February 3, 2017

Rioters target free assembly, not speech, to prevent rival team's pep rallies

Now that left-wing rioters have shut down non-liberal speaking events at UC Berkeley and NYU during the past week, and recalling their shutting down a Trump rally in Chicago last March, it's necessary to understand what this phenomenon is, and what it is not.

To begin with, it is not about free speech, which is a right to convey statements to an audience, whether the statements are informational or opinion-based. Speech is about communication, and typically the media through which people communicate.

The speakers who have their events shut down can, and do, convey their beliefs and opinions through communications media, reaching larger audiences than they can with a real-life face-to-face talk. And those who disrupt these in-person talks never bother trying to subvert the communications media -- Fox News on cable TV, Rush Limbaugh's radio program, Breitbart's website, and so on.

It is not even about a broader thing called free expression, although that gets a bit closer. Expression includes things beyond statements, such as wearing clothing that identifies you as a member of Group A rather than Group B. But "expression" is, like "speech," too individualistic in focus.

Rather, the target of the rioters is the right to free assembly. Form a gauntlet outside of the meeting place, set a car on fire on the way to the meeting place, detonate a bomb inside of the meeting place -- and most people will shy away from attending such a meeting.

Note that the attendees are not a random sample of the population, but those who already largely agree and identify with the speaker. Unlike free speech, where a diverse and curious audience may be giving the statements a hearing, free assembly is meant to strengthen the existing social, cultural, and emotional bonds of a group.

It is "preaching to the choir," which makes no sense if we thought the point was free speech, open debate, convincing unpersuaded minds, etc. But if the meeting is a kind of pep rally for Team Us, then it makes perfect sense. Anyone who joins after attending is not a skeptic who has been convinced by argument, but someone who resonated with the group-high ("collective effervescence"). If they showed up curious but unaffiliated, they were already mostly persuaded and wanted to see what kind of feeling of belonging the group had to offer.

Free assembly can be twisted into an individual right -- for a particular person to congregate with his fellows in some group -- but the natural interpretation is that it is a right of an entire group to manifest itself somewhere, sometime, for some purpose. It wants to pump itself up, get the members resonating on the same wavelength, and come away from the gathering stronger and more unified.

Denying the group to gather in this way is not meant to restrict their communication about beliefs and opinions, but to weaken the group by leaving its members feeling more isolated than unified. Collective action by such an atomized "group" will not be possible, and the assembly disrupters will be able to push their own agenda as a team with ease.

Thus, the battle over speaking events belongs to the realm of coalitional conflict, and we observe all the signs of a low-level war, e.g.:

1. Physically it resembles a turf war, where a gang is claiming control over some area within public space, kicking out the public and daring them to defend it.

2. Hence the common battle cry: "Whose streets? Our streets!"

3. Disrupters dress similarly, often to the point where it looks like uniforms (a la the Black Bloc), to enhance group solidarity.

4. Disrupters display and rally around a standard (red-and-black flag, Circle-A flag, etc.), to enhance unity of origin and purpose.

5. If the other side is wearing emblematic clothing (MAGA hat) or carrying a standard (Trump sign or flag), the disrupters make it a high priority to capture these emblems and conspicuously destroy them, to weaken group morale of the other team.

6. Collective force is the name of the game, and that is not the disrupters "lowering themselves" to using force, or "hiding behind" their numbers -- that's precisely how one team takes over and defends a territory from another team or from the entire rest of the public.

In their own bizarro-world way, they think of themselves as, and are acting as though they were, a vigilante posse that is breaking up a riotous mob -- namely, Trump supporters going wild at a Trump rally, or whatever it may be. They are everything they accuse the police of being, just directed at a different target -- members of a rival political group, rather than law-breakers.

What then is the solution?

In the short term, if we do attend these events and there is no expectation of the government protecting our right to free assembly, then it would be necessary to beat the disrupters at their own game. See footnote.*

However, this stop-gap solution is not what we're after -- it would be faction vs. faction conflict, and nobody in the general public wants to see that or participate in it, even if they support our side.

What we, and the general public, would rather see is the monopoly on legitimate force being brought to bear on the assembly disrupters, whether it's the local police, National Guard of the state, or federal troops from the US Army.

Obviously those guys are already well trained in coalitional conflict, from the mindset to the behavior -- uniforms, flag, moving in formation, covering each other's back, and generally using collective force to shut the other group out of the disputed space.

