10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (10) “Deus Vult!”

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (10) “DEUS VULT!”

 

This is particularly a catchphrase for the neo-reactionary alt right (rather than the neo-Nazi alt right), which demonstrates how much they are just one big medieval LARP.

 

The Latin phrase, “God wills it”, was the rallying cry when Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade. Of course, given that the alt right predominantly know their history (and most other things) from memes (because poorly designed internet cartoons or graphics are the most credible and reliable source of information), their use of the catchphrase originates more from the use of the phrase in the video game Crusader Kings (although it arguably more emulates Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

 

Typically, the neo-reactionary alt right ignore that the historical Crusades ultimately – and predictably – failed, a large part of which was because of Christian infighting, including the Fourth Crusade actually being directed at the Byzantine Empire that had originally requested the First Crusade. After all, what’s history got to do with the alt right’s purported campaign to revive history? Anyway, the alt right tend to use it not in any historical sense (despite endless memes about Crusaders and taking Jerusalem), but in the political sense against opposition outside their definition of Catholicism or Christianity – which is to say, almost anything, but particularly Islam or Islamic immigration. In other words, they see everything through the prism of a crusade and the appropriate response to opposition being violence.

 

Quite frankly, I find it hard to reconcile with the universalism inherent in the very name of the Catholic Church (to which much of the neo-reactionary alt right purport to pledge allegiance), let alone with what Jesus says in the Gospels. But then, what would he know, compared to the alt right?

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (9) “Globalism”

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (9) “GLOBALISM”

 

Overlapping the alt-right conspiracy theory of cultural Marxism or cultural Marxists is their conspiracy theory of globalism or globalists, typically as opposed to nationalists. Sometimes, they mix it up by identifying it with oligarchy, bankers or international finance, tipping off to whom they are really referring. (Spoiler alert – Jews. Sigh)

 

It’s particularly amusing that the neo-reactionary alt right constantly rants against their idea of a ‘globalist’ oligarchic elite, when their whole shtick is raving FOR their idea of aristocratic or oligarchic elites running countries. If one were to put one’s tongue in one’s cheek and take their ideas seriously, one might well argue that the new elite has more merit than the old elite, having earned its place by making money and displacing the old elite, rather than simply being landed aristocracy that has inherited the military successes of its ancestors by accident of birth.

 

Mostly however, this conspiracy theory is ridiculous, taking what is simply a phenomenon and labelling it a conspiracy. Globalism simply describes various exchanges between different people – trade and investment or the movement of goods and services (including money or financial services), cultural exchange or media, legal and political agreements or treaties. Of course, the usual focus of the alt right tends to be on one aspect of globalism – migration or the movement of people. However, ‘globalism’ – trade, cultural exchange, agreements or treaties and migration – has existed since before modern nations or nationalism, and indeed, ever since contact between different groups of people. The only difference is the increased scale of globalism in the modern era, due to improvements in communication and transport, as well as other factors such as increased population. Of course, the alt right tends to focus on ‘bankers’ or ‘international finance’ as ‘globalists’. Yet, one might also describe every farmer who grows or produces crops or animals for export and every business or worker in industries that import or export goods or services as ‘globalists’. There may be reasonable arguments for nations to impose limits on ‘globalism’ but calling it a conspiracy isn’t one of them.

 

And as usual, what strikes me most is the bad historical sense of the neo-reactionary alt right, particularly when by their own definition, they are primarily concerned with history. Their whole stance is to advocate a return to (idealized) history – to pre-democratic European monarchies, typically Catholic monarchies allied with the papacy. And yet, the increased scale of globalism in the modern era was effectively a product of, you guessed it, pre-democratic European monarchies – expanding from their so-called Age of Discovery or Exploration (most notably of the Americas) to their ‘globalist’ maritime empires that continued through to the twentieth century (with vestiges even in the twenty-first century). You don’t get much more of a ‘globalist elite’ than the parties to the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, when the Catholic monarchies of Spain and Portugal literally divided the world between them as arbitrated by the papacy, although of course other European monarchies – Britain, France and the Netherlands – subsequently ignored this treaty to forge their own ‘globalist’ maritime empires. That is, unless you count the Berlin Conference, in which all these monarchies – along with new players such as Belgium, Germany and Italy – literally divided up Africa between them. Even the increased modern scale of global mass immigration, that recurring alt right bugbear, commenced with Europe – or more precisely mass European migration, mostly to the Americas or Australasia, on a scale that may well exceed modern immigration as a proportion of population.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (8) “Cultural Marxism”

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (8) “CULTURAL MARXISM

 

There’s that obsession with a stab-in-the-back plot again, as Cultural Marxism is the alt right conspiracy of choice. For the alt right, modern society is a product of an ongoing conspiracy, which they tend to identify as (Jewish) Cultural Marxism.

