Richard Spencer’s Alternative Right

I know Richard Spencer, he’s very intelligent, and I respect him. But I’m not sure what he means when he says in an introductory video to his new website, Alternative Right, that it offers a new conservatism that is not part of establishment conservatism. After all, a whole range of paleoconservative and traditionalist conservative publications and websites that are non-establishment conservative have been around for years and decades. Chronicles, the birthplace of paleoconservatism, has been in existence since the 1980s. Taki’s Magazine, where Spencer was the editor until recently, is obviously not a part of establishment conservatism. Yet Spencer is suggesting that prior to Alternative Right, there has never been a right that was non-establishment conservative.

In the video Spencer jokes that Alternative Right is not Frum’s Forum. In an introductory article complementing the video, Richard Hoste contrasts Alternative Right with the brain dead establishment conservatism at Human Events that names Dick Cheney “Conservative of the Year.” But, again, since we already know that Spencer is a paleoconservative, for him to tell us that his website is not establishment conservative, and that it’s not David Frum and that it’s not Dick Cheney, is to tell us nothing about it that we don’t already know.

If Alternative Right does indeed represent something new, that newness does not consist in the mere fact that it’s non-establishment conservative. It consists in some particular substantive message or content. Yet Spencer doesn’t tell us what message is.

We will have to wait and see. I wish Mr. Spencer success with his new endeavor.

* * *

Richard Hoste in his article says that Alternative Right will emphasize race differences. But that is no more a new subject on the right than is opposition to the Iraq war. There is a whole network of race-conscious, Human Biodiversity websites out there.

Also, what will Alternative Right be called for short? There already is an AR. How about ART?

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Richard Hoste is a regular contributor at Alternative Right. I hope that the new right-wing thought representated by that website does not include Hoste’s position that the equivalent of a 9/11 attack on the U.S. every year or two would be no more damaging to the country that traffic fatalities, and therefore the U.S should stop defending itself from terrorist attacks.

Here is a brief except of my exchange with Mr. Hoste last January:

LA replies:
What a spectacularly perverse and delusional statement. I didn’t realize you were a radical reductionist who sees, e.g., the 9/11 attack as nothing but a body count and therefore as no more significant to the country than 3,000 traffic deaths spread out over a period of time.

Richard Hoste replies:

I really don’t know how to respond. Maybe you can explain why my comment was “perverse and delusional”? There is such a thing as overreacting in terms of lives lost (Afghani/Iraq wars), treasure and loss of civili liberties, no?

LA writes:

For the materialist, there is only matter, only bodies, no higher organization, and therefore no meaning. Therefore the significance of a military/terrorist assault on the United States that destroyed the World Trade Center and a wing of the Pentagon and killed three thousand people, , with many of the victims leaping to their death from a thousand feet in the air, is, for the reductionist, no different from three thousand traffic fatalities spread over several months in 50 states. Dead bodies are dead bodies; death is death, and that is all. The fact that the country endured not only an emotional and moral trauma, but a physical trauma (the entire World Trade Center gone), an economic trauma, and a national security trauma from the 9/11 attack means nothing to you….

LA continues:

Richard Hoste wrote:

There is such a thing as overreacting in terms of lives lost (Afghani/Iraq wars), treasure and loss of civil liberties, no?

This is a non-sequitur. We weren’t talking about the costs and the pros and cons of the Afghan and Iraq wars. We were talking about the damage done to the United States by the 9/11 attack. And what Mr. Hoste said about that was:

If we had had a 9/11 every two years, it would cause 1,500 deaths a year. It would still be an insignificant problem compared to street crime and motor accidents.

[Terrorism] is simply not a significant problem, even if you consider a 9/11 or so a year a worst case scenario.

So if terrorists attacked Washington, D.C. and destroyed the White House and the Capitol and killed 10,000 people, Mr. Hoste would say: “Such an attack every two years would cause 5,000 deaths a year. It would still be an insignificant problem compared to street crime and motor accidents.”

