November 7, 2017 marked the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. There are many reasons beyond the historical to ponder the legacy of communism. Ever since Vladimir Lenin overthrew Russia’s nascent parliamentary democracy in 1917 to establish a brutal dictatorship, many other nations have fallen for the bait-and-switch scheme called communism, and often labelled socialism.
Communism promises equality but delivers scarcity for all but the elites in its apparatus. It pitches social justice and delivers mass enslavement, widespread misery, social distrust, and severe punishment for all who might dissent. We’ve seen these phenomena happen all over the world, in China, North Korea, Southeast Asia, post-World War II Eastern Europe, Cuba, Central America, and perhaps most notably visible today in the starvation and chaos of Venezuela.
During the twentieth century—and let’s remember this is recent history—communist regimes murdered more than 100 million people. This sort of astounding cruelty is in the very nature of the beast called communism. It happens when too much power gets concentrated into the hands of too few people.
Yet Americans have a sad history of flirting with this disaster and many American elites, from 1930s intellectuals to 1960s radicals, have accepted it completely. We’re seeing another revival today: Bernie Sanders is a self-professed socialist, and The New York Times recently ran an article doting on the good old days when communism inspired so many in America.
So, the questions Americans might best ask themselves today are as follows: How might a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” ever buy into the lies of communism, a system tailor-made for state mass murder? How might a free people ever allow the abolition of a Constitution that guarantees individual rights, the rule of law, due process, and is designed to thwart elites from gaining absolute power over others? Why would anyone, except an advocate of slavery, throw away a document designed from its very inception to abolish slavery in all of its forms?
In a recent article, I sketched out six phases on the road to communism, and summarized the trends in each phase: 1.) Laying the groundwork; 2.) Propaganda; 3.) Agitating the masses; 4.) Consolidating control over society’s institutions; 5.) Coercing conformity; and 6.) Final solutions. This follow-up article will examine the trends in the three earlier phases. The third article in this series will examine the trends most associated with the three latter phases.
Several of these phases, which are roughly sequential, overlap a lot. But I think it’s useful to at least try to understand how a phenomenon that can cause so much human misery and mass murder can possibly gain a foothold in a free nation. If we can dissect it and study it all more closely, perhaps we can sidestep some of the pitfalls that drag us down communism’s path of human cruelty and evil.
The first phase towards tyranny in a free society is a generational or decades-long process. It’s a period in which minds can be closed to reason and more influenced by emotion and propaganda. Even at institutions of supposedly higher learning, students start to lose their capacity to think independent thoughts. We might summarize this as the conditioning phase—maybe the “programming” stage—that paves the way for group think to solidify. Below I list some of the trends in this phase.
Creep of social policies that promote polarization, dependency, and human isolation. All so-called progressive policies cause division and isolation among people. For example, economic policies that promote dependency create more class divisions and hostility. When we codify policies that bow down to identity politics, we fuel divisions by race, class, sex, religion, and so forth. All such policies tend to wreak havoc on personal relationships.
The metastasizing of the welfare state under President Lyndon Johnson caused a lot of dependency. Some of its offshoots, such as “Aid to Families with Dependent Children,” perpetuated family breakdown with a carrot-and-stick effect that rewarded single motherhood then financially punished the family if the mother married.
The list of policies that breed human isolation goes on: Policies that promote the sexual revolution discourage bonds of marriage and family; No-fault divorce promotes the separation of spouses. Policies that punish married parents and reward single parenthood promote the separation of children from their parents. Also, no matter how you feel about abortion, you can’t deny that it erodes the social value given to the mother-child bond.
Broken families lead to broken communities. We can see how those earlier policies that promoted isolation continue to proliferate today, from the threat of rationing from state-run health care to euthanasia as a byproduct of abortion on demand. The effects of such policies include the loneliness epidemic we’re seeing today, demoralization, and social chaos.
Disabling of independent thought. Nothing is more threatening to petty dictators than a citizenry’s widespread ability to think clearly and independently. Radical education reformers have sought for generations to drum the capacity for independent thought out of students. “Critical thinking” has been made into a garbage term for fads that have students doing anything but gain content knowledge.
