Very nice new article about the Alt Left from Rabbit. I actually still like Rabbit. He is apparently not happy at with Trump. He described most of Trump’s Cabinet picks as “cringey” which is at the very least how I feel about them. Actually to me they are more like “”homicidal rage-inducing” but at this point, that’s a bit of a quibble. Rabbit is on the same page with all the rest of the Left on Trumpism except on the broad race, immigration and possibly trade policy stuff. But he already seems to be selling out the trade stuff horrendously. He’s selling out the immigration stuff too. Too bad the Mexicans aren’t going to pay for the wall. You and me are! Out of our pockets into the mitts of one of one of Trump’s billionaire pals via a rigged no-bid contract. Reverse Robin Hood again, but Reverse Robin Hood is all Trumpism is about anyway. Think about it. Real hard now.
and I don’t see how he could be given Rabbit’s base political beliefs. A lot of the rest of the left wing of the Alt Right has gone over to Trumpism, and to me, that’s all I need to sever ties with them once and for all.
The thing about Rabbit is the same thing that everyone gets wrong about the Alt Left. Rabbit is a Leftist, dammit. He really is a leftwinger. He’s a man of the Left. So many people just cannot wrap their heads around that. If you look at his views across the board, Rabbit is leftwing on just about everything but race and the Cultural Left, and even on the Cultural Left, he is with them on a lot more things than I am. Rabbit holds traditional leftwing notions on sexual orientation, gender identity, feminism, etc. He’s not a social conservative at all. In fact, he is to the left of me on a lot of that stuff. On the other hand, he seems personally red-pilled and he spent a lot of time in the Manosphere and the MGTOW movement before he drifted into the Alt Left.
If he’s leftwing on about everything but race and PC Culture, how the hell is he a rightwinger? I don’t see how missing one check box on the leftwing list of beliefs throws you out of the Left. Suppose we say Rabbit cannot be on the Left due to his views on race (a common notion). In fact, we say, his racial views make him a rightwinger no matter what else gets thrown into the mix. Ok, fine, cast him out.
He’s back over on the Right now. Rabbit gets handed the rightwing checklist. Whereas with the Left he failed to check one box, with the Right he fails to check 95% of the boxes. And somehow he’s rightwing? Forget it. Getting beyond left and right is said to be a well known trope of fascism, but so what? Maybe we do need to get beyond left and right and maybe we don’t have to be fascists to do that. In fact, the Alt Left is precisely all about getting beyond Left and Right to some extent, although we are still mostly on the Left. There’s nothing inherently wrong with heterogeneous politics, and this represents your average person’s views anyway. Homogeneous politics is synonymous with ideologues, and who needs them. Give me a sui generis heterogeneous political mix versus any sort of ideologue any day of the week.
Whatever you think of his stand on race, I believe that Rabbit is a very important thinker in our movement, and besides, let’s get real, race is only part of the package Rabbit is selling. You can still buy a custom package minus the race part. Furthermore, he is a superior chronicler and opinion-maker in our movement as a whole, and Rabbit doesn’t care if you don’t agree
It’s not often discussed, but I also like his media criticism, most of which centers around movie reviews. He has a quirky sense there too, focusing on films from the 1970’s. His architectural musings are also quite good, though I don’t know much about the subject. And there’s something about a guy who unironically lionizes Charles Manson
I also very much like his prose and also a lot of his quirky worldview. I am trained as an editor and Rabbit’s prose is what we call “clean copy.” You needn’t mark it up at all, and he’s saying it better than you the editor could anyway. The rules of English punctuation are quite arcane, and 95% of Americans screw them up. Rabbit’s pretty much got them down. You would think he was a J-major.
But as far as a writer goes, he is one of the finest writers in our movement. He’s a great writer! He should be published, and in fact, I believe he is just now as he deserves to be. As a writer, most of what I read is not really great writing. Only maybe 10% of the time do you read prose on the Net that truly sings right off the page. I don’t know if he’s better than I am, but it’s awful close. It’s at least a tossup, and that’s a compliment, as I dislike most other writers.
