Odin the Wanderer by George von Rosen (1895).
What is the Alt-Right?
It is first and foremost an Identitarian movement, though perhaps not like any that has come before for reasons pertaining to culture, new media and the momentum of the present demographic crisis in Europe.
It is a group of Europeans who value their People, culture and heritage along with all that has contributed to those things.
It is an ideology which values Nation and Race, and sees the two as inseparable – furthermore arguing that such should be the view of the State.
They are then, Ethno-Nationalists.
Although it may correctly be said that proponents such as figurehead Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, Radix and AlternativeRight.com began to lay the groundwork for this current meme laden and explosive movement a decade ago, the roots and causes of the Alt-Right are age old and are perhaps best seen as the latest incarnation of the long besmirched (but not forgotten) pre-Christian Gods of Europe – or at least the archetypes, tradition and belief which gave rise to them.
Just as Carl Jung noted in his 1936 Essay on Wotan, the psychology of the hunter god has a role to play in the understanding of the history and forward motion of European Peoples (even in times of war and genocide).
I make this reference to Fascism not as a slight to the Alt-Right, but as a recognition of the potential I have seen in some corners the movement for doing what Fascism decidedly failed to do – that being the balancing of the duel aspects of the Wotan archetype and of the European mindset, namely the exploratory search for Wisdom coupled with defensive and sometimes thunderous Rage which have characterised our continent:
“A mind that is still childish thinks of the gods as metaphysical entities existing in their own right, or else regards them as playful or superstitious inventions. From either point of view the parallel between Wotan redivivus and the social, political and psychic storm that is shaking Germany might have at least the value of a parable.” – C. G. Jung, Essay on Wotan (1936)
That said (and all controversial comparisons aside), let us examine the factors behind the rise and popularity of the Alt-Right – along with the advantage and potential of that often talked about but too often maligned and dismissed movement.
A Movement for the Creative, Not the Producer or Contemporary Artist:
The Socialist and the Communist are obsessed with production primarily because they are incapable of aspiring to anything more, and as such are embittered in their autism, yielding resentment towards those who are not merely productive, but creative.
Those on the political Right tend towards Individualism because they are largely the creative elements of society, in both artistic and economic terms: they are the entrepreneurs, philosophers and high artists.
The Alt-Right has as a movement proven itself to be dynamic and creative – be it in the arena of memes, argumentation and online content, or with regard to the conjuring of recognition and infamy during the past few years.
For many, this is a refreshing departure from the crusty Conservatism which dominated the politics of yesteryear.
The Socialism of Karl Marx has never failed to squash the creative drive of any People it has touched.
The Neo-Marxist (who amends the Marxist worldview with aspects of Existentialism and Critical Theory in application to the present state of things) lacks appreciation for culture, as they and their ilk have already unequivocally rejected that of their predecessors.
Therefore, they cannot create and they cannot innovate, as these things are necessarily progressive and require a reverence for (or at the very least not a rejection of) what has come before.
In short: those who reject their history and inheritance cannot claim to be truly progressive in their politics – for what progress can be made when that which should be familiar and foundational is rendered alien?
This unimaginative void is most immediately observable in the stagnation of Left-Wing media and cultural output.
As cinema degenerates into politically correct preaching along with TV drama, theatre and comedy, and as establishment news coverage becomes laughable in it’s bias and tendency toward tirades – none will deny that it is a Nihilism which has befallen them, just as it had the art world in previous decades.
In contrast, the Alt-Right advocates a respect for the culture, values and mentality of Europe – and furthermore, a maintenance of the factors which have allowed and will continue to allow for those sacrosanct treasures to develop and optimise.
I believe it would be a mistake to think of this as merely Conservative, but rather it is like the polishing and tuning of an engine designed to propel us forward: if the constituent factors of what make up European society are maintained, Europeans can progress with ease into future developments and endeavours.
