By now, you have heard of the Unite the Right rally in Charlotteville. You’ve probably also heard it turned into a gong show. We can lay blame on the police, politicians, antifa, the organizers, or whoever, but blame is not what this post is about. Also, I was not there, so my impression of events is formed by the first-hand accounts from Twitter, particularly Pax’s as he has gone in-depth on what exactly happened.
As my readers know, I’m an advocate of passivism. Lately, and somewhat hypocritically, under the heady rush of success the alt-right has been experiencing lately, I’ve found myself supporting activist activities. I overestimated how much legitimacy we actually had. I supported Unite the Right, particularly because of Pax’s involvement. As it turns out, things went exactly as passivism would’ve predict.
First, Trump and Sessions both denounced white supremacy, neo-nazis, hate, violence, bigotry, and racism and Sessions has sworn to crack down “to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer, to protest against racism and bigotry.”
This is bad for us, but not as bad as it seems on first glance. Neither specifically denounced the alt-right, its ideas, its constituent groups, or the actual people making up Unite the Right. No one seemed to notice this, which is one of the good things of the left’s inability to distinguish nazis and white supremacists from anybody else on the hard right.
Some are calling this a betrayal, but it is not. Trump and Session were never us, they were our allies with some common goals, but they were never a part of the hard, dissident, or alt-right. They’ve always been conservative civic nationalists. Anybody thinking they were us was fooling themselves. But they’ve treated us with benign neglect so far, which, all things considered, is good for us.
Unfortunately, the actions of James Field has given the media and left enough power to push their hands. So, we may no longer have benign neglect. We’ll see.
After the writing of the rest of this post, things took an awesome turn. Trump held a conference where he attacked antifa and supported the alt-right. Nazis are in for it, but we’re probably good for now. But we’ll continue on.
Second, it looked bad. The death and injuries gave the media ammunition against us; it will not play well among middle America.
Third, a rally is a display of power. A rally is not for building power, it is for showing power to widen legitimacy. Friday night with the tiki torches was great. We showed power, the left was truly afraid, we claimed the area, and we built legitimacy; it went perfectly. Saturday destroyed what was built on Friday. The police undercut us and delivered us to antifa, showing their power and undermining ours. It was bad.
Fourth, antifa displayed power. Antifa won and won hard on Saturday and they know it. This will embolden them.
Thankfully, this will be buried under the media cycle in a couple weeks. Things may get a little bit harder due to Trump and Session’s shift (if it’s truly a shift) and the emboldment of antifa, but as long as we don’t repeat our mistakes, it shouldn’t be permanently damaging.
So what lessons can we learn?
1) Most importantly, we should not pretend to power and legitimacy we do not hold. Having a rally go badly is far more damaging than any possible gain from a successful rally, as we just saw. Never hold a rally unless there is minimal chance of things going wrong.
2) The police, as a group, are not on our side. They will obey their masters. The police drove rallygoers into antifa. They purposefully (or through gross incompetence) set up violence. One twitter user, I don’t remember who, remarked that no cop even tipped off the rally about the betrayal the police were to visit on the rally. As well, Pax and a few others tried to get “civil disobedience” arrested, but the police didn’t accept the arrests and drove them into antifa. Do not trust the cops to protect our rallies or meetings. Do not trust them to protect the peace.
3) Planned and advertised rallies give the left and their supporters in the government time to plan. So, only make open, planned rallies where you are sure that either the police will act to protect the peace or where antifa will not have a free hand to destroy. So never make plans for future rallies in Democratic cities or states.
4) No swastikas, no sieg heils, no roman salutes, no red armbands, no public gassing/ovening jokes, whether its serious or meming for the lulz. This is not punching right, this is not virtue signalling, this is basic optics. Real life is not the internet, it is not 4chan. 90% of the population will react very negatively to nazi signalling IRL. This is not going to change in the foreseeable future. The media will pull the two people doing nazi stuff from hundreds and go “look they’re all nazis” and it will work to turn normal people against us. There is nothing to be gained from nazi signalling and a lot to be lost (same for any KKK stuff, but nobody seems to be doing that). The nazi well is poisoned.
5) Keep your cool. I don’t know whether Field’s attack was planned or if he just ended up trapped and panicked, but whatever happened, it hurt the cause a lot. Rally-goers need to keep their cool and not react disproportionately. Pax and others noticed that there was a blank shot fired during the rally. His hypothesis is that the police were trying to set it up so the right would fire on and massacre antifa. Thankfully, the right kept their calm. Keep your cool and don’t overreact. The left doesn’t care if their lumpenprol cannon fodder gets butchered; they will gladly sacrifice them if it gives them a weapon against us.
