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Tag Archives: alt-lite

The Class Divide in the Alt Right

As the alt-right matures it can now be divided into working class and middle class wings.  Most of the arguments about strategy, methods, and optics since Charlottesville have at their root been different parts of society talking past each other.  The alt-right likes to talk about race, but too many of them seem to neglect class, which in some circumstances is even more important than race in a highly stratified America.  

The pre-existing White Nationalism 1.0 was a working class movement by its nature.  They were notorious for being abrasive purity-spirallers who don’t work well with others but those who made the transition to 2.0 have brought with them established organizational structures and are willing to show up in the real world.
At this point, when people are taking huge risks just stepping out into public, just showing up is the decisive factor, not wardrobe choice.  As a mercantile culture, we are still grappling with the new reality that action, revealed preference, and loyalty means more than words, presentation, or “brands.” 

From what I have seen, the most aggressively anti-social purity spirallers are already getting pushed out.  Over time I am seeing progressively fewer Nazi costumes.  As far as I can tell from pictures of Shelbyville, a few last people wearing nazi helmets are all that remains to be dealt with.  Counter-intuitively, complaints from the middle class wing of the alt-right actually grew louder after this event.  They were just as upset by a procession of people who looked like bikers and hunters dressed in black.  The reality is that working class groups won’t look nice and fuzzy, especially since the people who will actually show up tend to be the most angry and disaffected.  People who look determined and intimidating are not necessarily a bad thing.

The white polo shirt strategy has proven to be a stroke of genius that has created an image of the alt-right in the public consciousness.  More specifically, this has become the uniform of the middle class and SWPL alt-rightists.  They are trying to reach an audience where it pays best to be approachable, clean-cut, and well spoken.  While the black-clad bikers are gathering in rural white America, the polo preppy alt-right are targeting universities and urban areas.  

Rather than one conquering the other, these factions will end up pursuing their strategies in parallel.

I have seen a lot of criticism over the people showing up being “defective” but I think a lot of the armchair generals forget these are bands of dissidents.  The people who are comfortable and happy with their lives stay home, have other stuff to do, and have way too much to lose.  

The critics expect that the leaders of these groups can micromanage everyone like they are playing a real time strategy game and freak out about every negative thing the press seizes on.  In real life, these leaders are pirate captains elected into their roles by a motley crew of mutineers.

It takes a lot of guts and a disagreeable nature for anyone to actively go against what the rest of society is telling them to do, to reject false received wisdom, and seek out truth.  When you get a bunch of people like this in a room, you can’t expect any organization they form to run like a corporate department.  It’s only natural that it’s a bumpy ride and knees will get scraped. 

There has been a lot of public arguments between the leaders of these groups as they jockey for position and influence.  These are not crises but part of the natural process through which every organization is formed.  The clash of personalities has been a positive thing as the most able rise to the top and the worst narcissists, anti-social types, and the outright insane get weeded out.  

Every time there is a setback, loyalty gets tested and those who counter-signal too hard in the wrong way or against the wrong people fall by the wayside.  In these struggles, the class divide has been especially obvious. 

One leader screams at another about being a nazi larper only to be derided as an effete metrosexual in return.  One thing I have noticed though is over time certain rules of engagement have solidified and there are lines the leaders left standing no longer cross.  Now, even when disagreeing on tactics, there is almost always a disclaimer, of “I am glad this guy’s on our side but…”  

With pirate brawls now staying within this etiquette, the hierarchy steadily figures itself out.  Since the alt-right is the executive wing of the dissident sphere, those who come out on top will be those who can most effectively lead people to accomplish strategic goals in the field.

One of the biggest misunderstandings I see about the alt-right is from those who want it to become a mainstream political movement.  For some time yet, the niche of the alt-right is to be a minority of radicals who push the envelope and goad their enemies into over-extending.  By challenging the boundaries a few hundred alt-rightists can clear cultural space for millions more to drift slightly further towards them.

The alt-right is succeeding not by persuading everyone at once to their views but by changing the collective mood enough that alt-lite marketers are being forced to adapt or perish. 

Barely a year ago, a group with mostly gay men and women rose to become the alt-lite because their diversity points helped them get away with pushing ideas that no white straight guy could have presented to a large audience.  Someone like Milo was necessary and even his presence was enough to trigger a riot at Berkeley that was a huge turning point in exposing the establishment’s willingness to shut down free speech with violent thugs.

This excess lead directly to Antifa defeats at the battles of Huntington Beach and Berkeley forcing them to change their tactics ever since.  Few seem to reflect on the strategic significance of the fact that antifa has never again been able to attack independently, relying completely on sympathetic authorities to take their side. 

