Throwing Sand in the Gears

One the features of the modern age, something most people think is a good thing, is that armed rebellion is no longer practical, even for the most disaffected. If you were a young man in Serbia just before the Great War, armed revolt was all that was on your mind. If you were a young man in Germany at that time, you may have grown up hearing stories about how your grandfather fought in the 1848 revolution.

Today, a young man would know organized violence only if he was in a street gang, the army or maybe the police. Terrorism is something we experience, but only through our televisions. If you live in the West, the odds that you will experience a terrorist attack are astoundingly low. If you look up some of the stats and do a bit of math, falling off a ladder or drowning in a bathtub are far more likely than being a victim or terrorism.

Part of this drop in political violence is prosperity. Mexico, a poor country by modern standards, leads the world in obesity. It’s hard to ¡Viva la revolución! when your hands are full of churros. I grew up in real poverty, but today’s poverty means basic cable and the low end iPhone, a condition the poor used to think was beyond their grasp. Prosperity, it turns out, is the best weapon against the revolutionary.

That does not mean people are happy with the current arrangements. The political ructions we see all over the West are not without cause. Lots of people are unhappy with their government so they are trying to elect people that promise to change things. UKIP in Britain, AfD in Germany, Trump in America, the Real Fins and so forth are essentially just protests. Supporters look past their eccentricities because they are trying to make a point to the legitimate parties.

There’s also the fact that armed revolts tend not to work. Americans, for example, are not looking to overthrow representative democracy or the Constitutional order. If anything, they want to restore those things. Therefore, burning down the capital and hanging the politicians are not on the menu. Middle-class people in middle-class countries prefer other ways to force change on their political classes.

Of course, there’s also the fact that the custodial state is pretty good at tamping down trouble now. If a public figure gets too aggressive in his vitriol, then he is accused of being Hitler or his private affairs are made public. Maybe some of his professional failures are brought to light. In a mass media culture, it’s pretty easy to find something to use against someone in order to diminish them in the eyes of the public.

Manufactured campaigns are regularly orchestrated against public figures in order to shame them into compliance. In authoritarian hellholes like Canada, they put comics on trial for telling the wrong jokes. That sends a powerful message to anyone who has thoughts about rocking the boat or organizing resistance to the ruling order. Long before a revolutionary leader could get going, he will be shamed off the public stage.

My bet is the assault on Trump, for example, is just getting started. If you look at National Review, it has given itself over completely to spreading every crackpot smear about Trump imaginable. By summer, the party media organs will be talking about Trump as if he was a current a slave holder and member of the Aryan Brotherhood. They are trying to ostracize the man, by ruining his name.

It strikes me that protest is going to have to change in order to be effective in the custodial state. The tools of the state are simply too effective at disrupting anything that resembles armed rebellion. Protest candidates and protest parties are increasingly walled off from having an impact on elections. Fear of being ostracized puts anyone with something to lose on the sidelines.

Revolt in the custodial state, I suspect, will be a loosely organized disruption. The Black Lives Matters is a good example of things to come. They show up and make a nuisance of themselves at some managerial class venue, then leave. They don’t do enough to get arrested and they do their act in such a way that the “name and shame” response is pointless.

Now, Black Lives Matter is stupid and pointless, but the tactic is useful. What’s to stop the Christian working at the courthouse from “accidentally” slowing down the process of issuing marriage licenses to gays? What about people systematically lying on government forms? In isolation, these things mean nothing, but cumulatively they can cause all sorts of headaches for the people in charge.

There’s also the fact that in a mass media culture, things like Black Lives Matter get massive coverage. This invites imitation. When idiotic things like “planking” can catch on in days due to the lubricant of mass media, imagine how cool forms of protest can sprout up and create mayhem. As Steve Sailer points out, the Million Muslim March into Europe is just a big flash mob.

My thinking here is that the custodial state is relying on tools that can just as easily be used against it. The massive bureaucracies needed to manage the inmates are vulnerable to some idiot throwing sand in the gears. The mass media tools used to nudge the population can just as easily be used to encourage ad hoc idiots throwing sand in the gears.

