You know when you start reading about illnesses you start to think, ‘I’m sure I’ve got that’? Well, I’ve just been reading about the alternative right and I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘That’s me, that is’. Yet I thought I was a paleoconservative, not an alternative one! It’s so confusing. It’s like the Monty Python film The Life of Brian where even the members of The People’s Front of Judea and The Judean People’s Front can’t differentiate themselves.
The article I was reading was this one on Breitbart.com by Allum Bokhari (who he?) and Milo Yiannopoulos (Now him I know, as Robert De Niro might say). The article explains what the alternative right is, which is useful because many people, including myself, are not really sure. Some scaremongering lefties like to imagine alt-righters are plain old neo-Nazis. Closer to the truth is that they are just a bunch of mainly young, disgruntled conservatives whose views are not represented by the established conservative parties, nor are their beliefs given an airing in mainstream conservative media outlets. The alt-right feels the people who should be leading them have been replaced by pod people who look, talk and smile like conservatives but aren’t. Alt-righters have therefore escaped to the outer regions and badlands of the internet where they sit around camp fires in tattered clothing, plotting their revenge. This way they don’t have to endure the sight of Marco Rubio’s stupid, grinning, Thunderbird-style face.
To leftists, alt-right websites are hotbeds of fascism and racism but generally the views expressed at these sites would have been considered boringly normal any time before the 1960’s, which is when the world wobbled off its axis and spun erratically and uncontrollably off to the left.
For American alt-righters a politician like Jeb Bush represents only his donors, not American voters. Alone his love affair with everything Mexican tells you most of what you need to know about where his sentiments lie and how serious he is about defending America’s southern border. The alt-right is therefore forced to look to non-establishment figures like Donald Trump for hope. Trump has obvious shortcomings but he is the least worst candidate and appears to be a genuine patriot rather just pretending to be one.
Meanwhile back in the old country David Cameron, despite leading the Conservative Party, is not much of a conservative. Most real conservatives now vote for Ukip, the party that wants Britain to leave the EU and cut its immigration down to manageable levels (i.e. near zero). The British newspaper that probably best represents the alt-right in Britain is the Daily Mail, a paper which mixes the writing of non-conformists like Peter Hitchens and Melanie Phillips with sensationalist articles about the affairs of X-Factor winners and blurred photos of pop stars doing their weekly shopping at Tescos.
So alt-righters are no Hitler-admiring skinheads, nor do they want to beat up immigrants, though they might want to punch a few white cheerleaders of multiculturalism, who have forced mass immigration on the rest of us. I certainly do.
Are alt-righters anti-Semitic? As a rule no, yet the fact that many of the main figures of Marxism have been Jewish is bound to make them a little unpopular with some on the right. There is some evidence that Jews have been among the foremost proponents of multiculturalism, something that is destroying the traditional white societies of the West. Jews apparently feel safer when joined by other ethnic minorities as this takes the focus off them. This was reasonable until the West began allowing in large numbers of Muslims, many of whom feel about Jews the way Adolf did. I suppose this might lead to a change in strategy by Jews but if they are coming to their senses and moving away from immigration-enthusiasm it is at the painfully slow speed of an oil tanker changing course. Surely they should see that they are safer with secular and Christian whites than with Muslims? I personally am a bit of a fan of the Jews and have never quite understood what, other than envy, leads some people to hate them so much.
Are alt-righters ‘White Supremacists’? I don’t think so. I think most alleged white supremacists are just individuals pushing back against the idea of ‘white privilege’. After all, where is the privilege in having to get higher SAT scores than blacks and Hispanics to enter university? And how come there are quotas for the number of cushy government jobs allotted to blacks, regardless of how underqualified or unsuited they are for the work? The attempt by some whites to do away with this preference system has more to do with fairness than with ‘supremacism’. If there is any supremacism around then maybe best to look at race hustlers like Al Sharpton and organisations like La Raza. I personally have never encountered a white supremacist, either in real life or on the internet, though I suspect that one or two daft people I have talked to go away concluding that I am a white supremacist, simply because I’m against mass immigration and don’t believe all races are, on average, equally intelligent.
According to the Breitbart article alt-righters read Oswald Spengler, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola and Sam Francis. This is half true for me. I am vaguely aware of who Spengler was (a German historian who Hitler appropriated, in the same way he appropriated Nietzsche) but I have never actually read anything by him, though I do have The Decline of the West on my Kindle – mainly because it was free!
