One of the weird aspects of liberal democracy is that the state takes every opportunity to celebrate itself. Every public event has rituals before the event where members of the state are marched out to be cheered by the crowd. Sporting events have a weird North Korean vibe to them. July 4th has always been a chance for the office holders to celebrate themselves. This year, the F.B.I. decided to hold a parade in the city of Philadelphia to let us know they are always on the job.
Patriot Front is the latest carnival act to get a chance to perform on the big stage of democracy, at the direction of the usual suspects. They are based in Texas, but decided to hold a parade in Philadelphia over the long weekend. Allegedly, they got a permit from the city, but their event looked ad hoc. They showed up, danced around just long enough to get media attention and a reaction from locals. Then they got back in their vehicles and headed for parts unknown.
Some will no doubt say it is unfair to assume these guys are just another honeypot cooked up by the secret police, but that is the way to bet these days. The Oath Keepers are looking like they were created by the secret police a decade ago. This exhaustive deep dive by Darren Beatty into the origins of the group and the dodgy nature of the founder should cause everyone to rethink the authenticity of these groups. The best you can say about any of them is they are led by unstable people.
The Oath Keepers are not an outlier. The Proud Boys, which was started by Gavin McInnes, went from goofy fan club to paramilitary operation. Instead of drinking beer and celebrating western chauvinism, they were rolling around in the dirt with Antifa and other state-sponsored extremist groups. It turns out that the guy who took over the group was a “serial informer” for the secret police. This is pattern with these groups that goes back a very long way. It is the default position.
The essential tool of all secret police operations is to use unstable informers to infiltrate the target group. The reason this works is outsider politics tends to attract people just looking for a home, many of whom are unstable. Go to a Libertarian Party event and it feels like the day room of a local insane asylum. One of the results is people organizing outside the system will encounter a lot of crazies. They get used to seeing them, so the one that is actually an informer slips through.
A good example of how this works is the Bolsheviks. A fellow named Roman Malinovsky was a prominent Bolshevik before the revolution. He was also an agent of the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police. He was able to become close friends with Lenin and Stalin, two highly paranoid and suspicious men. Malinovsky even setup Stalin so he could be arrested at a social event. He was so good at his work that even when everyone was in jail but him, they still did not think he was a spy.
Malinovsky was always the most enthusiastic supporter of the cause. This is what won him notice from Bolshevik leaders. He was a guy who never deviated from the party line, however it was being expressed by the leaders. It was why Lenin could not accept that he was a spy, even when the evidence was clear. It is always hard to distrust the guy who is your most loyal supporter. Eventually he was betrayed by his ex-mistress and the Bolsheviks had him killed.
Another reason the secret police find it easy to infiltrate outsider groups, especially those claiming to be on the Right, is that they are usually run by stupid people who never learn from the past. Look at this Patriot Front outfit. The “flag and costume” act has been a failure in America going back to George Lincoln Rockwell. The general public find it weird and off-putting. The only thing these antics do is isolate the group from normal society, making them easy targets.
What did the Patriot Front people think they were doing? They already managed to get themselves put on the terror watchlist. If they were hoping for attention by the Feds, they need not worry. Was anyone in Philly going to be impressed with this stunt and say to themselves, “You know, I think I may consider becoming a fascist”? Was this event going to bring them positive coverage from the media? As Jason Köhne noted, the only thing it did was drag young men further into the abyss.
Politics in a liberal democracy is a drama run by the ruling class. Think of it as a big stage on which politics is acted out for the masses. In America, this means the Left opens the show by demanding action against some threat to “our democracy” or demanding action to defend a victim group. Their fluffers go into the crowd to get the audience excited for the next drama. The actors perform the familiar story, sometimes combining the two into a single story.
At this point, the so-called conservatives waddle onto the stage in their comfort-fit chinos and golf shirts. They dismiss the claims of the Left, either claiming they are exaggerating or that the issue is just not important. The crowd is encouraged to boo and hiss at them, which causes their knees to shake. Before long, some of them break ranks and join the Left in jeering at their old colleagues. The crowd keeps booing and the conservative are eventually run off the stage.
Every once in a while, for reasons science has yet to explain, the conservatives do not start to shiver and quake. They hold their ground. This is when the the spotlight illuminates the right side of the stage and we see the Hitler outfit. Over the sound system comes, “Who in the crowd will perform this vital role?” Sure enough, some idiot from a group fond of weird flags runs up on stage, dons the costume and begins to strut around on stage as the crowd throws rotten vegetables.
This is what the Patriot Front did over the weekend. They also took credit for defacing the statue of the blessed George Floyd, peace be upon him. These guys are performing a vital role in the political drama. This is why the Feds are endlessly trying to coopt and create groups that will perform this role. It turns out that the supply of idiots willing to do this without prompting can never meet demand. The secret police make sure the supply is always there so the show can keep staggering on.
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