This is not a fully developed idea, but I’m wondering if the current ructions may be due to the inherit instability of the custodial state. Maybe the reason Europe, for example, is not shutting off the flow of migrants is they can’t shut it off. Maybe the reason the main parties are under assault is they can no longer respond to their voters. The feedback loop is broken so the public is migrating to outsiders.

To wrap this up, the custodial state may be good at walling off traditional forms of protest, but it is also good at fostering the sort of protests to which it is most vulnerable. These are the low-tech forms of hooliganism that bedeviled the Soviets but updated to the mass media age. A million white guys ticking the box for “Afro-American Female” is both fun and subversive.

If a million Muslims with iPhones can bring down Europe, imagine what a million smart guys can do when they have time and a full spectrum understanding of how it all works.

35 thoughts on “Throwing Sand in the Gears

  1. Protest candidates and protest parties are increasingly walled off from having an impact on elections.

    That feels a little out of place given the campaigns of Trump and Sanders. They have kinda sorta antecedents in Buchanan, Nader, Perot, and Ron Paul but both of these current protest candidates are wreaking far more havoc than any of those four did.

    You allude to the reason why–the tools a lot of smart dirt people are utilizing to fight back. Pro-Trump and pro-Sanders Twittery is beating the hell out of the organized media, both parties, all the moneyed interests, etc.

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  3. Baby Boomers can barely hold the system together while stabbing their fingers at the keyboard and just wanting to finally retire and start thinking about how to continue avoiding doing the things they have been wanting to do for the last 30 years. Generation X will lose the plot when they are in charge. They have been the red-haired step-child of the new century and dammit they are going to make people notice them. I predict a pissing contest between them that will descend into chaos. Gonna be great viewing!

  4. Part of the problem I believe can be attributed to Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    We may elect different politicians, but the control levers those new leaders are pulling are no longer connected to anything. The various Departments and Agencies seem to do as they please without fear of oversight or firings from the legislative or executive branches. The bureaucrats seem to be firmly in control.

  5. Vladimir Bukovsky would approve. That is exactly how he spent his time as a political prisoner. He bedeviled the prison apparatchiks with mischief until they threw him out.

  6. To infer 1-million Muslims can bring down Europe is as unserious as saying 11-million illegals will cause the collapse of the US. America and Europe are not unstable despotic third world countries, they’re stable governments (democratic republics) with solid economies. Theses pillars do not topple so easily under the dernier cri of media sensationalism.

    As for the AfD, it is a joke party with the same chance of influence as the Pirate party. If you check the demographics of where they come from (and are mostly supported) you will find they are primarily from Brandenburg and Lower Saxonly. Hard core old East. Their popularity is limited only to these areas which are the most xenophobic in Germany, and that is only thanks only to media sensationalism. No one in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, or Munich or anywhere else takes them seriously. Keep in mind many in the old East wish the wall was still up, because they simply can’t function in a democracy after so many years of being under communist rule. Getting paid to dig a hole and fill it in is very different from actually producing something.

    To your comment “…imagine what a million smart guys can do when they have time and a full spectrum understanding of how it all works.” You assume they’re intelligent enough in the first place. If they were so smart, their own countries wouldn’t be in the shape they are in now. Just look at the blacks in America; 150-years of freedom, equal rights and affirmative action and they still have the highest murder rates as a people in all of the US. There is a big difference between smart and being intelligent.

    • Million Muslim March just sounds nicer that 4 billion Africans. Current data tells us that over the next 25 years about a billion people currently south of the Mediterranean will try to migrate to Europe. Good luck with that.

      • @ theZman & Kathleen – Using the American example, I can see how one could make the argument that if enough people really wanted to displace an entire native population, impose a new religion, government and language it could be done. The people Americans displaced are still a visible reminder so I suspect there is a sense of looking over ones shoulder.

        A demographic shift may well happen as many say. But in order for that equation to work, it requires a constant unchanging equation. Using their theory of demographics and displacement, one could effectively argue that Israel shouldn’t even exist today on that premise. However the demographers fail to equate change – the biggest variable in the equation.

