What’s the alt-right, and how large is its audience? 1

Many liberals and leftists that I know are currently in a state of panic over the rise of the Alt-Right, which they predictably regard as the onset of the Fourth Reich. In reality, the Alt-Right is a very small movement that is made to seem much, much larger than it is because of its provocative effect which is duly amplified by the sensationalist media.

The Alt-Right is an entirely predictable backlash against ongoing demographic transformation of the US, the entrenchment of political correctness, globalization, and the hegemony of the neocons in mainstream conservatism. The Alt-Right is to white nationalism what the Religious Right was to Christian conservatism, only with a lot less in the way of size, resources or influence. In nearly 40 years of its existence, the Religious Right has lost every one of its major issues (abortion, school prayer, gay rights, gay marriage, reversing the sexual revolution of the 1960s, gender roles, family relations, education policy, etc.) and the Alt-Right will be even less successful in the long run.

The Religious Right merely wanted to turn back the clock to the 1950s while the Alt-Right wants to go back to the 1920s when segregation, eugenics, and comprehensive immigration were the status quo. Ain’t gonna happen. In fact, neo-Nixonian Donald Trump may well turn out to be the right-wing’s last stand. (And unless anyone accuses me of libertarian bias, it is even more unlikely that the mainstream libertarian program of turning back the clock to the Gilded Age is going to happen).

By Thomas J. Main

Los Angeles Times

Inquiring minds want to know: What exactly is the “alt-right,” and how large is the audience for the movement?

The essence of the alt-right can be distilled to this catchphrase: All people are not created equal. That’s even more extreme than it may sound. Prominent alt-right thinkers don’t only believe that some are naturally taller, stronger or smarter than others, but also that some groups are more deserving of political status than others. They reject the concept of equality before the law.

Andrew Anglin is editor of the most popular alt-right web magazine, the Daily Stormer. He has written that “The Alt-Right does not accept the pseudo-scientific claims that ‘all races are equal.’” He also supports repatriation of American blacks to Africa or “autonomous territory” within the U.S.

Not all alt-right thinkers are so radical in their aims, but they all believe in some form of race-based political inegalitarianism. The unequal brigade includes in its ranks editors of and regular contributors to many alt-right web magazines, including Richard Spencer of Radix Journal, Mike Enoch of the Right Stuff, Brad Griffin (also known as Hunter Wallace) of Occidental Dissent, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance and James Kirkpatrick of VDARE (named after Virginia Dare, the first British child born in America).

The exact size of the alt-right is perhaps not of the utmost importance. As an ideological movement, the alt-right seeks not immediate policy or electoral victories, but longer-term influence on how others think about politics. Still, it’s possible to get a sense of the scope of this netherworld through web traffic.

From September 2016 to May 2017, I analyzed visits and unique visitors to scores of political web magazines of various political orientations. (One person accessing a site five times in a month represents five visits but only one unique visitor). Through interviews and using the site Media Bias / Fact Check, I identified nine alt-right sites, 53 sites associated with the mainstream right, and 63 with the mainstream left. I excluded left- or right-leaning general-interest publications, such as BuzzFeed, the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Data were obtained from SimilarWeb, a well-known provider of web-marketing information. All audience figures given here are monthly averages for the nine-month period I studied.

READ MORE

One comment

  1. “it is even more unlikely that the mainstream libertarian program of turning back the clocked to the Gilded Age is going to happen”

    I see some hopeful signs that the libertarian “mainstream” is turning away from that kind of thinking. The libertarian left is having an effect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s