Author Archives : Hanzi Freinacht


What the Hell is the Alt-Right?

It has been claimed that there’s nothing new about the Alt-Right, nothing “alternative” about it, that it’s simply the same old bigotry, racism and reactionary stance we’ve heard over and over again, now only cowardly disguised by a flashy new superfluous term. But that’s only half the story. It’s certainly true that many of its supporters exhibit racist, misogynic and other appalling views. But that doesn’t do away with the fact that it’s currently one of the most hotly debated terms around, and for good reasons too. What’s being described as Alt-Right is often much more than just plain bigotry. It has come to denote a new political current that displays some very novel properties that justifies the usage of a new term. It would consequently be a mistake to merely dismiss it as old wine in new bottles.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

Conversely, many of the rejections towards treating this political current as a novel phenomenon probably stems from the fact that the Alt-Right doesn’t propose any new ideas, and whenever political contents is sought it tends to be the same old rubbish we’ve heard a million times from right-wingers in the past. Yet this shouldn’t distract us from

_90921553_pepe-trump

1984applead_620_020113

How to Outcompete Capitalism? 10

So you don’t like capitalism? Alright, what is capitalism then? No, no, really please, off the hip, what’s your razor sharp definition of capitalism? … It’s kind of tricky when you think about, isn’t it? Okay, let’s cut it down to its most basic component: capital. What is capital then? And no, you are not allowed to say money. Not sure then? Okay, what if we look at what capital does? No, not just a lot of evil stuff, what is the most basic mechanism of capital?

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

Mind if I have a go at it? Alright, here’s my take on capital, it is:

Something that creates a positive feedback loop,
which changes social relations,
so that power is accumulated,
for the person or organization to which the feedback loop is linked.

So anything that makes you more powerful vis-à-vis others, and that can grow and expand itself by proper management, is capital. The positive feedback loop means that you tend to get more of it once you have a certain amount; it creates an advantage from which you can get more of the same or more of something similar.

It’s possible to add another dimension: Capital


What’s Alt-Left and What’s Not 1

So what is the Alt-Left? Currently there’s a discussion going on about what exactly constitutes the Alt-Left, and as expected a lot of misunderstandings exist regarding what such a position would entail and what it is that justifies the introduction of a new term. I have therefore given a brief and accessible introduction to this emerging political phenomenon in a series of blog posts the last couple of weeks (here you can read the first post with links to the rest of the series). But of equal importance is what the Alt-Left is not, what doesn’t qualify to be treated as belonging to a new branch of the left wing. Here I’m going to shed some light on a few of the most prevailing misunderstandings.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

First of all, it should be obvious that it doesn’t suffice to merely advocate the same ideas that have been floating around for the past 30 years or more when claiming a supposedly new political position (such as post -68 humanist Marxism or critical theory). In order to be an “alternative” a new position is required that drastically differs from any former stances. This means that those who self-describe as

AltLeftFlag.png

AltLeftPerspectives

Alt-Left Perspectives

In this investigation of the Alt-Left position we have looked at some general stances, economic thinking and the general political and cultural ideas that differ from what we have somewhat meanly called “the Old Established Left”. The point is that this new form of progressive thinking is needed due to the failures of the Left to adapt to the changes of the global, digitalized world-system and its postindustrial centers. But all of this flows not only from an analysis of our time, but also from more fundamental shifts in perspective. In this post we take a look at some of these shifts in general perspective and how they create a platform for a new form of politics.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

So let’s connect the dots. The Alt-Left only appears in history at a point where a critical mass of people begin to think, feel and breathe the digital age and have become intimately acquainted with the confusions and adversities of life in a postindustrial economy where the class interests of old make less


Alt-Left Stance on Culture & Politics 7

In the last post we briefly introduced the economic thinking of the Alt-Left. In this one we take a look at some general political intuitions and stances that set the Alt-Left apart from the Old Left. This includes some rather sensitive topics in which our friends on the Left tend to react emotionally. Can you keep your cool and read all the way through?

