|Frogs, clowns and swastikas|
|Rebuilding the Reich, one meme at a time|
|Buzzwords and dogwhistles|
|—The Daily Stormer, actual Nazi website|
“”By all means, compare these shitheads to the Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you.
|—Mike Godwin of Godwin's Law fame, referring to the Unite the Right rally|
The alt-right (short for
nazi alternative right) is a patriotically correct term for neo-Nazi far-right movement that opposes tolerance, multiculturalism and social justice (items they file under "Cultural Marxism" and "SJW"). Their racist ideology including Social Darwinism, eugenics, and ecofascism is rooted in the ideology of Progressive Era white supremacists (and birth control activists) Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard, who their hate-ridden websites frequently extol.
The movement is largely internet-based, made up of frustrated late-blooming teens-to-twenty-somethings, and is itself the merger of traditional white nationalists, neo-Nazis, right-libertarians, and neo-Confederates overlapping the neoreactionary movement, Gamergate and the manosphere. The alt-right consensus of the day generally rests at the juncture of those three groups. The term originated with Richard Spencer's white nationalist magazine/blog Alternative Right, which was nicknamed "AltRight".
The alt-right wholeheartedly embraces the overt racism, anti-semitism, misogyny, and homophobia typical of neo-Nazi affectations — in Twitter-paced combination with the shitposting, bullying, doxxing, and trolling of 4chan/8chan culture as a lifestyle. You'll find them on /pol/, The Daily Stormer, My Posting Career, Gab, Voat, The Right Stuff, and (most notably) in every unmoderated comment field on any decent website where wholesome and inclusive news reports may go otherwise unprotested.
The frothing vanguard of manufactured outrage, executive producers and core demographic of fake news-driven social media hysteria, perpetually in search of today's new bar for "edgy", they're also the ones who popularized "cuckservative" as a term of abuse for anyone on the right that they consider not racist enough.
Whether they are primarily neoreactionaries who are into white nationalism, or white nationalists dressing their ideas up with neoreactionary jargon, is probably a distinction without a difference. The term "alt-right" has come more generally to signify "Trump supporters who think swastikas are good". In this context, it's just a hip alias for "white supremacists" — with all the extra PR-savvy granted by its plausible deniability for when the need arises.
The Associated Press recommends:
“”Whenever "alt-right" is used in a story, be sure to include a definition: "an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism," or, more simply, "a white nationalist movement." Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.
“”The alt-right began with a speech the conservative writer Paul Gottfried gave in 2008, after the Republican Party's electoral wipeout. […] But it was Donald Trump's presidential campaign that brought the movement into the mainstream".
|—The Washington Post|
The press has been calling it an online phenomenon even though some factions pre-date the internet. 4chan and vloggers are the online element with others having one foot in the real world and the other online. You can trace it back through father's rights and mythopoetics back in the 1980s, which had some crossover with Christian Identity/Quiverfull in the 1990s. Over time it became more myopic and selfish, with Men's Rights, Ladder Theory, PUA, and the Red Pill. Gamergate was the debutante ball for a lot of the reaction which had been building but had no central ladder.
The paleocon wing is perhaps the oldest (hence paleo): Pat Buchanan (himself a Nixon aide) founded the news journal which produced Richard Spencer, and you have guys who were once mainstream like Peter Brimelow, who was an aide to Orrin Hatch and editor of Forbes. Then you have the Clinton-era militia groups like the Oath Keepers, who are in or out depending on who you talk to. There's the Silicon Valley neoreaction wing made up of techies and businesspeople where some have considerable weight (see Peter Thiel advising Trump), and others who are just extremely prolific bloggers (Mencius Moldbug). There's the academic HBD/eugenicist wing made up of professors, grad students, and their followers, some of whom are actually affiliated with neo-Nazi parties like Kevin MacDonald. The internet didn't really cause these things so much as it allowed consolidation into the loose coalition of alt-right. There are even more sects, but the point of things like "Unite the Right" is to try to hold all of them together.
