The Slow Rise of Leftist YouTube

…I also have problems with them, mainly how they present themselves, the use of the r-slur, and how little the alt-right actually seems to care about them. Hell, their stuff is the kind of stuff they’d adopt, ala American History X.

Their comedy style is remarkably similar to a lot of right wing comedians, just with leftist politics, which doesn’t really mesh once you start seeing the seams (like using the r-slur).



also were you not aware that two hosts of the show are currently being sued for hundreds of millions by hard right loons


I mean that word.

As someone with my own mental issues who has been called that word before, I don’t appreciate your tone here.


They’re too venomous for my tastes.

This a more personal reason, but one of the first episodes I listened to was the episode about John McCain’s death. And while I have no problem with podcasts, like Citations Needed, critiquing how people covered him and how he wasn’t a very good person, I could not get behind the way they used humor to celebrate his death. “John McCain died to C-C-C-Canceeeer!” Was a joke I remembered, equating cancer to a monster truck rally announcer.

As someone who just lost his father to an 9 month battle to cancer just weeks before, I did NOT need to hear that shit. They’re fucking garbage people, and I think that’s why a lot of people like them because they don’t do the ‘let’s bridge the gap!’ kind of shit that other Leftists are famous for.

But yeah, maybe I’ll try them again later, but they are just far too mean for my tastes right now. I’m also trying to just cleanse my pallet of venom on EVERYTHING I watch now.


Hey, folks. While the Waypoint mod team appreciates that people can have different degrees of toleration in what they listen to and watch, dismissing other people’s concerns, particularly along axes of marginalisation, is flatly against Goals A and D (Rules 1, 3, and 11) of the Waypoint Forum Rules. We enforce this seriously and have taken the appropriate actions against relevant users in this thread.

We’re continuing to discuss this matter internally (and will amend this post if we decide against this in the future), but have chosen to leave the posts up (although hidden) to give an idea for what we consider to be a violation of these Rules. As these became part of the conversation, removing them would make the thread quite hard to bring up in backlog, which is also a consideration for us.

We want to thank the folks who flagged the posts in question for bringing them to our attention, it is always much appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns further to this message, please reach out to the ‘Mods’ group via DMs.

Please continue this discussion as you were.


Yikes, I wasn’t aware they used language like that. A lot of leftist powerlifters I follow recommend this podcast, I guess I’m glad I haven’t started listening.

Renegade Cut is ostensibly a film criticism channel, but what’s cool about it is that Leon Thomas uses his familiar platform as a means to teach his viewers about various different topics within philosophy, politics, and sociology. For example: there’s his 3 Billboards video where he discusses the ways it fumbles its handling of race, a 13-minute takedown of objectivism and bad objectivist movies, and even a feature length introduction to contemporary Christian theology through the “Left Behind” movies which simultaneously teaches you what theology is while also debunking the ideologies of rapture-focused faiths. There’s a large number of videos on his channel. and they’re very worth your time if you want a basic introduction to arguments and leftist concepts. (Also, I found this channel thanks to a user here from another philosophy thread. I can’t remember who it was, but thank you for introducing me to one of my favorite channels!)

In a similar vein, Pop Culture Detective does a similar thing, but is closer to my heart in that his work primarily utilizes masculinities studies literature (pretty sure his Big Bang Theory videos were the first YouTube videos I saw that cited Raewynn Connell). PCD’s videos are all very well done and serve as a pretty good intro to my particular subfield within the gender studies space.

Another channel I’ve been appreciating as of late is this one called C**k Philosophy. I tend to have issues with philosophy channels who abide by what I refer to as “class first” Marxism. I recently watched Zero Books’s latest video on Intersectionality (because I’m a masochist), and it basically devolved into a reductive argument that ignores contemporary intersectional theory and more or less mansplains his point by saying, “Sure, race, sex, gender, and sexuality are important, but have you considered class?” And…that’s not an uncommon take among a large swathe of Marxists. With C**k Philosophy, however, their work can tread into this belief, but never in such a way that outright dismisses the importance of issues endured by the marginalized. Furthermore, their videos also serve as a solid look into what post-modernism actually is – even going through the philosophy’s various challenges throughout history, showing that no, Jordan Peterson didn’t “obliterate” the PoMos.

I’ll also echo other people’s recommendations for donoteat01, Shaun, Philosophy Tube, and Folding Ideas. I like them all for different reasons, and they’ve all been solid in terms of being largely un-problematic in the Leftist YouTube space (unlike a few other, popular figures).


Beyond the more specific problems like those, I have just found I have an increasingly small tolerance for the kind of, for lack of a better term, mean-spirited humor the Chapo Trap House is generally associated with. I’m able to enjoy some of their things in the occasional dosage, but the tone can be pretty frustrating and exhausting.


"Do we engage with their points and waste the energy trying to change minds? How do we decide definitively who is truly arguing in good faith? At what point is it fair to outright dismiss someone as a dangerous demagogue never worth engaging with whatsoever? "

Sorry I suck at using this site properly so I’ll quote the part I want to respond to. It’s tough as heck to answer any of these questions and there’s no doubt the internet and trolling culture has made it even more difficult to decide whether it’s worth engaging with people to change their minds. I guess I have to believe my friend can listen to other people’s opinions but I was speaking to mutual friends of ours yesterday who were in the same chat and they all saw where I was coming from. One of them said he had never considered Joe Rogan to be an enabler for a lot of dodgy people and he’s more wary of listening to him now which is good and encouraging to hear! I appreciate it’s much easier for me as a cis white male to have these discussions without being tired or having my existence or whatever called into question and I wouldn’t blame anyone who is marginalised in any way just disengaging from what is probably an exhausting endeavour.


