Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Politically Insoluble Part 2

There’s a firestorm on the Right: an exchange of words, sometimes bitter, between the generally like-minded. It flows from the pervasive sense of betrayal by Congressional Republicans:

According to an article in the left-wing outlet Politico and reported by Breitbart, Republican House Speaker John Boehner held secret negotiations with Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, leading up to his decision to flip-flop and fund Obama's executive amnesty; including a pre-hashed out deal to use the hoopla around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 address to Congress over Iran's nuclear ambitions as political cover to sneak in the extraordinarily controversial vote.

As part of this effort, the former chiefs of staff to House Speaker John Boehner and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, through a group called the American Action Network, spent $400,000 for advertisements aimed at pressuring House conservatives to support Obama's executive amnesty and fund it in its entirety through the end of the fiscal year.

On the same day as Netanyahu's speech, the Republican-led House of Representatives caved to the demands of Democrats and passed a "clean" Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill by 257-167 with a majority of Democratic votes. Seventy-five Republicans voted to pass the clean bill, 167 voted against passage. The measure provides full funding of the DHS through September 30th, the end of the federal fiscal year, leaving Obama's executive amnesty untouched. In essence, the seventy-five Republicans, who joined all House Democrats to fund Obama's executive amnesty, aided and abetted the shredding of the Constitution by giving Obama the funding and future permission to rewrite federal law as he sees fit.

Rewarding his cooperation, the Democrats have vowed to protect Boehner from any challenges to his leadership by conservative elements of the Republican Party.

Parts of the above are unconfirmed by objective evidence...but none of it is implausible.

I’ve given you my assessment of where that leaves us politically. Add to it my colleague Dystopic’s poignant yet penetrating analysis:

America is an Empire. It crossed the Rubicon to Imperialism, not in the manner of the “colonialist oppressor” Social Justice Warriors are so fond of repeating as a mantra, but in the manner of centralized Executive Power. We have a Julius Caesar in office, though mind you without any of that man’s martial talent or wisdom. He is a tyrant, but an ineffective one, which is all the more infuriating....

America is the most laughable Empire to have ever borne the title. Her armies are in retreat all across the globe, leaving organizations like ISIS, far worse than garden-variety dictators like Saddam Hussein, in their wake. Militant Islam has never been stronger, ideologically, than it is today, excepting perhaps the days in which it overran the dying Roman Empire in the 600s. Competent military men have been removed from their posts, and feminist equality given a priority greater than that of combat readiness. The greatest military machine to have ever existed is repeatedly dealt terrible blows, not from the enemy, but from purported friends....

Imperial America is dying. Her education system is rife with Progressives and historical social justice revisionism. Her universities are staffed by lunatics, priced to the point of debt-slavery, and set as the prerequisite for getting any job that doesn’t involve retail or flipping burgers (and, even then, sometimes the sheepskin is needed). Enslave yourself to make a living doing nothing at all. Meanwhile mass Media spouts lies by the boatload and politicians don’t even bother to hide their disgust for the hoi polloi any longer. There is no reasoning with them, no middle-ground possible, no compromise with those who do not want us to exist.

Take a moment to digest that. Can you see any way to refute it? I can’t. Neither can any of those who remain optimistic that political methods – “ballots, not bullets” – can restore our Constitutional health. The best they can do is to say that “we shouldn’t give up hope.”

Nor can I refute Dystopic’s prediction for what follows from here:

Imperial America will die. Regardless of whether or not we wish it, human nature demands it, and nothing can stand in the way of that. The only question is what shall rise from her ashes.

A great way to start the morning, eh?

