GUEST COMMENTARY - Andrew Tate is a predatory capitalist who has a divine mission to save the world: if men will simply follow his lead and “man-up” they can escape The Matrix and become extremely wealthy at the same time.
Tate himself is equally proud of how he rose from poverty to make his first million by “monetizing girls”: that is by grooming young women to be part of his “pimp game”/ ”Cam Empire.” In Tate’s 2022 book, The Tate Bible, he elaborates on these halcyon pimping days saying that at one point:
“I had 75 girls who would do, like, one shift a week, or three days a week, or seven days a week.” In his Bible, which is more accurately described as a compilation of his online misogyny and much more reactionary nonsense besides, he reflects that managing so many women was not easy: so…
“Eventually I had to cut it down to a special-forces team of around eight girls. And that’s where I made my most money. When I had four girlfriends, and my brother had four girlfriends. Me and my brother, with eight women living in one house. And all the women adored us. And they obeyed us. And at the peak, I was turning over 400 grand a month with eight girls.”
The subject of the wielding of power over women remains a recurring obsession for Tate, which in addition to making him millions, is, he claims, the best means of helping aspiring men (and women) to escape The Matrix. Although he likes to pretend to be doing something novel in saving men from themselves, this is not the case. Tate is merely regurgitating the conservative arguments that been readily popularized by the corporate media for decades. These include recycled arguments from the longstanding darling of the misogynistic men’s rights movement, Warren Farrell, author of many bestselling books, the most famous one being Myth of Male Power: Why Men are the Disposable Sex (Simon and Schuster, 1993).
In one of the many, many long interviews that Tate has given in recent months, last October he stated:
“In terms of making money, it’s easier than it has ever been. We live in a global marketplace now, you can reach the world, and all you have to do is have a message that’s worth making people listen too. The hard part about making money today is that we live in an attention economy. You have to garner attention from people. It’s difficult right, because anyone can start a YouTube channel, but it’s getting the views that’s hard… [But] It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you can attention you can make money.”
Garnering controversial attention happens to one of Tate’s primary success stories. He did this by making misogynistic social media content: the most offensive parts of which were then promoted as short clips on TikTok (and other social media platforms) by the thousands of subscribers to his Hustler’s University as part of a dubious advertising campaign that was supposed to help them get rich.
Although it is not clear exactly how many people have subscribed to Tate’s get-rich training platform known as Hustler’s University — individuals (whose number was apparently in excess of 100,000 during some months last year) paid Tate $49.99 a month. These supporters were then incentivized to generate Tate social media clips which were accompanied by an advert/link back to Hustler’s University: the small financial incentive being that if they succeeded in generating a new subscriber to Tate’s pyramid scheme then they would get a one-off $25 payment. (Now Tate has made his fame, this affiliate scheme no longer operates.)
In many ways Tate’s highly lucrative hustle is little different from that of fellow manosphere leader Mike Cernovich — an alt-right grifter who, in 2015, published his own self-help text as Gorilla Mindset: How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions, Improve Your Health and Fitness, Make More Money and Live Life on Your Terms. Cernovich famously went on to be a leading advocate of the Pizzagate conspiracy which revolved around false accusations that the Democrats were running a pedophile ring, and not coincidently Cernovich remains close to Tate’s inner circle. (By way of a clear example, Cernovich’s podcasting cohost, Mike Bolen, attended one of Tate’s special “War Room” summits in 2019.)
Another individual who seems to have played a critical role in driving forward Tate’s money-making empire is an individual whose twitter name is Iggy Semmelweis, a man who describes himself as “Shi Yan Hui – Priest Master of Wudan Monastery.” Showing where his own political interests lie, just last week Iggy tweeted that Jeffrey “Epstein was but one tendril of a very large and ugly parasitic monstrosity perpetrated on humanity by the most reprehensible elements of The Matrix: Organized Satanic Pedophilic Trafficking Groups.” This is classic distillation of Pizzagate/QAnon rhetoric.
Notably Iggy’s Wudan name relates back to Andrew Tate’s memories of co-writing a series of stories with his father which he called the “Tales of Wudan” – tales which the father and son had worked on collaboratively via social media while Tate was traveling the world as a professional kickboxer. Tate’s father passed away a few years later, in late 2015, but Tate had already been heavily influenced by his father’s own paranoid outlook on life. This is because his semi-famous chess-playing father, had, while serving in the US Air Force become was a devout believer in conspiracies. His son would say that his father’s dark “predictions” of elite manipulators were ahead of his time, but in reality such conspiracies had been common currency in America for decades (for more on this see my article, “Military conspiracies and QAnon’s fascist roots”).
