June 28, 2012
I am just recovering from a splendid weekend in Seattle, a conference organized by my good friend Guy Wolf, editor of an alternative-right blog.
(You never know how people will react to having their names publicized in this context. To be on the very safe side, I have substituted pseudonyms of my own devising for all the actual persons at the conference, except for one I have identified by her blog.)
So there we were at a hotel in Seattle, thirty-odd adherents of the politically incorrect, race-realist, diversity-skeptical, alternative right: some academics, some blog proprietors, and some interested citizens.
It was a very warming and encouraging experience. I tend to think of the alternative right as an impotent splinter group, like those of the Trotskyites I used to hang out with in my London college days. Some individual Trots ended up in senior political positions, but Britain never had a Trotskyist government.
The Seattle crowd’s vigor, conviction, and sheer intelligence had me rethinking that. There were no dopey Trot-type ideologues here chewing over arcane points of political philosophy or the minutiae of old Politburo debates. (I mean the alternative-right equivalents thereof, which would be…oh, I don’t know: what Giovanni Gentile said to vex Benedetto Croce in 1925, perhaps.) These were thoughtful, very smart people, but they were practical-minded, by no means pettily ideological, and well up to date on US political developments. I came away thinking that the alternative right is a real thing, with real prospects for broader influence.
The presentations were very good. One of the academics, anthropologist Tom Clout, gave us a brilliant overview of current controversies about kinship recognition and its origins in natural selection, embellished with colorful anecdotes from his field work in Africa.
Another academic, who prefers complete, non-pseudonymous anonymity, brought us up to date on the latest researches in psychometry. S/he displayed complete mastery of the subject matter, firing right back at questions with comprehensive answers after no pause for thought at all. This always impresses the heck out of me. I like my lecturers to show the iceberg effect: to give me the impression that the matter in their presentation is the merest visible fraction of what they know.
Blogger Rob Przybykov broadened the scope with an excellent talk”I see he’s posted it on his blog”on parallels between obesity and addiction to pornography, with side trips into evolutionary biology, brain metabolism, and the “manosphere.”
A learned political scientist spoke on the uses and abuses of the term “fascism,” the subject of his next book.
Historian (mainly of science) Doug Fosnow called for the USA’s “red” counties to secede from the “blue” ones, forming a new federation. This was greeted with much skepticism by the audience, who noted that the “red” federation would get practically no seacoast. Did Doug really think such a secession was likely to happen? No, he admitted cheerfully, but anything would be better than the race war he does think is likely to happen, and it is intellectuals” duty to come up with less horrific possibilities.
And so we went on: informative and thought-provoking presentations, hearty debate in the Q&As afterwards, hotel food no worse than the average, and lively gossip around the dinner tables and bars.
I made the opening presentation myself, speaking on the history of, and prospects for, thinking about human biodiversity (HBD). Zack Duncan, who runs a prominent immigration-restrictionist website, said he would post my talk as an article if I could de-PowerPoint it down to ordinary text, which I have tried to do. (It’s harder than you”d think: There’s a mighty quantity of words in a 40-minute talk, way too many for a normal Web posting.)
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