After the Charlottesville debacle, the alt-Right tries to re-brand itself, tries to exclude fringe factions by defining some parts to be not on the right at all, and struggles to define what the alt-Right is after all. If there was anything to be gained by this “Unite the Right” rally, it is that there is no such thing as a united right. One thing has become clear to me in the last year of watching the discussions (of mostly low intellectual value) in various alt-Right circles. That thing is that there is no sound philosophical groundwork behind any of these rather small fringe groups.
The Neo-Nazis of the David Duke or ‘daily stormer’ variety keep being obsessed with their Jew hatred, copying the victim-Olympics methods of the far left identitarian groups.
The folks of “American Renaissance” (Jared Taylor) and the chief-ideologue of the original alt-Right brand (Richard Spencer) are basically segregationists who argue for racial segregation and see a solution in splitting up the USA into Black, Hispanic and White nations, since they lost hope of ‘taking America back’ as a pure white nation.
Then there are ‘white supremacist’ KKK-like fringe groups who think their skin color gives them the right to rule over all non-whites. They are like the Neo-Nazis with less of a Jew obsession, but more of a Negro obsession.
There is a large group of mainly teenagers and young adults who engage in the meme wars, riling up the loony leftists who engage in identity politics, but also mocking the ‘cuckservatives’, which are conservatives with no spine and get easily shamed into agreeing to socialist policies.
In addition there are a few wannabe intellectuals, most prominently maybe Vox Day, who does this – I suspect – mainly to broaden his customer base. He scrambles up segregationist ideas with the mockery of the meme wars folks and the identity game, trying to drum up a support base of young people who accept him as the smartest among them (which he never gets tired to point out).
I think the Neo-Nazis and KKK affiliates consist of an awful lot of intellectually challenged people who are driven by their pet-hatred. They try to play the identity game, but fail miserably at it, since they are the hate group of the identity game on the extreme Left, but cannot muster to put up even a pseudo-intellectual argument in favor of themselves. The original alt-Right (Taylor, Spencer) are just talk, no action. If you want to live in a segregated neighborhood in the USA, you can do that already; just move to the white suburbs. If you want to reduce taxes, a small state, less welfare, etc., go full scale Libertarian. Just drop the race talk and you would be fine. But maybe these guys don’t actually want to do something, maybe they just want to talk and cause a bit of a stir, nothing else. The meme warriors do what young people should do; that is to poke a stick into every weak point that is out there and learn from the reactions, in order to orient themselves in the world. That’s a good thing, but they have to be cautious and not fall for the ideologues or the Pied Pipers who just want to sell them something. In this sense, the meme warriors are not alt-Right at all, but rather on the search for a philosophy that serves them.
The new thing that has risen up and is led by president Trump, is Liberal Conservatism. The word liberal has been co-opted by the Left/Democrats and it’s time that true classical Liberals take the term back, wrench it out of the hands of Democrats who use it as a deception only. The word conservative has lost all its meaning in the hands of cuckservative Republicans, who are and remain too intellectually weak to stand up for anything. No wonder both sides hate Trump with a passion.
Liberalism has nothing to do with Progressiveness for progression’s sake. It means you can try out any kind of social rules in your family, with your neighbors, your towns and your state, and let the markets and/or democracy decide if that is good for you and is continuously supported by a majority. Those who don’t like it can move away. It also means that you can reverse a progressive policy if it doesn’t work out as intended. This is one big difference between Progressivism and Liberalism. The Progressives insist that any of their progressive brain farts is good by definition, ignoring all the negative consequences, rejecting their own responsibilities. Liberals say, fine, implement your progressive brain fart policies with like minded people (don’t force others into it), but take full responsibility if the shit hits the fan (we won’t pay for your failures).
Conservatives are all too often stuck in an idealized past. Conservatives can be very different by where in the past their individual anchor is stuck. Some may find the 50’s or 60’s an ideal place in time to be held up, some may wish to remain in a certain phase of the British or American empire, some may fantasize about remaining or going back to a founding fathers paradise lost. There aren’t too many things the Conservatives as a group agree upon. One thing I can think of they have in common is family values. The other thing is a certain affiliation to Christianity, even if it’s marginal, faulty and messy to the degree of being a ‘cultural Christian’. The vast majority of Conservatives would accept the Jewish religion as a force for good (or at least as tolerable) but would reject any affiliation with Islam.
Conservatives believe to know their history, even if it’s an idealized version of the specific area of history they like. They like to focus on the good things that came out of the past and preserve them. They usually don’t know much about Socialism or Communism, but the few bad things that they know of (hunger, gulags, mass deaths, oppression) are burned into their minds and they resent people who glorify Socialism (the fascist, Nazi version of it as well as the Communist version).
Liberal Conservatism can pull Conservatives out of their idealized past by confronting them with the need for change on the basis of a changing environment, especially in the face of huge technological changes. Conservatives need to learn that Technology, Automation, the Information Age, AI will change their lifes even if they would like to ignore it. They can swallow that fact if the societal changes will be made on the basis of Liberal values, not on the basis of irresponsible Progressiveness. I think that Trump represents this idea. He promised to cut back the excesses of progressive policy which turned out to be harmful (globalization, immigration) without reversing useful progress that has been made. What is missing, is a moderate, palatable, exciting way forward that would encourage Conservatives to stay with him and would be acceptable by Democrats who don’t subscribe to the Utopian Left. The tax reform may be a beginning, but is by far not enough.
MAGA = Make America Great Again
Trump needs to crush the harmful trade deals (mainly done), build the wall and reform immigration. But then, please, eliminate the word ‘Again’ from the slogan. It sounds backwards and nobody agrees upon the point in time to which ‘Again’ refers to.
Then discuss and define ‘Great’. I believe Trump has become politically neutered now. If he can’t get his projects and policies through the legislative process, his rally crowds will dwindle soon. He needs to become more of a philosopher who is able to publicly discuss what may be an agreeable definition of ‘Great’ for the Americans.
Last but not least: Why should Europeans be interested in the politics in the USA? Europe may soon succumb to the Islamic invasion and be lost forever. Then Europeans need a place to go. But if ‘America’ can turn themselves around and become a beacon of hope and a positive example again, maybe Europeans will regain enough testicular fortitude to smash the Socialists and Make Europe Great (Again).