 

Cultural Marxism (and its nefarious agents or Cultural Marxists) is the bizarre conspiracy theory that classical Marxists realized that they could not win through economics and resorted to cultural Marxism to subvert western society by cultural revolution instead – seizing the sources of culture or influence such as academia and media to promote ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ ideas. In some of the more titillating versions of the theory, this involved conflating Marx with Freud to produce the S€xual Revolution (or ‘s€xual Bolshevism’), which admittedly sounds a LOT more fun than standard Marxist communism. This time, the Revolution will be televised – and rated X! More usually, they tend to connect it to actual cultural Marxism, the so-called Frankfurt School or small group of academics engaged in an esoteric and obscure field of social theory or philosophy – that, according to the theory, when it left Nazi Germany, then embarked on world domination over decades through its powers of Jewish mind control. Quite frankly, if anyone managed to pull this off, they kind of deserve to win.

 

I’m strongly anti-communist (in terms of history that is, as there aren’t many actual communists about these days) and relish any opportunity to roleplay Paranoia by denouncing people as commie mutant traitors, but even I find this theory ridiculous. It is absurd to propose that the centers of power and influence in the Western world, with its entrenched capitalism, are secretly communist beyond McCarthy’s wildest nightmares. Or that there is a singular and all-encompassing communist conspiracy, given the divisions or in-fighting within communism – and the disintegration of Soviet communism (which, with the whole Cold War thing, begs the question for cultural Marxist conspiracy theory, what was all THAT about?).

 

Ultimately, cultural Marxism as it is used by the alt right is meaningless, because it is so inchoate and all-encompassing as it extends to everything they don’t like, or in other words, virtually every element in modern society throughout the world. I mean, seriously, they draw up convoluted flowcharts of cultural Marxism that resemble the organizational chart of SPECTRE extending its international tentacles into everything. Even things that are inconsistent with each other or that predate academic cultural Marxism – so that wilder variations of this theory not only seem to conflate Marx and Freud, but throw them in with H.G. Wells and his time machine, which admittedly would be an awesome science fiction plot.

 

And of course, it is literally recycled from original Nazi conspiracy theory of Cultural Bolshevism used to abuse political opponent –  in particular, Jews were secretly orchestrating the spread of Communism (or Jewish Bolshevism) as well as promoting sexual and gender permissiveness (sexual Bolshevism!), and at the same time also behind international finance and capitalism.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (7) “Cuck!”

Cuck! Cuck! Cuck!

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (7) “CUCK!”

 

The balance of things I don’t understand about the neo-reactionary alt right consists of their usual suspect catchphrases – although they are helpful in that they are terms that, when I see them being used, I can immediately dismiss their source as any sort of serious political discourse. Or meaningful communication as opposed to troll slang.

 

And of these terms, perhaps the most notorious – and the most loaded with various pathologies – is “cuck”, although its repetition by the alt right does prompt thoughts of them clucking like chickens, and about as mindlessly.

 

For the alt term, the term cuck is perhaps their ultimate pejorative term or term of abuse, although it essentially translates for normal people as not being racist or fascist enough – or, you know, possessed of basic reason and empathy.

 

The alt right intend it as a term for appeasement, weakness or surrender, which begs the question of why they don’t use alternative terms more suited to that usage. Instead, all their worst racist and sexist pathologies come together in a foul, thick, steaming miasma of a word – shortened from cuckold, the derisory term for the husband of an adulterous wife, particularly in the racially fetishized sense of a (white) husband who meekly stands by or passively watches while his wife has s€x with another (black or non-white) male.

 

At its sick heart then, the term cuck has the extraordinary implication that any peaceful coexistence or compromise literally equates to white men acquiescing in or offering up white women (typically wives or daughters) s€xually to non-white men.

 

Seriously.