Most college students today probably could not answer even a fraction of the questions on an eighth grade general knowledge exam from 1912. Without core knowledge, people have a difficult time putting any knowledge into its proper context. After decades of such politicizing reforms, you can end up with college students so muddled in their thinking that they need “trigger warnings” before reading anything that might conflict with the social and emotional programming they’ve experienced. In the propaganda phase, we’ll see how political correctness compounds this problem by cultivating the fear of rejection for expressing one’s thoughts.
Ever more bureaucratization. Human freedom is inversely proportional to the bloat of the administrative state. I’m not sure who should be credited with first making this observation. It resounds in the work of the American Founders, Alexis de Tocqueville, Friedrich Hayek, and even the psychiatrist Carl Jung, among many others. But the piles of regulations that put businesses, as well as personal lives, into straitjackets attest to this destabilizing trend for human freedom.
You can trace this back quite a ways, particularly with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs put into place to address the Great Depression. But it certainly helped put into high gear the bloat we see today. Compounding the problem is the notion that immigration should be limitless and the nation borderless, despite a national debt of $20 trillion. The metastasis of bureaucracy is a huge indicator we’ve been on the path to centralized power that feeds corruption and lays groundwork for communism.
Erasure of collective memory. Another crime of radical education reform is its attack on the study of history, civics, and the classics of literature. Today we can see the bitter fruits of such 1960s radical education reform, which has roots going back to 1920s with John Dewey. If we are no longer able to place ourselves and society into the context of historical events, our vision going forward will be blurred at best.
It gets even worse if we don’t learn how our form of government functions. Today fewer and fewer college students have the capacity to understand that the First Amendment serves as a buffer against totalitarianism, not something to be abolished under the pretext of “hate speech.” And depriving students exposure to literary classics like Shakespeare (based on the charge that such works are “Western” and therefore ethnocentric) prevents them from discussing the universal human condition and our common humanity.
Instead, students are increasingly fed grievance studies and identity politics. As universities go this route, it trickles down to K-12 education. As a result, we are losing the social glue of our common traditions and heritage—not just as a nation, but as human beings. This cultivation of ignorance by the education establishment over the years compounds the isolating effect on people. It makes youth especially vulnerable to becoming fodder for power elites.
Hoarding of knowledge about group dynamics. Are you tuned in to how the laws of social psychology drive your behavior? Or how the manipulation of the primal human fear of being isolated and rejected allows for PC-induced self-censorship that fuels conformity? How groupthink affects us? Probably not.
Thirty years ago, Nobel laureate Doris Lessing wrote about this deficit in general knowledge. In her book, “Prisons We Choose to Live Inside,” Lessing theorized that power elites have actually hoarded knowledge of mass psychology so they can better control the masses. Her thesis makes sense: If everyone understood the manipulators’ game, the game would be over for them.
Propaganda is not so much a phase as an ever-present nuisance. But once its groundwork has been laid in the minds of men, propaganda’s intensity and effectiveness increases in direct proportion to the ignorance out there. You’ll find many definitions of propaganda, but my definition goes like this: Propaganda is the process by which power elites condition individuals through psychological manipulation to adapt to an agenda. Some of its trends are as follows.
Language manipulation. The whole point of the totalitarian abuse of language is to prevent independent thought, the subject of George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.” When people accept the abuse of language, and incorporate it into their own vocabularies without thinking about it, they can be easily ventriloquized by power elites.
Victor Klemperer addressed this phenomenon in his book “Language of the Third Reich.” His thesis was that the Nazi regime’s abuse of language was its primary means of turning all German people into Nazis. He writes, “They found it difficult to think about life and morality in any other way. . . .Words are like tiny doses of arsenic, swallowed unnoticed, and then after a while the toxic reaction sets in.”
Consider all the weaponized memes and slogans we swallow today that shape how we think: “woke,” “bend the knee,” and “cisgender” are just a few. All are meant to modify our thoughts and behaviors in everyday life. An especially aggressive abuse of language are new laws that enforce strange pronoun usages that destabilize the structure of our language. By passing laws that punish the “misgendering” of someone as “hate speech,” we veer into kangaroo court territory, as well as force unnatural changes in our language.
Revising history. A byproduct of watering down of the study of history is the revision and mockery of history, such as is evident in the late Howard Zinn’s textbook, “The People’s History of the United States.” His basic thesis appears to be that our constitutional system of checks and balances needs to be replaced by an oligarchy of dictators such as himself who know better. It seems to teach students that everything that ever happened at the founding of America is bad, bad, bad. Such revisionism also serves to perpetuate identity politics that stokes resentments rather than building any sense of unity among Americans.
