What the * is the Alt-Right?

I’ve been reading a lot from Hanzi Freinacht lately on his website metamoderna.org. I highly recommend reading through his website. He has some really profound and excellent insights into the coming paradigm shift out of “post-modernism.”  I especially like his ideas around “Game Change” and “Proto-Synthesis,” and the idea of constructing a grand narrative of everything. This of course is the goal of the Integral paradigm (or metamodern if you like Hanzi’s term better). Today I read another piece he wrote entitled What the * is the Alt-Right?

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait….

My comment on the piece which should also appear in his comments is below:

I actually agree with most of what you write in the body of this piece, but I disagree completely with your conclusion. For example, I’m not at all sure that the broader “alt-right” (in the very broad sense that I think we’re discussing) is just “a bunch of white guys” unless you can point to some demographic study or something. For example if we’re talking about representation on social media of “Alt-Right” or “Alt-Lite” viewpoints I see a lot of POC and LGBTQ’s and “Ex-Feminists” on popular youtube channels and twitter who are rejecting postmodernism. But even if it were the case that a lot of young white boys gravitate toward the Alt-Right, so what? I can understand that as easily as I can understand young women gravitating toward 3rd wave feminism. As you might put it, they are playing the Game.

But as I said before I think the Alt-Right and Alt-Left are just two ends of the same spectrum. The thing with the Alt Right is that postmodernism is a left-leaning paradigm, whereas post-postmodernism (metamodernism) will be a right-leaning one (following the historical Gravesian warm-cool-warm-cool pattern). The pendulum must swing and the Alt-left will be to metamodernism what libertarians were to postmodernism (i.e. a minority counterbalance). At least that’s my prediction. Right now we are in a phase of Rejection, which is why it appears that the Alt-Right offers nothing but anti-postmodernism. We’d be saying the same thing of postmodernism vis-a-vis modernism if we were having this conversation in the opening decades of the 20th century.

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The Unlikely Athlete

The story of how my son taught me that “Grit,” – Determination, Discipline, Hard Work and Passion – can overcome a lack of raw talent.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Is There Anything Grit Can’t Do?”  reminded me of this piece I started to write and then stopped half way through about a year ago, and inspired me to finish it. It strays a bit from the regular topics I write about but I thought it an interesting anecdote worth sharing:

If you had told me six years ago that in a few short years my son would be playing soccer at the top levels available to his age-group, and traveling around the country to participate in huge national tournaments, I would have thought you were crazy. “First of all,” I would have said, “I am not going to be one of those crazy soccer-dads who spend thousands of dollars every year to live vicariously through their poor kids. And secondly, my son is not naturally athletic anyway. His talents are in Music, Art and Math, not sports.” I would have thought that you were crazy to claim that my wonderful, smart, funny, clumsy, skinny, uncoordinated little guy without an athletic bone in his body, would one day prefer playing soccer to almost any other activity imaginable.

My response would have been pure projection. I was not an athlete. I, like him, was clumsy, skinny, and uncoordinated as a kid. I was terrible at playing as part of a team. The only sports I ever tried with any success were solo sports like cross country, or skiing. I never lasted more than a single season in any team sport I tried. I focused on art, on academics, and later, on role playing games. As a kid, I was a nerd, and I grew to viscerally dislike “Jocks” who in my estimation had athletic talent and little else. To me, they were mostly just dumb and mean. Sports and athletics was just useless caveman bullshit.

I projected all of this, my own childhood experience, on my son. I assumed he was like me. I assumed this because he seemed so much like me at that age. I was wrong. Physically he was very much like me. But from his mother he had inherited an unwavering single minded tenacity that I didn’t have at that age.

After we first moved to Japan in 2011, my wife wanted to get the kids into some activities so that they could make friends in the neighborhood. As it happened, there was a soccer club that practiced just up the hill from my in-law’s place, so she enrolled him in the club. He was in first grade and he’d never really touched a ball before then. The coaches placed him with the kindergarten age group.

