Right Wing Countercultures?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Modern Imperialism, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2018
    Could a right wing counterculture develop anywhere in the world especially within the west? Maybe something like the Volkisch or neo-pagans. The group can be secular or even anti-religion but if it is it must be clearly right wing in other regards like nationalism or military beliefs. It can also be a religious movement. Personally, I think the must likely right wing Counterculture is something that is like the Volkisch movements which I can see thriving in a few alternate histories. One being a kaiserreich that either avoids or wins the war. In this case I see them being anti-monarch, supporters of a republic(right wing one or military run government), anti-Christian, non-religious or neo-pagan religiously, and far right on everything else with maybe the exception of women's rights(I could see this going either way or being a divide within the group). In this case I see many young Germans belief in "German Exceptionism" and romantic nationalism being greatly inflated especially if they win ww1 quickly and without much cost. A other possibility is a similar culture to this develops in Germany in the 30s without the Nazis taking complete power. Other one could be a right wing counterculture in Ireland or what about one in the United States?

    Thoughts and Ideas?
  2. Theoretical_TJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2014
    The strict to extreme versions of the US homeschooling movement are most definitely a counterculture, especially those back in the 1980s and 1990s. Particularly the influence of this man: Bill Gothard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gothard and his Institute in Basic Life Principles come to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_in_Basic_Life_Principles.

    Both my wife and I grew up in the homeschooling movement, me in its earlier and more controversial stage and her in a time when it was much less controversial but in a more ultraconservative one. There's definitely a counterculture aspect, including the fact that many, many parents are/were ex-hippies or even way into the 1960s counterculture in their youth.
  3. Tjakari Locusts and Fishbones

    Oct 25, 2013
    Alba Longa
    To answer the first sentence, the short answer is yes and there's not much else to it.

    But the long answer is that it'd probably be hard to actually get any right wing counterculture past its infancy without it either dying out or getting co-opted. There's very little on the political right that can both gain/maintain traction and also not find its way into the mainstream culture, if not as a dominant force then at least as a notable faction with its own momentum and base behind it.
    Sure there's some nutty stuff, but people are nutty. The reason why left wing counterculture can persist for so long in the west is down more to institutional resistance, broader cultural resistance that's bolstered by said institutions, and that's not to mention that anything far enough to the left will simply just not have much common ground to build on with most people without a long ideological push.

    Everybody likes guns and blind patriotism, just cause you add some face paint and some weird cultural legends to the mix doesn't change the fact that the group in questions probably doesn't threaten the established order/common sensibility of a country in the way some anarchist collective handing out zines on free association and dismantling the state through the power of rock music and communal living does.

    EDIT: I'm mostly talking about youth culture, but the broader point goes for anything really.
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  4. Divergent54 Boris Johnson x Nigel Farage xoxo

    Jul 5, 2013
    Je m'ai trouvé !
    That depends on what you can consider « right wing ». The Rajneeshpuram movement in Oregon, USA in the 1980s was social progressive but highly capitalist. They believe in peace, love, and free markets.
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  5. Cregan Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Fundamentalist Islamism is effectively a right-wing subculture
  6. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Define counterculture.
  7. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    In many respects, you could describe the Amish as such. Indeed, they do not seek to impose their culture on anyone else, but rather live much of their lives in parallel to the rest of American society.
  8. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Tennessee, North American Union
    One can argue that's what elements of 4chan's /pol/ is (and to a lesser extent some other boards there) as is anything related to that and thus quite a bit of 10s internet culture. While not exclusively right-wing (and a huge diversity of right-wingers at that from actual neo-Nazis to libertarians to more typical Republicans), it undeniably has a right-wing edge to it. If you look at any definition of counterculture and apply it to the chans and similar websites and what they've done (the HWNDU/Shia Lebeouf stuff is a fine example), then I don't see how that wouldn't apply as a right-wing counterculture.

