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Christians, Take The Alt-Right Seriously

About a year ago, I wrote here about a message I had received from a reader of this blog, a Christian high school senior who was deeply concerned about the appeal of the alt-right among his male classmates. I had several exchanges with the kid, who speculated that the alt-right appealed to the young men — all of whom are white, conservative, and Evangelical — because it’s daring, and because the spirituality of megachurch Evangelicalism (in the kid’s view) is insipid. There was nothing much to inspire or to hold them. The alt-right fake “gospel” offered them an easy explanation of why they felt alienated and powerless, provided them with an enemy, and stoked their rage.

All that came to mind with Matthew Rose’s must-read First Things essay on why Christians should take the alt-right seriously.  [1] Whatever your theological or political orientation, you need to read this essay. People who write the alt-right off as nothing but a bunch of losers and haters are making a big mistake, as Rose shows. It is anti-Christian, and it has strong arguments to make — not “strong” in the sense of “persuasive” (Rose is very much against the alt-right), but not arguments that can be easily dismissed with cries of “bigotbigotbigot!” Excerpts:

Almost everything written about the “alternative right” in mainstream outlets is wrong in one respect. The alt-right is not stupid. It is deep. Its ideas are not ridiculous. They are serious. To appreciate this fact, one needs to inquire beyond its presence on social media, where its obnoxious use of insult, obscenity, and racism has earned it a reputation for moral idiocy. The reputation is deserved, but do not be deceived. Behind its online tantrums and personal attacks are arguments of genuine power and expanding appeal. As political scientist George Hawley conceded in a recent study [2], “Everything we have seen over the past year suggests that the alt-right will be around for the foreseeable future.”

More:

The alt-right is anti-Christian. Not by implication or insinuation, but by confession. Its leading thinkers flaunt their rejection of Christianity and their desire to convert believers away from it. Greg Johnson, an influential theorist with a doctorate in philosophy from Catholic University of America, argues [3] that “Christianity is one of the main causes of white decline” and a “necessary condition of white racial suicide.” Johnson edits a website [4] that publishes footnoted essays on topics that range from H. P. Lovecraft to Martin Heidegger, where a common feature is its subject’s criticisms of Christian doctrine. “Like acid, Christianity burns through ties of kinship and blood,” writes  [5]Gregory Hood, one of the website’s most talented essayists. It is “the essential religious step in paving the way for decadent modernity and its toxic creeds.”

Alt-right thinkers are overwhelmingly atheists, but their worldview is not rooted in the secular Enlightenment, nor is it irreligious. Far from it. Read deeply in their sources—and make no mistake, the alt-right has an intellectual tradition—and you will discover a movement that takes Christian thought and culture seriously. It is a conflicted tribute paid to their chief adversary. Against Christianity it makes two related charges. Beginning with the claim that Europe effectively created Christianity—not the other way around—it argues that Christian teachings have become socially and morally poisonous to the West. A major work of alt-right history opens with a widely echoed claim: “The introduction of Christianity has to count as the single greatest ideological catastrophe to ever strike Europe.”

Nietzsche got there first, of course — and he was not wrong about Christianity being a religion that exalts the meek.

Rose talks about Oswald Spengler’s Decline Of The West as a foundational text of the alt-right:

If Spengler’s theology is tendentious, his portrait of Western identity is deceptively powerful. To a young man lacking a strong identity he says, “This heroic culture is your inheritance, and yours alone. You stand in a line of men who have attained the highest excellences and freely endured the hardest challenges. Albert the Great, Cortés, Newton, Goethe, the Wright brothers all carry this daring spirit, and so do you.”

Interesting. Many years ago, I saw an obese, slovenly black woman in a flea market, wearing a t-shirt sporting an image of a Pharaoh, with the slogan, “My ancestors were kings and queens.” The juxtaposition was comic, just as it is comic to think about an obese, slovenly white guy vaping in front of his TV wearing a t-shirt sporting an image of, I dunno, Charlemagne, and a slogan claiming to be part of his lineage. But what snickerers like me don’t understand is why someone who is poor and at the bottom of the social hierarchy would find it consoling to identify with a hero — specifically, a racialized hero, as is the case in both these instances (the real one and the hypothetical one).

One more quote from Rose:

There is no better introduction to alt-right theory than [Alain de Benoist’s] 1981 work On Being a Pagan [6]. Its tone is serene, but its message is militant. Benoist argues that the West must choose between two warring visions of human life: biblical monotheism and paganism. Benoist is a modern-day Celsus. Like his second-century predecessor, he writes to reawaken Europeans to their ancient faith. Paganism’s central claim is simple: that the world is holy and eternal. “Far from desacralizing the world,” Benoist tells us, paganism “sacralizes it in the literal sense of the word, since it regards the world as sacred.” Paganism is also a humanism. It recognizes man, the highest expression of nature, as the sole measure of the divine. God does not therefore create men; men make gods, which “exist” as ideal models that their creators strive to equal. “Man shares in the divine every time he surpasses himself,” Benoist writes, “every time he attains the boundaries of his best and strongest aspects.”