 

Almost as extraordinary are the other derogatory terms used by the alt right for, well, essentially everyone else. Of course, for those people or things to which they are particularly opposed they use degeneracy or degenerate, borrowed straight from the original fascists and Nazis. Otherwise, they tend to oppose their Matrix red pill reference for themselves by referring to the rest of the community that doesn’t share their ideology (or in other words, sane) as blue-pilled, or even more derisively, “normies”. Although, certainly some sort of pill or medication is in order for the alt right…

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt-Right: (6) It’s Conspiracy Theorist

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (6) IT’S CONSPIRACY THEORIST

 

Remember that characteristic of fascism – obsession with a plot, typically of the stab-in-the-back variety? Well, the alt right has it in spades. Indeed, for them, modern society is essentially the product of conspiracy and an ongoing conspiracy against them, a grand unified conspiracy theory as it were (although it doesn’t take much for the alt right to devolve into competing conspiracy theories). Usually that point of unification is anti-Semitism, typically mixed with anti-Americanism, albeit often disguised in terms of ‘bankers’ or ‘international finance’. I mean, how many times can they keep warming up the leftovers of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

 

I have a pet hate for the whole ‘golden age’ mentality and associated stab-in-the-back conspiracy theories of the neo-reactionary alt right. If pre-democratic European Christian monarchy was such a golden age, then how did it come to an end? Unless of course, it was not so golden after all, at least in that it could be so universally displaced or replaced. There’s a similar problem with stab-in-the-back conspiracy theories. In the words of my favorite anarchist Bob Black, “fascist ideology always incongruously asserts to its audience, its chosen people, that they are at one and the same time oppressed and superior. The Germans didn’t really lose the First World War — how could they? ex hypothesi they are superior — therefore, they were stabbed in the back. (But how could a superior race let such a situation arise in the first place?)

 

Also, there’s a word for a ‘conspiracy’ that is so all-encompassing that it extends throughout the world and every element of society. It’s called history – and it tends to happen from change rather than conspiracy.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (5) It’s Sexist and Misogynist

“Do you want the fall of Western civilization? Because that’s how you get the fall of Western civilization!”

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (5) IT’S SEXIST (AND MISOGYNIST)

 

Well, duh – again.

 

Sexism or misogyny is as much of a defining characteristic of the alt right as racism. Possibly even more so, particularly in its neo-reactionary wing, which contrives a more muted racism than the neo-Nazi wing. The alt-right has cross-pollinated (or is that cross-polluted?) with much of the internet ‘manosphere’ – MRA or men’s rights activists’ and the so-called ‘red pill’ community, with both the alt-right and manosphere sharing the latter term for their newfound ‘consciousness’ of the world a la the Matrix. To borrow from Rationalwiki, just don’t point out the irony that they have wholeheartedly embraced a term from a movie written and directed by two transgender women for something by which a black man and a woman convince a white man to fight oppression.

 

Again, I’m not going to argue the sexism or misogyny here, because I shouldn’t have to argue about something that sees one half of all people should be subordinate to the other. It just strikes me is that for a ‘movement’ that claims to champion white people, the alt right sure doesn’t actually like many white people. (And that’s begging the question of who is actually ‘white’, something for a subsequent feature). For one thing, it doesn’t like any white people of different sexuality or ideology to their own preference, but most of all, they don’t seem to like white women. Or at least ‘non-traditional’ white women, by which they mean white women who do anything other than stay at home serving white men and pumping out white babies. Or don’t do it subordinately enough. Indeed, if anything, the alt right seems to hold such ‘renegade’ white women with a contempt exceeding even that they have for non-white people – typically to the effect, that traitors are worse than enemies. You see, because it’s the white women that are letting in the non-white people, and worse, mixing with them. And you can be sure that “race-traitors” and “race-mixing” are the nicer terms they use, particularly when the mixing is in a Biblical sense. You see, it’s feminism (and feminization) that is one of the major reasons, if not THE major reason, for the alt-right’s touted decline and fall of Western civilization. Sometimes they try to disguise themselves by saying it’s radical feminism, but really it’s any feminism – given that they yearn to reverse even female suffrage. Seriously.

 

As in, seriously, shut up now, alt right.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (4) It’s Racist (and White Nationalist)

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (4) IT’S RACIST (AND WHITE NATIONALIST)

 

Well, duh.

