The term alternative right, sometimes shortened to alt-right, was coined by Richard Bertrand Spencer when he used it in an article titled "The Conservative Write", on 6 August 2008, that he wrote for "Taki's Magazine". In the very last sentence of the article, Richard writes:
- The intellectual bankruptcy of neoconservatism as well as the current stagnation of the movement conservatism should give paleos, traditionalists, and anyone else on the alternative Right some cause for optimism… Or at least, this is what everyone I know in Manhattan is saying.
Paul Gottfried has claimed he invented the term in November 2008, but Richard's article obviously predates Paul's speech. Brad Griffin has called Richard "the William F. Buckley" and "acknowledged leader" of the alt-right. "The Atlantic" calls Richard "an alt-right leader". The President of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Richard Cohen, has called Richard "the head of the alt-right, the godfather of the alt-right".
The Associated Press's Vice President for Standards, John Daniszewski, regards the usage of the term "alt-right" as a ruse. John recommends putting "alt-right" in quotes and tells writers to "be sure to include a definition" in their stories. He also says:
- Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.
- 1 Ideology
- 2 Keywords
- 3 Pepe the Frog
- 4 Things famous people have said about the alt-right
- 5 2016
- 6 2017
- 7 External links
- 8 References
The alt-right believes that "ideas can shape societies and peoples, but they don't create them". The alt-right rejects the American Exceptionalism doctrine, to which Glenn Beck adheres. The American Exceptionalism doctrine holds that the Constitution and laws the US have made them exceptional and led to the immigrant success stories that are so often heard. Glenn has said this: "The stability of the Constitution has made us [the US] exceptional, not the people." The alt-right rejects both the notion that "the rules that apply to every country on the planet don't apply to America" and the notion that "race may matter everywhere from England to China, but not in America". Jared Taylor sees the alt-right worldview thus:
- Equality is a dangerous myth. The alt-right is united in rejecting the current dogma that all races are equal. Races are different. They differ in average levels of intelligence, they do not build identical societies and there is no reason to think non-whites can maintain Western civilisation, the civilisation that whites created. And most people prefer the culture created by their own race and prefer to be around people like themselves.
However, Richard Spencer has also said: "[T]he alt-right ultimately is about us, but the fact is, we're perfectly willing to, you know, have allies of colour or talk with people who disagree with us."
Globalism versus national self-determination
Richard Spencer views "quaint" and "cute" talk of national self-determination as a naïve "19th century liberal idea that was ultimately promoted by Woodrow Wilson". He thinks it is important to keep in mind the big "forces at play in the world".
"Israel" and the Jews
Richard Spencer has told "Haaretz" in an interview that the Jews have "nothing to fear" from the alt-right. Richard made clear to "Haaretz" that he does not deny the facts of history regarding the Holocaust: "I think it’s clear that Jews underwent tremendous suffering during World War II. I don’t deny the Holocaust." In August 2010, Richard suggested the possibility of an alliance with "Israel" in a piece he posted in radixjournal.com titled "An Alliance with the Jews", where he praised the relationship between "Israel" and South Africa's apartheid-era government, calling it a model. He does, however, want the US to stop giving financial aid to "Israel", which he describes as "a First World country" that is "wealthy and successful". He wants the US to be neutral in the "Israeli"-Palestinian conflict. Furthermore, he has said that alt-rightists "are not neo-Nazis".
There is a broad range of views in the alt-right movement regarding economic ideologies. In an interview with Eric Byler from the "The Young Turks", a leftist talk show, Nathan Damigo said: "I don't think there's anything wrong with socialism." Nathan was responding to Eric, who had said: "In homogeneous countries in Europe, like in Scandinavia, what happens is they start to legislate for programmes that benefit the country as a whole, instead of certain factions and so you end up with a government that is much closer to socialism." Richard Spencer is a proponent of "socialised medicine for everyone".
Richard has said : "I've joked that George W. Bush was the ironic founder of the alt-right, at least for me, because I hated him to such a degree that I knew that we just had to get away from all of that nonsense, we just had to break free from Americanism and freedom spreadin' and all that kind of nonsense." Neoconservatism is said to have dominated the George W. Bush presidency.
The alt-right adheres "to the philosophy of transhumanist postfeminism". Alt-rightists believe it is important to rethink notions about men and women.
Abortion and contraception
After Tomi Lahren was attacked for voicing pro-choice opinions on "The View", Richard made a videotaped statement in support of her and her position. He used the opportunity to criticise what he calls human rights "crusades" and the belief in a right to life, suggesting that to the identitarian's mind, there is a difference between one type of human life and another:
- And so the anti-abortion crusade becomes this human rights crusade. And if you look at the writing of people like Ramesh Ponnuru (of National Review) it is directly associated with this. Just like the Iraq war was a human rights war for people like Ramesh Ponnurru ... abortion is a human rights crusade. That every being that is human has a right to life and so on. Well that’s not how we think as identitarians, to be honest. You are part of a community, you’re part of a family, you’re part of a collective. You do not have some human right, some abstract thing give to you by God or by the world or something like that.