And, those guys would be excited and grateful to get to use that training and specialization for a good purpose -- and how much less ambiguous is it, which side is right when one is trying to shut down free assembly for a group of normal citizens?

They would be less inclined to go overboard, being neutral enforcers of the law, whereas a mob of Trump supporters could easily go into overkill mode on their hated enemies.

Most importantly, the signal to the rest of society is that there is law and order, not just a faction of righteous citizens vs. a faction of degenerate citizens, fighting it out in the streets as though we were some anarchic third-world shithole. That gives the shut-down of the shut-downers a legitimacy that allows the rest of the public to support it, and even cheer it along.

That will be a crucial point to make when/if Trump ever has to send in federal troops, or exercise federal control over a state's National Guard (totally legal) -- that the alternative to sending in law enforcement is sending in nobody, in which case either a group's free assembly gets shamefully shut down, or the assemblers form their own counter-mob and we've got factional violence sprawling out of control in our major cities, like it's Medieval times again.

* Assemble and move as a group, if not necessarily in formation. Dress similarly, almost to the point of uniforms. Carry a standard that must be defended. Make an effort to capture their flag, swipe their face masks, and the like. Chant "Whose streets? Our streets!"

And even throw them the occasional punch, kick, shove, etc. Their goal is not to beat the attendees to a pulp, and neither is ours to kill them all on the spot (in which case both sides would simply bring guns). It is merely to demoralize them by showing that we can fuck around with them and they can't get us back as good as we're giving it to them.

You might think about being "outnumbered," but if the Trump supporters (or whoever) are a good size, that's all that's needed. Most of the physical confrontation will be face-to-face, so all their extra numbers far away from the target are wasted. Their ability to mess with us mano-a-mano is a saturating function of their group size.

So even if they had us outnumbered 10,000 to 1,000 -- a unified mob of 1,000 Trump supporters can still shove its way through a mass of 10,000 shitlibs.

There will be thousands of the enemy who will not even have a line of sight to the Trump supporters, let alone be able to get close enough to shout at them, throw something at them, or hit them. Because we will not be killing them, or they us, it's not like the extra numbers are a reserve to replenish those who are fallen.

What is that critical mass on our side where their extra numbers are useless? I don't know. Maybe it's 50, 100, 1,000, but something big.


  1. "And those who disrupt these in-person talks never bother trying to subvert the communications media -- Fox News on cable TV, Rush Limbaugh's radio program, Breitbart's website, and so on."

    They certainly would do so if they had the capability

  2. They do have the capability -- they're part of the broader Left, and the Left writ large does not try to disrupt communications media.

  3. Brilliant analysis, as usual. The events at Deploraball (primarily an assembly) confirms your theory.

  4. I was thinking about that example and forgot to mention it.

    And their catch phrase is "shut it down" -- meaning prevent a collective in-person event from happening. Not "shut them up".

  5. Michael Tracey suggested that the anarchists would hate to be lumped in with "liberals," whom they supposedly hate.

    But they did not wreak havoc at the DNC this summer. To the extent that they tried, they were shut down by the Bernie people who led the real protests, who didn't want to look bad in front of the general public, and who frankly didn't want their own collective event hijacked and shut down by people they don't agree with.

    The Black Bloc didn't disrupt Hillary events, attack Clinton attendees, etc.

    We are a long way from the non-partisan Great Compression, when Leftists fought their own party (Johnson, DNC in Chicago 1968, and so on).

    Now the Leftists have given a free pass to the surveillance state, warmongering foreign intervention, etc., during eight years of a Democrat presidency. They at least could have blamed the Republican Congress and rioted against them. But since the Executive was controlled by their preferred party, they shut up and stayed home.

    Aside from exposing their hypocrisy, this partisanship has lumped them into the faction pushing for corporate globalism, mass surveillance of normal Americans, and warmongering abroad.

    Congratulations, lifestyle anarchist posers.

  6. Talk Radio is ignored because it appeal primarily to a very select cohort of lowish class middle-aged white dudes. It's never going to be hip or powerful enough to attract more hostility. Whereas, as is pointed out above, visibly gathering for right-wing pow-wows is terribly alarming, especially when so many of the attendees are under 40. The Left likes to think that they've got a permanent lock on younger people since, remember, mental instability and Leftism both peak during one's college years. For that matter, both of those things have become more common in the current decadent era.

