TOO LATE FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION??

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charlotte meador

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Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
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As some of you know, I have been holding discussion groups on the IRC
for militia members. In these groups there seems to be a serious
difference of opinion about whether or not it is too late to affect a
political solution to problems militia members see with the government.

There seems to be various discussions of two basic positions.
1. There is still a possibility to solve our problems using political
solutions, such as educational activities, exposure of corruption,
political involvement, etc.

2. It's too late for political solutions. The political system and power
structure of the country is too corrupt for it to succeed. Our only
prudent course of action is to prepare for some sort of violent
confrontation.

....and there may be other positions that haven't come up in the
discussion groups.

I would appreciate your input on these positions...and your reasoning
for your thoughts.

Thanks for your help.
Charlotte Meador
University of Houston

Eric Engelmann

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Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
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charlotte meador wrote:
>
> As some of you know, I have been holding discussion groups on the IRC
> for militia members. In these groups there seems to be a serious
> difference of opinion about whether or not it is too late to affect a
> political solution to problems militia members see with the government.
>
> There seems to be various discussions of two basic positions.
> 1. There is still a possibility to solve our problems using political
> solutions, such as educational activities, exposure of corruption,
> political involvement, etc.
>
> 2. It's too late for political solutions. The political system and power
> structure of the country is too corrupt for it to succeed. Our only
> prudent course of action is to prepare for some sort of violent
> confrontation.
>
> ....and there may be other positions that haven't come up in the
> discussion groups.

It's too late to oppose the forces of global union and the necessary
destruction of traditional America. It *IS* possible to slow the process
by de-educating and re-educating the products of public education.
There's too much at stake to chance failure, so the people driving the
future will "back off" if the people aren't ready to embrace the beast.

BlackHawk

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Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
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charlotte meador <cme...@bayou.uh.edu> wrote:
>
>1. There is still a possibility to solve our problems using political
>solutions, such as educational activities, exposure of corruption,
>political involvement, etc.
>
>2. It's too late for political solutions. The political system and power
>structure of the country is too corrupt for it to succeed. Our only
>prudent course of action is to prepare for some sort of violent
>confrontation.

Only #2. Until we show them that we really mean business and are sick and
tired of all their crap, they aren't going to change a thing. Empty
campaign promises and personal agendas..... nothing more than that. Take
a stand, everyone.

--
Phil


Billy Beck

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Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
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charlotte meador <cme...@bayou.uh.edu> wrote:

>As some of you know, I have been holding discussion groups on the IRC
>for militia members. In these groups there seems to be a serious
>difference of opinion about whether or not it is too late to affect a
>political solution to problems militia members see with the government.

>There seems to be various discussions of two basic positions.

>1. There is still a possibility to solve our problems using political
>solutions, such as educational activities, exposure of corruption,
>political involvement, etc.

>2. It's too late for political solutions. The political system and power
>structure of the country is too corrupt for it to succeed. Our only
>prudent course of action is to prepare for some sort of violent
>confrontation.

>....and there may be other positions that haven't come up in the
>discussion groups.

>I would appreciate your input on these positions...and your reasoning
>for your thoughts.

Charlotte,

Your post is the most intriguing that I have come across in the past
few days. I have replied while neglecting other engagements, for that
reason. The length of this reply is more than I had in mind when I
set out, but I've not written anything that I do not think important.
I hope you will find it a valuable contribution.


I am a newcomer to m.a.m., and not a member of any militia. I am
armed (although not in the league of many of these folks), however,
and have considered the possibilities/implications of organization in
my area (metro Atlanta).

I reply to this post because you pose implicit questions which I have
long regarded as important and more pressing as each year goes by.

In my view, the very fact that these questions arise in my lifetime is
*historically* significant in a way which cannot responsibly be
dismissed. For example: the very idea of armed resistence against the
government would have been perfectly alien to my grandfather's view of
America. It simply would never have occurred to him, and the sound of
any such discussion in the terms that we hear today would have fallen
very strangely on his ear.

