In the life of a political or religious movement, there may arise certain events which make it wise for that movement to rebrand itself. And with the recent events that have occurred in Charlottesville—of which every ROK reader is no doubt aware—it may thus be time for the alt-right to consider such a marketing change.
But why might such a course of action be necessary at this point in time? Because, quite simply, the alt right label has now been severely—perhaps irreparably—tainted by the alt Reich / alt white sub-faction within the wider alt right. And whether the perception of this taint is just or not, the undeniable fact is that it is indeed now perceived as being there, and this perception will remain there in the minds of the wider public for the foreseeable future, if not permanently. Consequently, this is a serious problem for the alt right.
So, in light of this problem, it is suggested that the non-alt Reich / non-alt white faction of the alt right use this occurrence as an opportunity rather than a set-back. In particular, the Charlottesville incident can be used as an opportunity to make a clean break with the alt Reich faction of the alt right by the rest of the alt right (meaning the so-called alt West, the alt lite, and the Vox Day-style alt right). Indeed, this event is a chance for the wider alt right to make it clear that the alt Reich faction of the alt right is now its own separate entity; and that if that faction is perceived to be the “alt right” as a whole, then so be it, for the actual alt right will move to another label.
However, this then raises the question: What will the new label for the alt right be?
A New Alt Right Term
Although trying to rebrand a movement is never easy, and though no label will satisfy everyone, I offer three candidates as potential replacements for the term ‘alt right’.
First, there is the label ‘nationalist right’. It is simple, to the point, and easily conveys the idea that this is a rightist group which is primarily focused on the nation rather than anything else—just as the broad alt right is. This is a good label, and perhaps the easiest to adopt quickly and naturally. It is also excellent because the term ‘nationalist’ means exactly what the alt-right movement is trying to achieve:
Nationalism is a range of political, social, and economic systems characterised by promoting the interests of a particular nation, particularly with the aim of gaining and maintaining self-governance, or full sovereignty, over the group’s homeland. The political ideology therefore holds that a nation should govern itself, free from unwanted outside interference, and is linked to the concept of self-determination. Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared characteristics such as culture, language, race, religion, political goals or a belief in a common ancestry. Nationalism therefore seeks to preserve the nation’s culture. It often also involves a sense of pride in the nation’s achievements, and is closely linked to the concept of patriotism. (Wikipedia: Nationalism)
Thus, a member of the nationalist right is someone who is akin to an ethno-ideological nationalist, thereby wanting all ethnic groups, and all severely divided political factions within those ethnic groups, to have the right to self-determination and to have their own nation where they can live in peace.
So, the label nationalist right is a strong choice, but there are two other options to consider which may have a rhetorical benefit that the label ‘nationalist right’ does not have.
The second choice is the term ‘nationalist conservative’. The purpose of this term would be to create a bridge between the nationalist and the conservative movement. It would also convey the nationalist focus of alt right people who may have called themselves conservatives in the past. However, given the link between conservativism and political-cowardice (see: cucks), this may not be the best term to use.
Finally, the term ‘universal nationalist’ should also be considered. This term has the rhetorical advantage of using universalist terminology, which is generally seen as the domain of the left; thus, it subverts the left in this minor way, while still articulating the fact that it’s focus is on nationalism. Furthermore, it is very difficult to be against universal nationalism, especially since most western people believe in the idea of self-determination.
At the same time, this label of universal nationalist also has the advantage of removing the political labels of ‘left’ and ‘right’ from itself. This is a benefit because the universal nationalist can thus say that he is not opposed to the left or the right creating its own nation, he just thinks that they should have that right regardless of their political leanings. Ergo, if insane progressives in California wish to start their own nation, then the universal nationalist has no problems with such a course of action.
In the end, though, perhaps the label ‘universal nationalist’ is more of an explanation of what the ‘nationalist right’ is, rather than its own separate term, and so the two terms could be used interchangeably.
Thus, arguably the best term to replace the ‘alt right’ label is the term ‘nationalist right’.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Change
Now, as with any rebranding, there are advantages and disadvantages to taking such a course of action. In terms of the disadvantages, any new label—such as nationalist right—will need to gain traction and make-up ground that it lost from the rebranding. However, in this case, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
First, the new label allows for a clear differentiation between the nationalist right and the alt Reich side of the alt right, and this differentiation is the following: if you see Nazis salutes or Nazi flags or Nazi symbols, or if there is talk of white supremacy and racial dominance, then that is not part of the nationalist right. The nationalist right may agree that such groups have the right to self-determination, but such groups are not part of the nationalist right. (And as a side-note, who the hell would want to be associated with an outdated political faction that lost the war that it engaged in? Not me, that’s for sure.)
Second, the term nationalist right is positive, and it thus promotes a positive agenda. It is, in essence, in favor of everything found in Vox Day’s 16 Points of the Alt-Right, but it adds the seventeen point that the alt-Reich is not a part of it.
Third, the term nationalist right shows that such a group is not an “alternative” to anything, but rather that is a perfectly reasonable and sensible position which would be embraced by most people on the right if that position was explained to them properly. Thus, the nationalist right has broad-tent appeal and sounds mainstream.
Playing the Left’s Game
Finally, some might accuse me of playing the left’s game in trying to rebrand the alt right and then distance the new label from the alt Reich faction of the alt right. And in some respects, this is true. But it is also true that sometimes your political opponents win such a significant battle, or your side makes such a significant mistake, that taking drastic action is necessary. And I believe that this is one of those times.
Furthermore, there is also the idea of cutting off a poisoned limb, and the term alt right may just be poisoned enough that it needs to be cut-off. At the same time, it is also about cutting off deadwood, and the alt Reich—who seem more interested in their own version of Nazi virtue-signaling than in winning—are deadwood that the alt right needs to separate from. And one way to do that is through a rebranding campaign that clearly delineates the alt Reich from the rest of the players on the nationalist side.
So, in the end, it is time for the broader alt right to transform itself into the nationalist right, a group that supports and aims for universal nationalism, including its own. This is the best way to move forward, and it is the best way to actually achieve what the alt-right seeks to achieve.
Post-Script: Please note that as the originator of the idea of Alt Christianity, I simply note that it would also be possible to rebrand Alt Christianity as Nationalist Christianity, and that the 21 these of that movement would still stand without issue.