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The Alt Right & Conservatism

elephantbones2,142 words

Conservatism, said Russell Kirk, is “neither a religion nor an ideology.” Today, its most stalwart defenders believe it is both. “True conservatism,” we are told, is under attack from the Alt Right, a shadowy group which encompasses everyone from the CEO of Donald Trump’s campaign to anonymous Twitter accounts who worship a cartoon frog. Because they do not agree with conservative “principles,” the so-called “true conservatives” are already fantasizing about another Beltway Right “purge” of the unbelievers. 

But what are these “true conservative principles?” The traditional Reagan tripod (free market economics and limited government, a strong national defense, and social conservatism) has always threatened to fall apart because of its internal tensions. Some of the most influential theorists now broadly accepted as part of the mainstream conservative movement, notably F. A. Hayek, explicitly disavowed the term “conservative.” Meanwhile, loyal foot soldiers such as Pat Buchanan, who were well-grounded in conservative philosophy and who served in the Reagan White House, have long since been purged. Russell Kirk himself was probably only saved from being kicked out of the movement he named because of his death. A “strong national defense” doesn’t permit criticism of the Israel-first tendencies of the neocons.

If you take a step back, this seemingly formidable “conservative movement” appears absurd. There’s no philosophical reason for pro-life Christian Zionists from Middle America to be part of the same “movement” as pro-gay marriage financiers on Wall Street. A movement can’t defend “limited government” while simultaneously promoting a “strong military” and an interventionist foreign policy, as war has always been the health of the state.

The Left’s contradictory coalition of tribes, ranging from devout Muslims to militant homosexuals, is at least united by the common foe of traditional Western Civilization and its European ethnic core. The conservative movement’s different ideological tribes don’t even share a common interest or common enemy.

But that wasn’t always the case. The conservative movement was, from the beginning, simply a coalition, a tactical creation. The unifying factor which held these disparate constituencies together was the threat from the Soviet Union. William F. Buckley famously said, “We have got to accept Big Government for the duration — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged . . . except through the instrumentality of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.” It was the John Birch Society’s lack of support for the Vietnam War, not an attempt to purge the “crazies,” which led to National Review’s war against the Birchers. Frank Meyer’s “fusionism” was simply a plausible rationale to hold the whole rickety structure together.

Buckley was a former employee of the CIA — at the risk of devolving into conspiracy theory, perhaps he never stopped working for them. But regardless of whether he was on the payroll or not, Buckley’s strategy for his anti-Soviet “conservatism” largely followed the activities of The Company.

The CIA backed anti-Stalinist Leftist movements not because it’s the “far Right” organization so many conservatives secretly fantasize it is, but because they wanted to make sure the Soviets didn’t own the Left. Similarly, Buckley ensured “conservatism” wasn’t a critique of liberal democracy or the center-Left establishment, but a defense of it. Those conservatives who took critiques of liberalism too far, like L. Brent Bozell, ghostwriter of Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative, ended up fleeing the movement or even the United States for more reactionary locales.

As in most situations, a common enemy prevented the contradictions and tensions within the conservative movement from tearing itself apart. The vicious struggle between “paleoconservatives” and “neoconservatives” for control of the conservative movement didn’t really explode until after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pat Buchanan, a Nixon loyalist and a man who served as Ronald Reagan’s emissary to the conservative grassroots, challenged George H. W. Bush because he believed the end of the Cold War meant the American conservative movement needed to change with the times. Specifically, Buchanan identified moral collapse, the demographic threat of mass immigration, and the de-industrialization of the economy as critical threats American conservatives needed to attack.

Unfortunately, Buchanan was defeated. He was essentially purged from the movement to which he had given his life. Like so many other movements, conservatism had transformed from a cause to a business and finally a racket. The purpose of the conservative movement became to defend and define “conservatism” as a word. Championing a particular constituency or even the country was irrelevant.

Conservatism had become Conservatism Inc., and it had no stake in victory or in the well-being of its constituents. Instead, it was an interlocking series of institutions which could define the term in whatever way would best serve the Beltway Right’s interests.

Yet despite the Beltway Right’s essential irrelevance on the most critical issues of the today and its inability to halt the Cultural Marxists’ Long March through the institutions, the long predicted “conservative crackup” never quite arrived. The movement held together through sheer inertia.

Conservatism has succeeded in creating a career path for mediocrities content to play the Washington Generals for the Left for a lifetime. And because the Beltway Right controls the access to the mass media and the legitimacy it conveys, conservative dissidents have been prevented from appealing to a mass constituency. Donald Trump was only able to break the cordon sanitaire created by Conservatism Inc.’s gatekeepers because of his unique background as a celebrity and his wealth. Conservatism Inc. won’t lift a finger to build a wall on our southern border. But if Trump falters, we can expect the Beltway hacks to rebuild the wall around their compromised media citadels.

But Conservatism Inc. has a critical weakness. Ultimately, the mass base conservatism depends on consists of European-Americans, especially those white Southerners who saw their cities and their public institutions destroyed because of desegregation. Opposition to “big government” is, in practice, opposition to forced diversity. Even if we grant the Left-wing argument that conservatives were cynically using racist “dog whistles” to whip up white voters, it’s unquestionable that explicit appeals to white racial consciousness are career suicide within the Beltway Right.

