The New Right

The New Right is self-destructing before our own eyes. And it’s doing so by embracing the very thing it was born to combat.

The New Right was born when it became clear that the Left completely abandoned reality in favor of fantasy, and the traditional Right was too weak, stupid or corrupt to do something about it. There should be a group in society capable of saying “men don’t give birth, women don’t have penises, diversity isn’t our strength, Kamala Harris was never racially oppressed, crime rates are growing, and inflation is bad.” If everybody else is too weak and so easily intimidated that even saying “a woman is an adult human female” becomes impossible, there should be a political force that doesn’t get scared this easily.

This political force was supposed to be the New Right. They were supposed to keep alive the important idea that reality exists apart from our wants and desires. And no matter how much we might wish for something to be true, reality doesn’t have to oblige.

But the Left’s wish-fulfillment mentality is very seductive. “I say something, and it magically becomes true” – what can be sweeter? Within only a few years of its birth, the New Right created its own alternative reality and convinced itself that it must be real. That reality is a totally fictional “trad Russia” that will stand up to Western degeneracy and defend conservative spiritual values.

To anybody who knows absolutely anything about Russia the idea is as ludicrous as “trans toddlers” are to anybody who knows anything about children. As Antonio García Martínez reminds us,

The Putin fans among the New Right—in temporary retreat, currently sublimating their views as Ukraine skepticism—really think Russia some anti-woke exemplar worthy of imitation. Never mind that the church-attendance rate in Russia is far lower than the U.S., their birth-rate as low as any childless European country, and their abortion rate one of the highest in the world. Seen from the “trad” conservative perspective at least, Russia suffers from all the ills of post-modernity even more than the supposedly degenerate West.

And now add to this a complete collapse of the traditional family – fewer children in Russia grow up with both their parents than kids on Chicago’s South Side – exploding drug use among the young, an endless stream of obscenity on TV, a complete legalization and exaltation of surrogacy, sky-high abortion rates, open borders, extraordinarily high illegal immigration rates, and a gigantic percentage of sex crimes that stem from this situation. It takes a much harder effort of fictional world-building to turn this real Russia into a trad haven of spiritual values than it is to pretend that Lia Thomas is a woman.

To quote Antonio once again:

This is analogous to the Berkeley leftists with whom, in my naive idealism, I often debated while in grad school 20 years ago. Whether older academics still under the influence of the 1960s, or younger students in the fashionable keffiyeh-wearing left, they all thought the communist Cuba that my family had fled was an egalitarian utopia that should serve as an example to America. In fact, the Cuban reality had about as much to do with egalitarianism as modern-day Russia does Christian values, both serving as little more than rhetorical cudgels in an America-centric discourse.

Of course, neither the Berkeley hippies nor the New Right seek out reality: Both stay snugly inside the bosom of the liberal capitalism they claim to despise, rarely venturing to their idealized Havana or Moscow.

The analogy is, indeed, there. I first lost several leftist friends whose eyes glazed over and they started babbling incoherently about BLM and “Trump is a fascist.” And now I’ve lost a couple of New Right friends who look at me pleadingly and beg me to confirm that “Russia is defending us from Soros.”

When my best friend died and I went to say goodbye at the funeral home, she was lying in the coffin looking so beautiful and almost asleep instead of dead. There was a split second when I wanted to believe that she wasn’t really dead and that this was all an elaborate practical joke. Of course, it wasn’t but that feeling of being able to escape from reality into fantasy was very sweet. Too many people are indulging in this escapism without thinking of the costs. We have now lost to it the only political force capable of pushing back against fantasy leftism.

12 thoughts on “The New Right

  1. Luckily there is more to the right than the “new right,” who’ve always had this kernel of stupid edginess within them. Trump himself isn’t indulging any of this nonsense, nor, for that matter, are all the people Martinez cites as “New Right” (though I would seriously question Dreher’s inclusion under this umbrella.)

