In the video above, Richard Spencer discusses what took place at the Free Speech rally in D.C. this past weekend, and specifically discusses the rift between us on the alt-right and the alt-light. I recommend watching this video all the way through.
Spencer is truly a sensible, decent, resourceful, stand-out guy, and a true lover of White people. As a White rights supporter and thus a great lover of White people myself, I can’t help but harbor a deep admiration for this man. He has put in the effort and put up with the hate, violence, and character assassination we are all so well acquainted with, and he has done it in the public eye to fight for the rights of White people worldwide. One day, our great-grandchildren will read about him in their history books as one of the great White heroes of history. He is a true White rights activist. It is becoming increasingly clear that the alt-light is not interested in standing up for White people’s best interests now (if it ever was, which is doubtful).
Although those of us who have been watching closely have noted that there has been a rift growing between the two sides for months now, it may have just come to a head this past weekend in D.C. There, Mike Cernovich and some other lesser known names (Jack Posobiec, Laura Loomer, etc.) made as clear as day that they have rejected Richard Spencer completely . They will not even share a rally with him, that is how badly they either hate or fear him.
So how are we to think about the alt-light now?
In the beginning, I and many others saw in them a useful bridge, bringing in normies and helping introduce them to us. People were searching for an alternative to the mainstream, and although some of them were ready to take the plunge straight into White Nationalism and/or White rights advocacy, others needed to be walked through babysteps on the way. The alt-light did that for us. Many of them had publicity savy that many of us didn’t, glitz and glamour and lots of loud noise that grabbed people’s attention, but we were sincere and philosophical and ideological and committed, and we always suspected that many of them weren’t.
All of us who had been White Nationalists for years before the alt-light showed up knew they weren’t the real deal. Never have been. But they use to be a deal: they used to be useful. For a while, all of us—whether we leaned more alt-right or alt-light—were happy to bask in the ecstasy of Trump’s electoral victory and were happy to share a movement with other people who—even if we didn’t always agree with them—were helping bring people behind a way of thinking that rejected the mainstream. Period. People were searching for people like us, and we were all wrapped up together in politically getting our message out there to the fence sitters.
So what has changed? Even early on, listening to the main alt-light personalities like MILO talk, I knew this thin unity would never last. At bottom, we were too ideologically different. What is happening now is that the rose-tinted Trump glasses have worn off, and both sides are settling in for the long political haul, and realizing with a start that they are not nearly as compatible as they at first thought, and more importantly, that that really matters.
It would be useful therefore to spell out these incompatibilities.
Despite the fact that the alt-right still has plenty of factions even if you take all the alt-light people out of it, there is still a pretty universally agreed upon core to the alt-right: White identity, White rights, and White existence (i.e. no White genocide and promotion of White separatism and/or nationalism). This is our core.
The alt-light is not so simply understood. As Richard Spencer notes, the alt-light doesn’t really have a set of ideals to define them. It should also be noted that just as there are factions within the alt-right so there are within the alt-light, with some being closer to us on the political spectrum, and some being closer to establishment conservatives. Still, I think there are several themes that characterize the alt-light, and that are driving the rift between us and them:
Personality and celebrity (individualism): It would be quite accurate to describe the alt-light as a collection of various personalities, all clamoring to set up their own personality cults, with supporters admiring their unique individual genius and/or other desirable attributes. This is probably one reason why they are so hard to pin down.
The alt-right is quite the opposite. We don’t celebrate individual personalities, but the collective whole to which we all belong. Thus Milo talks about his sex life and Richard Spencer talks about his attachment to something bigger than himself. Take a moment to review a video by both and count the number of times each man says the word “I” and the word “we”: you will almost certainly discover that Milo uses “I” a lot and “we” very little, while Richard is the opposite, using mostly “we” and much less “I”.
Although Milo is the most egregious example of this, I think all the main alt-light people are like this to some extent, whether it is Gavin McInnes or Paul Watson, or even Lauren Southern: all are trying to create a brand that is based in their own personalities. Men like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor however, are looking to create a brand based on ideals and a larger collective consciousness.
The bottom line is that the alt-light favors individualist thinking and the alt-right favors collectivist thinking (although not necessarily political systems).
