ESR is observant, as always, in his reflections on the Alt-Right, but he’s a little behind on the evolution of the conservative and libertarian right into the Alt-Right:
I’m worried, however, that that the alt-right may not remain a loose-knit collection of hoaxes – that the self-panickers are actually creating what they fear.
For there is a deep vein of anti-establishment anger out there (see Donald Trump, election of). The alt-right (to the limited and conditional extent it now exists) could capture that anger, and its provocateurs are doing their best to make you think it already has, but they’re scamming you – they’re fucking with your head. The entire on-line ‘alt-right’ probably musters fewer people than the Trumpster’s last victory rally.
It’s a kind of dark-side Discordian hack in progress, and I’m concerned that it might succeed. Vox Day is trying to ideologize the alt-right, actually assemble something coherent from the hoaxes. He might succeed, or someone else might. Draw some comfort that it won’t be the Neo-Nazis or KKK – they’re real fanatics of the sort the alt-right defines itself by mocking. Mein Kampf and ironic nihilism don’t mix well.
The best way to beat the “alt-right” is not to overestimate it, not to feed it with your fear. If you keep doing that, the vast majority of the rootless and disaffected who have never heard of it might decide there’s a strong horse there and sign on.
What ESR is missing, as most of those who consider themselves opposed to the imaginary while simultaneously attempting to understand the nonexistent do, is that attempting to discern the material existence of an abstraction is a fundamental category error.
The Alt-Right is a description of a collection of ideas. People can concur with some, all, or none of those ideas, but the ideas exist on whatever abstract plane that ideas exist regardless of whether anyone believes they are correct or not.
The “dark-side Discordian hack” has already succeeded, indeed, it could hardly fail. The failure of conservatism and the undeniable utopianism at the heart of libertarianism, combined with the obvious collapse of neo-liberalism, meant that an alternative to all three was absolutely inevitable. And the best way to understand the Alt-Right is to view it as the Keynesianism of the Right.
Keynes believed that his economics-based justification for central government control was necessary to prevent the collapse of the early 20th century liberal democracies into communism in the face of economic disaster. I contend that my nationalism-based justification for culturally homogeneous, religiously harmonious ethno-states is necessary to prevent the collapse of early 21st century illiberal multicultural societies into balkanized, totalitarian ethno-states actively engaged in large-scale violence.
The Alt-Right is the strongest horse that the West has got, because it is the only political philosophy that is in harmony with science, history, and reality as we currently observe it. It is the only Western political philosophy that is not intrinsically based in self-delusion. Everyone, especially liberals, would do well to sign on and ride it, or there won’t be a West and there won’t be any of the various aspects of society that Western liberals like ESR value.
It’s been my opinion that the alt-right basically started gaining traction as a thing as the progressive Social Justice Warriors began seeking to expand their influence into new areas, such as science fiction (see: the circumstances leading up to Sad/Rabid Puppies), video games (see: Gamergate), open-source software development (see: this post by Our Host), and even heavy-metal music (see: this description of “Metalgate”). Clearly, they’d like to see their brand of political correctness spread everywhere.
“Always leave your opponent a line of retreat–unless you want a fight to the death.” The SJWs don’t want to leave any lines of retreat. Consequently, it seems inevitable that a group of people, drawing from some of the same groups reacting to the above developments, would decide to band together and proclaim, “If it’s war they want, then war they shall have!”
I’m not an opportunist. I’m not a revolutionary. I just wanted to write my books and design my games and live my life in peace. But SJWs, multiculturalists, diversicrats, and vibrants have collectively rendered that impossible, so now we’ve got to reset and rebuild Western civilization if we ever want to go back what we were doing in the first place.