Benoist’s case against Christianity is that it forbids the expression of this “Faustian” vitality. It does so by placing the ultimate source of truth outside of humanity, in an otherworldly realm to which we must be subservient. In his Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth notoriously described Christian revelation as the “abolition” of natural religion. Benoist is a Barthian, if selectively. He accuses Christianity of crippling our most noble impulses. Christianity makes us strangers in our own skin, conning us into distrusting our strongest intuitions. We naturally respect beauty, health, and power, Benoist observes, but Christianity teaches us to revere the deformed, sick, and weak instead. “Paganism does not reproach Christianity for defending the weak,” he explains. “It reproaches [Christianity] for exalting them in their weakness and viewing it as a sign of their election and their title to glory.”

Benoist’s theology is in the service of a political warning, and it is this, more than his Nietzschean posturing, that attracts the alt-right. Christianity is unable to protect European peoples and their cultures. Under Christianity, the West lives under a kind of double imprisonment. It exists under the power of a foreign religion and an alien deity. Christianity is not our religion. It thereby foments “nihilism.” The allegation is explosive. Benoist means that Christianity renders Western culture morally lethargic and culturally defenseless. Most perniciously, its universalism poisons our attachments to particular loyalties and ties. “If all men are brothers,” Benoist claims, “then no one can truly be a brother.” Politics depends on the recognition of both outsiders and enemies, yet the Christian Church sees all people as potential members, indeed potential saints.

And here we reach Benoist’s remarkable conclusion. The decadent West has never been more Christian. Christianity imparted to our culture an ethics that has mutated into what the alt-right calls “pathological altruism.” Its self-distrust, concern for victims, and fear of excluding outsiders—such values swindle Western peoples out of a preferential love for their own. Benoist’s ideas have reached the margins of American conservatism, perhaps no more noticeably than in the writings of the late Sam Francis. A former contributor to leading conservative publications, his thinking took a late turn toward what we would now call the alt-right. “Christianity today is the enemy of the West and the race that created it,” he announced in an influential 2001 article [7]. Francis’s essay was a lament as much as a protest (he was received into the Church on his deathbed), but his work is receiving a new hearing.

Read the whole thing. [1]It’s important. Rose adds:

The alt-right’s understanding of human identity is reductive, and its rejection of Christian solidarity premature. “Christianity provides an identity that is above or before racial and ethnic identity,” Richard Spencer complains. “It’s not like other religions that come out of a folk spirit.” Spencer is right that the baptismal covenant transcends our local loyalties and identities. It does not, however, eradicate them.

The alt-right seeks an account of what we are meant to be and serve as a people, invoking race as an emergency replacement for our fraying civic bonds. It is not alone; identity politics on the left is a response to the same erosion of belonging. But race is a modern category, and lacks theological roots. Nation, however, is biblical. In the Book of Acts, St. Paul tells his Gentile listeners, “God has made all the nations [ethnos].” The Bible speaks often of God’s creation, judgment, and redemption of the nations. In Christ there is no Gentile or Jew, yet God calls us into his life not only as individuals but as members of communities for which we are responsible.

Rose is getting at something crucial here: that there is enough truth mixed into the alt-right philosophy to prevent it from being easily dismissed — something we ignore at our peril. I read some Julius Evola once — he’s one of the thinkers Rose covers — to see why his name keeps popping up. I found it entrancing, on a certain level. There were deep insights in his book, but he is also batshit crazy. (I felt the same way reading the Islamist theorist Sayyid Qutb.) If you don’t grapple with the deeply insightful part, you cannot understand why people who ought to know better accept the batshit crazy part.

The alt-right is anti-Christian. But you cannot effectively fight the alt-right with progressive pieties and outrage. Nor can you effectively resist it with conventional conservative pieties, ones that do not address the crises that the alt-right is responding to. They may have the wrong answers — I believe that they do — but the best of them are quite intelligent. The challenges they pose to the liberal order and way of understanding the world are potent, and cannot be adequately met, by Christians or anybody else, with shrill theatrics and weak-tea theology. Richard Spencer is evil, but he is not stupid.

I’m going to try to write about this particular aspect in a separate post, once I get a different task out of the way today, but I want to mention it here: Andrew Sullivan’s must-read column today about Social Justice Warriors on campus.  [8] Sullivan begins:

Over the last year, the most common rebuttal to my intermittent coverage of campus culture has been: Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They’ll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn’t like that. You’re exaggerating anyway. And so on. I certainly see the point. In the world beyond campus, few people use the term microaggressions without irony or an eye roll; claims of “white supremacy,” “rape culture,” or “white privilege” can seem like mere rhetorical flourishes; racial and gender segregation hasn’t been perpetuated in the workplace yet; the campus Title IX sex tribunals where, under the Obama administration, the “preponderance of evidence” rather than the absence of a “reasonable doubt” could ruin a young man’s life and future are just a product of a hothouse environment. And I can sometimes get carried away.

The reason I don’t agree with this is because I believe ideas matter. When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. If elites believe that the core truth of our society is a system of interlocking and oppressive power structures based around immutable characteristics like race or sex or sexual orientation, then sooner rather than later, this will be reflected in our culture at large. What matters most of all in these colleges — your membership in a group that is embedded in a hierarchy of oppression — will soon enough be what matters in the society as a whole.

