We really can’t begin to understand this phenomenon of alt-right, until we understand the origins of “the right”. The linkage of understanding is just one term; the Left, as being the place from which all true understanding begins, and began,
I have a strong prejudice against being called “Right” simply because it was a name given to me by people I consider enemies of my birthright. I didn’t choose the term. It was foist upon me, and what riles me is that many conservatives I respect are content with letting the left define them in this way.
Almost everyone defines him- or herself in positive terms, using symbols or terms that were at one time considered universally good. The Left doesn’t do this, and to the extent they were molded by Karl Marx, never have. They have the highest opinion of themselves, but even to themselves in front of a mirror, they can’t say why. When Obama shaves in the morning, he tells himself how handsome, or smart, or clever he is, but not how much he wishes people could have it as good as he has had it. We used to call that “Mr Roger’s liberalism”, cardigan included, but somewhere around 1976, that sort of liberalism was buried in a shallow unmarked grave, without benefit of clergy. Or, in my case, it became conservative, dropping only one founding plank of the liberalism of the day, not-of-the-Left, that government can do good. Liberals-not-of-the-Left and Progressives-not-of-the-Left were all buried in that shallow grave, and you have to be my age to even know they had ever lived. Both had a classical age, only Glenn Beck can’t find them. I know the exact day (in 1976) when I ceased being a liberal. And why. And I knew exactly what I ahd to jettison to become a conservative, and have been writing about it ever since.
Neither Obama, nor Hillary, can articulate why they have been so blessed to be so very smart and empathetic. If ever put to the test, they would have to revert to things they heard in college, repetitions, their minds’ eye recalling books or lectures as they try to read off why people really can’t take care of themselves, justifying their special kind of guidance.
Instead, they define themselves in terms of “being better than thou”, who they generally refer to as “the Right”. They define themselves by who they are not. In the most general sense of the word they define themselves by not being “of the right”, as if Nature (since they don’t believe in God) actually placed the left shoulder of humanity several inches taller than the right. They are there naturally. Nature wills it. No further explanation required.
Consequently, “right” (and alt-right’s) origin and meaning is a jumble of contradictions that defies the very roots of what we consider to be intelligent. It’s a manifestation of the political occult.
The first use of the word “right” was to describe the right side of the French assembly at the time of the French Revolution, where all the royalists sat to the right of the parliamentary chair. So naturally, “right” became synonymous with the notion of nobility; class distinctions, aristocratic privilege, everything every American since the Revolution has been brought up to find bad about top-down authoritarian government.
And of course, “the people”, or more specifically, the “spokesmen for the people” since they were so poor, base and ignorant, and to this day, as yet still undefined with any particularity. sat on the left side of the chair, the first of many times the left was able to perjure the use of “the people” as their own personal banner, without ever once stating what “the people” actually wanted, or what their self-appointed spokesmen actually meant…except to say “the right”: was the cause of it.
Marx changed this view of political society half a century later, based on a different German view of the structure of society, with four “estates” instead of the three in France (clergy, nobility and commoners). The Germans inserted the merchant class into the equation, who form the basis of capitalism, private sector money. Even in the Middle Ages the merchant middle class often became richer than the nobility, in part because they both knew how to make money as well as manage it. And they were able to do it without owning land, which really confused the jealous and un-bright nobilty. It was as if the merchants used a form of alchemy. Royals only knew how to confiscate it and spend it, as their entire view of wealth was based on the land they owned. (Sound familiar?)
Royals were always in financial trouble. always needing money to finance wars, or keep their wives and courtesans in jewelry and finery. So, the nobility kept the merchant class close and under their control (an early form of fascism, which was always the more preferred form of greedy socialists, who always outnumbered true Marxists by a factor of 1000. Ask Van Jones which is better. Nobles were extremely jealous of their wealth and the mysteries of how it was created.) They needed to be able to borrow money on demand.
In the 1930s the “right” took on an even harsher pejorative form, most commonly used today, and having much to do with the sudden emergence of “alt-right” into national politics. The relatively new USSR, only 13 years old when Hitler began his rise in Europe, had two fundamental planks. We often overlook the second, but besides a hatred of free market capitalism and belief in the collective ownership of the means of production, the Marxist ideology was also founded on the ideal of the “Internationale”; i.e,, a world without borders. Hitler’s Nazism was a type of socialism not unlike Marxism; totalitarian, rigid top-down control, fear, but it was a territorial competitor to the Soviets who were trying to make inroads into post-WWI Europe. And it was based on a xenophobic love of country, genuine anathema to the early Marxists. (Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1940 taught Stalin better, for no Russian was willing to die for Communism, but would for Mother Russia. Stalin died knowing the internationale was a fraud, still, as we see today, it persists in the thinking of cozy modern day Marxists lounging in their hot tubs.
The “right” that we have become today is because we embrace both free markets and love of country, which, I’ve tried to prove elsewhere, is instinctive in all humans. Both are Good Things, survival-enhancing in scientist-speak. Boundaries protect both nations and personal property. The most xenophobic love of country I’ve ever seen in America has been the occasional bloody nose, at about the same rate teenagers defended their mother’s good name. This is also a Good Thing.
Through all this name-calling the left have never really defined themselves. Nor had to. They have always defined themselves by who they are not…reserving unto themselves the power to define everything of which they disapprove.
This is why I reject the term, Right.
