Tom Woods: The Alt-Right

From the video description:

Paul Gottfried, longtime veteran of the American Right and foe of the yawn-inducing “conservative movement,” discusses the significance of what has become known as the “alt right.”

My take:

1.) I haven’t heard from Paul Gottfried in years. I used to read his articles all the time at VDARE. I’m assuming that is mainly because there is just so much more content out there now than was the case back in the 2000s. It is a much bigger scene now.

2.) In the early 2000s, there was an “Alternative Right” that hated George W. Bush and was alienated from mainstream conservatism. At the time, we inhabited vBulletin messageboards like The Phora which I ran from 2001 until 2006. We discussed a mix of rightwing discourses on any given day drawn mainly from paleoconservatism, paleolibertarianism and White Nationalism.

3.) Gottfried is correct. In the Bush years, there was an “Alternative Right” of older paleocons and libertarians who were on the outside looking in at the neocons in Washington. At the same time, there was a younger generation of Gen X’ers and Millennials who were in their twenties and who were congealing into the “Alt-Right.” Unlike the older paleocons, we were much more influenced by White Nationalism, Nietzsche, Foucault, the European New Right and so on.

4.) As the Alt-Right evolved online, it began to interact with new dissident elements like the Men’s Rights Activists and Neoreaction which emerged in recent years.

5.) From 2008, the Alt-Right as exists today began to congeal into a self-conscious online scene. I first met Richard Spencer and Greg Johnson in 2009. was launched in 2010. By that point, the main players already knew each other in the real world.

6.) In the early 2000s, the nascent Alt-Right was alienated from George W. Bush and mainstream conservatism. In 2001, I started out with Pat Buchanan, quickly discovered White Nationalism, and soon afterwards discovered American Renaissance, VDARE and While I was in college, I plunged into history and philosophy and moved from Nietzsche to Foucault and postmodernism to Alasdair MacIntyre and Aristotle in roughly that order. I also spent a lot of time studying Old South and became familiar with Robert Barnwell Rhett, John C. Calhoun, George Fitzhugh, etc.

7.) According to Michel Foucault, discourses are “systems of thought composed of ideas, attitudes, courses of action, beliefs and practices that systematically construct the subjects and the worlds of which they speak.” This is how I think of the Alt-Right. It is a discourse which we have constructed in online communities and at real world conferences from a variety of sources. It has grown organically in spaces we have created. It continues to evolve to this day as new people interact with it. Pepe, for example, wasn’t associated with the Alt-Right until the last few years.

8.) As for the welfare state, I really don’t believe in abstract universal principles, so I don’t believe it has the same consequences across all human populations. Since I also believe human populations differ in a variety of ways, it seems reasonable to me that the welfare state in Iceland and Nigeria would produce different outcomes. At least I wouldn’t be surprised to see that.

9.) Paul Gottfried is an expert of the American conservative movement. I was never involved with that movement. Quite honestly, I didn’t find it interesting enough to study. At this point, I think lots of young people involved with the Alt-Right never joined or identified with conservatism.

10.) I would agree that White Nationalism is at the core of the Alt-Right. We approach economics and foreign policy from the perspective of its impact on White people. Is this foreign policy in our interests? That’s the sort of question the Alt-Right would ask while neocons would appeal to “principles” and “values” like human rights which are allegedly universal.

11.) In response to Paul Gottfried on White Nationalism, a.) we don’t believe in holding together to the Right, b.) whiteness was the core of American identity until the late 20th century, c.) we have actually been very successful in delegitimizing the Lügenpresse, d.) we believe it is essential to recognize the ethnic nature of the “multicultural Left” because this really isn’t a new problem and e.) finally we have been more successful than paleoconservatism.

12.) As for White Nationalism not going anywhere, all I can say to that is stand back and watch. Now that White Millennials have children of their own and have been forced to confront the realities of the multiracial integrated public school system, that is rapidly changing.

