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This Alt-right related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


I don't like this article[edit]

Ha ha, when I read this I seriously thought I had accidentally loaded the Unencyclopedia page for Quillette - it's so over the top. I like rational wiki (usually) so can we have a sensible page for Quillette please, written by someone who isn't obviously a jilted former lover of Clare "uber-Nazi" Lehman... — Unsigned, by: / talk

It is sensible... feel free to read her crazy articles and videos for the alt-right The Rebel Media here: Octo (talk) 19:10, 4 September 2018 (UTC)


This article is... really awful. I hadn't heard of RationalWiki until now, but it sounds like a misnomer. (talk) 00:12, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:37, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Holy Hell[edit]

This has got to be the worst think I've seen on rational wiki. Could we have some attention on this? (I'm, erm, too busy) — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Eh, well the original author is gone, but if you have something specific you want to add then perhaps someone could do something. β€” Dysk (contribs) 22:36, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
"This is the worst" is not very actionable. At the very least you'll have to describe why it's "the worst". Martin (talk) 23:38, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the anonymous commenter, in that this is the worst article I have seen on Rationalwiki. Too much ad hominem, too little actual engagement with the ideas Quillette publishes. Also, although the critique of the conservatives getting banned from Twitter article is good, listing all of the so-called "conservatives" is IMO over the top, and gives undue weight to just one Quillette article. I think that, like when the Guardian publishes controversial opinion pieces, we should not always take publication as endorsement. Like the Guardian, Quillette has been known to publish two opposing articles on the same subject - a publication that does that, obviously does not endorse both articles!--Greenrd (talk) 18:14, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
This is not the worst article I have seen, but it is due an honorable mention. Quillette has been called a "magazine obsessed with the evils of 'critical theory' and postmodernism"--two of my favorites.Ariel31459 (talk) 18:04, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
After some review, none of these complaints seem to bear any merit after comparing each one against the actual article text. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:16, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
"Quillette is a right-wing online magazine that tries to present itself as alt-center when in reality it serves to legitimise (sic) many views shared by the alt-right." True, true, but maybe correct the spelling, and use fewer vague terms.Ariel31459 (talk) 18:38, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Spelling is fine. Unless you hate the British. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:05, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Nah, in this case, the British English uses z. That's a trivial correction. But I do want to be cantankerous about the first sentence of the summary being too high level and lacking detail. What the hell, Ariel. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:11, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
And isn't it taken out of context? Right after the sentence, examples are provided, presumably to define the terms. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:13, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
The terms are vague rhetorical terms of art. Quillette obviously publishes articles some find objectionable. That does not make it "right-wing." The link goes to "rightism" leaving us to ponder its usefulness. From our article on Alt-center ..."or alt-centre is a misleading term sometimes used by HBD/race realist individuals in the alt-right community who try to present themselves as political centrists and moderates because they realise if they openly admitted having a right-wing to far-right bias, this doesn't work too well with their bullshit claims of being "objective" scientists." I emphasize that it is a misleading term, that requires political antennae not accessible to the common reader. Ariel31459 (talk) 19:42, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
they call themselves alt center, that's among their own branding, their far right and alt-right bias are really fucking plain as day. Their latest half-dozen articles include complaining a radical TERF astroturf party has received widespread disdain from actual feminists, inventing a narrative far-right Muslim anti-gay protests are "colliding protected groups"(while massively overinflating the scale of the movement), raising a shitstorm about "thoughtcrime" for a racial pseudoscience peddler, who according to the people who fired with him collaborated with nazi propogandists in writing his work in order to actively promote bigotry. That's literally from their goddamn front page. Stop covering your eyes then saying that you don't see anything wrong. There's nothing there that's not papering over alt-right bullshit. If you don't know what the term "alt right" means, that's you being willfully ignorant, not the term being vague or unclear. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:19, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm just gonna leave a Revise template on main until we can get this sorted out--Yay for me, Rbl sigpic.png RightyBlueLuigi!(Not a Mod) 20:26, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜ psst. We're not gonna get it sorted out because the complaints are all but baseless given a moment's thought. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:50, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