Journalism becomes propaganda. There was once a quaint notion that reporting should be objective and fact-based rather than biased and opinion-based. Journalists tend to view themselves as watchdogs, yet over the years have become increasingly unaccountable to anyone. As the profession’s political shift to the Left has crystallized to beyond 90 percent, it’s now so monolithic in its perspective that it can hardly help but churn out propaganda.
When I wrote a Federalist article entitled “How Journalism Turns into Propaganda,” I focused on the story “Angi Vera,” from a Hungarian film. It revealed how the communists in Hungary, once they seized power in 1947, used education camps to develop a compliant class of leaders to replace the old order. The title character quickly learned the art of propaganda compliance, with all of the subtle backstabbing it entailed, and she was rewarded by the authorities with a lifelong career in journalism.
New technologies promote political correctness and cult-like mindsets. In 1962, when Daniel Boorstin published “The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America,” he warned how glomming onto new technologies like television was making us more susceptible to accepting images as reality. We were losing our ability to thoughtfully deliberate about ideas and events. He anticipated this would get worse as then-yet-to-be-invented technologies would shift us even more quickly into substituting pseudo-reality for reality.
Wow, was he ever right. No doubt the Internet, cell phone technologies, and social media endlessly present illusions in place of reality. At the same time, they solidify political correctness. And since the main purpose of political correctness is to achieve conformity of thought, we ought to ask: Where does conformity of thought takes us, if left to its own devices? It’s a dream-come-true for totalitarians who no doubt hope for a conformity that would allow them to remake the world in their own image.
Such conformity would morph into a globalized cult mindset that crosses through all segments of society: politics, education, medicine, the media, and the corporate world, to name just a few sectors. Psychiatrist and cult expert Margaret Thaler Singer called this “the psycho-technology of thought reform,” and warned it was very real and not going to go away, adding that “Education, information, and vigilance are needed to keep us and our minds free.”
The whole point of propaganda is to drive people to action, according to Jacques Ellul, author of the 1962 classic “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.” Such action isn’t about freedom of peaceful assembly, which is an American tradition as well as a First Amendment right. From the suffragettes of the early twentieth century to the civil rights marches in the 1960s to the March for Life that began in 1974, Americans tend to gather with those of like mind to march against injustice. But today we can see growing trends towards something very different: street theater that actually serves to shut down freedom of expression. Trends in agitation including the following.
Cultivation of hate and frustration. Can you feel it? There’s a lot of frustration and alienation out there, thanks to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center who seem deeply invested in perpetuating hate and resentment. Americans are traditionally a big-hearted and happy people, filled with enthusiasm over innovation and goodwill towards all. In part, that’s exactly why the SPLC’s propaganda has worked in the past: because it fulfills the Saul Alinsky rule of using people’s goodwill against them to gain political power.
Alinsky also advocated for the intense polarization we see today, telling “community organizers” to rub victims’ resentments raw, to cultivate intense anger against their perceived oppressors in order to energize mob action. Of course, such power elites who strive for totalitarian rule have always been invested in maintaining a large underclass of people who are kept dependent and ignorant since that builds a sense of frustration and alienation that can be channeled into mobilizing them into mob action.
Mass mobilization. This is the craft of getting the alienated and frustrated masses, programmed by propaganda, to do the bidding of power elites. We saw it happen in Charlottesville, as well as in Berkeley, at Middlebury College, and Dartmouth and many other places. Today the goal is to shut down speech and real conversation. Such mobs generally make a lot of noise and create a lot of action so that they get their way, even if they represent a small minority.
The history of the recent twentieth century is filled with mass action that led to totalitarian dictatorships. Peasants and workers were mobilized to respond to Lenin’s mantra for “peace, land, and bread” as Russians suffered during World War I. It happened as Germans took part en masse to participate in rallies for the Third Reich. Always the Enemy was invoked, whether a class enemy, a race enemy, or any other sort.
Today the term of choice is “white supremacist.” Demagogues stoke resentments until lawlessness and mass violence became the order of the day. But let’s also consider a smaller but significant American example of mob action from 2015: after former governor Mike Pence signed into law Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, mobs of protesters were mobilized to show up and shout his action down, as though they represented majority opinion, when they most certainly did not. Corporations pressured Pence as well.
