Slate: National Review Helped Build The Alt-Right

Slate is blaming National Review for laying the foundations of the Alt-Right:

“Early in November, just a few days before the election, a gathering of white nationalists, heterodox academics, libertarians, and other misfits of the right convened in Baltimore. The H.L. Mencken Club was meeting for its ninth annual conference—a two-day affair featuring lectures, debates, and conversations about the future of American conservatism. November’s conference came amid surging interest in the alt-right, which owes its very name to the club. In 2008, a speech from the inaugural conference by its president, Paul Gottfried, was republished under the title “The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right” in Richard Spencer’s Taki’s Magazine, the earliest prominent usage of the phrase. At November’s conference, Gottfried echoed that 2008 call for the marshaling of an “independent” and “authentic” right. …

That right has been marshaled. The alt-right has become a political and cultural phenomenon without recent precedent—the rise of Donald Trump has brought with it newly empowered figures promoting fashionably packaged racism and anti-immigrant animus. As the alt-right has grown, though, mainstream conservatives have loudly shot down suggestions that its rise has anything to do with them. “They are anti-Semites, they are racists, they are sexists, they hate the Constitution, they hate free markets, they hate pluralism, they despise everything we believe in,” American Conservative Union executive director Dan Schneider told Conservative Political Action Conference attendees last month. “They are not an extension of conservatism. …”

If memory serves, the Alt-Right emerged in the 2000s and defined itself against George W. Bush and “mainstream conservatism.” National Review was our foil at the time. In our eyes, it represented everything we were not: pro-immigration, pro-war, pro-free trade, politically correct, indifferent to White interests and submissive to the mainstream media.

It’s true that National Review and “mainstream conservatism” has become less interesting over time. I suppose you could argue that it laid the foundation of the Alt-Right by purging anyone who was remotely interesting on the Right (Pat Buchanan, Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, Joe Sobran, Revilo Oliver, John Derbyshire, etc.) and replacing them with mediocrities like Jonah Goldberg. This was done to appease powerful donors and business interests and to stay in the good graces of the mainstream media which previously had the power to control status and determine respectability.

Shouldn’t National Review get credit for censoring itself? After all, this is what the Left wanted them to do. They wanted National Review to be their loyal opposition and play by their rules. The Standard was that National Review had to purge Peter Brimelow and Pat Buchanan, but The Atlantic could continue to publish Ta-Nehisi Coates and Slate could continue to publish Jamelle Bouie.

In the end, the internet, social media and the smartphone put an end to the ability of mainstream conservatives to police rightwing discourse. Now, anyone on the Right who wants to influence public opinion can do so by sending a tweet, uploading a YouTube video or by publishing articles on their own websites. They have all the tools at their disposal to build platforms like Breitbart and Infowars which have surpassed National Review in size and influence.

David French is right that the Left has given us “the bricks and mortar” to build the Alt-Right. Why should we play by the old rules? Those rules were imposed on our predecessors in a radically different information environment when the “mainstream media” was trusted and perceived as legitimate.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • I would simply add our mantra needs to be to win by any means. To quote Alinsky, “The ends justify the means”

  • Yup, the only good people who had any association with The National Review got purged by that publication.

  • Wait, the person who coined the phrase “Alternative Right” was named ((( Paul Gottfried )))? Have I been duped again, goys?

    • Thats non-sense. The phrase has been around longer than that. It gained prominence when Richard Spencer started using it. Especially in abbreviated format ‘Alt-Right’. The 14 words and the JQ. Those are the pillars

      • Nonsense? Perhaps. But Spencer only started using after his association with… Paul Gottfried. From Tabletmag: “The so-called alt-right is partly Gottfried’s creation; he invented the term in 2008, with his protégé Richard Spencer.” The article also describes Gottfried as “a retired Jewish academic” who once studied at Yeshiva University. Oy vey!

    • Yes, Paul Gottfried first coined the term and Richard Spencer made it popular when he named his first web zine Paul Gottfried is a Jewish paleoconservative, opposed to political correctness and cultural Marxism. I can think of a long list of white non-Jews who do us more harm than Paul Gottfried ever will. I don’t care for the part of the alt right that just hates every Jew, no matter what that Jew actually believes or advocates.

  • Sometime in November, Slate decided to become whatever it is that Salon is, basically autistic screeching in the form of a left-wing internet rag. Even Dear Prudie is thoroughly pozzed. It literally can’t even.

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