Foreshock: The Alt-Right Introduces Itself
July 19, 2018, 01:08 PM
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Six months ago, I reviewed Prof. George Hawley’s Making Sense of the Alt-Right for VDARE.com.  Although a conscientious scholar, the author had proven unable (I concluded) to understand his subject matter “from the inside.” This is a nearly inevitable weakness of political studies by outsiders; anyone who wants to understand a political movement must turn to its own leading thinkers for unfiltered information about it.

Somewhat belatedly, perhaps, Arktos Media is giving the public the inside scoop on the Alt-Right with its new multi-author volume A Fair Hearing: The Alt-Right in the Words of its Members and Leaders,  edited by George T. Shaw. Contributors include Jared Taylor, Richard Spencer, Kevin MacDonald, and many others.

The expression “Alt-Right” is widely understood to refer to a movement not much older than Donald Trump’s announcement of his candidacy in June, 2015, and which may already have passed its peak (or, as VDARE.com has argued, been mugged). Opponents, at any rate, have been pouring out articles celebrating the Alt-Right’s demise since March (see examples here and here ). Moreover, Donald Trump has been elected, so smearing him with the Alt-Right is no longer useful. Prof. Hawley reports that he has stopped lecturing on the subject due to flagging public interest.

But such facile dismissals mistake the daily headlines for reality. Of course cartoon frog memes are going to pass out of fashion eventually, and not every public demonstration can be bigger than all those that preceded it.  This does not mean that the cause for which the Alt-Right fights has been defeated. Nor did that cause begin with Donald Trump: one contributor to A Fair Hearing, Atlanta attorney Sam Dickson, has been active on its behalf since the 1960s. The flurry of highly visible activity during the past two or three years is merely the latest round in a long struggle. I expect future historians will look back on it as a foreshock of far more important events.

The Alt-Right is a response to two fundamental components of Cultural Marxism (“liberalism”): 1) the denial of human racial and sexual differences, and 2) the denigration of European-derived peoples specifically. (The second component may logically contradict the first, but that has never bothered Cultural Marxists.)

Accordingly, the Alt-Right has two central concerns: 1) to insist that human differences both exist and have important consequences for how human societies should be organized and governed; and 2) to assert the legitimate interests of European-derived (“white”) people. All nineteen essays in A Fair Hearing relate in some way to these concerns.

Gregory Hood opens the collection with “The New Kulaks: Whites as an Enemy Class,” which develops some of the important analogies between American Cultural Marxism and its predecessor, Soviet Marxism. At the heart of all Marxist thought is a division of society into classes, and the demonization of one of these as “reactionary”—in effect, as the embodiment of evil. Marx’s demon-class was the “bourgeoisie,” but Russia barely had any such class, being still overwhelmingly a peasant country. So Soviet communists focused their wrath on the harder-working and more foresighted—and therefore economically successful—peasants, whom they labelled “kulaks.” They falsely claimed such peasants’ modest prosperity had been achieved through exploiting their less successful neighbors. As the late Soviet historian Richard Pipes has written, Communist demonization of “kulaks” was entirely comparable in intensity to the Nazi’s better-known demonization of Jews. After years of hateful public scapegoating, those peasants the regime chose (often arbitrarily) to designate “kulaks” were either shot or shipped off to the Gulag.

The analogy with today’s Cultural Marxist doctrine of “white privilege” is nearly perfect. Whites are said to have succeeded not through any efforts or capabilities of their own, but only by committing injustice towards others. The underlying reality is naked resentment by less competent people of whites’ (relative) success itself. It should be obvious that if nothing is done to counter this festering resentment, it can only end as did the scapegoating of so-called kulaks: in the outright physical persecution of whites.

Former Executive Director of the National Policy Institute Evan McLaren contributes a personal account of his involvement in the abortive “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, last August. For anyone who knows the truth about these events, the mendacity of Main Stream Media coverage has been staggering. The event was planned as a peaceful protest of the city’s recent campaign against Confederate monuments: a civilized country does not wage war against its own past. But strictly speaking, the rally never actually occurred; it was illegally suppressed by the police before it could begin. Nearly all the violence blamed on would-be participants was initiated by a fanatical rabble opposed to them. This has not prevented countless news reports of a “deadly white-supremacist rally.”

American-raised Melissa Meszaros recounts something she observed following her return to her ancestral Hungary: traditional womanhood survived under Communism better than it has in the “free world.” She found her boyfriend’s great-grandmother the star attraction at family gatherings, “laughing herself silly as the lively family she helped bring into the world dance[d] around her.” In America, meanwhile, feminists are just discovering that “the fastest-growing group among the homeless is women over 55.” Many older women left without families in their declining years direct their maternal instincts toward dumb beasts, and are becoming proverbial under the name “cat ladies.” 

The underappreciated Roderick Kaine demonstrates that “slut shaming”—the expression of revulsion toward sexually unprincipled women—is both rational and favorable to the long-term interests of both sexes.

Kevin MacDonald offers an elegant fifteen-page summary of the results of decades devoted to study of “the Jewish question.” Prof. MacDonald is commonly denounced as an anti-Semite, of course, but he has never attacked Jews on the basis of their Jewishness. Rather, he has demonstrated—very convincingly—that prominent Jews and Jewish activist organizations have harmed the legitimate interests of founding-stock Americans and other European-descended peoples. This has involved the egalitarian pseudo-science of Franz Boas’s disciples, the invention of Cultural Marxism by the Frankfurt School, the playing off of American blacks against whites in the misnamed “Civil Rights Movement,” the promotion of various types of censorship, of wars to benefit Israel rather than the United States and, above all, of replacement-level immigration in all white nations and only white nations (while demanding the world recognize their own right to preserve Israel as a Jewish ethnostate).

