The War On The Alt-Right

One of the things few notice is the level of coordination in the media. The writers and talkers are often conspiring with one another to push some agenda, usually on behalf of moneyed interests or one of the political parties. The most recent example is the Michelle Fields hoax, facilitated by Ben Shapiro, who is a kept man of the guy financing the Ted Cruz campaign. The whole thing was a setup by “reporters” with an agenda, one purchased by the Ted Cruz campaign.

The Fields hoax is an exception, but there is a lot of media coordination. The JournoList scandal a few years ago revealed that many left-wing writers and reporters were coordinating their efforts via a secret e-mail list. They would promote each other’s work and coordinate how they would cover certain people and events. They imagined themselves as the guys meeting at Rue Saint-Jacques, except they were working on behalf of the king, despite imagining otherwise.

It looks like Buckley Conservatives have learned from their betters on the Left. This article appeared on the collaborationist website The Federalist, yesterday. Today, National Review has a different version of essentially the same article. Ian Tuttle feels no shame in plagiarizing the Federalist piece, suggesting this is a coordinated effort. Then again, there are only so many ways to hoot the word “racist” in a column so plagiarism is probably not the right word here.

Tuttle can be forgiven for not understanding the material, but still trying to please his bosses. He is a child trying to start a career as a chattering skull. Children do what they are told. The old fat guy from the Federalist is just a nobody so this is a way to make some money. We can expect more from the Buckley Right, as it finds itself decreasingly relevant and increasingly under assault.

Ideological movements enter into decline at the same point they turn inward and focus on a narrowing set of doctrines that define the cause. That’s the point they lose faith in the future, their future. They turn their tools to the task of maintaining the status quo, often at the expense of the movement and the benefit of the leaders. Today, Buckley Conservatism is mostly a Reagan Mystery Cult with a gift shop for their books, magazines and television programs.

There is some continuation here with the tradition of Buckley, as far as the war on the people to their Right. That has always been an essential element of Buckley Conservatism. Like Progressives, they hate the people to their Right and curry favor with those on their Left. By casting the people on their Right as unacceptable, so the theory goes, they position themselves as the sensible alternative to the Far Right and the Far Left. Buckley cut his teeth purging Burchers and Randians.

The whole point of Buckley Conservatism was to fight the Soviets so this strategy of self-legitimization made some sense. The Left was hoping to emulate the Bolsheviks, not counter them. In order to prevent that from happening, the Right had to be a legitimate counter argument. So, Bill Buckley was willing to throw anyone over the rail if it made him and his cause look good. A lot of people went over the rail as a result.

The Cold War is over. What’s left of Buckley Conservatism is the weird half of Frank Meyer Fusionism and the purging. Over the last 25 years the list of people purged reads like a who’s who of important writers of the American Right. What’s left of Buckley Conservatism, as an intellectual movement, is the sophomoric libertarian nonsense and angry tantrums about the traditionalists of the Old Right, who refuse to play along anymore.

The Buckleyites still run the Reagan Mystery Cult and the adjoining gift shoppe, the latter being the critical piece. Jonah Goldberg lives in a million dollar home in the Washington suburbs. To maintain that lifestyle means keeping the gift shoppe open. Even if he wanted to entertain alternative opinions, he has a mortgage to pay and a college fund to finance. He lacks the talent of a Mark Steyn and the courage of Ann Coulter so he cannot go it alone. He has to remain a clerk in the gift shoppe, writing copy about the wonderfulness of Buckley Conservatism.

The problem for Buckley Conservatives is they have nothing to offer. People see 25 years of failure and naturally begin to look elsewhere for answers. The alt-right has loads of problems and parts of it are a bit like heroin, offering momentary relief at the expense of long term happiness. To the person suffering in the present, however, the momentary high from joining a white identity group, for example, feels like salvation.

The alt-right, in all of its manifestations, is not growing in number and confidence because they made a pact with the devil. There is nothing supernatural at work here. It’s not a coherent intellectual movement, but simply a refuge from the endless assault on ordinary people, who see their traditions, their customs, their ancestors and their progeny being ground up in the meat grinder of technocratic managerialism. The alt-right is not offering anything but shelter from the storm – for now.

Mass movements are always attractive to the disaffected, which is why responsible people must always work to limit the number of disaffected. It’s this failure of Buckley Conservatism, and the failure of the managerial class as a whole, that has grown the number of disaffected. The whole reason to be loyal to the Left or the Right was always patriotic interest. Neither side bothers to make patriotic arguments, thus leaving patriots with nothing.