Sullivan goes on to cite numerous instances of campus SJW thought and practice expanding throughout the larger society. Read the whole thing. [8] Conventional conservatism is doing nothing, or nothing effective, to resist this tyranny. Do you know who does stand up to it, unapologetically? The alt-right. Andrew Sullivan’s piece is not about the alt-right, but I see both him and Matthew Rose sounding a very similar alarm. Pay attention; this is serious.

You too, conventional liberals: your own acceptance and promotion of illiberal, racialist ideology under the guise of “social justice” is calling up these demons on the Right. The best way you can fight the alt-right is to fight the SJWs, whose militancy, and whose effective militancy, can only make the alt-right stronger.

136 Comments (Open | Close)

136 Comments To "Christians, Take The Alt-Right Seriously"

#1 Comment By Sands On February 10, 2018 @ 5:58 pm

“For one thing, almost certainly the woman in question is not descended from African kings and queens, but from the slaves which those kings and queens sold to European and Arab traders.”

It would be one thing if her shirt was referencing the 25th Dynasty, but I’m sure it was all about the ridiculous Afrocentric claim that the ancient Egyptians were sub-Saharan. I would hope that the latest DNA research would put an end to such nonsense, but I doubt it.

#2 Comment By Haigha On February 10, 2018 @ 6:44 pm

It’s silly to say that Arians aren’t Christian. Even the Catholic Church classifies it as a heresy (i.e., Christian but mistaken about a particular point).

#3 Comment By grumpy realist On February 10, 2018 @ 7:19 pm

Too many of the alt-right seem to be nothing more than marinating in self-pity and self-justification for Doing Whatever I want. “Incel” == “involuntary celibate.” Which category only makes sense if you think you have a god-given right to nookie whenever you feel like it. No male is automatically entitled to a girlfriend. Maybe the reason no woman goes out with you because you’re an ill-mannered, slovenly creep who doesn’t take care of himself and spends all his time playing video games and you have a chip on your shoulder a mile high? And the pseudo-science! “Alpha male”, “beta male”. The same idiots who claim it’s perfectly right to cheat on your wife “because men are biologically made to spread their seed”. Why in the heck would ANY woman want to have a relationship with someone who states from the beginning he’s unwilling to control his urges and thinks nothing of potentially breaking wedding vows?

(And they whine. Dear god, how they whine.)

One of my friends has been getting sucked into the whole alt-right mess. Based on other things in his life (and my constant rescuing of him), I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the alt-right appeal is nothing more than the flip side of idiots on the left whining about continued discrimination against them. In both cases it’s the same–something to salvage the ego against the fact that they can’t hack it in our modern economy. It’s easier to say “everyone is MEAN to me!” as opposed to “I screwed up and did something stupid.”

Bah.

#4 Comment By Ellimist000 On February 10, 2018 @ 9:11 pm

Rombald,

“This does seem to be a real thing – there are now churches where the Arabic- and Farsi-speaking services are standing-room only, whereas the English- (etc.) speaking ones struggle to attract a couple of dozen old people.”

I’ve heard this too-years before the alt-right was a thing, in fact. And I can only imagine the ground for this sort of thing would be more fertile here than in Europe.

I also second Rod’s sentiments 🙂

#5 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 10, 2018 @ 9:28 pm

“For one thing, almost certainly the woman in question is not descended from African kings and queens, but from the slaves which those kings and queens sold to European and Arab traders.”

Um, no. Slavery in Africa wasn’t generally a condition inherited across many generations, it was a condition imposed on (for example) captives in war. The people of one state who were enslaved by an enemy state might well have been, well, descendants of “kings and queens” before they were conquered. The Old Testament has accounts of that sort of thing happening to Jewish notables, and it’s believed (although it depends on whether you consider Pushkin himself a reliable source) that Alexander Pushkin’s African great-grandfather was some kind of petty royalty in the Lake Chad region.

As far as personal achievements versus achievements of one’s kin, I don’t know what to tell you. This is a small-L, classical liberal way of viewining the world. Most people throughout history, and probably most outside North America and some parts of western Europe today, don’t see human society as being made up of individuals, they see individuals as nested within groups and as drawing much of the meaning and happiness in their life from their group affiliations. I’d suggest that the woman Rod saw at Wal-Mart or wherever is onto something profound about human nature that too many Americans have forgotten. (And that a lot of other Americans applaud when it comes from people they approve of, but not when it comes people they don’t.) She draws meaning from African history, because she’s not one of the people that are blessed enough that they can, well, ‘forget’ that they exist as a member of a group.

#6 Comment By charles w abbott On February 10, 2018 @ 9:52 pm

I’m not sure what the alt-right is–it’s an umbrella term, tending toward a residual category that includes many different thinkers. A residual category doesn’t tend to cohere internally.

A better term might be “Dark Enlightenment.” The blogger Educationrealist noted with some amusement and trepidation that he was part of it. See educationrealist’s essay “The dark enlightenment and me.”

He likes to call it “The Voldmoort View. The View that Must Not Be Named.”

= – = – = – =

A couple of things popped into my head while reading this discussion.

1. There is a strong theme of meekness and love and charity in Christianity, but much of Europe’s heritage also includes a pugnacity going back to Bronze Age barbarism. Various observers have noted it, including William McNeill in _Rise of the West_. Manchester in _A world lit only by fire_ noted it was pretty easy to convert the barbarians to Christianity but much harder to get them to stop fighting.

