I wrote this out as part of a recent discussion, and it might as well live here so I can read it in a few years and wonder why I thought such things…
- I find the distinction between direct orders and riling up rabble important. When a man gets drunk and beats his wife we do not blame alcohol companies, even if the beating would not have happened when sober
- I do not find political violence to be very contingent on politics – low functioning people leading meaningless lives will coalesce around causes that will give meaning to their lives, and maintenance and promotion of that identity is extreme behavior like forest defending and capitol rioting. “We gain much by hating in common and being hated in common” as the saying goes.
- Point 2 creates threshold effects which can be mistaken for having other causes – i.e. people who in the past were worried about floride in the water, UN RFID implants, IDF control over local governments, racial class war, etc, etc can now coalesce under QAnon and anti colonialism. In the past crazy was pulling in a thousand directions, now they’re just pulling in two or three. I blame social media, technology and the decline in religion for this.
- Point 3 results in changes in political action/violence, etc – while the coalescing probably does cause a net increase in political action/violence, etc due to network and agglomeration effects a lot of strange shit was going to happen anyway since people that do strange shit exist in the world. They now just produce a reduced list of motives.
- Jan 6 was indeed directly influenced by earlier riots and protests – You have all the post-riot evidence, as revealed in trials and social media posts, that the participants were running under assumption of “What happens at the riot stays at the riot” (i.e. an expectation of no law enforcement follow-up) as well as the tactics of the front lines in the form of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys not being armed (and saying so) as well as where and how they rushed the front lines. By being visibly unarmed the rabble ensured a hand to hand conflict instead of armed conflict which they could (and did) win for a while. This was an insight into law enforcement behavior gleaned from the 2020