Since its inception, America has laid claim to a liberal democratic style of government with various well-known philosophical tenets. Yet the underlying beliefs or political philosophy of one of the movements that opposes liberal democratic forms of government—the alt-right—are relatively unknown.
The Philosophical Foundation of Alt-Right Politics and Ressentiment is a timely book that analyses how the principles of current American politics have developed. William Remley asserts that the philosophy of Traditionalism is central to the alt-right’s understanding of itself and explores the perceived threat to social status that seems to have propelled the movement to its prominent place in American politics. Remley uses Social Dominance Theory and the philosophical work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche to look at how group formation and hierarchies have given rise to authoritarian leadership and how a tendency that can be best described and explained through Nietzsche’s concept of ressentiment led to the anti-foreign sentiment that rules American politics today.
Introduction / Part I: The Philosophical Foundation for Alt-Right Politics / 1. René Guénon and Traditionalist Philosophy / 2. Guénon and Perennialism / 3. Julius Evola’s Traditionalism / Part II: Social Dominance Theory and Sartre / 4. General Outline of Social Dominance Theory (SDT) / 5. Psychology of Group Dominance and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) / 6. Group Formation, Hierarchy, and Human Freedom in Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason / Part III: Ressentiment / 7. Nietzsche’s Theory of Ressentiment / 8. Sartre’s Theory of Racism Based on Ressentiment / Conclusion / Bibliography / Index
William Remley is Lecturer in Philosophy at Saint Peter's University, Jersey City, New Jersey.
Remley invites us to critically analyze the intellectual roots of contemporary Right-wing politics, a task both badly needed and woefully neglected in political theory today. Tracing a dark philosophical lineage from Guénon to Evola to Bannon, this book gives an account of some of the key ideas animating our present political landscape.