The New Right has been getting a lot of attention lately, and some on the Right have even been misidentifying it as a MAGA-hat-wearing collection of civic nationalists. But the New Right has been around for 50 years, mostly operating in Europe and making its way to the States in the past decade.
This confusion and misnaming is the same thing that happened when every Trump supporter started calling themselves AltRight, then quickly abandoned the term when the media played it up as a neo-Nazi movement. Already some have exchanged the term New Right for True Right (also the name of the introduction to Michael O’Meara’s New Culture, New Right).
The following are 10 positions I associate with the New Right, based on the writings of European New Right thinkers like Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, and Tomislav Sunic, as well as O’Meara’s 2004 book and numerous people I’ve talked to in person.
Even though called the New “Right,” this socio-political philosophy exists outside the typical Left-Right divide. Once you read what the New Right stands for, you’ll see it doesn’t fit with any mainstream political movement, but is at the cutting-edge of a new way of being, one requiring a change in consciousness that goes beyond mere policy.
1. A Return of the Sacred
Although many in the West believe in God, society today is not ruled by the divine. Instead, our societies are centered around economics—whether it’s work, shopping, or conspicuous travel or consumption. Any “holy days” that remain are primarily secular celebrations—focused on buying Christmas gifts and Easter candy more than any sacredness. And discussions of religion have turned into mere talk of morality.
The New Right aims to center the world around the sacred again—but not in a modern Republican way, like getting everyone to attend church on Sunday. The New Right envisions a world like ancient Greece or Rome, where the sacred was infused in nature and into every aspect of being, not in a superstitious way, but as an integrated belief. Not surprisingly, there are debates about how this will manifest, and whether it’s even possible. In addition, the New Right tends to promote paganism for Europeans, though it contains adherents of Christianity and Eastern religions as well.
2. Protecting the Environment
The heart of conservatism used to be conservation. They wanted to conserve the nation’s lands, values, traditions, families, and communities. They were environmentalists long before the Democrats. Today, conservatives have become capitalistic at the expense of the environment. This is a main area where the New Right diverges from the typical “right-wing” movements in the U.S. Many on the New Right go further than mainstream Democrats in their environmentalism, championing Deep Ecology and animal rights.
3. Anti-Capitalistic (Responsible Capitalism)
The New Right is opposed to capitalism for a number of reasons. Capitalism (and socialism, for that matter) view society and mankind only in terms of the economic. In today’s materialistic business environment, questions are never asked such as, “Is this product good for children?” or “Will this product promote healthy communities?” The bottom line is always the demonic dollar and creating more value for shareholders, no matter what the cost to the world.
In addition to its harmful effects in industrialized countries, capitalism destroys communities in the third world by digging up natural resources and essentially enslaving people in sweat shops. In the West, the middle classes have become corporate slaves, leading unfulfilling lives comprised of working at large corporations in order to buy products sold by other large corporations.
New Righters believe the economy should be at the service of the people, rather than people being slaves of the system. However, the New Right doesn’t promote socialism or communism. It believes in small-scale, local capitalism, but not the globalist expansion seen today, like Walmart and Amazon, that is putting local shops—some decades or a century old—out of business.
4. Healthy Communities
The New Right supports healthy communities, where both adults and children can flourish due to good schools, fulfilling occupations, and safe communities. Rather than a “progressive” agenda, however, they look to the time-tested ways of traditional cultures for the values that shape a healthy society.
As such, New Righters support traditional gender roles, so children are spared the negative effects of daycare. They support a woman’s right to have a career if she chooses, but realize the majority of mothers are happier when they can afford to stay home with their children. Ideally, work outside the home is an option for women, but not a requirement just to make ends meet.
New Righters also favor natural hierarchies, not in the sense of one class oppressing another, but the belief that different people have different talents. Their vision of a healthy society is one of different classes of people—farmers, scholars, teachers, doctors, janitors, leaders—all working together for a healthy society with respect and acknowledgement given to the importance of everyone.
The New Right supports localism, including local government, because the diverse cultures of the world deserve to be free from control by a bureaucratic, corrupt, and overreaching state. Local governments mean each community gets to decide which laws and values they desire, meaning San Francisco would be free to have gay marriage while towns in rural America could ban their tax dollars from funding abortion. Local governments mean everyone can be free and happy.
In modern America and Europe, the New Right is against mass immigration due to the strain it puts on taxpayers and because it depresses wages for the working class. New Righters believe communities should decide for themselves if they want mass immigration, rather than having it forced upon them by their leaders like we see in Western Europe and the U.S. Not to mention, immigration destroys the cultures of immigrants themselves, many who abandon their traditional foods, religions and clothing after arriving in the West.