Who exactly brought the movement to the mainstream? Richard Spencer, who is best described thus:
Richard Spencer uses chopsticks to deftly pluck slivers of togarashi-crusted ahi from a rectangular plate. He is sitting in the Continental-style lounge of the Firebrand Hotel, near his home in the upscale resort town of Whitefish, Montana, discussing a subject not typically broached in polite company. "Race is something between a breed and an actual species," he says, likening the differences between whites and people of color to those between golden retrievers and basset hounds. "It's that powerful."
We are well into our third round of Arrogant Frog, a merlot that Spencer chose because its name reminds him of Pepe, the cartoon frog commandeered as a mascot by the "alt-right" movement that has been thrust from the shadows by Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Spencer says Pepe could also be seen as the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian frog deity, Kek: "He is basically using the alt-right to unleash chaos and change the world," he says, looking slightly annoyed when I crack a smile. "You might say, 'Wow,' but this is literally how religions arise."
The dawn of shitposting
Although the alt-right has only come into prominence in recent years, the truth is that random people using the Internet to spread cringey white supremacist propaganda is nothing new. Perhaps the first example of such would be the 1995 Usenet essay The Long March by Ian P. McKinney of the neo-fascist National Alliance. This essay was infamous not only for its extreme bigotry and logic that would best be described as being not even wrong, but also for being spammed everywhere on the Internet.
The essay begins with a plea, supposedly to those who care enough about the fate of Western civilization, to heed the author's words. The essay then attacks Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh for not being racist enough for McKinney's liking (one can assume that, if the word "cuckservative" existed at the time, McKinney would have used it).
From there, the author proceeds to rattle off a painfully long diatribe in which he fusses about IQ scores, religiously cites The Bell Curve, and uses all other manner of disproven statistics, circumstantial evidence, half-truths, stereotypes, and condescending pseudo-intellectual jargon to reach his main "conclusion": that African Americans are developmentally inferior to Caucasians and that the only reason anyone believes otherwise is because of the fiendish machinations of Jewish communists who have successfully infiltrated the cultural anthropology departments of major universities as part of their sinister plot to overthrow Western civilization.
McKinney argues that racial equality is a "false religion" promoted by fanatical sheeple consisting of liberals and moderate conservatives (and yes, he counts people like Gingrich as "moderates"), and there's also a brief mention of immigration causing white genocide. At least the knowledge that McKinney clearly has a lifetime's supply of tinfoil is of some use, should we need to borrow some for baking.
“”Here's how to understand the alt-right: Think about what's right, then think about the alternative to that.
Superstructure taken from:
Whites are under attack
“”The alt-right is just a euphemism for Nazism.
|—The Daily Stormer|
The subbreddit /r/AltRight defines itself thus:
The Alt-Right, unlike the dominant ideology of the 20th Century (Liberalism/Conservatism), examines the world through a lens of realism. Rather than continue to look at the world through the ideological blinders that Liberalism imposes in its dogmatic evangelism of the Equalitarian religion, we prefer to look & examine social relations & demographics from a perspective of what's real. Thus, racial & sexual realism is a key component of the Alt-Right — perhaps the key component that ties the diverse factions within it together. Another core principle of the Alt-Right is Identitarianism. Identitarianism is the prioritization of social identity, regardless of political persuasion. Thus, the Alt-Right promotes White Identity and White Nationalism.
Men are under attack
In journalist Mike Wendling's book Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House, the alt-right's views on women's rights are explained thus:
They are also opposed to feminism. While some begrudgingly give credit to second-wave feminists and concede that legal equality between the sexes is indeed a valid goal, others argue against any such notions. Some even say that giving women the franchise was a terrible mistake. Many embrace the old conservative lament that "these days" things have "gone too far" and call for a reaffirmation of traditional values. At the same time, other alt-righters are obsessed with porn and the promise of sexual freedom offered by "pick-up artists."
