Ben Shapiro and the alt-right smear
Religion & Liberty Online

Ben Shapiro and the alt-right smear

Misunderstanding the alt-right seems to be the favorite activity of the established media. In the latest case, the favorite magazine of globalists – the English magazine The Economist – has characterized Ben Shapiro as the sage of the alt-right.  Under any conceivable point of view, such an idea would be surreal given that Shapiro is one of the favorite targets of that Internet trolling movement.

A simple Google search would have told Economist’s reporters that Shapiro – who is Jew – is not only hated by the very anti-Semitic alt-right but also one of its most outspoken critics. In the week following the victory of President Donald J. Trump, Shapiro wrote an article in the National Review titled Do not Mainstream the Alt-Right. More clarity is impossible. However, asking for a minimum of accuracy from a magazine that has a research arm called the Economist Intelligence Unit might be too much to ask. Maybe they have not yet discovered Google over there.

There are many takeaways of this quarrel involving Shapiro and the Economist. First, how reliable is the established media that are only concerned with facts insofar as they serve to promote a political agenda. And secondly, Underneath the Economist bashing against Shapiro is the ridiculous idea that everyone that disagrees with the gospel of the left is an alt-rightist. Since the established media created a reduction ad alt-right, it seems that nobody knows what the alt-right is.

On the first takeaway, I can only conclude that – given a large number of Economist misconceptions about virtually every issue in the last decade – the magazine is edited by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Although this is a playful conclusion, it is not so far from reality. As the WikiLeaks showed in 2016, there were so many collusions between the established media and Hilary Clinton’s failed campaign that they seemed to be one and a single thing, instead of two separate entities.

If Tom Perez – DNC’s chairman -is the real editor-in-chief of the Economist, I do not think we’ll ever find out. But the nature of alt-right is certainly something about which much can be said without falling into ridicule.

To begin with, the alt-right is a decentralized movement that exists only on the internet. It has emerged in debate forums in which the identity of the participants may remain anonymous to troll or ridicule other participants or media figures. Anonymity allowed people to expose controversial opinions without fear of punishment. Therefore, the kind of person attracted to these forums was precisely those who felt little inclination to agree with the official discourse of the media and established politics: The politically correct ideology.

As shown by George Hawley’s Making Sense of the Alt-Right, there are few similarities between the alt-right and any politically organized movement that exists outside of the Internet. The trolls had so much sympathy for Donald Trump not because of objective points in the candidate’s platform, but because of his politically incorrect style. I think a lot of them are really sad because Trump has nominated so many conservative constitutionalists for the bench.

Issues such as gay marriage and the role of religion in our society go beyond the political horizon of the alt-right. They see themselves as anti-establishment and as the promotion of uncontrolled immigration has been one of the main policies of this very establishment, they oppose it. There is no reason for this or that political position. As with the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s left, the alt-right is about emotion.

What is undeniable about the alt-right is that it is a blatant reaction to the process of intellectual implosion of the official American right which has increasingly emulated the cultural left. Thus, National Review – once a bulwark of American conservatism – advocates that gay marriage is a family value – according to Jonah Goldberg – and that statues of former Confederate leadership must be torn down by patriotism – according to Kevin Williamson.

The term alternative right was created by political theorist and Jewish historian Paul Gottfried, on the one hand, and by political activist Richard Spencer, on the other. Gottfried used the term to describe a myriad of political positions that were on the right and also were hostile towards the dominant neoconservatism. So alt-right was a negative concept in the sense that it represented the negation of a particular political movement. Spencer, by his turn, saw on the alt-right a movement with its own intellectual unity – the neo-pagan European nationalism of Jules Evola and Alain de Benoist.

Looking back, I can say without fear of error that the alt-right is neither one thing nor another, but an expression of post-modernity. Basically, it is a movement of people who consider themselves to be outcasts in a society that has been destabilized by the breakdown of traditional social arrangements and found on the internet a way of expressing their revolt mostly through humor.

Ironically, the Economist and the alt-right represent two faces of the same phenomenon. Just as Economist is the mouthpiece of the authoritarianism of globalist elites who want to put down traditional institutions, the alt-right represents the nihilistic fury that wants to push the world into neo-pagan anarchy only to see everything burning. This week the two shook hands attacking Shapiro.

Photo credit: WikiCommons.

Silvio Simonetti

Silvio Simonetti is a Brazilian lawyer, graduated in international affairs from the Bush School at Texas A & M University. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Silvio loves history and the Catholic Church.