I believe that the most divergent of outlooks might yet agree that
something is terribly amiss in our country. This is not to say that
everything was just peachy in 1953. To cite a single example: my
grandfather (a second generation German-American railroad engineer in
the northeast) was well aware of the problem of race relations
vis-a-viz civil rights - that was a big problem which was going to be
a struggle to solve. He knew it wouldn't be pretty, and Birmingham
and Little Rock confirmed his apprehensions. However, he believed
that Americans and their institutions would come to their senses, and
their sense of justice, and that the pain of those times would bear
fruit.

As I said; any discussion of armed resistence would have been
absurd to his political outlook.

Bear with me.

I make this point, and cite this single example, in order to
illustrate the *scope* of political challenge in America today.
Without diminishing (please!) the importance of, or
blood-sweat-&-tears investment in, the civil rights movement, it seems
clear to me that it cannot compare to the urgency of the problem which
is manifest in the very existence of a "militia movement". I will
stand corrected if I am mistaken, but I think that the last time so
many people seriously uttered the words "civil war" in America
(outside of history class), we actually *fought* one. Today, lots of
people on every side do their best not to utter that phrase out
loud...and they are less successful as time passes. Many people don't
make the pretense of circumspection.

It has long been my view that American political affairs were
*necessarily bound* for such straits. I began studying politics (both
as a branch of classical philosophy and the modern practice of "public
policy") at an early age, in 1969. My attention was necessarily drawn
to corrollaries of economics and history. I grew to adulthood casting
a fishy eye at the disintegration of a culture, worried over it. Call
me doctrinaire, but I have always been a libertarian, which is to say
(without any partisan affiliation); I am convinced of the truth and
imperative of human freedom. There is no other way for a culture to
thrive and flourish to the greatest possible happiness of its
inhabitants, than for each of them to make their own way by their own
lights.

The past thirty years or so have been a case-study of the opposite
course.

The most cursory glance at this period shows us two things: 1)
Government of every species has steadily waxed large and prevalent.
There can be no rational denial of this. 2) A general "Index of
Dismay" has steadily increased. (I use the term loosely to denote a
mixed bag of cultural symptoms which indicate decay, without specific
references. Everyone, I think, could point out their favorites; crime
rates, rising economic class disparities, decline of morality,
declining civility of discourse, appalling new species of corruption
and their flagrance, etc. Take your pick.)

I maintain that there is a direct correlation between these two
observations.

At this point, there is no way for me to proceed without taking a
stand: I am certain that the *essential* political, and thus cultural,
dispute is between those who believe that people are the subjects of
government, and that it is good for a government to manage the affairs
of its subjects, and those who hold that their lives are not subject
to the management of government.

I am fully aware that I have, in the above statement, couched the
debate in terms which many will find offensive, and absurdly so. The
terms of my statement are in no way "politically correct" in America
c.1996 - they must be immediately rejected by the former of the two
sides posited above, *precisely for their clarity*. After all, a
political climate in which euphemism ("contribution", for example)
holds such sway, cannot bear explicit terms or definitions.

(Witness the tedious debates over definitions in the various Usenet
battles. One can hardly *begin* a serious political discussion before
one or the other party is madly leafing through Webster's in order to
sort out "meanings". The interminable dispute over the *meaning* of
the Second Amendment offers another epic example. Further; the rapid
evolution of definitions is significant: the word "gunloon", for
instance, has made a lightning-fast appearance in the popular
political lexicon. Everyone knows how it is used, but I have never
seen a precisely useful *definition* of a "gunloon".)

It would never do for any advocate of government to stipulate to my
terms, for the very idea of "subjects" has been abhorrent to the most
dearly held traditions of the past two centuries of western political
history. To abandon euphemism in favor of clarity would imply an
admission that these traditions, and the ideas from which they spring,
have been abandoned. Given the intellectual climate which brought
America to the world political scene, such admissions in clear
language would be a tough sell. America led the world to liberty and,
more then 200 years on, we are not yet so jaded on the idea that it
could be disposed of without a fight.

