How Fringe Politics Generates Infighting

People join the political fringe due to a couple common motivations: resentment combined with ambition. The motivations are the same regardless of what the ideology that animates that particular fringe group is. This is why you will often see people who are members of one fringe group often rapidly defecting to another group. The resentment of the established order is the primary motivation: the ‘movement’ is only an instrument for satisfying the ambition of the individual.

In most situations, most individuals on the fringes will protest passionately about their true motivations for participating in what is almost always a fruitless, frustrating, and loss-making social activity. Almost no one in a ‘revolutionary’ or otherwise radical sect will admit that they are motivated primarily for personal reasons: to settle old scores and secure a better position for themselves.

You will almost never see a person from the fringe convert to a more socially acceptable political persuasion, and if they do, the results are usually less than what they had hoped for. They will go from radical Marxist to extreme libertarian, or from extreme libertarian to white nationalist, or from distributist to neo-fascist, or so on and so forth. This is because the ideology (or the ideological pose) is just a means to an end that remains the same throughout the person’s life.

This goes perhaps especially for those who see themselves as representatives for a much larger class of people: these fellows just have a more expensive sense of themselves and self-interest.

Few political fringe ‘movements’ ever succeed, for the same reason why upstart competitors in business rarely unseat the dominant industry players. In most cases, it requires fewer resources to defend a territory than it takes to attack it. Defeating an entrenched opponent requires substantially more resources than it takes for the entrenched opponent to defend themselves. Dissenters usually find themselves with far fewer resources available than their rivals possess, and so have limited hope to achieve their political ends.

And so comes the infighting which characterizes fringe groups. Faced with an opponent that can’t be defeated on a short time frame, the fastest method to rise in social status on the fringe is to incite civil conflict. It’s a common error to perceive the ‘pie’ available to a group as fixed, because the process of putting together a strong political opposition is even more difficult (and expensive) than it is to run a company. Once that error is made, the clear solution becomes to engage in friendly fire, alienating potential allies, splitting the factional leadership, and attempting to consolidate power.

A double purpose that this has is that it ensures that the fringe group will never actually come into direct conflict with the reigning authority: in most cases, long before the authorities even become aware of a threat, the fringe has already devoured itself or otherwise ensured that it has no hope of achieving significant power, thanks to its inability to coordinate effectively and split power throughout the organization to achieve the ends of its members.

Returning to the base motivation for those who become consumed by fringe politics, actually succeeding requires putting resentment aside and focusing on doing what is necessary to achieve the ambition. ‘Ambition’ is considered a nasty word by modern Westerners, but it is simply a necessary fuel for achieving power, and power is what is necessary to implement quality ideas.

Achieving power means discarding the resentment that many on the fringes use to define their identity, and that frustration of ambition is also part of the habit that makes their character. And this is why effectiveness attracts more complaining than anything else on the fringe: to be effective means to take the fatal step forward.

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One Comment

  1. The dissident Right ought to take note of this article. Our principle is order — factionalism and splintering being the enemies thereof.

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