Last week, I outlined a vision for developing an activist community online which borrows heavily from the successful processes found in the open source software development community. Several who commented agreed that this may be a promising path to pursue, while others were (understandably) skeptical. The most promising thing for me was watching a community-driven collaborative project spring up from the comments themselves. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s landmark book, 200 Years Together, a detailed account of the historical relationship between Russians and Jews, has yet to be translated into English. Several of the readers jumped in and offered to assist with translating it. While legal considerations made it expedient to separate that project from Occidental Dissent, I consider the episode a powerful proof of concept.
Professor MacDonald recently reported that one of the most compelling chapters, Chapter 20: In the Camps of the Gulag, is already available online. Many of the other chapters appear to be in progress.
While I firmly support efforts like the American Third Position and my Indiana Chapter of the CofCC, our limited finances and limited access to resources that other advocacy movements can take for granted – like hotel conference rooms – force us to explore creative strategies in addition to these. The Continental Army is one such attempt, an attempt to incubate and maintain advocacy projects from within our virtual community here at Occidental Dissent. There’s been an ongoing debate about the utility of so-called keyboard commandos, and I see this project as an opportunity to prove that these “keyboard commandos” are indeed capable of achieving quantifiable objectives.
This strategy isn’t without precedent, as the Ron Paul revolution and its evil twin, the Tea Party Movement, were both orchestrated by motivated online communities which only developed significant real world presences after building the groundwork from within forums and blogs much like what we have here. Hunter Wallace has expressed his vision of Occidental Dissent becoming for our community what LewRockwell.com has become for the paleolibertarian community. I believe we’ll not only achieve that goal, but surpass it, and The Continental Army will hopefully prove critical in establishing this site as the fountainhead of information and activism where the most serious and motivated in our movement come to make it happen.
The Continental Army is an emergent project, which is a fancy way of saying that we’ll be making a lot of it up as we go along. It will begin, however, with two primary components…
We’ve created a new forum, The Continental Army, which will have a thread devoted to each project. It will be the core, with the additional components serving to catalyze the communication that will take place on those threads. Anybody is able to create a project, just as if he were creating any other thread. The leadership, consisting of only myself at this time, will use some discretion in determining what types of projects can or cannot be instantiated, but the general rule is that anything goes unless it’s legally dubious, unrelated to the cause, or deeply problematic. These are all relative judgments, but we’re not going to be too picky.
One way in which the “continental army” will model a real army (perhaps the only way) is that we’ll be awarding merit-based ranks to the participants. This isn’t because we take ourselves that seriously or wish to imply that it’s an actual army. It’s simply an attempt to develop our own “parallel status system“. If a man invests weeks of effort in making an excellent contribution to the cause, then he should be conferred esteem commensurate with his accomplishment. The following structure is what we’ll start with, and may change as the community develops.
Somebody who has either created a project or is participating in an existing project but who hasn’t actually helped bring a project to completion, yet. Everybody who participates is a cadet until they’re told otherwise.
A lieutenant is somebody who has either completed a solitary project or played a key role in the completion of a collaborative project. It’s at the captain’s discretion to nominate lieutenants from among the cadets at the completion of a collaborative project.
A captain is somebody who has completed a sizable collaborative project. Upon the completion of a sizable collaborative project, he may nominate any of the cadets who played key roles in the development of the project for being upgraded to lieutenants.
No more than one out of every three captains, at the discretion of the project leadership and suggestion of fellow lieutenants and captains, is to be upgraded to this rank.
This is an honorary rank bestowed on participants or supporters of the project who haven’t necessarily done anything. This will be granted to professors, sponsors, and respected movement leaders at the discretion of the project leadership.
These are the project leadership, the moderators who monitor existing projects, incubate new projects, maintain abandoned projects, reward ranks to appropriate candidates, and speak on behalf of the Continental Army project itself. Their primary purposes are to facilitate and coordinate.
You’re welcome to disregard the ranks while contributing to a project. The rank will be maintained in a publicly accessible Google Spreadsheet that correlates to the name you use on the forum. If you’re truly averse to the whole thing and you wish to opt out of being designated with a rank, then you can contact one of the Generals about this and we’ll gladly remove your name or pseudonym from the list.
We already have some starter projects to get the ball rolling.
This is an excellent book about “How we are losing our nation and what every American must know”. It’s the perfect introduction to White Advocacy and it’s available as a free e-book.
We’re starting a book club. It will be driven by weekly blog posts that assign the reading and ask some questions as conversation starters. It will hopefully educate us and potentially draw a new audience in to structured and polished expositions of our beliefs and perspectives.
This will be our response to the $PLC’s laughable “Hate Map“.
Disclaimer: The Continental Army is only an “army” of non-violent political activists, not an actual military. Discussing or promoting violence is neither promoted nor tolerated here. Our borrowing of officer ranks is in keeping with the Continental Army theme, and does not equate with a true military rank.