Some Thoughts and Analysis of the New Alt-Right, Why it Emerged, and Why it is so Different from the Old Alt-Right

Update: This morning I found this article by Allum Bokhari & Milo Yiannopoulos that correlates a number of the points I make but goes much further in depth as to the breakdown of who comprises the New Alt-Right and why.

Trigger Warning: What follows is political analysis; it should not be construed as an endorsement of any tactics or ideologies – it’s just my speculation on why things are the way they are and how we got where we did.

As I watch what our current political contest has turned into, I can’t help but remember how several years back I had theorized that much of the name-calling against conservatives and middle America and provocateurism of certain segments of the progressive left were part of a concerted effort to troll average folks into reacting violently to extended provocation so that they might have a “see? we told you so” moment.

That moment would prove once and for all that conservatives and average Americans were violent and dangerous and irresponsible and should probably have more rights than just their guns taken away because they could not be trusted with them. While they may be hoping for more old-timey Cliven Bundy style ‘standin’ against the man’, what they’ll probably get are more hired protesters getting pepper-sprayed to wildly cheering throngs.  People who have seen incidents like this  or this  will have no sympathy when it comes to incidents like this .

While a large subsection of millennial culture is content to shriek in faces to demand silence of their political opponents before retreating to some safe-space, an equally large subsection that grew up in the stew of a liberal mixture of Pandemonium and Shangri La of the internet is ready to meet their fellows head on.  While older Americans of a more traditional bent may still cling on to notions of decency and being the bigger person, millennials are not afraid to hit back when they are under attack.  The violently competitive and meritocratic nature of a segment of the population that has grown up on competitive gaming and truly anything goes realms of free speech will not be as easily cowed and shamed by the media and political opposition as older generations – it’s simply not in their nature.  What is in their nature is to fight back, fight back hard and then revel in their victory.

Which is why it was a very dangerous game that the media and organized progressive left has been playing for the last several years.  Now when they troll for violent responses, not only may they get them, they will get them from people who are unapologetic and unafraid of the consequences for standing up for what they believe in – even if it means kicking the crap out of a paid protester.  A lot of folks are itching to be the political activist version of Bronson in Deathwish.

Young folks these days have been lied to by a media that positioned itself as their better for so long, that for those who want to take a stand against them, they simply don’t give a damn and won’t be shamed by some talking head prattling on about how outrageous and uncivil the political discussion has become.  What’s being called ‘the rise of alt-right’ is largely due to this rift between a generational group that is willing to stand up for their belief (whatever that may be) and are completely unable to be shamed or fingerwagged into silence and a generational group that has convinced itself that by grinning and bearing anything and everything for long enough, they will somehow triumph because of the rightness of their ideology.  The former hates the latter because they see them as weak and ineffective (and are by and large right in this respect, in many ways) while the latter hates the former because they’re worried that all of that progress they’ve made sitting and singing “we shall overcome” while the media and politicians in both parties piss in their faces will go down the drain because of a bunch of really crude (and often really funny) memes about BLM, feminists and Sanders supporters.

Why do I say that this is a dangerous environment that the progressive left and media are in part responsible for? There are only so many people you can do the “I’m not touching you”/”Stop hitting yourself” bit to until someone kicks you in the balls, and if you’ve been doing it long enough, chances are there will be plenty of people who’d laugh at you rather than say “He shouldn’t have kicked that guy in the balls”, and once one person kicks you in the balls, people will start to see “Hey, I could kick this person in the balls too!” and the next thing you know, everyone is lining up to kick you in the balls, and no one will feel sorry enough for you to do anything about it.

The tactics that had been employed to cow and troll Boomers that even worked on a lot of Gen X-ers are both simultaneously failing to shame-silence while spectacularly succeeding in provoking reaction when employed against a millennial population that revels in its invincible attitude.  When media and political peers say “shame on you”, they say screw off; they are the boxing glove jack-in-the-box just waiting for someone turn the crank.

The new alt-right isn’t like the old alt-right; they are the not, as some think, some new generation of neo-nazis, klansmen or dixiecrats taking up the torch of an old backwards ideology – they were created by decades of Alinsky, student protest, and an agenda pushing 5th estate, rising up to meet the challenge that had been posed using the same tactics as their political enemies.  Pat Buchannan & Barry Goldwater didn’t make these kids – the institutional left did.  Face it: dank Hitler memes are the alt-right’s answer to idiot hipsters wearing Che T-shirts.  The Radical Left could only have its field day for so long until some equal and opposite force of nature would fill the vacuum to become the Yang to its Yin.  God help us all, but this is what all of that Progress has built toward.

7 responses to “Some Thoughts and Analysis of the New Alt-Right, Why it Emerged, and Why it is so Different from the Old Alt-Right

  1. It’s a fair analysis, and an interesting point that you bring up competitive gaming as one contributing factor to the alt-right’s brashness. I guess there must be a number of elements that go into this shift on a more individual level. I personally am a millennial and a conservative. I often find myself agreeing with the alt-right, but I also find their tactics to be as deplorable as those employed by the left. I wonder where I differ from many of my contemporaries.

    As you say, this movement is probably reactionary and should have been predictable, but I still find it disheartening. I can accept and even revel in a degree of muck and trolling, but the violence just strikes me as unwise and a frightening indication of a turn down a new dark alley (do we really want our own version of the Black Panthers and Occupy thugs?).

    • I’m in the same boat; I’m technically a millennial, but for a lot of reasons fall more on the Gen-X side of things.

      I feel like essentially what happened was some millennials on the right may have either listened to those who said “No, really, you need to read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to get an understanding of what’s going on” or have been monkey-see-monkey-do, and that has morphed into a modern right wing version of the left’s youth radicalism.

      I don’t think we’re quite to having a legitimate right-wing equivalent to Occupy, but I think that the sympathy is there for such a group.

      Also, it’s hard not to love the Donald Trump Pepe memes no matter what you think of the man.

  2. “Hired protesters”? That was pretty soundly disproven.

    I’m trying to get where you’re coming from, and find the reasonableness even if I don’t agree about the facts, but it sounds like the alt-right collectively has a persecution complex, or at least attributes their lack of self-control to others (e.g. Trump’s “Look what the reporters made us do” remark in the debates.)

    It’s interesting that political gulf is so wide both see the others as baiting them. I’ve hear people on the left claim there was a concerted effort on the right to always say “Democrat part” instead of “Democratic party” as kind of micro-aggression or something too.

    I’ve belonged to far too many organizations of various kinds to believe in conspiracies. 🙂

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