When people who have been loyal to conservative causes and conservative politicians their whole life find themselves being called racists and bigots by those people they supported, they start to feel like they have been conned. When ruling class organs publicly argue that vast parts of the culture must be destroyed, that traditional America must be wiped out, people hear a declaration of war. The response is not going to be “yes sir, may I have another.” The response, to quote the late Andrew Breitbart, is going to be “Fuck you. War!”

44 thoughts on “The War On The Alt-Right

  1. Z says: “The Cold War is over. What’s left of Buckley Conservatism is the weird half of Frank Meyer Fusionism and the purging. Over the last 25 years the list of people purged reads like a who’s who of important writers of the American Right.”

    Curious as to names of those who have been purged.

    Are any, many, still writing?

  2. Michelle Fields hoax? It was recorded, and before that was known Lewandowski denied knowing or meeting her. And the whole “I’m a victim!” whine is pathetic and as left-wing as the history of Trump’s political donations. put on your big-boy pants, kid.

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  4. Patriotism, as a word has been stolen. It has always been love of the Patria: a land, its people and their customs.
    It has been twisted into “nationalism” the political bile vomited onto the people.

  5. Pingback: The Alt-Right | Orphans of Liberty

  6. The left in the UK, more than well-represented in the media, automatically and openly label anyone who doesn’t support the government line on muslim immigration as “far-right”, yet curiously these are the same people who repeatedly label the government — for allegedly not doing enough left-wing things — as right-wing.

    Sometimes I get a little confused…

  7. “It’s not a coherent intellectual movement, but simply a refuge from the endless assault on ordinary people,”

    That phrase — “the endless assault on ordinary people” — pretty much sums up what’s drawn me into the orbit of the alt-right. I’m not an angry, hateful guy. I don’t nurse fantasies about Christian theocracy or white nationalism. I’m just sick of being made to feel like a bigot and a criminal for being normal and having normal human emotions.

    I read “1984” again recently, and it’s stunning how well it captures the feelings I feel every single day. I turn on the television and read the news and it feels like everybody else has gone insane and I’m the only sane person left. Normally I’d conclude that I’m the insane one, except I have clear, distinct memories of last week, when Oceania was at war with Eurasia instead of Eastasia. I look around at the other people shouting about how we’ve always been at war with Eastasia and I wonder, do they have the same memories I do? Because it sure seems like they don’t.

    The alt-right is like a refuge of sanity — it’s the only place I can go where everybody else remembers that, yeah, we WERE at war with Eurasia last week! I’m actually NOT crazy for remembering it that way!

  8. I followed 2 out of 3 links (Tracinski & Tuttle) and that was quite enough. Those guys sound like they should be protesting chalk on some campus and demanding their very own safe space rather than calling any and all in the conservative tent with whom they disagree racists.

    OK, there are racists Democrats ( I almost resisted writing tautology.), Republicans, Conservatives and, I’m sure, even Libertarians and Antichrists, -but suddenly the cry of ‘Racists!’, true or false, negates and devalues anything else such people believe or say.

    Obviously racists is the new pedophile. We need a national registry to assure none are allowed within 100 yards of a voting booth or a political party.

    Shucky darn, racists has become such a tar brush we’ll soon have to remove it from polite society and start calling it the R-word!

    Racists. Dang, over the years I’ve had many friends who were racist, and other than that aberration, were quite nice and intelligent people. Folks that I would trust to protect my back any time.

    Oh, by the way, a fair number of the racists I’ve known that I would call friends happen to be black.

    Please excuse the rant, Tracinski & Tuttle left me fuming.

    Excellent post, Zman!

    • When I am accused of being a racist, I now say, “I’m tired of having a brown nose stuck in one of my armpits and a black nose stuck in the other one, so I guess I”m a racist.”

    • Tuttle graduated from St. John’s in 2014. A Buckley Fellow, he is so happy to be running with what he views as a big dog that he has no qualms about parroting (or plagiarizing) what they are saying.

  9. I had my awakening during the eve of the Iraq War, the whole media became a pro-war propaganda machine, I pretty much stopped watching TV since 2003.

    • I had the “road to Damascus moment” with NR back in the post-Katrina days (2005) when the entire NRO team sounded like a bunch of excited junior high girls. I tried to explain that, in my experience, every hurricane season the city sent out the same statement: “If you fail to evacuate expect no help for 10 to 14 days.” This drew the response from J. Podhoretz that friends don’t let friends blog drunk….

      I cancelled NR immediately after 20 years….

      • Podhoretz is a pretentious twit who hasn’t had an original thought in decades. He usually comes along with a rewrite of someone else’s article. A “me too”.

