MONDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2021
"Alt Right: Age of Rage": interviews of "both sides" and the build-up to Charlottesville in 2017
view from Charlottesville parking garage (2017/9)
“Alt-Right: Age of Rage” (2018, 105 minutes), directed by Adam Bhala Lough, is a substantial documentary about the components of today’s political and social polarization: the presents, white supremacy (not so much white nationalism), the alt-right, and the alt-lite, and at the farthest extreme, neo-Nazism.
The film starts with a BW footage of a Madison Square Garden rally in the 1930s, and the mainstream media tried to “quarantine” the group by not reporting it.
The film parallels interviews with Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor, on the one hand, and Antifa activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, along with Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Gavin McInnes also appears. Daryle emphasizes that political moderates cannot afford to sit this one out; they must take sides.
Spencer and Taylor obviously believe in white identarianism. The rise of intersectionality and the use of identarianism to claim reparative privileges on the far Left is seen as a threat to Spencer’s following, because it doesn’t have the same “moral” right to organize as a group.
But this is certainly anti-libertarian, and has nothing to do with individual agency as I understand it, which revoke depending on group identity. The alt-lite is said to be closer to libertarianism, as Milo Yiannopoulos (not exactly libertarian but gay and not really identarian) makes a substantial appearance. Spencer says that the Alt-lite is more accepting of homosexuality, which he admits is biological. But Spencer and Jenkins simply believe that some people are born "better" than others, an idea that Umair Haque has often stressed on Eudaimonia.
The film traces the history of Spencer’s conventions. After 2010, hotels stopped allowing them to use their properties for conventions, and they met in state parks in Tennessee. There would be some violence at one of them in 2016. The film traces the group’s planning the ‘Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA Aug. 11-12, after the Trump Administration had started.
The film shows quite a bit of violent footage from Charlottesville, including the car attack. People are shown getting assistance for eye pain after tear gas. One man from the right shoots a pistol round into a crowd. There is fighting at the entrance to the parking garage I have often used.
A lot of what seems to drive Spencer’s following is the fear of forcible expropriation of their property, which might still be seen as ill-gotten. But this can happen even without reference to race. That would make them into new victims, and force socialization with people they don’t like. Indeed, Antifa groups have insisted that "privileged" white people must accept coercion to join up (with anti-racism) and accept intrusions on their lives and property to make things right and stop a much more dangerous domestic terror threat. Spencer correctly notes that Charlottesville led to deplatforming of any content dealing with white identarianism (or "replacement" ideology). That could have to do with low birth rates.
The film is distributed by Gravitas Ventures and available on Netflix and YouTube (rental). The production companies are Alldayevertday and Istic Illic Picture.
Posted by Bill Boushka at 2:00 PM
Labels: Charlottesville, radical protests, radical recruitment in the US