However, the reality is that what occurred at this past weekend's "Unite the Right" rally was the headbutting of two complex oppositional parties. And one of these parties--the Leftist Antifa radicals--are fully supported by the Leftist figureheads that control the government and police of Virginia.
So perhaps today it might help to revisit what, exactly, the Alt-Right actually is. Ironically enough, this topic came up over at the Remnant last week in an article discussing Richard Spencer, titled Richard Spencer: The Dark Knight of the Alt Right, a Guide for Catholics.
In this article, written by Dr. Jesse Russell, he explores Richard Spencer through the lens of recent critical statements by the Southern Baptist Convention. Spencer's irreligiosity is exposed, and his "Neopagan racialist" flavor seemed to be upheld as the standard for what the Alt-Right represented.
But my readers here at The Hirsch Files will be familiar with my frequent explanations that the Alt-Right cannot be boxed into a category of being either Neopagan or purely racialist. And, of course, this came out in The Remnant's com box.
While Dr. Russell has shown that he agrees with me about the distinctions within the complex nature of the Alt-Right, we both acknowledge the Southern Baptist Convention's mistaken notion of it.
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Laramie Hirsch: I think the author misunderstands what the Alt-Right is. The idea of the Intellectual Alternative Right is a concept thought of after the re-election of Barack Obama. It is an alternative to the moderate-sell-out brand that McCain embodies. Furthermore, the term "Alt-Right" is a taxonomic designation, encompassing the racists, sure. However, this umbrella term also encompasses traditionalists and even monarchists. Spenser's ethnocentric brand is just one flavor in this group on the right side of the political spectrum.
Asbury Fox: However, the Alt-Right is a secular movement and traditionalist Catholics are not
Remnant Moderator: As the author notes, that the designation is not at all well-defined anymore, and his point Is to warn against the alt-right as it's now generally defined in the wake of the last presidential election.
Laramie Hirsch: I understand. I truly do. I do not know if Dr. Russell participates in the comments section, but I would like to gently suggest that his and your disagreement is actually with an ethnocentric faction called the Alt-White. The Alternative Intellectual Right is simply a current that stems from an idea that paleoconservative political philosopher named Paul Gottfried said in 2008:
"We are part of an attempt to put together an independent intellectual Right, one that exists without movement establishment funding and one that our opponents would be delighted not to have to deal with. Our group is also full of young thinkers and activists, and if there is to be an independent Right, our group will have to become its leaders."
Remnant Moderator: You might be right---before Hillary Clinton panned it, I had never even heard of it. But if you are correct, then I would suggest that the alt right has done a pretty poor job defending itself. She was able to pin neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, racist onto the Alt Right
in one speech, and now this Spencer character seems to be confirming her caricature . I'd say it's time to come up with a new name for whatever legitimate aspect there is to this thing
Jesse Russell: Hello LH, I agree with your assessment, but I used the term Alt Right because Spencer uses the term himself to identify his movement, and the Southern Baptists were clearly thinking of Spencer when they condemned the Alt Right.
Laramie Hirsch: Yes, that he does. Spencer really tries to market his brand when he can. He obviously wants to corner the market by claiming a trend.
It's unfortunate the Southern Baptists were also unable to make the distinctions I'm pointing out. But most people, particularly the critics, don't understand what the Intellectual Alternative Right is. So, the Left and the moderates who unwittingly support them (like the S. Baptists) will develop only a knee-jerk emotional response to the phenomenon. But seeing as how one characteristic among those on the Alt-Right is "I don't care what you call me anymore," I imagine the movement will not only continue, but even grow to attract more disaffected people on the Right.
Andrej: The Dailystormer, which is basically the de facto altright news website, has more than 4 million unique readers per month.
I know for a fact that SSPX members post on the forums there. So yeah, people are hearing about it. There a plenty of serious Christians in the alt right, there are plenty of people who were raised without religion in it too (such as Scandinavians). It is basically just a traditionalist movement, with many of the people looking back as far as the 13th Century Europe for political inspiration (or even to antiquity).
I agree it has no traction with the older generation and it won't matter. It looks like the future to me.
Jesse Russell: I think the problem with the Daily Stormer, which obviously is alluding to Germanic paganism and National Socialism with its title, is that its metaphysical assumptions are fundamentally pagan. A Christian is obligated to be patriotic and exercise loyalty to his or her kin first in the order of charity. However, the problem with Spencer's Alt Right and the Stormer is that there philosophical principles are contrary to that of Christianity. Also, there is a strong tendency at the Stormer to deride other races and to promote a genuine hatred.
Laramie Hirsch: The Dailystormer is not the de facto Alt-Right source. Myself, I've been with this Alt-Right movement since the beginning as the term was being coined. There is no central mother brain or leadership.
I would argue that the earliest popularizer of this phenomenon has been Vox Day at his blog Vox Popoli. He's not Catholic, but I've been reading his material since his early columnist years at World Net Daily.
I wrote the foreword to his book Innocence and Intellect 2001-2005.
Other Alt-Right sources for news analysis have included Ramzpaul, Davis Aurini, Matt Forney, Roosh V, and plenty of others. Most of them deny being Alt-Right--but they fall into the categorization because the term "Alternative Right" serves a taxonomic purpose.
But yes, folks at the Daily Stormer also fall under the Alt-Right umbrella, though they've been nicknamed Alt-White since mid-2016. And folks like me who are not ethnocentric white Americans would be pejoratively nicknamed the Alt-Light.
Andrej: Yeah it is only 'de facto ' because it's readership is so much larger than the others. There is no leadership.
Laramie Hirsch: Yes, I do not like the fact that these kinds of semantic clarifications must arise. But that being said, the Left is EXPERT at hijacking reputations, recategorizing groups, and demonizing decent people. And using reason against their hateful tide is fruitless. Dialectic does not get through to either the Left or the moderates who end up inadvertently supporting them. The only thing that seems to have any influence in altering their direction is emotion generated from rhetoric. And that, I think, is what the Right has figured out.
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Truth be told, most of the population desires to feel, emote, and react swiftly and without thinking. For this reason, no amount of patient reasoning or dialectic will get through to those who seek to be "moderates." They will quickly sell out against their own interests, even joyfully accepting noble defeat, never having realized there was a better way to politically survive.
As for the incidents of Charlottesville, Virginia, my guess is that the national mood will turn against everyone on the Right after this, and moderates will be emboldened to betray right-wing principles and figureheads in the hopes of gaining credibility from their enemies on the Left.
Now, this is in stark contrast to Matt Forney, who states (HERE) that "the riot may turn out to be a major propaganda win for the alt right." I beg to differ, however. Courting white nationalism in the United States is something that seems rather imprudent. As I've said before (HERE), I think that the white nationalism movement will kill what we recognize as the Alt-Right.
Oligarchs in both the Revolution as well as the Civil War have demonstrated an adept skill at harnessing the "heckler's veto," as Forney stated it. America was born and raised on tar and feathering political enemies that oligarchs do not want to hear. It therefore befuddles me how white nationalists on the Right think they can get away with peacefully discussing their ideas in public without molestation from the Left and the Leftists' compliant, bought-and-paid-for police forces.
The idea of creating a white ethnostate out of the U.S. is an absurd notion that simply will not be tolerated. Advocating for white identity--or even arguing for segregation--is one thing; I have no problem with either. Whites have a right to exist, and "The Alt-Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children." That's fine. But arguing for white nationalism is another thing altogether. It's like adding a catalyst to a batch of chemicals to start a volatile reaction. Probably not prudent in these troubled times of ours.
I could be wrong--I've been wrong before--but I do not think that white nationalism is something that Americans will ever get behind.