During practice, rather than practice with his team, he would run off to the playground and play by himself. This went on for weeks, until as he recounted to me recently, “One day I was on the slide and I saw this kid dribbling the ball through a bunch of other kids, weaving around them with the ball at his feet, and then he shoots and scores, and I thought, ‘Wow! that was cool. I wanna do that.'”

At the next practice he didn’t go to the playground, but he soon discovered that dribbling and scoring like that was not so easy. I remember that time because we’d walk home every night after practice and he’d be crying, frustrated at his lack of ability. I remember repeatedly telling him three things:

  1. He didn’t have to play soccer if he didn’t want to.
  2. If he wanted to get better he’d have to practice a lot on his own because…
  3. The other boys had been playing for two years already, so he was starting behind.
Liam O'Doherty 1stG

Practicing Juggling for hours on end (1st grade)

I remember he asked me one evening how much practice it would take him to become “a pro” at soccer by the age of 18. It was the first time he’d mentioned wanting to be a pro soccer player. I thought it was pretty cute, and reminded me of when I wanted to be an astronaut or a rock star. So I told him (he was 6 years old, but very mathematically minded) about Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hour rule” popularized by his book, Outliers: The Story of SuccessI told him to figure out, based on that rule, how many hours a week he needed to train in order to become a pro. I don’t know if the 10,000 hour rule has any merit or not but I knew that giving my son a concrete rule like that would either motivate him or give him a dose of reality (or both as it turned out).

That night he told me that in no uncertain terms, he HAD to practice or play soccer at least 2-3 hours every day, seven days a week, in order to become a pro. And to my complete astonishment, that is exactly what he did.

For the first two years he continued to struggle with his chosen passion, with a lot of tears, scrapes and bruises, and worse; the constant frustration of being so far behind his peers in ability, and athleticism that he had to play with kids a year younger than him. But his persistence, passion and perseverance were little by little paying off. He was getting better.

His passion extended to soccer knowledge, and he absorbed magazines, books and televised games at every opportunity. He quickly latched on to his all-time hero Neymar Jr. as the type of soccer player he wanted to be; creative, technical, hard to predict, and beautiful to watch. But his knowledge about soccer players in general, their strengths and weaknesses and play styles became encyclopedic, whether they played in Europe, Japan, or America he knew them all.

In the end of second grade, he was finally put on the roster with his own age group. He wasn’t a starter, but the coaches saw his passion for the sport and his work ethic. More importantly, he could see himself getting better, and that motivated him to keep going. In a soccer tournament in Third grade he received a tiny MVP trophy from the tournament organizers. It was the first time he’d ever received any kind of soccer related award. To this day, it’s his most prized trophy. Later that year he won another prize for lasting the longest in a juggling contest. Little by little his hard work and determination were paying off.

In 2014 we moved back to the pacific northwest and he had to find a new soccer club to play with. To our surprise, coaches were eager to have him join their teams. In Japan, soccer training focuses strongly on the technical fundamentals, and the kids there, even at a young age, have practice 5 days a week to focus on learning fine ball control skills. It’s repetitive and “not fun” and so not a very popular coaching style for young kids in the US (which tend to focus more on just having fun in the early years). The result was that he had a much higher degree of technical skill, but was not as “physical” as his American peers. At tryouts and practices the technical skills “showed” well, but in a game, he ended up just getting knocked around. Physically he was still my son, skinny and light for his age.

Like his hero, Neymar Jr. he loves to dribble and weave through other players and try to surprise them with fancy tricks; Marodonas, Cruyffs, Rabonas, Elasticos, Scissors, even

Liam O'Doherty 5thG

A travel tournament in California     (5th grade U11)

Neymar’s Rainbow Flick, you name it he’d try it… in a game… with the coaches yelling “Keep it simple!” He started to get a reputation as the kid who’d lose the ball trying fancy moves, instead of playing the game with his team. My son soon found himself sitting on the bench more and more. But even so he never got discouraged. “They just don’t understand,” he told me once, “I have to challenge myself and learn these technical skills now, when winning games doesn’t matter.” But it did matter, especially to the coaches, and so eventually he had to force himself to keep it simple.

