Get some popcorn, because its time to watch the Alt Right implode.
After what some are jokingly calling “Hailgate,” where participants at the recent Alt Right/white nationalist National Policy Institute conference “Seig Heiling” as Richard Spencer yelled “Hail Trump, Hail our people, Hail Victory,” the Alt Right has begun to break apart under pressure and internal dissent. The Atlantic had been working on a documentary on Spencer for their website and were allowed in the hall even after the official press conference was ended, though they were asked to blur out the faces of conference goers who did not agree to be filmed. They then saw Spencer give a deeply racist and anti-Semitic speech, after which several people rose up in “jubiliation” and shoved their hand forward in a Roman Salute, cementing the reality of their movement as one of Nazis and white supremacists.
Since then, the anger has ensued. Andrew Anglin, the mentally disturbed Nazi who runs the Daily Stormer, was also a bit angry because their were a few Jews in the audience, one of which was photographed the day before giving the Nazi salute with Richard Spencer.
I’m not even against throwing up Roman salutes at these conferences, and in fact find it hilarious. What I am against is having a Jew Ratface (and an Asian pornstar) as the face of the face of neo-Nazism.
If Spencer is now going to be a representative of the neo-Nazi agenda, he needs to tighten-up his ship. The last thing we need is the world believing that neo-Nazis are just a bunch of kikes and gooks.
Alt Lite personality Mike Cernovich was less forgiving and declared that Richard Spencer was “controlled opposition” sent likely by the government to infiltrate and destroy the Alt Right. He then suggested that Spencer would lead in ATF agents and that there will be arrests and Ruby Ridge style events. Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars agreed with Cernovich, basically saying that this is the end of the Alt Right since “radicals” like Spencer are ruining it for everyone else and continued to revel in conspiracies. Vox Day, the Alt Right game designer and writer behind the Sad Puppies phenomenon at the Hugo Awards, also spoke out, decrying Spencer for what happened at the conference.
Video blogger and former NPI and American Renaissance conference speaker RamZPaul said that Spencer destroyed the image of the Alt Right with this behavior and he is now refusing to use the term to describe himself, instead now referring to himself as a “man of the right.”
Picking up on a long feud between the two, Greg Johnson of the Alt Right/white nationalist publishing house and blog Counter Currents did an essay and audio post stating that Spencer has destroyed the “Alt Right” brand.
Spencer has damaged the Alt Right brand — perhaps irreparably — by associating it with Nazism. The Alternative Right began as a particular brand, the name of Spencer’s webzine. But it quickly became a generic umbrella term encompassing a range of different alternatives to mainstream Republicans and conservatives.
But from its start, the Alternative Right webzine was an entryist tool for White Nationalists. It was a platform for outreach and conversion of people who are closer to the mainstream. It created a safe space where “normie” conservatives could encounter human biodiversity, ethnic nationalism, the Jewish question, paleomasculinity, etc. without having to adopt stigmatizing labels like “Nazism.” But after Spencer’s NPI speech, there is good reason to think that will no longer work.
Peter Brimelow, who spoke at the conference and has helped Spencer a great deal with the recent attention the Alt Right has received, also thought that it was “juvenile bravado” and refused to support the behavior. F Roger Devlin, fellow speaker and often race realist and MRA writer, agreed with Brimelow and denounced the Nazi behavior. Fellow speaker Matt Tait joined them and thought it was “undoing what is good about the Alt Right.” Colin Liddell, the editor at the New Alternative Right and Richard Spencer’s former podcast co-host, agreed with Matt Tait and was not a fan of Spencer’s behavior.
This rejection of Spencer inside of the Alt Right happened at the same time as the media set him up for roasting as dozens of stories exposed him for what he is: a fascist. Major news outlets around the country qualified him for exactly what he is, and he is now being refused the ability to lie about his perspective. We continue to use the term Alt Right, but we qualify it as fascist and white supremacist, something that Spencer did not want. This NPI behavior has now severed his ability to set the media’s agenda, which caused him to throw a tantrum. He went on NewsOne to try and defend himself, and after he was unable he then took to insulting and insulting the host. This has become his go-to since he is unable to maintain the appearance of respectability he desperately hoped for.
On Spencer’s side has been the Right Stuff and the Daily Shoah, where they basically ran extended spots on Mike Cernovich, calling him a cuck, a liar, and everything else. Mike Enoch declared their former friend Vox Day persona non grata, and there has begun a war inside of their camp virulently attacking each other. The cohesion of their movement is beginning to fall apart, and as the Trump camp continues to try and distance themselves from them they are losing everything else they had.