If we were to leap to the conclusion that open insurrection is the way forward, we would face the following questions:

  1. “Who bells the cat?” Who would undertake to organize and lead an insurrection against the federal government?
  2. The regime still commands the most powerful military on Earth and would surely use it in its own defense...assuming, of course, that America’s men at arms would be willing to fire on American citizens. While it’s pretty to imagine that the military would side with the insurrectionists, that development is not guaranteed by any means.
  3. How would other nations react to an insurrection in the United States? The nation does have external as well as internal enemies. Civil disorder here would embolden some of them to take steps we would not approve of.
  4. What chance of prevailing would the pro-Constitutional forces have? Few would willingly enlist in such an uprising were the outlook less than favorable. “Victor’s justice” is seldom merciful toward the victor’s enemies.

Many a totalitarian regime has come and gone over the millennia, but few have been replaced by a better, more freedom-oriented regime after a violent insurrection. Rather, as Bertrand Russell wrote:

Those who have seized power, even for the noblest of motives, soon persuade themselves that there are good reasons for not relinquishing it. This is particularly likely to happen if they believe themselves to represent some immensely important cause. They will feel that their opponents are ignorant and perverse; before long they will come to hate them...The important thing is to keep their power, not to use it as a means to an eventual paradise. And so what were means become ends, and the original ends are forgotten except on Sundays.

This makes it plain that we ought to spend some time contemplating alternative courses.

It seems inevitable that a collectivity – in this case, a State – must be opposed by an opposite collectivity – e.g., a rebel army. Yet this need not necessarily be so. Indeed, it might well be that locking ourselves into a force-on-force mindset, wherein two organized armies would meet in open warfare, would predetermine our defeat.

Not long ago, I wrote:

The political class and its hangers-on fear exactly the same things as the victimists: being ignored. Were they to become aware that no one is paying any attention to their enactments and decrees, they would soon slink away. Some might even enter productive trades, perhaps as cheap prostitutes.

They haven’t done any such thing because we continue to pay attention to them, and for no other reason. They do have their tools: the media, the many interest groups they support and encourage, political favors to the amoral and weak-minded, and of course a considerable amount of potential force. But none of these things are irresistible. Indeed, they pale in comparison to the force available to the citizenry.

He who yearns for a return to freedom cannot repose his hopes in the State, in politics, or in any imaginable “movement.” He must simply say to himself, “I am free; I shall do as I please,” and sincerely resolve to endure the consequences. There is no other avenue; all other roads are “roads to Mishnory.” While we remain on it, we’re inexorably fated, not to “go through all these things twice,” but to go through them over and over ad infinitam.

This is not a brief for political anarchism, as intellectually attractive as that is. It’s an exhortation to applied practical anarchism, perhaps alternately phrased as individualist anarchism: your personal refusal to grant the State unmerited attention or respect. That includes ignoring statist dictates that have no moral basis. (You might already be doing exactly that on subjects near and dear to your heart.)

This strikes me as the most promising approach.

A nation the size of the United States cannot be policed comprehensively or effectively from a central seat of power. The enforcement power required for that undertaking does not exist. That’s a great part of the reason Washington has strained to seduce state and local law enforcement organizations with military equipment: the mandarins of the federal government know they can’t impose their will on all of us without cooperation from coercive forces in every state, county, city, village, and hamlet.

Consider as an example the states whose governments have passed oppressive firearms laws. Those governments have become aware that they lack the power required to enforce those laws. No, they haven’t backed away from them yet, but the day will surely come. Even power-worshippers are aware that unless 98% or more of a populace agrees with a law and conforms to it voluntarily, the law is unenforceable. Should some myrmidon try to enforce such a law, he could find himself staring down the barrels of his target’s neighbors’ “prohibited” firearms.

Faced with that sort of resistance that resists openly only when poked, the Washington regime would be impotent. Unless it were willing to threaten to use weapons of mass destruction internally, it would have no counter to such defiance of its wishes.

However, it falls to us to produce that sort of locally organized, self-defending resistance. Though there are pockets in which it already exists, the mindset required is far from being universal.

The first step is waking Americans from the dream of salvation by politics.

More anon.


Dystopic said...

I may have mentioned it earlier, however there is a fiction novel available here for free: that describes methods which may work for us.

