I have enjoyed several conversations with individuals and groups of people who identify as “Alt Right” with the intention of understanding what this movement is. The following is an attempt to examine honestly and objectively what I have discovered to present an accurate description of the movement’s main concerns, methods and goals.
What is the Alt Right?
The phrase “Alternative Right” was coined by Richard Spencer in 2010 and has become an umbrella term to describe a neo-reactionary movement to push back against progressive domination of the political and social spheres. This done by creating an “idea space” in which issues such as race and nationalism can be discussed without considering left-wing positions on the subject. This puts the Alt Right outside of mainstream conservatism, which is dominated by left-wing philosophies on the subjects of race, nationalism and gender relations, which is summed up in the Alt Right by the pejorative label #Cuckservative, which is in many ways a mirror of the Liberal use of #RegressiveLeft.
In many ways the Alt Right seems to be a reaction to the lack of conservative doctrine on subjects dominated by left-wing points of view. This new “idea space” is not radically different from the idea of a progressive’s “safe space” and functions much in the same way – it is a place for certain ideas and attitudes to be cultivated and honed without their fundamental premises being challenged in order to establish a more concrete understanding in adherents and ensure these ideas can be discussed in comfort.
These spaces are not usually open to ideas and participants outside of the Alt Right and can result in the same kind of intellectual protectionism that takes places in the Progressive Left when concepts that undermine the precepts of the discussion are introduced. This can result in similar calls to no-platform proponents of these ideas.
Under the umbrella of Alt Right is a conglomeration of individuals that broadly agree on a set of core ideas but hold to a wide variety of ancillary beliefs. These disagreements are rarely if ever points of genuine contention and seem to operate on more of a sliding scale between being uncontested to zealously believed, but apparently not including categorically wrong.
This laissez-faire attitude towards points of ideological disagreement is certainly vital to the cohesiveness of the Alt Right and would probably cause its disintegration into many small splinter movements if one ideological position became dogmatic and gained hegemony over all potential Alt Right “ideas spaces”. This is important because the Alt Right is not, as they will tell you at great lengths, a single homogeneous movement with a streamlined set of beliefs, although there are a certain select set of issues on which there is common agreement.
1. White/Nationalist Identity Politics
The most common thread that seems to run across the entire spectrum of the Alt Right is the concept of an international white genetic and social identity, which can be subdivided from broad categories such as White European down into North-Western European, Southern European and Eastern European. These categories can doubtless be drilled-down into even further using national borders and local regions.
The white race is often considered to be an expanded family unit, as one adopts a collectivist attitude towards the family it is considered that one should do so towards the nation, and the white race as a whole. This, of course, begs the question “who, exactly is white?” with people of a mixed race ancestry generally being accepted as white if they appear to be white. This is, however, not an issue on which there is universal consensus.
The general consensus appears to be that since the Regressive Left has decided to make racialism a key issue and have decided to back one side of it, a side which can be accurately termed as the “anti-White” side, white Europeans can and should naturally adopt the pro-White side, with these people often terming themselves “white advocates” due to the negative response commonly received by “white nationalist” or “Racialist”.
Other than this, there is nothing new or unusual about the identity politics practiced in the Alt Right. It is the same brand of racial, religious and nationalist tribalism that is practiced in the Regressive Left except it is approached from the opposite direction. Instead of condemning Christianity, “whiteness” and denouncing white history, the Alt Right instead thinks very highly of white culture and history and believe it should be preserved at all costs and there should be a focus on the “survival” of the white race.
2. White Genocide
Across the Alt Right, it is common to encounter the idea that there is currently, in progress, a genocide taking place against white people. This is, of course, the essential data point used by an overwhelming majority in the Alt Right to create the narrative of white victimhood that fuels and justifies white nationalist identity politics.
The existence of a white genocide is established by an interpretation of the UN definition of genocide:
The most common Alt Right interpretation of this definition means that there is currently being perpetrated an on-going genocide of the white race. According to most, many influential groups in society are knowingly acting to eradicate the white race through demographic destruction over an extended period of time via the use of mass immigration.
This is established by population projections derived from comparisons of birth rates between native populations and recent immigrant groups. According to some forecasts, in the UK and United States, there are birth rates that are below replacement rate. There are projections that non-Muslims will be a minority in some Western countries such as Britain by 2050. Many in the Alt Right therefore believe the native white population will not compete with non-white immigrants who have a greater birth rate on average.
It is important to note that these demographic trends are not necessarily false but are certainly exaggerated and exclude key factors. Studies have shown that Muslim fertility rates are high in recent immigrants but reduce over time to normalise with the native population, a phenomenon which is probably directly connected to a rise out of poverty; trends show that as populations become wealthier, birth rates drop dramatically.
