I Have My Doubts

I’ve rewritten this post a few times now, mostly because I keep thinking about a rule that I think all of us should follow. That is, no enemies to the Right. The reason the Buckley thing is falling to pieces is they invested all of their time slicing pieces off of the right side of their movement. The Birchers were easy, but before long they were slicing off vital parts. The reason the so-called alt-right exists is that so much of the Right had been purged, the fringe has become a majority.

Still, there’s a lot of the alt-right that creates a fair bit of doubt in my mind.  Since the election, the media has been racing around looking for “leaders” of the alt-right to report on and interview. That’s catnip to the sort of people who like being famous more than they like being right. It also attracts people who think they can make a buck off selling people what they want to hear. That’s how the Tea Party went from grass roots movement to a bust-out. How long before someone launches a line of Pepe gear?

For instance, is Mike Cernovich a guy in it for the money or a higher purpose? I don’t spend a lot of time reading his site, or any time to be honest, but his name pops up a lot in stories about the alt-right. I see he is peddling a book called MAGA Mindset with a picture of Trump on it. Maybe it is all above board and perfectly legit, but it could be just another grift too. It’s hard to know. Would he be selling the Commie Mindset if Bernie Sanders had won the White House? I don’t know, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.

There’s a difference between selling the word and spreading the word. It’s the Bible salesman versus the missionary. The former could just as easily be selling toasters or porn. The point of the exercise is to make the sale. Their product is just a means to an end. The missionary, on the other hand, is the product. He is selling more than just his wares. He is selling himself. His identity is measured in converts. VDare begs for money so they can proselytize, not so Peter Brimelow can drive a Ferrari.

It’s not just the fringy sorts that give me pause. Ann Coulter was an enthusiastic champion of Mitt Romney. She used to talk about Chris Christie as a lion of the Right. She was a late arrival to the immigration patriotism cause. Ann Coulter is in the business of selling books. It has worked to our favor that she picked up the cause of immigration and then championed Donald Trump, but what happens if she can sell more books promoting open borders? I’m not questioning her sincerity, just making a point about motives.

I don’t want to cast aspersion on these people. I don’t know enough about Cernovich to judge his motives. Honestly, my hunch is he is just a harmless weirdo.  Ann Coulter was a skeptic of the Bush Klan going way back. She was fond of ripping into the Bush people over “compassionate conservatism” before it was popular. Ann Coulter has taken a lot of abuse and lost a few friends over her Trump support. Still, it is wise to be skeptical about people making a living selling you what you want to hear. Talk radio falls into this too.

Money is one reason for skepticism. Hidden agendas are another. Fringe movements that gain traction inevitably attract members of other fringe movements. Every fringe weirdo in America is hoping on the alt-right bus, hoping to ride it to legitimacy. During the election, Jill Stein tried to ride the Bernie Bro wave. When that failed, she went on Twitter, aping Donald Trump, by calling Hillary crooked and corrupt. She even started making noises about immigration, thus earning her the nickname  “Based Yenta.”

Richard Spencer is another good example. Watching the NPI event the other day, I kept getting the sense that Peter Brimelow was there to legitimize Spencer, not because Spencer had a big stage to offer Brimelow. Spencer invests a lot of time declaring himself the Pope of the alt-right, but my guess is hardly anyone calling themselves alt-right knows anything about him. The next time someone quotes Richard Spencer to me, it will be the first time. His white identity thing is a tiny club without out much of a future.

The point here is not to disparage these people. I think Richard Spencer is mostly harmless. I’m just using him as an example to make a point. Populism is always going to be open to a lot of oddballs looking for a home, but it is important to remember that they are the ones seeking shelter, not the ones building the shelter. The people rallying to the Trump banner or the Brexit banner or any of the populist movements of Europe are not doing so because they want a white ethno-state. They just want normal countries again.

Skepticism is a good thing. There are a lot of people pulling down their freak flag now and hoisting the Pepe banner. Most of it is harmless and well intended, but not all of it. It’s never easy to know so it is wise to maintain a healthy degree of doubt about all of them. Old soldiers like Brimelow or Sailer have earned trust over long careers, but all the new guys have a long way to go before we can really know what they are up to and assess their  motivations. Until that’s clear, I have my doubts.

