Although the assault on Richard Spencer is admittedly a humiliation for the Alt-Right, it is significant not only for that reason. The reaction to it is more significant than the action itself. It is not surprising that antifa (i.e., “anti-fascists”), who are thuggish communists and anarchists, assaulted a right-wing ideologue, but it is in fact surprising that left-liberals rushed to celebrate and justify the assault. As long as I can remember, liberals have put on airs of supporting free thought and non-violence. Even if liberals call for restriction on “hate speech,” they never call for explicit violence against ideological opponents—until now. Since politics is cultural and dialectical, such a change in liberals’ tactics is symptomatic of a greater change in the cultural dialectic. Even as the assault is a consequence of a change in the cultural dialectic, it will also affect the cultural dialectic in ways that empower the Alt-Right.
Trump’s running for President and winning changes the cultural dialectic profoundly by normalizing unthinkable thoughts. Trump is successful in normalizing a communitarian maxim of “America First!” to the contrary of the neoliberal capitalist values of Paul Ryan. In so doing, Trump shifts the cultural dialectic to include such perspectives. Whereas neoliberals and left-liberals fundamentally agree about political values (i.e., equality, universality, et cetera), the Alt-Right and left-liberals fundamentally do not. Politics requires common values because it is the act of reaching a compromise between parties—or there is no reason for either party to accept it. Such common values do not exist between the Alt-Right and left-liberals, so there can be no politics between them; the only alternative to which is violence. In normalizing political violence, liberals will force their enemies to act likewise to defend themselves, making right-wing violence (“RWDS”) inevitable.
Moreover, Liberalism loses its monopoly on what is acceptable thought in politics. It is also apparent that the Alt-Right threatens liberal cultural hegemony. People know what the Alt-Right is because it is mocked on SNL, written about in the New York Times, and even attacked by Hillary Clinton. Since hegemonic ideologies use violence to defend their hegemony, liberals’ newfound justification of violence is a rational action.
The price that liberals are paying for losing cultural hegemony is the Alt-Right entering the cultural dialectic. But, once in the dialectic, the Alt-Right can then influence the cultural dialectic. Thus, such a change in the cultural dialectic is both a consequence and an act of the Alt-Right. Every time an Alt-Right ideologue speaks to the press, he sets the topic for the cultural dialectic, forcing liberals to be the reactionaries in politics.