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At last! An ideology/movement I can sink my teeth into!


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#26
The Kurgan

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It needn't be nearly so complicated. Both "alts" are reactions against neo-liberalism. Both are looking at the results of untrammeled global capitalism and political correctness and aren't liking them much. Both feel as though the domestic populations have been betrayed by their political establishments. The difference is that the alt-right frames the betrayal in terms of racial and cultural nationalism while the alt-left frames the betrayal in terms of working class solidarity. This drives the distaste both groups tend to have for liberal IdPol and political correctnesss. The alt-right sees this as a flagrant attack on the white race from cultural Marxists and Jews, while the alt-left sees it as a distraction from the more fundamental importance of class and economics, and using demographic factors to pit the under classes against each other.

If it all seems kind of familiar, perhaps because it is. This seems indicative of a gradual return to pre WW2 politics.

In terms of race, the only real consensus on the alt-left is a frustration with the centrality of race as THE issue of concern in the Democratic party and in western liberalism more generally, at the expense of class. We shake our heads at the antics of Black Lives Matter, but the agreement ends there. It ranges from simply desiring an end to the demonization of white people in critical race theory and an end to the PC stranglehold in campus culture, to a more classically liberal "by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin" to a complete disavowal of racial identity politics all together (/leftypol/ on 8chan tends to be like this), to an actual race conscious type of nationalist socialism a-la the pre Hitler DAP of the bro's Otto and Gregor Strasser.

#27
Carrie Mathison

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The term alt-right is newer,


Actually the term alt-right came first, but both terms describe political positions that have been around before the 1900s.

 

but really, it is just a new name to describe the lower to middle class republican voters that are socially conservative, which includes (but not exclusively) the rural right, or urban whites who identify as "red neck."  Or the tea partiers who are middle class.


That's not what the alt-right is. I think you have alt-right confused with Trump supporters. There is overlap but they aren't the exact same thing.   Also, to the extent you're describing Trump voters, you're only describing a portion of them (maybe ~30%).

Also, neither alt-right nor Trumpism is really made up of rural whites or, especially not Tea Partiers. These people were Ted Cruz supporters and Trump tended to not do so well in those areas. Trump's best areas were northeastern and rust belt urban areas. For example, Trump solidly won richer exurbs of Boston and NYC (as well as the cities proper), but did much more poorly in the rural areas, where you saw (depending on state), either Cruz winning outright, or Cruz splitting with Rubio (or in some cases, Kasich). The basic rule of thumb from the primaries was, the more rural the state, the more it went for Cruz. Take for example, Wyoming, which was one of Cruz's best states and Trump lost 69 to 8. Even Rubio did better.

 

When I think alt-right, I think of the lone white male middle class student in a college class with a left leaning teacher, who is constantly disrupting the class by contradicting and arguing the teacher to the point of annoying everyone else, and spouting off Rush Limbaugh talking points in the process, that sits back after doing so with his sh*t eating grin and pats himself on the back, thinking he's the smartest guy in the room. He's bought into the rhetoric that white people are a declining and losing class; losing their power, their jobs, their livelihoods to the non-whites and immigrants and the gays and it's all one big liberal conspiracy to take it all away. Which sounds exactly like the basic stance of any white supremacist web site mission statement, whether said alt-right guy knows it or not.  But to the rest of the class, he just comes off as a closed-minded, bigoted douche who isn't nearly as informed as he thinks he is.  Anyone who has attended college/university at any point since the late 1990s, probably had at least one student just like that in one of  their classes.


Again, you're describing more of a Ted Cruz supporter, or even a Rubio one. I'm not sure you really understand the demographics of either Trump supporters or alt-right people.

Also- on a side note, what's up with all the pejorative language? It's like- look dude, I get that you don't like Republicans, but is it possible for you to talk politics without going on the side rants?  I can talk about Democrats without going on a side rant about a Democrat caricature, why can't you do the same?

For example, it's like every damn post we talk about Republican voters, you have to bring up Limbaugh. I get it man- you knew some people personally in your life that listened to Limbaugh all the time and it ticked you off. Fine, point made. Those people aren't posting here and no one is defending them, so can we please talk about the GOP without you bringing up AM radio every damn time. I get it, you don't like AM talk radio. Your viewpoint on this is well known and you've said it about 10000 times over the past few years. Can we move on now?

