This article originally appeared at Katehon.

The Alt Right, which stands for the “Alternative Right,” is an umbrella movement launched in the United States. It challenges both the mainstream Left and Right, which it views as essentially two versions of the same Liberal ideology. American intellectual Richard Spencer is credited with coining this term in 2008; he cemented it by launching AlternativeRight.com in 2010.

At that time, Spencer realized that no existent form of the Right in the United States suited his ideological convictions. Indeed, this is what set that country apart from the European continent, where right-wing intellectual and activist life outside the mainstream thrived. In contrast, the Right in the United States comprises mainstream Republicans more interested in tax law than civilizational issues; warmongering neocons keen to export chaos abroad; Libertarians (classical Liberals) concerned about limited government and mental exercises in political abstraction; as well as paleoconservatives interested in simply turning back the clock.

Of these, paleconservatives came closest to the Alt Right in their cautious approach to foreign policy and advocacy of traditional values. However, they either did not fundamentally question the ideology of Liberalism at its roots, along with its economic system, capitalism, or did not thoroughly investigate questions of identity.

Intellectual Influences 

A number of key paleoconservative were nonetheless influential on the Alt Right. Patrick Buchanan (b. 1938) is the most obvious example due to his political prominence: he acted as an advisor to presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan and sought the Republican Presidential nomination in the 1990s. Buchanan advocates pragmatic foreign policy defined by American interests rather than hegemony for the sake of hegemony in such books as A Republic, Not An Empire. His consecutive text The Death of the West discusses broader civilizational questions.

Another key American figure that the Alt Right traces itself to is Sam Francis (1947 – 2005), a paleoconservative columnist critical of ideologically Liberal models of immigration, multiculturalism, and Washington’s wars, such as the invasion of Iraq. Francis, too, emphasized civilizational issues over all else. He defined authentic conservatism as “the survival and enhancement of a particular people and its institutionalized cultural expressions.” Indeed, Francis de-emphasized the “conservative” part of the “paleoconservative” label, saying that he did not want the status quo preserved.

This criticism of mainstream conservatism in America — as it attempts to preserve the status quo in a museum-like manner instead of continuity and passing on tradition (deriving from the Latin tradere) — is one that bridges the gap with European thinkers.

The Alt Right draws from the same major intellectuals from the Old World as the so-called New Right on that continent in an attempt to synthesize their thought as a way out from the decadent ideology of Liberalism. These are Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger, along with thinkers of the interwar Conservative Revolution in Germany, such as Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, and Thomas Mann, among others. Of particular interest are Spenglerian theory of civilizational decline, Nietzschean emphasis on aesthetics and temporal cycles of eternal return, and Schmittian concept of the Political.

Alt-Right intellectuals do not shy away from employing classic scholars of the Left either. Karl Marx is useful in his criticism of the middle class, whereas critical theory of the Frankfurt School can be equally employed to demystify Liberal forms of authority that it helped erect in the first place.

Contemporary continental European thinkers include Alain de Benoist, Alain Soral, Guillaume Faye, and Alexander Dugin, among others. Despite diversity of thought, what these thinkers have in common is their scathing critique of Liberal ideology at its core, while putting emphasis on authentic, traditional identities.

Identity

One of the key issues central to the Alt Right is the question of identity. Its development in the United States has been quite unique as compared to the rest of the rest of the world. This country’s history of colonial conquest of the continent, slavery, various waves of immigration, and politics of segregation over time produced a hyper-racial society. Certain homogenous ethnic and cultural communities, such as the Italians and Irish, certainly exist even if they are waning, as do regional identities, for instance “cowboy culture,” which stretches from Alberta, Canada, to Texas, even surpassing national borders. However, the majority of Americans of European descent simply self-identify as “white.” Similarly, Americans of African heritage of various strands view themselves as a single group. Yet whereas African, Asian, Hispanic, and other minorities see themselves as fairly coherent communities, with their own demands and institutions, Americans of European descent do not have such organizations and representatives. After all, up until the last few decades they were the majority and maintained social hegemony.