The great majority of these methods are non-violent means of resistance. As you say, this is not the day of line-of-battle armies. Doing something like that only guarantees failure. The moral high ground is important for us, and it must be retaken.

Furthermore, collective, organized resistance is an exercise in futility. We would become the enemy we hate. Resistance must be spontaneous, spurred onward by genuine, righteous anger on the part of an aggrieved populace. Then we will need no Great Leaders, no Julius Caesars for our side.

Every victory I know of, that our side has enjoyed, has worked this way. The Tea Party takeover of parts of the Republican party was, obviously, too little, too late. Nonetheless, it was a battle that was won (even if the war was already lost) and it is instructive in what works. #GamerGate is another victory against the Progressives and it operated similarly. There were no leaders (or if they were, they were only one among many such), only men and women fighting of their own volition.

They took the moral high ground, for a change.

Removing the Progressives from power is no longer possible without destroying the institutions they control, but destroying those institutions need not be done violently. Indeed, that would lose us the moral high ground I speak of.

But don't throw away your ammo hoards and canned goods yet. Violence will come *AFTER* those institutions have been undermined (or collapse of their own weight). And we must be prepared to defend ourselves when that day comes. America is a pressure cooker. Removing the lid will be... interesting, in the Chinese sense.

Anonymous said...

All good stuff. (still in pain from a severe injury, but mind is starting to work better) I like the moral high ground, and I also like individualist anarchism. I'm not prepared to become the enemy we hate, but I'm also not ready to play the role of good sheep. I'll check out the read that Dystopic suggested, and will continue to do what I want, what is right and moral, Mandarins-be-damned. My actions, and those of millions of other Liberty-minded Americans, will play out on the macro scale over the next few decades, but I don't see a mass conversion to flocks of "well-behaved" sheep, except in the sense that sheep dogs often resemble sheep when they're not actively defending against wolves. Stay strong, stay moral, stay free.

GamegetterII said...

The "progressives" took decades to get to where they are today,and it's likely going to take decades to remove them and the bullshit they have created.
There is no quick fix-even if we ended up in revolution or civil war-it would still take many years to decide the "winner". Assuming those who support rightful liberty,the Constitution and the BOR win-it will still take years to reverse the damage that's been done.
The progressives took over the schools,our children have been attending leftist indoctrination camps for at least the past 50 years or so.
The colleges and universities are full of leftists/progressive "professors",and the indoctrination has continued at the college level.
Taking back the schools would be a good first move-because the results of an actual education,minus the leftist bullshit will pay off for decades.
Voting will do nothing-as the political parties have morphed into one party-there is no longer any meaningful difference between Democrat and GOP.

Backwoods Engineer said...

Dystopic, good writing, and +1 on Victoria. I read it in its early stages, and followed it extensively as it developed. Don't agree with everything it it, but we can learn from everybody, even our enemies.

Fran, thanks for continuing to stand, and to continue to look for a third way between the ballot and the bullet, even though we might not find one.

This period ahead of us, as you know, is fraught with danger, and a peaceable people like us does not rush to war quickly. Nonetheless, I agree we must face some physical conflict with tyranny on our own soil soon, and the cycles of history are about to come due. By the predictions of The Fourth Turning, the real nastiness ought to start in 4 - 5 years.

Weetabix said...

"How would other nations react to an insurrection in the United States?"

Red Dawn?

I guess the two keys are probably to:
- examine laws to decide whether they're malum prohibitum or malum in se, then ignoring or undermining as many malum prohibita as possible, and
- starve the beast ala Ann Barnhardt as an extreme example and Karl Denninger as an easier one. Or hit the grey market as much as possible.

They can't run projects they can't fund.

Reg T said...

"The first step is waking Americans from the dream of salvation by politics."

I've been trying to do that with friends and family. My very conservative and Christian sister (who is aware I am agnostic) is unable, so far, to grasp the failure of the system. Clinging to hope and faith, she cannot let go of the ballot box, and has no experience with the cartridge box (I've tried to move her to learn and to train, but, living in Connecticut as she does, it is getting harder to do even that).

