The Alt-Right: its real identity

I thought this comment from Mark Johnson on Facebook was interesting:

Commenting on this article, he writes:

“The author fails to make a key distinction. The Alt Right is not post-Christian conservatism; it is the post-conservative right. I’m a Christian and I’m on the right. That doesn’t mean I want to emulate the baby boomers.

The author displays an astonishing historical illiteracy. Christians didn’t care about all of these phantasms such as “racism” and “anti-Semitism” until after 1945. Until the post-World War II era, White Christians never saw a conflict between their racial identity and their religious identity. There was no “Christian Right” until the late 1960s/early 1970s because there was no need for one: socially conservative views were simply normal. The “Christian Right,” as we have come to know it, came into existence as a reaction to pornography, feminism, abortion, etc. Take the American South – the heart of the Christian Right – as an example. Before the Christian Right came about, the South was very Christian. Abortion was illegal. Gay marriage and transgender bathrooms would have been unthinkable. The South was also “racist.” In fact, it was an explicitly “white supremacist” society.

The Christian Right began in failure and has ended in even greater failure in the 2010s. Conservatism failed. Conservatives failed to conserve anything of value. They haven’t even been able to restrict the growth of the state! The Alt Right is novel because we are not conservatives. Why would any right-thinking White person of my generation want to conserve any aspect of this ignoble and sordid society? We are fighting to create something new. In this sense, we are not conservatives at all, but rather revolutionaries.”

I think some of these points are good. To my mind, the Alt-Right is a movement of realists. I don’t consider myself a “racist” or even a “sexist”. However I do think that there are real racial and sexual differences in mental attributes. I don’t believe in a racial hierarchy. However I do believe in a sexual hierarchy, in the sense that I think that woman is man’s companion: as the New Testament puts it, “the woman was made for the man”.

I also think that the painful failure of mainstream conservatism led to the Alt-Right, and in a broader, more important sense to the rise of Donald Trump in America. Mainstream conservatives (such as the writers at National Review or the Coalition parties in Australia) have drifted in a liberal direction for years. The Coalition parties in Australia, ostensibly conservatives, are now led by a man, Malcolm Turnbull, who seems to want to be the Justin Trudeau of the Southern Hemisphere.

Grassroots conservatives want what they have been deprived of for too long: politicians who reflect genuine conservative values. Who are anti-abortion; who don’t believe that women should all have careers; who believe in some controls on immigration; who don’t believe that interfering in the Middle East to promote “liberal values” is a good strategy; and so on.

The Alt-Right (including associated movements such as the Manosphere or the “Dark Enlightenment”) has come forward as a genuine alternative based on a reaction against the excesses of the liberal egalitarian Enlightenment.

As I said, genuine conservatism is based on realism:

. People are not equal in any but the most abstract sense.

. People are not morally perfectable and they are mostly self-serving.

. Human nature is real and places limits on how societies can function.

Like Mark Johnson I am a Christian, specifically a Catholic. I don’t see any necessary conflict between conservative principles of the kind I have outlined above and traditional Catholic belief. To take one example, I believe that a sexual hierarchy involving the headship and authority of men, at least in the church and family, is perfectly consistent with scripture and tradition.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Many mainstream churches have also capitulated to liberalism of course.


  2. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 10, 2017 at 7:38 am

    “What the entire Enlightenment has in common is denial of the
    central Christian doctrine of original sin, believing instead that man
    is born either innocent and good, or morally neutral and malleable by
    education or environment, or, at worst, deeply defective but capable
    of radical and indefinite improvement by rational education in favourable
    circumstances, or by a revolutionary reorganisation of society as
    demanded, for example, by Rousseau… De Maistre held the Enlightenment
    to be one of the most foolish, as well as the most ruinous, forms
    of social thinking. The conception of man as naturally disposed to
    benevolence, cooperation and peace, or, at any rate, capable of being
    shaped in this direction by appropriate education or legislation, is for
    him shallow and false. The benevolent Dame Nature of Hume,
    Holbach and HelvCtius is an absurd figment. History and zoology are
    the most reliable guides to nature : they show her to be a field of unceasing
    slaughter. Men are by nature aggressive and destructive… Men do not come together, as
    the Enlightenment teaches, for mutual cooperation and peaceful
    happiness ; history makes it clear that they are never so united as when
    given a common altar upon which to immolate themselves.”

    from Isaiah Berlin’s “The Counter-Enlightenment”


  3. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Meme Wars – Front National denies any role in ‘Great Meme War’ – BBC Trending


  4. Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

    “Hiding in plain sight: how the ‘alt-right’ is weaponizing irony to spread fascism”


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