Language is under attack
The alt-right have effectively co-opted common complaints about "political correctness" into their agenda, using the assumed overzealousness of "politically correct" people and movements to demonize everyone on the left and make their own far-right ideals look palatable in comparison. On this, Wendling writes:
And yet they found traction as their online efforts melded with the current fever-pitch of anti-elitism, and found a willing audience in a concentrated generational backlash against young men. These foot soldiers feel aggrieved by the successes of feminism and the progress made by ethnic minorities, and have also felt rising anxiety as former certainties about race, sexuality and gender crumble. At the same time, some are puzzled and scared — as are many people from the more traditional right as well as the left — by the censorious atmosphere of many university campuses today, a confusing, sometimes barely comprehensible minefield of trigger warnings, privilege checking, safe spaces, and complicated sexual politics. For the alt-right, all of those fall under the umbrella of one of the ideas they loathe the most: political correctness.
|—Barney Gumble, representative of the cause|
While not much different from views expressed by more traditional white nationalists like Tom Metzger, members of the alt-right have called for a "white homeland" and the potential division of the continental United States into ethno-"regions". For example, noted alt-right leader Matthew Heimbach has called for the white region to be named "Avalon".
The alt-right's thoughts on religion are all over the place, but still decidedly intolerant of religious minorities, as Wendling explains:
When it comes to religion there are equally baffling contradictions. The alt-right counts many committed atheists in its ranks and many in the movement scorn monotheistic religious thought. Some embrace a purely cultural notion of Christianity – they prefer cathedrals and incense to church communities and prayer – or even adhere to a pre-Christian paganism. You will also find a few churchgoers and many others who, like Steve Bannon, are fond of talking about the "Judeo-Christian West."
Most importantly, alt-righters see no unity in the Abrahamic religions. Anti-Semitism is rife and goes well beyond sketchy reports of Bannon’s comments about Jews. Nazi imagery and "jokes" about gas chambers are one of the alt-right's defining tropes, and debate revolves not around the question of what should or shouldn't be said, but rather about what most irritates its opponents.
As for Islam – as a whole, and not just in its radical extremist form – it is viewed as an existential threat to Western civilization. Some of the less worldly alt-righters in America view Europe as already lost to the invading hoards from the East, despite Muslims making up only 6 percent of the continent’s population.
Rehashing the ideas of past losers by new losers
“”The alt-right is a loser's poor fantasy of what a radical revolution looks like. I should know.
|—from former neo-Nazi Jacob Bacharach|
Any one of these alt-right leaders are basically just taking the ideas of past idiots like David Duke, Tom Metzger and George Lincoln Rockwell (who was such a joke in his day that he was murdered by a bunch of fellow Neo-nazis in 1967 at a laundromat), dusting them off and updating a few words here and there. Then when shit gets crazy, much like alt-right figurehead Gavin McInnes, they abandon the alt-right ship and say the whole thing was just a joke anyways. Nice dodge, guys.
Most who are involved in the movement are attention-seeking media whores who will latch onto anything in order to get a press agent. When judged on accomplishments alone, someone like Milo Yiannopoulos, who can't seem to figure out how to properly book a room at UC Berkeley, stands shoulder to shoulder with a complete nutjob like David Duke, who can't get through an interview without frothing at the mouth about his fake PhD and disavowing his past KKK affiliation.
On substance, they indeed put forth the same vile tenets of white extremism, Nazi ideology and ethnic division as part of their modern agenda. That said, they share the same laughable ineptitude as their forefathers when it comes to making the most basic logical case for their point of view when challenged with the most simplistic line of rational questioning. Some may try to come up with a semi-coherent argument in support of their socio-political position that "white people are good, period" … but then they will flail uselessly when someone brings up the obvious counterargument that there are a hell of a lot of unjustifiable atrocities committed by whites against non-whites and that, no, you really can't blame all that on "Cultural Marxism" or immigrants or the "liberal media" or "the Jews". Realistically, this is an argument that no white supremacist would ever concede, as it goes against their ideology to take personal responsibility for any wrongdoing whatsoever.
The need for attention, especially from traditional media outlets
For whatever reasons, most of the leaders that have emerged from this new movement have shared the same trait as their glorious forefathers in so far as needing attention from both traditional and non-traditional media outlets, especially the former. This might also be what separates them from your average brainrot neo-Nazi and KKK members who have, up until now at least, only really managed to be able to produce typo-strewn monthly publications and random acts of violence, mostly on their fellow race warriors™.