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Member

It has been pointed out by many that religion helps control freeloading in a village or tribe. Ideology serves the same role in a movement. Non-ideological movements like the tea party and alt-right will be very prone to capture by grifters.

FaCubeItches
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FaCubeItches

If one discounts the fact that in many – if not most – religions, the priests are the biggest freeloaders of all.

Member

At some point the Alt-Right is going to have to grow up and make the transition from commentary to power. We got lucky that the American electorate and Trump were ahead of the curve, as we still aren’t ready for prime time. Power isn’t pretty, and the sort of thing you describe goes with the territory. What is important is not the flaws of our leaders, but that they deliver and that we hold them accountable.

Member

As for Mike Cernovich, I haven’t been following him too closely either. I do respect that he takes more enemy fire than just about anyone and it just bounces right off of him, that he has attracted one of the larger followings on our side, and that he released and started peddling MAGA mindset long before Trump actually won. The last of those was a fairly bold move.

Member

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/11/controlled-opposition-or-media.html Vox Day’s take on the same issue. I saw Rhodesia fall because people were more desirous of keeping a pure image via virtue signalling rather than do the right thing. I did not fully realize that this was what was happening at the time, but now that I do know it you will never see me punch to the right ever again. Any criticism will be over whether a particular tactic or stand taken advances the cause of the right, regardless of what that stand or tactic is. If giving a Nazi salute at a gathering creates a winning… Read more »

Sam J.
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Sam J.

“…my criticism will be confined to making the point that it was unhelpful, not to facilitate the leftist media by denouncing the dude(s)…”

I agree this is the best way.

Member

At this point, what is and isn’t acceptable? I don’t really consider Milo all that pure when it comes to the cause, but at the same time he’s one of our more effective advocates. On the other end, there are race realists using language that makes even me blush, and others advocating abandoning democracy in favor of a return to ariwtocracy/monarchy. Who and what are we supposed to police?

Dutch
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Dutch

I treat Milo as entertainment. He goes where other humorists won’t go. Which is the name of the game in all great comedy.

The best entertainment and humor addresses and exposes underlying truth. That Milo can find such a rich vein of material suggests how stunted and odd our society has become.

Deplorable Black Man
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Deplorable Black Man

This is a great post because it reflects the reality that we are in deeply weird times. I share Z’s commitment to the ideal of “no enemies to the right” but there are, and will be, con men out there trying to take advantage of us normals. One hope is that the con men won’t be able to resist doing stuff that will reveal their true selves. That Richard Spenser “Hail Trump” moment is one of them, and I think Cernovich did a great job exposing it for what it was – a hijacking of the Trump movement to suit… Read more »

Member

Just read Cernovich’s commentary on Richard Spenser http://www.dangerandplay.com/2016/11/21/this-is-what-controlled-opposition-looks-like/

While it certainly looks like Spenser is a false flag, I must also say that I have seen and heard things from the darker corners of the alt-right on the same level. That sort of stuff doesn’t drive me off, but it does beg the question of how to handle this sort of thing when it comes to building a winning coalition.

LetsPlay
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LetsPlay

In the market of ideas, I don’t think you “handle” anything. You let it “out” and if it has legs it will continue. If not, it will die of it’s own lack of intellectual honesty. If it has legs, then we have something to worry about. Right now, I think the real problem is still the Left/Socialism and the threat of radical Islam.

Zeroh Tollrants
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Zeroh Tollrants

Cernovich could not have possibly been more wrong with his weird purity spiraling assessment. He called himself a Libertarian up until earlier in the year when the term Alt Right, (coined & began by Spencer yrs ago), hit mainstream. He began tweeting that he had switched to Alt Right when he realized the reality of white genocide. He has now deleted those tweets. He also slandered Spencer as some covert FBI type infiltrator to his own movement, and continued to come unhinged on Twitter, about something he only had basic info about, from The Atlantic. For someone who has railed… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

FWIW both Milo and Mike Cernovich say they are not alt right.

