Although Vice has come out and said that the “hipster conservative movement” was a hoax, there are plenty of other examples of this trend. For instance, look at the Suicide Girls blog.
I went to Evergreen State College, one of the most left-wing schools in the nation, and also incidentally, the highest rated school in the Hipster Handbook. Before I went there, I spent 5 years living in Wyoming, one of the most conservative states in the nation. I was right out of high school and full of rebellion. Naturally, living in Wyoming I took on a left-anarchist way of thinking. But when I got out to Evergreen, and was surrounded by liberals, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of these people were un-thinking liberals in the same way I’d been exposed to so many unthinking right-wingers. So I began to lean more to the right, though I tended more to the libertarian right than the neo-conservative right.
But eventually, with enough reading and enough travel back and forth between Olympia and Wyoming, settled into a progressive/social democratic way of thinking. And while I’m constantly interested in challenging my own views and thinking about different approaches to achieving liberal political goals, I definitely identify as liberal.
Anyway, in my last year at Evergreen I definitely noticed some of the younger students falling into the same way of thinking I did when I first came out there: feeling that there was a lot of intellectually lazy leftists out there, and sort of rebelling against the same tendency. In McInnes’s essay he says:
More than ever, there were young people responding with favor to a predominantly right-wing discussion. . . These were a new group of kids sick of how “intellectually lazy” (to quote the Hipublicans) the Left had become. They weren’t necessarily for invading Iraq. They just wanted to discuss the pros and cons in a rational and calm forum, without the liberal hyperbole of their peers. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein: “It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!”
Now McInnes is claiming all this to be a hoax, but it wouldn’t surprise me much to see a large conservative movement within the youth culture, especially in areas like New York City and the Bay Area where progressive ideology reigns supreme. And I’ve thought for a while that right-wing libertarianism would become the dominate youth-culture politics. Essentially it’s an anti-authoritarian political philosophy that still let’s kids consume all they want and not feel bad about it. It’s the market at work, right?
Of course I don’t believe that libertarianism is about shunning responsibility. Quite the opposite. But it could very easily be interpreted that way, and it could very easily be used as an excuse by the young as a means to justify their every materialistic whim. And another disclaimer: I don’t think that there’s any reason why we should expect rebellious youth to become liberals instead of libertarians in the first place. I don’t mean to suggest that everyone one thinks things through will end up being a social democrat or anything.
(more coming sometime about the racism aspect of all this)