In being able to actually put a sentence together, traditional media outlets have raced to interview, profile and "examine" this group of "new voices" emerging on the fringes of the right wing. The major issue with this development is that, at the end of the day, they are basically just re-hashing the tenets of the same old racist propaganda for their own gain.
The other problem is, by giving these alt-right figureheads a platform, traditional media outlets have allowed them to spread a damaging underlying message of hatred to many more ears than their incompetent predecessors could have ever dreamed possible and have potentially lent them an air of legitimacy. This has tragic consequences, as witnessed by some of the alt-right-inspired mass shootings. Even when the alt-right tries to walk back from these events as they usually do, they rarely miss an opportunity to take credit for these tragedies by blaming their behavior on black people once the dust has settled.
The anti-Semitism of the alt-right, the newest manifestation of bigotry that combines age-old hatred with internet-era technological savvy, biting wit and a self-conscious sense of irony, shows no more logical consistency than the anti-Semitism of the past. Jews are both all-powerful puppetmasters and sniveling weaklings, rapacious capitalists and left-wing anarchists. The Holocaust never happened, but man, was it cool.
Alt-tech refers to a recent phenomenon of various "free speech" internet websites and companies which serve as alternatives to mainstream websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia, Patreon, GoFundMe, and dating sites. In many cases, these websites are overflowing with typical alt-right content and while many of these websites do not necessarily support the views of the alt-right (with a few exceptions) they tend to have plenty of users who post or upload content that is explicitly in line with the alt-right. "Alt-tech" websites have included PewTube, Gab, WrongThink, Voat, Hatreon, Rightpedia, Goyfundme, and WASP Love. One New York Times reporter had used various "Alt-tech" outlets and found them to be a mess in his own eyes.
The alt-right idea of "free speech" is the protected right to call for the deportation or death of non-whites, trying to get a feel for those who agree with you, coordinating efforts to disseminate and refine the ideas espoused in the name of "free speech," public events to spread the ideas outside of one's social circle, and lobbying from a political standpoint to have those ideas brought into the public discourse. All of this is legal as long as it is done through the magical lens of probable deniability.
Unite the Right
On August 12, 2017, various alt-right white nationalist, white supremacist, and anti-Semitic groups held a rally in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia where they protested against the Jews and their supposed plan to replace the white race with non-white immigrants. Cries of "Jews will not replace us" and "You will not replace us" followed by "White Lives Matter" and the Nazi-era slogan "Blood and Soil" were heard. Unfortunately for the protesters, Antifa activists and counter-protesters were standing in their way and what was a simple protest soon turned to violence when a Neo-Nazi named James Alex Fields Jr. killed a woman named Heather Heyer during the rally. This wasn't the only act of violence, though. A protester was seen shooting a gun, three protesters were seen beating a black man, and League of the South Florida members led by Craig Tubbs shoved their shields at counter-protesters. Afterwards, the organizer of the rally, Jason Kessler, was denounced and later sentenced to 50 hours of community service for punching James Taylor. The Daily Stormer insulted the victim killed in the rally during the subsequent media frenzy, resulting in the website being expelled from Google and GoDaddy.com.
“”If you don’t like the Religious Right, just wait till you see the Post-Religious Right.
The full spectrum from neoreaction through to the alt-right came out solidly for Donald Trump as 2016 Presidential nominee. In an interview with MSNBC, Republican strategist Rick Wilson characterised Trump supporters as an online movement of anti-Semites and "childless single men who masturbate to anime," noting the "Hitler iconography in their Twitter icons and names." Elements of the alt-right have also been sympathetic to Nigel Farage, Vladimir Putin and Brexit—although some white nationalists call for a European superstate built along ethnic lines, not unlike Oswald Mosley's "Europe a Nation" policy or the Third Reich.
