Sargon of Akkad has already accurately reported that the Alt Right is not an ideology, but an idea space, containing a variety of many different, and even incompatible views. But it would be a mistake to view the idea space as existing for its own sake. The Alt Right was, and remains, a response to the failures of the “old right,” conservativism proper. Its goal has been to create a new political ideology, something like a “party,” but perhaps without the bureaucracy and trappings of what is very possibly a technologically out-of-date model for social organization.
People on the left, like Sargon, might look at the Alt Right’s current state of division, and view this as “civil war” within the movement. Nothing could be further from the truth. The division represents not the death-rattle, but the final struggle of a group first contemplating their views and priorities on thousands of issues, then dozens, and now three. The sub-groups represent solidarity on everything else within the Alt Right, from the importance of religion and nationalism to the rejection of equality and liberalism… with the exception of the Alt-Lite.
So allow me to introduce the final contenders in this deliberation: the Alt-Right proper (or “Alt-West,” as it is sometimes called), the Alt-White, and the Alt-Lite:
Identifiers: Rejects liberalism and “equality.” Emphasis on Western civilization. Ethnic identity without necessarily ethnic nationalism. Confronts racial differences, but usually sees other groups as allies against globalism, rather than as enemies.
Popular members: Vox Day, Stefan Molyneux, Takimag, Fred Reed
Identifiers: Rejects liberalism and “equality.” Emphasis on White civilization. Views ethnic nationalism as logical conclusion from ethnic differences in nature and values. Sees other groups as de facto enemies to be distrusted, though potential allies against a larger enemy. Particularly aware of danger of Jews and Jewish influence. A few actual, self-professed Neo-Nazis exist within this group, though they are not a majority and do not dominate the political goals of the group.
Popular members: RedIce, Radix Journal (Richard Spencer), Counter-Currents (Greg Johnson)
Identifiers: Classical liberals, usually libertarian or conservative. Emphasis on Western Civilization. Views ethnic nationalism as unnecessary and/or impossible, and ethnic identity as a generally bad thing. Sees primary enemies as political, academic, and media establishments
Popular members: InfoWars (especially Paul Joseph Watson), Breitbart (especially Milo Yiannopoulous)
What is ironic is that it with the exception of Richard Spencer in the wake of “hail-gate,” it has largely been the Alt-Lite that the media has gone after for being Neo-Nazis, racists, and everything else under the sun. This, in spite of the fact that the Alt-Lite wasn’t originally a component of the Alt-Right. They did not even join the group, as many other Alt-West/Alt-Right members bitterly complain, but were more or less put there by the left. The Alt-Lite is simply the component of classical liberalism that grasps that the old tactics of the Right don’t work, and have a new method of culture war that makes them superficially similar to the Alt-Right.
This is not to say that the Alt-Right, in both its “West” and “White” forms, and the Alt-Lite don’t share some common values. There is, in fact, a fair bit of overlap. In his 16 points on “What the Alt Right is,” Vox Day throws a bone to the Alt-Lite in points 4, 5, and 6, and gives a clear dog-whistle to the Neo-Nazis and the Alt White with point 14. Many in all three camps are Christian, are libertarian, and/or share an aesthetic of what a good society should look like.
The point is that there is a continuum between these groups, rather than a line in the sand, and the division and conflict is not a struggle for power, but a struggle for ideological clarity and focus. This means that the Alt-Right will be more prevalent and popular in the coming years, not less. It is not dying, but consolidating and organizing.
And to make matters worse for the Alt-Right’s detractors, critics, doomsday-prophets and haters, I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of Alt-Liters making the leap to the Alt-Right proper. I’ve spoken about why and how before, but I didn’t expect the speed and viciousness of the doubling-down by the progressive left. I think the speed and solidarity in the growth and consolidation of the Alt Right will mirror this. Whether it is ultimately the Alt-West or the Alt-White that eventually dominates, only time will tell.
Prepare for a new political paradigm. The hand-wringing liberals at FOX news are out, and identity politics for the right-wing is back in town.