The Alt-Right’s Philosophical and Aesthetic Underpinnings Prove They’re a Bunch of Racist Dilettantes

A pastoral scene tweeted by an alt-right supporter.

In my first post about the alt-right, I wondered how Richard Spencer was accepted as the spokesman for the masculinity-obsessed alt-right, since Spencer is, for lack of a better word, effete. The answer is strangely academic, being enmeshed with art history and philosophy in addition to– you guessed it– racism and Nazism. The more I consider what to call the philosophical history of the alt-right, I don’t think ideology is even the right word, because that suggests some sort of cohesion. I think it’s more of a perspective or a world view. Frankly, I don’t think the alt-right even understands its “ideological” or aesthetic lineage, since they are merely mimicking their Nazi predecessors, but I want to trace it here because it proves both the hypocrisy of the alt-right and makes solid parallels between the alt-right and the Nazis of 1930s Germany. This latter argument is especially important since the alt-right has outright denied being Nazis, despite overwhelming similarities.  Continue reading “The Alt-Right’s Philosophical and Aesthetic Underpinnings Prove They’re a Bunch of Racist Dilettantes”

Tony Hovater, A Lesson in the Banality of Evil

When the New York Times recently published the profile of white nationalist Tony Hovater linked above, they received more blowback for the piece than they bargained for. Why were readers so upset? Well, you can read the article for yourself, but if you’re too lazy or you’re paywalled I’ve also linked this hilarious satirical response published by the Washington Post:

“The Nazi I met in Ohio was exactly as dapper and winsome as a young man shot by the police would not appear to be in an article of this kind. He was so normal I could not believe my eyes. It goes against everything I have ever seen in movies about Nazis, where the entrance of such a person is always accompanied by a disapproving oboe. […]

He was just a chill dude who had books and posts everywhere saying that groups who were not racially pure should be eliminated, but he didn’t make any personal threats to me. (I am of course not in danger from his ideology, but I was expecting him to maybe cackle a little bit.) He uses an iPhone, not a 1940s typewriter. He has eyebrows. Now that I type this, I don’t know why I expected he wouldn’t. He was not played by Christoph Waltz, even though I kept asking him, just to be sure.”

Continue reading “Tony Hovater, A Lesson in the Banality of Evil”

Why Richard Spencer Supplanted Milo Yiannopoulos as the Figurehead of the Alt-Right


It all started with that fateful punch in early 2017. Suddenly, Richard Spencer became famous for being a racist and a Nazi. At first, he was merely the butt of a joke and a meme on Leftbook. Then he started showing up in the news more and more, representing the alt-right, a term he actually coined. His star rose as Milo Yiannopoulos’s took a sudden, fatal nosedive (which I will get to in a moment). Clearly, part of Spencer’s newfound fame was luck and good timing, but I want to examine the other factors at play, because, at face value, I find both of these two figures very strange choices as representatives of this particular movement. Upon further inspection, however, they really do make perfect sense. Continue reading “Why Richard Spencer Supplanted Milo Yiannopoulos as the Figurehead of the Alt-Right”