Thursday, March 04, 2010

My alternative right is more alternative than your alternative right

Alternative Right, which has been in business now for four days, is already a 7.5 on the conservative Richter scale. Two bloggers on my "Gold Standard" list have enthusiastically registered their feelings: hopeful (Dennis Mangan, here and here) and contra (Lawrence Auster, here).

I've checked out Alternative Right — not read everything posted there, but enough to get an impression of what it's on about. My response, which has to be tentative considering the site is still a pup, occupies the No Man's Land somewhere between Mangan and Auster.

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Before getting down to cases, a little preface: Most of us who vaguely identify ourselves with "traditionalist" or "classical" conservatism are dismayed by what passes for conservatism in the mainstream media, the halls of Congress, and many intellectuals' gray cells. At its most superficial, opinion identifies conservatism with the Republican party, business, even globalization. And of course "conservatism" has opened a branch office, neo-conservatism, dedicated to bringing enlightenment, capitalism, and democracy to the Middle East at gunpoint.

In King Obama's moribund administration, conservatism should have a rallying point. Unfortunately, the right is divided, watered down, unsure of what it stands for. And the growing popularity of libertarianism further muddies the view.

So bang from the start, I am somewhat skeptical about introducing yet another "alternative." The problem is not that there is no alternative, but that there is no end of alternatives.

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However, let's see what Alt Right has on offer.

It calls itself an "online magazine." The editor is Richard Spencer, formerly editor of the Greek socialite and Web publisher Taki's site. The second-chair editorship includes Peter Brimelow of VDare. I have long thought that VDare is useless and counterproductive, recycling essentially the same immigration horror stories month after month without doing anything concrete to change the system and draining contributions that would be better sent to the lobbying organization NumbersUSA.

Richard Hoste, whose own blog is HBD Books, explains "Why an Alternative Right Is Necessary."
It's because of so-called "conservatives" like [Dick] Cheney that an Alternative Right is necessary.

Besides our disagreements with mainstream conservatives on the issue of foreign policy and the relative importance of fighting terrorism, there is the topic of race and, more broadly, IQ and heredity. We've known for a while through neuroscience and cross-adoption studies--if common sense wasn't enough--that individuals differ in their inherent capabilities. The races do, too, with whites and Asians on the top and blacks at the bottom. The Alternative Right takes it for granted that equality of opportunity means inequality of results for various classes, races, and the two sexes. Without ignoring the importance of culture, we see Western civilization as a unique product of the European gene pool.
Bringing human biodiversity into mainstream conservatism, if Alt Right can pull it off, is good. "If," because it is not clear to me why HBD should become respectable just because of Alt Right. There are plenty of pre-existing HBD sites, but mainstream, soi-disant conservatism will have no parley with the heathens on this subject. Water wears away rock, but the time span is measured in millennia.
I'm no scientist, but I would guess that nuclear technology, like all technology, is going to get progressively less expensive and more widely available. Muslims have never failed to use against their enemies any type of arms they could get their hands on . They also tend to fight those whom they live amongst.

One would think that the odds of a major terrorist attack happening would depend on how many Muslims are allowed to live in the United States. Reducing Islamic immigration in the name of fighting terror would receive widespread public support, be completely practical in a way installing a puppet regime in Afghanistan wouldn't, and not lead us to kill or torture anybody.

Yet the "Conservative of the Year" [Cheney] whose entire raison d'ĂȘtre has been "keeping us safe" acts as if such a thing isn't even possible. The idea that nothing must be done to stop the March Of Diversity is so entrenched in the minds of those considered of the Right that they will defend America policing the entire planet, torture, indefinite detentions, and a nation on permanent war footing but won't mention immigration restriction or racial profiling.
Good again. Still a Forbidden Thought in pseudo-conservative dialogue, and it needs to be said. Once again, though, how much use is saying it? Lawrence Auster has vociferously advocated a policy of separationism between Islam and the United States for years without any noticeable influence in the political sphere.

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But Hoste also seems to advocate one of the stupidest of all "conservative" ideas, that whites should indulge themselves in a breeding contest with other races.
We may lament the low European-American birth rate, but the fact that it's even near replacement level in such a feminist and anti-natalist society is a testament to natural sex differences.
I do not lament the low European-American birth rate; I'd like to see it become universal. It's true that as long as we keep importing high-procreation ethnic groups (which Hoste says he's against), then whites are in a demographic graveyard spiral. Whites trying to outbreed other groups is not a sane answer. Even if it could be achieved — doubtful — it would merely accelerate the pace of the overpopulation that is at the root of virtually every environmental problem. There's an "alternative" view for you.

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Robert Weissberg writes on "The Siren Song of Diversity," criticizing the diversity industry's grip on business and government organizations. It's well written, although there have been articles and books by the carload in the past two decades on the subject. Still, he does have an interesting take on how "affirmative action" and all the rest of the official tribal favoritism has actually, in the large picture, worked against the interests of American blacks.
Walter K. Olson’s The Excuse Factory observes that employers can run afoul of anti-discrimination laws by insisting on employee traits that are so obvious, so pertinent to the job that they are never put in the official job description. These include traits like a pleasant attitude, a willingness to follow instructions, being neatly dressed, an outward enthusiasm for the position and being law-abiding, among many others that define “a good worker.”

