Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Branding

So there’s a stampede of people trying to disavow and disassociate from the alt-right because Richard Spencer has gone full-Nazi. The speech is out there. It’s pretty lame. Not a fan myself. But hey, works for him. I’m sure he’s having the time of his life. Getting laid like a champ, if he’s into ladies. I’m happy he’s having fun, instead of blue-haired fat Hillary supporters having fun.

Jim has done an eloquent argument for having no enemies to the right. I have little to add to it. What I will do is talk what I know about, language. See, the alt-right isn’t a thing. “Alt-right” is a word. A word with no clear owners, no set definition. I actually recall it starting with Spencer himself; then it got a big bigger, then Hillary made it famous in her speech, with even Bannon putting it to good use. I myself too jumped into the bandwagon, if only to make a linguistic point.

But the thing with words is that you don’t get to control what their usage. People are getting out because they’re afraid that “alt-right” will be used as a buzzword for Sieg-Heil-ing Nazis, and they don’t want to be associated with that. That’s a reasonable point. Leftists in the USA call themselves “liberal”, because the word “socialist” became associated with bad things. That never happened in Europe where there are proud Socialist Parties in almost every country. Perception matters, language usage is mostly a function of habit, if the mainstream press succeeds in associating the word “alt-right” with Spencer’s LARPers through sheer repetition, the thing will stick.

So people may need a new name. But don’t forget that you won’t get to control the new name. Neoreaction was a cool name until Eternal September happened and it soon enough became associated with depressed medicated millennial monarchists. Nick Land has had more success using his fame and charisma to basically own the “NRx” brand. He gets to define it; good for him. Ownership is good. There’s a reason why intellectual trends always happened on a personal master-apprentice basis. The extreme left is always splintering into different parties, all named by some variant of Revolutionary Trotskist Democratic Action Communism or whatever.

We all need a name. “Alt-right” was a good name, and it was useful as a marker for the non-cucked right during this election. But of course a name without an owner is always going to cause the same problem: somebody stupid and vain is going to use it to do something that you’d rather they didn’t do. There’s millions of people in this earth; you just can’t stop this. Somebody will do something stupid sooner or later.

You have two options: you can not care; ignore the criticisms of your enemy, be overtly accepting of everybody to your right. Or if you do care; then you need to get a new name and own it. You need authority; a school, a school master, and a chain of command so that you can ensure that nobody does anything stupid.

And by the way some people are saying that Nazis aren’t “to our right”. But of course there are. You see, humans are pretty smart. There’s hidden wisdom in the categorization of “extreme left” and “extreme right”. Sure, the actual policy proposals of communists and Nazis (national socialists!) are fairly similar. But that’s not the point. Politics isn’t about policy. If you’ve learned anything in this blog is that people’s overt statements are just signaling positions in a personal game of status struggle.

What “extreme” means is willing to use extreme means to gain status. The extreme left is  batshit communist, feminist lesbians who argue for the extermination of men, people who are willing to use violence to get on top. The extreme right is batshit Nazi, people claiming the white race is genetically superior to all, that white men are all by birth natural conquerors and crusaders, willing to argue for the extermination of other races, people who are willing to use violence to get on top.

Character is inborn; your politics are just an avatar of that. Some people want status very very badly. Some don’t care that much. Your politics generally is a function of that and your particular identity, which drives to the camp which you find more likely to bring you status. As of me; I wouldn’t mind that Richard Spencer and his folk gained some status; I sure prefer it to blue haired lesbians and black gay men gaining status. So I won’t have enemies to my right. Just don’t ask me if I agree on what they say. I don’t think the question even makes sense.

By the way, you can find me on Gab:

https://gab.ai/Spandrell

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38 responses to “Branding

  1. Pingback: Branding | Aus-Alt-Right

  2. Zippy November 24, 2016 at 23:00

    If you’ve learned anything in this blog is that people’s overt statements are just signaling positions in a personal game of status struggle.

    Is that overt statement just a signaling position in a personal game of status struggle; or do you intend it to mean something that is actually, you know, true?

  3. R7 Rocket November 24, 2016 at 23:13

    The God-Emperor knows how to brand…

    Ask:
    Low Energy ¡Jeb!
    Lyin’ Ted
    Liddle Marco
    Crazy Bernie
    “Pocahauntas”
    Crooked Cankles

  4. Trumpism is 'Peak Jew' November 24, 2016 at 23:58

    Every single foreign and domestic policy appointment so far indcates Trump’s allegiance to the politics of his son in law ie Sheldon Adelson the macao casino pimp that gave 25#M to his campaign. The AltRight nazi trolls aided in his victory in obscuring the ‘Peak Jew’ nature of the Trump elite backers which are fundamentally Israeli Likudnik and hostile to the multicult liberal american jewish community.

    The Russians understand this completely.

    http://www.rferl.org/a/russian-government-spokeswoman-trump-won-thanks-to-jews/28124518.html

  5. ricksean November 25, 2016 at 00:21

    There is a way to have a name and an ideology stick without clear ownership. You need a founding document, and the ideas within the document must represent a schelling point.

