If true, this is almost like the good old days of the “propaganda by the deed” era when anarchists were actual badasses.
By Laura Widener, American Military News
One of the ringleaders behind an FBI-thwarted kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was an outspoken anarchist, video evidence shows.
The FBI charged six people on Thursday involved in a plot to kidnap Whitmer and “target and kill police officers” over aspirations of overthrowing the government and creating a new society, Detroit Free Press reported.
One of those six individuals, Brandon Caserta, posted a series of videos to his YouTube account in which he promoted anarchist ideology while posing in front of an anarchist flag. The social media platform removed his videos, but producer and director Robby Starbuck reposted the videos to his Twitter account.
In one video, Caserta referred to police as “a violent gang that has each other’s back,” adding that they are “enemies” of freedom.
This is my assessment of the recent piece by Peter Gelderloos at Crimethinc, “Preparing for Electoral Unrest and a Right-Wing Power Grab.” The Crimethinc article is a great companion piece to the recent commentary by It’s Going Down (which I critique here) and Three-Way Fight (which I had a brief comment on here with further elaboration here). It’s also interesting to compare these far-left/anarchist/anti-fascist analyses with that of fourth-generation warfare theorist Bill Lind from the far-right.
By Keith Preston
The main things I would add to or dissent from the Gelderloos analysis would be these: I don’t think there is any ruling class faction that desires the restoration of pre-civil rights era race relations, and views like that are very marginal even on the periphery. The ruling class is opposed to minorities that resist “system values” and as class divisions are widening that has racial implications as well, but it seems the overwhelming majority of the ruling class favors a kind of technocratic multicultural statism for many practical/pragmatic reasons. I have an article about that coming out soon. And leading “right-wing” street fighter groups frequently include minorities, even in leadership positions. Their “racial reductionism” is a longstanding criticism I have of the left-anarchist/anti-racist types. White supremacists are the most marginal sector within the far-right and are often in conflict with other far-right sectors, including some that are very similar in other ways. Most of the far-right views white supremacists in the same way that the far-left views anti-Semitic black racialists.
A comprehensive fourth-generation warfare analysis of the present situation from a paleoconservative perspective.
By William S. Lind
Mobs loot, burn, and vandalize while politicians advocate defunding the police. A commune was established in Seattle and turned into Lord of the Flies while government did nothing. Blacks demand equal treatment from police despite a violent crime rate many times greater than that of whites, and mainstream media will not report honestly the differences in crime rates. “Wokeness” spreads among idle youth who flunked English 101. What is going on?
What is going on, right here on American soil, is war; a new kind of war that is also very old, waged by entities other than states. I call it Fourth Generation War and, to paraphrase Leon Trotsky, you may not be interested in Fourth Generation War—but it is interested in you.
In the 1980s, when working with the Marine Corps, I came up with an intellectual framework I call the Four Generations of Modern War. Military historian Martin van Creveld’s books The Rise and Decline of the State and The Transformation of War are foundational works in my framework, which flows from one of the defining elements of the modern age, the rise of the state.
By Peter Gelderloos
It is vital that anarchist strategy be situated: that we see strategy not as a chessboard from above, as in the authoritarian worldview, but as a perspective on the situation we inhabit, looking outward with our own eyes.
Nonetheless, we should not make the mistake of assuming that everyone we see on the other side of the barricades, those we are fighting against, are on the same side or want the same thing. In the conflict that is building up pressure around the US elections, combative fascist organizations want a victory in the streets, whereas the Republican Party wants a victory in the courts. They each see the other as a naïve ally but also as a means to an end. They will each try to pull the conflict into their chosen terrain. Of course, the conflict will occur in both terrains simultaneously, but which one is dominant, the relative degree of their strength, will have a huge effect on events.
What follows is a brief approximation of the strength of the different sectors that will be on the other side of the barricades, and the direction they will try to pull in. I will try to use an evidence-based approach that assumes grand social machinations leave a footprint, in contrast to conspiracy theory thinking that assumes the motivations and conniving of important sectors of society can be entirely hidden from view.
If there is one truism about Americans, it is that Americans do everything half-assed. American fascists are half-assed fascists. American communists are half-assed communists. American religious fundamentalists are half-assed fundamentalists. American anarchists are half-assed anarchists. Groups like Antifa or BLM are rookie leaguers compared to insurrectionary groups in other nations or even from the American past, like the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground. The BPP would get into hours-long shootouts with the pigs, and the WU bombed the US capitol building. Has Antifa or BLM done anything comparable?
