A Primer for the Far-Right : Post 1

(Isaiah Taylor) #1

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a series of posts as I have the time about the politics of the far right, my experience of it, and my level of agreement with it, trying to elicit discussion about it each step of the way. The reasons for such a series of posts I’ll enumerate here:

  • To make more people aware of a groundswell among young men
  • To subject my own participation in this groundswell to the criticism of others
  • To possibly find more people who think similarly with whom I can continue to develop these ideas

I’ll write these posts as I have the time. I believe I’ll begin with trying to identify the movement itself (who is involved, where do they live, what are their ages and genders) and then try to identify the underpinnings of it. Each of these topics could take up many thousands of words, and I will try to write those words over the next few weeks. However, for now, I’ll try to sum up the two topics mentioned above.

Who are they

Mostly, they are disillusioned young men. Of course, with every movement that is big enough, there are people of every walk. But men aged 16-35 are the people that I come into contact with the most concerning this political affiliation. Their disillusionment can take many forms. Some lack fathers, some lack social skills, some lack money. But I have found that at least half of these young men come from good homes with nothing particularly wrong, and their disillusionment is purely intellectual. I do not mean intellectual as in arising from books (although that is not uncommon), I mean arising from the rational contemplation of what is around them.

What are the underpinnings

As best as I can tell, the movement toward the far-right is a reawakening of the study and adherence to natural law, writ large on the political scale. That is to say, it is an adherence to reason in the face of a fundamentally unreasoned antithesis. Do not mistake me here as trying to shill for my side by defining the other side out of the picture. An attempt does not equal success: adherence to reason is a stated goal of the right, and whether or not they succeed is another thing entirely. But it is a marked and helpful deviation from the left, which has thrown out reason as yesterday’s social construct. Now, where has this “adherence to reason” led them? That varies wildly depending on whose reasoning you follow. However, there are a few common threads:

  • Man is meant to be ordered in hierarchies which are derived from the circumstance of his existence. Another way to say this is that man belongs in a family. A man is born into a family, which itself is part of a family (race), which itself is made up of families further back (nation). Social hierarchies are formed by links of dependent existence. (You only exist because of your father, who exists because of his father, who exists because of his father, who has people that exist because of him, who has people who exist because of him… and now we are talking about a race.)
  • Man is fallen / Man is born to struggle
  • Man is capable of redemption; or, existence is not bad, it’s just mangled.
  • There is a “should.” It won’t happen without action/force.

This is an incredibly abstract view of a very, very large topic. But I look forward to hearing your thoughts so far. I’ll dive right into the nitty gritty in my next post as soon as I have the time.

(Jesse Tiersma) #2

This is an interesting read and series idea. Maybe you intend to get to it in your next post, although it wasn’t stated in your list of topics, but a definition and list of general beliefs of the “far right,” as you understand it, would be helpful. People often mean different things by the label.

(Daniel Meyer) #3

@iptaylor I look forward to what you have to say. Are you using the term “far right” in distinction from “alt right”? If so it might be helpful to clarify what those distinctions are as you see them, in one of your future posts.

(Isaiah Taylor) #4

@Jesse, when writing the post I intended to make a list of those things, but found that there are not that many specific political viewpoints that are universally held (other than that communism is bad). So I didn’t want to over-generalize too early. In the next post I will probably do that, and I’ll have more space for the qualification of each topic. However, for a quick and dirty summary, we’re talking about racism, fascism, and sexism (or whatever the political antithesis of feminism is). It’s more complicated than that of course, but those are some of the types of topics I want to get into.

@danielmeyer you are correct, “far right” and “alt-right” are meant to be distinct terms, mostly because “alt-right” is a term that nobody can agree on and is already a contentious topic. Hillary Clinton coined it during the election cycle to describe the phenomenon that she observed of young men moving to the right, but it has since become associated with Richard Spencer, Alex Jones, et al. All I really mean by “far right” is “much further toward the right than normal society is comfortable with.” The opposite would be the far left, marked by communism, transgenderism, and nullification of the family. See the end of the last paragraph for some distinguishers.

(Fr. Bill Mouser) #5

As long ago as Kate Millet (i.e. 1970; see her Sexual Politics), feminists have named the antithesis of their program “the patriarchy,” sometimes capitalizing the term (i.e. the Patriarchy) to suggest some sort of pan-cultural conspiracy by men against women.

Interestingly, it was the fear of defending patriarchy, certainly a fear of using the term for themselves, that prompted Pipe/Grudem/CBMW to coin the term complementarian for the supposed “Biblical” alternative to feminism.

I haven’t delved much into the exponents of the alt-right or far-right as you’re proposing to do, and I welcome what you will report. I am curious how many of them eschew the term patriarchy, or even join the feminist theoriests (as Piper and Grudem do!) in rejecting not only the term but also what that term has pointed to historically.

(Joel Norris) #6

I’ve been following the “alt-right” for awhile, and the term substantially precedes Hilary Clinton. “Alt-right” was coined to describe those who certainly weren’t liberals, leftists, moderates, or libertarians but were also at odds with certain core views of the conventional right. I’d say these include a lack of enthusiasm for interventionist wars and utopianism in foreign policy, a distrust of technocratic libertarianism, a desire to rein in global corporatism, the view that big business and the cult of the free market are often destructive of the traditional family, the belief that the American nation is rooted in Anglo culture and is threatened by high rates of immigration, and a desire to return to genuine Christian patriarchalism instead of the feminist-compromised SJW-placating church we have today. None of these views are held by establishment Reagan-Bush Republicanism, but Trump voiced some of them in his campaign so the alt-right lined up behind him. Although he never identified as alt-right, I think Pat Buchanan could be viewed as an early progenitor of views that grew into the alt-right before it was taken over by the white nationalists.

(Fr. Bill Mouser) #7

Another source of alt-right opinion, much of it agreeable in general with what @joel describes (though the site is far from “monolithic” in its points of view) is Zero Hedge.

I read Zero Hedge routinely, because I find it’s a dependable pulse on which I may keep a finger for various non-conventionally-conservative politically right opinions, primarily in the area of the economy, foreign policy, and corporate America. For example, whatever the Wall Street Journal is propounding, Zero Hedge is propounding (almost always) the opposite (!) while remaining fiercely anti-leftist (!!)!

You likely won’t applaud often (though sometimes, perhaps) what you find at Zero Hedge, but it’s a useful counter-balance to main-stream media AND “ordinary” conservatism (e.g. National Review, Townhall, WSJ, etc.).

(Isaiah Taylor) #8

@Fr_Bill ah, thank you. Patriarchy is more accurate.

@Joel thanks for the correction. You are right, the term “alternative right” precedes Hillary Clinton’s usage of it, and was actually coined by Richard Spencer.

And this is why I want to draw a distinction. If you can say that “alt-right” does not include white nationalists, then it is not a broad enough term for my usage.

(Joel Norris) #9

The issue is that now the term “alt-right” does not seem to include anything more than white nationalists. It’s been poisoned.

(John M. ) #10

Buchanan is arguably the last prominent paleoconservative. The alt-right has a lot in common with the views of the paleocons, notably, as you point out, a dislike of foreign entanglements, a distrust of unfettered capitalism, and antipathy toward mass immigration.

It’s just that none of the other paleocons are around to comment on 2019 with the alt-right kids.