Guerrilla Warfare, the Left, and Getting Paid

I'm short of time, so this will be rough.

I posted the basic point of this post over at neo-neocon's blog where she is calling for a march on Washington to oppose the Iran deal, and the conversation turned to the reasons why the right doesn't do activism very well.

One reason the right isn't good at activism is because we're amateurs, and amateurs pay for what they do. Professionals get paid.

The left understood long ago that they were insurgents. As I'm sure all of you know, one of the problems of waging an insurgency is logistics. The insurgent's answer is to steal the enemy's provisions and use them. So, if insurgents need guns, food, ammo, or just about any materiel, the best place to get it from is the enemy's supply lines. It's a double-win -- you deny the enemy materiel he has paid for, and you get to use it against him.

The American left took this to heart and went after the professions where they would get paid for their activism by the very system they intended to overthrow. They became professors and teachers, researchers with government grants, social activists and community organizers (also with government grants), government employees with powerful unions, judges, Hollywood movie makers and news reporters. The members of these groups get paid for their activism, and then they go out for a good time or home to enjoy the weekend.

The right is in the opposite position. If they want to take action, they lose money. They have to take time off from work, or close the shop for the day, or spend their day off on it. They have to pay their own transportation, and buy their own signs, and in the end it saps their resources and makes them tired and hard to get along with.

The left is paid and energized from their activism, the right is drained of money and energy in theirs.

50 years ago, the left was the insurgency. Today the positions are reversed, but many on the right still look to conventional forces for salvation: maybe the GOP will turn it around, maybe the Koch brothers will buy up some major media outlets, maybe Jesus will return and we won't have to mess with any of it anymore.

Conventional forces still have a role to play, but conservative politicians and other public figures can't fight nearly as effectively as they should because they have tremendous strategic disadvantages. The left controls the strategically essential ground of the universities and educational system in general, they have tremendous air superiority in the mainstream media, and they have a direct line to the hearts and minds of the citizenry through the entertainment media. If the conservative tanks roll out, they are immediately hit with artillery from universities full of enemy experts, enemy airwave assets degrade their credibility and reputation, and then the ground troops, high on the false promises of Hollywood moral crusades, move in and finish the job. Conservatives have seen this play out over and over, but for some reason many of them are still waiting for the cavalry to come over that hill.

Well, they can't get here. They're bottled up. They'd probably be destroyed if they genuinely tried to break through, as we saw with the government shutdown. We need to take out a good part of the enemy's air assets and take a bunch of those hills and mountains. We need movies and novels and songs and poems to build up the courage of our fellow fighters. We need to create the situation on the ground where our conventional forces are free to maneuver and bring their big guns to bear on the fight. The only way to win this is to embrace the reversal and throw ourselves into our role as infiltrators and insurgents.

And that means we need to get paid for our activism, preferably by the same system we hope to overthrow.


raven said...

Not necessarily paid. I have personally seen effective "insurgencies" mounted when it became a hobby. A social group formed with the objective of resistance and it became a creative enterprise .

Grim said...

So, have you come up with any effective strategies for getting paid?

David Foster said...

There are a lot of articles and FB posts circulating about the evils of corporate money in politics. There is much less about the effects of in-kind contributions. How much is NYT or NBC support of a candidate worth, in terms of the advertising $ that would have to be spent to counter it? No way to estimate it precisely, but it's surely a lot.

The effect of banning political contributions by corporations, and tightly limiting contributions by wealthy individuals, would be to greatly shift the power balance in favor of those corporations that are themselves media enterprises...on-line as well as paper...and the individuals who own or control them.

Tom said...

raven: That's very interesting. How did it work?

Grim: Get jobs in these fields. Encourage other conservatives to consider jobs in these fields. Get the education if you don't have it and collectively put up with the BS long enough to make these fields contested areas.

