Social movements go through phases, depending upon their scale and success at interrupting the prevailing order. If ten people become convinced that devil worship is critical to the survival of mankind, no one will notice until they start sacrificing goats in public. If ten million people take up this idea, then it is different. The movement has to learn to work within the prevailing order, then learn how to alter the prevailing order by infiltration and coercion. Tactics become as important as ideology.
The alt-right, Identitarianism, new right, or whatever you prefer to call the growing dissenter movement that has grown up the last few years, is reaching a point where the people in charge think something must be done. The sacking by Breitbart of Katie McHugh at the behest of a neocon mob looks like an orchestrated hit. There is a secret mailing list for neocon pundits in the media and all of their known members were immediately on-line celebrating, so the scheme was probably hatched by them.
The neocons are putting enormous pressure on their “friends” at Breitbart to abandon Trump and purge their ranks of anyone outside the orthodoxy. Back in the election, the odious carbuncle John Podhoretz accused Brietbart editor Joel Pollack of not being authentically Jewish due to his Trump support. Imagine members of your church threatening to ex-communicate you over your voting habits. Then there are the threats to staffers and advertisers. If they can’t kill the message, they will kill the messengers.
The point of this is that tactics are important. Katie McHugh is a nobody in the grand scheme of things, but her corpse on the sidewalk sends the same message as the Seth Rich bike rack outside DNC headquarters. As the Chinese say, you kill some chickens to scare the monkeys. You can be sure that people inside Breitbart are now working on their resumes and ready to rat on their friends in order to find a safe landing spot. It is the same tactic the Feds are using to fix the leak problem. Jail a nobody and the somebodies notice.
As they say in the crime business, it is all fun and games until the bodies start to drop on your side. That means the good guys better start to learn how to use the rules to their advantage. They are entering into the phase of the game where tactics matter as much, if not more than, ideology. They’ve picked the fight and now it is time to fight. In the context of this culture war, it means waking up every day thinking about how to ruin someone on the other team. It means turning the weight of the orthodoxy against itself.
For instance, when the mentally disturbed woman harassed Richard Spencer at his gym, he made the blunder of not looking for a way to turn this into a weapon. His first move should have been to call the cops on her. Then he should have insisted on filing a report. Then he should have gone to court seeking a restraining order. In other words, he should have used her enormous weight against her. Even if the court declined to grant him the order, he would have had a great chance to get it, the message would have been sent.
Similarly, the habit of Progs to use campaigns against people in order to cause financial harm should be met with legal action. Tortious interference is when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm. A phony e-mall campaign, that is intended to intimidate a hotel, for example, from hosting a VDare event, is precisely the sort of thing that should be met with a lawsuit. Worst case is you get it out into the open, where the rats can’t hide.
There’s also the use of public accommodation lawsuits. The Left used Title II of the Civil Rights Act to gut free association. A clever lawyer could use the same law that forces your restaurant to serve ISIS sympathizers, to force Facebook into letting the alt-right have their own page. It would be a tough case to make, but it could be made with the right plaintiff. That’s how lawfare works. The point is to de-legitimize the rules and laws, but also to force the other side to live by their own moral code.
These efforts take money, of course, just as the efforts to build up alternative media require funding. That’s where the dissidents are making the most progress. WeSearchr is still trying to find its footing, but it has worked well as a proof of concept for fund raising outside the orthodoxy. The new site Counter.Fund is a very creative idea that could turn out to be a viable alternative to the establishment crowdfunding sites. By being explicitly ideological and open about its business model, it makes supporting it feel important.
Mass movements of any type have certain thresholds they must pass in order to become credible threats to the prevailing orthodoxy. If you’re building a religion, you better be provocative and you have to live off the land, so to speak. If you are building a political party, it is about working the election laws and getting your message out to a broader audience. Put another way, you have to demonstrate tactical savvy and the ability to finance your war against your opponents. Otherwise, people are reluctant to join.
Whatever your preferred term is for the brewing rebellion among the Dirt People, they have weathered the first punch from the Cloud People. The dismissive name calling that was a feature of Progressive commentary, has given way to attacks on the people on the front lines of the fight. The next step is to start going on offense using the rules against the establishment. That means coordination and that means money. There are some good signs so far, but the Dirt People are still a long way from being a credible threat.
Remember, support your local Dirt Person.