    So using this example, you need a dominance of at least some (perceived) left-wing thought (especially social values) in society, and a good way to spread this. The above example of Islamic fundamentalism, at least some aspects, are a good example since it's a backlash against the more liberal/secular Middle East regimes of the Cold War. The Evangelical right, which emerged in the 70s, is also a good example.
  9. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

    Feb 26, 2007
    Duchy of Milan
    The more memelord-y segments of the alt-right are a counterculture already.
  10. Expat Monthly Donor

    Oct 26, 2007
    Washington, DC
    Yeah, as others have mentioned, we're definitely already there. I think one of the main legacies of the youth culture of the 1960s is that there's now an almost universally accepted cultural cache in being outside the mainstream. Closely allied to this is the idea that it's almost necessary to be oppressed by the forces propping up that mainstream. This manifests itself all across our culture today.

    Consider...McCarthy, say, talking up the subversive threat to American values that he was selling as as close to the fundamental bedrock of society as he could rhetorically get. Drive it through to Reagan, who left office worried that the universality of experience promoted by a dominant, conservative culture might be under attack. And bring it home today, where Republicans in opinion polls routinely consider themselves to be oppressed minorities, with Christians* feeling the same way in even larger numbers.

    As @Theoretical_TJ alluded, the Jesus Movement that birthed modern Evangelical Christianity was born almost entirely from the Hippie experience, and embraced counter-cultural depictions of Jesus as an outsider.

    To go further into what @metalinvader665 brought up, the Gamer-Gaters and the Sad Puppies define themselves from a starting point of being outside the mainstream to begin with. The fact that they seek to achieve control over their chosen region of the counterculture might seem to complicate things. But I don't think so. As long as the idea is that they feel they're rejecting the mainstream in their chosen cultural space, it shouldn't matter how the group is run.

    *I don't believe I've seen polls breaking this down along conservative/liberal Christian lines, so grain of salt here.
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  11. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

    Jan 15, 2004
    The Chaos TL
    Ha, that's what the IBsters are trying in Europe. Not very successfully. Their biggest success I know of was when they disturbed some event, and made headlines of Spiegel (Germany's biggest political magazine) the next day. But that only happened because the Spiegel boss is a fucking idiot. Doesn't he know that "there's no such thing as bad publicity"?

    And besides: If the '60s were the great time of counterculture, aren't they 40 to 50 years late then? (Admittedly better than keller nazis who still believe in the führer, which makes them at least 80 years late. Be wary, in 200 years the extreme right may have arrived in the present.)
  12. Zwinglian Banned

    Oct 11, 2018
    You are describing the Nouvelle Droite mostly to a T and it didn’t get far. Having an anti Christian counter culture wouldn’t get anywhere because most of European society is secular so that isn’t a backlash against anything. A religious backlash in a more secular societies makes more sense and has already happened in the Muslim world and parts of Israel.
  13. CapitalistHippie Peace, love, and free markets.

    Apr 11, 2018
    Beatniks were surprisingly right-wing OTL. Jack Kerouac supported Joe McCarthy.
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  14. Tanc49 Domitian Truther

    Oct 9, 2014
    Sorry if it's dumb, but isn't that the Tea Party and the ultra MAGA stuff?

    It's definitely a counter culture, especially on the Charleston type fringe, and it's definitely right wing?
  15. darklordoftech Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2016
    In arguements about if the parties have switched since the Civil War, someone argued that slave ownership and the KKK were countercultures.
  16. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    I'd say this is starting to happen now, the American center right is going to have to totally redefine itself once Trump leaves office. His rise is a symptom of the massive chasm between right-wing politicians and beltway wonks and what their base actually want.

    The New Right cares more about cultural war issues than tax cuts for the donors. There are some homosexual authors who have proposed dropping the gay label as too inherently left-wing and bound up in '60s activism in favor of the term Androphilia, or love of masculinity (I'm not gay I'm an androphile, from BBC News).

