Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Neocons vs. 'Alt-Right' - By Jack Kerwick

Since Hillary Clinton made her speech regarding the so-called “alt-right,” there has been much effort on the part of some media observers to define this enigmatic phenomenon.
Some, however, like “conservative” pundit Jonah Goldberg, aren’t so curious.  At bottom, Goldberg recently assured radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, the “alt-right” is nothing more or less than but another manifestation of “racism.”
The “alt-right” consists of people who, in spite of whatever other differences they may have, “agree…that white culture is inherently superior” and that there should be “no race mixing with the lower brown people.”
Both Hewitt and Goldberg insist that the “alt-right”—people like “leading racist” Jared Taylor and those who write for Peter Brimelow’s “supremacist” site,—must be driven from “the conservative movement” and “the Republican Party.”
Some comments:
(1)The very notion that there is some definable entity that can be neatly packaged with the label “alt-right” is itself suspect.  There is more than one reason for this verdict:
For starters, and most fundamentally, there can be an alternative right only if there is a right to which it is an alternative. The conventional left/right paradigm of American politics aside, the existence of the so-called “alt-right” is made possible by the fact that, in the judgment of many, there is no genuine right.
Or, to put this point another way, from the perspective of those who reject it, the (GOP-based) “right” is actually an alt-left, but a milder (and sometimes not so mild) variation of the internationalist, progressive left.
Furthermore, if anyone who rejects the GOP from its right can be considered “alt-right,” then the latter—which would include certain sorts of libertarians and anarchists, Roman Catholic traditionalists, classical and “paleo” conservatives, as well as “race realists”—is much more intellectually and ideologically diverse, and much more difficult to define, than what the Goldbergs and Hewitts would have us think.
(2)For as much as they fantasize about it, the hard truth for the Goldbergs and Hewitts is that there can’t be a Buckleyesque “purging” of the “alt-right” from the “conservative movement” and Republican Party if, as is the case, adherents of the “alt-right” do not belongto either of these things.  As was said above, many of those described, or self-described, as “alt-right” regard the GOP and the “conservative movement” as constituting an alt-left and, as such, an object of contempt.
(3)Further proof that neoconservatism is indeed a species of leftism is the Pavlovian propensity of its proponents to appropriate the standard operating procedure of the left by smearing anyone to their right as “racist.”  When, for example, as principled a defender of ordered, Constitutional liberty as Ron Paul indicated a threat to the political fortunes of their presidential candidates back in 2011, Goldberg was among those who spilled ink analyzing the “relationship” between Paul and “the racists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazis in his coalition [.]”
So, their strategy to brand those to their right with the “R-word” is revealing as to who and what the neocons really are. Yet it’s also ironic.
As anyone who has read my work knows, it is not my habit to level charges of “racism.” In fact, I put the very concept into question.  Still, as long as Goldberg, Hewitt, and other neocons insist upon villainizing the Jared Taylors of the “alt-right” by branding them as “racist” for their words,  they expose themselves that much more to the same charge: After all, it is neoconservatives, and Goldberg and Hewitt specifically, who pushed for the exportation of “Democracy” to the Middle East (and beyond).
Thus, it is neoconservatives who were the most stalwart advocates of the invasion of Iraq, an event that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people of colour. The Iraq Body Count Project found that anywhere between 112,000 and 123,000 of those killed between 2003 and 2013 were civilian noncombatants, many of whom were women and children.
To this day, Iraq remains a bastion for ISIS. Ancient Christian communities in Iraq have been eradicated courtesy of this war, and the entire region has been radically destabilised. As long ago as 2006, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees stated that over three million Iraqis had been displaced, with 1.8 million fleeing to other countries and 1.6 million being forced to relocate internally. By the following year, with nearly four million Iraqis homeless, Iraq produced a larger number of refugees than produced by any country on Earth.
In 2012, UNICEF published a report in which it declared that between 800,000 and a million Iraqi children—about five percent of all of the country’s kids—had lost one or both parents.
The neocons who now sound outraged over an “alt-righter” claiming to value “white [European/Western] culture” still sleep comfortably in spite of having deployed the resources of this same culture—including its men, many of whom themselves became cannon fodder—to the end of decimating the homeland of just those “lower brown people” who Goldberg criticizes the “alt-right” for allegedly not wanting to “mix with [.]”
Well, Jonah, if only you and yours didn’t want to mix with these same poor creatures—if not for your “racism,” your blood curdling, bloodthirsty, homicidal “racism”—a country and its families wouldn’t be in ruins and littered with the corpses of people of colour.
Jesus summed up the moral of this story best: With their charges of “racism,” the neocons strain out the gnat while letting in the camel.