Good order is the foundation of all things. ~ Burke
The “alternative”, so my Christian friends say, can go “right” out the window. A sentiment by no means pervasive among them, but ubiquitous enough to warrant a mention. The Alternative Right has raised pious hackles by promoting sexual degeneracy, using foul language (even around ladies), and engaging in all manner of atheism, paganism, and anti-Christian rhetoric. The lewd manner of these internet ruffians is often surpassed by the few activists brave enough to climb out from anonymity and grace the world with shocking images of National Socialist symbols, crude attacks on capitalism, and cries for destroying American conservatism. It’s easy to sympathize with my offended Christian friends.
The Alternative Right itself, is spiraling every which way, enlivened by its recent fame in the national media. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s “Alt. Right” speech, in which she tried saddling Donald Trump with the racist degeneracy of the “far dark [internet] reaches”, the leaders of the Alt. Right have been scrambling to gain dominance in the movement and thereby, show the media (and thus: the world) who’s in charge. My friend Colin Liddell penned an article at Alternative Right, providing an overview of the movement. Richard Spencer has done much the same over at Radix. Jared Taylor, Andrew Anglin, Greg Johnson, and many others, have all spoken out, trying to implicitly take the reins of the Alt. Right. My good friends at the Traditional Youth Network jumped on board as well, with Matthew Heimbach scoring a mention on Hillary’s campaign website. It all goes to show that the Alternative Right is less a “movement” and more a social phenomenon – or so I’ve been arguing.
To my Christian friends, I ask you not be so hasty in your criticisms. There are, after all, good reasons to be furious with what passes for “conservatism” in America. There are equally good reasons to give Hitler, the Third Reich, and even fascism (as a political theory) a second glance (if only a brief one). And as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, shocking images and insulting banter, when used wisely, have tremendous effect. I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: it’s difficult to damn the Alternative Right to hell after you’ve slept on their couches, had drinks with them, and seen them by your side in the trenches. Besides, as traditional Christians, we ought to know better than to think of people as a faceless mass when there are perfectly good individuals underneath.
We ought not be cultists when thinking of the Alt. Right. A cultist, especially the religious kind (I’m thinking of you Todd Lewis), can’t help but critique the Alt. Right as if it were a religious heresy. Line up the epistemological foundations, see which overlap, ascertain the doctrinal pillars, then subject them to savage rational criticisms. Only, the Alt. Right isn’t that sort of animal.
Imagine instead, if you will, an analogous sociological phenomenon. Remember in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when “running” became such a pervasive hobby that a sub-culture of “runners” emerged onto the sidewalks and roads of every major city? It was more than a mere exercise; there were magazines specifically for runners, stores, clothing brands, and so on. To critique this fad by investigating the beliefs of all the runners and figuring out why they were running, would have been to miss the force of it. Everyone ran, no doubt, for their own reasons, but they all identified themselves with the sub-culture. The Alternative Right requires the same sort of analysis; it can’t be understood otherwise – the doctrines are too diverse.
So I’ve had my say to the Christians; what of my say to the Alternative Right?
The media, at the moment, is wholly occupied with criticism, however shallow and passe’, but what of critiques of the Alternative Right from the actual right? Are there conservatives, even racially aware ones, with anything relevant to say?
It’s unpopular to admit among my friends, but dammit, I’m a conservative. I’m not willing to give up on conservatism. I’m a conservative like Edmund Burke was a conservative. I have an image in my mind of old Europe, its folkways and social mores, and it’s that, what I call the “Ashley’s Glass” view I want to see conserved; I’ll have old Europe or nothing at all. And while I acknowledge my limitations here – a proper criticism of the Alt. Right will have to come from someone more educated and intelligent (and well spoken) than me (I’m a nobody country boy from North Carolina who often thinks more highly of his intellectual abilities than he ought) – I’ll take a shot, nevertheless, at providing a broad theme from which others might draw for a proper analysis.
In short, the Alternative Right, as a sociological phenomenon, is made up of ideological heirs of the Jacobins. The Jacobins balked at the “chains” of traditional society and sought to overturn every last one of them. In their place, they wanted to construct a viciously “rational” and inhuman form of society in the pursuit of utopia. Alt. Righters are in a similar pursuit. These machine builders only differ with the Jacobins slightly, with respect to a gear here, a screw there; but they’re all fueled by a rebellious instinct against the restrictive dogmas of their day. The Jacobins blasphemed against the Church and old Europe; the Alt. Right blasphemes against the reigning Liberal dogma. Both are intent on building their own machines.
If we can say anything about “conservatism” it’s that the conservatives are charged with maintaining that great European legacy – that bond of blood between white men and the Christian God. That’s the good order that must be maintained. Without it, the Alternative Right will pass, just like the running fad. Runners turned into bicyclists, who are now “cross fitters.”
But there are still some of us who run the good race, even without magazines and specialty shops.