 

After all, racism is the sine qua non of the alt right. It’s why they’re the alt or alternative right in the first place, because mainstream conservatism or politics isn’t racist enough for them.

 

However, the neo-reactionary alt right tends to be more muted in its racism than the neo-Nazi alt right (although of course, that isn’t hard) but they are still essentially racist. Their advocacy of pre-democratic European monarchy is a vehicle for ethnic ‘white’ nationalism, in that they see their ideal monarchies as white European ethno-states.

 

I’m not going to argue about racism or white nationalism here (although I may subsequently argue about white nationalism in another feature), because I shouldn’t have to argue about something that sees other people as not really people. It just strikes me how ahistorical neo-reactionaries are, when by definition they should be primarily concerned with history – their stance would be news to traditional monarchies, European or otherwise, which predated nationalism as an ideology that emerged from the eighteenth century onwards, let alone ethnic nationalism. Sure, some monarchies may have approximated ethnic nationalism, but traditional monarchies tended to be dynastic rather than ethnic in their world view. Indeed, some may have more approximated civic nationalism, in that they were quite happy to have other ethnic citizens or subjects that were loyal to the Crown, and become, you know, empires – the Roman Empire being perhaps the classical example, with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and Russian Empires as modern examples (ignoring European maritime empires).

10 Reasons I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (3) It’s Fascist

 

10 REASONS I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (3) IT’S FASCIST

 

Whatever its neo-Nazi affiliations, the neo-reactionary alt right is certainly one thing – fascist.

 

That’s not just a pejorative (as it is often overused or misused) – it is fascist essentially by any meaningful definition of fascism as a political ideology. We’ll use one of the best known or mostly commonly used, particularly of late – the 14 properties of general fascist ideology in Umberto Eco’s essay, Eternal Fascism or Ur-Fascism. The neo-reactionary alt right has a pretty impressive sweep across the principles. Let’s see – the cult of tradition and the rejection of modernism, viewing the rationalistic development of Western culture since the Enlightenment as a descent into depravity? Check – it’s their whole shtick or raison d’etre. Disagreement is treason, fear of difference, and obsession with a plot, typically of the stab-in-the-back variety? Check, Cultural Marxists! Pacifism (or peaceful coexistence) is trafficking with the enemy? Check, cuck! (More about cuck later). Speaking of enemies, rhetorically casting their enemies as “at the same time too strong and too weak”, or both powerful and decadent? Check, globalists! The cult of masculinity or machismo, selective populism, and Newspeak or their own vocabulary? Check and mate. That’s ten and there’s a strong argument for the other four as well – the cult of action for action’s sake, appeal to a frustrated middle class, contempt for the ‘weak’ or elitism and a cult of ‘heroism’.

 

Above all, the practical effect of the neo-reactionary mindset is fascism. You may have noticed one problem with advocating for the Holy Roman Empire or pre-democratic Christian monarchy in general – it doesn’t exist. What they are really advocating is for new authoritarian or fascist figures to assume the mantle of monarchy. This is especially so given their disdain for any actual contemporary monarchies. Ironically, the closest contemporary monarchy for their model – an absolute or authoritarian hierarchy enforcing or policing religious mores – is that of Saudi Arabia, which perhaps illustrates that much of the neo-reactionary alt right just boils down to sharia envy.

 

All this is reflected in their adulation of authoritarian figures – they will kiss any authoritarian ass or lick any brutal thug’s boot, so long as its owner can pose as sufficiently ‘nationalist’, and most critically, anti-Western or anti-American enough, so as to fit within their narrative (albeit often with extraordinary cognitive dissonance or mental gymnastics). Which is ironic, given that they tend to pose as the champions of Western culture, and even more ironically, reflects a similar trait in the radical left, but for regimes that could pose as sufficiently ‘communist’ and anti-Western or anti-American enough. Sometimes, they end up kissing the same asses. Putin, Assad, Gaddafi, Duterte, even on occasions Iran or North Korea – all within the neo-reactionary alt-right narrative…

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt Right: (2) Alt Reich is Third Reich

Surprise! Just like Castle Wolfenstein, he’s usually in there somewhere…

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT: (2) ALT REICH IS THIRD REICH

 

As I said, where the neo-Nazi alt right fetishizes or incarnates the Third Reich, the neo-reactionary alt right claims to prefer the First Reich to the Third.

 

Except when it doesn’t.

