PragerU (self)Parody

PragerU is the famous, well at least relatively well known, neo-Conservative, Fusionist, Right-Libertarian YouTube channel. Their economic videos are exclusively and completely for free unregulated market, their video’s on foreign politics always in favor of traditional American interventionism, and they’re consistently individualistic.

As such, they are rather out of step with the modern-day American right, and increasingly the Right across the world. Whether it is the new Christian Nationalism and Trumpism in the USA, Alternative for Germany, the Sweden Democrats, Vox or Forum For Democracy, the Right increasingly favors more traditional Conservatism over Liberal Conservatism. Rand inspired individualism as the one and only counterweight to classical Leftist collectivism has lost its appeal amongst much of the Right-wing youth.

PragerU didn’t embrace the neverTrump narrative but its views are, I hate to put it this way, soooo 2010.

While distrust of the Liberal Democratic provider state, Socialism and horizontal collectivism haven’t disappeared, many right-wing youth have become more Nationalistic, and not in the sense of civic nationalism. They desire a return to traditional communities and identities in response to progressive identity politics. A balance between individual and collective. Moderate collectivism with hierarchy. Not National Socialism, but often National Centrism or Solidarism. The Alt Right is just one example of this trend. Paleo-conservatism long represented this marginalized trend.

Furthermore, the modern Right doesn’t care too much for Philo-Semitism. While Richard Spencer type neo-Nazism has thankfully not become extremely popular, many on the Right don’t support orienting foreign policy on unconditional support for the Jewish state of Israel even as any notion of ethno-nationalism in any majority European country is treated as evil.

PragerU has made some really informative video’s about the Vietnam and Korean Wars, the Middle Ages, myths surrounding the Southern strategy and the second amendment, they have made many video’s reeking of elitism and ideological assumptions. They also tend to be selective with the truth.

One of Nixon’s foreign policy architects claiming the Paris Peace Treaty as a great achievement is just a bit silly. Even sillier was their video on Canadian healthcare where the speaker references a friend with back pain who found waiting for covered surgery in Canada to painful, so he went to the USA to pay 20.000 out of his own pocket to get surgery immediately. Right after this it was said you could get such treatment in the US immediately. Indeed. If you can pay 20.000 out of your own pocket. Such a message is not likely to dissuade lower class voters from voting Bernie Sanders.

The glorification of Churchill as the man who saved the Western world was a not so subtle swipe at modern American isolationists, by attacking the isolationists of the thirties, but it failed to properly engage with the arguments against Churchill by Pat Buchanan, one of the most important intellectuals within Paleo-Conservatism. The glorification of Churchill in general despite his support of various war crimes and eugenics seems generally problematic.

They rarely engage properly with Paleo-Conservative arguments at all, gave a biased analysis of the Alt Right which treated Richard Spencer as their ultimate speaker and ignored the initial influence of Paul Gottfried, a Jewish Paleocon.

PragerU as a whole ends up being like an action movie franchise. If you start to think about the Die Hard series too much, it becomes weaker and weaker.

John Logan

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