Sadly, that organized mob action worked, and Republican leadership including Pence altered the bill to suit the protesters. America is now seeing a lot more street theater and violent riots aimed at shutting down conversation on college campuses as well as shutting down law enforcement in cities suffering from high crime rates.
Iconoclasm. The attack on historical monuments may seem to have started with Confederate statues. But it is certainly not ending there. From World War I monuments to statues of Abraham Lincoln and memorials to George Washington, just about any historical monument these days is subject to attack or defacement by agitators induced to action by propaganda. It’s another trend that hastens the erasure of national memory and social cohesion.
Enlisting and confusing the youth. Statist youth leagues have always been a staple of dictators who wish to eliminate family loyalties and religious influences. Although we may not see a Soviet-styled Komsomol in America just yet, there has been an ongoing attack against youth programs that promote self-reliance, independent thought, and the integrity of the family. It’s not just that the Boy Scouts have gone soft. School boards in major districts across the nation are pushing curricula and policies that force children to cater to identity politics, environmentalism, transgenderism, and so much more than children should ever be forced to grapple with.
As children attempt to navigate the perceptions of their peers and the authorities, they learn how they can score points and avoid rejection if they agitate for those agenda items. Children tend to imitate. They will playact various personas at the expense of developing unique personalities, if they are led to believe that is how to gain peer acceptance. Likewise, in higher education students participate in mob action—in particular, shutting down the speech of the politically incorrect—so they can don the persona of “social change agent” or something else the authorities deem acceptable.
All of the above sets the scene for the latter phases in the road to communism and other forms of totalitarianism. Those phases are: consolidating the takeover of society’s institutions; forcing conformity; and final solutions. To be continued.
It’s easy to see the events in Dallas through a racial prism. It is harder to see it as the consequence of a political system which relies on keeping people in dependency, in which black Americans are the furthest advanced and therefore the most afflicted. As Mark Blyth, a professor of Political Economy at Brown University put it, the problem is global. In Europe the Romanians, Spaniards and the Greeks are given the part African Americans must play. Blyth points out that after one creates a class of dependents the next and inevitable step is to control them.
For the past 25 years, particularly the center left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution the following story: Globalization is good for you. It’s awesome. It’s really great. We’re going to sign these trade agreements. Don’t worry there will be compensation. You’ll be fine. You’ll all end up as computer programmers. It’ll be fantastic, right?
And by the way we don’t really care because we’re all going to move to the middle because that’s where the voters are and they’re the people with money or the ones that we really care about. … And you basically take the bottom 30% of the income distribution and you say we don’t care what happens to you. You’re now something to be policed. You’re now something to have your behaviors changed. We’re going to nudge you to better parts …
It’s a very paternalistic, it’s a very patronizing relationship. This is no longer the warm embrace of social democracy, arm-in-arm in solidarity. They’re there to be policed and excluded in their housing estates so that you feel safe in your neighborhoods, so that you can have your private schools; they have their public schools …
As I like to say to my American hedge fund friends the Hamptons is not a defensible position … Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you.
The police are the flip side of big government programs. There is a perverted symmetry about the Blue Model — and a fatal weakness. A political system which encourages crime then controls guns, opens the borders to spend billions watching the multitudes admitted; a regime which destroys jobs then increases the welfare payments to the displaced is eventually going to run out of room evading the horns of its own dilemma.
In the end the fulfillment of a promise and its opposite are less real than Blyth’s observation: “you’re going to be a problem to be policed.” You’re going to be policed because there’s no other way out of the dilemma. It’s not just a black problem, but the problem of seating ten people in five chairs when the music stops. As soon as the news flashed of 11 cops shot in Dallas, it was evident that a hefty percentage of the casualties were bound to be Hispanic. Someone is always going to come up short in the zero-sum redistribution game.
Strange though it may be, in a narrative largely cast as Afro-centric, a white crisis has been brewing in parallel with black fears of police brutality: the slow death of self-respect and pride. Henry David Thoreau observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” For many years a booming America kept despair at bay. But now it’s back. A friend recalled a man he met at his door some years ago.
