In the weeks after the controversial “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, a lot of attention has been drawn to an individual named Christopher Cantwell, who has since been arrested. However, a major question that many people have is “Who is Christopher Cantwell?” Unlike Richard Spencer or David Duke, he was previously not a well-known fixture within the alt-right. However, Cantwell is intimately familiar to those of us who were formerly involved with the liberty movement.
Cantwell grew up in Stony Brook, New York, before moving to Keene, New Hampshire to join the Free State Project, an attempt to influence state politics through a mass influx of libertarians into sparsely populated New Hampshire. There, he attempted to play a leading role in a growing community of like-minded anarcho-capitalists. He made his first television debut on the Stephen Colbert Show, where he was depicted as a modern-day Robin Hood, filling up parking meters for drivers and confronting meter maids.
However, as time went by, Cantwell become more closely associated with the alt-right. It started when he became involved with a faction of libertarianism called the “brutalists”, who combined free market values with a socially Darwinian outlook. Eventually, he began to read the works of philosopher Hans Herman-Hoppe, as well as the history of Chile under the rule of General Augusto Pinochet. As a consequence, he adopted a much more hostile outlook towards his left-wing opponents. When Donald Trump ran for President, Cantwell was quick to get behind his candidacy, although he has since disavowed Trump for marrying off his daughter to a Jew.
Today, Cantwell identifies as a fully fledged white nationalist, although he has retained many of his free market positions, conflicting with others in the alt-right who favor state involvement with the economy. Until his arrest, he hosted the podcast ‘Radical Agenda’, which discussed his vision for a fusion of white identitarianism with economic libertarianism. Although Cantwell may be behind bars for now, this will certainly not be the last time he dominates headlines.