This is changing. The combination of demographics and immigration are transforming American whites into a minority, whereas the mainstream culture of stifling political correctness, suicidal tolerance, human rights, secular relativism, mass migration, trash entertainment, and other ideological expressions of Liberalism, not unlike those in other parts of the West, have led to the sense of dispossession and questioning who they are.

Searching for answers, much of the Alt Right comprises younger people no longer connected to the paradigms of the old, from the Cold War to Liberal individualism and its economic counterpart, capitalism.

Some feel connected to Europe because of their ethnic and cultural background, in which religion is not unimportant. Indeed, the majority of the Alt Right is secular but believes in the civilizational importance of Christian tradition. A more religiously oriented minority seeks to reconnect with the Sacred: some have even converted to Orthodox Christianity, which they see as an authentic continuation of Tradition as compared to the degeneration of certain brands of Protestantism to include Postmodern aberrations. Small groups of neo-pagans also exist seeking for the way of out of civilizational decline by looking back to Norse and Slavic gods of the old.

Alt Right and Alt “Light”

There are two variants of the Alt Right. One is the original Alt Right launched by Richard Spencer. The other comprises a number of figures close to the mainstream, who often speak of the symptoms—not the causes—of civilizational decline in the West, and pick the proverbial low-hanging fruit. The former acts as an intellectual vanguard, while the latter popularizes certain ideas deemed politically incorrect by the Liberal establishment.

The original Alt Right also includes public intellectuals such as Dr. Kevin MacDonald, a now-retired professor of psychology at California State University, whose primary focus has been studying Jewish power structures. Dr. Paul Gottfried, a political philosopher, historian of intellectual history, and a retired Professor at Elizabethtown College, whose scholarship focuses on the criticism of neoconservatism. Although Dr. Gottfried considers himself a paleoconservative, he was one of the first notable figures to use the term “alternative right” next to Richard Spencer.

The majority of Alt Right is, however, anonymous. One of the main problems for this movement is political persecution of dissidents.

Of course, establishment Liberals do not typically throw their ideological opponents in prison. Instead, by using various tools such as their echo-chamber media or releasing private information known as “doxing,” they throw them into the proverbial poor house instead by ensuring that they become unemployable. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to create tight-knit support networks, so that those engaged in intellectual labor and activism should not fear losing the ability of earning basic income.

Notable members of the Alt “Light” included Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Gavin McInnes, and Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars, among others. Whereas these public figures do not necessarily self-describe as the “Alt Right,” they serve the function of popularizing ideas challenging the Liberal narrative, such as the absurdity of mainstream Western feminism and the warfare-welfare state, for a vast audience. In other words, these popular iconoclasts “red pill,” to use term lifted from the movie Matrix, broader segments of the population to ideas that they would not have otherwise encountered.

Humor

Publishing books and opinion pieces, filming video commentary, organizing events, and creating art are undoubtedly important. Yet one of the most successful ways of discarding old paradigms has also been through humor. This Internet-savvy generation of the Alt Right uses memes in order to mock the mainstream—from “fake news” that typify much of the establishment media to foreign-policy and civilizational questions. In the era of Postmodernity, memes repackage the signfiers and signified of a particular image and caption for desired effect. The so-called meme wars have not only been successful in getting the media’s attention, but remarkably forced Hillary Clinton to denounce the Alt Right and even one of its prominent memes, Pepe the Frog, in a presidential-campaign speech and her website! Indeed, ironically, it is Hillary Clinton’s denunciation that catapulted the Alt Right into the spotlight that it has enjoyed since.

Where Does The Alt Right Go From Here?