6) Stick together. My best guess is that Field was isolated, set upon, then panicked. It could have been avoided had Field not been isolated; he may never have been put in that situation or someone could have talked him down or prevented his panic. Don’t let people get isolated. Isolated people will be in danger and will either be hurt or hurt others in disproportionate way. Beforehand, set up a small squad structure. Make sure everybody has a couple of buddies who will stay with him throughout the rally. For those who come alone, set them up with a few people. However it’s done, make sure everybody is part of a small group looking out for each other and make it known to never abandon someone during the riot (unless he has been safely arrested; don’t start a fight with the cops). At the very worst, if you can’t plan anything better, have a box with numbers on paper and pass the numbers out as attendees enter, then tell everyone to stick together with those sharing their numbers for the rally.
7) Have a bug out plan. Nobody predicted this would happen, but now we know it can. So, any rally should have planned, safe escape routes (have at least one back-up in case your main route gets closed) should something like this happen again. Rallygoers should all be briefed on it (but not too far advance so it doesn’t get leaked). If a rally goes down like this again, use the route. Have a person (and some backups) ready to take control and lead the escape. Train a squad or two beforehand on how to make a spearhead to break through a antifa/police line if it comes to that.
8) Relatedly, have a transport plan. Set up beforehand a general area people will park, bus to, walk to, etc. to walk to the rally, or coordinate a bus or two or something. If everybody parks wherever, the chances of someone becoming isolated like Field did increases. If people all enter and exit from the same general area, then this provides some level of safety and order. Of course, if antifa finds out this area, this increases the likelihood of vandalism or violence leading up to extraction, but at least nobody will be trapped alone. If necessary, you can have a parking area far form the rally and organize a shuttle service/evac point to and from the rally.
9) Quality control. This will probably be hard to do in practice, it may be impractical, but we should try to find a way to control the quality of people at the rallies. To get to the point where ramming people with a car seemed like a good idea, Field had to have made a series of bad decisions, including isolating himself, entering his car into antifa territory, and punching the gas. Try to keep people who make poor decisions, who panic, or who lose their cool out of rallies, or at least position them so they can’t get into a situation where they can make bad decisions. I don’t know if this is possible, but it should be attempted. 100 calm, disciplined marchers is far more effective than 1000 people milling about in chaos.
10) The Friday march worked, and worked tremendously. The left was panicking in fear, the pictures and press turned out amazing, it looked cool, it projected power and self-control; it was a major win (promptly undercut by Saturday). This is what we should model future rallies on: minimal prior public notice, control and self-discipline, and a display of power. We asserted our control, everybody knew, on a very primal level, that the right was successfully asserting political dominance and building legitimacy.
11) Tactical leadership. Related to the squad idea above, every rally should have a set tactical chain of command, and all rally-goers should know to follow it. The police betrayal was unexpected, but had a command structure been set-up beforehand, rally leadership could have provided some order to react properly, punch through antifa lines and extract everyone with minimal harm and no deaths. If somebody refuses to follow a chain of command, boot him. We are the right, we value authority. At the bare minimum, announce to all rallygoers at the beginning, “these are Tom, Dick, and Harry, if things go badly they will lead us out. Obey them,” or pass out a few distinctive hats to leaders and announce to obey people with those hats if chaos erupts.
12) Start smaller. The rally made it clear we do not yet have the organizational capacity/skills to run a large, pre-planned rally given the obstacles presented to us. This is not a knock against any of the organizers or the job they did, but these capacities do not just spring from nowhere, they are built. So, instead of one large rally, we should focus on smaller, more particular rallies and get some people building experience in organizing, before the next large rally.
To summarize, for now we should focus on smaller, better planned, more disciplined suprise rallies (with torches). We should seek to emulate Friday’s march. The goal of the rally proper should be to march through and dominate an area, demonstrating that we have power over said area. Rallies should be a form of guerrilla political war.
However, the overarching goal and main focus of the rallies should be on building planning, organizational, and leadership capacities within the right. We should also be working on forming natural groups of men, so we don’t have to resort to the paper numbers method. The passivist building of bonds and capacities are far more important at this stage than the political benefits of a rally.
Once we have these built, then a few years from now, we can hold the Return of Unite the Right and display the legitimacy and power we have actually built.