        Let’s look at what we do know here in Germany. Even our Turkish-German population is not jumping up and down in favor of Islam. They have enjoyed the benefits of the West for a long time and are unlikely to suddenly embrace Islam because of a few extremists. Look back at Iran of the ’70’s. They got a taste of the west and what it was like out from under Islam, even moderate Muslims don’t want to go back.

        Terrorist influence? Okay, let’s look at the numbers. Andreas Lubitz killed 150 passengers and crew by flying straight into a mountain, which is nearly equal to the number killed by terrorist attacked in Europe during 2015. But no one has stopped flying. And just for some sobering statistics, 12,000 Europeans were killed in car accidents during 2012, and people are still driving. Attacks happen, and people die all the time. No one is promoting anarchy just yet.

        Back to those billions. First they have to get here, and that too requires another constant, that every one of them wants to come here. So ask yourself why haven’t more Mexicans flooded into America? If immigration is so easy (billions from Africa, millions from Mexico) then on that premise Mexicans should have zero problem massing the borders of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California which are exponentially easier to get to, especially when Mexico promotes illegal migration into the US. And even if they did mass migrate I seriously doubt the US Border Patrol and National Guard would open fire on tens of thousands of unarmed men, women and children any more than the Hungarians or Austrians.

        The fact is, millions of Mexicans haven’t massed on your borders and I suspect many of them have smart phones too. One reason is the simple fact that not everyone wants to leave home. How many blacks in Detroit or Baltimore or Pittsburg have packed up and headed to safer cities elsewhere in the US? It would seem simple enough especially for American citizens to migrate from one state to another within their own country.

        There are too many variables to guarantee the demographers are correct. Odds are good they use the same computer software models as the climate scientists. But I suppose time will tell.

        • @Karl,

          Demographics does not require majorities. In California, the state was very white, German and Irish, for most of its history. It voted like a middle-class European society as a result. Then Mexico began to empty out into California. By 1990, the state was 25% Hispanic and started to vote like a South American country. By 2000, whites were a slim majority, but the state was full on banana republic.

          Well organized ethnic minorities can punch well above their weight.

          • @ theZman – I thought California had the largest and most diverse economy in the US. It is in decline? And if so, is this in spite of or because of the growing Mexican population? Just curious if there is a correlation between demographics and individual state economics or just poor politics and governance.

          • @Karl,

            California is an interesting combination of statist decline and demographic collapse. The state’s economy has been in decline for a long while, despite the boom in the tech sector. The white middle class is fleeing to neighboring states. The California state pension system is insolvent. The state government is technically bankrupt. When you have to pay vendors with IOU’s, you’re just delaying the inevitable.

            Is it the flood of Mexicans? Probably not, but Hispanics vote for socialism in big numbers so they tipped the political balance toward the aging hippies who now control the state. The state Republican Party bet that if they embraced immigration, they could benefit, but that did not happen. By the time they figured it out, the math was against them and they managed to make things worse. The result was a one party state, for all practical purposes.

            The problem for liberal western style democracy is it does not work very well with identity politics. But, tribal/clannish politics is the norm in most of the world, which is why we are fools to invite in highly clannish ethnic groups, at least in large numbers.

          • Mexicans, are an unassuming and disorganized minority. It’s the Progs who organize them into bad choices. Sans unassuming, it is the same for blacks; they couldn’t drop an oar in the lock without the direction of our tireless social planners and under the umbrella of their protection.

        • I love your comments Karl, but you are wide of the target here. The situation is that democracy will eventually fal, and while it may not be either a “good thing” or a “bad thing” it cannot be sustained by people who will merely choose their ethnic group and religion above all else. Indeed, the newly arrived ‘docile’ muslims may go along with keeping a low profile or a la Cologne, do other things. Gradually they either infiltrate the popular parties (Camoron proudly saying that in his lifetime we will have a muslim PM in the UK) or start their own parties. Pretty easy to do. When they are getting bloc votes they start wielding power, and power means laws. Muslims don’t like dogs? How about a ban on dog ownership? Muslims think the earth is flat? How about teaching that in all schools?

