Sunday, April 03, 2016

I have just discovered that I am a member of something

Below is the first part of a big backgrounder on the various streams of the "Alt-Right".  It seems that I fit most of the description concerned -- at least insofar as the publications that I read are concerned.  I am also a member of the Alt-Right in that I am seen as very marginal politically.  My occasional mentions of race and IQ are perfectly factual but are unforgiveable to most political participants and can easily be misrepresented

A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the “alternative right.” Young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies, they have become public enemy number one to beltway conservatives — more hated, even, than Democrats or loopy progressives.

The alternative right, more commonly known as the alt-right, is an amorphous movement. Some — mostly Establishment types — insist it’s little more than a vehicle for the worst dregs of human society: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other members of the Stormfront set. They’re wrong.

Previously an obscure subculture, the alt-right burst onto the national political scene in 2015. Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore.

It has already triggered a string of fearful op-eds and hit pieces from both Left and Right: Lefties dismiss it as racist, while the conservative press, always desperate to avoid charges of bigotry from the Left, has thrown these young readers and voters to the wolves as well.

National Review attacked them as bitter members of the white working-class who worship “father-Führer” Donald Trump. Betsy Woodruff of The Daily Beast attacked Rush Limbaugh for sympathising with the “white supremacist alt-right.” BuzzFeed begrudgingly acknowledged that the movement has a “great feel for how the internet works,” while simultaneously accusing them of targeting “blacks, Jews, women, Latinos and Muslims.”

The amount of column inches generated by the alt-right is a testament to their cultural punch. But so far, no one has really been able to explain the movement’s appeal and reach without desperate caveats and virtue-signalling to readers.

Part of this is down to the alt-right’s addiction to provocation. The alt-right is a movement born out of the youthful, subversive, underground edges of the internet. 4chan and 8chan are hubs of alt-right activity. For years, members of these forums – political and non-political – have delighted in attention-grabbing, juvenile pranks. Long before the alt-right, 4channers turned trolling the national media into an in-house sport.

Having once defended gamers, another group accused of harbouring the worst dregs of human society, we feel compelled to take a closer look at the force that’s alarming so many. Are they really just the second coming of 1980s skinheads, or something more subtle?

We’ve spent the past month tracking down the elusive, often anonymous members of the alt-right, and working out exactly what they stand for.


There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence. Skinheads, by and large, are low-information, low-IQ thugs driven by the thrill of violence and tribal hatred. The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright.

The origins of the alternative right can be found in thinkers as diverse as Oswald Spengler, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the paleoconservative movement that rallied around the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan. The French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right.

The media empire of the modern-day alternative right coalesced around Richard Spencer during his editorship of Taki’s Magazine. In 2010, Spencer founded, which would become a center of alt-right thought.

Alongside other nodes like Steve Sailer’s blog, VDARE and American Renaissance, became a gathering point for an eclectic mix of renegades who objected to the established political consensus in some form or another. All of these websites have been accused of racism.

The so-called online “manosphere,” the nemeses of left-wing feminism, quickly became one of the alt-right’s most distinctive constituencies. Gay masculinist author Jack Donovan, who edited AlternativeRight’s gender articles, was an early advocate for incorporating masculinist principles in the alt-right. His book, The Way Of Men, contains many a wistful quote about the loss of manliness that accompanies modern, globalized societies.

It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other. That’s the path we’re on now.

Steve Sailer, meanwhile, helped spark the “human biodiversity” movement, a group of bloggers and researchers who strode eagerly into the minefield of scientific race differences — in a much less measured tone than former New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade.

Isolationists, pro-Russians and ex-Ron Paul supporters frustrated with continued neoconservative domination of the Republican party were also drawn to the alt-right, who are almost as likely as the anti-war left to object to overseas entanglements.



The Davoisie: Our “Slave Power”

The Davoisie are those who gather at Davos in Switzerland for the annual international conference of bigwigs -- and those like them.  The idea is that a very small elite holds a decisive sway over us

Harry Jaffa liked to tell the story of how, while reading Plato’s Republic with Leo Strauss at the New School in 1946, he encountered a copy of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in a used book store near his father’s Greenwich Village restaurant.  Unable to afford the book, he read it piecemeal on several furtive visits and realized that the issue between Lincoln and Douglas—no slavery in the territories v. “popular sovereignty”—was identical to that between Socrates and Thrasymachus: natural right v. might makes right.

