Alt Right

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The Alt Right (short for “alternative right”) is a loosely organized far right movement that emphasizes internet activism (especially memes) and is hostile to both multicultural liberalism and mainstream conservatism. Alt-right ideology combines white nationalism, misogyny, antisemitism, and authoritarianism in various forms and in political styles ranging from intellectual argument to violent invective.

Featured Resource:

Ctrl-Alt-Delete addresses the origins and rise of the so-called “alt-right,” the fascistic movement that grabbed headlines in the months leading up to the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. The title essay, Matthew Lyons’s “Ctrl-Alt-Delete,” is a thorough survey of the origins of the alt-right, a look at its constituent parts and beliefs at the present time, as well as observations about how its future relationship with the Trump administration may play out. Of particular interest, Lyons draws attention to the importance of sexism and misogyny within this movement, to its long-term “metapolitical” strategy, as well as to the tensions between the disparate groups that have found their home under its banner. (Note that this text has also been made available online by Political Research Associates here for free in both html and PDF format.)

Top Resources:

Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right
An antifascist report by Matthew Lyons on the far-right movement that embraced Donald Trump.

The Alt Right helped Donald Trump get elected president, and Trump’s campaign put the Alt Right in the news. But the movement was active well before Trump announced his candidacy, and its relationship with Trump has been more complex and more qualified than many critics realize. The Alt Right is just one of multiple dangerous forces associated with Trump, but it’s the one that has attracted the greatest notoriety. However, it’s not accurate to argue, as many critics have, that “Alt Right” is just a deceptive code-phrase meant to hide the movement’s White supremacist or neonazi politics. This is a movement with its own story, and for those concerned about the seemingly sudden resurgence of far-right politics in the United States, it is a story worth exploring.

Mobilizing Misogyny by Alex DiBranco

Trump’s campaign rhetoric energized members of a secular misogynist Right—such as the men’s rights movement and, more recently, the “Alt Right”—that has flourished online since the 1990s. And it found no pushback from a brand of conservative, libertarian “feminism”—another ’90s development—that provides a dangerously legitimizing female face for misogynist ideology centered on overt hostility to women and the promulgation of rape culture.

Birth of the Alt Right by David Neiwert

The story of how the gamergate controversy heralded the rise of the Alt Right: A world dominated by digital trolls, insanely unbridled conspiracism, angry White-male-identity victimization culture, and ultimately, open racism, antisemitism, ethnic hatred, misogyny, and sexual/gender paranoia. A place where human decency and ethics are considered antiquarian jokes, and empathy is only an invitation to assault.


Richard Spencer’s Mom Spins Victim Narrative for Self, While Neonazis Target Jews by Addie Stan

As president and director of the National Policy Institute (NPI), a far-right, White nationalist organization, Spencer has put Whitefish on the map in a whole new way, roiling the waters of civic life, as local activists and civic leaders have sought to counter the unwelcome notoriety conferred upon their idyllic environs by Spencer, the self-styled spokesman for the racist, misogynist movement he has branded as the Alternative Right, known by the shorthand, Alt-Right.

Profile on the Right: Milo Yiannopoulos by Peter Montgomery

Milo Yiannopoulos is the technology co-editor for Breitbart News Network, the right-wing media operation that former CEO Steve Bannon—now chief strategist for President Donald Trump—proudly called the platform for the Alt Right. But that title does not begin to describe Yiannopoulos’s public persona as Breitbart’s enfant terrible, or, as he described himself in a recent speech on his “Dangerous Faggot Tour” of college campuses, “the supervillain of the Internet.” The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich says, “Milo is the person who propelled the alt-right movement into the mainstream.”

Profile on the Right: Steve Bannon by Erin Kelly

Stephen Bannon is the former CEO of Brietbart News Network—which he promotes as “the platform for the Alt Right”—and is now Donald Trump’s chief strategist and a key player on national security issues. Bannon has a history of antisemitism and has been called “one of the foremost peddlers of white supremacist themes and rhetoric.” He has expressed admiration for anti-Muslim hate groups, ridiculed the Black Lives Matter movement, and likened civil rights advocacy to Communism.