It’s not because it leads to bad press. It’s because Identitarianism would blow apart the thin intellectual backing for American conservatism. The development of white racial consciousness would challenge too many of the premises of the movement, especially the pursuit of foreign wars (“strong national defense”), cheap labor and outsourcing (“free markets”), and dysgenic social policies (“social conservatism”).

Thus, Conservatism Inc. has to constantly police itself, both for the Left’s sake, and for its own. Like some barbarous savages who think killing their children will make the sun rise, the Beltway Right ritualistically sacrifices its members as if it’s going to somehow change the Left’s opinion of them. But the real unspoken purpose is to make sure Conservatism Inc. never leads to the kind of white racial consciousness which would allow the American Right to not just confront, but defeat its adversaries. Losing, for American conservatives, is part of their plan.

Unfortunately for the cucks, this can only go so far. Even the most cowardly conservatives need a certain amount of political relevance to keep the scam going. As the Journal of American Greatness contributor “Decius” put it in his widely circulated “The Flight 93 Election” piece, “Among the many things the ‘Right’ still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on.” Though the supposed Hispanic electoral tidal wave is exaggerated by the lying press, eventually demographics are destiny, and there will be a permanent progressive majority.

Non-whites show no interest in any aspect of “conservative values.” And absent at least a certain amount of power within the System, the plutocrats and influence peddlers who keep the Beltway Right scam rolling along will seek other places for their investments. The conservative movement simply cannot and will not continue as it has over the last half century, regardless of whatever “principled” gibberish it comes up with to prolong its unworthy existence.

As many others have observed, the groundwork for the Alt Right was laid by many conservative dissidents, including Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis, Peter Brimelow and many others. Of course, the Alt Right is not paleoconservatism, but is based in the take-no-prisoners chan culture built by /pol and other forums. Post-libertarianism, the culture wars sparked by Gamergate and other pushback against SJWs, and simply the tide of events are also important influences.

But none of this explains why the Alt Right is gaining a voice within the conservative movement itself, nor why movement conservatives are actually fearful they are being swept aside. As George Hawley, author of Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, accurately observes, the Alt Right isn’t trying to save conservatism, like the paleos were trying to do. It’s trying to replace conservatism.

The Alt Right, like the conservative movement, is a coalition, a tactical construction. It is defined by the crisis to which it is responding. For the conservative movement, the threat was international communism as represented by the geopolitical threat of the Soviet Union. For the Alt Right, the threat is the Death of the West.

The symptoms of our civilizational decline are many — the collapse of White identity, the war on politically incorrect history and symbols, the overtly anti-White hatred expressed by the heavily Jewish media and entertainment industries, and so many other plagues, each one of which justifies total rebellion. But the most obvious is “The Great Replacement” — the deliberate and overt dispossession of white populations throughout the West via mass Third World immigration. And mass immigration will break the conservative movement because the Beltway Right has no ability to cope with the electoral consequences.

It can cope with almost anything else. You can always change the goalposts on morality. Yesterday’s ineffectual opposition to divorce becomes today’s ineffectual opposition to gay marriage becomes tomorrow’s ineffectual opposition to polygamy. The same rules apply to economic issues. You can still complain about “big government” year after year even when you never actually succeed in cutting the size of the state. Such failed opposition actually helps the Left by creating the illusion of a real choice.

But immigration is different. If current trends continue, it will be impossible for Republicans to compete on a national level.  No amount of “outreach” or token minority Republicans will change the reality that non-whites, quite rationally, oppose limited government and favor redistribution of wealth along racial socialist lines. At best, Beltway Right hacks will be able to keep the scam going for a few more election cycles. No one can argue in good faith that Beltway-style conservatism has a future in a nonwhite America.

This existential crisis for the Republican Party, the conservative movement, the country, and our civilization provides the opening for the Alt Right. And the stakes are far higher than anything the conservative movement had to deal with. Enoch Powell once stated he would fight for his country even if it had a Communist government. A country can outlast a particular form of government — indeed, as we are learning from Eastern Europe, Soviet occupation may have been less destructive in the long run to national survival than being part of the “free world” during the Cold War.

But a country and a civilization cannot survive the loss of its core population. The nation is the people, not the institutions, the territory, or some kind of “culture” which mysteriously exists independently of the ethnic group.

The recognition that immigration is primarily a racial issue, not just a question of the “rule of law,” is what defines the Alt Right. And once the reality and superlative importance of race is understood, other conclusions on economics, foreign policy, culture, feminism, and the influence of Jews necessarily follow.

Obviously, there is room to disagree on some of these issues. As with any movement or coalition, the Alt Right has different factions. But White racial identity and opposition to the dispossession of our people is core to the entire project and non-negotiable for anyone trying to be a part of it.

The Alt Right has an unquestionable imperative — the survival, self-determination, and upward development of our race in the nations our people created. Abstractions like “freedom” or “democracy” can mean whatever people in power want them to mean. But the survival of the white race is concrete, real, and existential.

