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.