I’ve been intrigued by the Proud Boys and there overnight success as a nationalist organization. Now obviously it helps a lot to have a wealthy founder, but there success is still noteworthy. I admired them for being edgy but not being edgy to the point where it could get someone fired from there job like Identity Evropa or Patriot Front would (or so i thought). They also appeared to be a kind of fraternity without the college and a good place to network for people with like minds. In a way they didn’t really seem different than the old, often defunct community organizations mentioned in Bowling Alone.
Obviously it hasn’t turned out that way. The $PLC classified them as a hate group last spring, becoming the first ever organization to be put into there new “General Hate” category. Then in August, McInnes, ProudBoysUSA and all the local proud boy chapter twitter pages were all shoahed. But what’s happened even more recently is that knowledge of them has started to trickle down into NPC-world and what little information they have of them is bad. This of course being after the Proud Boys got into a brawl with antifa in manhattan on October 12th. The future of the organization seems in jeopardy.
I feel that what we can learn from this is that you don’t get to choose if you are bigoted or not. You’re basically at the mercy of mediamatters, rightwingwatch, $PLC, angrywhitemen and other intelligence agencies. It doesn’t matter if you allow in nonwhite members or homosexual members – if they call you a hater, you are one. The fact that the proud boys (and there tactical defense arm) are the only organizations listed as “General Hate” in the SPLC means that Mark Potok was wanting to classify them as a hate group – but couldn’t figure out how to classify them.
The other thing is that success is a double-edged sword. Any organization TPTB consider heretical that becomes too popular too fast – is going to put you right in there crosshairs. One of the problems was that they had uniforms. Even if you’re not going to a goonmarch, you never know if you’re going to run into someone who knows what group you belong to. You could simply be setting yourself up for doxxing and/or attacks by antifa. It also doesn’t matter if antifa drew first blood against the proud boys. All that matters is what gets shown in the media – and that almost always means something negative. Infamy is always worse than anonymity.
All organizations go through an early phase and many never make it past that. Others become giant nonprofits and corporations. But for a dissident organization it is even harder to advance to the next step because once you’ve been identified, you will be freezed, personalized and polarized. There is no one way for a dissident organization to gain acceptance because so few have made it past the genesis phase. You can look at the mormon church as an example of an organization that went from being an insane cult that was kicked out of everywhere they went – to while still being seen as cultish – is mostly seen as harmless (and confined to one or two states). Or you can do the “long march through the institutions” that the commies did in the 20th century. But both examples are before technology and what not made it easier to sniff these things out.
Whatever becomes of the proud boys – we live in interesting times.