Noted, I will revert the edit then --Yay for me, Rbl sigpic.png RightyBlueLuigi!(Not a Mod) 21:42, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
The first article, about British politics, does a lot more explication than complaining: "This [party] failure might partly be down to mistakes made by the party’s leaders. Early on, they were criticised for failing to work effectively with other political parties and they have ruffled the feathers of longstanding feminist advocacy groups. The WEP has struggled to negotiate areas of controversy within feminism, particularly the trans issue, which has been a source of significant tension."
The second article talks about conflicts between British LGBT people and religious Muslims. Hard to tell if there is exaggeration or invention. I guess one just has to know.
Noah Carl is someone I don't know about, but I see what the problem is.
"Alt-right" is supposed to mean: a loosely connected far-right, white nationalist movement." The term would appear to be an extravagance in this context. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:14, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Loosely connected doesn't mean unconnected. The nature of their connections is exactly through publications like quillette covering them, and sharing links to each other, and stages with each other. Not traditional explicit organizational structures(and backchannel direct communication with each other to coordinate). It's asinine to claim it as a snarl word rather than a semi-coherent ideological movement, with notable members and ideas. When it became publicly clear who and what the alt-right was, almost everyone who was a major self-identified member rebranded, but the movement didn't go away. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:45, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Loosely connected means incoherent when the connection is severed; that is, when one departs from white nationalist connections. So far, there are no such connections. Moral support of an academic who deviates from the safest path around demographic sociology can get one close to the precipice, but again, as I have said, the usage appears to be extravagant. Also, they are not so much snarl words as political buzz-words, as if this wiki were some kind of manual for right thinking. The main problem with using them is the reader is asked at the outset to accept derogatory conclusions on a subject they have yet to consider. The consequence is likely to be an annoyed reader. I think it is safe to say we disagree.Ariel31459 (talk) 23:46, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
The connection isn't severed at all, and you're sandbagging. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 03:25, 1 June 2019 (UTC)


I have a very different perspective on what happened with the term "alt-right". (An outsider perspective, I want to emphasise - I'm not on the right at all.) The alt-right subreddit, and their offshoot DebateTheAltRight, revealed themselves to be full-on neo-Nazis, complete with Holocaust denialism and all, and after that almost no-one wanted to be seen as alt-right. So, whereas originally it might have been used by some journalists and bloggers as a loose category for people like Trump who didn't subscribe to mainstream conservative lines on everything, by 2019, it had been "reclaimed" by the far right to just mean neo-Nazi or white nationalist, which to me seem almost identical. So that is why IMO it is inappropriate to use the label alt-right to describe Quillette, or for that matter, anyone to the left of the BNP.--Greenrd (talk) 13:08, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Quillette regularly publishes defences of racialism/hereditarianism, in fact most its editors are hereditarians. It's undoubtedly an alt-right publication because of its fixation with race. The Trump "MAGA" crowd are in a different category, i.e. alt-lite, although both alt-lite and alt-right share some similarities and the alt-lite is widely considered an entry point for radicalisation. Most alt-righters started out as alt-lite, but then were radicalised into "race realism".Footsteps (talk) 14:37, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Race-obsessed weirdos who have published in Quillette: Nathan Cofnas, Adam Perkins, Richard Haier, Toby Young (editor), Jonathan Anomaly. Young and Anomaly are also eugenicists. If these race-fixated loons aren't "alt-right" what are they? Just view Perkins, Cofnas' Twitter accounts to see their unhealthy obsession with only race and IQ, and/or "human biodiversity", its virtually all they talk about.Footsteps (talk) 14:45, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Please note just because someone is banned doesn't mean they are wrong. β€” Dysk (contribs) 15:14, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜ This entire debate is absurd. The article is correctly sourced and correctly worded in line with our normal style using terms consistent with how we use them throughout this site. @Greenrd Stop trying to redefine the term "alt-right" based on your enlightened centrist viewpoint. I agree with everything ikanreed wrote. β€” Dysk (contribs) 15:14, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

I also agree with Dysk and Ikanreed. Quillette promotes "race realism", and that is a central characteristic of the alt right. The alt right isn't just overt neo-Nazis; some of them are more subtle with their racism. Pizza SLICE.gifDuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 16:16, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

If you guys still doubt that Quillette is a bunch of sciencey racists[edit]

Quillette resurrects 19th century racist pseudoscience skull measurements.

The primary reason that natural philosophers began to classify humans into different races is that human populations look different from one another. Their skin colors, hair textures, facial structures, and stature all differ, often in predictable ways. Furthermore, these differences reflect their divergent geographical origins. In fact, researchers can classify human variation by continent quite accurately using only data from the human skull. (They are able to correctly classify human skulls into black and white Americans with about 80% accuracy, using only two variables.)

--It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:05, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Phrenology is the pseudoscientific idea that we can determine personality traits by measuring certain regions of the skull. That quote from Quillete does not reference phrenology. Rather, it presents the much more modest idea that the bone structure of the face and skull is one of the main physical features that varies among humans (in addition to variation in soft tissues, like skin pigmentation and hair texture), that this formed part of the basis of historical racial typologies (whether or not those racial typologies are actually legitimate), and that the socially assigned "race" of an individual can be determined with a high degree of accuracy based only on craniometric information alone.... all of which is actually true, and pretty uncontroversial. I'm reminded of Creationists who try to conflate abiogenesis with the historical pseudoscience of spontaneous generation.
-- (talk) 13:08, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, all that "legitimate craniometry" in deciding the ubermensch by forehead shape. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 14:12, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
And now I'm reminded of the Creationists who try to conflate the theory of evolution with Social Darwinism. It does not follow that if a particular set of facts were once abused for racist ends, then to acknowledge the truth of those facts is necessarily an endorsement of racism (or at least "whiffs" of such an endorsement). The idea that physical features other than soft tissues vary between geographically distant populations really shouldn't be controversial, or treated as a dogwhistle for "race realism". When looking at an albino from Central Africa, you can tell at a glance that they're African and not European. If skin tone were the only visible trait upon which the socially constructed categories of "race" were premised, then your ability to do this would be a great mystery. Clearly there's a handful of physical traits that vary geographically which collectively inform our perceptions of "race", and certain craniofacial dimensions are among these. I just think we're really stretching on this phrenology/ubermensch claim. (talk) 12:15, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
Now we're just waiting for the experimentally controlled double blind paper bag test. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:44, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
I mean, craniometry or whatever, Quillette is wrong in that people are organized "predictably" and you can assess human variation just by looking at skull measurements. Craniometry can be abused for racialism and has been used to justify segregation. Why give Quillette the benefit of the doubt when it's started by an alt-righter, they defended literal white supremacists, they quoted literal historical phrenologists to support their arguments, they have eugenics supporters on board, and they publish crap on hereditarianism? I did have to adjust for some technicalities involving how phrenology was defined, but the "sciencey racists" part still seems accurate to me? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:45, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
The problem with "who cares" is that BoN cares. There's a certain degree to which obviously racist people taking obviously racist conclusions, and working backwards to build a psuedoscientific framework to make it all sound legitimate is a problem, that can't just be answered by pointing at the first two things. We do have an obligation to discuss what the psuedoscience they use is, and how long-debunked it is, and identify the ways they re-frame it to hide that.
BoN brought up creationism, and Quillette is to "scientific racism" as intelligent design is to creationism. It's a "let's cut off the parts that are dead giveaways to our endgame, use some modern scientific language, publish some legitimateish papers, and then complain that we're cut out of the mainstream by politics". Really the phrenology stuff is just "cdesign proponentists" where they slip up and include the old insane bullshit, instead of the new subtle bullshit.
It helps their case that the biological components of human behavior aren't something we have a good universal framework for understanding yet, so "genesdidit" is harder to debunk ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:03, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Also, on Quillette and harassment[edit]

Quillette author Eoin Lenihan "Progdad" tries to link journalists to antifa based on accounts journalists follow on Twitter. Link also has a link to a New Republic article on the subject. Quillette articles identifying journalists as "antifa" was also shared on Stormfront. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:25, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Can we give this drive-by vandal BoN a round of applause[edit]

On June 30th Andy Ngo (A writer for Quillette) was assaulted by antifa communist thugs. Probably the same type of people that run this site and call Quillette right wing and calls them Islamophobic when they are just writing the truth. According to a real website and not this far left junk website Irrational WIki they are viewed as "Overall, we rate Quillette Right-Center Biased based on moderately promoting political positions favored by the Right. Although they sometimes publish controversial information regarding feminism and racism, they have not failed a fact, therefore we rate them High for factual reporting"

Media Bias Fact Check, a site BoN called a "real website", now says Quillette is a questionable source, went even further than "mixed". I kinda feel it has to do in part with me updating the page at the time because I noticed that drive-by edit to disagree with Media Bias Fact Check.

This is just too delicious to not share. I'm smug as hell. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:48, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Team smug! ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:54, 1 August 2019 (UTC)


@LeftyGreenMario Who told you this is phrenology? This is just bad descriptive prose: "With his huge mop of blond hair, his tie askew and his shirt escaping from his trousers, he looked like an overgrown schoolboy. Yet with his imposing physical build, his thick neck and his broad, Germanic forehead, there was also something of Nietzsche’s Übermensch about him. You could imagine him in lederhosen, wandering through the Black Forest with an axe over his shoulder, looking for ogres to kill. This same combinationβ€”a state of advanced dishevelment and a sense of coiled strength, of an almost tangible will to powerβ€”was even more pronounced in his way of speaking."

