“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently”- Friedrich Nietzsche
Since the conception of the “alt-right” in 2010, the movement has loomed over us like a spectre, both elusive and dangerous, and with nobody entirely sure who they are or what they believe. During the 2016 election year the term came to particular prominence and has since been used as a smear against anyone with opinions contrary to the establishment’s; ranging from classical liberals like Carl Benjaman and Jordan Peterson to provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos or Katie Hopkins. It has now reached the point that the term (originally coined by white supremacist Richard Spencer) is somehow applicable to African Americans such as Derrick Blackman, trans-women such as Blaire White, or gay jews such as Dave Rubin. The over-application and ambiguity of the term may lead some to think that it’s lost all meaning and that the “alt-right” are a myth. This is not the case. So just who are our new Pepe loving adversaries?
Some of the main tenets of the alt-right as laid out by Richard Spencer himself include “race-realism”, “ethno-nationalism” and the “jewish question”. While it may appear obvious why one may have some ethical reservations using these terms, it’s important to demonstrate why such terms are exclusive to the alt-right and why no true liberal should be tarred with them.
White Nationalist Identity Politics:
In the words of Spencer: “Race is the foundation of identity”. Much like the left-leaning collectivists who define worth by privilege, discriminating against white males in affirmative action programs to further the interests of minorities, the alt-right take up the opposite position. Personal identity, according to the alt-right, shouldn’t be defined by your achievements or by your aspirations but by the arbitrary characteristic of race. The preservation of the “white race” should therefore be your only ambition going forward. The alt-right try to convince us that this should be our goal through the concepts of “in-group preferences”, “race-realism” and “white genocide”.
It’s not difficult to see why many in the alt-right would feel envious of identity movements like Black Lives Matter with so many of them feeling nihilistic, depressed and paralyzed by the attacks on their identity; imitating the “social justice warriors” they hate so dearly by fighting fire with fire. The main source of their victimisation is the idea of “white genocide”. This is the idea that mass immigration combined with the low fertility rates of white people will cause the white race to go extinct through “forced assimilation”. White Britons according to this narrative are projected to become a minority by 2066. These claims are highly exaggerated however. While studies have shown that Muslim fertility rates are higher among first generation immigrants, they reduce over time to normalise with the average population, no doubt linked with a rise out of poverty. This is not a new phenomenon and was frequently seen among Jewish refugees in the 30’s and 40’s.
The alt-right often attempt to justify themselves by referring to the UN definition of genocide. The UN definition of genocide however requires an “intent to destroy”. So who are these mysterious conspirators plotting the demise of the white race? You guessed it, everyone’s favourite scapegoat: the Jews. When asked about what he’d do regarding a subversion of the white race by Jews or other “degenerates” in a live stream, Spencer admitted that he’d censor them to the best of his ability. He was then asked how he could justify censoring such people when he’s fought so vehemently against those wishing to censor his own subversion of law and order. He simply stated that it was because he was “right”. The radicals of today are the establishment of tomorrow after all.
Race is Culture:
Perhaps the most telling sign for why the alt-right were doomed to fail from the start is the lack of any consensus on what a white person even is. Some alt-right “thinkers” such as Jared Taylor argue against the civic nationalist standpoint, instead arguing that race is culture. Western culture is then a “direct expression” of white genes and the idea that an immigrant could acquire British values is dismissed. Individuals such as Thomas Sowell are presumably then being black the “wrong way”. Jared Taylor went so far as to suggest that the only reason Japanese people didn’t loot after the 2011 Japanese Tsunami was that they “weren’t black”. Perhaps Taylor should look at the incredible amount of looting and crime that occurred during the London Blitz.
Richard Spencer has stated that a White person who identifies as Muslim, who plays video games or listens to gangsta rap is somehow less white. Such statements absolutely show how there is no correlation between culture and race and show the alt-rights inherent predisposition towards purity spiralling. As much as the alt-right claim to defend white people, this “protection” is removed as soon as you’re not white in the right way. This could also be seen with the furore following the reveal that famous Alt-Right mouthpiece Mike Enoch had a Jewish girlfriend.
Jordan Peterson compared the alt-right’s innate desire for “identification with the father without the recognition that this should give rise to the son” to the unwillingness to allow the state to give rise to the individual. The Alt-Right then attempt to reconstitute the father in our fragmented world, completely unaware that such paternalism is exactly what they oppose on the left.
The terminus of the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left are the same. Both disregard property rights, enlightenment values, individualism, democracy and the rule of law. The inevitable result of this is Wiemar-esque tragedies like Charlottesville, where both sides shout “Black Lives Matter” and “White Lives Matter” simultaneously, both so stuck in their own echo chambers that they cancel out any civilised debate. Both ignoring the most important minority of all: the individual.
In the words of Friedrich Hayek in the famous Road to Serfdom:
“It is true, of course, that in Germany before 1933, and in Italy before 1922, communists and Nazis or Fascists clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties. They competed for the support of the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. But their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common and whom they could not hope to convince, is the liberal of the old type.” -Friedrich A Hayek, The Road To Serfdom