New
York Magazine says yes. In April, it ran a long, long article on the “Alt-Right,” “Beyond
Alt: The extremely reactionary, burn-it-down-radical, newfangled far right
,”
authored by seventeen contributors (!). The magazine, being one of the leftist
persuasion, attempted to cover the whole gamut of what is called the
“Alt-Right,” (or the Alternative Right), that is, what are considered by the
Left to be “extreme” individuals, publications, and memes that oppose the
welfare state and statism and the Progressive path to full-scale socialism.
Racists and anti-Semites were stuffed into the same bag, which I think the
writers would have been happy to tie and toss into the East River. The
Alt-Right carries a lot of unasked-for baggage, to judge by Wikipedia’s discussion of
the  subject:
The alt-right,
or alternative right, is a loose group of people with right to far-right ideologies who
reject mainstream
conservatism in the United States.
White
supremacist
Richard Spencer appropriated the term in 2010 to
define a movement centered on white
nationalism
, and has been accused by some media publications of doing so to
whitewash
overt racism, white
supremacism
, and neo-Nazism. Alt-right beliefs have been
described as white supremacist, frequently overlapping with anti-Semitism
and Neo-Nazism, nativism and Islamophobia,
antifeminism
and homophobia,
white nationalism, right-wing populism, and the neoreactionary movement. The concept has
further been associated with multiple groups from American nationalists, neo-monarchists,
men’s
rights
advocates,
and the 2016 presidential campaign
of Donald
Trump
.
Quite a grab-bag
of groups in an artificial homogeny concocted by the leftwing political world
view. The New York Magazine’s article and Wikipedia perform a scatter-shot
drive-by shooting intended to discredit and smear legitimate, responsible
spokesmen for reason and Western civilization together with the screaming
meemies, such as Richard
Spenser
, Dilbert, and Jack Donovan.
NY Magazine also
deigned to quote the National Review, which, as a conservative publication,
somehow does not earn its enmity and sarcasm:
In National
Review
in April 2016, Ian Tuttle wrote,
The Alt-Right has evangelized
over the last several months primarily via a racist and anti-Semitic online
presence. But for Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right consists
of fun-loving provocateurs, valiant defenders of Western civilization, daring
intellectuals—and a handful of neo-Nazis keen on a Final Solution 2.0, but
there are only a few of them, and nobody likes them anyways.
National Review does a more
economical job of painting the Alt-Right in almost psychedelic colors than does
New York Magazine.
Curiously, I have
not received any solicitations or invitations via email from any of the groups
mentioned in either the New York magazine article or in Wikipedia, even though
in the ineffable ignorance of Left and Right, my blog columns could easily be
labeled one or the other. I am certainly familiar with Milo Yiannopoulos and
Paul Joseph Watson, but not at all with Allum Bokhari or many of the people
mentioned, such as Rebekah Mercer or Peter Thiel. I have never heard of half
the individuals, organizations, and blog sites mentioned by New York Magazine’s
authors.
However, as
Victor David Hanson points out in one NR column, “You
Gotta Lie
”:
Red/blue, conservative/liberal, and Republican/Democrat mark
traditional American divides. But one fault line is not so 50/50 — that of the
contemporary hard progressive movement versus traditional politics, values, and
customs.
The entire menu of race, class, and gender identity
politics, lead-from-behind foreign policy, political correctness, and radical
environmentalism so far have not won over most Americans. Proof of that fact
are the serial reliance of their supporters on deception, and the erosion of
language on campus and in politics and the media. The progressive movement
requires both deceit and euphemism to mask its apparently unpopular agenda.
Such as “global
warming” (before that it was “global cooling”) being relabeled as “climate
change,” as Hanson points out. The globalists and Progressives could not keep
denying that the Earth has warmed and cooled many times over millions of years
and that man has had little or nothing to do with it. Progressive
verisimilitude went to work. If you can’t risk telling the truth about some
bogus, politically correct “science,” you can lie, jiggle the numbers, draw
graphs, and take arresting photographs of polar bears riding melting icebergs, and
say that the science is “settled” and that climate
change deniers
should be imprisoned.
Except that, truth be told, climate change “deniers” never denied that climate
changed, except over eons.
