The Bronze Age Mindset

From Vox:

Who is Bronze Age Pervert?
That’s not altogether clear. His profile photograph is of an impossibly buff man facing away from the camera. His bio identifies him as an “Aspiring Nudist Bodybuilder. Free speech and anti-xenoestrogen activist.” He’s been cited to me by a number of sources familiar with the cultural landscape of something of a leadership figure among devotees of Pepe the Frog. He frequently condemns other alt-right figures, such as Richard Spencer, at times suggesting they might be in league with the FBI.

His posts veer between retweeting MRA rhetoric about “roasties” (slang for women with multiple sexual partners), claiming that Jordan Peterson plagiarized his suggestion of “enforced monogamy” from him (in an earlier forum post, he claimed women should be reduced to breeding stock), and celebrating on #HandsomeThursdays the physiques of chiseled, muscular Aryan and Slavic men. It’s not clear, in his internet-slang-laced posts, where performative trolling ends and authentic far-right views begin, nor does it necessarily matter.

Nobody knows who Bronze Age Pervert is. But among a subset of internet denizens, he’s something of a demigod: a Jordan Peterson in miniature. He was well-known enough for the neoreactionary and proto-alt-right thinker Curtis Yarvin (better known by his pseudonym, Mencius Moldbug) to name-check him in a recent interview with an Atlantic journalist, telling Rosie Gray that Bronze Age Pervert was his contact inside the White House. While this seems to have been an attempt to troll Gray, it speaks to Bronze Age Pervert’s relative notoriety within this tight community.

An anonymous follower of his on another neoreactionary blog declared him the leader of the alt-right in language that, though comically over the top, nevertheless speaks to the fundamental mythic tendency of these movements:

“Bursting away the built up rust of the last centuries so new myths may be sung. He frees us from the constrictions of historicism and geographism- placing the race question in the light of the Faustian imperial infinity. By having us all take up barbarism the Right is spared from the civcuck middling elements having too much a say … new culture will be anti-fragile to the attaqs against it, it will soon give us victory. Long live our liege lord.”

It’s, of course, ridiculous. But it’s also illustrative. What Peterson makes implicit, Bronge Age Pervert and his followers make explicit: the intersection of trolling (complete with language taken straight from Internet memes) and traditionalism. The traditionalist aesthetic allows for both an embrace of an imagined past — in which order is triumphant over chaos — and a thoroughly contemporary assumption of transgression.

Bronze Age Pervert is an embodiment of the strange and effective tension between nostalgia and transgression that makes men like Peterson so popular. His blend of say-anything internet irony, highly eroticized valorization of splendid “warrior” bodies, and atavistic appeals to return to an era when men were real men is as close as you can get to a distillation of the Petersonian essence.

In one tweet, Bronze Age Pervert posts a painting of a naked wood nymph with a thoroughly Nietzschean caption: “return of the maenads …… imagine being torn limb from limb by crazed bacchant-gril as irregular drums beat and very thin, circular demented melody plays on two flutes handled by goat-men … I want such death.”

In a Twitter DM interview, Bronze Age Pervert told me that he did not call himself a traditionalist “because there’s no tradition I can think of that I’m trying to preserve.” He looks, he said, to Homeric and Classical Greek thought, as well as to Tibetan Buddhism, but isn’t trying to “adopt or revive” them.

“Most traditions are hostile to beauty and excellence,” he said, although he believes in a “biological hierarchy” that privileges some traditions over others (he’s a fan of the French, the Greeks, the Japanese; he dislikes Ashkenazi Jews).

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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