Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ring Fencing the Dissident Right

Speaking of Spencer and of himself, Gottfried said, “I think it is probably a trick that history plays on thinkers. But I think you’re right—he says that I’m his mentor. I think I’m his reluctant mentor, I’m not particularly happy about it.” He sighed. “Whenever I look at Richard, I see my ideas coming back in a garbled form.”*

A few weeks ago Nick B Steves posted a image which attempted to define the boundaries of the Alt-Right, something I want to make a few comments on.

I want to start off by saying that this is not a dig at Nick, rather it's criticism, in good faith, of several problems that I see with it.

Firstly, Richard Spencer and his ilk own the Alt-Right brand. This ownership hasn't been conferred to him by anyone in particular, but the fact is that mainstream usage of words confers upon them their meaning. To be fair, the Spencerites have always assumed the title but now that the media sees Spencer as the official embodiment of the Alt-Right the mainstream usage of the word has become associated with him and his ideas. And the ideas are certainly not those advocated by Gottfried when he first raised the term.  Spencer, working with the media, have been able to twist its meaning.

What this means is that anyone who is opposed to mainstream "Conservatism" and who is opposed to Aryanism v2.0 needs to find another name to call themselves to stress that distinction in the public sphere. As far as I'm concerned the term, Dissident Right, is as good as any. It's also important for the Dissident Right to make a public disavowal of the Alt-Right, since the Alt-Right's main tactic--assisted by the mainstream media--is to be to claim other non-mainstream Right movements as their own. Given that some of the Alt-Right's positions give the appearance of being in agreement with the Dissident Right this tactic causes conflation errors amongst cognitive misers--i.e. most of the public--who associate all these movements as one.  The odium of Aryanism gets spread onto other movements by this mechanism and people like Gottfried have to spend their time defending themselves from beliefs that they don't hold.

Spencer might be a likeable, courageous and edgy guy, but his ideas and more importantly, the metaphysical garbage they bring with them, are toxic. It needs to be remembered that solution for left wing stupidity is not right wing stupidity and for a Christian like me, materialism repackaged as Aryanism v2.0 is stupid.

Secondly, what this image needs despite the graphic difficulty is a third (z) axis labelled Positivist and Trancedentalist, because this is where the serious ideological battles of 20th Century lay. Spencer's  vision is Positivist;  I'm not, therefore any "Right" that Spencer belongs to mutually exclusive to mine.

The Great Battle in Western Civilisation has been between Christian Transcendentalism and Materialist Positivism. Positivism got the upper hand about the time of World War 1 and has been reigning triumphant since. The major ideological battles within the 20th Century have been between the various positivistic factions and quite simply the argument about how to arrange the deck chairs of societal institutions misses the bigger picture of the ship sinking.  There is no survival of the West without a break from Positivism. Anybody who doesn't grasp this fact is arranging deck chairs.

I feel that the minimum membership criteria for inclusion into a Dissident Right which represents Western Civilisation should be:

1) A belief in the Truth.
2) An intention to calibrate act and understanding towards the Truth.
3) A belief in empirical data.
4) The belief in a Christian Transcendentalism, or at it's very minimum, a non-hostility towards it.

I want nothing to do with the Alt-Right and disavow them.

I belong to the Dissident Right.

*The article from which this quote was pulled  is a lot of rubbish in my opinion, but Gottfried's quote was good.


Anonymous said...

You are a faggot. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

The ideological struggle for the hearts and minds of humanity , I believe, is between "Universalist" (All humans are, or should be,one community, morally and ultimately politically)
and "Particularist"(Humanity is divided into a number of communities, morally as well as politically.These communities are defined by certain shared traits, racial and/ or cultural.This is natural, normal and good. While every individual might have a minimal moral obligation to every human being, we each have a special and primary moral obligation to members of our Ethny, race etc.(descent communities) this includes past ancestors and future descendant members.Thus seeking the survival of one's primary in-group is a moral obligation.This need not entail hatred for or harm to others. )
This scheme of classification puts Islam, Christianity, Secular Humanism, and most Liberals in the same category: Univeralist.
I believe SP you are a Universalist. I'm not,but I respect your intelligence and I intuitively feel you're a person of moral integrity.

Jason said...

Thanks for the warm wishes earlier doctor; likewise. Yeah, Peasants into Frenchmen is really good, a modern historical classic I would say. You wouldn't think that the story of French peasants - who even during much of the modern age maintained mentalities that were to a significant degree medieval - and their transformation from approximately 1870 to 1914 into national patriots would be terribly interesting, but Weber makes it a fascinating tale (even during part of the second half of the 19th century, for example, many peasants literally spoke another language and could not be understood by their fellow Frenchmen from other areas).

