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The Alt Right Means White Nationalism . . . or Nothing at All

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ControlledDemolitionHillary Clinton’s Alt Right speech was a complete dud. It probably did not harm Trump or help Hillary, since Trump voters either don’t care about the Alt Right or look favorably upon it, while the only people susceptible to Hillary’s scare-mongering were already going to vote for her.

I had, however, hoped that Hillary’s speech would at least bring new attention to Alt Right websites like Counter-Currents. But although there was a jump in our traffic last Thursday and Friday, it had more to do with the fact that I had written an article on Hillary’s speech than with the speech itself. All my articles produce similar jumps in traffic (as do Gregory Hood’s).

At least as far as Counter-Currents is concerned, there is no evidence of a Hillary bump. And this is actually consistent with past experience. Counter-Currents has been mentioned and linked in the mainstream press. I can see exactly how many people follow those links to our site, and it is usually minuscule. In fact, based on their comment sections, when I publicize these links to our readers, the mainstream media gets more readers from Counter-Currents than vice versa.

The explanation for this is simple. The smug, middlebrow, newspaper-reading public lacks intellectual curiosity. They are content to “Wow, just wow” and then click for more prolefeed rather than venture into the great unknown. Yes, our movement and influence are still growing, but mainstream media attention has surprisingly little to do with it. Which is one more reason to simply ignore their media and keep building our own.

Nevertheless, in the wake of Hillary’s speech, there was a buzz of social media activity, in which a number of people embraced the term “Alt Right.” But they either did not know what it means, or they simply wanted to redefine it in terms of . . . surprise . . . the various currents of the mainstream Right that we saw fit to discard long ago, such as civic nationalism and libertarianism.

Naturally, many bona fide Alt Rightists are alarmed at the prospect of our movement being co-opted or hollowed out by entryists and carpet-baggers just as we are starting to get more mainstream attention. Initially, I dismissed this fear, for four reasons.

First, mainstream media attention probably matters less than we think it does.

Second, the whole point of the “Alt Right” is to be a broad umbrella term for ideological tendencies that reject mainstream American conservatism. The Alt Right is thus defined in terms of what it is not rather than in terms of what it is. It has no “essence,” so what is the point of arguing about what it “really” is?

Third, instead of defending the vacuous “Alt Right,” I prefer to defend more concrete positions: White Nationalism (including its self-evident corollary anti-Semitism) and the New Right. Defending these positions has two advantages. First, they state my actual beliefs. Second, I defy any libertarian or civic nationalist to co-opt them.

Fourth, if we actually join battle against these entryists and carpet-baggers, we will end up defending White Nationalism, anti-Semitism, and the like anyway. So why worry about the Alt Right moniker? Just focus on the substance.

However, there’s another way of looking at this. Granted, the Alt Right “brand” is largely empty, aside from the fact that it negates the conservative mainstream. But meaning, like nature, abhors a vacuum. So someone will eventually endow the Alternative Right with a positive content. So it might as well be me.

This content will, to a great extent, be socially constructed. Meaning that people can try to offer any definition they want, but unless it is widely accepted by others, it does not matter. Thus, for a proposed meaning to stick, it must either come from someone relatively authoritative, or it must be immediately compelling, or both.

My definition meets both criteria, so here goes: the Alternative Right means White Nationalism — or it means nothing at all.

The original concept of the Alternative Right emerged from paleoconservatism. (I prefer to call it “faileoconservatism,” an evaluation that is even shared by paleocon pioneer Paul Gottfried, who declared the end of paleoconservatism and called for an “Alternative Right” in the same 2008 H. L. Mencken Club speech.)

Like paleoconservatism, the Alternative Right was simply a way that timid, status-conscious conservatives could flirt with racism and even anti-Semitism while maintaining some sort of pretense of mainstream credibility.

