Sunday, 15 January 2017

BECOMING WHO WE WERE


Before Trump, one of the most repeated maxims in Alt-Right circles was, "There is nothing left to conserve." The statement articulated the Alt Right's very reason for being: there may have been nothing left to conserve, but we were not here to conserve.

Whereas all past right-wing movements—from fascism to post-war conservatism—essentially tried to retrofit traditional values onto modern societies, we were to be a Right that would, finally, digest modern history and move forward to something new.

The origins of the Alt-Right are often attributed to disillusionment with mainstream conservatism, and that’s true, but the Alt-Right (at least the White Nationalist portion of it) also represented an advance beyond the assumptions of the brand of intellectual White Nationalism that had immediately preceded it. The most influential exponent of this earlier type of White Nationalism was/is AmRen, so let’s call them the AmRen Right.

As far as the AmRen Right was concerned, everything in the Western world was more or less fine until about 60 years ago, when suddenly everything was turned up-side-down. To the practically-minded AmRen Right, the folly of racial diversity was an objective truth. The multicultural ideology, to them, was simply a lie. Which is why it must be propped up by coercive government intervention and sustained media propaganda.

If only we could get the truth out there—that Blacks and Browns are less intelligent and more crime-prone, the whole thing might come crashing down. So speaking the "uncomfortable truth" about racial differences—race realism—was their primary focus. The ideology of the AmRen Right was, essentially, that we (Whites) would be better off without them (non-Whites) because society would be safer and more prosperous. Therefore, we should separate ourselves from them, just like before, when things made sense.

The "near present" is flawed.
We are partially descended from the AmRen Right, so much of this remains familiar to us, but the differences are crucial. While inequality was an "uncomfortable truth" to the AmRen Right, to the Alt-Right it is almost the ideal. Unlike the AmRen Right, the Alt-Right took the view that current Western attitudes on race are the result of a gradual evolution that goes back at least to the Enlightenment. And while the AmRen Right was narrowly-focused on race, the Alt-Right (for better or worse) questioned nearly every liberal assumption.

Largely due to generational differences, the AmRen Right was wedded to the preservation of existing White nations, while the Alt-Right is more open to the idea of creating new White nations. In sum, the AmRen Right's basic message was that racial diversity doesn't work, while the Alt Right's was that White nationalism is a better ideal.

Then Donald Trump came along, and this project has largely been put on hold. The Alt-Right, too much of it, is becoming what the Left says: the same old racists with new memes. Trumpists and 1488ers may be on opposite ends of the Alt-Right spectrum, but they come from the same populist place. And it seems that together they, and the general mindset they represent, are squeezing the "alternative" out of the Alternative Right.

The Trump Effect


"The Trump effect" on the Alt-Right is not that our positions have softened, but that his backward-looking campaign has made us more backward-looking. To use simplified Trumpian language, I think many of us saw what Trump was doing and decided, ‘Why not just do what he's doing?' Trump says "America First," we say 'Whites First;' Trump says "Make America Great Again," we say 'Make America White Again.' We figured we'd piggyback off Trump to get our talking points out there. Which is fine, but somewhere along the way, the messaging became the ideology, and we've fallen back to the reactionary assumptions and easy answers of pre-Alt-Right White Nationalism.

Not radical enough, surely.
Think of it; this new Alt Right is most perfectly represented by TRS. Before the Alt-Right, the two most significant White Nationalist factions were AmRen and Stormfront. TRS have shown a Trump-like ability to brand their opponents, which I guess has its uses, but what is their actual ideological substance other than a mash-up of AmRen and Stormfront? (Yeah I know, I'm missing the cosmic significance of an Alt-Right podcast that employs the cutting-edge comedic stylings of a morning-drive shock-jock show from the 90s.)

A lot was made of the fact that a few in the audience gave Roman salutes to Richard Spencer saying "Hail our people" at the recent NPI conference. I agree that it's not a good look, but I mostly accept Spencer's explanation, and I think he has learned from it. Honestly, I think the outrage was somewhat disingenuous. We all knew we had these weekend Waffen warriors in our ranks, and Spencer can't be expected to control everything they do. Yes, he should have avoided the winking Nazi references, but he was trying to speak the new (ironic?) shitlord language of the movement. As I say, I think he's learned from it. The larger problem with his speech, to me, is that he sounded more like Jared Taylor than Richard Spencer.

The first essay I ever published at Radix was an argument against Spencer's European Imperium vision. So I've always disagreed with him there, but in most other ways I've always found him to have a much deeper understanding of our situation than any of our side who have come before.