An Ideology for the Age:
The aforementioned ideologies of Socialism, Communism and Conservatism along with Liberalism are all of another age – be it the agriculturally driven ancient world or the industrial nineteenth century.
On the other hand, Neo-Marxism and it’s components are relatively new despite their dominance in academia and further afield.
While archaic establishment movements attempt to appear relevant by being seen to be ‘down with the kids’ (see Jeremy Corbyn of the UK Labour Party cavorting with any number of London rappers or appearing at the Glastonbury Festival for evidence of this claim), the juvenile movements of the Left, which view themselves as in some way new or revolutionary when in fact they are simply Nihilistic, don masks and hoods and run amok in our cities like petulant children.
Antifa – a group of vegetarian, pasty faced wannabe Bolsheviks.
In contrast, the Alt-Right is a movement which has taken it’s time and developed with caution, all the while maintaining a forward motion.
Gone are the days of Right-Wing thuggery – where the Left appear in masks waving black flags, the Right appear smart, attentive and preferring a debate to a brawl.
The reasons for this change are two-fold in my opinion.
On the one hand, the Right must realise that virtue is so often opposed to the moralising Left, and thus debate is to be welcomed; on the other, it must be noted that in our modern Nations, something more is required of both sides of the debate than was even at the turn of the century, and thuggery will not suffice.
As an extension to what was said earlier in this article about reverence for culture, the Alt-Right has a clear Nietzschean influence, in that they have understood the “plurality of sensations” which must make up the driving Will of both individual and movement – thus, they both adore tradition and their People, while often advocating progressive and even socialistic policy.
“In all willing there is a plurality of sensations, namely, the sensation of the condition “away fro which we go”, the sensation of the condition “towards which we go”, the sensation of this “from” and “towards” itself, and then besides, an accompanying muscular sensation, which, even without our putting in motion “arms and legs,” commences its action by force of habit.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886).
While the age old desire for unity will likely always be a key drive of man, those who espouse Internationalism in 2017 are either role-playing or are sadly deluded.
Where once there existed International Socialism, cross borders workers organisations and worldwide solidarity movements, now there is only fracture and bourgeois play acting.
The Alt-Right understands that “Workers of the World Unite!” is a dead creed.
In an age of unprecedented social mobility (at least in the West), an age in which Globalisation has overcome Internationalism of that kind – Nation and Race will inevitably return to the fore as binding factors, and pick up where social class and the treasured victim mentality have failed.
The lazy Left have not realised that citing hurt feelings, class, gender or otherwise are no longer acceptable arguments.
Vitally, the Alt-Right has succeeded where others have failed in the great forum of our time: the internet.
While the Feminists have descended into shrieking, censorship and intellectual stagnation via their conduct on the internet, and as the establishment media have been superseded by fresh and more open news sources – so the Alt-Right have colonised and utilised the web in a way that no other movement could.
Through a unique concoction of irreverent memes, serious discussion, irony and often ambiguity, here is a movement that has achieved a lot by doing seemingly very little – this is the power of the web at work.
Incorporating The Strengths of the Political Right:
When it comes to both philosophy and aesthetic, the Alt-Right has drawn from both ends of the political spectrum.
While it could be described as a radically Conservative movement, the Alt-Right appears to have recognised the key flaw in more conventional Conservatism: the question of why?
The end of Conservative thought is inevitably either tradition for it’s own sake, or Liberty for it’s own sake – but never is the question of why addressed.
The Alt-Right has understood that Conservatism for it’s own sake is therefore ambiguous and is only ever a path to Nihilism – rather, what is required is the confidence to delineate what is worthy of conservation and what is not.
Just as the arguments of the Left have become lazy, pathetic and most often censorious as a result of their domination of both academia and media in decades gone by, the Alt-Right have reclaimed (for precisely the opposite reasons) the mantle of those who, once upon a time were the noisy defenders of free speech.
