A year ago, I wrote the piece below which was posted on Pete's Western Rifle Shooters Association site here. I was scanning my old works looking for a quote for Absolved and this popped up. I think it is as appropriate now as then, so I reproduce it here:
Sunday, February 10, 2008
"So When Should We 'Shoot the Bastards'?"
by Mike Vanderboegh
9 February 2008
(More along the line of grim thinking inspired by government misconduct in the Olofson case.)
When the 23rd Regiment was finally back in Boston after the ordeal of April 19, adjutant Frederick Mackenzie wrote in his diary, "I believe the fact is, that General Gage was not only much deceived with respect to the quantity of military stores said to be collected at Concord, but had no conception the rebels would have opposed the King's troops in the manner they did." -- General John Galvin, The Minutemen, Pergamon-Brasseys, 1989, page 244.
Where to draw the line?
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution
Libertarian Wolfe made her famous observation above in the mid-nineties. Now here we are more than ten years later, even more isolated and politically disenfranchised, and we must ask the question: how far do we have to go to get past "awkward?"
History never exactly repeats itself and thus is an imperfect guide. Studying history "we see through a glass, darkly." Still, there are patterns in history that deserve our close attention, so we may better understand how to act in the present and to enable us to better predict the future. Through history, we understand that no idea, bad or good, ever truly dies. We are also shown that people, being human, repeat the mistakes of their ancestors, over and over again. Indeed, there is no one blinder than a historical amnesiac.
So when we consider the question suggested by Claire Wolfe, that is, when are we past the awkward stage and into the day of "shooting the bastards," we must consult history for examples to guide us. I offer firstly a lesson in waiting too long from William Sheridan Allen's outstanding study, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town (Franklin Watts/Grolier, 1984):
And yet, one has to ask the question, what happened to those who had sworn resistance? What happened to the Reichsbanner, which had repeatedly asserted, in the years before Hitler came to power, that when the expected Nazi coup came they would be able to defend the Republic? In Northeim, at least, the Republic was destroyed without a single blow struck in its defense. The Reichsbanner, with all its plans for instant mobilization, had its members struck down one by one, its leaders imprisoned, beaten, hounded from their jobs and their homes without any resistance from the organization as a whole.
Perhaps the basic reason for this was that there was no Nazi coup d'etat. Instead there was a series of quasi-legal actions over a period of at least six months, no one of which by itself constituted a revolution, but the sum of which transformed Germany from a republic to a dictatorship. The problem was where to draw the line. But by the time that line could be clearly drawn, the revolution was a fait accompli, the potential organs of resistance had been individually smashed, and organized resistance was no longer possible. In short, the splendid organization was to no avail; in the actual course of events it was every man for himself. (Allen, p. 191)
Even after reading Allen's work, I have often wondered why the German opposition just laid down without a fight. Back in the nineties, I was talking to Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and one of us (I recall it was him, he thinks it was me) made this observation: "If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had possessed a Mauser rifle, 20 rounds of 7.92mm ball and the will to use it, Adolf Hitler would have been an obscure footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic."
True enough, whoever said it. But as Grant Hammond observed about Colonel John Boyd's seminal theories of warfare:
"There is another trinity in Boyd’s strategic catechism as well. It is a concern for what he lumps together as moral-mental-physical aspects of opponents. Most definitions of war define them as contests in physical violence. Boyd sees them mainly as moral struggles won as much by mental as physical prowess. But he sees the complex—moral-mental-physical—as a single entity, a synthesis that can be broken down analytically but must be understood as a composite whole. It matches another Trinitarian composite, that of people first, ideas second and things third. This happens to be the opposite of the way most militaries approach problem solving by focusing on technology, platforms and weaponry first, ideas about their employment second and people—who are largely interchangeable and ultimately, are expendable—third. This way of thinking has little utility in Boyd’s Way and in fact, may be the seed of many a defeat." (Source: Grant T. Hammond, The Essential Boyd).