By Jillian Kay Melchior
Wall Street Journal
What is antifa? “An idea, not an organization,” Joe Biden said during Tuesday’s debate. “When a bat hits you over the head, that’s not an idea,” President Trump countered. “Antifa is a dangerous, radical group.” Both men are right—Mr. Biden that antifa is foremost an ideology, and Mr. Trump about its propensity for violence.
Some adherents I’ve interviewed describe antifa as a radical leftist political affiliation or movement. They pride themselves on being leaderless and not hierarchical, and “membership” is more a matter of self-profession than enlistment. The core belief is a duty to oppose “fascists,” “bigots” and the “alt-right,” though these terms are seldom defined. Some adherents fall back on a definist fallacy: Antifa is short for “antifascist,” so anyone who doesn’t support it must be pro-fascist.
The lack of formal structure and leadership doesn’t mean antifa is unorganized. Individual activists often issue “calls for action” on social media, urging like-minded people to join them in the streets. The rallying cry is boosted by anarchists, socialists, social-justice activists, far-left nonprofits, clergy and others—some of whom call themselves antifa and some not. Turnout at protests or rallies is spontaneous, and to the extent that there are antifa groups, they’re small and intimate. “The phrase that leftists use is ‘affinity groups,’ ” says Mark Bray, author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” a sympathetic history. “They are basically people who know each other well and can plan to attend actions together and sometimes will have a division of tasks.”
Do you own a gun? Would you ever consider owning one? The United States is split into thirds on that subject.
Just under 30% of American adults currently own a gun. A little more than a third say they might own one in the future, and the other third can’t imagine ever having one.
In April 2020, the RAND Corporation published a long-term study tracking gun ownership in all 50 states, from 1980 to 2016. They combined survey-based estimates with other data indicative of gun ownership — shooting death records, gun-related magazine subscriptions, background check submissions and more — to determine the percentage of adults in each state who live in a household with at least one gun.
We’ve ranked the states by those percentages. Keep going to see where your state falls.
Another fourth-generation warfare incident?
A California woman has been charged with attempted murder after driving through a group of dueling protesters during a “Caravan for Justice” event Saturday afternoon.
The dueling protests held in Yorba Linda, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, quickly boiled over into animosity as Black Lives Matter demonstrators clashed with Donald Trump supporters.
“Approximately 30 minutes after the protests began, we began to receive reports of physical altercations occurring between the two protest groups, including at least one individual who was pepper-sprayed by another protestor,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Another faction fight in the brewing civil war?
By Nicole Acevedo
An Iowa gathering of over 100 people from motorcycle clubs turned deadly early Saturday morning with a shooting that killed at least one person and left several others wounded. Police in Waterloo, a city about 55 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids, said they responded to a “shots fired report” at about 3:17 a.m at a site where the bikers were gathered. Upon arrival, officers found about a dozen people who had been injured or shot, said Waterloo Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald at a press conference Saturday morning. It appeared that “some kind of confrontation” at the location escalated into a shooting, he said.
By Joshua Bote, Matt Mencarini and N’dea Yancey-Bragg
USA TODAY NETWORK
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Protesters demanding justice for Breonna Taylor continued to flood cities throughout the United States, three days after a grand jury declined to indict three officers directly connected to Taylor’s death.
In Louisville, 22 people were arrested late Friday night for violating a 9 pm. curfew, has been in place since Wednesday. Many were charged with unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, all misdemeanors.
At one point, golf balls were thrown at Louisville protesters leaving the First Unitarian Church where they had gathered as “sanctuary” after curfew.
Some more fourth-generation war. A civil war in the modern United States would be one of history’s biggest messes. It would be like the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s and 1980s with dozens of factions pitted against each other, only it would be worse because a large number of people would be involved, and with more sophisticated weaponry.
New York Daily News
A California man was killed in a shootout with deputies in Templeton, Calif., the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday evening.
On Friday, the sheriff’s department identified the man as 38-year-old Christopher Michael Straub of Templeton.
According to Tony Cipolla, a spokesperson for the department, Straub was a “known member of a white supremacist gang,” and he was being investigated by the Sheriff’s Gang Task Force when the shooting occurred.