13.) President Trump humiliated the mainstream Right. What’s more, we’re nowhere near as isolated as the paleocons. We have smartphones and social media and can easily fight back against mainstream narratives. If that wasn’t the case, President Trump would have been taken out a long time ago. We don’t need a television station to propagate our discourse at the expense of the “mainstream.”

14.) Speaking for myself alone here, I don’t read print newspapers or magazines. I get the vast majority of my information online. My 2-year-old son has a tablet.

15.) Even the SPLC agrees that the idea that White Nationalists are “totally marginalized” is laughable. There is no such thing as the “mainstream” anymore. The “mainstream” was a product of the consolidated media environment of the late 20th century. Ultimately, it was based on control of television and the ability to confer “respectability” on some discourses while ruling others out of bounds as “fringe.” The “mainstream” is dead as a doornail in the world of Twitter and YouTube.

16.) In response to Tom Woods, the Alt-Right is concerned with a number of issues like identity, cultural collapse, demographic change and so on that have been neglected by conservatives and libertarians. They really haven’t addressed these issues. By and large, they have chickened out.

17.) In response to Paul Gottfried, we can make due without the resources of the mainstream conservative movement because media platforms are so cheap now. It would be nice to have more paid writers. I would certainly love to get paid a salary to do this. Would you say though that Jonah Goldberg or David Frum in 2017 have the same influence and legitimacy within the Right that they enjoyed in 2003?

18.) We can easily compete against National Review and The Weekly Standard. As Tom Woods points out, the average National Review subscriber is 66-years-old. Young people aren’t even reading these cucks. In reality, they are at the nadir of their influence.

19.) Infowars is a prime example of how we don’t need a television network to influence the masses. We can exploit video as a medium without needing our own FOX News.

20.) We’re not “more and more isolated.” That’s not how the rightwing media ecosystem works. Just look at Breitbart or UK Daily Mail. Both of those websites push our narratives for us. I don’t even have to write about how refugees are destroying Europe because the popular website in the UK is doing it for us. They are pushing our narratives because the “mainstream” is dead and their audience has moved toward us.

21.) As this interview progresses, it becomes increasingly evident that Gottfried is 17 years behind the times. He can’t imagine paleocons having any cultural impact short of a sugar daddy creating a paleo version of FOX News. The average FOX News viewer is 68-years-old though. Tucker Carlson Tonight is so popular because it caters to a younger demographic that is already immersed in our narratives.

22.) Breitbart can disavow the term “Alt-Right,” but if it is pushing narratives that you would have found seven years ago on, say, Stormfront it is nothing but semantics. It is arguing over a label.

23.) Gottfried continues to be obsessed with “acquiring resources.” Anyone can exploit WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope and other social media platforms for free. You can also sell your own books on Amazon. Some of the brands like Paul Joseph Watson have hundreds of thousands of followers. He doesn’t even live in the United States and influences our politics.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


    • Spencer edited Takimag during 2008-09 and launched the Alternative Right in early 2010. Jason Richwine even published a piece there.

      • I remember the early very well. In fact, in its look and content, I consider it to have been, and still to be, superior to any Alt Right site, before or since. I just wasn’t sure about the launch date (2009 or 2010).

  1. Gottfried, though a Northern Jew, identifies pretty closely with Whites and has encouraged pro-Confederate activity and has generally been supportive of nationalist movements in the West. I have no issue with him. In fact, I have one of his books on my shelf.

    • Gottfried has an incredible dislike for Eastern European Jews, because of their rabid leftism In that regard Alt Right has got nothing on him. He always juxtaposes them with bourgeois German Jews, who emigrated in XIX or early in XX century( don’t know if the differences hold in presen day America, probably not).
      On a side note: I have actually read that Jews found antebellum South much more hospitable than the North and a decent amount of them even fought for Confederate cause, though their descendants are most likely cucked beyond belief. Funny how things change.

      • I believe Gottfried is himself a Hungarian Jew. I remember Gottfried ranting against Russian Jews and their neocon descendants.

