Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Failed Brand

Against the Alt Right.


My view is that we should abandon the Alt Right “brand” entirely. It only functioned when it was sufficiently vague to allow there to be a conversation between White Nationalists and people who were closer to the mainstream, which allowed White Nationalists to make converts and build connections. But Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer have pursued a strategy of polarization between the Alt Right and what is now called the Alt Lite that has deprived the term of its original utility. So they can keep it.

Readers of this blog are aware that I have never been a supporter of the “big tent” approach.  Nevertheless, it must be said that the only way that approach would have worked for the “Alt Right brand” was if it was always made explicitly clear that the Alt Right was nothing more or less than an umbrella group of various disparate rightist factions: hardcore White nationalists, ethnonationalists, Identitarians, Alt Lite civic nationalists, Alt Wrong HBD “race realists,” more extreme Paleocons, Game-Manosphere types, Southern nationalists, etc. Unfortunately, that approach was incoherent from the very beginning.

At the same time the “big tent” approach was promoted, we were also being told that “the Alt Right is the movement” and “the Alt Right is White nationalism” and “the Alt Right is White nationalism or it is nothing at all.” Then came Hailgate, the continued identification of the Alt Right with its more “extreme” elements, and the fallout ensued.

Thus, hardcore White nationalists resented being lumped together with civic nationalist cucks, execrable HBD specimens like Derbyshire, homoerotic Trump fanboys and other hedonistic “game” “pussy nerd” nihilists, and all the rest.  Likewise, various non-WN Alt Right factions resisted association with “racist Nazi haters,” or anyone who dared to offend Jews or Orientals, or any “blackpiller” who dared to criticize “God Emperor” Trump.  And of course, besides these serious ideological splits, there were those who objected to having the “movement” conflated with the Alt Right’s juvenile jackassery (politely called by the euphemism “youth culture”), and so there was a generational split as well.

Predictably – and some of us, predictably, did predict it – the “shotgun marriage” of the Alt Right fell apart.  The Alt Lite tried to take the brand for themselves; failing that, they dissociated themselves from the Alt Right proper (which returned the favor), less “extreme” Alt Wrong elements “threw Spencer under the bus” after Hailgate, there were personal feuds between various racial nationalist/Identitarian/ethnonationalist factions of the Alt Right, and so there has been significant degeneration of the “brand” from its heyday of 2016.

What is the Alt Right now?  White nationalism Lite?  Racial nationalism for Millennials? Beavis-and-Butthead White nationalism?  The vanguard of the Iranian Renaissance?

While my reasons differ from those of Greg, I mirror his call for the rest of you folks to abandon the Alt Right brand.  Indeed, with analogy to the “only Nixon could go to China” meme, it would be optimal if Spencer himself would abandon the Alt Right brand, allowing for a “re-set” that hopefully would include lessons learned from errors made by the Alt Right.