Stevens on Alt-Right vs. Alt-Lite

In “On The Alt Right, A Crisis Over True Believers”, Brett Stevens broaches the subject of Alt-Right ‘purists’ vs. the pejoratively described Alt-Lite ‘normies’:

… [The Alt Right] can either reach out to the wider audience out there who are less active and less responsive to dogma, or it can deepen its appeal to its captive audience who tend to be fanatical but ineffectual. Twitter panders to SJWs, and many on the Alt Right pander to the True Believers who will be its doom…

We want to reach the normal people who want both a good normal life and a chance to remake this civilization. They are in favor of what we say, but do not want to give up the chance to live. This is natural and good; as in lifeguarding, one must save oneself first and then deal with whatever disaster is raging in the surrounding environs.

These normal people are fed up with the utter failure of modernity but will not “jump ship” to a vessel steered by fanatics. They are looking for something responsible, realistic and reasonable to which we can transition without destroying families, careers, lives and hopes.

Stevens notes the important role of trolling in moving the Overton Window:

In contrast to regular political movements, the Alt Right has thrived by being an ecosystem instead of a group of people who each do the exact same thing; it has thinkers, agitators, artists and trolls. It is ultimately a cultural movement. The trolls serve an important role: by saying outrageous stuff, they widen the window of what is acceptable by stretching what most people consider as “normal.”

That sort of dialogue shifts the “Overton window” to include ideas that have deliberately been edited from history by the Leftist Establishment. However, the trolling is a means-to-an-end, and not an end in itself. It can help convey a message, and clear aside the critics, but it cannot be the whole of the message.

This Alt-Right vs. Alt-Lite dynamic, if it devolves into Twitter feuds and whatnot, will ensure the movement goes nowhere, much like the constant 40-plus-year infighting amongst Randian sects.

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