The Alt Right has stumbled lately through a loss of momentum. Much of this comes as its vision becomes blurred after achieving immediate objectives like public acceptance and support of nationalist candidates such as Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen.
More of it comes through the nature of conservative movements as “big tents.” People come to the Alt Right from libertarianism, conservatism, nationalism or even Leftism. It tries to accommodate them all, and in the process, runs the risk of being diluted and becoming a version of its own influences through a sort of “reverse assimilation.”
To unite these groups, the Alt Right needs a clear, simple and visual direction. We need to know where we are headed; are we merely Republicans who dislike diversity? Or Knights Templar returned to bring transhumanism to the stars? Our enemies think we are re-warmed Nazis and Klan members; most people see us as trolls. In the midst of this confusion, the Alt Right floats adrift.
Perhaps we should look into what all white people, in their innermost selves, crave. And in a gesture that is uncommon here at Amerika, perhaps we should use visual indicators of the first order, namely ((( movies ))) which have captured the imagination of the greatest number of white people over the past few decades.
The first obviously would be Lord of the Rings. These three movies together form a story arc that can be summarized as “different races join together for a vast race war that culminates in the restoration of the monarchy.” It is hard to get more un-PC than that, but when your races are Elves, Hobbits and Men, it becomes easier to slip it past the censors.
Another epic film series, although only the first movie is good, is Star Wars. In this film — which came out at the peak of the Cold War — a rag-tag band of misfits battle an imperial force that resembles a hybrid between the Soviets, Romans and Nazis. It was interesting in that it combined Buddhist mysticism with Tom Clancy-styled political fiction and pulp sci-fi of the first order.
In its heart, the Alt Right wants Lord of the Rings with spaceships. We might visualize this as the world that J.R.R. Tolkien created, fused with the imaginative space conflict of George Lucas. Or, to make it more abstract, we want the sense of order from Tolkien, and the feeling of purpose from Star Wars.
These two seem a bit at odds, but there is more than meets the eye.
What sort of belief systems influenced the creators of these works? As it turns out, Tolkien left us some clues:
Tolkien was, in his choleric way, giving voice to his deepest convictions regarding the ideal form of human society — albeit fleeting voice. The text of his sole anarcho-monarchist manifesto, such as it is, comes from a letter he wrote to his son Christopher in 1943 (forgive me for quoting at such length):
My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning the abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to “unconstitutional” Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate real of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could go back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so to refer to people . . . .
And anyway, he continues, “the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men”:
Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. At least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is. The mediaevals were only too right in taking nolo episcopari [“I do not want to be bishop” – Ed.] as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop.
Grant me a king whose chief interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you dare call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers. And so on down the line. But, of course, the fatal weakness of all that — after all only the fatal weakness of all good natural things in a bad corrupt unnatural world — is that it works and has only worked when all the world is messing along in the same good old inefficient human way . . . .
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as “patriotism”, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
…since our perpetual electoral cycle is now largely a matter of product recognition, advertising, and marketing strategies, we must be content often to vote for persons willing to lie to us with some regularity or, if not that, at least to speak to us evasively and insincerely. In a better, purer world — the world that cannot be — ambition would be an absolute disqualification for political authority.
I include the final paragraph fragment from author David Bentley Hart because it explains Tolkien’s perspective so well. In the above we have a few vital ideas: a desire for no government and control (a term left undefined), support for absolute monarchy, a belief that those who seek power are corrupt, and an anarcho-primitivism that desires an inefficient form of human civilization.
These are interesting to fit together because they work well together. Under a monarchy, citizens arguably have the most flexibility to determine how they spend their time, which probably serves better than enumerated rights and freedoms as a signifier of the good life. There are no rules and regulations, only “use your best judgment” delegated to people whose ancestors were wiser and gentler than the rest. While there are also no free stuff social benefits to save people from themselves, on the flip side, taxes are lower and there is almost no red tape, paperwork and the like. Most of the miserable events of modern society are simply missing.
Now let us take a peek at what George Lucas believed:
Lucas was born and raised in a strongly Methodist family. After inserting religious themes into Star Wars he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his movies, which were a major inspiration for “the Force.” Lucas eventually came to state that his religion was “Buddhist Methodist.”
…Lucas’s Protestant family background has always been evident to those who have analyzed his films. Lucas has a clearly defined belief in God, and good and evil; Lucas has been described by some as a pantheist. Lucas is a friend of Joseph Campbell, from whom he has derived much of his philosophy. Discussing the development of the idea of the Force, Lucas said: “The Force evolved out of various developments of character and plot. I wanted a concept of religion based on the premise that there is a God and there is good and evil. I began to distill the essence of all religions into what I thought was a basic idea common to all religions and common to primitive thinking. I wanted to develop something that was nondenominational but still had a kind of religious reality. I believe in God and I believe in right and wrong. I also believe that there are basic tenets which through history have developed into certainties, such as ‘thou shalt not kill.’ I don’t want to hurt other people. ‘Do unto others…’ is the philosophy that permeates my work.” [Source: Ryder Windham. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Scrapbook. Random House (1999), pg. 11.]
