lot of NEETs and frustrated people who are largely kept in line with entertainment and porn and economic welfare, and will gladly support any political party as long as their needs are met, inasmuch as they don't bother thinking about anything beyond their immediate well-being. Additionally, /b/ in particular had a history of racial supremacy expressed via memetic bigotry (i.e. using "nigger" as an insult, "faggot" as an endearing word, and "jewgolds" or "shekels" as the term for money) since around 2008, prior to the Anonymous v. Scientology clashes that brought them into more of a "spotlight". Most times it was considered little more than a joke by its userbase, just another way of ensuring that people who couldn't demonstrate thick enough skin to handle the typical level of discourse on /b/ would be driven off.

However, as time went on, people who took such things at face value began to show up more and more often - it's been said that "any community that gets its laughs by pretending to be idiots will eventually be flooded by actual idiots who mistakenly believe that they're in good company." Eventually, some of the aforementioned idiots began espousing positions that couldn't be dismissed as attempts at humor any longer, but were soon seen for the representation of their values that it really was.

...Then along came the economic housing bubble of 2009, and said NEETs found their bread and circuses were not enough in the face of concepts such as "darkening future" and "imminent poverty". And that opened Pandora's box, unleashing the suppressed anger (normally kept in check by porn, cheap entertainment and welfare) of the NEETizens of 4chan. Unsurprisingly, the first mention of the "alternative right" coincides around the bubble, with this "internal" discontent playing a part in their rise alongside the external 'friction' that social justice represented.

People can get defensive about their opinions about Kirk vs Picard or their taste in anime or opinions about Warhammer fluff or berate others for having opinions which they disagree with, but in the end that's just talking about fiction. In contrast politics is about stuff which actually matters to you in the Real World. Political discussions, especially online, are volatile things at the very best of times. Given that 4chan is the place where reasonable discussion goes to die, it was inevitable that even the calmest attempt at discussing politics quickly devolved into extremist arguments. Trolls and fanatics alike, in many points, became impossible to distinguish from one another - they either forgot whatever original aims they may have possessed, or else simply used those aims as a cover for something they now legitimately believed in and gained validation from.

If I'm damned anyway, then what is my incentive to be "good"? - Anonymous reacting to Identity Politics

While they gleefully embraced the Nazi accusations that both sides of a debate would make at each other - and invariably decided to supercharge the politically incorrect arguments with shitposting just to enrage their opponents further - they did all of it with only a marginal knowledge of what the issues they were arguing about even entailed at any given time, if they remotely cared at all. Thus many political arguments far too numerous to count here, from immigration to crime and race, began to take root in /b/ and quickly spread elsewhere; Moot, being the Eternal Planner that he is, created /n/ (what /pol/ started as) to corral the arguments.

As you can see, it's gone swimmingly for everyone involved. Sort of like a multilayered monkey's paw of pure fail.

Containment Board[edit]

Pol leaves containment.png

As stated earlier, /pol/ is meant to contain the population of stormweenies (named for Stormfront, a website that can be considered a precursor to /pol/, and whose community still overlaps with them) on 4chan. Pretty much everyone, including both Moot and most of /pol/ itself, has acknowledged this; Global rule #3 was once 'Keep /pol/ in /pol/'. The rule has since been changed to a more general version saying not to post flames, racism, off-topic replies, uncalled-for catch phrases and other things that are unhelpful to a board, but since that's what /pol/ shitposting essentially IS, the rule is still the same in spirit. Several boards have a sticky at the front page telling people to keep politics in /pol/ as well.

Though /pol/ isn't the only containment board on 4chan, the other containment boards such as /mlp/ and /soc/ are considered to have better userbases - those users have (mostly) less volatile baggage and the sense to leave it on those boards. When they venture onto another board, they stay on topic and only occasionally derail threads or start inflammatory ones (complete with /tg/ deriving entertainment from it), but overall aren't nearly as insufferable in comparison.

