Is this a revolution? – Forward Observer

Is this a revolution?

Last night, a veteran friend and I were talking about our takes on the protests and riots.

Is this a civil war? A revolution? A rebellion or insurrection?

My initial assessment is that this actually is a revolution, in the sense of the Maidan or Tahrir Square, where organizers attempt to foment a popular uprising against the government.

Maidan, of course, was Ukraine’s 2014 revolution. Tahrir Square, Egypt’s during the 2011 Arab Spring. In both cases, mass protests and violence eventually succeeded in forcing the resignation of the countries’ leaders. There were other cases, too: Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, Iceland, and Finland each had their own bouts of widespread protests that led to political change.

All the way back in 2017, which now seems like 20 years ago, a U.S.-based militant socialist web magazine began promoting the idea of mass protests and small scale direct action as a means to bait President Trump into cracking down on Leftists nationwide.

The anticipated iron fist reaction would rally support for the Leftist cause, the authors explained, and expand the class conflict against capitalism and the state.

Since then, the idea of mass mobilization has become regular fare for both liberal and leftist think-pieces.

Rising to its highest popularity during the impeachment debacle, left wing authors encouraged mass protests where millions of Americans would fill the streets in major cities across the country, demanding an end to the Trump administration. According to this calculus, only mass mobilization could produce enough sustained political, social, and economic pressure to force President Trump’s resignation.

The country’s proponents of class conflict saw this push as a launching pad for socialist revolution. That mass mobilization effort fizzled along with impeachment, but what we’re seeing now is the result of the same organizing.

Riding on top of the protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd is the socialist class war against law enforcement, capitalism, and the state. This is their revolution — not a singular event but a process.

In response to the protest demands, some municipalities are cutting police budgets. In some cases, there’s serious talk about dissolving police departments altogether. Ostensibly, this is to reduce police violence and redirect budgetary savings to social programs.

For the socialist revolution, without police, there are no evictions. There’s no one to stop looting, theft, and the forced redistribution of goods. Without police, there’s no one to enforce laws that protect the exploitative capitalist class against expropriation and violence from the proletariat, so the theory goes.

Now let’s answer the question: is this an actual revolution? Yes, for a few reasons.

1. These aims are nothing short of revolutionary.
2. The proponents of these political, social, and economic policy changes believe this is a revolution and describe themselves as revolutionaries.
3. We’re seeing some signs of success towards these revolutionary aims.

Success isn’t assured through electoral politics. This is why “dual power” exists. This is the concept of developing both political and social power. Institution-building in oppressed communities, outside of politics, is a form of power that can accomplish what politics often can’t. According to the theory, social power eventually grows larger than the opposition’s political power, and that becomes the basis for socialist revolution.

The bottom line is that the conflict here and it’s going to get much worse as the other side responds. Welcome to the next phase of our low intensity conflict.

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper
Risk Intelligence Chief

P.S. – My next monthly livestream is coming up on Thursday, 18 June at 7pm Central. I’ll be providing some more structure to this conflict and taking a long view of what’s ahead. Become a Forward Observer subscriber to get access to this event, plus my intel reports. Subscribe here.

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.


  1. I guess there are a couple of follow up questions in response to this piece.
    Assuming these revolutionaries are successful in their attempt to abolish the local law enforcement institutions, are there enough citizens that are prepared to defend themselves and their own communities to prevent the collapse of the civil society?
    Secondly, I would speculate that if there are enough people unwilling to allow this nation to be undermined, then these protesters and their anarchist compatriots will be either expelled, culled, or otherwise neutralized, and if that is the case, will we then actually be able to restore Constitutional order in our Nation?

    1. Buff, just my thoughts. First, I would say no. Those trying to take power will NOT be willing to share that power with citizens. Any power used without their control would be seen as a threat to their continued Glorious Revolution. Action without their approval would not be allowed. Those trying would be shot as traitors of the G.R. Secondly, remember half the nation voted for Hildabeast. That is a LOT of people. How many could be “culled” and still have a viable country? Who makes that call? I have relatives that vote left, but they are good (but misguided) people. You want to cull them, we will have a problem.

    2. I suspect folks who appreciate our country and its constitution will look to move away from highly progressive and disruptive cities/states if they haven’t done so already. Even moderates are starting to make the move. I know quite a few moderate/left leaning folks who live in cities like Minneapolis & Seattle that are looking to move to my home state of Arizona because they don’t feel safe anymore. Some of my left leaning friends shockingly are even considering purchasing a firearm. I don’t foresee this conflict turning into a civil war but I do believe we will see migration on a larger scale which would further be enabled as work from home becomes more of a thing. Eventually, with enough damage, crime and death the gov’t will have no choice but to try and put a stop to it. You’re starting to see that in Seattle/CHOP & Atlanta (their failed attempts at utopia have sorely backfired). If the gov’t doesn’t step in or it reaches a tipping point the gangs and power brokers at the street level absolutely will take over. You don’t need to look any further than the south side of Chicago as a great example of what’s to come if things get too far out of hand and laws are not enforced. Having lived in Chicago myself much of the city is fantastic but there’s a line you don’t cross. If you do venture into the south side it’s during the day and it’s passing through as quickly as humanly possible. Most people try and stay away at all costs. Frankly, I’m not sure most people understand why marxism/communism is a flawed model. And, it doesn’t help that athletes, celebrities, the media and corporate America are cheerleading. An extreme example of socialism going awry is right here on our local reservations where very few people actually work and obesity, diabetes and alcoholism has completely ravaged their communities along with plenty of crime to boot (albeit nowhere near south Chicago violence). My understanding, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but once they’re 18 they get a check from the government and in some cases a check from the casinos every month. If they do work, I’m
      pretty sure it’s not taxed and the other checks still keep coming. They get a free house (which typically aren’t maintained) and can go to any college they want to for free —yet very-very few take advantage of that perk let alone leave the reservation. Why would they, right? If your born into a community where everything is paid for what’s the point of working? And what happens if no one needs/wants to work? It turns out we know the answer to that question. A once strong, prideful and formidable opponent of the early settlers now pretty much lives in squalor with a declining population. Long-short, we human beings have amnesia and so history has a way of repeating itself. We’re gonna learn the hard way on this one. I would argue to those who live in highly progressive cities it’s probably not a bad idea to consider moving out while you can. Godspeed

  2. The dual power strategy is playing out in the country of CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomy Zone) right now. CHAZ is now providing free health care. A type of revolutionary legal system seems to be forming along with armed security/law enforcement. With reports of possible extortion, revolutionary taxes are probably being collected. So now, CHAZ can claim it provides for residents’ health and security—all to prove the “reactionary Trump regime” is incapable of protecting anyone.

    To make things worse, the mayor is talking about negotiating with the insurgents there-by giving legitimacy to CHAZ’s claim of sovereignty. Sounds like it was taken right out of “Revolutions for Dummies.”

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