Defining the Online Dissident Right

It’s been apparent over the past few months or so that the Alt. Right’s presence on YouTube, Twitter, etc. has been mingled with some quite abrasive elements. More recently, commotion has ensued surrounding foiled meet-ups organised by a certain whore-fucker. In amid the resulting confusion and conversation questions have been raised regarding what the Alt. Right and various parallel phenomena fundamentally are; what their presuppositions, goals, etc. are; and what the whole “point” really is for each “movement”/”phenomenon.”

Let us be clear: the Alternative Right is not a hivemind with one specific goal in mind to accomplish in one specific way. Everyone likes pretty pictures, so here’s one I scribbled out, free of charge:

The Alt-Right and co
The Online Dissident (id est non-mainstream) Right

This diagram is obviously not as detailed or fleshed-out as it otherwise could be, but it’ll serve our purpose here well enough. To clear-up confusion regarding the Alternative Right; the “Alt-Right” is distinguished from the “Alt. Right” by virtue of Richard Spencer being at the center of the former, and the latter being a mish-mash of other factors playing into and off of the Alt-Right phenomenon found on Twitter’s #alt-right Hashtag, Counter Currents and RADIX Journal. The latter is further influenced and intertwined with internet culture, especially that of imageboards as I’ve examined elsewhere, but generally being quite a broad church, something discussed in Episode 6, Series 2 of The Plebeian Podcast. Richard Spencer narrowed things down thereafter in a video which explains his use of the term “Alternative Right” and how things really began. The Alt. Right was also well-defined recently by Occam’s Razor.

It’s extremely important to understand the New World (id est American) underpinnings that the Alt-Right has, and how this lends it to an overt pan-Whiteness as a foundation for identity – identity being the foundation of the Dissident Right; what we’re all searching for by and large. “White” is a sufficient identity in America and Commonwealth countries. It is not a sufficient identity in Europe as history has shown, and as current events in East Europe show. Europeans tend to civic nationalism as opposed to ethnic nationalism – which, before anyone says it, is not always preferable. A mass awakening of European racial consciousness could avert Europe’s crisis regarding mass-immigration at the present time, but it couldn’t happen in the same way it could in the United States. Europe is too fragmented and each nation, each state, each country, each group is too explicitly defined. The English hate the French, the Ukrainians hate the Russians, et cetera. Geopolitical interests cannot be discarded at a whim nor can centuries-old grudges and prejudices between ancient nations.

Much water has been muddied; the distinction between the Americanised Alt-Right and broader, pseudo-globalised via the internet Alt. Right must be understood. The internet and information age are especially important because many thousands of individuals have access to all that the Alt. Right and co. publish and share. This leads to individuals developing differentiated orientations. I, for example, would be classed as a Traditionalist or a Perennialist. My interests primarily are of an esoteric nature; metaphysics. However, I involve myself with YouTube and other communities at a more down-to-earth level, thus, I define myself as being part of the “Alt. Right” but having connections to and interests in Neo-Reaction (for example Social Matter) and Traditionalism (for example Gornahoor). One’s personal equation (to use an Evolian term) tends to be of a syncretic nature. Thus, it’s outrageous to say that “All Alt. Righters think [x].”; only “Most…” or “Some…” “…Alt. Righters think [x]. could be the most astute statements. And even within certain phenomena, there is great diversity of focus and method, as explained here in the case of Neo-Reaction.

Credit to Free Northerner and

The Alternative Right is not a political party. It has no manifesto. The Traditionalist School or even Neo-Reaction are a little differentiated of course, but that’s the whole point: nuance is lacking in the minds of some which leads to the things discussed here. In “Velocity and Ferocity” I said that,

Any major sociocultural shift is marked prior by psychological and spiritual undercurrents which later culminate at moments of strategic importance. Europe’s Identitarian movement is one such undercurrent, the Alt. Right is another, as is NRx, as are all of the various thinktanks, groups and organisations online or offline which follow a similar trajectory which is pro-identity, pro-power, and anti-establishment.

