Friday, January 13, 2017

- What I Think The Alt-Right Needs

When Freerepublic was in it's heyday, it was a truly standout source for right leaning Americans with an interest in politics. It offered another view, and another take on current events that was directly offset to the left leaning mainstream media. When the online right leaning alternative media came into it's heyday, it was by drawing the eyes that Freerepublic had already brought to the medium.

Over time, Freerepublic's amateur commentariat can wear on you. Uninformed voices all carry the same weight as the fully informed, in fact since that may be their only outlet for their 'wisdom', the uninformed can often dominate discussions to the annoyance of anyone who actually knows something about a topic.

National Review's "Corner" was different. It was informed, collegial voices, often arguing over finer points, but for the most part offering up a singular take on events. For many years, it very much read as a smart man's Freerepublic, where ALL the voices were informed and intelligent. It was persuasive voice in national events, and it's participants eventually entered into the mainstream media, albeit on the "counterpoint" side.

This I think is the format the Alt-Right could really use. A group blog with frequent intraday updates, where all the writers are intelligent, literate, and thoughtful. Comment sections can stay open (though I really like Vox Day's "no omegas" rule), but writers of the articles themselves should be of the non-crazy type. Which part of the Alt-Right do I think is crazy? I couldn't say exactly. In my mind there are cogent points to be made in all of them, even the most outlandish. The key is to find writers willing to contribute who will make those points once, and listen to the other points in turn without reducing things to a shouting match.

I'm not a media guy, so maybe I'm off base here. But with a young, new movement, I would think the pieces could be put together pretty easily. Get The Derb, Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow, Vox, Ace, someone from the Chateau, Gavin McInnes, Steve Sailer maybe an occasional contribution from Milo and you're in business. Bring in some of the younger more thoughtful voices (all to write under their own names only) in order to keep the update frequency high and to keep things polite enough to draw eyes from the mainstream right, and you'd really have something. The goal of course would be to 'mainstream' the actual thinking. To make it more acceptable to know what the alt-right says, even if you don't agree with it. And to have some easy and collected access to the intellectual weight that's been brought to bear in the currently disparate movement. The problem then of course would be really "mainstreaming" it. Most Americans, if they read somehting the Derb wrote instead of just reading in the New York Times tell them he's a wanton racist and hater of things non-white, would find the ideas palatable. Even more so since the rise of Trump. But I think attracting an occasional contribution from right leaning but non-alt-right writers would be important.

Unz I think is trying to do this, and I think VDARE is as well. But neither has the posting frequency to draw the big number of eyes. You can read everything new in Vdare on a single visit at the end of the day, and thought Steve Sailer is fairly prolific, there isn't much new on Unz in a given day either. Ace of Spades has a nice high update frequency, and it's often funny as hell - a key ingredient. But lacks the deeper, slower commentary and ideas that Unz and Vdare do. I'd like to see all of them in a single place.

I can imagine that it might even be able to work as nothing but a linked back clearing house ala the Freerepublic model. Build an open, mobile friendly platform, drop a paragraph from the post of a member blog along with a link back to the original on the original writer's blog, leave room for a comments section, and monetize it to pay for the effort. A college kid would do it.

But for real presence you'd have to have the occasional online discussion (I say discussion but knowing the Alt-Right it would probably be an argument) between the writers themselves away from their original sites. It's a broad enough set of ideas to allow that, and so long as personal invective is kept to a minimum, interested readers would have a first pass location from which to get to the 'thinking' of the alt-right and watch it be refined.

Yes, the comments section would be a mess of hitler analogies, and leftist accusations, and it would be a target for politically correct hacking. But I think it's something that the Alt-Right really needs. A single 'collection' of voices, and a single source to get access to the real 'thinking' that the alt-right is doing.

And if the established group blogs like Unz and Vdare were to take this as a point constructive criticism, I'd certainly have no objection.

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