The Pew Research Center asserts that by 2030, the Muslim population of Britain will have grown from 4.6% in 2011 to 8.2% in 2030, with the majority of the increase due to immigration trends, undoubtedly exacerbated due to the recent Migrant Crisis, and not birth rates.
Germany is usually the most frequently-cited example of extermination by demographic change as Germany’s birth rates among native Germans is one of the lowest in the world at 1.4 children born to each German woman, compared to the commonly-cited ideal replacement rate of 2.1. It is important to note that Germany is the exception in Northern Europe, and not the rule, as the United States, Britain, Australia, France, Norway and Sweden all have 1.9 or greater replacement rate and do not face demographic collapse in the foreseeable future.
The Alt Right argument for “white genocide” is therefore strongest in Germany, but even then the definition of genocide is based on intent, specifically the acts listed done with intent to destroy the white race and European culture in whole or part. Opinion within the Alt Right obviously varies on this point, ranging from perhaps not deliberate to a direct plot with malice of intent. However, the outcome (the predicted extinction or reduction to minority status of the white race) is more important than the intentions of those who enact policies that are perceived to be causing this eventuality.
The groups considered to be responsible for the “genocide” are comprised of Marxist academics and consequently their students, many of whom are openly racist against white people, the self-hating European political class, and the Jews attempting to force multiculturalism on white populations. It is generally considered that the white genocide is being perpetrated by one or more of these groups to a greater or lesser degree.
Even proponents of the idea of a white genocide understand that the term is hyperbolic and not reflective of what people usually understand to be a genocide. However, the term genocide is justified by proponents using these arguments. This is usually out of a deep concern with future projections of the white race because one of the most common Alt Right beliefs is that without the white race, there can be no Western civilisation.
3. Race is culture
Almost all of the Alt Right believe that certain types of high-level, advanced cultures are capable of being created and sustained only by certain biological groups of humans. Influential race-focused thinkers like Jared Taylor believe that Western culture is a direct result of IQ and dependent on a certain average level being maintained.
Western culture is also considered to be a direct expression of white genes, which is not strictly connected to IQ although it is “to some extent” which is never substantiated but assumed to be correct. Each different culture is usually considered directly representative of the genes of the population that expresses it, although there is a lot of flexibility in this and very little of substance to confirm or deny this argument.
Some in the Alt Right believe that there is an inherent altruism of white nature. The migrant crisis and mass immigration is often considered to be part of the innate goodness of white people and is not found outside the white race. In addition to this, there is a common belief that first world countries are white countries and you cannot have a first world country with a white minority and non-white majority.
4. National segregation
Naturally due to the previous factors, the Alt Right is consistent in the desire for racial segregation by nation, to an overwhelmingly large percentage, with some demanding zero non-white citizens and others being accepting of 5-10% non-white citizens. However, this is always desired to be a figure to be as low as possible.
This is based on the principles of nationalism and self-determination, presumably using Westphalian sovereignty as the moral or legal impetus although I am yet to come across a self-identified Alt Right person who has elucidated it this way.
It’s important not to conflate this desire for white national integrity with white supremacy, as many in the Alt Right will make it explicitly clear that they are not advocates of genocide or oppression of any race and simply want distinct racial groups separated from each other. However, there is a vocal minority within the Alt Right who are white supremacists and do hold to supremacist beliefs, although even they understand the point of good PR.
The Alt Right is categorically against large-scale non-white immigration to white-majority nations. Certain racial groups might be considered by some to be more preferential to accept as immigrants due to IQ and social factors, but it is still assumed they will not be genetically predisposed to sustaining Western culture and will change the cultural character of any nations to which they emigrate, regardless of intent.
The Alt Right is a collectivist movement that is concerned primarily with the survival of Western culture and the white race. There are adherents believe that preferential treatment and rights should be expanded to native groups over immigrant groups, but it is unknown as to how many people hold this view or in what degree.
The Alt Right contains a strong current of authoritarianism, and many of the policies people in the Alt Right actively promote require it in some way. The Alt Right is in favour of social engineering. Statistics can be used “heuristically” to create understanding and advocacy for policy determined on innate characteristics. These ideas often take the form of legal or financial incentives.
The impetus for this is a common perception is that white or Western culture has degenerated and to restore it to its once-former glory will require a firm hand.
The Alt Right is broadly traditionalist, with almost all adherents being traditionalists to some degree, although there is certainly a great deal of variance from person to person and non-traditionalists are part of the community. Many desire what would be considered an actual patriarchy and consider the loss of this system as a major contributing factor to the decline of society.
