By Robert Barnes, American constitutional lawyer representing high-profile clients in civil and criminal trials, and known for his prescient political prognostications in American and international elections. Follow him on Twitter @Barnes_Law
CHAZ got CHOPPED. America's shortest-lived revolutionary government has folded. What else could you expect from rebels shaped in safe spaces, tutored in social media and trained in street theater. Che ain't a T-shirt, kids.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) even went through a post-colonial-like name change to Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) before Seattle police woke them up around sunrise, retaking the land for the City of Seattle. This secessionist sequel to 1860 looked more like Escape from New York than Antifa Utopia. Begging outsiders for food and medicine while blocking customers and vendors from local homes and businesses exceeded even the Grant Park 1968-like naivety of their generational forebears.
Real revolutions appeal to history, source their support to indigenous populations, and train their team in physical survival and self-sufficiency. Real revolutionaries aren't nurtured in safe spaces, tutored by Twitter, and expert only in street theater. ANTIFASTAN knew none of this and exposed the fundamental weakness of this new breed of would-be leftist rebels. The only court of public opinion they can win is the one on social media where Big Tech Big Brother can slant the playing field, like Mummy & Daddy did when they were kids. But upset chardonnay hour at the mayor's house, and no more milk-and-cookies (or, in this case, city blocks, city-provided concrete barricades and portable toilets to play revolutionary), for you.
The insane internal contradictions of intersectionalist idolatry quickly undid what little effort at governing the CHAZ attempted, devolving into an orgy of unintended Orwellian comedy. CHAZ tried a social structure constructed on a "reverse hierarchy of oppression," where the gold-medal winners depended upon ancestry, biology, or self-identification of chosen sexual status, while the blood libel losers performed public self-humiliating, self-immolating rituals of Cultural Revolution-style struggle or Inquisition-esque confessions of wrong-think culpability. The only thing missing was the $600-per-hour corporate consultant there to teach them about their secret guilt for blood libels they bore from their ancestors. This, of course, soon devolved into extortionate demands based on skin color, with "reparations" of $10 from each non-African American to each African-American, and then crumbled into resegregation by race, restricting resources by race, skin color, and ancestry, inclusive of the necessary collectivist land controls. Social justice Animal Farm.
The power structure of the-country-formerly-known-as-CHAZ dissipated just as quickly, as the twinned ideological pillars of intersectionalism and anarchy, contradicted by mob-rule-in-fact and safe-space developed psychologies, prevented any agreement of delegated expertise in governing amongst the CHAZ populace. Instead, the mob took over, before those with disparate private power began to dominate.
As the mob reigned, another weakness in the CHAZ founders emerged: it's 1984-like propensities toward suppression of dissident ideas and dissident individuals. CHAZ mobs attacked street preachers, flag wavers, and investigative reporters, often banishing them by force. Censor by mob, the first and foremost censor in human history, before it turned its aim on its own. When cancel culture consumes its patrons in a Stalin-worthy purge of a contemporary reign of terror, who is left?
When you see your country as a safe space, this was inescapable. When you couldn't play outside except on a play date (as parents' fear of kidnapping a generation ago shrank open play on the public streets), when you can't talk about ideas on a college campus (safe spaces prohibit it, when not de-platforming dissidents in the names of squelching fascists), and when you must self-censor daily in the workplace and on social media (lest ye be banished from the digital public square, defrocked & fired), then you could preview a generation not exactly built for revolutions requiring survivalist skill sets.
Without any delegation of authority to anyone within the group, and authority further undermined by racial and identity basis for power, the power soon shifted to where it always does: those with the power of force. Warlords emerged. The security forces of the CHAZ depended upon a movement rooted in ideological and temperamental anarchy, staffed by millennials and zoomers, consumed by police hatred and cancel culture.
A police-hating group is going to police well? Know who both hates police and is accustomed to exercising force? Criminals. And so it was the criminals who seized control. Soon, the stories of rapes and robberies began, a group of business owners and residents filed class action suits detailing the horrors, and young black men turned up dead. The ultimate insult? Upsetting the mayor of Seattle, who saw the Summer of Love turn into Escape From New York, Seattle-style. That's when the police came in.
In a time of safe spaces, social media, and psychologically pampered generations untrained in survival and untutored in history, the country-formerly-known-as-CHAZ was no Paris commune of 1848. Viva what revolution? The mob wanted to see their adversaries "chopped," French Revolution-style, but it was CHAZ that got chopped. For these play-at-revolution movements, maybe CHOP was an appropriate name change, after all. The idealism of the young Twitterati met the guillotine of governing reality.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.