Right wing activism vs left wing activism (PIRGs)

I have more things I want to write about than time to write about them, and some of those things I posted as comments over at Steve Sailer’s blog.  So I’ll bring some of them over until I get more free time/high spoon days or run out of relevant commentary.  First up are some comments I made about the difference between right wing and left wing activism, including the PIRGs (public interest research groups) as an example.

“There’s also a professional activist culture for Republicans, it’s just not as effective [as professional left-wing activism] because it’s oriented towards milking the base. HSLDA is a case in point. Doesn’t always start that way, but the right-wing activist stuff always seems to end up there, mysteriously.”

“…the left funds professional activists opaquely, with small fees that hit thousands or millions of people, where they skim off a portion (the PIRG system is a great case in point). It tries to not directly milk its base. The right, conversely, does nothing but overtly milk its base and avoids opaque funding mechanisms, favoring direct appeals, even if they have a con-artist sheen.”

“The PIRG money for student PIRGs, the main ones Americans hear about comes from the students, not the government. They also don’t tell students they can claw it back and the few students who figure it out have a major struggle to get a few hundred bucks back out of thousands spent per year. So it’s opaque funding, but not so much that people have a strong incentive to try to eliminate it. That structure is typical of liberal activist stuff. There’s other examples like obscure state level taxes that cost a few bucks a year per person, but in a state of millions, that’s real money.

The hijacking foundations is also a liberal special. Conservatives are fairly bad at working that angle, too. The Birchers in their prime were a good conservative activist alternative approach, but they relied on historical conditions that are unlikely to be replicable by conservatives these days.”

The context was something that is currently on alt-right and other conservative-ish minds, effective activism techniques.  Some people were doing the whole “Republicans HAVE JOBS LOL” thing that is standard when this comes up, but Democrats have jobs too, and not just activist-ing.

Relevant discussion from My Posting Career (naughty words galore warning), but mostly in this discussion they dismiss the successful right wing organizing that does exist (pro-life activism) and are unaware that right-wing women were the mainstays of previous successful right-wing activism before the degeneration into base-milking in the wake of the 1960s.

I’ll come back to the right-wing women thing over and over again, because smart right wing women were the backbone of pre-1960s conservative and Republican organization.  Then that energy mostly got diverted into homeschooling and other acceptable fringes.


27 thoughts on “Right wing activism vs left wing activism (PIRGs)

  1. “I’ll come back to the right-wing women thing over and over again, because smart right wing women were the backbone of pre-1960s conservative and Republican organization.”



  2. Internet people who say “there is no effective rightwing activism” are revealing how marginal and socially isolated they are. You cannot socialize in adult life without slamming into right wing activism.


        • It’s not even that, it’s that they extrapolate from left-wing dominance in political stuff right now and work backwards that everything was basically that put-together for the left always.

          They also don’t understand what appeals to “normies”. In a different thread from MPC about activism, they discuss going around to people’s houses to complain about standardized testing and how it’s useless and awful. They have no idea how average middle-class people, white or not-white, view standardized testing (they don’t necessarily like it, but nobody actually wants it gone).

          They would be better off trying to gin up some activist house-visiting or whatever about regionally relevant issues that aren’t political. But that’s where the real work is.


          • “They have no idea how average middle-class people, white or not-white, view standardized testing (they don’t necessarily like it, but nobody actually wants it gone).”

            I think you’re confusing diffrent kinds of testing. Very few people want testing done away with completely, but everyone wants public school testing as it currently exists gone except people who are making money off it. One standardized test a year starting in second grade, explicitly as preparation for high school entrance exams, followed by those exams, which are followed by college entrance exams in high school are more than plenty and again nobody really has any objection to this. What people are upset about and what there ought to be widespread bipartisan rebellion against is NCLB-mandated testing. But there isn’t such widespread rebellion because the testing regime is so onerous that everyone who can, pulls their kids out; which leads to increased burdens on individual families who are now more responsible either for paying for or directly providing their children’s education while also paying taxes to support the system they’ve been driven out of and therefore have very limited resoruces for engaging in self-government. It’s a pretty neat trick (evil but neat).