In today’s upside down world, this too-obvious-to-warrant-saying policy invites legal trouble: since possessing an agreeable disposition is not formally part of the job advertisement, and not a specified must-have part of the job, a sullen, foul-mouthed applicant with a “’tude” can insist that he was turned down on racial grounds since nothing was actually said about his obnoxious demeanor. Obviously, since no job description can be exhaustive, a litigation-prone black applicant can always claim that it was race, and only race that lead to him not being hired.
Faced with anti-discrimination pressure carried to crackpot extremes, a company may well choose to avoid the persecution through equally extreme measures.
When costs and risks are fully calculated, it often makes economic sense to move to North Dakota (or India), sub-contract out as much as possible, automate the tasks or just exit the market. … Ironically, the traditional and relatively cheap solution to addressing impossible-to-meet regulations—bribing the building inspector, for example—is unavailable when confronting ideologues who fervently believe that they are helping the less fortunate by making them impossible to hire.
What to do? Weissberg has an answer, and it is witless.
Now, compare the benefits of hiring Juan, a Mexican (of uncertain legal status), who desperately wants to return home and buy a pick-up truck, to John, an African American with a hyper-sensitive sense of racial injustice. Though both enjoy equal legal rights, Juan is unlikely to exploit them.
And so on, with his own siren song about the comparative value of hiring Hispanic immigrants. Right out of the "jobs Americans won't do" and "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande" playbook of George W. Bush. A strange inspiration for an "alternative" right publication.

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I don't think Weissberg is a conservative of any stripe. He is, if you want to group him, a libertarian. And it appears from this article that he has the typical libertarian blindness to any values other than economic ones. It's fine with him if the United States becomes a Latin American country, as long as it is more "efficient" and improves the Gross National Product.

Which brings up something else. Nowhere in this "magazine" — why call a Web site a magazine? It strikes me as pretentious — do I find, so far, the slightest notice of spirituality. God is dead in this "alternative." What kind of conservatism leaves out any sense of a higher, non-material realm and source of moral behavior? This kind, I guess.

Atheists and scientific materialists can be genuinely conservative on various issues. Their unbelief does not make them bad people. I think I understand their intellectual objections to spirituality, and in many cases it does them credit: they're rejecting dogmatic religion. The thing is, intellectual objections to the call of Spirit are just that, intellectual. The rational mind is not the way to God, although it can be useful in guarding against fanaticism and power trips justified in the name of spirituality. Knowledge of God, which is bound to be an on-and-off thing, seen "through a glass darkly" for most of us, comes from an inner transformation of consciousness, not from the intellect.

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But I digress. On the basis of its short record so far, Alt Right may be worthwhile as one more gadfly buzzing around the left. Its views are well expressed, even when I disagree with them. But its brand of conservatism appears to be partly a product of unexamined assumptions derived from what Auster calls "right liberalism."

Every political movement, to be effective, has to strike a balance. It needs to accept enough differences on one point and another so it doesn't break into factions and splinter groups. Yet it has to be principled as well, and not water down its message unto blandness. More than that, it must energize its followers to act, not just nod at debater's points. We will see what, if any, influence Alt Right can contribute along those lines.

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17 comments:

John McNeill said...

Mr. Darby, I agree with a lot of your observations on Alt Right. But I wonder, why do you think that sub-replacement birth rate of whites is a good thing? While I agree that we shouldn't breed irresponsibly, nor enter a breeding contest with non-whites, surely you realize that a sub-replacement birth rate that never reverses itself will mean extinction?

Do you favor shrinking the white population to a more acceptable level, whatever that may be, and then hoping that whites will breed enough to sustain that ideal number?

Also, in Hoste's defense, I don't see him endorsing a breeding war.

Edgar said...

"Bringing human biodiversity into mainstream conservatism, if Alt Right can pull it off, is good."

Not if they take this idea and blow it far out of proportion, so that it is endlessly invoked as an all-purpose Explanation of How the World Works. For that matter, it is unclear that "human biodiversity" is denied by the mainstream Right. Charles Murray, the most promiment thinker and writer on the subject, and who is far more knowledgeable, articulate, and humane than all of the "HBD" bloggers, gets published in NRO, Commentary, and even the NYT. He is not exactly a pariah in the mainstream.

Edgar said...

I should add that Alt Right is not likely to bring much to mainstream conservatism, in view of the fact that Alt Right is itself not mainstream conservatism. And if it continues to regurgitate the idiotic anti-American cant about "torture" and "puppet regimes," which does not amount to a useful discussion of American policy, it does not really deserve to be taken seriously.

Bruce said...

Jim Kalb is there so there's your spirituality.

Rick Darby said...

John McNeill,

You ask, " ... why do you think that sub-replacement birth rate of whites is a good thing?"

