A Proposal for a New Alt-Center: Philosophy & Policy
“We will control the Horizontal. We will control the Vertical…. Another Dimension.”
The dissident center is not an organized movement but rather a big tent of syncretic politics. I propose a new Alt-Center that has core political principles, a philosophical framework, and unique attributes beyond mismatching positions from the dissident left and right. The objective is to build a serious political foundation that can unite various groups that are politically homeless or at odds with the left, right, and mainstream center. A hypothetical Alt-Centrist might oppose gun-control, cancel culture, open-borders and interventionism while supporting drug legalization, free health care and anti-trust legislation, but the concept goes beyond just taking anti-establishment positions from both the left and right. There must be strong stances and principles that are unique.
As for philosophy, the Alt-Center takes a more “rightwing” or realist view of human nature that is tribal and hierarchical rather than egalitarian. However, unlike both the conservative movement and the Alt-Right, the Alt-Center seeks out progressive rather than reactionary solutions to address social and political problems: a politics of pragmatic dissidence.
Many social and political problems, beyond motives of greed or nefarious aims, are caused by a flawed understanding of human nature and sociological reality by policy-makers and social reformers. This was evident with the social reforms of the 1960s, in regards to civil rights regulations that stifle freedom of association, as well as the Trickle Down Economics of the Reagan Era which exacerbated income inequality. The former denied man’s tribal instincts while the latter, besides being junk economics, was naïve and dishonest about man’s hierarchical nature.
Both the hard left (eg: Marxists, Critical Race Theorists, and Radical Feminists) and the hard right (eg: White Nationalists, the Manosphere, and Social Darwinists) understand the role that power dynamics play in regards to issues of economics, class, gender, and race relations and how they shape politics. It is the mainstream center left and center right types who are more likely to argue that if everyone just works hard and is a decent person who treats everyone as an individual, society will thrive. Alt-Centrists, like the far left and far right, understand these power dialectics and must work on ways to better manage them to prevent abuses of power.
The Alt-Center is more pro-science (grey tribe rather than red tribe) than the right on issues such as climate change and vaccinations, more so than the left when it comes to HBD (Human Bio Diversity), and generally more honest, direct, and truth focused than the populist right. However the Alt-Center diverges from the data obsessed Centrist Rationalists as much as it does from the emotion driven populists of the left and right. Rationalism has some value but also limitations when it comes to acknowledging and addressing man’s baser psychosocial instincts.
What is needed is to tap into these deeper psycho-social needs and desires, much like how both demagogues and power elites are accused of manipulating the primal motivations behind political decisions. We must have a clear and honest understanding of how psychology shapes politics in regards to one’s needs, beyond the material, such as for social status and social capital. Neither Centrist Rationalism or populism have yet achieved.
Both demagogues like Donald Trump, who appeal to these base desires, and figures like Andrew Yang, who has a more technocratic and rationalist approach to where politics and psychology intersect, have their strengths and shortcomings. We need to, like the demagogue, address the baser emotions like anger, hatred, greed, fear, and resentment, but must better manage how they shape politics.
Populism has its flaws in that it thinks in terms of the largest number of people having the greatest impact and thus often fails to achieve its goals or is co-opted by powerful figures who do not have the people’s best interests at heart. Rightwing populists can be as naïve about power dynamics as egalitarian liberals’ faith in the masses. The same critique can be made of the class reductionist left as can be made of conservative Civic Nationalists, in that they have a one size fits all approach that opposes identity politics and puts faith in economic solutions to solve all social problems. This neglects all other concerns such as social capital, social status, and inherent tribalism.
While I don’t oppose populism entirely, I propose counter-elitism as an alternative and as a compliment to populism. For instance, pursuing economic endeavors that help build up alternative elites and institutions, including endeavors in the arts and technological innovation. This needs to be emphasized over the idea of winning over the masses politically and the Alt-Center is simultaneously elitist and concerned about inequality.
The Alt-Center rejects both the reactionary politics of wanting to slow down change or to go back to a certain point in history but is also at odds with the current manifestation of liberalism and civilization’s current trajectory. I am very critical of the Intellectual Dark Web types who want to freeze time in the late 20th century, which is analogous to radical traditionalists who reject all culture and political ideas created after a certain point in history.
I call for the politics of Retro-Futurism based upon the idea that the future we should have exists on an alternative timeline. I am ok with barrowing from certain aspects of modernism and liberalism as well as from tradition and nostalgia but only if it serves as part of the foundation for something new. We must reject the failed conservative strategy of mimicking the liberalism of the past, a legitimate critique the Trad Right makes of why conservativism has failed, and we must be bold, radical, and progressive with specific core principles that can’t be watered down.