The last word in that paragraph is chosen carefully. The "fight" can
be intellectual or physical, depending on the urgency of the times. I
submit that, historically, the times are ever more urgent.

I would pose a question:

How can one determine the moment when reason has failed, and that
there is no longer any hope of argument against force?

An advocate of government might well ask the question with regard to
the rise of militias. In my view, however, such a person would have
implicitly ignored or denied the nature of government. Any belief in
the efficacy of rational debate must assume the reasoning powers of
both sides, applied in rigorous good faith to the challenge of
determining the truth. It can be safe to disregard a failure of
reasonable agreement over many debates (e.g. - "Ford or Chevy?"), but
downright foolish in others (e.g. - slavery or freedom?). Note that
both examples are fraught with *definitions*, but that the latter is
one in which parties to the debate cannot agree over basic terms.
There are many who regard social security as an example of slavery,
and who do so with reference to principles of force in an integrated
chain of abstraction and logic. There are many others who cannot
grasp the logic, and they reject the premise.

The element of this example (and many others in a broader context of
"social policy") which is beyond contention is that social security is
*forced* upon many who would live without it if they were *free* to do
so.

The advocates of government often hold forth the recourse to
"democracy" as a solution to this problem. I would offer two points
of note: 1) It was democracy which brought us this enormous failure
of "public policy" which now violates the liberty of those who do not
value it. (This point illustrates the fundamental flaw in democracy:
it is possible and common for democracy to reach conclusions of policy
which are destructive of liberty. A majority of opinion is no more
right because of its virtue as a majority. This is found throughout
the history of democracy.) 2) After a poll is taken, and the
violation of liberty survives, the advocate of liberty is yet faced
with the forceful intrusion of government into his private affairs.

Clearly, this is a failure of reason.

What alternative is there?

(reprise)

>There seems to be various discussions of two basic positions.

>1. There is still a possibility to solve our problems using political
>solutions, such as educational activities, exposure of corruption,
>political involvement, etc.

>2. It's too late for political solutions. The political system and power
>structure of the country is too corrupt for it to succeed. Our only
>prudent course of action is to prepare for some sort of violent
>confrontation.

Frankly, I see very little hope. What little there is, is also
desperate in character.

Your first alternative seems, to me, quite clearly to be an extension
of the methods which have brought us to requirement for this
discussion in the first place. I cannot dismiss them out of hand.
However, I would point out that "exposure of corruption" toward a
purpose of alleviating violations of liberty is a hugely daunting task
in the face of the goal. My own personal view is that the depth and
breadth of ideological "corruption" is beyond the reach of such
methods with regard to the years, days, and hours of my own life. I
cannot imagine how I will ever be permitted to live as a free man, in
the original heritage of American politics, as a result of such
methods. This government is fatly seated, now. It avails
long-standing intellectual foundations, un-challenged for generations.
Ideas which I hold important to these matters are routinely dismissed
as "whacky", and otherwise beyond the pale, in mainstream discourse
which shapes the world-view of fellow men who only vaguely "feel" that
something is desperately wrong in America, but who do not commit their
own intellectual efforts to sorting through it in explicit terms.


"As for adopting the ways which the state has provided for remedying
the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a
man's life will be gone."

(Henry David Thoreau - "On Civil Disobedience")


This point cannot be overstressed. The reason that a man takes up
resistence to government is that his own life is his highest value.
He necessarily holds it in higher regard than assertions of "public
policy", or their methods. A rational man understands that he is
given to walk the planet for only a limited number of days. A
principled man, who would make the most of each one of those days,
will also never submit a single one of them to any other powers but
his own.


As for "violent confrontation", I have long believed that it would be
virtually inevitable, while hoping that I was wrong.

