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Pessimism and the Alt-Right: Knowledge, Power, Race and Time

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPessimism in International Relations
Subtitle of host publicationProvocations, Possibilities, Politics
EditorsTim Stevens, Nicholas Michelsen
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019

King's Authors

Research outputs


The Alt-Right views modernity as dominated by a Liberal dogma invested in the destruction of birth-culture identities for the benefit of conspiratorial elites. They advocate a “return” to birth-culture as the core category of politics so as to resolve economic and social problems. This program contains the deeply pessimistic expectation of unavoidable identitarian or racial war. The Alt-Right embrace this apocalyptic vision in the solutions they propose, which either seek to accelerate descent into a final and decisive racial confrontation, or side-step it by accelerating into what they regard as the inevitable collapse of liberal democracy and its norms. This is then, ultimately, a pessimistic vision of humanity itself, which is reduced to a racial and economic expression of biological survival. The Alt-Right embraces total rupture because such as an exit from contemporary politics would permit the return of biologically-determined survivalism as the dominant and ultimate form of justice.

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