Steve Bannon, the former CEO of the Trump campaign who was briefly Trump's Chief Political Strategist in the White House, is also tied in with the alt-right and anti-"establishment" populism; he was the former executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC and "turned Breitbart into Trump Pravda for his own personal gain", according to former Breitbart employee Ben Shapiro. Under his leadership, Breitbart embraced "the white supremacist alt-right", and the website "[became] the alt-right go-to website", according to Shapiro.
In early 2019, the American alt-right had a schism, with many members bizarrely defecting from Trump to Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. The alt-right's increasing disillusionment with Trump was due to his failure to get his flagship Build the Wall policy passed despite him trying to blackmail Congress into it using a government shutdown, and his very pro-Israel policies. The attraction to Yang was based on:
- One possibly completely innocent Yang tweet mentioning falling white birth rates
- Another tweet, calling Americans underdogs in their own country — a sentiment that ZOG conspiracy theorists would agree with. Worth noting, however, is that his tweet was alluding more to the idea that the deck is stacked against the average American economically.
- His opposition to circumcision, which if it was banned (as was proposed in Iceland) might deter further Jewish and Muslim immigration to America, as it is a religious requirement in both religions. However, Yang has tweeted that he would not oppose circumcision for religious or cultural reasons and would not attempt to ban it by law, instead wanting parents to be better informed rather than having the practice "pushed" on them — as is common in the US. How this would manifest itself in the form of federal policy was unclear.
- (Probably most importantly) his policy to give $1,000 a month to every American ("Freedom Dividend"), which has nothing to do with alt-right beliefs, but is attractive to many people regardless of their other views.
Many alt-righters believed that neither Trump nor Yang will help advance their political goals, but at least with Yang they would have gotten $1,000 a month.
Yang formally disavowed the alt-right's support — as would be expected by any Presidential candidate that wanted to have a shot at winning an election, even Donald Trump did this (reluctantly). But he also said that he finds their support hilarious.
People should have no illusions that this flip to a Democrat for cynical reasons indicates any fundamental political realignment. After Yang's deputy chief of staff tweeted that the Freedom Dividend was feminist, angry alt-righters sought her social security number and other personal details in order to doxx her.
- Alt-right glossary
- Classical antiquity — includes misrepresentations and appropriations by the alt-right
- Distinction without a difference
- Neo-Nazism, of which some of the more hardcore elements of the alt-right are associated with
- Identitarianism, a European white nationalist movement that is followed by some members of the alt-right such as Identity Evropa and Richard Spencer
- Pepe the Frog, one of the many things that were appropriated by the alt-right
- 4chan and 8chan, two of the hubs of the alt-right
- Gab, alternative to Twitter while not "alt-right" per se does have users over there that follow this ideology
- PewTube, "free speech" alternative to YouTube whose users and founder engage in alt-right behavior
- Breitbart News, a news service which many in the alt-right follow
- Alt-lite, a ever so slightly more moderate version of the alt-right
- Netto-uyoku (Japanese internet far-right nationalists)
- I’m not Sith, I’m Alt-Jedi, clarifies Darth Vader
- Clinton mentioned the alt-right, and they went berserk. Meanwhile the "alt-light" (the Gamergate-esque subset of the alt-right who didn't quite know what they were getting into) mocked Clinton for suggesting that Pepe had anything to do with fascism.
- Alternative Right (Southern Poverty Law Center)
- Vox explainer on the alt-right
- How they describe themselves, as per Reddit. DON'T BELIEVE THE MSM SHILLS!
- Cyanide and Happiness explains: Neo-Nazi Simulator 2016
- Are Jews White? The Atlantic on the Alt-Right's hatred of Jews
- Salon's Alt-right series:
- The Rise of Right-Wing Homos by Zeiger (July 23, 2016) The Daily Stormer (archived from 23 Jul 2016 10:55:33 UTC).
- By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you. by Mike Godwin (5:03 PM - 13 Aug 2017) Twitter (archived from August 14, 2017).
- Wiegel, David; Wagner, John (August 23, 2016). "Clinton plans Thursday address in Nevada on Trump and the 'alt-right'". Washington Post.
- Blake, Mariah, "Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned", Mother Jones January/February 2015.