All I can see in my mind’s eye is a salesman immaculately dressed, spit shined shoes, early 40’s man knocking on my door trying to sell me a newspaper subscription with no names on his clipboard anxious to move on, going home, to be greeted by his son ‘how did it go today Dad? Which hit me very hard – in the instant of seeing his self-control to be polite though he knew he had to go knock on my neighbor’s door , And so I couldn’t not help but ask what did you used to do?” – almost biting my tongue through “mechanical engineer at Boeing”.
The strain of an ex-Boeing engineer maintaining appearances at a stranger’s door in the face of an urgent need to make a sales quota is the effort of trying keep the last vestiges of dignity in the face of destitution. That struggle is statistically captured in a recent Wall Street Journal story describing the rising death rates among middle-aged white Americans. “While middle-age blacks and Latinos have seen steady declines in their mortality in recent years, whites in the same age group saw their mortality increase about 10% between 1999 and 2014.” As death rates plummet across the board, white people are dying.
“This is a world in which people are dying that shouldn’t be dying,” Angus Deaton, a 2015 Nobel Prize winner and an economist at Princeton University, told an audience at Brookings on Wednesday. …
What’s confounding researchers is that this is a uniquely American phenomenon. Europe’s economic woes haven’t had the same impact on life expectancy.
Maybe the reason for the differential mortality rates is that the Americans are still burdened by the vestiges of pride. The dying will continue until the pride is beaten out of them. It will end when the ex-Boeing engineers stop trying to earn a living and fall back on welfare.
Michael Yon, a former correspondent in Iraq who has seen societies collapse, observes that when the tide goes out we all get to see who had no trunks. An outbreak of unrest in America will reveal not only black resentment, but every resentment: white, latino, asian, straight,gay, Christian, Muslim. Once you open the doors of Hell you can’t choose what devils get to come out.
Many veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and other such wars, likely view this through a different glass.
Using Iraq as example, after things truly began to spin out of control in 2004, many people were fighting for vastly different reasons. It was difficult even for dedicated analysts to keep up with who was fighting, and who was fighting for what. … chaos, is suddenly uncorked … General criminality skyrockets …
Groups or individuals who are honestly fighting for some cause .. often will be in opposition to one another. They will simultaneously fight the government while fighting each other. Some people just like to fight. Fighting is their cause, and they will latch onto any cause if it helps them get ammo … They could pop up almost over night, often based on some cult-inspiring personality such as Zarqawi.
In the U.S., this could translate into the normal unleashing of the insane, of the criminal elements, of people who are merely fighting “the man,” ethnic divides of many sorts (white and black is the least of it), religious, and other motivations ranging from environmental terrorism to anti-globalism and endless sorts of backwater motivations that become wrapped in violence.
Perfect breeding ground for militant Islam, and anti-Islamic violence also no doubt would raise its head. … If it increases to high levels, National Guard will not save the cities. They will be pop up targets. And every time they (are seen to) overreact, they fertilize the opposition.
Law Enforcement and the government ultimately do not control the people. Control is an illusion, such as the illusion that the mahout controls the elephant. When the elephant loses his mind, the mahout gets flattened. Happens every time.
Millions of people around America are upset and often for different reasons, but in most cases they share a vision that justice no longer exists in the United States, or has been so undermined that they no longer respect it.
The BLM movement has its own agenda and though not baseless is itself on the verge of terrorism. Meanwhile a completely different sort of people see the FBI as a puppet for the Clintons and other ‘elites’ who are not just above the law, they are the law. The problem at hand is straightforward: millions of Americans see injustice and disrespect for the population coming from the government, and the people arrive at this conclusion from different roads.
The door to hell can’t be shut by speeches. It can’t be resolved by the epideictic presidency of Barack Obama. It has to be met by real reform. Once black grievance gets going, what answer do we give to the cry, “why not me? why not me?” The basic problem is that the current system is economic and politically unsustainable. It’s been writing checks for years that it can’t cash. That is the message of the crisis in Europe. That is the message of the crisis in America. That is the message of Dallas.
Publisher’s Note: It appears BREXIT is reality and all the usual suspects are bleating and mewling that the sky is falling because a political subsidiary of a larger psychopath collective has dared to divorce it self from the theft and oversight of the fetid EU. Good for them, now we can consider DisCoXit (District of Columbia Exit).
