Review: A Fair Hearing: The Alt-Right in the Words of Its Members and Leaders

A Fair Hearing: The Alt-Right in the Words of Its Members and Leaders
George T. Shaw (ed)
Arktos, 2018

“After absorbing the initial impact the alt-right remained intact and forward-oriented, no nearer or further from its goals, but now more serious and matured.” Thus remarks Evan McLaren, former Executive Director of the National Policy Institute, in a profound personal account of Charlottesville and its immediate aftermath. McLaren’s account is one of 21 essays which together comprise the latest offering from Arktos: A Fair Hearing: The Alt-Right in the Words of Its Members and Leaders. His thoughts offer a succinct summary of the broader contents of the volume — the essays here are representative of a movement in some respects battered and bruised from legal and media entanglements, but also remarkably clear-headed and ideologically robust. Heightened media attention devoted to the Alt-Right, which peaked in 2017 and not always for the better, has been intense and fluctuating, dating probably from Hillary Clinton’s September 2016 “Basket of Deplorables” speech. At first this attention seemed oriented towards crowning an Alt-Right leader who could then be used as a focal point for both defining and maligning the movement. It now seems absurd that Milo Yiannopoulos was the first pick, though he gradually faded into obscurity as the 2016 NPI conference, along with the “Whitefish” incident, brought Andrew Anglin and then Richard Spencer to national prominence. Arguably, it was Whitefish that first offered an opportunity for the media to introduce fear of the movement, rather than simply horror or disgust, into its narrative. Tanya Gersh, one of the key protagonists in that affair, declared she was not being harassed by trolls or deplorables, but “terrorists.” The texture of media coverage quickly changed in the aftermath, absorbing the language introduced by Gersh and her backers in the Southern Poverty Law Center, and culminating on August 11–12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While the media has busied itself for two years with talk of trolls, deplorables, ‘Nazi’ salutes, tiki torch marches, and even domestic terrorism, the ideas and experiences which form the backbone of the Alt-Right remain off limits. You will search in vain for serious journalism in which the thought leaders of the movement are probed for opinions on matters of national or cultural significance. In short, the movement has never been given a fair hearing. The latest literary offering from Arktos is a corrective of sorts, addressing curious ‘normies’ as well as established movement members. A definitive statement of ideology is not found in A Fair Hearing, but rather something better. The volume deals with all of the key ideas around which the Alt-Right has coalesced, but also introduces personal paths of awakening, cultural commentary, essays by women about women, and even a guide to trolling. It’s a text which manages to convey the cultural as well as ideological complexities of the movement without compromising on even the most sensitive topics — a danger that is always present in any attempt to attract mass attention and support. For example, not only is there an excellent contribution on the Jewish Question from Kevin MacDonald, but several other contributors also touch on the subject, with editor George T. Shaw remarking candidly in his introduction: “Jews not only wield obscene levels of power in Western societies, they use that power to damage native White populations.”

Introducing the volume, Shaw states that Alt-Right ideology orbits the idea that “White people, like all other distinct human populations, have legitimate group interests.” The Alt-Right arose in response to the fact “the mainstream American right has failed in spectacular fashion…dutifully submitting to each new interpretation of “equality” and reliably adopting policies that Thomas Jefferson would regard as both palpable madness and high treason.” The mainstream American right has failed mainly because it has refused to confront the reality that the real spiritual and philosophical struggle taking place is not in the area of economics but race. As Shaw points out, “every ‘conservative’ loss has been, in reality, a transfer of power from White males to one or another nonWhite and/or non-male fringe group.” To reverse this transfer, the Alt-Right has rallied around three core principles. The first is that demography is destiny. Human societies are shaped by their human material, and since racial or ethnic traits are most unchangeable, “diversity and multiculturalism do not ultimately enrich White lives, but rather tend to make White societies poorer, more dangerous, and finally unliveable for Whites.”

The second principle is that the Jewish Question is valid. “In the United States Jews vote over 70 percent against traditional White interests, own and operate media empires that relentlessly propagandize against traditional White values, and are instrumental in shaping and advancing policies that undermine traditional White families and communities.” Even the 20 to 30 percent of Jewish ‘conservatives’ “tend to subvert White interests, an excellent example being Ben Shapiro who once infamously tweeted that the does not “give a good damn about the browning of America.”

The third principle is that White genocide is underway. “Whites have already been replaced in many major population centers across the United States, and in all Western nations. Cultural manipulations such as state, academic, and media promotion of feminism, diversity, promiscuity, and homo- and trans- sexuality heavily suppress White birthrates.” While an array of shock tactics has been used to bypass media censorship and articulate these principles via the internet and social media, the outrageous and sometimes crude presentation of these ideas should not obscure the fact “the alt-right is made up primarily of eminently sane and intelligent White men who have woken up to find themselves marked for elimination in their own civilization.”