It’s complete and utter nihilism. Evidently, because Mr. Hoste doesn’t like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which took place because of the 9/11 attack, therefore he feels compelled to claim that the 9/11 attack was of zero significance to the country. His reasoning is similar to that of Patrick Buchanan, who, because he doesn’t like the costs of World War II, claims that Hitler was not really a threat. As Buchanan wrote in A Republic Not an Empire, the U.S. could have lived perfectly happily with Hitler as the “master of Europe.” And Richard Hoste says that we could live perfectly happily with a 9/11 attack every two years.

[end of excerpt from January 2010 thread.]

Will Richard Hoste’s radical materialist reductionism, his nihilism, and his Buchananite reactiveness against the well being of the United States (like Hoste, Buchanan has written that terror attacks aren’t such a big deal, since, after all, Europe was destroyed by bombings in World War II and recovered, so the U,S. could recover also) be part of the message of Alternative Right? We will see.

Bruce B. writes:

Here’s two possible explanations for Spencer’s new website creed and I lean towards the latter:

1. He has a specific plan to attract a bunch of new readers that are unfamiliar with the paleo, traditional and WN right (let’s call them “hard right” for the sake of this discussion). So these concepts will be new to them.

2. He’s trying to create the Pepsi Cola of hard-right websites. I really think this is what’s going on. He’s focusing on attracting the younger, HBD crowd and European New Right types as opposed to the stuffy, socially conservative, clinging-to-Christianity paleo-conservative geezers (no insult intended, I tend to side with them). Some things written at Takimag not long before Richard left (by Richard, Paul Gottfried, and others) lead me to believe that this is the case.

Kevin V. writes:

You ask in your post about the new website Alt Right what it is about this site and its supporters that is new, that is anti-establishment conservative. The answer to that is that Alt Right is the first openly post-U.S. Government right-wing site. As one of its initial essays, by Youth For Western Civilization’s Kevin DeAnna, put it:

The American Right won past electoral victories by appealing to Middle America, posing as its defenders against the left-wing radicals who spat on the society that gave them so much privilege. Beyond lip service though, the conservative movement didn’t actually do anything to conserve that society, never mind roll back the gains of the Left.

But appealing to the heroic American past, traditional values, or the need for a strong defense of the American society is no longer a sound election strategy because the “Moral Majority” no longer exists. More than that, it is doubtful an American people, conscious of itself as a people with a particular culture, tradition, and identity, even exists.

In my view, the graying boomers who run and staff the current “conservative movement” probably represent the last generation of the Right that can justifiably call itself conservative. The constitutional and laissez-faire republic is long gone, a victim of the world wars, hot and cold. And the traditional Protestant and upright culture that once characterized American society as a whole, as well as the United States’ identity as a Western nation-state, won’t last much longer if present trends continue.

More than that, at a core level, we should ask ourselves seriously, What is there going to be worth conserving in the America of the next generation?

I’ve often thought that we got here because the conservative movement’s fetish about “the state” and the size of government fatally compromised its ability to challenge the left-wing ruling class. Who is a more important question than what, and a political movement that has as its chief concern what level of bureaucracy should handle policy can not accomplish anything important.

In contrast, Daniel McCarthy has argued, in the September 2008 issue of New Guard, that there is an anti-state Right and a national Right concerned about American identity, virtue, and culture. He points out the stupidity of trying to protect America through the government since, “[t]he state is the indispensable means by which the Left carries out its transformation of the country, and government in 21st century America cannot be turned into an instrument of virtue or nationhood.” I’d first counter that there hasn’t been much of a “national Right” in this country to begin with; those “conservatives” most interested in using the state for their ends have been social gospel types, who are as equally invested as the Left and the neocons in the idea of America as a “universal” nation.

But in the end, this debate actually doesn’t matter much—conservatives lost the battle against the state and the Left. Progress is not possible on either front without dismantling the current managerial regime.

DeAnna’s analysis is spot on. The big difference between this new right and that which came before it is that this right is finally standing up and saying, openly, that this government and this state cannot be saved. It needs to be overcome, defeated and scattered. Conservatives did indeed lose the battle, and there is nothing that can be done about it until the managerial regime—the United States Government—is dismantled. Since that government is indeed the vehicle by which the Left has succeeded in radically changing the face of the nation, it is foolish to think of it as anything else but the enemy. They have literally elected a new people.

Those of us left on the outside need to realize as a threshold matter the reality of our position.

