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March 31, 2010
by Lawrence Gulotta

Militia Movement Malaise

The notion of insurrection as a serious strategy for radical change in society was largely abandoned by most revolutionaries many decades ago.

The revolutionary anarchists can be very disruptive and violent at times, but their tendency is to attempt to take over mass movements in the streets through activist protests, street theater and running wild in the streets i.e. Seattle WTO.

The New Left was largely a movement dedicated to mass, non violent protests against the war in Vietnam. The new left did spawn the SDS Weather Underground-a violent, thuggish cadre of well educated youths. This violent tendency of the youth movement self destructed.

The Black Panthers have been described as “lumpen proletarian,” used violence, were thuggish, subordinated women and paid a heavy price for their insurrectionary behavior. The cops and FBI showed them little mercy.

It is possible that the ultra far left learned its lesson. The barricades are ancient history. Society can not be transformed from the barricades. Violence is counter-productive.

What is unusual about the ultra right wing militias, Christian identity groups, Aryan racists and others of this ilk is their contempt for mass politics.

They are relatively small groups, isolated from social forces, conspiratorial and heavily armed. They do not appear to be scions of wealthy families. They come mainly from rural areas, remote, isolated counties. Many are ex-military, marginally employed or unemployed. They don’t look for heroes in the Third World. Their leaders advocate an unrecognizable, distorted Christian faith, sometimes, intense racial antagonism and a revulsion against legally constituted government, especially the federal government.

I’m inclined to believe that the ultra right wing militias are a form of “militarized nativism,” white, lumpen-proletarian, with poor skills and no future. They seek salvation and social status in pseudo-Christian or pagan cults, and of course, are dangerously anti-authoritarian.

This is a highly complex area of anti-social political activity. The tea party folks look like cup cakes compared to this crew. We need to know more about their origins, psychology and potential for growth.

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