Alt-Right or Alternative Right is a right-wing ideological movement that began as an online phenomenon that was then formalized by Richard Spencer. began cSpencer founded the now defunct website Alternative Right, which was “dedicated to heretical perspectives on society and culture…informed by radical, traditionalist, and nationalist outlooks.” The movement and its proponents reject mainstream conservatism while amplifying “digital hate cultures”—i.e. online content that intentionally promotes hate speech and prejudiced narratives—through websites, chat boards, social media platforms, and memes. The movement stands for protecting white identity through the medium of white supremacy and white solidarity. Specifically, the movement opposes multiculturalism and activism for the rights of nonwhites, women, Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other minorities.
The term first emerged in 2008 when Richard Spencer of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute coined the term in an interview. The term intellectualized a far-right movement centering the preservation of white identity in Western society that is distinctive from traditional conservatives. In 2010, Spencer launched the Alternative Right blog to further clarify and substantiate the movement’s ideological credo. According to Spencer, the alt-right demographic draws largely from younger people who have dismissed mainstream conservatism and endorse white ethnonationalism as a fundamental value. The movement’s ultimate goal is an all-white country that would banish minorities. The movement’s promotional tactics of social media and memes provided increased attention to the alt-right ideology.
The alt-right movement has ties to the European Identitarian movement which sees its main purpose as defending and restoring Europe’s “identity” and ethnic purity from perceived Islamization and multiculturalism. According to both movements, political correctness and multiculturalism have deprived white communities of their sense of home and safety. Despite ambitions for the creation of an ethnostate, both movements have not elaborated on how the goal would be achieved.
The American identitarian movement endorses the same creed as its European counterpart and prioritizes the preservation of white culture. The alt-right and American identitarianism share a following, with even Spencer labeling himself as an identitarian due to his commitment of protecting white identity and culture.