Organization Is the Key to the Right’s Survival

This 500 word essay written by Brandon J. Weichert originally appeared at American Greatness, as part of their symposium celebrating AG’s fifth year anniversary…

In a post-apocalyptic world, who would win in a fight between escaped death-row inmates and office clerks? This was a scenario presented to an audience by a Herman Kahn-like academic (played by Walter Matthau) in the 1962 classic, “Fail Safe.” If you answered the escaped death row inmates, you’d be wrong. While escaped death row inmates would be physically stronger than office clerks, the office clerks have capabilities that the convicts lack: organization.  

Organization is the key reason why companies like, for example, Apple, have transmogrified from passion projects like the one in Steve Jobs’ garage to a multinational empire with the GDP of a small country. Individual strength matters—but only when that strength is married to a potent organization can fundamental change happen. Adversity can be overcome through organization coupled with leadership. Yet, strong individual leadership paired with a weak organization rarely yields the desired results—just ask William Wallace or John Brown

Better organization was the decisive factor for Vladimir Lenin and his tiny Bolshevik Party’s victory in the Russian Civil War. It was only when a Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, began dismantling the communists’ organization for control that the USSR fell, and the Cold War ended.

Similarly, Mao’s unlikely victory in the Chinese Civil War—and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) continued control over China—is because of the superior organizational capabilities of the CCP. The revolution never ended in China. It simply took on new forms. First, during Mao’s quixotic Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Then, during Deng Xiaoping’s deft embrace of Western-style capitalism. And today, under Xi Jinping’s quest to make China the predominant world power by 2049. Individual leadership and strength are always important. But the organization’s perpetuation is essential for victory. Without that organization, an individual leader has nothing to lead (and if an organization is too closely tied to that individual, it won’t last). 

Similarly, Mao’s unlikely victory in the Chinese Civil War—and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) continued control over China—is because of the superior organizational capabilities of the CCP. The revolution never ended in China. It simply took on new forms. First, during Mao’s quixotic Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Then, during Deng Xiaoping’s deft embrace of Western-style capitalism. And today, under Xi Jinping’s quest to make China the predominant world power by 2049. Individual leadership and strength are always important. But the organization’s perpetuation is essential for victory. Without that organization, an individual leader has nothing to lead (and if an organization is too closely tied to that individual, it won’t last). 

This is something the Democratic Party understands. Former President Barack Obama kept his Organizing for Action (OFA) group—which had originally been designed to help Obama win the presidency in 2008—operational years after it had been established. For Obama, the campaign never ended. It persists today. He may no longer be president, but his influence is felt everywhere on the Left—because of his organization.  

Whatever divisions exist within the Democratic Party (and many certainly do), these differences are subordinated to the larger goal of obtaining power to impose the Left’s agenda on the country. And now that organization has consolidated with Big Tech, Big Media, Big Education, and the Big Unions. 

If the last five years have demonstrated anything, it is that the Right, in order to have any hope for the future, must eschew its obsession with finding one strong leader to push the polyglot movement forward. After all, one man can be defeated. But a movement with a robust organization can change entire societies, regardless of whether Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis or J.D. Vance is at the forefront of that movement. The Right still has much to learn from the Left in this way . . . and time is not on our side. With the clear-thinking and seriousness of purpose at work in enterprises like American Greatness, however, there is always hope. 

Brandon J. Weichert is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers). He runs The Weichert Report: World News Done Right. Follow him on Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

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