I'm thinking more of young conservatives, but retired conservatives could work part-time in many of these fields on a local level. Conservatives considering a career change could change into these fields. Even folks who are happy in their careers might pick up a little part-time work. We also need conservatives to become judges and sit on the school board. There are tons of opportunities.

You write fiction, right? We need that, and people will pay for reasonably good stuff.

Yeah, we're not talking about getting rich. All those lefty activists aren't getting rich either. A lot of these jobs don't pay especially well. But, they pay you to be an activist, and that's better than doing it for free.

David: That's a good point.

Ymar Sakar said...

So what happened to Grim thinking civil war wasn't inevitable?

Grim said...

I still think it's not inevitable that we get to the part where we have large-scale bloodshed. Ten years ago, it was clear that there were forces at work that needed to be considered, analyzed and dealt with in a thoughtful manner. Unfortunately, argument and thought didn't prove to be enough. The American people made a foolish decision in 2008, and we've been pushed more and more by the consolidation of power within the Federal government, especially the executive but also the SCOTUS, away from a stable and Constitutional system.

At this point, the state of play is that constitutionalism is strong in the states, but weak at the Federal level. Republicans control 66 of 98 state houses. You only need 3/4ths of such houses to amend the Constitution. Since Federal intrusion often hurts state-level interests, amendments to restrain it are not a purely partisan matter in any case. Instituting clear and unambiguous Constitutional guards against Federal encroachment and arrogation of power is possible.

Of course, they may not choose to obey the new amendments, as they have chosen to stretch or to outright ignore existing limitations (such as the 10th Amendment, the requirement that the Senate consent to treaties, etc). But they've been allowed to get away with that because the Federal government (SCOTUS) gets to rule on what the Federal government's limits are. One of the things that can be done via the amendment process is to strip SCOTUS of that authority.

Or we can dissolve the Federal government outright, and leave states free to form new unions that they like better. That might be the wisest way to proceed in order to avoid a war in the long term. Leave people free to move to the states they like best for a while, and everyone can live the way they want and have the government they want without us having to fight over it. We could have had that under the 10th Amendment, and we still perhaps can if the 10th comes to be taken seriously again. If not, this is another way to get to that solution.

Nothing's inevitable until the physics take over. Human free will still has a lot to say about how all this turns out.

Tom said...

While the American people made mistakes in 2008 and 2012, I think there is a turning and that we are seeing our ideas get a broader audience.

We have both short-term and long-term goals and strategies. In the short term, we need to elect more constitutional conservatives to office, repeal lefty laws, implement policies in the spirit of the constitution, and if possible amend the constitution to limit the power of the federal government. We also need to try to influence people however we can: news, argument, entertainment, education, etc.

In the long term, though, we need what the folks over at neo-neocon's are calling a "Gramscian counter-march" through the institutions. I don't know that calling it Gramscian really works grammatically, but the idea is to reclaim the institutions the Gramscians conquered over the last 50-60 years.

Even if we accomplish all of our short-term goals, if we don't change the institutions (media, university, etc.) and culture, our changes will eventually be rolled back. They can call for a constitutional convention as well.

Ymar Sakar said...

Nothing's inevitable until the physics take over. Human free will still has a lot to say about how all this turns out.

Was this before or after Planned Profit got rich by getting rid of 55 million potential patriots on the Leftist human livestock farm and slave plantation?

If human free will was so important, they should have used that back when the war could be stopped. By 1858, the Democrat traitors had already decided to start a war for their own political and slave empire glories. To stop them would have required active measures in 1820-1830 at least.

Ymar Sakar said...

Time is not such a kind and easily acquired commodity, that people can waste decades of it, and still think they can steer the course of this tsunami elsewhere.

Any more than a general can sleep for most of the battle, wake up at the end, and then declare his Free Will is enough to achieve victory.

Ymar Sakar said...

As for creating a self sustained military industrial complex that allows the fighting in war to pay for itself, much as Planned Profit is self sustainable using human renewable farming resources, several interesting tricks are being run by Reddit and VoxDay over at the Hugos.

