There is a myth floating around that the Alt-Right largely embraces conservatism; I find that position hard to believe. Conservatism is geared towards preservation. It is an allowance for gradual change, which is considered being consistent with what nature allows to work best. It is a flexible term that’s used across many different societies, cultures and systems, but it’s the opposite of what is considered radicalism, which occurs on all ends of the political spectrum. Unlike all the other political philosophies, conservatism is about preserving a relatively stable status quo while avoiding the uncertainty that rapid change entails.
When people think of today’s American conservatives, they typically picture all the forces of the Right battling all the forces of the Left. We see this on college campuses often, where right wing student groups take on various social justice protestors and debate left-leaning political advocacy groups in a hostile exchange. The conservative groups are usually defending traditional American principles such as free-markets, individual responsibility, liberty, small government, patriotism, and stable families, and the Left is, you know, promoting leftist ideas such as abortion on demand, abolishment of the police, and all that good stuff. And because the Left is so loud and erratic, most people aren’t given the chance to hear a what conservatives are all about and why they advocate for the preservation of the status quo. But now, the political waters have muddied even more with the rise of another loud group with the same disdain for the traditional American system, but this time the voices are coming from the Right.
As the Left continually tries to pull the system more towards their direction, a movement of extreme right-wingers has sprouted in attempt to counter the Left’s political advances, resulting in the rise of the Right’s own form of radicalism. This movement has been deemed the alt-right.
The alt-right is a neo-reactionary group that intends to take radical measures to stem the tide of leftist influence. However, there is an important distinction to be made. Despite being right-wing, these people are not conservatives, nor do favor many of the values that conservatives hold dear. Some of these differences include:
While conservatives favor democracy and republicanism, the alt right favors hierarchy, such as dictatorship, fascism, or monarchy.
While conservatives favor individualism, the alt-right is typically relies on collectivism.
While conservatives favor civic nationalism, the system in place now, the alt-right favors ethnic nationalism.
While the system in place emphasizes personal liberty, the alt-right wants to severely constrict that and set stringent, legally-bound, societal expectations.
While conservatism maintains a separation of church and state, the alt-right seeks to deliberately and blatantly erase the dividers, mostly via their desire for authoritarianism. Though, to their credit, this is contested among differing factions.
As you can see, this is not a preservation of the status quo, but a radical regression towards pre-enlightenment values. Although they claim they are going to save us from the evils of the Left, the alt-right does not maintain the values of a traditional American system. Two wrongs do not make a right, and the enemy of my enemy is certainly not my friend in this case. I do not want to trade a left-wing system of oppression for another on the far-right.
To truly be conservative is to avoid all radicalism. A gentle, and I mean gentle, tug here and there in any direction is not going to fundamentally change the system as long as the traditional structure is respected. Neither the alt-right nor the communist left have respect for the structural integrity of the United States, and with two loud, aggressive movements competing for the spotlight, conservatives are having a damning time getting their message out to the rest. I implore you to resist both factions and preserve the liberties this great nation has already established. Our nation depends on it.
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