 

On the other hand, when I think alt-left, I think of the old BILL Clinton voter (maybe not necessarily Bill Clinton himself), who what is now considered a moderate democrat, maybe even some libertarians.  I almost want to say blue dog democrat, but they aren't necessarily from the south, so might be accurate to say conservative democrat.  In some ways, I personally agree with the alt-left.


But that isn't what the alt-left is. What you're describing are New Dems from the 90s. Those are not the voters that make up the current alt-left. There is nothing particularly libertarian about the alt-left, and the blue dogs are basically the antithesis of the alt-left.  I'd go into more detail but Kurgan already covered all this.

Put another way, the closest thing to an alt-left politician this cycle was Sanders.  Nothing in the paragraph you wrote is at all similar to Sanders, or his supporters.



#28
The Kurgan

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When I think alt-right, I think of the lone white male middle class student in a college class with a left leaning teacher, who is constantly disrupting the class by contradicting and arguing the teacher to the point of annoying everyone else, and spouting off Rush Limbaugh talking points in the process, that sits back after doing so with his sh*t eating grin and pats himself on the back, thinking he's the smartest guy in the room. He's bought into the rhetoric that white people are a declining and losing class; losing their power, their jobs, their livelihoods to the non-whites and immigrants and the gays and it's all one big liberal conspiracy to take it all away. Which sounds exactly like the basic stance of any white supremacist web site mission statement, whether said alt-right guy knows it or not. But to the rest of the class, he just comes off as a closed-minded, bigoted douche who isn't nearly as informed as he thinks he is. Anyone who has attended college/university at any point since the late 1990s, probably had at least one student just like that in one of their classes.

Chalup can bash a.m talk radio all he wants as far as I'm concerned.  The "Obama is a commie-Muslim-antichrist" crowd does not get shat upon nearly enough as far as I'm concerned.  I'd build them all a nice comfortable Gulag, were I ever able to get the opportunity.  Not for being conservative or even reactionary, and certainly not for failing to idealize whichever tumblr gender or sexual orientation happens to be flavor of the week or for being guilty of whatever other kind of "hatred" or "bigotry" the "being liberal" crowd can bash so as to virtue signal among themselves, all the while wailing about their white male privilege - but for being so stupid and willfully out of touch with reality. To hate is human.  To unironically advocate trickle down economics is unforgivable for anyone making less than 200K/year.

 

Chalup's wanna-be GOP college student is pretty much a bog standard paleo-con.  Related to the alt-right to some degree, but not quite the same.  A lot of it is where the emphasis lies.  I've never seen Limbaugh referenced positively in alt-right circles.  Not even in the softest of the soft alt-right, sort of what you'll find at Breitbart or something.  I don't know if they would consider Limbaugh a "cuckservative", but I haven't heard them mention him. They both ramble on about how Obama is basically consciously trying to destroy America, but I think even your grizzled ditto-head would pale to see what the core of the movement is like.  They are quite explicitly authoritarian, with Augusto Pinochet having a very wide fan base and Adolf Hitler no small numbers of followers.  Many would go back further, to the kind of aristocratic and monarchial nationalism that prevailed in much of continental Europe between the times of the Napoleonic wars and World War One, though a lot of them would be content to settle for good old fashioned fascism, falangism or something like that.  The economics of fascism is one area where there is a lot of contention on the alt-right, where opinion ranges from support of early DAP national socialism (closest Alt-Left) to support for Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism.  But economic theory is not a big deal to the majority of them.  This is a HUGE divider from mainstream conservatives, who are all about the theories of Milton Friedman and Sir Keith Joseph, with social issues being a concern only in as far as they can be exploited for working class electoral support.  Not only do many alt-rightists believe that white people have gone into decline, a significant number of them believe that this has been deliberately orchestrated, and you can pretty much guess who they're blaming it all on.  

 

Funny thing is that all of this is advanced via that most modern of methods, the internet meme, on reddit or 4chan, and their overall method of coming across has an almost counter-cultural, hipster vibe to it.  As is always the case with the far right, its aesthetics and media is a curious mixture of the ultra reactionary and the decidedly modern which lends it its morbid fascination.  

