The United States is now in the early stages of a civil war between Left and Right that could last much longer than the Civil War of 1861-1865. Despite many defeats in elections, the Left is ascendant because it is fighting a war and the Right is not. Clearly, victory is impossible for the side that fails to understand what is at stake and that it is in a war, whether it likes it or not.
This war is not merely a “political war” much less merely an “intellectual war.” The intellectual battlefield isn’t irrelevant but the outcome of this war certainly doesn’t hinge on it, either.
Refuting the intellectual errors of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School is a fine thing for a scholar to do, but so doing would make very little difference to the outcome of the struggle that is upon us. The Left has virtually complete control of the universities and, indeed, most of the public and private schools. Dislodging them from those strongholds would probably take two generations. Given the current reality, the Right does not have that much time to mobilize in defense of our nation, people, and traditions.
During this election season it is important to understand that political victories are essential to the Right but only very desirable to the Left, as the latter dominates “The Cathedral”—that is, the combination of the academy, “mainstream” media, federal bureaucracy, federal judiciary, and even significant parts of senior corporate management. As long as that holds, the Left could lose almost any number of elections and still be likely to win the war.
I use the term ‘war’ advisedly. We are not yet in a “conventional war,” however, and perhaps never will be. But, after Portland, Minneapolis, New York, and now Kenosha, the current battle has a significant physical dimension. Or, as military officers like to say, the action is kinetic. It now involves killing people and blowing things up. And, on a far larger scale, the Left is using physical intimidation and credible threats to property.
While some facets of the current war will have analogues to the American War of Independence. But more of it will resemble the history of revolutionary warfare in Europe, and even in the Third World, in more recent times.
While some functions of the Left’s army are decentralized–such as recruitment and, to a lesser degree, training–its strategy and funding are tightly coordinated. The Left strategy is also linked to a political strategy, the immediate goal of which is to turn Donald Trump out of the White House, any way they can. The long-term goal is a radical transformation of American society, with their leaders firmly in charge of the levers of power.
There are some excellent sources available on the web describing the ideology and goals of the organizations. I can heartily recommend the posts by Soeren Kern found on the Gatestone Institute’s website. Especially relevant are these four: Antifa #1, Antifa #2, BLM #1, BLM #2.
Currently, the two most important formations in the Left’s Order of Battle are Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Dishonest reporters and academics (so, most of them) describe these two groups as spontaneously organized because of broad popular disgust with racism, police violence, economic inequality and the like. That is complete nonsense.
Consider this statement from the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, explaining why the “George Floyd protests” in New York City became so violent and destructive:
“No. 1, before the protests began, organizers of certain anarchist groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police.
“They prepared to commit property damage and directed people who were following them that this should be done selectively and only in wealthier areas or at high-end stores run by corporate entities.
“And they developed a complex network of bicycle scouts to move ahead of demonstrators in different directions of where police were and where police were not for purposes of being able to direct groups from the larger group to places where they could commit acts of vandalism including the torching of police vehicles and Molotov cocktails where they thought officers would not be.
“We believe that a significant amount of people who came here from out of the area, who have come here as well as the advance preparation, having advance scouts, the use of encrypted information, having resupply routes for things such as gasoline and accelerants as well as rocks and bottles, the raising of bail, the placing of medics. Taken together, this is a strong indicator that they planned to act with disorder, property damage, violence, and violent encounters with police before the first demonstration and/or before the first arrest.”
In other words, Antifa/BLM are paramilitary organizations that attack predetermined targets with previously stockpiled weapons, send bicycle scouts ahead first and communicate through military-grade radios and earpieces. Finally, they arrange for their own medics, medical equipment, and (not least) copious amounts of “bail money.”
My columns will focus primarily on these latter dimensions of the Left’s armed forces, that is to say logistics, rather than on ideology or even strategy.
As the old military aphorism (often attributed to Omar Bradley) has it,
“Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.”