I sort of felt bad for Richard Spencer after reading this.
In my view, Richard has his flaws and regrets, but they are to a larger extent shared by the wider milieu in which he was immersed. He wasn’t alone in the mistakes he made.
“Ask not what you can do for the movement, but what the movement can do for you.” — Richard Spencer (paraphrased)
I think all of us Richard Spencer observers deduced long ago that the self-described ruler of the world has been pining for a rebrand. Last year, I wrote about him making overtures to the Bernie Left, which were met with cool indifference. He’s been wanting to sell out, the only problem being that no one is interested in buying. I’ve been half-tempted to start a GoFundMe to raise money for a dowry that would be donated to whichever political movement is willing to take him off our hands.
But it appears that with his latest CNN interview with Elle Reeve, Spencer has at last broken up with the Dissident Right — which, in Spencer’s mind, was already cheating on him, anyway. But hey, if there are any niche online political subcultures out there reading this, he’s single!
Before I get into Richard Spencer, let me redpill any newer folks to the Dissident Right on Elle Reeve. This is a bit of lore you need to know before you can really understand this interview’s significance and symbolism. …”
Here’s my perspective:
1. Richard Spencer is a vain narcissist with a huge ego.
You could say the same thing though about MILO and Nick Fuentes though.
2. Richard Spencer’s college tour was a disaster for the Alt-Right.
The Spencer Tour was modeled on the MILO Tour though. There wasn’t anything really unique about the college tour. Conservatives like Ben Shapiro had long been holding these free speech events on campus to play the sympathetic victim and champion of civil liberties and to expose the Left as violent and intolerant. It wasn’t Spencer who came up with the idea. Nick Fuentes has also done it himself. Antifa have shown up to attack and deplatform all rightwing speakers on college campuses.
3. Richard Spencer associated the Alt-Right with ironic Nazism.
It was The Daily Stormer, TRS and 4Chan who did this. There was nothing really unique about Hailgate. It was Mike Enoch who gave the Sieg Heil. The Alt-Right was already thoroughly associated with this stuff thanks to Anglin and Weev and their Stormer troll army which had saturated social media with gas chamber memes during the 2016 election. Spencer pandered to the Nazi trolls.
4. Richard Spencer is an anti-Christian Nietzschean elitist.
Always has been.
He was hardly alone in this respect. It is also a point of agreement that Spencer shares with Counter-Currents. Spencer was heavily influenced by people like Jonathan Bowden. You could say that Richard is vain and arrogant and lacks Christian virtues like humility or temperance or patience or kindness, but this would be in keeping with the philosophy of most elite White Nationalists.
5. Richard Spencer wanted to create a cult of personality.
The cult of personality, however, is the typical form of organization in White Nationalism and it stretches back to the days of George Lincoln Rockwell who admired Adolf Hitler. Donald Trump has a larger and much more successful personality cult and brand which is “owning the libs.”
6. Richard Spencer was comically uninterested in persuading his target audience.
After winning his lawsuit at Auburn, he used the platform he was given to complain about cucks who watch sportsball. Lately, he has focused on winning over the sort of people who watch MSNBC. Would any other White Nationalist leader, however, realistically have chosen not to express his own sense of identity and values and feelings and focused on finding areas of common ground?
7. Richard Spencer felt threatened by rivals who wanted to knock him off his pedestal.
The most obvious example is Jason Kessler who has said as much in court. It was Kessler who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and who got that ball rolling. Unite the Right was going to happen anyway with or without Spencer. This is a perennial problem in White Nationalism which is a low-trust and low-solidarity social movement.
8. Richard Spencer regrets slumming with people like Azzmador.
This was one of the most genuinely funny and honest moments in the interview. Who among us does not regret “uniting” with people like Andrew Anglin, Azzmador and Weev?
9. Richard Spencer regrets attending the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville?
Knowing what we know now, who doesn’t regret traveling all the way to Charlottesville, VA to attend a free speech rally and to make a bold, but ill conceived stand for liberal norms there?
10. Richard Spencer is addicted to seeing his own name in the media.
Richard Spencer is far from alone in this respect though. White Nationalist leaders have been afflicted with a debilitating condition called newspaperitis – an addiction to seeing their name in the newspaper – since the days of George Lincoln Rockwell. Baked Alaska was so addicted to chasing content that he ran into the Capitol on January 6th. Nick Fuentes thought it was epic.
11. Richard Spencer is a goon marcher.
The people who felt the strongest about this, however, were the same people who encouraged their followers to take to the streets and to join forces with Trump and Alex Jones at the Capitol Siege. They participated in the biggest goon march in history and got the president impeached.
12. Richard Spencer has said embarrassing things that are unoptical.
I tend to disagree with this assessment.
In this case, you have to grade Richard on a curve.
If you put any other White Nationalist or Alt-Right leader in front of a camera, I think they would be more prone to embarrassing themselves and the rest of us by extension. MILO was a flamboyant homosexual who dressed in drag and married his black husband. Nick Fuentes has been on a roll lately.
13. Richard Spencer wants to find another gig.
I can’t say that I blame him.
I don’t envy anyone who would try to lead the White Nationalist movement. There is a reason why no one wants that job. You would probably have to be a delusional narcissist to take it too and believe that somehow you can organize these people, bend them to your will and change the world.
14. Richard Spencer hates conservatives.
In retrospect, it would have been easy for Richard Spencer to sell out and play the role that the GOP wanted him to play in 2017. He could have become just another MAGA grifter and Trump cheerleader. For all Richard’s flaws, he stuck to what he believed in and never sold out to the GOP. So they replaced him with Nick Fuentes and America First who instructed his followers to eat fast food, play video games, hate women, reject White Nationalism as cringe and vote for Trump.
15. Richard Spencer is an Apollonian.
Is there anything more White Nationalist and more self-marginalizing though than trying to create your own racial religion? Brush up on your movement history. He isn’t the first.
The Alt-Right has moved on from Richard Spencer. It has moved on to a 23-year-old closeted “Latinx” conservative who is also a narcissist and the leader of an army of incels. Perhaps the next generation of White Nationalists will give up on the ethnostate and “politics in the grand style” and just stick to gay porn, catboys and video games?