5. Responsible Technology
In the early twentieth century, European thinkers thought that as technology increased, machines would take over the labor and people would be blessed with an abundance of leisure time. Instead, the rich owned the machines that took over jobs while average citizens were forced to develop new skills. A New Right model would insist that advanced tech help the people, not benefit only a few.
While technology has certainly been beneficial, it’s tended to go hand-in-hand with the loss of things we value—like public spaces free from televisions, hand-written letters, and handmade household items and clothing. New Righters wish to use technology where it’s needed, but keep the rest of our lives free from its negative aspects.
The earth’s ecosystems depend on diversity—of plants, insects, soils, and animals. In nature we recognize each species has a valuable and unique role to fill, and humans are the same way. The New Right is against racism, believing every human culture and ethnicity has its own beauty and value to contribute to the world.
The New Right supports diversity, but recognizes that policies advocated by globalist governments, NeoCons, and NeoLibs, are actually anti-diversity. Bringing thousands of people together into an American megalopolis, for example, results in millions of immigrants abandoning their traditional cultures for crass consumer lifestyles. (A notable exception is immigrants who maintain segregated enclaves, such as Muslim communities that exist almost as a nation of their own and are dangerous to the native populations.)
In addition, native populations are harmed as their cultures are disturbed or even destroyed. This is true whether it’s European immigrants moving to America in the 1700s or non-whites moving to America and Europe today who promote anti-white policies and incite racial hatred against whites.
New Righters support every culture’s right to be proud of their race and heritage and to self-determine their own destiny. Thus, they decry attempts to shut down Europeans and European-Americans who advocate for their own interests and form their own identity movements. Because of this, New Righters are unjustly slandered as racist or neo-Nazi in attacks meant to shut them down, even though New Right philosophy is entirely opposed to such ideologies.
Because it started in Europe, most New Right thought has centered around protecting the culture and right to self-determination of distinct European ethnic groups. Its focus in America has been on the right to a “white” identity and advocacy for European-Americans. The New Right supports the same ideals and principles for every culture and race, not just whites, and non-Europeans could use many of these “identitarian” ideas when crafting their own visions for the future.
7. Metapolitical and Intellectual
Alain de Benoist said it’s not politics that determine a society’s values; instead, a change in ideology comes prior to any policy changes. An example is gay marriage: Before it was legal, there was a decades-long program of social advocacy on behalf of gay rights. Social acceptance came before any government action. Thus, the tradition of the New Right is to focus on metapolitics (that which is “above” politics, or comes before it) in an effort to change culture and values. To this end, they’ve trended toward a scholarly movement, discussing ideas and publishing books rather than engaging in politics.
In contrast, the AltRight, which shares many views as the New Right, is more engaged with the masses: such as participating in the “meme war” to elect President Trump, holding public rallies and protests, and having an active presence online surrounding recent media events. With more and more young people now involved in the New Right, and with the crises facing European countries due to immigration, capitalism, and globalization, the movement has started to take their message to the streets.
8. Anti-War and Anti-Interventionist
Given that the New Right supports the right of every culture to exist on its own terms, it comes as no surprise that its supporters embrace interventionist and anti-war policies. The West has meddled in other parts of the world in the past, and we should admit our mistakes and abandon such actions.
Consequently, New Righters don’t support either mainstream Republicans or Democrats in the U.S., all of whom are intent on sustaining American meddling in the Middle East and other countries. Every culture should have the right to rule over themselves rather than be dominated or manipulated by another.
9. Modern Traditionalist
The Right is often accused of looking backwards, of wanting to push values and practices onto people who’ve already moved on. The New Right seeks to hold onto traditional values that have proven to be beneficial and healthy to societies, while also embracing new ideas and customs. As Gustav Mahler said, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire.”
It’s true that some in the New Right advocate a return to a more agrarian lifestyle, but this doesn’t mean becoming like the Amish and eschewing all modern developments. As part of this blend of traditional and modern, New Righters may advocate more traditional or dignified modes of dress but carry iPhones. They may support homeschooling with a Classical curriculum, but let their children use laptops. They may grow their own vegetables or shop at local farmers’ markets, but use all the modern kitchen implements for cooking, etc.
10. Beyond the Right and Left Divide
The New Right didn’t set out to be a right-wing party. They felt they were outside the traditional definitions of Right and Left, and only reluctantly accepted the moniker after it was given to them by the hostile press. In many ways, their values are those of European and European-American “liberals” before liberalism became focused on identity politics of every group except whites. As such, the New Right has gained supporters from former liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and the apolitical.
To learn more about the New Right, the best introductions in English are Dr. Tomislav Sunic’s Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, and Dr. Michael O’Meara’s New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe.