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<nettime> Martin Bosma the Steve Bannon ofthe Netherlands
David Garcia on Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:45:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Martin Bosma the Steve Bannon ofthe Netherlands

Geert Wilders has his own Steve Bannon - His name is Martin Bosma an
early player

in Amsterdam's Tactical Media games.
Martin Bosma, chief ideologue and consigliere of Gert Wilders, cut his
political teeth in Amsterdam's
Tactical Media scene of the 1990s. And so when Bosma joined team
Wilders shortly after the assassination
of The van Gogh, he brought his media skills into the mix. This serves
to explain a little of how Wilders
stole the march on his rivals in effectivel surfing the chaotic
politics of the socal media era.
Outside of the Netherlands few will have heard of Bosma, even though
(in contrast to the rest of team Wilders)
he has proved himself to be a skilful and resiliant operator. As well
as being an MP for the PVV (Freedom Party)
Bosma is a successful columist and author. He is generaly considered to
be the principal ideologist and brains
behind the Wilders thrown. The closest analogy is the reationship
between Steve Bannon and Trump.
Though an over simplification it is not completely superficial as a
little known fact is that
Bosma cut his teeth in the rough and tumble world of Amsterdam's lively
"Tactical Media" scene of the 1990s.
Whilst a student of political science at Amsterdam University, Bosma
was also one of the principal anchor men
for Hoeksteen Live, an anarchic monthly cable TV program that ran
without pause for a marathon 24 hours every
transmission. It was described by its founder, artist Raul Marroquin,
as -a political program with a cultural
supplement-.  I have writen at length about this scene elsewhere (links
below). Bosma in his Hoeksteen role also
joined the a couple of Next 5 Minutes festivals..
As a program Hoeksteen was steeped in the quick and dirty camcorder and
cable TV culture that preceded
the internet revolution. But unusualy for such an experimental space it
was also full of powerful and influential
guests from all walks of life. Guests could range from cultural
luminaries such as Philip Glass and Garcia Marquez
to cabinet misinsters. Geert Lovink once described it as -low media for
high society-.. This description hints at the
truth, that what went out on TV, was less important than the social
scene that the founder, Marroquin, generated.
Into the tightly packed studios and corridors alchohol and people
flowed in equal measureas as the cultural elites
from all quarters mixed freely with the less than elites, partying
together into the small hours.
Within this melange Bosma carved out a place for himslef as the cheeky
boyish provocature. One of his high points
was ambushing the VVD (Dutch liberal Right) legend Fritz Bolkerstein,
who was clearly expecting some tactical media
lefty only to be asked by Bosma -why is the VVD so soft on communism ?
-.. it is rare to see Bolkerstein flummoxed but
he was then.
Later Bosma took his bag of tricks to The New School in New York where
he scandalised his peers by writing pro Zionist
articles for the college journal.
To be honest I (and others who knew and liked him) did not take any of
this seriously (or literally). BIG MISTAKE..
But in retrospect much of it (including the Zionism.. Wilders is very
pro-Isreal) falls into place. In some ways Bosma's
journey mirros the trajetory of other Alt.Right meme warrios described
by Florian Cramer particularly in the case of the
troll, Weev who began as a freewheeling libertarian gradually morphing
into a fully fledged white supremacist.
But some points are clear. Like Bannon, Bosma has taken lessons from
the media activists on the left and re-purposed them
for a new age. He understandood earlier than most, that the rise of
social media and other platforms had weakened
mainstream media's ability to -manufacture consent- and like Bannon he
put his media tradecraft into serving and educating
a more powerful and autocratic master. The way this enabled Wilders has
been able to reach over the heads of traditional
mainstream vectoral hierachies and power was earlier than the US and
has been widely influential beyond the Netherlands.
Ironically at a point when many on the radical left have lost faith in
the gramscian concepts of cultural hegomony and the key role
media subcultures in spreading these narratives below the radar, it is
the Right who have re-discovered these weapons. We see
this most bluntly from Andrew Beightbart's well know aphorism that
-politics is downstream from culture-. It may be too easy to say
that these are lessons we need to re-learn and quickly.Butthat doesnt
stop it being true.
For anyone interested in seeing a few pictures of Martin in the
Hoeksteen era they can be
found at http://new-tactical-research.co.uk

d a v i d  g a r c i a
d.garcia {AT} new-tactical-research.co.uk

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