The Time for Rebellion

...yet the Legislative being only a Fiduciary Power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the People a Supream Power to remove or alter the Legislative, when they find the Legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them. For all Power given with trust for the attaining an end, being limited by that end, whenever that end is manifestly neglected, or opposed, the trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the Power devolve into the hands of those that gave it, who may place it anew where they shall think best for their safety and security.

John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, §149, 1690

For wherever violence is used, and injury done, though by hands appointed to administer Justice, it is still violence and injury, however colour'd with the Name, Pretences, or Forms of Law, the end whereof being to protect and redress the innocent, by an unbiassed application of it, to all who are under it; wherever that is not bona fide done, War is made upon the Sufferers, who having no appeal on Earth to right them, they are left to the only remedy in such Cases, an appeal to Heaven.

John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, §20; the Liberty Tree Flag of 1775

That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, 1776

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion...And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms... What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel William Smith from Paris, November 13, 1787, concerning Shays' Rebellion

"Storming of the Bastille and arrest of the Governor M. de Launay, July 14, 1789," Prise de la Bastille et arrestation du gouverneur M. de Launay, le 14 juillet 1789 [1790], by Jean-Baptiste Lallemand (17161803); Musée de la Révolution française

Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens," similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.

"Half in U.S. Continue to Say Gov't Is an Immediate Threat," by Frank Newport, Gallup, September 21, 2015

What is now called "Constitutional Law" has become, not only a tissue of sophistry, but an instrument of tyrants. Two recent Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have actually taught Constitutional Law, yet clearly neither of them has had any respect for the principles of limited government, enumerated powers, or federalism, let alone an armed Citizenry prepared to take back its sovereignty.

The Founders of this Nation, probably without exception, would regard the present Federal Government as an active system of tyranny. Armed resistance to that Government is now morally justified. The only question is the prudence or the effectiveness of such resistance; for the Government now rules by an intimidating force, of multiple militarized agencies, that was not originally allowed or even contemplated for it, and citizens are cowed into obeying under duress -- something that would astonish the makers of the American Revolution.

As in any tyranny or dictatorship, however, the status quo is supported by many who hope to benefit from it, even ordinary voters whose future is actually being destroyed, but who are selling their birthright for "a mess of pottage," i.e. the brainless socialism they have been taught in the schools.

Ἐγκλινοβάραγγος (Enklinobarangus),

You're fucking dead.

Wisconsin State Democratic Representative Gordon Hintz [] to Republican Representative Michelle Litjens, February 2011, a blunt threat against a woman not protested or even mentioned by any feminists, who further demonstrate their hypocrisy, ideological partisanship, and willingness to sell-out actual women.

"His idea was nothing less than that whatever government was in power should not be overthrown. But that an organization should be set up which would have one principle purpose:  to ensure that no government ever again obtained complete power over its people...

"At first people thought that the [Weapon] Shops were a sort of underground anti-government organization that would itself protect them from harm. But gradually they realized that the Shops did not interfere in Isher life. It was up to each individual or group of individuals to save their own lives. The idea was that the individual would learn to stand up for himself, and that in the long run the forces which would normally try to enslave him would be restrained by the knoweldge that a man or a group could be pressed only so far. And so a great balance was struck between those who govern and those who are governed."

A.E. van Vogt, The Weapon Makers (the sequel to The Weapon Shops of Isher, 1941, 1942, 1949), 1947, New English Library, 1970, 1974, pp.16-17

When the federal government exceeds its constitutional authority, our constitutional design requires that states and citizens push back by nullifying unconstitutional federal acts, demanding that our Ninth and Tenth Amendment sovereignty be respected and constitutional balance restored.

This we have failed to do. Without that resistance, the federal government has had free reign to do as it pleases. And what the federal government has pleased to do, is act as a tyrant, treating us as subjects to be ruled.

Kathie Glass, Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor of Texas, LP News, October 2014, Volume 44, Issue 5, p.16

But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.

Marin Luther King, Jr., 9 November 1967, posted by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D), 26 November 2014, in reference to the riots following the Grand Jury finding in the case of the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, boldface added. The evidence showed that Brown had attacked Wilson, even broken an eye socket. Shall Tea Partiers now riot and violently rebel against federal tyranny? Why wasn't the "mostly peaceful" demonstration at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, when an unarmed woman was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer, covered by this pronouncement?

Who else will I fail to save from the Capitol's vengeance?

Katniss Everdeen, Catching Fire (The Second Book of The Hunger Games), by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press, 2009, p.41

τάδε λέγει Κύριος· ἐξαπόστειλον τὸν λαόν μου.
Haec dicit Dominus: Dimitte populum meum.
This the
LORD says: Let my people go.

Exodus 8:20, Septuagint 8:16


There have been five significant rebellions in the history of the United States. The first was against the British, in the form of the Revolutionary War, and ended up creating the United States itself. The next three were about taxes. The first of those, (Daniel) Shays' Rebellion (1786-1787), was in the days of the Articles of Confederation and was in response to taxes in Massachusetts. It led to the memorable, and perhaps disturbing, statement of Thomas Jefferson, quoted above, made while he was the American ambassador to France.

The next two were significant responses to the direct Federal taxes imposed by the Washington and Adams Administrations, respectively, under the taxation power explicitly granted by the Constitution. These were the Whisky Rebellion (1794), against a federal tax on whiskey, and (John) Fries's Rebellion (1799-1800), against a federal tax on, of all things, the number of windows in homes. Such a window tax had long been a feature of life in England, which is why many mediaeval English houses of the poor were built without windows. Certainly we might reflect, as John Fries (probably no relation to Jakob Fries) certainly did, that a law that creates an incentive for the reduction of something helpful for light, air, and health is a bad law. The objection to a whiskey tax was that distilled spirits were a source of significant income for farmers, always struggling on the financial margins (as still today), because they were compact in volume, subject to high demand, and could be transported long distances without spoilage, unlike other farm products (until the introduction of railroads and then refrigeration). As such, this had the advantages that olive oil and wine had to ancient Greek traders. Farmers did not want to lose any of this income to the Federal Government -- as we see today that the political power of farmers has ironically procured for them the corrupt and vicious institution of farm subsidies. Both of these rebellions occurred in Pennsylvania.

