Some Observations From the Man Who Created Alt-Right

Paul Gottfried writes:

Last week I was reminded by a call from Associated Press that I had invented the term “Alternative Right.” When I asked about how I had accomplished that, the woman on the other end of the phone referred to a speech I had given in November 2008 in which I urged the creation of an “Alternative Right.” The same caller said that I was considered the “godfather” of what had become Altright, something that the Democratic presidential candidate would be denouncing later in the week. Thereupon I tried to explain in what modest ways I may have inspired the movement that Hillary was about to go after (namely, in a quadrennial ritual in presidential races in which the Democratic candidate accuses her GOP rival of being the second coming of Adolf Hitler).

I pointed out that Altright authors, some of whom I knew, shared my revulsion for the neoconservatives and deplored their influence on the American Right. I also noted that Altright publicists believed that modern liberal democracies had become dangerously fixated on promoting equality; and I’ve made this observation repeatedly in my books. Finally, as someone who had published entire works on the European Right in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (and most recently a book on the career of fascism as a concept), I had provided the Altright with food for thought. This was the case, even if the writers in question didn’t bother to look at my qualifying phrases.

Except for being a very occasional contributor to, I am not exactly part of the Altright stable of writers. Recently I expressed interest in an email in writing for Breitbart, which is rumored to have some connection to Altright. Alas, I may have to wait until Hell freezes over before hearing from this website. More importantly, I couldn’t recall until a few days ago that I had spoken to fifty attendants at the H.L. Mencken Club eight years ago on the subject of the “Alternative Right.” I am president of the Mencken Club, and in November 2008 gave an inaugural address, in which I called for an “Alternative Right” to combat the high degree of neoconservative control over the intellectual Right.

This speech may have been a rousing affair, but until someone in the national news service retrieved it a few weeks ago, I had forgotten about my oration…

I know well perhaps the most controversial member of this group, Richard Spencer, and once enjoyed a close personal relation with him. Richard has a charismatic presence, in contrast to the nebbishes for Hillary; and he possesses the self-confidence of a genuine leader. I fully share his contemptuous attitude toward multicultural totalitarianism, and unlike conservatism inc. Richard is fearless in going after our self-appointed thought censors. But I wish Richard would think more often before he blurts out reckless indiscretions. Shocking one’s listener has its limits, certainly in terms of traditional standards of taste. There is merit in what the Delphic Oracle taught: “Nothing in excess.”

…The shamelessness with which the establishment plays the “prejudice” card was on display again Saturday morning, when we were greeted with new evidence that Donald Trump is a prejudiced candidate. It seems that Trump’s campaign manager Steve Bannon may (or may not) have said, depending on whether one believes his former wife, that the Jewish kids at the private school that their daughter attended were “whiney brats.” Is this supposed to prove a Nazi mentality? Really! My Israeli son-in-law has said worse things about my grandchildren’s classmates. This latest charge of bigotry hurled at Trump by the biased media, including (to their shame) the establishment GOP Fox-news webpage, was clearly generated to divert attention from Hillary’s ongoing scandals.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Paul Gottfried. Bookmark the permalink.