In the end it was a valuable lesson for him. Most of ones life is lived playing by someone else’s rules. Even when you think you know better, sometimes it’s best to listen to the person in a leadership role, give them the benefit of the doubt and be a team player. As he got older that “10,000 hour rule” ceased to become a rule to obey and started to become a tool to achieve his goals. He became an incredibly focused and self-disciplined kid, getting up early in the morning to train before school and still managing to keep excellent grades, despite training 15 to 20 hours a week.

As his 5th grade school year came to a close, he asked me if he could home-school for 6th grade. “There’s too much time wasted in class,” he said. “That’s time I could use to train.” I accepted his desire to home-school on the condition that my curriculum for him would be more challenging than the regular school curriculum. Of course he accepted the challenge. The flexible home-school schedule not only allowed him more training time, but more free time as well, and he got to take on projects as varied as “How to Train a Puppy” to units on Ancient History and Greek Philosophy. He completed the Saxon Math 7-8 course, and for his self selected capstone project; a 5000 word paper on the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons, using translations of the original Norse sagas as source material.

Meanwhile, he’s never let up on his training. Even while injured, he just switches to yoga, or stretching, or PT exercises until he’s cleared to play again. It’s an attitude toward goal achievement that I never had as a kid, although my wife did. And I wonder was it something he was born with? Was it something his mother imparted on him from early childhood? When I ask him what makes him tick he just shrugs his shoulders in his now typical pre-teen way. “I just know what I wanna do dad.”

This spring marked the end of another season, and next year many of the boys from his former team are moving on to the the local MLS Academy team. When I asked my son if he wanted to try out for the MLS Academy like most of his team mates were he said, “No, not yet. When I get good enough, they will scout me. Until then I’ll stick with the DA” (US Soccer Development Academy). It was an incredibly mature answer that I was totally not expecting. I understood that what he was really saying was, ‘I know I am not ready to play at that level now, I know I need to keep working harder until I am ready, and when and if I am truly ready and demonstrate it in the DA, they will invite me.’

I don’t know if my son will ever play soccer at a professional or semi-professional level. But I do know that he has the “Grit” that Angela Lee Duckworth talks about in her TED talks and in the article, and that it will serve him well no matter what he ultimately chooses to pursue in life. Until we know for sure I will continue to support my son and be “that crazy soccer dad” for him as long as he needs me.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Soccer Dad Life | Leave a comment

Free Speech means Free Speech, even if you don’t like what they’re saying…

Lauren Southern nails it in her youtube video “The Alt-Lite vs. Free Speech.”

One of the Alt-Right’s biggest criticisms of the Postmodern Left has been it’s consistent war against free speech (or as they label it “Hate Speech” which is basically any speech they disagree with). Lately however it seems that there are some on the Right who are using this page from the Post-modern Left’s playbook. Lauren labels them the “Alt-Lite” which is hilarious.

Lauren is a perfect example of a person I would put under my broader definition of Alt-Right, although she doesn’t use that label for herself. A great video and spot on!

Posted in culture, Philosophy, politics, Repost | Leave a comment

What is the Alt-Right?

The following conversation between Stefan Molynuex and Vox Day is interesting background into this topic as well.

Posted in culture, Philosophy, politics, Repost | Leave a comment

Post-Postmodernism and the “Alt” spectrum of ideology

This was a very challenging post for me. It is partially a response to ‘s 4 Things that Make the Alt-Right Postmodern. I first want to say that I have really enjoyed Hanzi’s prolific work on the Alt-Left, and find it to be an excellent counterbalance to my own Right-Agentic tendencies. His ideas have caused me to shift my own perspective somewhat over the last few months with regard to what a mature Second-Tier (Yellow) culture might look like. I will try to come back to that in a future post. First however, I want to address Hanzi’s views on the Alt-right, colored as I think they may be by his own communal bias. This is only to be expected, as our communal/agentic biases are, I believe, the largest hurdle for an integral understanding of any particular worldview. Hanzi’s writing, from his communal experience of the Post-postmodern YELLOW/G-T (Integral) wave (what he calls Metamodern), helps me to examine my agentic bias, so perhaps this post can bring him (and others) a fuller perspective from within an agentic experience of Integral.

