I’m fond of saying, we learn more from failure than success. Anyone who has been fired from a job or had a career set back learns this lesson. In addition to learning what not to do, you learn something about yourself and your ability to handle adversity. Coming home without a job means re-evaluating everything about your life. Nothing focuses the mind quite like the thought of homelessness. On the other hand, once you get through it, you discover that you are more resilient and resourceful than you previously knew.
That’s something Richard Spencer and the people associated with him should keep in mind as they figure out where to go now. The story arc of the alt-right, at least this chapter, is coming to a close. The decision by GoDaddy to confiscate his domain, at the urging of a coven of black women, is the final insult. The symbolism of this was not lost on Spencer’s former allies. The always classy Jared Taylor mentioned it last week and Greg Johnson jumped on it as well. The alt-right is at rock bottom right now, without a lot of friends.
The good news for the alt-right is their basic message still resonates with their target audience, so they can have a second act. The fact is, the alt-right was always just a younger, more explicit iteration of paleoconservatism. Those old guys operated in a world that had always been more than 80% white, so they took that as a given. The younger generation is fully aware of current demographics and where it is heading. Otherwise, the foundation of paleoconservatism and the alt-right are the same – race realism.
That’s another bit of irony. The alt-right may be finished, but the reality of race and identity is blossoming. Everyday more and more people take note of what’s happening in the country and in the culture. The Left has done us a huge favor by making miscegenation their preferred method of selling product. Millions of middle-class white fathers have suddenly found it necessary to have the talk with their kids, particularly their teenage daughters. In the end, our best asset may be the triumphalism of our enemies.
That means the demise of the alt-right probably makes very little difference. Whatever aspirations Richard Spencer had for his movement, it never could get beyond being a pithy marketing label. Whether it was timing, the changing political landscape or his own shortcomings as an organizer, it never moved from internet aesthetic to a real world organization. The berserk black ladies, who got his domain seized, may have done us all a favor by killing off something that should have died after the 2016 election.
That does not mean the alt-right cannot come back, after a hiatus and refit. History is full of political movements that sputtered and coughed in the early going, only to emerge as a real force. Again, we learn more from failure than success. On the other hand, other organizations can learn from the failure of the alt-right and avoid making the same mistakes. The people behind Identity Evropa seemed to have gone to school on the failure of the alt-right. Sometimes, the best you can be is a warning for others.
As far as Spencer, his career is in a ditch at the moment. Everyone is lining up to kick him while he is down, which is unfortunate. Whatever his failings, it took a lot of courage to be the face of the alt-right. He is someone who has always had plenty of attractive options in his life. He could just as easily been a college professor or magazine writer. He did not have to make himself the face of an identity movement. Yeah, he has less to lose than a guy with a mortgage and a career, but he had better options too.
Fitzgerald wrote “There are no second acts in American lives” but he was completely wrong about that. America is the land of second and third acts. A man with talent and tenacity can overcome a lot of failures and wrong turns. Richard Spencer has a ton of talent and personal charisma. He is still young, so he has time to pick himself up, dust himself off and begin his second act. GoDaddy confiscating his intellectual property may have been a glessing. He’s now free to begin creating something new.
That’s the thing people need to come to terms with in this age of upheaval. These movements that spring up are just pieces on the game board. The great battle is between the old thinking of egalitarianism and the new thinking of biological realism. The movements that spring from these two tectonic forces are temporary manifestations. A group like Black Lives Matter will have a run and then implode. The alt-right has had its run and has dissolved. Something new will replace it and new people will lead it.