I put forth specific Alt-Center concepts that reflect and address these issues. For instance The Great Class Swap concept is much more of a thought experiment and philosophical concept than a political policy, but it addresses psychosocial motives such as envy, hatred, lust, and greed, but is more honest and direct about them and focuses on how to manage them where Marxism, liberal capitalism, and social Darwinism fall short. It also stands as a critique of leftwing and rightwing populists whose politics often rely upon copes to moralize one’s lower place in the hierarchy.
If the Great Class Swap concept were to be implemented in an extreme form, which I don’t advocate for, it would represent the extreme authoritarian quadrant of the political compass. For specific social components rejecting blank slatism is key and there is a eugenics component. I’d say that the Great Class Swap is rightwing socially, even if many conservatives would disagree, and it diverges from conservativism other than a pro-middle and upper-class natalist stance. It also rejects Social Darwinism in favor of more humanitarian and equality minded concerns. On economics, the Great Class Swap is to the Left in regards to redistributing wealth but is also focused on the better allocation of resources, with the view that wealth should serve hierarchical as well as egalitarian concerns, while it rejects both egalitarianism and free market capitalism. For instance it does not moralistically idealize the poor the way the left does or the common man the way rightwing populists do.
This syncretic ideology has never been proposed as policy but I’d say, while authoritarian if taken to an extreme, a more moderate, humane, and palatable version is compatible with a kind of centrist populism, with a technocratic component that is focused on the best allocation of resources for society. I am skeptical that just raising taxes on the wealthy to fund more social programs alone will end inequality and rebuild the middle class. The two things that could end inequality are dramatically reducing the size of the labor force, which is totally unfeasible, and that leaves us with the only other solution of radical decentralization of the economy and political system.
This is where the concept of Pan Enclavism comes in, a proposal that I advocate for, that is much more practical and anti-authoritarian than the Great Class Swap. On social issues Pan-Enclavism seeks to resolve hot button culture war issues by allowing for different ethnic, cultural, and political groups to achieve their objectives within a smaller geographic and political unit. This includes Freedom of Association as a key principle which many on the left oppose, as they are now focused on maintaining universal moral principles via centralized institutions. An example of this politics would be opposing bans on gay marriage but also opposing state interference with religious groups that don’t serve LGBTQ clientele.
Looking at the political spectrum in regards to addressing race relations in America, the far-right position would be White Supremacy or advocacy for a White Ethno-state, then MAGA, then color blindness in the mainstream center, and then Critical Race Theory and opposition to Whiteness on the far left. While a Black Nationalist or Hindu Nationalist in American could be very rightwing, the American political paradigm has a biased majoritarian framework, that will likely change in the future. Pan-Enclavism is radically Centrist in that it does not fit into that spectrum. It is pro-diversity but also pro-freedom of association, an anti-woke version of multi-culturalism that is inclusive of all including Whites, and the only system that can reconcile the differences between the pro-diversity left and the identitarian right. It takes into account that people are forming tribes to find comradery with groups that have shared interests and values rather than loyalty to mass society. A hypothetical enclave could either be ethnic based or for a multi-racial group that has certain shared values.
As for economic policy, pan-enclavism aligns with distributism, small scale capitalism, and a social safety net but without the bureaucracy. It is the same with the economic spectrum where the far right is free market capitalism, the left state socialism, and the establishment center for both centralized corporations and the state. Thus distributism, small scale capitalism, and localized social programs are in line with dissident centrism. Pan-Enclavism is compatible with the libertarian left on economics and the libertarian right on social values, thus would politically be in the libertarian leaning centrist quadrant, even if individual enclaves might be Marxist or socially conservative. The radical center needs to take strong stances that are not from the left, right or libertarianism, with Pan-Enclavism standing against the radical individualism of libertarianism, nationalism based upon loyalty to a centralized nation state, radical egalitarianism, as well as LARPing based rightwing politics.
Enclavism offers boundless social and political opportunities, seeks compromise amongst different groups without them having to make major sacrifices, and is a better way to manage balkanization, tribalism, and inequality in wealth and power. Part of the benefit of enclavism is to fulfill True Freedom. True Freedom is not simply being free from the state but the freedom to live in, or at least pursue the kind of society that fits one’s needs and desires.
Another Alt-Center concept is Smart Socialism with the objective of better allocating resources. Due to automation and the technological singularity we will have to embrace some leftwing economic stances such as a universal safety net but in order to deal with these trends, we must take into account all these previous factors and principles in order to avoid the worst of centralized power and social problems that come from misunderstanding human nature.
