The point at which enough becomes enough.
WHAT would be the tripwire resulting in open rebellion? Examining the Bill of Rights, and considering EXISTING laws only, and not failed attempts, you will find that every clause has been violated to one degree or another. Documenting those violations would fill volumes; and it is important to remember that only government can violate the exercise of unalienable individual rights and claim immunity from retribution. We omit martial law or public suspension of the Constitution as a tripwire. The overnight installation of dictatorship obviously would qualify as “the tripwire,” but is not likely to occur. What has occurred, what is occurring, is the implementation of every aspect of such dictatorship without an overt declaration. The Constitution is being killed by attrition. The Communist Manifesto is being installed by accretion. Any suggestion that martial law is the tripwire leads us to the question: what aspect of martial law justifies the first shot?
There’s no real reason we should take for granted that the “first shot” will be fired according to a rational, careful thought process or philosophical analysis beforehand. It’s just as likely—maybe more likely, if history is any guide—that the fateful trigger-pull occurs as a result of accident, miscalculation, individual mental disorder, plain old dumb luck, or some random combination of those and/or others. It may even take place without anyone recognizing it for what it really was until much later.
Seen in the rear-view mirror, from a distance made safe and comfortable by the passage of time, history can look one hell of a lot different than it does when it’s exploding in your face and wreaking bloody havoc in real time. History is a matter for relaxed contemplation and study—interesting, but not threatening. Before its moderating evolution, though, History exists as Current Events, which can involve life and death decisions; tragic upheaval; and unpredictable, shattering consequences.
The author cites Rand’s “four essential characteristics” defining tyranny, using them to propel the discussion further along:
She identified them quite correctly, but together they are just another composite from which we must choose precipitating causes. These characteristics are: one-party rule, executions without trial for political offenses, expropriation or nationalization of private property, and “above all,” censorship.
With regard to the first characteristic of tyranny, what is the real difference between the Fabian socialist Republican Party and the overtly socialist Democrat party? Nothing but time. Regarding the second we have the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and the ATF’s enforcement branch. In action they simply avoid the embarrassment of a trial. Regarding the third we have asset forfeiture “laws,” the IRS, the EPA, the FCC, the FDA, the Federal Reserve, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and a myriad of other executive branch agencies, departments and commissions whose sole function is to regulate business and the economy. Regulating business for the “public good” (fascism) is no different in principle than outright nationalization (Communism.)
However, the fourth characteristic of tyranny, censorship, is the obvious primary tripwire. When ideology and the reporting of facts and how-to instructions are forbidden, there is nothing remaining but to fight. Freedom of speech and persuasion— the freedom to attempt to rationally convince willing listeners— is so fundamental an individual right that without it no other rights, not even the existence of rights, can be enforced, claimed, debated or even queried. Does this censorship include the regulation of the “public” airwaves by the FCC, as in the censorship which prohibits tobacco companies from advertising— in their own defense— on the same medium which is commanded by government decree to carry “public service” propaganda against them? Does it include federal compulsion of broadcasters to air politically correct liberal twaddle for “The Children?” Does it include the Orwellian “Communications Decency Act”? Does it include any irrationalist “sexual harassment” or tribalist “hate speech” laws which prohibit certain spoken words among co-workers? The answer: unequivocally yes.
Although the above do not pertain to ideological or political speech, yet they are censorship and tactically they are designed to intimidate people into the acceptance of de facto censorship. We say that any abrogation of free speech, and any form of censorship, which cannot be rectified by the soap box, the ballot box, or the jury box, must be rectified by the cartridge box— or lost forever.
Americans have been stumbling over tripwires justifying overt resistance for well over 130 years. On one hand, we submit that gun confiscation is a secondary tripwire only. It is second to censorship because if speech is illegal we cannot even discuss the repeal of gun control, or of any other population controls. If only guns are illegal we may still convince people to repeal those laws. On the other hand, gun confiscation may be a sufficient tripwire because the primary one, censorship, can be fully implemented only after the citizenry is completely disarmed.
The Constitution contains many provisions allowing the violation of our natural rights as free men by immoral and unethical men in government. The true heroes of the ratification debates were the Antifederalists, who secured Federalist guarantees that the Bill of Rights would amend the Constitution. To their undying credit, the Federalists lived up to their promise. Nevertheless, only after constitutional limitations on government have been restored in their original form can we consider amending the Constitution to redress its very few remaining defects (for example; the absence of a separation of state and economy clause.) Laws that make nugatory the means of resisting tyranny and despotism determine the tripwire. The creeping legislative erosion of the 2nd Amendment is not the only tripwire that justifies resistance. We submit that any gun control is a secondary tripwire. Not only because it can be effortlessly evaded, but also because it strengthens our cause. It is second only to censorship. If speech is illegal we can discuss neither repeal of gun control, or the repeal of any other unconstitutional “law.”
Censorship is not a tripwire, it is THE tripwire. Thus by default, censorship morally justifies rebellion.
Under censorship, no other rights, including the right to be free from censorship, can be advocated, discussed or queried. It is incorrect to say that after censorship comes utter subjugation. Censorship is utter subjugation. There is no greater usurpation of liberty while remaining alive. After censorship come the death camps, and they are not a prerequisite to complete subjugation, they are merely a symptom of it. Censorship qua censorship is sufficient in itself to justify open rebellion against any government that legislates, enforces or upholds it. However, that is not the half of it. Censorship is alone in being the only violation of individual rights that does not require actual enforcement, or challenges in court, before rebellion is justified. When the government forbids you to speak or write, or use your own or a supporter’s property to address willing listeners or readers, that government has openly and forcibly decreed that the art of peaceful persuasion is dead and will not be tolerated. Upon that very instant, all peaceable avenues of redress have been closed and the only possible method of regaining individual liberty is force. Whenever we give up that force we are not only ruined, we deserve to be ruined.
A most intriguing take, contradicting the widespread belief that a national gun-confiscation attempt will be the spark that finally ignites the powder-keg. He unwinds the skein from there, producing a meticulously-crafted, honest analysis of which you will definitely want to read the all.