The Left's Last Spasm
As far as anybody knows, the November 4th revolution/tantrum/jamboree planned by Antifa and its associate organizations remains on schedule. The “Opposition” – Antifa, the John Brown Clubs, Refuse Fascism, and assorted other scraps have announced that on that date the revolution will begin with a mass nationwide uprising that will continue until the Trump/Pence regime is overcome. Dozens of hundreds of the people’s vanguard will hit the streets, squatting at intersections and holding their breaths until the fascists are exorcised and the new epoch of light is fully underway. (Further details can be found here.)
Conservatives, as is all too often the case, have overreacted. Numerous sites, publications, and radio shows have featured rhetoric such as “Antifa Planning Communist Revolution for America on November 4,” “Patriots beware! ANTIFA plans armed uprising on November 4!,” and “The Leftist Chaos Will Be Coming On November 4th.” (Links withheld to protect the guilty.)
But the truth, if anything, is exactly the opposite. What we are experiencing, far from a deadly revolutionary upsurge threatening everything of value, is a historically unique situation where, for the first time on record, a leftist movement is in complete and accelerating collapse within a democratic polity. The upcoming people’s revolt is simply another symptom of this.
The Democrats, America’s de facto leftist party (note how a sworn socialist, Bernie Sanders, is effectively exercising leadership of the party without anyone so much as blinking) have lost over 1,000 offices nationwide in the past year. The GOP controls nearly two-thirds of all governorships and nearly half of state governments. The left’s political presence and influence is negligible across vast areas of the heartland. They have abandoned the working class, the bedrock of any leftist movement, in favor of representing transsexuals, ball club millionaires, and noncitizen criminals, not a strategy with much of a future, on the face of it.
The year since the 2016 electoral debacle has witnessed a number of off-elections to replace cabinet picks, each one hailed by the media as the turning of the progressive tide, each one won by the GOP.
At the same time, the left has suffered a number of body blows which can only result in its public influence being collapsing further. Recently, in a milestone in the diminishment of the legacy media, Graydon Carter retired as editor of Vanity Fair. Carter quit after parent publisher Conde Nast demanded that he decimate the magazine staff. Carter refused, and out the door he went. (Which suggests that he may well be a better man than I’d ever have guessed, but it is true that the well-coiffed Carter started out as a menial laborer, which gives him a lot more insight into the travails of the working man that most of his confreres.) Under Carter, Vanity Fair was a major node in the network connecting stylish, well-to-do uptown Manhattan with the left-wing political sphere. That connection is now being severed.
Then we have the NFL. The national anthem uproar is the fruit of the latest attempt by the left to turn American workingmen’s institutions – sports and country music in particular – into left-wing systems to shunt the regular Joes into the arms of the commissars, where they belong. Its failure, at the hands of an irate public (not to forget Donald Trump, certainly, here as in many other instances the indispensable man), is one of the most encouraging developments in the wake of 2016. Colin Kaepernick, who attempted to revive a foundering career on the field though political posturing, can serve as an object lesson to all the others attempting to follow in his wake. The NFL, already on the skids, now faces an accelerating and well-deserved financial hemorrhage. (I say that even though my grandfather helped found the organization.)
Finally, we get to Harvey. Harvey Weinstein was a bicoastal combination of Graydon Carter and George Soros, acting as a facilitator between left-wing politics and popular culture while at the same time financing left-wing politicians – including the Clintons, the millennial Borgias – to the tune of millions. All this bought him immunity for decades of sex offenses. The fact that it came to an end in large part due to the efforts of Rose McGowan, onetime inamorata of Marilyn Manson and collaborator with Quentin Tarantino, and Ronan Farrow, a virtual stereotype of the Manhattan liberal, makes his fall even sweeter.
Weinstein has sworn to devote his now limitless free time to bringing down the NRA, but he’ll probably be busy fighting lawsuits for several decades to come.
That is truth of this moment – the influence and networks of the left falling in on themselves out of sheer unworthiness to exist. They appear to be collapsing the way a building does when it undergoes demolition – one floor cascading onto another until nothing remains. The NFL threatens to also take down ESPN, a “sports network” to the left of MSNBC, while the Weinstein revelations have triggered public attacks and accusations against Ben Affleck, George Clooney, and Oliver Stone – the three of them comprising the vanguard of Hollywood leftism.