But when Richard Spencer started the Alternative Right webzine in 2010, the principal funders and writers regarded it simply as a vehicle for White Nationalist entryism, and they would have blown it up rather than see it become anything else. Today’s White Nationalists need to take the same strongly proprietary attitude toward the Alternative Right. It is a vehicle of White Nationalism, and we will give it the Howard Roark treatment if it is hijacked from us. Full stop. (Spencer himself torched the Alt Right webzine in 2013 for very different reasons.)

But we also need to remember that the Alt Right will not serve as a tool of White Nationalist entryism and outreach if we drive out everyone who is not a White Nationalist. Converts, by definition, don’t already believe what we believe. Thus purging the Alt Right of people who are not already White Nationalists is ultimately self-defeating.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go forth into battle and make this concept of the Alternative Right the dominant one. That is all.




  1. Ogier the Dane
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    The alternative right is the hill I’m fighting from.

    I’m all in. Hail victory!

  2. StormWag
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    So you’re admitting the phrase was coined by a Jew but somehow it stands for White Nationalism including anti-Semitism.

    Yeah that makes total sense.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:10 am | Permalink

      It does now. You may be a little thick for this.

      • StormWag
        Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        You don’t see the hypocrisy of the “no Jews in our movement even though our movement was given its name by a Jew” position? OK.

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted August 30, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          No I certainly don’t, and why would it matter if it were true?

    • Ogier the Dane
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      The phrase “anti-semitism” was coined by a jew, so that makes it a pro-semitic phenomenon.

      Makes total sense to a storm fag.

    • cecilhenry
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      A rose by any other name……

      Alt-right is what WE say it is. It not above a word.

  3. Ben
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I just listened to an npr podcast with Jared Taylor attempting to explain the alt right. One speaker (not Jared Taylor) declared the alt right isn’t so much white nationalism as it is wasp nationalism, because there are little to no Catholics in the movement. I’ve never heard this interpretation. Mr. Johnson, does this have any merit in your estimation? How would anyone even know there are no alt right white Catholics? Is there an anti-papist element of the alt right? Can a white Hispanic be a white nationalist?

    Anyway, that’s all I have. I’m curious to read any feedback, and yes I am a white nationalist of Catholic background.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I wish you could provide the name of the speaker. This is one of the stupider things I have heard in the recent discussions. The backbone of WN in America is “ethnic” Catholics, not WASPs, but the larger truth is that Christianity of any stripe is increasingly less important in our cause, and religion more broadly as well. People who want to inject old religious conflicts into our movement are frowned upon in the same as people who promote Old World ethnic conflicts. They are seen as sowers of discord, whereas white unity in the face of a much greater enemy is our goal.

  4. Luka
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Greg, people have been to long circulating around Alt-Right “brand name”, trying to define it, when in fact, it’s obvious what it is – It’s American name for radical right. Europe always had radical right present in politics, but in USA, those parties somehow always remained too obscure. The rightmost idea was some kind of libertarianism bundled with lost cause of Confederacy i suppose.

    Threat from being co-opted by moderate right is minimal. The greatest threat is being co-opted by people who shill for Israel and delusional idea of alliance with them against Muslims, and other kind of subversive trolls, that includes “Ultra-conservative Catholics”, a fancy name for autistic passive-agressive agitators who would hesitate to deport Latinos, and cultivate some kind of inexplicable contempt for strong state and it’s leaders.

    My two cents.

    • Lyle Bright
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      It is an interesting question group of questions. If the ‘Alt-Right’ is really, in America, a rising consciousness of a radical right, must it necessarily be a white identity movement and must it necessarily be an American white nationalist’s movement?

      It seems to me that a movement that is strictly white identity and white nationalism cannot really be linked with the radical right of Europe, as that between the 2 world wars, unless it has a more developed political and economic position.

      In my own case, and if I were to speak of sentiments (somatic feelings if you will) I am aware that what I desire as a white person is an essentially white community, and this also means that I do not desire to share space with ethnicities I do not like. Yet it is not so much not to like them as to understand that with them I cannot really achieve much. And by this I mean a restructuring of society, of value, of cultural identity, and I would also say or morality.