 

So over to the other end, then.  The Alt-left exists in a place "in between Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan," or "When Mussolini first abandoned Marxism in favor of what would eventually become fascism."  A more explicitly socialistic Donald Trump, or a more explicitly nationalistic Bernie Sanders would qualify, but the alt-left is less solidly defined than the alt right because it is newer.  I'll offer my own views, which is basically when the post WW2 Marxists swore off on the Soviet Union, and started to seriously ask themselves if there might be more to it all than mere economic relations.  Think early Frankfurt school, where existentialist philosophy and Freudian psychology began to look more deeply into human nature.  But the summer of love is still a ways off, and while we sympathize with the plight of blacks, native Americans and so on, they're light years from being at the center of  a 19th century romanticism revitalized by the likes of Timothy Leary and Abbie Hoffman that would set progressivism on its present course.  I could never buy into the whole "make love not war" thing (I was very explicit about out rightly reversing that when I was younger) - the real world is just too red in tooth and claw for that crap, but not so much so that people can't rise to the top of it all with a bit of enlightenment discipline and strict rationality.  Soviet Russia's triumph over Nazi Germany was always something I was proud of, for it showed the greater strength of naked material and economic superiority over the flaky heroic mythology of the SS, which was more at home in a dungeons and dragons manual than on a real field of battle.  Then again, I was always the guy that had to be held back when the skinheads crashed a show when I was younger.  The left's gradual abandonment of philosophical materialism and enlightenment thinking is why I think of myself as alt-left. 


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#29
The Kurgan

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You might also find this video on the alt-right informative.



#30
Carrie Mathison

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Outstanding post, LK.



#31
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The term alt-right is newer,


Actually the term alt-right came first, but both terms describe political positions that have been around before the 1900s.

 

 

Came first compared to Alt left? I don't believe I argued one way or the other in that respect. I meant that it is a newer term being used.  But the people it describes aren't  It's essentially re-branding.

 

And if that is not a misprint of 1900s, are you saying Alt right is a term from the Edwardian era? I find that hard to believe, but if you can cite a source that proves that, I'd love to see it.  

 

  

That's not what the alt-right is. I think you have alt-right confused with Trump supporters. There is overlap but they aren't the exact same thing.   Also, to the extent you're describing Trump voters, you're only describing a portion of them (maybe ~30%).

Also, neither alt-right nor Trumpism is really made up of rural whites or, especially not Tea Partiers. These people were Ted Cruz supporters and Trump tended to not do so well in those areas. Trump's best areas were northeastern and rust belt urban areas. For example, Trump solidly won richer exurbs of Boston and NYC (as well as the cities proper), but did much more poorly in the rural areas, where you saw (depending on state), either Cruz winning outright, or Cruz splitting with Rubio (or in some cases, Kasich). The basic rule of thumb from the primaries was, the more rural the state, the more it went for Cruz. Take for example, Wyoming, which was one of Cruz's best states and Trump lost 69 to 8. Even Rubio did better.

 

 

During the primaries, I would tend to agree, in part.  But since the nomination, his supporters are coming from the Cruz and other people people.  In fact why do you think Trump is toning down, even renouncing earlier rhetoric?  It's because he knows he has no chance at all without those other voters.   But I do see the distinction you are making, and it is accurate.  

 

However, here's an aside, I think it is hilarious that the same people who oppose trump and speak out against him (especially Cruz) basically just quit and handed him a victory.  But I despise Cruz anyway, and he is the one guy I though was even worse than Trump this election cycle.  So take that for what its worth. 
 




Again, you're describing more of a Ted Cruz supporter, or even a Rubio one. I'm not sure you really understand the demographics of either Trump supporters or alt-right people.

Also- on a side note, what's up with all the pejorative language? It's like- look dude, I get that you don't like Republicans, but is it possible for you to talk politics without going on the side rants?  I can talk about Democrats without going on a side rant about a Democrat caricature, why can't you do the same?

For example, it's like every damn post we talk about Republican voters, you have to bring up Limbaugh. I get it man- you knew some people personally in your life that listened to Limbaugh all the time and it ticked you off. Fine, point made. Those people aren't posting here and no one is defending them, so can we please talk about the GOP without you bringing up AM radio every damn time. I get it, you don't like AM talk radio. Your viewpoint on this is well known and you've said it about 10000 times over the past few years. Can we move on now?

