The violence and rioting in the US result from far more than just dissatisfaction with the police. Extreme ideological social justice movements today are more likely to carry firearms than items for a food pantry. We currently face nothing less than the early stages of a socialist insurgency.
Insurgency is an organized rebellion to overthrow a constituted government by undermining its legitimacy through protest and disinformation, and ultimately through armed conflict. This may sound dramatic, but consider the steps already completed by BLM/ANTIFA in the Insurgency Pyramid used by the US Army Special Forces community to characterize an insurrection (Figure 1).
Initially, when the insurgents are still weak, they organize around a group that is actively dissatisfied with political and social conditions and desires ideological or other changes. In America, who better to target than the poorest and least educated black Americans, for they already believe they have a legitimate grievance?
Insurgents use propaganda and political efforts to exploit this atmosphere, creating more significant discontent that discredits the government. BLM and ANTIFA have made it abundantly clear that they believe the existing government and socio-economic system are unjust and exclude them.
It’s well known that leftists intimidate people, so they refrain from presenting counter-factual arguments. Then, by spinning the narrative for high-profile events, they build credibility and feed the general sense of public dissatisfaction.
Leftists are adept at vilifying anyone who defends the current system, even if they acknowledge its flaws and signal a willingness to improve it. After all, who wouldn’t support racial justice? Nonetheless, if you are not absolutely for the cause as presented, leftists will accuse you of being absolutely against it. Hence, saying “All Lives Matter” is synonymous with “I’m a racist.”
The insurgents foment distrust for public institutions, which leads to more favorable public opinion for the insurgency. We’ve seen that BLM’s and Antifa’s preferred targets are the police and the judicial system, which are the very foundations of law and order.
At the same time that they garner popular support for the movement and vilify its opponents, the insurgents also work to infiltrate public institutions and spread their narrative into all sectors of society. Celebrities, government officials, universities, corporations, and others have bought into the BLM narrative, either through intellectual laziness or for personal gain. This results in broad popular support through funding, quasi-intellectual backing, active protest and rioting, and even sympathetic inaction.
Hawk Newsome, the chairman of BLM’s New York chapter, claims BLM is following in the Black Panther Party’s footsteps and adds that former “Special Forces officers” train the movement to protect itself — presumably from the police. Armed members have attempted to replace police officers in abandoned areas of Seattle and Atlanta. Justifying and introducing armed insurgent personnel is a key step toward more militant acts. One example, from June 26, is the pre-planned ambush against two police officers in Tampa who were called to a phony shooting, only to have glass-bottle throwing rioters attack them.
Having foreign countries legitimize and support the insurgency is also critical. BLM protests erupted worldwide after George Floyd was killed, and Antifa has fraternal organizations across Europe. It’s still unclear what America’s die-hard international enemies are doing to support BLM and Antifa. Still, if they aren’t acting yet, they are most certainly looking for their opportunities.
Insurgency Pyramid. Actions already completed or begun by BLM/ANTIFA are in color. These actions do not have to take place in the order they are listed. Graphic by Matt Rowe.
The three co-founders of BLM — Patrisse Khan Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi — all have Marxist Socialism at the core of their ideologies. According to the Capital Research Center, the three women worked for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s front groups. The FRSO is one of the country’s largest radical-left organizations. Tometi actively promotes Socialism and anti-western socio-economics, while Cullors has publicly stated that the leaders of BLM are “trained Marxists.”
Antifa nominally believes that the country is heading toward Fascism and touts President Trump’s election and “America First” platform as proof. The organization has existed since the 1980s, but its radical anti-globalism and anti-capitalist rhetoric was inconsequential. By taking on BLM’s “anti-racist” cause, Antifa significantly increased its opportunities to act. Antifa has not hidden its Marxist Socialist objectives, but it has modified the traditional conflict from “workers versus the owners of capital” to “identity conflicts” based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
The vast majority of BLM members and supporters make up what Vladimir Lenin called “the useful idiots.” That is, the people actively working for a cause without really understanding the cause’s objectives. They are cynically being used to achieve an end they may have never intended. The core organizers’ goal is to keep the useful idiots blind to the truth for as long as possible while indoctrinating them into the cause.
To defeat this insurgency, we must eliminate the dissatisfaction that drives the largest groups of actors. We cannot change the political beliefs of hardcore Marxists. Still, we can help lift the millions of the poorest and least educated black (and other) Americans out of their current conditions and deteriorating culture. First, we must counter the propaganda that their plight is the result of current systemic racism. Instead, they must be led to understand that their current problems are the result of old behaviors. They require new solutions that will reintegrate them into society to give them a genuine stake and the ability to exercise legitimate influence.
Doing so will deprive the insurgency of millions of activists. It will also harness the sympathetic energies of the millions of people who understand that there is a problem but are misled into believing the insurgency can fix it. This means acknowledging that the pain our most impoverished communities experience, regardless of race, comes from long-standing cultural behaviors.
We must redirect cultures that have a history of welfare dependency; single motherhood, depriving children of fathers; skyrocketing numbers of high school dropouts who are unprepared to meet the needs of an increasingly technological society; higher risks of drug use and dependence; the extraordinarily higher crime rates with community members as both predators and victims; and the isolation and utter hopelessness that comes from being trapped there.
Good families, good educations, real opportunities, and the hope that every person can achieve the American dream are not racial or police issues. What we’re currently seeing is a halfway completed insurgency. If we are to end this unrest, we must face these truths and develop longer-term solutions immediately. Otherwise, judging by socialist “successes” worldwide, the suffering could increase exponentially for all of us.
Matt Rowe is a US Army Special Forces veteran and an independent business management consultant. He earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame after graduating magna cum laude from Campbell University with a BS in government. He has written feature articles for several publications, and his first novel, White Passage: Red Sun, is loosely based upon his experience in the “drug war” in Latin America.