I’ve been reading the book “Reflections on Violence” by Georges Sorel and it’s been a very enlightening read, particularly in the modern context where progressives have managed work their way to a domineering presence in many of our institutions and over our government.
Sorel talks of the “parliamentary socialists”; socialists who have abandoned the revolutionary calling and instead sought candidacy and election to parliament. He clearly despises these socialists, but his description of their tactics are very, very similar to the tactics of modern progressives.
They are fuelled by the unrest and outrage of the proletariat, the workers who are hard-done by and feel they are being ripped off by their ‘masters’, the bourgeois. This unrest and outrage provides parliamentary socialists with a certain amount of political capital; capital that they can use to put pressure on the bourgeois to make concessions to the proletariat.
The issue is that the parliamentary socialists play a two pronged game, where they elevate themselves as a new intermediary class between the proletariat and the bourgeois. To the proletariat, the parliamentary socialists present themselves as greater reformers, helping the proletariat in their struggle for bread by reforming laws. But to the bourgeois, the parliamentary socialists present themselves as the peacekeepers who are experts at quelling rebellion and unrest.
In the words of Sorel:
“Unrest, cleverly channelled, is extremely useful to parliamentary socialists, who boast to the government and to the rich bourgeoisie of their ability to moderate revolution; they can thus arrange the success of financial affairs in which they are interested, obtain minor favours for many influential electors, and get social laws voted in order to appear important in the eyes of simpletons who imagine that these socialists are great reformers of the law. For this to succeed there must always be a certain amount of agitation and the bourgeois must always be kept in a state of fear.”
The parallels between this description and the progressives cannot be mistaken. Parliamentary progressives, as we may call them, live off of social outrage. It is their life essence. Without social outrage, there is no energy for progressivism to win. Much like workers would become outraged over conditions and pay, progressives now become outraged over culture. This outrage gives them the political capital to make demands from conservatives.
They have mass demonstrations, parading in the streets demanding change, and even if they are in truth a minority, their ability to protest in large numbers allows them to project their view of events onto the masses. This political capital is then used to place pressure and to force the submission of conservatives.
“…a parliamentary group sells peace of mind to the conservatives, who do not dare use the force they command.”
The most obvious example of this was the concession from Tony Abbott to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. How foolish it is to decide to even give a choice on this matter, but it is due to the pressures, the outrage, the threat of unrest that was waged against him that the progressive parliamentarians were capable of pushing him into conceding his values.
The progressive parliamentarians made the same promises as the socialist parliamentarians, “we can quell the outrage”, “just make this last concession and the outrage will go away”, etc. Of course, it will never go away. To remove the outrage would suffocate this new class of all power. They require it to exist, and without it there is nothing they can offer the powers that be.
So outrage will endlessly come, no matter how many concessions conservatives make to progressives. To quote Clemenceau:
“Every man or every power, whose action consists solely in surrender, can only finish by self-annihilation. Everything that lives resists; that which does not resist allows itself to be cut up piecemeal.”
The development of violence from the progressives and left is just a natural extension of this coercive force. The only way to respond to it is through violence. It is impossible truly to believe that moral outrage over the political use of violence will somehow quell violence. Argument and reason are useless tools against blunt force.
Those who utilise violence as a vehicle of threat do not care for the moral outrage their victims present. Instead, they insist on their moral outrage. It is their moralising and outrage that legitimises the progressives in their view that their enemy is pure evil. Their opposition to what they consider to be legitimate violence only makes their enemies guilty of the things they accuse them of. And even worse; it puts the right in a back-foot position from which they have to concede and appease progressives in their endless march of encroachment.
The only solution to this dilemma is to respond with full force. To have fear in the face of this foe is to allow them to manipulate you into submission. Conservatives must regain their willingness to respond, to no longer concern themselves with the “virtues of peace”. The virtue of peace is worthless to us, it has led us to demise and it is only through an emboldened virtue of will that we will become capable of overcoming the progressive parliamentarians and their street warriors.
For the activists on the right who wish for change, there is a lesson to be learned here as well. As it stands, the virtue of peace is held nominally by the progressives. Although they use outrage, most of this outrage is soft power and is not through literal force — but we must be weary as the transition to force is beginning. We need to rout the progressives while they suffer from the virtue of peace by embracing a virtue of will. It is only through this that we can gain victory.
You can follow Daniel Gibbons’ activist group Counter-Revolutionaries of the Southern Cross on Facebook and Medium, and find his podcast National Social Justice Radio on YouTube.