Both the alt-left and alt-right are populist but attack the elements of the establishment most pertinent to their interests. I have repeatedly noted, that if their platforms were combined into a single agenda, we would have an alt-center that comprehensively rejects the establishment.
As astute commenters have pointed out, a major culture and class divide separates these dissidents.
The working class alt-right and the upper-middle class alt-left progressives revile and distrust each other but my calculation is that they will be forced to work together.
The alt-right has scored some major victories but finds itself stalled in need of some kind of push to go further. They need one more group to make a coalition that can put politicians directly loyal to them into office.
The alt-left meanwhile languishes at the bottom of the heap after Bernie was shot down and their attempt to install Keith Ellison as a compromise party leader was soundly rejected by the establishment core.
The progressive white males who are the heart of the alt-left have been humiliated at every turn and are asked to sit at the back of the bus by brown people and single women with no hopes of realizing their agenda of punishing wall street and the military industrial complex, or relieving the stranglehold of student loans. This state of stasis getting none of their demands met can’t last.
These scorned progressives may vote for third parties trying to start an independent movement. This already happened to some degree in the 2016 presidential election. Bernie voters defecting to Stein and Johnson certainly played a role in Hillary Clinton’s historic defeat.
Of course, if they did not even have the power to get leverage within a coalition, they certainly can’t accomplish much on their own. Alt-leftists simply by being higher class are relatively few in number. Voting for third parties, they would hate to admit, is a tacit confession that your votes are on the table, inviting a bigger coalition to throw you a bone and take you in.
My prediction has been that necessity will force all white males into the same coalition. When you have poor alt-left millennials with useless degrees looking for jobs in urban areas they end up competing with other ethnic groups for scarce low-skill jobs where the cost of living is highest.
Even a lifetime of indoctrination is irreparably damaged once you realize everyone stops acting nice and abruptly drops the platitudes when bread and butter are on the line and they all play favorites with their own kind. Progressive whites find themselves trapped in the same hell at their coffee shop or adjunct teaching jobs as they do in the democrat party.
They are assigned lowest status even when working part time at minimum wage. This insult is finally too great a hit for the egos of the sons of engineers or lawyers to bear. They are living along the faultline, getting ground in between clashing tectonic plates with nowhere else to go. Eventually they must snap and sure enough, we have seen a disproportionate amount of political violence from exactly these disgruntled progressives.
So far, they’ve just lashed out in a panic, unable to really grasp the contradictions that have condemned them to suffer. Any kind of widespread movement, though, lasts because it has some promise to increase the status of its followers and achieve their objectives. If the left-progressive movement does not benefit, or actually hurts its believers, they must migrate or else leave behind a failed ideology.
As they start to explore the wilderness, they’ll find the alt-right and dark enlightenment waiting for them. Some have already begun to experiment with being “edgy” and “fashy” to suddenly realize that there’s a way to status and influence outside the infernal volcanic rift they now live in. As the way out of their predicament becomes clear they’ll be steadily squeezed into another camp.
The fundamentals of self-interest are stronger than class or ideologicial animosity in the long run.
Once these groups are stuck together they’ll find they belong together. Both factions are dominated by white males who have been designated the collective Satan of the national religion.
The alt-rightists were also white men who were no longer getting enough status and access to desirable women or prospects of family formation. Instead of trying to petition for a piece of the action in a mainstream political coalition they went out into the wilderness and began to clear a pasture for themselves hoping as all rebels do that some female groupies might follow them.
Perhaps because the alt-rightists rejected the shibboleths of the conventional discourse from the start, they could not delude themselves, as alt-leftists have that they have a place at the table of the orthodoxy. The clear path to success always was to ply the cool rebel angle to get mates and status. Now that the alt-right is meeting with some success despite the best efforts of the establishment they suddenly find themselves defining the new cool of the 21st century.
The alt-leftists can already perceive that the coolness of the rebels has paid off better than trying to be “good” white men in exchange for getting their issues addressed. Coolness is what they lack most. Even many of those who have good tech jobs or are in academia still struggle to get laid and even what little they have left is being taken away.
The few politicians who align with them aren’t cool either. Bernie Sanders is likable but not cool. Elizabeth Warren is shrill and only slightly cooler than Hillary Clinton. The only remotely cool alt-left-leaning politician is Tulsi Gabbard and she is a part-Indian, part-Polynesian female from one of the least white states. Progressive hipsters would find themselves sorely disappointed even if Gabbard somehow got real power. She, like rabid black muslim Keith Ellison, does not represent them.
By 2020, it will be clear to even those in deep in denial that their attempt at a mainstream movement is dead. There will be no Sanders, Warren, or Gabbard running for president except as a third party spoiler. They’ll get to take a back seat yet again as an establishment matriarch like Kamala Harris easily captures the democrat nomination.
The massed in-group nepotism of every minority tribe packed into one coalition is finally too much. The more the European-American population shrinks the more strongly it will be pushed through the process of ethnogenesis as the weight of the earth transforms loose sand into rock.
Those who doubt this should consider that African-Americans regard themselves as a single people despite descending from hundreds of different tribes scattered across thousands miles of coastline, desert, and jungle. White-Americans will be no different as they are placed under siege. Instead of slavery, being attacked from every side will be the crucible in which they are forged into a single people.
As these pressures mount, the alt-rightists will be forced to jettison their own cargo of cognitive dissonance. Many of them look to the Reagonian 80s with worshipful nostalgia just like corporate-backed republican puppets. Somehow, even as rebels, they still sing hymns in praise of the “free market” and trickle down economics after 30 disastrous years of plunder and kleptocracy.
Those that come from a more sophisticated libertarian background, gulp from the same poisoned chalice. No matter how the free-for-all is justified right wingers are easily cucked out of their birthright as multi-national corporations thrive.
As with the alt-leftists, I count not on a mass epiphany arrived at through reason to change their minds, but the relentless lashings we all receive from harsh reality that grow ever worse until we finally change our ways.
The issue that will finally force the alt-right to abandon their old assumptions is free association for white Americans. They’ve been against affirmative action and illegal immigration since the beginning but they don’t yet understand where this will lead them.
As their platform congeals, a neo-tribalist alt-center begins to take form. From the necessity of in-group preference they will learn that unfettered competition is not society’s highest goal. In the present year, the mere mention of social safety nets or mutual aid on the right begets a frenzy of primal rage.
Like Pavlov’s dogs they have been well-conditioned. Every time the bell of redistribution rings, some of their food is taken from them and given to other dogs as they receive a nasty electric shock. So naturally, they snap viciously at the cage bars whenever they are triggered. It will take some time and a sense of security for them to begin to overcome their trauma.
As an unchallenged cultural territory is established a new tribe can begin to discuss what role the financial sector or the weapons industry should play. They will finally be able to talk about job training and apprenticeship in a way that makes more sense than credential-hunting that destroys the savings of the middle class and makes even the lucky graduates indentured debt servants of their employers.
The alt-left is actually ahead of the curve and more imaginative than the alt-rightists but they still don’t quite get the urgency, that alt-rightists understand deep in their guts. We’re faced with a fight to survive right now and until existence is secure, struggling white college grads will never get any help with their loans and the “too big to fail” banks will never get properly punished. Only when all the white male populists are forced to fight back to back in battle will we see all their issues addressed within an alt-center that leaves behind the fake dichotomy of left and right.