The View From Olympus: How Not to Do It

The protestors who took over the aptly-named Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon have garnered a fair amount of conservative empathy. Their issue, the Federal government’s ownership of vast tracts of western land, is a legitimate one. As a story in the January 29 New York Times, “And Then There Were Five, or Four, Occupiers”, put it, “the standoff did put into sharp relief a question raised time and again in American politics: Is the government us, or is it them?” Most conservatives know the answer is “them”.

None of that changes the fact that the occupiers offer a wonderful example of how not to fight the federal government. They blew it on every level: physical, mental, and moral.

Physically, the idea of taking on the federal government with a handful of hunting rifles is beyond absurd. Such an effort can have only one result: defeat. Any armed challenge to the government must and will end in failure. Since early World War I, the battlefield has been dominated by crew-served weapons: machine guns, artillery, tanks, aircraft, etc. In theory, a movement could launch a guerrilla war against the U.S. government, but the result would be the destruction of the country, as we see in places like Syria. Armed resistance is not the way to go.

When the current political establishment falls, it will fall of its own weight. No outside force can bring it down, much as I would like to see Trump, or even Cruz or Sanders, do so. It is already on the skids, although it doesn’t know it. A combination of serial policy failures and adherance to an ideology, cultural Marxism, which seeks to destroy the common culture is undermining its legitimacy.

If the Establishment takes the state itself with it–a possibility no conservative welcomes–then armed citizens may have to take over the job of establishing and preserving order. That is the scenario in Thomas Hobbes’ book Victoria. But the goal of those armed citizens should be to restore a state, or states, as soon as possible. As Hobbes warned us in his earlier book Leviathan, life without the state is nasty, brutish, and short.

On the mental level, the Oregon protestors failed to connect their somewhat obscure cause to broader themes lots of Americans could relate to. They appeared to represent merely a parochial interest. That appearance resulted in their own isolation. Any cause that isolates itself, or allows itself to be isolated, loses. Success requires building connections to as many other power centers as possible.

The protestors also failed on the mental level in their planning. Their plan did not go beyond their initial action. Once they established their occupation, they had blown their wad; they had no further plan.

Morally, the occupiers made the fatal error of alienating much of the surrounding community. A commemoration of LaVoy Finicum, the protestor who was killed (a blunder by both the protestors and the Oregon State Police), in Burns drew only about 20 people. Protests (which should not be armed, much less violent) can only succeed if they rally an ever-broader circle of support. That circle must normally begin with the local community. Alienating the community again means isolation and defeat.

It is evident that the feds have learnd from past failures to handle armed protestors. At Waco and Ruby Ridge, the federal government won physically but suffered huge moral defeats. This time, they wisely expended time rather than ammunition. With the protestors having no plan beyond the first move and progressively isolating themselves, time was on the Feds’ side. Inaction, if deliberately chose, is also a form of action.

In the end, the Oregon protestors offer an almost perfect model of what not to do and how not to do it. The moral level is decisive, and to win morally a protest must almost always be unarmed. We may sympathize with the Oregon occupiers’ cause, but no conservative should follow their example. favicon

17 thoughts on “The View From Olympus: How Not to Do It”

  1. >Protests (which should not be armed, much less violent) can only succeed if they rally an ever-broader circle of support. That
    circle must normally begin with the local community. Alienating the
    community again means isolation and defeat.

    Talk to me about “Black Lives Matter,” I’d be interested in your thoughts about them with respect to violence and the implicit threat thereof in their protests. The Race Riots in ~~Ferguson~~ *metro St. Louis* and Baltimore certainly don’t seem to have hurt their ideological cause’s prospects in terms of gaining concessions from the government.

    Also, I would like to have your thoughts on the various Race Riots of the 1960s and 70s which most certainly alienated the White communities of the cities in which they took place, leading to massive emigration of Whites from the cities in which they took place, but nonetheless were obviously successful in causing positive – from the perspectives of the Blacks, at least – long-term political change.

    What did THEY do right, and wrong? Was the different result in their case, relative to the recent events in Oregon, simply a factor of the racial heterogeneity of the US?