A Broader Definition for the Alt-Right

It occurs to me now after digging into this topic more deeply that when some people talk about the Alt-right they are really just talking about a certain extreme Identitarian-Nationalist subset of the “right.” Others refer to the entire broad spectrum of Anti-establishment voices on the political right (agentic) as Alt-right. I have been in the latter category not the former. Time will tell if the moniker Alt-right goes on the apply only to that narrow spectrum for which it was first coined, or if it will apply to a broader spectrum definition. Either way whether we call it Alt-right, New-right, Integral-Right or whatever, I see the alt-right not as a regression toward nationalism, but (with the help of the alt-left) a progression toward global Panarchy.

This is my working definition of Alt-Right/Alt-Left):

ALT-RIGHT (LEFT):  (1) An Agentic (Communal) expression of an Integral-SDi YELLOW/G-T wave of political ideology characterized primarily by an integration, inclusion, and embrace of healthy (non-coercive) manifestations of prior political/ideological waves.  (2) A moniker for a certain sub-culture on the political right(left) that embraces certain positive aspects of the post-modern-SDi GREEN/F-S wave (tolerance of the “other,” Civil Rights, Gender equality, Environmentalism, etc.), while rejecting  pathological manifestations (racial preferential treatment in law, the “social justice” phenomenon, pseudo-religious gaia-worship, nihilism, globalism, etc.). They tend to promote a diverse panoply of Agentic (Communal) political structures that operate on a local level and respond to local needs rather than monolithic global top-down post-modern style governance. 

This definition treats the Alt-Right and Alt-Left as a political spectrum for the inevitable social transcendence from Postmodern-GREEN/F-S to Integral-YELLOW/G-T and recognizes both the Agentic and Communal lenses through which people will experience this wave.

With definitions out of the way, I’ll start with some of the points I think Hanzi and I agree on:

Attempting to describe the Alt-Right in terms of concrete political ideology entirely misses the mark. Rigidly insisting on equating it with the political proposals of some self-identified Alt-Right advocate or another is as inadequate an approach as equating the term “fascism” with the political program of the Italian Fascist Party of the Interbellum Period. Not only does such an approach omit the many individuals who don’t identify with either of the abovementioned movements, but nonetheless are considered part of these currents. Neither does it reveal the underlying psychology and social mechanisms that have come to signify the broader semantic meaning of these terms.

The Alt-Right is no more a monolithic ideology than the Alt-Left is. Such categorical political identities are typically rejected in the great leap to second tier consciousness. This is why many of the most influential figures on the alt-right paradoxically do not self-identify as members of the “alt-right” (because they do not identify completely with other voices considered to be alt-right).  As I’ve demonstrated before the “cultural leadership” (if you will) of the alt-right is comprised of a hugely diverse cast of people, whose backgrounds and identities seem impossible to reconcile. Only if one looks at them in light of a second tier (integral) worldview, does it make sense that they can all fit under a single broad memetic banner.

Postmodernity has fostered an intellectual climate that has alienated a large part of the population and created an ideological vacuum from which the Alt-Right draws its power. In addition, the inability of postmodern thought to efficiently tackle many of the new issues to have appeared in our digital postindustrial societies and to properly address the felt societal concerns of all citizens, to which mainstream society remains just as clueless, has thus opened the door for the Alt-Right to dictate public discourse for years to come.

Here Hanzi alludes to the “rejection” part of the Spiral Dynamic cycle. Every cultural memetic wave goes through a cycle of Rejection, Transcendence/Inclusion, and finally Entropy. Hanzi sees the entropy of the postmodern wave as opening the door for a new version of postmodernism (the Alt-Right), and this is where he and I slightly depart. To me the Alt-Right, and the Alt-Left, are higher level Cultural vMemes corresponding to SDi’s YELLOW (G-T) wave. This wave is currently in the process of Rejection, and this will remain so until the cultural center of gravity irrevocably shifts from the Postmodern GREEN wave to the Integral (or Metamodern to borrow Hanzi’s term) YELLOW wave.