Now, it’s no longer necessary to be flamingly gay to popularize edgy political ideas.  Alt-lite figures like Milo are failing to make the transition and ex campus conservative types like James Allsup and Nick Fuentes are taking their place with far more discussion of ideas and less mindless sensationalism.  As the alt-right continues to keep on the pressure, it will change the culture—and the conventional politics lies downstream of culture.  

High School And Status in America

Conventional wisdom tells us that we leave behind high school for adult life, a moral impressed on us with the bittersweet ending of every teen movie.  If we observe the real-life American culture it’s obvious that high school informs our attitudes about status for the rest of our lives.

After Charlottesville, one mainstream news article I read surmised “angry white boys…had no prom queen waiting at home.”  On the dissident side we see the meme of the Chad nationalist contrasted with the hapless virgin or the general idea of the teacher’s pet “shitlib” getting shoved into lockers by cool bullies and still being bitter about it as a hot-chocolate-sipping, pajama-wearing adult.  No matter what people believe, we always see references to the jailhouse hierarchy of high school.

There is a reason high school ridicule is as reliable a default as “small penis,” “can’t get a gf,” “lives in mother’s basement” is for angry women.  These insults endure because they are intended to hit people where it hurts most.  There are millions of men to whom the feminist stock insults at least partially apply in the most humiliating way.  High school is the same.  It speaks for itself that the most tender possible spot for many people is to even suggest that they were bottom-tier punks in kid prison.

Coming of age in high school teaches us at a critical formative time that the most athletic and outgoing people are the natural aristocracy of humanity, literally crowned as monarchs in school assemblies held in their honor.  The whole point is the elites are not particularly useful, specializing in showmanship and sales.  The golden people perform on the field while the subordinate bug people line up to adore them in a synchronized marching band.
Status competition in a royal court is all about currying favor while those merely useful are but tools in the games of those who matter.

This sets up the narrative that defines the rest of our lives.  We must accept our places as cogs in a machine to uplift widely smiling “personalities” secure in their status while we must push hard against the gears around us to stay where we’re at.

The football players get to enjoy sultry virgins as callow teens while those who go sexless spend the rest of their lives striving for the left-overs as cubicle-farm underlings.  While the golden ones start out with society’s highest rewards, the rest must prove themselves worthy of diminished value through a years-long slog.

Resentment of the jocks plays no small role in kneejerk upper middle class resentment of Donald Trump.  He reminds them of crass school bullies who scored with their first crushes—a source of panic and pain their cultural enemies love rubbing their faces in to pay them back richly for their airs of studied contempt.

We should understand though, SWPL posturing is so persistent and insufferable because of status anxiety.  As the urban upper middle class, they far outrank the working classes yet they still stew in rankling jealousy.  Rather than take up the mantle of noblesse oblige as a secure lesser aristocracy might, they never miss a chance to dump their chamber pots on their low-ranked brethren.

High school inflicts Americans with a bizarre status schizophrenia.  On one hand, the culture feeds us a silly myth that the quarterback ends up bagging groceries while the unpopular kids become Silicon Valley billionaires.  Of course, this is an attempt to assuage the losers, much like religions telling the poor they’ll finally win after they’re dead.  In real life even highly paid STEM professionals can end up getting ordered around by Biff Tannen who got into the right fraternity and got connected with type A alums.  While SWPL America is relatively high status, they are smug and callous about it because they sense somewhere deep in their marrow that all is not as it appears.

Another status conflict can be seen in hostile alt-lite reactions to alt-right activism.  The most popular elements of the counter-culture see popularity itself as proof of their worthiness just as they would have back in high school.  We will never fail to see grand boasts of how many copies of x book have been sold or how many views they get or what publications they’ve been mentioned in.  The culture of high school is akin to culture of marketing and this is no mistake.

High school reflects the values of the merchant and managerial classes who have ruled since they beheaded, deposed, and out-earned the hereditary aristocracy.
This makes it hard for most to even grasp the concept of groups founded on principle and loyalty.  After all, standing on principle against popular sentiment in prison only gets met with a beatdown in the shower room.  It’s not much different at school or on the job.

This mindset is now being challenged by an incipient warrior class supported by an aspiring priesthood.  Dissident merchants are doing their part but they don’t yet understand they can no longer lead the hierarchy.  This is causing them cognitive dissonance every step of the way as the nature of the movement grows more clear.  Marketers who can attract millions of views have great strategic strength but their weakness is that of all those millions, hardly any would risk their lives or reputations.  At some point, meaningful action requires serious personal risk and sacrifice.

