Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
Today, William Diamond's drum again beats the long roll. We do not seek a civil war, but one is being thrust upon us. If we do not now stand, then when will we? We must defy these intolerable acts, whatever their source, and challenge the collectivist revolutionaries to come work their will upon us if they do not like it -- and they most assuredly won't. -- "Can you hear it yet? The Long Roll of William Diamond's Drum," Sipsey Street, 15 February 2013.
The Intolerable Acts -- the new nightmare citizen disarmament laws -- are gradually assuming corporeal form, both in the District of Criminals and various state houses around the country. The long roll of William Diamond's drum is once more heard in the land.
In Part Two of this series I concluded:
When these intolerable acts -- state or federal -- are enacted, we have the duty to defy them in armed civil disobedience. Those who do so should remember 19 April 1775 as a perfect example of what can happen when you defy a tyranny. History may not exactly repeat itself, but we darned well had better be ready to respond if it does.
And for what will we fight? Why the right to be left alone by an oppressive government which seeks -- and has in large measure succeeded -- to overthrow the Founders' Republic. We will fight, in a word, for liberty. H.L. Mencken said it best, I think:
I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman's club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave. . . .Liberty in itself, to be sure, cannot bring in the millennium. It cannot abolish the inherent weaknesses of man – an animal but lately escaped from the jungle. It cannot take the place of intelligence, courage, honor. But the free man is at least able to be intelligent, courageous and honorable if the makings are in him. Nothing stands in the way of his highest functioning. He may go as far as nature intended him to go, and maybe a step or two beyond. Free, he may still be dull, timorous and untrustworthy. He may be shiftless and worthless. But it will not be against his will; it will not be in spite of himself. Free, he will be able to make the most of every virtue that is actually in him, and he will live and die under the kind of government that he wants and deserves. -- H.L. Mencken, “Why Liberty?”, Chicago Tribune, January 30, 1927.
We neither want nor deserve this government. It is anathema to the Founders' ideals and to our own natural, inalienable, God-given rights to life, liberty and property. We must and will defy its diktats. But how shall that resistance be carried out?
There are those in the so-called "gun rights movement" who believe that these intolerable acts are, well, tolerable. That just because that they are tyranny wrapped in the cloak of "law" means that we must obey them, or keep our heads down and "resist" them quietly, privately. Some folks I have talked with yearn for a non-violent way to do this. I sympathize with them -- but I do not agree. Perhaps it is because, having been a collectivist in my youth I see the nature of the beast more clearly -- the lies of the tyrants are more obvious, the smiles more clearly insincere, the slippery slope of universal firearm registration more plain to see.
We must peacefully protest while we can, certainly. The political fights are not yet done. But we must not deceive ourselves that these people can be deterred by Gandhian peaceful civil disobedience. Such tactics depend upon two things -- an independent press that is not in the tank for the regime and a regime that is not blindly arrogant and ignorant of its -- and its bureaucrats -- own long-term survival. Neither is true today. What shall we appeal to? "World opinion?" The international elites wouldn't even waste crocodile tears at our utter extinction. We are on our own, folks. Ourselves alone.
Those who point to the Civil Rights movement as a template for our own resistance also overlook the fact that the "non-violence" of the movement was never all that non-violent in toto. Martin Luther King and other "non-violence" advocates were only able to sleep soundly because they were guarded by the armed black militia, The Deacons for Defense and Justice. The federal government did not get aroused to send the FBI aggressively into the South to investigate Klan murders until the prospect of race war -- on the back roads of the South and in the cities of the North -- loomed larger and larger. Without the threat of violence, "non-violence" would never have had a chance.
