High life | 1 December 2016

Thanks to the internet, the numbers who follow Richard Spencer and his like are vastly exaggerated

High life | 1 December 2016
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Richard Spencer made the front page of the New York Times two days in a row last week, and earned a half-page report on the third day. For any of you who have never heard of him — and very few have — he is described by the mendacious Times as the leader of the ‘white nationalist movement’, a movement not too many of us who believe in the white race are aware of.

Let’s start at the beginning. After I ‘sold’ the American Conservative magazine to a man called Uns for one dollar — I have kept the cheque and will cash it only if in terrible need — I invited Richard Spencer to visit me in my New York house where I offered him the job of running my website, Takimag. (He had worked at the magazine but been laid off.) Richard was well-read, a bit vague, nice-looking, well-dressed and well-spoken. Things were hunky-dory until he asked me where the bathroom was. When he returned, he looked a bit pale but told me he was fine. After we’d agreed his salary and the ideology Takimag would espouse — all shades of opinions towards the right — we shook hands and off he went.

At that point one of the maids came down and informed me that my guest had thrown up all over the carpet and simply left the mess for her to clean up. The mother of my children was outraged, and when I defended him by saying that he hadn’t thrown up on purpose, she pointed out that no member of our staff was expected to clean up such a mess. As she was already Orlando Furioso, I withheld the fact that Spencer hadn’t even bothered to tell me about it.

I nevertheless let it go, and Spencer ran Takimag for two years. Circulation stuck at 25,000. This wasn’t good enough and I decided that a change was needed. We parted amicably and he took days to teach my daughter Lolly, who replaced him, all the tricks of the trade. Which was much appreciated. That was in 2009. At the last count our readership was two-and-a-half million, and although we pay our writers, we are close to breaking even. I will let the readers make up their minds on that choice.

Now Spencer is on the front pages of newspapers such as the New York Times because he serves their purpose: scaremongering, the shameless use of double standards, and a deliberate utter lack of proportionality in order to achieve its goal. Which is disseminating the message that the United States is in danger of reverting to Ku Klux Klan times. And, of course, to besmirch Donald Trump as a crypto-fascist who is in reality a white supremacist. The truth is very different. I don’t think that the Donald knows who Spencer is, and believe he has only a vague idea of what the alternative right stands for.

This is an old trick. A more recent development is how the very few who follow Richard Spencer can seem like very many thanks to the internet. A friend who understands these tricks explained it to me, but it was like trying to teach Bill Clinton to keep his mouth shut. I am, after all, a Luddite. It goes something like this: spamming the thread. They post comments that make it look as though thousands have read a certain article, but in reality most have been written by one, two or maybe three people. They just use different names for each comment. Presto! A movement is born.

Now the Times knows this very well. But chooses to use scaremongering to convince its readers that a political movement defined by xenophobia and hate for people who are not white is about to take over the country. Hitler scared the Germans into hating the Jews by painting them as being disloyal to the German state; the New York Times wants to scare Americans into thinking the Ku Klux Klan is on the rise. Elementary, my dear Sulzberger.

Mind you, there are some people who are, shall we say, Spencer followers, people like Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, and Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE.com, and also myself. There are many things Spencer says that I agree with, and a lot that I don’t. But are we about to take over the country with our ideology? Alas, not bloody likely. The New York Times is basically anti-white, anti-Christian and anti-police. It is a newspaper whose major stockholder is Carlos Slim, the Mexican multibillionaire. Does that mean its pro-immigrant stance has been ordered from the top? Nah. But just imagine if Richard Spencer’s movement were financed by a Russian multibillionaire oligarch. The FBI would raid its offices — except that it doesn’t have any — and the media would demand Spencer be arrested and the key thrown away.

As Peter Brimelow said, if the Jews have the anti-defamation league, and the Hispanics La Raza, why can’t whites have an organisation to stop them from being marginalised and beleaguered? The trouble is they don’t. Richard Spencer’s followers are about 300 souls, which in a way makes me laugh. I had 450 people come to my Collapse of Communism celebration at the Savoy 25 years ago — and at a moment’s notice. Stop crying wolf, you old hag.