It is past time to abandon the dysfunctional zero sum non-culture high school initiates us into for a real society capable of giving the best rewards to the best and able to recognize virtues besides marketplace self-interest.  If Euro-descended peoples ultimately fail to face this challenge, they will have justly earned a cozy spot on the trash heap of history.

See Also:
Vincent Law: Chad Nationalism Is A Bad Idea
Robert Stark Interviews Vincent Law
Ulric Kerensky: The Judgment of High School
Abolishing Compulsory Schooling
Referred to National Review Story, Angry White Boys, don’t want to link to them.

 

On Alt-Sphere Reactions to Charlottesville

I previously wrote about the elements of the alt-sphere and their natural roles.  In the aftermath of Charlottesville the reactions I’ve seen are somewhat unsurprising.  Fish in a coral reef do not understand how they fill a niche in a larger ecosystem.

Most prominently the alt-lite and much of the manosphere went into complete freakout mode as soon as the news emerged.  The airwaves were full of screeching about how “bad optics” and “naivety” have forever tarnished a new conservative civic-nationalist movement.

It made me smile when I found largely supportive reactions on sites like Breitbart and the_donald where lots of red-state normies hang out.  Fox news was blaring on about “white supremacists” but from what I was hearing, the commentariat wasn’t buying it.  The alt-lite was far less supportive than plenty of people who would never associate with alt-anything.

The alt-lite meltdown makes sense when we remember they are the dissident marketing and PR department.  Their mentality is all about building a brand and getting as large an audience as possible.  Their way of thinking is consistent with commercially-oriented American culture so they do not easily understand the mindset or objectives of the other dissidents.

Because alt-lightists have by far the largest mainstream exposure they see themselves as the true alt-movement and any other factions as lesser hangers-on.  The impact of Charlottesville infuriates them because it challenges their notion of being CEOs and shoves the truth in their face that they are in fact the far less glorious marketing department.  In truth, it is the soldier class of the alt-right that have the power of executive action and this is too much for them to bear right now.

The marketers will always be upset when there is a major change.  They like a predictable steady environment to build their followings and sell supplement pills.  Whenever the gravy train hits a bumpy section of track, they will be very unhappy about it.  But there’s nothing they can do either because their role is inherently passive.  The way to deal with the alt-lite is not to get mad or try to disavow them.  Just let them blow off their steam for a few days as they adjust their brands to market changes.

A civic nationalist on twitter with hundreds of thousands of followers might scream about how nazis have killed the movement in all caps but it’s the nature of who they are to walk back their heated statements just hours later as they sense a sea change rolling in.  3 days and 300 tweets later, nobody even remembers their initial rage.  They are best left on their own to do their job.  The alt-right soldiers through their actions have shown they effectively control the terms of engagement for the alt-lite.

The NRx reaction to Charlottesville has been a bit more complex.  I’ve gotten an overall sense of disapproval from them.  I think the class divide is very important here.  The stereotypical neo-reactionary in my mind’s eye is a gen-x computer programmer, IT guy, or engineer with a hint of baldness and 1-2 kids at home.  They are patient and cautious types who are reluctant to take bold risks.  They also have a tendency to look down on and counter-signal anything that seems remotely working class which many of the alt-right soldiers certainly are.  NRxers are typically comfortable financially and socially so they tend not to understand the urgency and anger felt by the other dissidents—or at least they don’t share it on a gut level.

A common NRx criticism I’ve seen of Charlottesville is that it has distracted from Damore’s firing from google over his politically incorrect memo.  They are correct to identify this event as being hugely important.  The first cracks are showing at the top tiers of the upper middle classes.  The NRx critics betray their SWPL affinities when they insist Damore “did it the right way” by being mild-mannered and going through the right channels to get his message out.

Faux-polite office politics only applies to the middle classes and above.  I see the google memo as one prong of a double-sided attack in the last week, one for each half of the social spectrum.  Therefore, I think it is to misunderstand the social situation to insist that Charlottesville and Googlememo compete with each other when they are in fact synergistic forces.

Even NRxers sometimes mock each other over “passivism” the idea that a group can come to power by becoming worthy to rule.  I think it’s a very legitimate concept in the right context.  History is full of revolutions that just made things even worse.  It’s hard to build something worthwhile and easy to complain and wreck things.  The neoreactionaries are on the right track in thinking about how to build a new social order as the present society crumbles.  They have their own important role—there’s no need for them to compete with the front line soldiers.

