I don’t want to dwell too much on activism.
There is nothing surprising about what has happened to the Alt-Right since Charlottesville. Sadly, this collapse into bickering and infighting, clashing egos, personality cults and optics spiraling is simply a reversion to the norm of White Nationalism.
The largest pro-White rallies of the last 15 years – Charlottesville, Shelbyville and Pikeville – all took place in 2017. We’re not talking about anything more than a couple hundred people here too. The norm isn’t street activism. The norm has always been anonymous shitposting, venting on the internet and voting every four years for the Great Republican Hope. In 1992 and 1996 and 2000, it was Pat Buchanan. In 2008 and 2012, it was the Ron Paul Revolution.
The norm is pacifism and voting for the Republican Party and getting screwed over by conservatives only to go crawling back. It happened with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump. John McCain and Mitt Romney would have happily screwed us over, but they never got the chance. There was a decade from 2005 until 2015 when White Nationalists were nearly entirely absent from real world activism. I’m old enough to remember the White Man March.
The surprising thing about Charlottesville is that it happened at all. That’s why it was such a big deal. The norm was for all of these groups to be fighting with each other on the internet over their respective brands. Generally speaking, the Right isn’t inclined to activism. Psychologically speaking, the typical conservative is a conformist who respects authority. Conservatives are driven by respectability in a way that isn’t true of leftists. Rightwing activism goes against the grain of our culture. The desire to be perceived as “mainstream” reflects this deep conservative yearning for social approval.
On the rare occasions when conservatives have engaged in activism like the March for Life or the Tea Party groups at the Lincoln Memorial, they always come across as non-threatening. They respect authority. They aren’t militant radicals. They don’t really pose any threat to the system. There is no reason to cater to their demands because they are content to go home and sulk about double standards. Conservatives are accustomed to only acting when they have permission from their leaders to do so. Charlottesville was powerful because it was an example of activism that was sort of scary and unsanctioned.
I’ve been a big advocate of activism because I see it as our best option. Violence will reinforce the existing taboos that have stigmatized our community. Voting for the Republican Party won’t change those taboos and will only empower conservatives to pursue their own agenda. If there was activism on a large enough scale to where it became a social problem, then conceivably those taboos could be undermined. At the end of the day, the only way to get rid of those taboos is to challenge them. We’re not changing the culture by conforming to those taboos and retreating from the public square.
I don’t believe it is good enough to educate and convert people to our ideas. If they are unable to practice what they believe in public, the culture will continue to shift against us and we will continue to be stuck in this dead end. In order to practice those ideas, we have to cultivate moral virtues like honor, courage, integrity and perseverance. This is why I was so defensive of TWP because they were an exception in an otherwise pitiful landscape of rightwing timidity, conformity and individualism.
TWP isn’t the real issue here though. The Alt-Right isn’t even the real issue. The real issue is how morality in general has changed over time from the past to the present day.