Let’s Talk Strategy
All successful strategies require a brutally truthful assessment of the battlefield. Reactionary and emotional responses to information override logic and eventually obscure the truth all together. Our emotional reactions color the truth with what we want to believe is true–the ego is the defender of the status quo. When it comes to strategy, ego is the enemy. A strategy cannot be about how we feel, it must be about what is happening in the material world and whether those things are beneficial or detrimental to our goals.
If we honestly want change in this country, then we have to learn how to dismiss our own egotistic responses and develop our stratagem by immersing ourselves in a factual assessment of the data available to us. When applied to movements, that means centering on universal suffering in such a way that it does not cater to individualism above the collective whole. This, I’m afraid, is where the American Yellow Vest movement is failing.
The people of France have given us such a clear strategy, most importantly the demand for RIC, or Citizens’ Initiative Referendum, and their continued movement shows us that their strategy is more successful than all of the political and social movements currently active in America. And yet, so many people involved in the American Yellow Vests movement seem to be outright rejecting the French strategy in favor of recreating partisanship and divisive identity-driven causes.
The Yellow Vests Movement in America
Go to an America Yellow Vest group online today and you will see Trump supporters claiming he is the leader and savior of the Yellow Vest movement juxtaposed with left-leaning people pushing electoral strategies, specific politicians, and somewhat incremental legislation. How are these clashing narratives any different than the same political pendulum nonsense we have been debating for the last few decades? How is focusing on electoral politics as a solution a revolt against corrupt governance?
In response to such ideological clashes, many have splintered off to create dueling Yellow Vests groups. Right-leaning Yellow Vests groups and left-leaning Yellow Vests groups metastasized only to expend their energies accusing each other of “not being the real Yellow Vests’.” In reality, neither of them is honoring the intent of the French Yellow Vests movement. Because of this failure, neither side will accomplish anything but a further diluting of our power. Brother fighting brother, sister fighting sister, while the status quo system consumes all of our futures.
Too many well-intentioned people are unable to move beyond ego driven responses and their attachment to political identities. Even when they have an example to follow ( #GiletsJaunes ) they immediately recreated their previous ideological silos. It is a bitter irony that both sides continue to brand themselves with a yellow vest, which was intended by the French people who donned them as a symbol of moving past political divides to unify around their common humanity.
If you are angry with my critique so far, take a deep pause and reflect, my aim is not to bash but to present a possible way forward. I want the movement for liberty to be successful, if we cannot be honest about our failings then we will never grow and better ourselves.
“Truth, by its very nature, is belligerent. It wages war against deception and mind control.” ~ Mark Passio
Divided we Fall
The right vs left paradigm and individual identity politics is so implanted in American’s minds through constant propaganda and indoctrination that–in the aggregate–we create and recreate, over and over, our own division and powerlessness. That is the precise intent of these labels that have been imposed on us and why we are constantly being divided–we become our own worst enemies as we rob ourselves of the power unity would beget.
the trajectory we have set for ourselves mirror’s the trajectory of our economic system of capitalism, where wealth will be concentrated continuously until every cent is eventually owned by one person. So too with our identity-driven movements, we have concentrated our focus so intently as to isolate each movement and set them against each other in a hierarchal struggle to be the Most important movement. Both trajectories will lead to collapse because they are inherently self-destructive. There is nothing moral about small groups of people owning all the wealth while everyone else starves and there is nothing just about ignoring the suffering of all to elevate the suffering of just a few.
I am not suggesting that the suffering of each group is irrelevant. I am not saying any one group, be they trans people, women, black people, gay people, Indigenous people, Latin people, etc. are not victims of inequality based on cultural or physical elements associated with their group. What I am suggesting is that–outside the prism of identity–their suffering is universal and should unite them not divide them. What I am suggesting is that if we discuss our suffering in terms of the conditions of society which generate it, we can make that suffering a bridge to understanding the suffering of others.
“For a long time, you think… ‘no one has ever suffered the way I’ve suffered’…
And then you realize… that your suffering does not isolate you… that your suffering is your bridge.”
– James Baldwin pic.twitter.com/14uSL9tBg8
— Black Socialists of America (@BlackSocialists) January 21, 2019
United We Stand
Our morality does not disappear when we are belligerent about the conditions of slavery and oppression we live in. Our morality is not lessened by discussing how much violence we are willing to do in self-defense against tyranny and injustice. Our morality is not sacrificed when we respond to the immorality of our government and economic system by exploring how to end it and replace it with something better. On the contrary, our morality is manifested by taking these actions. We are fulfilling our destiny, as quaint as that may sound, to live as self-determining, free individuals while remaining in moral unity with our fellow man when we take these actions.