You don’t have to be an alt-righter to like H.L. Mencken as my very un-alt-right Irish friend will attest to. I have no idea who Julius Evola is or was but I have read some of Sam Francis’s stuff and listened to him on occasion. I like him. Apparently he didn’t suffer fools gladly, which makes me like him even more.
American alt-righters generally like Pat Buchanan, a politician who ran unsuccessfully for presidency on a genuinely conservative platform in the early 1990’s. Today Pat Buchanan writes articles which I usually nod along to in agreement. He is classed as a paleoconservative, perhaps because at 77 he himself is a bit paleo.
The Breitbart article also identifies as influential the New French Right, a group of intellectuals, writers and activists who are sick to the back teeth of their traditional French culture and demography being decimated by the official state ideology of multiculturalism, which in practice means the Islamisation of France. There the Muslim population is about 12% and climbing. Only Muslims themselves and their left-wing enablers think that replacing a civilised people and their culture with a backward Middle Eastern religion with matching Bronze Age morality is a good idea. We are told Muslims will eventually integrate though the evidence generally points the other way, the third generation behaving worse than the second and the second worse than the first. Therefore there are no grounds here for optimism.
Alt-righters visit websites like Steve Sailer’s blog, where the sometimes difficult science of Human Bio-Diversity is explained in layman’s language. Razib Khan and Jayman (the latter a Jamaican blogger) do the same. As you can see from the names, the belief in racial differences is not the preserve of whites only, though it is the preserve of people who know something about the subject. People who know nothing about it reflexively claim that evolution stopped 50,000 years ago when the three main races went their separate ways. This convenient though false assertion allows lefties – it is generally lefties – to go on repeating that we are all the same under the skin. If only these people would read something published after 1975 by non-Marxist scientists they might learn something.
VDARE and American Renaissance are the websites of choice for the discerning immigration sceptic and race realist respectively and I like both. AlternativeRight.com is also popular though I have never looked at it.
There is also something called the ‘manosphere’ where men lament the way males have gone from Humphrey Bogart types to Eddie Redmayne in just a couple of decades. I personally don’t worry that some men have become a bit girly. It’s a consequence of our self-domestication, along with our smaller teeth, narrowed jaw and suitability for modern jobs. So not being an alpha male myself I’m willing to rely on lantern-jawed, steel-sinewed policemen to defend my person and property, though I’m aware that they generally turn up after the fact, just to take details or identify bodies.
The only time I regret the decline of manliness is when I hear some soppy father talking like an old woman to his child. The other day I heard a man saying to his son, ‘You see Josh, it’s when you won’t get dressed in the morning that I stop wanting to be friends with you’. Can you imagine men from other cultures or any British man pre-1960’s saying such a thing? What a twirp! These men appear to be afraid of their own children and their ghastly, weedling tones make my skin crawl. That’s when I come over all nostalgic for the Vikings and Genghis Khan.
Those on the alt-right differ considerably from neo-conservatives. To the alt-right, the neocons are crusading liberals who want to bring democracy to everyone, even those who don’t want it. The alt-right is suspicious of such well-intentioned adventuring (admittedly, it’s often hard to tell what a government’s intentions are, though I know some people claim to know with absolute certainty what George W. Bush’s intentions for Iraq were). Alt-righters are loathe to sacrifice the blood and money of their own people for people who often despise us and our way of life. They therefore often advocate non-intervention, as do many leftists, though for very different reasons. The latter see all western intervention as a cover for the cruel exploitation of simpler, kinder, darker folk. Alt-righters see intervention as a fool’s errand and a thankless task that can only end badly for us. And when we are really being honest, do we really care that much about the plight of people we don’t even know and who are unrelated to us? I have to say that I don’t lie awake worrying about the lives of Middle Easterners, and I suspect that leftists don’t either, despite what they claim to the contrary.
In the Breitbart piece there is an interesting section on a group who call themselves neoreactionaries. I know nothing about them so I won’t say much here. Suffice it to say they appear to talk a lot about humans having a natural tendency to think and act tribally. I would certainly agree with them on this, the only question being whether this is a good or bad thing. After all, men have a natural tendency to rape but I wouldn’t want to encourage this tendency.
