"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
You Say You Want a Revolution?
Column by tzo.
Exclusive to STR
Logical Consistency Warning: Severe mental discomfort may result from any serious consideration of the comparison made in the following essay. Please disregard said comparison as ridiculous in order to restore previous state of mental tranquility.
Here is a familiar passage that any self-respecting Patriot recognizes and supports:
". . . that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it . . . ."
Disciples of the Founding Fathers often cite the above extract from the Declaration of Independence and its endorsement of armed revolution as the proper and just method for The People to take back control of The Government run amok.
Well, we are currently being treated to a live preview of such action, and I'm sensing that many upstanding, moral Constitutionalists don't approve of what they are witnessing. But of course that’s because they don't make the connection. Or else refuse to.
If you want to know what revolution looks like, check out what's happening in California. A gentleman named Christopher Dorner is currently undertaking an armed rebellion against a tyrannical organization. He has killed people and is threatening to kill some more.
This is the stark ugliness that is baked into supposedly noble sentiments such as "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." If you disapprove of Mr. Dorner's actions, then I can't see how you can advocate for revolution, which is the exact same idea, only with lots more murder.
Wait—what?! That’s a horribly offensive, invalid comparison! He killed innocent people! Besides, he is just an individual. That doesn't count. A real revolution requires The People to undertake the measure, not just a single individual who has irresponsibly decided to take the law into his own hands. If The People decide to endure the injustices put forth by the government, then no individual has the right to take up arms against the system on his own.
Well, as far as the killing of innocents goes, in any “real” revolution, there will be many such people killed. On purpose, even. That is the price that must be paid if you want to play this game. In the chaos of revolution, there will be many Dorners exacting revenge in ways that suit them. This is Pandora’s Box you’re opening, not a box of chocolates. Many innocent people will be killed, and this must be justified as “being worth it” or else the strategy must be abandoned.
As for the rest, what a fine example of Slavespeak! We can kill but you cannot. We are special and you are mundane. The ugliness you wreak as an individual is unethical, because only when We kill in industrial quantities for The One True Just Cause is such killing justified and downright noble. As an individual, you are nothing. You shall bear the thumb being pressed into your forehead until We decide otherwise. Now get back in line, you. We are The People. You have been assimilated.
This is what logical inconsistency looks like: The tyranny of government shall be countered by the tyranny of The People, with the individual at all times remaining subservient to both illusory creatures. Jim Davies recently summed up quite nicely the beauty and simplicity of logical consistency as it applies to aggression in a recent essay here on STR, complete with some easy-to-follow examples. If I recall correctly, the takeaway message was “A is A.” There was no asterisk with fine print copy below that stated “except when A is B.” This is simplicity itself, not rocket surgery.
Of course Dorner's actions will not change the system except to strengthen it, because he is using the system's signature tool—aggression. Already the proposal to use drones against him is being trotted out. Thanks for the excuse! Drones are Absolutely Necessary to catch this domestic terrorist! The winner will justify whatever use of force it employs because that’s what winners do. And so if Dorner were to actually succeed in overthrowing the entire LAPD, he would be called a hero and the LAPD would be the ones painted with the Big Brush o’ Evil, and then he would be in the position to rule the LAPD through force. What might happen then?
And this is why revolutions are merely wheels spinning in the mud that keep people revolving around a central hub of aggression, whirling around in an endlessly destructive cycle. We must begin to act as individuals in order to break out of this, and that is not to say by individually taking up arms against the aggressors. Instead, walk away and take your spoke out of the wheel and take it with you, and encourage others to do the same. The wheel cannot continue to spin without spokes. Disconnect from the violence. Unplug. The hub is useless when it is disconnected from the rest of the wheel.
You say you want a real solution? Revolutions feed the violence and keep the wheel spinning in place. Let's just end this ride once and for all and walk together to the destination that everyone really wants to reach. There will be, of course, those who will not benefit from such a mass abandonment and will attempt to stop it. The first defense is to stop providing guns and blessings to these people. The next step is to garner enough support for nonaggression to ensure that no one will dare stand in front of the exodus for fear of being trampled over.
There is one thing stronger than armies: an idea whose time has come.
The idea is nonaggression, and its time is coming.
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
~John Lennon, Revolution