2. _The suicide of the west_ by James Burnham, now pretty old, should be background reading for this discussion. I don’t think that book is a prediction, but probably a caution. I do not have that book available at my fingertips. Chilton Williamson has a good essay based on it at his website.

2. Also good for background is Roger Scruton’s recent lecture “The future of European civilization: lessons for America.” This is available both as a video on youtube and as a transcript, perhaps at EPPC or at AEI

Scruton is obviously not alt-right–yet he has some concerns about heavy immigration into a Europe which may have lost its self-confidence and its willingness to defend itself. You do not have to be alt-right to wonder if the heavy immigration into Europe of unvetted persons from the Middle East / Africa is prudent.

James Bennett, somewhere, said something along the lines of “democracy, immigration, multiculturalism”–choose any two. He might be right.

It would be interesting to see so-called alt-right thinkers claim or disavow membership in the alt-right, whatever it is. I believe Camus and Sartre had to discuss their links to existentialism, what it was, and whether they were part of it, as well as whether they had joint responsibility for anything.

#7 Comment By l’autre J On February 10, 2018 @ 10:16 pm

From a Left-identified writer/journalist in the Midwest:

“I’ve been speaking with white supremacists for an upcoming project. I’m learning a lot of things, but here are some of the highlights.
“1. They are genuinely afraid.
I’ve always said anger is just fear in a black dress, and it’s true with the men and women I’ve spoken with for the past year. Regardless of the objective truth, they believe they are hunted, conspired against, and endangered solely due to their race. It’s a message reinforced by propaganda and leaders and it makes breaking their view with reason a very difficult task.
“2. Their self-esteem is wholly based on their race, not their personal accomplishments.
They often told me about what white people had given the world, but when I asked them about their personal contributions, they never offered anything. A few told me that having white children was something to be praised, but beyond that, nothing. Their race, and their perception of its superiority, was all they had. It was simply enough that they existed.
“3. (Most) do not want to be seen as cruel or even racist.
Interestingly, when I allowed them to tell me what they would do in a perfect world, only a few of them mentioned genocide. Most talked to me about a fantasized segregation where no one suffered. They worked hard to make me believe that they didn’t want anyone else to suffer, and that they were only protecting their security. Not one of them calle me a slur, or intimated a desire to destroy me. They may have held back that view, and lied to continue the conversation, but there was a real desire not to be seen as cruel. Most tried to get me to see the benefit for non-white people in their worldview, how if I was truly honest with myself, I wanted the same thing. There was a real avoidance of shame. Probably why they spoke to me in the first place. The conversation proved they weren’t cruel, to them.
“4. Their anti-Semitism is stronger than their hatred of black people.
Perhaps because they view black people as thinking and talking animals, they didn’t prioritize us. The most sanguine moments came when they were speaking about Jewish people. They see Jewish people in near-mythical terms. Every conspiracy they spoke to me about tied back to Jewish people. Every single one. Here, they had no reticence to speak about extermination and open warfare. Most tried to get me to see the Jews as a common enemy.
“5. Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER tralier really bothers them.
But you could have guessed that. LOL.
“6. They have more hope for Trump than belief in him.
All of them voted for Trump, but they didn’t trust him. They’re watching him very closely, still not sure if he’s part of the conspiracy against them. They like how he’s the monster of the left, but if he thinks they’re his loyal flock, he’s flirting with intensely dangerous forces. If they perceive him as betraying them (and they believe THEY are the reason he’s President) they’ll demonize him. It’s probably why he’s so slow to condemn them. A lot of it is anti-Semitism aimed at Jared Kushner (whom they despise and spoke of instantly upon mentioning Trump).
“7. Some are Christian, but many are Norse occultists.
The Middle-Eastern and Hebraic roots of Christianity have soured them on it. They spoke to me of Astru, Norse paganism. Seems to be a relatively new inclusion into their worldview, something from this most recent generation of leadership.
“8. They’re preparing for violence, and to commit violence.
They expect some kind of race war. In their minds, it’s inevitable. They’re already justifying violent acts by seening themselves in a constant state of battle. They live by the ethics of combat. One said to me…”You people talk about hate-crimes, but this is a war, and in war there are no crimes.”
-Bryan Edward Hill”

You too, conventional liberals: your own acceptance and promotion of illiberal, racialist ideology under the guise of “social justice” is calling up these demons on the Right.

The people described by Hill are in your coalition aka the Cultural Right, Rod. They come from your people- your cousins, your children. They’ve been around for a long time and are no creation of the Cultural Left. They’re mentally not right, that’s the fundamental problem. Your team can’t take total responsibility for them, obviously, but your side is and will be held a lot more accountable for what they do than anyone on the Left.

#8 Comment By Tired of the fakes On February 10, 2018 @ 10:46 pm

Quite frankly, Christianity is currently in lock step with the liberals. “Love everyone, accept everyone, bend over backwards to help in any way at any time”. Christians are enamoured with how much they can love. How much they can care, how much they can should off their kindness and spirituality. They repeat it ad nauseum. Single people living together before marriage? That’s ok, God still loves you. Christian girl gets pregnant, throw a baby shower. Teen comes out as gay, we still love them! Sponsor 100 of families from Haiti, can do.
Christianity has embraced liberalism, through an all loving, all forgiving God. The message that everyone is “equal”in his sight is a fallacy; one cannot live a worldly life and still walk the narrow path. Acceptance of sin into the congregation was the first error and the fatal one for Christianity.