Most attempts to curb /pol/, on the other hand, result in them spreading to other boards, where they will try to de-rail the threads on those boards to whatever political event that is galvanizing them and spreading around conspiracy theories. Whenever they are told to fuck off and quit derailing threads, they will change the subject, gaslight, and say whatever it takes to counter any arguments to the point of self-contradiction - in short, anything but backing down or even just going on the defense. This hasn't stopped the board from being deleted twice throughout their history, mind, but the inevitable spread forced it to be brought back both times. Even to this day, you'll still get threads here and there that fall victim to politically-based derailing.

/pol/ using Warhammer 40,000 as propaganda[edit]

"Suffer not the xenos to live!"

– Battle cry of the Deathwatch

One of the greatest headaches that /tg/ in particular has with /pol/ is the misuse of the grimdarkness and xenophobic policies of the Imperium of Man by /pol/'s Trump supporters, who apparently believe that he is quite possibly a modern day incarnation of The Emperor, and that the Western world should really become an IRL Imperium with zero tolerance against "Xenos" and "Cultural Marxists", with lots of conspiracy theories that Trump is fighting an endless battle against the "Ruinous Powers" of Liberalism supposedly led by George Soros. It's basically yet another "Jews secretly controlling the world" episode on top of the usual boogeyman of "The All-Powerful Left" already invoked by many of the "cuckservatives" the alt-right railed against at their inception.

Initially, they "helped" him the only way they knew how: shitposting about anime, Pepe the Frog, and Momiji Inubashiri in a MAGA hat. One of their most widespread propaganda involving 40k was the complete stereotyping of all Muslims as ultraviolent savages who reproduce by the thousands and have no other instinct than to kill, maim and pillage, Mexicans being cast an all-consuming swarm migrating to America to consume all of its resources, and that every single one of them should be subject to Exterminatus. AS if that wasn't insulting to all parties real and fictional, eventually they finally "invented" a shitty forced meme where they put Donald Trump's head on images of the great God-Emperor of Mankind. Not many people find them funny, even in the rare case of the Photoshop job being decent, and the Trump buzz started to fade anyway as reality promptly ensued and people realized he was largely more of the same checkers-level propaganda volleys designed to sway voters (if "uber-rich American politician claiming to be the champion of the poor" sounds familiar to you, anyway).

The new wave of French elections brought a more horrific wave of shitposting, with Marine le Pen being photoshopped into Sister of Battle pictures. However, Le Pen lost the French election by a 30% margin, much to the chagrin of various /pol/tards. This was possibly compounded by the fact that Le Pen's campaign partly ran off the idea of a 'Frexit', only for Le Pen to abandon the entire idea post-election; between this and the Trump supporters in the userbase becoming nigh-indistiguishable from the more stereotypical ones, it proves for the umpteenth time that relying on any kind of political figurehead for overall validation is a universally bad idea.

Given 40k had its start as a satire of dystopian fiction and a bitter, ironic reflection of right-wing 80s Britain (see also: Rogue Trader), other right-wingers latching onto 40k-memery as a vehicle for demagoguery, propaganda and appeals to emotion, and further conflating it with modern politics is perhaps a schadenfreudish circle finally come complete. Without the original context, they see nothing more than an unironic heroic fantasy that validates their beliefs, rather than the proper mockery that it constitutes. Needless to say, many in /tg/ find such inclusion of real world politics in our 40k to be a sad, idiotic and pathetic phenomenon that should be punished by summary SAGE'ing.

Ideology and Methodology (such as it is)[edit]

While the full history of the SJW phenomenon is way too complicated to describe on their page and is usually less relevant to /tg/ (at least far less so than interactions with other boards on the site), suffice to say that while SJWs are the product of modern civil rights movements who blindly adhere to the LETTER of a given progressive political creed's code of conduct without understanding the spirit of it, /pol/acks essentially aspire to become the uber-racist, sexist, hyper-reactionary card-carrying degenerates they think the other side believes them to be.

