Since this is the Internet, I should make it plain that discussing a thing does not make you part of the thing.
Strikes me the Establishment’s reaction at the rise of the Alt-Right is like that of an intellectual Stick Boy who has been teasing what he has been taking to be a dim-witted Ruffian, but a Ruffian who was just a little sharper than Stick Boy thought, and whose blood is now up.
Ruffian finally has taken one too many jibes. He stands, his fist clenched, spittle foaming at the edge of his mouth. He’s ready to crush Stick Boy, who finally senses the danger he is in, but whose only recourse is to screech, “You Brute!”
It is not going to end well for Stick Boy.
Take the well known pirate Ace who for years was a loyal ruffian. He thought the good-natured pranks pulled on him by Establishment (GOP branch) stick boys were signals the Establishment liked him. But he wised up. “You know, for years, I felt it was my duty to sell these [Establishment crap] sandwiches to readers for the Greater Good of winning elections.” Now he says, and means it, “the establishment has to be destroyed.”
He’s raised the Jolly Roger:
We will not be ignored, we will not be condescended to, we will no longer accept broken promises and lies as our payment for our service to the GOP.
And if it requires destroying the GOP and electing a Democrat to teach the establishment this lesson, to chastise them and to humble them, then we shall do just that, and do so happily.
You will either come to terms, or you will be destroyed.
Ace was not alone. There were many others, which frightened the Establishment. It knew it had to do something. It looked upon the gathering forces and cast spells on them. “Racist!”, they shouted, “Fascist! Populist!” The stick boys did not, and still do not, understand these words, so powerful in the pass, now have the opposite of their intended effect. Besides, calling somebody a “populist” in a democracy makes as much sense as yelling “Driver!” at a man behind the wheel of a car.
The Establishment believes the ruffians have no idea what they are doing in supporting Trump. This is why they post broadsheets listing Trump’s deficiencies, in hopes of teaching ruffians the truth. But the ruffians already know, or think they do. It’s just that the ruffians hate the Establishment more than what Trump might do. As it is, at this moment anyway, Trump is thrashing the stick boys. Not in a pretty way, of course; but that he is doing it at all is enough for the ruffians, who have been spoiling for a fight and for the chance to act like men in a culture saturated in effeminacy.
What a shock it would be to the ruffians if Trump turned out to be part of the Establishment! This, I think, would be the one jibe too many. Or Trump could turn out just like the Establishment fears, and call the ruffians his own. Or the whole thing could blow over and we continue our picturesque descent into decadence (this is my guess).
On the second possibility, we agree with Nick Land that “If you think people power is basically great, but the Left have just been doing it wrong, the Alt-Right is most probably what you’re looking for.” Land says:
Alt-Right is inclined to anti-capitalism, ethno-socialism, grievance politics, and progressive statism. Its interest in geopolitical fragmentation (or Patchwork production) is somewhere between hopelessly distracted and positively hostile. Beside its — admittedly highly entertaining — potential for collapse catalysis, there’s no reason at all…to have the slightest sympathy for it. Space for tactical cooperation, within the strategic framework of pan-secessionism, certainly exists, but that could equally be said of full-on Maoists with a willingness to break things up.
So you don’t want to join the Establishment but aren’t thrilled with the Alt-Right, what’s the alternative? Theoretically or practically? Well, forget theoretically, as least for today. We’re stuck with what we have. Practically, since it was the Establishment that created the Alt-Right, and nobody sees the Establishment giving up, well, look for more of the same, only more so.
Update: I’m afraid I didn’t make it clear that I am not talking about the election per se, but of our cultural situation in general.