Ten years ago, I identified what I considered to be the “ten core demographics” that proponents of the ideas we discuss here at ATS will have to reach in order to eventually find the Holy Grail. The original piece is available here. It is interesting to evaluate the status of each of these ten demographics (which are really collections of sub-demographics) a decade later in light of the current uprising. Here is where things seem to stand. The parts in italics are from the original piece.
1. The Populist Right: A wide assortment of sub-tendencies including gun rights, white rights, religious rights, men’s rights, father’s rights, family rights, alternative medicine, homeschoolers, conspiracists, militias, state’s rights, local sovereignty, pro-life, hard money, libertarian, anti-tax. Eventually more and more from these camps will recognize that they have no prospect of victory within the context of the present system and will begin looking for alternatives.
The performance of these sectors has been a mixed bag, as I would have predicted. Some have continued to move toward an authentically anti-system perspective. Some have yet to reject the system and embraced scams like Trumpism. Others have moved in a counterproductive direction and endorsed a race war, terrorism, actual fascism, and other nonsense. Again, all of this is predictable. It is likely that the “populist right” will continue to move in each of these three directions simultaneously in the future. The objective should be to encourage the actual anti-systemists while marginalizing the Sarajevo-wannabes, and encouraging those close who cling to the system to drift toward the anti-systems.
2. The Sinking Former Middle Class: Class divisions in the U.S. will increasingly resemble those of Latin America, and when that happens the former middle class will be PISSED!
The former middle class has continued to sink over the past decade. Hence, the increasing popularity of populist politicians and media figures. But few from this demographic have adopted an actual anti-systemist perspective. They need to sink some more.
3. The Antiwar/Civil Liberties Left: Expect a major split in the future between this Left and the race/gender/gay identity politics/welfare state Left.
This predicted split has largely come about as evidenced by efforts to marginalize anyone with an antiwar or pro-civil libertarian perspective on the Left, including moderate or center-left figures like Tulsi Gabbard, Jill Stein, or Glenn Greenwald. The identity politics left is rapidly being co-opted by the state and the corporate class, who have worked to marginalize the welfare state left (the Sanders types) and worked double time to marginalize the antiwar/civil liberties left. Liberal and left opinion is currently split between the establishment left (the neoliberal/IdPol coalition), the welfare statists in the middle, and the actual anti-imperialist and/or anti-statists on the margins.
4. The Urban Underclass: Expect no revolution without gaining the support of this class. To win, we must control the major cities, and we do that by gaining the support of this class.
The performance of this sector has been fantastic. A+.
5. The Lumpenproletariat: Broadly defined as traditional outgroups who were never incorporated into the Left’s pantheon of the oppressed, e.g. drug users, prisoners, the homeless, psychiatric inmates, cults and sequestered sects, prostitutes/sex workers, youth subcultures, those whose livelihood is criminalized outright, to name but a few.
Another category that has put in a stellar performance. A+.
6. Racial Minorities Outside the Liberal Paradigm: Ranges from conservative minorities to racial/national separatists to ethnic autonomists to lumpen elements, e.g. gangs, conventional criminals, convicts.
This is such a broad category that it really requires multiple assessments. Many from this category have also put in an A+ performance. While the “conservative” types have rightfully criticized those on the Left who want to steer things in a “race war” direction, many have not fully rejected the system.
7. The DeClasse: Persons from privileged backgrounds, particularly younger people, who reject the values of their class (e.g. egalitarian consumerism).
Many from this category have performed well. Others are slowly developing. Some have been co-opted by the ruling. Others have veered off into nonsense. There is still plenty of hope even for the lackluster performers in this category.
8. Ecological Radicals: Not tree-hugging Al Gore fans and global warming hysterics, but primitivists, deep ecologists, Earth Firsters, ALFers/ELFers, peak oilers, neo-Luddites, Kaczynskians, and Linkolans.
Generally on the right track, and growing in popularity, particularly the Kaczynskians.
9. Lower class members of the traditional outgroups and/or left-wing constituent groups: e.g. feminist women, racial/ethnic minorities, traditional union members, gays, sexual minorities, cultural liberals, countercultural youth, environmentalists, who eventually recognize that liberalism isn’t bringing home the bacon and that all of this political correctness isn’t paying the rent.
The split on the left in these categories is growing as well, particularly given the current economic crisis.
10. Refugees from Political Correctness: Former liberals who wise up aka modern day Arthur Koestlers.
Some of these have moved in a more positive direction, while some have embraced garbage like Trumpism or some of the more vulgar sectors of the alt-right.
Collectively, these and other related or overlapping demographic factions represent a majority of the U.S. population (or will be a majority decades from now at the hour of the revolution). Our mission is to build the appropriate coalitions and alliances at the local level, and then at the regional level, and then at the national or continental level with the end game of mass pan-secession always being in sight. To win, we need to take a super-majority of the territorial U.S. with us. The forces of the local coalitions should be reflective of local cultures and dominant ideological trends while regional and national alliances should be based simply on the need for common defense against the common enemy. The anarchist communities of the past are a model for new anarchist communities in the future, the Hanseatic and other medieval leagues are a model for the regional alliances of local communities, and the Continental Congresses or Articles of Confederation of the American Revolution, or the Spanish Anarchist militias, are a model for the assertion of common independence from You Know Who.
This would seem to be the appropriate approach to take in 2020 just as it was in 2010. If I were going to add anything this analysis from ten years ago, I would probably add the insights of the Hidden Tribes study from 2018, along with data from the 2016 election. It terms of building a mass movement to abolish the system along the lines described in the paragraph from the original piece cited above, it is necessary to focus on the 46 percenters (those who decline participation in electoral politics), the “exhausted majority” (those who disdain left-wing and right-wing partisanship and/or extremism), and both red tribers and blue tribers who eventually give up on trying to achieve institutional hegemony, or who realize their “tribe” is not actually pursuing their own interests. Of course, the lumpenproletariat remains the vanguard class.
The Red/Blue divide has intensified over the past ten years, and the most important strategic objective at this point is to keep the eye on the prize, and not be distracted or seduced by those who prefer a political, cultural, racial, tribal civil war to actual anti-systemism, which means criticizing and calling out EVERYONE who fuels the civil war rather than the revolutionary struggle. There are three main tasks for the future: 1) overturning the present system in the way described above; 2) avoiding the construction of a new tyranny from the Left, Right, or remnants of the present system; and 3) avoid a Yugoslav-like civil war.