Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Revolutionary Dilemma

American Mercenary


In a democratic nation a revolution by force of arms needs a few things to succeed. One, enough stratification of society to create a populace of malcontents who will support the revolutionaries. Two, enough fighters, leaders, and propaganda assets to win the war of public opinion with the rest of the population. Three, enough outside support that they can stay in the fight long enough for the legitimate government to quit the fight and cede the field. Fourth, a shadow government that can take hold. These don't exist in sequential order, they must all exist at the same time.

Our American Revolution had all these elements. The grievances against the Crown (real and imaginary) created a population with enough discontent to actively or passively support the fight for independence. The fighters themselves were passionate enough to give it the old college try. And our propaganda efforts in Europe brought support from France and gave legitimacy to the fledgling Colonial government. Our Continental Congress stood ready to take over.

My previous post about the "Tea Party" taking over Darlington, South Carolina, and the potential of an active military response to the such has struck a bit of a nerve with those who agree with the hypothetical revolutionaries. Wil even went so far as to quote the "Declaration of Independence" back to me. Over at the Small Wars Journal one of the responses was even to quote the British saying that they could rapidly put down the little insurrection once the arms were seized at Lexington.... Look folks, I don't disagree with you that the FedGov is a bloated hydra desperately needing to be pruned back, so keep that in mind.

The truth is that the Declaration of Independence is not the founding act of this nation, the surrender of Cornwallis is the founding act of this nation. Everything leading up to that point meant NOTHING without winning on the field of battle. And we couldn't have won on the field of battle without all the requisites of a successful revolution.

So, the real reason that the Tea Party won't seize the government of Darlington is that they can't win by doing so. You can't say "we uphold the Republic and the Constitution" by denying the legitimacy of a democratically elected local government. That is something that Communists or Fascists do, not Patriots.

No, if it came to a "revolution" in the US it will be a war of sniping, assassinations, retribution, night raids, and reprisal actions from both sides that will more resemble Northern Ireland than anything else. The FedGov will avoid using military assets for as long as possible in order to maintain a sense of legitimacy. The "Revolutionaries" will try to correct the political process by eliminating the threat by less legal means (through legitimate political action and quite likely the assassination/kidnapping very similar to the low level civil war in Iraq that we see).

The fact that long range sniping assassinations, car bombs, and political kidnapping isn't happening tells me that the "Tea Party" won't be seizing any local governments any time soon (although the SPLC will probably claim otherwise to try to con more money out of idiots). Matt Bracken has put more thought into this than most people, so his vision for the fall of America is probably a tad closer to how the future may play out.

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