I have to say that thinking tribally comes naturally to me. I put my family and friends before strangers; I want Leicester City to win the Premier League simply because I come from Leicester. I want England to beat Germany both at football and in wars. I want Britain to be populated by Brits, though I’m quite happy to have a sprinkling of Hindus, Sikhs, Jews and Europeans, people who generally fit in well with the natives. I am far less happy about having large groups of blacks and Muslims in our midst, for this and this reason respectively. Lefties generally frown on tribalism and don’t like us picking and choosing our immigrants. For them all people make equally good citizens, regardless of the race and culture they come from. Any research that differentiates between groups is ‘racist’.
I still haven’t quite decided how I feel about tribalism. One part of me agrees with lefties that it is a bit primitive and leads to conflict between groups. Another part of me thinks that if we are not going to use the way we feel as a rough guide to our behaviour, what are we going to use instead? Our rationality? Did David Hume claim that rationality was a servant to the emotions? How can I be sure when I’m thinking rationally or just following the zeitgeist? And where does one begin to work out ‘rationally’ the optimal number of Muslims in Britain is? How do you rationally decide whether Muslim women should be allowed – or made – to wear the burqa? I know how I feel about these issues but I have no idea what a rational answer would look like. And rational from whose point of view? Mine? A Muslim’s? Some imaginary third party’s? And what is rational about me not adopting my own point of view?
And even if I try to see things rationally, what happens if blacks and Muslims continue to see things tribally? Can my open-mindedness and desire to see things from all angles really win out over their brute strength and ignorance? Wouldn’t I then be foolish not to resort to the same tactics? It would be like fighting with conventional weapons when everyone else had gone nuclear.
Apart from this I just can’t imagine a flesh and blood human with no feeling of group loyalty. Would he treat all children the same, including his own? Would he sometimes take the side of a stranger over his best friend in a fight? I think being neutral and unpartisan is a virtue in a referee and a scientist but in every situation in life? I suppose such a person would be a progressive liberal who loves everyone other than white conservatives, who he absolutely HATES!
Many alt-righters admire old heroes like colonialists and empire builders. These Kiplingesque men lived in times with completely different norms, yet the progressive left insist on judging them by today’s moral standards. I can actually see both points of view. If we now view these men as despicable racists, why continue to revere them? On the other hand, since morals appear so culture-dependent, isn’t it rather arrogant to claim today’s fashion in morals to be the last word on the subject? And on the third hand, I still see Kipling and Jefferson as great men, even if the first was a colonialist and the second a slave holder. I wouldn’t much care for modern day colonialists and slave holders but the world is a different place today.
Whatever. Progressive leftists often have no qualms about desecrating the heroes of the right yet seem unaware that they have their own heroes (Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela) whose memories no one is allowed to sully. Oh, and in case you think King and Mandela were genuine saints, you really need to read a bit more widely.
It is really the progressive left that are the traitors and fifth columnists, them the alt-right despises, not the immigrants who are unintentionally (mostly) replacing our culture with theirs. It is the enablers of our decline on our own side that we dislike. So like most British whites, I have nothing against the immigrants I come into contact with, especially the Hindus and Sikhs, who strike me as often being more civilised, better dressed and better behaved than the white natives. Thus it is daft to suggest that because someone is against the destruction of his culture through mass immigration he must therefore be a racist. It’s just that we don’t want our own tribe and culture replaced by that of another, especially if that other looks murderous and brutal.
Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind is alluded to in the Breitbart piece. It is a terrific book which I have almost finished reading. Haidt is a liberal but one who has gone to the trouble of trying to understand how conservatives think and why they think the way they do. His understanding of the conservative instinct has gone some way to moderating his own liberalism. He thinks that people first and foremost feel something, then justify that feeling through rational thought, just as David Hume claimed. On this view conservativism is more an instinct than a set of beliefs and some people feel it more strongly than others. These people are ‘natural conservatives’. This is what the Breitbart article had to say about Haidt’s views:
The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism. Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity. They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.
‘Natural conservatives’ are much more concerned about their culture than that the economy should be run along free market principles, despite this being a hallmark of conservatism. Both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were keen free marketeers and I agree with Milton Friedman that the free market is the best way to lift people out of poverty. Even so, when economic interests clash with cultural ones, I am on the side of culture. So if outsourcing, globalisation and the free movement of labour lead to an increase in GDP but a decline of the native culture, I would choose the latter.