    As we "ease" into a more wholesome period, violent aggression towards America's historical majority will decline and so will insanity and cultural Marxism.

    Piggybacking on the 1968 drama mentioned above, let's keep in mind that the New New Left has retconned the struggles of the period. Outside of a handful of elitist Left enclaves, relatively few people cared about fags back in the 60's. Indeed, the fabled Silent Majority proved overwhelmingly that most Americans were quite conservative at the time (outside of abortion which peaked in the 70's) , and would remain that way for decades (One could even argue that we collectively didn't start to really backslide on certain issues, like immigration and religious piety, until the later 90's).

    We've talked before about elitist strivers vs. common folk, and how it doesn't take long in a high striving era for elitists to ignore, downplay, or mischaracterize the prole opinion. The greatest struggle of the 60's involved the 'Nam fiasco, and the protestors were earnestly concerned about the well-being of both American soldiers and the people we fought or allied with. The 70's kicked off our current decadent era, and how soon the elites begin ticking off the hedonist boxes (taking fags out of the DSM, Roe V Wade, weakening unions, lax selection of immigrants, etc.) Older people were bemused at best by the sudden decline in communal/pro-social behavior, while many young Boomers succumbed to nasty trends. But we still at least had grasp of what was right and wrong, even if our behavior didn't always live up to it. By the later 90's, we didn't have anything going for us anymore. The CultMarx Left gets delusions of ever greater changes to society, becoming a cancer eating away at what's left of normality and civility. Well, the cancer has finally been diagnosed correctly and now's the time for treatment.

  7. "Michael Tracey suggested that the anarchists would hate to be lumped in with "liberals," whom they supposedly hate.

    But they did not wreak havoc at the DNC this summer"

    They're dupes. Dem dupes. People are really gullible in cocooning periods. In the late 60's, people had a better grasp of who their friends really were. Why? People had stronger relationships back then. Strong as in earned camaraderie and reciprocity as opposed to blind loyalty. It's why so many 70's and 80's movies were about betrayal and revenge (and also the reverse, broken bonds being put back together). In cocooning periods, we're out in the wilderness, liable to be naive and exploited. A corollary to the heightened sense of stranger danger, the decline in hitch-hiking, etc. of the 80's is that when we did build a trusting relationship with someone, it felt rewarding and we tried to maintain it as long as the other person acted in good faith. In an era of reduced mobility/striving, I'm sure things would've been even better, like how cool everyone seemed to be in the 20's when reforms were being made, faces were shaved, and people had a lot of fun with good and giving friends.

    In our worst of both worlds present climate, decadent Millennial strivers with exceedingly shallow relationships don't even understand that the Dems are way past a healthy friendship inspection and re-evaluation date. One also is reminded of the many 70's/80's movies about a protagonist coming to question the competency and even integrity of his handlers. Millennials need to quit dreaming about superheroes. Check your ego, you might make some good friends along the way.

    Almost forgot, the anarchist jackasses sure as hell don't who the enemy is either, if they can't even figure out who the good guys are.

  8. Random Dude on the Internet2/3/17, 5:53 PM

    Will be interesting to see if the felony rioting charges that happened in Washington DC (and elsewhere) hold up. If they do and they get applied to rioters elsewhere, I suspect the crowds will dissipate quickly. Under Obama, anarcho-tyranny was secretly approved as long as they rioted for left wing causes. So this had the effect of emboldening the anarchist/antifa fringe who frequently got away with violence.

    I suspect that the vast majority of antifa and anarchists come from families where the household income is in the six figures. They are pampered lily white kids who have never been told no in their life and are mad that the racists in flyover country denied them their choice in candidate. They also expect mommy and daddy's money and influence will bail them out of any situation.

    So if these kids have to face felony rioting charges, the message will get real to a lot of these kids. Middle class and higher millennials have a lot of issues but even they know that a felony on their record means they are unemployable for anything that pays more than $12 an hour. These people are cowards so the solution is to make it clear that there are consequences for their actions and most of them will go away. There will be a small remaining few who have balls bigger than brains but they will serve as a reminder to the rest of the pampered left.