Many Americans, especially us small "r" republicans, take heart when we recall that the American citizenry possesses more small arms than most of the world's armies put together. And as Clausewitz observed, in military affairs quantity DOES have a quality all its own (just ask any Korean War veteran about his first experience with a Chinese human wave assault).
Still, as Napoleon insisted, "The moral is to the physical as three is to one." We cannot be protected by our possession of a hundred million rifles if we lack the will use them. Iraq was an armed society, yet the Saddam dictatorship had little trouble tyrannizing that country for decades. And it cannot be doubted that there are many American gunowners who would, at the first command of an American tyranny, turn in their weapons simply because they are "law-abiding" people who "don't want any trouble" -- simply because, in fact, they have forgotten what it is to be free. They have grown used to doing what the government tells them to do. And perhaps that was the problem with the Weimar republicans:
The Northeimer Reichsbanner itself was ready to fight in 1933. All it needed was an order from Berlin. Had it been given, Northeimer's Reichsbanner members would have carried out the tested plan they had worked on so long -- to obtain and distribute weapons and to crush the Nazis. But (the local Reichsbanner) would not act on its own. The leaders felt that single acts would come to grief, would possibly compromise the chance when it finally did come, and would, in any event, be a betrayal of discipline. They felt that their only hope was in common action, all together, all over the Reich. Hadn't (their national leaders) said that only a counterattack should be made? So they waited and prayed for the order to come, but it never did. And while they waited the Nazis began tracking them down, one by one. (Allen, p. 191)
The Germans, wholly indoctrinated in obeying orders, were incapable of acting without them. Because their would-be tyrants represented "the government" and cloaked their wolfish actions in "legal" sheepskin, because their own "leaders" could not or would not give the order, they all ended up in a concentration camp -- leaders and followers -- without ever having struck a blow. I am again reminded of Boyd's "moral-mental-physical" dynamic by this observation of Allen's:
"This situation, where even heroism was denied the men of the democratic Left, came about in no small measure because of the failure of the Social Democrats to understand the nature of Nazism. Just as their basic premise in the years before Hitler came to power was the erroneous assumption that the Nazis were essentially Putschists who could not possibly attract a mass following, so their basic premise after Hitler came to power was the equally erroneous assumption that his would be a government similar to the others of the Weimar period." (Ibid, p. 192)
Because of their inability to see the enemy for what he really was (and if ever there was an enemy who delighted in shouting his intentions to the rafters it was Hitler) they went straight from the "awkward stage" to the concentration camps without ever firing a shot.
Thinking and Acting before Feeling
Now, contrast the behavior of the Germans to that of our Founding Fathers. This is best illustrated by reading Gordon S. Wood's The Creation of the American Republic, 1776 - 1787:
In the American Revolution, Wood wrote, "there was none of the legendary tyranny of history that had so often driven desperate people into rebellion. The Americans were not an oppressed people; they had no crushing imperial shackles to throw off. In fact, the Americans knew they were probably freer and less burdened with cumbersome feudal and hierarchical restraints than any part of mankind in the eighteenth century. To its victims, the Tories, the Revolution was truly incomprehensible. Never in history, said Daniel Leonard, had there been so much rebellion with so 'little real cause.' . . . The objective social reality scarcely seemed capable of explaining a revolution . . .
As early as 1775 Edmund Burke had noted in the House of Commons that the colonists' intensive study of law and politics had made them acutely inquisitive and sensitive about their liberties. Where the people of other countries had invoked principles only after they had endured 'an actual grievance,' the Americans, said Burke, were anticipating their grievances and resorting to principles even before they actually suffered. 'They augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.' The crucial question in the colonists' minds, wrote John Dickerson in 1768, was 'not, what evil HAS ACTUALLY ATTENDED particular measures -- but what evil, in the nature of things, IS LIKELY TO ATTEND them.' Because 'nations, in general, are not apt to THINK until they FEEL, . . .therefore nations in general have lost their liberty.' But not the Americans, as the Abbe Raynal observed. They were "an 'enlightened people' who knew their rights and the limits of power and who, unlike any people before them, aimed to think before they felt."