    Many of the 1960s and 70s leftist protests took place in a time where there was actual terrorist violence supporting their causes, such as for example, the Weather Underground’s activities. One of their leaders is the mentor of the current POTUS, so obviously their side did something right.

    In the three leftist cases mentioned, was/is the violence inherent in them a negative towards their cause, a positive towards their cause, or was it indifferent to their cause, and could you provide support for whichever answer you give?

    (this is probably worth a full post rather than a simple comment reply, so, no hurries)

  2. This is a good question. I will ask Lind and we may do a Q&A podcast. My guess is that since cultural Marxists had thoroughly infiltrated government, media, and university institutions by the ’60s and ’70s, the riots, etc. were used as a weapon against the White population. Unless you can spin the narrative to your advantage, you need to need to play by the 4GW rules.

  3. I am absolutely sympathetic to the Hammond case and believe that a
    radical political provocation around their cause could have been used to
    good effect. Instead we have a complete train wreck, with one man dead
    and everyone else now in route to the razor wire slave camp, probably
    for life.

    Instead of recoiling from such a grievous defeat and soberly
    reflecting on the obvious causes, the Libertarians will now rush to take
    up as loudly as possible an argument they have already lost. No
    thinking will occur at all, because that would interfere with your
    endless moral posturing competition and your Militia-Action-Playset role
    playing games.

    Revolution 101:

    If you want to work within the political system to shut down the
    police state, you will have to have the American people on your side.

    If you want to overthrow the state with a revolution, you will also have to have the American people on your side.

    Nothing is going to change (except to get worse) unless you have the
    support of the American people. Without it you are a marginal crank with
    some bitcoins and a plastic gun. That means that you must engage in
    radical politics in order to get them on your side.

    #1-Anything you say on Facebook can and will be used against you by a
    lawless police state, and in a court of “law” to convict you and all
    your friends for multiple life sentences.

    #2-Crank legal theories will not protect you from a one way ticket to
    the razor wire slave camp. Not getting caught will. Think on that
    instead.

    #3-The first rule of not getting caught is STFU. Why don’t you try
    some of that? Start by deleting every single social media account.

    #4-Instead of playing dress up for the Militia Action Playset, you
    need to look and act like a normal American when you are trying to speak
    to the public. No one is looking to follow heavily armed idiots.

    #5-Conspiracy theories are not real politics, much less radical
    politics. They mobilize no one, threaten nothing, and they put your
    “movement” on the same shelf as UFO books and Bigfoot sightings. No one
    is going to risk their life and sacred honor for Alex Jones bullshit.

    #6-In the real world, the problem is not with “controlled”
    oppositions but with FAILED oppositions that never even make it to a
    point where the system would need to co-opt them. The greatest and most
    persistent enemy of your political success is the one you see in the
    mirror every morning.

    #7-Something is radical because it threatens the root of a system of
    power, not because it is taboo, obscure, or bizarre. Spreading monetary
    conspiracy theories within your in-group is completely meaningless.
    Actually shutting down the federal reserve system would be an extremely
    dangerous and radical act.

    #8-When you show up for a “peaceful protest” all decked out like a
    blackwater goon in tactical gear (with three assault rifles and seven
    pistols), you communicate very effectively that you are not a peaceful
    protester but a heavily armed idiot looking for a shoot out with the
    feds.

    #9-The Militia-Action-Playset is only an attractive proposition to
    other psychotics who can no longer tell reality from a video game, who
    have spent their entire adult lives hanging out in the WND forums, and
    who are thus completely socially retarded and absolutely unable to
    communicate with anyone outside of their marginal subculture.

    #10-If you want to actually accomplish anything, you need to throw
    away your copy of Atlas Shrugged and pick up a copy of Rules for
    Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

  4. “Talk to me about “Black Lives Matter,” I’d be interested in your
    thoughts about them with respect to violence and the implicit threat
    thereof in their protests. The Race Riots in ~~Ferguson~~ *metro St.
    Louis* and Baltimore certainly don’t seem to have hurt their ideological
    cause’s prospects in terms of gaining concessions from the government.”