          Of course democracy doesn’t collapse overnight, but twenty years on we have a different picture. The birthrate of immigrants is greater than the existing peoples. Sure, it may decline as Fatima gets to like dancing the night away instead of staying home while Ahmed loves going to the pub, but don’t count on it. “We will outbreed you” is an openly stated plan.

          Yes, of course some would-be immigrants will stay home for family or territorial reasons. But many will send someone: grocery stores near me all have the facility for money to be wired out of the country. That means all the benefits and spare monies gathered don’t stay in the UK economy.

          As for blacks, say, leaving Detroit for ‘safer cities’ there is also the fact that they feel as safe in Detroit as anywhere else. In the UK, muslims feel safe enough in places like Leicester, Bradford and even Rotherham. The more those towns and cities change, the more the new owners get to wield power.

          • @ UKer – As with the US, I think the UK has a more intense appreciate for immigration, especially with so many ex-colonials having move back to the “mother” country. Our Turks remain the largest number (1.5 million at last count) with a mix of Poles, Italians, Romanians, etc. making up the remaining minority groups. Ethnic German still remain the solid majority (80%). I just question whether or not every Muslim who has been westernized over the last 60-years or so, will suddenly radicalize just because they become the majority. Islamic radicalization tends to be attractive only to the disenfranchised, just as the NPD is to its pro-Nazi members. But your point is valid. Something to consider.

          • Karl, I am afraid I don’t buy the ‘disenfranchised’ idea. Muslims, because their religion is so important to them, ultimately as an expression of faith have to go along with what they are told. If my local vicar says we should all do this then the words have little effect on society, but an Imam says something, the whole packed mosque sits up and takes note.

            The greatest threat to miscreants in one place I lived in which there were hundreds of muslims was that you would not tell the police or even parents. You told the wrong doer that you would tell the Imam, and that would bring them to heel very quickly.

            Unsurprisingly it works the other way too.

    • Karl Horst, you shouldn’t be so sanguine about the Moslem situation in Europe. It is one of Islam’s goals to change Europe to Eurabia. Even if they weren’t planning on lifting a hand in violence, they will eventually accomplish this through demographics alone. They have many children, most Europeans have 1 or 2, if they even choose to reproduce. And then there is the never-ending immigration to Europe from countries hostile to Western Civilization, encouraged and/or allowed by your quisling political “leaders”. And it really is just whistling past the graveyard to believe that this transition is going to happen peacefully. Islam’s history consists of 1400 years of violence to subsume other cultures. Why do you imagine they have any intention of changing? Read the following piece by Matt Bracken, which lays out a case for why the Moslem invasion of Europe is taking place, and what that might portend for Europe.

      • @ Kathleen – Thank you for the reference and link. While there may be some points, it’s unlikely Mr. Bracken can read or speak German, let alone understands the fundamental issues of German or European politics. The internet is a wonderful device, but I suspect much of his information is straight off the internet from various sites and he has not interviewed or talked with a single German citizen, read our news papers or our political journals. I would even go so far as to say it is unlikely he has spent any significant time in Europe at all.

        He writes in conclusion… “Unlike the Europeans, we are at least still free to warn one another of impending dangers, without our being silenced by the traitor elites who operate the levers of state power.” Really? Is he referring to Mr. Obamas clear transparency throughout the 8-years of his reign? And the honest discussion with Americans by Mr. Bush about WMDs? I wonder.

        I have enjoyed the writings of Mr.Patrick Buchanan, to whom I was referred some years ago, who I believe is a bit more worldly and probably more intelligent than Mr. Bracken. His perspective of the situation reads…”My prediction that European ‘patriots will recapture control of their national destinies’, looks even more probable today.” I would argue there may yet be some truth to it. Madam Le Pen and Mr. Farage may yet lead the way. The French and the Brits have certainly lost none of their nationalism.

        I have to admit, I do find it amusing to read what Americans think is going on over here, without ever having seen it for themselves first hand. They rail on about the lies and deception of the internet and the media, and then turn around and quote Wikipedia and various blogs as gospel in their articles.

        It’s best to write about facts you know, rather than facts you believe you know.