At the judgement seat there will be sheep and there will be goats. I believe many Christians will find themselves bunkmates with liberals.

#9 Comment By Nestor On February 10, 2018 @ 11:40 pm

Unbelievable. You admit this:

“Conventional conservatism is doing nothing, or nothing effective, to resist this tyranny. Do you know who does stand up to it, unapologetically? The alt-right.”

Yet instead of rallying to the side of the few people who are actually standing up to the forces that are destroying the world, the few people who put saving white/Western culture from eradication above signalling virtue, you call them “evil.”

::headdesk::

I’m sorry, but you couldn’t make a better argument FOR the Alt-Right (and simultaneously against Christianity) than that.

Oh, and disqualifying words like “evil” or “crazy” are not an argument — indeed, the use of such content-devoid slurs betrays a lack of an actual argument to marshal against ideas that are, in fact, sound and increasingly necessary.

#10 Comment By Nestor On February 10, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

The alt-right effectively and some times eloquently and humorously, articulates all the discontents and flaws of modernity: atomization, consumerism, loss of community, family breakdown, bureaucracy, having your fate subject to business cycles, etc. but then stops the discussion in the middle and diverts attention to a bogeyman

OR RATHER, the Alt-Right recognizes these developments but, instead of naively or disingenuously pretending that these developments are “just happening,” like tectonic drift, without anyone causing them, the Alt-Right (a) recognizes that these developments are occurring due to the exercise of human agency, and (b) point-blank identifies the agents who initiating them.

Or to put it another way, instead of just watching a poisoned victim die, or vaguely ruminating about the nature of the poison, the Alt-Right tries to actually identify the culprits who did the poisoning — which a rather necessary step, if the poisoning is to be stopped.

#11 Comment By jvaughn On February 11, 2018 @ 12:54 am

“On the environment, you see the same immunity to worry. There’s simply no question that carbon is pushing the global climate into much riskier and more volatile patterns, and that a prudent government would seek to guard against future catastrophe and help wean us toward renewable energy or more nuclear power. Again: just as insurance against the worst-case scenario. There are no real costs to this — at worst you might get some innovative technology that doesn’t quite pan out.”

Sullivan was doing reasonable well–until this.

Simply no question? Really? Then why,” just as insurance?”

OMG, cognitive dissonance will be the death of science.

#12 Comment By Mike M On February 11, 2018 @ 3:17 am

I’d invert this perspective. I don’t think the issue is that the thought of the alt-right is particularly serious (I mean… Evola??). Rather, it’s attacking the dominant views where they are so weak that their bad ideas aren’t obviously defeated.

Also, the Christianity that they attack is a clown show version of Christianity that doesn’t deserve defense. Jesus had the humility to suffer insults and torture… For a cause. That was internal strength, not weakness. He also threw some tables around for his cause, issued commands with self confidence, rebuked some of the most powerful men of his day, etc. And, in partial rebuttal to Nietzche, he didn’t wither away in obscurity but became maybe the most influential figure in history while creating a movement that would wield power around the globe, impact billions of lives, and build some of the greatest buildings and create some of the greatest art mankind has ever seen. That we have churches that present Jesus as some milquetoast figure (who I call Jesa) who wants us all to be milquetoast lukewarm people doesn’t make that Christianity.

While we might need to fight the barbarians (the alt-right, the “SJWs,” etc.) at certain flash points, that won’t be what saves our culture. We have to revitalize it from within. We have to correct some errors, but we also have to fight for the many things that are excellent about our culture and beliefs.

While this might not be the best analogy to use on TAC, we need a present-day version of the neoconservative movement, in that the neocons reacted against the attitudes of their leftist friends to rally to the defense of America’s ideals and to proclaim the fundamental greatness of its society.

#13 Comment By Matjaž Horvat On February 11, 2018 @ 9:11 am

Who all is alt-right though? When Ron Paul (of all people) gets labelled with the term (by Ben Shapiro: [9] ), you know there’s something weird going onl

Unless alt-right simply means anyone on the right who isn’t a “movement conservative”. But that’s not what is generally meant by the term

#14 Comment By Asher J On February 11, 2018 @ 10:13 am

I’m a college student and, like most white friends my own age, am sympathetic to the alt right.

Most white people my own age fall into either two camps:

(1) Self-hating SJWs
(2) The Alt Right

And the latter camp is definitely the camp where most my friends are going, and it’s not at all surprising.

At my college we’re forced to take a diversity course, which his really just a Hate Fest against white people and Western Civilization. Making anyone sit through this course is probably some of the best alt-right recruitment. It’s basically what made my interested in the alt-right.

[NFR: It’s fine with me if you post here, but I deleted your subsequent posts because I’m not going to allow childish neologisms like “Cuckstianity”. State your point maturely. — RD]

#15 Comment By Kyle McDaniel On February 11, 2018 @ 10:40 am

There is actually a large segment of AltRight Christians. It’s just they embrace traditional Christian theology and reject baby Boomer rock n roll for Jesus Evangelical Christianity. Evan. Christians do nothing to save Western Civilization, never reject the modern world in all its’ degeneracy, and they certainly don’t conserve a society to raise healthy stable children. It’s not the AltRight that’s to blame, but then again, never expect a “Christian” to accept their mistakes.