George also recalled a period of existential anguish when he was six. ‘It centered around God,’ he recalled. ‘What is God? But more than that, what is reality? What is this? It’s as if you reach a point and suddenly you say, “Wait a second, what is the world? What are we? What am I? How do I function in this, and what’s going on here?” [Source: John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas, Avon Books: New York, NY (1999), p.22]
Jean Renoir said that every artist has only one story. If that is true, then what is Lucas’s? It’s a question he’s always been unwilling to answer. If pressed, he disclaims any personal vision, referring back to the body of myth, the thirty-two basic plot situations enumerated by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, or the accumulation of racial memory evoked by Carl Gustav Jung. ‘I took off from the folk side of things,’ he told the New York Times, looking back on Star Wars from the perspective of a quarter-century, ‘and tried to stay with universal themes apart from violence and sex, which are the only other two universal themes that seem to work around the world. My films aren’t that violent or sexy. Instead, I’m dealing with the need for humans to have friendships, to be compassionate, to band together to help each other and to join together against what is negative.’ Except it was precisely these aspects of earlier Star Wars adventures that critics found lacking in The Phantom Menace. [Source: John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas, Avon Books: New York, NY (1999), p.403-404]
This gives us some insight into the purpose behind Star Wars: like classical civilization, it was a quest to put things in balance and to live according to a principle of achieving the good, and fighting the bad. While on the surface “The Force” is quite hippie, underneath the skin it is a doctrine of war.
How could we fuse these two similar-but-different worlds? We may not have to. As Richard Spencer has said on several occasions, we do not need to know our exact endpoint, only the direction we want to take, and we can achieve it gradually as we get closer to realizing it. This is how most projects or quests in life turn out: starting as general ideas, and moving to the specific over time.
What is most important about this realization — Lord of the Rings plus spaceships — is that it explicitly rejects modernity without making the mistake that most people do of confusing modernity with technology. Modernity is the time that came out of The Renaissance™: a time based on human individuals, not natural or divine order, as the ancient civilizations of The Odyssey, Beowulf and even the Middle Ages had been. Something in all of us Caucasian-types yearns for that kind of significance and meaning, although we have not yet connected this to our dislike of paperwork, obsequy, boxy architecture, ideology, rules, regulations and jobs that sap our souls.
The Alt Right needs a way to unite itself and a purpose. Leftism is the idea of equality; conservatism is the idea of order, but it is more of a gut instinct or folkway than a procedural belief system like ideology, so that is then open to interpretation, which means that everybody’s got an opinion and they loosely ally while fighting it out.
One of the elusive secrets of human populations is that the only way to unify a group is to stop fighting it out and give them a vision they can share as something to move forward to. Conservatives work well with ideas that emphasize order based on what has worked in the past, which is the “conserve” part of conservatism and conservationism alike.
However, in order to know which working methods to choose, they rely on a goal of qualitative improvement of all things in life, like a gardener tweaking his plots or a mother raising children. This requires us to have a forward goal that says we can improve the quality of existence not just materially but in our spirits as well, and that requires a grand goal instead of the politics-as-usual bickering over “issues” that rely on modern or Leftist methods to “fix” eternal problems.
When we look at the past, we see a method that worked better, but unlike modern ideology or religion it was not centered around a “big idea,” but instead a handful of bits of knowledge that are needed to make a civilization function. We abandoned that knowledge, and our technology — which was nascent but setting the groundwork needed for future development — grew, so that now we have a vast and powerful human dominion over Earth and are finding ourselves asking, “But what is the purpose?”
It does not take a huge amount of wealth, power and technology to have grocery stores, libraries and basic health care. If we were going to be sensible about our extra wealth and energy, we might put it into exploring the stars so that we can escape the limits imposed on us by time. But here, the story gets interesting, because the two threads of ancient kingdoms and hyper-modern spaceships come together.
We are not going to be exploring the stars in our present state of mind or degree of organization to our civilization. We are, quite simply, not ready, both on a personal level where people can barely control their own desires, and on a social level, where the pleasure-seeking behavior of the multitudes has created cruel and manipulative leaders who steer the mass culture with mentally convenient ideas that always turn out to be lies, or at least extremely partial truths.
For us to get to the stars, we have to fix ourselves, and that begins with fixing our social order so that it rewards good behavior and banishes bad, which in turn will allow natural selection to work on making us (again) as fit, intelligent and wise as our ancestors. At that point, we can contemplate exploring the stars, and so realize a vision deeply embedded in the hopes of each of us.
Tags: alt-right, george lucas, j.r.r. tolkien, lord of the rings, richard spencer, spaceships