    • Karl November 25, 2016 at 12:24

      That might not be enough. Christianity has the Bible. Just look what passes for Christian these days.

      • ricksean November 25, 2016 at 15:45

        It still seems to be working for islam tough. There is also the /pol/ tactic which is to reject all names and dogma, embrace inherent chaos, and brainstorm itself into a memetic superpredator. Feels like an iterated cthulu invocation ritual. Probably will end up self-destructing in a spectacular way, but hey, at least it’s fun !

  6. Pingback: Branding | Reaction Times

  7. bookooball November 25, 2016 at 03:56

    The Liberty Movement is the only thing standing in the way of globalism.

    http://sentinelblog.com/2016/11/24/order-out-of-chaos-the-defeat-of-the-left-comes-with-a-cost/

  8. Sam J. November 25, 2016 at 06:51

    “…Trumpism is ‘Peak Jew’…”

    I don’t think they’ve peaked yet. Their peak may be the complete destruction of the US and all that follows. Never mind I don’t see them being able to move to India or China. I think the mentality of Europeans has ranked very high in the reason for their success. Other countries are no so open. I don’t think they can help themselves in destroying whatever society they’re in. Like self cutters or compulsive counters.

    I had great hopes for Trump. I wasn’t blind to his past history and acquaintances but it is possible for people to change alliances. I don’t think he has. Maybe he will do some of the things he said but it doesn’t look good. Especially on the illegal alien front. He could have most of them packing up and leaving before he got in office with the right words and I’m not hearing them.

    If he’s not going to prosecute for all the corruption going on it means it will just continue.

    I’m expecting a huge crash and monetary melt down. It’s very depressing.

  9. Karl November 25, 2016 at 11:28

    “Alt-right” is still a good Name. As you say and for the reasons you point out, it might turn into a bad Name. But as far as I can see, that has not yet happed. Branding is important. It takes time to build a brand. That’s why it’s valuable. For this reason we should not give it up unnecessarily. Any new name we come up with, will eventually face the same or a similar problem.

    Our enemies will always want to destroy any brand we create. If we stopp using a brand as soon as it is attacked, destruction is too easy for them. So let’s still use “Atr-right” and hope the MSM won’t succeed in destroying it.

  10. Jefferson November 25, 2016 at 17:00

    Maybe I’m just using different words, but isn’t this consistent with the “we need a new religion?” If “alt-right” were codified as a religion, there would be an owner and a coherent theology. Instead it’s just another branch of secular humanism, and will ultimately melt back to core beliefs. Hence the “we’re the real victims,” which is just another way of saying that we are the meek and ought inherit the earth. Neoreaction was on the chopping block explicitly because it wasn’t being treated as a religion. If MM were “the prophet of Gnon, MM, peace and blessings upon him,” people would have been less aggressive in changing the core theology.

    The issue with no enemies to the right is that Nazis are well left of where NRx has been. Socialism for me, not for thee is bad policy. Also, with friends like these, who needs enemies.

  11. Garr November 26, 2016 at 19:06

    Maybe: people endorse positions that they regard AS NOT DEMONSTRABLY FALSE when and only when they believe that endorsing these positions will improve their status IN REAL OR IMAGINARY COMMUNITIES. An example of an imaginary community would be “the community of philosophers from all times and places.” (My reactionary remarks have only harmed my status in real communities.)

  12. Well... November 28, 2016 at 04:57

    It’s not about the name.

    The Alt Right could have worked on being a serious alternative to the pitiful mainstream offerings of the American Right. Instead, the Alt Right exhausted themselves on grotesque cheerleading moves for Donald “Hah-You-Thought-I’d-Actually-Try-To-Build-The-Wall-You-Sucker” Trump and then squeezed onto a tiny piece of intellectual real estate already occupied (and poisoned) by none other than neo-Nazis and the Klan: white identitarianism. Now a few of the more self-aware Alt Rightists are saying “Crap, time to ditch this sinking ship and set up shop somewhere else.” Will those same fools make a better choice next time? I kinda doubt it.

    Meanwhile you’re saying “Come on, the water’s fine! This white identitarian thing’ll work out! Our tattooed roommates are kinda cool…we’ll just pretend they can’t talk.”

    • spandrell November 28, 2016 at 05:19

      Shitting publicly on your roommates in front of your evil landlord is just bad manners.

      • Well... November 28, 2016 at 05:54

        And it won’t convince your evil landlord you’re not one of them anyway. Guess you shoulda picked a better place to set up shop in the first place. That’s easier to do if you actually know what it is you’re trying to sell.

        • spandrell November 28, 2016 at 05:58

          I’m not selling anything; you might have noticed that. I do cherish the right to choose my own roommates, if not my landlord.

          • Well... November 28, 2016 at 06:31

            In this analogy, yes you have the right to whatever roommates you want, but the choice of landlord–and his judgment of you–is out of your control: the landlord is not the NYT editorial board, it’s the rest of America.

            The Alt Right had the right to choose either to be an appealing patriotic alternative to the Hollywood version of conservatism, or play white identity politics while constantly having to deny that they’re really just a bunch of neo-Nazis. Since then the universe has not provided an obvious third option.