Alas, you're correct that the parallels between late 19th/early 20th French (and European, I would add) society and contemporary America are all too disturbing. The chasm between Left and Right (broadly defined) that appears unable to be bridged, the anti-capitalism (i.e. the sense that there is no real free market but that the system is "rigged" in favor of the usual suspects), the national socialism (Trump is a National-Socialist through and through, although of course not a Nazi), the economic problems - these similiarities are all plain to see. To be sure, there are differences as well - I don't think the specter of anti-Semitism in America is so apparent (yet) as it was (is) in France - but still, the general situation here is disquieting. I'm hopeful about the future, but certainly not optimistic.

MK said...

This is a very good post. I'm afraid I don't know enough of the names on the chart to have much an opinion, but it seems pretty well done to me. I would have put you exactly where Nick does.

Regarding your commentary on Spencer, I like how you describe him. For all his admirable traits, he's pretty dumb (politically). And toxic is a good adjective for some of the ideas. He lets the enemy define him. Vox has him fairly well pegged, to me.

Question 1: Would you place yourself on the chart in the location Nick does? Forget the "area name", that's garbage, but rather your relation to the other characters listed?

Q2: Don't you think "Dissident Right" lacks a certain rhetorical flair for those who have a desire for the Transcendent? Doesn't this name alone define us as existing only by way of Positivism? Shiver.

Anonymous said...

After yet another term is invented, people will project various 'racist', 'sexist' and 'phobic' shadows on it. Just as "Democrat" and "Progressive" have taken on the meaning of the social-justice cult which wears them, and you have kids that talked about 'short-bus special' with the same meaning as 'retarded'.

Changing the words by which you refer to something is at best a short term dodge. It often also contributes to the continual muddying of language, reducing the ability to communicate.

The Social Pathologist said...

@First Anon.

You are a faggot. Nothing more.


Why don't you go back to Stormfront.

@Second Anon.

I believe SP you are a Universalist.

I'm actually a Particularist but with the qualification that I'm a Christian Particularist. What this means is that while all men have equal dignity in the eyes of God, human nature disposes men to preferentially live amongst their own kind. The other thing I am is a historical realist, and the historical record of Multiculturalism has not been pretty, hence my opposition to it. I don't believe in Kumbayah Christian universalism which is a relatively recent phenomenon and a product of the triumph of optimism over experience in an age of Western affluence. I think a "soft" but equal segregation is probably best for disparate groups. The problem is where to draw the line and how to implement it.

Christian anthropology teaches that humans are a product of their genetics, environment and posses a moral nature.

Aryanism v2.0 is a repudiation of Christian anthropology and an assertion of straight out materialism. Aryanism v2.0 asserts that genetics determine culture and moral nature. It's a positivist materialism repackaged as Genetic Utopianism, using the imagery of the past--thereby seducing the weak minded that it is a return to it.

The Social Pathologist said...


and their transformation from approximately 1870 to 1914 into national patriots would be terribly interesting,

I think the subject is fascinating and has not been properly dealt with by Right thinkers. Religious thinkers, in particular, tend to see the collapse in faith in the 20th C through a philosophical lens. I more convinced that the change in the material conditions of man, bought about by technology and the increase in population may be far more influential.

What I also find very interesting is the similarities of Action Francaise and the philosphy of Maurras with contemporary Alt-Right/NRx thinking. Maurras's brand of "Right Positivism" failed to deliver the goods in the end.

Btw, I would disagree with Trump being a national socialist. I feel he is going to be more a Paleoconservative than a natsoc.


1) I agree with Nick's placement.
2) Dissident Right is the best term I could think of for this piece. Personally, I'd prefer the Superenlightenment, but that would really be pretentious! I'm open to any new names.

@Third Anon

Changing the words by which you refer to something is at best a short term dodge.

That depends. As mentioned above, the meaning of the words is conferred onto them by their real world usage and unfortunately "Alt-Right" has become synonymous with Aryanism v2.0. Spencer and the Cathedral were able to successfully engineer the semantic shift.

The opprobrium a word attracts is not the problem rather the concept it represents. Look at the image above. When the Paleoconservatives use the term Alt-Right it has a different semantic notion to that of the Natsocs. The way the Left poisons fledgling right wing brands is by associating them with politically poisonous notions through the mechanism of concept conflation. Precision in language is a strong defence against this type of attack.

The other problem for the Right is that it lacks a words for concepts to adequately explain itself. The terms alpha and beta male are huge conceptual advances for the discussion of sexuality. Likewise, "cuck" is a devastating neologism which accurately labels conservatives who sell out on their principles. A while ago I coined a term to describe the tendency for the average joe to be concerned primarily affected by events which are local, proximate, simple to grasp and vivid. The word--stenosophism--never took off so the concept still awaits a naming.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this hastily drawn and admittedly inadequate map. So basically you object only to the width of the "Alt-Right" cloud. I consider that a big win!!