It’s almost universally accepted that feminism has played a major role in the destruction of the nuclear family, and this is a detriment to Western civilisation. Many in the Alt Right believe that that this is part of a Jewish conspiracy and a return to traditional values will help prevent the decline. The amount that Alt Right adherents seek to turn back the clock in this regard varies from person to person, with some just seeking an end to the demonisation of men in popular culture to others seeking to rescind suffrage from women altogether.
9. Anti-Enlightenment Values
There is a distinct strain of thought within the Alt Right that objects to concepts produced or valued by Enlightenment thinkers either in part or in whole, such as secularism, egalitarianism, democracy, individualism and more modern concepts such as human rights. While this is a position espoused by some it is not a universal characteristic and is often deeply divisive within the community. It is usually referred to as the Dark Enlightenment.
Combined with previous factors, this leads to occasions where people in the Alt Right community will advocate mildly anti-meritocratic ideas in pursuit of the goal of group protection. Meritocracy certainly has importance to many but it is rarely considered the most important value, always coming second to the needs of the group.
Most in the Alt Right consider religions other than Christianity, especially Islam, to be an enemy out-group. However, this does not mean that in the case of Islam members of the Alt Right don’t have severe disagreements with specific aspects of Islamic dogma.
Christianity is broadly considered the traditional religion of Western culture and white people, as a cultural node reaching back into history and anchors white people to their past. The depth of this belief varies according to religiosity, with some being inclined to atheism or agnosticism and others considering Christianity a fundamental aspect of traditionalism.
There is a significant number of neo-pagans who promote a revival of indigenous European religious rites as a more authentic representation of European religious expression, although these are not a majority. Some consider Christianity itself to be a foreign influence that should be expunged.
11. Homosexuality and Drug Use
A significant number of people in the Alt Right believe the use of any type of intoxicants is “degenerate”, but many others are quite accepting of alcohol, nicotine or drug use. It’s not a consistent feature but it is discussed.
Homosexuality and its gradient expressions is another controversial topic with many on both sides of the issue. However, it is viewed in a slightly negative light, probably due to a prominent traditionalist bias and that the overwhelming majority of the members of the Alt Right are heterosexual.
12. The Jews
While antisemitism is not universal in the Alt Right, it does find strong expression with a large number of adherents. There are a small number of Jewish people who identify as Alt Right, and the acceptance of these people varies, with some considering them to be white.
However, the question of Jews or a Jewish conspiracy is definitely a controversial and frequently-discussed topic within the Alt Right, with a significant variety of opinion held by many members to varying degrees. Some believe in a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to eradicate the white race, some people do not believe in a conspiracy but are still deeply antisemitic, some people believe Jews are simply over-represented in certain vocations because the Jews work as an effective racial group demonstrating in-group preference and should be competed with in the same way.
Many people who identify as Alt Right find the movement coming from a Libertarian economic position, and as such these people have a strong focus on Libertarian economic theory. There seems to be a divergence of opinion on the subject, but not along pro-or-anti lines, instead along interested-or-disinterested lines. Many Alt Right members do not care about economics as a discipline and therefore pay it little attention.
Economists that are popular with the Alt Right include Murray Rothbard (who is Jewish) and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. How popular these economists are is unknown but Rothbard probably receives substantial criticism due to his ancestry.
14. Racial Purity
Racial purity is certainly an issue across the Alt Right, although as with other subjects, the degree of importance placed on this varies widely. 100% racial purity is certainly prestigious, but it is not something that disqualifies one from being a member of the Alt Right, as the Jewish adherents demonstrate.
Racial purity is more likely to be used as a method of pride or a source of mockery towards any individual of unusually pure or impure ancestry. I have been informed that there apparently are one or two black individuals within the Alt Right although I have not seen evidence of this and it would certainly be the exception.
The white race is not necessarily considered to be superior to other races. The prime example of this is that East Asians regularly perform better than Europeans in IQ tests and some consider this to be a sign of racial superiority, although this will often be offset by the assertion that East Asians are “less creative” than Europeans.
15. Vague Generalities
As the Alt Right is a collectivist, racial, identitarian movement there is a distinct inclination to think in terms of groups instead of individuals and make judgments and decisions on that basis. The use of statistical averages is key to almost every Alt Right argument and the application of these averages to determine what solutions should be promoted universally is generally considered an acceptable form of decision-making.
There are certain circumstances that some members of the Alt Right are willing to compromise on this over, however in general for the most deeply-held beliefs, this is not the case.
Individual rights are considered less important than group rights due to the perceived imminent danger of a white genocide and Muslim conquest of the West. This is not to say that members of the Alt Right do not consider individual rights important, it is that the impending dangers override the importance of individual freedom. It seems there is a common sentiment that individual rights are a good idea, but the danger is too great to take anything other than an authoritarian approach to the problem.