But even if the Alt-Right above everything else should be seen as a counter-reaction against postmodern ideology and discourse, it’s just as much a postmodern phenomenon itself. It differs from previous currents to oppose postmodernism in the way it has adopted certain postmodern methods and insights to conduct the resistance. So even if the Alt-Right in many respects entails the absolute opposite to postmodern values, as a societal development it’s inherently postmodern.

The Alt-Right is not just using the methods of postmodernism, it is circumventing those methods through superior use and understanding of the new integral communication tools that are available (Internet and Social Media). The Postmodern tools and methodologies of cultural change (Television Mass Media, Academia, and Activism) can be completely bypassed by these newer integral (or metamodern) tools. Postmoderns and Moderns use these new tools as well but not nearly as effectively. The integral advantage is that not only do they understand far far better how to most effectively use the communication tools of this new paradigm, those tools themselves are best suited to propagate the integral/YELLOW/G-T wave.

The Alt-Right is as antithetical as many of its postmodern adversaries, perhaps even more antithetical since the only thing that seems to unite its many different adherents is opposition itself. The Alt-Right identity is one of opposition.

I think Hanzi is slightly missing the mark on this. Remember the first part of the cycle is REJECTION. The Alt-Right is indeed a mindbogglingly diverse group with no one apparently dominant ideology — and this itself is a trait of the YELLOW Wave; because it is able to integrate all prior waves,  YELLOW is the first wave that can hold their particular individual and community identity in balance with all others. They have no need for an overarching ideology other than – “to each his own.”

This explains how “a political current where people who differ on as seemingly critical issues, like whether they’re nazis or not(!), still seem to find common ground and use the very same political label, in the most surprisingly carefree manner.”  The point is not whether they are nazi’s (I don’t know any Alt-Right groups that would characterize themselves that way) as nazi-ism itself cannot be alt-right by definition.  The point is that they are able to find common ground! And not just as begrudging allies of necessity, but actively and openly supporting each other through social media even when they disagree on social issues! Their key characteristic is that they do not see the ideological views of others as a threat to their own identity. Such thinking and behavior is simply not possible at First Tier. It is a primary marker of Second Tier consciousness.

In+that+logic+of+yours+if+i+m+straight+so+my+_c8c01e5e87e89729e67c74d25a562acb

ERMAHGERD! YOU RAYSHIST, MISHERGYNISHT, HERMAPHERBE!

…many proponents of the Alt-Right still tend to be racists, misogynists and homophobes.

This statement is often made by those on the left (more particularly the postmodern left) and I think it is a generally over-exaggerated and inaccurate claim that stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of (or more likely in the case of postmodern GREEN vMeme consciousness; an inability to understand) the worldview of particular Alt-Right sub-cultures. What is clear to me is that these perceptions stem from a combination of the Alt-Right’s tendency to troll the postmodern left, combined with a sincere openness to explore ideas, facts and data that might run counter to prevailing postmodern ideologies.

Racists:

I’ll spend some time on this one because it is simultaneously the most inflammatory and ironically legitimate criticism the left uses. The figure in the Alt Right that comes most to mind for left wing critics is Richard Spencer. Most of the articles written about him bolster the narrative that he is a White Supremacist and Racist, and since he is often credited with (and takes credit for) coining the term “Alt-Right,” his views color the entire broad umbrella with that stigma in the minds of leftists who don’t take the time or effort to look any deeper into his views. However, one must realize that Spencer’s “Alt-Right” of 2008 is not the same Alt-Right we see today in 2017. No one was talking about the Alt-Right in 2008, because it was Spencer’s narrow version of the Alt-Right, and thus it was a big nothing-burger.

