Beyond Alt: Understanding the New Far Right

Der Daily Intelligencer vom New York Mag mit einem dicken, fetten Dossier über die Neue Rechte, Neoreaktion, die Alt Right und ihre tausend Verbindungen sowohl off- als online.

Das Dossier besteht aus einer Reihe von Artikeln unter dem Tag The New Far Right und in denen schreibt unter anderem Max Read darüber, warum „The Whole World Is Now a Message Board“, eine Reihe von Autoren und Akademikern fragen sich „What Are the Roots of the New Reactionary Rage?“ und Andrew Sullivan mit einem langen Stück über „The Reactionary Temptation“, „An open-minded inquiry into the close-minded ideology that is the most dominant political force of our time — and can no longer be ignored.“

Center Piece ist der Text „Beyond Alt – The Extremely Reactionary, Burn-It-Down-Radical, Newfangled Far Right“, ein Stück aus nicht weniger 28 Sub-Texten und Links, die dutzende Phänomene, subkulturelle Codes und Verknüpfungen ansprechen, die allesamt in den letzten zwei Jahren explodiert sind und gegen die die Linke derzeit, im Wortsinne, fürchterlich alt aussieht. (No pun intended.)

Die Zwischenüberschriften schaffen insgesamt einen guten Überblick über die Thesen des Textes, ich stimme nicht mit allem zu 100% überein, muss ich aber auch nicht:

1. To understand this new right, it helps to see it not as a fringe movement, but a powerful counterculture.
2. With a worldview based entirely on resentment: of seven things in particular [Immigrants, Globalists, Snowflakes, Feminists, Interventionists, Journalists, Elites]
3. The movement’s new vanguard is teenage “shitlords.” The world is their message board now.
4. Which is why the movement expresses itself this way [Memes]
5. Andrew Sullivan: Why the Reactionary Right Must Be Taken Seriously
6. Their thought leaders are obsessed with the past — but saw a way to win the future.
7. (By the way, the left wants to blow things up too.)
8. Beyond Le Pen: The world’s nationalists.
9. What are the roots of this rage? [White supremacy, Neoliberalism/Globalism, Post-Modernism]
10. What came before it? [Preppers]
11. Like the evangelical right or the new left, the new right is its own social universe … with strange totems … [Pepe, Milk]
12. New slang … [Cuck, Cancer]
13. … And its own canon. [Oswald Spengler, Taylor Swift, Fight Club, Fashwave]
14. Celebrities … [Milo, Spencer, Lauren Southern, Tomi Lahren, McInnes]
15. Plus a deep link to California.
16. The movement has a real problem with women. [MRA/PUA/Manosphere]
17. But (some) gay men feel welcome.
18. And Bard grads, too.
19. The Gender Politics of the Alt-Right [an der Stelle halte ich das Dossier für mehr oder weniger unbrauchbar, es ist aber auch kein größeres Thema an der Stelle]
20. They’ve created their own media ecosystem. [Youtube]
21. The White House is reading it closely. [From Nunes to Trump to Cernovich to Trump to officially aknowledgement of Cernovich for his new role as „journalist“ in the White House by Donald Trump Jr. in pretty much zero time]
22. Conspiracies abound.
23. And this alt-press prides itself on independence. [Breitbart]
24. A nativist is in charge of the police state. [Jeff Sessions]
25. Support from the rich fringe shows no signs of drying up.
26. Some donors dream of a techno-libertarian future. [Thiel]
27. And even UC Berkeley has become a power center. [„Free Speech“-Rallys, Berkley-Riots]
28. Which means the new right is not going anywhere.

Das ganze Ding ist ein Must Read für alle, die sich einerseits für die Entstehung von Subkulturen und Sprachen und Codes und die Manifestationen von Netz-Phänomenen im Real Life interessieren (also mich), und andererseits auch sieben Monate nach der fucking Wahl immer noch nicht fassen können, dass Trump tatsächlich Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten ist (also mich).

Seit Jahren, seitdem ich in der neunten Klasse mit meinen Ethik-Lehrer über Hippies debattierte und wir uns gefragt haben: Wenn die Hippies der Aufstand gegen den „Muff von 1000 Jahren“ und die Weltkriege ihrer Eltern-Generation war und zu einem guten Teil mit der natürlichen Rebellion einer Jugendkultur fusionierte, wie würde eine solche Rebellion aussehen, wenn die Hippies nun die Eltern-Generation wird? Nun. Ich fürchte, ich kann der Antwort auf diese Frage grade in Echtzeit beim Entstehen zuschauen.

Daher stimme ich NYMag-Autor Max Read in seinen abschließenden Worten des Dossiers komplett zu: Diese Phänomene sind hier, um zu bleiben, und sie werden uns noch für Jahre beschäftigen, wahrscheinlich sogar für Jahrzehnte. Welcome to your world.

the alt-right is much bigger than Trumpism and will almost certainly survive it. The movement has always been primarily a counterculture — a fringe community that created its own pantheon, canon, media apparatus, and even language — and the best model for its future is probably a counterculture, too. The New Left and its fellow travelers did not “win,” in any concrete political sense, in 1968, but they did realign global and American politics — and so shook the core of the country that we spent the next 50 years fighting each other over its legacy.

Remember when it was the dewiest hope of millennial Obama supporters that the baby-boomers would finally exit stage death and leave the country in the waiting hands of a new rainbow coalition? Trump himself is a candidate of the elderly, the Republican Party is aging, and political polarization around the world is still driven by the oldest voters. But the new right is, all of a sudden, young. And it’s advancing on new fronts in the culture war where it is actually fought, among the kids (which means on the internet).

As Paul Joseph Watson, the conspiracy theorist turned new-right hero, puts it, “I’m not sure the left understand the monumental ass-whupping being dished out to them on YouTube” — a boast that sounds pathetic until you realize that teenagers and young adults watch more YouTube than TV. These days, no matter how small its avowed membership might be, the alt-right attracts the most breathless media attention and the most dangerous protests; its journalists, like Lucian Wintrich, are more eye-catchingly transgressive than anyone on the left (including Glenn Greenwald); its comedians, like Sam Hyde, induce the most bafflement and rage in Mom and Dad (Dave Chappelle is being fêted by the Establishment he criticizes).

It helps that it’s very well funded for a counterculture, as Milo Yiannopoulos, touring America’s colleges on Robert Mercer’s dime (and now launching a for-profit professional trolling organization with what he says is $12 million in secret funding), could tell you. There is power in transgression — power that liberals lost when they won the culture war and began to set the boundaries of social and cultural acceptability.

The new new right may never swallow the American cultural mainstream, especially so long as social-justice and socialist movements on the left challenge its rise, but that doesn’t mean the country isn’t going to be wrestling with its influence, and its bomb-throwers, for a generation.

But who wants the culture when you’ve got the counterculture? Who needs the presidency when you’ve got YouTube?