    As I understand it, it’s better in 4GW for the civilians to love you than fear you, but in a pinch being feared will suffice (case in point: ISIS). You should absolutely NOT allow yourself to look weak or ridiculous, and this is what the Oregon protestors have done. Torching the wildlife refuge would have gone over better than camping out and begging for food.

  5. Agreed that any perceived weakness is poison.

    But I think there’s something else going on, and part of that “something” IMO is heterogeneity of race in the USA combined with the racially privileged status of negroes in the USA.

    Voltaire said (roughly) that he whom you cannot criticize is he who rules you, and I would add that perhaps those you cannot criticize mightn’t be rulers, but are at least FAVORED by those who rule. Well, publicly criticize BLM and see what happens! You get fired, hounded, investigated, etc. Similarly as a white person no comedian can ever make fun of negro behavior and keep working, no, that job is limited negro comedians (Eddie Murphy, the Wayans, Chris Rock, Dave Chappell, Bill Cosby) only. However, everyone can make fun of white people. Nobody today in the USA gets lauded as a choice for a prominent job appointment because of their 100% white heritage, but rather, for the reverse. Complaints that historical dramas are “too white” are common, but complaints about adding racial diversity where it doesn’t belong in reality are “racist.” Etc.

    Look back as social media concerning the Oregon protesters; “white” was commonly used as an epithet (along with various other slurs, “cracker” etc.) and there were several calls for the government to take extreme violent action against them. Similar slurs to the BLM groups aren’t allowed, and if I even typed one here, I’d get my comment deleted. Any calls to violently end BLM protests would get one fired. Negro rioters are given “room to destroy.” It’s rare to even use tear gas on them.

    My conclusion is that BLM is most certainly LOVED by those in power, and there’s an increasing divide between those in power and the majority of the nation over which they have power. I think a similar dynamic was at work with the Weather Underground and their ilk a few decades back.

    And I think there needs to be some addenda to 4GW theory to account for racial (and probably religious) diversity in the community, as well as the existing government’s biases towards and protection of heterogeneous groups in the community.

  6. Interesting blog, I’m going to bookmark it in the same folder I use for http://freemendo.typepad.com/undaunted/

    He has an interesting POV but obviously hasn’t studied as much history as he thinks he has, his bias is to the movements listed. Points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8 are all violated by the current Islamic insurgents both in the USA and abroad (I use “banks” loosely, Ahmed Haji Jihad mostly commits EBT fraud and other crimes to obtain funding in the US but hey, it’s still a criminal money-raising operation). The insurgents of the 60s and 70s USA were very open in the press. Point 6 was violated by the NSDAP in the 30s and by the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam today in the USA, and if you consider traditional Islamic dress as a uniform, then it’s violated everywhere you have Muslims in the West. Another one to look at is Codreanu’s Iron Guard, the author might consider some of what they did as “theatrics.” Lots of stockpiles and explosives in Vietnam. In general, too many generalizations based on a limited set of insurgencies.

    The most interesting things to me about OKC are one, that a bomb capable of tearing down the entire side of a building from some distance away did not leave a crater on the ground underneath it, two, that automobiles nearby weren’t as damaged as one might expect compared to the building further away, and three, that the building itself was demolished before the defense team could have an independent examination of the site prior to the trial.

    Another point of interest about OKC is the previous plot by James Ellison’s CSA group concerning the Murrah Building. The FBI considers “Christian Identity” to be worthy of being on a watchlist, but ALL VERSIONS OF ISLAM (Black Islam, Sunni Islam, Shia Islam) ARE STRICTLY HANDS-OFF to the FBI. This goes back to my previous comment about “favored groups of our rulers.”

  7. PS: “Crediting” Thomas Hobbes with writing the trash-tier wish fulfillment idiocy that is Victoria is doing the man a rather great disservice. That thing’s written worse than most internet fan-faction and makes about as much actual sense on any level as Ammon Bundy’s long-term plans for his occupation.

  8. “Hobbes was very much in favour of a strong state with a centralised monopoly of force to protect the citizenry, including form their own stupidity and greed if need be.”

    This is the thesis put forth in *Victoria*, hence the Hobbes pen name.

    PS: Get a new avatar, you weeb.

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