(Source: Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, UNC Press, 1969, pp. 3-5)
The Founders were people who believed in "preserving the spirit of resistance." To take Abbe Raynal's words to their conclusion, the Founders aimed to think AND act before they felt. Unlike the Germans, their "awkward stage" ended at Lexington green, and ultimately led to liberty.
In the light of recent events such as the Olofson case, it seems plain that our own "awkward stage" may be perilously close to drawing to an end. There are those who still insist that such unconstitutional outrages perpetrated under color of law deserve nothing more than verbal condemnation or further attempts at legal redress in a "justice" system rigged against us (as if these thugs pay attention to the law anyway). Used to inaction and afraid of even voicing the threat of justifiable self-defense, these timid souls, these "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots," would have us wait for true tyranny before acting.
This was not the way of the Founders. They understood that tyranny is best strangled in its unholy infancy, before it becomes a raging beast. They understood the threat, they prepared to meet it and, in the end, they defeated it. The Germans of the 1930s did not, and they were devoured.
I say we would do well to emulate the Founders rather than the Germans, to think and ACT before we feel, when it will be too late. This is important not only for those Americans who wish to remain free, but for those on the other side who unthinkingly seek to rob us of our freedoms and for those in the middle who (ignoring the Law of Unintended Consequences) sit idly by, content to watch the destruction of the American republic on television while thinking it has nothing to do with, and can have no effect upon, them.
If we small "r" republicans do nothing else, we should let the rogue elements of our own government know that in addition to outnumbering them, we still preserve the spirit of resistance, despite have been marginalized politically by the two major parties. Perhaps, if everyone understands that, the Redcoats (now wearing black raid gear) will not once again blunder and unknowingly march out from Boston into an unexpected but perfectly predictable butchery contest.
By our words, our preparations, our training and our actions we, the armed citizenry of the Republic of the United States of America, still have the opportunity to convince them of our unyielding determination to remain free. It may be our last best hope to preserve uninterrupted both our God-given liberties and the domestic peace we have come to love too much. While it is better to be "awkward" than to be dead, it is better still to die fighting than to be enslaved without a fight.
Just ask the Germans of the Weimar Republic.
So THINK and ACT before you FEEL. The Founders did.
"no one of which by itself constituted a revolution, but the sum of which transformed Germany from a republic to a dictatorship. The problem was where to draw the line."
This is the function of the Samuel Adams's of the world, to take that slope of gradualism and make it a step function, to induce the tyrant to go further than he intends, further than is prudent to his machinations, and thus raise the rabble higher than immediately extant circumstances demand. To light a match under the frogs in the pot.
"But (the local Reichsbanner) would not act on its own. The leaders felt that single acts would come to grief, ... Hadn't (their national leaders) said that only a counterattack should be made?"
They had a "No Ft. Sumters" rule.
"They had a 'No Ft. Sumters' rule."
No, what they didn't have was an understanding that after the first five or ten of their national leaders were taken, that they should be free to carry out their own resistance, to link up with other local Reichsbanner in their district and go for it, guerrilla style. They trained and prepared, in other words, for attrition warfare when they should have trained for maneuver warfare. This is odd, because it was the Germans who created storm abteilungs in World War I. Led by NCOs, able to make decisions on the spot and not have to wait for orders from on high. Yet this was, I think, a divergence from their NATIONAL character. Germans were, first and foremost, law-abiding.
Having a "No Fort Sumters" rule merely means that you don't fire first, or second or third. After that, once the source of aggression is clear, you are "weapons free". Go forth and take it back in your own AO. The Germans remained paralyzed and didn't react at all.
So, how would we know if we were being picked off, one by one?
Communications are easy right now. What happens when we can't get together here on Sipsey Street?
You'll know. We'll all know.
First, this is most likely to start by accident, with all the news media and other systems operating.