Both the Whiskey and Fries's Rebellions were easily suppressed with militia forces. Some leaders of each were tried and convicted of treason (a treatment not even accorded to Jane Fonda for giving aid and comfort to a foreign enemy in time of war), but then Washington pardoned the former, as Adams later did the latter -- to the disgust of more militant Federalists like Alexander Hamilton. In 1800 Thomas Jefferson ran on an explicit platform of repealing all direct federal taxes; and when elected, he was as good as his word. Leaving office, Jefferson boasted that most Americans would be able to go their entire lives without ever encountering a Federal tax collector. How times have changed.

The fourth rebellion, however, was not so easily suppressed, involving as it did eleven States against the United States itself, in order to leave the Union and preserve slavery. That was long known by the North as the "Great Rebellion," a name which fell out of favor as early 20th century historiography became pro-Southern. The prefered name of the war for Southern sympathizers was the "War Between the States." More neutral, and used by Lincoln himself, was just the "Civil War."

The Civil War was the only time in American history when whole States rebelled against the Federal Government, and indeed combined in defense against it. The right of States to leave the Union is neither affirmed nor denied in the Constitution which means that, in principle, the Tenth Amendment reserves that power to them -- even as the Treaty under which Texas entered the Union explicitly reserved the right of secession. The Unionist argument that the "United States" was an entity ontologically and legally superior and prior to the individual States was a bit of ahistorical sophistry -- and it had previously not been in favor with New England Abolitionists who advocated leaving a Union that tolerated slavery.

However, as I have discussed elsewhere, I do not believe that we can treat government as a Contract at Will, something that can be unilaterally terminated for good cause, bad cause, or no cause. To dissolve the bonds of government, as the Declaration of Independence says, is not something undertaken lightly. We expect such action to be for Cause, with the Declaration itself detailing the sorts of things ("the multiplication of offices") that would discredit the legitimacy of a government. Unfortunately, the Cause of the Southern States was, as Ulysses S. Grant said, "one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." I have lost all patience with modern apologists for Confederate secession, despite their often bona fides and libertarian credentials -- the principle is vicious in implication and anarchist in effect.

Absolute Power

In the long run, however, something was needed to restrain the Federal Government and enforce the Constitution. The Constitution itself made no provision for such enforcement, and the Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall (the Revenge of John Adams) successfully claimed exclusive rights in that respect for the Supreme Court -- which Jefferson already realized would tend to support and expand the power of the Federal Government, as it has done. In the Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay had argued that everyone had the job of enforcing the Constitution; yet the means by which the States might do so, through the Nullification of Federal Law or the threat or act of Secession, were discredited in the time of Andrew Jackson, when South Carolina backed down from Nullification, and in the Civil War, when States wasted the act of secession on behalf of the vicious and disgraceful institution of ownership in human property.

In the absence of effective enforcement, the Federal Government has slipped the leash and usurped any and all powers the politics of the moment takes to be of advantage. We are at the moment when Congressman Pete Stark (D, CA) can tell his constituents:

I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from rules that could affect your private life. The federal government, yes, can do most anything in this country. [July 24, 2010]

If Mr. Stark had addressed such a proposition to Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, or perhaps even to Adams, he would probably be taken aback, even outraged, at the "extremism" of their response. He has claimed everything, unlimited power, that all the Founding Fathers regarded as naked tyranny, and he has clearly rejected the letter, spirit, and principles of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution -- despite having taken an Oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" the latter. Yet most of the press, the intelligentsia, academic opinion, and even popular expectation, regard this with sublime compacency as something perfectly natural and obvious. Of course the government can "do most anything," what kind of ignorant yahoo or right wing extremist could think otherwise? The extremism of politicians whose background contains sympathy for totalitarian governments is passed over in silence.

But Mr. Stark clearly belongs in a different business, or in a different country altogether. Americans have let this go on, for reasons already well understood by Jefferson:  "They will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price." In Helvering v. Davis (1937) and Steward Machine Co. v. Davis (1937) the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government could spend money on anything that it regarded as contributing to "the general Welfare." This was Alexander Hamilton's interpretation of the taxing power in the Constitution, bitterly and fiercely denounced at the time by Jefferson and Madison, which Jefferson's own Party (the Democratic), a century after his death, would adopt and promote in the New Deal. Ever since, politicians have of course regarded "the general Welfare" as meaning their own reelection. Just buy the votes. Consequently, American politics descends into a morass of corruption, with voters demanding their "benefits," like chicks in the nest with gaping mouths -- just what politicians want to see.

Having so flagrantly breached its Constitutional trust, the Federal Government has in fact, according to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, lost its legitimacy. There is at the moment no cogent moral or Constitutional reason why some or all of the American People, or some or all of the States of the United States, should not rise in rebellion against the Federal Government.

There are conservatives, like Robert Bork, who just wet their pants at the suggestion, since they think that "obedience to constituted authority" overrides other considerations. They probably would have been Loyalists in the Revolutionary War. And, of course, the "liberal" left, consisting of good Hegelians, has the State instead of God to worship -- as long as they are in power. Thus, when asked how the federal government has the authority to require people to buy health insurance, Nancy Pelosi answered, "Are you kidding?" Doubtless she would have made the same answer to Thomas Jefferson, who said "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now [i.e. under a State religion in Virginia]. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as medicine, the potato as an article of food" ["Notes on Virginia," 1784]. Little did Jefferson know that by 2010 the federal government would be prescribing to us our medicine and diet, be proud of it in the bargain, and expect all of us peons to be properly grateful to our betters, hat in hand.

Democracy & Natural Rights

In fact, I don't think it is time for rebellion. But the reasons against it are mainly prudential, not moral or legal. When those in government are engaged in daily acts of despotism that violate both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution, their fiduciary trust is, in Locke's words, forfeited. No form of resistance to them is unjustified. This is qualified, however, by various considerations, first of all these two:

  1. There is the peculiar logic of democracy. If the majority of the people are for you, you don't need rebellion, just an election. If the majority of the people are not for you, then a rebellion would be unlikely to succeed; and even if it did, you would be in the awkward situation of imposing a regime that, given the chance, will be voted out. If there were a "necessary and proper" alternative to democratic government, one might be willing to do that; but there isn't. The actions of a democracy are not necessarily just or wise, but the experience of history is that the traditional alternatives are a good bit worse.

