The Empire trembles in response

Thomas Cole:  The Course of the Empire (Destruction)
Thomas Cole: The Course of the Empire (Destruction)

Underground group declares war on Western industrial civilization

No doubt they, The Army of Gaia (sounds immense and powerful, doesn’t it?) will use the Internet, cell phones, and texting, as well as automobiles and jet travel, to further their goal of destroying the infrastructure that created such tools in the first place.

Then we can all go live in yurts, forage for worms to eat, and repent for our wicked ways. I’m guessing people aren’t stampeding to join them.

Why is it that political groups on the fringe too often are utterly devoid of humor? Yes, I know they’re doing the work of God / Karl Marx / saving the planet / protecting the endangered black widow spider / whatever, and that this is Serious Work indeed. But would a giggle or two kill them? Apparently.

Read the screed from the Army of Gaia. It’s what I call “one note propaganda”, moral outrage and anger, but nothing else. Listen to a gifted preacher speak. He mixes it up. Anger, yes. But also humor, pathos, thundering phrases as well as quiet reflective moments, and whatever rhetorical tricks he can use to get his points across.

Extremists groups generally miss this, and thus end up only appealing to other extremists. Sure, mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, and tiny extremist groups sometimes grow into a huge political forces. Bury The Chains tells the story of the abolitionist movement in Britain, “a movement that began with just 12 angry men meeting in a printer’s shop in London in 1787 and, within a century, had led to the virtual disappearance of slavery.”

But they used every method they could. They reached out to the mainstream, formed alliances. They invented the economic boycott of companies and the lapel pin as means of protest. It’s quite a story. My point is, their tactics went way beyond just being angry and outraged. Something to think about.


  • Wood

    “But would a giggle or two kill them? ”

    I’ve been banging on about this for years. And it’s SO TRUE, Bob. So true.

    • I suspect I was purged from that far left group I used to be for being Insufficiently Serious and Prone To Giggling – as well as for Questioning Dogma (the worst thought crime of them all.)

      All of which I cheerfully admit to.

  • UJ

    I got accused of “dogmatically questioning” one time.

    I don’t know what it means still.

    • It means you were asking questions they didn’t want to answer.

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