Trump’s rise obliterated neoconservatism, and cemented the Alternative Right as the political movement du jour. What exactly is the Alt-Right, who is it, and what does this mean for the future of politics in the U.S.?
The “Alt Right” is a term used more today than ever before. Trump’s campaign is rooted in Alt Right philosophies and dogma. If you only read liberal media, you probably think that the alt-right is a neo-fascist, neo-nazi, white supremacist movement seeking to undo civil rights and equal protections. Like anything though, the truth isn’t so simple.
First let’s look closely at the Alt-Right. There are four parts to the movement as it is:
Paleoconservatism is probably the best home for the Alt-Right in the pantheon of political labels. Some of the notable intellectuals of the Alt-Right are:
Jared Taylor – white nationalist and Executive Editor of the website, American Renaissance
Richard Spencer – Identitarian, and President of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think-tank in Washington DC
H.L. Mencken – anti-semite, white nationalist, racist… and I think he did some writing also.
Julius Evola – neofascist, antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular Italian philosopher
Sam Francis – paleoconservative journalist
Steve Sailor – Alt-Right blogger
The Meme Brigade
You hear about these folks more than any others on the Alt-Right. These are the people who brought you Gamergate, who attacked Leslie Jones, and are responsible for years of hateful, disgusting, trolling of women and people of color all over the internet – and especially places like 4chan. I’d say the jury is out whether they actually believe the hate, or just get off on being hateful. Not that it matter a bit if you’re in their crosshairs.
Donald Trump has been an avatar of their ideology: Say whatever the hell you want, about whoever you want, and never apologize. They’re a big part of his success in this campaign and we can think him for getting them politically engaged. If not for Donald Trump, these dudes would still be fapping away at their keyboards, anonymously hate-trolling women on Twitter.
This is what you think the Alt-Right is if you only follow liberal media. These are the hateful, nasty, confederate flag and swastika sporting poster children of this political movement, even though they don’t have great numbers. In fact, most Alt-Righters wish the 1488ers didn’t exist.
1488ers want to destroy people who aren’t straight and white. I don’t think I need to tell you much more about them.
The Natural Conservatives
This is the “mainstream” of the Alt-Right, and is actually who you should think of when you think of them. They’re tribalist, protectionist, and isolationist. They reject individualism, egalitarianism, social progress, and diversity, in favor of homogeneity, stability, hierarchy, and familiarity.
If the 1488ers hate and want to destroy people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folks, etc – then natural conservatives are made uncomfortable by and want to avoid them. That means closing the borders, eliminating protections for vulnerable people, and shutting down entitlements. To preserve their culture and way of life, they will often vote or act against their own economic and social interests.
The Alt-Right believes there is a crisis in our country. That their way of life is at risk, being threatened daily by the scourge of diversity, political correctness, immigration, etc. They rage against identity politics as a great enemy of their heritage, individualism a great evil.
Their crisis is not actually identity politics, it is their own lack of identity. American whites no longer have an ethnic or cultural home. We have only the plastic facade of our own marketing of the American Dream mythos. White people assimilated themselves to the consumer culture so well that they left no shred of anything else to hold onto. Whiteness isn’t actually a thing, after all, no homeland, no history, no songs, and no stories – nothing to be proud of, nothing to mourn. So the perception that non straight white people are going to ruin everything they’ve worked so hard for is a sort of sick projection of their inner dialog around their loss of a sense of place or cultural purpose.
The Alt-Right movement, and Trump – I think – is a last gasp of American White Maleness as dominator. This is not the start of a political revolution, this is the death of a dynasty.