If you just want to bash the author there is stuff: " In early January 2018, he was briefly a non-executive director on the board of the Office for Students; a controversial appointment, he resigned over a week later after misogynistic and homophobic Twitter posts were uncovered." Ariel31459 (talk) 00:39, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

@Ikanreed added the section, I just wanted to make prose-related edits. Young is a noted eugenicist, however, and the publication has advanced views that whiff of phrenology, noted in the body paragraph. It just stinks a lot here. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:48, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Here's an article with them saying a literal 19th century phrenologist's work was basically valid because they're sure criminality is biological. Will you fall on your sword now and admit that you're wrong? No. You're gonna be a fuckup again and take this petty goddamn argument all the way.
God help you if you search "physiognomy" on their site, a synonymous contemporary pseudoscientific field that they use to mean phrenology(but for real this time) because it's less famously debunked.
Sometimes I just grab you by the shoulders and shake you screaming "How. Are. You. So. Bad. At. Detecting. Far Right. Pseudoscience." It can be plain as fucking day, and you'll pedantically defend it to death like I haven't read the whole article I'm citing. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 04:19, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Listen to yourself. You're a burnout. The reference was no evidence of anything. Christ you can be a knucklehead.Ariel31459 (talk) 23:27, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Listening to myself. Checking. No, you're still full of shit in a way that reveals you to be a complete moron. I reiterate my wish about wanting to shake you and scream not to be so fucking stupid. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 00:46, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Just gonna play devil's advocate. How is quoting a 19th century phrenologist and then publishing pieces that only seem to, in a puffpiece, refer to, in passing, a guy with a "germanic forehead", means they are phrenology supporters? They did cast aside Lombroso's views and condemn it as "motivated by racial animus" (that's a mouthful to say "racist"), but they promoted the idea of "biological criminality", with nice words like how they penned his ideas, based on phrenology and physiognomy, as "revolutionary" rather than the more accurate "radical"; "revolutionary" implies Lombroso achieved a scientific breakthrough when it's just a racist pseudoscience that was abandoned. Quillette did seem to lament that the idea of biological criminality is casted aside later and the article constantly makes me feel uneasy like it's a mask for hereditarianism, a gate for eugenics, but it's not quite explicit. I looked up "physiognomy" and aside from the one that was shared, there was an article promoting "cultural nationalism" directly refers to "physiognomy" only in passing as well. It's full of a flawed "both siders" premise. But it's a pretty alarming take to say "humans historically rely on cohesiveness of ideology and physical appearance and that led to successful societies since it promotes cooperation so we need to be cultural nationalists (which sounds a lot like promoting ideological purity and the flawed and disastrous us-vs-them; they did say ethnic/racial cohesion wouldn't work a few times)". It sounds like a stretch to try to apply evopsyc, with wolf cooperation and tribe mechanisms as an example, to modern society. Then there's an article on differences between men and women and can't say it's relevant? Anyway, that's all three results I got from searching simply "physiognomy" and I can't say it's super damning. Both two articles are bad, but the criminality one seems relevant and is the most suspicious one, but you already shared it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:42, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

@Greenrd what was this amazing edit supposed to be except letting them off the hook? β€” Dysk (contribs) 09:20, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

It was supposed to be acknowledging that they don't do phrenology.--Greenrd (talk) 10:28, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
But the initial revision already went into the craniometry part? I called it "dubious racialist craniometry". --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 17:40, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Anyway, I still feel it's a bit of a leap to be confident about them advancing phrenology, so I limited to just critics accusing them as so. What I know so far is that they're indeed a bunch of crap, but I'm still on the fence if they really said or hinted (at length) at something like "skull shape can predict personality traits" which phrenology is. I do know scientific racists these days tend to be more underhanded about things, just don't know if they're really disguising phrenology or just trying to hide general racialist bullshit (which doesn't have to include phrenology) behind craniometry. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:43, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


Probably not worth adding to the article, because they retracted the hoax as soon as enough people were mocking them for publishing it(which took less than 24 hours), but they published a piece about how a construction worker "leaving the DSA" full of clearly and purposefully inaccurate statements. In spite of the writer failing their identity verification, they published the piece anyways. And added their own untrue elaborations. Jacobin article on the event ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:28, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Quillette's editor has denied the accusations of untrue elaborations:
-Greenrd (talk) 07:46, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Oh, so now Quillette's integrity is more important than the random claims of an anonymous source. If what she says is true, she can release her own fucking copy of the correspondence. It's a completely unnecessary shifting of burden of proof suggesting that it's 100% true to me. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:43, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Problem with climate change denial section[edit]

Michael Shellenberger is not a climate change denialist - far from it. He has worked on climate change mitigation. Check him out:

Also the source is wise international... which is anti nuclear organization worthy of being added into

Here is wikipedia page of wise:

As a curiosity: they are funded by renewable energy industry, as you can see from their pages:

I decided to change the name of the section into "Environmental contrarianism". It is ridiculous to blame Shellenberger of climate change denial - or at least in that section there was zero evidence of that. — Unsigned, by: 2001:14ba:1f7:6700:2c6b:1b88:cd0c:c836 / talk / contribs

Sure thing, on further investigation it appears Shellenberger is simply an ecomodernist. β€” Dysk (contribs) 22:56, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, doesn't seem accurate to call him one. Maybe his proposed solutions and critique isn't accurate (who knows, I don't have a stance on ecomodernism and I don't know if RationalWiki has one), but he seems to acknowledge climate change anyway. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:57, 25 August 2019 (UTC)