John Derbyshire writes: I submit that a better candidate for the Emmanuel Goldstein role is Richard Spencer.
No, Richard was never a liberal leader either; nor even a liberal. He is, though, articulate, well-educated and well-read. In that sense he is a traitor to his class — the intellectual class. There’s the element of treachery.
This comes out very well in the article on Richard in the current issue of The Atlantic. (In which article, by the way, your humble diarist has a walk-on part, paragraph ten.) The article is by Graeme Wood, who was a highschool classmate of Richard’s in late-1990s Dallas.
Wood is a conventionally unimaginative liberal who seeds his piece with an appropriate number of virtue signals — gasping in horror, for instance, at the notion that "East Asians are slightly smarter than whites, who are in turn much smarter than blacks," as if this were not a plain fact in the world known to every person not blinded by ideology. Still, he’s a pretty good reporter, and gives a fairer picture of Richard than is usual in mainstream-media outlets.
That’s a low bar, though. While an antifa thug would probably think Wood’s piece insufficiently hostile, Wood makes it clear he is writing about an Enemy of the State.
That’s Richard’s status now. The antifa bullies are out to make his life as difficult as possible, and there is no significant institution in our society with the guts to stand up to them. At age 39, Richard is utterly unemployable. Given the unavoidable incidence of lunatics in a population of one-third of a billion, he is also at risk of serious harm.
And his Emmanuel Goldstein status is entirely ideological. Richard has broken no laws or
windows; nor has he incited others to do those things. He wishes for white gentiles to have a homeland of their own, that’s all. You can agree with that or disagree, but it doesn’t pick your pocket or break your leg. So far as I’m aware, he doesn’t wish harm to anyone.
An antifa would say: "Open discussion of those ideas might bring about a rebirth of fascism." I suppose it might. Open discussion of Marx’s and Lenin’s ideas might bring about a rebirth of militant communism, leading to the kinds of horrors that were engulfing Cambodia forty years ago. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow; and mighty oaks can be a mighty nuisance. That is not, however, a case against tolerating acorns.