  2. There is a suitable alternative to armed rebellion, and that is the Non-violent Resistance, , Satyagraha, of M.K. Gandhi. This has already been adapted to American circumstances once, by Martin Luther King; and it suits the situation of American democracy. Thus, by non-violent resistance Gandhi placed the onus of violence on the oppressor. If the agents of government use force, then they are morally responsible for such action, while the resisters are just refusing to cooperate. In the age of television, and now of cell-phone videos, governments that wish to use force run the risk of looking very bad and losing public support. This connects up to Gandhi's fundamental principle of Satyagraha, that it is a means of persuasion. The onus on the resisters, who, after all, may possibly be perceived as provoking violence, is the persuasive explanation of their case. Gandhi viewed this as primarily aimed at the oppressors themselves, but now we can certainly add its democratic role in the formation of public opinion. If public opinion could ever be aroused to the extent of individual States refusing cooperation with the Federal Government and practicing non-violent resistance as wholes, the national government would find itself in a serious dilemma. The military occupation of a non-violent State, against the will of its own people, is a step that would terrify most Presidents, especially if the Congressmen and Senators of that State (and of others) agree with the principle of restoring Constitutional Government.

Nevertheless, part of our problem in reflecting on the circumstances of our democracy is that the Government of the United States is not supposed to be a pure democracy, but a "Republic" of mixed elements, with democratic institutions as only one feature of it, however central. Pure democracy, as everyone from Plato to Polybius to James Madison agreed, rapidly progresses towards tyranny, which is exactly what we have seen happening in our day -- when Woody Allen has publicly endorsed dictatorial powers for Barack Obama. So much for the Left defending democracy.

But democracy as such was never supposed to be for us an end in itself, only a means to the protection of the natural rights of the individual. Thus, the checks and balances and divided powers of the Constitution, with democratic, oligarchical, and monarchical elements, were no more than a mechanism, tested by history, to effect that purpose. That the mechanism has now failed, in great measure thanks to the denigration of natural rights and individualism by elite opinion, would not have surprised its designers, like Madison and Jefferson. They didn't expect it to last as long as it did, even as Jefferson, as I have noted, already understood the points where it was likely to fail. That nothing was done about the weaknesses is a tragedy, but it all lays down the lessons that may be put into effect in the future. Meanwhile, we must understand how bad things have gotten and why so much "educated" opinion has sold its soul into the cause of tyranny.


The Government of the United States of American ceased to be a legitimate government in 1938. This is because of a decision by the Supreme Court, United States v. Carolene Products Co.. There, the Court ruled that economic regulations, in other words those laws that limit the use of private property or otherwise restrict economic freedoms, such as the right to take a job or start a business, all of which constitute "takings" of some of the rights traditionally associated with private property and personal liberty, will simply not be reviewed or overturned by the Court so long as they have a "rational basis." The infamous "footnote four" of Carolene Products, written by Chief Justice Haran Fiske Stone, divided rights in half, allowing "strict" review for rights such as "the first ten Amendements," but only a "relaxed review" for any other rights, such as those of property. How "relaxed" is the review going to be? Well, if a law need merely have a "rational basis" -- and not even an actual rational basis but merely a conceivable one -- there really is going to be no law about property or economic matters that will merit being struck down as violating anyone's rights. The Court simply abdicates enforcing any such rights.

As it happens, this holding violates one of "the first ten Amendments," since the Ninth Amendment explicity asserts that "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." A "relaxed review" of property rights is certainly to "deny or disparage" them in relation to whatever rights (free speech?) the Court thinks merit strict enforcement. The internal incoherence of Stone's opinion, and even the fact that his distinction was made up out of whole cloth, without legal or judicial precedent, pales besides its larger meaning.

Jefferson wrote, "To secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men....that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..." Since the United States Government, through the Supreme Court, determined in 1938 not to enforce basic rights of property and economic liberties, it will be then be the case that, in the words of John Locke, its "trust must necessarily be forfeited." It is no longer a legitimate government. It is an active system of tyranny. John Adams would agree:

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. [The Works of John Adams, Little, Brown, 1851, Vol.6 p.9]

The grievances that motivated and the truths that justified the American Revolution therefore now apply to the Federal Government of the United States itself. It deserves the same treatment, even if that is not the best course of action.

Those Darn Right-Wing Extremists

Merely pointing out these truths, even if they are identical to those that moved and motivated the Founding Fathers, earns a special kind of accusation from the Left. For conservatives or libertarians just to say that the Federal Government has violated the Constitution to the extent that it is no longer a legitimate government, or even to voice complaints of a milder sort on the same basis, is to illegitimately encourage violence.

Such an accusation first emerged in regard to Timothy McVeigh, who on 19 April 1995 detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. McVeigh's action was self-professedly in retaliation for the attack on the "Branch Davidian" compound of leader David Koresh at "Mt. Carmel," near Waco, Texas, on 19 April 1993. This assault was after an initial attack by the BATF, followed by a siege of 50 days. In the initial attack, 4 ATF agents and 6 Davidians were killed, and in the final atack 76 Davidians died, including more than 20 children and two pregnant women. McVeigh was later convicted of murder and executed (11 June 2001), notably without protest or obstruction from anti-death penalty advocates.

McVeigh's actions were almost immediately blamed on anyone, including radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who had ever criticized the Federal actions at Waco, even though none of them had ever advocated violence against the Federal Government or its employees. Few took this very seriously, and nothing much came of it.

However, similar accusations were quickly made after Jared Loughner killed 6 people and gravely wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a shooting at Tucson, Arizona, on 8 January 2011. Within hours of the shooting, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik blamed the shooting on the "the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country," from those who "try to inflame the public 24 hours a day" with "rhetoric about hatred, mistrust, paranoia of how government operates." He continued to pontificate about "vitriolic rhetoric," as others join in, including Barack Obama, with reproaches about the "incivility" of American political discourse. By "incivility," of course, they only meant conservative or libertarian rhetoric, not that of the Left. Their obvious motive was to try and delegitimize and silence the Right, not explain what Loughner had done. "Incivility" thus quickly became a Democrat and Leftist talking point and a red flag for us among all the liberal fellow travelers of the Left, betraying their bias.