  10. Scanned first few hundred of replies & readers generally disagree with Tracinski by a wide margin. It’s sad to see otherwise good writer like Kevin Williams, Matt Walsh & now Robert Tracinski, picking the other side. Oh well, we’ll have to do without hem.

    • Back when John Derbyshire was purged, he made the point that these guys are all men with careers, bills to pay, ambition, etc. Faced with the choice between being honest and keeping their paying jobs, they naturally choose the latter. What’s Williamson going to do? Drive a truck? Writing for National Review, making $50K a year, is the top of the rung for these guys. When you get a little higher to the people with TV contracts or speaking careers, they have six figure incomes and no other way to make that kind of money. Rich Lowry is one poorly chosen word or phrase away from economic ruin.

      As far as the amen chorus you see with these posts, some of it is sock-puppetry. A lot of it is simply the result of years of indoctrination. Some is just the nature of things. People tend to prefer the safest course, even if it means slavery. Unless a man has the skill to make something of himself, freedom is a burden.

      • Want a fun way to waste an hour. Go there and bomb the comment section, over and over. Make them feel besieged and under attack. Conduct a little psyops to demoralize them. It’s great.

      • “Unless a man has the skill to make something of himself, freedom is a burden.” Ever read Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom”? He makes a similar point at book length. It’s worth reading for the classic display of the 2nd law of SJW — a Frankfurt School Marxist, Fromm thought he was describing the psychological profile of rank-and-file Nazis. Take out the Hitler references, though, and you have a spot-on description of modern liberals (NR types included)…. and Frankfurt School Marxists. It’s smart-but-directionless guys like Goldberg, Williamson, et al, whose brains don’t work in economically desirable ways, who inflict the real misery on the world.

      • Look at the ministers, the politicians, union bosses, police and fire chiefs, the college professors, college presidents, and the news people, among others. They have well paying, easy jobs that ask of them nothing more than to toe the line, and to claw their way to the top amongst their peers. What is in it for them to stray? What else are they trained and qualified for? Cut out the $100k-plus compensation and see how many get a backbone. The sad thing is that in toeing the line, they are quite willing to throw the rest of us and our own culture over the side.

    • Yeah, I’ve been disappointed about the number of people I’ve had to quit reading in disgust over the past year or so. I tell myself I’d probably be the same way if I were in their position, though. If I were getting paid a six-figure salary to parrot donor class bullshit, it would be awfully hard to walk away from that, because I’d know it would be unlikely that I’d make that much money doing something else.

      The flip side, I guess, is that being poor give me more freedom to say what I really think.

  11. I agree wholeheartedly with the opening sentence; about coordination in the news media. I work in an operations center; and we normally have FOX and CNN; and sometimes MSLSD on at the same time. It is uncanny how three; supposedly different ‘news’ source; wind up sounding exactly alike. The same stories at the same exact time. The ‘Info Babes’ even wear the same colored dresses.

    If you didn’t have multiple TVs on; you would never see it. I am convinced that the ‘news source’ has got to be the CIA; or some other central propaganda machine. My brother used to say; ‘The USSR is just a figment of the CIA’s imagination.’ I firmly agree with that assessment. They fell completely apart after the wall came down. Along came Osama Din Laden; and the Bogeyman was back.

  12. This election has been interesting. It shows how many of the conservative bloggers have been bought off. I still don’t get it. If you are attempting to make money on a blog, why would you insult the people that regularly read you? I’ve had to drop blogs that I’ve read for years because I can’t have even a simple discussion without getting personally attacked for my preference for President.

    It became obvious to me that it was all virtue signaling. This election splits down economic and class lines. The bloggers I used to read don’t want to be associated with the Dirt People any more than the lefty journalist do.

    • There is virtue signaling, but there is also income or the hope of income or advancement.

      Tocqueville–Not only is a democratic people led by its own taste to centralize its government, but the passions of all the men by whom it is governed constantly urge it in the same direction. It may easily be foreseen that almost all the able and ambitious members of a democratic community will labor unceasingly to extend the powers of government, because they all hope at some time or other to wield those powers themselves. Philosophic systems that destroy human individuality will have secret attractions for men who live in a democracy.

    • “It became obvious to me that it was all virtue signaling.”

      Yes indeed. And I find it very interesting. As you observe, the great division that has opened up this election in what had been a more or less unified Right/GOP comes down to those who wish to publicly proclaim their virtue in the very same manner as the left does, and over the same issues – namely race and sexual identity – and those on what is now called the alt-right who reject the “diversity” and “multicultural” rackets and the cultural assumptions and public policies that undergird them. And for questioning this pillar of leftist orthodoxy, large numbers of people in the “conservative” camp are vilified as bigots by the pajama boys at NR and others, who all the while believe themselves to be the guardians and gatekeepers of “acceptable” conservatism – even as they go about doing the left’s dirty work for them. And this is all the stranger because there is no “conservative” issue at stake here – only a question as to how far one is committed to leftist assumptions and how far one is prepared to go to defend them.

