One Major Left Wing Advantage Over the Right – Forward Observer

One Major Left Wing Advantage Over the Right

Good afternoon. This is Sam from Forward Observer with this week’s Dispatch.

I was reading an article in a socialist magazine last week, where the author accused the Far Right of wanting the Far Left dead. Coincidentally, that’s the same thing the Far Right says of the Far Left: “They want us dead.” Ultimately, both sides may be correct.

A survey of soft and hard power availability likely dictates how each side will attempt to achieve its end goals.

This view of soft power and hard power may be the biggest strategy difference between right wing and left wing groups. In short, left wing groups exercise soft power, while right wing groups emphasize the use of hard power.

“Soft power” is influence, persuasion, and appealing to moral authority, as opposed to “hard power” which is primarily armed coercion and violence.

Exercising control over national institutions — the Cathedral of education, media, pop culture, the federal government and its agencies, etc. — is the center of gravity for this exercise of the Left’s soft power.

This is why athletes, musicians, and other pop culture figures are applauded for joining the social justice movement: this has always been an effort to saturate social justice messaging into the mainstream, to shape moral authority and the moral high ground, and activate those who sit outside the political and social spheres of influence.

In the information environment of today, it’s very difficult to sustain the use of hard power (coercion or violence) without substantial soft power.

But the reverse of this power balance is almost always true: the most important thing to understand about soft power is that it’s a great enabler of hard power. Soft power is the ability to frame information through a popular narrative, which absolutely supports armed violence if the message can shape the moral high ground that supports it.

One reason why Floyd’s Rebellion went on all summer is because of soft power messaging that justified violence and property damage. In the summer of 2020, how many times were we told that “A riot is the language of the unheard”? Through this moral imperative, the country was obligated to hear the rioters.

This is a lesson that the Far Right is learning the hard way. They exercise very little soft power because they’ve been cut off from the most widely available mainstream avenues.

This is why the Far Right, as of right now and likely by design, is doomed to the use of hard power to achieve its goals. It cannot achieve its goals politically, especially not with the rapidly shifting political and demographic landscape. With no soft power to gain support for the use of hard power, the Far Right is likely to ultimately lose.

For the Far Left (and the broader Left, in general), soft power (the ability to shape popular moral authority) is and will continue being used to support hard power (coercion and violence). Social pressure, the politics of exclusion and federal law enforcement action is primarily how they’ll pursue their goals against the Far Right.
Here’s the ground truth of this Low Intensity Conflict: unless the Far Right can build substantial soft power through political representation and access to the mainstream, violence is the only way forward. This is why these avenues are being shut off. It’s also why “There is no political solution” is a popular refrain among the Far Right. They already know it.

This is likely why there’s a growing government focus on domestic violent extremism (DVE) — not because of the levels of violence today, but because of the likelihood of growing levels of violence to come. It’s going to be a long decade.

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper

P.S. – You can stay ahead of the curve on this Low Intensity Conflict with my daily Early Warning intel brief. We cover the political, economic, and social developments shaping conflict, as well as the belligerent groups driving it. Get a free 7-day trial here:

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

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  1. Excellent and concise assessment. Unfortunately, the mass of far right supporters either don’t recognize this (thinking there is still a political solution), or are too eager for violence. I believe there may be a middle ground where states withdraw from the US union. See the Texas Nationalist Movement ( approach which lays out an achievable plan if they are able to generate enough soft power along the way. I personally see the swamp doing everything they can to prevent this idea from germinating, including mass censorship.

  2. You are overlooking the overwhelming soft power of churches which far and away are conservative in nature and fly under the radar of influence and networking

    1. You mean the churches shrinking in active membership? The ones so afraid to offend anyone that they neuter their messages? The ones that lose their tax exempt status if they engage in political speech? Those churches?

      1. Hardly. Not the ones I know. They’re packed. Every single one. The liberal denominations are the dying ones

      2. You know political speech happens in every sermon in my denomination. It also takes place during social hour where the networking happens. It extends into the communities and branches into local politics. Those who are unaware of this are those who don’t go to church like most liberals. Lol

      3. SC, you are 100% correct about many things including the churches. Poor Lou Dobbs of FOX news was just canned for his Christian perspective and boldness. I have been extremely disappointed that our church leaders want to pussy foot around the current political climate or avoid the topic completely. This country, our churches included, desperately needs leadership.

        1. Yes. Those churches. Our small Bible church, non-denominational, aged parish, continued to meet but for a couple of weeks. Our pastor is not afraid to say it like it is. We all see it. We pray for it daily. We seek God’s hand in it now for good, righteousness to win over evil. Can never stop me from that. They can try, they can harm or kill my body, but never my soul! For that belongs to the one and only Master, Ruler; my Lord. God bless you, Deb.

  3. I see “hard power” in the left with threats, stealing elections, burning down buildings and vehicles, looting large and small retailers, gathering around people at restaurants and demanding they do as their told… whatever they see fit. And the system puffing it up and lying about it followed by “catch and release” for the perpetrators of these crimes! In addition to these physically “hard” actions by the left, add to the list their continual bashing 24/7 of anything that even seems like it might be “right” and censor everything that has any merit.
    If the right were the “hard” power side of this equation and they own all the weaponry, why are they not exercising their “hard” power? This is more confusion from a confused individual… And, by your definition of “soft” power, I see that in the right as they flip here and flop there on topics; as they abandon their own in order to garner the support of anyone but their constituents and avoid being “soft” power pounded into the ground by the absolute lies of the left.
    The fact is that no one is winning anything in this stupid elitist war!

    1. Those on the right have a very long fuse. I think those on the left tend to be ruled by their emotions but this of course is a generalization. The left has less religious involvement so a poorly anchored sense of ethics and morality. It is the religious grounding of the right that also gives them restraint. But the pandemic lockdowns on churches have loosened what might have continued to put the breaks on the right. I believe the far right white supremist element is less grounded in ethics and morals and will likely give the left their desired excuse to invoke the insurrection act and martial law.

  4. A good article however, I feel the the exact opposite where the hard approach as demonstrated in the cancel culture, censorship, utter destruction of character and/or business, etc. is a left wing mindset. Anyone not abiding by their orders or opinions should be canceled or removed? I consider myself more of an independent, conservative Christian, who seeks the truth, without corruption, brainwashing, and propaganda. Just the honest truth. The violence historically has come from the intolerant side, where the more patriotic, church-going types as stated by another, appear to be more complacent, passive. Why, is the question now? It’s time to get rowdy and fight like hell against the worse evil the world has ever seen.

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