It seems that every ten years a “New Right” emerges in America. The National Review was seen as the “New Right” in the 1950s. There was a “New Right” in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan’s ascent. There have been many New Rights in Europe as well. Over the past ten years, the term “New Right” was mostly the provenance of American identitarians; hence the North American New Right of which Counter-Currents is a part.
But there’s another New Right that’s arisen over the past few years — and the press loves to talk about it. This group likes to portray themselves as radicals and adversaries against conservative orthodoxy. They tout themselves as the future of the Right, and they promise to be the Left’s worst nightmare. That terrifying image must explain why liberal journalists can’t stop writing about how they’re so dang intriguing!
But this “radical” group of writers, activists, and podcasters fails to address the core issue — namely, race. All of the profiles of these latest New Right figures show a group defined more by what they oppose than what they’re for. Most of what they say is mere sloganeering rather than serious analysis, and moreover they deny the importance of race and refuse to stand up for the white man.
The latest puff piece on the New Right comes courtesy of Vanity Fair. The article’s author, James Pogue, mostly focuses on the neoreactionary Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug, and Senate candidates J. D. Vance and Blake Masters. In between we’re introduced to a variety of personalities that you probably have never heard of and would not count as “Dissident Right.” The author nevertheless does deploy the term Dissident Right, and even defines it:
The podcasters, bro-ish anonymous Twitter posters, online philosophers, artists, and amorphous scenesters in this world are variously known as “dissidents,” “neo-reactionaries,” “post-leftists,” or the “heterodox” fringe — though they’re all often grouped for convenience under the heading of America’s New Right. They have a wildly diverse set of political backgrounds, with influences ranging from 17th-century Jacobite royalists to Marxist cultural critics to so-called reactionary feminists to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, whom they sometimes refer to with semi-ironic affection as Uncle Ted. Which is to say that this New Right is not a part of the conservative movement as most people in America would understand it. It’s better described as a tangled set of frameworks for critiquing the systems of power and propaganda that most people reading this probably think of as “the way the world is.” And one point shapes all of it: It is a project to overthrow the thrust of progress, at least such as liberals understand the word.
Most Counter-Currents readers would probably think that description accurately identifies the Dissident Right’s “big tent,” but race realism and identitarianism apparently aren’t part of it. Race is only discussed in the context of opposition to Critical Race Theory. Immigration is only mentioned once. Demographics is never mentioned at all. There are only two paragraphs that deal with race realism and identitarianism – in which it is claimed that the New Right eschews both concepts.
The first paragraph discusses how Yarvin no longer associates with these ideas:
As Moldbug, Yarvin wrote about race-based IQ differences, and in an early post, titled “Why I Am Not a White Nationalist,” he defended reading and linking to white nationalist writing. He told me he’d pursued those early writings in a spirit of “open inquiry,” though Yarvin also openly acknowledged in the post that some of his readers seemed to be white nationalists.
The succeeding paragraph quotes Yarvin as saying he’s tempered himself in middle age.
The second paragraph follows Pogue discussing how he saw few blacks at a National Conservatism Conference, but that several South Asians and Middle Easterners were in attendance. It discusses the criticism lobbed at the New Right and how accusations of racism don’t seem to faze its adherents:
In March, the journalist Jeff Sharlet (a Vanity Fair contributing editor who covers the American right) tweeted that the “intellectual New Right is a white supremacist project designed to cultivate non-white support,” and he linked it to resurgent nationalist and authoritarian politics around the world: “It’s part of a global fascist movement not limited to the anti-blackness of the U.S. & Europe.” Yet many on the New Right seem increasingly unfazed by accusations that they’re white nationalists or racists. Masters in particular seems willing to goad commentators, believing that the ensuing arguments will redound to his political advantage: “Good luck [hitting] me with that,” Masters told the podcaster Alex Kaschuta recently, arguing that accusations of racism had become a political bludgeon used to keep conservative ideas outside the political mainstream. “Good luck criticizing me for saying critical race theory is anti-white.”
It’s a good sign that these figures shrug at suggestions they’re racist and that some of them are willing to call Critical Race Theory anti-white (particularly the ones running for office). But it appears the real issues don’t animate them. These folks simply don’t like the liberal elite, globalism, or free market orthodoxy. What they are for is not really explored, besides the political candidates saying they would like families to live off a single-earner income.
This lack of clarity leads to embarrassments. Pogue’s broad definition of the Dissident Right leads him to describe a certain podcast known as The Fedpost as part of the movement. The podcast is co-hosted by a half-black, half-Asian man who spends most of his time on social media railing against Right-wingers, “racists,” and white people. This person insists he only cares about class, not race. This hardly sounds like the Dissident Right.
Prominent Dissident Right figures are never mentioned in the article. Nick Fuentes, the Groypers, Jared Taylor, Bronze Age Pervert, and Peter Brimelow are completely ignored. You would think all the energy and ideas come from the National Conservatism conferences and Sohrab Ahmari. Donald Trump, the man who popularized these ideas and trends in 2016, is barely mentioned in the article. This movement seems to have just appeared out of nowhere, independent of both Trump and the Alt Right phenomenon.
The most glaring issue is not which figures or issues are discussed; it’s the ignorance of what made national populism a thing. Trump voters were not riled up by appeals to some nebulous conception of the “common good,” neoreactionary theory, family tax credits, abortion, minimum wage increases, or student loan debt forgiveness. They were outraged at their own dispossession and rallied behind Trump as the one candidate who shared their anxiety. It wasn’t a class revolt motivated by economic concerns; it was a white revolt motivated by racial tensions. Race and identity were the key principles.
Other profiles of the movement similarly ignore this fact and pretend the New Right is something far more respectable. The New Republic’s profile from last December described the factions of the New Right thusly:
Some are “national conservatives,” who, like “Reformicons” of the 2010s, support pro-family welfare policy and reject the GOP’s tax-cutting orthodoxy. (NatCons, as they’re known, also tend to be China and immigration hawks who want an “industrial policy” for the heartland.) Others are “postliberal” localists, in the vein of Patrick Deneen, who wrote Why Liberalism Failed, and Rod Dreher, the irascible Eastern Orthodox blogger and author of The Benedict Option, a spirited argument for Christian retreat from the turpitude of public life into virtuous communal separatism. And others are Roman Catholic integralists, aspiring to a theologically ordered politics; Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule and University of Dallas politics professor and American Affairs editor Gladden Pappin are their touchstones.
“Whichever denomination they prefer, New Rightists tend to agree that classical liberalism — of the sort embraced by previous generations of conservatives — has a big hole in the middle of it where a substantive concept of the Good should be,” the liberal magazine said of the New Right’s unifying principle.
That’s not at all what drives the Dissident Right, nor what animated Trumpism. It just motivates pundits who believe it will make them edgy — but not too edgy. They don’t want to jeopardize plaudits from the liberal media.
Race and identity are the core issues facing America today. Class warfare is an anachronism that makes no sense for the Right when much of our base is middle class. Integralism is the definition of LARP. National conservatism only makes sense if it stands up for a people, not an abstraction dreamt up by Yoram Hazony.
The only path forward is white identity politics. Everything else is a distraction.
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