The Death of Official Conservatism™

Over the last year or so, corresponding with the rise of Donald Trump to the nomination of the Republican Party, there has been a lot of talk about what is the alt-right and what it means. This also corresponds with the term itself, alt-right, being transformed from the narrow white nationalism stuff of Richard Spencer, to a catch-all term for the growing number of people criticizing the orthodoxy from the Right. In fact, this thing they call the alt-right is no longer much about race and much more about culture, Western Culture.

Another way to think of it is to imagine a town with two social clubs, organized for the same purpose, but they disagree over the goals and how to go about it. Over time, one club has fallen into quarreling and regularly kicked out its best members. Many just quit out of frustration. The result is there are more that agree about what is wrong with the clubs than are in still the clubs. The reason the dissenters have a name is the people still doing the old social club racket gave the dissenters a name they thought was insulting.

Steve Sailer has a fun way of looking at it in his Taki column, comparing the alt-right to punk rock. That’s a good way of looking at, but within that column he quotes himself from the olden thymes, where he pointed out that jazz lost its audience because it became elitist and esoteric. That’s a good way of thinking about what is happening to Official Conservatism™ today. The people scribbling and thinking for the orthodoxy have become elitist and detached, consumed by esoteric hair splitting and purity tests.

A good example of this can be seen in this piece on National Review regarding Ann Coulter’s appearance on a Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe. According to the news reports, it was a setup so the beta male comics could feel butch by calling Coulter a “cunt” over and over. A normal man would wonder why such a thing was permitted to happen, but not Christian Schneider. He is only concerned about the image of Official Conservatism™ as he thinks Coulter being pilloried makes his weird little identity cult look bad.

That’s Official Conservatism™. It is a bunch of men standing aside as men from the Left assault whomever happens to be to their Right. It is a movement that never moves. It remains relatively stationary, fixed to a spot just to the Right of the Progressives. When they are not refining the narrow differences they have with the Left, they are expanding the list of people to their Right that are no longer welcome in the club. Official Conservatism™ holds its audience in contempt, preferring to focus on itself and its peculiar aesthetic.

Sailer’s jazz reference works at another level. In the first half of the 20th century, jazz was the most popular form of music because it was fun and functioned as the soundtrack for the young and rebellious. By the time rock and roll came along, jazz was no longer fun. The kids looked at it as the music of their parent’s generation. That’s what’s happening with Official Conservatism™ now that the internet has opened the field to all sorts of new voices and ideas. Much of it may be crap or crazy, but it’s fun and rebellious.

There’s more to it, of course, but being new and fun is the energy that is making the alt-right work right now. The bigger issue is the fact that Buckley Conservatism has nothing to offer. An ideology that leads men to stand aside while thugs from the Left assault the institutions of society is not much use to people, who would like to preserve their culture. It’s hard to be inspired my a movement that thinks it is OK for men to call a woman a “cunt” on TV, just as long as it does not reflect poorly on their movement. Why would anyone sign up for that?

It’s why the threats from the geezers about purging the alt-right from Official Conservatism™ are met with roars of laughter and funny memes on twitter. If you are a young guy that thinks Progressivism is a cancer, what has Jonah Goldberg ever done for you? What has Hugh Hewitt ever done, beside collect a paycheck and lecture you to be quiet? The answer is nothing. When the bully boys of the Left come to put a beating on you, these two will be penning articles about how you tarnished the brand.

Skepticism, about attempts to define the alt-right, is wise as the people doing it have an agenda. Some are hoping to elevate their status as media personalities, while others are just hoping to tar members of the establishment, by associating them with something scary. The reality is it is just a new label for what Nick Land called the Dark Enlightenment. I’ve always found this map to be useful in understanding the wild and crazy world of alternative media on the internet. As you can see, there is a lot of overlap, but a great diversity in starting points.

The Right has always been a perspective from a number of starting points rooted in the human condition, biological reality. It has never been a fixed ideology and that is why Official Conservatism™ is dying off now. It was a long attempt to build a fence around the free range of thinking, to set borders and apply rules within it. It is why the Buckleyites look increasing like the Progressives they claim to oppose. In the end, ideologues all come to agree on the same thing – control.

