I’m quite grateful to Alex, not just for interviewing me but publishing his ongoing series of portraits of the radical Right. Interviews like these help us understand the men and women in our movement in ways that simply reading their arguments and essays do not.
There’s much of interest for AltRight readers in my conversation with Alex, including my tale of being expelled from Canada, which reads a little like an episode from his dystopian novel, Mister. I also bring up an important theoretical point regarding what it would mean for our side to “win.” I hope we can begin a conversation about this matter here.
Alex Kurtagic: The Left would like the apolitical man in the street to imagine that our winning the argument would mean a return to the bad old days: women would be summarily fired from their jobs and told to make babies; Blacks would be re-enslaved and lynched; Savitri Devi’s works would be standard university textbooks; people would be forced to carry bagfuls of gold coins to conduct their business transactions; television programming would consist of 24-hours solid of political speeches; court witnesses would swear on a copies of Mein Kampf; science would be abolished (except for eugenics) and society would be plunged into a dark age of brute force, ignorance, fear, and superstition. What does, in fact, a future where we have won the argument look like?
Richard Spencer: Oh sorry . . . while I was reading your last question, I became lost in a rapturous fantasy. No, what you describe is terrible! I would never want to live in this fascistic, masculine, gold-standard nightmare world.
Seriously, I think one of your most important contributions is to inspire us to imagine a future—even one that’s “impossible” or utopian—and avoid the standard reactionary trap of staunchly defending the last revolution.
Before I answer this fully, let me quibble with your question a bit. One thing I’ve noticed about American conservatives is that they often fantasize about “winning the argument”—they think that, deep down, every American–maybe everyone on earth—is really a conservative, and if preached to the right way, he will embrace the current catechism of loving the Constitution, free markets, family values, color-blind Civil Rights, and the rest. I don’t use these metaphors lightly; most conservatives imagine political activism as a form of religious conversion.
I don’t think this way. First off, I think we have foes who want to destroy us. We won’t be able to convert these people with the right cocktail of new data and argumentation.
Beyond this, I believe the impulses that we label “Right” and “Left” are natural aspects of nature and society that will never go away. Right and Left aren’t just seating arrangements in the French revolutionary parliament; they express fundamental human tensions such as collectivism/individualism, authoritarianism/anarchy, innovation/traditionalism, etc. And much like Good and Evil, Right and Left, and the other values mentioned above, exist in the same human heart. They certainly do in mine.
One extremely important thing the alt Right (and AltRight) seek to accomplish is to shift society in a fundamental way; we’re much more interested in this than “winning” some particular Left/Right dispute over, say, immigration policy or the new START treaty.
I want Western society as a whole to move away from egalitarianism—which manifests itself most obviously in “multiculturalism” and “anti-racism”—and towards an acceptance of Western identity and natural hierarchies.
To understand what I’m saying, let’s turn things around. We should recognize that multiculturalism and egalitarianism aren’t simply particular “issues,” “policies,” or “party platforms”—they are fundamental groundings for political and social discourse. These concepts determine our horizons. Both the modern Left and Right argue within multiculturalism and egalitarianism. No one (at least no mainstream person) is really arguing for or against racial equality; they accept it as a given and simply quibble over how “equality” is best protected and implemented. American “conservatives” and Christian “traditionalists” aren’t offering alternatives to egalitarianism and multiculturalism, so much as their own versions of them.
Let’s not focus on the obvious racial examples and look instead at the recent “gay marriage” debate. Superlawyer David Boyes, who’s been hired to make the case for this practice, asked a number of self-styled “conservatives” a series of questions, which included, 1) “Is marriage good for children?” (in an completely utilitarian sense) and—here’s the kicker—2) “Isn’t America really about equality?” The “conservatives,” of course, answered “Yes!” enthusiastically to both questions. Boyes then asked, “How then could you possibly oppose gay marriage?” They, of course, couldn’t rationally oppose gay marriage. And Q.E.D. for Mr. Boyes. When Left and Right operate under the same assumptions, they’ll usually reach the same conclusions. Indeed, those who actually do oppose the latest egalitarian advance can easily be deemed dangerous lunatics who should be locked away with Jared Loughner.
Put simply, we need to change the big stuff; the little things (for example, policy matters) will follow.
This recognition has also led me to conclude that trying to “work within the system,” or appeal to European-Americans using the language of FOX News and the GOP, is a bootless–not to mention a tasteless–strategy.
To return to your provocative question, in my fantasyland, there would still be a Left and a Right—and granolas and libertarians and animal rights activists and Mormons, et al.—but they would operate within Western unity and natural hierarchy.
Some, no doubt, might counter that you can’t have a “non-egalitarian Left.” But I don’t agree with this at all. Jack London was a collectivist; HL Mencken, an anarchist; both were “leftists,” of sorts, and both rejected egalitarianism. And they both operated on a different planet than the whole spectrum of contemporary Leftists and Rightists, from Glenn Beck to Cornell West.