Since its inception, the Alt Right has been fighting an uphill battle. And since its rise to international notoriety, it has been punching above its weight. In 2017 and beyond, the Alt Right hopes for consolidation, creation of lasting cultural institutions, new projects in print and film, alternative media, reaching a broader audience, establishing multi-channel connections with its ideological identitarian counterparts in Europe and Russia, and, of course, successful fundraising efforts to facilitate all this.

Certain steps are already being taken: this week, Richard Spencer and Jason Jorjani with Daniel Friberg of Arktos Media launched AltRight.com—a one-stop shop for all things Alt Right, the goal of which is reaching a mass audience, while unifying the movement. All this work for the Alt Right as an intellectual vanguard is not a choice but a necessity. After all, as Conservative Revolutionaries once said: the present has no form.

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44 Comments on "What Is the Alt Right?"

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Stephen Christopher Heinrich
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Stephen Christopher Heinrich

“Alt Right”, what is your end goal? Define “Alt Right” victory.

JohnEngelman
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Jared Taylor deserves to be mentioned as a progenitor of the alt right.

In 1990 he began publishing a magazine named “American Renaissance.” This has since then become a website.

In 1991 he wrote “Paved With Good Intentions.” Here he maintained that the good intentions of the civil rights movement had not led to good results.

TransPride
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A widely over the top, unnecessary,vile group, just as bad as the regressive left.

Randy Smith
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the biggest obstacle to altright success is the failure of the altright to realize and put foremost the reality that multiculturalism and mass immigration are only here for one reason: because it makes big corporations and plutocrats richer….period.

LyovMyshkin
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“as well as paleoconservatives interested in simply turning back the clock.”

I don’t think this is fair. Sobran, Buchanan and Kirk are extraordinary thinkers and extremely valuable for us.

I see the Paleocons as ahead of their time.

Alt-Right Studies
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Alt Right has core identity, issues, and interests. But it must also be mindful not to fall into dogmatism. It has to be defined by spirit of freedom, independence, and resistance at the individual as well as collective level. As a collective, whites must resist Jewish globalism. But as free individuals, whites must also resist the rise of iron dogma and iron-fisted leaders. The problem with Nazism was it didn’t allow dissent from the Nazi Radical Racist line and all Germans were expected to be like loyal dogs of Hitler. If Hitler said ‘be friends with Russia’, Germans were friends… Read more »
Aetius
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I think some tried to DDOS this site earlier today, also the alt right reddit was banned, feels like a coordinated effort..

Gubbler Chechenova
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Elites invoke Universalism to renege on their Responsibility to the National People For most of history, it was difficult for mankind to trek and communicate across great distances. So, the elites of a community developed a strong bond with the people on their allotted territory. This bond between elites and people was most resilient among the Jews, not least because their nomadism required strong tribal bonds to keep the community together. The paradoxical nature of the Jews is their preferred mode of existence tended toward the division of elite and people yet their commitment to Tribal Will demanded conservation of… Read more »
MylesStandish
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Alt-Right is kosher nationalism. Alt-Right pretends to represent identity, while insulting and opposing the Anglo-Saxon identity of regular Americans. This is not surprising given the (((Neo-Reactionary))) roots of alt-right political theory, a species of idiocy which places the responsibility for the fall of civilization squarely on the shoulders of, wait for it…. the Enlightenment, the Protestant reformers, the Puritan fathers and any other bulwark of American identity they can find. Yep, that’s right, America would be great if it weren’t for Americans and everything we hold dear. In a way, it’s just a rehash of the old FDR alliance where… Read more »
Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

As the mind-war continues, here is the best site I’ve found that proves not only vast differences between races, but the inferiority of blacks and Hispanics. All the IQ testing for the last 125 years has clearly shown blacks and Hispanics have IQs in the 70s compared to whites and Asians with IQ 103 and 105 average, respectively.

http://humanbiologicaldiversity.com

Aurelius
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But, muh 115 (verbal, supposedly) IQ!

Why U no mention the 6 bajillion!?

Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

LOL, just throwing this site out there. So many of us are arguing for the correct conclusions, but it does help to show people the 1000+ science articles (some recent) proving the differences between the races.

Aurelius
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It is only worth it to show them to the truly open minded people.

There are some, liberals and conservatives alike, who will never accept the observations that scientists have studied for almost 100 years.

Funny that so many accept the shoddy mathematical modelling that argues for climate change, but ignore the very tangible results of intelligence testing.

Captain John Charity Spring MA
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Captain John Charity Spring MA

Episcopalians? Presbyterians?

Einar von Vielen
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Although contra-intuitive for alt-right conservatives (as they focus on the ‘own’), a major lever of success in the uphill battle will be to form cross-white-national alliances. Currently we as your European brothers enthusiastically study your movement and wish you all the best. Obviously the American peoples’ counter attack outpacing us European New Rightists is driven by 1. a higher level of freedom (despite PI you white Americans honor free speech more than the avg. European), 2. more desperation (poor south Europeans were always poor, your rust belt workers dismounted more extremely than the north European working class), 3. typical American… Read more »
Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

Don’t forget South Africa. We need to network with their alt-right, fund and cross train. Their white nationalists have seen and done things for decades that are far advanced to our theorizing.

Aurelius
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Yes, we all should be students of their dispossession.

Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

Correction: we should all be warriors for their repossession. 🙂

This isn’t over, not by a long shot. In SA, the dispossessed whites are competing with a black majority with an average IQ of 70. I’d side with the whites in the long run.

Aurelius
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We could become food independent if we welcomed all the white SA farmers.

I would welcome them like brothers.

Piet
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I agree with you, and what is more, they desperately need support from the West.

Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

Yes, Piet. Here is how we can contact the main SA group: http://awb.co.za/index.php/kontak-ons

Simon_in_London
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“establishment Liberals do not typically throw their ideological opponents in prison”

Of course over here in Europe they certainly do – generally, minor figures are imprisoned, while major ones like Nick Griffin and Gert Wilders or Marine Le Pen (or Brigitte Bardot!) are put on show trial, but imprisonment is rarer.

Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

The imprisoned ones will be released and given medals when we are victorious. Their cells will, of course, be filled by the current fools and traitors. Fanatically believe in victory and whatever it takes and we have the highest probability of success.

Philosophy14 ✓Alt-Right
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This is a good graphic that, more or less, describes the Alt-Right. I don’t know who created it, but it looks good, maybe the RamZPaul link should be removed.

