Excerpts from Investigating the Alt Right: Richard Spencer in America (draft):
‘DAY ONE OF THE INVESTIGATION: Though the precise character of the ‘alt right’ is not yet clear, still it is evident, at present it is not possible for me to be a part of this ‘movement.’ Rather than waxing in a manner that is ‘politically correct,’ let me just put it like this: Spencer and his friends make claims, where I wonder, what the evidence is, that these claims are very probable. In other words, looking at the evidence presented, I do not see how the claims can be thought, well-established. Particularly regarding this sensitive issue of the role of American Jewry, one has to ask, what is the evidence, Jews have the causative role suggested? I am of a Gentile origin, and have no personal involvement with anyone who is Jewish. I do not practice a Jewish religion, unless one count the inclusion of the Old Testament, in the Christian canon. I do not think it can be said, I have any particular reason to be hostile to negative reports regarding world-wide Jewry, but then I simply wonder, what are the precise evidential bases that the ‘alt right’ is imagining? There is always a danger, of blaming a disliked ethnic group, for problems that are ‘natural’ or systemic, or which in fact come from some other ethnic group, e.g. the British. One cannot be too hasty in these matters of potential ‘prejudice.’
Then too I wonder, why anyone would want to be ‘alt right.’ Can they not just say they are ‘nationalists’? A French person will merely suggest, she is a nationalist if concerns about Muslim invasion are strong. How so is there a need for a new term? It seems a specifically American situation – although perhaps that is not true, we will have to learn more….
At present, though, it seems a question of why, whites in America, as a group, ought to be one’s focus? I suppose we are seen as having something in common with whites elsewhere, and then as a group. Yet there is also a case to be made, America does not play well with other nations. Then also if ‘whiteness’ is an issue – one might wonder, particularly after ‘Brexit,’ how much white nations have in common. […]
I do not see how the ‘alt right’ is going to overcome other evidential barriers, e.g. substantiating their allegation, white creativity and productivity is ‘genetic’ in character. I have different speculations here. No doubt DNA is important for intelligence, and that is a good point that it is, but then also there are other factors to consider, culture, history, environment, etc. I am not convinced of the genetic-DNA claims Spencer offers. There is a need for more research.
Provisionally, then, I will say I am not alt right, because the movement has offered specific anti-Semitic and reductionist-biological claims lacking sufficient evidence. Then also I have noted, I see in its rhetoric, shadows of ill-concern for human dignity, and a certain crudity that does not engage me. Yet this is not at a level, where we see such clearly antagonistic statements as we see, e.g., from some Muslim extremists or Hindu nationalists – and even these might go on to be rather engaging and insightful figures. […]
Also I do not want to be too harsh here as I am from the North and grew up in the North, and I am not at all in a position to understand the white Southerners relation to the Klan. It is true that we also had the Klan active in the North but this historical matter is also obscure…. I oppose lawlessness, even if I understand, some families feel themselves part of ‘vigilante’ movements to protect the South, after Northern invasion. I feel Spencer ought to have done more to distance himself from the Klan, as not only was it an organization caught up with lawlessness and terror, but also it has a history of punishing Blacks for what are really the ‘crimes’ of white Northerners, which is both immoral and irrational.’