As it happened, Loughner appeared to be a mentally disturbed person with only the most confused political ideas. If he was a gun toting Christian fundmentalist, as the Left apparently wishes, he was such an unusual one to have constucted a sort of Satanic shrine in his parents' back yard. The facts of Loughner's soundness or frame of mind, however, quickly became matters of little interest to the media, as the discourse of "incivility" took on a life of its own as a shibboleth of the Left.

Illiberal Incivility

The bad faith and hypocrisy of all this, however, was soon revealed when Republicans in Wisconsin, after seizing the governorship and State legislature in the 2010 election, introduced a bill to restrict collective bargaining "rights" of public employee unions (i.e. the power of unions to require workers to join them and surrender money for purposes of which they do not approve, e.g. electing politicians who will raise taxes and give the money to the unions). Pro-union protesters converged on Madison, and "uncivil" rhetoric was suddenly quite acceptable.
Consider what we've been doing in just the last few months... Condemning the growing incivility and divisiveness in American politics.

-- Anti-Defamation League fundraising letter from Abraham H. Foxman, 2011

Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) told a Boston crowd, "I'm proud to be here with people who understand that it's more than just sending an email to get you going... Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary." If this was not a call to violence, it is hard to know what one might look like. Similarly, with multiple witnesses, Wisconsin Democrat State Representative Gordon Hintz told Republican Representative Michelle Litjens, "You're fucking dead." If a Republican had said this to a Democrat, let alone to a woman, I'm sure that the Federal Justice Department would be investigating a "terrorist threat." I have not seen the ADL "condemning" such "incivility."

Of course, incivility has long been the norm within the hallowed ivy walls of academic freedom and enlightenment. And it is never conservative students shouting down leftist speakers or violently disrupting events. Instead, it is always leftist students doing that, egged on by their leftist professors.
Fuck you, Republicans.

-- Ellen Lewin, Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, Department of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa; e-mail to University of Iowa College Republicans, April 2011

Out of countless examples, one in particular gives us the feel of the business. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) was scheduled to speak at the University of North Carolina on 14 April 2009. Tancredo holds the extraordinary position that immigration laws should be enforced and that people in the country illegally should be deported -- and certainly should not be given privileges like in-State tuition at public universities. The Left, naturally, smears such views as "anti-immigrant" and/or racist (although the Democrats, controlling both Houses of Congress 2009-2011, made no changes in immigration law). As Tancredo began to speak, demonstrators within the venue began shouting, stormed the stage, and unfurled a "No One is Illegal" banner in front of him. Demonstrators outside made their presence known by throwing a brick through a window. The police cancelled the speech. To the embarrassment of the University, convervative organizers of the event videotaped these antics and splashed the video all over the national media. The Brown Shirt thugs of the Left were unmasked. But things like this have been going on for a long time; and no one today tut-tutting about conservative "rhetoric" ever spoke out about such mob rule or bricks at American universities. They are for it.

When Tea Party demonstrators converged on Washington, Nancy Pelosi told the press, "There were swastikas" in the crowd. There were indeed swastikas, on the signs accusing the Democrats of acting like Nazis. The way Pelosi phrased her remark, however, one might have come away with the impression that the demonstrators were wearing swastikas and were themselves actual Nazis (certainly what Pelosi believed and wanted to imply). At a subsequent pro-Democrat demonstration in Washington, one of the protesters told a reporter that it was improper (and certainly uncivil) to compare President Obama to Hitler. When reminded that George W. Bush had been compared to Hitler in every anti-war demonstration over a period of years, the protester was nonplussed for a moment, but then responded that, since Bush actually was Hitler, those comparisons are all right. Well, at the Union demonstrations in Madison, the swastikas were out in force (on the signs, of course), along with a great deal of noise, intimidation, and threats (and a costly mess -- to the tune of perhaps 7.5 million dollars -- unlike the Tea Party or Glenn Beck events). Now it was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who not only was Hitler but also Mussolini and Stalin. No one previously harping about "incivility" had anything to say about all this.

In the same vein, on Tuesday 18 January 2011, on the floor of the House, Tennessee Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen compared Republican assertions that the Obama health care legislation was a Federal "takeover" of medicine to the "Big Lie"
A New Blueprint
for Public Life

A new shape for cities.
A new civility in political discourse...

-- UCLA Magazine,
April 2011

of Nazi propaganda as formulated by Joseph Goebbels. He even compared this "Big Lie" to the Mediaeval Blood Libel directed at Jews, making Republicans responsible for something that could cause another Holocaust. Later in an interview about "civility," Cohen seemed to be comparing Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence to Goebbels himself. Since it is reasonable to think that a Federal law of more than 2000 pages, imposing extensive new regulations, controls, and mandates on medicine, with tribes of new bureaucrats and even IRS agents, might not amount to a Federal "takeover," Cohen would seem to be engaging in just the sort of "vitriolic rhetoric," trying "to inflame the public 24 hours a day," that Sheriff Dupnik was talking about. I am eager to see in the next UCLA Magazine how this contributes to "a new civility."

Incivility for Me but Not for Thee

But we know what the game is here. The Left has no particular objection to incivility or even violence, as long as it is practiced by the Left. More specifically, it is fine to call the Right Nazis (it's quite civil), because that's what they are; but it is out of bounds (completely uncivil) to call anyone on the Left a Nazi, even if they behave in just such a way. Blaming the Right for being uncivil or provoking violence (or being Nazis) is in fact simply a strategy to intimidate or silence the opposition, or to justify Congress or the FCC imposing restrictions on political speech -- which the Left always assumes will only apply to the Right. After all, they're the Fascists whose discourse is out of bounds.

The response of Democrats and the Left to other notorious shootings is instructive. On 16 April 2007, lone gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. As police closed in, he committed suicide. As it happened, Cho left behind video manifestos to explain his actions. Since the man was quite literally a raving maniac, it was never clear quite what his explanation was. His disturbing behavior had already frightened students and come to judicial notice. A court order recognizing his mental instability would have prevented him from buying weapons; but since the order was not divulged to the background check system for gun sales, to protect Cho's privacy, he was able to buy weapons anyway.