Redneps Drahcir
He recognized that multiracial egalitarianism was not a radical departure from the founding spirit of America. He knew that the roots of our problem go further back than Brown v. The Board of Education or WWII. He didn't pretend that Western civilization has been flipped on its head by Jewish subversion, but he also didn't go around saying that Jews are just White people.

He mused that maybe multiculturalism is a 'stage we have to pass through' to reach a new racial consciousness (he is the "Karl Marx of the Alt Right," remember). He realized that the Alt Right must be a "post-American" movement. And he saw that Americans were better positioned than Europeans to achieve a forward-looking Identitarianism precisely because our ethnicity is less rooted to our state. Put simply, he understood the context of our historical moment.

Now, echoing frequent Taylor talking-points, he says that "We (Whites) don't need them (non-Whites)," and that America is "ours," that, "America was, until this past generation, a White country...." (To his credit, Taylor himself appears to have moved beyond some of this.)

At one time, he recognized that as half of all American babies are non-white, we are not going to 'take back America.' But now, he wants to make America White again.

How might we do this? Sometimes he suggests repatriation of non-Whites (to who knows where), and sometimes he just dodges the question. (At Texas A&M, where Spencer recently gave a talk explaining that America is for White people, a Black man from the audience asked the obvious question: 'What would you do with people like me?' "You're a citizen," Spencer answered, without answering.)

No problem, they're "citizens."
I understand that perhaps to Spencer, and many in the Alt-Right generally, now is the time to raise consciousness; the answers can come later. Spencer has become the spokesman for the cause, and it could be argued that specific answers would get in the way of his basic message that race is our most foundational identity—as opposed to our less essential "elective identities."

He's just trying to get people to come through the door. But if we are to keep those he directs our way, especially those most worth keeping, we still need an attractive ideological vision. Even to those whom we've convinced that race is the most foundational identity, we still have to answer why the world would be a better place if this foundational identity were the foundation of the state.

America "was a White country," and race is our most foundational identity; these are—in a narrow way—legitimate factual arguments, but the hope implicit in them is false. When these points are emphasized, when they become our message, the implication is that someday the great majority of Westerners will sweep aside everything that separates them from their foundational identity (including their elective identities), and the Identitarian assumptions and racial demographics of the past will be restored.

That is false hope. If whites are to have their own nations in the future, these will be "elective" nations.

Multiculturalism as Stubborn Fact


Multiculturalism/multiracialism is an ideology, yes, but it is also an objective fact of the world. And the factors that make it so—economic globalization and modern ease of travel and communication—are not going away. We can't go home again. Multiculturalism as a fact and globalism as a reality have destroyed it forever. Just as European colonialism shattered for all time the traditional societal structures of the rest of the world, the West will never reestablish the lost "White Nationalist" consensus (the belief that all current Western countries are by and for Whites only).

Yes, it is true that until sixty years ago or so, 'almost all whites agreed with us,' as Jared Taylor likes to say. But that was only because "White Nationalism" was the only reality they had ever known. Westerners of a century ago lived in nations that had been overwhelming White for as long as they had been nations. It may be said that this fact can be its own justification, and it was for most people at that time, but this is a different time. Racial diversity is no longer a hypothetical ideology, but an objective fact.

1950s: Basking in the glow of incumbency.
In hindsight, we can see that the White Nationalism of many of yesterday's Westerners went no deeper than status quo bias. Now that White Nationalism has lost the advantage of incumbency, it should be clear that White Nationalism is no more "natural" than racial universalism. Sure, all else being equal, most people have some slight preference for their own race, but not by much. Clearly, it is not by enough.

Racialist Right thinkers have always cited the historical record to support their claims that 'multiculturalism always fails,' but their examples are not applicable to today. The failed multicultural regimes of the past were states made up of multiple nations, nations which, usually, had their own territories—something like this is what a European Imperium would recreate.

Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union were of this kind. The US (and most other Western countries) are not. Our minorities are not separated from us by language and they do not have their own territories. Most of them do not even live in towns in which they are the majority.

Likewise, individualism is an ideology, and a state of mind, but, due to the same market forces which led to globalism and universalism, it is also an inevitability. I have to think that the simple existence of civilization must increase individualism. Certainly though, after the great increases in wealth and technology of recent centuries, individualism has risen to the point of undermining ethnic identity. Going forward, organic ethnonationalism will be forever caught between the extremes of universalism and individualism. The plain fact is that now that material conditions allow us the freedom to go beyond ethnonationalism, many will make that choice.