  9. They've been using "disrupt" recently as well, sounds more palatable than "shut down" I suppose

  10. Yes, I'm also interested on the effects felony rioting charges brought to bear on antifa will have on their numbers and overall enthusiasm. I can't see most of them holding on if they knew there was a fifty fifty chance they might be pleading against a couple years in jail and a felony on their record.

    Antifa types are animated but physically un-imposing and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say they've been largely coddled as a group by financial backing and sympathetic government both local and federal. What does a white anti-racist do in jail exactly? If they're affluent (many certainly are) how do they explain to mom and dad that they've become in many ways unemployable because they wanted to sucker punch people and burn trash cans?

    I don't think it is wishful thinking to assume a devastating number wont want to play anymore. Here's to hoping gov follows through on the charges.

  11. Darn. Made a couple comments yesterday on the previous post, but they didn't go through.
    Mostly, discussing and asking about the anarchist movement circa 1900.

    We have little understanding and cultural memory of the anarchists and even communists despite their lethality and larger impact on the world.

    I made a comment at Steve's about the need for calling, and understanding these people exactly for what they are, instead of always trying to call them some kind of nazi. I also observed that anarcho-commies aren't simply inverse nazis and mentioned I notice that lie. A lot.

    Anyway, another observation that I believe points to this being more like circa 1900 than 1968 is this, and it's one that has been screaming to get out for weeks, but I've been nice:

    THESE PEOPLE ARE UGLY! I mean u-u-u-uuugly! Somebody took the ugly stick to these people and beat them within every inch of their lives! Dadgum, Agnostic, people! Why are these people so ugly!?!?

    And it's not just the violent ones, but also people attending the women's march, etc. And if they managed to escape being physically ugly, then they do something incredibly marring like, at the women's march, wearing vagina costumes (the ones with hair and anuses were especially top-shelf).

    You definitely couldn't say this about the 60s radicals. The violent ones had deranged looks about them, but they weren't ugly.

    Then just yesterday, one of these people I unwittingly followed on twitter, honored Emma Goldman... Whew! Blessedly, they didn't show her picture, but that was one ugly woman! Famous anarchist, for those who don't know, who was supposedly majorly influential upon President McKinley's assassin.

    So, were those turn-of-the-century anarchists and leftists hideously ugly? I'll bet they were.

  12. I think a lot will depend on what AG Sessions does. I agree with Random Dude & David that this will fizzle out if he presses on with the felony riot charges. Perhaps he could also use RICO to go after the funders/organizers of this stuff, like the Clinton administration did with Operation Rescue.

  13. In light of your fine analysis, I note a commonality of strategy between the Prog Antifa and standard Muslim practice. Control of space and behavior in public space is essential to Islam.

  14. "You definitely couldn't say this about the 60s radicals. The violent ones had deranged looks about them, but they weren't ugly."

    One of the very few posts here that even mentioned Obama was this one, about how protesters in the '60s included lots of babes, unlike my experience in the anti-globalization movement of the early 2000s:


    Steve Sailer chimed in to say that P.J. O'Rourke made the same claim in the '90s about contempo protesters.

    In that old post, I joked that back in the '60s, good-looking women were willing to jeopardize their trophy wife prospects by getting into radicalism. Not so, since at least the '90s.

    There are plenty of attractive girls on Facebook, Twitter, etc., howling for blood about whatever the Trump brouhaha du jour is -- but they will never attend the Menstro-March, let alone anything radical.

    Perhaps it's due to the higher level of status-striving since circa 1980. Around 1970, there was a minimum of striving, so babes didn't think anything of "throwing away their future" by lowering their chances of making trophy wife material.

    Now, they're so status-obsessed, they'd rather vote straight Republican than lower the chances of becoming one-half of a Power Couple.

    That only leaves the uggos to protest, who don't really have anything that they're "putting on the line".

    1. I think you will enjoy this English hit from 1970 about female protesters.


  15. There was a slight exception to the rule when MSNBC sent their eye-candy reporters to cover the riots outside of Trump rallies last summer.

    Obviously they sided against Trump, were interviewing rioters in a friendly tone, and were subject to the same tear gas blowing through the air that the rioters were.

    Embedded eye-candy reporters made it look half-way glamorous... until you see that they stand out in such stark contrast to the mass of scum all around them. That visual only appeals to ugly young dudes with nothing to lose -- "Maybe if I riot against Trump, Hallie Jackson will touch my shoulder while asking me questions."