 

Underneath all those neo-reactionary First Reich sentiments, there usually is something of the Third Reich bubbling around there somewhere, even if only in their shared affiliations with the neo-Nazi alt right. Certainly, they rarely disown their neo-Nazi affiliations. At best, they might gently admonish their neo-Nazi fans or followers. At worst, they will align themselves with the latter. Holocaust denial, anyone? Or their shared bogeyman of Cultural Marxism, which is literally rehashed from original Nazi propaganda about Cultural Bolshevism, but more about that later.

 

Why? You’d think that it would be natural for the neo-reactionary alt right to disown the neo-Nazi alt right. I don’t mean to tell neo-reactionaries how to, ah, neo-react, but you’d think that they decry fascism along with communism as twin (and intertwined) evils of ‘modernism’ or modern political ideology. Or at least distinguish the more radical and totalitarian national socialism from other forms of contemporary fascism, which often co-existed with more traditional church and throne, as in fascist Italy itself (which also initially aligned itself with its former allies Britain and France against Nazi Germany). Perhaps even point to the collapse of the traditional Hollenzollern and Hapsburg monarchies in imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary respectively, as leaving a vacuum ultimately filled by Nazi Germany. You know, all the historical nuances that you might expect from a movement that professes an obsession with history.

 

And when it comes right down to it, if asked which they prefer out of modern liberal democracy or the Third Reich, you can bet which one they prefer…

 

 

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand the Neo-Reactionary Alt-Right: (1) It’s Alt Reich

Well, at least the cats are cute

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE NEO-REACTIONARY ALT RIGHT

 

This is my rampage against the Reich, one of the rantier parts of my rants and raves – where I rage and rampage against the Reich, whether the historical third Reich of Nazi Germany, or the modern Alt Reich of the so-called alt right.

 

This feature originates in my reaction to a neo-reactionary alt-right Facebook page, one of my guilty pleasures I look at on Facebook (but don’t dignify by following, liking or naming it here) because I like my daily dose of outrage. But seriously though, not too much outrage. The alt right has two loose wings, its predominant neo-Nazi wing and its neo-reactionary wing (with a broad internet misogynistic movement or ‘manosphere’ as the hot air beneath both wings).  While the neo-Nazi alt right is openly execrable, the neo-reactionary alt right is somewhat more nuanced, at least in presentation.

 

Ultimately, it still sucks.

 

(1) IT’S THE ALT REICH

 

It’s still the alt right, which is to say Alt Reich. It’s just that where the neo-Nazi alt right fetishize or incarnate the Third Reich, the neo-reactionary alt right claim to prefer the First Reich to the Third. The First Reich was what Nazi Germany dubbed the Holy Roman Empire in evoking it as the predecessor for their own Third Reich.

 

One wonders why there is no alt right love for the second Reich, the imperial Germany of Otto von Bismarck and the Kaiser? From a neo-reactionary point of view, it’s a somewhat more realistic model. And from a neo-Nazi point of view, if you’re going to fetishize German nationalism, why not fetishize Bismarck? You know, the guy who built the modern German nation, so successfully that the core Bismarckian state managed to survive the two world wars of his idiotic successors, and such that when Germany has succeeded, it has done so by essentially following Bismarckian strategy. You know, avoiding world war. Or genocide. But I digress.

 

And he had a cooler moustache

 

Of course, it’s not the Holy Roman Empire per se, it’s the general pre-democratic Christian – typically Catholic – absolute monarchy, or some idealized and romanticized combination of throne and altar. That is to say, authoritarian hierarchy and the rejection of liberal democracy, typically because neo-reactionaries imagine themselves, or at least people like themselves  – typically white men – in the upper part of that hierarchy, with those other people in the lower part of the hierarchy. You know, returned to their rightful place – before liberal democracy. It’s interesting how people who favor hierarchy think that way. They don’t imagine themselves at the bottom of the hierarchy – or outside it.

 

In actual history, the Holy Roman Empire ultimately became a joke, an ever more motley collection of individual micro-states – in the words of Voltaire, “neither holy nor Roman nor an empire”, sentiments that could apply equally to the neo-reactionaries. If neo-Nazis are three-time losers, hopelessly trying to re-fight the Second World War on the internet, how much more so the neo-reactionaries, hopelessly trying to restore the Holy Roman Empire?