Were Cho's actions blamed on conservative rhetoric? There seems to have been as much to hang accusations on as with Jared Loughner. But no. And why not? Well, I suspect that a young Korean man did not fit the profile of a racist young white man, the sine qua non of any target of Lefist wrath (since Sarah Palin isn't really a woman, and Black conservatives aren't really Black). The Leftist mind cannot put together the concepts "Asian man" and "Right-Wing Extremist" into the same thought. Or they would have done it.

An even more revealing case came on 5 November 2009, when a U.S. Army Major, Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire on soldiers at Ford Hood, Texas, killing 13. Hasan was a maniac in his own way, but only in terms of Islamic fanaticism. People who dealt with him were well aware of his extreme and inflamatory views, and he was actually shouting Allahu Akbar ("God is greatest") while shooting his victims. Yet the Army and the Obama Administration, not to mention Liberal opinion, were then and are now loath to admit that this was the Terrorist act of an Islamist radical. Their motivation is the same as of everyone who previously had failed to act on the basis of Hasan's previously threatening statements and behavior:  political correctness. Muslims are above criticism; and if they happen to be committing mass murder, well it must be for some other reason. Thus, the lunacy of Jared Loughner is blamed on the Right (even specifically on Sarah Palin), but the Allahu Akbar of Nidal Hasan is blamed on what? Lunacy? Certainly not on radical Islam. That's unthinkable. But we do know that there are all those Christian Terrorists out there. Any day now, there's going to be a Christian or Jewish suicide bombing. They've got a lot of catching up to do. Just you wait.

The transparent bad faith of all this is a case of painful lunacy in its own right. The Leftists who pride themselves on being so much smarter than conservatives must constantly mouth patently dishonest sophistries to make their points. In fact, even as Bill Maher recently refered to Sarah Palin as a "dumb twat" (with greatest civility, of course), Nancy Pelosi makes Palin sound like Albert Einstein.

The Unlimited State

The best that Democrats could do with an example like Seung-Hui Cho is to try and use it to rebuild their case for "gun control," meaning the disarming of the citizens (as in Britain). After devastating Supreme Court decisions against them, the "gun control" movement pretty much fell into a shambles (until 2013). Nor was the Virginia Tech shooting hopeful material for rebuilding it. Incoherent laws had made it easier for Cho to buy guns, when he was not eligible to do so for psychiatric reasons. On the other hand, Virginia is a State where most citizens can get conceal carry permits. But Virginia Tech did not allow guns on campus, even for those licensed to carry them. Not even the ROTC. So Cho did not need to worry that any of his victims might shoot back. When it was proposed that a State law override the University prohibition, the University President sputtered that there might might a tragedy if guns were allowed on campus! Well, sir, the tragedy happened already. Mr. Cho didn't care whether you had a prohibition or not.

But here we see the Leftist reasoning. They don't want the victims to shoot back. Not so much against criminals -- because we all know that criminals are the true victims of society, which means those dead bourgeois students probably deserved it -- but against the State. We cannot allow any barriers to the power of the State, which, as Hegel said, "is the march of God through the world." We don't need to press very hard on the rotten melon of Leftist thought before we find the totalitarian core.

In the history of recent political violence there is also the tale of the two cabins in Idaho. One was the cabin on Ruby Ridge of Randy Weaver and his family. On 22 August 1992, Randy's wife, Vicki Weaver, standing at the door of their cabin and holding a baby in her arms, was shot in the head and killed by FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi. The Weavers were surrounded by Feds because Randy had not responded to Federal firearms charges. At the request of an undercover agent, Randy had shortened the stock of a shotgun that the agent was buying from him. This made the gun short enough to be a "sawed-off shotgun," violating Federal law. This is the kind of police misconduct called "entrapment." After Weaver, wounded himself, surrendered, the Government no longer had the gall to prosecute him. He won a substantial civil judgment in the case; but no one at the FBI ever got more than mild reprimands for their behavior. With the fiasco at Waco coming soon afterwards, conservatives and libertarians were stirred up for years. The Left was quiet as a church mouse about either business.

The other Idaho cabin was that of Theodore "Ted" Kaczynski, the "Unabomber." Kaczynski didn't just want to be left alone, like the Weavers; he built bombs in has cabin and over a period of almost 20 years ventured forth to mail them to his victims. Had he been energized by Right-Wing Rhetoric? No, he was some sort of anarchist and Luddite, mailing his bombs to people involved with computers or technology, often at University campuses (hence the "Una-" in the term used to refer to him). His inspiration was back-to-the-Pleistocene Eco-Terrorism. When the as yet unidentified Unabomber demanded that his manifesto be published, it was. Not as incoherent as Mr. Cho's, it was perhaps as fanatical as Major Hasan's in its hatred of civilization, modernity, technology, toilets, etc. As it happened, Kaczynski's own family recognized his rhetoric and ideology. They turned him in, and he was arrested on 3 April 1996 at his Idaho cabin. Again, the Left was quiet. The Right did point out the origin of Kaczyski's ideas, but of course very little of the Press was interested in kicking up a hew and cry to do what? Smear the Left with Eco-Terrorism? Not a chance.

''Nothing will be optional''

The greatest challenge of Democrat, liberal, and leftist politics is the constant dissimulation and evasion that is necessary, lest the American people understand what the actual beliefs and intentions of the Left are. The classic example of this was the campaign slogan of "hope" and "change" used by Barack Obama. Anyone familiar with Democrat politics or Obama's background had every reason to expect and "hope" and "change" would mean massive spending, bigger and more powerful government, socialist economics, etc. Many voters, however, were either too young, too clueless, or too starstruck to understand the iron fist that was concealed by the vague and mushy persona of the Obama campaign.

