On the Nature of Failed Ruralist Revolts – Pt. I

Throughout history many uprisings and resistances of various purposes and motivations have come and gone. Many of them, if not all, have political underpinnings we will not discuss here. Regardless of what drives groups of people to lash out, much can be learned by the reasons they failed. For rural and agrarian peoples knowing how to “live off of the land” has never been enough on its own.

The first topic of discussion is democratic idealism. In any campaign democracy is a weakness as it leaves decisions best made by bold and cunning individuals (whether they be gifted by genetics, intelligence, study, and experience, or all of the above) to the masses who may have no special ability in difficult decision making or strategy. Regardless of what your goals are, operating within a hierarchy that includes a chain of command greatly increases the odds of success. The consciously competent should rise to the top like a finely distilled spirit.

Second, and possibly the most pivotal circumstance, has been the disarming of the rural populace. The nature of growing crops, raising animals, storage of food surplus, access to drinking water, and the like, make rural folk vulnerable. Whether that vulnerability be to wild bandits, mercenaries of political movements, or oppositional uprisings, the primary defense is knowledge of, and access to, contemporary weaponry. Many millions of people throughout history have been completely overrun in armed conflict simply through the superior martial force of the enemy.

The third idea worth mentioning here is infiltration by the enemy. It is never a savory experience to question or doubt the loyalty of our friends, family, and neighbors. An unfortunate reality is that many movements and organizations have been eaten from the inside out by an infection allowed to gestate within its deepest ranks in the form of what we would deem in modern parlance as snitches, rats, snakes, and traitors. Not only are these subversive types a threat to stability and overcoming, but another type to watch for is the unmotivated, inactive, non-invested, and lazy. People gather where the fire is warmest and not all feed the fire, but only seek to avoid the cold.

The fourth piece of the puzzle, and the last for now, is absence of cohesive direction. If all leadership can form a common set of short and long term goals the chance of success is greatly amplified. Few truly successful operations benefit from a lack of common goals. Pure rage and confusion has caused great upheaval in the form of chaotic insurrection, but these events rarely, if ever, form any long term structure to be relied on. If the ultimate goal for a movement is to want something, anything, other than whatever is the current mode of existence, it is doomed to fail through lack of vision and forethought.

This basic outline is not intended to be exhaustive and there is much more to be said in coming articles. This article is not intended to condone, endorse, or advocate for violence and is educational in nature. Definitely do NOT acquire firearms, learn to fight, collect rainwater, practice permaculture, or build genuine bonds of kinship with your fellow rural folk. And absolutely NEVER, under any circumstance, hold dangerous ideas or convictions lest you upset the herd.Reiter3

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