Of Course your Enemies are Organized

Organization is a spontaneous feature of all human societies. Heck, bees are organized.

There is a myth, routinely proposed by those who know no better, that other people are acting completely independently. Independent action, flowing spontaneously from one’s sense of morality or injustice, prompting sudden, wide-spread social change.

Then people discover that, contrary to this ignorant assumption, other humans actually put in a bunch of effort to organize, choosing carefully when and where they should act or at least helping each other out, and they are shocked, just shocked.

Somehow, spontaneous action is regarded as purely motivated, whereas organized action–the natural result of all human socializing–is impure, some kind of dastardly conspiracy.

Don’t be dumb. Of course your enemies are organized–whoever your enemies happen to be.

The Rosa Parks story comes immediately to mind, as analyzed by Herbert Kohl in Should we Burn Babar? Kohl, I should be clear, does not regard Mrs. Parks as an enemy–he wants her story to be told accurately. Kohl examines school textbook accounts of Mrs. Parks’s story, finding, IIRC, that most were inaccurate.

One of the most common inaccuracies Kohl found in the textbooks was the description of Mrs. Parks as a totally normal person, (just like you and me!) not involved in any political movements, who was just really tired one day and didn’t want to move.

This is wrong, of course. Rosa Parks was an active member of a civil rights organization. Her refusal to move was not the spontaneous result of being tired one day, but a planned protest against segregation. Mrs. Parks was not the first black person who refused to give up her seat on a bus, but civil rights leaders chose to publicize her case and not earlier cases because they thought the American public would find Mrs. Parks a more sympathetic character–you see, the other lady who did the exact same courageous act as Mrs. Parks but hasn’t received any credit for it was divorced.

If you find this surprising, please ask yourself Why? Do you really think the March on Washington or Montgomery Bus Boycott happened without organization? At the very least, people had to get to work.

Kohl offers unsatisfying explanations for the inaccuracies in textbook accounts of Mrs. Parks’s story, mostly because he doesn’t quite understand the writers’ motivations. Here’s what I think happened:

In Mrs. Parks’s time, liberals tended to be on the side of the Civil Rights movement, and conservatives tended to be against it. Both sides knew darn well that the Civil Rights movement was organized.

Today, even conservatives are generally in favor of Civil Rights–conservatives I know wax rhapsodically and frequently about how much they love Dr. King. I shit you not, I know white, southern conservatives who actually see themselves in solidarity with Blacks and Hispanics against evil white liberals.

But these rather conventional, mainstream conservatives do not believe in radical, organized protest against the state. That is a liberal thing. Mainstream conservatives like the status quo and generally seek to protect it (and supporting Civil Rights is now status quo, so they do,) but organized protest is anti-status quo, so they don’t like it.

To make Mrs. Parks an appropriate conservative hero, capable of appearing in children’s history texts without inspiring parental protest that the texts are teaching politics instead of history, Mrs. Parks’ associations with organized liberalism have been scrubbed. A conservative hero like Mrs. Parks couldn’t possibly do something so controversially liberal as join a social organization in favor of her own self-interest.

 

The recent riots in Baltimore and elsewhere are another example. People report, most conspiratorially, that these riots were organized. Of course they were organized! We call them campus organizations for a reason. Heck, I know people who can’t get together with their friends to play video games without setting up a treasury and by-laws, but people are surprised to learn that folks who’ve been in Social Justice organizations for years might donate money to help protesters with legal fees or organize transportation together.

It’s one thing for people to just spontaneously decide to protest. It’s a totally different matter to carpool.

 

Conservatives organize too, btw. Evangelical churches, talk radio, and various conservative think tanks have been organizing conservatives for decades. Conservatives are quite good at organizing, as they tend, even more than liberals, to like being part of an organized social hierarchy. These organizations have had a pretty big effect on the American political scene, because they are very effective at getting their members to vote in lock-step for whatever policies and politicians they support. Thus, four decades years after Roe V. Wade, conservatives still pose a real threat to legal abortion. (Evolutionist X believes abortion should be free and easily available.)

 

Whoever your enemies are, of course they are organized. Organization is a basic feature of all human societies. Stop acting surprised.

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3 thoughts on “Of Course your Enemies are Organized

  1. “…Somehow, spontaneous action is regarded as purely motivated, whereas organized action–the natural result of all human socializing–is impure, some kind of dastardly conspiracy…”

    Yet if White people were to organize and push for solely White interest, disregarding all other races interest, what do you think the reaction would be?

    Racism! Evil! Segregation! End of the World!

    Like

    • From a game theoretic perspective, every group would like to encourage other groups to be less organized than themselves. People who have a natural tendency toward groupiness (ie clannish, tribal people,) are more immune to this pressure, but people who are naturally inclined toward non-clannish egalitarianism, openness, etc., are predisposed to accept it. Like an ascetic, the more they can deny their own internal desires/self, the more holy they feel.

      When whites do organize, the effects have been extremely bad for non-whites, so the pushback is very strong.

      Like

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