The Unlikely Origins of the Alt-Right

The movement known as the alt-right or new-right has origins that are cultural, intellectual, and economic.  In general, alt-right thinkers tend to be younger than either conservatives or leftists.  The most important cultural influence on the alt-right was the 1990’s cartoon comedy South Park.  The main characters in this television cartoon were four boys who struggled to understand various absurdities in the world around them.   Most of these problems were usually caused by the politically correct attitudes of the adults in their lives. South Park’s comedy did not showcase all of the ideas that have become part of the alt-right sphere, but the show was the beginning of a youth revolt against political correctness.

Vice Presidential hopeful Dan Quayle famously challenged the wisdom of encouraging single motherhood by mentioning the TV sitcom Murphy Brown.  Quayle’s remarks were not well received by the electorate.   The writers of South Park have mercilessly ridiculed the notion that single motherhood is a net positive for society by creating a character, Eric Cartman, who is the sociopathic son of a single mom.  In one episode young Cartman’s anti-social tendencies become so severe that his care is handed off to a series of super nannies.  Only a male father figure, Cesar Milan from the television show Dog Whisperer, could correct young Eric’s misbehavior.  At the end of the episode when Cesar Milan leaves, Cartman’s single mom reverts to form and once more encourages his misbehavior.

By 1995 the political left had successfully built a highly successful coalition of the fringes which included the most vocal individuals in the LGBT community.   The 1960’s counter-culture had been largely successful in its revolt against traditionalism to such an extent that there were few lifestyle choices left which were not accepted by the general public.  Traditional conservatives who attempted to resist cultural movement left were often seen as out of touch and absurdly old-fashioned, or at least they were portrayed this way by major media outlets.  The writers of South Park typically attacked the left by being even more outrageous and offensive than the leftists were.  In one episode the school’s class gerbil is tragically lost in the colon of a teacher’s gay lover.  When the gerbil, Lemiwinks, is finally rescued the boys are overjoyed.   It seems certain that many parents were shocked to discover that there actually is such a thing as a sexual fetish involving gerbils.

The most controversial aspect of alternative right politics is the frank discussion of racial differences.  South Park followed conventional thinking by portraying the races as equals; however, the show did not avoid racial controversy.   In an episode titles With Apologies to Jesse Jackson, the Reverend Jackson is portrayed as greedy and arrogant man who insists that others kiss his buttocks.  The same episode features repeated use of the most terrible of words—nigger.

Traditional conservatives did not know what to think about South Park.  The show was crude, vulgar, and highly offensive.   Liberals were confused by the show.  The left had become accustomed to being the most edgy and controversial ones in society, yet here was an element of popular culture that was even more extreme than they were, and it was critical of them.  South Park represents the earliest stage of what has become a generational revolt against political correctness.  Today’s alt-right features an endless parade of cartoon characters such as smug green frogs and offensive jokes which are shared on social media.  While the alt-right remains edgy and offensive, it would be a mistake to think that there are no intellectual roots to the movement.

The alternative right would not be possible without the internet.   The movement represents the beginning of an age of digital philosophers. When most laymen are asked to share something about philosophy they will share something vague such as, “I think all people should be happy.”  Actual philosophy at its most fundamental level is all about logic.  Logic is a means of testing a system of assertions for truth or falsehood.  Computer scientists and electronics engineers think of logic as a means of using electronic switches to sort binary numbers.  A table that maps the input states of a digital system to corresponding output states is called a truth table.   The fact that modern computers run on philosophy would come as no surprise to a young Jewish computer programmer named Curtis Yarvin.

Yarvin turned his analytical mind to the study of old books and created a blog called Unqualified Reservations.  Using the pseudonym, Mencious Moldbug,  Yarvin began to intellectually eviscerate both classical liberals (conservatives), and socialists.   He drew upon sources such as Thomas Carlyle, and Thomas Hobbs, to point out that democracy as it is presently conceived simply cannot work. Neither South Park nor Curtis Yarvin would truly be considered part of the Alt-Right today, but each had important influence.

Another digital philosopher of considerable importance is F. Roger Devlin.  Devlin’s book, Sexual Utopia in Power, introduced thousands to the concept that female sexuality is hypergamous while male sexuality is polygynous.  A blogger known as Roissy in DC used Devlin’s concepts along with his own irreverent humor to revolutionize the way that young men approached their relationships with women.   What later became known as the manosphere of the internet began as the simple realization that much of what young men are taught is little more than pretty lies.  Once young men began to question the lies that they had been taught about sexuality, many began to question the conventional wisdom regarding race realism, nutrition, and political matters.

While the man generally credited with coining the phrase alternative right, Richard Spencer, is a visionary and dreamer, most of the alt-right is intellectually analytical rather than ideological.  There simply is no such thing as alt-rightism.  Important figures in the alt-right include Greg Johnson (philosopher), F. Roger Devlin (philosopher), Mike Enoch (computer programmer), Curt Doolittle (philosopher), Curtis Yarvin (computer programmer), Nick Land (philosopher), and many more.  The alt-right was created on the internet and would not be possible without the internet.  The movement consists of hundreds of analytical thinkers who do not agree on much other than the simple fact that  today’s political left and right are both wrong. The internet has created the greatest intellectual free for all since Plato and Aristotle lived in Athens.

Race realism is matter that is often discussed in alt-right circles, yet the movement is much different than the white nationalist movement of thirty years ago.  The most popular white nationalist writer of all time is probably William Luther Pierce, who wrote a book called the Turner Diaries.  Another book written by Pierce, titled Hunter, featured a Batman-like electronics genius protagonist.   The book has an absurdly improbable plot that involves the loner hero and his beautiful girlfriend embarking upon a campaign of violence against Jews and other minorities.  Fiction such as the works of Pierce has tended to inspire violent losers on occasion.  One militia group known as the Order engaged in bank robberies; a man named Glen Miller attacked a Kansas Synagogue, and it is possible that Timothy McVey was influenced by this old school white nationalism.

Most people on the alt-right today dislike discussions of violent fantasy.   Those individuals that do engage in such wild speculations are often accused of LARPing (live action role playing), and are subjected to a bit of teasing.  The one thing that today’s alt right does have in common with the earlier white nationalist movement is that they have been left behind by the economy.  Until the 1990s it was possible for most college educated young people to avoid dealing with racial issues by avoiding the matter geographically.  Forty years of deficit spending combined with an open door immigration policy have brought about a severe decline in the American standard of living even as the economy has steadily grown as measured by gross domestic product.  A young college graduate today cannot afford a house in the suburbs, and cannot avoid racial matters for this reason.  In a sense all young Americans have been turned into losers by policies that enrich a globalist elite.  A generation of smart young people who made straight A’s in school and often work more than seventy hours per week at two different jobs are looking for answers.  An entire generation is asking, “What happened?”, and more importantly, “Cui Bono?”   As they seek answers many are discovering that William Pierce was not so far off of the mark after all, but today’s alt-right is about trying to forge a positive movement forward instead of a violent negative reaction.


Author: reluctantreactionary

I'm interested in saving western civilization... in my spare time.

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