What the Alt-Right Really Means 1

By Christopher Caldwell

New York Times

Not even those most depressed about Donald J. Trump’s election and what it might portend could have envisioned the scene that took place just before Thanksgiving in a meeting room a few blocks from the White House. The white nationalist Richard B. Spencer was rallying about 200 kindred spirits.

“We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace,” he said. “We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.” When Mr. Spencer shouted, “Hail, Trump! Hail, our people! Hail, victory!” a scattered half-dozen men stood and raised their arms in Nazi salutes.

Mr. Spencer, however you describe him, calls himself a part of the “alt-right” — a new term for an informal and ill-defined collection of internet-based radicals. As such, he poses a complication for the incoming president. Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, whom Mr. Trump has picked as his chief White House strategist, told an interviewer in July that he considered Breitbart a “platform for the alt-right.”

Perhaps we should not make too much of this. Mr. Bannon may have meant something quite different by the term. Last summer “alt-right,” though it carried overtones of extremism, was not an outright synonym for ideologies like Mr. Spencer’s. But in late August, Hillary Clinton devoted a speech to the alt-right, calling it simply a new label for an old kind of white supremacy that Mr. Trump was shamelessly exploiting.

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One comment

  1. The old right and left division makes sense only for territorial States, their parliaments and their different parties. Under panarchy the differences are much more numerous and diverse. Each little party can have its own independent governance system, society or community of whatever kind. Many other groups, societies, communities would enjoy the same right and liberty as well, all only in network forms of their volunteers. Genuine self-ownership, self-governance, self-determination or “democracy”, if you like, and if you define the people as like-minded volunteers, in network form, i.e. without the assumptions, ideas and institutions of territorial statism and its wrongful, coercive and monopolistic powers.

    The alt-right could do its things with or to its volunteers and so could the new right. The same would be true for the old and the new left, in all their varieties. Remember, there are about 600 kinds of “Socialism”, not only “State Socialism”. Why should they continue to fight each other when all are free to do their own things and will be very busy with that, trying to put their “ideals” into practice?

    They would disperse just like a large number of coloured balloons would, if let loose from their strings, which had kept them forcefully together.

    People should spend much more time on really finding out what panarchy could and would mean for them, instead of over and over merely repeating the old and dangerous terms, conditions, constitutions, legislation and institutions of territorial statism.

    My email is finally working again and I hope that all traces of the nasty attacks on my Facebook answers will be permanently deleted. Often they instantly deleted what I had just written down. Hopefully, no memory sticks etc. are still infected by this bug.

    PIOT (Panarchy In Our Times)

    John Zube, john.zube@bigpond.com

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