While his recent book on the Alt Right was fairly balanced and rather level-headed, yet still politely condemned the AR itself, George Hawley’s recent speech to the (ahem) “Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Politics” is smug and gloating, and more clearly reveals both the gross simplifications he has of the AR and just how deep his contempt is for the AR.
There are some great Hawley howlers in this talk:
- He describes AR involvement with the Unite the Right rally in C-ville as stemming from disingenuous opportunism, asserting that, prior to C-ville, “the AR had not shown much interest in Confederate heritage.” (32:20).
- Throughout, Hawley repeatedly equates openly violent Antifa types (who initiate the vast majority, if not all, violence at AR events) as, for example, ‘anti-racist counter-protesters’.
- Of the recent low turnout at Richard Spencer’s last campus engagement, he provides no details as to why this may have been the case, simply noting that there were “aggressive counter-protesters”. The implication is that actual interest in the ideas being discussed has waned.
- As a sidenote: around the 49:00 marker, Hawley goes on a bizarre tangent that attempts to tie Steve Bannon to various regional, Alt-Right styled political candidates.
Listen to the ‘globalist’ attendees snicker when Hawley describes people losing their jobs simply for having attended the C-ville rally (35:50). These people revel in the misery that doxing creates. After all, if it’s okay to punch a ‘Nazi’, then it’s certainly okay that he be fired from his job for attending an event.
Hawley is mystified that, upon the Parkland FL school shooting, AR trolls would feed a ravenous and unscrupulous MSM a false story that the shooter was a member of a fringe WN group. “How many people saw the initial headline, but never saw the correction?” Hawley wonders. “So, the Alt Right simply handed its opponents a major propaganda victory, for the sake of a rather juvenile joke.” (45:30)
That Hawley concludes this tells me: No matter how much he studies and writes about the AR, Hawley still doesn’t get it.
At another point, he says: “In the real world, the Alt Right is being out-organized and out-maneuvered and at every turn.” (47:50). So… having near-Orwellian, police-state levels of campus/government/corporate deplatforming efforts taking place, as well as Antifa violence being not only condoned but heralded as ‘anti-racism’, and having a fever-pitch normalization of doxing (and employment-termination) as well as actual violence against Alt Right figures taking place… is described as being “out-organized and out-maneuvered”?
Necessity is the mother of invention, and in the wake of increasing corporate deplatforming; intensifying Antifa violence (and threats of violence); weak (or even accommodating) college administration responses to Antifa disruption, all of which serves to stymy attendance levels, and the like, the Alt Right is retreating back into the predominantly online, organic, creative, innovative, social force it was always best at. It will continue to grow in this environment. Post C-ville, the intensification of deplatforming, doxing, and anti-1A that we see taking place against the AR will obviously cause setbacks to the movement’s otherwise natural growth rate, but it is causing an explosion of interest in the so-called Alt-Lite, which itself a good thing, a bridge to Awakening.
One has to view all of this stuff as part of a dialectical process. It can certainly be argued that the Overton Window is shifting in the AR’s direction. The very existence of the more extreme AR figures and ideas makes, for example, the positions of various Alt-Lite figures as more ‘reasonable’ or ‘moderate’. Would the opinions of, say, Tucker Carlson (esp on the issue of immigration and how it is radically changing national identity) have been imaginable on the Fox News of 2015? Not likely.
We may not be gathering in the town square with signs. In fact, as the H.R. Department preaches “Diversity is our strength!”, we will be the ones clapping the loudest. But, quietly, and autonomously, we will be exerting our influence. Being forced underground only makes the means by which we cloak ourselves, communicate with each other, and organize, more innovative.
The Alt Right is adapting, organically. It is certainly not “collapsing”.