    I think often the new right holds itself up as the only alternative to the Lindsey Grahams of the GOP, but that’s not really true. The more time I spend among the new right, the more I realize how out of touch and elitist they tend to be. Also, after a while, opposing Trump “from the right” (as many in this crowd do) starts to feel a lot like opposing him from the left.

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  2. “trad Russia”

    How much of that is based on a single data point… the 2013 anti-gay laws (part of trying to shore up his image with the vatniks and fascist babushkas before going into Crimea)?

    Most people don’t support issues according to any kind of principles, they choose a political identity and then adopt the positions that will help them fit in…

    What might be called roughly “independent thinkers” end up alienated from both ‘right’ and ‘left’ sometimes siding with one and sometimes siding with the other…

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    1. It’s also selective thinking. Those anti-gay laws didn’t prevent the Putin government from letting the Chechen mafia run a network of gay clubs in the largest Russian cities. And those clubs were crucial for the synthetic drug trade which targeted very young people. I wish the devastation that synthetic drugs caused to the younger generation of Russians were discussed somewhere. There have been investigative reports and TV coverage in Russia but I’d like to see something in depth in English.

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      1. You probably won’t see anything like that in English because the average English-speaking citizen I doubt cares much about how drugs are affecting young Russians. Many Americans would reason, “Yes that’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do about it and we have enough problems with drugs here as it is.”

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        1. “average English-speaking citizen I doubt cares much about how drugs are affecting young Russians”

          There’s no reason for the average person to know. But that doesn’t excuse those lionizing Putin as some kind of defender of traditional values (looking at you Cucker Tarlson). They’re pig ignorant and/or too closed in their fantasy world….

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          1. The perception of America’s leaders and culture as despising America and loathing itself and Western culture overall created a hunger in many for someone who would stand firm for America and traditional values. Many conservatives saw this in Putin because he is unabashedly pro-Russia and seen as a defender of conservative values, and so there was an admiration that developed for the man in this sense, even though he was a dictator. But because people are so desiring of someone to look up to and don’t want to engage in nuanced thinking, they thus ignore the bad parts of Putin and Russia and also basically created an idealized version of Putin in their minds.

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            1. Exactly. What they keep missing, though, it’s that Putin hates the good parts of the Western Civilization. Democracy, individual rights, freedom of speech and association. You can’t defend your own freedom of speech by lionizing somebody who hates freedom of speech.

              There are many problems in the West. But compared to Russia’s problems, they are mosquito bites. Annoying but not deadly. I listened to phone calls of Russian soldiers to their wives where they boast of how many women they raped. Yes, #MeToo is stupid. But we are seeing here a culture where wives cheer their husbands who rape women. Let’s oppose #MeToo (which I do openly at every academic conference I visit) but without supporting mass rape.

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              1. So I’m really curious about these phone calls bragging about rape that you’ve mentioned because I’ve been listening to intercepted phone calls of Russian soldiers as well. I watch the videos on Youtube, mainly from this channel of the Ukrainian Security Service (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRxyjhmvBewJIRb2yku5EuQ)

                The only one I’ve heard referencing rape was this one – https://youtu.be/sg8DNHPpBgo – but at least the soldier is not bragging. I couldn’t hear every word – for all I know he may be saying that it was the Ukrainian army soldiers doing the raping – but it was pretty clear he was describing it to his wife as an awful thing, not condoning it.

                I’ve heard Russian women in these conversations wish for Russians to kill all the Ukrainians and such, but not yet support rape. Do you have recommendations of other Youtube or Telegram channels to follow?

                I’ve even finally joined Twitter to read what various people say about the war! (given that Twitter made it impossible to do so just via the browser on my phone without being logged in)

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  3. If there’s something you wish to state that’s of any kind of a candid or blunt nature stick to either Blogger or WordPress.
    It seems to me those are the only two formats not cancelling or omitting even the starkest statements of viewpoints on sites that use their platforms.

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