Anyone not committed to Darwinian survival of the fittest cannot be ‘alt right’.
I wrote the piece because I had been following the alt right (human biodiversity studies, etc.) for a while on account of a curious incident: An alt right group was promoting a book, Troublesome Inheritance, by a retiring science writer. Their promos landed in my box. They understood the book to be a defense of classic Darwinian racism.
At the time I was mainly interested in the way in which popular science media treated Inheritance respectfully but very cautiously. The science writers are all supposed to be pro-Darwin, you see, but anti-racist. It is not clear that the two concepts are entirely separable ,however. Anyway, I did not think that either their dance on hot coals or the alt right would amount to much, apart from a note in the files.
But then the fad developed in recent weeks for implying that just about any American who might have voted for Donald Trump was “alt right.” The fad caught on because the term sounds sinister enough to scare people. But most of the people who might be affected do not know what it stands for: explicitly Darwinian racism. For example. If you are any kind of a creationist, you cannot be alt right.
So, being one of the few people who was fitfully keeping up with the story, I thought it best to say something:
The term “alt right” is thrown around a lot these days to account for Donald Trump’s winning the U.S. presidency. Mainstream media, blindsided by results they should have been able to predict, are deflecting blame. Many conjure a vast, shadowy, menacing group that propelled Trump to power in hidden ways. A more accurate story is more complex—and far more of a problem for the generic worldview of current mainstream media.
“An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right” by Allum Bokhari & Milo Yiannopoulos offers some background to the movement at Breitbart: The most influential thinkers they follow are Oswald Spengler (1880–1936), H.L Mencken (1880–1956), Julius Evola (1898–1974), and Sam Francis (1947–2005). None of these iconoclastic figures seems likely to become a cultural icon of typical Americans who voted for Trump.
So the core alt right constituency is disaffected, underemployed millennial video gamers. Darwinism undergirds their belief in a superior “white” identity, despite their lack of notable achievements, in an age of rampant identity politics. More.
The alt right is not the cause of the disconnect between legacy mainstream media or for that matter, legacy mainstream science, and the public. The causes are internal.
See also: Nature: Scientists “stunned” by Trump win. Why? Doesn’t that speak poorly of the powers of the scientific method?
Added in response to comments:
The underlying problem is that no one has ever confronted and repudiated the racist element in Darwinian thinking, especially fundamentalism about speciation (which means it would apply to humans too).
To see what I mean: Here’s an ongoing scandal in the United States that never just dies: Once again another push by U.S. House Democrats for a national Darwin Day (2015).
What? Do we need a nuke instead of a silver bullet? This would not be happening if the inevitable racist element in Darwin’s theory of speciation were ever properly addressed. But it is merely ignored, denied, hinted at, disparaged, and then dropped as a topic. When the ghoul walks again, those who report its presence are treated with hostility and contempt.
As a result, political operatives recently found it convenient to assert to a public that knows little of the obscure group that “alt right” means something other than explicitly Darwinian racism and encompasses a broad spectrum of people, including tens of millions who could not possibly be “alt right” (because they are creationists).
The pop science writers you pay to read or listen to would never let you in on that fact. So we do it as a free service:
- Christian racism? Election years bring dangerous creatures from the shadows
- The alt right, Donald Trump, and – oddly enough – Darwin. Anyone not committed to Darwinian survival of the fittest cannot be ‘alt right’.
Just to set the record straight on the issues we cover. Not that that’ll make any difference if one chooses to read pop science media rather than the record.
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