This article examines the rise of the alt-right and Donald Trump’s successful campaign for president of the United States in the context of three overlapping contradictions: that of subversion in postmodern culture and politics, that between the democratic and commercial logics of the media, and that of the failure of the Left in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The article looks at the rise of “Trumpism” and the new brand of white nationalist and misogynistic culture of the so-called alt-right in its historical context to show how it is consistent with but also distinguished from previous right-wing ideologies. More generally, the three contradictions presented here are proposed as explanations for understanding the mainstreaming of the alt-right in contemporary politics and culture.

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