The alt-right is not right-wing
The so-called “alt-right” social movement was founded by Richard Spencer, an ethno-nationalist and / or “white identitarian”, with the registration of “AlternativeRight.com” in 2010. Subsequently, approximately from the start of the Donald Trump campaign, such page and individual were replaced as spokesmen of this movement by journalists and political commentators such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Stefan Molyneux, Paul Joseph Watson, among others. All of them share political positions such as: being against Islamic immigration, intersectional feminism and the concept of “hate speech”. However, since the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, by white supremacists, most of them (Molyneux, Cernovich, etc) have completely disassociated with such movement; except, its founder, Richard Spencer.
I do not seek to defend the political right, I do not consider the elimination of economic regulations to be in itself an action that promotes social welfare, however, there is great confusion regarding what is and isn’t the right. No concept or proposition has an intrinsic meaning, for that reason if something is, or not, “right” or “left” depends solely on how we define those terms. Despite this, there are trends within the way we use them. Fifteen years ago, being against gay marriage was considered a political position only within the right; like many others that I could mention. However, political positions regarding economic issues have suffered less changes than the ones regarding non economic social issues; probably, this trend will continue. For this reason, we can rationally state that the defining characteristics, although not unique, of the right are political positions or views that promote economic liberalism such as:
-The removal of state-owned companies
- The reduction of public services unrelated to security issues
-Deregulation of markets that includes the absence of minimum wage laws and price controls; among others.
If the above is considered rational or coherent, we can not consider Richard Spencer as someone of the right, although, because such political dichotomy also includes social positions, we could not consider him a leftist either. Is Richard Spencer in favor of public health services? The answer is yes, how can we hear it in the next video in which he explains it in more depth
During minute 4:19 of the previous video, he states that:
“I think he should champion some kind of public option and I think we need to get away from free markets”
View that he also reflects in the following image
While some might claim that this only catalogs him as a kind of social democrat, and that this may be a right-wing position, the following series of statements demonstrate the opposite
“I’m fine with that, international socialism. To be honest, I’m not totally opposed to socialism when done right. I think we actually should use the government to benefit ourselves, the people of this country”
Is Richard Spencer a socialist? No, since the focus of his movement would be different, however, such statements do not manifest the core values or beliefs of economic liberalism. I reiterate, due to its ethnonationalism and anti-migratory stances, it would be irrational to consider him a leftist. Finally, I believe that the use of such political dichotomy produces more tribalism than an understanding about the beliefs and values of those who do not consider themselves part of our political wing; whether right or left.