Two nights ago I participated in a livestream with Sargon of Akkad, quite a well-known “pop-liberal” on YouTube, about defining the Alt. Right. The guy is genuinely curious about the topic, but there some things inhibiting the learning process (which I’ll get into momentarily).
We began with myself making it clear that I am not at the center of the Alt. Right, that I am not the best person to be defining the term or the phenomenon, and that there are individuals who are much better suited for the job, people like Richard Spencer and Greg Johnson. Nevertheless, I associate with the label and my videos, podcasts and writings have been lumped under the label.
I started explaining the Western political situation over the past few decades which have fuelled the intellectual undercurrents which have coalesced to form the Alt. Right. Standard stuff.
Over the course of this exposition I referenced a few individuals, books and so on which would assist the listener in understanding things, which I was then accused of doing as an attempt to “cop-out” of giving a different answer. Let me repeat that: my referencing of authors, books and other media which might assist the listener in understanding what the Alt. Right is beyond my own — self-admittedly insufficient — exposition was deemed a “cop-out”; a “dodging” of questions or points. This is pure nonsense. I referenced Generation Identity, the European identitarian movement, I referenced Counter Currents, Greg Johnson’s website, I referenced RADIX Journal, Richard Spencer’s website, et cetera, and yet all this was deemed by Sargon and his audience as equal to the social justice warrior’s accusation that their opponents should “get an education” and whatnot. It is pure nonsense; pure, arrant, dishonest nonsense that these two scenarios were equated. Shame on those who believe they should be.
The conversation carried on however, and ultimately ended with me giving in and saying “Look, I can’t give you the answers you want. Speak to Spencer, Johnson, or someone else who’s nearer the center of the Alt. Right and not on its fringes as I am.”
Problems, overall, were focused in two areas:
1) There was this assumption, this expectation, that I’d be some maestro who knows every argument posited by all the various parts of the Alt. Right and all its niches, from race-realism to American identity politics; even though I explicitly said multiple times that I am not some know-it-all and am more on the fringes of the Alt. Right than at its center. I gave what definition I could — that those in the Alt. Right believe mainstream politicking has done nothing to cease the advance of progressivism in the West, that all humans are fundamentally unequal in their value, abilities and character, and that the Alt. Right is looking for identity which to some is racial/ethnic, to some cultural/social, but all is constantly being discussed and debated, and it can be difficult to pin one thing down for very long due to the innate diversity (ironically enough) existent with the Alt. Right, these networks, groups and parallel phenomena — but that wasn’t good enough, apparently.
2) Sargon and his audience wants the Alt. Right to be very easily definable using a very narrow definition when, in fact, that is simply not the case in reality as the Alt. Right is a network of many thousands of individuals, with overarching agreements which you could list on one hand. When I said — repeatedly — that the Alt. Right is a very broad church with multiple component parts and various figureheads with their respective areas of expertise, I was accused of “dodging” questions and so forth, when what I actually did was give an answer which Sargon didn’t want based upon his presupposed dialectic which is as follows:
Thesis: The loony Left is bad (SJWs, feminists, etc.).
Antithesis: The raving Right is bad (the Alt. Right, Rx, etc.).
Synthesis: Thus, moderate, center-ground liberalism is good.
Anything which fails to conform to this model is rendered logically unsound by virtue of its nonconformity to said model. The notion that the Alt. Right is very expansive and informal was not a possibility Sargon wanted to accept because, as was made clear in the stream, he finds certain elements most found on imageboards to be too open and clear for all to see. This was addressed when I wrote “Chanernative Right,” as well as when I wrote “Defining the Online Dissident Right” for West Coast Reactionaries. Both pieces I mentioned in the stream which I doubt Sargon or his audience will ever care to read.
I’d also like to just mention this “individualism vs. collectivism” nonsense Sargon is peddling. This has been addressed by both myself and Cato Disapproves — by me in “Stulti Philosophiam,” and by Cato Disapproves in “Ex Falso Quodlibet” — over on WCR.
I was very disappointed with the personal insults and other such nonsense which surfaced in the comments section once the livestream was online. I’d like to be able to counter accusations made against me one at a time, and especially the assertions that I was being dishonest or disingenuous — quite upsetting to read, actually, considering I pride myself on my honesty. Regardless, the livestream is now private due to my request as I am simply not ready to be bombarded with thousands upon thousands of comments — a significant portion of them quite malicious and cynical.
Expecting to answer questions, not to be interrogated over giving “the wrong” answers, leads me to say that I was in error appearing on Sargon’s stream and I apologise for wasting an hour of his time, and the time of those who watched, considering it is all now unavailable.