To provide just a few examples of the conspiratorial outlook that was maintained by Tate’s father, in February 2013 his father tweeted: “It appears the insanity of the ruling elite is exposed worldwide now. They will kill you. Keep your mouths shut, behave as sheep. #sadlife” (Last month this tweet was reposted on twitter by Tate.) As part of a long stream of related posts, a couple of months later his father wrote: “The soft underbelly of the “New World Order” is exposed-“CONNECTED” people steal all wealth. Idiots march in lockstep. Mimic then DIE#zombie”. This type of paranoia was evidently passed on to the younger Tate, who in a podcast explained:
“I have always had an enemy. In my entire life I was always fighting against something, whether it was an opponent, or even being broke – I was fighting against being poor – I have always lived waking up every day feeling like I had an enemy at the gate. And that is the only way that I feel comfortable, and now the new enemy is The Matrix and the New World Order, and it is my imperative to speak the truth and make my God happy with me, and my ancestors happy with me, including my father, by standing up for what I believe is truly right.”
But despite Tate’s longstanding friendships with all manner of far-right activists (including the notorious far-right activist Tommy Robinson, who, like Tate grew up in Luton), last September, shortly before he converted to become a Muslim, Tate said in an interview that…
“I have recently become apolitical. I have so little faith in either side of the system that I am absolutely and utterly apolitical. I do not have any opinions on anything. I am an apolitical person, because I feel like it is two sides of the same coin.”
However, when pushed by his friendly interviewer he added:
“I think from an ideological perspective, I think it is nice to have certain figures, because it certainly inspires the moral of the sensible as opposed to the moral of the insane. I believe that. However, I believe that the power structures are set up in such a way that the President doesn’t truly matter.”
Tate then went on to make the point that Putin was a “misunderstood man” who “genuinely cares about Russians and Russia” and “for that I respect him.”
Just two months later, and now a happy Muslim, in another interview, when asked about what he thought about the “woke left versus Jordan Peterson” Tate replied: “The woke left are hateful people; Jordan Peterson is extremely intelligent,” before adding: the woke left “are hate filled, feral psychopaths.” Also, when asked in the same interview about Alex Jones being sued for lying about the Sandy Hook shooting, Tate simply said that he didn’t know about the specifics of that case, before saying about Jones: “No one is right all the time. He is a conspiracy theorist, but he is right 99% of the time.”
During most of Tate’s recent online interviews, the open misogynist rarely talks about his own political influences, other than that of his father. However, many of Tate’s talking points remain eerily close to another world-famous nonsense-monger, also from Britain, the hugely popular conspiracist David Icke. Icke, like Tate, opposes both vaccines and the so-called pedophilic Satanists controlling the so-called Matrix, and so it is fitting that like Icke, Tate professes to be beyond politics while simultaneously regurgitating all manner of far-right arguments while maintaining close personal friendships with all many of far-right activists (see “Understanding the role of right-wing conspiracies in the covid pandemic”).
But while Tate had weaponized his high media profile to promote well-rehearsed rightwing talking points about family values – something that he has in common with both the American far-right and with Putin – Iggy, Tate’s personal Wudan wizard, has been more forthcoming in advertising his personal political influences. Thus, last October Iggy tweeted:
“I read my first David Icke book – The Robot’s Rebellion – in early 1995 and have studied all his books since.
“Inspiring, compelling, and RELENTLESSLY UPBEAT about Humanity’s ultimate VICTORY over its Frankist-Ashkenazi-Sabbatean Overlords, he’s one of my favorite PRESENTers.”
The Capitalist Roots of Conspiracism
But while we should always fight against open misogynists like Andrew Tate and his “War Room” consorts like Iggy, especially when they serve to popularize reactionary conspiracy theories, we must look deeper still to really deal with these problems. And here we should reserve our most scathing criticisms for the capitalist institutions that actively contribute towards creating a climate which enables such nonsense to flourish in the first place. Powerful agenda-setting institutions including not least the mainstream media must be held to account, as there can be no doubting that they continue to impose the ruling-classes’ own distorted and disempowering version of reality upon the world.
The corporate media’s anti-democratic ambition is achieved in a variety of ways: for a start, such media outlets are nothing but consistent in their attacks upon popular movements and in opposing any trade unionists who attempt to unite the working-class against their capitalist oppressors. In this way, it is apparent that capitalist institutions — the real Matrix — continue to conspire to delegitimize working-class voices at the same time that the gulf between the billionaire-class and the rest of us grows ever wider. So, is it really any wonder that devoid of a mainstream media that reflects their reality, that millions of ordinary people have turned to conspiracy theories to help them understand their lives?
Andrew Tate is wrong on so many levels, and we should always call out those who promote misogyny and other far-right obsessions, but we should understand that the deeper causes for the popularity of such reactionary nonsense ultimately derives from the class nature of society. This is why, for all those who are truly interested in promoting a democratic and socialist society for all, it is essential that such class issues are tackled head-on. It is the ruling class who profit from the continuing public confusion about the paranoid conspiracies of the far-right. And it is this billionaire-class and their allies in the corporate media who are quite happy to engage in lies and diversionary tactics to prevent the rest of us from focusing on the single most important issue that holds back all our lives… capitalism.
(Michael Barker is the author of Under the Mask of Philanthropy (2017). This article was first featured in CounterPunch.org.)