      • Gottfried’s family were royalist Jews in Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were part of a now defunct community aligned with the Ancién Regime.

      • ‘Gottfried has an incredible dislike for Eastern European Jews, because of their rabid leftism’

        May I take issue with this, Cyrus?

        Many of erstwhile Eastern European Jews are ultra-Orthodox Jews who not only refuse to accept Israel as legitimate, they are extremely sceptical of, and or despise, socialism.

        • Junius, there is much about jewry that we goyim will never understand.
          Hasids, Frankists, B’nai this, B’nai that… I would recommend your simply remember what Christ himself said in John 8:44 and Revelation 2:9.

          • Dear WP,
            You know, WP, I was, once again, reading through John 8 and 9, last night, so I am well aware of this. May I remind you that not only Judas was this way, but, that Mark, Mathew, Luke, John, James, John The Baptist, and The Apostle Paul were NOT like this – nor the judge of the high Sanhedrin court, who came to Christ for learning, and, after the crucifixion, paid for Chryst’s burial expense.
            In fact, when I think of the notion that all Jews are criminal liars and usurper, it reminds me of a similar accusation : that those who bore your collar-insignia avatar were all homicidal maniacks, when, instead, many were simply elite soldiers, who protected their Fatherland.

        • By all means, I only repeat Gottfried. The problem might be that traditionalist are not as visible as radicals and probably not as influential. But you point well taken.

          • Thank you, Cyrus.

            While there can be little doubt that the modern American Jewish community has long ago fallen off the Left Cliff, some have remained very Right ; most notably Greg Gutfeld of Fox News, Mark Levin of the LeVin Radio Show, and, His Royal Highness, Michael Weiner of the Michael Savage Radio Show.

            The latter began screaming borders, language, and culture, to the consternation of his media masters, MSNBC, which ultimately led to his firing and his now hugely successful radio show.

            In another note of irony, though Jews are now widely accepted as the principal proponents of an Orwellian One World Government, Savage was the first major media figure to step out and not only embrace Trump, but, avidly push forward his campaign – whilst others on The Right, such as Limbaugh, either watched in noncommittal fashion, or, like Beck & LeVin, actively opposed him, or Hannity, who came on board many months later.

            The final twist of irony was that Trump recently credited Savage with the success of his campaign, so important was this aged radio-jock’s contribution to breaking his campaign to the major publick.

      • ‘ I have actually read that Jews found antebellum South much more hospitable than the North and a decent amount of them even fought for Confederate cause, though their descendants are most likely cucked beyond belief.’

        Southern Jews, like Northern Jews, came from a segregated society in Europe, hence, their was no transition to make.

        Southern Jews, as I knew them, were White Nationalist of belief, insofar as they considered themselves White, and considered White European civilization superior to every other brand.

        Strange to hear, perhaps, in light of how these things are currently spoken of, yet, that was precisely the attitude.

        I did NOT read this, but, witnesst it in many.

      • As to Confederatre Jews, I can think of no better example than the Cohen Brothers of Wilmington, who, when 1861 came, they left their father alone with their mother, to enlist in the Department of North Carolina.

    • When I was young, Mr. Cushman, this kind of Jew, in The South, was quite common.

      That said, this kind has become dramatically smaller in numbers, in large part because the welfare state replacet Jim Crow, and, thus, with the economick fall of little Southern towns, those Jews died away, and their descendants moved away to the big cities, to survive, where they, the vast majority, became, after their academick indoctrination into the New England Way, like their tribal Yankee Brethren – something that had not existed ere.

      Of the thousands of members who gathered at North Carolina Secessionists, at Facebook, the one who far outstripped every other, in her activism, was a Jewish woman from Florida, and who troubled herself to visit every manner of representative, both local and national, on behalf of our flag and monuments.

      That said, this is now the anomaly.

  2. I used to read Gottfried. I guess I was always alternative right. I figured out in the early nineties that the mainstream Conservatives were Cuckservatives. That’s why I quit voting in, or paying attention to, Presidential elections.