[NFR: Non-trolling question: what do you consider to be “traditional Christian theology”? I reject that kind of Christianity (“baby Boomer rock n roll for Jesus Evangelical Christianity”) too, but that does not make me an alt-rightist — RD]

#16 Comment By Glaivester On February 11, 2018 @ 11:17 am

I don’t “seem to” be arguing anything. I am arguing [that the alt-right is merely a pose to deal with deficiencies in one’s personal life].

Here’s my problem with you, Jonah R.

You admit that young whites are alienated from our culture because it is explicitly pushing an anti-white “diversity” or “social justice” agenda. Yet you refer to the only side that is fighting this as “the side that appeals to callow boys,” without offering an alternative.

To the extent you seem to imply solutions, they involve alt-right people changing their personal lives (i.e. older ones pursuing the “strenuous adventure and manliness” they apparently “crave”) in ways that do not challenge the “social justice” or “diversity” agenda.

The alt-right is a reaction to a problem. You are trying to solve the reaction to the problem in a way that distracts us from dealing with the problem.

It seems like you think that the real problem with “social justice” is not that it is explicitly anti-white, but that young whites are reacting to it being anti-white.

#17 Comment By Hound of Ulster On February 11, 2018 @ 9:56 pm

There is a reason the ‘SJW’s (why anyone would think this would be an insult is beyond me) exist

[10]

Read the end of the article…it’s devastating.

Any Christian worth his/her salt who thinks the ‘alt-right’ and it’s Nazi fellow travelers are ‘friends of Christianity’ needs their head examined.

#18 Comment By Robert E. On February 11, 2018 @ 11:02 pm

If the alt-right really want some segregated society first and foremost, then they can be compromised with in a federal system. I’m not too sure that is the case with hardcore conservative Christians, neo-integralists and dominionists. So if the alt-right is anti-Christian, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for us liberals to intervene in that civil war.

#19 Comment By Hound of Ulster On February 12, 2018 @ 12:10 pm

The use of the ancient term ethnos is interesting, because the sources suggest that language, not ethnicity or skin color per se, was seen as what defined a ‘nation’ by ancient writers like those who composed the Bible’ Old and New Testaments. Once again, the alt-Right has built it’s worldview on a self-serving lie.

I will say this to the alt-Right: If you are so tough and amazing, go climb a mountain, pick some tomatoes in the fields, etc. Put your money where your mouth is. Show us how awesome you supposedly are.

#20 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 12, 2018 @ 12:42 pm

5. Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER tralier really bothers them. But you could have guessed that. LOL.

Which really demonstrates that the people Bryan Edward Hill talked to are disingenuous and inconsistent about their ethnic nationalism. If you really believe in people taking pride in their ethnic group and seeking to maintain its distinctive identity, then you need to extent those rights to people of African descent as much as to Europeans or anyone else.

Speaking for myself, I feel more sympathetic and more favourably about expressions of Black nationalism (whether it’s Ta Nehisi Coates’ breathless descriptions of his first day at Howard University, or Black Panther, or Malcolm X and his interest in black self determination, or the general opinion that European colonization of Africa turned out to be a very, very bad thing) than I was a few years ago. And really likewise for the kind of Muslim ethnic self determination that resulted in constructs like the State of Pakistan. Mostly because I’m more sympathetic to nationalism in general, whether it concerns Black Americans, Eastern Europeans, or South Asian Muslims. Group identity really matters to most people, including me. The fact that it doesn’t matter much to the WEIRDOes of the world might suggest there’s something wrong with them, rather than with everyone else.

#21 Comment By G On February 12, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

@Bradley G
The conservative will try and defend our “values”, generally some vague classical liberalism, and our culture. But, how can those things survive without the survival of our people, and why would it even matter if it outlived them? The survival of a culture after the replacement of its people, if even possible, would be like a Disneyland for robots, lacking any purpose.

I think this is the crux of the dispute between Christians and Conservatives and the Alt-Right. I would pose the same question in a different way to all Christians: If every last one of your own people (your family, your community, your nation) willfully abandoned God (not an entirely far-fetched notion in the 21st Century), would you stick with your people and likewise abandon God, or would you abandon your people to seek out foreigners who still faithfully followed the Lord?

There is a Christian answer to this question, and there is an Alt-Right answer to this question, and they are not the same.

#22 Comment By Jrm On February 12, 2018 @ 7:10 pm

Every alt right person I have ever met tha tattmepts to define “alt-right” does so in patently racist terms. Wen Vox Day quotes Hitler approvingly, there’s not much else to say. The term “alt” means the alt right is to be distinguished from all other forms of conservatism. That distinguishing feature is racism, whether in the form of race realism, human bio-diversity, white nationalism or white pride.

That appeal to white supremacy is the sole distinguishing feature of the alt-right. If you are economic conservative, a social conservative or an orthodox Christian but are not racism, then you aren’t alt-right. If you are a screaming liberal Bernie Bro but believe the Jews are running the country to ruin, you’re alt-right.

#23 Comment By Jrm On February 12, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

To Pinpoint Vox Day’s adoption of racist memes, he fiend the alt-right with this core belief:

“14. The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.”

