In addition to the camaraderie of the Front, the Cat Fanciers had another great movement builder: Mythology. Forget (((you-know-who))), for the same reason we’re calling the folks under discussion the “Cat Fanciers:” Naming names just clouds people’s minds. Let’s stipulate, for the rest of the series, that (((you-know-who))) are irrelevant. It’s not just possible, but really easy, to construct the Cat Fanciers’ basic movement-building technique without any reference to them. Here goes:
Regardless of whose hand moved the knife, the stab-in-the-back seemed very real at the time. Most veterans took it for granted that international finance capital — which for the majority was NOT synonymous with (((you-know-who))) — was behind both the start and the end of the war (Lenin agreed, which is one of the many reasons so many veterans went Red after the war). It wasn’t true — nothing in human affairs is that simple — but it’s an easy-to-understand explanation that meshes with a lot of the obvious facts on the ground.
I trust I don’t have to spell out how “the fat cats sold us out!” applies to our current situation.
On its own, something like the stab-in-the-back is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a revolutionary movement, because it doesn’t suggest anything to replace the fat cats. This is why Bakunin-style anarchist movements always fail — they’re great with the “first, we kill all the ____” part, but they’ve got nothing for “and then we shall have Utopia, in which ____.” It’s the same problem all those chiliastic sects had back in the Middle Ages — they filled in the blank with “Jesus returns and the world ends.” People are stupid about utopian fantasies — cf. Socialism’s current appeal, 100+ million corpses notwithstanding — but it’s got to be small-u.*
What you need is a kind of two-way myth. You have to mythologize both the past and the future, such that both are really just two sides of the same myth. That’s why Karl Marx’s rare pronouncements about what the Communist future would look like invariably invoked an idealized past. Rousseau gets my vote for The Original Commie, if only because he expressed it best:
The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
Marx devoted umpteen pages to “proving” that all of human history was just a run-up to the industrial revolution, which was the precursor of Communism, which was really just a return to Rousseau’s eden. It sounded all precise and scientific — Leftists have claimed to have a monopoly on Science for going on 300 years now — but it was really just a prelapsarian fantasy.
So, too, with the Cat Fanciers. They, too, fucking loved science, but only in the service of a higher Romanticism. Their vision of a Cat Fancy future was a series of all-but-medieval market towns, linked by autobahns and defended by peasant farmers with air support. No, really — that’s what the Black Cat Militia was expressly designed to do. Lenin said Communism is “soviet power plus electrification.” Mustache Guy wasn’t that pithy, but “feudalism plus autobahns” is a pretty good summary of their weird futuro-retro-techno thing.
Here’s how it works:
Part III soon.