Second, even if they try to put us totally in the dark, a. that in itself is halfway to a casus belli, and b. they just aren't that good. There are redundant systems in place, short wave, etc., that word would get out. Slower to be sure but they couldn't hide it.
Third, they're more likely to blare it from the housetops in a media blitz, trying to craft the story early, to take credit for it. They will be proud of this when they start. The pride will not last long.
Remember, they are not omniscient, omnipresent nor omnipotent. They are the man behind the curtain who desperately hopes you don't find out how few of him there really are.
Think Waco. First it was illegal weapons (not true), then it was child sexual abuse,(which is not a federal issue) because that would get the stupid behind them, if not in direct support, at least not in resistance. Let's face it, we are also outnumbered....by the stupid.
One good measure is when the storyline starts changing to ever more egregious accusations to justify every more egregious murderous acts. Think media blitz in singing the praises of our hardworking law enforcement people as the body count rises.
That should ring the bell for the opening round. However, it didn't at Waco, Ruby Ridge, or New Orleans. I suspect we are all deaf to the peal of the bell.
"law-abiding" people who "don't want any trouble"
I'm one of them,but it seems to late to worry one way or the other.
It's just become completely un-believable how fast things have disintegrated,and most seem unaware.
They just want "their share."
Hence my lack of posting lately. But I'm still out there looking everyday.
And I don't need a parade up Pennsylvania Avenue.
MBV knows what I mean when I say to everyone outside of Sipsey Street to Be Well....
It would make sense then that our would be slave masters will strike with deadly force and lot's of it, right? Like the pre Waco raid they had the video cameras runnin (where did you say those missing tapes went?) for the big show. That would seem to fit the pattern at least. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict it will be a really wild bunch that are converting firearms, and spoiling to fight cause they are tired of watching Red Dawn. Probably heavily infiltrated also by the alphabet soup guys. That way they got a good lead in story while the mopping up operations are going on.
Slip over to Sensibly Progressive and watch the case of Phil Dominguez as it unfolds. Although they did not intend it at the time of his arrest, this is rapidly becoming a test case for illegal search and seizure on the basis of quantity rather than actual violations (because there were no actual violations).
Do any of you live in California? If so, are you bombarding the State Attorney General with faxes and phone calls?
No shots have been fired, but the opening moves have been made.
Let's face it -- it's already started. We (like those Germans) are hoping we're wrong and what we're seeing is just isolated cases with no ties to a central plan. Dominguez and Olafsen recently, Koresh and Weaver in the not-so-far-distant past and countless other, less well-known names and cases sprinkled along the way. It might be unlikely that we'll see a Vanderboegh in that list any time soon since that could be the signal many have been waiting for. But there's a bunch of John Does and Bill Smiths out there that can and will be ground into the dirt while we get in range time and watch the internet.
I don't know the answer. I wish I did. This interminable waiting for 'a sign' is harder than anything I've ever done before. When I consider what a mess I've left to my kids the shame is almost more than I can bear.
I wrote something the other day about the closing phrase of the Declaration of Independence which says, "...we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." Most of them lost their fortunes. Many of them lost their lives. Their honor, in the form of this once-great nation, they entrusted to us. What we do now will have as much bearing on them as it will on us.
"It might be unlikely that we'll see a Vanderboegh in that list any time soon since that could be the signal many have been waiting for. But there's a bunch of John Does and Bill Smiths out there that can and will be ground into the dirt while we get in range time and watch the internet."
Two things: First, I'm doing my damnedest to go first by virtue of the fact that I'm pissing them off faster and harder than anybody I know at the moment. I've always considered myself expendable. It comes with the territory.
Second, it is up to us to see that the "anonymous" ones do not remain anonymous. Personally, in this media atmosphere at the moment, I don't see how they take another Olofson down without consequence.