At the same time, Prof. MacDonald admits he is “often dismayed by how some people associated with the Alt-Right express their views” on Jewish issues. He advises that small minority of Jews who sympathize with the Alt-Right to focus on bringing its concerns to the attention of their own community: the public is gradually gaining a wider appreciation of the history Prof. MacDonald has documented, and the results are not necessarily going to be “good for the Jews.”

American Renaissance Editor Jared Taylor provides a brief summary of racial realism: the recognition, nearly universal before the mid-20th Century, that the races of mankind differ at the biological level. These differences include not only outward physical traits, but also intelligence and important behavioral tendencies. Cross-racial adoptions make clear that racial differences are not greatly affected by environment. The largest genetic difference within the human species is between black Africans and everyone else.

The less-gifted races, which include Australian Aborigines as well as Africans, never “developed a written language, a mechanical device, a calendar, the wheel, or domesticated an animal.” Wherever they live, Africans “show the same pattern of high crime, poverty, and illegitimacy, and make limited contributions to science and high culture.”

It may be disagreeable to discuss such differences, but it must be done. This is because those who insist that all races are naturally equal can only explain observed differences by supposing that “less advanced groups suffer from bad environments, or that more successful groups oppress them and hold them back.”

Thus, Cultural Marxists blame white Americans for the lower achievement of blacks and Hispanics in school and in life. But an unbiased look at the evidence indicates that Whites have no control over the abilities of other races; scapegoating them for the shortcomings of others is not merely unjust, but promotes groundless hatreds and unnecessary social conflict. This is why the Alt-Right emphasizes the biological reality of racial differences, and not because they “hate” non-Whites or enjoy characterizing them as inferior.

Richard Spencer contributes a fine essay on the harmful influence of professional and collegiate football. The managerial state works to make its subjects passive consumers who live vicariously: e.g., watching pornography instead of starting families. Spectator sports are an important component of this program:

The manliness of football is precisely why watching it is so insidious. Football offers a substitute manliness. The benefits of a “tough” sport come from playing it. Simply watching it makes you a consumer of toughness. Fandom transforms manly impulses [such as] the attraction to strength and accomplishment into weaknesses. And in so doing, transforms white men into sources of revenue for people who despise them.

Spencer’s essay made me wish he would spend more time producing such work and less time confronting baying mobs who will never be reasoned with.

Editor George T. Shaw’s own contribution focuses on the linguistic mystifications used to shore up Cultural Marxist ideology. Most people tend to assume that where a word exists, there must be a definite thing to which it corresponds. So when asked about “racism,” they can only state their firm opposition to it.

But what if confronting white people with talk of racism is akin to asking a man whether he has stopped beating his wife? Whichever way he answers, he declares himself guilty of beating his wife. Similarly, a white person cannot win an argument over “racism”—he will end by being declared a racist no matter what he says.

The only way to avoid this trap is to cast a critical eye on the language our opponents are using. Might “racism” be nothing more than a verbal weapon used for (mostly) nefarious ends?

The same applies to “sexism,” a word only coined c. 1970 in order to bully those who dissent from feminism. Merely using the word simultaneously implies 1) that there are no natural differences between the sexes which justify treating them differently; and 2) that those who believe otherwise are moral reprobates. When accused of “sexism,” the correct response is not to plead that one wants only the best for women, but to point out some of the many large and well-attested natural differences between the sexes foolishly denied by feminists.

The term “anti-Semitism” serves to blur the distinction between those who condemn Jews on account of their Jewishness (which is obviously irrational) and those who criticize Jews for behavior for which they would criticize others just as readily: i.e., to grant Jews an immunity from criticism enjoyed by no other group.

Everyone knows of certain words (such as “unicorn” and “witch”) to which no reality corresponds, but many fail to see how politically-charged terms get used to smuggle false premises into debates and mystify rather than enlighten.

Alex McNabb’s essay “The Art of the Troll” reveals how you, too, can make a public laughing stock of self-satisfied liberals. The basic technique is to get your interlocutor to agree to a general premise, e.g., by asking him “Do you support a woman’s agency and right to choose?” When he takes the bait, you follow up by asking whether women should be able to decide for themselves whether they need a handgun for self-defense. Similarly, you might ask whether he supports corporate exploitation of Third World workers; when he says no, ask him why he supports corporate “insourcing” of cheap labor via mass immigration.

As McNabb explains: “Liberal views on most topics are fact-free presumptions held to secure the social approval of their peers. When their opinions are not validated, they begin to panic.” Trolling “invariably results in a lot of frantic scrambling and straw-grasping,” as well as “personal insults.” The target rarely changes his own views, but that is not the point. Everyone on the forum where the trolling takes place is a spectator of the fun, and as they see “progressives” repeatedly reduced to mush by the simplest questions, it can only have long-term effects on their own thinking.

Some of the most interesting essays in A Fair Hearing were contributed by authors I had never heard of before, and there are no real “duds” in the book. It offers exactly what its title implies: an unbiased look at the Alt-Right such as the movement’s opponents are simply incapable of providing.

Roger Devlin is a contributing editor to The Occidental Quarterly and the author of Sexual Utopia in Power: The Feminist Revolt Against Civilization.