In my experience, the Alt Right came about when several threads of non-mainstream thought converged, and it has never really solidified into a single thing because of the tension between these parts.
Its elements include: traditionalism, or the idea that there is an eternal order to human living; human biodiversity, recognizing that behavior is genetic and not specified by education or “culture,” which usually means television; libertarianism, or the realization that government is a self-interested corporation that quickly becomes parasitic; the New Right, which figured out that we need a cultural wave and not the underground political movements which had failed in the postwar period; black metal, a musical movement that emphasized Nietzschean/Machiavellian love for natural selection and xenophobic aggression; the writings of Michel Houellebecq, who pointed out that the West was dying because modern society is existentially enervating; and of course, the remnants of the Old Right and nationalism.
Through the Alt Right, those who favor the idea of restoring Western Civilization — roughly what nationalism, traditionalism and the other anti-modern ideas listed above are getting at — were able to escape the bad old days of “white nationalism”:
I’ve seen the term “White Nationalism 1.0” bandied about for years. I have always associated it with the White Nationalist movement in the 2000s.
…Well, it would be more accurate to say it was a branch of White Nationalism. Although I didn’t know them at the time, there was another group of men who were active in those years. They built institutions which advanced the White Movement movement and have left a positive legacy.
…The Alt-Right has brought a new generation of Millennials into the White Nationalist movement…Years ago, the public face of the movement used to be equal parts stupid, vicious, crazy and ugly.
This is some great insight from Hunter Wallace buried in an article about an unfortunate tiff on the Right. In my view, both Wallace and Roper are fantastic writers and thinkers, and the Unite The Right rally is going to be absolutely killer, but these tiffs often bring about evolution on the Right, so perhaps it is not terrible that these guys are hashing out their differences like gentlemen.
For broader relevance, the article makes a great point: white nationalism did not succeed, and has been replaced in the social media age with the Alt Right. In part, this is because white nationalism no longer had a monopoly on non-mainstream, pro-nationalist thought. When the internet was young, there were only a few places to find people speaking about such things, and this elevated some crazy to power.
Now, people are speaking more openly, and so there is competition within the pro-nationalist marketplace, which has led to some evolution, although we are still a few steps away from the steps we will have to take before victory. Maybe the tiffs and struggles within the movement are serving a Darwinian role that we cannot ignore.
In my mind, white nationalism failed for the following reasons: since the mainstream would not accept a race-based view of history and a civilization-based view of survival, anyone who knew the wisdom that was common a century ago was driven underground. This gave weight to those who were willing to be public figures instead of anonymous supporters, and many of those were mental cases.
White nationalism also struggled because it was a partial answer. We all know that our disease in the West runs deeper than diversity. In fact, diversity is a symptom of our existential despair and moral emptiness, and looks to us like the act of a group that has given up on fixing itself and just wants to die. Any future movement needs a plan to make life healthy and sane again.
But more broadly, white nationalism 1.0 got nowhere because it made the fatal mistake of playing to its audience instead of expanding that audience by addressing the broad spectrum of problems which our society faces. Extreme ideas gain an audience of “true believers” who are very active on the internet, but are not powerful or relevant in real life. When a movement caters to this audience, it excludes those who are not already alienated, and in doing so finds itself unable to get support from groups like the upper half of the middle class who elected Donald Trump:
The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.
…The differences are usually larger in states with substantial non-white populations, as black and Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly Democratic and tend to have lower incomes. In South Carolina, for example, the median Trump supporter had a household income of $72,000, while the median for Clinton supporters was $39,000.
…Many of the differences reflect that Republican voters are wealthier overall than Democratic ones, and also that wealthier Americans are more likely to turn out to vote, especially in the primaries. However, while Republican turnout has considerably increased overall from four years ago, there’s no sign of a particularly heavy turnout among “working-class” or lower-income Republicans.
Trump was elected by the same people who supported the Tea Party and were enthusiastic about Ron Paul. They are more successful than average, and therefore probably have a higher level of competence, and they are concerned about the direction our nation and its enclosing civilization, Western Civilization, are taking.
The true believers of white nationalism, while they are faithful, obstruct that middle class audience because the true believers are drawn to the extremism more than an ultimate goal. And what is the goal of a nationalist, traditionalist and realist movement like the Alt Right? Most likely it is to un-do the mental virus of The Enlightenment™ which manifests in individualism:
So I’ve decided to try and include at least one article per day reminding everyone here about the joys of equality, freedom, and lack of personal responsibility — constant prodding has been scientifically proven to be the best type of propaganda for the masses.
Equality, freedom, lack of personal responsibility, collectivism and individualism are one and the same. Individuals want society to accept them despite their lack of contribution, or even bad behavior. The individual wants to be #1. So he forms a gang with others, and they create a mob, which is defined by the fact that each person in it is selfish and does not want to be identified as such, so relies on “safety in numbers” to obscure the selfish motivations of each person in the mob.
