In this episode, I traveled to Alexandria, VA, to speak with the face of the Alt-Right movement, Richard Spencer. Richard is a white nationalist identitarian, but rejects the neo-nazi label, and prefers to associate his ideas back to Nietzsche.
We talked a bit about Charlottesville and his involvement in the protest events. He purports to reject violence, other than self-defense, and claims it was Antifa that was causing the disturbance. He also notes that he could not control who else was involved in this public event, those that joined his side.
The main topic of this episode is the ethno-state. I have not heard any interviews that explore Richard’s ideas in depth, and so I thought it would be helpful to tease out the details so they can be judged on the merits.
I think it is fair to say that Richard identifies legitimate problems: economic decline, opioid addiction, difficulty integrating immigrants, etc. However, the solution he sets out seems misguided–it assumes that race is a major factor in determining how people behave and further assumes that “race-mixing” will degrade people’s inherent racial characteristics. Therefore, his solution (the white ethno-state) would not seem to alleviate any of the problems he identifies.
Broadly speaking, Richard wants a state that is comprises one large home for all white people. He believes that this will preserve the white race and allow white people to express their inherent characteristics which he says are the key to their “unique destiny.” Realistically, he says this is a post-American state, and while he is entitled to free speech, he does not necessarily want to keep the Constitution.
An interesting point of discussion was whether stereotypes, which can at times be true, are a product of race or a product of culture (which Richard argues is a product of race, whereas I argue they are separate).
So which do you think is more American:
Punching neo-nazis in the face, or disagreeing with someone but respecting their right to express themselves?
Disclaimer: the views expressed on this website and in the podcast are my own and not to be associated with anyone else.