Straub “had a significant criminal history,” according to Cipolla. He had previously been booked 28 times in jails across the state, including two incarcerations in state prison.
The anti-jerk off club named after a Disney character goes to Portland, presumably to get into a fight with Antifa. What could possibly go wrong? My advice to anyone interested in dissident politics is to avoid either participating in these groups or getting into confrontations with them. Protest all you want, burn down pig stations, loot Wal-Mart, whatever. But these street fights between rival cosplaying gangs of Weimar reenactors are the biggest waste of time ever.
By Cleve Wootson
Some more fourth-generation warfare?
Video of a police officer being forcefully struck on the back of the head with a baseball bat has attracted national attention after protests swept across the U.S. in the wake of the verdict in the Breonna Taylor case.
The clip showed an officer with the Seattle Police Department having fallen to the ground from his bicycle. A protester is then seen throwing a cone at him before the officer reached for and fired pepper spray into the crowd.
Another demonstrator then approached from behind and struck the officer on the back of the head with what police described as a “metal baseball bat,” hitting his helmet.
The officer continued to aim pepper spray at the crowd as he dragged his bicycle towards the line of police.
A pickup truck hit a protester Thursday night in Hollywood, California, and moments later a second vehicle hit a car participating in the same protest as it tried to leave the area, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The “largely peaceful” group of protesters began marching around 7 p.m. local time with only isolated reports of vandalism, but shortly after 9 p.m., things turned violent when a blue pickup truck traveling on Sunset Boulevard maneuvered through the crowd and became involved in an altercation, according to authorities. The driver of the truck attempted to get away from the situation, but police said he struck a protester standing in the street.
The protester hit by the truck was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Would it be accurate to say that a low-intensity civil war is no underway?
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Two police officers were shot and wounded late on Wednesday in Louisville, Kentucky, during protests ignited by a grand jury decision that civil rights activists decried as a miscarriage of justice in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The grand jury ruled that two white policemen will not be prosecuted in connection with the death of Taylor, a Black medical worker shot in her own apartment, because their use of force during an ill-fated raid on her home was justified, but a third officer was charged with endangering her neighbors.
And another round begins…
Louisville police say an officer has been shot amid protests over a lack of direct criminal charges for officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.
The statement did not elaborate on the condition of the officer or the circumstances of the shooting.
That development came amid a fast-changing scene in Louisville, where police had earlier fired flash bang devices to clear demonstrators from a downtown square Wednesday evening. The protesters had gathered there to protest a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to Taylor’s death.
Taylor, a Black woman, was fatally shot during a police raid gone bad earlier this year.
By Mike Selinker
I’m a wargame designer. I co-developed the first reboot of Axis & Allies and its D-Day edition, made a mythological Risk game called Risk Godstorm, and burned down both the Roman Empire in Gloria Mundi and medieval France in Veritas. I write about game theory learned from simulating war outcomes. Like many people, I’m stuck on this as the likely outcome of our situation:
We’re facing a civil war.
Up until yesterday, I wasn’t thinking a civil war was probable. But then Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. With her likely went the last chance the 2020 election will end peacefully. She told her granddaughter:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
It seems unlikely that wish will be heeded, though with everything this year you never know. Republicans now have a three-and-a-half-month window to install an unbreakable 6–3 majority on the Supreme Court. If they do, abortion rights, voting rights, and gay rights—actually, just all civil rights in general—are doomed.
But it’s worse than that, because we expect this election to be contested. If they have that majority before then, it doesn’t matter who wins the election, because a 6–3 court will kit-bash some reason to hand Trump a second term. So the Democrats are threatening that filling Ginsburg’s seat means they will create two to four more seats right after they win the Senate, if that happens. They might add D.C. and Puerto Rico as states, or even change the rule of apportionment. They might, as my friend Cyndi calls it, “act Ruthlessly.” This is the stuff that wars are made of.
We find ourselves in a country where both sides can’t imagine their loss would be legitimate. If Biden loses, his supporters will blame GOP trickery and voter disenfranchisement. If Trump loses, his supporters will blame voter fraud and riots. It doesn’t matter that the first one of those is real and the second isn’t. We are heading toward a reckoning.
Fourth-generation warfare is growing in America.