  16. Thanks, Ag! Just read it. I knew there had to be an answer!

    I wonder if your answer about the ugly guys with nothing to lose presents solutions for how to counteract this phenomenon. Perhaps when they go to collect their accolades on social media, spread how ugly, disgusting, etc. they are. But, perhaps that was already figured out with Cuck Carl and Aids Skrillex (spelling and names? just a couple people I've heard my husband laugh about).

  17. I really must have completely forgotten, owing to my memory problems related to pregnancy, because I've never missed a post of yours, btw :)

  18. Ag, just thought of, or remembered something...

    I distinctly don't get the impression of ugliness from the Righties. I was shocked at how cute a couple of the girls were who showed up at that Hollywood actor's camera (as part of some project inviting people to sound off, I think).

    I'm not talking about girls and women at the pro-life march, though maybe them, too, but girls hanging out with the alt-right in public, protesting Bill Clinton, etc. There aren't many of them, but they've been unusually pretty from what I've seen. There is one cartoonist girl whose work is a little out there, but she's got absolutely nothing on the demented women in vagina hats and lobster porn.

  19. Random Dude on the Internet2/4/17, 6:31 PM

    > Perhaps it's due to the higher level of status-striving since circa 1980. Around 1970, there was a minimum of striving, so babes didn't think anything of "throwing away their future" by lowering their chances of making trophy wife material.

    I agree. Attractive women don't want to be lumped in with the 250 pound blue haired HAES activist who dyes her armpit hair pink. Way too much social cost to even be seen around those women. The most you're going to get in terms of activism from these women is the Facebook filter of the French or LGBT flag i.e. the absolute minimum. I don't even think attractive women even care about politics, probably because life is pretty good for them regardless of who is in power.

  20. What the Left is doing highly resembles counter-guerilla warfare maneuvers.

    The basics of guerrilla warfare are for the guerrillas to move amongst the people undetected, gathering a few sympathizers at a time, launching minor guerrillas attacks to demoralize the large, organized opponent and to gain more supporters.

    But guerrilla warfare alone is not enough. All guerrilla manuals make a point that, in order for the guerrilla movement to be successful, the guerrillas must at some point form a critical mass and consolidate in an army that at last removes the old power structure and achieves victory. It does so by uniting guerrillas into progressively larger masses/battles until full-army status is achieved.

    The purpose of counter-guerrillas---our counter-insurgency---is precisely the opposite: prevent the guerrillas from massing together, and consistently demoralize them and keep them divided.

    Trump's victory was a guerrilla political victory. It came from the scattered remains of the nationalists. It was a victory, but the end of the war.

    Milo and Gavin are trying to move onto the next phase, which is greater and greater gatherings of guerrillas, to promote cohesion. The Left is thus instituting counter-insurgency methods to prevent such unification.

    Politics is warfare continued by other means.

  21. "What the Left is doing highly resembles counter-guerilla warfare maneuvers."

    The Black Bloc are the Pinkerton Guards of our neo-populist era, funded by latter-day robber barons.

  22. Likewise, the more peaceful nature of the 60s protests is a reflection of the more egalitarian early Baby Boomers. Peter Turchin has explicitly stated how tame the late 60s were compared to the 1910s and '20s. in part, this may be generational differences - egalitarian Boomers, vs. the status-striving generation born at the end of the 19th century, who were less afraid of violence or burning their communities down.

  23. Even the verbal masturbation that passes for academic Leftism doesn't bother trying to win arguments, as though what mattered was speech.

    They always frame their blathering as controlling space and ejecting the enemy from that space. "Space" being a figure of speech, of course.

    Contested spaces of identity, "a critical site of pleasure, peril, and curiosity," hegemonic colonization of the subaltern, situating the issue within ___, embedding the issue within ___, etc.

    Their language is all about control over spaces, which leads into their more specific focus on "bodies" being taken over, etc.

    They don't talk about unpersuaded minds needing convincing by arguments, but colonized bodies needing liberation by turf wars.

  24. I hate to point this out, but this is exactly what the Brown Shirts were. I have no problem with that, but the MSM will have field day with this. "See, Trump is a NAZI!" Until journalist, electronic or otherwise, face the consequences of what they do we will never change this country. Media types and Judicial types. Place your attention on these two and everything else falls in place.


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