Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"The Godfather" of the Alt-Right Speaks



The Paul Gottfried, who is being credited with launching that Alt-Right movement because of a speech he delivered in November 2008, is out with an important essay discussing the alt-right.

He does what great scholars do. He sets the record straight, pulling no punches. In the case of the alt-right, he tells us what is good about them and where they are weak.

He also manages to do a solid bashing of the neo-conservatives as he takes measure of  the alt-right.

Some snippets:

I pointed out that Altright authors, some of whom I knew, shared my revulsion for the neoconservatives and deplored their influence on the American Right. I also noted that Altright publicists believed that modern liberal democracies had become dangerously fixated on promoting equality; and I’ve made this observation repeatedly in my books. Finally, as someone who had published entire works on the European Right in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (and most recently a book on the career of fascism as a concept), I had provided the Altright with food for thought. This was the case, even if the writers in question didn’t bother to look at my qualifying phrases.

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When...asked...whether I belonged to the Altright, I denied it. The reason was certainly not that I feared that an affirmative answer would cost me my standing as a political theorist or journalist. I have no high status to lose and am now too old to acquire one. The plain truth is I don’t have much association beyond a genealogical one and my friendship with some of its contributors to the present Altright. Some of what I see on its websites closely coincide with my views. And (no I won’t hide this) I am ideologically closer to Altright commentators than I am to the Never-Trumpers or to the contributors to most establishment Republican websites. Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow, Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire are all brilliant thinkers and writers, and I wouldn’t deny that I’ve benefited from their luminous insight. Next to them, such conservative intellectuals (by current media standards) as Max Boot, Rich Lowry, the perpetually pouting Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg read like community college drop-outs.

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Unfortunately there is this hitch among representatives of Altright. At least some of them show tasteless prankishness and a tendency to say outrageous things just to shock. I told AP that there are “moderates” on Altright; and they are the ones who construct the convincing arguments. Unfortunately our leftist (indeed Cultural Marxist) media are more interested in embarrassing the entire Right by quoting the nuttiest remarks made by those identified with the Altright than they are in noticing inconvenient truths. And it’s obvious to me that statements that come out of Altright, intended to unsettle blacks, Hispanics, and Jews (but kindly note never the gay lobby), are counterproductive.

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[T]he first thing that a serious Right must learn is that it’s not competing on a level playing field. What Trump describes as the “lying, crooked” media have been fixing the field to their advantage for decades.  The clients of the multicultural Left can hurl obscenities at white people and burn America flags and have their misdeeds hidden or excused. The other side, very broadly understood, will be tarred with charges of bigotry, no matter how obsequiously it “reaches out.” This unfortunately is the way things are, and those in Altright with loose tongues who enjoy shocking should at least recognize that they will never be in a position of power or influence unless they practice verbal restraint. And even if they learn to do that, they will still have a long row to hoe.


5 comments:

  1. As the cruise ship scrapes along the iceberg, what exactly is the benefit of verbal restraint? Tone-policing gets you absolutely nothing

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    1. If you want people to know where the lifeboats are, they'll be more likely to listen to someone who is poised and in control of themselves.

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  2. I am a (((Jew))) and would probably be considered part of the alt-right. I do not feel unsettled in any way by the rhetoric that bellows forth. One thing I can do is choose to ignore anything that really perturbs me. Which I do.

    Coining the phrase alt-right and describing it fairly well doesn't mean that Professor Gottfried really understands the movement.

    Here is Vox Day's pithy summary of the movement:

    The #AltRight believes in three things:
    Nationalism.
    Western civilization.
    Winning.
    Everything else is negotiable or a means to one of those three ends. We aren't conservatives. We aren't philosophers. And we don't care about the Constitution, the Rights of Man, the Enlightenment, the Holocaust, or anything else with capital letters that is likely to get in the way.

    That's it. (((I))) don't really object to anything he says above.

    Those tasteless comments and other (((accouterments))) serve a very good purpose.

    This is a cultural war. Real war. The left doesn't even hide that fact anymore. None of us chose to wage this war. They did. We also didn't choose the weapons of battle. They did. We can't choose not to fight. They made that impossible. You can't fight a war with both hands behind your back. Well-deployed rhetoric is THE nuclear weapon of this war. We simply do it better than them.

    What made the Nazis decide against using chemical weapons against the allies in WW2 (excepting Jews, alas) was the extremely strong and unhesitating choice to deploy them, and do it better, by the Entente in WW1.

    Bob, perhaps you could send the good professor a copy of SJWs Alway Lie, with a note to pay particular attention to the chapter on rhetoric and its use.

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    Replies
    1. "The #AltRight believes in three things:
      Nationalism.
      Western civilization.
      Winning."

      That sounds like neo-con talk

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    2. Absurd. Neocons are globalists of an American persuasion.

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