Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cell Groups (by Phila)

Xicano Pwr discusses the increase in secessionist talk on the far right, as exemplified by the noted constitutional scholars Chuck Norris and Glenn Beck:
Has secessionism become mainstream? It might have. A 2008 Zogby International poll revealed that 22% of Americans believe that “any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic.” Some 18% “would support a secessionist effort in my state.” It is obvious Chuck Norris is part of the 18 percent.
Of course, "peaceable" secession is not what Norris and Beck are talking about. As with so many other conservative undertakings, the process is the goal: violent upheaval is an end in itself. What we're dealing with is racist and misogynist rage, period; maudlin references to the flag and the Constitution and liberty are simply alibis that allow followers to build a dirty bomb — or fantasize about it — with a clear conscience.
[Norris] continues; calling on a second American Revolution and concludes that there are “Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation.” More concerning, Norris feels we are on the eve of war. He closes with the words of Sam Houston.
“We view ourselves on the eve of battle. We are nerved for the contest, and must conquer or perish. It is vain to look for present aid: None is at hand. We must now act or abandon all hope! Rally to the standard, and be no longer the scoff of mercenary tongues! Be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father’s name.”
This is nothing new; it's always one minute to midnight in the radical-right imagination. The crisis Norris anticipates is not some gun-grabbing socialist takeover, but the violence conservatives themselves are constantly yearning to commit. The conflagration they foresee is the one they hope to bring about, so they describe it as an objective threat they must deal with preemptively.

The fact that people like Norris and Glenn Beck are clownish, inarticulate, and painfully stupid is exactly what makes them so dangerous; there's no better type of person for the job. If a new Civil War breaks out, Beck is more likely to accidentally shoot his own dick off while watching cable coverage than to lead a battalion of flabby kulturkampfers against The Yale Divinity School Latina/o Association. But that doesn't matter; he'll still be a hero of the people. In revolution, as in foreign wars, the role of the conservative firebrand is to inspire someone else to kill people, enjoy it vicariously while staying out of harm's way, and blame the victims for the body count once the smoke has cleared.

The funny thing is, the alleged forward march of collectivism is the excuse for forming a brutally conformist, hive-mind collective that's "united around the country in solidarity." The new world that this uprising will achieve is vague, but definitely glorious, much like Heaven. There's little intellectual need for a post-revolutionary plan, and no need at all to worry about the law of unintended consequences, which presents an obstacle only to relatively sane endeavors. The demands of women, minorities, and "liberals" are analogous to the regulations that prevent the free market from working its magic; the New Order will simply self-organize once these obstacles are removed. Norris's war isn't some sort of suburban putsch; it's an almost impersonal force that will spontaneously arise to restore the natural order, into which everyone who counts will then fit as comfortably as a STANAG magazine in an AR-15.

That being the case, he's not simply threatening teh socialists and feminazis; this rhetoric is also a reminder to conservatives that they're either with the "cell groups," and the natural order they represent, or against them. Which really ought to frighten them as much as us.