      There is something in this akin, I think, to the left’s inability to honestly address Islamic supremacism, because to do so would call into question too many core beliefs – beliefs which are ultimately quasi-religious and utopian in nature. NR’s “conservatism” is also reductionist and utopian in that it still adheres to the notion that limited, constitutional government can still be had somehow, with multiculturalism and lower taxes for all. At its core, the alt-right critique of our current situation is an admission that the NR version of GOP-inspired utopia is no longer attainable or feasible, that the rot is too deep, and we need to try to salvage something from the wreckage before it’s too late. This the Buckley Boys and Reagan Cultists are not prepared to admit. And as they manfully man the barricades of allowable opinion it’s plain to see that they have learned another fundamental lesson from left: It’s easier, and more far more personally satisfying, to call your opponent a racist than it is to call them a pessimist. But at least Kevin Williamson and Rich Goldberg can feel good about themselves. At least for a little while longer.

  13. “To the person suffering in the present, however, the momentary high from joining a white identity group, for example, feels like salvation.”
    Momentary high? Hardly. It’s more like the wonderful feeling of relief you get when you stop beating your head against a wall. Considering that the Progressives adopted identity politics 50 years ago, it seems like whites have been exceedingly slow to figure out the obvious: identity politics works.

    • I make racial comments, not out of malevolence, but as prediction:
      As we become a prison society, we will naturally coalesce along racial lines, like prison gangs do- and for the same reasons of mutual protection.

      Or, as they say in prison,
      You can run or you can fight-
      If you run, you run alone;
      When comes time to put your boots to someone,
      You ride with your own.

  14. Some years back, suddenly and out of the blue, just about every TV news / talk show proclaimed that candidate so and so lacked “gravitas.”
    I forget about whom this comment was directed but that is besides the point.
    This struck me as odd because until that time I had never heard of the word “gravitas” on TV or anywhere else for that matter. It was if every TV “news” and/or talk personality (i.e., propagandists) was reading from the same sheet of paper.
    Until then it had not occurred to me that the TV “news” and talk show were being fed material by outside sources.

    Also rather odd is that one of (all?) the main TV “news” stations has a “political director.”
    Why would a news reporting program have or need a political director? This is directly out of the USSR’s playbook.

    Lastly, if you recall when Ronald Reagan was President, there was the daily drumbeat on TV “news” about the homeless problem. The moment Bill Clinton became president, the homeless problem disappeared.
    How convenient.

    The ZMAN mentioned how the disaffected migrate to mass movements. The classic work on this is THE TRUE BELIEVER, THE NATURE OF MASS MOVEMENTS, by Eric Hoffer.
    Everybody should read this book.

    • I very distinctly remember a network news piece during the Reagan administration where someone – probably Sam Donaldson – was interviewing a wretched, filthy, urine-soaked bum latying in some ally.
      Sam: “How did you come to be homeless, sir?”
      Piss bag: “Reagonomics”
      I was watching that with my dad when I was fresh out of college. We both went “awwww geeeeze” , simultaneously.
      That was the moment, for me, that lamestream media lost credability.
      I also remember Sam Donaldson constantly badgering Reagan. No letup. That sort of questioning (which is a good thing) completely dissapears for democrats. Obama should be in prison. For the IRS abuses, if nothing else.

      • The ‘moment’ for me was in the Late 80’s Katie Couric was invited in to do a fluff interview with George and Barbara. She went straight for the throat; and I have hated her guts ever since. Her and the MSM.

      • The moment for me was Jimmy Carter’s fricking grandma. Every news show was “look at his wonderful grandma, now look at the bumbling President Ford”. I was only 14 and it was obvious to me.

    • I believe they were speaking of Dubya. With his faux cowboy act covering.for his lack of smarts, Bush 43 definitely lacked gravitas.

      • Pretty sure it was Al Gore’s gravi-tahss in the approach to the 2000 elections.
        Limbaugh pointed out that and a number of other repetitions.
        One does notice that in the “highly competitive news environment”, shows all talk about the same subject on the same day- it is a different subject for left or right, but each day, each side talks about only one or two main items. I travel constantly, and have noticed this coordination in every market nationwide.

        • A scan of article headlines at any news aggregator will show the same thing. The articles posted are all quite literally “on the same page” in any given day.

    • Don’t worry, as soon (if) a Republican gets elected President, the homeless will all of a sudden crawl out of the woodwork as an issue again.

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