Chapo Trap House has really done a lot Online to equate “leftist activism” with “dunking on twitter” and I cannot abide it.


Chapo is… something. I’ve been listening off and on for a while now, but it’s kind of a cathartic podcast for me sometimes. It’s also deeply cynical and irony poisoned and for that reason it’s not the only left podcast I listen to. I need my leftism to be hopeful even if I’m not always hopeful myself. Chapo isn’t that.

As for them using the r-word? I can’t remember a recent episode where they did, but I could be wrong. I only listen to free episodes. Not a defense of them either. They’re a very prominent and vocal podcast that should be held accountable.

Dunking… is fun. It isn’t activism.

1 Like

Chapo Trap House’s style of comedy comes across as very immature to me at times, which is why I stopped listening to them. I’ve definitely heard them use the r word more than once as well as some sexist jokes. That said it was refreshing to hear them go so hard on John McCain’s death & funeral, especially after reading and hearing so much gross praise of a literal warmonger who deserves none of it.


I would recommend literally every other YouTuber/podcast mentioned in this thread before I’d recommend chapo to anyone.

Telling ppl I listen to chapo is like… if they walked around a corner and saw me eating a cake right out of a dumpster.

“… it’s not what it looks like. It’s uh… praxis?”


I think they stopped saying it after getting called out on it. It’s definitely my guilty pleasure but I’d probably recommend it more for catharsis and comedy than its political points of view. That’s partially because the most overtly political member, Amber Frost, has quite terrible polifics and even worse taste in mates (Angela Nagle, Sam Kriss)

Not to be too Online about it but the Chapo hosts (Virgil especially) have incredibly long careers of being shitty shock jockeys online in places like Something Awful and Twitter, and instead of having any introspection or change in their behavior just do the same thing but say they like Bernie too. Their credibility as leftists is nearly nil, and the people they bring into leftism often think the same way they do about anyone who’s not like them. I’m not trying to be the fun police but I have reservations about people who like Chapo and I don’t think “Well, I like/listen to them but it’s not something I rec to people without being careful” is enough. There’s a difference between having reservations about entertainment that has problems and entertainment that has problems and also directly tells you what to believe in and how to act. The latter has much less leeway and many more opportunities to do bad in the world.


No idea. I don’t really keep track of online beefs outside my immediate circle, which he is not in, because that way lies madness. Judging by what he says now if he was a transphobe in 2014 he isn’t in 2018.

As to Chapo - I think they have a useful place in the wider left its just not a space I’m very interested in following. Also I enjoyed the chapo interview with Mike Duncan from a few months ago.

It’s funny to hear the Something Awful forums brought up - it’s been pretty interesting to watch SA’s sharp turn from standard vaguely libertarian internet asshole politics through to being pretty far left. I think a mixture of the “ban Nazis” policy being pretty strictly enforced, the policy of just outright banning discussion of Gamergate in the Games forum and most of the userbase entering the workforce at around the time of the 2008 financial crisis caused that.

I think the quantity of ideas being marketing by the left versus the right contirubutes to the different levels of growth on platforms like youtube and twitter. The right seems to adore figure heads and rallying around specific individuals. My own experience is that the left tends to be more critical of their figure heads and tends to encourage as much debate from within as without. I may be totally misunderstanding the right given that I traffic primarily in leftists areas, but there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much infighting there as we have on the left. The infighting is in many ways good but seems to make the market of leftist ideas more saturated - where on the right you just have a smaller number of figureheads all kind of spouting the same general things.

When ten leftist youtubers are debating the nuances of twenty five different issues and seventy different inter sectional policies to address various issues while ten right wing youtubers are all shouting the same conspiracy theories it leads to a more effective echo chamber.

The right absolutely infight, it’s just they do it more privately so unless you’re in those spaces you’ll only hear about it from the occasional “discord logs from right wing group detail horrifying bullying” or “whatsapp leak shows conservatives hate each other” style story. Right wingers are also much more liable to make it their business to immiserate other right wingers who speak against the party line - see how they all turned on say Thunderf00t when he broke with them on say, Brexit and Trump or how Kraut and Tea was harassed off the internet for breaking with the herd.
Left wingers are often much more public and openly factional but they’re generally not as nasty about beefs (still sometimes quite nasty).

The neo-Nazis and other White Supremacists (that core “alt-Right” block of online content) also have access to significant funding from established hate groups that brand themselves “think tanks” with names like the National Policy Institute.

While snark-based stuff like Chapo can get significant crowd-funding, it’s fair to say that the voices promoting viewpoints compatible with the racist, misogynistic capitalism we live within have a significantly easier time accessing funding to ensure their hate speech can get out there. That then leads them to fabricate anti-Semitic supposition about how every tiny Leftist groups is “secretly funded by Soros” etc as they assume that they’re in some symmetric system (or “really the Right is the underdog”) and so clearly anyone who might stand up is paid to do so (because that is the game plan for many of them) - devolving into “crisis actors” supposition (which mirrors the actual fabrication tactics used by the far-Right).