The volume is split into five sections, the first being “The Alt-Right in Context,” featuring essays by Gregory Hood, Collin Liddell, and Sam Dickson. Hood’s essay, the best of the three and one of the best in the volume, is “The New Kulaks: Whites as an Enemy Class.” The piece offers an excellent overview of the increasingly anti-White public discourse — summed up in Hood’s observation that “the word ‘White’ has become an insult.” The meme of ‘White privilege,’ “impervious to evidence and ultimately unfalsifiable,” is given considerable attention. Hood has a talent for magnificent turns of phrase (“Modern progressive ideology is a cargo cult masquerading as a critique of power”), as well as a talent for considered observation. He is particularly strong in explaining how our strengths have been transmuted into weaknesses by changes in culture. He notes, for example, that “as power in the media age is secured by seizing the mantle of victimhood, this inner fortitude of Whites constitutes a political disadvantage.” Whites, argues Hood, are essentially the new kulaks — a maligned class that is being slowly pulled apart before being scheduled for destruction.

In “A Normie’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” Colin Liddell offers the volume’s most informal and light-hearted contribution. The central focus of the piece is the truth that perceived political dichotomies between ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ parties throughout the West are largely false, and that both “factions” are in fact wholly in sync with the central goals of leftist globalism. And leftist globalism, argues Liddell, “is sick and degenerative, both in demographic and economic terms and any individual or group that deems itself healthy — or which values health — must reject it.” He concludes with an attempt to offer “Normies” a more nuanced portrayal of the Alt-Right than the one-dimensional caricature they find in the mainstream media:

The Alt-Right is both message and medium, both substance and form. Those inspired by it gravitate to different aspects of it, and participate with different levels of consciousness and involvement…Alt-righters are, in the final telling, people with vastly different talents, insights, circumstances, and methods, organizing around a set of incontrovertible truths.

Sam Dickson offers a comparative essay on the changes he perceives to have taken place in American nationalism during his 55-year movement career. This is a predictably exceptional and inspiring essay from one of the most eloquent communicators among us, and one of my personal favorites from the volume. Dickson explains his personal connections to individuals “who were actively involved in the passage of the National Origins Act to preserve our national character in the 1920s,” before succinctly charting the progress of the movement up to the present. Most interesting is his section on “Characteristics of the New Generation,” where he notes that younger ethnic nationalists are “not hostile to Europe,” are “not enchanted with economic explanations of history,” are less inclined to believe in reform within the System, and “have embraced Wilmot Robertson’s idea of the ethnostate as a solution for beleaguered Whites.” Dickson also notes that the younger generation is “much more broadly based” than at any time in the past, and that movement members “are of a much higher human quality than the rank and file of my generation.” I found it particularly pleasurable to see Dickson dispense with niceties at the end of his essay and let some anger shine through:

The current so-called elite consists of jumped-up White trash composed heavily of sociopathic individualists devoid of any instinct of loyalty and whose psychological hard-wiring simultaneously makes them the perfect collaborators with our enemies and also makes it impossible for them to ever be citizens of our ethnostate. We can write off most of the ruling one percent of our race.

The second section of the book, “Personal Perspectives,” contains one of the volume’s standout essays, a gripping and profound account of Charlottesville from Evan McLaren. Just a few months after graduating from law school, McLaren took on a senior position at NPI and thus found himself at the heart of the Alt-Right – “the most threatening political heresy of the present day.” McLaren’s account of the preparations leading up to the Unite the Right rally, as well as his very personal experience of police betrayal, chaos, and violence on the day is presented in a play-by-play format that culminates with McLaren, Richard Spencer, and their close associates, exhausted and depleted, gazing at the TV screen in their hotel rooms as the media hatchet job began. To his credit, McLaren hasn’t produced a narrative built on self-pity, or doom and gloom. Ultimately his message is one of calm resolve and hardened determination. For this reason alone, I found it inspiring.

The second section continues with two relatively short but worthwhile essays by Melissa Mészáros and Marcus Follin, better known by his YouTube moniker “The Golden One.” In “Lessons from Homeless Feminists,” Mészáros offers anecdotes of her boyfriend’s Hungarian grandmother as a counter-proposition to the arguments of feminists. The juxtaposition of images of the happy old woman surrounded by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and those of bitter, childless feminists comforting themselves only with a series of ideological clichés, is quite powerful, but light-hearted enough to offer some relief from the more serious fare covered thus far. In a similar vein, Follin’s anti-pornography piece, “Cut Off the Path of Retreat,” is interesting without being too intellectually involved, and conveys an important message in terms of male self-improvement — an increasingly prominent aspect of Alt-Right culture.

