Reflections on the Revolution in Berkeley

This is a guest post submitted by an author who wishes to remain anonymous

These days there's no escaping irony. It permeates (or poisons, depending on who you ask) the discourse, structures our humor, informs our language, and leaves its perplexing yet indelible mark on events great and small. Irony works a subversive alchemy, it is a universal solvent. With a laugh that is only half-joking, it destabilizes what were thought to be concrete categories, merges the sincere with the absurd, and transmutes things into their opposites. So it is fitting then, that in a "wholly expected" twist of fate, Berkeley, epicenter of 60s campus radicalism, exporter of leftist ideology (Foucault, architect of the modern identitarian Left, spent his final years teaching at UC-Berkeley when he wasn't busy getting fisted in SF bathhouses), and beating heart of liberal darkness, would grace us with its very own right wing counter-(or should we say 'alternative'?) revolution. It almost makes one wonder if the world really does operate according to the inscrutable logic of an Egyptian chaos deity...but that would be silly.

In any case, the rally at Berkeley deserves a much more exhaustive analysis, and I hope that brighter and more lucid minds will give it the attention it deserves, but before it recedes too far into the past, I feel compelled to offer a few hasty and jumbled thoughts about rallies, organizing, the Alt Right, strategies, etc.

  1. This is a numbers game. There were several factors that set the Berkeley rally apart from other rallies, but perhaps the most salient one was that many people showed up. The rally was a success because more young, able-bodied, aggressive, right wingers showed up than left wingers. This cannot be stressed enough. All of the planning, all of the organization, all of the slogans, all of the enthusiasm, will not matter if the rally is unable to attain that critical mass of bodies vis-a-vis the opposition. Leftists constantly make this point on their own boards, and they are fuming that Berkeley--BERKELEY-- wasn't able to muster the people required to shut it down. In short, if you want us to succeed, you need to start showing up to these things. Bring friends too. Words of encouragement are nice, memes are nice, trolling the opposition is nice, meandering, poorly written listicles are nice, but at the end of the day nothing is a substitute for real, physical bodies (your body) swelling the ranks. The old cliches about "showing up being half the battle" and "quantity being a quality of its own" apply here.

  2. The Right is learning. This point merits its own article. (David Hines on Twitter has some great insights on this topic for those interested.) To see how far we have come, we need to travel back into the past. San Jose and Chicago were infuriating and humiliating episodes in large part because so many on the Right were completely clueless about the nature of their opposition. We've all seen the videos. Women and the elderly being picked off and beaten, egged, maced, etc. by a well organized (comparatively speaking) mob of leftist thugs as others stand by in bewilderment. What made it so upsetting wasn't the violence per se, but how oblivious the right wingers were. They were helpless because they had no idea what they were getting into. They didn't understand their opponents, and there was no unity. Fast forward to Berkeley, and it is readily apparent that almost everyone present had greatly improved situational awareness, coordination, and finally realized that the mass of black-clad people in masks shouting violent threats, were, in fact, not interested in dialogue or passive protest. There were designated medics, scouts, people guarding the flanks, etc. The entire operation was orders of magnitude better than anything that had come before it. As time goes on, we must continue adapting to whatever exigencies arise.

  3. Success breeds success, failure breeds failure. As Osama bin Laden astutely observed, "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." We must demonstrate that we are the strong horse. Repeated successes and repeated failures have a cumulative and amplifying effect. Again, it is instructive to look at how the Left will emphasize why it is important to consistently shut down the right: repeated losses are demoralizing, repeated successes are invigorating. People will flock to the side that they perceive to be winning, and abandon the side that they perceive to be losing. Therefore, let's not lose the momentum, and carefully pick our battles.

  4. Coalitions are absolutely critical. Berkeley united a huge array of disparate right wingers. There were national socialists, Three-Percenters, Oathkeepers, Alt Rightists, AnCaps, Infowars weirdos, Christian fundamentalists, Alt Lightists, basic Republicans, and Proud Boys (imagine getting beat down by one of the people in the Uhuru video) in attendance. This is important because it related to the first point. Had the rally been an exclusive gathering of any one faction, it would have immediately been surrounded, swarmed, and shut down. But by drawing upon a much broader pool of people, by forming a coalition, we were able to put up the numbers that ultimately guaranteed success.

    It's important to note that having a "diverse" rally comes with auxiliary benefits. It offers unique opportunities for conversion and recruitment, network building, etc. Unless you go out of your way or move in unusual circles, you will probably not encounter many of these other groups online. Showing up means that you can engage in meaningful dialogue with potentially like-minded people.

    But let's look again at the Left for inspiration. They, like us, are at their most powerful when they are able to unite different factions into a coalition. From Alinsky to contemporary leftists, the necessity of coalition building and alliances (however ephemeral) are stressed again and again. Do you think that everyone screaming about "Nazis" shares the same belief? No. In the absence of a unifying principle (stopping "fascism," racial resentment, etc.) that transcends the particular concerns of constituent groups, they immediately descend into fractured squabbling. This is one of the few instances where "purity spiraling" is a bad thing--whatever differences we have with other groups, they can and should be temporarily put aside in the name of stopping communist scum. There is no other way around it. Your other option is to get wrecked as you and the only other person in the whole world who agrees with all 219 points of your neo-Strasserite platform are pummeled into the ground. Which leads us to our next point.

  5. Unite under a broad aegis. Ostensibly, the rally in Berkeley was to demonstrate that we on the Right will not be intimidated, and that we will not allow the left to censor our speech or shut down our gatherings, and to a certain extent is true. We despise the authoritarian left, and its encroachments on our freedoms was a motivating impulse--but it wasn't the only impulse. Some were there to "guard the Constitution" (God bless their souls, lol), some to advance the cause of identitarianism, some arrived to fuck up communists. Yet none of those motivations alone would have brought enough people out. Powerful coalitions require powerful animating ideas. For the time being, the only lodestar that can unite so many people on the Right is the question of free speech and association (the Left has its own analogues, namely anti-White animus and DRUMPF). White consciousness simply isn't there yet, although that seems to be changing (the rally, like Trump voters in general, was overwhelmingly White, after all). Therefore, it's probably a good idea to continue latching on to these larger unifying currents and to subvert them towards our ends. If that seems like "cucking out," then remember the earlier point about these rallies being golden opportunities for conversion. Besides, if you go to a "free speech" rally, you can delight in gaslighting the shit out of leftists, as I saw several people do on Periscope. ("Fascist? I don't know what the heck you are talking about, I'm just a freedom-loving Republican. You're being histrionic, hysterical even...")

  6. We have no hands but our own. When staging these rallies, we can't rely on police protection (they more or less abandoned the rally at several points). What was the most heart-warming spectacle of all was seeing everyone there help each other, and not rely on the cops for aid. Indeed, Berkeley is something of a microcosm of where we are politically as well. By now it should be abundantly clear that Trump is not going to MAGA, and that there will be no resurrection of the country our parents told us about. We don't live in a fundamentally good nation that got a little off track, we live in a decaying empire, a multi-culti techno-Sodom presided over by some of the most deranged people in all of human history--and that's putting it charitably. We aren't going to solve our problems through showing up to vote once for a reality TV star turned conventional Republican. That's not to say that we should abandon politics, we should get involved now more than ever, but rather to point out that if we don't save ourselves, no one else will.

    YUGE thanks to everyone who attended the rally and delivered unto us the whitest of white pills.

    Hail Victory!

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