            • spandrell November 28, 2016 at 07:42

              The Alt Right isn’t a coherent subject. It can’t do things. Somebody is going to do something stupid sooner or later. Spencer at least has a good claim to the name, and he’s been fairly consistent over the years. If there’s anything to HBD he also has a point that ethnic cleansing is desirable. If anything the blame is on those Sailer-ites who adopted the name once Clinton named it the official opposition.

              Steve Sailer has been selling an appealing patriotic alternative, and explicitly positioning himself as an advisor to the Republican Party. What did that get him? Ignored for decades. Only now he was lucky that Coulter sold his ideas to Trump, whom you appear to have little love for.

              Most people in the Alt-Right or whatever you wanna call it don’t know what they’re selling, because as I said years ago, the logical consequence of many of the ideas floating around, i.e. patriarchy, HBD, mercantilism, etc. are pretty ugly in how they would develop short term. Those aren’t a good sell at all. So people are just making lame Youtube clips trying to dance around the issue of what would really happen if we were in charge, and a signaling spiral forced us to be consistent in our policies.

              • Well... November 28, 2016 at 15:25

                If I understand correctly, you’re saying that what’s happened is the inevitable result of the Alt Right being a loose collection of random people and their ideas, rather than a coherent ideological movement. I mostly agree.

                However, I think there came a point where there was a sense of being a movement (maybe when Trump started using the Sailer Strategy?), and at that point the Alt Right should have made a smarter choice about what kind of movement they wanted to be. And here when I say “they” I mean anyone who found a mic suddenly in front of his mouth (e.g. after Hillary’s Alt Right speech), or who realized his online comment could be read by anyone and wanted immigration restrictionism, patriarchy, HBD, etc. to come off looking like the sane idea rather than the one the NYT editorial board warned you about.

                Yes, inevitably there will be morons (mostly kids, I’d guess) who flap their mouths and look crazy, but they can either make only themselves look bad or they can suck you down with them. It all depends on how you position yourself relative to them, and whether you reward their behavior.

                And BTW you can’t just point to how the mainstream Left courts BLM rioters and say “but they get to do it!” They’re in a different situation. It’s not apples to apples. White identitarianism is not just another thing you can hold up across the table from minority identitarian causes. It doesn’t work the same way.

              • spandrell November 28, 2016 at 16:17

                Isn’t that exactly what happened though? Spencer did something stupid, and most people disavowed him and the very word like a hot potato. And so? Is the movement going anywhere?

                The left were playing the double front of batshit communists promising utopia on earth with social-democrats compromising with the system on the short term since the 19th century. And man did it work.

                Of course white identitarianism isn’t going to fly just right now; but can you say with a straight face that it’s undesirable? I agree it’s not quite workable; I can even agree that if you think carefully about it, it may end up being disastrous. But politics is about signaling, not about careful analysis. Nobody disputed that communism was a noble ideal. Plenty for all! No nasty bosses, no hard toil! Of course it’s stupid, but you don’t become popular by signaling that.

                By the same token what kind of signal I give when I say that I disagree that a White America would be awesome? I’m not giving that signal. I’ll be adult and say that I don’t see it happening, but I won’t spoil their party. I’m glad their having their fun. And I hope that Trump plays the old social-democrat game by pointing out that the Left should appreciate him, because if his brand of rightist politics fails, apres moi le deluge, those Nazis are coming and those are even worse. That’s how you move the Overton Window.

              • Well... November 28, 2016 at 17:56

                Spencer did something stupid, and most people disavowed him and the very word like a hot potato. And so? Is the movement going anywhere?

                But of course at that point it was already too late. Spencer was just confirming what people already thought they knew. In reality you can’t untangle the concept of white identitarianism from its notorious owners. And yes, with a straight face I can say I don’t think it’s desirable anyway. I wouldn’t swap places with someone like Al Sharpton if you paid me to; I don’t want some white version of what Sharpton’s got.

                I’m also increasingly skeptical of the idea that what worked for one related set of ideas (i.e. ideology) will work for another very different one. The content of the ideology and the people it attracts–and perhaps most importantly, what sort of people still need to be persuaded–will play a role in determining what sort of actions will make the ideology popular.

              • Howard J. Harrison December 20, 2016 at 01:22

                I like Spencer. His speech was great.

          • Well... November 28, 2016 at 06:32

            PS. Yes I did notice you’re not selling anything.

  13. bob k. mando November 29, 2016 at 16:31

    So there’s a stampede of people trying to disavow and disassociate from the alt-right because Richard Spencer has gone full-Nazi. …
    Jim has done an eloquent argument for having no enemies to the right.

    not my kikes, not my ovens. couldn’t give a fuck.

  14. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2016/11/27) - Social Matter

  15. brainwashed idiot December 1, 2016 at 17:01

    Agreed on no enemies to the right. Don’t run from labels unless you have an excellent reason to do so. I’ll respond to conservative, paleocon, reactionary, neoreactionary, nationalist, alt-right, royalist. Its not like my enemy cares, they just call me racist or Nazi anyways. So fuck it, I’ll respond to those too. the former is true enough and if they really think I’m the latter they probably know jack shit about the Nazis.

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