Eric Hoffer said, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” Official Conservatism™ is well into the racket stage. The adherents, if they even believe in anything other than personal enrichment, defend the cause solely because it is where the money is at the movement. They are ideological Willie Suttons. They are “conservatives” because right now that’s where they can make money. When the time comes, they will move on to something else.

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24 Comments on "The Death of Official Conservatism™"

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Severian
Guest

“When the time comes, they will move on to something else.” I’ve been saying for some time that today’s blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer. Those people build their identity on being the furthest out on the socially-acceptable “radical” fringe, which, in a few years — depending on how quickly the muzzies gin up their latest atrocity — will be the Alt-Right. I need to start adding “and her gauleiter will be a former Buckleyite,” since that’s where the cushy jobs are.

Shelby
Guest

Since I just can’t be an ‘independent ‘ what do you suppose will become of us?
Will other parties spring up or should we purge the books and take the Republican Party?
There are more of us out here than anyone wants to admit.

Severian
Guest

I don’t think we’ll have much of a choice, comrade.

King George III
Guest
Indeed, innate religiosity is innate religiosity, expressed by militant exertion to attain the goals of the official belief system. This belief system can be utterly self-destructive and evil, as now, or it can be good, for Western civilization, for the white race(s), for the common good. White people have a tendency towards religion and religious feeling that other races don’t seem to have. I think it’s a really big part of what make us so dynamic, as opposed to, for example, the Chinese. It’s not that the lefty liberal lunatics are inherently evil, it’s just that their motive desire has… Read more »
Doug
Guest
The Alt-Right is the epic component of human freedom, of total resistance. It is culture upstream of politics. It isn’t Alternate, it is Right. It is a zeitgeist and a gestalt. It isn’t a paradigm as such, because the Alt-Right already exists, before it was called the Alt-Right. Yet it represents a sea change in thinking and values because of a recognition of something that already naturally exists. It is the system trying to balance the equation. The Alt-Right don’t care if you like it or not. It don’t care if it is existential to the status quo. Or not.… Read more »
A.T. Tapman
Member

Great Job Doug, the alt.right mindset is difficult to explain to the uninitiated, but you have come as close as anyone has. I do not think there are many uninitiated on this particular board the red pill and the black pill have been liberally distributed here.

Usenet was great, I wasted a good portion of my waking time there. AR and AFN mostly.

Doug
Guest
Well thanks A.T., it sure is difficult to define, I’m going by intuition and strictly personal perspective here. There is something about motive power, and the moral audacity of having the awareness of your traditions and culture of freedom out in front of you that is driving the idea of Alt-Right. Whoo, that doesn’t get even close to what I would like to convey. I’ll go way out on a limb here, because it is so important to convey. The Alt-Right doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks of it, how it is portrayed, propaganda and agitprop against it is… Read more »
John the River
Member

Thanks for the link. I haven’t read that story in years and I’ve always enjoyed EFR.

fodderwing
Guest

Well spoken, Doug. I feel as though somehow the “Alt-Right” has finally caught up with me. It has been here for a long time and appears to be comprised of a lot of people who simply recognize the times we are in.

Samuel Adams
Guest

Offer gets it right. Rather like my forebears who were original dissenting Puritans in England, came here, became the establishment, then converted to the “New Light” of the Second Awakening, then became establishment again, then took a detour to “pledge” Methodism, all movements must be refreshed ideologically. The Buckley guys served a purpose in the 50s and 60s and gave us Reagan. But that morphed into the Conservative-Pundit Complex that plagues us with fat, complacent think tank check takers clustered around Washington. Like religion, time to get back to basics. Faith, Grace and Scripture.

Doug
Guest
Your right about those evolutions. I think, The Alt-Right is another critter entirely, in the sense it is open source, it is upstream of the real politics of party or establishment motives. I’m not saying those involved in your accounting where wrong in establishing and advocating their ideals or ideology, but in all cases, right to this second in time, they left out something that all politics of the day interestingly leave out, the dirt people. Sure they give lip service to the dirt people, they patronize and gerrymander to them in some fashion or another, but the dirt people… Read more »
Drake
Guest

Excellent article.

