Your secret Leftist mission

I was talking with the kiddo yesterday and the current wave of reactionary nationalist/racist politics came up, internet nazis, etc. To my surprise, even though they spend a lot of time (too much) online, they were not familiar with the GG (bowel) movement. While I was trying to explain how we got from GG, Trump, to the current problems I had a bit of a re-think about the power and organization (such as it is) of these people. Who I think suffer in terms of shaky ideology, resources, education, rigor, etc. That so much of what they pulled off was really only because they were willing to organize and act. To think of some schemes and actually go through with them, in terms of actual coordinated cultural missions.

In Lefty online activity, all I find really is people joking about reactionary memes against them, along with some weary resignation. “Yeah, we’re the badass army of Cultural Marxist Feminist SJWs, here to force-convert you to commie transgendered black women, LOL”. Of course there is some other activity, such as raising awareness of social issues, encouraging people to contact their representatives, etc. But I really don’t encounter anything in terms of actual nimble missions carried out by organized people towards strategic ends. Granted, it could be because the left is so stealth that we move like egalitarian ghosts, who leave no footprints. But I am… not so sure. I see what looks like a paradox of dangerous groups with very reactionary, regressive ideology - who yet mobilize in a very pro-active fashion. Contrasted against far more progressive people, who seem almost allergic to acting strategically in any coordinated way. So, what is the underlying dynamic there? How does that work? Why are people I meet on the left so much less likely to do more than complain about dangerous people or groups on their shit list? Hopefully, it is clear that despite the comparison to GG/chan culture that I am not suggesting puerile personal abuse as the operational strategy!

Partly I am trying to figure out what I am doing here, on BB and online generally. How we socialize, how and why we do what we do. Why we organize and strategize in some ways, but not others. It feels weirdly like “act up, but not in any way which fundamentally changes anything, and will thus get our adversaries upset”, which seems like a symbolic non-movement. Mind you I come from a more 60s-70s militant mindset.

What do you make of all this?


It’s not altogether clear to me exactly what you’re using as your source for evidence of the Left’s ‘type/level of reaction’. If one must judge by what’s been observed on BB (and perhaps other Left-leaning websites), then I wouldn’t assume too much by what is posted; some on BB here and elsewhere may well be involved in action groups, or themselves be among the organizers… or perhaps most active group members/organizers are very much and only that – ACTIVE – and not ‘armchair protesters’ who only scream at the TV and post their objections and views online.

Then there’s perception: The Alt-Right have jackboot, hate-fueled, gesticulating hotheads… which in turn attracts inordinate media (and the Left’s) attention (i.e., see the freak show), and beyond that afforded to peaceful gatherings and protests by the Left; this would make it seem that the Alt-Right is more active than the Left. But witness over the past years how the active (out there and visible) Left has so far outnumbered the active Right.

As far as any “actual nimble missions” carried out by the Left, I believe those are going on (unless you and I differ on what’s “nimble”) as evidenced by effective protests re Confederate figure statues, and the Left’s on-the-ground reaction to the Right’s recent so-called freedom of speech rally.

This is the part where I make a completely unsupported prediction: So far most (obviously not all) local, state and federal governments have vocally appeared to have sided with the Left vis-a-vis the Alt-Right. That, and the obvious more Left-leaning attitude of the bulk of the media, has perhaps calmed the Left, or at least informed the Left on how it has calibrated its responses so far. I suspect though that if the aforementioned situation took a bad turn, then the level of activity that seems to be deficient now will be adjusted accordingly by the Left and to the level required. A hint as to the possible direction/intensity of that adjustment could be the recent ‘punching out’ of Neo-Nazis’, and those occurrences could give many others on the Left ‘ideas’. Even we on the Left have our breaking points.

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