In a very, very large part, the modern Alt Right is a reaction to identity politics. Identity politics is where groups will seek to create a unified set of political doctrines based on one or multiple ways in which they view themselves. This includes Feminism, Black Rights, the LGBT, but also includes Military Veterans groups, and other such political activity groups built around status and advocate for change based on one unified stance on what is good for their whole group.
Where the Alt Right took issue with identity politics was that various Left leaning political action groups channeled resentment towards other identity groups they identified as oppressors, converging most often on white males. Essentially, in Left leaning circles including many Liberal cities, academia, and the media, it became normalized to casually mock white people and men, or universally hold them responsible for broad and generalized problems in society, as if these weren’t patently racist and sexist arguments. This became commonplace in Liberal circles for such identity groups to feel free to say hateful and disparaging things towards men, whites, straight people, or Christians, as they were perceived as having systemic privilege enough that such attacks were warranted and culturally encouraged. This became center stage not long before the time of this writing with the Google Memo by an engineer who spoke about the culture of Google being openly toxic to men, and his subsequent firing from the company. While obviously sexist and racist behaviors, the activists and those who agreed with them were justified as it was believed a person could not practice racism or sexism, or other such behaviors because they systematically lacked power due to the oppression of these groups, and therefore could not act on the resentment they held, even when what they were saying and doing would never be acceptable if the roles were reversed.
One case in point ––
This “punching up”, left many whites and men, as well as the others feeling frustrated and without representation, as if the act of representing themselves itself was a criminal offense, since their privilege nullified their arguments. This angered many, but rather than abandoning or arguing against the concept of identity politics, many took the natural reaction to form identity groups themselves. Feeling unable to of doing so outside of the public debates, they did so in close off online circles where they networked with others. The argument was that if you need to form identity activism groups to defend your rights, then whites, men, and others needed to form them too. To quote one Alt Right leader, Jared Taylor “white identity” in particular as defined as “a recognition by whites that they have interests in common that must be defended. All other racial groups take this for granted, that it’s necessary to band together along racial lines to work together for common interests.”