The reason for the belief has been the steady progression of
government into the private affairs of individuals. I have always
understood that such progression, sufficiently advanced, would reach a
point where people who have born "compromise" and euphemism would
finally rise in anger and outrage founded in reason...but that reason
would not be enough to overwhelm and reverse the logical fallacies of
public policy.

Rational people yearn for liberty. This passionate recognition of
their own nature cannot be denied or suppressed. Every human being
has a "threshold of outrage" beyond which a transgressor proceeds at
peril of response. At this point in our history, individuals are
responding ever more frequently. The only question to me concerns the
nature of the response.

There is no question over the rampant destruction which must be
manifest in widespread armed confrontation. All rational people will
agree on this point. Most will agree that is should be avoided.

Does this mean that those who passionately hunger for liberty must
resign themselves to endless pedantic debate over definitions and
principles, without satisfactory resolution?

I think not.

I see a course lying between your two alternatives. That course is
massive, *passive*, civil disobedience.

I am convinced that sufficient numbers of rational individuals could
focus the essential dispute of our times by simply, and peacefully,
rejecting the claims of government.

Stop paying taxes of every kind. Stop voting. Burn drivers'
licenses, social security cards, marriage licenses, business licenses,
and every other document which attaches the sanction of government to
one's own private affairs. Cease, immediately, the obedience to every
article of posited law which our "representatives" scribble across our
days and years. Conduct one's affairs according to the *right*,
*regardless* of the "law".


I am fully aware of the implications of such a course.

I am, right now, a "criminal" by the definition of the federal
government. I await my arrest. I have brought harm to no person, but
I have acted in perfect disregard of certain federal "laws" which
presume to dictate the disposal of my productive efforts. They are
wrong, and I will not submit my conduct to their error.

However, I will not resist with arms against prosecution. In my view,
such a course would commit the future to complete hopelessness. The
reason is that my *individual* resistence would be perfectly futile
against the massed force of the government. The destruction of my
life which would result, would also leave not the slightest
possibility that the future might see a day when my liberty will again
be upheld as a proper object of "public policy"...and not its subject.

There is no way for me to know what the intervening days, months or
years might bring, or the hardships to be endured. However, should
that day of liberty ever actually dawn, I would walk out into its
light shining on a world ready for me to exploit to productive ends,
without the heavy task of reconstructing something long gone in the
winds of war. I would simply take the place which I had left behind,
and go back to my normal work.

In considering the option of armed resistence, I value my own course
for its possibility of recovering a social fabric which, otherwise,
will certainly be destroyed. It is *my own*, freely chosen, course.
I would point out that it has nothing to do with "martyrdom", or any
other notion of "sacrifice", for I do not recognize the *concept* of
"sacrifice". I choose from a rationally valid hierarchy of values,
and the foremost of them is my *integrity*. The concept of *right*
bears me through the challenge.

I would only suggest that others consider the same challenge. Whether
they do, and choose to act similarly, will have no real bearing on my
own choice...with one important caveat:

"The more, the merrier."

This tongue-in-cheek reference addresses the impact of *massive*
disobedience. It is an easy matter for the state to dispose of a
single life. It is quite another to effectively dispose of millions.
I can easily go down in the dark. To take millions of others down
would require an effort of state that must move in the clear light of
day, while the world...and all other Americans...watch.


I submit, Charlotte, that your second "position" ("It's too late for
political solutions") is closer to the mark. "Political solutions" of
the sort which we have attempted to bring to bear on the decline of
America have, I think, proven themselves completely futile. I, for
one, am convinced of the futility.

However, I would point out that armed resistence and passive
disobedience *are* "political" actions.

It is also clear to me that people who profess themselves tough enough
to take up arms and risk the destruction of that sort of action,
should also examine their toughness to see whether it can *stand* in
the cold stare of government, long enough to, perhaps, walk away to
tend the world for their children.

The final step would yet be available in the event of failure.


One man's opinon.


Billy

http://www.mindspring.com/~wjb3/free/free.html
"Rant" updated 4/16/96


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