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The Year the Alt-Right Went Underground

Accepted submission by aristarchus at 2019-01-02 20:12:31 from the Naked-Mole-Rats-Neo-Nazi-Misogynists-Jordan's-Peter dept.

Wired Magazine [] has an article that some might find interesting.

I was at what should have been a farmers’ market in Berkeley, California, last year [] when a throng of black-clad antifascists tried to scrap it out with far-right ralliers in the middle of a park named after Martin Luther King Jr. I watched scrawny college students get pummeled by hulking, be-swastika-ed ex-soldiers and ex-law enforcement officers in motorcycle gear. The antifascists’ one reprisal was setting off a homemade smoke bomb, which promptly blew back into their own faces, drawing raucous jeering from the white supremacists. It was as close to a war zone as I ever hope to be, and it was unequivocally a win for the racists.

But then,

It was easy to imagine the Bay Area becoming an extremist battleground—each weekend an opportunity for the next rally turned riot.

That vision has not come to pass. In the long arc of American racism, 2017 saw a sudden spike in visibility, but it was not the beginning of a new era in which people routinely walk the streets advertising their white supremacy. This year has brought the opposite trend: 2018 has been a year of pushing the alt-right and other white nationalist groups back underground, and punishing them for misdeeds committed during their brief moment in the sun. That’s a testament to the strength of the backlash against 2017’s naked racism, and evidence of how costly being openly racist has become—especially on the internet, where it has doomed entire social media platforms [] to obscurity. This must be counted as a good thing.

Goebbels said, allegedly, "Even if we lose we will win, because our enemies have adopted our methods." Looks like the alt-right is losing.

Regardless of what scaremonger reporters might espouse, the alt-right, as we have come to know it over the last two years, has failed—as extremism researchers always knew it would []. But in its place has come something shadowier and far older: an underground white supremacist movement operating on society’s fringes, and a culture that disavows the racists while quietly mainstreaming their ideas.

So here's the point:

The issue, though, is that while there’s satisfaction and schadenfreude in watching these public flounderings, the alt-right doesn’t have to be visible to succeed []. In fact, going underground is a return to the status quo for American white supremacy.

Original Submission