The Alt-Right as a Revolt against Neoliberalism and Political Correctness: the Role of Collective Action Frames

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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Abstract

This article addresses how the alt-right has developed its guiding principles or “collective action frames” in opposition to two hegemonic ideologies: neoliberalism and political correctness. Two central points are made. First, calls among many alt-righters for white Americans to regain a sense of racial identity and “white pride” is effectively a rebellion against neoliberal market forces that erode tribal loyalties, national boundaries, and cultural uniqueness by encouraging open borders, multiculturalism, and individualistic forms of agency associated with competition and consumerism. Second, the challenge to white identitarianism by neoliberal globalization is compounded by an ideology of political correctness that, although at odds with neoliberalism, has presumably further disempowered whites. Because political correctness emphasizes egalitarianism and how all cultures are equally valuable, any agenda to advance white interests is dismissed as racist and unacceptable. The argument is made that despite their tensions, both neoliberalism and political correctness have inspired alt-right collective action frames related to race realism, anti-egalitarianism, and white genocide. Some reflections are offered about why this discussion is relevant to the present and future of US politics and society.

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