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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Saving Heroism in the Online Sphere: The Heroic in Far-Right Internet Memes

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While the far right is usually associated with an actively practiced hero worship, the relationship of new right-wing movements to the heroic remains undertheorized. This paper seeks to fill this void arguing that far-right online internet meme culture is marked by an ambivalent relationship to heroism, which stands in contrast to the serious, unambiguous take on heroism in “traditional” Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda: In the context of the Great Meme War, a (partly) self-ironic approach to the desire for heroism can be observed, which, as I argue, serves to immunise the heroic in view of its feared loss/absence in the online sphere.

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