“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
The Wizard of Oz
Political correctness means not noticing.
Now that Hillary Clinton has attacked the Alt. Right as part of her increasingly desperate fusillade against an insouciant Donald Trump, she appears only to have given that nebulous online collective what the British press are fond of calling ‘the oxygen of publicity’. Oxygen is, of course, necessary for the maintenance of human life. In excess doses, however, it can lead to fits of laughter, and the good burghers and unofficial gauleiters of the Alt. Right can be forgiven for sniggering at this strange woman and her choice of targets. But what exactly was her target? She almost certainly doesn’t know, but then again those writers who are bracketed with the Alt. Right are themselves vague on the details. This lack of foundation may, however, be a strength rather than a weakness.
Since the Alt. Right was spot-lit by the Klieg light of Team Clinton’s attention, every other piece on the various websites involved seems to be called ‘What is the Alt. Right?’ And the MSM follows, eventually. Its attention, to paraphrase Kinglsey Amis, wheeling slowly around like a flotilla of old ships, the MSM is slowly joining in, aghast at this rowdy new rabble, its appetite whet by the fact that these people actually have the temerity to call themselves explicitly creatures of the political Right. Far be it from me to buck a trend, as I believe North Americans are fond of saying. The Alt. Right, it seems to me, is defined by what it is not. Before you flee the room in fear of Hegelian dialectic, or the overused and barely comprehensible term ‘reactionary’ - which was the Left’s go-to term before racism hit the catwalk – tarry.
Now, Clinton has failed, as did the entire Grand National-sized field of defeated Republican potential nominees, to land any serious punches on Trump. With his every crass, vulgar, blustering throwaway line, the media has clutched its pearls in an orgy of virtue signalling and awaited Trump’s horrid down-tumbling. It has not, as of today, arrived. The focus groups cannot believe their tired eyes. Trump seemingly deals with every attack, ideological or personal, in the same way P G Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster invokes The Scarlet Pimpernel as
“…laughing down from lazy eyelids and nicking a speck of dust from the irreproachable Mechelin lace at my wrists.”
It may be that this ease of deflection, like a karate master swatting away a blow, is part of Trump’s appeal to the Alt. Right. The time when SJWs can win an argument simply by shrieking one of their weaponized lexicon – the -ist words - at offending parties may be coming to an end, and Trump may be the herald of this end to ideological tyranny. But, until the glorious revolution, who and what are the Alt. Rightists? Are they the brave maquis fighters of resistance, or posers and ideological fashionistas surfing a zeitgeist because it’s the new game in town?
The Alt. Right is not easy to define, but a famous legal aside may go a long way towards if not a definition then at least a heuristic principle. In an American legal case (Jacobellis vs. Ohio, 1964), Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was required was required to provide a definition of pornography. He took the advice of his law clerk, Alan Novak, who told him;
“Mr. Justice, you will know it when you see it.”
And by their works shall ye also know the Alt. Right because, in bold defiance of the post-war trends in Western political discourse, they are not the Left. Conservatives in the UK, Republicans in the USA, and the various token ‘Rightist’ parties in Europe have, from World War 2 until very recently, actually been Left wing, quite strongly so in the UK. Now the Alt. Right is here, and it actually is Conservative, not simply the equivalent of RINOs.
Not only do they oppose SJWs, politicians, students and their tutors, the media, public sector chiefs, NGOs and the whole sickly caravan train of modern – or rather post-modern – Left-Liberalism, the Alt. Right goes into places the Left would not dare to enter, as though the concepts of race and IQ, white nationalism, Islam as a violent ideology, fixed biological gender identity, freedom of speech were shrunken heads on bamboo poles circling a village deep in the African heart of darkness. The Alt. Right will go cheerfully into areas of investigation the Left have been trained to screen out with electro-convulsive thoroughness. Where the Alt. Right thrives on debate and its necessary friction, the Left could not even conceive that there might be two sides to a debate on, say, racial genetic differences. Those on the Left have iPersonalities, identical and pre-programmed. The Alt. Right is refreshing and vital because of their internal divisions and conflicts, not despite them. It will grow because of disagreement, not consensus.
This is precisely the power of this new political movement; it has no dogma, no creed, no canon. It does not, therefore, carry with it the baggage of religion in a – Islam excepted – largely post-religious era in the West. When you take the religion out of William James’s varieties of religious experience, you are still left with the ideological structures which held religion in place. Religion required heretics, and the Left have absolutely continued that founding tradition. Apart from necessary internecine squabbling, Alt. Right writers do not tend to demonise dissidents de jure – even if they do so on occasion de facto - precisely because the Alt. Right does not march in ideological lockstep.
Now, all this is a sketch, but one aspect of the Alt. Right seems to me to stand above others, and it’s the quote from Steve Sailer at the head of this piece. Political correctness and its enforcement form a large part of the Left’s playbook. If, as Sailer writes, political correctness consists in not noticing, then the Alt. Right notices, if it does anything significant at all. Like little Toto pulling back the curtain to reveal the mighty Oz is actually a bumbling old man, Alt. Right scribblers are looking where they have been specifically ordered not to look. When set in the context of, to take one of many possible examples, the ongoing and self-inflicted European jihad currently taking place, the Alt. Right is doing a lot of noticing. Can the same be said of the authorities, and their provisional wing in the media?
The Alt. Right absolutely do not fit the prevailing modus operandi of the elites and their courtiers. They are saying the unsayable, noticing that which the elites wish hid, pointing the finger at minorities deemed off-limits by the thought police, criticizing the gods themselves. It is worth pointing out – as it seems inevitable – that affiliating yourself with the Alt. Right will become an increasingly dangerous thing to do. The political class and their globalist eminence grises will be sure to come after the movement should it gain too much purchase on disillusioned Western minds.
But for now the Alt. Right is in the ascendant not simply because they defy the nominal Left, but because they have also exposed the fraudulent behaviour of the putative Right. They are anti-zeitgeist, anti-establishment, and anti-consensus. As such, the Alt. Right are not marching in time, but out of time, in all the senses of that phrase.