Anyone with the least skill for prognostication can see that the future will bring ever greater individual choice. We already see it in every aspect of society. The audience shares of the 'Big Three' networks' are a fraction of what they once were, because now we have hundreds of channels that cater to every niche. Every broad-based institution is less-broad than it was a few generations ago. Fewer boys are Boy Scouts, fewer people go to their high school reunions, or go to the Homecoming game, or to church.

I think all of this goes a long way toward explaining Washington's consistently low approval-ratings. The United States is a continent-sized country of 325 million people with a two-party political system (incidentally, in the recent presidential election, a majority disapproved of both candidates). So of course people don't feel like they're being represented.

When the idealistic smart people of this and coming generations begin to contemplate how to remake the world, this globalized, atomized landscape will weigh enormously on their lines-of-thought. The Alt-Right can not only be against the spirit of this time, it must also be of this time.

Becoming Who We Are


It is not as though people no longer desire to be part of a community; what's changed is that people now choose their communities, instead of simply inheriting them. In other words, their communities and identities are elective. And this is not a fad (if I haven’t made that clear by now, I don’t know what else to say). This is where the world is going, and ultimately, reactionary populist movements aren't going to stop it.

Nothing is going to stop it, but we can redirect it.

We've come to a fork-in-the-road. One way leads to a future in which humanity is at once highly atomized and a homogenous blob. The other way is to what I call particularism. As I outlined last year:
"The starting point for particularism is that the individual should want to perpetuate himself, and therefore the state should be a means to this end [the state is uniquely capable of perpetuating a community]. However, self-perpetuation means different things to different people. So the idea is that there ought to be a far greater multiplicity of states, representing as many human spirits as possible in order that the state may represent the individual's will as closely as possible. The nature of the individual's bond with his fellow citizens could be ethnic, religious, ideological, anything that is willed with sufficient power."
Even in a vacuum, this is a profoundly satisfying ideology. It is an ethnonationalist ideology that goes beyond ethnonationalism.

Past ethno- and racial nationalist ideologies have been one-step moral philosophies: the individual wants to perpetuate himself, therefore racial nationalism. These racial nationalists may hold other values; they may wish to go to space, or to foster art and science, or to simply live in a safe and prosperous country. But the only connection any of these other values might have to ethnonationalism is a calculation that one might further the concrete realization of the other. As ideological principles, each of these values represent wholly separate systems.

Particularism corrects this failing. In the particularist system, the ethnonationalist principle is deduced from a larger ideological framework—and importantly (at a practical level), this larger ideological framework is in-line with the spirit of the times.

Race is an identity which we did not chose and we can never change. To myself, and probably most of you too, this is the very reason why my/our racial identity is so important. We agree with Richard Spencer that race is a foundational identity and an objective fact. But our decision that this fact is important is an ideological principle. And many, many others will never share this ideological belief. As Spencer says, "The Left is always going to be there." Why trap these potential troublemakers within our borders?

Trump, as many on our side have said, represents an opportunity for us. By now, many political observers have come to the conclusion that the overarching ideological conflict of this century is Globalism vs Nationalism (Nationalism broadly defined, not necessarily ethnic or racial).

In the age of Trump, Republicans and Democrats are likely to become rough stand-ins for Nationalism and Globalism respectively. Our task is to leverage Conservative/Nationalist grievance against the cosmopolitan alliance (liberal universalists, racially-conscious minority groups, capitalist globalists, etc.) into an irreconcilable polarization between the two sides. These two camps largely already live in separate territories: The BoWash corridor and the West Coast for the cosmopolitan alliance, with Conservatives/Nationalists occupying the rest of the country. Let us supply the practical and ideological rationale for them to take the logical next step. From there, the logical next step is the ethnostate.

Less is more.
A lot of the Alt-Right might say that this is, 'giving away a bunch of our land,' but the truth is we never had any land of our own at all. Our race happened to be the majority in many countries, but we—as people with a truly conscious ideology—have never had our own country.

If we could go back in time and explain our views to the Western world of 1850, the vast majority would agree with us, but only because these views would have comported with the only reality they had ever known. Now that there are other options, many will choose, and many more will accept, another option. But this also means that we now have a better idea of who is really us, and so if we do get our own state, it will, finally, truly be ours.

Ryan Andrews is the author of The Birth of Prudence, which was published by VDare.

 

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