“Official Conservatism” as defined by NRO, and the John McCains / Paul Ryans, is to promise less government while delivering more. I figured it out early on in W’s first term and began filling my pre-paid RNC envelopes with nasty letters instead of checks. They stopped sending me those convenient envelopes pretty quickly.

The “Alt-Right” appears to be people who actually say what they mean and mean what they say.

Lorenzo
Guest

In fact, this thing they call the alt-right is no longer much about race and much more about culture, Western Culture.

Of course, when you talk about Western Culture you’re pretty much talking about Stuff White People Did so it can always be made to look like you’re pushing a racial agenda,

PRCD
Guest

Race and culture aren’t neatly separable. Even if you’re purely a culturist instead of a racist or a combination, the Left and Official Conservatism will still call you racist. I don’t know why conservatives bother talking about this or that race’s culture when we’re really criticizing what that race does, which is the same as criticizing the race, ie, being “racist.”

Member

We are this era’s Jacobin Clubs. We know that things aren’t working with the system we have, and we have to try and build something better. We cannot do this if we are going to stand by and watch our comrades get torn apart by the left the way the “conservatives” have done. And for now we need anonymity.

LetsPlay
Member
Many people have left the confines of the Republican party over the past few decades. I am one of those who had my fill after “W.” I voted for him hoping beyond hope for a better outcome than one offered by the likes of Gore “Mr. Internet” before he created Global Warming, or Lurch. Then the likes of Mittens and McCain were completely worthless. I do not find the term “conservative” to be in disfavor. I do think that those who have left the confines of the RNC, find themselves labeled by the Right in an effort to maintain their… Read more »
notsothoreau
Guest

True “cons” sound like a bunch of Southern ladies, sitting around deciding when it’s appropriate to wear those summer whites. I have no use for their arrogance and hope they all lose their jobs to illegals. I was surprised at my own reaction to Ted Cruz calling me a “low information voter” for supporting Trump. I did suck it up and vote for the losers the last two elections. I expected them to vote for the party’s nominee this time out. But it turns out they are every bit as snobbish as the Lefties.Good riddance to the lot.

Old Codger
Guest
Official Conservatism TM is also distinguished by the fact its participants are principally (exclusively?) those from the monied Elite who all attended the right schools (Ivies, Public Ivies and top-ranked private liberal arts colleges) and whose ideas of “tough labor” extends principally to burning the midnight oil to glean that special case for the senior partner’s brief or digging into the smallest detail on a financial statement for their consultant boss’s presentation to the Board of Directors! Nary a callus or scar from real works shows on their soft, pink hands or their soft, ego-driven intellects. Indeed, if they were… Read more »
Member

If there was a Dirt People Party, I would join it.

Doug
Guest

Hey! Just by saying that you belong to the dirt people party.

Old Codger
Guest

Trump has made a good start on creating one. Let the dirt people small business and solo practice lawyer types continue it!

John the River
Member

Vote the Silly Party! No formal entrance requirements or registration required.
https://youtu.be/31FFTx6AKmU

PRCD
Guest
I joined the alt-right 10 years ago when Allahpundit banned me from HotAir for mildly suggesting the British National Party wasn’t that bad, wasn’t Nazi, and was pretty good and certainly much better than Islamization. Some other guy – a Brit – got banned at the same time. We both wondered, what is Conservatism (TM) conservative of? Nationalism is now just beginning to hit its stride as the elite are all cosmopolitan globalists and statists. Whether the states such as the UK, the United States, Germany, etc survive into the future doesn’t matter. What matters is the peoples and their… Read more »
Hahaha
Guest

“Skepticism, about attempts to define the alt-right, is wise as the people doing it have an agenda.”

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the (((people))) most eager to define and dissect the alt-right have (((something))) in common. Just sayin’

(Really liking that my capcha has 88 in it, heh heh.)

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