Bruce B. continues:

Also, based on Spencer’s latter Takimag postings, I expect to see a mildly WN-ist website that’s Semitic friendly and that has a broader perspective than other WN-ist websites (and so really won’t be WN-ist in the current sense). I think they’ll be Neitzschean/Spenglerian debates on the role of Christianity in our decline and flirtation with European paganism ala European New Right (which I think is a mistake since literally tens of millions of us are Christians). I noticed that Jim Kalb and Peter Brimelow are on the editorial board.

LA replies:

Brimelow regularly publishes the pathological hate-monger Paul Craig Roberts. A recent Roberts column at Vdare, crossing the line from anti-Israelism to anti-Semitism, was: “For Palestinians, Every Day Is Kristallnacht.” Brimelow, whose site is supposedly devoted to immigration restrictionism, also published a Roberts article welcoming a Mexican conquest of the U.S., if it only it would “rid America of neocons.” Is his commitment to publishing Roberts an example of the mature wisdom Brimelow will bring to bear on the editorial board of Spencer’s site, preventing Spencer from going too far in his flirtations with European paganism?

N. writes:

There may be some articles of interest at “Alternative right.” However, it was with with little effort that I found the first anti-Semitic comment in “Libido for the Stupid,” a critique of Sarah Palin and her followers.

The comment by one “Seadragonconquerer” includes this text:

“As for Palin: down on her knees before the ZOG even before the NY crowd paid her 10 million$$ for a book she did not write. And we know why: as with all the rest of the DC gang and their phoney books, get with the program on Israel, and stay with the program on Israel. She’s hopeless…. “

I’m sure I don’t need to point out what sort of people toss the term “ZOG” around freely. It appears that the hatred of Jewish people, at least among the readership, is a feature of the site. Migration from Taki’s site, perhaps. In any event, I’m not sure there will be any utility found there.

Lisa writes:

I checked out the Alternative right website. A post by Richard Hoste called “Why Chutzpah Is A Hebrew Word” caught my eye. What bothered me is how Hoste wrote that America and Israel are no different from Muslim terrorist rogue states.

He wrote:

Muslim terrorists deliberately target innocent people. “Democracies” like America and Israel target their enemies knowing that in the process innocent people will be killed. There’s supposed to be a moral difference here?

Sounds like something a radical lefty would say. Also, notice how he has the word democracies in quotes? Now granted, America is not perfect. But what other Western country is? Are the socialist welfare states of Europe his ideal? Also, what is Israel supposed to do when attacked by “men” who routinely use their women and children as human shields?

How is this supposed to be “conservative?”

How is being against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq supposed to be conservative? Is it because they believe these wars are only excuses to send nice Christian boys to die for the JOOOZ? If that’s the answer, how does blaming Jews for the ills of this world make a person conservative? Aside from stopping Muslim immigration, what should the U.S. have done after 9/11?

I fail to see anything conservative about paleos. Now you might say, “Lisa, they’re the only ones who dare to bring up racial differences.” That’s all well and good. But on the other hand, blacks and Hispanics seem to think of their respective races as being superior to whites. Does that make most of them into conservatives? I don’t think so.

LA replies:

Let’s look at that Richard Hoste statement again:

Muslim terrorists deliberately target innocent people. “Democracies” like America and Israel target their enemies knowing that in the process innocent people will be killed. There’s supposed to be a moral difference here?

I repeat Lisa’s point. This is standard anti-American, anti-Israel, leftist nihilism, which destroys all moral distinctions between barbaric aggression and civilized defense against aggression. It harks back to Buchanan’s April 2002 statement that the Israeli government is the “mirror image of Hamas and Hezbollah.”

If this is what Richard Spencer’s “alternative right” is about, it’s nothing more than the usual paleocon/Buchananite moral swamp, plus an interest in race differences. What a waste of talent and intelligence. I take back what I said earlier about wishing Richard Spencer success in this site.

Richard W. writes:

I agree with Bruce B.”s comment that it appears: “He’s focusing on attracting the younger, HBD crowd and European New right types as opposed to the stuffy, socially conservative, clinging-to-Christianity paleo-conservative geezers (no insult intended, I tend to side with them)”

This was mentioned by one of the posters, too, who said something like “a far-right sight without all the obscure references to the Crimean War.”