Alt-Right and Tea Party
So I dislike the use of “right wing” referring to me. I am a conservative, and a constitutionalist, and can even explain why I am what I am, both historically and ideologically. No member of the Left that I have known can do that about themselves. In fact, they go out of their way avoiding having to.
But their genesis is important to note simply because, from Stalinist days at least, especially as it applies to American Stalinists in the 1930s-40s, the Left has presumed the authority to 1) launch a code word then 2) apply whatever kind of modifiers that define it as the situation dictates. In short, once you establish a term as bad, you can add or strip away individual modifiers at will.
We saw this with the tea party revolt in 2010. There was never a “tea party” in the corporate sense, rather thousands of little tea parties, some as few as a dozen who met at grilles on Thursday night, as I did, and who exchanged views and talked about stuff, then went home to pass the news along. Each of those people had their own personal circle of infomation, who they communicated with only on social media or face to face, not unlike the various underground movements in Norway and occupied Europe in World War II. The media gestapo never saw what they were saying.
Not being able to live with a movement which they could never define nor direct, the Left and its media had to redefine the Tea Party, so they made it appear more monolithic and easy to see, giving us TPP, TPN, and a pile of other TP clubs with Donate Buttons larger than their picture of the American flag they used as a a web banner. And, true to the leftist design, before long they were hosting soirees for DC insiders at whatever fashionable hotel CPAC chose to hold its annual convention. These herds the media could monitor and quantify….and ultimately control.
Almost instinctively, by 2014 the thousands of real tea parties just buried their names and in 2016 went out and elected Donald Trump, only without that tea part banner. And guess what? The mainstream media and left totally missed it. They had written them off for dead, taking credit for having killed them off, only foud themselves to be the victims of their own cleverness. As Jonathan Winters once said about himself as to why he had admitted himself into an asylum in the 1950s, both the Left and the media missed this election because “they began believing their own stuff.”
In like manner, there was an “alternative right” out there since the early Obama years. Without delving into the intellectual precepts of the original idea, I would likely have considered myself alt-right in that I felt a distance growing between myself and younger conservatives, especially on the internet, who seem to have lost the original meaning of conservatism. They seemed to have no idea why they were conservatives, much like, dare I say it, leftists. I’ve written about that and them often, especially as many morphed into the core of the #NeverTrump movement, kids who, much like the Left of my generation, looked upon the core of American society with that “thousand yard state” Indians of the Raj imputed to colonial British.
To me that “alternative right” had credibility. Even meaning.
I Wikipedia’d alt-right and quickly realized that the various groups that have already been lumped into its definition, are not even remotely the same. The left does that well, and probably supplied all the information for Wiki. Go look it up, it’s an incredible array. Then look at the information providers in the footnotes, almost all leftwing. And all in 2016.
The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental. It has also been associated with white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, ethno-nationalism, right-wing populism, nativism, traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement
According to who? Isaiah Cummings?
Milo Yiannopolous, the very talented and creative conservative writer from Breitbart, likes to lay claim to authorship of “alt-right”. I doubt this is so, as some other lesser known, if not downright unknown pioneers trace authorship back at least a few years longer. But there is a millennial hip, faddish, allure of anti-establishment that makes no rational sense to anyone above the age of 30.
No one ever heard of these groups, or they of each other. And consider all the wonderful hate-terms conservatives have had to deal with the past 30 years, pandering to universities that teach white privilege, or calling a Rosie O’Donnell a “fat broad” is anti-women. Milo is gay, so it would be difficult for any leftist outside the Dartmouth Psychology Department to define how he could be a homophobe. Yet they say homo-phobia is an aspect of the alt-right movement. Nor is Milo a racist. I’ll leave his lurid explanation as to why that is so to his own words, but Milo loves the startling and flamboyant in selling himself, which I hope some day he’ll outgrow, but no way would he consort with 90% of the people or groups that are said to be linked with the alt-right movement..
But Milo does know Steve Bannon. Quite well, in fact.
Since the majority of Americans are white and love their country, we can assume the majority of Americans are “white nationalists”, or so common sense would dictate. Of course, the media and left don’t mean it that way, but neither are they asked to explain how they do mean it, and that’s the point of the alt-right first being redefined out of whole cloth to meet some other purposes, much like the Tea Party, then transmogrified into a mad-dog patrolling our streets, waiting to attack poor innocent people walking the streets in burqas or other kinds of hoodies..
All this mystery-of-power by the left has changed since the alt-right meme began in early 2016. Because we won. We no longer have to engage any of this. If Milo and Cernovich and Shapiro want to keep the meme alive to sustain their own little millennial fan club, fine. But it’s doubtful Twitter will be able to provide much cement for their club’s foundation. A foundation without cement is sludge, and Twitter is turning into sludge..
So, there could be as many as three alt-rights out here right now, and none of them actually have much relevance any longer…except mine.
Steve Bannon is most certainly white, and he is most certainly a nationalist, and his detractors are most certainly “international-ists”. When someone is hired to drain the swamp, it’s only natural the majority of the squawking will come from the drainees.
Nuff said. We’re up here now, and they’re down there. Skinheads are still skinheads, and we don’t like them. Violence and haters still are constituent elements of the left. Except for a forearm shiver by a 75 year old on a 20-something thug at a Trump rally way back in the summer, I’ve never known of a single Trump supporter pick a fight, fire bomb a police car, or for that matter, use the “N” word, “Q” word, even “rag-head” word.
So think on it.