If I was paranoid (I’m not, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me!), I’d have little choice but to conclude that the anarchist/tea party interaction of the last few days must be some kind of COINTELPRO operation intended to disrupt the natural marriage between honest tea partiers and consistent advocates of liberty.
It started with a call to action at InfoShop News, an anarchist site: “Crash the tea parties!” Unfortunately, the call to counterdemonstrate, etc., included a pro-welfare-state complaint:
If the tea party movement takes over this country they will really hurt poor people by getting rid of social programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, student aid, free health care, etc.
Naturally, the retort from Republican Party shills in the tea party movement was strident (and from the paranoid perspective, possibly pre-loaded). For example, Jim Hoft, a/k/a Gateway Pundit:
Violent anarchists are planning on infilitrating and sabotaging the Tea Party Protests on April 15th
Whether by sorry coincidence or semi-intelligent design, the interaction here implies two obvious end-states:
– The tea party movement driven even more firmly into the crushing, suffocating embrace of the Republican Party; and
– The movement for a stateless society publicly painted as not anti-state, but merely pro-welfare-state as opposed to pro-warfare state.
Both of these outcomes — once again, by coincidence or by design, it matters not which — redound to the benefit of the big-government Republican Party and to the benefit of those welfare/warfare statists who emphasize the latter over the former … but I repeat myself.
Those outcomes theoretically damage the welfare-emphasizing (but warfare-accommodating, of course) big-government Democratic Party by associating it in people’s minds with anarchism. Personally I consider that an up side for the Democrats and an embarrassment to anarchists, but that’s not how pro-big-government types are likely to see it.
Those outcomes actually damage the anarchist movement to the extent that they associate it in people’s minds with statist movements and organizations.
Regardless of whether this little tempest is some kind of intentional disruption operation or just a random “meeting engagement,” both outcomes will be welcomed by the RNC, the “Tea Party Express” astroturf imposture, et. al.
Let’s be clear on this: The last thing the Republican establishment wants is an authentic, populist, even nominally anti-state movement running around raising hell in flyover country.
When the tea party movement erupted out of the zeitgeist in late 2008/early 2009, that Republican establishment immediately went to work with two goals: To get a harness on the the movement and turn it into a reliable “Get Out The Vote” pool for 2010, and to thoroughly extinguish any authentic anti-statist flame it could detect in the movement’s ranks, with priority clearly on the latter goal.
The Republican establishment would rather lose its elections this November than risk the possibility that a popular movement might be left still standing — and ready to hold them accountable to its goals — after it helps them win those elections.
From the Republican point of view, the tea party movement must be collared, leashed and broken to heel, or it must be murdered. They’d rather accomplish the former, but they’ll go for the latter if they have to.
Real anarchists are on the tea parties’ side, to the extent that the tea parties remain true to their initially stated goals (reversing the corporate welfare bailouts specifically, and generally reducing the size, scope and power of government).
Things haven’t ever looked too good for the anarchist/tea party marriage, of course. The tea party events I’ve attended (yes, folks, you’ve had anarchists in your midst from the beginning!) have become progressively (pun intended) more and more pro-state, and specifically more and more pro-warfare-state, over the year and change that they’ve been occurring.
The fact that anarchists are even being brought up in association with the tea parties is actually a good sign, one that I didn’t expect to see this late in the co-option game. After the Scott Brown debacle, I assumed that that collar and leash were on tightly. These latest developments tell me that the big-government Republicans are still worried that the collar might be slipped or the leash yanked from their hands.
I do hope that anarchists turn out en masse for tea party events around the US on and around April 15th. And that they display solidarity with whatever anti-state elements remain involved in the tea parties instead of offering up pro-welfare-state pablum in reaction to the pro-warfare-state elements corrupting, corroding and co-opting the tea party movement.