Gandhi, then, was an historical anomaly. A magnificent one to be sure, but wholly a product of the opportunities provided by, and the weaknesses of, the British Raj. As George Orwell wrote in his "Reflections on Gandhi" (1949):
At about the time when (Gandhi's) autobiography first appeared I remember reading its opening chapters in the ill-printed pages of some Indian newspaper. They made a good impression on me, which Gandhi himself at that time did not. The things that one associated with him - home-spun cloth, "soul forces" and vegetarianism - were unappealing, and his medievalist program was obviously not viable in a backward, starving, over-populated country. It was also apparent that the British were making use of him, or thought they were making use of him. Strictly speaking, as a Nationalist, he was an enemy, but since in every crisis he would exert himself to prevent violence - which, from the British point of view, meant preventing any effective action whatever - he could be regarded as "our man." In private this was sometimes cynically admitted. The attitude of the Indian millionaires was similar. Gandhi called upon them to repent, and naturally they preferred him to the Socialists and Communists who, given the chance, would actually have taken their money away. How reliable such calculations are in the long run is doubtful; as Gandhi himself says, "in the end deceivers deceive only themselves"; but at any rate the gentleness with which he was nearly always handled was due partly to the feeling that he was useful. The British Conservatives only became really angry with him when, as in 1942, he was in effect turning his non-violence against a different conqueror. . .However, Gandhi's pacifism can be separated to some extent from his other teachings. Its motive was religious, but he claimed also for it that it was a definitive technique, a method, capable of producing desired political results. Gandhi's attitude was not that of most Western pacifists. Satyagraha, first evolved in South Africa, was a sort of non-violent warfare, a way of defeating the enemy without hurting him and without feeling or arousing hatred. It entailed such things as civil disobedience, strikes, lying down in front of railway trains, enduring police charges without running away and without hitting back, and the like. Gandhi objected to "passive resistance" as a translation of Satyagraha: in Gujarati, it seems, the word means "firmness in the truth." In his early days Gandhi served as a stretcher-bearer on the British side in the Boer War, and he was prepared to do the same again in the war of 1914-18. Even after he had completely abjured violence he was honest enough to see that in war it is usually necessary to take sides. He did not - indeed, since his whole political life centred round a struggle for national independence, he could not - take the sterile and dishonest line of pretending that in every war both sides are exactly the same and it makes no difference who wins. Nor did he, like most Western pacifists, specialize in avoiding awkward questions. In relation to the late war, one question that every pacifist had a clear obligation to answer was: "What about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting to war?" I must say that I have never heard, from any Western pacifist, an honest answer to this question, though I have heard plenty of evasions, usually of the "you're another" type. But it so happens that Gandhi was asked a somewhat similar question in 1938 and that his answer is on record in Mr. Louis Fischer's Gandhi and Stalin. According to Mr. Fischer, Gandhi's view was that the German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which "would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler's violence." After the war he justified himself: the Jews had been killed anyway, and might as well have died significantly. One has the impression that this attitude staggered even so warm an admirer as Mr. Fischer, but Gandhi was merely being honest. If you are not prepared to take life, you must often be prepared for lives to be lost in some other way. When, in 1942, he urged non-violent resistance against a Japanese invasion, he was ready to admit that it might cost several million deaths.At the same time there is reason to think that Gandhi, who after all was born in 1869, did not understand the nature of totalitarianism and saw everything in terms of his own struggle against the British government. The important point here is not so much that the British treated him forbearingly as that he was always able to command publicity. As can be seen from the phrase quoted above, he believed in "arousing the world," which is only possible if the world gets a chance to hear what you are doing. It is difficult to see how Gandhi's methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing? The Russian masses could only practise civil disobedience if the same idea happened to occur to all of them simultaneously, and even then, to judge by the history of the Ukraine famine, it would make no difference. But let it be granted that non-violent resistance can be effective against one's own government, or against an occupying power: even so, how does one put it into practise internationally? Gandhi's various conflicting statements on the late war seem to show that he felt the difficulty of this. Applied to foreign politics, pacifism either stops being pacifist or becomes appeasement. Moreover the assumption, which served Gandhi so well in dealing with individuals, that all human beings are more or less approachable and will respond to a generous gesture, needs to be seriously questioned. It is not necessarily true, for example, when you are dealing with lunatics. Then the question becomes: Who is sane? Was Hitler sane? And is it not possible for one whole culture to be insane by the standards of another? And, so far as one can gauge the feelings of whole nations, is there any apparent connection between a generous deed and a friendly response? Is gratitude a factor in international politics?
No, it is not. Neither will it be for us, now, with our own self-styled "government." Our opponents, it is becoming clearer, wish us dead, or at least silenced. They cloak that essential truth with a bodyguard of lies. They believe, truly believe, that if they win the political argument in a rigged game in which both political parties participate that that will be the end of it -- they will have won and we will have lost. They do not respect us because we do not respect ourselves. Put another way, they do not respect us because they do not fear us as the Founders intended. Yet if we truly have the courage of our convictions and engage in armed civil disobedience, they will certainly come to fear us.
Mencken said, "I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave."
This much I know: If you do not consent to your own enslavement, it is time for armed civil disobedience of these intolerable acts.
I, for one, do NOT consent.