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Thankfully, after decades of polite conservative posturing, times are changing.
The old roll-over-and-die conservative commentary is giving way to the Millennial Independent rhetoric.
The word ‘Independent’ there is important. Most Millennials with significant online presence are dissatisfied with both Republican and Democratic parties in the US. Here in the UK, they eschew the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats.
I shy away from using the name alt-right to describe this group of bloggers and video makers, because I’m not happy with the negative characteristics the media apply to these people who are fed up with the Left.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that a white nationalist, Richard Spencer, coined the term in 2008, however, it was Professor Paul Gottfried, Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Elizabethtown College, who actually invented the label ‘alternative right’.
In August 2016, he wrote a piece for Front Page Magazine on the subject. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:
Last week I was reminded by a call from Associated Press that I had invented the term “Alternative Right.” When I asked about how I had accomplished that, the woman on the other end of the phone referred to a speech I had given in November 2008 in which I urged the creation of an “Alternative Right.” The same caller said that I was considered the “godfather” of what had become Altright, something that the Democratic presidential candidate would be denouncing later in the week. Thereupon I tried to explain in what modest ways I may have inspired the movement that Hillary was about to go after (namely, in a quadrennial ritual in presidential races in which the Democratic candidate accuses her GOP rival of being the second coming of Adolf Hitler).
I pointed out that Altright authors, some of whom I knew, shared my revulsion for the neoconservatives and deplored their influence on the American Right. I also noted that Altright publicists believed that modern liberal democracies had become dangerously fixated on promoting equality; and I’ve made this observation repeatedly in my books …
The professor, rightly, states that he does not consider himself part of the alt-right. However, he says that he shares some of their views. In any event:
They are a breath of fresh air for anyone like me who occasionally forces himself to look at the centrist bilge, ostentatious beating up on Confederate symbols and the shilling for multinational corporations that I encounter on the respectable (non-right) Right. I need hardly add that next to the Never Trump crew laboring directly or indirectly to elect “crooked Hillary” as our next president, my Altright acquaintances are exemplary defenders of the American republic.
Alt-right commentators are not racist or sexist. The_Donald is the best alt-right forum and has many commenters who are Latino/Hispanic and some who are black. Gays and women participate. Everyone gets on well there and, of particular interest, are their members from other countries around the world.
Therefore, when the Southern Poverty Law Center — hardly credible because of their consistent left-wing stances — tags the alt-right with being like Richard Spencer, it’s merely an Alinsky tactic to discredit these Millennials who reject their socio-political outlook. Hardly surprising, then.
On a more optimistic note: the beginnings of an effective post-neoconservative Right may be taking shape in the form of the Trump movement. At least some of the neoconservative camp has split off from the center to join with the Old Right, younger West Coast Straussians, paleolibertarians and the Altright to support Trump’s candidacy. This is the most promising attempt to create a post-neoconservative Right that I have seen since being exiled from the conservative movement eons ago. I’ve no idea whether the center will hold in what is still a loose, ad hoc alliance. But I welcome its emergence in the last few months. Often in politics, it’s the enemy that unites, and in this case those whom circumstances have brought together, have chosen their adversaries well. They are facing with very limited resources, the ultimate traitors to the Right and to an America that should be spared Hillary’s picks for federal judgeships and her refusal to fight specifically Muslim terrorists.
Therefore, from that paragraph, we understand that President Donald Trump’s candidacy coalesced this group of Millennials who bring a different perspective. In Britain, Millennials who supported Brexit comprise this group.
There is another characteristic of this independent group of commentators: their willingness to speak out and use the Left’s own tactics on them, as a Return of Kings post advises:
… the long and short of it is this: embracing and amplifying leftist absurdities are an excellent tactic to counter progressives and SJWs, and three of the ways to embrace and amplify are through increasing the frequency of the embraced absurdity, shifting it slightly to something the leftist finds unacceptable, and/or reversing it on the leftist.
Now, will this tactic work on the leftists themselves? Likely not, for their worldview can only survive on incoherence and absurdity, and so they are used to it—although, in fairness, you may convince the odd leftist to change his mind. However, convincing leftists and progressives is not the point. Rather, the point is to rhetorically neuter the leftists while at the same time helping to sway the fence-sitters to be against the leftists, not for them.
