Several months ago, I had voiced my concerns about the Alt-Right and its methods. While there are certainly many things to be said about them, I focused on a few key elements that had been relevant at the time which — after the rather disastrous and foolish mistakes committed at the N.P.I. Conference in America’s capital — proved to be rather prescient. In retrospect, this event, which saw everyone’s favourite dapper Pale Nationalist Richard Spencer deliver a speech which ended with him proclaiming, “Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail Victory!” to great applause and two or more Roman salutes, represented exactly one of the many consequences that could have been derived from the understanding of the Alt-Right as a monstrous and immature entity.
In my previous article, I had pointed out that there was an inherently nihilistic and sadistic bend to some of the Alt-Right’s practices which was borne not out of some assertive masculinity as some might have hoped but from a puerile understanding of what true power means. I pointed out how some writers, for example, hailed and saluted the meme culture prevalent in the Alt-Right’s subversionary tactics as “chaos magic”i even to the point of saying how “a Reactionary can still look at the exploits of the day players and say ‘you did good, kid.’”ii Unfortunately, “good” — at least in so far as furthering some rightist cause — was certainly not achieved by the inside-joke irony present at the final speech of the N.P.I. conference. Instead, displaying the self-control of a drunk, Spencer and his followers erupted in the same kind of mass euphoria that could have been mistaken for some Social Justice rally. The “kid” certainly did not do “good,” but he was, certainly, a kid.
The whole situation was solidified by Spencer delivering apologetics for the antics under the defense of what is tantamount to “it’s just a bit of irony.”iii How can we blame him? After all, isn’t that the whole point of the meme culture? Is that not the point of the caustic and destructive revelry that is undertaken by the disgruntled young people day by day online? How can we blame Spencer for simply riding out the ecstatic electricity of victory? Spencer himself is merely a reflection of that internal chaos of the Alt-Right. “Chaos magic,” therefore, is apt because it is chaos that was the immature form of the Universe — the destructive basis which undulates as the depths. The Alt-Right is a fountainhead of this destructive streak and it could not help drawing this disorganization onto itself. He is also a reflection of the tech-savvy laziness of the Alt-Right. Instead of achieving real greatness through their own self-improvement and self-control, they savour signaling each other.
But this begs the question: what was so wrong about what they did? Can we see for a moment if Spencer’s actions were in error beyond the scope of whether or not this affected the public relations of movements to the Right of the political spectrum. After all, one should learn to not care about the biases of the “Lügenpresse,” right? What this moment of intoxication really represents is a loss of dignity. It demonstrates that the Alt-Right’s main energy is not from the dignity of its principles, but from the mass-movement of its members. It functions by the same underclass mentality as its Leftist counterparts. It excites the lower strata of society in dissatisfaction and it leads through euphoria rather than awe.
Ultimately, this draws into question what kind of person is a person of the Right? Does he maintain any level of virtue or self control superior to that of his Leftist counterparts or is he just as nihilistic about reality and treats everything as a joke? Does he have any gravitas that raises him higher than the parody-mills of late night television hosts? Is policy and ideology the only measure of difference between a person of the Right and the Left? Is a person on the Right just as willing to throw the Molotov cocktail of internet memery? I posit that any true distinguishing marker between ideologies can be found in the character and actions of its members. If an ideology does not inform the character of an individual so that he behaves differently from his counterpart, can we really say that it is qualitatively different? I suspect that any movement that revels in the immaturity of its own members represents a movement for children rather than adults.
