The Alt Right Means White Nationalism . . . or Nothing at AllGreg Johnson
Hillary 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.
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