Richard Spencer did a recent video for Radix Journal where he basically admitted that Trump is not turning out the way that he wanted. He is giving in to Neoconservative foreign policy, he is basically “maintaining the swamp” by empowering wealthy elites and lobbyists, and backseating all of his “reformist policies.”
What this needs on the anti-fascist end is to continue to put heavy pressure on every element of this movement, confronting them wherever they crop up and continuing to expose and marginalize their voices. They were confronted very heavily at NPI, which inspired weeks of whining from them, and now they are threatening revenge. We need to continue to build numbers and movements that have the ability to shut out fascist voices and defend communities, and bring safety and solidarity back into our multicultural neighborhoods. Their movement is one of racial hate and violence, ours is to continue the egalitarian project of building a new world.
This last weekend was the largest conference that the white nationalist/Alt Right think tank the National Policy Institute ever had. Featuring Alt Right celebrities like Millenial Woes, Mike Enoch, Peter Brimelow, F. Roger Devlin, and Kevin MacDonald, the speeches were the general fare, a mixture of white revolution and Donald Trump fanboy gossip.
The night before the conference attendees were trying to have a banquet dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Washington D.C. The organizersD.C. area anti-fascist organizations got wind of this event and stormed the venue, disrupting the dinner and confronting NPI Director Richard Spencer. Once Maggiano’s figured out what the event was, especially after a photo was tweeted of Spencer and others at the restaurant “Sieg Heiling,” they donated all profits from that night to the Anti-Defamation League and apologized for hosting it.
The next day the conference began while hundreds of anti-fascist protesters surrounded the venue. The tone of fear could be felt through the conference as Spencer frantically tried to reroute the fascists to avoid confrontation. Emily Youcis, one of the more embarrassingly shallow Alt Right commentators and animators decided to go outside to insult the protesters along with a person filming on their phone. They got shut down by the opposition almost immediately, with the camera person losing their phone and ending up with a head wound after instigating a fight.
This sent Spencer into a bit of a fit, yet they were still able to hold their press conference before hand. Here Spencer demanded that the media take his side in his recent dispute with Twitter as a number of neo-fascist accounts have been suspended for violating the Terms of Service. Spencer went on to insult most of the reporters, along with Jared Taylor of American Renaissance trying to talk down to them with his elitist accent and embarrassing talking points.
The conference then wrapped up with Spencer’s speech where he dropped all pretenses and said that non-whites just want to take things and that Jewish media personalities might not be human. He then screamed “Hail Trump, Hail Victory, Hail Our People.” The crowd erupted in chants, with many joining in a Third Reich styled Roman Salute, often known as the straight-armed “Sieg Heil.”
To Spencer’s dismay this was picked up by journalists filming from The Atlantic magazine, who will be releasing a documentary on Spencer in January. This has spread across the media quickly, prompting many people to start singling Spencer and his movement out as what they are: white supremacists and Nazis.
It may have seen a bit odd to see one of the biggest white nationalist intellectual events in the U.S. happening on Halloween, but there is a certain obviousness about it. Samhain, as it was originally known, was a traditional holiday in pre-Christian Europe where it was said the fabric between the land of the living and the land of the dead was at its thinnest. It was then a time to remember the ancestors, a tradition that made its way into the Christian churches that were built on top of the pagan past, and we see it with the establishment of later holidays like Old Hallow’s Eve before All Saints Day and the Dios De La Muertos celebrations in Latin American countries. With the white nationalist fetishism of paganism under a their self-created concept of “meta-genetics,” there is a certain attraction for them to pontificate about the “threatened” white race in the name of the ancestors on a day like this.
The National Policy Institute’s 2015 conference took place at the Washington Press Club this past October 31st, hosting some of the biggest names in the organized racist community. Richard Spencer, the President of NPI, celebrated this fact, referencing anti-racist posters featuring them as labeling them the “Superheroes of Hate,” and jokingly saying “Avengers Assemble” about their line-up. The conference, as we wrote about during the run up to the actual event, featured a rainbow assortment of white nationalist paranoia. The most featured speaker of the day, so it seemed, was Kevin McDonald, who has been working on a book on the “origins of the white man.” He recently did a podcast episode for Radix Journal, Richard Spencer’s online publication, where they discussed the origins of the “Aryan” race. Here they both indulged in elementary understandings of genetics and embarrassing overreaches about the importance of white racial in-groups. McDonald himself expounded on the idea of developing moral structures, in-group cohesion, and what he calls “pathological altruism” that he alleges is both innate to white people and is destroying them by disallowing them to fight for their ethnic interests. This essentializes whiteness in a way that is anti-scientific, as if having darker skin tones in a lineage changes that genetic history in any way. Spencer and McDonald lament about the Goths, who were eventually absorbed into the Roman Empire, and they opine about this being the potential result of the “white man.” McDonald, now a retired University of California Long Beach psychology professor, is best known for his academic anti-Semitism, where he developed a theory that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” that Jews use to dominate Western societies for access to resources. No one in evolutionary psychology proper agree with this notion, nor agree that there is some type of biological urge to fight for resources with people of different ethnic origins. There is no evidence that we have some biological radar for people of similar ethnic origins that drive us towards allegiance. That is simply not how genetics work, as anyone who has taken a high school science class should be able to discern.