The final, and longest piece in this section is Jared Howe’s account of his path from the Libertarian movement to the Alt-Right. In “Regarding the Insidious Libertarian-to-Alt-Right Pipeline,” Howe outlines the beginnings of his political activism in the 2007 Ron Paul campaign. After the failure of the campaign, Howe made his way to libertarian content producers like Stefan Molyneux, before encountering examples of “entryism” that he felt were ultimately damaging both to libertarianism and to American society in general. After noticing that many such “entryists” were Jewish, Howe made a shift towards more candid content producers on the right, encountering Richard Spencer, Mike Enoch, Jazzhands McFeels, and Christopher Cantwell. The thread tying together his experiences at the Ron Paul campaign, Trump rallies, and Unite the Right is “White people with traditionalist sensibilities finding themselves with no political representation in the nation their ancestors built.”

In the third section of the volume, “Culture Clash,” essays by Ethan Edwards, Bre Faucheux, and Richard Spencer deal with topics as varied as the political uses of historical memory, what the Alt-Right offers women, and the role of TV sports in sedating and emasculating White men. In “The Last Big Battle of the Civil War,” Edwards takes issue with Jewish movie mogul Rob Reiner’s social media comment: “GOP frightened to death of the browning of America. They will lose this last great battle of the civil war. Diversity is our strength.” Edwards points out that the mainstream media permits Reiner’s outburst as “acceptable conduct,” even if it not only “calls for an end to White America” but also couches “the sentiment in a historical narrative of racially-charged violence.” Edwards sees the victorious Trump campaign as a response to this trajectory of national discourse, describing Trump as “a conduit, a mascot, a primal roar from White America.” The essay is full of righteous anger, perhaps best conveyed in the observation that “White people do not mechanically need the Rob Reiners of the world. The Jewish ethnic identity — a people among us who hate and fear us, and use their supremacist-victim cult to rationalize fleecing us and plotting to destroy us — serves no good purpose in our civilization.”

In “How the Alt-Right Benefits Women,” Bre Faucheux takes issue with Marxist claims that “women who join the alt-right or hold alt-right ideas are psychologically defective, and worse still, that they enjoy being abused and dominated by men who are also psychologically defective.” Faucheux argues that feminism is a kind of suicide pact whereby women have traded the security and freedom of a home life for participation in the wage economy and allegiance to a blatantly degenerative cultural framework that compels promiscuity, childlessness, and loyalty to leftist ideas.  Ultimately, “the supposedly radical position of the alt-right with regard to sex roles and relationships is nothing more than a correction of the failed theories and practices promoted by the feminist left.”

Illustrating that women are not the only victims of the System, Richard Spencer’s “Stop Watching Football” is a classic essay on the deadening effects of modern culture on White men. This is one of the more scathing pieces that Spencer has penned, and this is a sincere compliment. He asks: “On a deeper level, what does it mean for a White man to paint his face, remove his shirt — perhaps spend hours boozing and gorging in the parking lot before games — and cheer on Black athletes?” He points out the hypocrisy inherent among those Whites who flee from the cities to the predominantly White suburbs, only to invest time and money in supporting an increasingly Black sport: “They live their lives in recognition of racial reality…and then spend their luxury time retreating into racial fantasy.” This is an essay that deserves to be read, re-read, and disseminated every time the mainstream media presents this or that multicultural sports team as an example of a putative triumph of diversity — the French victory in this year’s World Cup being an excellent example.

In the book’s fourth section, “The Human Question,” we encounter some of the movement’s heavy hitters — most notably Jared Taylor’s essay on “Race Realism” and Kevin MacDonald on “The Alt-Right and the Jews.” Further essays by Roderick Kaine, Bill Matheson, and Ryan Faulk deal with sexual relations and other issues of concern to the manosphere, a blue-collar look at the African presence in America, and the genetic history of Europeans through a quasi-eugenic lens respectively. Taylor’s piece is full of all the detail, erudition, and penetrating common sense we’ve come to expect from the AmRen leader, culminating in his warning that “Whites are only about 15 percent of the world population, so if they let nonWhite immigrants into their countries in large numbers and condemn Whites who make a deliberate choice to marry within their own race, it is only a matter of time before they disappear.” Kaine’s essay, “The Sexual Prisoner’s Dilemma,” is an excellent breakdown of the collapse in trust between the sexes, resulting in a rapidly declining Western birth rate as men seek to avoid biased legal systems, financial ruin, and even false paternity in the wake of feminism. Kaine concludes that the “only morality is civilization, and civilization is only possible when men are willing to marry, breed, invest and toil because it works in their favor.” Dispensing with niceties and academic nuance, blue-collar Bill Matheson argues in “Irreconcilable Differences” that Black Africans are essentially a different species. As well as skewering liberal hypocrisy on the Black experience, and the European experience of Blacks, Matheson points out that “all evidence suggests that if the White species cannot manage its own systems, its systems will cease to exist. Furthermore we cannot survive shackled to a group that (a) loathes us, (b) lives off of our productivity and (c) downgrades our overall capacities and functionality through increasing hybridization.”