    The American left is locked out of substantial political power right now, but it's difficult to claim that it's revolutionary or countercultural in a gramscian sense. It's hard to spin intersectional theory as forbidden knowledge or some kind of revolutionary force when it's taught in most colleges. Tech and social media companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all massive donors to the democratic party, and progressives set the boundaries of what's culturally permissible.

    Anti-Trump liberals like to LARP as anti-nazi resistance fighters or compare themselves to Harry Potter characters taking down Voldemort, but they're not really sticking it to the man when they can turn on any late-night comedian and hear the same anti-Trump party line.

    It's easy to build up media pressure to get someone to step down or get fired over a homophobic tweet from five years ago in a way than to fire or deplatform someone for disagreeing with a conservative take on some issue. Establishment conservative media like the National Review are cultural court jesters who get a little sandbox of an overton window to scurry around in as long as they don't say anything too socially conservative

    The post-Trump right could probably turn into a more communitarian and somewhat anti-market force to regrow into a popular movement. We're starting to see this already with Tucker Carlson's rants about Jeff Bezos that would be unimaginable on Fox News a couple years ago.

    Republicans can shift towards a kind of ecumenical or secular conservatism that stands for intact families and making it financially feasible to get married and have kids. The childfree, unmarried millennials are going to make for really lonely seniors. It's easy to talk about "focusing on my career" and "not being ready for marriage yet", but people derive more happiness over their lifespan from having a happy family and friends they enjoy than the money in their bank account from focusing on their career or hedonistic consumerism.

    It's not a winning issue to talk about gays and trans people anymore, but bashing divorce, social atomization, and a lack of neihgborhood and religious ties could work. Everyone wants to live in a functional community and the financial barriers to family life (student debt and pricey housing leading to later marriage or not getting married all) are becoming major problems. Trump has driven non-white voters away in droves, but this kind of approach could attract black, hispanic, and Asian voters back to the party.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  17. Francisco Cojuanco To hell with Angelides and Pete Wilson

    Jan 13, 2008
    As mentioned, the homeschooler movement and parts of the Religious Right do have some origins in the hippie movement (though other elements are from ultra-right anti-communist forces from the 50s.)

    Another avenue (though rather close to the homeschooling movement for a variety of social reasons, such as immense changes in parochial education) could be certain strains of Traditionalist Catholicism, at least prior to the 2000s (where they've become increasingly mainstream). In the 70s and 80s at least in the West, a lot of the practices they endorsed were considered anachronistic at best, fascist at worst.
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  18. Garetor Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2015
    As an Oregonian, I have to take issue with this characterization. The Rajneeshi believed in none of those things. They claimed to, in thr same sense that Adolph Hitler claimed to be a devout Christian.

    They peddled drugs, used violent intimidation and brainwashing, enforced economic slavery upon their followers, funneled every dollar to the leadership, and bathed said leadership in luxury while the average sannyassin was dependent on the cult for his daily existence. That's not even getting into the mass poisoning, the bioterrorism, or the gangs of armed goons they used to terrorize local communities. And how are forced marriages and family separations socially progressive?

    They were a counterculture, for sure, but I would not ascribe "free market" ideology to their obsession with making money to enrich their leader. Let's not parrot their own propaganda uncritically.
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  19. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    Are they the group that tried to spread salmonella on salad at restaurants as a bioweapon? I thought there was an old news story about a cult in the pacific northwest being convicted for that.
  20. Garetor Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2015
    They are. They wanted to control local politics, so they shipped in tens of thousands of homeless people from all over the country and put them up in barracks. Then, they gave them haldol-laced beers to keep them docile and bussed them in to get registered as voters. As another way to drive down voter participation, they also sprayed botulism and salmonella on local salad bars to scare people and make them stay home.

    There's a documentary called Wild Wild Country on netflix that goes over all this. I think it's rather too nice to the Rajneeshi, but otherwise accurately depicts the way they terrorized my state back in the 80's. Even today, Oregon's urban areas have a huge homeless problem that descends from the critical mass shipped in by the Rajneeshi, then callously abandoned when their voter-registration plan failed.
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