The New York Times has a big new article on the Alt-Right. I’ve broken down below how the Lügenpresse selects and twists the facts to advance The Narrative. A few days ago, The New York Times claimed that Trump’s foreign policy is a “dog whistle” to Trad Youth and this is more nonsense in that vein:
Step 1: Misrepresent Your Subject
Place a phone call to Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. It doesn’t matter that the NSM, a long existing Neo-Nazi organization, has never been identified or associated with the Alt-Right. For the purposes of writing a story that confirms our preexisting Narrative, the NSM is a much more interesting starting point:
“A small but determined political organization in Detroit began to worry that its official symbol was a bit off-putting. With the group’s central philosophy suddenly finding traction in the daily discourse, appearances mattered.
So in November, as the country’s divisive presidential campaign became ever more jagged, the National Socialist Movement, a leading neo-Nazi group, did away with its swastika. In its stead, the group chose a symbol from a pre-Roman alphabet that was also adopted by the Nazis.
According to Jeff Schoep, the movement’s leader, the decision to dispense with the swastika was “an attempt to become more integrated and more mainstream.”
Let us pause. …”
Wow. Just wow.
The NSM has abandoned the swastika. This is actually news to me. Quite honestly, I had no idea that the NSM had abandoned the swastika until I read about it in The New York Times. I’m not attacking the NSM. I’m just pointing out that it is properly classified in a different corner of the White Nationalist movement. It’s not a group that many people who identify with the Alt-Right are involved with or closely follow.
This is like calling the Socialist Workers Party to use as your lede in a story about the progressive movement. You’re not even trying to do investigative journalism.
Step 2: Invoke a Hated Familiar Image
Americans are familiar with a host of Far Right stock characters from decades of Hollywood movies: Neo-Nazis (Imperium), Klansmen (A Time To Kill), skinheads (American History X). The Alt-Right is an unfamiliar term and doesn’t conjure forth any of these hated familiar images. So what you do is plant the suggestion that these are the same people who are just “rebranding” by coming out of the cow pastures and shedding their swastikas:
“The movement is also acutely image-conscious, seeing the burning crosses, swastikas and language of yesteryear as impediments to recruitment. Its adherents talk of “getting red-pilled,” a reference to the movie “The Matrix,” in which the protagonist ingests a tablet that melts away artifice to reveal the truth. New, coded slurs have emerged. Fewer pointed hoods, more khaki pants.”
Here’s the truth: the Alt-Right movement emerged in the mid-2000s, it started as a collection of people who hated George W. Bush and were strongly alienated from mainstream conservatism in their formative years, it is overwhelmingly comprised of White males who are Gen X’ers or Millennials with reactionary politics, most come from middle class households, have college degrees and tend to be more secular in their religious beliefs, it grew out of online anonymous messageboard culture (forums, blogs, social media), and the vast majority of these people have never been affiliated with any Neo-Nazi organization, Klan group, or skinhead gang.
The Alt-Right are White males (and a smaller proportion of White females) who grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. They are Gen X’ers and Millennials who you can find on almost every college campus in the United States who rejected and rebelled against multiculturalism and political correctness. These are the people who when exposed to doctrinaire multiculturalism took the opposite fork in the road. They resented being demonized and told to be ashamed of their heritage. Whereas the most extreme left-leaning Millennials became SJWs, the most extreme right-leaning Millennials drifted toward the Alt-Right.
What do I know? I’ve only been interacting with these people on a daily basis for 15 years now online and offline. Imagine a college classroom. Some of the young adults in that classroom are wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Now picture others drawing Pepes in their notebooks and shitlording on forums. That’s the Alt-Right.
It’s not the same thing. I know the faces behind the ubiquitous Pepe avatars on Twitter.
Step 3: Exaggerate a Half-Truth
It’s true there are young people who identify with the Alt-Right who self-identify as Neo-Nazis and fascists. This is not an essential feature of the movement though:
“The political establishment has made an entire generation of young white men and women into fascists, and that’s a beautiful thing!” said Matthew Heimbach, 25, who runs the Traditionalist Worker Party out of his trailer in Indiana. His group advocates replacing the United States with nation-states based on races, ethnicities and religions.”
A reactionary is someone who believes the past was better than the present. He is alienated from contemporary society and motivated by a powerful sense of nostalgia. Instead of seeing themselves moving forward toward an imagined future utopia as progressives do, the reactionary pines after a lost Golden Age.
The reactionary mind can be attracted to any number of bygone Golden Ages: the Third Reich, the Confederacy, the Middle Ages, 1950s America, etc. I’ve even had people tell me over the years that the Byzantine Empire was the lost Golden Age. There are lots of people who identify with the Alt-Right who are reactionaries in their politics who are enamored with about 25 years of 20th century European history.
Matt Heimbach is an Orthodox Christian and self-identifies as a fascist, but Orthodoxy and fascism are not hallmarks of the Alt-Right. They are just expressions of a reactionary mindset that varies from person to person. Feel free to search the archives of this website. I’ve probably written 50x more articles over the years about the Old South and the Caribbean than the Third Reich.
Some people who identify with the Alt-Right are really into fascism. Many others are not. It’s foolish to deny the connection, but the common thread is reactionary politics. The other hallmarks of the Alt-Right are radical realism, a focus on identity and iconoclasm which are also expressed in a multitude of ways.
Step 4: Play Up Unimportant Details
The “fashy” haircut sounds weird and cultist:
“Its president, Richard B. Spencer, 38, is a prominent alt-right leader who wears his brown hair in an undercut style once popular among the Hitler Youth. It’s called a “fashy,” as in fascist.”
There are a handful of people who come to the NPI conferences who have the “fashy” haircut. We joke around and call it the “Richard Spencer” otherwise known as the “Macklemore.” It’s really only something that the fashy dudebros from metropolitan areas are into. I guess you could say it is their version of the Afro.
Seriously though, the vast majority of people who identify with the Alt-Right don’t have the “fashy” haircut.
Step 5: Close With a Treasured Familiar Theme
I’m sure this is how a liberal sees the Alt-Right:
“But for all the fresh approaches — the slick marketing, the internet savviness — the message remains the same. It is one of separation, of supremacy, of a refusal to recognize the equal worth of others who do not have the same skin tone or share the same religion.”
It is not reflective of how most people who identify with the Alt-Right see the world though.
It would be more accurate to say that the Alt-Right has a positive sense of racial and ethnic identity, believes in sticking up for White people, place their collective ethnic interests above liberal abstractions and see themselves as part of an unbroken chain of generations that stretches into the past and the future. They are idealistic and motivated by a sense of duty to future generations, not selfishness or hostility to others. They are realistic in that they openly admit to valuing their own kin over strangers.
I’m not going to lie. I love my own son more than your children. I love my own family more than your family. I love my own ethnic group more than your ethnic group. I love my own race more than your race. That doesn’t mean, however, that I have to *prove* that my child, family, ethnic group or race is *better* or *superior.* I love these things because they are mine. They are my own blood. That’s why they are meaningful to me.
Because I am not an ideological egalitarian, I don’t have to engage in an elaborate self-deception as White liberals do. I happily admit that I am “prejudiced” and see nothing morally wrong with that. Thankfully, I don’t have to pretend that everyone who is a human being is “equally” valuable to me when that is not the case. I grant that ethnic and religious conflict is possible and in some sense inevitable in a world of limited resources because I am a highly educated realist, not because I am bigot.