I understand from rumors drifting back to people familiar with the three-letter boys that THEY don't like the notoriety that Olofson has brought them. Not that they think they did anything wrong or anything, but Keeku is viewed by her fellow agents (and especially by the FBI) as having done her job stupidly, clumsily and "too loudly." When Olofson was just some schmuck with a court-appointed attorney, that was one thing. When his case started getting attention -- now that's something the roaches, especially the supervisory roaches, don't like.
Then sez Oldfart: "I don't know the answer. I wish I did. This interminable waiting for 'a sign' is harder than anything I've ever done before. When I consider what a mess I've left to my kids the shame is almost more than I can bear."
It is not going to get any easier. Just take the time you have and hone your preparations, stock up, train somebody you know. USE the time that is given you.
Then you say: "I wrote something the other day about the closing phrase of the Declaration of Independence which says, '...we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.' Most of them lost their fortunes. Many of them lost their lives. Their honor, in the form of this once-great nation, they entrusted to us. What we do now will have as much bearing on them as it will on us."
They are why we do it. That is one thing our enemies totally miss. We're not doing this for ourselves, we really are doing it for "the children," OUR children and grandchildren. That is why they don't understand why people like us are willing to take the risk. Freedom is just a word to them. To us, it is a precious gift that we received from our parents and are charged with passing intact to our kids.
As David Brin says, you can love the big things like freedom and liberty but they don't love you back. The Founders understood that all too clearly. Yet they fought, and bled, and died, so that we could live in freedom. They did not expect rewards this side of Heaven. Neither should we.
I know I haven't made it any easier, but I believe what I've said to be the truth.
Communications are easy right now. What happens when we can't get together here on Sipsey Street?
Then you get back together on a forum or web site hidden within the TOR network.What? You aren't set up for TOR? You can fix that in a couple evenings. Start reading here:
This interminable waiting for 'a sign' is harder than anything I've ever done before.
In the interim, here's a project that will advance your personal preparedness, and help drain off that nervous energy into practical constructive activity: Wipe all your Windows PCs and reload them with Linux, such as http://www.ubuntu.com. This will raise serious roadblocks to all manner of bad people who are trying to infect your PC with viruses that will trace and tap you. Before you wipe your Windows, temporarily copy your files to a USB thumb drive or a portable USB hard drive. After you copy your files back on to Linux, put the portable drive in the safe as a backup.
More advanced users can set up their new Linux to browse the web over TOR, which, if done carefully with Privoxy to strip identifying information and a secure (https) web site to encrypt content, makes it hard to tell who or where the web browser is.
Even more advanced users can set up web sites, forums, and other Internet services that are hidden in the TOR cloud.
Lock and Load
I think there's some safety-in-a-herd behavior going on here. The lions can eat one antelope a month, forever. It doesn't matter how or why the antelope is picked; the herd is big and the chance of being eaten is small. The chance of being eaten by a lion is way smaller than other risks, such as injury or disease, so the antelopes aren't very nervous about lions. Now, if lions were to attempt eating a tenth of the herd in a week, that's a threat to the herd's existence, and the herd members will decide the herd strategy is no longer working and react differently. Perhaps they'll stop being a herd and scatter so they are harder to find and eat. In any case, the decision to give up the comfort of the herd is driven by when the herd strategy stops working, and this is determined by the rate of herd members being eaten, which is impossible to hide.
We are not a herd. but if we were, the Three Percenter antelope would sharpen their horns, practice their tactics, and then go lion hunting.
"You'll know. We'll all know."
I've been thinking on this comment Mike and I'm not sure it's true in every sense of the word.
The same could well be said of those German patriots who waited for their "sign." They could see their friends disappearing and notice the silence left where there had been voices raised against the Nazi regime. They had to know. Yet, as has been noted, they did nothing until it was too late to do anything.
Our country is being pulled, driven, sucked, whatever-- into a bottomless morass of socialistic tyranny. I know it. You know it. Most of those who frequent this site know it. Yet none of us is willing to unilaterally grab a rifle and start shooting the bastards. We're all looking (and waiting) for a sign so we'll know we're really patriots and not terrorists.
