No proper history will likely come out of the George Floyd riots. I have a hard time imagining capable and honest first-hand accounts years from now from former antifa, like those of old sixties radicals. Despite the attention given sixties protest, much of it remains obscure. Aside from the media’s rehabilitation of former Weathermen and black political terrorists–after decades of muting their criminality and mediocrity–there’s a big hole where there should be a whole sub-genre devoted to leftist political terror. Brian Burrough’s oft-referenced Days of Rage is almost alone among popular history books on the subject.
The deliberately bowdlerized popular narrative of the sixties recasts a movement with radicals committed to America’s overthrow at its core as one of patriotic reformers bringing America belatedly to fulfill its Constitutional promise. In this narrative America only begins in earnest in the sixties–a notion helped along by the vanity of the generation that participated in both the protests and its subsequent mythologizing. The reality hindsight reveals is the sixties are the beginning of the end of America, and the present movement is the end of the end, if they get their way.
Today antifa proudly proclaims the overthrow of America as their goal, while the media now performs historical revisionism in real time rather than retrospect; “that didn’t happen” has become “this isn’t happening”.
This indulgence the original radicals were never allowed. In hindsight sixties radicals’ dreams of taking over can be seen as childish delusion. Today’s radicals are much less impressive, given freer reign and their delusion is not that their “revolution” won’t succeed–it already has, without them–but that there’s any real place for them in it.
The sixties and the present insurgency are related like the two world wars. Indeed, with the benefit of hindsight, I see the sixties and the present insurrection as a generational one-two punch, the first one sending the original Constitutional order reeling, this one now here to finish it off and bring on the post Constitutional order. BLM’s eventual victory–thankfully not ensured, despite the media’s determination to cast it as such–will be the raising of the glove of the new order and champion.
People don’t write any more and can’t be trusted to write honestly any way, but what’s happening now will be documented in ways to an extent previously unimaginable, with the profusion of cameras. The abundance of lurid video documentation stands in stark contrast to the dull restricted written documentation in the media’s account. What once took years of propaganda is now wiki-ed up overnight with the speed of the internet and the enthusiastic labor of the gaslit, whose tweets are like religious invocations of the original archetype.
It’s a weird, dystopic world; “peaceful protests” like a chyron on a loop over endless video of snarling mobs–the un-quantifiable mass out there on all those phones, never to be fully gathered together except, perhaps, by the NSA.
It falls to us to tell this story.