These are the famous 14 words, verbatim, the slogan of “The Order” a white supremacist neo nazi organization based the 88 words of Mein Kampf,

[11]

It is no accident that Vox day chose those exact words to self identify as alt-right.

#24 Comment By Eric On February 13, 2018 @ 12:35 am

The Alt Right is great. What I really love about it is it’s young people coming together trying to figure out how to reconstitute their society. What other spontaneous youth movement, not within any institutional setting, do you know that tackles the classics on their own volition? That’s indeed going on.
The criticisms of such a young movement are largely bunk. Especially coming from people and institutions validating such people that have utterly failed. If the Alt Right hadn’t appeared these people would be chugging along on their failure agenda. The Benedictine option and 5th political theory are not symptomatic of success, if I can assume the liberty of point that out.
My prayers are with the Alt Right. My hope is they spread faster and their debate benefits from the additional voices.

[NFR: A man who can’t even get the simple name of the Benedict Option correct is nevertheless certain that it is not the answer to our problems. — RD]

#25 Comment By Patricus On February 13, 2018 @ 6:56 am

We alt-righters might be morally wrong but this is the first I read of our anti Christian bias. Most are Christians or at least say they are. Any religious person or non-religious person can have alt-right views. It isn’t a religion, it is a political outlook. Our moral failings include a preference for smaller government, skepticism of foreign entanglements, respect for borders and a recognition that people gravitate to their own race or language. We are distinct from Democrats and Republicans.

#26 Comment By Patricus On February 13, 2018 @ 7:17 am

Hound of Ulster: how many klansmen have you met in the USA? After six decades traveling through this great country I never met one. I have seen the rural areas north,south, east and west. They must exist somewhere but I guess the nation’s total Klan membership couldn’t fill a high school gym. Gun toting white supremacists is another urban myth. There are a few somewhere but good luck trying to find one.

#27 Comment By Fran Macadam On February 13, 2018 @ 8:18 am

It’s amazing to me how many memes have been kick-started by Hillary Clinton (or whomever are her handlers).

Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, Vast Worldwide Right Wing Putin Conspiracy, Deplorables, the Alt-Right.

You’d almost think that if they didn’t exist, they had to be invented, to be useful.

As for Identity Politics, who invented that? It’s inevitable that sauce for the goose is going to be sauce for the gander. You can’t epitomize racial pride for some, but not for others.

In the end, I see it as a kind of divide and conquer strategy in order to distract ordinary folks so that we look at each other to blame rather than the elites fomenting this.

#28 Comment By Matt On February 13, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

Because no one has voted Rightwing the alt right will succeed in its absence.

” Limited government ” where has that ever been enacted? All we see on republican and democrat sides is ever expanding government and higher taxes. Collectivism and authoritarian government is all we see from horizon to horizon, massive intrusive government agencies.
If we were to have socialist government, what would be different.
17 intelligence agencies all part of a permanent and ” independant ” bureaucratic class.

When have we ever disbanded these massive government agencies, we have only added to them.

Rightwing is best demonstrated by the Hobbits Shire. Individualist, limited government, liberty minded.

All authoritarians are left collectivist, yes Hitler as well, a national Socialist collectivist. There was nothing Rightwing about hitler, he was just another flavour of authoriarian collective left statism. Fascism is leftism.

No one has ever had a Rightwing government, not in modern times.

So this hyperventilation about the alt right being anti Christian when history demonstrates it’s the authoritarian left from the time of the French Revolution that has killed 100s of millions of Christians, just doesn’t wash.
Whatever right they are, limited government, pluralist and individual liberty minded people are not a threat to Christianity. Only big government collectivist authoritarians can threaten Christians.
Rightwing limited government hasn’t got enough government to inflict tyranny.

#29 Comment By RES On February 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

With at least some of your commentators, I too consider myself “AltRight,” as well as a Christian (Roman Catholic). Although it is self-evident that many AltRight speakers are indeed anti-Christian (I think they do not understand our religio), ultimately the AltRight is not a party, nor even an ideology (say, like Marxism). It is simply a short descriptive slang for Alternative Right, aka the loose grouping of people who question philosophical and ethical propositions of international Liberalism at its fundamentals, eg, Locke, Jefferson, Wilson, the Civil Rights Movement.

#30 Comment By JonF On February 13, 2018 @ 9:06 pm

Re: it’s the authoritarian left from the time of the French Revolution that has killed 100s of millions of Christians

Please document this hyperbolic claim. Even the Soviets at the worst never came remotely close to that total.

#31 Comment By Saldin On February 14, 2018 @ 4:43 am

“If any fool who denies the divinity of the son…”

Fool? Anybody who doesn’t blindly believe in hearsay is a fool?

Or perhaps, you have a time-machine in your basement, and you witnessed Christ claim this “fact”… firsthand?

#32 Comment By JonF On February 14, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

Hestor,
If you have been reading Rod for any length of time, you ought know that it is his thesis that the degradations and woes of the contemporary United States are due to the loss of Christian belief and practice. In what way does the Alt-Right counter that loss? In a good many ways (see: the First things article linked here) it is itself a force militating against traditional Christianity.

