Which brings us to today. What is it about law-abiding American citizens, exercising their God-given and inalienable right to arms, announcing their adherence to the ancient concept of righteous self defense -- folks who believe that a right un-exercised is a right that has been lost -- what is it that so excites our opponents to condemn us, to vilify us, to try to marginalize us, indeed, to seek to disarm us?
It is this. . .
It is only CITIZENS who have arms.
Serfs, indentured servants and slaves do not. Bearing arms is the mark of a citizen, and the elitists who run the various parties, as one corrupt administration follows another, find citizens extremely inconvenient to their plans. You must CONVINCE citizens -- by force of argument, by appeals to reason or fact or even emotion -- but you must CONVINCE them. You cannot order them about as serfs.
For CITIZENS have arms, and citizens can say, and after a long train of abuses and usurpations, "Oh, HELL NO!"
AND WATCH OUT WHEN THEY DO.
Gentlemen and ladies and Nancy Pelosi too.
WATCH OUT WHEN WE DO.
The ability to say "No!" is the difference between a free man or free woman and a slave. Slaves cannot say "No!" and remain slaves. Indeed, over the long span of history, this is how slaves ennobled themselves and freed themselves -- by saying "No!" and meaning it -- regardless of all dangers, regardless even if it meant their deaths. They said "No!" and became free, even if for an instant. Finally, throwing off their yokes, they died as Spartacus and his followers, as free men and free women. -- Mike Vanderboegh, speech, Fort Hunt Park, Virginia, 19 April 2010.
I have been treating my chronic insomnia these days by taking on a book that, although ten years old, I had never read -- Seduced by Hitler. I have not finished it yet, but regard these words from the Introduction.
Scholarly writing about power and authority in police states has so far been based on a very narrow definition of power; the ability to compel citizens to do something against their will. In these terms, the power of Communist and National Socialist leaders was near absolute; the machinery of state terror was such that almost everyone could be forced into some form of compliance through fear. But not everyone could be forced into total compliance all the time. For power did have its limits, and the reason is plain; even in a closed society or a police state, power is always more than the threat of force. It is a balance between terror and consensus. . .
There was, however, no inevitability of punishment for the ordinary German for the countless acts of nonconformity to which the secret police did not respond. There were practical reasons for this. The Gestapo was small. The Gestapo -- the Geheimstaatspolizei -- had 40,000 officials watching a country of eighty million. By contrast, the East German Communist Stasi employed 102,000 agents to control only seventeen million. The comparison, made by Simon Wiesenthal, is not a watertight one; the Nazis had other monitoring institutions apart from the Gestapo, and the Stasi had over four decades to develop.
But the point is important. There was one Gestapo officer for every two thousand people, while the Stasi had an agent for every 166 people. The East German could reckon with a strong possibility of an informer being present at every dinner party. The inhabitants of the Third Reich could, by and large, eat in peace. The Gestapo's main targets were the declared opposition: Communists, Socialists, non-German minorities -- above all Jews, but also Roma (gypsies) -- and the churches.
Perceived weaknesses -- homosexuality, marriage to a Jewish spouse -- were exploited; the draconian laws that could be applied in the mere possibility of this happening helped bring about conformity.
For the most part, though, ordinary Germans were left alone. The Gestapo was too busy dealing with those considered a real threat to the Reich. "Many Gestapo officers, as long-time policemen, also understood the need to be sensitive to popular opinion when dealing with ordinary citizens who posed no real threat even if they had been caught committing a minor offense," writes Eric Johnson in a comprehensive study of Gestapo influence. Hence by applying leniency or pressure depending on the situation and the offender, the Gestapo officers coated Nazi terror with a legalistic gloss that helped legitimize their activities in the eyes of a largely faithful German populace. . .
For ordinary Germans then the terror was not stark, and it only rarely figured in their daily lives. The regime had to accept David Hume's insight: "Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission with which men are resigned their own sentiments and passion to those of their rulers."
The Scottish philosopher goes on to say: "When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support that opinion. It is therefore on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular . . ."
For "opinion," one should read "consensus." The Nazi leaders acknowledged the need to react to, as well as shape, public opinion. The 1943 Rosenstrasse protest -- when German wives of arrested Jewish men marched through the streets of Berlin in defiance of the regime -- illustrated the domestic vulnerability of the Nazis. Concessions were made quickly; none of the marchers was arrested; and their husbands were released. By 1943, the Nazis simply could not afford to alienate the many friends and relatives of Jews married to Germans. Stalingrad had fallen, Germany was being bombed. Maintaining morale was of more importance than deporting Berlin's last remaining Jews.
The Nazi leadership, startled by the protest, realized there were other issues to consider. What if a brutal suppression of Rosenstrasse triggered other outbreaks of civil disorder? Loyalty to a regime that was faltering militarily could be spread thin at times of defeat and misery. Strategic and domestic imperatives overrode the ideological aim of deporting more Jews . . .
A premium was placed on making ordinary Germans happy; or at least diverting their discontent with leisure cruises, cars, and cheap holidays.
This weakness at the heart of the police state was grasped by those Germans who chose to think and act. . .
Yet, there was only one Rosenstrasse demonstration. Most German Jews were not saved by an underground network of sympathizers. Most of them were killed in the camps. -- Seduced by Hitler: The Choices of a Nation and the Ethics of Survival by Adam LeBor and Roger Boyes, pp. 3-8.
Consider, apply to your situation, and act.
We outnumber these domestic enemies of the Constitution and we have but to realize that -- to withdraw our consent -- to refuse to be lulled or seduced, and to sweep them, collectivists all, into the dustbin of history.