GABlog Generative Anthropology in the Public Sphere

August 25, 2016

The Alt-Right’s Coming Out

Filed under: GA — adam @ 12:41 pm

Hillary Clinton has decided to tie Donald Trump to the Alt-Right so that she can run against it, thereby turning this election into a case (for those who remember the 1991 Louisiana governor’s race) of “vote for the crook—it’s important.” This confirms that the only active forces in American politics are the SJWs (high and low) on the left and the Alt-Right (the middle)—the Democrats and Republicans are basically husks being eaten from within (the Democrats, for their part, have introduced the entirety of the Black Lives Matter agenda into their platform, along with the most extreme immigration policy imaginable). Vox Day has made a(n admittedly) preliminary proposal towards an understanding of the Alt-Right, to which Reactionary Futures has responded. Certainly, many people on the Alt-Right believe many of the things Vox Day lists here, but they believed them before there was an Alt-Right (even if the term “Alt-Right” goes back to 2008, its emergence really dates to 2015), so they are not what gives the Alt-Right whatever coherence it has, nor will any “program” or “platform’ guide the Alt-Right’s future trajectory. The Alt-Right is really the mirror image of the SJWs: the SJWs exploit every actual inequality between groups by presenting it as evidence of oppression; they dare you to assert that those inequalities represent differences in ability or discipline. The Alt-Right is simply the sustained, unremitting, unabashed, thoroughly joyful acceptance of that dare. The truest of VD’s definitions is the following: “The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.” So, RF may be right that the Alt-Right is “only any good as a punching bag upon which the left can beat and wind up for a new round of expansion,” but this is certainly a punching bag that punches back so there’s no reason not to reserve judgment and see how effectively they’re going to do that. RF sees the Alt-Right “as a middle rebellion in the De Jouvenelian scheme,” a middle rebellion, presumably, to paraphrase Pirandello, in search of a High. But you can only attract a High patron by looking effective, which the Republican party and conservative movement haven’t for a very long time, so perhaps some billionaire backers who would like to see a restoration of Western order and have been hedging their bets will take this as an opportunity to get into the game. So, rather than asking, as does RF, “how exactly is this [VD’s stated goals] to be brought about,” we might ask, what can be done (and undone) with this [the movement itself]?

Many of VD’s points are, as RF points out, arbitrary and/or bewildering—for example, the definition of Western Civilization as “Christianity, the European nations, and the rule of law.” As RF points out, the rule of law hardly goes back to the foundations of Western Civilization, has not always been present within it, and has not necessarily been present at its highest moments. It also seems like an odd thing to focus on, especially since it hasn’t been something the Alt-right has focused on (many Alt-Rightists, including VD, have contended that massive expulsions from Western countries, including of those who have been citizens for several generations, will be necessary to preserve the West—now, you might argue that only ethnic Europeans can live according to the rule of law in justifying such measures, but you can’t carry out such expulsions in accord with the rule of law, so why foreground it?). You could say that the European nations have been the “carriers” or “bearers” of Western Civilization, and from an HBD standpoint argue that only these ethnic groups could have done so, but the existence of these nations hardly clarifies the meaning or content of Western Civilization. The rejection of “the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means” is also bizarre—as RF points out, this is Wilsonianism, and in sharp contrast with the Alt-Right’s rejection of egalitarianism (VD’s point #7)—if we believe in HBD, and if some individuals are more suited to succeed and rule, doesn’t it follow that the same will be true of peoples? (Are colonialism and multi-national empires really not part of Western Civilization? Where would we place the Roman Empire?) This vacuous principle serves several very present-day objectives: taking a shot at the Jews (who else “obtains excessive influence through nepotism and tribalism”?); rejecting, in a seemingly ultra-hardline way, globalism; and by apparently presenting a theory of international justice and therefore international relations, actually distracting attention from questions of war and peace (which no one on the Alt-Right seems prepared to discuss) so as to focus on domestic enemies. I don’t say whether these goals are good or bad, just that they aren’t “founding ideas,” or capable of providing the grounding for rigorous debates—they are ad hoc and reactive. It is a virtue of the Alt-Right that, regardless of how foundational it wants its thinking to be, each and every one of its concepts are weapons, to be deployed in the here and now. Of course, this isn’t the only virtue, or the highest. At this moment, though, it is the most necessary.

The best contribution originary thinking can make to making this even more than a near-death experience to our own evil doppelganger, victimary thinking, is minimality. The crux of all this is what Eric Gans calls the rejection (or prohibition) on “ascriptive differences,” or the anti-discrimination imperative. If we accept the imperative that ideas are not to be judged on their truth and institutions on how effectively they fulfill their mission, but on how successfully they stamp out all ascriptive differences, then we program ourselves to help destroy everything. At this point, no one can explain in any clear, much less consensus generating way, what it means to be “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” etc.—it’s really an “I know it when I see it” situation, which means sovereignty resides with those who can see it and show it in the most aggressive, hostage-taking way. Moreover, no one can even explain why being a racist, etc., makes one the worst kind of person—is being a racist worse than being a liar, a cheater, a thief, etc.? Ask someone—see what they say. All this must be rejected, and can be rejected simply by being honest and saying what you see and think—PC is a war on noticing (a phrase I think Steve Sailer took from Oswald Patton). Liberalism wanted us to forget differences; the logical conclusion of liberalism, the SJW, shoves differences in our face relentlessly on the assumption that, as good liberals, we will do anything to be allowed to forget them again. But once we accept that differences are differences, and that it’s very interesting to try and figure out their sources, and that we might want to maximize some of those differences in the interest of restoring the most basic differences, between good and bad, deference and transgression, all kinds of interesting intellectual and political prospects open up.

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