We were also looking at Keith Preston, a former anarchist who likes to parade himself at nationalist gatherings in an effort to find some community as his support for racism has had him ousted from anywhere on the radical left. At this conference he went on about the “Left’s worship of the State,” though his background should have informed his understanding of the anti-authoritarian and anarchist left’s actual association with the State. What Keith really references here is the left’s association with anti-racist and egalitarian values, which he sees as being totalitarian in its monolithic nature. This is an embarrassingly middle school interpretation of authoritarianism, and really lacks even the most basic ideas of where anarchism came from and what the tradition advocates at its core. It was never anti-authoritarian for anti-authoritarian’s sake, but instead a revolutionary libertarian communist tradition, opposed to hierarchical oppression but never in favor of an “anything goes” politic of “pan-secessionism.”
Sam Dickson returned, a Southern lawyer who enjoys a life both as a Southern Nationalist and as a predatory land merchant who takes gleeful pleasure in making money on evicting black families. After saying the much quoted line about “giving blacks Manhattan,” he went on to note that he wants a country for ALL white people. “White people, as we’ve become a minority, will not be able to live in a state of severe repression and discrimination,” he said. “Our ethno-state will not be a meeting of the Tea Party; it’s not going to be the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s going to be a genuine ethno-state with Christians, Catholics, alcoholics, tee-totallers, gay people. It’s not going to be a subset of the right.”
The conference was well covered by a few media outlets, with Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and Raw Story doing full pieces on it. For this, Spencer arranged a press period, which was a sort of delusional show since there were only three journalists there. A big question that was presented to the panel, which included Dickson and Spencer, was if Jews were white. Spencer responded by saying “I think Jews are Jews.” This was a good sound bite as people went on to make anti-Semitic remarks and jokes throughout the day with the laughing support of the crowd. “The Jews exist precisely because they were apart,” said Spencer. “Precisely because they had a sense of apartness—perhaps you could say a little bit of paranoia, about trying to stay away. That’s a clear aspect of Jewish—” At this point he stopped and realized that he was playing his anti-Semitism too straight, and then begged the reporters not to print his line about Jewish paranoia. Spencer thinks of himself as having a very nuanced understanding of Jews, and he hates when he is quoted like some kind of vulgar anti-Semite, but his ideas are so in line with traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes that it is a mirage for him to believe he is any different from people like Kevin McDonald or David Duke.
The conference itself also stood apart from the traditional portrayal of the far-right in the United States as mainly Christian. Instead, there was a strong push towards a kind of racial atheism and paganism, which is expressly noticeable by having the neo-folk band Changes performing in the evening.
One of the real set pieces of the day was the live podcast that they recorded as a discussion and Q&A with Spencer, two hosts from Sweden’s Red Ice Radio, and Mike Enoch from The Right Stuff and The Daily Shoah. Enoch decided, for some reason, to wear aviators at the microphone as he thought that might confuse the anti-fascists who were in the room. Though the rest of the information still continues to come out, some east coast antifa organizations have stated that they were still in the room at that point and have photos of the panel. One person taking photos was forced out of the venue earlier in the day, which was a testament to the paranoia in the room. Enoch is well-known for turning their “alt right” community into a bouquet of racial slurs, holocaust denial, fantasies about killing minorities and Jews, and generally being one of the more self-congratulation focused disgusting examples of the reality of “ethno-nationalism.” It was in this podcast, but really across the neo-fascist movement in the U.S. over the last several months, you can see the influence of Enoch and The Daily Shoah. The panel, who usually tries to couch their rhetoric in academic jargon, instead celebrated the “trolling” nature of their internet presence and state over and over again that this is a sign that “something is happening.” They repeat this as if it is a mantra they really want to believe, and since they have no concept of organizing or movement building it must seem that using the n-word in a podcast under a pseudonym or creating the #cuckservative hashtag is the same thing as creating a revolutionary political movement. Spencer himself banks on this idealism, the idea that if we change our minds we can change the world, instead of looking at the material realities of the world, which gives anti-fascists their greatest tool in combating their reactionary lies.
