Somewhat to my surprise, last Sunday’s post, “Traditionalist Worker Party?,” received far more traffic than expected, which prompted me to re-blog an earlier piece I had written for The Josias on integralism, nationalism, and racism. My main reason for doing so is because of the growing number of Catholics in America (and no doubt around the world) who believe the so-called “alt-right” (an extremely loose association of ostensibly conservative movements informed by everything from white nationalism to libertarianism) provides a way past the political turmoil wrought by mainline liberalism (be it from the Left or the Right). Although this is not the place to run down every problematic element of the alt-right movement, it should go without saying that the movement’s neo-/quasi-pagan elements, coupled with its infatuation with late-coming racialist ideology, has no place in any socio-political movement worthy of Catholic support. While certain alt-right positions on the economy, immigration, and foreign relations can be finessed with Catholic principles, that does not mean that the alt-right movement itself is in any way, shape, or form Catholic. In fact, the alt-right’s seeming obsession with racial and ethnic differences flies in the face of the Gospel’s universal message while reducing man to the status of a beast. This is not to say there are not distinct cultural differences between peoples as they are currently constituted on the earth, but those differences are temporal, not natural. Slavic culture (to the extent it existed) and Byzantine culture were clearly at odds during the first millennium of Christian history; that began to change substantially after the missionary efforts of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. And in today’s world, clearly Christian culture generally (the extent is still exists) is substantially different from Muslim culture generally, particularly in the Middle East. However, just as Christian missionaries worked and prayed for the conversion of the barbarian tribes in Eastern Europe, so, too, we ought to work and pray for the conversion of those millions of souls beholden to the false religion of Islam so that we may be one people under Jesus Christ our Lord.
With that noted, let me offer three loosely sketched thoughts on where integralism diverges from “alt-right” ideology with the hope that Catholics will see the former, not the latter, as the proper way forward.