We see a similar similarity between Lincoln’s times and ours.

In the decade or so before the Civil War, a phrase in common use was “the Slave Power,” which described a trans-partisan (and even to a small extent trans-regional) alignment of interests to protect, promote and extend slavery in the United States and even in the Western Hemisphere.  The Slave Power was led by the big slave-owners themselves, of course, but was hardly limited to them.  Through various proxies and fellow-travelers, they absolutely controlled Southern state governments.  They could also count on some federal officials, including—importantly—judges.  They even had support in the North: the notorious “doughfaces.”  The growing influence of the Slave Power contributed mightily to the Civil War.  The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act alone destroyed the Whig Party and created the Republican.

But this is not meant to be a history lesson.  The point is that a numerically and proportionally small but economically and politically powerful oligarchy managed—for a time, anyway—to steer the nation in the direction of its own interests at the expense of everyone else’s and of the popular will.  Sound familiar?

Nor do the similarities end there.  Is not the similarity between slavery and mass immigration obvious?  (Note to the hysterical that I said “similarity” and not “identicality.”)  They both serve the same fundamental purpose: sources of cheap labor to squeeze out the working class and enrich a few.

The fact that slaves are not free and immigrants are is, to be sure, a non-trivial difference—for immigrant and slave.  But what about the third man, William Graham Sumner’s “forgotten man”?  In their effects on him, the two don’t seem so very different after all.  Nor are they supposed to.

A major source of opposition to the Slave Power arose from the Free Soil Movement: free men—American citizens—who wanted to earn decent livings without having to compete against slave labor that would undercut them at every turn.  Does that sound familiar? Nor is at any accident that the Old South was staunchly free trade while the free North was protectionist.  Is the theme becoming clearer?

Now it is probably too harsh to refer to our modern oligarchs as a new “slave power.”  Peter Brimelow’s “treason lobby” is not bad.  We’re partial to Walter Russell Mead’s contribution: Davoisie.

The fundamental similarity is however undeniable.  A trans-partisan and trans-regional, numerically small but economically and politically powerful elite—in our case, financial, technological and corporate—essentially control political debate and get their way on everything important, in defiance of popular will, in order to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

We know how it ended the last time.  How will it end this time?

What makes our current overlords slightly more insidious (if only in one way) than their slave-master predecessors is their risible moral preening.  19th century slaveholders really did have a difficult time affirming the justice of their “peculiar institution.” In addition to the obvious injustice of owning other human beings like animals, they knew from experience what Xenophon teaches in the Anabasis and Shakespeare in the Tempest: “when difficult things are commanded, harshness, and not sweetness, is needed in order to bring about obedience.”  Concerned to shield its reputation from intrusive, revealing sunlight, the Slave Power was not eager to advertise this necessity and the harsh treatment it necessitated.

By contrast, our overlords never tire of lecturing us about how virtuous they are.  I know of no record of a plantation owner claiming that his recent purchases at a slave auction show his goodness.  But every new immigrant—legal or otherwise—who takes an American job at a fraction of the recent wage, our masters trumpet as a sign of their superior morality.  Every American laid off and every job outsourced gets the same self-congratulation.  Recall the words of that hedge-fund high priest: “if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.”

That sickly sanctimonious phrase — “lifts people out of poverty” — heard in every hotel conference room and lecture hall where the Davoisie meet to rub holy oil on each other’s backs, is the modern rhetorical equivalent of John C. Calhoun’s “positive good” and serves the same purpose.  Only it’s been much more effective.  The real aim of the Davoisie’s showy, skin-deep leftism is to confer upon itself the veneer of legitimacy necessary to preserving its status.  Well, that and divide-and-conquer.

Has there ever been a plutocratic class more adept at claiming the moral high ground for wealth and privilege achieved in large measure by the impoverishment of its fellow citizens and decimation of domestic industries?  If so, we can’t think of it.

The eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Thrasymachus to Stephen Douglas to George Soros and Paul Singer.  Plus ҫa change.

Since the Davoisie seized the commanding heights of the West (about 30 years ago), Trump is the only presidential candidate to oppose our equivalent of the slave power.  Granted, he’s not exactly a Lincoln in stature, temperament, virtue, intellect or ability.  We’d certainly prefer another Abe!  If you know where to find one, please send him our way.  In the meantime, we have no choice but to make do with Trump.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: