Weekly Insurgency 12/07/2020
Antifa/Patriot clashes, Hard Lefties arming up, 3D printed guns, Omniviolence, Sino-Globocorp alignment
Welcome to the Contextual Insurgent Project by writer, analyst, and activist Erin Smith.
This is your Contextual Insurgent weekly roundup, where I link you to a selection of the previous week’s previous notable events/articles/tweets and contextualize them with a short analysis drawn from a synthesis of hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge.
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Hello friend! You should have received my latest Contextual Insurgent podcast (Tribe Building 101) via substack email a few hours ago, but I’m going to repeat the hope I expressed in it that you had a happy Thanksgiving. It’s been a rough year for many of us, but it’s a good thing that we have at least one day a year where we pause, sift through the ashes to find the good things (there’s always some, no matter what they say) then dredge up at least some gratitude for them. For example I have a new puppy, so meet Ellie:
Substack/Podcast updates and Revamp
As I mentioned in the podcast email, the Contextual Insurgent Project is getting a few tweaks. I had overall great feedback from my first 10 episodes, but there’s always room to improve. Besides, part of calling something a “project” (as in contextual insurgent) is it implies flexibility and change.
For starters, podcast episodes will begin going out in dedicated emails following publication, with a short introduction and synopsis. Also my episodes have been averaging around 45-50 minutes, I’m going to focus on dialing it back to 35-40 minutes while increasing the number of regular episodes per week. I also will focus on providing more concrete guidance and action items to help you apply these lessons in the real world.
Another thing I’m going to do is change my vocabulary a little bit. You see, lefties talk about alot of very useful concepts but they bury them under these academic, weird, and just plain alienating terms like praxis, affinity group, dilemma action, prefigurative direct action, which are all things I’ve covered; most of them refer to underlying concepts you probably recognize from things you’ve seen or done.
Episode 1 (Tribe Building 101: affinity group how-to for righties) is my first episode with these changes in mind, and I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on them.
If you appreciate my work, supporting it financially would be greatly appreciated. For the price of a monthly Mocha Frappuccino you can help me continue producing content, which is ultimately about helping you :)
Street Clashes, or why guns don’t belong in a fistfight
The past few months have seen an upswing in confrontations between various factions of the left and the right, as well as a dramatic increase in the number of people (on both sides) open carrying firearms.
As I discussed in my contribution to Unmasking Antifa as well as a previous weekly roundup, open carry actually can have an effective -albeit narrowly constrained- role during a contentious public assembly, and so far leftists seem to be somewhat more consistent at integrating the armed and unarmed contingents in a way that reinforces the advantages of both.
The problem is these things are more likely to attract at least some people with impulse control issues, and if the open carry faction doesn’t understand their role -or how critical it is that they avoid getting in the middle of the scrum- it’s likely someone will get punched in the face and do something extremely stupid. Even if you never draw, just being armed is often enough to elevate any potential criminal charges.
It’s very simple: if you’re armed at a protest, absolutely avoid going hands-on with anyone if you can help it. If however you’re going downtown because you want to do the Man Dance with anarcho-communist street gangs (a totally respectable choice) if the chance arises, leave the guns at home.
Just FYI I’m speaking as someone that’s been on the cover of TIME magazine for my gun rights activism as well as being an internet meme for punching antifa at a riot, so I’m not exactly talking out of my ass here.
Speaking of guns and antifa…
I included information on armed antifa groups in the CSP book linked above, and I have profiled them before on several occasions. I also plan to do a podcast episode this season on Redneck Revolt Network, the largest armed leftist group in the country.
The most important takeaway I want you to get from this roundup is to understand that learning to shoot is *easy*, while learning to organize effectively is *hard*; lefties have already done the organizing, and they’ll be able to close the shooting skills gap sooner than you likely realize.
There’s simply nothing inherently right wing about firearms that prevents a leftist from using them just as effectively, and I would argue leveraging their networking abilities gives them an ability to rapidly disseminate all sorts of training and information.
