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Abstract

The Capitol Insurrection, widely condemned as anti-democratic, was an attempt to “stop the steal” of what was claimed to be a fraudulent election. It was composed not of white supremacists and traditional neo-Nazi groups but of a miscellany of actors and groups supporting Donald Trump. This article centers the founder of one of these groups, Gavin McInnes of the Proud Boys, to define a new, discrete subculture in the contemporary American right: the Alt-Light. The term seeks distance from traditional right-wing extremisms, such as white nationalisms, the Klan, and neo-Nazi organizations, revolving instead around western “culture.” This article takes a dramaturgical approach to study lawsuits and videocasts by McInnes, centering transgression and style to think about the Alt-Light as a 21st century, American performance, bounded by white supremacy on one side and “establishment” conservatism on the other.

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