At this point, it is safe to say the “alt-right” is in a period of extreme decline. The term “alt-right,” short for “alternative right,” started to be applied to the growing movement when Spencer developed a webzine in 2010 using the term to link up various strains of pseudo-intellectual far-right nationalist ideologies with which he was mingling. White nationalists of various stripes became the center of his movement, and over the next five years, they worked hard to create an intellectual foundation and narrative structure they could use to argue for open fascism: white identity meets human inequality.
By 2015, their rhetoric was picked up by the angry trollosphere, where it transformed into a world of memes, harassment and multimedia content — all while they struggled to move from the virtual world of message boards into street action. The high point of this rise was Trump’s election, but since then, even their more relatively “moderate” counterparts have abandoned them and every project they launch has seemed to fail.
This is not an unusual story for white nationalism in the US. Strong personalities mixed with instability and inadequate know-how has created a series of catastrophic disasters for organizations focused on building a “white ethnostate,” and we have watched groups, from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to the Aryan Nations, burn out in violent spectacles. The most common narrative that media outlets have picked up on is that it is the ineptitude of the racists themselves that has collapsed their movements, and reporters often stereotype them as poor and ignorant “rednecks” against actual demographic information about these movements. While the white nationalist ability for self-sabotage can be impressive, it misses the most critical factor in the story of every white supremacist loss: They failed because of effective anti-fascist organizing.
—Shane Burley, The fall of the “alt-right” came from anti-fascism