La Résistance is the “allthetropes” name for a stereotype that comes up a lot in fiction.
Allthetropes describes it thus:
Wherever The Empire is, you’ll always find La Résistance: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits using the The Power of Friendship to fight against a tyrannical rule, often to help put the Government in Exile back into power. Always underdogs, they fight using guerrilla warfare and by raising the rabble of the people by revealing unpleasant truths about The Empire they’ve been trying to hide, causing the oppressed peoples to shake off the yokes of their tyrant rulers.
Inevitably, the hero will join La Résistance while the battle is already underway, and will grow to become a great champion in the fight against The Empire. Alternatively, La Résistance will be utterly incompetent and little more than an annoyance until the hero gets in there and shows them how it’s done. Sometimes their inner dissensions render them nearly unable to get anything done. In an interesting twist, if the resistance is as unscrupulous as The Empire, then the hero will end up doing a bit of Conspiracy Redemption or forming a third faction.
People rarely like having it pointed out that these groups are terrorists from the point of view of anyone who disagrees with them and Innocent Bystanders who may get caught up in the crossfire of said conflicts.
Hollywood in general portrays resistance fighters sympathetically because America’s revolutionary history has created romantic notions about rebels. In real life, most revolutions are brutal affairs and the new government is often worse than the old. Alternatively, La Résistance may represent the last remnants of the reactionary or counter-revolutionary cronies of the old regime fighting against the Revolutionary Progressive Forces.
In my opinion, very few cyberpunk stories present “La Résistance” convincingly.
Cyberpunk stories often present a doomed little subculture of criminal resistance that will never defeat the evil megacorps and organ harvesters.
The film version of Johnny Mnemonic was notable because the good guys made a serious difference by releasing information; the book version of Hardwired was even more notable because the good guys altered the politics of the whole planet by winning several key confrontations.
The top of this post has a cartoon of racist frogs annoying politically correct busybodies. The real-world Résistance is not a motorcycle gang from Megazone 23; it is probably not an information publisher (although Julian Assange is as close as the real world gets to the film version of Johnny Mnemonic). The real-world Résistance is a racist frog posting politically incorrect messages on 8ch.net. And it doesn’t look like a doomed criminal gang that will sputter and fade away: it looks like the populists are going to win, and will define the new political landscape.