I had also mentioned in my previous article that the Alt-Right was more like a hydra — a monster with no discernible head. It is clear in the aftermath of the N.P.I. conference and the subsequent fracturing of the Alt-Right that these divisions were only tenuously held together for the sake of the Trump campaign. It is interesting that the claims made by groups like the Alt-Right to be the intellectual vanguard of conservatism or traditionalism has no “head” to it — the traditional seat of intellect. I find Julius Evola‘s words to still reverberate when he commented about the Rightist movements in Italy:
We must say that there does not exist in Italy today a Right worthy of this name, a Right is a unified political force that is organised and furnished with a precise doctrine. What is currently called the Right in political struggles is defined less by a positive content than by a generic opposition to the most extreme forms of subversion and social revolution…iv
Indeed, what could be more applicable to the definition of the Alt-Right today which is simply a reactive rather than creative principle opposed, pell-mell, to any Leftist ideology? It works on a contingent principle and it borrows its tactics from the Left just as much as it bastardizes traditional thought. As I mentioned in my previous article, “bastard” is the correct term for just as a man may sire, in his promiscuity, a child from someone not his spouse, so does the Alt-Right promiscuously mix noble notions from Tradition and Masculinity with the tactics, puerility, and immaturity of the Left. The irony of the Alt-Right is that it is a mongrel and all of its shouts for racial purity or racial safety ignore the impregnation of its members with tactics, underclass attitudes, and revolutionary tendencies of its enemies. Its elites and leaders pander to the jokes of its underclass and it professes no leadership of awe at the helm, but one of merely intellectual gymnastics.
Again, Evola’s criticism of the Rightist movements during his time echo true in today’s situation. He points out how:
A significant sign of confused ideas and today’s narrow horizons is established by the fact that … today liberals and many other proponents of democracy can be considered as men of the Right, a situation that would have appalled representatives of a real traditional Right, because when such a Right existed, liberalism and democracy were notoriously and justly considered as currents of revolutionary subversion, or more less as radicalism, Marxism, and Communism appear today in the eyes of the so-called parties of order.v
And how far has the so called Right fallen in contemporary politics where jokers and young men who consort with Tina Tequila join in conferences costumed as well dressed gentlemen but act as if they were the ripped-jeans wearing ravers of the Left? Yet these people are considered the “edgy” ones and the ones who are the intellectual vanguard of a new conservative renaissance?
Furthermore, while there is certainly no real attachment that the Alt-Right possesses (or will admit to possessing) for the Fascism of old, the fact that it is joked about and flaunted as ironic is indicative of something diseased. Again, Evola speaks to this in his prescience when describing Neo-Fascists in Italy:
Fascism has undergone a process of what can be called mythologising. In regard to it, the attitude taken by most people has an emotional and irrational character, instead of a critical and intellectual one… They have made Mussolini and Fascism into objects of a “myth” and they keep their eye on a reality that is historically conditioned and on the man who was its centre, instead of on political ideas that should be taken seriously in themselves and for themselves, independently of these historical accidents…vi
Clearly, one can see how this is quite analogous to the fetishizing of Nazism which has been stupidly advanced even as a joke. For while even if one ignores the loss of social capital (even though I abhor the idea of calculating public relations as having much bearing on the legitimacy of a political idea) that was incurred through defending the actions at the conference, the anti-intellectual tomfoolery surrounding Nazism in the Alt-Right consciously or subconsciously leads people on the Right looking for legitimate and long-lasting political realities down a failed and short-sighted path.vii
At the end of the day, the Alt-Right merely represents another failure to capture the true essence of what it means to stand for good society and Tradition. It is yet another catagogic attempt to masquerade as a living entity but it has no soul except what it borrows from the wild animations of its Leftist counterparts. Or, more precisely, it derives its energy from the same source as those who share the horizontal political spectrum and, thus, is vulnerable to the same erosion as all modern political movements. To that end, this fiasco should be yet another invitation for young people of a particular type to divest themselves of the easy shortcut that many Rightist movements offer. One cannot defeat a horizontal enemy by horizontal tactics. One does not defeat infantilism by acting like a child.
iv. Julius Evola, Fascism Viewed From the Right
vii. There is not enough room here to go over why the fall of Fascism and its defects are due to its populist roots and not because it simply lost a war. Needless to say that Evola’s commentary on it provides sufficient considerations for anyone interested in this subject on why Fascism is a false idol.