Bill Collier- Crane Brinton in his 1938 book, THE ANATOMY OF REVOLUTION, attempted to lay out the signs and roadmarkers to revolution. While his work has been criticised, it was a useful starting point in discussing the portents of upheaval. It introduced to a broader audience the concept of discerning the signs of change, and in particular violent change or some form of radical alteration of power.
At the root of his and other similar works are the ideas that an existing power structure that has lost public trust and is itself on the verge of bankruptcy is the main catalyst for upheaval. Beyond that there must be a well led movement calling for change and, in the case of civil war, opposing sides along religious, ethnic, or ideological lines whose views are incompatible and who view one another as evil and beyond redemption.
In any society you are bound to have all these factors to some degree at some time. It is the intensity and duration of these factors, coupled with the emergence of strong proponents of and resistors to, upheaval that spells out the increasing likelihood of revolution or rupture within a society.
The laws of causality in human history are not amenable. Keep stirring the “right” ingredients of disenfranchising parts of the populace, a power structure that is both out of touch with all or a substantial portion of society and both morally and financially on the road to bankruptcy, and an intractable divison between the power holders and a substantial portion of the populace, and you get revolution or rupture. Over time, despite many fits and starts which end in failure, you see the emergence of effective champions of the groups of people who feel disenfranchised.
When the disenfranchised include the most productive members of society, the danger of upheaval increases.
If then we consider these factors, we see the ruling elite, the left, and the right in a stand-off. While it may seem the ruling elite are using the left to batter the right, the real left, represented by groups like antifa or rank and file Democrats, would like to make a nice breakfast of the elites who currently pander to them. The right, characterized mostly by strong adherents to the US Bill of Rights but demonized by both the elites and the left as nazis, lacked a strong leader until Trump. Whether he becomes more than a 1 or 2 term president to truly mature into a transcendent force with a well-organized following, remains to be seen. Beyond winning elections, neither he nor his cohorts have even made a good effort to create a well-organized movement.
The left have a movement and leaders, and a strong identity as Democrats that is deeper and more coherent in a cultural sense than the right. Democrats root for their team like football fans do for theirs. Conservatives often recoil at the notion of being Republicans and have a lack of cohesion: they don’t have a single “team” they root for, even when it has a bad coach or its players aren’t up to snuff. As an Eagles fan all my life, I totally get what rooting for a team means, and liberals root for their team far more than conservatives do.
You root for your team always, right or wrong, and keep hoping it gets better.
The left also fund their players better. They invest in their rank and file. While the right wins elections, the left burrow into national instutions and carry on their work, regardless of election outcomes. They know the chidlren belong to academia’s indoctrination, which they control and which Hollywood and the Press all reinforce with slavish devotion.
Wealthy conservatives tend to be parsimonious, egotistical, and, frankly, cheap. If or when they patronage any person or group, they pinch every penny and excert so much tight control that nothing of significance can happen. The left’s donors lavish many groups, let them do their thing, and hire real experts at high wages to keep the balls moving down the court every day.
Perhaps some conservative cause or movement will invent or break through to a crowdfunding model that negates the need for rich patrons, but, so far, that has not happened. Mostly because conservatives as individuals also tend to be parsimonious and want their activists and activism on the cheap. If or when that changes, then conservatives might have a chance.
As it stands, despite election victories, conservatism in the US is doomed. The real battle may be between the left and the elites, after we conservatives are shunted aside and after immigration reform reshapes the electoral map in states like Texas, which is the last major bastion of conservetive power in America. Conservatives have been cheap and stingy, not supporting their activists or activism, not realizing the need and power of paid mobs as it were, and all social proof of emerging victory belongs to the left.
As a conservative activist trying to earn a living, I cannot tell you how often a fellow conservative has attacked me for daring to try to find a way to crowdfund my effort: if I really cared for the cause, I’d work for free. As if we don’t need or want professional activists who wake up every day focused on the cause and not whether or not they csn pay their bills.
Don’t get me wrong, I get paid doing political work, but it’s not activism.
The question is this: are we facing a revolution or upheaval? We are facing the potential for a leftist revolution or an internal upheaval, either of which will lead to the final destruction of conservatism as a political force in these United States. Conservatives are stingy with resources to support a professional cadre of counter-revolutionaries whose activism and leaderhsip could match and defeat the left and the elites. When a populace which espouses an idea or belief system refuses to finance it, then we know that movement is headed for demise.
In truth, not even conservatives truly believe in their movement. So the potential upheaval we face in America will mean the triumph of either the elites or the left, who will likely fight it out after routing the conservative movement.