I’ve been watching all the back and forth at Identity Dixie.
It started with Padraig Martin’s article Murder Is Not Bravery. It escalated last night with the Dylann Roof, Murder Is Wrong episode of Rebel Yell and continued this morning with the follow up article A Strategic Assessment of Southern Nationalism. The debate has been taking place across social media and the core of the dispute is the morality and tactical wisdom of violent accelerationism.
Here are my thoughts on the matter:
1.) Murder is immoral and arguing about such a core moral conviction is a fool’s errand because it is at the very core of the social order. No state could possibly function if its citizens became convinced that it was permissible to start murdering each other. You may as well howl at the moon because your arguments will fall on deaf ears outside the ranks of a tiny minority of sociopaths. Psychologically speaking, people on the Right and especially Southern Christians are defined by their attitude toward authority, order and traditional moral values. You can’t rally people by cutting against the grain of their beliefs.
2.) I’ve been writing about the mass shootings phenomenon for a decade on this website. These mass shooters range from crazy people like Jared Loughner to ideologues like Glenn Miller. Some of them are both crazy and ideologues like Dylann Roof who suffered from a number of health issues and mental illnesses, but who was a violent accelerationist trying to start a race war. Some of them are just pure evil like Devin Patrick Kelley the Sutherland Springs church shooter who it is worth remembering was chased down by Texas good old boys and shot and killed. Some of them appear to have no motivation like Stephen Paddock the Las Vegas shooter who had by far the “highest score” of all of them. The bewildering variety of the shooters points to a deeper cause than “guns” or “white supremacy” which is the Left’s current narrative. The true of cause of this is social disintegration. Far from being a symptom of resurgent racism, it is a symptom of a society with extremely low social capital.
3.) The current debate going on is the latest iteration of the “mainstreamers” vs. “vanguardists” debate which is the two tracks that White Nationalism has gone down since the 1970s. The “mainstreamers” want to reform the system and appeal to the masses. The “vanguardists” want to bring on the collapse through violence because their belief that the system is incapable of being reformed. Neither of these strategies has ever worked. We should be rethinking our strategies and tactics.
4.) The violent accelerationists are nothing new and have a long history of being crushed by law enforcement. It happened to the Black Panthers in the late 1960s. It happened to groups like the Weather Underground. It happened to The Order in the 1980s. It happened in the 1990s after the Oklahoma City bombing. The fate of violent accelerationists has always been death or prison. The state won’t have the slightest difficulty crushing these people insofar as they exist. The violent accelerationists are successful in unleashing terror and polarization, but the story never has a happy ending.
5.) We should pause though before outright dismissing the violent accelerationists. The American State was able to handle them quite easily in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The same was true of their counterparts all over the West like the Baader Meinhof gang in West Germany or the IRA in Britain or the Front de libération du Québec in Canada. Could it be different this time?
John Brown, a product of Bleeding Kansas, was the most successful violent accelerationist in American history. Unlike Dylann Roof, John Brown’s attempt at Harper’s Ferry to spark a violent race war really did have a transformative effect. Brown succeeded in pushing sectional polarization to the point that the blow he struck and the dread it left in its wake did more to change public opinion in the Deep South than all the efforts and propaganda of Southern Nationalists for the previous thirty years combined.
6.) The violent accelerationists are arsonists and this country really is a tinderbox. Mass shootings are a symptom of social disintegration. It is not inconceivable that one of these people could spark a blaze that could send the whole country up in flames. The Democrats have responded to the El Paso shooting in the worst possible way by doubling down on gun control and labeling Blompf a white supremacist. By themselves, the violent accelerationists are incapable of achieving their goals and like Brown will end up either dead or in prison. The reaction to the violent accelerationists is another matter altogether. It was the celebration of John Brown’s fanaticism in the North and his links to prominent abolitionists that killed the Union in the hearts of millions of antebellum Southerners.
7.) There are three critical differences between our own times and the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The first is that social disintegration and sectional polarization is far more advanced than it was then. The second is that this country is far more diverse which has compounded the decline in social capital. The third is that fanaticism has put down much deeper roots. It is not tiny fringe groups that are invested in fanaticism. The spirit of fanaticism has infected the elites and millions of people. It is the New York Times and The Washington Post that have been radicalized.
8.) In the 1970s and 1980s, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan won landslide victories. When Robert Jay Matthews was killed in a shootout with the FBI in 1984, Ronald Reagan had just won a 49 state landslide victory over Walter Mondale. It was “Morning in America” or something. We are on the cusp a completely different America. It is more like Twilight in America now.
9.) As far as the violent accelerationists go, it is not the “white supremacists” who the American State should be worried about. Whether it was Dylann Roof or Patrick Crusius or Brenton Tarrant, the authorities arrested all of them quite easily and no one but a tiny handful of people in anonymous internet forums carry their torch. Outside of The Bowl Gang, no one carries a torch for Dylann Roof. The Southern people will never sympathize with murderers because of their Christianity.
10.) The true danger and the real threat to the Union is another “woke” terrorist in the tradition of John Brown who becomes the toast of our leftwing elites. It is easy to imagine the present crop of SJWs breeding such a terrorist. Willem van Spronsen who attacked the ICE facility in Washington was part of his local John Brown Gun Club. He did not succeed, however, in having anywhere near the same political impact because of his “low score” and the ineptitude of his attack. It is not far fetched to imagine the whirlwind of violence that these people could unleash under an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders presidency. It was John Brown and Abraham Lincoln who brought about secession.
11.) This brings me to my final point.
The Confederacy itself was a product of two types of accelerationism – the backlash to John Brown’s violent raid on Harper’s Ferry, and William Lowndes Yancey’s sabotage of Democratic unity in the 1860 election. If the antebellum secessionists were alive today, they wouldn’t be trying to reelect Blompf and reform the system by voting for the Republican Party. Instead, they would be trying to split the Republican Party to elect a candidate like Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren. The secessionists wanted Stephen Douglas to lose the 1860 election and Abraham Lincoln to win so that the specter of the triumph of “Black Republicanism” could be used to paint such a dystopian picture of the future of the South in the United States that the conservative normie who loved the Union like Jefferson Davis would finally be aroused from his slumber and confronted with the reality of the demographic peril.
And he was.
The upshot of this is that violent accelerationists offend the religious values, the sense of justice and the authoritarian orientation toward order and authority of the typical rightwing conservative Southerner. The Southern people will never rally around the Dylann Roofs of the world. Predictably, they will dismiss them and deal with them as harshly as Jeff Sessions with James Fields, Jr.
Everyone here knows we are a kind, good hearted and good natured people who are slow to anger. The Southerner won’t be roused to resist his dispossession until 1.) he has given up on mainstream politics and the Union (the implication is that Blompf has to be gone first) and 2.) he feels justified in resistance outside of the normal channels of his discontent because he is the one who is under attack. He has to feel like he has been left with an impossible choice by the Left and has no option left but resistance.