As long as he keeps away from racial slurs, his prose is worth it for the political theory and just for the pure aesthetic pleasure of it.
A lot of people want to throw Rabbit out of the movement. Funny because he just about co-founded it. Thing is, Rabbit ain’t going anywhere, nor should he. He’s staying right where he is whether we like it or not. Rabbit is stuck with the Alt Left, and we are stuck with him. We are stuck onto each other like damned remoras. And perhaps after all that is just as it should be.
I know what you’re thinking, but no, I don’t mean “Tea Party” in the sense of the happy meal conservative movement that emerged in the early part of the Obama administration. Nor am I referring to anything relating to the Boston Tea Party or the American revolution.
I’m talking about the AltLeft and how for me it has come to resemble the tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972 version of course!) This film was always on HBO in the mid 1980s, even though it came out in the early 70s. I believe the reason they began to re-air it in the 80s was because the star, Fiona Fullerton, had grown up and re-emerged as a Bond girl in “A View to a Kill,” which came out in 1985.
Anyway, when I first got involved with the AltLeft about a year and a half ago, in my mind it was always meant to augment the AltRight, not outright oppose it. It was a way to view and examine the affects of multiculturalism and political correctness from a cultural and economically left lens as well as from a secular and futurist perspective rather than the radical traditionalist, socially conservative one that dominates rightwing circles. In other words, recognizing the implicit Whiteness that underpins the identities of progressive cities like Seattle or Portland, and asserting that it must become explicit to some degree in order for those places to maintain their culture, aesthetic and quality of life.
It was to put forth the idea that someone can be pro-White without the albatross of traditionally conservative culture, pre-modern aesthetics, capitalist economics, or widely accepted Republican historical dogma (“the 60s were bad,” “Vietnam draft dodgers were traitors,” “McCarthy was right,” “I hate modern architecture,” etc.)
If you hang around rightwing groups for any period of time, you’ll find they have an assumed historical narrative that informs many of their beliefs. I say “assumed,” because they just take it for granted that everyone who agrees with them one issue such as race also accepts their historical framing of a wide range of other issues such as economic systems, religious beliefs, or aesthetic preferences (just as someone on the “Left” might assume that anyone who supports trans rights and raising the minimum wage automatically accepts the idea that racial diversity is always a good thing.) Not everyone buys the package deal.
Unfortunately, the AltLeft has instead attracted a wide range of bizarre characters, each with their own zany ideas about what the AltLeft should represent. Many of them never read any of the original manifestos that I or Robert Lindsay or anyone else wrote or bothered to do any research. They just started using the term like they’d started a new band without checking to see if some other band was already using the name. That would be understandable if this were the pre-Internet days, but it seriously only takes like two seconds to Google. Others actually did thoroughly read this site and somehow managed to come to the conclusion their peculiar ideology was compatible with mine, despite it being a complete mystery to me what exactly was the point of agreement.
The AltLeft has come to attract all kinds of eccentric personalities, each one adhering to their own pet belief system. Worse than that, many have joined the AltLeft for the purpose of militantly opposing the AltRight, which is something I never intended to do (hence the reason I still use the tagline “the left wing of the AltRight.”) Though I disagree with him on a few ideological points…I happen to support Richard Spencer, and I have defended him numerous times when certain squeamish (and often prudish) factions as well as a few prominent figures of the AltRight unsuccessfully tried to throw him under the bus.
So when I interact with other people in the incoherent “movement” known as the AltLeft, it feels a lot like the sitting down at the tea party in Alice in Wonderland. It’s a group of outlandish castouts, contrarians, and vagabonds that have little in creatural commonality other than their politically idiosyncratic tendencies and behavioral eccentricities. Part of me finds this demoralizing, wondering why I ever bothered going down this rabbit hole and whether I can just climb out and forget the whole adventure. Yet the other part of me just embraces the gathering of this zany cast of characters for the sheer chaos that they have unleashed as we bounce off-the-wall ideas past each other and revel at the sight confounded normies that stumble into our world.