Slayer of Libs, Posting is Praxis @ArgoAtxOhhhhh SHIT Yes, those are sparring gloves and headgear. Yes, Labor Bloc is moving with plans for fitness, conditioning, mutual defense training at Cal. Yes, I will box you. WE NEED EQUIPMENT: hand wraps, gloves, headgear, punching bags (or materials to DIY) #seattlemutualaid https://t.co/9SubDcVghU
Tacticool Girlfriend in particular is a trans, pro-gun, self-proclaimed anarchist with a rising profile in the leftist gun community. She primarily focuses on advocating basic skills for neophytes and providing tips for gear selection, and while I have a quibble or two I will admit her basic skillset is sound, and equipment functional and fairly well thought out.
2020 has seen as explosion in gun ownership amongst various communities not traditionally known as members of the “gun culture,” and conservatives need to stop assuming firearms assure our side any sort of escalation dominance.
She also seems to associate with the Socialist Rifle Association to some extent, a group rather notorious for having Stalinist, authoritarian left members:
It’s a fairly common mistake to assume the anti-gun attitudes common with urban liberals is also shared with their more militant leftist brethren, and it’s an even bigger mistake to assume rural areas will always be bastions of conservative ideology. A quick study of The Battle of Blair Mountain should be enough to disabuse both notions:
Likely Antifa IED attack on Michigan Trump supporter
Hard lefties love scavenging commercial fireworks to use in primitive IEDs (the sparkly blast signature is a giveaway) but this is the first one I can recall being deployed inside someone’s home. The blast damage is fairly significant, and this would definitely one of the larger devices they’ve deployed for a while.
I also doubt this was triggered solely by his yard signs; likely he is someone prominent in local conservative activism or involved in the “stop the steal” protests, but without a name provided it will be hard to confirm.
3D Printed guns and their implications
This is an interesting documentary on the decentralized anonymous movement behind 3D printed guns in Europe, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
3D printed guns are a incredibly apt example of Marshall McLuhan’s assertion that “The Medium is the Message”, and my criticism of the interviewee is basically limited to the exchange where he missed his chance to really drive that point home.
When pressed about how could he assure that his work would not fall into the wrong hands, instead of trying a different tack he doubled down on the “freedom over security” line of argument; I don’t disagree, but it’s usually helpful to try several different arguments because different people are often convinced by different things.
In my opinion, the more insightful followup response would be to note that state and institutional power have no need of 3D printed firearms because they can access the legacy industrial base, and the ability to simply skip the conventional manufacturing and logistical bottlenecks, transmit information, and manufacture on-site inherently favors marginalized communities.
Yes, individual crimes will be committed with 3D printed guns, but ultimately this technology will likely do more to flatten the civilizational power gradient that enables the truly massive crimes against humanity. Besides, we probably can’t stop it even if it didn’t.
As a counterpoint…
Flattening the power gradient may cut both ways:
“You can drive up I-95 with three trucks and have 10 million weapons attacking New York City. They don’t have to be very effective, only 5 or 10% of them have to find the target.” Manufacturers will be producing millions of these drones, available for purchase just as with guns now, Russell points out, “except millions of guns don’t matter unless you have a million soldiers. You need only three guys to write the program and launch.””
Anonymity without the Catfishing
This is a neat program that takes a picture you submit and generates a new version tweeked to defeat facial recognition algorithms, while keeping enough of a plausible resemblance that it should minimize those awkward encounters. This works because facial recognition measures the ratios of specific features, so relatively small adjustments are usually enough.
Economic warfare and Chinese-Globocorp alignment
We talked a bit about decentralization, now let’s tackle the opposite.
I’ve mentioned Four Networks Theory in previous podcasts (and you’ll likely hear me mention it again in the future) but the relevant gist here is that economic power can be just as impactful (and even less accountable) than conventional state power. The issue is that for structural reasons China seems to be better positioned in the medium and long-term to effectively use these sorts of tactics, and as Magnitsky sanctions spread we’re almost certainly going to see China ramp up the pressure on international corporations.
Noah Smith has a good piece that echoes many of my concerns:
Luke de Pulford 裴倫德 @lukedepulfordNote to those who don’t believe Magnitsky sanctions work. The best 56 seconds of this week. #CallousCarrie #StandwithHongKong https://t.co/cdWnHZnK2J
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