This is pretty good. It’s a much more objective, analytical, and intelligently written examination of the Alternative Right than what is typical among most “ant-fascist” types. Some highlights with my comments:
Paleoconservatives don’t have a mass following or much in the way of institutional power these days, but they do have a fairly lively intellectual scene. The defenders of Western civilization offer a number of competently written, well-produced journals, websites, and blogs, and a whole cohort of younger writers along with older, more established figures. Some of what they have to say is the same old predictable poison, but there is also some genuine political ferment going on, with ideas from other sources (tribalism and national anarchism, the European New Right, black conservatism, even the Left) contributing to comradely debate.
In some ways, I think the Alternative Right is something new and a step above old-fashioned paleoconservatism. It brings a lot of residual paleo influences with it, but its evolved past paleoconservatism in some ways as well. Its adherents tend to be younger, less religious, less attached to more standard forms of conservatism, and more radical in their thinking than the paleocons of the 1980s and 1990s or even more recently. “Post-paleo” is a term I’ve seen thrown around to describe the Alternative Right. Even today, I’ve noticed something of a generation gap among younger and older adherents of the Alternative Right.
Keith Preston’s role as an AltRight contributing editor is significant in itself. A former Love and Rage member who still calls himself an anarchist, Preston advocates a revolutionary alliance of rightist and leftist libertarians against the U.S. empire and writes prolifically through his blog, Attack the System, and other rightist outlets such as Taki’s Magazine.
This is an accurate description of myself except that I never actually belonged to the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation. I was at their founding conference in Chicago in 1989, and the idea at the time was for Love and Rage to simply be a publication for North American leftist-anarchists, not an actual political organization. The organization didn’t emerge until a few years later. I actually broke with that project after the conference, believing that it was being dominated by authoritarian leftists motivated by the usual paradigm of left-wing identity politics and who had a very limited understanding of or commitment to the anarchist position. I actually became somewhat notorious in the North American anarchist milieu as a “Love and Rage”-basher for a brief time around 1990. Eventually, that group split up when their “leader” decided to turn the organization into a Marxist-Leninist sect, so apparently my criticisms were well-founded.
And as this brief sampling of writings from AlternativeRight.com shows, some paleocons are also listening to other movements and rethinking old ideas. The fact that many AltRight contributors are involved in a range of other publications and political initiatives indicates that this is not an isolated development. To varying degrees, this same political ferment can be seen on other paleocon websites such as Taki’s Magazine and The Occidental Quarterly. More broadly, a dynamic interplay between paleocon and revolutionary forms of white nationalism can be seen on sites such as Attack the System, Occidental Dissent and American Third Position.
Attack the System is Anarchist in its ideological orientation, and not white nationalist. Occidental Dissent and American Third Position are explicitly white nationalist in nature. What sets Attack the System apart from other anarchist tendencies is its rejection of both the Old Left classical socialist dichotomy pitting proletarians against bourgeoisie or the New Left dichotomy pitting traditional outgroups against traditional WASP society. Instead, Attack the System holds to the radically anti-statist outlook of traditional anarchism within the context of a contemporary political and cultural analysis similar to what James Kalb uses to describe the Alternative Right: “In America today, Catholic trads, constitutionalists, libertarians, and HBD fans all count as conservative, I suppose because they all object to the omnicompetent PC managerial state and take a more laissez faire and less radically egalitarian approach to a lot of issues.”
Attack the System identifies the managerial state, its totalitarian humanist legitimating ideology, its left-wing of the plutocracy, rising upper middle class, and New Class socio-economic orientation, and, in the case of the United States, the American empire and wider body of international institutions that are a manifestation of the empire as the primary enemy, rather than simply “the bourgeoisie” as historically understood or the usual laundry list of Isms, Archies, and Phobia attacked by the modern Left. This obviously puts us in the same camp as much of the Alternative Right on a good number of issues and, by extension, we overlap with much of ordinary paleoconservatism, right-wing populism, and even white nationalism as well. But that’s not the whole story. We also overlap considerably with the “alternative left” to the degree that there is one, and many of the previously identified ten core demographics involve populations, ideas, or issues way outside of any kind of right-wing paradigm. Properly understood, Anarchist class theory is populist rather than Marxist in nature, meaning that Anarchism conceives of political struggle in terms of “The People vs The State” (and institutional entities or class groupings allied with the state) rather than mere employers of wage labor or owners of means of production. Historically, Anarchists have been everything from dissident aristocrats or even nobility (like Kropotkin) to peasants or common criminals. In a contemporary American society, Anarchists and their allies and/or constituents could theoretically include both white nationalists concerned about escalating institutional discrimination against whites or high crime rates in minority communities, and black nationalists concerned about economic devastation inflicted on black communities by state and corporate policies, police murder and brutality inflicted on blacks, or the high rate of imprisonment of blacks in the prison-industrial complex. The constituents for Anarchism could include religious conservatives who wish to simply practice their religion within the context of their homes, businesses, churches, private schools, or alternative media, without being bothered by the dictates of PC or the intrusions of the Nanny State, and it could also include libertines who wish to set up brothels and opium dens without being subject to repression under prohibition laws. All of these perspectives are compatible with the Anarchist paradigm. Those who find this baffling are simply stuck in old ways of thinking.