That this is (again) close to the same way some SJWs would come to conduct themselves - down to and including the general rudderlessness, the typical response to anyone who doesn't share their opinion, and the general prevalence of bullshit artists as figureheads - may explain why /pol/, by and large, seem so eager to join them in the race to the bottom. However, the horseshoe theory only holds water if you have the most basic and binary grasp of the political spectrum; everyone likes to think their "side" is the most rational.

Admittedly, badly implemented and ham-fisted progressive policies tend to alienate the people not supported by them, just like any other political policy, and it's not uncommon for social justice narratives (or ANY kind, really, but specifically these) to be astroturfed and exploited by politicians and corporations alike, as well as the grifters out for social currency. Thus, some people feel an instinct to rebel against a status quo that supposedly coddles and encourages "white guilt" and "political correctness gone mad", while others seek out the "rightful" social positioning they couldn't get elsewhere - and still others are looking for fresh marks after their recruitment pool in other activist circles went dry. From these groups, the edgiest and the craziest form the core of /pol/.

However, any analysis going beyond the surface for more than five minutes would recognize progressive lip service to be just that - lip service designed to appease 'SJW' demands rather than actually meet them. In addition, the "horseshoe theory" school of thought seems slightly more merited upon recognizing that, when they're not using it as a thoroughly cynical ploy to draw attention and stir shit, /pol/acks will use eerily similar rhetoric to signal their own virtues of traditional values, being "rational" thinkers, and otherwise acting in defense of "freedom", at least when they're genuinely believing anything beyond what directly benefits them. The words "refuge in audacity" should come to mind for the tropers in the audience, albeit in a far more disingenuous sense - the right to offend and be irreverent is elevated to a sacred cow, which is about as self-defeating as it sounds.

That said, most /pol/tergeists have no idea how anything actually works - even the basics of their own most common political beliefs are notoriously flimsy (if not OUTRIGHT blatant) myths and lies, often more than the SJWs they denigrate. The average /pol/ user tends to conduct themselves and their approach to politics across the board with all the nuance and subtlety of any given sportsball fandom, even before the slow bleeding of the glorified sportsball spectacle that is modern mainstream politics into the board itself commenced. While 4chan at large is and always has been something of a self-sustaining shitshow even at its best, /pol/ is (ostensibly) despised even by the rest of the userbase because they take their views to the logical "conclusion" and render themselves little more than bizarre caricatures.

Example of such nonsensical claims include: Stalin being a Jew (he was Georgian and a major anti-Semite to boot; the Jewish influence, of course, was mainly from Trotsky, which makes it all the more ironic); the first reports of Nazi death camps came from the Soviets (it came from Poland); most welfare recipients being unemployed black people (evidencing a misunderstanding of "majority" and "disproportionate number", as most people on welfare are white and only use it for 3 years or less); and the British Empire started declining by 1800 (their Golden Age was from 1816-1915, with Jews very well represented). And the coup de grace theory to rule over them all is another theory, "The Khazar Theory", that the real good Jews are actually all white people (Jacob's sons), while all the stereotypical Jews are Khazar nomads' descendants. Yes, this is your brain's sound when it shifts without the clutch.

This is indicative of one of the biggest problems with /pol/, even more than not staying in their containment board: its denizens suffer from a board-wide Dunning-Kruger effect, believing themselves expert authorities on a multitude of subjects that individually take years of study at minimum, and shitpost and overuse bad memes as a substitute for wit and intelligence, ignoring that even the most casual Googling could debunk most of their narratives. Even Stormfront (which was run by an actual member of the Ku Klux Klan at one point, if it somehow still isn't) had slightly more principle; gods help you if you enter /pol/ from Israel.

Whenever a meme becomes popular on /pol/, they will begin forcing the meme on every other board, rapidly driving it so far into the ground that it will come out on the other side of the planet before the day is out. The memes they spam tend to be childish insults that will only impress people below 18. It says a lot about their board when getting merged with /mlp/ during an April Fools' joke improved it.