Richard Spencer does not have much of a track record of defending his brand. He's certainly made a plausible push to re-establishing dominance over "Alt-Right", but I think the verdict is still out. Up til now I've considered "Dissident Right" to be a very close synonym with "Alt-Right". Obviously, if Spencer is able to make the equation "Alt-Right" = Radix or Alt-Right = WN, then I'm happy to redraw in light of that. In the meantime, I wouldn't be too concerned about association or contamination: Where the Alt-Right is right, they are (by definition) right; and where they are wrong, they are not at all dangerous. Rather more silly. I worry about the silly a little... but Sturgeon's Law-n-all that.


The Social Pathologist said...


It is a pretty good map of the field!

Spencer is obviously a white Nationalist and he's on the record with regard to being against religion. He is not pushing for a Western restoration, but a white ascendancy. The other problem is that Spencer's metaphysics are the same as any progressives, with the exception of the equality cause. His vision of the future is just a different version of modernity.

I disagree Nick, they are very dangerous. They're a "right wing" honeypot designed to keep people, who are disgusted with the current system, within it. The fact that they hate the Priests should be a warning to anyone attempting to restore Western Civ.

Happy New Year to you!

I think we're going to have another interesting year!

Unknown said...

The problem with the priests is the same as the Jews (tho' there exists some overlap between the two groups)... only SOME OF THEM need to be gassed.

Non-religious people (like Spencer, like natsocs in spades) tend to have a very shallow view of religion. They see religious spokespersons saying stupid things--civilizationally maladaptive things--and they assume that these errors arise somehow from the religion itself, all the while discounting the essential contributions that the religion made to the character of the West.

I agree with you that WN is a right wing honey-pot... I just happen to see it as benign. We have no use (yet!!) for the great mass of right wing people who are naturally (and I think justifiably) attracted to white identity politics. They don't do the nuance, they won't lead the restoration. When the restorations comes, they will back the strong horse. In the meantime, they just need a hobby.

Chris said...


It seems to me that "Christian particularist" is a contradiction in terms. As I understand it, Christian theology states that Christ's work is for all men, for all of creation actually. Is it the case then that Christianity is, indeed, universal, even cosmically so?

The Social Pathologist said...


Is it the case then that Christianity is, indeed, universal, even cosmically so?

Yes. But the weird thing about Christianity is that while being universalist in nature, it promotes particularism in praxis. Pre WW1 Europe was a hodgepodge of different and defined indentities who were all simultaneously Christian. Christianity is ultimately a movement which promotes identity.

Chris said...

That's a very interesting point which, upon reflection, I think is true and weird as well. But, I think what's even weirder is that this is true only of Western Christianity- which is itself a particular form of Christianity. If that is so, then perhaps it is not Christianity as such which is ultimately a movement which promotes identity?

Anonymous said...

I get three of the axis labels, but what does "There are five lights" mean? All I can google is some episode of a later Star Trek. I can't relate this to its opposite, Muh Constitushun. HELP!

The Social Pathologist said...

As I understand it.

"There are five lights" is from the Star Trek episode and implies the reality of power.

Muh Constitushun is legalism.

MK said...

I've been thinking a lot about this graph and post. Some comments:

The Y axis is where most Traditionalist bump heads. I've never considered this before.

This blog's (SP) position on the graph is fascinating. Being a shrink plus a RC you seem to have a natural tendency towards the 5 lights. But being an Oz rebel tempers this somewhat and makes it bearable?

Myself, American-part-Irish + engineer, I'm Muh Const by reflex...but temper this by being RC, family-oriented, part Germanic, and logical, leads me to the 5 lights a bit.

My point: I think most of the debate among trads can be quantified by this graph, and it's helping me sort things out.

The X axis is what unifies everyone in the manosphere...but causes grief among some Trads by the pedestaling of women. But that's where you as a shrink & RC end up on the left of the graph (no shrink could possibly pedestal women for long!).

MK said...

Sry, I mean being a shrink pulls you to the right side of the graph, not left.

The other thing I forgot: this graph shows how the Alt-right is best defined (broadly) as an anti-feminist group. That's the only thing that unifies us/them. Fascinating. But for Trads, it's not really anti-feminist, but rather pro-female as females were meant to be (thus anti-feminist). So the big weakness for Trads is always the pedestal.

Maple Curtain said...

Whenever I read something on your site, it seems to me that you find it easy to oppose White Nationalists, but you advance no real plan to oppose globalist multiculturalists.

There is an existential battle for civilization ongoing.

You appear to be on the side of the Jews and against the Whites.

If it is otherwise, you might want to spend more time explaining yourself and less time attacking the Alt-Right.

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