Recognizing that all revolutions are not created equal and contain a mixture of direction by leaders and directionless chaos from the masses or agitators, what revolution from history do you see our present situation most paralleling? I presume that our present state is more the pre-revolution stage setting in which the elites at the top refuse to make any changes to their power structures and consolidate control, rather than the actual revolution itself.
This requires a longer answer than just a response in the post (as does the “best of the 1990s” question), so I’ll put it here.
This seems too easy, but I also think it’s right: The Nazi Revolution. We’re in the midst of the Machtergreifung.
(Normally around here we refer to these guys as “Cat Fancy,” but since this is a direct historical analogy, in response to a specific question, I’ll use real names),
The main reason I say this is ideology, or lack thereof. In prior revolutions, it was quite clear what the revolutionaries wanted. All revolutions bring out the weirdos, of course, and go through purity spirals, and the rest, but the English, American, French, and Bolshevik revolutionaries had a clear, universalizing ideology — a coherent worldview, a real body of doctrine, hashed out in hard debates among serious thinkers. The Nazis were a lot more intellectual, and more ideological, than they’re given credit for, but they were unique in their ideological commitment to Fuhrerprinzip, the “leader principle.” Such that while, say, Communism in practice ended up being “whatever Comrade Lenin says it is,” Nazism started out that way.*
Because of this, it was easy to “project” onto Hitler. It was one of the keys of his appeal. When he talked about “international finance capital,” for instance, he often meant “Jews”… but often he didn’t, and even when he did, you could fairly easily convince yourself that he didn’t. Same with his other big bugbear, “Jewish Bolshevism.” Was he primarily an anti-Semite, or an anti-Communist? You could convince yourself either way — that the part you didn’t like was just a personal psychological quirk of Hitler’s, while the part you did like was “true Nazism.”
Unlike the Bolshies, then, or the French or even American and English revolutionaries, you really didn’t know what Hitler and the boys would do once they were in power. You knew it wasn’t going to be sunshine and roses for the folks in tiny hats, of course, but you could very easily convince yourself that stuff was only a small part of Hitler’s program. So much really depended on one man’s psychology.
Which fed into the other big ideological pillar of Nazism, Social Darwinism. The Nazis weren’t the hyper-organized, hyper-efficient monsters of popular imagination. Their org charts looked like plates of spaghetti, by design. Indeed it was often hard to tell who, exactly, was in charge of what — again, by design. Just to take one prominent example, Heinrich Himmler was, in his capacity as head of the German Police, nominally subordinate to the interior minister, Wilhelm Frick… but as head of the SS he controlled a much more powerful organization, and he used it to split the police into several bureaus (Orpo, Kripo, etc., for the specialists), which were then amalgamated into the Reich Main Security Office. Plus, guys in the various police organizations also held SS rank…
All of this, again, was explicitly ideological. As Social Darwinists, the Nazis wanted the various groups to fight it out, letting the most talented (and, needless to say, ruthless) guys rise to the top. Power was wielded by whomever seized it, in whatever capacity. Again, you had Adolf Eichmann running the entire Reich’s transport network in the darkest, most desperate part of the war… and he was a lieutenant-colonel. Not even an Army LTC; he only held rank in the SD, the secret police.
In practice, then, you had little islands of authority. The guys in charge were all freelancers, advancing The Cause however they saw fit, with whatever tools they had to hand. SA guys (brownshirts, “storm troopers”) and SS guys were always locked in conflict with each other; inside the SS, the “general SS” lost out to the SD, all of whom were backstabbing each other. The Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS were always stomping on each other in the field, constantly squabbling over equipment, manpower, areas of responsibility… even the occupation governments were a mess, with some functions falling to the Army, some to the HSSPF (the parallel SS/SD adminstration), some to the Waffen-SS, some to the Einsatztruppen, and all with the approval of the head honchos, which is why e.g. Poland (the “General Government“) was such a mess… and why such comprehensively awful shit happened there (when you’ve got SOBs on the order of Hans Frank and Odilo Globocnik competing to out-asshole each other, it’s really, really bad).
That’s why I say the Machtergreifung is a good, though obviously not perfect, analogy to the current mess. What’s Joe Biden’s ideology, really? (Let’s stipulate that ol’ Rutabaga Joe has enough brain cells left to have an ideology). Why does he do what he does? (again, assuming the rancid tapioca that passes for his brain coheres enough for him to do things intentionally). He’s a gangster, sure, but is that all he is? He’s a nasty fucker, no doubt about that, but is his nastiness racial? Socialist? Elitist? Or is he a pure cynic, doing whatever his paymasters want? Or a combination of all of them? In what proportions?
Who knows? You could, if you really really wanted to, convince yourself that he’s some kind of “moderate centrist.” The NeverTrumpers aren’t just cucks and grifters; one gets the sense that some of them have been sniffing their own farts for so long, they really believe that stuff. One could also convince himself that Biden is just a puppet, doing whatever the Chinese want for as long as their checks clear. But that’s obviously not true. He’s got some core beliefs (assuming “elitist, anti-White malice” rises to the level of “belief”). Like Hitler, then, so much of what’s coming from the Bidenreich depends on the individual psychology of Biden (again, stipulating etc.).
But as above, so below. While Biden dithers and drools and “calls a lid” by 9am every day, the various Gauleiters do whatever it is they do. You can see this clearly in the Blue States’ COVID response, which only makes sense as a bunch of mid-level players jockeying for position within the Party ecosystem. Gavin Newsom is Ernst Rohm (but gayer), Whitmer is Reinhard Heydrich (but stupid and menopausal), Kamala Harris is a slightly more repulsive (but so much dumber) Heinrich Himmler, that Lori Lightfoot goon in Chicago is Baldur von Schirach (one of the very dumbest Nazis), AOC is Julius Streicher with better tits, and so forth. With no real direction from the top, these goofs do whatever they do in order to advance The Cause; the other goofs all are forced to respond to maintain their own position in the endless Darwinian struggle, and so forth.
What’s going to happen, then, is a massive internal bloodletting as the Party adjusts to the reality of life with a dementia patient as the nominal President. They’ve really screwed themselves, too, in that there’s no possible way they can blame “Republican obstructionism” like they usually do when they fuck up — oh they’ll try, of course, but if we’ve learned anything lo these past few months, it’s that the “Republicans” are as fanatically loyal to the Party as the most partisan Democrat. The idea that they got outfoxed by the likes of Mitch McConnell might’ve flown in 2016, but in 2021 it’s a sick joke. Mitch would happily suck a dick in the middle of the Capitol rotunda if the People’s Liberation Army’s check cleared; the idea that he’s going to obstruct the Party agenda is laughable. When the Night of the Long Knives comes, his name will be about halfway down the list.
Biden’s not long for this earth, obviously (this is just medical reality, FBI goons, not a threat, since elders with advanced dementia don’t live long). But I doubt Kamala is, either, at least metaphorically — they all hate her, and as the Nazis found out, the Social Darwinist habit of going for your enemies’ throats right away gets so much harder to break the more practice you get. In fact, that’s my one hope in these dark days — they’ll be too busy shanking each other for a good long while to get around to us.
*Though it was contested. The Bamberg Conference doesn’t get much play outside of specialist circles, but there was a very real chance that the Nazis would reject the Fuhrerprinzip, turfing out Adolf Hitler and replacing him with Otto or Gregor Strasser. Hitler forced the Party to make a stark choice, and he won — after that, “Nazism is whatever Hitler says it is” was the official Nazi ideology.Loading Likes...