November 04, 2009

Re: Whither The Alternative Right?

Though I was unable to attend the H.L. Mencken Club event this year, I am in agreement with Jack Hunter’s latest piece where he argues that the “Alternative Right” serves itself best by focusing its efforts on reducing the size and scope of the managerial state, rather than focusing its energies on a new culture war. From my vantage point, most of the grassroots energy is focused on the issues commonly defined as “libertarian,” and thus Jack’s point about “hunting where the ducks are” is a sound one. Of course, this does not mean that cultural issues should be ignored, but as Jack notes, a successful attack on the welfare/warfare state would yield many positive results for the cultural warriors. Sadly, I am not sure the same could be said in reverse.

Take the most popular cultural issue of the day for the Right—immigration. The reason I use the general term “immigration” and not the more specific “illegal immigration,” is because like most of the major cultural battlefields of the day, the depth of opposition is nuanced and varies from person to person. I’m of the opinion that all immigration is a problem and believe simply focusing on the legal status of those entering the country is needlessly myopic.

Given this point of view, most people would classify me as a “restrictionist.” The only problem is—I don’t agree with the vast majority of proposals peddled by most self-described restrictionists. I oppose a border fence. I oppose a militarized border. I oppose a new “Operation Wetback.” I simply don’t believe any of these policies would put a serious dent in the immigration problem, nor do I believe the consequences of implementing them would be worth the minor successes they might bring.

If I say I want to “End the Fed” or “bring our troops home,” most Americans understand what I mean. If I say I want to end immigration, it isn’t exactly clear what kind of immigration I’m referring to, let alone what specific proposals I’m advocating.  This general lack of clarity about many of the cultural issues of the day is yet another reason why cultural vanguardism is doomed to fail as a political strategy.

Since the sixties, conservatives and critics of the ever-emerging multicultural society have noted that politics follows culture. Some have taken this as evidence that cultural issues must be pushed to the forefront of political campaigns. I take this as evidence that the culture must be changed and politics are largely a fraud. This doesn’t mean we should abandon politics wholesale, but rather that we should do everything we can to reduce the power of the State, so that culture can become a reflection of real communities, instead of a series of multicultural edicts dictated from above by the PC police.

In the meantime encouraging irreverent attitudes toward the managerial regime is as good a strategy as any to ensure that the future is less dominated by egalitarian myths and mantras.

Subscribe to Taki’s Magazine for an ad-free experience and help us stand against political correctness.


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!


Daily updates with TM’s latest