Member

The people rallying to the Trump banner or the Brexit banner or any of the populist movements of Europe are not doing so because they want a white ethno-state. They just want normal countries again. What is Germany without Germans? What is France without the French? What is Italy without Italians? What is the Netherlands without the Dutch? What is Russia without Russians? What is Greece without Greeks? America is historically a supermajority Anglo – European Christian nation, with significant black and Native American minorities. This can’t be America without Americans and people with Anglo and European Christian ancestry are… Read more »

Severian
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I’ve been saying for years now that today’s blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer… and this how it happens. Those people most certainly fall under the umbrella of “fringe weirdo.” Their lives revolve around being on the bleeding edge of everything, and as the Alt-Right gains momentum, they’ll flip… and the grifters will be happy to sell them the jackboots, armbands, marching songs, merit badges, etc. A few years from now, all the hipsters will be wearing Pepe-logoed urban combat camo and yelling that they’ve *always* been race realists.

ganderson
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ganderson

I wonder how many commies fighting Nazis in the streets in 1930-32 later became Nazis. Quite a few, I’d guess

Severian
Guest

Goebbels himself boasted he could turn a die-hard communist into a committed Nazi in two weeks… but he couldn’t reach a Liberal Democrat (says Hoffer in The True Believer, and I believe it. Professors were the earliest and most zealous converts to Hitlerism – be sure to remind any academics of your acquaintance of that fact).

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Because those that want to control the thoughts and lives of others don’t really care about the process used to get there. Those who want the freedom to be left alone are very difficult to compromise.

kokor hekkus
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kokor hekkus

“The Birchers were easy.”–no, The Birchers were right, and therefore unacceptable to CIA man Buckley. Ann Coulter and Mike Cernovich write books and tweet, whereas Spencer seems to have turned into an attention whore…you need to understand the difference. You also need to understand that intelligent people change their opinions and attitude as the situation on the ground changes. Fifteen years ago, I thought immigration was harmless. Now it has become clear that it will destroy the USA….

The Bagman
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The Bagman

One pitfall of being somewhat-well-informed in the information age is that we encounter all this complexity and can’t digest it all. Disinfo everywhere abounds, and the border between sincere and insincere is as porous as our border with Mexico. Is Richard Spencer a LARPer who has mostly reined in his extravagance and wears a suit as a gesture of self control? Is he a stuffed shirt who sometimes plays at being edgy? Is he a closeted homosexual? Did Viktor Orban ban him from Hungary because he’s a White Nationalist? Because of his wife’s shady connections? Cernovich seems sincere about at… Read more »

Member

Anyone wants a frog, I’ll give ’em a frog! Here’s the frog I’ve stood behind since I was a wee tyke! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Now THAT’S a frog! I think your wise to have doubts about that guy. One quick look at the website and I had a horrible flashback to Susan Powter, the “stoop the madness” lady. Ann Coulter even looks a bit like her if memory serves. Once the initial carny enthusiasm wears off, it’ll be interesting to see who’s left standing. Plenty of phonies in the initial mix? I have no doubt at all. Our host has already earned… Read more »

Member

I’m reasonably well informed and I had no idea who Richard Spencer was. I do know to beware of people seeking fame and power though.

Drake
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Drake

I still have no idea who he is. I’ve read Cernovich a few times. He seems to be on the right track although I’m far too skeptical to trust internet people these days.

Member

I had never heard of Spenser either before Z and Vox Day had written about him today.

Drake
Guest
Drake

The first paragraph is a perfect description of how I ended up here instead of reading the Weekly Standard and National Review.

It sure seemed like the people they sliced off were the ones who actually intended to legislate or govern as conservatives. It slowly dawned on a lot of us that these people are full of shit and part of the government gravy train – not opposed to it.

Member

I would add a second category to non-conservatives after this past election and the #nevertrump crap: empty virtue signalers. Turns out we have our share on the right too.

jay dee
Guest

Not exactly on topic, but had to share…..

Charlie Rose last night. 1st segment interview with Thomas Friedman, he of the New York Times. He has a new book out. “…It might be my last…”, he says. We can only hope.

Second segment: Forgot names, but male reporter w/NYT and female reporter w/Vanity Fair. They discussed Jared Kushner.

That was Charlie’s line-up. All four people are probably no more than a 10 minute walk from one another in the MidTown hive.

I don’t think they quite get it yet.