When she is able to move past denial, I will try to get her to see that refusal to comply is about all that is left, short of going to guns.

Bruce said...

Sorry, Weetabix, must disagree about not funding projects. There has been a severe lack of fiscal discipline in the House (with the power of the purse) for decades. They'll fund anyting they damn well please with deficit spending, just as they have done for decades. They'll continue until they can't borrow any longer (cf Greece). Then the walls will come crashing down under its own weight.

Tucanae Services said...

If an insurrection was to occur its first order of business is to attack the electrical grid. This cripples the State. Yes the front line logistical teams are built to be self-sufficient. However that is only a temporary thing. The backend logistical resupply is still dependent on public power. Lacking mobility its ability to react is greatly diminished.

Short of that, the best `legal` tactic is diminish your personal velocity of expenditure. The State based on our tax system, can only tax something when it changes hands. Your paycheck for example. But it goes deeper, buy used on anything that does not require title transfer -- supplies, clothes, etc. Do your own maintenance to any extent possible. The State can't tax your own labor.

Historian said...

Indeed. What cannot be sustained will not be. But what happens *after* the collapse of the debt bubble?

At the point at which borrowing is no longer possible, then the regime must either overtly coopt the market and the means of exchange, or live within actual receipts. In either case, lack of consent becomes a much more powerful weapon at that point.

Weetabix said...


True enough. I guess what I meant was that we need to quit contributing our farthing to their madness. They're going to crash it sooner or later. Might as well be sooner so we can get on with the rebuilding. The longer they have to solidify their totalitarian positions, the worse for us.

Jimmy the Saint said...

One big thing to consider with individualized resistance: you can end up just as crushed as a rebel army, and if it comes to that, you will go down *alone*.

Just because the army ants would eventually eat the elephant doesn't mean that it will go all that well for the individual ants.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea - it's actually quite good - just that anyone who elects to go down that road needs to do so with eyes open: just because you ignore the government, it does not follow that they will ignore you.

Anonymous said...

The United States military could stand watch to ensure no foreign power took advantage of the chaos while "We the People" handled things internally.

Anonymous said...

Simple, really. DEMAND an immediate return to our Constitutional principles or else. Nothing says serious like de-centralized to non-existent command structure and SMALL unit actions directed specifically at those who would deny us our demands. I'll no longer worry about being labeled a criminal BY the common criminals who have usurped MY government. I'll ask you this. If not now, when? Will your children be forced to something about our national situation because YOU, personally were too much the coward to do so yourself? Remember before you answer though, They WILL operate from an even less advantageous point than we currently endure. Time's long past to think of personal comfort and convenience. It's time to honor the efforts of all those preceding you who fought, bled and in many cases died for the rights you so casually take for granted, even as you watch them fade into history. As a nation, we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it go this far. I know I am.

daniel_day said...

Too many on both sides are unwilling to live even temporarily under domination by the other. The best solution is a negotiated split.
The Czechs and Slovaks managed a peaceful, negotiated split. Granted, that was a split of a nation the size of the state of Mississippi, but it must have taken some convincing for the populations to take the concept of an amicable divorce seriously, let alone believe it was possible and vocally support it.
I have no doubt a large fraction of the left grass roots would prefer a peaceful split over civil war - but the first issue would be to convince the grass roots, on both sides, to take seriously the possibility of a civil war. That's a long way off.

Paul Bonneau said...

1) Who bells the cat? Who needs a leader anyway? Everything is local, folks.

2) Some of the military would side with the rebels, some wouldn't. I think we will be better off in that respect, than most rebellions are.

3) What, is Canada going to invade us? If we go down, every government in the world will be looking to their own survival. We have nothing to fear on this point, and I can't see why people keep bringing it us.

4) Depends on how willing the pro-Constitutional forces are, to leave others alone. If it's just "meet the new boss, same as the old boss," then no, pro-Constitutional forces will not prevail - nor should they.