Patricius,
Yes, Koo-Koo Kluxers are sometimes exaggerated in their numbers. But the so too are the Antifa, of whom there appear to be no more than a few dozen at most (possibly the same guys traveling around on some sort of Professional Protest Circuit). Nevertheless they and others like them should not be dismissed as a threat. After all, it took just too guys (OK, and maybe a third who chickened out) to kill hundreds in the destruction of the OKC Federal Building.

#33 Comment By Joan from Michigan On February 14, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

“I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the alt-right appeal is nothing more than the flip side of idiots on the left whining about continued discrimination against them. In both cases it’s the same–something to salvage the ego against the fact that they can’t hack it in our modern economy.”

Thank you, grumpy realist, for mentioning the economic background to all this. I’d put it a little less harshly, myself, but I do think that both the SJW thing and the alt-right thing come out of our current period of economic insecurity. There are no longer good, family-supporting jobs for everyone who is willing to work hard, be reliable, etc. The job hunt, and the preparation for it at institutions of higher education, become more tournament-like, with future competitors scrutinizing every part of their situation for any little advantage it might give them. Consequently, some people are going to try to make their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., into a hiring advantage. Everything else flows from that.

The right has a particular difficulty: respect for the authority of business leaders is a core right-wing value, but the business leaders we’ve got right now are clearly screwing us over. So instead of going after them directly, the right argues for the expulsion of foreigners and nonwhite citizens from the country and women and queers from the job market, to create a labor shortage and thus strengthen the white working man’s bargaining position vis-a-vis business leaders. Working, in this case, is a category that extends well up into the college-educated classes as artificial intelligence erodes the value of more and more previously lucrative degrees. 

If the good jobs were to come back, the alt-right would shrink to a tiny core of retired curmudgeons and underage trolls, and the ctl-left would go back to worrying about the environment and the homeless. Even #metoo would drop a notch is popularity. A sexually harrassing boss is easier to shrug off when you can go work for someone else without too much trouble.

#34 Comment By Matt On February 15, 2018 @ 1:45 am

So when every other ethnic group shows solidarity and in group preference it’s diversity, but if whites do the same it’s racism.

#35 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 16, 2018 @ 10:15 am

The use of the ancient term ethnos is interesting, because the sources suggest that language, not ethnicity or skin color per se, was seen as what defined a ‘nation’ by ancient writers like those who composed the Bible’ Old and New Testaments

Um, no. I don’t know when the last time you read your Old Testament was, but the Old Testament is filled with genealogies and with close/obsessive detail paid to lines of descent. People in that era defined themselves, first and foremost, by clans sharing a common genetic descent from a (usually semi-legendary) ancestor. Which is, you know, exactly what ‘tribe’ or for that matter ‘race’ are supposed to signify: they’re ways in which we categorize human genetic variation.

Language in the ancient world wasn’t nearly as much of a unifying factor or a source of identity as you seem to think. The Persian Empire, for one example, didn’t even use Persian as their official language. The fact that the various subject people under the Persian Emperors all had to speak Aramaic by no means meant that they all started seeing each other as a common Aramaic nation. Quite the contrary.

Ethnic identification grows out of the family, the tribe is sort of an extension of the family, and the reason that people started broadening their circles of concern in this way is because for most of human history, the family and the tribe shared a lot in common. Namely: both of them were founded around ties of common descent, so that kin selection was in force.

I will say this to the alt-Right: If you are so tough and amazing, go climb a mountain, pick some tomatoes in the fields, etc. Put your money where your mouth is. Show us how awesome you supposedly are.

I had a more acerbic response to that, but I’m trying to be a more gentle person for Lent, so I thought better of it. Let me say this instead: I think this is actually a well taken point, in context. It’s a very fitting rejoinder to someone like Richard Spencer, who does trot out this “white people are a race of leaders, explorers….” garbage, as well as saying that black people were better off for being enslaved and brought to America. And insofar is the guy that invented the term “alt right”, I think anyone who isn’t an out and out white supremacist should disavow the label. Words mean things, after all.

Where I disagree with you is that 1) I don’t think all ethnic nationalism or race/ethnicity identity politics boils down to saying “I’m awesome, my race is better than yours”. Very often all it boils down to saying, “my race/ethnicity is different than yours, and I want to keep it that way.” A lot of the skeptics of mass migration in England, for example, really don’t want to bring the glory days of the British Empire back. They want to bring, like, the 1960s back, when Britain was no longer an empire but also not yet a multicultural cosmopolitan society. I think a lot of the resistance to globalization and mass migration, the world over, boils down to the purity reflex, to concerns about separatism and identity, and to a fear of infiltration from outsiders, which is a different thing in principle from the desire to lord it over the outsiders. And 2) there are a lot of people who favour ethnic nationalism who are, in fact, picking tomatoes and things of that nature. Ethnic nationalism the world over is more popular among the working class than it is among super-educated WEIRDOes like me and you.

#36 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 16, 2018 @ 10:18 am

Fool? Anybody who doesn’t blindly believe in hearsay is a fool?

Or perhaps, you have a time-machine in your basement, and you witnessed Christ claim this “fact”… firsthand?

All religions are based on hearsay to some degree. That said, the Trinity is more consonant with reason than most other religious constructs (certainly more so than strict monotheism), and the witnesses that we have to Christ’s divinity (John in his Gospel, Letters and Revelation most importantly) are much closer to the events than the vast majority of other religious truth claims in the world.