This is the fundamental glue holding together the objects diagrammed above. There is great diversity in the Online Dissident Right which must be taken into consideration, however. Nationalism has its place; populism is inevitable in the contemporary mass-politics of the the West – but so what? For what purpose? Why? Who? Where? What day is it? These are questions answered differently by different groups. Traditionalism is not nationalism. The latter is revolutionary, the former is counter-revolutionary. Neo-Fascism is not libertarianism. The latter is anarchist, the former is statist. Et cetera.

To summarise, wherever one is on the ODR one has a vantage point which should be exploited for as long as it’s accessible. The internet has allowed much knowledge to be shared and explored but there will come a point in the coming decades where things are translated into action for many people. What is imperative is that if specific movements are created by people involved in the Alt. Right or NRx, that they will be absolutely circumstance-specific and particular to circumstance. An ODR group materialising in Germany will be very different to an ODR group materialising in California.

Recent articles such as ones written by Andrew Martyanov and Mark Citadel look to what will physically come of all this energised elixir swirling and bubbling in the net’s dark cauldron in the future. We’ll see what happens. If the cards are played right, I’m sure there will be few problems.

Edit: It would be a sensible idea for someone or a group to expand upon what’s written here. It’s far from complete and I’m not nearly as well-acquainted with the online side of things as some others (I’ve only been around for about a year, nothing compared to some people).


13 thoughts on “Defining the Online Dissident Right

  1. Good post. The complexity of such a political zeitgeist is very confusing to outsiders. I know it took me a while to understand. Iv aligned myself in more of the reactosphere/traditionalist groups. As a Catholic Monarchist I’m very anti populist and counter-revolutionary. I usually find myself agreeing with traditionalists, Rx Christians and to some extent perennialists (although I can not a perennialist myself). There seems to be overlapping themes in the dissenter right, but that’s about it. I do not accept fascism, civic nationalism or any of the modernist ideologies because to me they nothing more then an attempt to fix the problem by not addressing the actually problem… Modernity. It will be interesting to see where everything ends up within the next decade.

    1. Yes, it is difficult. I didn’t want to overanalyse the simple diagram I made because it would’ve been purely intellectually masturbatory (and I do enough of that). Regardless, the meat of the problem appears to be the term “Alternative Right” and how it’s used, as well as whether it leans more to intellectual or practical matters — I think it leans more to the latter, but there are definitely elements which lean to the former which are more associated with other phenomena which still fall under the umbrella of “Online Dissident Right” such as Neo-Reaction.

  2. Great article, and it’s always interesting to see how others visualize these things.

    When I and others use the term ‘Reactosphere’, it is to encompass all people who self-identify as some form of Reactionary and thus adhere to general Reactionary tenets on the important topics like race, autocracy, and sex. Thus, NeoReaction (a trademarked brand) is contained within the Reactosphere as a kind of subheading. The broad Reactosphere include both self-described NeoReactionaries and those who for whatever reason have some disagreement with that school of thought (mostly it is over religious concerns, this was an issue a while back), and would presumably include a group calling itself West Coast Reactionaries, as well as any honest disciples of men like Evola. In short, if you hold a complete Reactionary viewpoint, or counter-Enlightenment ideal, then you are writing in the Reactosphere.

    And then looking even more broadly, the Reactosphere exists in this very loosely defined ‘Alt.Right’ as you have differentiated it from Spencer’s more specific definition. The Alt.Right includes those who hold rightist (read: Reactionary) ideals on some topics in specific, but have not thus far developed a fully Reactionary ideology . So, for instance, PUA as part of the Manosphere has nothing to do with the Alt.Right, but purveyors of Christian patriarchy (Dalrock springs to mind) or ‘NeoMasculinity’ (Roosh himself), both considered Manospheran, cross the rubicon into the Alt.Right in a way that Julien Blanc definitely does not.