- Futrelle, David, "Warren Farrell’s notorious comments on date rape: Not any more defensible in context than out of it", We Hunted the Mammoth 3 May 2013.
- Lorentzen, Christian, "How Poet Robert Bly Unleashed ‘Iron John’ and Started the Drum-Thumping Men's Movement of the '90s", NY Mag (8 June 2016, 11:00 am).
- Risen, James, "Christian Men Hold Huge Rally on D.C. Mall", NYT 5 October 1997.
- Anderson, Dianna, "MRAs for Jesus: A Look Inside the Christian ‘Manosphere’", Rewire (30 September 2014, 5:26pm).
- Laudsbaum, Claire, "Men's-Rights Activists Are Finding a New Home With the Alt-Right", The Cut (14 December 2016, 11:30 AM).
- Romano, Aja, "Notorious men’s rights troll launches 'safe space' for Gamergate", Daily Dot (12 Nov 2014, 8:23AM).
- Amano, Aja, "How the alt-right’s sexism lures men into white supremacy" Vox (14 Dec 016, 2:20pm EST).
- Alberta, Tim, "‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’", Politico May/June 2017.
- Weigel, David, "Four lessons from the alt-right's D.C. coming-out party", The Washington Post 10 September 2016.
- Sharrock, Justine, "Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason", Mother Jones March/April 2010.
- "'Alt-Right' Declares Flame War On Oath Keepers", Southern Poverty Law Center (15 June 2017).
- Piggot, Stephen, "PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel to Address White Nationalist-Friendly “Property and Freedom Society” Conference in September", SPLC (9 June 2016).
- Gray, Rosie, "Behind the Internet's Anti-Democracy Movement", Atlantic 10 February 2017.
- Meet the White Nationalist Trying To Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power: Alt-right architect Richard Spencer aims to make racism cool again by Josh Harkinson (Oct. 27, 2016 5:00 AM) Mother Jones.
- Stephen Colbert Has the Best Description for the Alt-Right in His Opening Monologue, Vulture
- "I am not a Sith. I am a 'Force realist.'" #AltRightStarWars by pattonoswalt (9:46 PM - 30 Sep 2016) Twitter (archived from 1 Oct 2016 22:01:42 UTC).
- Siegel, Jacob, "Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism", Daily Beast (29 June 2015, 5:25 AM ET).
- Op Sea Lion, Stormfront. Retrieved from Pastebin 19 February 2014.
- Savvy, Brad, 29 Mar 2018 Tweet, Twitter.
- Park MacDonald and Jason Willick, "The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right", NYMag (30 April 2017 8:55 pm).
- Harkinson, Josh, "Cashing in on the Rise of the Alt-Right", Mother Jones (16 June 2017, 6:00 AM).
- "Steve King tweet backing Geert Wilders sparks social media backlash", BBC 13 March 2017.
- Bernstein, Joseph, "Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream", Buzzfeed (5 October 2017, 3:28 p.m.).
- Hayden, Michael Edison, "It's OK to be white: How Fox News is helping to spread Neo-Nazi propaganda", Newsweek (19 November 2017, 10:00 AM).
- Lenz, Ryan, "Racists roam the halls of CPAC, and the conservative conference ends in controversy over racist comments", SPLC 26 February 2018.
- Fulbright, Alexander, "Nazi imagery on full display at alt-right event in Washington", Times of Israel (21 November 2016, 12:44 pm).
- Heather, GOP Strategist Calls Trump Supporters 'Childless, Single Men Who Masturbate To Anime', Crooks and Liars, Jan. 19, 2016.
- Everett, Chris (August 4, 2016). "The 'alternative' right has a Putin problem". Comment Central.
- Gais, Hannah (June 28, 2016). "Alt-Right Emboldened". The Washington Spectator.
- See the Wikipedia article on Europe a Nation.
- Shapiro, Ben."I Know Trump's New Campaign Chairman, Steve Bannon. Here's What You Need To Know.". The Daily Wire.
- Andrew Yang, the 2020 long-shot candidate running on a universal basic income, explained
- Andrew Yang Wants The Support Of The Pro-Trump Internet. Now It Is Threatening To Devour Him.