At this point, everyone who is anyone has chimed in with a misinformed hot take on the riot in Charlottesville. I’ve done my share on Gab about it, but I thought a full post was a better way to make myself clear on the subject. A feature of outsider politics is that every event requires a response. It becomes a way for everyone to position themselves in relation to everyone else. For instance RamZPaul is out reminding everyone that he does not like Richard Spencer, using Charlottesville as a jumping off point.
Having had some time to think about my own range of responses over the last 48 hours or so, I think the most important take away is that a whole lot of people who never heard of the alt-right, now know there is another team on the field. We forget that most people don’t know Antifa from Auntie May. Over the last 48 hours a lot of normal people are looking up these groups they see on TV. Despite the media barrage, most normal people are repulsed by these left-wing groups.
That said, you can be sure that many of the CivNats and Buckley Cons were rushing to their nearest liberal and begging them for forgiveness. Poor old Gavin McInnes wore himself out telling his friends on the Left that his PoofBerry group disavowed everyone they were told to disavow. Obviously I enjoy mocking this more than I should, but he has a big audience. He and the other accommodationist types have a lot of influence and they are using this to fund raise and hurt our thing.
You learn more from failure than success, but success does offer lessons. The Friday night torch light march into the park was a smashing success. It was clever and original. It also showed a high level of discipline. That was the sort of thing that you do when you know the system is willing to use any means necessary to stop you. You get creative and use their weight against them. The cops and politicians did not see it coming so they could not get their goons out of the flophouses to smash it up.
In retrospect, the alt-right should have simply cancelled the Saturday event, leaving the cops to figure out how to blame the inevitable Antifa rioting on the alt-right. That would have left them guessing about the sort of people they are facing. The important thing about the Left is they believe their own bullshit. That’s why they put so much effort into forcing their enemies to play the role designed for them. Outfoxing them and not playing that role is the best psychological weapon that can be deployed.
That’s not what happened and it is a good lesson for our side. The cops lied about their intentions and the politicians lied too. Cops are mostly guys who like pushing people around and they are not giving up that privilege for anything. They would mace a nursery school if their bosses ordered it. In all future dealings with the cops, the underlying assumption must be that the cops are lying. Security needs to be designed with the assumption that the cops are working with the other side.
There’s another lesson. The whole point of the event was to unite all the factions of the Right, including the idiotic Nazi larpers and KKK clowns. I get it. They were there for you from the beginning. Not punching right is a big deal. I get it, but the alt-right needs to understand that these micro groups do vastly more damage to the cause than any benefit gained from unity. The truth of life is you can’t save everyone. Some people get left behind and the Nazi larpers have to be sidelined.
I can hear the objections from some readers, but here’s the question. Do you want to win or do you want to be ideologically pure? If it is the former, it means getting the Chad and Stacy types to come to your side. The middle-aged guy with a mortgage and kids is not rallying to a knucklehead waving a Nazi flag. Pleasing the handful of yesterday men costs tens of thousands of recruits. You can’t win that way. If the alt-right makes ideological purity into a suicide pact, they are done.
There is always someone who will say “the media will call us Nazis anyway, so why worry about it?” This is loser talk. If the media screams “Nazi” and they only have images of clean-cut, well dressed guys being polite and smart, it just reminds everyone that the media is full of liars. If on the other hand the media screams “Nazi” and you’re out waving Nazi flags, the public will believe the media. That’s how it works. Blaming the media for your failure to grasp this reality is just an excuse.
Finally, the main lesson here is that the people in charge are not going to leave the field without a fight. They will fight to the last man. The last few weeks, there has been a whiff of triumphalism on the alt-right, leading up to this event. Listening to Mike Enoch last week, he sounded like he was winning. Richard Spencer was posting his version of the The Port Huron Statement. Charlottesville was a good reminder that we are just at that early days of the great culture war of the 21st century.
I’m fond of saying that it is a long war. This is the long twilight struggle of our people, so learning how to take a punch, even the self-inflicted one, is important. The people organizing and trying to build organizations are not professional organizers. They are learning on the fly, so that means making mistakes. Success counts on the leaders learning from mistakes and the rank and file holding them to it. The leaders need to get better and we need to get better.
Tomorrow, the struggle continues.