    Libertarianism is more tenuously linked, only really because many NeoReactionaries are former libertarians, some coming from the ‘LessWrong’ milieu. Sophisticated NeoFascism and generalized ‘white nationalism’ have stronger ties into the alt.right certainly, but hit and miss depending on the quality. I distinguish totemic ‘white nationalism’ from HBD.

    I had an email exchange with someone abut this topic recently and we both agreed that each group either fully contained, or partially contained, under the Alt.Right umbrella gets something from the others in a kind of symbiotic relationship. And of course, we are all hated for the same reason, we dissent from the prevailing occult motivator of the Modern society.

    1. Thanks, and I agree.

      Regarding the Reactosphere; perhaps I’m in error here, then — in my defence I didn’t put extended thought into that diagram, it was done purely on intuition. I distinguished between NRx and Rx because the former seems much more specific than the latter which I see referenced and spoken of in more general, “Alt. Right-y” places. I distinguish between dissident Rightist thinking (which I seem to’ve implicitly placed under “Reactosphere”) and the Alt. Right likely due to imageboard culture’s influence on the latter which is not evident, really, in the former. To speak of “WCR,” it’s not a specific name at all, it denotes general dissident Right-ery, as is implied on our About page — and that was the name of this site before I or anyone save Andrew joined.

      The “ex-libertarian” thing is everywhere including the Alt. Right and NRx. I linked it to the former in the diagram, but one could easily link it to other sections as well.

  3. White is not sufficient for indentitarian politics in the Anglosphere. That is the crux of the entire neoreactionary critique of white (qua white) nationalism. The greatest enemies of the red-state middle and working class whites is cosmopolitan, educated, verbally dominant whites. We call them Brahmins. Kotkin called them the New Clerisy. But they’re not new. They’ve been at the throats of insufficiently educated Americans since day one. Since before the American Revolution. Sure there are a lot of Jews in the class, but not a majority of it. And only in the last 80 years or so. No one claims Jews fomented a war to suppress the South in the 1860s. (Jews were, at the time, more welcome in the South. Ironically.)

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: “WHICH WHITES?”

    1. I left a link to a YT video in that last one, BTW.

      None of what I said should be taken to construe that I do not approve of the overall tenor and content of this article. It’s excellent, and lays out a very expert taxonomy on the dissident right.

  4. Everything that rises, converges. I’ll have fellowship (i.e., working together) with anyone on the dissident right that I perceive as “rising”. Obviously we won’t all agree on that definition.

  5. It might be interesting to map some kind of cladogram of the DR just to give a greater context. There are some strains of the Dissident Right which link back to the old dissident right of yesteryear and have little real connection to the nu-ODR of the kind we’re familiar. John Derbyshire e.g. comes out of the old NRO before it got cucked by the Buckley-ites. The last strain of exiled Rightists in the UK is the Traditional Britain Group, formerly the Monday Club. I suppose maybe Spencer has a link to them through his connection to Bowden. But does anybody here really think Gregory Lauder-Frost will have any clue who Pepe the Frog is?

    I think what makes the ODR more powerful is that it appears to have risen out of the flames of its own self-inception and is not tied to any particular existing tradition, save for recognising many of them as worthless failures. Both Spencer’s Alt-Right and NRx are exceptionally current and engaged in the immediate Cathedralite reality. There is not much rose tinted nostalgia e.g. the kind US conservative circles have for Reagan or that the UK has for the Attlee welfare state. We have little to look fondly back on because we contend that things have been going wrong for quite some time, whether it be a general Spenglerian civilisational decay, a Carlylean consequence of the adoption of suffrage or something more sinister to do with population cycles and Malthusian r-type outbreeding due to industrialism. Even to the extent that NRx lauds Metternich’s Austro-Hungarian ambassadorial engineering or Frederick II’s cameralism it’s only insofar as they can synthesise something new. Whatever term you want to use to describe the categorical superset of people who contend that 1) HBD is true 2) Egalitarianism is wrong 3) The Cathedral narrative is religiously motivated insanity for the purposes of tribal warfare; the point is that we’re here now and we’re all happily trading notes.

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