How the Alt-Right Plans to Take Over: Their 'war of position' will unfold on cultural terrain.

AuthorStern, Alexandra Minna

In the early 2000s, metapolitics began to cohere as a framework for the nascent alt-right in the United States. The concept--essentially the belief that winning the hearts and minds of white Americans is a necessary first step toward massive social change--became a conceptual anchor for people like Greg Johnson, who established Counter-Currents Publishing in 2010 for an "elite" audience, which he believes is one whose members possess an IQ of 120 or higher.

The alt-right views metapolitics as pivotal to dislodging the left's control of culture, fomenting white identity politics, and installing the alt-right brand. In Counter-Currents, which is a webzine as well as a book publisher, Johnson explains that "our enemies have carefully laid the metapolitical foundations for the power they enjoy. They control academia, the school system, publishing, the arts, the news, and entertainment media, and they have remade the American mind to their liking."

The aim of Counter-Currents, he maintains, is to "change people's sense of what is politically desirable and right, and their sense of what is politically conceivable and possible." The alt-right's "war of position" will unfold on cultural terrain. As one comment posted to Counter-Currents stated, "The medium of metapolitics is culture."

Alt-righters espouse two prongs for building and expanding "soft power." The first is propaganda, or "articulating and communicating our message"; the second is community organizing or "creating a community that lives according to our philosophy today and will serve as the nucleus of the new political order we seek to build tomorrow."

Identified strategies for effective messaging and community building include disruptive tactics like trolling; the creation of cultural spaces like publishing houses, websites, and musical bands; and the reclamation of "turf from the left" such as unions, environmental organizations, and media. With this plan of engagement on various levels, the alt-right wants to build up a rivaling "soft power" exclusively for white people that will permeate all the contours of daily life.

Before Trump's win, the intellectual camp of the alt-right viewed its work as occurring in the margins and focused on shaping belief systems about what was politically and culturally possible. A small cadre affiliated with Counter-Currents, Taki's Magazine, Occidental Quarterly, and Radix Journal interpreted books, movies, and music through alt-right lenses...

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