        • @Karl. “It’s best to write about facts you know, rather than facts you believe you know”. You may want to take your own advice in regards to Islam. Moslems do not “westernize”. If a handful manage to do so, they are no longer considered Moslems by other Moslems, but apostates. Islam is a supremacist ideology bent on world domination. They are culture annihilators, not assimilators. Fifty-six Moslem countries now, and counting. Moslems are colonizing your country under your nose. I truly hope the German people can pull it together in time to save their culture, but it doesn’t look good at the moment.

          • Many young Turks have completely turned away from their faith, just as have many Christians in Europe. My son has a number of Turkish friends at his university who have nothing to do with Islam or the Muslim faith and they have no intentions of being subjected to it’s religious dogma. So this comes from first hand knowledge. The “colonization” you talk about is the bias press reporting on the disenfranchised. Not the day to day average Turk. I spent almost 20-years in California, so when I do talk about things in the US, I have a pretty good first hand experience. My question to you is how many years have you spent here? I highly recommend you come over and see for yourself. Suffice to say, we do have problems, but you stand a greater chance of being robbed or mugged in train station in Barcelona or Rome (and not by Muslims) than you go in Frankfurt or Munich.

          • Individual Moslems here or there have exactly ZERO influence on the Borg of Islam. Did I need to live in Lebanon to know that it was once 75% Christian and a decent place to live until the Moslems colonized it and made it into a hellhole? Did I need to live in India to know that the partition of same to create Pakistan was because the Moslems are at constant war with non-Moslems? No, because I know a great deal about the ideology of Islam. It is a theocratic, tyrannical political system using the shield of religion to advance its goals. So you can be in denial about what is happening in your country if you like, but it won’t save you from the depredations of Islam in the end, whenever that may come for Germany.

          • Lebanon, India and Malaysia are not Europe. They are backwards third world countries with a majority of poor, uneducated people with unstable governments. This is true in most countries where the Muslims have the upper hand. Which would explain why the United Kingdom can have more Muslims than Lebanon and China more than Syria and yet neither the UK or Chinese governments have toppled under violent Muslim rebellion. It is also important to know the differences within Islam as they have three distinct groups; Sunni, Khawarij and Shī‘ah. They don’t exactly live in harmony with each other. I know first hand because our idiot German government made the mistake of not realizing the difference and mixed them in the same refugee camps. It did not end well.

  7. You’re on to something here! the whole outfit of tyranny is a bloated pyramid.

    we “termites” have the upper hand, er, jaws.

    nibble, nibble, nibble….

  8. It may be that the greatest threat to what we have of civilisation turned out to be the iPhone and its imitators. I have this idea that, when seeing images of the muslim immivaders in the media and they are all carrying smartphones, the root of our decline can be traced to cell phones. What it means is that Ahmed can travel to Europe and call home to inform Mo and all his cousins to bring Fatima and all her cousins because hey, first of all there is a lot of free stuff here and second, no one has the will to stop us doing whatever we want. No, correct that: don’t tell Fatima because there are plenty of slutty white women walking round here just begging for it. I mean, wow… no headscarves! Look, I’ll even send you photos to prove it. Don’t worry about thinking you can’t find me when you come: just call this number.

    Twenty years or so, with few mobile phones in the Middle East and Africa, the best anyone who immigrated to Europe could dow as send a postcard but now international call to other cell phones is so easy and cheap. Come and join me, and if there is any trouble finding someone to smuggle you across borders, I have the number of a people trafficker right here on speed dial.

    • There’s no doubt that easy communications have made mass migration more appealing. It lowered the risk premium a bit, but vastly amplified the perceived benefit. Thirty years ago, leaving the village in Peshwar for Cologne felt like a high risk venture with uncertain rewards. Now, the rewards are known and the risks are much smaller.

  9. Black Lives Matter are servants of the state. The million Muslims disrupting civilized life in Europe are servants of the state.

  10. Americans are an inventive people, and when the custodial state goes a bridge too far, we will find the work-arounds and use “the sand”. After all, when the normal avenues for redress are no longer open to us, and armed conflict seems impossible to imagine against our breathren, we will be left to our own devices. We will extract our pound(s) of flesh.