  3. This captures the academic/intellectual part of the Alt-Right. There’s also the troll energy from /pol/ds/mpc/frogtwitter.

    Anglins core innovation was going from Total Fascism essays to the news driven The Daily Stormer with /pol style jokes and memes.

    The person who synthesized all the disparate elements imo was Ricky Vaughn. Genial, entertaining and edgy.

    • I think it was the high IQ trolling that shook the journalists on Twitter and put the Alt-Right on the radar. It was the style as much as the content.

  4. Hunter, you are the first prominent Alt Righter who has expressed that Foucault influenced him. Personally, I found Foucault and his study of the Panopticon dense and dreary.

    But there are many disparate philosophical influences running through the Alt Right. I was in college when I began reading Frankfurt School theorists like Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas. This was after Richard Spencer explained the value in OUR SIDE using critical theory to deconstruct the left and multiculturalism. Without such nuanced arguments, I probably would have dismissed the Frankfurt School as more Jew bullshit.

    For myself, I found Carl Schmitt, Habermas, and Evola to be the most important thinkers for our current situation.

    I assume Gottfried is retired. Both Gottfried and Woods were strong writers and helped convert me away from the left. However, they remain committed to Paleoconservatism/Libertarianism which I feel is a dead movement.

    • Pierre Bourdieu

      This guy is really interesting.

      Field of Cultural Production

      • My experience with postwar French philosophers is that they all just rip off and reinterpret Heidegger.

          • With all due respect, didn’t make any claim about Kierkegaard’s overall influence on phenomenology, only on Heidegger in particular, who himself was not your average phenomenologist. That said, I admit my remark was tad too curt.

      • Bourdieu actually hung out with nouvelle droite in the 80’s. My problem with him that his understanding of human action and motivation is despite everything thoroughly economic, no that far from Coleman and rational choice theory.

    • Read Foucault’s transcripts of his lectures. They are more interesting and understandable IMHO. Habermas is overrated. I would take even Luhmann over him. Though as far as German sociology goes, Hans Freyer is my jam.

      • Habermas’ Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere gets to the heart of the matter of our atomized existence where liberal democracy is a sham, and has been a sham since the collapse of the Enlightenment Salons and Tischgesellschaften.

        • That’s one work worth reading, primarily because of its historic character. His theoretical work is questionable.

  5. It’s worth pointing out that Gottfried wrote an number of articles for the original Alternative Right website and edited/published a volume of essays under the Radix Journal imprint.

    While his relationship with Spencer is not what it used to be, It seems that it isn’t the complete break that he seems to imply either.

  6. “finally we have been more successful than paleoconservatism”

    In all the honesty, this bar seems to me so low that it’s not really all that impressive. No offense.

  7. He, well, (they) don’t understand… We’re the Israelis in our land now, and they are the Palestinians….except we have a legitimate right to our land.

  8. ‘My 2-year-old son has a tablet.’

    And, I pray, that his interaction with this device is limited, each day; because, if it is not, he’ll grow up NOT knowing how to use his imagination without a technological device – the hallmark of a proper boyhood.

  9. Interesting program, so much so that I listened to it twice before commenting. Main takeaway: DON’T TRUST JEWS TO GIVE YOU HONEST RELIABLE ASSESSMENT OF YOUR CHANCES, YOUR LEGITIMACY OR YOUR TACTICS.

    He denigrates WHITE NATIONALISM BECAUSE HE FEARS IT. He’s OK with Jewish Nationalism and every other ethnic nationalism. Only WHITE NATIONALISM is destined to fail.

    We need to redouble our comittment to WHITE IDENTITY politics, WHITE NATIONALISM and the separate and distinct racial interests of WHITE PEOPLE.

    I mostly agree with the analysis by Hunter Wallace of this show. We need to keep pounding away as we have done. They fear us because we’re gaining ground, because they know it and because we know they know it. I found Gottfried’s dismissiveness encouraging. He knows there is blood in the water and he KNOWS THAT IT’S HIS.

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