Yesterday was a sea change

Hey lefties, how about we put an end to dire pronouncements about how screwed we are and instead realize that yesterday was quite astonishing. Millions of mostly first-time protesters filled the streets in opposition to Trump. WaPo and NYT said pointblank that Trump and his comically inept Ministry of Truth mouthpieces were lying about inauguration crowd size. I’d say this is a sea change.

Let’s use this opportunity to engage with, listen to, and help these new protesters learn to organize even better. Because if we want to topple Trump, we will need broad-based support of middle America. Don’t say this can’t happen, because this is exactly how Nixon was forced from office. He resigned because he lost so much support he could no longer govern. A better attitude is to adopt what Queen Victoria said, “”We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.”

So let’s put an end to deeply ponderous, learned articles, pontificating based on arcane knowledge of leftie history that show how clever the author is, how we are screwed and all is woe. Because we aren’t screwed. Not at all. Such articles are counter-productive, lefter-than-thou, and often pointlessly irrelevant.

You don’t think the Women’s March protesters are properly militant because they don’t adhere to whatever your silly sect says? How about instead you just get out of the way so actual change can occur? Or better yet, work to make it happen. Because it can.

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Trump just highlights the problem of centralized power

Anarchist site Crimethinc says the real problem with Trump is the problem with governments in general, too much centralized power. When the president is someone low-key like Obama, the problems of too much power in one place are less obvious than when a loose cannon like Trump takes power.

Crimethinc has a useful guide to J20 (and beyond) protesting, with smart thoughts about Blocs, black and otherwise. Smashing a Starbucks window for freedom is indeed pointless. However the direct action tactics of a Bloc have succeeded in the past, primarily because the target was focused.

The Problem
…is that anyone could wield so much power in the first place. A man like Donald Trump could never be so dangerous if government and the market didn’t concentrate power in the hands of a ruling class.

Putting another party in power won’t fix this. All the faith invested in Obama’s promises of Hope and Change just legitimized the government long enough for a more ruthless tyrant to take the reins. All the taxes paid by hopeful citizens just put more bullets in the guns of the police that will go on profiling, imprisoning, deporting, and murdering people under Donald Trump.

We have to stop ceding our strength to these institutions. Instead, let’s build networks to meet our needs directly and defend ourselves against everyone who wants to rule us. The only way to freedom and equality is through self-determination, mutual aid, and collective resistance.

On the inept Black Bloc today and how blocs like the Boston Tea Party did succeed

You may have heard of the notorious Black Bloc, a venerable, if not doddering, anarchist tradition in which a mass of direct action enthusiasts gather, all wearing black clothing and masks, and engage in some level of illegal activity. This tactic has won some famous victories in the past couple decades, and failed utterly more times than anyone can count, too. The specific cultural characteristics that are associated with the Black Bloc tactic today can make it easy to overlook the long history of the Bloc tactic and the wide variety of applications for which it can be used. The Boston Tea Party, for example, was a perfect example of a Bloc at work: the participants organized secretly, wore matching disguises (though their choice to costume themselves as “Indians” wasn’t exactly politically correct), and engaged in a mass act of provocative property destruction; presumably their strategies for communication and mutual defense weren’t much different from those used by the famous Black Blocs that, a couple hundred years later, attacked similarly noxious coffee corporations in Seattle. Those who practice direct action would do well to keep in mind the wide range of scenarios in which a version of the Bloc approach can be useful.

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Protests growing for J20 in DC. Anarchists, Marxists, normals

Anarchists will be in DC for the Inauguration as well as ANSWER (Marxist, although careful to hide it), Woman’s March (resolutely non-violent), and many more.

Some of the protesting groups that will be in DC are barely speaking to each other, so all you alt-right hysterics squealing about how we work in concert and are funded by Soros are comically inaccurate. I mean, the anarchist / Marxist split is the oldest and most implacable rupture on the hard left.

It does appear the various protests will be huge and Trump has the lowest positive ratings ever, by far, for an incoming president. That means he is highly vulnerable so the protests need to be unending, coming from multiple directions, and targeted.

He will fall.

From an anarchist site:

Above all, when we resist Trump and all politicians on January 20, whether in DC or in our own communities, we’re not just fighting to shut down business as usual. We’re fighting to define what it will mean to be against Trump in the years to come. Will our energy be diverted into rallying support for Democrats or raising money for nonprofits? Or will we build towards a world beyond all parties and politicians? Can our opposition to Trump transcend single issues and undermine the legitimacy of capitalism and the state altogether?

On January 20, we will take to the streets. But what we do in the months and years beyond the inauguration will determine the nature of resistance the world that made Trump possible.”

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Jared Kushner used his populism as a campaign strategy

Jared Kushner had populist leanings and mistrusted the monied class he was born into. This was long before the Trump campaign. Kushner played a major role in developing strategy and tactics for the Trump campaign, using his populist leanings to help elect Trump. Meanwhile, Hillary tried to attract moderate suburban Republicans and was almost completely tone-deaf to populist concerns. Sanders OTOH, is a left-wing populist.

Members of the monied class and the privileged can and do find fault with their class. FDR sure did. As president he said “I welcome their hatred,” referring to the elite NYC banker class who loathed him. Considering Kushner’s populism predated the Trump campaign, I’ll assume his beliefs are sincere. And his populism helped elect Trump. I’m not comparing him to FDR, only saying he had a message many Americans wanted to hear.

Ross Barkan worked at The Observer when Kushner ran it. He says:

“When Kushner traveled with Trump across America, he would develop a disdain for the Manhattan elite he belonged to, believing they could not understand the frustrations of everyday people. As strange as this may sound to come from Kushner — his father is a New Jersey real estate magnate and he is worth many millions — I heard the sentiment through our editor-in-chief before Trump was even on the political radar.”

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