Rather than being embarrassed into submission by jibes and accusations “Fascist, Nazi, KKK!”, they have developed an attitude of urgency towards their speech rights, an attitude which allows them to be neither quiet nor apologetic in their views (as previous movements have so often been, and to their detriment).
They are aware that they must grasp every opportunity to speak, as their scheming opponents would all too readily take such opportunities away from them given the chance.
Therefore, if the best of the Right is it’s Individualism, the Alt-Right upholds that love of the eccentric and the unique – look no further than the at once eloquent, empathic and fascinating YouTube personality Millennial Woes for evidence in support of this claim.
Millennial Woes is an Alt-Right YouTube personality, and is far from the skinhead thug that many might expect when encountering a self professed Ethno-Nationalist.
However, just as there are Regressive schools to the Left, so it is also on the Right.
The Alt-Right understands that the stone-faced Neo-Nazis and Blackshirts of today are mere LARPers, and that goose-stepping, uniformed parades and overt homage to widely reviled figures such as the Totalitarians of the 1930’s are far from helpful in the growth of a movement (ironic reference notwithstanding).
Incorporating The Strengths of the Political Left:
As I have mentioned, the Alt-Right is comfortable taking influence from across the political spectrum, and in this way can boast the potential to remain dynamic – something which cannot be said of many a movement today.
Undoubtedly, the advantage of the Left has until very recently been the acknowledgement of the importance of brotherhood and the power of a collective.
This has been in stark contrast to the all out Individualism which, while admirable, has occasionally proven atomising to those on the Right.
I say that this was the advantage of the Left only until very recently because through a lack of concern for the Individual, they have taken their collectivism to a point of absurdity and rendered it a source of impotence rather than unity.
As they become more and more divided into infinite and infinitesimal minority groups, the Right is coming to the realisation of the value and advantages of fraternity and can be confident that they will not make the same mistake.
Since the improved social mobility of the Thatcher era of British politics in particular, there has been little to attract the working classes to the political Right.
On a similar note, the Right of the late twentieth century made little place for the working European man or his family.
In lieu of Nationalism, a whole class of people were lost to the Left who tempted them with welfare trinkets and subsequently the feel-good Centrism of the 90’s and early 00’s.
The Alt-Right has the potential to be a cross-class movement, although I believe this potential to be as yet unrealised as it would require an acceptance of populism on some level, with which some of said persuasion are not yet comfortable.
Above All and In Conclusion:
So then, what are the advantages of the Alt-Right which have facilitated such a rise to simultaneous popularity and infamy – and how might they aid in it’s future development?
Just like plants, when it comes to politics, the roots are where nutrition is derived.
This is a movement which did not spring up on the streets, nor did it erupt from the stormy sea of electoral politics; rather, it evolved on the internet, and has thus retained the unique ability to be flexible and open, while principled and (to some degree) staunch.
The reason I emphasise this is that I believe it has imbued the Alt-Right with the potential to paint a complete picture in a way which most political theories and movements do not.
What they will do with this potential has yet to be seen.
The logo of Identity Evropa – a prominent US Alt-Right campaign group.
Unlike the Liberals, they understand that the Individual is incomplete and is only half the story.
Unlike the Socialists, they understand that social class is not enough to unite the People, and that the ties of Nation and Race are often tighter and more binding than those of socio-economics or Internationalism.
In other words, they understand that just like the Individual, social class is incomplete and is only half the story.
Unlike the Conservatives, they make little apology for their beliefs and understand the need for a solid base and substance behind the conservation of any culture, creed or People.
Finally then, the Alt-Right understand that just like the Individual and social class, the conservation of culture and infrastructure for it’s own sake is incomplete and is only half the story.
Whatever your opinion of the personalities of the Alt-Right and their views, what can be universally agreed upon is that they are a fascinating and instructive set, who have given us a glimpse what can be done and what might yet be done with the tools and means of the twenty-first century in the political sphere.