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The Right v. Modernism

Why Is the Alt-Right So Angry About Architecture?

Conservatives have long opposed Modernism, but in the video age, avant-garde buildings can become potent symbols in the hands of groups like Infowars and the NRA.

Decrying what it sees as a war on white European culture, the alt-right movement calls out the people it believes stand opposed to freedom: feminists, antifascists, “cucks,” “SJWs” (social justice warriors), and President Trump’s Twitter-foe Rosie O’Donnell. Now you can add architects to the list.

On June 30, the far-right website Infowars posted a 15-minute-long video titled “Why modern architecture SUCKS.” This foray into design criticsim by Infowars—better known for pushing the ludicrous Pizzagate conspiracy and for host Alex Jones’ insistence that the Sandy Hook massacre was faked—comes on the heels of another video that turns well-known works of architecture into symbols of liberal decadence. I’m referring to the National Rifle Association’s “clenched fist” ad, which critics have called “chilling” and “an open call to violence.”

The aesthetic judgment in the NRA’s one-minute ad is implicit, almost subliminal, whereas InfoWars launches a full-bore attack. But both bear the same message about modern architecture: It is the province of the liberal urban elite, and that it stands for oppression.

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