Trapped on our home page with no table of contents?
Here's your escape hatch.


Who are the Red Guards and Dark Suits?


The Red Guard wing  of the ruling class, in my taxonomy, began arising in the 1970s when those New Leftists who were not too wild-eyed to do so began working to revolutionize the System from the inside. In marching through the institutions, instead of merely throwing brickbats at them from outside, the Guards have been richly rewarded by high and relatively secure salaries; remunerative promotions, privileges, and access; and the respect and esteem that result when a praise-party attains critical mass.

Their entry into the bureaucracy and the mushy "public-private" or misleadingly named "non-governmental" sector was eased by the establishment of Public Interest Research Groups by liberal-controlled universities and foundations, the rise of tax-financed legal-defense agencies, various elements of the War on Poverty, and the outright subsidizing of "non-governmental" and "community" left-wing pressure groups. The movement of some New Leftists toward insider status no doubt began with "going clean for Gene (McCarthy)" during the campaign for the 1968 Democratic nomination. Eventually, some old New Leftists actually succeeded in being nominated and elected to office as Democrats: examples are Tom Hayden, Andrew Young, the Clintons, and — from a later generation — Barack Hussein Obama.

Their entry into the ruling class itself followed the conclusion of the Yankee and Cowboy War in the early 1970s. That war was won by the Yankees — the old established financial powers of the Northeast, dependent on liberal fascism and conveniently summed up as "Wall Street." The Yankees waged the war against the Cowboys, whom I have described in another writing as "the collection of rising, striving powers in the West and Southwest that based their wealth and influence largely on defense contracts, government construction projects, and the natural-resources industries (which rely on government 'leases' and regulation)."

It is with the submission and envelopment of the Cowboys by the Yankees that I rename the surviving senior powers as Dark Suits. (I invite the reader to take a relaxed view of my terminology. The factions themselves are very real, but I regard "Dark Suits" and "Red Guards" as monikers that are merely convenient, evocative, and somewhat antic.) Notwithstanding their victory, the Yankees were weakened and rattled by the conflict, occurring as it did in the context of John Kennedy's de-election in Dallas, the Vietnam disaster, the gasoline crises, "stagflation," and the financial rebellion of the Cowboyish Nixon, resulting in his overthrow, which was a disruptive embarrassment for the entire System.

At the same time, the New Leftists were invading the white-collar job market with their law degrees, M.S.W.s, and Ph.D.s, and they were riding a wave of popular disillusionment with established American institutions and traditions. In my view, the entry by the New Leftists into the ruling class as its junior wing was a result of Dark Suit acquiescence, not design. But a relatively stable alliance was made possible by the fact that the encounter of the Suits and the Guards differed remarkably from the traditional clash of Lions and Foxes (cf. Machiavelli and Pareto), which typically resulted in the actual overthrow of Lions by Foxes, in a "circulation of elites." The Managerial Revolution had done its work, and the established powers — the Suits — no longer had much interest in defending the old ways and mores of the West, traditional American patriotism, or even nationalism. That deracination provided the necessary ground for cooperation between Suits and Guards.

The Dark Suits must still, at the minimum, defend and attempt to extend their established fortresses of political-economic wealth and influence, and must still strive to define and protect the limits of policy formation for the political class. While it is horrifying to contemplate what the Red Guards would do with the economy if given their head, they specialize more in cultural Bolshevism, de-education, the destruction of white Western morale, and the ever more intricate and invasive regulation of the details of ordinary people's lives. Such civilizational destruction and demoralization make for a people that is more easily ruled by the Suits, though I do wonder how far those things can be pressed before fatal fissures appear in the foundation of Dark Suit rule itself.

In a 2003 column, I summarized the Red Guard orientation this way: "Old-time Stalinism is long dead, and cultural Bolshevism rules. Down with the Ministry for Heavy Industry, up with the Commissariat for Profound Degradation." More recent events, such as the partial government takeover of the American auto industry and the expropriation of bond-holders, have made me more cautious in my assumptions about the limits of the Guards' ambit; but that great crime had its fascist aspects, too, and apparently served the purposes of the Dark Suit banksters.

— Nicholas Strakon, August 23, 2012

Published in 2012 by WTM Enterprises.

You may find a fuller treatment of this subject in my booklet, Dark Suits and Red Guards: The two pincers of the American ruling class (1997), although my treatment there now shows its age. I will send you a copy gratis upon request, but I would appreciate a small donation to cover shipping and handling.