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

The central issue here is that we are shifting from a “resistance stance” in which the Left is seen as reason and morality resisting the unjust structures of the world knowing that “another world is possible”, to a developmental stance, in which the mission is to improve upon the many faulty processes that constitute the world order. Basically, the Alt-Left doesn’t believe that you can tear down the existing order to find gold glittering underneath. Instead you must engineer better social, economic and political processes that – over time, and on average – lead to dramatically different results. This stance is no less rebellious than that of

AltLeftCulturePolitics

AltLeftEconomy2

Alt-Left Stance on Economy 9

When all is said and done, politics very often comes down to the economy. Any self-respecting political current must first and foremost hold opinions and perspectives on how the economy functions and how it can be developed. In this post we take a look at some of the economic thinking of the Alt-Left.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

The main difference between the Old Left and the Alt-Left is that the latter focuses more on the cultural, behavioral and psychological sides of economic life. In a world where material resources are relatively abundant and information and information processing become dominant in economic life, money begins to matter less than e.g. cultural capital, good social relations and access to high quality information. What is lacking is not stuff, or money, but intelligent solutions for distribution, value creation and ideas about what to do with our lives in the first place. To create a fair and sustainable global order we must create better social settings for people to do worthwhile things.

We have already stated that this entails


What is the Alt-Left about? 11

Never before has the Left – in all its different forms – been losing on so many fronts as it is today. Accordingly a new Left is rising from the ashes of the old. I have chosen to label it the Alt-Left, but history may very well decide to go with another term. The important thing is that the Left is destined for radical transformations in light of the many changes the world is currently going through and the major transition towards a global information society.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

This is the first in a series of blog posts were I’ll attempt to provide a rough outline of the positions of this emerging Alt-Left. Of course, all of the items are up for discussion and most points are likely to be derided by traditional left-wingers as “centrism” or “liberalism”. But the Alt-Left is not centrist, and even, to some extent, it is anti-liberal. It should not be confounded with the Democrats in the US or Social Democrats in Europe. As you’ll see, the positions

distorted rose green

chenosepick

What’s Wrong with the Left? 20

It’s a good question, isn’t it? Because, with all due respect, the Left doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere. It’s losing big time at the moment, so something must be wrong with it, right? Accordingly one finds a lot of answers out there.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

“it’s not because the world is evil that the Left doesn’t succeed; it’s because it suffers from a lacking analysis of how the world actually works.”

A common and widely proclaimed notion is that the reasons for the Left’s decline is that it isn’t left enough and that it has given up on its core values. The idea here is that going further left, stressing even more state control, combating conservative values even more zealously, would all of a sudden fix the economy and convince more conservatively inclined voters to choose the Left rather than the Right. But lack of ideological purity is not the culprit; the failure to address current issues in an adequate manner is.

Often it’s also heard by the representatives of Left parties and other groups that they have failed at communicating their message more efficiently. But seriously, is it just that we have a communication problem here?


Welcome to the Postmodern 1930s 1

The times are a-changin’. And often we find recourse to previous times to understand ongoing events. The confusing and volatile conditions of the present have been compared to the turbulent times of the first half of the 20th century, in particular the period between the two world wars. This comparison has its merits, but it’s not without dangers of becoming too anachronistic if our allegories are taken too literally and if we fail to include a sound analysis of the present. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re living in a vastly different world than our close ancestors a century ago. So even if some of the mechanisms and patterns seem to be similar, the outcomes are likely to be very different.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

As mentioned in my previous post we seem to be in the middle of a major transition in history, just like the one the world was going through between the two world wars. Back then it was the transition to a fully modern industrial society, which resulted in major political, economic as well as existential crises. Today we are in the middle of a transition to a global information society, an increasingly postmodern

47170143-nazi-wallpaper

18r79kfv6fh55jpg

Are we Living in a Postmodern Equivalent of the 1930s? 2

With the US election of president Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum in the UK it has hardly escaped anyone attention that we’re living in interesting times. Very interesting indeed. The rise of authoritarian strongmen in countries like Russia and Turkey, the emergence of new great powers on the global scene, and the decline of others, and the precarious economic and political conditions around the world – all of these things further add to the excitement.

SHARE
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

“history does seem to generate stubborn patterns that show up again and again when certain conditions are present.”

But haven’t we seen this before, some might ask? In recent years many have compared our times with earlier epochs. Are we approaching a new 1914? Or is it perhaps more accurate to make comparisons with the 1930s? After all, the stable and predictable world order that followed the Second World War seems to be nearing its end. Another chaotic period to decide the future order of the planet appears to be what we can expect to live in for the foreseeable future. That does sound like an echo of the turbulent first half of the 20th century.

The growing protectionism in


MENU