Fame – more than art, more than religion, more than money – motivated Manson as he careened from prison, to musician, to murder. In his way, he was an early adopter of something that permeates American culture today.
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.
Charles Manson became an infamous symbol of the dark side in the summer of love — and helped to stunt progressive policies for decades to come.