      Yet when I think of such an ‘ethnostate’ I must admit that I cannot quite see how it would come into being. Reading Guillaume Faye I might agree that radical change will come about likely as a result of radical disruption and crisis. But how would a white ethnostate be constructed from within America? It could only occur through a massive civil dissent, something like secession.

      History is long and, again thinking of Faye, history is not yet ended! But I struggle to see how such a secession will come about. I am certainly open to hearing ideas about it.

      In my own mind, and I say this as one with limited experience within this movement (and thus my thoughts are tentative) it seems to me that one vastly important aspect of this movement, that is a white identity movement, is repairing the relationship to whiteness. I wrote in my notebook this AM:

      One way to revive an ‘American revolutionary nationalism’ is to revive a white identity project with the stated intent of establishing white nationalism. To involve: academics, writers, journalists, politicians, philosophers and historians (and business people?) Goal: to reassert white identity and white self-valuation. To validate it 100% and rescue it from the slow death it exists in. It must be established as a norm, and as the ‘real’ foundation of America: the white European English original Americans. That is America. And that is American nationalism.

      This will amount to a civil revolution, there is no other way that it will come about.

  5. Posted August 30, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    It’s a little scary but it makes sense.

  6. Madison Pinchot
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Why did Spencer torch Alternative Right?

  7. JL
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    “This content will, to a great extent, be socially constructed. Meaning that people can try to offer any definition they want, but unless it is widely accepted by others, it does not matter. Thus, for a proposed meaning to stick, it must either come from someone relatively authoritative, or it must be immediately compelling, or both.”

    So it is not compelling to you, that Trump rallied millions and millions of Americans who many began to self identify themselves with an ‘alternative right’, that is alternative to the GOP. This movement coincidentally sharing the vast majority of sentiment with the existing ‘alt-right’ then collided with it. Many of these people have only just discovered what the existing alt-right stands for. Erroneously the media associated Trump’s rise with the alt-right, however I am sure you are aware those kinds of numbers did not exist in the pre-Trump alt-right. Now certainly this is an opportunity to recruit for your cause, but by now you notice that the majority of the millions in this invasive group do not share your ultimate ideals. However, this influx dwarfs the numbers you had before Trump. I appreciate that while this new group may share 90% of your sentiment it fails to accept the foundation of your argument. However there are lots of possibilities with a constituency that accepts most of what you say. An endless number of scenarios short of white utopia… or the white ethnostate. It seems that Trumps alt-right can easily steal this definition of alt-right

    Also about the meaning of alt-right you state ‘ It has no “essence,” so what is the point of arguing about what it “really” is?” but then you proceed to proclaim it’s White Nationalism.

    Lastly, maybe I have missed it, but even if you accept the premise of race you don’t necessarily draw the conclusion that you need to live in a white ethnostate. At least not all whites will draw this conclusion.

    Thanks for you work.

    • Lyle Bright
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      My own impression is that as much as I agree with some (was it Greg Johnson or Richard Spencer?) who said that ‘Trump opened political space’, I have a very hard time having any level of trust and to a notable degree of respect for Donald Trump. I have no idea what his political ideology is, and I have no idea where he actually stands in relation to either ‘white identity’ or to the counter-project of that which is assigning value to other ethnicities.

      Frankly I do not understand him and more often than not he seems incoherant. The interpretation I make of him — of his advent as it were — is somewhat social-psychological: he is a ‘manifestation’ of an unstated desire in what appears to be a predominantly white community of persons, yet these persons are inarticulate. Perhaps they feel something and perhaps it is ‘white identity’ in essence, but I have doubts that *they* have done the philosophical world and the historical research to be able to articulate their racialistic perspectives.

      If what I observe is so, it is possible to suggest that Trump the man may not at all be a valuable event for radical right, for white nationalism, or for a white nationalism movement. It is possible that he may end up doing harm if he fails as an elected president and if, or perhaps when, an entire establishment turns against him.

      It has occurred to me that Trump is not the man to fulfil the role that many might wish or hope of him. If he ‘opens political space’ and allows a more articulate and an ideologically prepared faction into the political world, that would indeed be an achievement.