A little later in the video, he expressed dismay over the fact that contraception has been, in his view, "terribly dysgenic", in that smart people, according to him, use it often. He asserted that smart people are aborting babies with Down Syndrome and expressed dismay over the fact that blacks and Hispanics are using abortion as birth control, he believes:
- In a way, contraception has been terribly dysgenic in the sense that it is only the smart people that really use it. Smart people are not using abortion as birth control. Smart people are using abortion when you have a situation like Down Syndrome or you have a situation where the health of the mother is at risk. I would say that it is the unintelligent and blacks and Hispanics who use abortion as birth control, as a kind of late-term birth control.
Richard Spencer popularised the word "cuckservative" around 2012. It comes from the words "cuckold" and "conservative". Richard considers cuckservatives to be would-be conservatives "whose only identity is comprised of vague, abstract 'values', and who are participating in the displacement of European Americans". In short, a cuckservative is a conservative who is submissive.
Alt-rightists are very fond of the red pill and blue pill concept found in the movie "The Matrix". In the alt-right world, taking the red pill means that one has an eye-opening experience, after which one becomes aware of the reality regarding race and truth in general. The blue bill is the pill of conformism, the pill one takes to be happy about one's circumstances. The blue piller is in denial about any impending crises and doesn't want to hear about some way to change the present situation to avert them. In addition to the red ill and blue pill, alt-rightists sometimes talk about the black pill. The black pill is said to be "the pill of nihilistic egoism, pointless struggle, suicide and death".
Pepe the Frog
Pepe the Frog is considered by the alt-right to be a satirical modern incarnation of the Egyptian deity Kek. Richard Spencer has said this about Pepe: "The frog is an expression of a certain, it's a smug frog that is an expression of a -- this is someone who is at least willing to speak the truth."
Things famous people have said about the alt-right
In a speech in Reno, Nevada on 25 August 2016, Hillary Clinton spoke about the alt-right: "The de facto merger between 'Breitbart News' and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for the alt-right." Donald Trump and "Breitbart News" are not part of the alt-Right movement, but alt-Rightists do sympathise with people like Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, as Jared Taylor says, "because of their views on immigration".
In a CNBC interview, Milo Yiannopoulos has said it is misleading to characterise the alt-right as a white identity movement. In the same interview, Milo made clear he does not consider himself an alt-rightist: "I've never identified as the alt-right. The press seems determined to crown me the queen of it. All I've done is given them a fair hearing in the press." In an interview with "The Nation", Milo said: "I was pro-Iraq [War] and I don’t think anyone in the alt-Right would be pro-Iraq [War]." This undoubtedly means he does not consider himself an alt-rightist. Milo puts forth that the West "produced all of the best stuff" because of "a combination of freedom of speech, capitalism, property rights".
Former President of "Breitbart News" Steve Bannon, the man who led Donald Trump's campaign, has called "Breitbart" "the platform for the alt-right". Steve has likened the alt-right to the Front national. Richard Spencer has confirmed that 'Breitbart' 'has been a platform for the alt-right', but he does not "think Steve Bannon is an alt-right thinker".
Donald Trump's famous so-called disavowal of the alt-right could be interpreted in at least two different ways, even though the mainstream media interpreted it as an outright disavowal. When he was asked on 22 November 2016 whether he would "condemn Richard Spencer's alt-Right gathering", he said: "I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn." He said "of course" he disavowed the "Nazi conference in DC". But he also said: "It's not a group I want to energize. And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why." The last part of his statement -- "I want to look into it and find out why" -- could be interpreted to mean he was actually not sure exactly what the alt-right is about.
On 19 November 2016, at the National Policy Institute's annual conference in Washington DC, Richard Spencer raised a glass to toast Donald Trump's 2016 election victory as he stood before a large crowd, exclaiming: "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" Many in the crowd responded with Roman salutes. Mike Peinovich, a.k.a. Mike Enoch, has claimed he was the first to do a Roman salute. The event was videotaped and received over two million views. Richard later posted a video on radixjournal.com stating that he meant it as a joke and an expression of exuberance. He made clear he was making no apologies for the Roman salutes of some of the people present, but cautioned that it could be "bad optics" and added: "There is a truth to the notion that, uh, you know, anything that's tainted by Nazism is just a non-starter in reaching other people." The alt-right later came to refer to the event as Hailgate.
"Tanya Gersh v. Andrew Anglin"
The "Tanya Gersh v. Andrew Anglin" lawsuit is the Southern Poverty Law Centre's first lawsuit against the alt-right. It was filed on 18 April 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Missoula Division by the SPLC on behalf of Tanya Gersh, a Jewish realtor.
Southern Baptist Convention resolution against the alt-right
On 21 June 2017, the Southern Baptist Convention initially declined and then passed, nearly unanimously, a reworded version of a resolution, called Resolution 10, decrying "every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and denouncing and repudiating "white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil". The original version of the resolution was put forward by tongue-speaking Texas Pastor Dwight McKissic, a man of sub-Saharan African ancestry.
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