16. Feelings Are Important
Although I suspect few in the Alt Right would admit it, there is a deep well of emotion behind the Alt Right as a movement and their feelings are important. It is considered a moral imperative to preserve the white race and the greater the size of the immigrant non-white communities in Western countries, the more pressing that imperative becomes.
Many people in the Alt Right, probably more specifically white nationalists but not limited to them, believe that the nation or the white race is an extended family and would simply feel more at home around white people, even if these people severely disagreed with them on an ideological level. The foreigner is the other, a competitor, and are therefore held in lower regard than members of one’s own race, in the same way that one might be more inclined to hire a family member than a complete stranger.
Much of the energy behind this attitude is subjective and emotively rooted in the identity politics of white nationalism. Like all identity politics, it is irrational and tribal, and seems to take on an almost spiritual dimension. Justification for this position usually involves describing the history of the white race and the passing on of one’s patrimony to future generations for them to inherit. This idea is lacking in detail and appears to be the high-minded ideal that many Alt Right members hold as the greatest good.
The fear of the reduction and eventual minority status of the white race, and subsequent loss of white power over Western countries, is the major driving force that keeps the Alt Right politically active. Although there is a great depth of hatred for political correctness and anyone who promotes it, this would, on its own, probably not be enough to galvanise enough people to form a political movement.
The emotional force generated by fear, bottled up in the “idea space” of the Alt Right and rejected from mainstream social dialogue, combined with the perceived attacks against not only the white race but to individual members of the Alt Right who conduct varying types of activism on social media, make adherents to the Alt Right particularly passionate about their cause.
Put simply, there are many people who consider themselves a part of the Alt Right who could accurately be described as fanatical. They love being part of their in-group, they love “fighting” with other ideological groups on social media through memes or shitposting and they are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that their cause is just and their methods apt.
Functionally, these people are no different to social justice warriors. In many ways, the Alt Right is the ideological mirror of the Progressive Left, believing that all the same issues are valid political topics to be approached using the same tools, such as collectivism and authoritarianism.
Those particularly partisan to their cause use many tactics that are employed by SJWs. Name-calling, mislabeling, cherrypicking, narrative-crafting, mobbing on social media and extreme bias are all found in the more die-hard Alt Right activists.
However, this is not a description of all, or even necessarily most members of the Alt Right. It’s hard to judge how many people there are involved in this kind of activism, but it is probably a very loud minority drowning out more reasonable voices with exceptionally polarised and inflammatory rhetoric. Often these methods are deliberately chosen to grab attention and make people listen, but it is understood by most that in the long-run this probably does more harm than good.
The Alt Right is a movement of people who think they are justified in what they are doing. It is ideologically outside of mainstream political discourse, for now. It has gained strength through the pathological altruism of the Western political class, particularly in Europe, and the popular undercurrent of resentment against political correctness.
Ironically, social justice warriors, the strongest advocates of political correctness, are opening the door to the Alt Right becoming a mainstream political event. By framing the argument as the Progressive Left advocating for minorities against whites they have set the stage for a group to become the antagonist for this position, which is precisely what the Alt Right is.
Entertaining the complaints of the Progressive Left has made arguments from identity politics a legitimate area of discussion, and the Alt Right are capitalising on that by presenting the anti-white agenda of the SJWs as proof of an attack on white people…because it is. The question of whether this attack has teeth is irrelevant. The Progressive Left have used liberal guilt to advance an agenda that is focused largely around racism and advocacy against whites, and that has been instrumental in the coalescing and growth of the Alt Right to position themselves as advocates for whites.
Needless to say, the Alt Right are not liberals or conservatives nor do they claim to be. They are as radical as their counterparts on the authoritarian left as they both desire massive changes to the system. The formation of these two ideological positions, both in opposition to liberalism, is reminiscent of the ideological divide between Nazis and Communists in 1930s Germany. That one side are avowed Marxists and the other demands racial nationalism and takes serious issue with Jews is surely not a surprise.
Collectivism is once-more on the march. It considers itself justified and it is manifesting in its old Marxist and Racialist forms. The intellectual history of the West is repeating itself.
There will be dark days ahead.
Cuck – Literally anyone and anything that is going against an Alt Right narrative.
Cuckservative – A conservative or right-wing person who allows left-wing identity politics to dominate conversations on race at the betrayal of traditional conservative principles.
POZ’d – If an institution is POZ’d, it’s become irredeemably progressive, usually through its own volition. Based on a gay subculture of deliberately becoming HIV+.
Echo – Codeword for Jew. Will often be put in parentheses around a name, e.g. (((Ben Shapiro))), to demonstrate that this person is Jewish.