How to Talk about (to?) the Alt-right/Neo-reactionaries Part 1: What is the Alt-Right?

This is part one of a series. The introductory post can be found here.

The alt-right is a triangle of political thought whose space encompasses, roughly, Ayn Rand (Objectivism), Edmund Burke (French Revolutionary Reaction) and Fascism which, if it has any philosopher it is Nietzsche, regardless of whether that is an accurate understanding of his writings.

The Alternative Right Triangle

 

This definition is entirely subjective, and the ideologies in the picture above come from my impressions from reading a large amount of alt-right writing. It generally supports a natural hierarchy, militance, and individual exceptionalism. Misogyny and racism follow almost inevitably.

Some writers, like Moldbug, are aware of their intellectual pedigree. Others, like Chateau Heartiste (formerly Roissy), probably are not. If you’d find it in Taki’s Magazine, it’s a safe bet it’s alt-right.

From Moldbug, Fascism:

It so happens that, until I read Carlyle, I thought of myself as a libertarian. For me, a better government was a smaller government – case closed. Carlyle is often thought of as a prototype of fascism, a direction easy to see in even an early bit of late Carlyle such as the Pamphlets, and of course the absolute nemesis of any libertarian is the fascist. So how was I won over?

For me, quality of government comes in two dimensions: responsibility and authority. Both qualities are monotonically positive. There is no Goldilocks about them. A government cannot be too responsible or too authoritative.

From Koch Fellow Bryan Caplan, Objectivism

If Rand has so much to recommend her, why the hostility? Non-leftists rarely do well in intellectual popularity contests, but even thinkers who broadly agree with Rand express distaste for her. The main reason, I have little doubt, is that she had a touchy personality, and lots of sour and dogmatic followers. I doubt I could have stayed friends with her for long. But that’s a flimsy reason to snub her work.

The secondary reason, I suspect, is that disappointment with Rand as a human being has led critics (many of them former admirers) to apply unreasonably high standards to her work. Yes, many of her philosophical arguments are question-begging. Shocking… unless you’ve read the work of Descartes, Locke, Kant, or Mill. They all make plenty of embarrassingly bad arguments. If you don’t want to dismiss their whole subject matter, you’ve got to judge philosophers based on their best work and/or the novel questions they raise. And by that standard, Rand more than holds her own.

From Chateau Heartiste, Reaction:

I have a theory that is perhaps the most politically incorrect thing you will read at the Chateau. The 800 pound bulldyke in the room that “””progressives””” of all stripes don’t want you to notice is that a lot of their radical regressivist shock troopers are comprised of biologically faulty men and women who are at the extremes of effeminacy and masculinization respectively. If it came to be widely understood and socially acceptable to acknowledge that, due to hormonal imbalance, genetic glitches, or gross environmental insult, 90% of radical femcunts are lesbians or manjawed atrocities, and 90% of manboobs are closet cases or soft, pillowy micropeens, the general population would be less likely to seriously entertain their insipid drivel. The mask would have slipped, revealing the feminist death underneath.

While researching this post I came across this handy infographic from this blog. Notice the presence of unapologetic racists Steve Hsu, Michigan State’s Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, and Steve Sailer, both of whom I’ve written about before, albeit briefly.

darkenlightenment1

The blog also provides some handy definitions:

2. Nick Land charts three paths in neoreaction: traditional theonomists, ethno-nationalists, and techno-commercialists.

3. Spandrell charts more or less the same paths: religious/traditionalist, ethnic/nationalist, and futurist/capitalist.

My triangle above fits in with this nicely, if less complimentarily.

I think most people, reading the lengthy quotations above, would come to the reasonable conclusion that the alt-right is nasty, especially Roissy, who may be the most influential of them all. So how anyone could be seduced by their ideas?

That will be the subject of the next part of the series. A teaser: they start by calling out what you, correctly, perceive to be bullshit, and conscious dissembling (“I’m not saying I’m a Nazi, I’m just saying the Nazis had some good ideas”).

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About deconstructionapplied

Writer, freelance editor. Former Occupier.
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4 Responses to How to Talk about (to?) the Alt-right/Neo-reactionaries Part 1: What is the Alt-Right?

  1. Pingback: How to Talk about (to?) the Alt-right/Neo-reactionaries: Introduction | Will Stamp'd

  2. I don’t know if this is a hit piece on NRx or not, because I’ve lost the ability to tell the difference. Hit pieces are all like “he’s an unapologetic racist”, and I’m like “what a kind compliment to his intellectual integrity”.

    In this case, you have a number of good quotes and commentary and I find myself nodding along until you say something like “I think most people, reading the lengthy quotations above, would come to the reasonable conclusion that the alt-right is nasty”. Wait, what? Oh right, “racism”, “fascism”, “misogyny”, etc are Power Words to these people, rather than simply the valueless descriptors they are to us; they invoke a profound psychological reaction and taint anything that can be connected to them.

    That hit-piece authors need only describe us accurately and charitably in our own language and the progs will still foam at the mouth is very interesting. I’m not sure if it means we’re doing it wrong or right.

    • deconstructionapplied says:

      If you are going to put things “in quotes,” I would prefer if they were actually quotes, instead of your summarizations. I’ve cited everything I’m talking about, and I’m unclear whether you think I’m being inaccurate in some way (if so, where is that?) or are you just spraying meaningless gobbledygook?

      it came to be widely understood and socially acceptable to acknowledge that, due to hormonal imbalance, genetic glitches, or gross environmental insult, 90% of radical femcunts are lesbians or manjawed atrocities, and 90% of manboobs are closet cases or soft, pillowy micropeens,

      In what world is that not nasty?

      • I used quotes like a programmer uses quotes: to denote literal strings. I in no way mean to imply any particular authorship.

        You are being completely accurate and your citations are charitable and immaculate, which, again, is what is so funny. We completely agree on the factual content as to who believes what, said what, and is what, even up to descriptors like “nasty”, but as far as I can tell we apply different valuations to those things.

        Heartiste is a nasty jerk (and self-identified sadistic demon in the service of Satan), of course, but he’s also basically correct. The differing emphasis between correctness and nastiness seems important…

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