I have to take issue with the title of Richard Fernandez’s article on the coming, temporary rise of anarchism within the Left (“The Crusade of Innocents“): there’s nothing particularly innocent about the anti-globo anarchist blackshirt Left. Then again, there’s nothing particularly ‘anarchistic’ about those fools, either: if you want proper anarchism (not to mention a more moral one) go look up the more… committed… anarcho-capitalist libertarians, who at least have the saving grace of not routinely going out and throwing Molotov cocktails at the police.
Aside from the title, the article is worth reading, though: Fernandez argues that the anarchist blackshirt Left is used by more ‘mainstream’ hard Leftists to scream the slogans and throw the bombs that the latter do not quite dare scream and throw on their own. Once that is accomplished, the blackshirts will be put back into their box, whether they like it or not: it’s not an accident that Fernandez compares that group to the Red Guards that were instrumental in implementing Mao’s Great Leap Forward Backward. As Fernandez put it:
Anarchists will eventually discover, as George Orwell found in Catalonia, that they principally exist in order to prove spontaneity within the Left, to be those wisps of volatile material that flare for a brief moment and fall to the ground as forgotten ash. Their historical role is to signally sacrifice themselves for an impossible dream and be martyred with very much regret. That and nothing more.
Fortunately, we have as of yet avoided incendiary devices being a part of American protests – largely because the American wing of the anti-globo movement will abruptly cease to exist as an organized entity once they start using them, and the anti-globos know it - and things will have to get a lot worse before we ‘enjoy’ European-style conditions over here. I still feel obligated to point this story out because it’s important to understand something about the Activist Left: to wit, that the Activist Left is so alienated from the common mass of humanity that they think that blackshirt anarchists actually reflect an expression of populist sentiment. Put more bluntly, when the Activist Left thinks ‘populist’ they conjure up the mental image of a group of twentysomething unwashed creeps in balaclavas who simultaneously reek of patchouli oil and Rage Against the Machine.
And now you know why the Activist Left hates the Tea Party. Not just because the Right linked up with the libertarians and almost-casually put together a true populist movement that started electing Senators, Congressmen, and Governors in its first showing: that’s offensive to the fake populists on the Activist Left, to be sure, but not frightening. What frightens them is due to a failure of imagination or understanding on their part: because they have no true understanding of what actual populists look like, the Activist Left’s equate their child’s flattery and slave’s imitation with the real thing – and thus get terrified when they see the Tea Partiers being allowed to operate on their own without top-down controls. If the Activist Left allowed the anti-globos that kind of freedom there’d swiftly be blood on the streets – and Republicans getting elected in San Francisco and Seattle in the next election. So clearly the GOP leadership is being insanely reckless.
Yes, I know and you know that the Tea Party is generally made up of folks who make it a point of honor to leave protest sites in the same condition in which they found them. This is about perception of reality, not actual reality, remember?
PS: See also Instapundit – note that the nomenclature issue is why I call the damfools ‘blackshirts.’ Well, that and the fact that it gives professional antiwar types fits, froths, and the galloping staggers.