The conference offered a dramatically discounted rate from its original outrageous dollar amount(this is calculated to give it a posh appearance, which is why the conference is such a poor organizing tool) for millennials, which there were quite a few of. They then used this to say that they are a young movement, but really it is simply that within the racist sphere the young professionals are more likely to attend their event than a Klan rally. It is less that this is a new turn for millennials and more that any of them attracted to white nationalism are there, and their numbers are being vastly oversold. Just as on the internet, the reactionaries love to over speak, and therefore appear more numerous than they actually are. The questions during the Become Who We Are podcast panel were telling as few had any concept of political organizing or even how to communicate their ideas in anything approximating a cogent argument. They did, however, find unity in making fun of the small protest outside, which, from the sound of it, was underorganized and did not have a good strategy for challenging the conference. This has been a problem unique to the United States Antifa organizations, that fail to do long-term movement building or, in turn, actually physically confront anybody. There needs to be choices made about how the action is meant to be effective, whether this means trying to interfere and shut down the event, or, on the other hand, to create a mass coalition to show the power of anti-racist unity in the face of regressive nationalism.
Jack Donovan’s appearance is again a strange addition to the group, but says more about what a fascist movement is really composed of more than anything else. Donovan is known as a sort of “anti-gay” gay writer, a person who coined the term “andriophile” to identify queer men who do not want to identify with what he see’s as an effeminate gay identity. In recent years he focuses on “male tribalism,” is a certain radical wing of the Men’s Rights Movement, and writes about tribal bands dissociating themselves with the larger society and State. In his “Rules for Barbarians,” he focused on things like not caring about the fate of out-group peoples. This ties into work he has been writing for a long time, including last-year’s article “I Don’t Care” over at Radix Journal. Donovan, beyond being deeply misogynist and an advocate of brutal hierarchical violence, is much more wishy-washy when it comes to race. In his article “Why I Support White Nationalism,” he expresses a tacit support for the racialist movement since they are essentially men who want to create their own tribalist society with an in-group and out-group. In his recent article and podcast on the Wolves of Vinland, a folkish Asatru group modeled on a motorcycle gang, it seemed apparent that he was interested in joining. He then wrote a review of “What is a Rune?” by white nationalist Heathen Colin Clear for Counter-Currents, which shows a move in favor of identitarian paganism. Even though his talk did not reference race much, he spoke at the Human BioDiversity obsessed American Renaissance last year. All of this indicates a drift towards white identity for Donovan, though the movement will likely only take him in at an arm’s length distance because of his homosexuality. Mike Enoch really enjoys making gay jokes about him, but Enoch really just loves any time when he can use queer sexuality to degrade people.
The conference had a reported 175 attendants, which may seem like a lot except considering that there really are not a huge catalogue of similar events. For years NPI has lead a faction of the “alt right” that focused on a pseudo-spiritual and academic discourse in favor of ethnic nationalism, but here we are seeing a shift away from neutral coded language and a more open support of traditional racism and Jew-blaming. Spencer is now calling for the need for a whites-only “European empire,” which he alleges is a part of the white “Faustian nature.” When discussing his hometown issue when a group of White Fish, Montana residents got together to stand against his racism, he mentioned how he thought to himself, “What would a Jew do?” The crowd laughed and clapped with glee, and he went on about how he can use his superior logic to turn things around on them. This is all good rhetoric, but the movement he is a part of is composed mainly of double-speak, angry racist rants about pop culture(the humiliating boycott of the new Star Wars is prime example), and the lack of even basic understanding of how to create a movement that can transform anything is what leaves them behind.
This does not, however, meant that they are no longer a threat. There is still a huge growth happening here, crossovers in the form of Donald Trump’s campaign and the fringe movements like Neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment, and their effort to co-opt “radicalism” and “dissent.” To really confront NPI and the growing faction of pseudo-intellectual revolutionary nationalists, there needs to be an anti-fascist movement that does what the far-right was never able to do: to build a movement. Anti-fascist and anti-racists will have to destroy the narrative that nationalists are building, which is easy to do since reality and public opinion really are on our side. Sticking to the Antifa idea of “no platform” is critical, and that does not mean shooting silly-string onto NPI conference attendents, but not allowing them to have a public voice.