TL;DR: Even ignoring their disgusting traits AND putting aside "keep /pol/ in /pol/" talk, /tg/ remembers first and foremost that /pol/ is a containment board for a very good reason.

Connections with the Christchurch Mosque Attacks[edit]

This section concerns the attacks on the Christchurch Mosques in New Zealand, the consequences of which affected the entire board, and by extension /tg/.

Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old man who attacked two Mosques in Christchurch, NZ, apparently identified as a "/pol/ack" and made a detailed barely literate manifesto mostly in the form of a "Q&A," containing absolutely zero original political thought and nary a trace of coherent ideology besides repetition of the basic White Nationalist complaints of a Western demographic upheaval (the "fourteen words," basically). It is all the more pathetic because he characterizes the poorly-formatted PDF as a magnum opus of three years' worth of political growth; one critical point of critical fuckstupid is his admiration for Communist China, known for its violation of basic human rights, especially free speech, against the Muslim Uyghurs of and even its Han (the dominant Chinese ethnic group) citizens.

Even /pol/ itself, for all its numerous faults, practically worships the concept of the free exchange of ideas: A common point of contention with SJWs, perceived and otherwise, is freedom of debate and free speech at all costs, especially when it's offensive...at least, up until the point where their own views are challenged, of course. Then they suddenly decide that maybe censorship isn't so bad after all, which explains quite a lot about the board's fascist sympathies.

Said manifesto referenced several questionably tasteful memes (prominently, "remove kebab"), and the fucking degenerate actually went so far as to shout out those memes in public and play video game soundtracks and songs that /pol/ has turned into memes, while actively shooting people and live-streaming it. Sick fuck. Naturally, this means more conversations about the impact of the Internet/social media and technology in general and its role in the lives of disaffected millennials (and doing it full justice is a tall order and a half); the level of disconnect displayed, even by the expected standards of radical politics, that would allow a person to take a life while joyfully shouting silly sayings from the Internet like he was at an anime convention is disgusting and hard to fathom.

His goal, apparently, was to cause more hysteria and retribution: in his manifesto, he specifically spoke of wanting to stir up shit regarding inter alia, laws regarding the rights of free speech and bearing arms which, in his mind, would lead to civil war and an ultimate victory for his ideology, such as it is. He imagined himself becoming a full martyr for the cause, or else incarcerated and (if the latter) perhaps later to be broken out of jail by a movement inspired by his "noble actions"...and yet few people online seem to consider his actions or their results desirable, even among those who would inevitably be even remotely 'sympathetic' to his cause. The only ones who would wholeheartedly support him were likely deadset on their ideology to begin with.

This, along with his choice to attack extremely soft targets (including women, children, and mainstream, non-radical places of worship), is enough to demonstrate that he was not a political actor in any real sense, but rather amounts to the perpetrator of an incident far more serious and tragic. Rather than a "proper 'domestic [i.e. white] terrorist'" (say, Timothy McVeigh), he comes across more as an aimless man on a demented rampage.

By virtue of being a white man in a European culture instead of, say, a member of a rival sect in an Islamic country, his attack on a mosque actually makes international headlines for more than five minutes; with his point well out the window, his pathetic attempts at justifying his attack only harmed his cause in the imagination of the general public and even amongst his peers. Needless to say, the consequences of his actions were quite serious: political groups of which he was a member or tangentially related to are being attacked by the government, despite their having no part in the violence, and the blood was not yet dry when the PM said that New Zealand's already highly restrictive gun laws "had to change". Most directly relevant to /tg/, their neighbor Australia banned access to 4chan, 8chan and even fucking LiveLeak for distributing video of the massacre, which indirectly fucks over that entire sector of the userbase(s), likely due to the fact that the shooter, Brenton, is an Australian.

