You Say You Want a Revolution?

Revolution is in the air:

Poll: 29% Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon Be Necessary

Three in 10 registered American voters believe an armed rebellion might be necessary in the next few years, according to the results of a staggering poll released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.

The survey, aimed at measuring public attitudes toward gun issues, found that 29 percent of Americans agree with the statement, “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” An additional five percent were unsure.

Eighteen percent of Democrats said an armed revolt “might be necessary,” as compared to 27 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans. Support levels were similar among males and females but higher among less educated voters.

Whatever polls like this might reveal about the American public, they are Rorschach tests for political commentators: our reactions to them demonstrate who we are and what we want.

For liberals and leftists, and millions of others who instinctively distrust the American majority, the poll demonstrates that White people are enveloped in paranoid and dangerous fantasies and delusions. More education, gun control, diversity training, and non-White immigration will be necessary, lest the natives get out hand and relaunch the Third Reich.

With the mainstream Right, publicly, they will ignore the study; privately, they will discuss how best to flirt with the issue, so that White anxiety can once again be exploited for the purpose of electing Republicans.

Nationalists and the alt Right will be inspired: "The public is with us," we tell ourselves, "Revolution begins now! Battle stations, everyone!"

Our side needs a dose of reality.

First off, there is no doubt that this poll is highly significant in what it tells us about the mood of White America: I can't imagine a similar result being found, say, seven years ago; indeed, it's hard to imagine a poll like this even being taken seven years ago. (I couldn't find one.)

The "armed rebellion" meme—along with phenomena like the secession petitions of this past year—all indicate a dark, brooding collective mood (something that peaked during the financial crash of 2008-09 but never really went away). Whites feel like their country is slipping away from them . . . that America will be worse for their children and grandchildren than it was for them . . . that a breaking point is coming . . .

That said, it's highly unlikely that, in the near term, masses of Whites will change their behavior. White political activism will continue to be confined to the two major political parties, talk radio, and cable news.

The rebellion is imagined to be in the future. There are few who are ready and willing right now to risk their lives attacking the United States government. Even if they were, I doubt, that most Americans realistically understand what a violent confrontation with the U.S. federal government would entail—an asymmetric campaign waged by rebels with assault rifles versus a government with drones and tanks . . .  (They should stop watching Star Wars and The Patriot and pick up The Battle of Algiers.)

Polls like this certainly indicate a potential opportunity for nationalists—but they don't promise us anything.

The collective mood of White Americans could get much darker in the coming years—and yet this would not threaten the existing order if this anger and anxiety were channelled into more Glenn Beck rallies and useless Republican candidates.

Whenever I hear a die-hard patriot talk about "secession" or "revolution," my question is always, For What? What kind of society and political order would we be fighting for? Would we risk our lives to separate from the federal government . . . only to recreate it again on a smaller scale? It's worth remembering that were, say, Texas or Alabama (states with strong quasi-national identities) to secede, they would be putting themselves in far worse demographic situations than they are in currently.

We need an ideal: an alternative to the status quo that is worth fighting and dying for.

Otherwise, we're just shadowboxing.