      Just to have opened political space may be the most he will be able to achieve. But perhaps he will surprise everyone and actually win the election. Man proposes, history disposes.

  8. Peter
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The anti-semitism that occurs in the “alt right” is exagerated. The Ashkenazi jews are the only ethnic minority that really became westerners. They embraced so good the westerner ethos, that this produce so strong resentments. I think that it´s much more realistic to accept then as whites. The jewish organizations are madly afraid that the jews are assimilating estremely fast in America. With no less than 72% of non-orthodox jews (90% of jewish total population) marrying with gentiles, and with time abandoning judaism. In the other side, the majority of the orthodox sect are so stupid as pentecostal evangelicals. The really damaging influence of the jews in western civilization was done 1700 years ago with christianity, that happily the white people are abandoning.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I have banned this commenter. But I am letting his comment stand as an example of the kind of obviously bad-faith, obviously English-as-a-distant-second language philo-Semitic or crypto-Jewish trolling that has intensified since the Hillary speech. I am sure there is a whole office in Israel or Russia where this trolling is orchestrated.

      • Vcaine
        Posted August 30, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Mr johnson.

      • A Serb
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Wait, why Russia?. (serious question)

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Because Russia employs armies of internet trolls and wishes to harm both the United States and ethnonationalism as a broader principle.

          • A Serb
            Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            Russians have their troll armies, yes. Do they see USA as an opponent in world affairs? Yes. They use every tool they have to gain the advantage but I would not think of it as something sinister, it’s just superpower rivalry – one that was always there. But Russia as someone who is harming ethnonationalism as a broader principle? Kinda stretched, various interests and people usually accuse Russia of supporting and financing ethnonationalist movements.

            • Greg Johnson
              Posted September 6, 2016 at 2:14 am | Permalink

              Russia is a multinational empire. Of course they are opposed to ethnonationalism, which would argue for the independence of Ukraine or the Chechens. Russians disdain ethnonationalists in Ukraine as Nazis, while at the same time corrupting ethnonationalists in the West, who have put themselves in the odd position of praising Nazis in the West and cheering Putin’s anti-Nazi campaign in Ukraine. That insults my intelligence, but obviously mileage does vary.

          • Clarke
            Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

            Russia? Against ethnonationalism? Why would it be? After Communism, Russia continues to push itself further and further into traditional values, so I can’t possibly see why the concept of ethnonationalism would be distasteful to them.

            As for “harming America,” don’t you think that they have just reason to? The US has vilified it all over again, despite post-USSR Russia having no reason to dislike the US, and tremendous amount of reason to not try to mess about with the US, since Russia is far weaker militarily and is too busy trying to rebuild itself properly after the collapse of the Soviet Union to want to launch itself into a war with it. At every turn, you have American politicians blaming Russia for things without a modicum of proof, and opposing Russia in all things, even when Russia is in the right (such as Russia annexing Crimea).

            Now, look at the United States. It’s Jew-run by far and, what a coincidence, there’s a Jew-like motive for fighting Russia: Russia is going against all of the plans the Jews have for globalism, Middle-Eastern money-making, and white destruction.

            I’m not even Russian, but rather a native American still living in America, but if you think Russia not operating in the interests is a bad thing, keeping in mind that America’s actions for the last two decades at minimum have been ENTIRELY Jewish rather an American, then I simply don’t know what to tell you, Greg.

  9. Paul Murray
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Mr. Johnson:
    Regarding your “call to arms” to make alt-right dominant, I reply that there is a current battle that is more immediate and urgent. We have 70 days to change the course of history. All of your readers should be urged to actively join Republican efforts to elect Donald Trump, not just vote or make comments on the Internet. That means switching registration to Republican, and devoting time. He needs people devoted to working door to door, and willing to volunteer as election judges and poll watchers. The alternative to Trump means the alt-right will be shut down as hate speech before the end of Hillary’s first term.

