The Alt-Right Is An Instinctive Reaction

The left-wing point of view is also instinctive and biological and rooted in imprinting.

Genes and imprinting and geography and culture create our decisions (and free will if you believe in that).

I think people on the right have a stronger fight and flight reflex, have a stronger disgust reflex while people on the left are more at ease with diversity and shocking images.

When I feel a group is a threat to my group, I have a strong reaction to that threat. I know how much I hate those who threaten the existence and tranquility of people I love, so I am not dismayed when members of other groups have a strong reaction against those who threaten them.

The Alt-Right seems to me to be another instinctive biological reaction. I think all of the major political views are primarily rooted in biology and imprinting. Exposition of these reactions can be eloquent, but these expositions are always rationalizations of primal feelings.

The pre-frontal cortex can temper one’s instinctive reactions to make them more socially acceptable. I suspect that most people are a lot more racist and bigoted and intolerant than they will allow themselves to seem in public in America.

I believe most Israelis wish that Palestinians would disappear. I am sure most Arabs and Muslims wish that the Jewish state would disappear and probably all of its Jewish residents as well. It is normal for people to wish that their enemies would disappear, but most of are more diplomatic than to say so in public. So when Alt-Righters may say Jews are “oven-worthy,” I don’t think they are expressing any sentiment that is unique to Nazis. I think it is a universal human sentiment to wish to be rid of your enemies. Members of the Alt Right tend to be self-destructive and anti-social so they say the quiet part out loud.

In Judaism, I see how violent are the feelings between different types of Jews. The more Orthodox Jews and non-Orthodox Jews interact, I suspect, the more they dislike each other. Jewish history is filled with examples of Jewish civil wars. Wanting to destroy your enemies is not unique to Nazis or to Arabs or to Muslims but the relish one says such shocking things out loud usually reveals something about your socialization and your standing.

Marginalized politics attract marginalized people, meaning people with little to lose, meaning people who haven’t built anything or connected to anyone. These are dangerous people, usually most dangerous to themselves.

Someone who joins the Alt Right likely feels like he has nothing to lose, which is not the sign of a thriving life.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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