Ever since the
beginning of my education in political history, I grew increasingly and
incorrigibly skeptical of the designations of “left” and “right.” Early on I
learned of the origin of the terminology, dating from the French Revolution. The
Spectator
writes:
What is the origin of left and right
in politics? The traditional answer is that these ideas derive from the French
National Assembly after 1789, in which supporters of the King sat on one side
and those of the revolution on the other. Yuval Levin in The
Great Debate
, however, argues not for seating but for ideas: that left
and right enter the Anglo-American political bloodstream via the climactic
public clash in the 1790s between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, the prime
movers in a pamphlet war that convulsed opinion and engaged readers on two
continents.
If this is right, then the touchstone
of modern political debate in Britain and America is not capitalism v. socialism,
or religious fundamentalism v. cosmopolitan secularism, but an earlier
and deeper disagreement over the nature of the modern liberal political order
itself.
Another explanation is:
During election seasons the words
left and right denote political affiliation more than spatial direction. But
where do these associations come from?
The left hand has long been
associated with deviance. The word “sinister” originally
meant “to the left” in Latin. The word “left” comes from the Old
English word lyft, which literally
meant “weak, foolish.” To avoid the negative and superstitious associations of
the left side, many languages used euphemisms for it. In Old
English the left side was called winestra,
which meant “friendlier.” In Greek it was called aristeros or “the better one.”
When did the political affiliation of
these two common words arise? In fact, the association isn’t American at all—it
originated during the French Revolution. In the 1790s, King Louis XVI was
fighting with the Legislative Assembly. Like our modern-day House of
Representatives, seating in the French Legislative Assembly was arranged based
on political affiliation. The King sat in front of the assembly. To his right
sat the conservative Feuillants who backed the king and believed in a
constitutional monarchy. To his left sat the liberal Girondists and radical
Jacobins who wanted to install a completely democratic government. Oddly
enough, in the U.S. House of Representatives the tables have turned: members of
the Republican Party sit to the left of the House Speaker and members of the
Democratic Party sit to his or her right.
It wasn’t until the
early twentieth century that Left and Right denoted political
affiliation in Britain and the U.S., and according to Google’s
NGram viewer
, the more politically loaded terms “leftwing” and “rightwing”
were not widely used until after 1960.
The terms today
are now of a topsy-turvy nomenclature. The “right,” as the left employs the
term, means authoritarian, dictatorial, or one-man government with civil
liberties annulled or suspended (a la
Hitler, Mussolini, and a baker’s dozen of tyrannical regimes on a variety of
continents), while the “left” means democratic government, benevolent
regulators, the prancing unicorns of wealth distribution, and guarantees of
civil liberties.
“Right” is commonly
synonymous with German Nazism and/or Italian Fascism. It conjures up the image
of strutting goose-steppers kicking the average man in the pants and otherwise
exploiting and oppressing the helpless and disenfranchised, all victims, they
claim, of a ruthless capitalist system.
In reality – a
realm with which the Left has refused to become intimate – it is the
Progressives and the Left who are the wannabe tyrants and wish to exploit and
oppress. They wish to become the elitist overlords of all that they survey,
including speech, or at least become “caring” and conscientious holders of
bureaucratic sinecures managing everything under the sun for the “public good.”
Discussing a New
York Times opinion piece, “When
Communism Inspired Americans” by Vivian Gornick
(April 29th),
Daniel
Greenfield remarked, in his column, “The
Dirty Red Secrets of May
,” (May 3rd),
Most leftists are dilettantes. They
admired and admire Communism’s commitment to murdering millions of people and
arguing the esoteric dogmas of the party line. It’s this latter that Gornick’s
New York Times piece bleeds with nostalgia for. She tells us, again and again,
that the Communists were wonderfully inspirational because they sat around
kitchen tables arguing about ideas.

So did the Nazis. But the New York Times doesn’t print fond recollections of
debates over whether the Japanese really counted as Aryans and how National
Socialism should approach the rights of workers. Nostalgia for the Third Reich
is rightly regarded as abominable. And the hobby of those who have a soft spot for
its murderous totalitarian ideology.

Curiously, the left never applies this same indictment to its own fondness for
Communism. Instead it traffics in nostalgia for Communism’s idealism, as if its
ideals were any nobler than those of Nazism. But the left believes they were.
And how could it not? Communism is just the left taken to its inevitable
conclusion. And so the left excuses Communism’s excess of enthusiasm for the
cause….