As if that wasn’t enough, the level of irony to Tarrant’s actions defies reality. Tarrant was fixated on mass migration in his manifesto, but thanks to his attack, New Zealand (and possibly other western countries) will accept EVEN MORE migrants from the Middle East and Africa in an effort to show that they’re tolerant of said migrants despite Tarrant’s attack. Way to go.

Though /pol/, with its vulgar and juvenile approach to issues of demography and race, is a tempting target to assign blame for his actions, 4chan might not be the genesis of his personal dissatisfaction; if the manifesto is to be trusted (itself a dicey proposition) he had apparently become interested in racial questions while touring the world and seeing the demographic changes which are afflicting Europe first hand. The problem is that when shitposting manchildren drink their own Kool-Aid and take up their guns alongside to murder innocent people, the average reasonable person can make a connection between the violence and the wretched hives of scum and villany said bad actors frequent, and so here we are.

This isn't entirely news to these folks, of course: "screw your optics, I'm going in" was how the last significant /pol/ terrorist put it, before attacking a defenseless synagogue which had no remote relation to any of /pol/'s 'concerns'. The inherent cowardice in that aspect of that attack and the most recent one are only one of the ways in which they are alike, but one of the most telling, not least because it begs the question of why the phrase "the last significant /pol/ terrorist" is even applicable.

Any reasonably well-adjusted person from anywhere on the political spectrum can see that the culture and posters of /pol/ are what give it its unfathomably bad name, which by extension affects already-considered-malignant *chan subculture such that one would be hard-pressed to assert otherwise. Inasmuch as /pol/acks even take their own putative ideas seriously, they don't tend to do themselves any favors - on- OR off-line. In addition, despite 4chan supposedly not being the birthing place for the ideals of Mr. Tarrant, the fact that it can now be tangibly tied to such people AND the resulting Australian lockdown on 4chan/8chan/etc. is certain to impact perception of the board and anyone seen as aligned with them - likely for the worse.

What Do?[edit]

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If you encounter a /pol/ack, treat them with love and respect, and politely but firmly tell them to live. Set the better example. They are human beings suffering from hatred and ignorance. Set a good example of what a human should be like. If you are not capable of remaining calm, avoid and move on. The Overton Window is extremely skewed against them, and as such they are easier to ignore and kick out than SJWs.

Keep in mind that some are otherwise good people who are hurting and tired. Their hearts may be in the right place, they are just going about it the wrong way. They need to be challenged amicably, given empathy, and be shown that the world isn't a burning cesspit. To say that these people do NOT deserve to have their views debated and only deserve ostracization (let alone violence) only pushes them deeper into an inescapable corner, with no choice but to join truly dangerous groups for social acceptance or survival. Lastly, to uniformly dismiss and hate them all is to spit on the legendary efforts of stellar individuals like Daryl Davis, a black man who went out of his way to befriend and deradicalize KKK members in real life, face to face. It is no better than calling Daryl a white supremacist to his face, something which actually happened.

It's a bad idea to challenge /pol/ users on their home turf echo chamber. If somehow encountering one outside of 4chan, gauge the user to determine if said debatee is 1) good but misguided, 2) a believer that's not beyond redemption, 3) a true believer that's beyond redemption or 4) purely a shit-stirring troll. Avoid the latter two, and guide the former two away from their influence. Remember: Amicability and empathy. Be like Daryl.


See Also[edit]

  • SJWs, the (mostly) left-leaning "contrast" to /pol/'s alt-right twattery, subjected to constant, though often inaccurate, comparisons due to hypocrisy and similar but better justified zealotry. Some major distinctions are that SJWs have much more influence in the media and their goals are generally noble and idealistic, though they go about accomplishing those goals the completely wrong way, which can make them slightly obnoxious.
  • /k/
  • Board-tans/pol
  • Racial Holy War, for what the rest of 4chan thinks would happen if a /pol/ack made an RPG.
  • MYFAROG, for when a /pol/ack actually made an RPG.
  • Nazi, what these guys wish they were.
  • An appropriate response to the forced Trump meme.

Gallery[edit]