 

 

Do you really think I am posting that to put down other posters here?  I'm not.  I never have intentionally done that to other nightly posters, unless I feel they attacked me first, or were just generally being an assh*le.  And I am not being pejorative, or inaccurate.   I don't think you realize how pervasive Limbaugh and people like him are, or the fact he is one of the biggest Trump cheerleaders right now, with probably only Hannity being bigger.  It's such that you CAN'T talk about Trump, without talking about either right now, which is why I brought him up in this thread.  Maybe what bothers you is the fact that it is so true, and you are embarrassed of the fact that those people who listen to those pundits are part of your own party.  I know I would be ashamed.   But that doesn't change reality. THAT is the bulk of your party, in terms of voters.  

 

You, being a NY republican, I get it.  In some ways, you are almost a dem on social issues, and it is generally economic that defines you as a republican. I may disagree with you on some issues here and there (hell there are times when I agree with you), but I would definitely not classify you as a Rushbot.   But you have to realize that most of your voting base doesn't resemble you at all. That is not intended as a put down to you, just pointing out that the GOP is such a fractured party, with factions that really despise each other, and I really do think the only thing that holds them together, aside from their hatred of Obama and the Clintons, is AM radio Fox news, and conservative pundits.  And that really is a sad thing, and that is unhealthy for a party.  Believe it or not, it alarms me because I sincerely feel that the republican party should be a healthy, viable party.  If for no other reason than to remain a viable alternative to the democratic party.  Surely you must see how much trouble the GOP really is in.  And I for one, think that is a bad thing, because if the GOP loses viability, the democratic party can both gain a monopoly politically, plus there is no incentive to continually improve itself.  Competition breeds excellence, and if the GOP doesn't offer competition, well we know what that leads to for the democratic party, and the American people end up the biggest losers.  

 

But the fact is, republicans like you are outnumbered in your own party by alt right, far right, or religious right voters.   Most of your base does come from people you have almost nothing in common with, and that is the point I am trying to make: People like Trump don't resemble the same people he is trying to appeal to, and it is ironic that people who shouldn't be voting for Trump are flocking to him, because is the antithesis of them.  
 


 



But that isn't what the alt-left is. What you're describing are New Dems from the 90s. Those are not the voters that make up the current alt-left. There is nothing particularly libertarian about the alt-left, and the blue dogs are basically the antithesis of the alt-left.  I'd go into more detail but Kurgan already covered all this.

Put another way, the closest thing to an alt-left politician this cycle was Sanders.  Nothing in the paragraph you wrote is at all similar to Sanders, or his supporters.

 

 

 

So over to the other end, then.  The Alt-left exists in a place "in between Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan," or "When Mussolini first abandoned Marxism in favor of what would eventually become fascism."  A more explicitly socialistic Donald Trump, or a more explicitly nationalistic Bernie Sanders would qualify, but the alt-left is less solidly defined than the alt right because it is newer.  I'll offer my own views, which is basically when the post WW2 Marxists swore off on the Soviet Union, and started to seriously ask themselves if there might be more to it all than mere economic relations.  Think early Frankfurt school, where existentialist philosophy and Freudian psychology began to look more deeply into human nature.  But the summer of love is still a ways off, and while we sympathize with the plight of blacks, native Americans and so on, they're light years from being at the center of  a 19th century romanticism revitalized by the likes of Timothy Leary and Abbie Hoffman that would set progressivism on its present course.  I could never buy into the whole "make love not war" thing (I was very explicit about out rightly reversing that when I was younger) - the real world is just too red in tooth and claw for that crap, but not so much so that people can't rise to the top of it all with a bit of enlightenment discipline and strict rationality.  Soviet Russia's triumph over Nazi Germany was always something I was proud of, for it showed the greater strength of naked material and economic superiority over the flaky heroic mythology of the SS, which was more at home in a dungeons and dragons manual than on a real field of battle.  Then again, I was always the guy that had to be held back when the skinheads crashe

Gotta disagree with you, and I guess that means Kurgan, too, when it comes to alt left.  Maybe it's just my interpretation, but based on the article, anyway, I think alt-left really is exactly what you are calling the new dems were, at least on social issues.    I have some years on you, so I remember the 1990s a little differently than you.  Going down point by point in that article,  that describes to a T what a lot of democratic voters believed at the time.  By comparison with the typical leftist of today, the typical democrat voter of the 90s was a lot more centrist.  Which is exactly what the alt left is: a more centrist version of the leftists that are prevalent today.  