Concealing their real beliefs and intentions, however, must be very exhausting for many leftists. Also, it is necessary that true believers in the public occasionally be reassured of their leaders' radical intentions, so the truth may be spoken in quiet, private venues. In the age of cellphone cameras, however, this is always a risky strategy, and various embarrassing statements have become public as a result. The cooperation of the "mainstream" media is often necessary to hush things up. Such cooperation is essential when a great deal of radicalism is not all that secret. Students know that large numbers of college and law school professors are essentially Communists and view their jobs as the means of destroying America and Capitalism -- they learn, for instance, that individual existence (let alone individual rights) is a vicious and fictitious social construct of Capitalism, going back to Hobbes and Locke. Such a totalitarian ideology, from the sort of people that Julian Benda addressed in La Trahison des Clercs [1927], is most recently founded on the Nihilistic doctrine of deconstruction, now called "Theory," but with Marx and Hegel in the near background.

All this is a sort of open secret. If such professors were actual Nazis or Klansmen, exposés would be on the news every night. Instead, it usually takes some real digging, in the "altenative" media, to find any kind of public record of the leftist "extremism" that is voiced every day to students. Just occasionally, the façade crumbles. Jeremiah Wright was selling DVD's of his sermons, including the one with his famous "God Damn America" pronouncement. Since Wright's radicalism was the bread and butter of his "ministry," and since Barack Obama sat in his church for 20 years and was "mentored" by him, one might reasonably conclude that Obama knew about and agreed with Wright's ideas. The focus of the damage control, therefore, was to get enough of the public to believe, or not care, that this was the case. That was accomplished well enough, even though the whole proposition of Obama's ignorance of Wright's ideology is incredible and its assertion sounds like it should qualify as one of Representative Cohen's "Big Lies."

Occasionally the Left is forced to expose their true face without equivocation. This just happened in an outrageous court decision. Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled [Wall Street Journal, Thursday, 24 March 2011, A16] that citizens receiving Social Security benefits are required to enrole in Medicare. Dropping out of Medicare means that Social Security benefits are forfeited. The extraordinary reasoning of this ruling is that, because the Social Security law says that anyone "entitled" to Social Security is also "entitled" to Medicare, those "entitled" to such a benefit are "obligated to accept it." Such a principle had been formulated by the Clinton Administration in 1993, but even Judge Collyer acknowledged that this did not even have the force of Administrative Law because it had never gone through the formal (if perfunctory) process of administrative rule-making. So the judical ruling is that an "entitlement" is actually a legal obligation -- not a benefit that you can accept because it is good, but a "benefit" that, however miserable, is forced upon you.

Now we see the naked face of tyranny. Kent Masterson Brown, the attorney for the plaintiffs who wanted to opt out of Medicare without sacrificing their Social Security, summed it all up by saying, "Nothing will be optional." Democrats and their ideological supporters view citizens as hostages, if not as slaves. Children are hostages in the schools, and adults are hostages to "entitlement" programs. You do what you are told; and, unfortunately, enough people think that "entitlements" really are genuine benefits, that they don't mind voting themselves into slavery.


It is therefore high time for rebellion. Mostly Democrats, but with a great many (most?) Republicans also (and then the openly Socialist Bernie Sanders, from the Ben and Jerry's People's Republic of Vermont), these tyrants, who are able to lie and manipulate themselves into government, are owed no loyalty and no obedience by us. They are criminals and monsters. They will not leave us alone, and they have no scruple about sending men with guns in on nighttime raids, even while they pontificate about the danger of firearms in the hands of citizens. Their dishonesty, bad faith, and ill will are exposed -- however cloaked their rhetoric with celebration of all the "benefits" that they are actually providing for us. Such "benefits" are shoved down our throats with guns to our heads -- like the old force-feeding in psychiatric wards. So who now are the "Nazis" in that picture?

Matthew 7:15 -- Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

If once they [our people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter from Paris, 1787

The wolves, however sheep-like, harmless, and cuddly they may present themselves on television, are now at our throats. As I have said, however, I do not recommend violence. My recommendation, of course, will not matter. The Left accuses all their enemies of advocating violence, even when they don't -- and the Left does. As we have seen. Glenn Beck went on about Mathâtma Gandhi for weeks and weeks, but he may as well have been promoting John Brown (or Adolf Hitler) for all the difference it made in the way the "mainstream" Media represents him. So we can't worry about what they say, except to call them liars at every opportunity (as they themselves have adopted the slogan "Fox lies" to shout mindlessly at TV cameras -- so I guess it is now "civil" to say things like that).

Instead, we must consider what non-cooperation and non-violent resistance must mean.

  1. Jury nullification is a good place to start. They hate it -- which tells us even more about their totalitarian value of absolute obedience to (their) authority. But, of course, we don't get called to jury duty very often, and getting sent back to the jury room doesn't make much difference when the rest of the jury pool consists of (actual) sheep and the poor defendant is going to get convicted under a tyrannical law anyway.

  2. Buy a gun. They hate it. As Machiavelli said, "There can be no proper relation between one who is armed and one who is not..." [The Prince, Daniel Donno translation, Bantam Books, 1981, pp.63-64, p. 54]. Statists know this instinctively. As I have noted, it is better that you be killed by criminals than that you should be able to defend yourself against the State. The Left makes a big show of disliking the police, and I think that they do dislike actual policemen; but the existence of the police is absolutely essential to the Leftist vision of political life. The SWAT tems that break into your house in the middle of the night, with a No Knock Warrant, and shoot your dog -- and perhaps you as well -- are authorized, not just by Republican Drug Warriors, but by Democrat Drug Warriors and Democrat Congresses also.

  3. The next step might be to support the Libertarian Party, which is the closest of any American political party to representing Jeffersonian values. However, although I had great hopes for the Party in the '90's, I have recently discussed my reservations about its narrow ideology and doubtful prospects. The principles of the Party are only tangentially related to those of the Founding Fathers, and it has never had the goal of restoring Constitutional Government. This is great stuff for a Utopian debating society, but it not well suited for appealing to the voters. The last couple of LP functions I attended, I was earnestly entreated at one about the dangers of fluoridation and at the other about the role of the Rothschilds in the 2008 financial meltdown. The one sounded like it was out of Dr. Strangelove, the other out of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Both of these made me very nervous, only partially redeemed in that both were coming from women, who typically have been rare at Libertarian events. Two steps backward, one step forward.