By William S. Lind
The September 2020 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette announced a series of articles titled The Maneuverist Papers and offers the first, “Marine Corps Maneuver Warfare: The Historical Context,” by “Marinus”, whose initials I suspect are J.S. The history it discusses and its analysis of the maneuver warfare movement’s “success” is generally accurate and thoughtful. I put “success” in quotes because, while maneuver warfare was adopted as official Marine Corps doctrine, the Corps left its personnel system, education, and training largely unchanged, which means it can talk about maneuver warfare but not do it. The Italian Army did the same thing in the late 1930s; hopefully, the Marine Corps’ results will be happier.
Marinus’s article concludes by asking,
Will there need to emerge another Gray, Boyd, Wyly, or Lind? Should or how should maneuver warfare adapt to recent and emerging changes in warfare? Or, more fundamentally, has warfare changed sufficiently that the Marine Corps should reconsider its basic doctrine? Most Marines would instinctively and emphatically say, “No!”–but does that mean the question should not be asked?
I appreciate his acknowledgement–I did after all start the debate over maneuver warfare with a piece I wrote in 1976- and I would also note that with the exception of John Boyd, the rest of us (including Jeff Grelson, whom the article forgot) are still alive, functioning, and probably have one last campaign in us.
But war is evolving in such a way that the situation is wholly different. In the 1970s through the early 1990s, the Marine Corps could choose whether to stick with Second Generation (firepower/attrition) warfare or shift to the Third Generation (maneuver warfare). Fourth Generation war offers no such choice, because it moves in next door.
It’s Going Down
There is a growing consensus across mainstream political and media circles that Trump will contest the upcoming 2020 election and throw the United States into a Constitutional – and potentially violent crisis – in order to hold on to power.
But what does this potential chaos mean for working-class and poor communities? While non-profits and organizations tied to the Democratic Party are already organizing, what do everyday people do in the face of such uncertainty? The following editorial offers some ideas as to what we may expect to see play out over the coming weeks and months.
It has become increasingly clear, even to the ruling elite, that the November election will present the American political system with its most serious crisis in well over a century. The choices presented―Donald Trump and his fascist clique versus right-wing neoliberal Joe Biden―offer essentially nothing to either autonomous social movements or the working-class caught up in the hellscape that is 2020. Nevertheless, this spat between two factions of billionaires threatens to devolve into a blood feud. In this environment, people must be organized to keep themselves and their communities safe from both the looming threat of dictatorship and paramilitary violence.
I disagree with aspects of the ideological flavor reflected in this article. But its core thesis seems to be cogent enough. A multi-dimensional insurrection (consisting of distinct but overlapping sectors such as the lumpenproletariat, middle-class radicals, ordinary hooligans, the far left, and sectors of the far right) is being co-opted by the state and the ruling class, which fears an insurgency by the nationalist right and the authentically anti-capitalist left to an even greater degree.
By Pedro Gonzalez
There is no proletarian,” wrote Oswald Spengler, “not even a Communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money, and for the time being permitted by money―and that without the idealists among its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.” What the German prophet of pessimism meant was that revolutions generally boil down to the whip passing from one hand to another equally or even more eager to exercise the lash.
The idealists tend to be blind to this and serve their new masters just as well as the ones they endeavor to throw off.
These folks who travel from city to city for the purpose of escalating left/right conflict need to stay at home and mind their own business. If all of the different political factions worked toward the purpose of turning their local communities into their ideal model of a startup society, then they would have something. Naturally, places like Portland and Seattle will have a more “left-wing” orientation just as rural counties would presumably have a more “right-wing” orientation (with suburbs being the center?). Unfortunately, too many people are ignorant enough of history that they do not understand that tribal warfare is always a dead end. But they’re Americans, so I suppose we should expect some handicaps in this area.
I can’t really see any principled objection to firebombing police cars (enemy military vehicles). The problem that I have with both conservative anti-protestors like Saager Enjeti and Tim Pool or liberal pro-protestors like Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski is that they all believe in the fundamental legitimacy of the system. I reject the “pro-protest/anti-violence” stance. That doesn’t mean I necessarily like all the protestors, violent or non-violent, as much as I simply view them as necessary chaos agents for the purpose of undermining the system. It’s about creating a critical mass that prevents the system from functioning while preventing any of the factions from gaining a concentration of power. It’s not so much a “three-way fight” as the “antifascists” claim as much as “twenty-way fight” with more teams being added all the time. A civil war in the US would have as many teams as the NFL, NBA, or MLB.