Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Law And The Lawless Part 2: What Is To Be Done?

The reactions to the previous essay have been dumbfounding: all the way from wild applause to condemnation that goes well beyond scathing. Perhaps I should have expected that; half the nation's politically aware are outraged by the state of things as I expressed it, while the other half draws material benefits from it and reacts with fury against any criticism of it. But as usual, articulating such a view and leaving the matter there is insufficient for the former group. They want to know what to do about it.

Candidly, so do I.

Look, even a Certified Galactic Intellect doesn't have all the answers. There are some problems that can only be solved by a trial-and-error approach. There are some problems that demand an unpredictable stroke of imagination to penetrate. There are some problems that can't be solved at all.

The problem of government gone wild isn't new to the United States, of course. Other lands have experienced much the same official lawlessness as we're suffering right now, and iteratively at that. Seldom has anyone found a clean solution. Indeed, if H. L. Mencken is to be believed, our forebears didn't either:

Politics, as hopeful men practice it in the world, consists mainly of the delusion that a change in form is a change in substance. The American colonists, when they got rid of the Potsdam tyrant, believed fondly that they were getting rid of oppressive taxes forever and setting up complete liberty. They found almost instantly that taxes were higher than ever, and before many years they were writhing under the Alien and Sedition Acts. [The American Mercury, 1927]

Mencken was notably cynical about the power of the franchise to bring about healthful changes:

The typical lawmaker of today is a man devoid of principle - a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would cheerfully be in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism....At each election we vote in a new set of politicians, insanely assuming that they are better than the set turned out. And at each election we are, as they say in Motherland, done in. [The American Mercury, 1930]

I submit that recent developments -- essentially, American history since FDR -- better support the views of the Sage of Baltimore than those of the "change the system from within" crowd.

He who suffers that which is intolerably noxious but can't be fixed must either flee from it or destroy it.

"Can't be fixed" deserves some elucidation. There are always possibilities for fixing anything, given specific configurations of personnel, resources, and context. One of the critical factors in assessing such a possibility is how long it would take to achieve the necessary configuration. Another is the likelihood of attaining that configuration without evoking some countervailing force sufficient to derail or destroy it before it can be put to use. Just because we can envision a solution to a problem doesn't mean that we can "get there from here."

An example might help. Imagine that a large asteroid -- a "planet killer," in common parlance -- were closing in on Earth at some high speed. Well, that's not an insoluble problem is it? We could simply move the Moon into a blocking position, keep it there until impact had occurred, and then put it back into its prior orbit. All it takes is the development of a thrust technology powerful enough to overcome the Moon's inertia, right? How long would that take?

Here's another example, somewhat closer to home. A number of freedom lovers have placed their bets on the "Free State Project:" an attempt to become politically dominant by migration to a relatively underpopulated state -- the ones I've heard mentioned in this context are New Hampshire and Wyoming -- after which pro-freedom legal changes could be enacted. Isn't it pretty to think so? But the government we know and loathe would not sit idle after noticing that such a migration was in progress. Nor could it be kept secret; as the saying goes, three can keep a secret if two of them are dead, and it would take a lot more than three persons to pull this off.

Practical solutions are more difficult to come by than imaginable ones.

Overturning the present system and ejecting the political elite sounds awfully appealing, but it looks more like a "move the Moon" fantasy solution than something practically achievable. If we take as a given that electoral mechanisms would be ineffective in such a pursuit, what remains are subversion and revolution.

The subversion of the existing structure is impossible for a simple reason:

  • A large number of freedom-loving persons must become government functionaries;
  • Those persons must then rise to positions of authority sufficient to paralyze or destroy their portions of the edifice;
  • They must maintain their personal ethics and commitment to freedom while rising to power.

Surely the readers of Liberty's Torch are sharp enough to see the cracks in this notion. A considerable number of countervailing forces would arise to defeat it -- and all of them are based on the saddest of all observations about political power:

The pinnacle of a power structure will inevitably be occupied by persons who love power above all else and are willing to do anything to get and keep it.

Friedrich Hayek pinned this in The Road To Serfdom, some seventy years ago.

As for violent revolution, the preponderance of force lies most definitely with the federal government. The largest, best organized civilian uprising imaginable would be insufficient to remove its masters from the seats of power. They would sooner turn "our" armed forces loose against us, and would have a Constitutional basis for doing so:

Congress shall have power:...To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; [Article I, Section 8]

In the event that the Army should fail to comply, there's always nukes.

If we can't fix our political system and are unable to destroy it, what remains are the possibilities of flight. But in the absence of a land frontier, there's nowhere appealing to go. Antarctica is inimical to life in the absence of extraordinary technological supports. The oceans are likewise impractical for settlement, at least for the foreseeable future. The other bodies of the Solar System make Antarctica look like a paradise. As for artificial habitats not moored to any planetary body, there are an incredible number of problems to be solved before such things become feasible.

Yet there remain other possibilities to ponder. More anon.


F.J. Dagg said...

I've long pondered this one of your points: "As for violent revolution, the preponderance of force lies most definitely with the federal government. The largest, best organized civilian uprising imaginable would be insufficient to remove its masters from the seats of power. They would sooner turn 'our' armed forces loose against us..."

