They get their name from the advance guard of an army; but misunderstand this to be a group who are leading. In fact, the avant garde do not decide where to go.
They are merely a part of the main army extended forward, with a particular job; which is temporarily to engage with the enemy until the real army arrives from behind.
In cultural terms, the avant garde are the intellectual class, radical academics, controversial journalists, progressive theoreticians, 'modern' and 'shocking' artists etc... What is their job? Merely to be a temporary distraction until arrival of the main force; which is is The Bureaucracy.
The avant garde emerged in Western Culture along with the Bureaucracy. As The Bureaucracy grew - so did the avant garde - simply because the AG are creatures of the Bureaucrats.
The avant garde do not decide on the nature of the enemy - that has already been decided by the generals (The Establishment) back in the main part of the force. The avant garde fight don't choose their skirmishes, but merely fight who they are instructed to fight.
But the avant garde are deluded. They have been fed a fantasy, which they believe - and they have convinced plenty of others; so that the enemy imagine that their job is to defeat (only) the avant garde!
This is a brilliant tactic of the Establishment - The Bureaucracy roll slowly into-place after the avant garde have begun the fighting; but unexpectedly - unrecognised - unopposed; and typically will incrementally tie-up, pin-down and crush the enemy.
The avant garde delusion is that it is they who lead, make decisions, choose the enemies and direction; and everyone else follows in their wake - and (merely) occupies the territory that the AG have won for them...
But the reality is that the avant garde are - and always have - been merely a functional part of The System; that part which the ruling Establishment has projected forward from the Bureaucracy to do a job.
The avant garde are therefore useful, but inessential to victory. The Bureaucracy are the Heavy Infantry, the occupying force.
From the Romantic Christian perspective, we who are enemies of the avant garde/ Bureaucracy/ Establishment - the AG are not our real enemy. Our enemy is the Bureaucracy and Establishment. We ought not to be duped into supposing that a victory against the avant garde has achieved anything other than delay us from engaging the real foe.