His YouTube rant on Justin Bieber encapsulates all of this. Jones begins by bemoaning pop culture and sports, “how fake it all is.” He name-checks Bieber and Lady Gaga, arguing that kids these days are becoming “mindless vassals who, who now, they look up to some twit instead of looking up to Thomas Jefferson or looking up to Nikola Tesla or looking up to Magellan. I mean, kids, Magellan’s a lot cooler than Justin Bieber!”
Depending on your values, that message may ring true. The near-pandemic level of Justin Bieber fandom probably isn’t a signifier of cultural health (Google “cut for bieber” if you need confirmation of that).
But then he comes in with the kicker: “Life is fiery with its beauty, its incredible detail!” he bellows. “Tuning into it, they want to shutter your mind talking about JUSTIN BIEBER! It’s pure evil! They’re taking your intellect, your soul, and giving you Michael Jordan and Bieber. Unlock your human potential! Defeat the globalists who want to shutter your mind, your doorways to perception! I want to see you truly live! I want to see you truly be who you are!”
In Jones’s cosmos, all the perceived evil and triteness and ugliness of the world we live in — from terrorists in Boston to Bieber’s “Baby” — exists because of globalism and the New World Order. “There is a war on for your mind,” as his website’s header says, and the greatest risk isn’t nuclear apocalypse or financial collapse or water fluoridation; it’s numbness and oblivion to the fiery beauty of human potential.
There are two forces in Jones’s world. The battle for souls is between the corrosive forces of the New World Order (who have infiltrated everything from the Obama and Bush White Houses to MTV) and the indefatigable human will. Jones is a latter-day gnostic. He wants his audience to wake up from their sleep, emerge from their Platonic cave, and see the world as it truly is. That’s the conversion moment. The next step is walking with Alex Jones in the new life of the spirit. That means getting a filter to remove fluoride from your water (don’t even get him started on fluoride), stocking up on seeds for your emergency garden, and pushing the government to mandate that genetically modified foods have labels. It also means that you might want to live near Austin, Texas, an optimal place to start anew when the New World Order — and, along with it, the American government and the West — crumbles. You also might want to sign up for an online dating profile on his website so you can find another freedom-lover to bunker down with outside Austin. You’re awake now, and that means some things have to change.
Alex Jones has the optimism you can have only if you think everything has already gone to Hell. It’s easy to write him off as a kook and a lunatic, but that’s what they did to Jeremiah. The difference between Jones and Jeremiah, of course, is that Jones appears to be a paranoiac.
It’s all fairly consistent, too — bat-feces crazy, but essentially consistent. Infowars isn’t just a website; it’s a way to live. Alex Jones wants to make you a believer.
— Betsy Woodruff is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.