The question is simple and cannot be avoided. White survival, yes or no? The Alt Right is for those who answer “yes.”

“True conservatives” can’t even comprehend the question. But they are being rendered irrelevant by the demographic crisis they refuse to notice. And in this time of civilizational crisis, they have nothing important to say.

Conservatism was never coherent. There is no “true conservative.” And it’s only natural now that the Soviet Union has vanished and a more existential threat has arisen, a new force on the Right will take its place.



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  1. R_Moreland
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Back when I was in YAF we organized a chapter of Youth for Reagan on my university campus. Well, Ronald Reagan won his landslide and we all eagerly awaited an end to Big Government. After a year into his administration it was apparent that we were never going to see “freedom in our lifetime” or at least in the lifetime of the Reagan term. i.e., no dismantling of cabinet agencies, no dissolution of the welfare state, no end to affirmative action and the other race rackets.

    Thing is, Reagan was in a position to enact the conservative agenda. He had the popularity, there was the intellectual backing of everyone from Buckley to Friedman, liberalism had been discredited by such atrocities as court-ordered busing, there was a backlash against the Left for its support for the communists during the Vietnam War, and the USA was still overwhelmingly White. Reagan did his part to end the latter item via de facto amnesty programs for illegal immigrants.

    The turning point was with the War on Drugs. Regardless of how one feels about the drug issue, the “war” which Reagan declared vastly expanded the power of the state via asset forfeiture, roving wiretaps, drug testing, DARE programs, the rollback on posse comitatus, and all the rest. Now imagine, if you will, had Reagan used a fraction of this power to crack down on the Left. In the 1980s there were plenty of campus conservatives who were looking for just such leadership. There were also the veterans of the Wallace movement and any number of other rightist and anti-communist organizations. Many of them brought the experience of battles against the SDS, many of them had learned the tactics of protest and civil disobedience in the streets and were spoiling to retake the campuses. Had upper echelon conservatives poured some of the money that was going into Beltway lobbying firms into rightist student activism, had they come down hard against affirmative action, had Nancy Reagan sounded the clarion for “commie” testing instead of drug testing…the balance would have shifted and just consider the difference were academia to be controlled by the Right today instead of the Left.


    Once Reagan was in office, and conservative bigwigs were well ensconced in Beltway penthouses, the conservative movement was effectively over. (One Republican acquaintance got himself a job in the Department of Transportation, routing shipments of American grain to the Soviet Union!) There was an air of unreality about the reign of Reagan, with speeches from the Oval Office about Jeffersonian liberty while at the same time displacing the very White people who made Jefferson’s America possible.

    In 1989 George Bush, sr., took over as Reagan’s heir at the Oval Office and thus came the declaration of the New World Order, precursor to today’s globalism. Conservative politics-as-usual were the facade which covered the decline of White America…of the White world as a whole as many Republicans jumped ship to join the anti-apartheid movement against White South Africa.

    Also at this time I met several people who were proto-Alternative Right. In our discussions it was evident that conservatism had failed because it had refused to deal with the racial issue. If liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide (pace Burnham) then conservatism has been the ideology of White delusion.

    A new politics had to rise to sweep away the rubble of the past…one based on White Nationalism.

  2. Tom Benton
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    The only thing “conservatism” existed for was the preservation of the ill gotten gains of a bunch of fat assed plutocrats! If they had to stab their fellow Whites in the back to accomplish that then o.k.!

  3. Posted September 26, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    A clown show long past its usefulness. In a nutshell: ‘If you take a step back, this seemingly formidable “conservative movement” appears absurd.’

    Very little of this insight is new, in Greg Hood’s writing or in our reading, but this essay targets the Conservative Movement specifically, exposing it as the hollow sham it’s always been. When you need to point a newbie-normie to brief discussion of what’s wrong with Conservativism, this is where you go. Excellent.

  4. Posted September 26, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    This piece is as potent as the Flight 93 article. Conservatism’s legs aren’t holding much longer under these body blows.

  5. Teapartydoc
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Hey, we can always get some folks to larp western civ at shows and fairs when it’s all over, can’t we?

  6. Posted September 26, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see the remnants of the cuckservative-industrial complex spend more time denouncing the Alt-Right in the coming years than they ever did punching left.

  7. BroncoColorado
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    The only form of conservation our energies should be directed to is the conservation of the White race. Everything, literally everything hinges on achieving that objective.

  8. inspector general
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Great article. This paragraph is gold:
    “Obviously, there is room to disagree on some of these issues. As with any movement or coalition, the Alt Right has different factions. But White racial identity and opposition to the dispossession of our people is core to the entire project and non-negotiable for anyone trying to be a part of it.”

  9. Meow Blitz
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    I think (((Corey Robin))) is correct in his assessment of conservatism as a school of thought. Conservatism has never been about conserving institutions, opposition to change, the collective wisdom of tradition, the emphasis on finite human minds, etc. Conservatism has only ever been about preserving or creating hierarchy in the government, the home, the workplace, and so on. In that sense the Alt Right has a better claim to conservativism than the current GOP.

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