Than actually develop a technological and artistic counterculture:
The culture leans sharply left, and in our current, highly-polarized political climate that means conservatives in the arts tend to be treated as outsiders at best and pariahs at worst. Listen to the personal experiences of conservatives in Hollywood, for example, whether “above the line” (the stars, producers and directors) or below it (the rest of the crew), and you will understand why most keep their politics in the closet to avoid bad vibes, ostracism, and/or outright hostility. The left, of course, dismisses complaints of blacklisting and bias as paranoid whining, but they are very real indeed.
The publishing world is not exempt from this state of affairs. When conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s new book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left appeared at Number seven on The New York Times bestseller list, despite actually having outsold all fourteen of its competitors on the list, D’Souza called out the Times on Twitter: “In what alternative universe do Jeff Flake’s 7,383 book sales for this week (BookScan data) top mine at 11,651? Thanks @nytimes fake list!”
This was far from the first time conservative authors had called foul about their books’ rankings on the Times’ all-important bestseller list. Cortney O’Brien at Townhall pointed to another noteworthy recent example: Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, by co-author couple Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney. A horrifying exposé of the dark(er) side of the abortion industry, the top-selling Amazon release was perceived by some as an attack on the left’s sacred cow of abortion rights. The New York Times did have the book at Number 13 on its “Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction” list, but did not place Gosnell at its deserved Number four slot among bestselling nonfiction titles.
“It’s not only an insult to the people who have bought this book,” McElhinney said “but an insult to the readers of the New York Times who buy the newspaper and think they are getting the truth about book sales across America but instead get false facts disguised as a neutral list.”
A Times spokesman insisted that the “political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings, and the notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous.”
Ludicrous? The Times says its list is based on “surveys” of “a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week. These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.”
Notice how there is not a single mention of any writer, musician, artist, or publishing company that doesn’t subsist on parasitizing the Left in this conservative call for conservatives to “create great art, and secondly, create alternative distribution channels to disseminate it”. No mention of Chuck Dixon. No mention of Owen Stanley. No mention of Castalia, Arkhaven, or UATV. Conservative culture consists of nothing but talking about how bad the Left is; it is a literally negative culture.
Now, perhaps the author just hasn’t heard of any of those people and organizations who are already doing what he is calling for. But from what I’ve seen over the last five years, conservatives would rather cry about being prevented from editing Wikipedia than edit Infogalactic. They’d rather complain about Neil Gaiman than read John C. Wright. And they’d rather criticize the Devil Mouse’s demolition of Star Wars than invest in making alternatives.
So, we’ll just keep working, and building, and publishing great stories about the Good, the Beautiful, and the True until the day that conservatives start complaining about how we aren’t listening to their very helpful advice.