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Mike Cernovich appears to be rebranding himself, pivoting from alt-right social media personality back to pop philosopher, after relaunching his website and seeking to reconnect with his old audience.
“Less politics, more philosophy,” he promised in a Monday afternoon livestream.
For Cernovich, who started out as a self-help writer and men’s rights activist, the shift is motivated by a discontentment that he said was a “change in energy” and claims other “high consciousness people” he’s spoken to feel as well.
During Monday’s Periscope, he coined the phrase “fiat facts” to describe the mainstream media’s reportage and pitched his blockchain social theory.
“We’re moving from a centralized understanding of the world to a decentralized understanding of the world,” he said. “The blockchain is a distributed network that solves all the problems that we have of finance but more broadly it’s like a philosophy it’s a way of life… We’re going toward a decentralized consciousness, do you understand? That’s what blockchain is.”
Cernovich is best known as an early provocateur for the alt-right. He first became inspired by the populist politics of then-Republican nominee Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election and worked to help shape the emergent far-right movement’s narrative, peddling conspiracy theories and pushing conservative news.
During the presidential campaign, he promoted inaccurate claims about Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s health and bought into the Pizzagate conspiracy, which asserted that high-ranking Democrats ran a pedophile ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.
In a blog published in mid-February, Cernovich announced he would concentrate on “timeless subjects” and “deep conversations about the world,” having had “stepped up” into “historical times.”
His old fans, many of whom had slammed Cernovich for having lost his way, were pleased.
“Welcome back Mike,” one commenter wrote.
“The question is, who has more influence: Congressman Cernovich or Philosopher Cernovich?” another pondered. “Mediating day-to-day administrative activities or providing a vision for the future? Ultimately, we need both: the visionary and the person who puts the visions into motion.”
Others outside of Cernovich’s supporter base are curiously and bemusedly following the switch.
Cernovich slowly rebranding himself as a psychonaut is my favorite plot developments of 2018 pic.twitter.com/nVMAFx6O4o— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 16, 2018
Mike Cernovich's pivot from MAGA promoter back to being a conspiracy theory / "mysterious energy" guy is probably a pretty savvy career move pic.twitter.com/khliU3i8V0— Will Sommer (@willsommer) April 16, 2018
Still, no one should buy this as a complete retirement or conversion.
No sooner had Cernovich’s enlightened Periscope session ended than he had jumped back into the political fray on Twitter to protest the mainstream media’s reporting that Fox News’ Sean Hannity was also a client of Trump’s recently raided lawyer Michael Cohen.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.