In a very interesting interview by Al Letson at Reveal News we get a picture of Richard Spencer that is a bit more nuanced than the easy label of “Racist.” One interesting quote:

You know, what I’m getting at is that, when I ask you that, even, even despite the fact that you have, you know, I guess a white wife perhaps or a white child. You still answered that I’m an African-American male. And that has meaning for you. And I respect that. If you ask your average white person in America, “Who are you?” they are going to probably never get around to talking about their European identity or their heritage. They’re afraid of it. They know it. Everyone’s kind of racially unconscious. They know it in their bones but they’re not conscious. They don’t want to really talk about it and explore it and think about how that inflects their life. So that’s what I want to bring. I respect your identity. I respect the fact that you think about it seriously, that you take it seriously. I want white people to take it seriously. In terms of what I was talking about of like we’re going to do this together. I think that I want to see an identitarian future. I want to see people, different peoples, different civilizations having a sense of themselves and finding out ways to live together.

I have a multi-racial family with relatives of literally every color and I’m not threatened by Spencer’s ideas–even though it’s not something I agree with–because regardless of my personal beliefs and preferences, everyone deserves to live how they want to live so long as they are peaceful. Unlike the Postmodern Left, Richard Spencer isn’t telling me or anyone else how to live, he’s telling us how he wants to live, and demanding the right to do so in peace. 

Notice also that he is respectful toward the black interviewer. He’s not hostile and he’s not demeaning or acting as if he were superior–demanding to be treated with deference. He says “I do respect your identity and I respect you as a black man. But the question I would have to ask is: Do you really think that we’re all better together?

There is a subtle but important difference between this kind of “racialism” and the racism that existed previously, the kind we are as a society still suffering collective PTSD from. Spencer calls his ideology “Identitarianism” and he doesn’t reserve it for white people only. It is simply the idea that races and cultures have important differences and are better off when in communities of their own. Regardless of whether you agree with that statement or not, notice that it is not a judgement of Superior or Inferior, nor an argument that one race should have inferior rights to another, but rather its an acknowledgement of arguably objective differences and a desire on his part to live in a society of his own race. Postmodern (GREEN/F-S) consciousness and lower cannot distinguish the difference, but an integral (YELLOW/G-T) consciousness can.

I believe the “Alt-Right” today means something completely different than it did when Spencer coined the term in 2008. During the 2016 Election campaign a newer, broader, more diverse “Alt-Right” came into ascendance, and this was partly the fault of the leftist mainstream media, who painted any and all Trump supporters with the same “Alt-Right” “Basket of Deplorables” brush. Rather than shy away from the label or be intimidated by the association as the media expected, it was worn proudly and widely adopted. In a pattern that became familiar during the campaign, the Alt-Right was expert at trolling the left with their own rhetoric.

Many Trump supporters at the time (myself included) had no idea the term was even associated with Richard Spencer, or even knew who he was. All I knew was that the term seemed to fit what was happening, the ascendance of a more “libertarian,” free-spirited, diverse, younger (and I would add Integral) “Alternative” to the (Traditional-Modern) Conservative Right. Importantly, the strongest most compelling voices in the “Alt-Right” didn’t come hatched out of establishment conservative think tanks. Rather, they were (postmodern) liberals or libertarians themselves who had been “red-pilled.”

The “Alt-Right” was a term that might have been coined by a White Nationalist, but it is no longer his alone and it describes something far more broad than his small idea. Even so, those on the Alt-Right (as I define it) are not afraid to engage in free and open discussion with someone like Richard Spencer, regardless of whether they find his worldview repugnant. Unlike the postmodern left, the integral Alt-Right values free speech and free association above all else. As long as Richard Spencer maintains his nonviolent, non-coercive approach, he will find at best active engagement, and maybe even agreement on some issues, and at worst complete ambivalence — “Meh.”

Misogynists:

The figures I’m most familiar with on the Alt-Right most associated with “mysogynistic” (i.e. anti-third wave feminist) views are probably Jack Donovan, and Milo Yiannopoulos. Interestingly and perhaps somewhat tellingly, they are both gay men. However, neither of them dislike women, they just dislike the militant left wing “third wave” feminism that has become dominant in popular culture. Third wave feminism is not representative of women in general, thankfully, or we’d be in big trouble.

So why does it take two gay men to voice opposition to extreme feminism? Milo and Jack have an interesting theory on that.  