#32
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It needn't be nearly so complicated. Both "alts" are reactions against neo-liberalism. Both are looking at the results of untrammeled global capitalism and political correctness and aren't liking them much. Both feel as though the domestic populations have been betrayed by their political establishments. The difference is that the alt-right frames the betrayal in terms of racial and cultural nationalism while the alt-left frames the betrayal in terms of working class solidarity. This drives the distaste both groups tend to have for liberal IdPol and political correctnesss. The alt-right sees this as a flagrant attack on the white race from cultural Marxists and Jews, while the alt-left sees it as a distraction from the more fundamental importance of class and economics, and using demographic factors to pit the under classes against each other.

If it all seems kind of familiar, perhaps because it is. This seems indicative of a gradual return to pre WW2 politics.

In terms of race, the only real consensus on the alt-left is a frustration with the centrality of race as THE issue of concern in the Democratic party and in western liberalism more generally, at the expense of class. We shake our heads at the antics of Black Lives Matter, but the agreement ends there. It ranges from simply desiring an end to the demonization of white people in critical race theory and an end to the PC stranglehold in campus culture, to a more classically liberal "by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin" to a complete disavowal of racial identity politics all together (/leftypol/ on 8chan tends to be like this), to an actual race conscious type of nationalist socialism a-la the pre Hitler DAP of the bro's Otto and Gregor Strasser.

great points but where I disagree a little is the people who make up alt right and the alt left come from completely different demographics. Your description of alt left's opposition to neo liberalism is accurate, but I don't think it is as simple as saying someone who rejects mainstream leftism.  But where you might argue they are frustrated with the current direction of the left and are a new reaction to it, I would argue that maybe its a case of the left simply leaving members that now make up the alt left behind.  Maybe that is a distinction without a difference, or I am simply interpreting it differently than you, but I see alt left's political positions on social issues as nothing new, in fact they used to be the mainstream thought of the left back in the 1990s.  What the left evolved into today and is commonly accepted as "mainstream left" now, used to be considered far or extreme left 20 years ago.  As I see it, the alt left simply are the leftists whose stances did not change.  In effect, they are conservative leftists.  I don't consider Bernie Sanders alt left, however.  He is really a throwback to the Mcgovern era, and really is a straight up socialist.  Based on the article you posted, I don't see sanders qualifying as an alt left guy.  



#33
The Kurgan

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On social issues, I do sort of see your point Chalup. On social issues the center left used to be much more libertarian and "melting pot" than it is now, and the shift didn't happen all of that long ago. Hell, I remember getting into fights at school for not embracing the culture of black inner city youth, because racist. On economic issues though, the DLC, like new labour and so on couldn't be further from what the alt left is. Clinton, Blair etc. are our version of the "cuckservatives." We don't have anything nearly so clever a term for them, mind you. Not yet anyway.

#34
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Maybe that is where the miscommunication on my part is.  I was speaking about social issues.  It's harder to compare economic issues of today's alt left vs what CM is calling the "new democrats" of the 1990s because the economy has changed so much, both domestically, and world wide.  I find that just as many conservatives have seemed to go far to the right on social issues, a lot of people on the left have gone far left, relative to the "official" democratic stances of even just 10 years ago.  Could you even imagine a BLM style organization existing during the late 1990s or early 2000s?  The closest comparison I can think of would be around 2006 when there was a series of immigration marches, mostly supporting undocumented immigrants, that actually inspired a lot of backlash.  Today, when similar marches occur, they are hardly paid attention to.  But in 2006, when there were marches in the LA area, and some were carrying Mexican flags, many on the right went nuts claiming the US had been invaded and these marchers want to tear down the US, and all kinds of other hysteria.  Similarly, with BLM, while it is heavily criticized today, it is somewhat tolerated.  And that is despite some of their rhetoric sounding almost like it is straight out of the Black Panther or Nation of Islam separatist play books*.  If some of what BLM says today were said in the late 1990s or early 2000s, it would receive a huge backlash, and such an organization would likely have fallen on its face early on.  

 

*Don't misunderstand, I think legit police brutality and targeting of people for their race is deplorable, and should be protested.  I am speaking about the radicals and agitators who stir the pot and have an agenda beyond advocating equality and bringing criminal cops to justice.  


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