A Yale law professor acknowledges in a mainstream left-liberal publication laws no matter how banal must be wiling to kill to enforce. Hence the police state that is Amerika today. Folks who frequented this site have arrive t that obvious conclusion years ago.
Read the preface for a great introduction to James Scott’s work and Irish Democracy. He is nowhere near being a libertarian abolitionist but he asks poignant questions despite deviating wildly from the moral certitude of his inevitable conclusions.
From his tepid and rather confused “Two Cheers for Anarchism”:
“Quiet, anonymous, and often complicitous, lawbreaking and disobedience may well be the historically preferred mode of political action for peasant and subaltern classes, for whom open defiance is too dangerous….One need not have an actual conspiracy to achieve the practical effects of a conspiracy. More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called “Irish Democracy”—the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people—than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”
We need more Irish Democracy in America. It took the denizens of Eire over 800 years to trade their foreign socialist shackles from England for domestic collectivist manacles they wrested upon themselves. Maybe America can take less time than that to sunder the tentacled embrace from Mordor on the Potomac.
John is a long-time personal friend and benefactor of the ZG underground. This post deserves long reflection and should help triage priorities for the coming Endarkenment. -BB
Scenario games and “what if’s” dominate conversations in the preparedness culture.
Working through various situations in our heads makes perfect sense. It helps develop a key tool: Mindset.
What these Kim’s games generally lack is context. These conversations assume everyone in the discussion has the same conception of what the event will be, or the even broader question of what exactly SHTF means. It’s all subjective and situational dependent. There is no answer to “what if…?” The context must be defined.
A mundane question such as ‘what is the best combat load out?’ will morph into a three hour back and forth about this or that rifle, which plate carrier is more Gucci and what type of underwear is the most efficient at wicking ball sweat. The whole time I sit back listening and thinking: “Well what is the mission? What is the event? Who, What Where, When, Why?” Essentially going over the civilian version of METT-TC in my head. It is never lined out. One person is envisioning the proverbial horde of mutant cannibalistic biker gangs ravaging the countryside, ala One Second After. Another’s context of the event is a full on invasion of CONUS by Daesh or the Haqqani Network. And another is thinking “Jeez, I thought SHTF was when I lost my job last week.” Context is critical. But one thing is true about nearly all these conversations. It tends to always focus on the absolute worst scenario imaginable, despite minor variations in each persons head.
What this community needs is an accurate threat analysis. Threats need to be defined and essentially listed out from the most likely to the least likely to occur. One is more likely to encounter a profit crime on the street, before ISIS shows up in your bedroom. You are going to encounter a home invasion or an active shooter before an insurgency against the US state or Mad Max II.
After running this through my brain for a couple years, I concluded that an apocalypse-only focus may get you killed in the streets. With this in mind I am no longer focusing on the most cataclysmic and unlikely event as my training priority.
After attending a number of classes over the years, I found that it was not uncommon at all to see half or more students, upon finishing the class, pack up their gear, lock up their rifle, separate the ammo then drive home without a CCW on their person. During class they had chest rigs for days, but not even a J frame to stick in their pocket when they return to normal life. The class made them better off to fight the Zombies invading their neighborhood, (if they had plenty of advance notice to prepare of course, to strap on their war kit and get in the proper fighting stance) but they were completely unprepared to defend themselves from a normal street criminal, the much more likely scenario.
Their mind was in “One Second After” scenario mode. They were ready to go SBU prone with their fire team, but lacked ECQC skills and tools to combat the all more likely scenario of the Stop and Rob they bought that Gatorade from being violently robbed. A robbery that was committed not by an ISIL operative yelling ALLAH SNACKBAR! But by a normal looking middle-aged white guy, who decided to initiate the robbery by smashing a wine bottle from the rack over their disarmed and situational awareness deprived head.
I got news for you. The Shit has JUST Hit The Fan the moment that wine bottle busted over the guys head. (So much for that “Truck Gun”)
These people lack the mindset needed in the day-to-day world, because they are constantly focusing solely on the threat found in the latest 37-volume prepper fiction novel. The Event to them is not the home invasion tomorrow in the present day “Rule of Law” world; it is only the invading Chinese in “Without Rule of Law” society, where they will be conveniently snuggled up in their retreat, waiting for the Red Devils and Blue Helmets to arrive with their 40 closest Ranger Buddies.
