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There’s a lot of deplorable behaviors that are commonplace on Twitter but one that’s been weighing on my mind a lot is this wave of self-proclaimed “Western Traditionalists” (read: fascists) whose entire schtick is bemoaning any vague concept of modernity. Their entire accounts are dedicated to shitting on modern art and they liberally use words like “degeneracy.” Which is, you know, not a red flag at all.

Here’s an example:

A screenshot of a tweet by user “Western_Trad” with a picture comparing two buildings, one old and one modern, and the caption “Architectural terrorism”

These people do not miss the aesthetics nor are they earnestly concerned about a downfall of art, they just miss the zeitgeist these old buildings and paintings and sculptures represent. The good old fascist longing for better times that never truly existed. It’s purely reactionary, white supremacist garbage and the disingenuity of it all is clear as day.

What really concerns me is how many people nod along? Those tweets often get 50, 70, 100 thousand likes. I want to believe that the popularity of this mentality stems from an inability to pick up on the dog whistles it’s sending out, because the alternative – that people know exactly the message they’re endorsing, and do so fervently – is far worse.