“Alt-Right” is “newspeak” for far-right hate groups. Call them what they are!
[James Alex Field in Charlottesville among members of Vanguard America]
The term Alt-Right is a fictional term, a bit of Orwellian newspeak conjured up because the Nazis, Klukkers, and White Supremacists who don’t want to be called what they really are. When commentators and the rest of us say “Alt-Right” it elevates the status of these truly nasty hate groups to some semblance of normality and respectability.
They are American Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and White Supremacists. When we speak of them separately, it is simple to apply their true titles. But, these groups have always blended into and supported each other. Now, in their new ascendancy, that collaboration is clear. So, when we must often speak of this band of “despicables” as one entity. When we do, we must call that entity what it is. The term Alt-Right is Orwellian newspeak for ― far-right hate groups.
Why is this so important? Let me call up a few paragraphs from my posting on “The Gun Lobby and Firearm Fascism in America” to elaborate on this point. [See https://theleftcorner.com/2015/08/01/the-gun-lobby-and-firearm-fascism-in-america/]
“In discussing the work of the Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Kohler on the relationship between words and symbolic meaning, Adam Alter makes an important observation about naming and its implications. He notes that ‘If you’re like the vast majority of Köhler’s [test participant or] respondents, you’re compelled by the idea that [one feels that objects called] malumas are soft and rounded …, whereas [one feels that objects named] taketes are sharp and jagged….’
The argument here is that words [and even the sounds of which they are composed] carry hidden baggage that plays an important role in shaping how we think about what we have named. For Adler, ‘What’s surprising, perhaps, is how profoundly a single word can shape material outcomes over time.”
In addition, after reviewing some of the more current literature on the psychology of naming, Adler concludes that “as soon as you label a concept, you change how people perceive it.’” [emphasis added]
To the degree that we persist in using this mundane sounding newspeak term, Alt-Right, we immediately imply that the Alt-Right is just another group of political activists trying, like all other political groups, to swim its way though the currents and rapids that sweep us through American political life.
But, the Alt-Right are not like other political groups. They are right-wing hate groups that see violence as a valid form of political expression. While they love their own idea of America, they literally hate the reality of America. They hate, take your pick ― immigrants, Jews, people of color, progressives, and anyone else who does not share their darkly distorted vision of history and of this nation. And, they literally want to physically smash those they hate or do not share that vision.
In the same way, antifa, for all its claims to be purely defensive, is simply a group of violent far-leftists.
When President Trump asked the reporter how to define “Alt-Right,” the answer need not have been elaborate. They are far-right hate groups. That is the nicest thing anyong should ever call them.
[see other issues addressed in this blog in the Table of Contents, By Topic post]