This article by Quintilian at Counter-Currents reflects my own reaction to the Vox Day vs. Anglin debate:
“Secondly, the debate as to where the NSDAP should be placed along the Left-Right political spectrum is part of a phenomenon first adumbrated by the British historian Herbert Butterfield in his famous essay “The Whig Interpretation of History.” Butterfield noted that the 17th-century Whigs reinterpreted history in a manner that justified their current political positions. In other words, the Whigs viewed the past as malleable and the present as fixed. Since the Whigs viewed their political policies as the eschatological realization of a path that was fixed by God, the past had to be “re-ordered” to conform with this divine plan of progress.
The Whiggish “re-ordering” of the past has been a problem on the Right ever since William F. Buckley founded National Review. Buckley, a status-obsessed pathological narcissist, viewed politics as an evolutionary process in which William F. Buckley would become socially acceptable to liberals. Buckley seemingly has no enemies on the Left and no friends on the Right and was a serial traitor to his closest associates, throwing under the bus the John Birch Society, Joe Sobran, Revilo Oliver (the best man at his wedding), John Sullivan, and Peter Brimelow, among many others, as the evolution of Buckley’s Weltanschauung drifted ever leftward. As the Left moved further leftward, Buckley was always there chopping off the Right wing of the Right. Under Buckley’s editorship of National Review, the Overton window became essentially a one-way mirror. …
Vox’s constant celebration of himself and his use of the Randian Aristotle/Plato riff, I believe, are clear indications of his real political orientation. In his heart of hearts, Vox Day thinks of himself on the model of Ayn Rand’s pulp Zarathustras, Howard Roark and John Galt. Vox has now deigned twice to come down from Olympus and set us to rights about the true nature of National Socialism. In the end, we have learned little about National Socialism and much about Vox Day. But I am unimpressed with his vanity, cheap rhetoric, and attempts at ideological policing and purging. We don’t need another Ayn Rand or William F. Buckley. …”
I don’t have any interest in National Socialism.
Instead, it is Vox Day trying to define the Right as being synonymous with the liberal tradition and classical liberal economics that I found so shocking. In their time, these Enlightenment scribblers and political economists were the Left. The people who they were critiquing were the Right. Vox Day’s argument is that National Socialism isn’t of the Right because it was socialism.
Vox Day expands on the “Fake Right”:
“To say nothing of TVT. Anyhow, it has become abundantly clear that we right-wing omni-nationalists are the Real Alternative Right, the True Right. Because the Fake Right Clowns are not of the Right, do not believe in the Right-Left spectrum, and even openly claim that the historical ideological Right is entirely irrelevant today. Which, of course, is precisely what makes them frauds and charlatans when they attempt to market themselves as “right-wing” in order to appeal to young conservatives and libertarians, as well as disenchanted young liberals and leftists. …”
There is no “real alternative” here though.
The Alt-Right agrees with Louis Hartz that the Right in the USA, conservatives and libertarians, are all part of the same liberal tradition. Vox Day cites Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek who identified as classical liberals and disparaged traditionalism. In the USA, the Right-Left spectrum is an argument within the liberal family over the relative importance of abstract freedom and equality.
If we to return to the 18th and 19th century, we would find that the Left had its origins in Whiggery. The Left were liberals who were criticizing the existing order. They were against monarchy. They were for free trade and free market economics. They believed that the individual was prior to society which was nothing but a social contract or a bargain created by individuals on the basis of material self interest. Their doctrine was that there were abstract natural rights analogous to Newtonian physics. The bourgeoisie was the revolutionary class in the West attempting to topple the existing order.
The Right were the people who stood against all of this. The Right was for king and country, the traditional Christian social order and mercantalism. The Left was liberal, modernist and individualist. The Right was authoritarian, traditionalist and collectivist. In the USA, the only thing resembling the Right was the Federalist Party and some of the antebellum Southern reactionaries.
As the 19th and 20th century wore on and especially after the Industrial Revolution, the Left-Right spectrum changed again. The Left became associated with socialism, communism, anarchism and reform liberalism. The Right became associated with classical liberalism. In other words, the new political dynamic that emerged was a bitter argument entirely within liberalism. In the USA, conservatism vs. liberalism in the late 20th century was just an argument between liberals over the New Deal.
The Alt-Right shares with Toryism a deep unease with classical liberalism and the free market economy. We are highly suspicious of the Enlightenment notion that “all men are created equal.” As with Toryism, we believe the free market has to be restrained and subordinated to the nation, or else it will undermine and destroy the social fabric. We believe in the common good. We believe the individual is not prior to society and that our country is more than a social contract. The last thing we believe in is the elevation of economics or the glorification of the free market above our culture.
Vox Day is right that we aren’t on the same side. He is the one who is Fake Right. He is closer to the Enlightenment and Whiggery. We are much closer to Romanticism and Toryism.