Wednesday, February 22, 2017

- The Case For Alt-Incrementalism

So I listened to Richard Spencer’s reaction to the Milo blowup. I’m not going to link it because I don’t think it shows Richard or Milo in the best light. But it did fill me with a desire to talk about the Alt-Movement and the Alt-Right vs. Alt-White vs Alt-Light etc.

I personally don’t understand the instinct for professing a movement that demands purity from all its spokesmen. And the main reason I don’t think it makes sense is that those pure positions represent a comparatively extreme change which is never going to happen. Will white America rise from their beds tomorrow and realize that we need to expunge all non-white’s from civil society? No. Whether you think it’s a good or a bad idea, you should be aware that it isn’t achievable today because no one has made a persuasive case for it.

I personally think there is an excellent argument to be made for a more homogenous society, and I’ve heard people make it in part and in whole for a decade. I found them very persuasive, and I think others would as well. But so far in American culture, no one is making the case for it on the large scale. And insisting on it today as a prerequisite for legitimacy of opinion in a movement seems like a silly idea. It results in fracturing, and that helps no one.

If the Alt-right is going to play a larger role in American politics, and I hope it will, it needs to do so incrementally. We should be expressing broad truths, well supported by facts, data, and history - the kinds of things that your average person on the street will find easy to accept. For example, first and foremost, we need the state to enforce the laws for free expression of opinion. The concept of Hate Speech needs to be shown the door.

And whether you hate Milo, or gays, or whatever you think he represents, he was making enormous strides on that score. Even if you disagree with him about everything else, you’ve got to give that to the guy. He was charging into the most repressive portion of American culture, using his membership as a minority as a cover, and saying all the things you would want anyone interested in free exchange of ideas to say. And I believe that academia is the key to the whole thing. If you crack the nut of academia, then you will slowly crack the nut of the media.

I know many in the alt-Right sphere disagree with this view. They view the media as a Jewish dominated industry firmly dedicated to liberalism and White genocide. Well I disagree. I think if you are putting forward ideas that are modest, reasonable and supported by data, and the academic community is embracing them even in part, then an equivalent portion of the media will follow as well.

The Reagan revolution is much talked about on the right, but from my perspective it didn’t belong to him. It really belonged to an impish little Econ professor from Chicago who made an incredibly persuasive case for economic liberty and the innate power of freedom of choice.

When Milton Friedman persuaded Academia, his ideas became fashionable. And that is what caused the media to begin to allow discussion of free markets as real solutions to our economic problems. Convince Academics and you take the high ground away from everyone in the media who want’s to seem smarter than they really are, which I think is everybody.

Since we’re talking about ideas, the next broad idea in the Alt-Queue should probably be the right to absolutely free association.

Private citizens should have the right to assemble and exclude from that assembly, absolutely anyone that they desire for the purpose of political advocacy. If they want to exclude others by race, sex, sexual preference, or anything else, the state should ensure that they can.

This isn’t so controversial a concept that it will set off the alarms of the big political center of the US. Black advocacy, Latin advocacy, Gay advocacy, Muslim advocacy, Woman advocacy, Chinese advocacy, even left handed advocacy are all allowed. Why shouldn’t white advocacy or for that matter white heterosexual male advocacy be allowed as well?

And if we can freely assemble in a private setting, why can’t we then to begin to do the same in public? It is a right after all, it’s mentioned in the much hallowed first amendment. It won’t be completely politics free to see a change like that, but it’s more likely once private association is recognized. And by then the alt-right will have a much larger base listening, and open to persuasion. And again, make the case in academia, and you will see it accepted for discussion at least, in the media.

The government shouldn’t be allowed to do this of course, and I think you can argue that monopolies shouldn’t be allowed to either. But for the vast majority of cases we should allow private citizens to discriminate as they see fit.

With regard to the media, right now the alt-right is at an obvious disadvantage. Vox is recommending building our own mediums, and I support that take. But I think to say that’s the end of it gives the media and the public in general too much credit with regard to their principles. I think they aren’t devoted to liberalism as much as they’re devoted to keeping their high status and having what are seen as ‘good ideas’ so that they can remain popular. But if it takes a different set of ideas to continue to seem like the smart people, then I believe many will be happy to change.

I see these positions as completely achievable under our current political system. And as the media members who are willing to entertain alt-ideas begins to grow, either by changing the ideas that the current media adhere to or founding their replacement, I think we’ll find persuasive people who are willing to make the case for them. But today, focus on the most extreme ideas simply annoys the broader public and makes the media think you’re a loon.

But I think that can and will, change. If we can all say what we think then we can make the case for those ideas. And if they have support in the form of historical perspective, or carefully gathered data, then I believe people will be open to them. I’ve never met a man who couldn’t be taught to accept the truth. Some have to be more worn down than others, but the truth is awfully powerful.

From another alt-perspective, this is really about credibility. If you’re a guy who spends his time in the comments sections calling everyone to the left of Mike Cernovich a cuck, I think it takes something away from you as a messenger. You may be right, and the trolling is great as a means of taking the weapon from the hands of the most extreme social justice warriors by imposing a cost on their ideas. But for the broader public, it won’t matter because no one will listen to you. And getting people to treat your ideas as a serious thing is very useful in the center. A movement can’t be all about rage, even if a small part of it has to be.

My goal here is to try to make the case for persuasion from the center rather from the ends. I think many of the alt-right’s thinkers are excellent at making that case and though I can’t say he was a deep thinker, Milo was reaching the center. Subjecting people like him to a purity test, seems to me to be a very counter productive thing.

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