But with some historical distance, and after Mr. Manson’s death on Sunday at age 83, we can see that the simplistic counterculture dichotomy of “freaks” versus “squares” caused people to lump Mr. Manson in with the freaks (for he certainly wasn’t a square). Apart from the long hair and the casual sex, however, Mr. Manson, who spent much of his life in prison with a swastika carved into his head, had more in common ideologically with far-right groups like the John Birch Society than he did with the anarchic leftism of, say, the Yippies.

Mr. Manson was not the end point of the counterculture. If anything, he was a backlash against the civil rights movement and a harbinger of white supremacist race warriors like Dylann Roof, the lunatic fringe of the alt-right.