Punk Johnny Cash has asked that I write more about the Alternative Right and their movement. We’ve had several excursions with them here at Gonzo Times, as I have when I written about them elsewhere. This article I hope to be a definitive piece aimed for republication in the Gonzo Times zine and a reference point for anyone who wants to learn more about this movement.
First, a definition for anyone who doesn’t know – the “alternative right” refers to a political category of white supremacists and patriarchalists who are seeking to make their ideology a burgeoning part of conservative politics in the United States, Europe, Canada and elsewhere in the “Anglosphere.” When “Alternative Right” is used with capital letters, it is a reference to the website Alternative Right, founded by Richard Spencer and Alex Kurtagic.
With a black man in the White House, record population of Muslims in Europe and Hispanics in the United States and economic strain on white, middle class America, they seem to view their ideology as having more selling power than any time in eighty years.
Eighty years is not a random number, in that instance. The alternative right is made up precisely of people that follow the ideology of Nazis and fascists of yesteryear. The online journal Alternative Right is filled to the brim with articles like “The Enigma of American Fascism in the 1930s.” In that article, writer Michael Kleen writes fondly of pro-Nazi groups that flowered during the 1930s as some sort of counterweight against Roosevelt’s New Deal:
In the third decade of the Twentieth Century, as the Great Depression dragged on and the unemployment rate climbed above 20 percent, the United States faced a social and political crisis. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was swept to power in the election of 1932, forcing a political realignment that would put the Democratic Party in the majority for decades. In 1933, President Roosevelt proposed a “New Deal” that he claimed would cure the nation of its economic woes. His plan had many detractors, however, and at the fringes of mainstream politics, disaffected Americans increasingly looked elsewhere for inspiration.
I have never seen anything like this before. In an article on the Tea Party movement, the fantastic Christopher Hitchens wrote that people like Fox News host Glenn Beck have been “canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting it right back in again.” There have always been fringe groups in American politics, but in recent history they have been limited to groups like The League of the South, groups for old curmudgeons who don’t like their kids attending school with children of color.
What the alternative right is doing, however, is seeking to make mainstream political ideas that were long ago found by both American and European society as beyond the pale. Many figures in the movement, such as Kevin DeAnna of the Youth For Western Civilization (a group I will get to later in this article) and Andrew Yeoman of the Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA) have both written on the Alternative Right website that their movement is doomed to fail. Despite this, they have succeeded in attaining mainstream accolades.
Andrew Yeoman, representing his group BANA, has flipped the script on multicultural victimhood politics and used the rhetoric for “people of European descent.” He has been invited several times on Russia Today, the Kremlin based cable news network, to talk about such issues.
Yeoman is a self-satirizing sort. He obviously takes himself quite seriously but his ideology and group are extremely comical. Videos of Yeoman on YouTube can be seen of him and his group BANA holding a neo-Nazi car wash somewhere in the suburban Bay Area. Another video of him shows him protesting the film Machete for its apparent advocacy of “genocide” against “people of European descent.” The Coen Brothers would be wise to follow his strange antics, as he would make for a great character in one of their comedies.
More formidable than Yeoman is Kevin DeAnna. His group, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), was founded in 2008. Like Alternative Right, it’s an overtly racialist group but one that masks itself as a very mainstream organization. In the past few years it has managed to grow its numbers from American University in Washington D.C. to Michigan State University to Washington State University, its latest outpost.
DeAnna, like most everyone at Alternative Right, is a great writer. DeAnna has contributed several articles to that website, all of which were highly readable. His communication skills also translate to in person encounters, as he was very direct, clear and sociable in a video interview with him by Salon.com from the floors of CPAC 2011. Unlike the Alternative Right website, YWC has the endorsement of established politicians, with Colorado U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo being an honorary chairman.
A typical article on the YWC website will be one like “The Left Forum: Mixing Education and Extemism.” Such cliched articles are typical of conservative college groups, who have been bemoaning leftism on campuses for several decades. The really interesting stuff comes from DeAnna himself, who will post articles portraying Hispanic leader Cesar Chavez as an opponent of Mexican immigration. DeAnna knows the language of political Doublespeak quite well, and if left to his own devices, YWC would be able to mask its fascist core more properly.
