Tuesday, January 17, 2017

GOOD NEWS: THE TERM "ALT-RIGHT" IS TOXIC NOW. BAD NEWS: THE TERMINOLOGY IS SHIFTING.

There's a long Politico Magazine story on the alt-right that's well worth your time. I say that even though it risks normalizing the movement's participants by making them seem like just another group of wannabe D.C. power players:
Disdaining the traditional Washington think tanks as passé, they’re taking aim straight at America’s sense of its own identity, with plans for “culture tanks” to produce movies that make anti-immigrant conservatism look cool, and advocacy arms that resemble BuzzFeed more than The Heritage Foundation. They talk elliptically about internet memes replacing white papers as the currency of the policy realm, pushed out by “social media strike forces” trained in the ways of fourth-generation, insurgency-style warfare. There’s the idea of taking over the Republican Party with a wave of Tea Party-style primary challenges in 2018 that will rely on novel campaign tactics like flash mobs and 24/7 streaming video of candidates’ lives.
The story is worthwhile because there's no concealing the ugliness of the alt-right's agenda. The paragraph I just quoted ends this way:
There’s even a new right-wing hipster fraternal organization started by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys (motto: “The West Is the Best”), which promises to serve as an amateur security force at political events, including the Inauguration.
The story profiles unabashed racists such as Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer (Spencer is the guy whose speech at a recent D.C. conference culminated in Nazi salutes) as well as people who want us to believe they're just jolly provocateurs (we learn that Milo Yiannopoulos's vision for the alt-right "DeploraBall" celebrating Trump's victory includes "shirtless Mexican laborers ... building a physical wall around" entering guests). Even if the story's author, Ben Schreckinger, spends too much time on his interviewees' ambitions, everyone he speaks to comes off as a dangerous creep.

But I'd like to point out that we have some information that's relevant to the ongoing controversy about the use of the term "alt-right":
Known until recently as the “alt-right,” it is a dispersed movement that encompasses a range of right-wing figures....

Now, as its members move on Washington, an already fragmented movement is further split between those who embrace Spencer’s racial politics and those who, for reasons of pragmatism or principle, reject the “alt-right” label for its associations. Said Paul Ray Ramsey, a blogger who flirts with white nationalism but found the Nazi associations a bridge too far, even for him: “You don’t want to tie your brand to something that’s ultimate evil.”

Many figures in the movement now disdain the term “alt-right”...

[Mike] Cernovich has condemned Richard Spencer and disassociated himself from the “alt-right” label....

Cernovich now uses the label “new right” to describe himself.
Schreckinger, regrettably, uses the term "new right" a number of times in the article, and refers to some movement participants as members of the "alt-light" (a term used by Richard Spencer). Using these terms is a whitewash. I've believed for some time that using the term "alt-right" isn't whitewashing racism or neo-Nazism, as long as you unreservedly assert that alt-rightism is racist and neo-Nazi. I think the press and other commentators have successfully done this -- as the members of the movement themselves say, the term is now poisoned.

But these people mustn't be allowed to slither away and start referring to themselves as the "new right," or to say that the alt-right is racist but the "alt-light" isn't. These terms have to be tainted as well. Read about the members of the movement, in Schreckinger's piece and elsewhere. These people must not be normalized or mainstreamed.

5 comments:

Jimbo said...

First, the giant orange yam who will be President in a few days is already damaging the alt-right by being an incoherent narcissist. I don't they were counting on this random crazy person to be their messenger. Second, the alt-right is assuming there is much more support for them even in the heartland. I think they remain a seriously fringe group. But the conventional right-wing/ Tea Partiers are more of a threat.

homelessonthehighdesert said...

They are NAZIs. Period.

Enemies of the American People, enemies of the American Way of Life, and if not taken out back of the barn and summarily executed need be rounded up - at gunpoint - crammed into railroad cattle cars and escorted - at gunpoint - to reservations somewhere out in the hinterlands, preferably Mars or the Moons of Neptune.

History only repeats to those attention.
O'owlish Amenheh
(Ten Bears)

Victor said...

How about "More Right," or, still better, "More Reich!"

Whatever you want to call it - whether it's here in America, or Western & Eastern Europe - as the final prior victims of, and the people who fought against, Fascism in the 20th Century are dying off, there's a "New Fascism" rearing its ugly head.

t-RUMP may set the way - with his puppet-master Putin's help and guidance - for France's, Germany's, Spain's, etc., Facsists to try to grab power in their respective countries.

'Something wicked this way comes... FAST!!!

duquesnepdx said...

“Disdaining the traditional Washington think tanks as passé, they’re taking aim straight at America’s sense of its own identity, with plans for “culture tanks” to produce movies that make anti-immigrant conservatism look cool…”
Look how well that worked for Libertas. See also http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2006/02/just-stay-down.html
“Said Paul Ray Ramsey, a blogger who flirts with white nationalism but found the Nazi associations a bridge too far, even for him: “You don’t want to tie your brand to something that’s ultimate evil.””

In other words, ‘We believe that whites are superior to brown people, endorse segregation and the thought of a white, Christian nation, but that Nazi stuff is bad optics.’ These dangerous idiots want to have their cake and eat it too. Apartheid policies are Nazi-lite, and just as evil.

You’re 100% correct: keep the light on these cockroaches and don’t let them scurry away into the dark.

Lawrence said...

"movies that make anti-immigrant conservatism look cool"
Get right on that. I'm sure James Woods and Kevin Sorbo are available.