comment image

Algearond
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Fantastic article

Samuel_Nock
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From a certain perspective, the Alt-lite would be better referred to as the Alt-left. The difference between Alt Right and Alt Lite is not just a matter of degree: it is a matter of kind. Most of the Alt lite figures are essentially classical liberals with a live-and-let-live attitude. The Alt lite are classical liberals who object to the authoritarian tactics and intolerance of the SJW left. But otherwise, figures such as Cernovich, Milo, Paul Joseph Watson and Gavin McGinnes, are all classical liberals / libertarians, i.e. of the Left. I don’t say this as a criticism; merely as a… Read more »
Eumaios
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The subordination to immediate goals that you mention is the key. That is what might unite the alt-right and its millions of potential alt-lite allies toward something that at least resembles the salvation of the western world. I hear you on your categorical distinction between the alt-right and the alt-lite, and I think there is some truth to it. At the very least I would say it applies to the majority of the alt-lite. Though, there odd cases like me, who also derive from the classical liberal tradition, but yet are only really distinguished from the alt-right by degree, which… Read more »
Simon_in_London
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How do you characterise Libertarian Nationalists like Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance who see Locke & co as a genuine part of the Anglo-Saxon cultural tradition? Here he is in 2012 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE1cdPozDv0 I found it very convincing – that liberty is a genuine part of our tradition and should be defended as such, not as a universal value. From what I have seen, some on the Alt Lite such as PJW would agree, while others such as Milo are much closer to the neocon “Universal Values” position. Trump himself seems closer to the Sean Gabb Libertarian Nationalist position,… Read more »
A hymn to Hermes
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I’d say it is a complete misnomer. The Roman semi-autonomous res publicas, and the Babylonian satrapies allowed for a great deal of “liberty” but they never would have contextualized this as a value unto itself. The goal was not to conquer foreign people, and force a new political and economic formalization upon them so that they could be more “free”. The value being promoted was simply peace. This status quo relied on a functional social and legal system which allowed for a broad base of autonomy among subject populations who did not need to be onerously oppressed and exploited against… Read more »
Simon_in_London
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I take your point about peace > order > liberty, but I think the English frequently referred to “Our Ancient Liberties” when protesting Royal power. I think there was a strong sense of ‘negative liberty’, a “right to be let alone” by the government. I think this is not the same as Jacobin revolutionary “Liberty”. I think the extremism arises because communitarian values (hearth & home, family, motherland, church) had generally remained implicit/unstated in English political discourse as too obvious to need defending. Certainly this is a criticism of the US Founding Fathers. Unstated values eventually become discarded and you… Read more »
Samuel_Nock
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The concept of political liberty, and minimalist government, is undoubtedly a core value of the English / British (and, to lesser extent, Germanic) people. As you note, it must be understand as a characteristic that has expressed itself as part of a particular ethnicity. That is not to say that other peoples do not, and cannot, understand liberty or incorporate it to their value system. But as an integral and organic political value, it is very much an Anglo-Saxon virtue. From that perspective, National libertarianism is the only libertarianism that makes sense: libertarianism plus open borders is a form of… Read more »
Simon_in_London
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Excellent comment.

Samuel_Nock
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Thanks very much.

Christian Talour
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I have an old professor who falls into this category. I don’t really know what to do with him either. He seems more libertarian than nationalist, but he is pro-Western Civilization.

Jarod
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They’ll never leave behind “Muh Constitution!”

Spring Chicken
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I just saw a libertarian-leaning conservative who I used to follow post about the rift between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians and I couldn’t help but think to myself how pointless that discussion is given that we’re becoming a Hispanic country that won’t care about continuing the legacy of any of the founders.

Resistance Breeds Hope
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Resistance Breeds Hope

Exactly. Also, the founders knew the Constitution would only work with moral, religious, educated people, not faggots, secularists, and Jew-propagandized fools.

The founders themselves stated clearly that the Constitution is no longer valid or useful once morality, religion, and education are lost.

Hildi H.
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“The Alt Lite coming over to join the Alt Right will involve the former’s rejecting some of their Enlightenment-derived beliefs”… aka “faggotry and feminism.”

kenpachi55
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mainly its about a jew free ethno state. who gives a dam about fags

Hildi H.
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You’re right. Who gives a damn about fags or feminists or diversity or Islam or open borders or affirmative action or PC brainwashing or children being told they can be a boy or a girl based on how they “feel” or children seeing men dressed like women in the streets or fatherless broken families… Who cares.

A broken and sick society will never be strong enough to achieve any kind of enthostate, let alone one that is free from Jewish influence. “Not giving a damn” is how we became disenfranchised to begin with.

Laguna Beach Fogey
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I’d like to see Chad Lit take off as a literary genre.

Also we need an AltRight film documentary. Already have a working title:

‘Rising Fire: The Triumph of the Alt-Right.’

David McNight
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Laguna Beach Fogey Where are you? Sabbatical break… What’s a ChadLit? Film documentary…’Rising Fire’, what connection are you making? Old Arabic tale, phoenix rising from the ashes, you see the Alt-right as refined by fire? That’s cool PS. Some of mans best thinking was done on the crapper.

Christian Talour
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What is “ChadLit?”

Yehudah Finkelstein
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wpDiscuz