My article France isn’t Falling… It is Rising was specifically written to demonstrate how human morality transcends national politics and law. I was hoping to show everyone, especially Americans, that the universal nature of our Rights as human beings and the universal suffering we experience when those Rights are usurped. Understanding this universal suffering was the genesis of the French Yellow Vests movement and it rests on the fundamental truth that our creator endowed human rights supersede the artificial authority of man-made systems such as governments, corporations, religions, economies, and especially politics.
The American Yellow Vests movement must elevate its strategy to match the French movement, it cannot be a built around illusionary political theater, debates about economic theories, or divisive social issues. It must be founded on the moral imperative to end slavery, oppression, and government tyranny. If we do not dig down to the core tenets of what it means to be human, then center the movement around that, we will fail.
How to Move Forward
We must unite the right part of the spectrum and the left part of the spectrum if we want to build a successful movement of the people in this country, and here is how I think we should do it. We must recognize that we all have a role to play, that no role is better or worse than another, and all roles are necessary to our collective success. The trick for an American movement is to create sectors within the Yellow Vests movement based on roles people will play.
What this means in practical terms is that one sector of the movement could be the Militia, comprised of those with guns/weapons and a willingness to engage in combat to protect the other members of the movement. Likely this group would have a lot of the “right” leaning folks, along with the Antifa, Black Block, and some Anarchist groups. Yes, you read that right, I’m suggesting anyone one from the Proud Boys to ANTIFA should be in the militia sector together because the role they want to play in the movement is the same.
I don’t care what they believe personally about any political topic, I care that they will protect the other members of the group and play the role of a militia for the people. I care that they are organized, know how to handle their arms, and know how to play a support role until necessary. These people are constantly telling everyone they need their guns to end government tyranny, well, now is that time.
See, this is what’s different about America, we have an armed populace. There is no way around this fact so we must calculate it into our strategy. We must make it an asset for the cause, not a point of conflict between us. People who assert the right to use violence and arms to defend against oppression and government tyranny are willing to die for liberty and justice. Let that sink in. This group of people, regardless of political affiliation, are willing to risk their lives in a very direct way to achieve liberty and freedom for others. So, why wouldn’t they be welcomed to play exactly that role on behalf of the Yellow Vest movement?
Another sector of the movement can be the Peacemakers, these are people who feel called to disrupt non-violently or who believe in pacifism. This group would probably comprise the most people in the Yellow Vests movement. These are the masses who will show up with peaceful tactics but in such numbers, they will be hard for the establishment and media to ignore or silence. These are the people who will march, and protest, but do not want to cause or experience violence. These are the people who the militia is oath-bound to protect. When violence is done to these people by the state, that is when the Militia kicks into gear.
Another sector of the movement could be the Communicators, these are the people who will collect, collate, and distribute information in multiple ways to ensure everyone in the movement is on the same page. As we get focused in our sectors, we do not want to lose sight of what our allies (or our enemies) are doing, as those actions affect each sector and their individual strategies.
A fourth sector could be the Planners, these could be people who are called to look at the bigger picture and like developing strategy. These are people who want to organize and create long term and short-term plans for the movement. These are people who will draft our demands, and if necessary be the ones to begin writing a new Constitution (founding document) for the People after we tear down the old system, should it come to that.
Creating sectors and giving people the opportunity to choose what role they want to play in the movement provides something new to unite around. By ensuring each sector is valued by the others in the overall mission, we promote loyalty and unity throughout the movement. Everyone has a place, and everyone knows it’s going to take all of us fulfilling our own chosen role to bring about real change in this country.
The End Goal
The End Goal should be simply People’s referendum powers. Install direct democracy through referendums of the people so that any act by the government may be canceled or compelled by a majority of the citizenry. Make the apparatus of government the tool of the common man and make government officials the empty vassals of our will that they should be. Referendums put the final authority back into the hands of the mass of people where it should be, and then it will be up to us to make sure our government acts morally, and on behalf of our interests.
The strategy for the End goal starts with the Peacemakers and Communicators, and only if the state tries to use violence to force the People back into compliance, will the Militia and the Planners be forced to end it and/or replace it. We can bridge the divide of ideology without forcing anyone to change who they are or how they want to approach our common problem of government tyranny. We can build respect between nonviolent and pro-gun people by showing them how to depend on each other. And we can change from finding fault and guilt in each other to seeing that each of us brings something different and useful to the table.
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” ~
I hope the American Yellow Vests movement can overcome their current state of division. I also hope they can accept the critiques and suggestions I have written in the spirit of love for the cause. I want more than anything for us to succeed in changing the conditions of our society. When we recognize that each of us have intrinsic value, that we are all connected in this human experience called life, and that we must fight for freedom together because it is the moral and right thing to do, then we will win. Click To Tweet