What is the Alt-Left?

  • What is the Alt-Left and how different are they from the Far-Left or Ultra-Left? Are they similar to the Alt-Right in any way?

    The alt-right isn't a single thing either. It's a conglomerate that has no real cohesion other than opposition to democrats and will pull itself apart.

    In which country? It *heavily* depends on where you are what each political party is viewed at and wether they even exist or not.

    We need a whole lot more context here. What references of the 'alt-left' are you referring to? In the US, the 'alt-right' is a well established concept with plenty of sources of info. The 'alt-left' isn't. We need specifics. Are you talking about the US? Which reports of the 'alt-left' in particular?

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    I have never heard of Alt-Left (except in computer courses maybe) until today. I wish the question would cite some prominent uses of the term because asking about the meaning. On the other hand a quick wikipedia search already gives a definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right#Alt-left. A bit more initial research would be nice.

    Are you talking about the New Left?

  • The alt-left is not really a thing unless you live in Switzerland, where it is a political party.

    In the US, it's a term that got cooked up by the alt-right to describe their fantasized progressive equivalent. The problem, of course, is that there is no such thing.

    There's the oddball violent antifa, but where the aim of such would-be alt-left might be fighting intolerance or a better (re)distribution of wealth, that of the alt-right is white supremacy. Personally, I find it hard to accept that the two are equivalent. The alt-left is leaning far left, whereas the alt-right stands for everything the US fought against during the Civil War and World War II.

    The expression's history has a few interesting tidbits. Long story short, it seems to have appeared in Reddit alt-right groups. There is about zero reference to it in Google (except for the keyboard shortcut) prior to the last US presidential campaign. It got some uptake after a Vanity Fair article denouncing it as a problem. (There also were a few calls to embrace the term after the article.) It got much more serious uptake after Trump used the term in his "on both sides" commentary after Charlottesville.

    Groups like antifa are exactly the types I've heard this moniker used to describe in the U.S.

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    Antifa isn't just left though - it's a reactionary group that opposes fascist marches. Sometimes violent, often infiltrated by black bloc anarchists and other "I Wanna Smash Things Up" types, I've known centrists and anti-racists who don't much care for left V right politics turn up at antifascist counter-protests. The alt-right has a more cohesive political outlook - that's why they're called the Alt-Right, not something else.

    @Miller86 "Reactionary" as used in politics is usually used to refer to conservatives. I get what you're saying though, Antifa is a response to fascists rather than a "standalone" political movement.

    -1 for the unnecessary and baseless derision of Anti-Fascist Action as "oddball" - which almost alludes to them being the "alt left" somehow. Please consider removing that part of your answer.

    @einpoklum I'm afraid I disagree. "Oddball" is putting it mildly, and we can be thankful they're the odd ones out as opposed to being the mainstream. I don't have much sympathy for groups which don't afford their opposition the benefit of doubt, or who don't believe their opponents have the same basic human rights they themselves enjoy. They are, very much, the alt-left - perhaps the militant wing of it.

    This answer does not appear very objective to me. First of all, "better (re-)distribution of wealth" should at least have quotes around "better", which is a normative issue. Then there's the odd "The alt-left is leaning far left, whereas the alt-right stands for everything [...]". Many would define the alt-right to be far right, on the one-dimensional internationalism/ultranationalism axis. If you then concede that the "alt-left is leaning far left", they are symmetric on that dimension.

    I would argue that this answer is biased and not accurate. Both terms alt-right and alt-left are labels used by opposing sides. They simply refer to groups at the extreme end of the respective political spectrum and imply they have crossed some universal moral ground by being so extreme. While there are characteristics attributed to both the alt-left and alt-right most often these terms are used simply to degrade a group of people on the respective political side. They are more a sign of the growing divide between the left and the right, than any organised movement.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM