Tom Savage, 18/04/2017
In the past year the Alt-left has started growing from a loose group of alternative political ideologies and from often what could be summarised as a meme, into a true political force. At the moment it is restricted to communities on the internet, but there is every possibility that this will change in the future. But what is the alt-left really? What values does it hold? And how united a community is it? To answer these questions we speak to the founder of one of the largest alt-left communities on the internet, the Facebook group; The Alt-Leftist Empire. The founder, who we shall call the Alt-Left Founder, created the group in 2016 and has already seen it grow into a thriving community of over 6000 members.
ALJ: So hello there.
Alt-left founder: Hi.
ALJ: So what separates an alt-leftist from the infamous alt-right? Is it purely an economic difference?
Alt-left founder: One of the main distinctions between the alt-left and the alt-right is that we really do mean it when we say that we reject identity politics. The alt-right treats white men like victims and points out inaccurate facts in order to make a case that white people are somehow oppressed in society. This is purely reactionary, and no one would even remotely consider ever making that argument if the bar hadn’t been set so low by “SJW’s” on the left.
ALJ: So on what percentage of social matters do you think you guys agree with the regressive left? Can you give examples?
Alt-left founder: The regressive left is essentially the American left, which is comprised of a focus on identity politics and not much else. We agree as far as economic principles. We agree on issues like abortion and gay rights, but only to a certain extent. The regressive left seems to experience a large amount of cognitive dissonance when it comes to gay rights and womens’ rights in Islamic countries. We support those gays and women the most, as they are oppressed by an actual theocracy, as opposed to “straight cis white males.”
ALJ: Hahaha! That is too true. Could you tell us a bit about your personal backstory? Some of your views and how you came to them?
Alt-left founder: Being that I am fairly young, it took me a while to get to where I am now. Like most people who affiliate with me or my ideas, I was raised a Democrat through and through. I have always been a strong liberal and had a major distaste for conservatism. I was also raised as a Catholic though. I went to a Catholic school in a small Tennessee town for around 6 years and I was bullied for being the only Democrat there (imagine that.) I felt alienated from Catholicism because of how I was treated. I was still a fairly conservative Catholic Dem, despite how uncomfortable I was with it. After my 8th grade year, I got re-baptized as a Methodist. I remained active in my church for around a solid year before going to college and getting involved in the Wesley Foundation on my college campus.
ALJ: When did things begin to change?
I befriended a guy who we’ll just call “James.” James and I met in the first few days of college and we hit it off really quick. We were in the same music major, and we liked hanging out with each other. We both were involved with Wesley, and we liked hanging out and making and mixing beats and such. We talked over the break and sent each other samples of different beats we were working on until the second semester started. The night I got back to campus, he sent me a text that said “we need to talk.” So I invited him over to my dorm so we could talk. He decided that he wanted to put god first in his music, which I totally disagreed with. He retorted with the argument that I could not support gay marriage and be a Christian at the same time, which frustrated me to a large degree. He gave me a hug and walked back to his dorm after a very heated argument. We didn’t really talk for the remaining four months of the semester. I took a job that summer as a dishwasher at a home, where I met a guy who had a real issue with homosexuals. It was a stereotypical Southern Baptist Christian who was saying some really, really awful stuff about gays for no reason. Being someone who had plenty of gay friends, I vocally disagreed with him and made my argument. I grew up in the south and I was so sick of dealing with this type of religious contempt for homosexuals that I went home and started questioning my own religious beliefs.
ALJ: Was this an eye-opening experience then?
Yeah, I looked up “atheism” on YouTube out of sheer curiosity, as I no longer saw Christianity as a positive force on me, or anyone, for that matter. I watched a Jaclyn Glenn video, and watched another Jaclyn Glenn video, and another one, and within 1 hour, I had heard all the arguments I needed to hear to convince me that rejecting religion was the answer. I know Jaclyn takes a lot of crap nowadays, but her videos were really helpful for me, if I’m being honest. Being that I was no longer religious, I had to try to find answers for myself. While people like Jaclyn and Mr. Repzion provided a lot of those answers for me, I still had a lot I needed to figure out about myself. But I feel like realizing I was an atheist put a lot of things in perspective for me. My feelings on gay marriage, drugs, abortion, economics, etc, really changed a ton after I dropped religion like the bad habit it was.
I went through my regressive phase after that because, being young and stupid, I bought into the whole Atheism Plus deal and called myself a feminist. I even believed the whole 77 cents thing for a good while. I also thought that Islam was a religion of peace. Then, after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, I realized that Sam Harris was right about everything he had said about Islam, and then I turned to the Dark side. (DUN DUN DUN!)
ALJ: Sounds like your opinions are a little, what do they say, problematic, haha! What are the main reasons that you helped create this community then, and why do you think others are drawn to it?
Alt-left founder: So, fast-forward around a year and a half. It’s election season, and we’re dead set in the primaries. Bernie and Clinton, that cheating, lying piece of garbage, are debating almost every other day. I see sooo many Bernie supporters, and virtually zero Hillary supporters, with the exception of my total shill friends who are trying to attain political careers. Somehow, Hillary ends up winning the primary election, and I grit my teeth and yell at the TV during her official nomination. I am furious and begin to subconsciously hope that Hillary loses in the general election.
Then Wikileaks happens, and the DNC emails get dropped!
I am stunned!
I then realize that the establishment Democrats want absolutely nothing to do with my vote, they do not care about what I think about Islam or Bernie. Was Bernie the perfect candidate? No. But he was a TON better than the alternative. I then consider building a new left that isn’t dependent on the Democrats, and isn’t going to cuck out to Islam. Thus, Alt-Leftists was born.
ALJ: From what I know of the Alt-left, there is quite a range of viewpoints. What are some of the issues in your experience, that pretty much everyone agrees on?
Alt-left founder: Free speech, gays rights, abortion rights, scepticism towards religion and its dogma; especially Islam. Gun rights, economic safety nets for individuals, NOT corporations, global warming is a problem, and that Tulsi Gabbard should be made world ruler indefinitely.
ALJ: And to counter that, what are some of the debates that divide the alt-left in opinion the most?
Alt-left founder: How to actually solve the problem of Islam and Islamism, from what I can tell. Also, we all disagree on the scope of the Alt-Left. Some think it should just be a Facebook group and that alone. Others think it should grow as a real-life movement. I fall into the latter category.
ALJ: Are there any public figures that embody the values of the alt-left? Or have inspired you politically?
Alt-left founder: As I mentioned, Tulsi Gabbard should be nominated for world ruler.
ALJ: What would you say, or hope maybe, is the future of your movement?
Alt-left founder: I really would hope that our views receive a lot more exposure without necessarily becoming mainstream. As we have seen with Atheism Plus, ideologies and movements can be destroyed by outside causes and interference that don’t mesh with the original premise.
ALJ: Sounds like a worthy goal indeed. Right, that’s all for today, good luck with the group.
Alt-left founder: Cool.