June 06, 2013
Veteran Marine and libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh is the most prominent American right-wing figure currently making actual revolutionary noises. After spending a few nights in jail, he changed his mind about his peaceful march on Washington with loaded rifles and is now calling for an “open source” demonstration in all 50 state capitals. In other words, he is a loon who has no idea how to organize a movement against looming tyranny any more than the incompetent grubbinses at Occupy Wall Street did.
Modern governments are good at pacifying their citizens. The present system uses plenty of old-fashioned Soviet-style repression, jailing large fractions of the populace pour encourager les autres, depriving thought criminals of their livelihood, and overtly controlling the sparse mass media that remains. They also use the old British imperial techniques of pacifying restive populations with pornography, social atomization, importing workers to pit against the native populace, psychoactive drugs, and cheap entertainment. While the people are obviously not content, they are pacified, and for the system to continue on its present trajectory, that is enough. The Ottoman Empire wasn’t terribly popular, either, and it lasted 400 years.
In the US, most people wouldn’t put themselves through the most trivial inconvenience for any reason. Which militia group would feed, house, or protect their fellow citizens in an actual crisis? Will Paultards give a disgraced comrade a job to support himself and his family, or will they leave him to starve on the “free market?” How many conservative apparatchiks or blog apes have a dozen or a hundred allies he can depend on in a fistfight, let alone a revolution against the most powerful government in human history?
Keyboard and barroom revolutionaries are plentiful. The actual requirement for any sort of revolution in the country is a Hezbollah or Golden Dawn type movement: a group that provides government services without being the government. The closest thing we have to a political vanguard in the US at present is the group bringing the blessings of gender-neutral restrooms to the republic. Even if you believe in that sort of thing, it is hardly a threat to the powers that be.
A revolution against the government is the sheerest fantasy, no matter how well-armed the citizenry is. Since the most trusted institution in America at present is the military, if nuts such as Kokesh, OWS, or the glory-hole patrol began causing real problems, the most likely outcome will be martial law such as we recently saw in Boston.
If there is to be a revolt against the present system, it will come from trained experts. The only experts we have are in veterans’ groups. The American Legion, for example, used to be a serious political force that people feared, and with good reason. The Department of Homeland Security agrees: Veterans are being watched as potential domestic insurgents. I think the American Legion is as likely to bring about meaningful change as they are to pilot a Winnebago to Jupiter, but if I were a would-be revolutionary rather than a would-be expatriate, that is where I would target my efforts.
Meanwhile, political discontents should put away their revolutionary fantasies and join a local civic group. Befriending local Rotary Club members is more likely to be useful during a civil war than a stockpile of grain and ammo.