Over the past week I’ve heard a lot of talk about the identity and momentum of the alt-right movement. During this time, I’ve also seen a lot of division among the people who adhere to the movement. There were certain incidences that occurred which are viewed as controversial, causing a chain reaction of heated debate on the right. People began to question the purpose and integrity of this movement, with some both denouncing and boldly defining the alt-right movement based on their own self-righteous interpretation.
Well, if you’ll allow it, I will try to objectively make sense of it all.
The thing that made the Alt-right a relatively successful zeitgeist is that even before it was openly labeled by the pundits as being dangerous and repugnant, or before it had the chance to inherently mutate into pro-anything; it was first and foremost a counter-movement against the banner of progressive-leftism with all their superimposed tenants and agents.
To explain this, I’d like to draw upon an example from the pages of history harkening back to Revolutionary France. You see, during those times, it’s easy to understand how the 3rd estate was made up of people from a wide range of lifestyles and convictions. What ultimately united them was their shared frustration with the way absolutism had been propped up in France against the interests of the lower classes. The French state levied several taxes against the commoners from which the nobility could claim immunity. Likewise the state upheld the religious philosophy of the Church over the new wave of liberal thinkers. What’s not often understood however, is that it didn’t mean both the café intellectuals and the peasant farmer shared a common affinity for the dismantlement of the Church or regicide for that matter. Certainly they all had a desire for social and structural change, but that didn’t mean they were all students of the same school of thought with the same accord for implementing the same principals and methods. All it meant was that every faction of the disenfranchised umbrella- estate complemented each other in order to achieve the necessary steps to combat the systems put in place which didn’t value their place within the realm.
Whether the outcome of their actions was for better or worse is not contingent upon the movement itself. The truth is that sometimes events continue to progress without any structural control over them. The value driven outcome of the French Revolution is a question that I’ll leave up for the Annalists to interpret. As a side note, I myself would rather the revolution never had happened in the first place – and that things were done differently. However, what everyone must learn to recognize is that this very desire is a privilege of hindsight.
Drawing from that example, the Alt-Right movement is interpreted to be a loose, unorganized, non-unanimous confederation of mild counter-revolutionaries. And even though the composition of the alt-right is as defused as its agenda, it’s still a collective that strives for one particular end-goal, and that is to triumph against the left. And with that being the case, it means that we must suffer and endure the agonizing test of having to deal with the foolish and the wise, the Cuckservatives and the extremists, the organizers and the bandwaggoners, the National Socialists and the Traditionalists all within our ranks. It’s a stress test that the left has admittedly mastered over the years, but has only recently started to lose control over.
Each faction of the right is both directly and indirectly a part of the movement itself driving in one direction. That is why we can’t be so quick to single out one particular faction, because that would ultimately create infighting and a fracture within the movement: something that the left eagerly awaits to see happen. We’re all in this together, and for that reason we must be patient.
For those who are conscience among us, we know that we’re not some sort of card-carrying fraternity members. As for myself, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that it’s never a good idea to deal with absolute-thinking. While some things remain absolute like moral principles and religious/cultural convictions etc – politics is a discussion that should never hinge on absolutes. That’s because people are never absolute in the sense that they’re not limited to one mode of thinking or living. Bearing all this in mind, I ask the following:
Why does the principle of preserving a people or culture have to mean the destruction and genocide of others, both now and in times past? Why is being able to co-relate with certain ideas of a specific ideology have to mean that you co-relate with that ideology’s most unappealing ideas or history? Why do we have to be subject to such an inference based critique when it’s not only non-sequitural in theory, but also intellectually dishonest in practice. It’s both a hasty generalization and a fallacy of composition wherein A choses a part from B, and B has the property of C, therefore A is C. It just doesn’t-make-any-sense.
Personally, I believe humans have an innate quality of rationale (although it may not always be that apparent). And in that spirit I ask, is it not rational to pick and choose principles that you agree with from certain ideologies, and not subsequently be labelled as a member of that ideology? It’s the fundamental argument against identity politics; not just based on your actual identity- but also based on what political label you give yourself. Yet, this has been singled out as counter intuitive at worst and inconvenient at best by some of the self-imposed figureheads of the movement. In that respect, don’t pay heed to them. We’re allowed to disagree with each other, but let’s not allow that to become our apprehension.
Perhaps this is what scares the ‘experts’ the most: the alt-right movement’s steadfast ability to reason and consciously look past the obstacles and discrepancies that hold us all back while unfalteringly pursuing our collective best interest. It’s never going to be perfect or the way everyone wants it to be; Trump’s rumored potential cabinet picks are a testament to this notion. But it was Trump who not only personified a lot of what we all stood for, but is also someone who was able to pick and choose the best qualities from different ideologies. That in itself is proof of progress which makes the movement all worthwhile.
Consequently, both the left and the media recoiled and were taken aback by it all. “He’s allowed to do that?” “Surely we can convince the people that he’s a racist” they told themselves- not knowing that what they were up against was in fact a movement. Let’s not stop.