...and while I don't contradict you, I suggest that it might not be that clean-cut. In a word, Oathkeepers. When I play the scenario in my imagination, I see cracks immediately forming in the command structure around the possibility of the American Remnant in the armed forces. I see neutralizations of regime-loyal commanders, I see military professionals joining with People in what could be a very effective resistance. I consider, too, the difference between a force fighting for home, hearth, liberty and sacred traditions vs one fighting for a paycheck, for the right of a woman to rip her child from her womb, and for the right of one man to bugger another. In these kinds of things, motivation matters.

Am I entirely confident that this making the crucial difference? No. I am mindful also of the regime's frantic attempt to remake of the armed into something quite different from what they were in times past. (But in that, they face the question you pose: "Can we do it fast enough?")

Bottom line: I believe the outcome of the regime's command to subjugate the People would be far from a foregone conclusion--and open the gates to a special kind of hell the characteristics of which no one can predict.

Steady Steve said...

Sorry Mr. Porretto, I disagree that the government would have Constitutional law on their side. As both elected and unelected officials have ignored and subverted that document, they are no less that domestic enemies of it. The people have the the absolute right to throw off such would be tyrants, the rationale for which is contained in the Declaration of Independance. Any in the armed forces not in support of the people can be considered oath breakers. It's coming and it will be ugly.

MissAnthropy said...

As the good book says, he who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. So it is with this particular Leviathan. The measures it has undertaken to create and maintain its status are those same measures that will bear fruit in the form of Leviathan's own undoing. By this I mean such things as making half the population into electoral mercenaries, bought with benefits backed by imaginary wealth. You could likewise jump off the top of a 100 story building and observe that 99 of those floors passing by aren't fatal, rather it's that final one that puts a sudden end to that flight of fancy.

So how to destroy it, you ask? By helping it destroy itself. And know that if they mean to make us all into criminals, you only have to pay for the first one. All the ones after that are free.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes... the quickest way through the coming storm is to head straight for the heart of the storm.

Steve S

Blog Author said...

I am reminded of the I Ching and the concept of yin and yang.

Each side of the yin-yang has the seed of the other side in it. In the I Ching, a straight (yang) line changes into a broken (yin) line by becoming too yang, and vice versa.

The demise of the empire (yang, for the sake of argument) will be from it becoming too much of what it already is. Then it will flip into its opposite (yin), which is probably some kind of anarchy and/or Balkanization. My guess as to the mechanism/particulars of this would be first the currency collapsing. This is the main method by which empires fall and we don't even have to do anything to make it happen or prevent it because at this point it's inevitable.

After the dollar collapses, we may get some kind of "emergency" martial law that goes on too long or even a palace coup. If the ones in power start disappearing people and executing people or something, this would be the impetus for Joe Sixpack or even some of the former government people to finally wake up and resist. Of course there will be propaganda etc. to demonize the resisters, and there will be coverups of abuse, so it may not be noticed right away.

They must not be allowed to control all the media. We are already in a soft war, and being able to get leaks and the distaff view of things out to people is the most important thing we have. If there is an internet blackout we have to still be able to leaflet or otherwise disseminate news.

One more thing: You dismiss the importance of abortion and gay rights to those who want them. Imagine you were fighting for your right to keep your testicles and marry the woman you loved. It's about like that level of passion. To them it's resistance against subjugation and they even think you would kill them or ban birth control pills and divorce. Such is the rhetoric on that side. Just so you know why they fight.

Francis W. Porretto said...

"You dismiss the importance of abortion and gay rights to those who want them."

Do I? Are you a mind reader, PPPF, that you claim to know what I "dismiss" and what I take seriously? Or were you perhaps referring to F. J. Dagg's comment above? In either case, it's more than a little presumptuous on your part.

Apropos of "gay rights," there's no such thing. There is no right that originates from one's sexual orientation. What the homosexual-activist community demands is State recognition of homosexual unions, so they can force acceptance on those of us who would otherwise refuse to recognize them. But that's a subject for another screed.

Anonymous said...

"As for violent revolution, the preponderance of force lies most definitely with the federal government. The largest, best organized civilian uprising imaginable would be insufficient to remove its masters from the seats of power. "

I think I would have to sincerely disagree here (despite my enthusiastic agreement with everything else in these excellent essays).

We have proven that our best toys and people are unable to critically suppress an organic insurrection in two countries now. We haven't "lost", but there is now more armed radicals in the Middle East than when we started. Afghanistan will revert to Taliban rule shortly after we leave.

Let us take the primitive villagers and replace them with engineers, modern technicians of all types, and millions of veterans and get a group much larger than the Taliban or Baathists.

Let us take the AK's and old soviet weapons and replace them with some of the best weapons man has created (including many heavy ones). Let us equip them with optics and imaging equipment on par with the military's.

Let us expand the battlespace by a factor of 10 and replace the open deserts with dense North American forest.

Let us expose this insurgency to the plentiful resources of this, modern materials, machinery, electronics, and equipment of all types.

Then let us take the same Federal military, downsized quite a bit from defectors/purged personnel and put them to work against this new opponent.

My money isn't on the guys with Federal paychecks.