Rebellion for Rebellion’s Sake (Libertarianism): There is a strong rebellious strain running through the alt-light, and if one must pick a political term to describe them all, it would surely be cultural libertarianism. There is certainly nothing incompatible about libertarianism (of a sort at least), with White rights, and indeed there is a strong strain of rebelliousness against the status-que and libertarianism running through the alt-right as well. After all, much of our joint bonding early on happened over issues of free speech and flaunting political correctness. In some ways, as Richard Spencer points out when discussing the embarrassing Posobiac/Loomer disruption of Julius Caesar, we are even better at championing these things than the alt-light are.
However, I think when it comes down to it, although we believe in them and support them, we are most concerned about White identity and interests. The alt-light at least professes to be most concerned about unrestrained freedom. This leaves them vulnerable to being bothered by leftist name calling, and is probably connected in some way to the degeneracy that many of them display.
In this new counter-culture we are the intellectuals and the organizers, and they are the hippies with the charismatic personalities.
In the end, people who are controversial for the mere sake of causing controversy will move on. Only those who have ideals will commit to a cause for the long haul.
Western Culture rather than White People (Egalitarianism): The alt-light has always manifested a deep discomfort with discussion of racial differences, racial loyalties, and racial politics. They have quite uniformly denounced “identity politics” which is what the alt-right is, so it’s no surprise we would split eventually. Just as alarming, they have uniformly praised notions of equality. It should come as no surprise that they wish to focus on Western civilization (i.e. culture) rather than on White people (i.e. race). They uniformly argue that Western culture is superior to other cultures (particularly Islamic cultures) and that they want to preserve it, but get nasty if someone points out that racial differences exist, or that White people should be preserved.
While the alt-light personalities will routinely rise to the defense of White people when we are being racially slandered (and thus they do clearly reject anti-White notions of “White guilt”), they just as strenuously insist that equality is real, and that social egalitarianism is one of the best things about Western culture which they want to preserve (red flag: the Western culture they want to preserve is really just liberal anti-White culture, striped preferably of its overt anti-White elements).
These I think are the main incompatibilities between us.
What hasn’t changed is that people are still looking for an alternative, and it remains to be seen whether this split will turn the alt-light into a true competitor for us, or whether—despite their best efforts—they will continue to be little more than a phase that people pass through on their ideological way to us. I, unlike some, think the latter is still possible. The main reason is that they have adopted positions that are ideologically unsustainable in the long run.
Their positions are unsustainable in that the alt-light tries to cling onto egalitarianism while simultaneously rejecting White guilt (and Jewish guilt, and any racial guilt). There is a deep problem here. The left long-ago figured out that in order to promote egalitarianism they had to come up with a logically coherent theory that would serve as an alternative to believing that inequalities that were observed in the world were the result of Nature and biology. The only such alternative is to blame some force outside of biology for creating these differences, and no matter what sort of force you choose, you must have a bad guy to be responsible for creating it. The left chose White people. While it would be possible to choose a different group, the alt-light does not do this. Without a bad guy you can’t argue that everyone is equal, because without a bad guy to artificially create inequality there is no other explanation for differences than biology. Egalitarianism as a political ideology demands a scapegoat. Without a scapegoat, it crumbles.
Thus, people initially drawn to this position will likely not stay there forever. As they think a little bit more about it, they will realize that they must choose between egalitarianism and rejecting racial guilt. If they chose the former, they will leave the alt-light and move left. If they chose the later, they will leave the alt-light and move to us.
This dynamic will also mean that the alt-light will be constantly dependent on new converts to stay alive. This will make them by necessity a missionary religion. I think that will be to our benefit.
If that weren’t enough already, as Richard Spencer notes, there is the additional issue that once you start digging their isn’t really that much substance to the alt-light. To get to the real ideological meat you must move into the real alt-right.
Never the less, I could certainly be wrong about this. Perhaps they will attract the vast mass of less than independent-minded, thoughtful people, who will be dazzled by their personality and never really question the positions. People like that might be able to stay in the alt-light perpetually, and thus make them a true competitor to us.
Time alone will tell.