On Political Rallies

Here’s a quick post on political rallies, as a short theoretical introduction to my coming post which will examine lessons to be learned from Charlottesville.

Here are basics I’ve stated before:

Politics is the use of power to distribute status and resources. Politics is power and all power is, at base, the capacity for violence. Capacity for violence comes from authority, the ability to command men to commit violence.  , men’s belief in your right to command them.

To succeed at politics you first need legitimacy. Then you turn that to authority, which you then turn to power. The accumulation of authority and power, in turn, further increases legitimacy and authority.

All political actions are either displays of legitimacy, authority, or power, or exercises of power.

Government is the exercise of power.

Voting is a display of legitimacy. Voting is the statement: ‘I believe the person I vote for has legitimate authority over me.” This is why naked dictators have hold elections where they win with 120% of the vote. It reinforces their legitimacy.

It is also a display of power. It is a ritualistic counting of heads; who would outnumber whom if political disputes needed to be resolved by violence. ‘I have 65 million people who believe I have legitimate authority and who would fight for me if violence began. You have fewer and would lose. Surrender peacefully’

Letter and phone campaigns, and petitions are the same. They are either displays of and appeals to authority (‘You have authority over me, please exercise it in a way I desire’) or displays of power (‘as you can tell from these letters/calls/signatures we outnumber you. Obey our demands’).

We hide these displays of power behind prettied-up democratic language, because politeness allows us to peacefully coexist. It is easier to accept others having power over you without responding with unlawful violence if you think of it as ‘the people decided’ rather than ‘my opponents displayed greater capacities for violence, so I submitted to them’, even though the latter is the unvarnished truth of democratic decision-making.

Onto rallies and protests specifically. Rallies are displays of power. To peel away painted-up democratic language, they are displays of tribal war, agnostic behaviour, two wolves sizing each other up before fighting.

We often hear the terms ‘people power’ or ‘direct action’, but we never realize the full depths of how primal and literal this phrase is. A rally is a naked show of force, a threat, a taunt. It states to your political opponent, ‘this is how many men we have who would commit to violence, do you dare fight or do you submit?’ On a primal level, all understand this, but, for politeness’ sake and in our muddled democratic thinking, we downplay how serious a rally is.

Knowing this, we can know the reasons for rallies; to assert power and control. To hold a rally is to say, ‘this area belongs to us.’ To hold a counter-protest is declare, ‘you do not control this area, we are willing to fight!’. If the rally continues, those holding the rally show they have the power over that area. If the rally is ended, the counter-protesters have shown the area truly belongs to them. Government agents stand in the middle, keeping the displays as just displays, knowing that whichever side wins the area truly belongs to the government.

You should never hold a rally unless you know you can conclude it. To fail at a rally is to show a lack of power, it shows your opponents are in control.


  1. Welcome back.

    I read Martin Armstrong’s piece this week about the fall of East Germany, and it was all about huge rallies. Spot on.

  2. Your analysis here leaves out a key piece of the puzzle. Though you allude to it at the end, the overriding truth about activism is that it only works if the government lets it work. “whichever side wins the area truly belongs to the government.” This is the key idea. The activism of the 60s was only effective because it was backed by strong factions in the government. The activism of modern right-wingers will never be successful unless it is backed by a strong faction in the government. The purpose of activism is not to appeal to the government to get your way. The purpose of activism is to give those elements of the government who already agree with you more power. Your governmental allies can point to your marches and protests and say “look, the people demand that I be given more power.” This is how Nazis rose to power in Germany. Their violence was generally ignored by the courts and their sympathizers were powerful in government. This is why Nazis cannot rise in America. They have no sympathizers in power.

    This idea explains the utter impotence of the Tea Party movement. Grassroots protests and activism! It amounted to nothing, because there was no sympathetic party in government which could capitalize on it. The government officials don’t care what you think. They care about getting more power for themselves. They will listen to you only if you promise them that. If you promise to cut their jobs… you are wasting your breath.

    Essentially, without receiving marching orders from “the man” (or at least a wink-and-nod go signal) activist protests are useless.

    The Alt-right in America has no power base in government aside from (kind of) Trump. Thus the Alt-right protests are useless, little better than LARPing.

  3. Generally true, but this time I think the failure worked in our favor. Normal whites with some kind of memory know we used to let Nazi’s go play in the park. And with the President acknowledging many weren’t Nazis, but just people protesting against taking down Lee’s statue, more white people have to realize that it doesn’t matter what they believe- they are under threat.

    The left overplayed its hand, displaying a stunning cooperation between state, local, and criminal elements of the left. Virginia has been shown to be no longer American.

  4. This was a catastrophe. In one day, years of work was blown away. The social media infrastructure wrecked. The funding networks taken out. This may cost Trump his presidency. It will also accelerate the left singularity. The social justice tyranny and black entitlement will get much much worse. Expect much more violence from the left as they now know they have the full backing of the political establishment.

    The only good is that it will eliminate the worthless Nazi LARPers from leadership. The Nazi LARPers are too infested with informants to be reliable and too blinkered to learn. They offer literally nothing.

    We’ll need to keep our heads down, and quietly rebuild a new infrastructure. Meanwhile we concentrate on our strength..memeing and culture jamming.

    The grey pill is that leftwing overreach will polarise white population. The movement is thoroughly wrecked for now, but the issues havent changed.

  5. PA outlined his own classification of demonstrations/rallies/public protests last year:

    “The are three types of political street demonstrations in the contemporary Western context, each a function of a different type relationship between the state and its citizens:

    Type 1 Protest: A ritualistic humiliation of the state’s internal enemies.
    Type 2 Protest: A show of solidarity between the people and the state against an external enemy.
    Type 3 Protest: A people’s challenge to the legitimacy of the state.”

    Whole post recommended.

    When I was a kid, history seemed fascinating compared to the dull ebb of the daily life. It told stories of grand events sparked by sometimes equally grand, sometimes completely inconsequential origins. It was hard to see how those world-shaping events ever came to pass, but it doesn’t seem so strange any more. We’re clearly heading into a conflict or a contentious realignment in the near future. The friction is getting out of hand and it will get resolved somehow. Paraphrasing that great downwardly mobile high-society cosmopolitan rabblerouser of his own time, Vladimir Lenin, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”.

    No idea whether it was intentional or ‘spontaneously coordinated’, but progs consider this their casus belli now, at least in the online world. It remains to be seen how legitimate their claim is judged to be in they public eye, with all the media courtiers furiously stoking the flames as we speak (when they’re not incapacitated by literally shaking right now). I like to believe that the image of a furious mob going full Taleban on historical landmarks is not-quite-ideal-PR for the progs either so they might well overreach in a way that bites them in the ass but that’s way too early to tell.

    As for meatspace perspective on how this thing is covered here in Europe, it’s not a major news story at all, at least yet. Trump’s statements juxtaposing the rally with the antifa mob are getting some airplay. But then again there’s a new Trump talking point every day for the media whores to faint over so that’s not really saying much.

Leave a Reply