  10. Lyle Bright
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I think that was very nicely put. It is now and will be in the future an essential aspect of New Right positions to accurately, clearly and forcefully describe things in ‘radically clear terms’ and with propoer nomenclature.

    A pithy quote from Pieree Kreb’s ‘Fighting for the Essence:

    “The necessity of this re-questioning regarding our roots corresponds in fact to an urgent need to restore to order ideas and certain facts, a prophylactic measure that the mind adopts when the discussions of the age, on account of being burdened with taboos and obscured by dogmas, have ended up completely falsifying the etymology of words, distorting their meaning and perverting reason. For this age is not only vile, it is mad. We wish to say thereby that egalitarian reasoning, by walking on its head, has indeed turned the world upside down. Evola had already luminously predicted it: ‘Western civilisation needs a complete overhaul or it will fall apart one day or another. It has realised the most complete perversion of any rational order of things. Reign of matter, of gold, of machine, of number, it no longer possesses breath, or liberty, or light.’

    I’d have to mull it over a bit more in order to be sure that the central aspect of the ‘Alt-Right’ is ‘White Nationalism’.

    I think it might be fair to say that a commitment to ‘white nationalism’ will flow naturally from a fundamental and profound restructuring of our relationship to the present: metaphysically, biologically, culturally and philosophically. It seems that the work of reorientation comes first and that white identity flows from that.

    In any case, the two are unquestionably linked in mutual dependency.

  11. Bantz Henriksen
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    If Jews trying entryism use Gottfried as an excuse of why they can be Alt-Right too, we need to be ready.

    (1) The term has taken on a life of its own and no longer signifies the same thing Gottfried was calling for.

    (2) Gottfried himself effectively disavowed the Alt-Right when responding that he was not Alt-Right to a journalist (see his latest article).

    (3) The origins of Alt-Right lie at the old Alternative Right site– and with WN and the New Right– not with paleoconservatism or any other attempts to restart liberalism from the beginning.

    • uh
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I think dragging Gottfried into it was just a weak way to avoid giving Spencer – and real WN – too much validation, and giving conservatives an approachable frame of reference. If anyone has tried to hog the spotlight, it’s Yiannopoulos.

  12. Franklin Ryckaert
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Alternative Right = White Nationalism = ethno-nationalism for Whites (including hostility to its enemies).

  13. uh
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    It is aggravating that the “alt right” is getting all the credit when WN has been a thing for almost 60 years. I can see the frustration in your words.

    It also doesn’t matter what the name is; if it reaches the awareness of the proles, it will be co-opted by moderates and cucks. Because the majority of whites – of any people – are moderates and cucks.

    It was always a mistake to expect salvation from Trump and Pepe. Validation is useless. It will take wealthier men than Trump, totally behind the scenes, to give us the momentum we have always lacked.

  14. Noam David
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Greg, I’ve been a dedicated Millenial Woes supporter for quite a while (also met him personally) and just heard you on his hangout. Really enjoyed the conversation and will start regularly reading Counter Currents.

    My story is similar to many, as I made a natural transition from leftist to Alt-right, but dissimilar in a significant way, as I am genetically and culturally very English, but I converted to (Reform) Judaism a few years back, as is my personal spiritual orientation.

    I am 110% supporter of white ethnonationalism and am ideologically against any Jews working against white interests. But I also have my spiritual life and community.

    Regards, NDW

  15. WN
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Excellent. All of this needed to be said. Thank you.

    I would only add that one benefit of not being too dismissive of the “1488ers” is that they are very sensitivite to just such entryism. While some are caricatures, and some rather unreasonable, reactionary, and tiresome, as a whole they act as a valuable “police force” for the movement.

  16. Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday DS linked to a Vocativ article on the alt-right, which gives the following analysis of our tactics:

    Those in the alt-right movement generally fall into one of two categories: those who disguise their racism as “white nationalism” and don’t embrace the racist label in an effort to be taken seriously, and those who wear their bigotry on their sleeves.

    “White nationalism” is now a respectable facade we lurk behind to conceal our “racism.” That’s progress.

    — Irmin

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