As for red-pilled progressives, I am not sure if we can continue to call them alt-leftists.  That namespace seems to have been appropriated by President Trump to refer to antifa gangsters.  Whatever we may call alt-leftists, the forces unleashed by Charlottesville and googlememo ensure that more SWPL men will be disillusioned and forced to choose sides as they realize the politically correct society will have no mercy on them no matter how they signal even as they continue to struggle with college debt and see their wages driven down by endless waves of H-1B Indians and Chinese.

The Factions of Alt-Dissidents

There has been a sudden burst of interest in defining the quarrelsome factions of the alt-sphere, often with an emphasis on bashing rivals.
Alf of AlfaNL blog wrote one of the most level-headed pieces yet on the subject. He sticks to analyzing the groups by their size, demographics, and motivations.

I will add my own thoughts after seeing the umpteenth article about how the alt-lite is doomed because they are just selling a brand, how the alt-right is bound to become an irrelevant fringe like White Nationalism 1.0, or how the “passivism” of neo-reactionaries is an excuse to do nothing.  Doom and gloom all the time. 

From my perspective, things have been going great and it has been a delight to watch the alt-sphere begin to mature.  Now it reaches a point of self-awareness where it begins to introspect.   Even the constant squabbling serves a natural function of figuring out each faction’s jurisdiction and specialty.

The alt-lite civic nationalists are often brawling with alt-right groups on social media or even confronting them physically in meatspace.  These guys get a lot of hate from ethnic nationalist alt-rightists, but I don’t see the need.  They inhabit different niches in the dissident ecosystem.

The alt-lite are by far the largest faction since they stick to positions that can be made acceptable for millions of ordinary, disillusioned republican voters.  They are accused of just going along with what’s popular to sell a brand, but over time more will realize, that is precisely their job.  

They are the marketing and advertising department that engages in public outreach.  Because they have the largest audience, they also have the greatest influence when it comes to running psy-ops that disrupt the establishment “narrative” and to sap their morale through relentless agitation.

Their large numbers make it impossible to ban them all from social media and by saturating the filters of censorship, they make it harder to crack down on more extreme factions.  The alt-lite is also a valuable farm system for new recruits.  Of the millions who get drawn in by the advertising campaign, once nudged down that path some percentage decide to keep going of their own accord and become alt-right.  

The alt-right are gradually showing themselves to be the front-line soldiers and true believers who risk physical injury and destruction of their reputations. While the alt-lite’s strength is crowd tactics, the alt-right is forming cohesive units capable of pursuing strategic objectives such as shutting down the antifa dominion of Berkeley.
Their beliefs are still considered too extreme for them to take part in the normal political discourse.  They hungrily wait as the alt-lite helps to gradually ease the Overton window in their direction, each grudging millimeter giving them more space to operate in.

The core alt-rightists rely on many ideological shibboleths to solidify in-group cohesion and loyalty.  Counter-signal them on the Jews, white women, or Vladimir Putin and they are not likely to be patient about it.  It is not their role to be discerning about shades of gray since they are increasingly oriented towards action.  They have no shortage of discussion but within clear boundaries.  Leaders such as Richard Spencer may have intellectual interests and more nuanced views, but he does not have the luxury to focus on this in his daily activism and speeches.

For most citizens, the alt-lite are the extremists and the alt-right are simply “nazis.”  Ask the average person on the street about neo-reactionaries, the dark enlightenment, or even the alt-left and they’ll probably just stare at you wondering what the hell you’re talking about.

There’s the PR reps and the soldiers, but the dissidents also have an R and D department where participants are free to mix and match ideas and see what happens without political constraints.  These outliers are kind of like priests who try to construct an over-arching theology. Working on the level of ideas, they are mostly invisible amidst the turmoil.  They are not trying to move a crowd.  Their mission is to corrode the secular state religion and replace it with their own vision.  Rather than direct the course of schools of fish, they hope to change the water all fish swim in.

These evil acolytes recognize that much of their discussion is theoretical and intangible.  They even point and accuse among themselves that they are debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin with no plan to realize their aims in the real world.

They will come to understand they are pursuing their natural role just fine.  Their discussions are not viable in the popular discourse but their ideas gradually filter through more relatable interpreters until the populace unwittingly embraces concepts that came from black scriptural exegesis.  The end game for the apostate priests is not so much to become emperors as to establish a new academy on the ruins of the Enlightenment.

There are those who despair at the in-fighting of the rebels but I would point out that they begin to know who they are and what they need to do within a larger synergistic organism.  Even mainstream sources have begun to officially distinguish between the alt-lite and alt-right, a sure sign that an organized structure is emerging despite the decentralized nature of 4th generation politics.

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