The mob defines the modern time. It is the basic unit of our politics and consumer society. It is how people think, believing that if one person in a group has certain attributes, then everyone in that group has them. This is why people go to rock concerts; they see themselves as being just as important as the guy on stage. This is why people adored multiculturalism in the first place; to them, each person is equal and so if you move them to the right place, they all become ideal citizens, despite genetics.
Mobs arise in the presence of solipsism, or the tendency to view the world as existing for the individual or within the individual. It is a cousin of paranoia. Solipsism is the mental condition created by individualism. This individualism occurs at every income level, and has nothing to do with losers-versus-winners, but reflects how we approach life and what values we apply to it.
Another source explains this well in the context of women attempting to escape individualism:
The female mind already leans toward solipsism, which while part of the way things were designed to work, it can be too much if not balanced with an awareness of others.
Consider women in your life who are living the “Put yourself first” motto to the extreme, not good, right? Such women are often a neurotic, self-absorbed, hot mess who thinks only of herself. Such women are also often very unhappy and constantly seeking more of “something.”
…But rather than that path leading to balance, harmony, and happiness, women today seem less “centered” than ever.
Solipsism demands equality because the solipsistic individual wants to remove any chance that he can be found to be wrong in action or lesser in ability. He wants no one and no thing to be able to tell him he cannot do whatever he desires. The only way to achieve this is to force society to accept him despite his lack of contributions, or bad stuff he has done. This is how individualists arrive at the mob mentality.
This is what we fight, and most of the functional parts of America actually agree with us. They see society as selfish on every level from the welfare parasites to the dot-com billionaires. They dislike cosmopolitanism and the city, and favor chastity, hard work, learning, intelligence, culture and faith. They see the individualism and solipsism of our modern world and are retreating from it, but they see no option, no group they can support or political change they can demand which will fix it.
If you ask them why they rely on these “old-fashioned” values, they will tell you simply that having such a value system just works. It keeps life in balance. It makes people stable, loving and kind, but also able to do the hard things in life. These methods are what enable them to be stable, productive and successful.
Our goal on the Alt Right is not to become a new form of the Left by claiming that individualism means an unequal hierarchy. In fact, we want an unequal hierarchy, because that places the most competent in positions of power, and we all benefit from that.
Individualism is a mindset that says “me first” and naturally deprecates heritage, values and any purpose shared between people. The poorest among us have it as well as the richest. It is a mental virus turned into a disease afflicting civilization itself. Individualism is the removal of culture, heritage, faith and values so that only the individual remains.
If the Alt Right follows the White Nationalist playbook of pandering to the true believers instead of the broader upper half of middle class, it will slide into irrelevance like the seven decades of white nationalism before it. Our true believers are race-awake but still drugged on the Leftist idea of equality, and secretly want a classless society where twenty-somethings working entry level jobs are “equal” to those who have achieved more, and in order to support them, we are dumbing down our message.
To avoid this, we need a whole message that is entirely distinct from the Leftism that has ruled the West for the past two centuries. Leftism has one idea, equality, and anything infected with that idea always reverts to being Leftism. Anything which argues for equality is in fact hidden Leftism, and will subvert us from within.
We need to have a vision of a whole society. We are not a mass movement. We are those who dominate the masses, and instead create a civilization with hierarchy, culture, values and purpose. This requires admitting a type of social order known as caste. This separates people into broad bands by ability, and gives more social power to those higher in the hierarchy.
Caste reflects the intelligence, moral character and behavior of people. The different castes use different reproductive strategies, and the lower castes are biologically unable to understand the actions of higher castes. Lower caste revolt is what destroys all great civilizations.
Humanity cycles between sanity and insanity, and those who triumph — contrary to Nietzschean visions of combat and supremacy — are those who find sanity. When we achieve sanity, we are able to do great things. Sanity means accepting the world as it is, including the differences between people, and shooting for a social order that works for everyone, only without equality.
White nationalism got absorbed by Leftism and as a result was never able to formulate a plan except a vague thought for the extreme removal of certain non-white groups. We can do better than this.
It makes sense to be nationalist because nationalism — which allows culture and not government to shape a society — is a prerequisite for a healthy nation. But we need more than just that; we also need a society that brings our people existential joy, so they begin reproducing at replacement rates or higher again. We need purpose and something to live for so that we can have virtue again. And we need an interpretation of nationalism that is not mere bigotry, but a theory of society as a functional organic entity, like a family on a larger scale.
The Alt Right is attempting to offer these things, but they do not appeal to the true believers who want an egalitarian white society. Some even endorse socialism and other Leftist ideas. While these will get us votes and new converts in the short term, they will not reach out to the upper half of middle class audience that makes change happen. We will pigeonhole ourselves and self-isolate like white nationalism did.
In this light, we cannot see the Alt Right “as” white nationalism. It is an entirely new entity, a political movement designed to replace modern society with something much better. It hopes to bring joy to our people again, and to provide us the type of future in which we can thrive and mature into the greatness of the ancients. It will only get there if its audience does not hold it back.