And for the purposes of achieving that particular objective, embracing then amplifying leftist absurdities is a good tactic to use.
Vox Day, a Christian blogger and author writes about the effect of Gamergate (2014-2015), which showed the young Left at their worst in revealing their opponents’ identities, harassing them and sending them death threats:
One of the fascinating things about the last few years is the transition of many apolitical Game writers and sites to politically conscious Alt-Right and Alt-Lite perspectives. This is significant, because all of the writers involved are entirely accustomed to being mobbed and assailed by the mainstream media, so they’re not inclined to cuck and run like most conservatives are when faced with criticism.
That is the principal characteristic of this group, never seen before in such numbers until 2016. They understand how the game is played and they engage time and time again.
These people are not white supremacists or white nationalists. On the contrary, they welcome everyone to participate in dialogue promoting and defending traditional values of informed patriotism, family life and personal integrity.
They will not cave and, as this revolution of words unfolds, they will remain in the front line.
Sometimes I feel younger than I actually am. Could I be thinking like the Millennial generation?
– Working for enjoyment not necessarily advancement or a big salary.
– Preferring a slower pace of life to loads of activity.
– Enjoying the quiet moments in life.
– Dreading when the phone rings and preferring email instead.
– Taking time to smell the roses.
– Enjoying board games.
The London Evening Standard‘s ES Magazine had a feature in their May 15, 2015, issue: ‘How slow can you go?’ by Richard Godwin (pp. 17-18).
Godwin tells us that Londoners are the fourth fastest walkers in the world but that some Millennials are opting out and rebelling by taking life easier.
There is now a board game café in London where the younger generation gathers to have a friendly beer and play draughts (checkers, for my American readers).
These men and women have grown up with various incarnations of video games and, quite frankly, have tired of them.
Similarly, they are spending fewer hours online. The Internet detracts from their leisure time.
Slow-drip coffee is replacing espresso in establishments which Millennials frequent.
The BBC caught up with the slow trend to bring us Slow TV earlier this year:
A two-hour canal trip down one of Britain’s historic waterways, an hour of uninterrupted birdsong and a close-up, real-time examination of the making of a glass jug are among the “deliberately unhurried” programmes beginning on BBC4 on Sunday.
The season of programmes is intended as an antidote to the digital age, reflecting a recent Scandinavian TV phenomenon that can be traced back to the earliest days of film.
Cassian Harrison, the editor of BBC4, said: “We are so used to the conventional grammar of television in which everything gets faster and faster, we thought it would be interesting to make something that wasn’t continually shouting at you and coming up with the next climactic moment.”
It was highly popular and it seems the broadcaster is planning another series.
Of course, there is also Slow Food, although that movement started with an earlier generation back in 1989. Italian Carlo Petrini and his friends — old enough to have Millennial children — have seen Slow Food expand worldwide.
When it comes to work, Millennials are looking for careers rather than jobs. They will accept lower pay if they are doing something they enjoy. They are also looking for flexibility in employment — unconventional hours and overseas postings.
It seems to be a Western thing, however. PwC Global conducted a survey of their own younger employees on the topic of work-life balance:
PwC’s NextGen study also uncovered similarities and differences among Millennial employees around the world. For example, Millennial workers in each participating PwC office aspire to have greater work/life balance, but the issue appears to be less of a priority among workers in the East region (Pacific nations) than in other parts of the world.
Older generations criticise Millennials for being lazy. However, the glut of university degrees actually devalues further education, making it difficult to get on the career ladder. Without a decent-paying job, it then becomes hard to move out of the family home into one’s own abode. Having enough money to marry and raise children responsibly in these circumstances is also an issue.
So, it is no wonder that Millennials are living life in the slow lane — whilst playing the waiting game.
That said, in response to a contentious article in Elite Daily and the ensuing explosive comments, reader Brad Cahill said that every generation goes through the same thing in terms of time:
It ticks at the same speed for everybody… and you’ll get your turn too. The notion that any particular generation is in any way better than another is absurd. All meet with their own challenges indigenous to their lifespans. Neither good nor bad… it all simply is. Relax and do your best… that’s it.
Sound advice. Unfortunately, he was told that he was too old to know what he was talking about!