          • oh also, when modelling how stuff worked in the past you have to remember that the Cold War only ended in the 90s. Right up to the very end the Soviets were funding stuff and we were funding stuff; this is probably even more important to remember than the invisible ladies who were making things work. There was a lot more money sloshing around back then.


      • Well like I said to you in chat, I think you can equally make the argument that “politically effective” left activism really just boils down to a lot of people sawing off the treebranch they’re sitting on. We are rapidly barrelling into a tribal future without the rule of law or effective central government. The social networks created by things like March for Life, anti-gay marriage activism, and the various legal defense leagues might not be “politically effective” from the point of view of people whose personal lives are unsatisfying enough that they spend a lot of time posting on MPC (and I don’t mean that in a b****y way, I think people’s lives can be unsatisfying because of things totally outside their control, like bad local government combined with mass immigration) but there are a whole lot of white Americans living regular lives who engage in that stuff and I think I maybe heard that they elected a president?


        • And I just want to repeat my comment about adult social life being completely impossible to engage in without slamming right into people with fetus bumperstickers who take their kids to antiabortion rallies. This has been a remarkably consistent feature in multiple regions of the US which otherwise are extremely different from each other.


        • Very good points; I would both agree and disagree. Pro Life movement has done well; opposition to gay marriage has arguably failed.

          I have no love for the MPC people, but many of them do come off as successful and intelligent (as opposed to the 4Chan crowd, which they resemble). Unfortunately, they are incredibly racist, and that limits their utility.

          I think the right is more marginal than one would acknowledge, also. Defense sector they are strong; not so in the academic humanities, where the greatest books of theory are being created.


            • Umm, used to be a blogger alongside our Blogstress, at the old blog Traditional Christianity. Also, I am a young single man who has spent far too much of life around academia and think tanks. I prefer the social attitudes of the (right wing) latter, but think the former have a better understanding of how the world works. I consider myself a James Kalb type traditionalist, but I know how difficult any actual embrace of tradition or rejection of modernity will be.


  3. This should be interesting. I get too bored and annoyed with the weird obsession with black people over at Steve Sailer’s to actually read the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

          • Really? Self hating blackish people would explain some of the comments over there. But I suspect that a lot of the alt right is like that racist nutjob Richard Spencer. Standing on the shoulders of black people while claiming to be tall.


            • Could be a parallel mannerism. One of the notes I have seen from the #CRx crowd has been how the tendency to refer to oneself as “goy” parallels the tendency of some to try to reclaim the Nword.
              The crowd is weird and tacky…


            • The alt right is mostly ex-liberals and ex-libertarians, with white nationalists bringing up the rear. And white globalists like EU-supporting Richard Spencer are pretty thin on the ground (because they’re bait). Getting worked up over Richard Spencer or the KKK for that matter is like getting worked up over a ten year old repeating curse words his dad yelled after a hammer accident.


                • The evidence is that he gets press attention at all. It’s like how nobody would know about KKK “rallies” because it’s usually like five guys, except they seem to always make the news, mysteriously.

                  I remember as a kid watching those terrible daytime talk shows where they’d bring a KKK member or two on and wondering what I was supposed to be frightened of. They couldn’t lynch a fly and it was obvious to a child (me).


                  • I don’t think that Richard Spencer is worth getting worked up about, but I suspect that his cotton farm owning family owes mine some money. It is obnoxious that he is benefiting from slavery and my taxes while talking trash about black people.

                    The KKK had a meeting at a local library a while back. I had no idea what was going on when I arrived but I did notice the parking lot was full of raggedy cars and pitiful looking people. There was cop there and he apologized to me and said that he’d keep an eye on my car for me. I would’ve just gone home, but I really wanted my book.

                    If you read ten comments from alt right types 5 of them will be racist. I’m not at all surprised that liberal racists would be more comfortable on the right.


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