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.