Drake
Guest
Drake

I would be far more interested (not saying much) in what 4 random people in Wichita, Tulsa, or Des Moines have to say.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Charlie doesn’t want to “get it”. His little world is well established, and when it further fades into tv oblivion, he and his sort will mourn the loss of “civilized discussion”. Never mind that he sucks up to the people of like mind, and treats those who differ as criminals and idiots. It has been mentioned that his table is on the way to the Smithsonian when he retires. Great, yet another artifact that will have no meaning at all for 99.9% of the visitors who look at it, even after they read the card explaining what it is and… Read more »

Jim VA
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Jim VA

Watch Charlie’s interview of Michael Crichton on global warming. It’s all you need to know about good ole Charlie.

https://youtu.be/4pcjBxNBmKA

Karl Hungus
Guest
Karl Hungus

the alt-right is a young man’s game. fine for browsing (walk on the wild side) but no place for old men 🙂

Member

30 minutes in /pol will confirm that times infinity.

J Clivas
Guest

Could you try to be less prolix?

Hercule Poirot
Guest

“The people rallying to the Trump banner or the Brexit banner or any of the populist movements of Europe are not doing so because they want a white ethno-state. They just want normal countries again.”

Maybe not in America, although I am skeptical of this claim. In Europe, “normal countries” are white ethno-states by definition. This doesn’t detract from your main point, but the dismissive tone of certain US commentators about the alt-white faction grates a lot on this side of the Atlantic.

Member

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s one rallying cry in Europe was “Macedonia for the Macedonians,” meaning liberation from the Ottoman Empire and creation of a nation-state for the Macedonian people. Like you said, by definition this means white and caucasian. Likewise when it comes to the alt-right movement which could just as easily use “America for the Americans” as its rallying cry.

guest
Guest
guest

Spencer didn’t even sieg heil anyone, he raised his glass and said hail victory.

Watch the full 30min thing here: Richard Spencer – NPI 2016, Full Speech

And like i always say, if you aren’t sieg heiled into your forehead, where’s the problem?

To avoid that i switched to the casual heil a long time ago, problem solved!

guest
Guest
guest

Z Man on Disqus: “Stop it with the “Roman salute” stuff. Everyone knows exactly what they meant and why they did it. These are a bunch of boys playing dress up and performing for the cameras. They made fools of themselves and have now disqualified themselves from serious company.”

To be fair, he was holding a glass, you can’t sieg heil with a glass in your hand, that’s called a toast.

That or i was unknowingly sieg heiling at every wedding i ever went to…

Member

I’ve only heard about this event through third parties, where is the Nazi salute thing coming from? Did the audience do it in response to his toast, or is this all nonsense?

Member

Looking at the actual video I’m confused what all the fuss is about. He said “hail Trump”(not heil) and raised a glass.

Member
James LePore

I agree but many in the crowd did the Nazi salute, which, along with the swastika (whatever their origin or original meaning) are now symbols of evil. They might as well have put on white hoods and burned crosses. Pretty stupid.

guest
Guest
guest

But they are called nazis regardless, and have been since day one.

Can you name one single pro white individual, who isn’t called a nazi by the msm?

It’s a heads I win, tails you lose situation with them, if you oppose the white genocide agenda, you are evil, if you don’t grovel down before them you are a nazi. I mean if milk toast Spencer is a nazi, then we are all nazis, even the z man, which is just “the man” said in a German accent, ergo nazi.

Member
James LePore

I don’t know much about the pro-white people, but I will assume for the sake of argument that they do not wish to invade neighboring countries or initiate another holocaust. Giving the Nazi salute was probably just childish and stupid, but it exposes them to being equated with Nazi atrocities. This can’t help their cause.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Alt-right is a term sometimes used by right wingers to distinguish themselves from housebroken conservatives, and always a term, when used by Progs , to signify right wing lunatics. By progish definition, all the Founders were alt-right, Federalist and anti-Federalist. That is a club I would join, and it would be my first.

Member

Well Z, as the saying goes: you might not be interested in racial politics but it’s interested in you. The balkanization of the U.S. has created cracks, and when pressure is applied to the structure then it will break along those cracks. That is simply the reality, but as long as the checks keep coming it’ll hold together. The problem is we got crazy people trying to run the economy, trade policy, and monetary policy. Don’t expect the checks to keep coming forever.

Steveaz
Guest
Steveaz

It’s clear the Left is trying to “Kurt Waldheim” Donald Trump.

