This article contains spoilers for the 1999 movie “Fight Club.”
Sick of the feminised society and the media-enforced paradigm of defining ourselves through acquiring objects, the protagonist of “Fight Club” creates an alter ego named Tyler Durden to vent his frustration through underground fighting rings that evolve into a huge terror organisation.
An article published by The Economist on Tuesday, September 10th, which marks the 20th anniversary of the premier of “Fight Club,” argues Tyler Durden resembles the toxic anonymity on the internet―young men who, knowing they will not suffer the social consequences, engage in vitriolic speech and encourage violence against women and minorities.
“I act like you want to act... I’m free in all the ways you are not,” Tyler Durden says towards the end of the movie.
But “Fight Club” is not just a critique of the feminised society, “Fight Club” satirises how young men can be fooled into joining a cult and become obedient workers executing, without question, the leader’s orders. They escape media indoctrination only to be indoctrinated by the alter ego of a guy who works for corporate.
People and critics who disliked “Fight Club” for promoting violence may as well have rebuked “Gone Girl” for encouraging women to seduce men and then slit their throats during sex.
A case could be made for the radicalisation process in the book and movie resembling the radicalisation method Durden uses to get young men to eventually engage in acts of terror. He takes them from simple pranks to acts of mischief, to violence, and then to terror. However, Project Mayhem was not supposed to kill anybody, just demolish empty buildings.
On the internet, similarly, it could be said that members of the alt-right and neo-Nazi groups―and I mean actual racists, not people making jokes with frogs―are first indoctrinated by memes and simply worded, easily memorized sentences and catchphrases on the supremacy of white people and the inferiority of other races. On their way to the Daily Stormer, they may first pass by Breitbart, but that does not mean it is also a neo-Nazi bastion; eating chicken is not always a step towards cannibalism.
“Fight Club” is more relevant today than it was 20 years ago, much to the chagrin of Durden and his first rule.