In the wake of recent active shooter events in the country, a common refrain among the “Sheep Dog” gun culture is how they will simply employ their ‘truck gun’ in the event of a mass shooting. What they left out was that the venue where the shooting is happening is filled with 400 people. The mythical “truck gun” is chained under their back seat, 135 yards away, under 7 BoB’s, 19 sets of bug out clothing, 3 cases of MRE’s and more commo gear than a CCT guy has access to.
The 360 lb. hero is supposedly going to first manage to avoid being perforated by the shooter, sprint through 400 screaming, crying and hysterical people, make it outside, deploy his AR pistol (don’t forget, you can’t shoulder those. *wink) and “active shooter bag,” fight the masses back inside against the flow, manage not to get shot by first responders, or taken down by a CCW’er, and go to work on the shooter before they self terminate themselves.
Stop being so stupid.
Tactical Fantasy Band Camp simply does not prepare you for operating in the totally un-sexy street clothes on your back instead of your Kryptek Highlander, with the pistol in your waistline and yourself alone as your team. In our daily lives we are not wearing all our kit, a RACK with 18 magazines and a Team Wendy Exfil. We don’t have a rifle in our back pocket in aisle 18 of the local Wally World. I can assure you asking your favorite instructor on Facebook what pants he is wearing in the latest Firelance Media photo array, will not make you more combat effective in the fight. I’m sure the ones you are wearing will work just fine.
You have what you have on you. You have your EDC. You are much more likely to be accosted in the local mall than you are by invading Soviets in the Fourteener’s of the Rocky Mountains.
Focus on the most likely, then work to the least likely. And for gods sake people, if you are a new shooter and all your gear is in the way of you learning how to shoot and manipulate your weapon, please strip all that junk off, run a mag in your back pocket and LEARN. Then add in the Ninja Force 5 accouterments.
Yes, we all should have a team. The proverbial ‘Village’ or ‘Tribe’ to fall back on for mutual assistance, division of labor, and all that good stuff. But we need to recognize the limitations and capabilities at play. Unless you live with your “team” of 6 SMU SAS Delta Seals, they will play no role in aiding you when your door is kicked in at 0300. They will not be there for you when you stop to grab a few dollars out of one of those ATM’s in the middle of a barren parking lot late after work one night and you are violently attacked and find yourself in a gun fight where your only cover is the pillars, engine block and wheels of your car while you try to reduce the threat with your Glock 42. Where was your Wonder Blaster 6000 Glock 34 with the race work, comp and RMR? Oh, too bulky and impractical to carry everyday?
You must fight with what you have on you. Hence you must train the most with what you will most likely have on you. You must be point. You must be rear security. You are flank. You are your team.
It would pay the community well to place more of an emphasis on the need to train with their pistol. Put primary focus on that until a satisfactory standard is met.
Some say there is no use in learning real pistol marksmanship, because “21 foot rule!” Shut up, stupid. Everyone is a sniper at three yards. Back away from the keyboard for a second. Stop making excuses. The average grocery store aisle in the US is about 25 yards. Are we capable of making those life or death shots with a carry gun to end a threat to our lives and families from such a distance reliably? If not, put down the damn AK-74 for just a second and run some dot torture with your carry gun. Yes, the gun you CARRY. If it’s a J-frame or mouse gun, maybe you’ll find out the capabilities of those guns and whatever drawbacks may be present with that choice.
Perhaps a good medical course makes sense to stop the bleeding of your wife who got shot in the leg. If our mindset is only “whelp, we wont have trauma surgeons in SHTF…” it will do nothing to solve the problem of your loved one bleeding out from the crazy shooter in the movie theater while waiting for LE to clear the scene to allow casualties to be treated. I would want to know how to pack that wound, seal that chest or slap on that TQ today, rather than putting my focus on a time when a trauma surgeon may be as scarce as hen’s teeth in the future and using it as an excuse to not put medical higher the training priority list.
Is the ‘prepper’ communities focus on rural patrolling and greenside work going to help us search or clear a structure when one comes home from work to find their cell phone dead and their door kicked in on their house, where their 14-year old daughter was supposed to be after school? Is a sole focus on Ranger team tactics and dynamic entry TTP’s in solving said problem going to apply to a single person trying to do the same task? If you are only with your non-gun minded wife, will she understand that your incessant asking permission by shouting “MOVING!” needs to be answered with “MOVE!” Doubtful. Practice real world communication for these situations. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Adapt. Who cares if its not ‘doctrine.’ Do what is applicable to your situation and what works. If you fail to adapt, you will fail to win.