With the state of “the right” as it is, it will take a lot of cool judgment to pull it off.

Perhaps one of the most surprising things is that they haven’t invited you to be an editor (I assume, perhaps erroneously).

You are far too modest in mentioning Taki Mag and Chronicles, neither are really Radical Traditionalism. That title still belongs to VFR, and VFR only.

Taki Mag is very hard to take seriously at all; it bounces all over the place in terms of ideology, rarely offers any solutions to the problems (other than kill all Neocons), and reads like the old, rich guys plaything-in-print that it is.

Chronicles, as you rightly pointed out, surrendered to the liberal zeitgeist by publishing articles in Spanish. Pretty hard to see them leading a younger, more radical, results oriented Traditionalist backlash.

Therefore, I take Alt.right as an attempt to piggyback on the success of VFR, and broaden the themes you’ve addressed by including multiple authors and editors.

It’s a hard task, but worthwhile. I wish them luck.

And yes, they need to quickly dump the Western Culture hating nihilists and leftists-pretending-to-be conservatives such as Paul Craig Roberts, James Kunstler, Brimelow when he’s acting out, and the others who fill Taki Mag.

Just because you dislike both Obama and Bush doesn’t make you a traditionalist (else we would already be a majority.)

Hopefully the rebranding includes both new bottles and new wine.

Bruce B. writes:

Your criticism of regarding Roberts doesn’t uniquely apply to Brimelow. Roberts is in syndication all over the place. Brimelow just routinely publishes all his columns like all the others who publish PCR in syndication. My issue isn’t that Brimelow doesn’t screen this or that PCR column for content. It’s that he publishes PCR’s completely irrelevant to the National Question columns at all. His past reasoning is that he wanted balance between the pro and anti Iraq war perspective (the pro being Michelle Malkin). That never made sense for a website devoted exclusively to the national question and it makes even less sense now that the war is all but over. I just don’t think he can bring himself to tell PCR “no thanks.”

LA replies:

First, it is not the case that Robert’s “For Palestinians, Every Day is Kristallnacht” column was syndicated all over the place. I just did a search for

“paul craig roberts” palestinians kristallnacht

and in the first 60 results Vdare was the ONLY familiar name that turned up, other than the neo-Nazi site Stormfront and the Stalinist pro-Arab Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch. Vdare turned up fifth from the top of the results, meaning that its version of the column was the fifth most read version. Sixth on the list is Counterpunch, seventh was a right-wing site The top listed page in the Google results is On the main page of that site, we are informed: “Number of Iraqis Slaughtered in US War and Occupation of Iraq 1,366,350”—a figure that more than doubles the 650,000 thousand estimated deaths in Iraq reported by a fraudulent “study” published in the once-prestigious but now politicized British medical journal Lancet in 2006 and funded (as it turned out several months after publication) by George Soros. The others sites that had published the Roberts article were equally obscure, pro-Muslim, and Nazi type blogs which surely are not paying for syndication rights but are simply copying the article from elsewhere. Vdare was thus virtually alone—more likely absolutely alone—in publishing that column on a proprietary basis.

So if Roberts’s columns are usually syndicated “all over the place,” meaning at mainstream established sites, those mainstream sites passed on this column. Of the sites that publish Roberts’s syndicated columns, only Brimelow published this column.

Second, I disagree with the suggestion that because a newspaper or website publishes an article provided by a syndication service, therefore it’s somehow less responsible for the act of publishing it than if the article came from the website’s own staff or had been commissioned by that website. A publication is responsible for by-lined articles that it publishes under its banner, whatever their source.

Third, it appears that Roberts is not published at mainstream sites. I googled

“paul craig roberts” economy

to find articles by him that are on his professional field rather than Israel and neocons, and I still came up with obscure sites, plus the likes of lewrockwell, antiwar, and chronicles.

Bruce B. replies:

I stand corrected. I thought he was published at quite a few places and that that article was all over the place.

Alex K. writes:

Well, Richard Spencer arguing “Christianity is for wimps” in a debate tomorrow night.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 02, 2010 02:23 PM | Send

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