Some Thoughts on Political Tactics, Including Possibly Safety Pins

1) “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.”– Mao. He may not have followed his own damn advice, but I think it is worthwhile nonetheless. Tactics used by some of us do not need to be perfect; they need to work, they need to help, they need to improve matters.

2) It is much easier to wipe out a monoculture than a variegated pattern; if they do not know where the next attack, the next subversion, the next intervention, the next deflection is coming from, the less they can prepare for it.

3) So, donate to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name. Write your congressfolk. Wear a safety pin, or a BLM shirt. Turn swastikas into Microsoft logos when you see them. Tell racists to shut the fuck up, or tell the people they’re abusing that you’re there for them.

Just do *something*. The more effective strategies will become clear in time, and there is always something new to try.

And if it doesn’t work — do something else. If someone tells you that what you’re doing isn’t helpful — take it into account, without getting offended. Observe and adjust. If one person tells you it isn’t helpful, and it’s helped twenty others — keep doing it.

We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good — we have enough enemies as it is.

I started this by quoting Mao; now I’ll quote the KJV : “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

(And yes, to those of you who are coding geeks, this may sound like Agile Revolution. I’ll see you in the scrum, and we’ll keep moving forward.)

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Some of my Warning Signs

Last post, I promised you some warning signs.  These are some of the things that will have me start to freak out, should they come to pass:

1) The big one: the formation of a new militia system, outside the National Guard, that does regular paramilitary training and is connected to the government/Republican Party specifically.

While there has been a lot of harassment, street violence, etc. both in the leadup to and (increasingly) since the election, it has been disorganized.  One thing that we have not seen in any real scale is an equivalent to the SA, let alone the SS: The organized street fighters of the government, able and willing to dole out political violence at the drop of a hat.

If we see that coming into play, then I will be starting the major worry machine, and considering whether the California law prohibiting paramilitary training is a good thing, or something we should consider civilly disobeying in places like San Francisco and Oakland, in preparation for the need for community self-defense.

In addition to its explicitly political function, such a group would not have the large-scale inculcation of “no firing on civilians”, “do not obey illegal orders”, etc. that the current military has, making them much more dangerous to civilians within the U.S.

2) A parallel to that — any effort to “nationalize” the police; to place them under tighter central control by the Federal Government.  This would be one way to start building the militia I fear in #1.  Do I think it is likely? No, especially because it would set off warning bells among many of the right wing as well, and while many of them are, I’m sure, quite willing to sacrifice their principles in order to have an ally, not all of them are; and fragmenting among that portion of the right can only help us.

3) Large-scale purges in the military. Unlikely, again, but a frightening possibility, especially depending on the comments of those purged; if it turns into a religious faction purge (a la the evangelical “takeover” of the AFA) or a political one, that’s another huge warning sign.

4) And, of course, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus act or any law that explicitly authorizes U.S. military force within the U.S. as part of a “state of emergency”.

These are the “civil war or major military oppression” warning signs, for me. It’s not all we have to worry about, by any means, but it’s one set of things to watch.

 

On the Probably-not-Forthcoming Civil War

In this time of turmoil, there have been three numbers and a hypothetical scenario that have comforted me greatly.

First: The  number of Jews in the Weimar Republic: less than 1%.

Second: The number of troops (Iraqi army, militia, and Peshmerga) being arrayed against the city of Mosul: 100,000.

Third: The number of ISIS fighters expected within Mosul: 5,000.

The hypothetical scenario is that of a  Colonel in command of a Brigade Combat Team, assigned with a backup force of 10,000 Trump Troops (militia raised from Trump supporters), facing the assignment to “pacify Oakland”. Whose first request, I suspect, would be a transfer to somewhere like Guam, as preferable to this fecal sandwich of an assignment — a true no-win.

Those are the numbers as to why I don’t think, right now, we’ll have a civil war. There aren’t enough troops in the U.S. Army, even if they *were* deployed domestically, even if they *were* backed up by a raised militia, even if they *were* willing to obey orders and fire on their own citizens, to win such a war.

And if there’s one thing that armies really don’t like doing, it’s starting wars they know they’re going to lose.

One of the reasons that Hitler was able to do what he did was that (even granting the addition of Romany and Jehovah’s Witnesses) he was targeting 1-2% of the population, who were, outside of perhaps a few city blocks (if that) nowhere in the majority. They were always outnumbered, always surrounded, and did not realize what could happen.

The alt-right now has to contend with  a population that is 30% targeted groups, and where those groups are frequently in the majority, often the overwhelming majority — including, for example, in the nations’ capitol.

This is not to say that the next four years won’t suck; this is not to say that there might not be significant civil violence — indeed, shortly I intend to write about what my personal warning bells are, for when it’s time to either evacuate or start preparing our own self-defence militias in earnest — but I do not believe that we are headed for an American Holocaust; the numbers simply do not add up.