Contrary to the charge of Mysogyny, women continue to play a huge and influential part in the Alt-Right on social media. In fact some of the best counter-arguments to the “common-wisdom” of third wave feminists that dominate academia and the main stream media come from women and former Feminists like Cassie Jaye and her excellent documentary The Red Pill (which you can check out free if you have Amazon Prime).  

We sadly live in an age where to even bring up the many critical issues that men and boys face in society is to be ridiculed and called a misogynist.

Homophobes:

If we are to define alt-right (as I have) to be the agentic mirror of the alt-left (or vice versa), then there can be no place for true homophobes, misogynists, or racial supremacists in the traditional-lynch-mob sense among the alt-right. They just don’t belong. There are many examples of homosexual and trans-gendered people that I would consider alt-right such as the two I mentioned above, Blair White, etc. However, from the perspective of postmodern GREEN/F-S it can certainly appear that there are homophobes, misogynists, and racial supremacists in the alt-right. That’s because there are those on the alt-right who do not approve of homosexual behavior (but don’t give a shit if you’re gay), who believe men and women have different roles in society (but don’t care if you don’t conform to those roles), and  who don’t want to live in community among other races and cultures (but don’t care if you do). The Alt-right is not homophobic, but homo-apathetic; not misogynistic or racist, but gender, race and cultural realists. 

The Alt-Right doesn’t care about your sexual orientation, they just don’t want your sexual orientation shoved down their throats like a gigantic dildo!

What it means:

Integrals on the left and on the right share one thing in common. They can see the first tier developmental stages holarchically for what they are, even if they are not familiar with the models of Graves or Loevinger. They understand intuitively, that the positive post-modern values of acceptance, empathy, compassion, openness etc, are just as important as the modern values of ambition, curiosity, excellence, and freedom; the traditional values of conviction, discipline, loyalty and faith; the egoistic values of courage, endurance, honor and sacrifice; and the tribal values of camaraderie, family, sacredness and trust.

The Integral wave is about reconnecting with all those prior foundational waves and their value systems and constructing a new and unshakable autonomous self on that foundation. It’s about being true to who you are, unapologetically self-aware, and at the same time both flexible enough and humble enough to engage the “other” without demanding acceptance or feeling threatened. Unlike postmodern GREEN/F-S, Integral YELLOW/G-T does not demand that you accept its values, does not demand you use its pronouns, or check your privilege, or hear its voice! It does not care if you accept it or not, because it is fully self-actualized.  

Alt-Right and Alt-Left to me are two sides of the same self-actualized, autonomous, integral, metamodern coin.

Misunderstanding the Alt-Right is easy, even for the Alt-Left

Hanzi goes on to make some very interesting points, some of which I agree with and others I do not (again it’s well worth the read). He characterizes the alt-right as an “identity-project” (specifically white identity) which is correct for some but definitely not for all those on the alt-right, and depends largely on a narrow definition of precisely what the alt-right really is (but I think I covered that ground above). I noticed however, that Hanzi has a pattern (from my perspective) of making a great point only to then couch it in a communally biased wrapping that doesn’t speak to the agentic experience, and then in the next paragraph starts making great points again. It’s frankly dizzying. For example:

Now, it’s a sound objection to stress the silliness of finding pride in ones’ whiteness, or nationality for that matter; after all it’s not a personal accomplishment, it’s just something you’re born with and a superficial feature that doesn’t entail anything worth of recognition. However, that also applies if you’re black, or gay for that matter.

The above is absolutely spot on. YES! being white or black or gay or from one nation or another – none of those are accomplishments. All are “unearned” traits, and are thus nothing to be necessarily proud of. This is precisely the point. However then he goes on…

I’d agree that the context differs, the purpose of emphasizing pride of belonging to a minority is a measure to counter the opposite, namely shame. The gay pride movement, for instance, is the result of having been told to feel ashamed about one’s sexuality. But the white people who want to assert their racial pride don’t care about that; they probably don’t understand it either. Most of them simply don’t like that blacks and gays want to feel proud, don’t feel they deserve the recognition they desire and some even find that things like blackness or homosexuality are things to consider inferior or even shameful.

