Apropos of recent calls for the Alt Right to wage war on Breitbart editor and troll auteur Milo Yiannopoulos, the man himself came to a nearby bloated city to give one of his more important speeches. Attendees like myself were rewarded with a vision of the Alt Right not as a singular thing, but as layers of a vital truth.
Yiannopoulos was compelling, and came across as nervous and even shy but earnest, which won the audience over completely. The pacing of his delivery was more like that of a comedian than a political speaker, but that worked very well, separating out the density of the material.
While the presentation was humorous, including some truly comic-tragic slides, some of the most compelling moments came from the Q&A with Yiannopolous and fellow Breitbart writer Allum Bokhari. In these moments, more of the personalities behind the writing came out, and what was revealed were earnest people who fear for the direction that society has taken under Leftism.
During his speech, Yiannopoulos inveighed against the censorship of the Left and its tendency to state its goals, and define anything else as some kind of bigotry. He spoke of a chaotic, libertarian society, but it was clear that his own sympathies favor a traditional, even highly structured civilization.
These guys are trying to beat down the presumed legitimacy of the Left by pointing out the standard misbehavior of liberals, while hinting at a strong yearning for a traditional lifestyle. Milo is depending on the rest of the alt right to rush through the door that he has opened, and finish the job.
In this time, the things that succeed are very simple and spiced up with humor and irony. This is what Yiannopoulos does quite well. His mission is not to establish a final goal for the Alt Right, but to sabotage that which holds it back. As he said (quoted here):
Leftists will insist that racism underpins national pride, but this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth. Most members of the alt-right, even the serious ones, will agree that they want everyone to have national pride, not just western countries.
And theyâ€™re right â€” the instinct for belonging, for a sense of common identity, is universal. The global eliteâ€™s foolish quest to suppress this instinct is one of the reasons why the alt right, as well as the populist nationalist right, have gained so much ground so quickly.
The point here is the the Alt Right has quite a task ahead of it. Often these types of tasks are compared to peeling an onion: start with the outer layers, and then successively remove additional layers until you reach the core. The center is the long-term goal of reversing Western decline, but the outermost layers consist of the speech taboos and universal assumptions created by Leftism.
Yiannopoulos and his comrades, like Mencius Moldbug, serve a vital role in peeling the outer layers. They give us mental tools we can use to think around the inertia of Leftist assumptions, and to deconstruct those assumptions and contrast them to possible alternatives. It may not be meant literally, or as anything other than a metaphor, but this type of critique serves to remove the presumption of universal validity that gives Leftism its power of manipulative guilt.
If the Alt Right wants to wage war, it should do so against the Left, and against Leftist incursion into the Alt Right. These Leftist incursions will almost certainly be of the false flag nature, because that is how White Nationalism and other far-right movements were compromised:
Extremist movements find it hard to resist people who take extreme positions, and those extreme positions make everyone else look weak. The guy who comes into the room and says, “We need to exterminate all who oppose us,” will quickly dominate the conversation. This quickly redirects discussion from how to solve problems to how to punish scapegoats.
The ideal Leftist entryist — who is almost certainly not aware of what he is doing — will dominate discussion in such a way, ensuring that focus is lost on anything but extreme methods, leaving the assumption that society (including the broken systems of democracy, equality, pluralism and utilitarianism) is just fine other than those few token issues.
This produces a neutered movement. It has strong opinions on its special interest issue, but no other plan, which drives away the audience it needs in order to grow, while directing its energies away from effective action toward self-marginalizing action. This is why extremist movements accomplish very little, and if the Alt Right self-destructs, it will be through this mechanism.