Yet all attention on the right seems to be focused on a gang of undergrads in black hoodies and Guy Fawkes masks. How can we correlate the two – black-clad militants brash enough to threaten the government itself while their entire political/social superstructure collapses in ruins around them? On the face of it, it seems paradoxical. But there’s actually no contradiction at all. The one follows the other as sure as Stalin followed Lenin. The left has turned violent because it’s falling apart. They don’t have anything else. No plans, no prospects, no leadership. The left has failed, and violence is all that remains.
Left-wing failure is not arguable. The international record stands for itself, having become a truism without ever quite attaining the status of a cliché. Though the academy and the media have tried their best to bury the record (while earnest and naïve types such as Anne Applebaum scratch their heads as to why it lacks the immediacy of the Nazi crimes), it’s impossible to hide failures so gargantuan as to have left mountainous piles of corpses across the entire landscape of Eurasia. (Every few years the spring thaw in Siberia and the Urals uncovers mass graves, the legacy of the Gulag, sending thousands of mummified, nearly intact corpses drifting down the rivers. This is what Weinstein, Antifa and the rest would wish on us.) The same pattern is occurring at this moment in Venezuela, a wealthy nation reduced first to pauperdom and soon to open massacre.
The record in the U.S. is less ghastly but just as compelling. We look back on an eighty-year period in which the elite attempted to replace America’s representative democracy with a socialist superstate by a process of accretion – putting in place, one at a time, policies that removed only one single aspect of society from the hands of the people while at the same time building up an interlocking system of control and manipulation. Their error lay in the fact that you can’t put in socialism gradually, but only in a single action, a revolutionary coup de main at the point of a gun, as Lenin, Mao, and Castro all knew. Gradualism gives the individual programs time to fail, to reveal how empty the effort is, exactly as has happened here. There is not a single socialist policy, from social security to affirmative action to ObamaCare, that is not nearing collapse.
It ended with Obama, a man who embodied leftist incompetence, frivolity, and egomania in one package. For a few months in 2009, Obama had it all in his hands, and he frittered it away. Obama failed completely, left no legacy and no alternative. Obama was the last of the commissars. Now nothing remains.
That’s why the left is going for the gun, the club, the homemade flamethrower. Because there’s nothing else left. Like Japanese Imperial Army troops gazing through the bunker slits at something they were assured did not exist – a U.S. fleet stretching as far as the eye could see – the left has nothing remaining for it but the banzai charge.
This is exactly what we’re seeing. Antifa and its associates are not operating in isolation. Last June’s Virginia ballpark shooting and the Las Vegas massacre are also examples of the left’s lunge toward violence, a connection that would be obvious were it not for the legacy media’s eagerness to obscure the issue. James Hodgkinson’s actions in Alexandria speak for themselves. As for Stephen Paddock, whatever his actual motive – psychopathy inherited from his father or recruitment by Jihadis – it is evident that his malice was fueled by a consuming hatred of the United States and everything associated with it. Paddock was that not-uncommon figure, the wealthy man who loathes the society that gave him success. (George Soros is only one other example.)
But taken all together, the new wave of left-wing terrorists can’t threaten the U.S. in any meaningful sense. A handful of crackpots with guns and a gaggle of teens in ninja costumes makes for a pretty sorry People’s Army. It can do damage, but limited damage. And kind of long-term gain is out of the question. The tactic utilized in Charlottesville – setting up a “right-wing extremist” march and confronting it with a righteous leftist counterdemonstration -- cannot be repeated without the machinations behind it being exposed. Their only hope otherwise is a “wasp” strategy – a series of pinprick attacks causing panic and overreaction by the society at large. (This interestingly, is the same strategy adapted by the Jihadis following the failure of Osama bin Laden. There’s something richly resonant about the fact that the hard left is, in the end, finding itself in the same bed as a motley crew of medieval fanatics.)
This is something we can put a stop to by not responding the way they would like. No countermarches, no reactive attacks, no deterioration into a new Weimar, where ordinary people are afraid to go into the streets turned into battlefields between communists and Nazis. The “opposition” still has plenty of support in a corrupted media, as we saw from “see-no-evil-on-the-left” coverage of Charlottesville. We do not need another panicky James Fields turning Antifa into secular saints by smashing his car into them.
It’s best to ignore them, and let the law take its course. We hold all the cards. The thunderous, nationwide shout of “No!” that greeted the NFL “protests” clearly demonstrates that the United States remains solid. The greatest public humiliation endured by the American left in this century proved that the bedrock of this nation still exists, uneroded by ephemeral entities like Obama and the Clintons. The teenage ninjas think they can take that down with a few slingshots and Molotov cocktails. Let them try.