And to do this they NEED to promote the Alt-right as if it is equivalent in statute and malice to Hitler’s National Socialists. This, the Left’s queer interest in magnifying and propagating this salacious faction on the political stage should be enough to trigger second thoughts about the integrity of the Alt-right’s commercial advocates
-s

Member
James LePore

One of my rules of thumb is if the NY Times and the Upper Westside elite hate your guts you’re alright with me. Coulter and Limbaugh have been on the frontlines for a long time. Did they get rich? I don’t care as long as they don’t sell out, which they haven’t. I really like this guy Milo Y. He’s breaking liberal balls all over the place. Is he making money? I don’t care. It’s not my business. Being a winner is a heady thing. As Z says it attracts a lot of crazies. Some of them may have something… Read more »

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Jim VA
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Jim VA

The ALT-Right movement is generally the successful answer to the cuckservative movement described in the earlier post “Beyond Left and Right.” Don’t overthink it. Don’t control it. Don’t disparage it. We are not the Progressive Party which organizes its way to groupthink victory. Let complexity win. Besides, with the DNC and the media imploding, any continued distraction on their part spells continued suicide and delay at introspection. There is at least some chance that Progressivism will significantly shrink its own followers by the next election if it continues in its present tantrum. Messy coalitions aid the right; they don’t detract… Read more »

Member

The Alt-Right isn’t a philosophy, it’s just people admitting to and speaking what everybody else is feeling.

notsothoreau
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notsothoreau

Here’s the problem: we’ve made racism such a taboo that most people haven’t read any really racist stuff. I worked for a guy that considered himself a real racist. He subscribed to the Thunderbolt, where they liked to talk about the “mud people” and what miscegenation would do. He also had George Lincoln Rockwell’s biography. I read some of it, because I like to get my information first hand. I learned enough to know that what I’ve seen from the Alt-Right is not the sort of racism I read about from those publications. (I don’t know a lot about Stormfront,… Read more »

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

But if Political Correctness were to end feels would be hurt.

Member

Younger minorities also haven’t experienced the racism that existed in the 60s and before firsthand.

We have allowed racism to be defined by those who would use it to their political advantage for too long now.

white man in a box
Guest
white man in a box

> Spencer invests a lot of time declaring himself the Pope of the alt-right No he doesn’t. He disavows it. I suppose he lets people call him that but he knows it’s bigger than he is and that it would survive without him. He does a lot to organize it though. All you people saying you’re knowledgeable about the alt-right but haven’t heard of Richard Spencer are kidding yourselves. As I’m sure has been pointed out in here, he /invented/ the term and has been on lots of podcasts, and appeared, nay, pretty much /led/ the conference with Jared Taylor… Read more »

Member

I should like to reverse an old proverb: Keep your enemies close, keep your friends even closer”.

We tend to watch our enemies closely but tend to trust our friends and give them some slack. This is a mistake as they are as full of sin as anyone else.

Member

I’ve been reading Vox Day on and off for a decade and a half. He’s pretty much the same guy now as then, so at least he’s consistent. Cernovich seems like a guy who jumps on trends to sell his ebooks. He seems pretty harmless. Spencer on the other hand seems like someone trying to be the Bill Buckley of the 21st century. Apparently this includes running a secret handshake club where he takes people for real money ( http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/8971-everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-phalanx-but-were-afraid-to-ask-because-you-would-look-stupid-for-wondering/ ). He seems like a person with poor judgment. And you’re right, for s guy who is supposedly influential I… Read more »

Member

Like you’ve written before, a religion doesn’t necessarily need angels, but it does need devils. I’m sure somebody, somewhere, has a coherent definition of alt right that suits their purposes. But, to distill it down into liberal-speak succinctly, alt right = Klan. That’s it, nothing more. They need a devil, and they need to tie that devil to Trump and the GOP in as few steps as possible. If Trump hires a guy who they have decided is alt right (it doesn’t matter if it’s true, or even if there’s an actual definition of alt right everybody can agree upon),… Read more »

Member

We have to be careful to distinguish white nationalism from extremist white supremacism. White nationalism simply posits that Europeans have a right to nation states where they are the core ethnicity, as opposed to the ONLY ethnicity or “master race.” It’s a big distinction, and one that the Lügenpresse is very happy to overlook. In fact the MSM is actively seeking to confuse the public by pretending they are the same. Richard Spencer is not a white supremacist.

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