    And I don’t think for a minute that Europe couldn’t stop the Moslem invasion if they wanted to. The everyday people of Europe want it stopped. The ruling elites of Europe do not. The only question is why the people of Europe are allowing the ruling class to destroy their countries and culture. That was no flash mob entering Europe, that was an army of Moslem men, ready to bring Europe to its knees.

  11. This is your most interesting post yet. I thought it was about to turn into an Eric Frank Russell sci-fi story. The only problem is, can white guys do flash mobs? Tim

  12. Agreed on using their own tactics against them. One of the main reasons Trump has been succeeding is his obvious, visceral disdain for the media. Shame tactics don’t work on him, because a) he’s a freak and b) he shames the media right back. It would be beyond easy for hackers to do to the media / bureaucracy what they do to us. Who has more to lose, Joe Public or MSFoxBC bobbleheads? If a potential troublemaker can be neutralized by threatening to reveal his BronyCon attendance, then the same tidbit can be used to bring the local DMV, post office, etc. to a screeching halt. The Cloud People are all degenerates; finding dirt on them should be a snap.

    • Caught Trump on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this AM, and be basically spit in the eye of aged crone Cokie Roberts when she demanded he atone for “children” taunting immigrant children with deportation in Trump’s name.
      She was genuinely taken aback as he drove home the point that the target of his immigration stance is illegal immigration without letting her get a word in edgewise.

      People are paying attention to this and the talking heads are helpless.

    • The problem with Cloud people is they have no shame so you can’t shame them. They are an insular, self-protecting class also, so they can’t be ostracized. Look how much the Clintons have weathered.

  13. … and the million guys who know the difference between a gateway and a router, I’m partial to the Redneck Cracker (vice haxor) Network. The name alone would put every pair of panties from Boston to Fairfax and from Marin County to Silver Lake in a bunch!

  14. All the elites are missing is Soma gas.

    Domesticated peasants in Europe seemed pretty docile, but they had quite a run of it from about 1618 to 1922.

    Carping aside, I do agree that the current state of our young manhood is pretty sorry. And all the middle-aged blokes talking revolution would last about two minutes in urban combat (to be fair, I’d give myself about five minutes). But something I read (I believe in The Closed Circle) some years back has always haunted me. The author is quoting an anonymous acquaintance about Saudi Arabia. His buddy says, look, the Saudi regime, their retainers and enforcers are so farcical that a squad of disciplined infantry could take over the whole kingdom. Isn’t that where we are heading? If the cloud people and their outer party have renounced violence and embraced this rather queer mean-girl Machiavellianism, then all it really takes is a small force of disciplined warriors to take over. You punch one pansie in the nose, and the rest are going to fall in line pretty quickly. They can run away, but pretty soon they catch up with you.

    We could call it neo-feudalism. I’m past bored by all the fascist and Roman comparisons.

    • “If the cloud people and their outer party have renounced violence and embraced this rather queer mean-girl Machiavellianism, then all it really takes is a small force of disciplined warriors to take over. You punch one pansie in the nose, and the rest are going to fall in line pretty quickly.”

      My thinking is along similar lines. Z-man says that the custodial state has caused armed revolution to be passe, but what about armed protest? Isn’t it true that the Cloud People are mostly afraid of guns? That when a bunch of us show up, peacably but obviously armed, that their collective (and collectivist) livers start to quiver? That kind of extreme hoplophobia can be used by FreeFOR. It can be used to change behavior in the Cloud People without a single shot being fired, or even a single magazine loaded. I’m no organizer, or even leader, but I can’t figure out who some sharp leader isn’t using this.

      Sure, some states have “you can’t be armed if you are protesting” laws, but who says where that line exists? There have to be grey areas that can be used. Heaven knows “Black Lives Matter” and similar idiots get away with it with impunity.

      • Open-carry seems to play into their hands. Look how the military brass vilified those who showed up armed to protect military recruiters from another Chatanooga shooting. Also, violence against larger, more heavily-armed groups requires surprise and ruse, not visible ARs and plate carriers.

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