In “The Alt-Right and the Jews” we turn to material and arguments that will be very familiar to TOO readers. Kevin MacDonald makes an exceptional and well-documented case for his contention that “alt-righters are justified in identifying Jewish influence as an issue that requires special attention.” He does an impressive job of condensing some huge topics without losing any of their essential importance, covering “Jews and the American Right,” “Jews and Middle East Interventionism,” “Jewish Involvement in Shaping U.S. Immigration Policy,” “Jewish Activism on Behalf of Blacks,” “Jews and the Media,” and “Jewish Involvement in Censorship” in a classic essay that could really serve as the basis for a policy document.

Wrapping up section four of the volume, Ryan Faulk examines the manner in which genetically-based traits spread and argues that until the 1950s the European peoples were on a path of genetic betterment. For Faulk, the “first world” “is entirely a function of the genetic changes that created a New European, who, without any outside help, destroyed serfdom and created the modern world.” Mass immigration, miscegenation, lower birth rates, and the promotion of unhealthy traits risk undoing this progress. While White guilt underpins much of the propaganda behind this decline, Faulk insists: “If anyone should have racial pride, it is Europeans, the more northern and western the more so.”

Closing the volume is a section titled “Counterrevolution.” Daniel Friberg’s essay on “The Metapolitical Warfare of the Alt-Right” is a no-nonsense look at Alt-Right media strategy and the rationale behind it. George T. Shaw returns to examine anti-White memes and narratives in “Dismantling Anti-White Newspeak,” in which he skewers the concepts of racism and anti-Semitism as lacking validity since “the races provably have different IQ averages and behavioral tendencies,” and “Jewish group agendas are provably damaging to host societies.”

This is followed by Alex McNabb’s, “The Art of the Troll,” an entertaining account of the development of Alt-Right troll culture and its significance as a metapolitical strategy. The final essay of the volume, “Physical Removal: More Than A Meme,” offers insight from Augustus Invictus on the possibility of confronting and removing Antifa and other hostile elements of the population within the framework of the Constitution. Examining historical precedents such as the internment of the Japanese during World War II, Invictus makes a great case for aggressively confronting Antifa and other treasonous elements with legal sanctions. He concludes that “we have the legal and moral justification to directly address this problem. Physical removal and the restoration of order is possible within the bounds of the Constitution. To delay the ultimate shutdown is simply to postpone the inevitable, and to surrender the initiative.”

George T. Shaw’s postscript, “Think Again, They Are Coming for You,” is really addressed to normie readers, but some of his comments bear repeating here:

Be clear on this: even if alt-righters were the “scoundrels” the fake news media makes them out to be, the hunt for heretics would not stop once all the “Nazis” were imprisoned or terrorised into silence…The alt-right is, finally, just an acknowledgement of what objectively exists, and what is objectively taking place. And we are at a point where denying our predicament as a race and as a civilization is both dishonest and dangerously — even suicidally — stupid. If you have no coherent or truthful arguments to counter the ideas presented in this book then the challenge you are faced with is to decide where you stand now, before your enemies decide for you.

This is a terrific collection of essays that is difficult to fault, and it is my sincere hope that it finds both audiences that it seeks — the movement veterans and the everyman confused about the state of his culture and nation. One might argue that it is too heavily focused on the American context at the expense of other Western nations, but it is the American context that really gave birth to the Alt-Right, especially in a stylistic sense. One might also suggest other voices and personalities who could have been included in the volume, but all the right and necessary notes are sounded here and there is a limit to what a single volume can include. The publication of A Fair Hearing is a heartening sign that the Alt-Right’s “moment” has not passed and is symbolic of the fact the movement is still here, still fighting, still searching for ways to further its cause. As Daniel Friberg writes, “Simply put, the struggle is not lost. In fact, it has only just begun.”

Struggle is natural and good. We in the Alt-Right know that and appreciate it better than most.

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