The Left returns, like a dog to its
vomit, to the dream of the true radicalism of a totalitarian leftist state. It
occasionally deals with uncomfortable truths. Circles around them. And then it
lapses back into an opium dream of Marxists sitting around a kitchen table and
debating which windows to smash first and whom to shoot first.
The contributors
to the New York magazine – obviously a committee of them dominated by the most vocal
anti-right obsessed – could not decide who deserved the most dart throws, so
they decided on a potpourri of disliked “rightists.” It was similar to “Whack a
Mole”:
Here in America, in
trying to describe our brand of the reactionary wave currently tsunami-ing the
entire developed world, we’ve leaned on the term alt-right, which had
been coined by white supremacists. Richard Spencer, the most
press-hungry of that group, takes credit for it. For much of last year, the
term was often used as shorthand for “racists, but … young?” Which is helpful,
as far as it goes, but the full reality is much more complicated.
The alt-right — or
the new right, if you prefer to sound more like Tom Wolfe than Kurt Cobain, or
the radical right, to properly acknowledge its break from mainstream
conservatism — is a coalition comprised of movements like neo-reaction, certain
strands of libertarianism, tech triumphalism, and even the extreme-populist
wing of the Republican Party. All share with Spencer’s white-ethno-nativism the
ideals of isolationism, protectionism, and nationalism: a closed nation-state.
Along the way, the coalition swept up “men’s rights” advocates and anti-Semites
and cruel angry teenagers and conspiracy theorists and a few fiendishly clever
far-right websites and harassing hashtags and even a U.S. congressman or two.
Not to mention the White House.
But to approach the
big messy tent of the new retrograde right — the international brigade of
nativist-nationalists, tech-savvy anti-globalists, the porn-loving gender
traditionalists — as primarily a political movement is to wildly underestimate
its scope.
The
contributors’ committee decided to ask a question:
But what if the real cause
is modernity itself, which is just a racist construct?
“Any deep response to modernity is rooted in racism. The
Enlightenment project itself — reason, rationality, scientific inquiry, the
quest for objectivity, are rooted in and indistinguishable from a racist
conception of who wields reason and why. Remember, Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia was skeptical about the
rational capacity of the Negro to engage in serious and critical reflection.
The denial of black reason and humanity and intelligence go hand in hand with
the rise of modernity. So the alt-right amplifies and echoes some of the worst
elements of modernity itself, which is indissolubly linked to the denial of
legitimate rationality among people who are seen as marginal minority in a
subculture. We can’t escape it by saying ‘Those people over there are
horrible.’ The alt-right is merely echoing some of the premises,
presuppositions, and perspectives that have been deeply entrenched in modern
western civilization and profoundly articulated at certain levels across the
spectrum of political and ideological communities. It is the heinous,
disfigured manifestation of a smoother, far more sustained bigotry and polite
racism that have taken root in our culture.” —Michael Eric Dyson, professor
of sociology, Georgetown University
“At least we
know what we’re dealing with in the alt-right. There’s no pretense at
attempting to engage in the politics of tolerance. That’s out the door. [Attorney
General] Sessions stopping all agreements between the Department of Justice and
police departments, that is a severe blow and an expression, although less
polite, of an alt-right ideology.”
Is the Attorney General really “stopping all agreements between” the
DOJ and police departments? No. The
Hill
reported on April 3rd:
Attorney General
Jeff Sessions on Monday
instructed Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to review the agency’s reform
agreements with all police forces nationwide.
“The Department
will use its resources to effectively promote a peaceful and lawful society,
where the civil rights of all persons are valued and protected,” he said in a two-page memo that was first reported on by The
Washington Post.

Arguing
that Western ideas of freedom, of the proper form of government, and even
science and technology, are just race-based “constructs,” evades or overlooks
the fact that Islam, the Pharaohs, the Zulus, and the Incas did not originate
those ideas, but men in northern Europe. There are many books that explain why
civilization advanced in that region and nowhere else. A few of them properly ascribe
the phenomena to a fealty to reason. Others ascribe them to climate. Or to just
dumb luck.
“Beyond
Alt” attempts to “package-deal” all ideas – good, bad, and indifferent,
reason-based or emotion-based – as an intersectional conspiracy of racism.
Observe the lead illustration. And not a word is devoted to the Alt-Left,
represented by Antifa. Too embarrassing
to discuss, because it’s so fascist?