For a month, I had been looking forward to attending the climate march scheduled to take place in NYC with the hopeful expectation that it would be the ideal meeting place for dashing, like-minded young men and women unafraid of threats, hearts aflame, transforming their frustration with the planet’s dissolving future into action. What I found there turned out to be less a hardened range of defiant faces rising above the mists, becoming one against an ocean of obstacles, and more a safe, beige sea of trendy soccer moms pushing strollers, dads carrying signs bearing pleasant slogans, and blown-up macros of polar bears.
The contrast between expectation and reality was almost presaged by the hi-fi vaults of Times Square, containing the insignia of passive consumer comfort. There were pockets scattered throughout the crowded streets made up of the few committed to decisive action, but they found themselves cut off, alone, without van or guide amid the teeming swells of children’s balloons and shopping bags.
This experience illustrated a phenomenon that I had only observed at a distance through computer and television screens: that of the inherent obstruction to political action posed by those strata of a society who benefit most from its arrangements. This is only slightly true, but becomes uniquely problematic when considered alongside the attitudes of our liberal-progressive middle class. There appears to be a disjunction between its historical, economic, and cultural predominance and its contemporary affinity for radical posturing, liberal social attitudes, and apparent commitment to social justice (however construed). This is interesting to our present analysis not for its marked discontinuity with historical trajectories or even the ideological forces which presuppose the formation of such attitudes, but rather the disintegrative effect it has upon those forces organized for radical opposition to cultural-legal norms they deem incommodious and seek to either change or eliminate.
The presence, for instance, of children at events intended for or naturally inclined toward civic opposition, accompanied by parents for whom these venues are simply more opportunities for amusement, and semi-political sloganeering, place a low ceiling on a crowd’s revolutionary potential, its general maneuverability, and its capacity to adapt to new conditions arising from its central purpose: confrontation with structural authorities (police, gendarmerie, military, etc.). This is owed to a combination of empathic regard for the safety of such obvious non-combatants and the sheer space they occupy—their extraneousness nothing else but a tactical predicament.
For those who profess passionate aliberal tendencies, this is a particularly frustrating obstacle to overcome. It’s worth considering here the alternatives to public demonstration that may be engaged for the purpose of strategy and organization in order to affect the widest margin of change:
The formation and support of a dedicated core-group of professional oppositionaries trained to operate outside of the conventional strike/protest paradigm.
Tactics designed for such groups which encompass cultural, artistic, and so-called ‘metapolitical’ activities designed to affect the value-structure of society, as well as more combative/deconstructive/reconstructive engagements.
Strategy which focuses on confrontation with authorities or parauthorities directly, without announcement or legal approval, but with focus, spontaneity, and deft use of their surroundings to evoke spectacle and thus broaden the impact of such activities.
Reorganization along these lines might yield a more fruitful disinvolvement with the present social, political, cultural, and legal systems encased within the territorial limits of the state and the overall civilization of which the state represents. As a right-wing anarchist, I must stress that such a re-concentration of efforts is not inconsistent with the overall aims of either anarchism, or the affirmation of hierarchy as a social good, and, for that matter, the larger Traditionalist project. The apparent differences here are resolved as merely two vectors of approach—the anarchic rejection of the society into which the Traditionalist finds himself cast, and the hierarchic vision of a new social reality that he wishes to impose over the dilapidated structures of the old.