  4. More hopeful is the Tea Party movement. Democrats recognized almost immediately the danger this represented to them. One of Nancy Pelosi's first comments was that the Tea Party was "astroturf," i.e. a fake "grass roots" movement that has been cooked up by political operatives and activists (Keith Olbermann added, by "corporations"). Translated into veridical language, this of course means the opposite of what it looks like, i.e. the Tea Party is a genuine grass roots phenomenon, unlike the astroturf demonstrations that Democrats put together from ACORN or Union activists. Hence the danger. Unless smeared, belittled, and marginalized, the Tea Party might represent the sentiments of the majority of Americans, which will spell the doom of the Democrats. The 2010 November election, when Republicans took back the House of Representatives, bore this out [note].

    Unfortunately, we also saw how deep the corruption has gone on the Coasts, where California and New York remained firmly in the grip of the Unions and the Democrats. Blessed with the RINO Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a One Party State Legislature that has already dug California deep into the ground (with an unemployment rate of 12.5% reported in January 2011, surpassing Michigan for second place in the Nation), the voters of the State incredibly opted to keep digging. So we have the living fossil of Jerry Brown (again) as governor. Just dandy.

    It is unclear what the Tea Party will amount to. It is not a unified movement or organization, is (blessedly) without any charismatic leadership, and has had savvy social conservative Republicans, like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, jump on board. Indeed, its political face has included a great many women (to the mortification of NOW, etc.), with candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell entering the lists. While both of them lost in their races, in both cases to viciously debauched Establishment Democrats (including the "Cowboy Poetry" dolt Harry Reid), the principle strike against them simply seems to have been their inexperience -- although O'Donnell did admit she had dabbled in witchcraft. Why that should have put off Democrat voters, I don't know. Wiccans have got to be a protected minority in Democrat Group Think.

    One Tea Party group (the Tea Party Patriots) states its principles thus:  (1) Fiscal Responsibility; (2) Constitutionally Limited Government, and (3) Free Markets. This works for me. Even Tea Party enthusiasts, however, don't often understand that something like Social Security violates all of these principles, since (1) it is a Ponzi Scheme, (2) is not justified by the Enumerated Powers of the Federal Government, and (3) suffers from the evils of socialism, i.e. forced participation, uncontrollable costs, and declining quality. Also, when Tea Party libertarian Rand Paul was successfully running for the U.S. Senate, he incautiously mentioned the truth that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, although at long last nobly abolishing Segregation, also abolished a substantial part of property rights and personal liberty. If one is forced to "associate" with someone in private economic dealings, this is really no less than the "involuntary servitude" prohibited by the 13th Amendment. Yet "discrimination" has become such a bad word in American politics that Paul retreated in fear and haste from his remarks. This is what has helped turn the idea of Civil Rights into the means of destroying Civil Rights.

  5. Thus, if there is hope for America and American government, there is a long row to hoe. Away from the Coasts, I would hope that several States will eventually adopt the equivalent of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. The former were written by Thomas Jefferson in 1798 and the latter by James Madison in 1799. What was resolved was that Kentucky and Virginia would not obey unconstitutional Federal laws, in this case specifically the Alien and Sedition Acts. A Constitutional crisis was averted when Jefferson was elected President in 1800. But we are now far, far beyond the abuses of the 18th century Federalists; and no State since the Civil War has tried to challenge the authority and the power of the Federal Government.

    But the principle of Nullifying Federal laws was the occasion of one other conflict. In 1832 South Carolina passed an "Ordinance of Nullification" against a Federal tariff law. It was a protective tariff, damaging to the export markets of South Carolina's agriculture, and the State viewed the law as unconstitutional.

    Indeed, a protective tariff is unconstitutional, for the Constitution gives the Federal Government "the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties," etc. to provide for the "general Welfare" of the United States [Article I, Section 8]. A protective tariff does not provide for the general welfare, but only for the welfare of the particular industry or business that it protects. It usually hurts other industries or businesses, as in the case of South Carolina. A good recent example was when George W. Bush, in his first term, agreed to a protective tariff on steel. This benefited steel makers and "saved jobs" in that industry. It did not benefit steel users, who might go into the red because of it. Indeed, more jobs were lost among steel users than were "saved" among steel makers. Besides the net loss in jobs, the ultimate victim was, down the line, the consumer, who ultimately pays the costs.

    Andrew Jackson threatened South Carolina with military action. This would have been interesting, since the U.S. Army was tiny, and both Washington and Adams relied on the Militia to put down the Rebellions in their Presidencies. Would the South Carolina Militia have obeyed Andrew Jackson? Probably not. But a compromise tariff was passed, and in 1833 South Carolina repealed its Ordinance of Nullification. Yet morally and legally it stood on much firmer ground in this business than it would in 1861, when it left the Union in defense of slavery -- even though nothing had actually been done against slavery, and Lincoln had promised to undertake no such action.

    It looked like a Nullification crisis was brewing in the 1980's and '90's, called the "Sagebrush Rebellion." Western States were getting fed up with the Federal control of their lands. The Federal Government does possess a great deal of land in the West, owning no less than 80% of the land in Nevada, 70% of Alaska, 60% of Idaho, and 50% of California and Oregon. This in itself raises red flags. The Constitution provides only that the Federal Government may acquire what became the District of Columbia, and that it will "exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings..." [Article I, Section 8]. Most Federal Lands today, however, were not purchased from the States. They are public lands that the Federal Government simply retained when Territories achieved Statehood. This had not always been done. It was a practice that began when California entered the Union in 1850. One must look hard to find Federal land in Texas, and it is of the "Forts, Magazines, Arsenals" variety.

    The principle of the Sagebrush Rebellion was that, as all States are supposed to enter the Union under the same conditions as the first Thirteen Colonies, this was violated when the Federal Government began to retain public lands. They were not purchased from the States, as Constitutionally required, but obtained, we can imagine, by extortion, as a condition of Statehood. Nothing much had been done about this for decades, but environmental resitrictions on Federal land use began to affect local industry in agriculture, mining, etc. At one point, Nye County, Nevada, passed the 10th Amendment as a County Ordinance, as an earnest that the Country would begin to prevent Federal officials from exercising unconstitutional authority.

