Remember how the right used to gel all excited, flailing around and spluttering about “false flag” operations? (You know, disguising oneself as one’s opponent so that one’s own misdeeds will be attributed to the opponent.)
They don’t talk about it much these days. You know why? Because they’re too busy doing it!
Everyone knows the “shakedown” or extortion racket practiced by organized crime: Late one night a couple of goons smash your store window. Next morning they stop in to see you. “Gee,” they say. “That’s terrible. You need protection from stuff like that. If you’ll give $XXX.00 each week, we can make sure this never happens again.”
Early U.S. “fire brigades” were private, for-profit operations—often competing with one another. To prosper, they needed subscribers. If you were a subscriber, the brigade would turn out to extinguish your fire. If you weren’t a subscriber? Tough cookies! You can see the temptation for the brigades to pull the shakedown game.
The same process was often seen among early police or security organizations.
Now suppose you live in a city where peaceful, non-violent crowds are protesting…oh, say, the horrific murder of George Floyd. Yes, there was moderate violence at first, and even now there’s continuing vandalism with spray-painted graffiti. But mostly it’s just crowds exercising their 1st Amendment civil rights.
Then some outsiders show up and, without provocation, escalate the violence dramatically. Putatively to restore order, a heavily armed but unidentified paramilitary force shows up, by-passes the police, and starts viciously attacking your fellow citizens. You want them to leave so order can be restored; your mayor wants them to leave. But they refuse. They remain as an occupying army.
Then, suddenly, you see the poison spreading, the pattern being repeated and refined….