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.