The wars that ended the feudal period in Europe started as feudal wars but ended as national wars. Taking the 14th century as the start of the Late Middle Ages, The Hundred Years’ War would be the start of that period. It began as a war between kings, leading armies of conscripts and mercenaries of various ethnicities. By the end, it was a war between two nations, fought by the people of those two nations. It is why most historians point to this as the beginning of the nation-state in Europe.
Similarly, the Thirty Years’ War started as a war of religion, among the smaller states that comprised the Holy Roman Empire. By the end, it was a war fought by nations, carving up central Europe. More important, the defining characteristic of people would not be their king or their religion, but their nation. By the time of Napoleonic, nations were mobilizing their people around love of country, not loyalty to a king. War had evolved to match the new social arrangements.
The point here is that wars eventually reflect the age. At the start of the Great War, the French were still using the cavalry charge. They had their line officers wearing brightly colored uniforms so they were easy to spot. The Maxim gun put an end to those old tactics and by the end of the war, both sides were fully employing the weapons and tactics of the industrial age. The Second World War was the perfection of the lessons learned in the first industrial age war.
It is not a perfect framing, but a useful one, when thinking about the current crisis and the inevitable wars that will come. Ours is the information age, so the wars will be information wars, especially the civil wars. The corruption of the internet by global corporations on behalf of the emerging global elite is an obvious example. The corruption of the registrars by companies like Google is a new type of weapon in the social war in the information age.
That is an important aspect here. Up until recently, the Left had a monopoly on our cultural morality. Labeling someone or something as racist or fascist, was enough to sideline that person or idea. The general public was willing to take their word for it and play along. Now, our rulers find themselves facing a skeptical public. Merely calling someone racist or fascist is not enough. That’s why they are moving on to using the blunt force of raw power against threats to their authority.
It is entirely possible that Anglin reported himself to the registrar of Gab, in order to generate attention for himself. Anglin is a provocateur, which makes him a useful example to understand what is happening. We have an extra-judicial set of entities that can now regulate political speech on-line. The mere fact that these companies can censor speech on-line, based on their whim or in response to pressure brought by the state, is a serious problem for civilized society.
Morally, this is no different than the decision by the Germans to use poison gas in the Great War. Once it was clear that their conventional weapons were not enough, they made the choice to throw off any moral limits to waging war. That is what is going on with the new ruling elite. In America, speech is considered sacred. Everyone alive has grown up hearing the line about giving your life to defend the right of someone to say offensive things in public. The First Amendment is sacred.
Our rulers have decided they must abandon that principle.
The response from the dissidents to the attack on speech by Big Tech, has been an effort to create separate platforms. Gab is an alternative social media platform and others are now in the works. A parallel internet is slowly starting to sprout up with people looking into creating new registrars, new search engines and new funding mechanisms. It is a slow process, and as the attack on Gab shows, one that will be met with escalating attacks from Silicon Valley. We are into a total information war now.
Alt-tech is a defensive response, like the trench was in the Great War. The good guys need weapons to damage the other side’s lines. That will come in time. The old order no longer makes a lot of sense, so it can only be held together by force. The people in charge feel they need to use any means necessary, even if it means squandering what little moral authority they have left. They no longer care if we respect them, just as long as we fear them. They will choose tyranny if that is what it takes.
That is why it is important to not follow guys like Andrew Anglin or Chris Cantwell down the rabbit hole. Anglin is a performer and provocateur. Cantwell is just a sad sack looking for attention and he should never be encouraged. He makes resistance look bad. This is an information war so things like optics, narratives and imagery are the weapons. Defending reckless lunatics and provocateurs just hands the other side ammo if not handled perfectly.
When the Germans moved to the use of gas, it was a sign of weakness. When they unleashed unlimited submarine warfare, it was a sign they were scared. Desperate people reach for any weapon that is handy, regardless of the results. That is our ruling class. They are losing the information war so they seek to reshape the battlefield by shutting off the dissidents from having access to the battlefield. It is a sign of weakness that they are willing to squander their moral authority.