Aug 7, 2017

An Alt Right Update - Six Months After "Ctrl-Alt-Delete"

"An Alt Right Update," published by Political Research Associates, is my attempt to summarize how the Alt Right’s political situation has changed since Donald Trump took office on January 20th, when the report "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" first appeared. I focus on five major developments:
1. Trump’s election has encouraged supremacist violence by vigilantes and local police.

2. Despite Trump’s volatility, in policy terms his administration has largely been coopted by conventional conservatism.

3. The Alt Right has largely abandoned its support for Trump.

4. Alt Rightists have taken to the streets alongside other right-wing forces.

5. Alt Rightists and their allies have been turning toward physical violence and creating a street-fighting presence.
From the conclusion:
"Despite its disenchantment with the Trump administration, the Alt Right appears to be simultaneously building a real capacity for organized physical violence and strengthening its grassroots connections with other rightist currents, including Trump supporters.... This type of activism is a direct physical threat to both oppressed communities and the Left, and can fuel authoritarian and supremacist tendencies within the state at all levels....

"At the same time, we shouldn’t exaggerate either the unity or the competence of this new wave of militant right-wing forces. Rightists are just as vulnerable as leftists to infighting, personality conflicts, and sectarian ideological squabbles.... So far, thankfully, their movement has failed to produce a skilled, charismatic leader who can unify them and provide strategic direction.... And even a strong leader wouldn’t necessarily overcome the basic political differences separating Alt Rightists from their conservative fellow travelers. In the long run, if the Alt Right wants to coalesce with system-loyal rightists, it either has to win more people to its dream of right-wing revolution, or abandon it."
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The report "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" is also the lead essay in the book Ctrl-Alt-Delete: An Antifascist Report on the Alternative Right (Montreal: Kersplebedeb Publishing, 2017).

Photo credit: Mark Dixon, via Flickr Commons (CC BY 2.0).