    Unfortunately, nothing much came of all this. Nye Country did not begin arresting Federal agents, and no Western State passed any Ordinance of Nullification against any Federal law. They wimped out. The movement soon disappeared. Yet this is precisely what must be done. Indeed, the Militia is now gone, and the Federal Government possesses whatever amount of force it might want in the form of the U.S. Army and the endless paramilitary forces (e.g. SWAT teams) that belong to multiple Federal Agencies [note].

    Indeed, in June 2021 Joe Biden mocked the idea that citizens could resist the government with their guns. He said, "If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government? You need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons" to do so. Thus, we understand Biden's thinking, that the U.S. Government can suppress citizen resistance with nuclear weapons.

    But, as I have discussed, what the People and the States want is not force; it is resolve. Let the Federal Government occupy some States. Let it depose non-cooperating State Governments. Let it overturn the elections when the non-cooperating State Governments are simply reelected. Let's see what this looks like on the 11 o'clock News. Let's see the Senators from those States tie up Congress.

When politicians have made government a racket and filled the Temple with thieves, different measures are called for. Even the Left has a sense of this. The mobs of Union activists demonstrating in Wisconsin had signs that said, "This is what democracy looks like." Well, they didn't like it when democracy looked like the Tea Party. They didn't like it when democracy voted the Democrats out of the State Government of Wisconsin. But they were right that the People might need to take things back into their own hands. As Gandhi knew, it is only the Truth that enables you to do that without violence. The Union thugs don't have the Truth (except their Marxist, anti-American truth, in which violent revolution is celebrated) and may know it, which means they fear the day when the People are truly aroused and understand that the Republic has been overthrown from within by gangsters and tyrants. My only fear is that the Left will prove to be less civilized than the British, when they peacefully left India.

Political Economy

Home Page

Copyright (c) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

The Time for Rebellion, Note 1

We know now that Pelosi doesn't even believe this "astroturf" accusation. In April 2011 Pelosi was recorded telling a friendly audience that Republicans should "take back" their party, apparently meaning Establishment Republicans taking it back from the Tea Party people. With that accomplished, then elections won't be that important anymore (like the November 2010 elections) and Republicans and Democrats can get together on "shared values," which probably mean increased government spending.

Pelosi's remarks received a great deal of attention in terms of her thinking that the election results could be subverted and ignored. Undoubtedly, Pelosi and the Democrats would rather rule without needing any actual permission of the voters. Just as revealing, however, is the admission that, far from being a tool of the Republicans, the Tea Party movement had seized the party from the friendly hands of the "moderates" and RINO's who could always get suckered in, like "Read my lips, no new taxes" George H.W. Bush, to a one-sided deal with the Democrats.

Return to Text

The Time for Rebellion, Note 2

The National Guard is not the Militia. I have previously discussed this in relation to Machiavelli, who advocated militias and helped organize one for Florence. The Constitution delegates to Congress the power:

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the Discipline prescribed by Congress. [Article II Section 8]

What a Militia is is then clarified by the Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Since the aptly named "Dick Act" of 1903, which established the National Guard, Congress has failed to provide for the Militia in the manner required by the Constitution. This is a persistent breach in the Constitutional duty of the Federal Government. It is not hard to understand why this was done in such an era.

The original Militia Act of 1792 made every "free able-bodied white male citizen" of 18 a member of the Militia. With the abolition of slavery, the recruitment of free and freed blacks into the Union Army, to the point where they constituted 10% of it, and then the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the 1792 law obviously needed to be revised so that all men, not just whites, would belong to the Militia by statute. The Southern States, seeking to replace slavery with Segregation, and actually passing the first "gun control" laws to disarm black citizens, so that they could be terrorized and effectively dispossed of their rights, fiercely resisted the logical implimentation of the traditional conception of a Militia. By 1903, they were able to get rid of it. Subsequently, in the South, black citizens could be denied their right to keep and bear arms, leaving them at the mercy of the terrorism of the Segregationist State.

The idea that citizens do not automatically belong to the Militia, and that they do not have the right to keep and bear arms, unless they belong to the National Guard, passed seamlessly from the Segregationist Democrats to the Gun Control Democrats -- and so continues. This continuity is most instructive. We got the argument that the Second Amendment does not protect an "individual right," despite the clause, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." "People" here was interpreted to mean "the States," and the prefatory clause, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," interpreted to mean "when belonging to the National Guard."

The goal of "Gun Control" was clearly the total disarmament of the citizens, as has been accomplished in Britain. The further step, also accomplished in Britain, is to effectively prohibit self-defense altogether. A man was arrested in England for holding burglars in custody, while waiting for the police to arrive, with a toy gun. By such acts we know those whose (totalitarian) ideology calls for the absolute subjugation and helplessness of the citizens, regardless of what it does for their welfare and safety (as crime skyrockets in Britain but declines in gun-toting Texas). Since the purpose of the State, according to both Locke and Jefferson, is the welfare and safety of the citizens, the "helplessness" ideology clearly has something else in mind. And that is simply power.

The revisionist reading of the Second Amendment was sheer sophistry, as we know from the universal discussion of the Militia in the Revolutionary Era and in the first decades of the Republic. A Militia is the whole Armed Citizenry. The armed citizens make the Militia possible. The armed citizens may preexist the State itself, as armed Americans preexisted the Republic, and created it. The idea that citizens can keep (?) and bear arms only because they belong to the National Guard was contrary not only to the universal meaning of a "Militia" but to the Natural Rights jurisprudence that underlies both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Statists who served up sophistries about the Second Amendment generally did not believe in Natural Rights jurisprudence. They were (and are) Judicial Positivists who think that citizens possess rights only on the condescension and sufferance of the State. This vicious doctrine contradicts the Declaration and the Constitution, not to mention the American Revolution, in both letter and spirit. Its advocates are effectively Anti-American, even if they are Republican Conservatives (like Robert Bork).

Now the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller [2008], has miraculously struck down the basic "Gun Control" sophistries. Since this was by a 5-4 decision, we see how close we are to the edge of the precipice of tyranny. But the tyrants do not sleep. They are tireless and starving for power and more power, however much they have already in the wounded and a staggering New Deal Republic that they created. This is why it has been necessary to consider the Time for Rebellion.

Return to Text