On The Alt Right, A Crisis Over True Believers
As the Alt Right grows, it faces a crisis: its more mainstream components have had their victory with the rise of Donald Trump, but its core — which desires greater social change away from the Leftist stream of Western nations over the last century — finds itself at a loss for how to push the window further.
After all, the Alt Right is half advocacy for traditional civilization and half provocative trolling that turns the shock of an effete Establishment into a weapon again them. Just as Christian parents freaked out over rock ‘n roll in the 1960s, gutmensch bourgeois parents find themselves in panic mode over the memes and rhetoric of a raging right-wing resurgence.
This gives the Alt Right momentum, but like a car going too fast in the night, its speed means that its headlights do not see far ahead and so it is flying blind. This creates a vacuum of direction, and so the strongest and clearest voices win out. On one end, these are the Alt Lite and near Alt Lite types who popularize simple ideas and miss the big point, and on the other, it is the fanatics from the white nationalist world who hope to dominate the Alt Right with their oversimplified and ultimately not radical enough message.
In this way, the Alt Right finds itself in the same unenviable position as Twitter. It can either reach out to the wider audience out there who are less active and less responsive to dogma, or it can deepen its appeal to its captive audience who tend to be fanatical but ineffectual. Twitter panders to SJWs, and many on the Alt Right pander to the True Believers who will be its doom.
To reach a wider audience, the Alt Right must be practical. It cannot merely appeal to our widespread loathing of modern society and what the fallen Western Civilization has become, but offer an option that is not merely negative, that is, not merely directed against symptoms of the present. We have to target the heart of what is wrong, and come up with a replacement that involves a growth direction, such as happens when people find purpose and discover joy in pursuing it.
Some micro-movements have done this. Hipsters are moving to farms and learning self-sufficiency. Tech nerds are forming communities to build next-generation solar and robotics. Futurists have transhumanism and the singularity to aspire to. Libertarians are working toward free states. These will all fail because they are not complete replacements, and become fetishistic over time.
We want to reach the normal people who want both a good normal life and a chance to remake this civilization. They are in favor of what we say, but do not want to give up the chance to live. This is natural and good; as in lifeguarding, one must save oneself first and then deal with whatever disaster is raging in the surrounding environs.
These normal people are fed up with the utter failure of modernity but will not “jump ship” to a vessel steered by fanatics. They are looking for something responsible, realistic and reasonable to which we can transition without destroying families, careers, lives and hopes.
In contrast to regular political movements, the Alt Right has thrived by being an ecosystem instead of a group of people who each do the exact same thing; it has thinkers, agitators, artists and trolls. It is ultimately a cultural movement. The trolls serve an important role: by saying outrageous stuff, they widen the window of what is acceptable by stretching what most people consider as “normal.”
That sort of dialogue shifts the “Overton window” to include ideas that have deliberately been edited from history by the Leftist Establishment. However, the trolling is a means-to-an-end, and not an end in itself. It can help convey a message, and clear aside the critics, but it cannot be the whole of the message.
For the Alt Right, as everyone else who wants to escape modernity, the dividing line proves to be the democracy question. Those who believe in equality are on one side, and everyone else on the other. This means that the “other” side is at a disadvantage, since they are unified by what they do not believe in and not what they do.
It has become clear to most at this point that those who favor equality are either the enemy or a tool of the enemy. Equality penalizes the competent in order to subsidize the less-competent, and by doing so, it inverts the society and gears it toward the negative and finite instead of future positives of infinite potential.
The future of the Alt Right then belongs to those who are against equality even if this is a cultural and not political opinion. It will be guided by those who want escape from modernity, instead of some option to “fix” modern society. Our current path is a winding road to death, and anything we can choose that goes another way is better than sitting around waiting for the crash.