New York Magazine: Huge Profile of the Alt-Right

New York magazine also has a huge piece titled “Beyond Alt: The Extremely Reactionary, Burn-It-Down Radical, New-Fangled Far Right”, with a slew of co-authors: By Simon Van Zuylen-Wood, Noreen Malone, Max Read, Andrew Sullivan, Park Macdougald, Jason Willick, Mark Jacobson, Maureen O’connor, Gabriel Sherman, Ben Crair, Nick Richardson, And Mark O’connell, Claire Landsbaum, Jordan Larson, Amelia Schonbek, Matt Stieb, Nick Tabor, and James D. Walsh.

It seems to be something of a compendium or synthesis of previous New York magazine articles on elements of the Alt Right, but with an editorial overview first:

To understand this new right, it helps to see it not as a fringe movement, but a powerful counterculture….

The alt-right — or the new right, if you prefer to sound more like Tom Wolfe than Kurt Cobain, or the radical right, to properly acknowledge its break from mainstream conservatism — is a coalition comprised of movements like neo-reaction, certain strands of libertarianism, tech triumphalism, and even the extreme-populist wing of the Republican Party. All share with Spencer’s white-ethno-nativism the ideals of isolationism, protectionism, and nationalism: a closed nation-state. Along the way, the coalition swept up “men’s rights” advocates and anti-Semites and cruel angry teenagers and conspiracy theorists and a few fiendishly clever far-right websites and harassing hashtags and even a U.S. congressman or two. Not to mention the White House.

But to approach the big messy tent of the new retrograde right — the international brigade of nativist-nationalists, tech-savvy anti-globalists, the porn-loving gender traditionalists — as primarily a political movement is to wildly underestimate its scope. Reactionary energy helped deliver all three branches of government to a Republican Party in the grips of an alt-right-curious anti-PC bomb-thrower the faithful called their “god-emperor” (or at least helped him along with last year’s affirmative action for white people, a.k.a. the Electoral College). But at no point during the campaign, even, could you have mistaken the unruly energy on the right for anything so organized as a party or as purposeful as a protest movement. It was — and is — a counterculture. One formed in the spirit of opposition to everything the existing Establishment stood for: globalist, technocratic liberal elitism. The amazing thing is, in November, for the first time in American electoral history, the counterculture won everything.

The piece goes into detail of various Alt Right memes and influential figures, albeit from a snarky liberal perspective. It’s still useful, though.

Here is a representative passage of the article’s ‘good’ stuff:

But the alt-right is much bigger than Trumpism and will almost certainly survive it. The movement has always been primarily a counterculture — a fringe community that created its own pantheon, canon, media apparatus, and even language — and the best model for its future is probably a counterculture, too. The New Left and its fellow travelers did not “win,” in any concrete political sense, in 1968, but they did realign global and American politics — and so shook the core of the country that we spent the next 50 years fighting each other over its legacy. Remember when it was the dewiest hope of millennial Obama supporters that the baby-boomers would finally exit stage death and leave the country in the waiting hands of a new rainbow coalition? Trump himself is a candidate of the elderly, the Republican Party is aging, and political polarization around the world is still driven by the oldest voters. But the new right is, all of a sudden, young. And it’s advancing on new fronts in the culture war where it is actually fought, among the kids (which means on the internet)…

 There is power in transgression — power that liberals lost when they won the culture war and began to set the boundaries of social and cultural acceptability.

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