Examples of Smart Socialist proposals includes the radical centrist HBD blogosphere Lion of the Blogosphere’s proposal for subsidized enclaves for the intelligent but poor, another dissident centrist blogger Giovanni Dannato’s calls for a Smart Socialism that invests “in its most promising and intelligent people, not in the slowest, least capable, and lowest in character,” offering money based on ability rather than disability. On a similar note the blogger Jayman, who describes himself as a liberal and social democratic patriot, calls for policy that is similar to the Great Class Swap. Jayman advocates that “Planned Parenthood centers could be built and heavily marketed in low-income areas, with heavy availability and marketing of long-term contraceptive measures, such as Norplant,” that “Welfare should incentivize childlessness, not having more children as it currently does. Generous welfare benefits should be made available to single, childless individuals, with static or decreasing benefits for having children” and he also calls for encouraging “the high-IQ and accomplished to reproduce more,” including “Reducing the cost of living,” “Student loan forgiveness,” reducing the need for lengthy educations by relying more heavily on cognitive tests, “Special encouragement of exceptionally high-IQ individuals” and “Workplace reform, both for working and stay-at-home moms”
A more mainstream centrist figure Elon Musk basically endorsed smart socialism when he tweeted “ I am actually a socialist. Just not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm. True socialism seeks greatest good for all.”
Specialization in regards to social, political, and economic issues is a principle that binds all these stances together. For instance with Pan-Enclavism and Rightwing Multi-Culturalism, there is an acceptance that different groups of people have different and specific needs. Specialization is needed to achieve True freedom and while a version of smart socialism could be extremely hierarchical it has a potential to help all if we can craft policy packages to help various groups of people along with an overall need for specialization in economic and educational policy. It is the idea that we should give as many people as possible a role in society and help them find where they excel.
Aesthetics uplift civilization as a whole, even in something as basic as building walkable communities, and aesthetics need to be treated as a form of wealth. Aesthetic production needs to be incentivized and aesthetics must be allocated amongst society (see Aesthetic Socialism). I call for an Aesthetic based politics as much of the appeal to a political cause is a sort of inherent tribal aesthetic preference. Aesthetics also tie these other proposals together such as the Great Class Swap, Smart Socialism, and Pan-Enclavism. For instance with pan-enclavism there are more opportunities for different communities to carve out their own niche. Mass society without shared aesthetic values are part of the reason American cities are so banal but with pan-enclavism, drawing about inspiration from the theme park model there can be retro-futurist politics, where each enclave could represent a time and place and bind that community together.
While we can find compromise between the left and right on many economic issues the Alt-Center must decide upon a few principles where there shall be no compromise with those who oppose them and stand in the way. Just as other political wings have an extreme-to-moderate range (e.g. communism to social democracy on the left, fascism to libertarianism on the right), the Alt-Center too has a range from authoritarian to libertarian. The difference between right-libertarianism vs Alt-Center libertarianism perhaps lies in the difference between understanding man as an individual versus as a communal being (e.g. pan-enclavism implores the government to leave the people alone but so that they might thrive as communities rather than as individuals). I support the notion of the Alt-Center as a political wing with its own range, however I also believe that the faction must be unified and strengthened around certain firm, uncompromised, philosophical positions. In particular: I call for a radical mentality toward the concept of True Freedom and shall not compromise with those who don’t respect that.
We need a spirit of vitality, exploration, innovation, and radical creativity and to not be satisfied with stagnation and lower quality of life. Aesthetics are one area where there is need for a radical mindset, and those who stand in the way of and suppresses radical creativity, ranging from corporate gatekeepers, fake moral outrage politics, and the recent minimalistic architectural renovations, deserve to be viewed with utter contempt with no room for compromise. My call for radical creativity is different from the liberal view about freedom of expression, in that society has an obligation to support the most creative, or at least stand out of the way. No compromise with the gatekeepers or any moralistic censorship such as cancel culture.
There shall be zero compromise with those who propose a managed decline. Instead, we offer true freedom, and utopian dreams for all as an alternative. Our vision is pluralist and calls for a diverse coalition that is based upon these principles but what is needed is to start building up an ingroup identity the way the left and right have done. In regard to the current Red vs. Blue polarization some Alt-Centrists may choose to align more with one side over another but we need to draw upon existing dissident center sentiment and choose a number of causes such as Pan-Enclavism and True Freedom to create excitement and help establish a framework.