December 13, 2016 by Anders Ingemarson
Since the election, the so-called Alt-Right (alternative right) has been the focus of intense media coverage. The alt-right’s current poster-boy is one Richard Spencer, President and Director of the “think tank” the National Policy Institute. According to its home page “NPI is an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.” Behind this seemingly polished façade hides the same old, tired, fear-ridden racism that people have resorted to for millennia when the world around them is changing in ways they don’t like or understand. Putting his views in plain language, Spencer argues that “Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.”
The primary cause of the media hoopla is the supposed link between the Alt-Right and the incoming Trump administration: Campaign strategist and Senior Counselor-Elect Steve Bannon is the former executive chair of Breitbart News which has been lending a voice to views similar to those of the Alt-Right.
The Alt-Right has been rightfully scrutinized and criticized across the political spectrum (for a comprehensive rational analysis, see articles by Walter Hudson here and here). However, among its critics, one group is taking hypocrisy to new levels—the Progressive Left. Its representatives in the media—Salon, Huffington Post, the New York Times and the like—should take a close look in the mirror before moralizing about the evils of the Alt-Right.
In the essay “The Age of Envy,” Ayn Rand observed that “Today, racism is regarded as a crime if practiced by a majority—but as an inalienable right if practiced by a minority. The notion that one’s culture is superior to all others solely because it represents the traditions of one’s ancestors, is regarded as chauvinism if claimed by a majority—but as “ethnic” pride if claimed by a minority. Resistance to change and progress is regarded as reactionary if demonstrated by a majority—but retrogression to a Balkan village, to an Indian tepee or to the jungle is hailed if demonstrated by a minority.”
These are the exact views of the Progressive Left—condemn racism when claimed by a real or perceived majority (in the case of the Alt-Right whites of European decent); champion racism if furthering the cause of one of its cherished ethnic minorities (primarily African-Americans, and to a lesser extent Native-Americans and other ethnic groups).
If the Progressive Left were serious about combating the Alt-Right, it would condemn racism across the board as the crude form of collectivism it is, regardless if practiced by a group representing a majority or a minority.
And if it were truly concerned with the protection of minorities, the Progressive Left would stand up for the rights of the only minority that matters—the individual. Furthermore, it would end its obsession with not only race, but with gender, age, class, and other collectivist groupings.
But standing up for the individual is what the Progressive Left loathes more than anything else. Because realizing that championing individual rights is the only weapon against all forms of collectivism would deal a mortal blow to its core belief: the faith in identity politics that it shares with the Alt-Right. After some 50 years of relentless focus on minority identity politics at the expense of the individual, the Progressive Left is itself largely to blame for the backlash represented by the emergence of the “white power” Alt-Right movement. The irony is most likely lost on its supporters; grasping the essence of the movement they are part of would require an independent mind and a large dose of integrity—individualist traits they are not bent on exercising. No, it is up to others, with minds open to accepting the primacy of the individual over the group, to champion individualism and individual rights against all collectivist expressions, be they Progressive Left, Alt-Right or anything in between.