Sorry for the lack of substantial content here recently. I’ve felt it possible to have a bit of a breather after the election, and apparently the Muse has felt the same. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been much worth commenting about — the Left is writhing like a wounded serpent, but it is still as dangerous as ever. “Fake News”, the purging of social media, the Trumped-up calumnies against Steven Bannon, the desperate rush to distance themselves from the identitarian monster they created but can no longer control, the candidacy of Keith Ellison for the DNC chair, the administration’s cataract of last-minute regulations, the Calexit movement (which our resident gadfly the One Eyed Man enthusiastically supports), the accelerating disintegration of the last vestiges of cultural and political unity in America, amid what may indeed turn out to be a reversal of truly stupendous proportions — these are all worthy topics. But not tonight.

I do have this, though: our friend Bill Vallicella has posted an essay — a reflection on the recent election — over at the philosopher’s website Rightly Considered As you should expect, it is lucid, and good. Sections D and E — on moral imperatives and tribalism, respectively — are the most interesting bits, I think. In particular, section E shows me that Bill, despite his protestations to the contrary, is an “Alt-Right”-er in all but name; he withholds assent rather specifically because he defines the movement as anti-Semitic. Perhaps this is unnecessarily strict — every movement has its fringes, after all — but in any case Bill, despite wiggling around a bit, seems to accede to the more general Alt-Right position that human biodiversity is real, and that as far as the fate of the West is concerned, matters.

(I should say also that there is an important difference between malevolent, tribalist anti-Semitism and merely acknowledging the vastly disproportionate affinity of Jews, from Marx to Alinsky to Bernie Sanders, for Leftist, multiculturalist, and antinationalist ideology. There are rational, perhaps even compelling, historical and cultural reasons for this persistent affinity — but I’ll save that for another time.)

Having said all that, I’ll make clear that I don’t give a hoot about the “Alt-Right” label. I’m an anti-anti-Semite myself, and if we need a name for an Alt-Right minus virulent anti-Semitism, I’m perfectly happy to go with “Dissident Right”, “New Right”, or “Undaunted Knights of the Emerald Escutcheon” — whatever gets the job done. I understand that branding is important, but it’s ideas that matter, not names.

Read Bill’s essay here.


  1. Tina says

    First thought (I’ll split this into a few posts, each for one of his suggestions): The Benedictine Option is no longer available to us.

    The only reason Christians survived in Muslim nations was by the grace of God, partly because of the governing sects’ disinterest in education, partly because of the greed of the ruling groups. Even so, Christian populations were/are continually subjected to mayhem and theft/destruction of all they own.

    In the US, the Amish – as good and decent and respected as they are – have had to fight a constant and losing battle against secular demands for uniformity in education, in modern plumbing, in business operation, in connecting to the grid, in medical treatments and care, in requirements to file business tax forms electronically, in farming practices, in food storage, in personal identification cards and social security numbers, in every aspect of their lives – the State persistently says “this is not REALLY a “religious freedom” issue, this is a public health issue” or “this is an administrative issue” or “this is a social justice issue”.

    In Texas, the State acted without any evidence at all to remove 400 children from a religious sect (the YFZ Ranch), parceling them out to the lucrative “Foster Care” system.

    It is impossible to underestimate the long-term damage and trauma experienced by these well-loved and cared for little ones (including 200 babies under age5) who were ripped from their mothers’ arms, separated from their siblings, and sent into warehouses to be fed and clothed by strangers for money.

    Judge Barbara Walther, Texas CPS & Law Enforcement, despite having their hands slapped with Mandamus from higher courts, later went in and confiscated the multi-million dollar ranch (basically a small town).

    Without arguing the case or whether the belief system is extreme, it was – like the Branch Davidians – another instance of Texas flexing its muscle against an attempt for a religious group to separate itself from the outside world.

    It is not reasonable to assume that a Benedictine option *for Christianity* would be allowed to exist under the conditions within the 21st century world.

    Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Rick says


    Is that like rape-rape?

    Please splain yerself!!

    But seriously, I think that the sensed antisemitism is actually disinterest. The term is getting worn out. Like rape-rape. Or rape. Or racist! At least with John Q Alt-Right it is. Their motto, if you’ve heard it, is after all: We.Don’t.Care. Accusations of this or that tend to bounce off of them like bullets off of Superman’s chest.

    As far as the label goes, personally I don’t like Alt-Right. Sounds negative. IMO. There’s no true telos in it. Needs more cowbell. I guess you could say I’m anti-anti-telos. If you were into that sorta thing.

    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  3. guy says

    the Calexit movement(which our resident gadfly the One Eyed Man enthusiastically supports)…


    In this instance I fully support him and further add, “JUST #@%^@#%^@# GO ALREADY!!!”

    Just remember after you leave there is no such thing as Federal Bailout anymore. Just a heads up.

    I wait with bated breath the building of the first tentative razor wire fences to ‘keep out the evil capitalists’ soon followed by the reinforced concrete walls and inward facing machine gun emplacements.

    Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says


    My sentiments exactly.

    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says


    I borrowed “anti-anti-Semite” from John Derbyshire. It seems about right.

    As far as the label goes, personally I don’t like Alt-Right. Sounds negative. IMO. There’s no true telos in it.

    Agreed. It’s apophatic. It defines itself in terms of what it isn’t.

    I’m warming to “Undaunted Knights of the Emerald Escutcheon”, though.

    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    I rather like that Undaunted Knights of the Emerald Escutcheon too now I’ve rolled it off my tongue a few times.

    And maybe, like a secret handshake shorten it to … oh I dunno ukeys mebbe?

    And, as the Twinkies are all a’lathered up over the frog-symbology – make it something totally innocuous. Like what?

    I suggest a ukulele. Who could possibly get worked up over a ukulele?

    Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  7. Tina says

    JK, they will claim a ukulele is cultural appropriation. :-

    And that is the point. We cannot care what the New Greek Chorus says about our words. They love to talk about people and hate ideas.

    The NGC seems to have remarkably intimate knowledge about nazi mannerisms and secret racist handshakes, yet had no clue at all about simple Biblical notation whether used by Tim Tebow or Trijicon on US military gun barrels. Why does the NGC know how to be racist but not how to cite a Bible verse? How much outrage have we heard about Facebook’s notorious real estate ad filter that allows landlords to be sure only white people see their listings? The New Greek Chorus have already told their people the difference between Zuckerberg and Eich.

    Some great advice for life someone once gave me is “It’s none of my business what others think of me.” and that is a HUGELY empowering way to live. It eliminates the power of gossip, because gossips can’t hurt someone who does. not. care.

    And honestly, that’s as good a response as any, and better than most. Even Jesus what the elites said about Him, because He knew they would lie.

    Posted November 25, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

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