I think a sub-replacement birth rate of all races is a good thing. I tried to be clear that I was not advocating that only whites should limit their procreation. As long as we don't insist on inviting Third World immigrants to come drop their anchor babies and having their eight kids on the public dime, whites will not lose out in the demographic stakes.

" ... surely you realize that a sub-replacement birth rate that never reverses itself will mean extinction?"

Who is talking about a sub-replacement race that never reverses itself?

We could reduce our population to half of what it is now, which was the number that fought World War II victoriously in two hemispheres and created unprecedented prosperity in the decades following. Aside from geopolitics, a lower population equals greater quality of life and less stress on the environment.

"Do you favor shrinking the white population to a more acceptable level, whatever that may be, and then hoping that whites will breed enough to sustain that ideal number?"

Yes.

Rick Darby said...

Edgar,

For all practical purposes, Charles Murray might as well be a pariah where HBD is concerned. His excellent book about the negative long-term effects of the welfare state -- Losing Ground -- had a benign influence; his writings involving HBD are carefully hedged and, as far as I can see, have had no influence whatever, including on mainstream alleged conservatism.

Rick Darby said...

Bruce,

As of my posting, Jim Kalb had not written anything for Alt Right.

Although I would probably agree with Kalb in some respects, I can't say for sure, because I quit allotting him any of my time years ago. To me he is an academic, unreadable bore.

Rick Darby said...

To prevent misunderstanding (if such a thing is possible), I am not an enemy of Alt Right. Any new conservative site is encouraging, whatever reservations I may have about particulars. I wish it well, but like any other such enterprise Alt Right is not beyond constructive criticism.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Even if it could be achieved — doubtful — it would merely accelerate the pace of the overpopulation that is at the root of virtually every environmental problem. There's an "alternative" view for you.

Well Said!! I been wondering whether there was any sanity, amongst conservatives, when it came to them just wanting to launch some insane breeding contest.. as if God would simply respond by doubling arable land, tripling oil supplies, etc....

So, nice to know somewhere in conservative land there is sanity on this issue! thanks...

Anonymous said...

You may know more about Weissberg's views than me, but it seems you are misreading his comment about Juan. He is not endorsing hiring Mexican illegals as a "solution"; he is describing why doing so is appealing to businesses. It serves only for his explanation of the "blackening" of government jobs.

John McNeill said...

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Darby. While I'm always uncomfortable with the idea of shrinking populations, I can at least recognize the logic behind your ideas.

TAS said...

I don't think Weissberg is arguing that open borders is good. He's not advocating anything - he's just explaining one way businesses try to avoid dealing with the diversity-industrial complex.

However, I agree with what you have to say about libertarians (I consider myself one). It seems to me that the problem with the libertarian leadership is that it spent eight years (correctly, in some cases) allying with leftists against Bush, but as a result some of the leftism rubbed off on them.

As for the lack of spirituality, does that really matter? Not every website need to be a religions website. I'd rather read a secular alt-right website than a religious right website, because too often the religious right ends up sounding like liberals (i.e. that current "abortion is racist" campaign in Georgia).

Anonymous said...

too often the religious right ends up sounding like liberals (i.e. that current "abortion is racist" campaign in Georgia).




All of the different sub-groups on the right sound like liberals on at least some topics. This is true for the religious right, the secular right, social-cons, neo-cons, and libertarians.


It seems to me that the problem with the libertarian leadership is that it spent eight years (correctly, in some cases) allying with leftists against Bush, but as a result some of the leftism rubbed off on them.


You give them too much credit. The libertarian movement has a generations long history of being allied with the left. Frequently this alliance is not only against conservatives, it's even against genuine libertarians. For instance, the Official Libertarian Movement threw its weight against Prop 187 and in favour of illegal immigrants collecting welfare! That's the "libertarian leadership" for you in these United States.

Marcus said...

Imagine, that insufferable prig Larry Auster has attacked a would-be ally for failing one of his many - many - litmus tests. Surprise.

icr said...

And if it continues to regurgitate the idiotic anti-American cant about "torture" and "puppet regimes," which does not amount to a useful discussion of American policy, it does not really deserve to be taken seriously.

No one is more anti-American than the elites who rule America. When James Burnham called liberalism the "ideology of Western suicide" back in 1964 he had no idea of what was to come. Late-stage liberalism (PC, Multicult, Feminism, Diversity, etc) is the de
facto official state ideology no matter which party is in power.

"Hate crime" charges over cotton balls and pillow cases on Dr.Seuss statues,suppression of black on white crime, NCLB, state sponsorship of white dispossession ,coddling of Maj.Hasan, and women on submarine crews are all of a piece. You can't have a "useful discussion of American policy" while this kind of "soft terror" regime reigns unchallenged.

Take a look at this:
http://www.the-spearhead.com/2010/03/05/a-tyrant-on-the-high-seas/

icr said...

P.S. Weren't the covert ops-or whatever you want to call it-used against the Minutemen amazingly effective? The KGB couldn't have done a better job.

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