By Philip Francis
Together with Paul Gottfried, Richard Spencer is one of the founders of the Alternative Right – this being a loose coalition of non-leftists, brought together by a common dislike of the cultural left, and by a common hatred from the cultural left. How much he did to assist the election of Donald Trump last month I leave to the historians, though I suspect his help was considerable. For obvious reasons, he is unusually hated by the cultural left.
In writing this article, I could play safe and emphasise how little I agree with Richard. He does, after all, view the world through very racial eyes. He even wants to break up the United States, making its north-west into a white ethno-state. For the record, I have no opinion regarding the dissolution of the United States along racial lines, but would fiercely resist similar calls for the dissolution of my own country. It would, however, be dishonest to play entirely safe. I first met Richard in 2008, at the third conference, held in Bodrum, of the Property and Freedom Society. We next met in London in 2012, and there again in 2013. He has republished me a few times. We have occasionally corresponded. This may or may not make us friends. But it does allow me to say that I have always found him both approachable and charming. I do not recognise in the man I know the monster frequently described by his opponents.
Even so, he is hated by the cultural leftists, and they see no distinction between political debate and personal attacks. He is himself fireproof. He lives in a country where political censorship is not formally allowed. He has no job from which he can be hounded. He has long been excluded from every media outlet that is open to being scared. As for actual debate, the leftists are astonishingly shy when it comes to entering any forum in which they might be asked to provide a rational exposition and defence of what they claim to believe. Therefore Richard felt safe to plug away, all through the Presidential campaign in America, saying exactly what he believed to anyone who would listen. I repeat, its effect may have been considerable.
But, if he is fireproof, his mother is not. Mrs Spencer owns commercial premises in Whitefish, Montana. She built these with her own money, and is the sole owner. On the 22nd November this year, she claims that she was approached by Tanya Gersh, a local estate agent, and told that, unless she sold her building, and donated some of the proceeds of sale to the Montana Human Rights Network, two hundred demonstrators would turn up outside, and reduce its sale value.