NOOoooooo! You were doing so well and then you slipped in the double standard! Even hard core identitarians like Richard Spencer objectively want ALL identities to be proud of who they are — including whites. Their issue is that for the last 30 or 40 years, to be white has been shameful! I know this personally because I lived it. Growing up in a post-modern public education environment I was constantly bombarded with the narrative of how horrible white people, and white men in particular are! I grew up literally ashamed to be who I was — a white heterosexual male.

Still, some of these inclinations towards white pride may actually stem from sincere and justified emotional needs of feeling proud about who they are; a desire among white marginalized people to get recognition and to be listened to. It’s a telling sign that we rarely see successful people enjoying a large amount of recognition who claim to be proud of being white. Those who most vigorously emphasize their racial identity or nationality, or take excessive pride in the historical accomplishments of those they perceive to be their peers, are usually people who are marginalized in one regard or the other. Feelings of marginalization are a feature of all postmodern identity projects. So in that regard the Alt-Right is actually no different from the other identity projects out there and thus a postmodern phenomenon too.

Yes and no. Yes part of the process of coming into the YELLOW/G-T wave is a desire to reconnect more deeply with healthy aspects of prior waves in a more conscious way. That can mean a resurgence of the tribalistic, egoistic, traditional (nationalistic) aspects of our being. That’s different from post-modernism (GREEN/F-S), which is firstly a rejection of modernism (ORANGE/E-R) and traditionalism (BLUE/D-Q), and a simultaneous elevation and romanticism for egoism and tribalism (RED/C-P, PURPLE/B-O). Depending on the Agentic or Communal bias of the individual coming into integral one might focus more on reconnecting with communal waves (GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE), or agentic waves (ORANGE, RED, BEIGE).

Still, and even if the Alt-Right is predominantly an antithetical endeavor: anti-feminism, anti-multiculturalism, anti-political correctness and so on – it is not – anti-sexism, anti-racism or anti-nationalism. Its whole raison d’être is that it opposes the former – but all while excusing the latter.

I disagree with this statement as well. I’ve studied the figures on the Alt-Right, listen to their pod-casts, watch their you-tube videos. They are not Anti-Feminism, they just oppose the militant third wave of feminism, they are not anti-multiculturalism, they simply oppose multiculturalism’s drive toward a mono-culture (they are hugely pro-diversity, arguably more than postmoderns are), they ARE anti-political correctness because political correctness is disingenuous and dishonest. They are anti-sexism, they oppose sexism toward men as well as women; they are anti-racism, they oppose racism toward whites as well as all other races, they are not necessarily pro-nationalist (some are) but rather see nationalism as a tool to be used in the fight against post-modern globalism.

But we have to rise to the postmodern challenge, to beat them at their own game. How about going beyond the postmodern altogether and present new metamodern visions of society? In the marriage of sincerity and irony we have the means to turn this regressive tide.

This is something I think all of those on the Alt-Right and Alt-Left can agree to. My hope is that both sides can remove the agentic/communal blinders just long enough to see their own reflection on the other side.

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On Regret

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I’m not afraid to admit when I am wrong about something and today I feel like I have been wrong about Trump. I voted for the first time in 12 years this last November because I knew and still know, that Hillary Clinton would have sent us straight into WWIII and destroyed this country. I thought that Donald Trump, while far from ideal, would at least buy us time.

In the end it may have just been inevitable.

This is why voting doesn’t matter. This is why “THEY” always win. A vote for Hillary was a vote for war, and now it looks like a vote for Trump was also a vote for war.

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The Alt-Left

There is some really intriguing and important work being done by Hanzi Freinacht at his site Metamoderna.org. There is some real interesting synergy between what he is writing about – the Alt-Left- and the Alt-Right that I am describing.

To be very brief about it; I believe the Alt-Right that I describe and the Alt-Left that he describes are the respectively Agentic and Communal social/political manifestations of the SD YELLOW wave.

To me this is very exciting and I will have more to write on this, but I highly highly recommend reading Hanzi’s work. If you are the more agentically biased sort, like I am you are not going to agree with some of his perspectives, yet still it is very easy to recognize that this is an “Integral” version of the political-left worldview.

More to come.

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