Wednesday, 23 November 2016

FAILURE AT THE GATES OF VICTORY?


PAUL JOSEPH WATSON, RICHARD SPENCER, AND ARISTOTELIAN ALT-RIGHTISM


by Colin Liddell

Virtue and vice are not, as the Left supposes, determined by a line that divides humanity into "the Blessed" and "the Damned." That is a very Manichean, Judaic, and inherently non-European concept, which has, like some toxic chemical, been present in the moral bloodstream of our civilisation for too long, and with which Western Christianity has long struggled.

No, that simplistic view of good and evil creates a retarded morality that is unable to recognise the organic complexity of reality, and which thus cuts across it with a brutal and unforgiving blade. True virtue is, as Aristotle expounded, a Golden Mean between two unhealthy extremes. Between Cowardice and Rashness, lies the golden virtue of Courage. Between Humility and Vanity, Pride glitters in all its glory...

This means there is no cosy moral line that you can lazily stay on the right side of by socially signalling "virtue" in a way pleasing to the bleating herd, as the Leftist does, all the while sliding ever deeper into depravity. No, Virtue is a journey of constant adjustment and readjustment to the Golden Mean, which itself is not fixed, but contingent on the malleable nature of the world and our experience of it.

For example, in certain situations true Courage might sometimes have more of the character of Rashness—or even cowardice—depending on how desperate the situation is, how high the stakes, or the importance of the next battle rather than the present one.

Aristotle gave us this extremely sophisticated modus to merge morality with reality, and for that we should be extremely grateful; at the same time rejecting the crass and false certainties of Manichean moralism.

The original White Power: the power of the mind.
But the Aristotelian idea of the Golden Mean also has political and metapolitical applications, as politics is as complex and textured as the interface between morality and reality. But what would this involve?

An Aristotelian approach to politics would look for the core principles of a political movement and then consider how the Golden Mean of that movement could be served, thus exemplifying its virtue.

A Manichean approach to politics, by contrast, would tackle the same problem in a radically different way, by creating a simplistic division and then ascribing moral worth to one side and condemnation on the other.

This Manichean approach is more or less what we see with a recent Twitter comment by Paul Joseph Watson of Info Wars, which is usually described as an Alt-Lite conspiracy theory site. In that comment, Watson draws a distinction between two kinds of Alt-Right:
"There are two 'Alt-Rights.'
One is more accurately described as the New Right. These people like to wear MAGA hats, create memes & have fun.
They include whites, blacks, Asians, latinos, gays and everyone else. These are the people who helped Trump win the election.
The other faction likes to fester in dark corners of sub-reddits and obsess about Jews, racial superiority and Adolf Hitler.
This is a tiny fringe minority. They had no impact on the election.
Guess which faction the media is giving all the attention to?"
What is most striking here is that both of these conceptions of the Alt-Right are obviously retarded—the happy multicultural collective making their cheery memes and the Romper Stomper crew (probably waiting for their next Federal paycheck).

The reason for Watson suddenly making this sharp distinction is because of the recent controversy surrounding the recent NPI conference, in particular the fact that Richard Spencer in his closing speech used the German word "Lügenpresse" and the English word "hail" in rising cadence and conjunction with Donald Trump and victory, evoking Hitlerian styles and tropes that then drew "Roman" salutes from around half-a-dozen members of the audience of around 250.

Whether this handful of stiff-armed individuals were Jews, trolls, or FBI plants remains an open question, but there is no denying that much of the rhetoric and imagery used in the conference—including the inclusion of cosplay Nazi Tila Tequila—pushed things in this direction. While Tequila's inclusion was clearly a nod to the ironic trollish element of the Alt-Right, the other "Nazi" signals—shots of Arno Breker's sculpture, Wagnerian music, references to the "Children of the Sun," and the style of Spencer's own speech, were clearly meant less ironically, and indeed had a passionate intensity about them.

It's THOT in those ovens.
In the aftermath of this, some on the Alt-Right were enthused, while others felt uncomfortable with it, or tried to dismiss the whole thing as an elaborate media troll, in the style of Trump himself, aimed at using media outrage to boost exposure of the speech.

Those who were most uncomfortable with the speech were those like Watson and Mike Cernovich, members of what is now commonly called the "Alt-Lite," who have played a vital role in challenging political correctness and helping Trump's cause on social media in recent months. They felt compelled to condemn Spencer, even going so far as to say that he is "controlled opposition" (no he isn't), while also endeavouring to distance themselves from elements of the Alt-Right. This is what led Watson to come up with his simplistic Jekyll and Hyde versions of the Good Alt-Right and the Bad Alt-Right.

Yes, Richard was rather naughty when he used the conference's aesthetics and his own rhetoric to give obvious sieg heil cues to the audience. As Andy Nowicki correctly observed in his recent podcast, it undercut much of the good that the conference did, while allowing enemies of the Alt-Right to sow division and dismiss our eminently moderate and sensible ideas as the ravings of people obsessed with the most toxic brand in political history. It has also been used to draw a direct disavowal from Trump himself, putting Richard in the unenviable position of hailing someone who them turns round and says "Fuck you!"

Make no mistake about it, that footage of a few hands shooting up as Spencer closed his speech will be used again and again with no hint of irony to equate the Alt-Right with Naziism. In short, it was a mistake, a miscalculation, an error, and a misfortune, especially for a movement that, as Spencer claimed, has now reached the mainstream:
"We've gone from a movement that was not connected to the political mainstream, not connected to the political fray. We now are. People are paying attention to us, people are now looking at us, and so I actually say, yes, we need to start, maybe knock some of that stuff off. We need to think of ourselves as a mainstream movement that's going to reach people, because we do have that power." (interview with Roland Martin below, from 7:00 mark)

But although Richard was badly mistaken in allowing, and indeed implicitly encouraging, an outbreak of stormfaggotry at his conference, and then letting it go unchallenged, rather than making a Manichean judgement upon him, and viewing him as someone who has gone "full Anglin" and is now one of the irredeemable "Deplorables," I prefer to view him as someone who has temporarily strayed from the Aristotelian Golden Mean of the Alt-Right. This is the sweet spot of our movement, where Naziist affectations are viewed with suspicion as counter-productive, self-ghettoizing, and often Federally financed, where Naziism's stain on White identitarianism is viewed as something that has to be transcended and stepped over—in the way that Jonathan Bowden advocated—rather than something to be invoked, embraced, or celebrated for its troll potential. For every Jewish or liberal journalist triggered or "bullycided," ten thousand normies or more may be lost to our cause.

Also remember this: the Alt-Right can inspire its chosen and future audience—and also trigger its opponents—simply by focusing on moral and mature European identitarianism and Western traditionalism, and by addressing the awkward issues of race and excessive Jewish power in a spirit of honesty and humaneness. Our opponents are so extreme that we can trigger them merely with our common sense and moderation. We don't need to mirror them with an opposite and self-defeating extremism of our own to achieve this.

The virtue of the Alt-Right, and thus its strength, lies in the middle, away from the cuckish liberalism of the Alt-Lite, which can still serve as a useful bridge to the benighted Normie masses, and the Stormerfag tendency, which can, if we are not careful, become our ghetto and prison. Paul Jospeh Watson is blind to this Golden Mean, offering us only a choice between a Vice of Excess or a Vice of Deficiency. Keen to keep his own "sweet spot" in the parasitic wing of the counter-culture, he himself chooses the Vice of Deficiency. Which way will Richard Spencer choose?


Connected Articles:
Racism and Sexism Viewed as Aristotelian Virtues

 

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