While it is very wise and worthwhile to seek training in small unit tactics and rural patrolling, how many of the people who have done such training in the ‘patriot/prepper/III world’ actually live in an environment where they would even use it? If you live in downtown Charlotte, why in the world are you spending eight weekends a year doing rural patrolling and no other training that applies to your actual AO? How many recent insurgencies did small units operating solely in rural areas win? Was the PIRA flying a wedge formation down Main Street in Belfast in 1970? Perhaps throwing in a study of Michael Collins or The Troubles may be something to look at when considering how an unconventional war may unfold in these united States.
One of the few positives in life you can count on, is that it’s going to be dark every day. Many guys I run across say they don’t need a light on any of their guns. They must not like to see at night. They must not work at night. Or they think they are miraculously are going to pull a pair of dual tube’s out of their rear end when the Event happens and clear there their house DEVGRU style with IR lasers when they hear a bump in the night. If a tactic, manipulation or technique doesn’t work both in the day and during the night, consider using one that does. Carry a hand held light at minimum. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll use it. The Surefire Fury line is hard to beat. Use all the lumens to your advantage when needed.
Most people spend large portions of the day in their vehicles. Maybe you should learn how to work around those vehicles. Know what is cover, what is concealment, what parts cause deflection. Maybe learn some defensive driving skills. As Will Petty says the average vehicle is about 28 million grains. I’d rather use that to end a threat than 124 grains in my 19. This is purely food for thought.
Steve Fisher, formerly of Magpul Dynamics and current head of Sentinel Concepts, speaks of containers and zones. How most of our day is comprised of going from one container or zone, say our house, into another container, our car, then into another container, our work place, then to another zone, out to lunch, and so forth.
Matt Graham of Graham Combat speaks of the lines, the lights and the lanes. How we rely on the normalcy bias and the structure of the lines, lights and lanes of life. There is no normal in the fight. People are compliant, and they follow the commands of the active shooter or the oppressive state authorities without any resistance. People think fights should be fair and there must be rules. There are no rules and no fair fights in the real world.
Graham speaks of mindset being just mindset and not ‘combat mindset’ or ‘driving mindset’ or any other variation. The mindset you have in the real world driving to work must be the same mindset you have on the range or in the fight. We must grasp this concept and apply it in our current daily lives and not focus solely on spending 30K to mitigate an EMP to protect our 500$ laptops, but how to deal with much more likely scenario’s first.
Graham and Fisher are speaking truth. Most of our lives are spent in containers and and zones within those containers. Within the lights and the lanes. Where is all the home defense and shoot house classes in the preparedness world? Everyone is to busy focusing on the apocalypse instead of the all more likely situation where someone needs to search their own house to defend their family. By all means lets learn those hasty attacks, raids and break contacts, and master them, but lets just make sure we have the most likely needed skills down as well.
To echo some other writers in the community, there won’t be another 1775. The Bastille is not going to be stormed any time soon. The South is not going to rise again as Boot Licker Syndrome has enveloped the entire USSA. The final liberty solution is nowhere in sight. Live your life. Be free. Don’t be a slave. Rely on yourself and your trusted network, not the state. Instead of only focusing on such ‘line in the sand,’ history-altering events, focus on the most likely scenarios first. Develop those plans before your ‘meteor hit my backyard’ strategy. The S has already hit the F. We are in the slow downward spiral of all empires.
Old school firearms training icon Louis Awerbuck famously said “trigger reset; that’s gonna get you killed!” He was referring to the trigger management technique of pinning the trigger to the rear after firing, and holding until the recoil of the gun is over to reset the trigger. I’d submit that focusing on the apocalypse FIRST instead of the most likely threats is going to get people killed in the streets in present day. Roll with the premise that no one is coming to save you. Train for that first and foremost. Then go to Fantasy Band Camp.
Head up. Gun up.
About the author: John Meyers traces his Appalachian ancestry back nine generations to the 1750’s. He lives with his family on the high ridges of the Smoky Mountains.