An interesting theory mooted by the Ace of Spades Morning Report:
I think that what we are seeing, at least in this phase of our political history is the equivalent of the Tet Offensive. They [the Left] are about to become a spent force, but is there an equivalent of the duplicitous Walter Cronkite to convince us that it is we who have lost the war? I don’t think so. In spite of everything, this is still the age of miracles and wonders – the age of Trump.
Leaving aside that last godawful heave-inducing sentence — which I include only as my contest entry for “the most ‘OK Boomer’ thing ever typed” — this is an interesting idea that deserves some investigation. Let’s start here:
Antifa were utterly MIA when it came to protesting the DNC in 2016, for example, whereas the Bernie bros and babes were out in full force, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Lots of Bernie’s delegates were protesting from the convention floor, drowning out the neolib speakers. And yet, not an anti-fascist activist in sight — then, or throughout that entire primary season.
That’s because antifa is not a substantively radical group. Nope: like other brands of liberal, including the DSA and the fanbase of the Chapo Trap House podcast, they were mostly whipped up into a frenzy by Crooked Hillary’s loss in November 2016, and the prospect of the Orange Bad Man occupying the White House. They are aesthetically radical, emotionally / socially / psychologically radicalized, etc. But politically they’re slaves to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. They are angry, polarized liberals — not Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, or whatever else they and their right-wing foils want to believe them to be.
While it’s true that Antifa weren’t out protesting the Democrats’ convention (as far as we know, and with the usual caveats about what The Media chooses to report), I don’t think this is because “politically they’re slaves to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.” I don’t doubt that if they vote — big IF — they vote Democrat, but I doubt they vote much at all. I don’t think they’re liberals at all, and while I agree that they’re not Marxists etc., there’s a big difference between being “not ideological” and “not…substantively radical.”
Antifa are the dharma heirs of the Sixties’ New Left, and so analyses of Antifa, like this one, fall victim to the same problems that befell analyses of the New Left. The New Left made a lot of noise about Communism (indeed, Maoism), etc., but they neither knew nor cared a whit about actual ideology. The fact that China and the USSR nearly nuked each other didn’t bother the New Left (if, indeed, it penetrated through the pot haze at all). For the New Left, freaking out the squares wasn’t a battle tactic; it was the entire point. The New Left was an entirely negative identity — if the squares were for it, they were against it.
Fast forward half a century, and the Left dominates the culture. If Wavy Gravy fell into a time machine at Woodstock and landed on Main Street USA in 2020, he’d think he’d died and gone to heaven. Not even in his wildest dreams could a bong-addled hippie in 1969 envision Drag Queen Story Hour. It’s nothing but incense and peppermints as far as the eye can see…. which means that if you want to be against the dominant culture, you need to be fundamentally anti-Liberal.
Hence, Antifa. Agnostic is spot-on here: They don’t attack the traditional Left’s traditional targets. They’re not protesting in Mobile, Alabama; they’re protesting in Minneapolis, a city that very obnoxiously strives to be known as the Berkeley of the Midwest. Part of that has to do with the precipitating event happening there, of course, but even before all this crap started Antifa was running loose in places like Portland and Berkeley — you know, the kinds of places where Republicans are rarer than yetis. What could Antifa and the Portland city council possibly disagree on? Who hates Trump more? And yet, there they are, pissing in the streets like always. They’re being anti-Liberal the only way they know how:
If you wanted to loot a big box retailer, why loot the Walmart for liberals — AKA Target? Friendly fire! Why burn down a McDonalds, famous for liberal culture warring in their ads, rather than the Christian conservative Chick-fil-A? Why descend upon and vandalize the corporate headquarters of CNN, progressive local newspapers, and indie bookstores, rather than Fox News, conservative local papers, and Christian bookstores? Why destroy an Apple Store rather than a boat dealership? An Amazon truck rather than a supermarket?
The Left, then, is fracturing badly. Here’s Agnostic’s inimitable prose style describing the old-school suburban soccer-mom Liberals (who, let us note, are inconceivably radical even by New Left standards) unleashing their shock troops on the Goodwhites of the urban professional striver class:
They washed their hands of the ghettos decades ago, but by now they don’t even give a shit about the yuppie gentrifiers who moved in to “clean the place up”. I don’t think professional-class transplants understand just how little respect everyone else has for their crusade of gentrification. We don’t care that crime is low in some downtown area that we never went to in the bad old days. And we don’t find your new neighborhoods cool and enviable — a vegan Buddhist cafe instead of a guitar store on St. Mark’s? A trannie ball-waxing salon instead of a used bookstore? Borrrinnng.
I’m far from the first guy to point out that the Left has tried everything under the sun to overturn the 2016 election. But y’all will recall, I hope, that I’ve been predicting for a long time now that when all else fails, they’ll go to the gun. They have to. Violence is in the Left’s DNA; asking them not to go to the gun when they feel the chips are down is like asking Joggers not to Jog. Maybe some won’t, but the majority will.
The Tet Offensive was a major miscalculation by the North Vietnamese, driven almost entirely by internal power struggles. It achieved gaudy successes in the first few days, but ended up completely destroying the Viet Cong as an effective fighting force. The NVA took a pounding, too, and all in, Tet probably prolonged the war by a few years — even with Cronkite and his fifth column fellow travelers doing everything they could to whip up antiwar hysteria, thanks to Tet the North Vietnamese didn’t have the firepower to capitalize.
Provided Trump doesn’t fuck this up — and oh God, how it terrifies me to type that phrase — the Left may really have dug their own grave with these riots.Loading Likes...