The mask falls off, however, with YWC member blogs. One writer, William L. Houston of the University of Alabama, regularly shows what the YWC is really about, with his article subjects ranging from League of the South influenced diatribes about assaults on “Anglo-Celtic heritage” to a very revealing piece called “The Politically Incorrect Earthquake.” That article literally made the argument that Haitians suffered greatly in comparison to Japanese because of the natural inferiority of Haitians to Japanese.
What is supremely interesting about the alternative right is its being the real deal when it comes to right wing nationalism. There is no apologetics here or false moderation. In addition to folks like DeAnna, the alternative right is rife with people like Jack Donovan, an openly homosexual masculinist and advocate for a return to patriarchy. Like his more ethnically motivated compatriots on the alternative right, Donovan’s gender wars are motivated by real world changes.
The role of men is no longer clear in our society. Men are unanimously in every culture driven by a need for self-respect and, with no clear paradigm for manhood any longer, men are more at risk of losing that self-respect than ever before. As strange as Donovan is, his extreme approach (and ultimately retrograde, damaging and unsustainable) to this very real issue that many men are feeling to some degree is one of the more piercing points of the alternative right. It has gained him a review in Vice magazine by the controversial writer John Safran, who reviewed his book Blood Brotherhood And Other Rites Of Male Alliance. Safran’s analysis of Donovan is one you have to read to truly experience:
Jack Donovan is a very right wing homosexual. He’s bright, sincere and so idiosyncratic it’s hard to know where to begin. His first book, Androphilia, was subtitled Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity, and railed against rainbow flags and lisps. He’s also a contributing editor to Alternative Right, an online magazine seen by many detractors – and supporters – as white supremacist. For this audience Donovan declares his homosexuality, then argues the case for accepting gays in the military and for welcoming gay workmates (the non-lispy ones, at least).
Now comes Blood Brotherhood, his contribution to the gay marriage debate.
Donovan thinks men, including gay men, are instinctual warriors. They like to fight and build things. To woo a woman, men temporarily suppress this instinct and become romancers. Flowers, snuggles, and white-frosted wedding cake. But this isn’t man’s natural state. So the question is: if two men want to commit, why go through with all this gay woman stuff?
Nevertheless, he likes the idea of a commitment ceremony. It solemnises honour, respect and watching each other’s back.
So if not a wedding, what?
Donovan proposes an alternative rite: a blood pact. Yes, as in opening a vein and mixing blood with your boyfriend.
Read the rest at Vice Magazine: JOHN SAFRAN’S CONTROVERSIAL BOOK REVIEW – Viceland Today
Donovan is a regular at Alternative Right, and fits in next to co-founder Alex Kurtagic. Kurtagic is a straight up neo-Nazi. His website advertises fiction books with premises of “What if Hitler lived?” and his site is adorned with a background of World War II era German military decorations. (Given the diversity of western military history, it should really be noted where someone’s head is at when decided to align themselves with Nazi military iconography.)
Spencer, on the other hand, was a regular contributor at the American Conservative and Taki’s Magazine before founding the Alternative Right website with Kurtagic. Kurtagic’s website features interviews with Spencer, one of which includes the always creepy as hell Spencer reminiscing over a vacation he took wherein his former boss, Taki Theodoracopulos, adorned a Wehrmacht helmet:
Taki is a man who resides in a couple of different worlds. Instinctually, Taki is a “paleoconservative” or “traditionalist” . . . or perhaps I should say “fascist” (I, of course, mean that as a compliment. I always have this image of him wearing a Wehrmacht helmet while skiing in Switzerland, as he related in one of his columns.)
Alternative Right had a pledge drive for $25,000 in order to propel their website forward. The site apparently reached that sum, which should illustrate that this is not a simple bump in the road. What the alternative right is selling is something that has an audience, one that is likely quite large. As controversial as this may sound, the most compelling move may be to address these issues that are crawling out from beneath the carpet of modern life, instead of pretending they do not exist. (John Safran and Christopher Hitchens are among few commentators with the balls to do this so far.) As any doctor can tell you, a tumor unaddressed will only get worse.