I used to be an activist.
I really enjoyed engaging in activism.
I haven’t been an activist in several years though.
When I was an activist, we would hold demonstrations to 1.) rally our people behind causes that they already supported or 2.) break taboos to push our ideas into the mainstream. I remember feeling an urgent need to “do something” in the late Obama years. In hindsight, I was impatient. I couldn’t see the future course of our politics. I didn’t understand the times we were living through.
As I look back on those days, I remember it as our summer season. We still had near total free speech on the internet. We could easily raise money through PayPal and crowdfunding platforms. There was minimal surveillance and harassment by law enforcement. The political establishment was much more confident and simply dismissed us as “extremists.” Conservatism, Inc. was still standing strong. The overwhelming public mood was indifference. We could hold our little rallies and some liberal groups might hold a peaceful counter protest, but overall people would drive by, honk horns, maybe take a flier. In the pre-Trump era, there was nowhere near the same tension and animosity in our politics because we were marginalized and the liberal establishment did not feel threatened by us.
Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2015.
At the time, I took a break from real world activism. The Alt-Right was exploding on the internet. I remember being glued to Twitter throughout it all. It was like a digital insurrection had broken out. It makes me laugh just to think back to how much fun that was! What a ride it was!
In 2017, we tried to return to real world activism, but the world had completely changed. Summer was over. Domains were stolen. We were banned from PayPal. The Iron Curtain fell across the internet. Antifa began coming to our events and getting violent. “Journalists” led doxxing campaigns. There were brawls in Berkeley and Portland. It still seemed distant to us in the South. The West Coast is known for its extreme leftwing politics. We had never encountered anything like it until Unite the Right which was followed by a wave of unprecedented lawfare and selective prosecutions in Charlottesville.
In 2018 and 2019, the movement as a whole tried to adapt to these new realities. There was a shift from public events to flash rallies. There was a huge debate about optics and groups like Patriot Front and American Identity Movement changed their appearance. We quit engaging with Antifa and BLM. We largely avoided holding events except for flash rallies in Democratic strongholds. We learned our lesson about progressive prosecutors, jury pools and “the rule of law” in Charlottesville.
2020 was another watershed year … COVID, the Summer of Floyd, Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election and the lead up to January 6. Because the movement had learned its lesson in Charlottesville, no one ended up like Kyle Rittenhouse, Patriot Prayer, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. We overwhelmingly chose to stay out of the frame while Antifa and BLM rioted all over the country. The only people who ended up going down for January 6 were followers of Andrew Anglin and Nick Fuentes.
By 2021, it began to dawn on me that we had entered a new era. Starting with a YouGov poll that came out shortly after Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, survey after survey, poll after poll began to show that conservatives had been radicalized by the so-called Racial Reckoning of 2020. I went on White Rabbit Radio in early 2022 to discuss this tipping point. The Great Replacement went mainstream. National Divorce went mainstream. The term anti-White went mainstream. Abolishing the FBI went mainstream. Suddenly, topics which had been taboo for my entire adult life began creeping into mainstream discourse. It has reached the point where Elon Musk seems to wake up and have a casual conversation with Keith Woods nearly every morning. Matt Walsh says we need more European babies. There has been a truly radical change pulsating through rightwing politics since around 2019.
In the past, the point of activism had been to erode these taboos and push our ideas and values into the mainstream, or at least this is what those of us who were serious thought we were trying to accomplish. We called it “moving the Overton Window.” We wanted to normalize our politics. For some people, it had always been about acting out their own emotional sense of alienation from the mainstream. Now that the former has largely been accomplished, there is no need for activism anymore. On the contrary, events are now moving so rapidly that millions of people are becoming radicalized on their own. It is not up to you anymore. You can go on a Caribbean cruise and when you come back our politics will still be trending toward the extremes. These trends have their own irreversible momentum now.
Politics is getting crazier and crazier every day. You don’t have to “do something.”
This is why activism has become dangerous.
Orthodoxies become violent on their deathbed. The repression hasn’t worked. It has backfired. Individuals have been punished for this. Organizations have been bankrupted. Social discontent, however, has only intensified. We are now light years away from where we were in 2016. The number of radicals in the population has soared since 2020. Radicalization is going vertical.
In 2023, it became clear with the Trump indictments that we are on our way to a major constitutional crisis. The system, which so many of you hate, is now in big trouble. Partisan hatred has reached historic levels. The political class is making extraordinary, reckless gambles both at home and abroad. The mainstream political atmosphere has become fevered. We are in a destabilization phase. Norms are dissolving. Taboos are disappearing. The stability of the current regime is liquifying.
Instead of engaging in activism, you need to start preparing for mainstream politics losing stability and taking a really nasty turn. It is not a good time to paint a target on your back. You need to think more about … how do I insulate myself from a system that appears to be breaking down on its own? Maybe you will soon get a chance to actually be a hero, but now is not that time. We don’t need you wasting away in prison on some bullshit charge like carrying a tiki torch when all this animosity boils over.
If you want to do something, just watch for now. It won’t be long.