They aren't being ratted out, since after all, they already have a clear C4 presence online by now.

It is a grassroots insurgency with a C4 structure, under an insurgency hierarchy.

The Tea Party was similar, but they went to the political route and got nuked by the Left's Active Measures branches.

Tom said...

Unlike war, when we lose, we don't die. We can fight to the bitter end, learn and plan, and then go back and fight again, and again, and again, each time getting better.

The Tea Party dissolved into many local groups and individuals that have been busy in state and local politics, which may be very useful as we push for an Article V convention.

The Sad / Rabid Puppies work with the Hugos has been interesting, but it doesn't pay for itself. A lot of non-lefty writers spent a lot of time and energy to prove a point, but they didn't get paid for it. Vox may make money in the long run because his publishing company competes with Tor; he may have done it just for the money. So, Vox might make money from it, but most of the puppies spent valuable time on the project which was simply donated.

Dad29 said...

One reason the right isn't good at activism is because we're amateurs, and amateurs pay for what they do. Professionals get paid.

A lot of Conservatives have jobs, pay bills, raise children, stuff like that, ya'know.

Not saying that the Lefties don't have jobs, or pay their bills, or raise chilluns...but yes, you can infer that and I won't argue.

Tom said...

Well, the major point of my post was that lefty activists get jobs that pay them to be activists, so they make money by promoting their political goals and then have time to go home and raise kids, etc. Meanwhile, right-side activists have non-activist jobs, and so they lose money when they work as activists because they have to take off work to do it.

It's a major advantage the left has, and I think we have to correct it by getting activist jobs ourselves. I don't just want to win the culture war, I want to get paid to do it, preferably by leftist institutions.

Grim said...

It'll be hard to get a job in academia these days just because there's been an overproduction of Ph.D.s. A conservative who started now is unlikely to get hired even if the process is fair simply because there will be one conservative job seeker for every 100 or 200 people applying for the job. The odds are not in his favor.

As for storytelling, that's worth doing. And, of course, for conservative men who don't want to marry, there's the Church. It is a major institution that has drifted away from us somewhat because 'men who don't want to marry' have trended left in the last few years. For Protestants, there are plenty of churches where marriage is not an issue, and they'll pay you to study and preach about conservative values.

Ymar Sakar said...

A lot of non-lefty writers spent a lot of time and energy to prove a point, but they didn't get paid for it.

Not yet, but the reason why the publisher constraint on publishing pisses people off is because so many writers would be popular, if they could get published. Amazon Kindle has already proven that, which pisses off publishers to some extent. By breaking the monopoly, the market becomes open to employing more writers, which are not under the Left's control. That is potentially at least one strategic vision of why people like VoxDay get in the face of so many people all the time. His business is his own publishing house, so to speak. So is his politics and religion. Islam which combined secular power with religion, had good results. The same can be achieved with insurgents.

Insurgency is about long term estimates, not merely short term raids on enemy supplies.

Vox may make money in the long run because his publishing company competes with Tor; he may have done it just for the money

The reason Vox has a publishing house is because of his fight with Tor or the so called rapist Scalzi. The money man involved contacted him after he got ejected from SFWA. If they had kept Vox as a pet inside, he might not have become such a rebel leader. The fact that Vox can fund authors in his little own world, increases his charisma and draw, just like Trump is Trump. But that's not where the fighting started.

It'll be hard to get a job in academia these days

Try online universities or TED. Although not sure how they are structured, Soros or Trump may hold the puppet strings on those.

I don't just want to win the culture war, I want to get paid to do it, preferably by leftist institutions.

That makes you their toy, not their master. They aren't going to allow insurgents to cut off their heads the way they did to their seniors in 1960 after all. They aren't that stupid. Counter revolutionary purges are standard in Cuba and Iran, after the revolution succeeds. And it has succeeded here already.