Unfortunately, unless someone wants to assume the mantle of a terrorist we will probably suffer a fate similar to that of those German patriots.
They could see their friends disappearing and notice the silence left where there had been voices raised against the Nazi regime. They had to know. Yet, as has been noted, they did nothing until it was too late to do anything.
Except for a tiny number kidnapped to Gitmo and/or shot on subway platforms, the victims of unconstitutional prosecutions aren't "being disappeared" by some invisible, undefeatable, horror movie monster. That's just an attempt to instill paralyzing fear, to make you passive and give up in hopelessness right at the moment when your choice of remaining options is widest. These violations of due process tend to happen to less sympathetic defendants, which means not law-abiding you.
Instead, the overwhelming reality is that victims are being arrested in public view and subjected to well known due process. When you discover your prospects for a continued normal life have been removed and you are unavoidably headed for prison because you can't afford a rich man's legal defense, that's your "sign". Post a bail bond or otherwise escape, and don't come back. There isn't enough prison space to hold everyone in a dekulakization without bail, and if somebody starts to construct it, that's a sign too.
The Founding Fathers objected to having to work until mid-January to pay their taxes for the year. We now have to work many months longer just to pay off our yearly tax burden.
The signs have been all around us, many of which have already been mentioned. So, why isn't there a reaction? Because people are not yet willing to risk losing their families, assets and comfortable lives. The reason to act is there, it is the will that is missing. For the Founding Fathers, the will was easier to achieve based on their experience with tyrannical governments. For us, it will take desperation to make people act, for action should have started some time ago. The question then becomes, when will enough people become so desperate that they sacrifice what they have to achieve change?
Of course, there is the possibility that men of character shall form groups and begin the process without the need of desperation. However, from what I see, such men are far and few between.
Thus, unless there is a precipitating event such as a Ruby Ridge, desperation will probably be what ends the awkwardness.
A alert system would indeed be very helpful but I think it would be easy to subvert. Also, any people rounded up will either not be covered by the MSM or be characterized as some wacko supremacist. It would truly be hard to know when such events have started as a result. If anyone has a good idea on a early alert system I'd like to hear them as I have discussed the possiblity with others and it doesn't seem feasible.
Interesting sentiments written over a year ago. I wonder if the link from "I'll Take Liberty" will stoke this discussion to review the events and changes the big zerO has inflicted on our country since he rode into DC as the Trojan Horse...
I'm actually surprised some lone wolf hasn't taken matters into his own hands. But more importantly, I see the extreme left who hates this country to be the source of that wolf even moreso than a conservative who loves his country. The radical left is rebelling within the ranks of the Dems because they want this to proceed at an even more rapid rate.
The post at "I'll Take Liberty", that links here, provides an idea of a type of network that can be used to keep patriots advised - assuming it is not compromised or disabled first. It would be very valuable for preparation and at least the
early stages of the fight.
I only offer the following quote:
"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me."
from a disgusted Cumbrian (in the UK) who had to watch whilst 12 people were cruelly murdered by a psychotic tax-driver who toured my county picking off people at random with impunity because my government has the insane policy of ensuring that ONLY criminals have guns!
meanwhile the police and the ambulance crews were hampered by our insane "health and safety" laws which prevented them from any attempt at intercepting and stopping the carnage.
By the time the armed police set up an ambush for the shootist, he had got bored and shot himself!
All it would have took is one person with a licence to carry a firearm and the death and injury toll would have been much less.
But we are not allowed to have such trust by our rulers and superiors and our betters in this backwards country.
We are already dissarmed and helpless in this country, do not let them do the same to yours!
The Framers whould encourage us to utilize the convention clause of Article V. If we got enough Americans advocating for the Article V Convention we would coerce the call out of Congress, and that alone would stop dead in its tracks this coup in slow motion. To help show Americans what a convnetion is, and how it works, sign up as a delegate to this virutal convention: http://www.convusa.com
Post a Comment