Regarding George Balgobin, who like so many of us has a habit of upsetting people. Through the years of the ULA I disagreed with George on many things, but always respected his honesty. I wanted him in the ULA, when I was active in it, because I knew he would never try to bullshit me, and on any topic or person he was guaranteed to give me a bullshit-free take. His entire career as a writer has been committed to truth-telling as he sees it, wrong on occasion though he may be. He's fearlessly expressed his ideas, willing to coherently support and defend his statements. No pandering, no expediency, letting the chips fall where they may has been his history. This is not a bad thing! It's consistent with the ideals of the ULA.
George is also an excellent essayist, as good, when he wants to be, as anyone in the country.
A movement-- any movement-- has to want the best, most talented people in its ranks, on its side, and has to make an effort to obtain and keep those people, whoever they may be. It's true that we never adequately figured out how to use him. The effort was worthwhile. If the Rebellion can't learn how to appeal to disaffected members of the intellectual class it won't succeed.
There's consolidation and then there's withdrawing. I fear the underground is too content to put its head back into the hole in the ground from where it came; to abandon the boldness of new tactics; to embrace tried-and-failed ways of doing things; the incremental, the inch-by-inch day-by-day creep of illusory progress while the rest of this monopolistic society races by. To embrace as well while high-fiving over petty gains the comfort of petty feuds and grievances. To splinter and fragment into ever smaller pieces. The province: the parish: the street. The garrett, finally; back to the starting point, where there's no failure because no risks are taken. You can't be upset by how that article portrays you when there are no articles. Right back at the beginning.
When I was active in the ULA it was my task to think bigger than this. To envision a greater movement which could truly compete. To recruit on the edges of the established machine those with skills and talents who were attracted to our ideals and our noise.