Most people hate conflict. Some can handle conflict when they can prepare for it and get in the mood. Others are the sort of jerks who relish it. The last is my natural temperament. I am sure you don’t believe me because I act too mild and controlled. You see, I long ago realized that such a way of living was simply stupid. [ Although I sometimes doubt myself.] Such people do have their uses….
When you read the authors who were in France during the Thirties and the Phony War- Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, even P.G. Wodehouse – you come across a description of political operation that is all too effective. The National Socialists and the Soviet Socialists would conduct street demonstrations. A demonstration doesn’t work it it is easily stopped. So those community organizers would find those who enjoyed conflict and put them in front. This gave their demonstration a hot edge to cut through resistance like a hot knife through butter. It didn’t much matter that the demonstrators had few of these folk. If they were in front, the character of the mass of followers wasn’t apparent. The various groups would be promoted and encouraged by inexpensive means. Mussolini gave his men uniforms of black shirts and words of encouragement. Hitler had brown-shirted uniforms and called them the SA or storm troopers as if they had military prestige.
Of course, things didn’t go well for these bully-boys. The SA was eliminated in the Night of the Long Knives and replaced by the SS. The Blackshirts were integrated into the Italian army where the characteristics they possessed generally precluded advancement. When your leaders think you disposable, sooner or later they will dispose of you.
You may ask, Johnathan, why I mention this eighty-year-old tactic. It does keep coming back, but that is not why. There is a new evolution of the tactic.
Years ago the Fabian socialists decided they could not win a real fight. So, like Fabius fighting Hannibal, they decided just not to lose. They and theirs decided that when the wheel of society turned left – they would do nothing. When it turned right – they would interpose their bodies and spirits. They had no power to turn the wheel, but they could slow it in one direction. They wanted to convert the wheel into a ratchet. [Actually they were pawls. But that is too clever. And Pawlian is an adjective that leads to nothing but confusion.]
The old national socialist street brawlers had to be up for conflict at all times. There are few such people. Fabian Ratchets have only to be up for half of the time. And as it is a long-term effort, only when they are ready. There is always somebody hankering for a fight. Now with the internet a street demonstration looks old-fashioned. A street demonstration is really only needed when one side needs to show that violence is possible. Just the merest implication.
The internet has another advantage: One needn’t be a large violent creature. Words and emotion are the currency. A small woman or an ill paraplegic can be as motivated and vituperative as a looming goon. And often smarter.
It only takes a thousand or so so Fabian Ratchets to direct a twitter storm. These Fabian trolls are a major influence on society.
One can tell Ratchets from committed leftists in an easy way:
Ratchets cannot tell their ultimate goal. They only know the direction to push.
Committed leftists have a goal. And the field is littered with leftists who having achieved their – often laudable – goals have witnessed the front lines move past them. Such people are suddenly attacked by their former allies. Their ostensible friends among the Ratchets then attack them for being reactionary rightists. The committed leftists grow confused and wonder what happened.
Jerry Pournelle in his youth in Dixie was considered a communist because he thought justice should be color-blind and the playing-field level. He has been called fascist for many years because he advocates for color-blind justice and a level playing-field. Current doctrine demands that the playing-field be tilted to provide justice for whichever side is currently aggrieved.
People who in the 1960’s proposed affirmative action for those who were descended from slaves or other minorities persecuted by America find themselves unable to explain why their children should be disadvantaged vis-a-vis Jamacan immigrants to whom they owe no conceivable debt. Or to Mexicans who voluntarily and illegally crossed the border last week.
Orson Scott Card is still a socially liberal Democrat who has been wondering for a couple of years now how he became an enemy of the Left.
Descendants of white abolitionists whose families lost family, blood, land, and body parts fighting to free slaves and establish racial equality, are now told that, as whites, their opinions are of no value and that they are of less value due to their color. One surprise of all this is the number of thoughtful people who have found themselves, somehow, on the other side and find themselves with a new set of allies and opponents. They are often disoriented be cause they didn’t change. You will find new friends in the oddest places if you keep an open mind.
So the Ratchets turn the world – very slow and very smoothly. One must admire the strategists of the Fabian society. They were quite clever.
Your Uncle David