Billy Beck on the ultimate hopelessness of any campaign of “massed passive civil disobedience“—he cites the examples of Thoreau, MLK, and Ghandi—waged against an essentially amoral, conscience-bereft foe. Such as, say, the US government.
None of this would have worked against Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.
Can you think why?
It’s because the very idea of passive disobedience of unjust law, and submitting one’s own life to it, requires a moral conscience in the enemy, to which to make the appeal. One cannot stand in front of a criminal without moral conscience and appeal for a rational mercy. He simply will not care. In Nazi Germany, the USSR, or Communist China (to this very day), all three of these men and their followers would have been summarily crushed.
And this brings us to America in the 21st century.
The central question in all of this, in our current context is:
Is there enough of a moral conscience remaining in American culture to which to appeal by “flooding the courts and embracing the prisons,” as I said?
I still think the question is valid, but I am less certain of the answer than ever before.
The reason why is this:
It’s the socialists who are driving ethics and politics in America, now. Anything resembling anti-socialist politics (of any variant) has been fighting a rear-guard action since the end of the Reagan administration. (Their intellectual and moral cowardice, however, goes back to their betrayal of Barry Goldwater in 1964, and this is actually a very good analogy to Trump, today. John McCain is a great example.) Culturally, the socialists have possessed the political and ethical initiative beginning with Clinton in 1993.
There is no price that they would not pay — in your money or blood — in order to establish their utopia. The notorious communist historian Eric Hobsbawm said that twenty million lives would be worth it. He said this in 1994. He meant what he said, and all socialists hold the same basic conviction.
What’s at question here is the nature of the fight.
Thoreau, Gandhi, and King were spiritual soldiers. The difference is that they didn’t fight with guns. They fought with ideas, in action.
The socialists have no serious regard for dissent of any sort, and they reject ideas, especially. They do not value human morality: theirs is the morality (if we call it that) of predatory animals.
Billy posted this back in January, two days after the 1/6 “insurrection” false-flag op. The subsequent calamities since, compounded by the terrifying acceleration of their rate of occurrence, serve to underline the post’s grim continuing relevance.
We’ve seen plenty and to spare of strident editorial blatting from our self-styled allies employing a too-familiar and increasingly irksome MO: first, forthrightly acknowledge that we now have ourselves an actual, by-God war on our hands here—a war it is absolutely imperative for Team Liberty to wage, and to win—then, after several of what were once quaintly known as “column inches” all a-brim with steamy fooferaw in support of “fighting” and “defying” and “resisting” and other such tough talk, suddenly reverse course to nonchalantly insist that said war must, dammit, MUST be “fought” strictly via “legal, Constitutional, nonviolent” methods. The premise behind that alacritous back-and-fill is fundamentally flawed, the underlying assumption sheer fantasy.
Left unsaid is a dated and dangerous misperception: that any hope still remains that the DC Leviathan-state sitting atop America’s heaving torso like the elephant in the Spiriva inhaler commercials might yet be reformed; that it is in the main staffed with basically decent, honest Americans who predominantly hold bedrock values which, despite being in notable disagreement with those of the Founders, can nevertheless be trusted to fulfill their oath to uphold them; that both of these projects are worth pursuing in serious fashion, and not mere pipe dreams, flights of fancy, or full-on delusions so obviously untethered from reality that Don Quixote de la Mancha himself would sneer at them as preposterous.
Misguided or misinformed our Left antagonists may well be, these people keen. But at the end of the day, they are still our countrymen, fellow Americans within whose hearts the Declaration’s immortal pulse still strongly beats, and who therefore can still be reached by appeals to a reason they’re immune to, in advocacy of principles they abhor. If Team Liberty can only present its argument logically and respectfully enough; find a sympathetic enough judge to preside over its latest lawsuit; assemble marchers in number enough for the next nonviolent protest rally…why, The Enemy must SURELY be so impressed by such restraint, such rectitude, such politesse that he will simply HAVE to agree to reconsider and relent! Right?
Wrong. As Billy says, such intellectual diffidence is but a recipe for defeat against an enemy such as this. If we are to win through, we must first of all face some difficult facts: That the government for which the Constitution provided the blueprint exists now in memory alone; that the current government bears not so much as a passing resemblance to its predecessor, no matter how tightly one squints one’s eyes, rendering it by definition an illegitimate, fraudulent, and thus intolerable imposture; that the core beliefs, assumptions, and ambitions of We The People are in direct opposition to those of our adversary, creating a yawning political and ideological chasm so deep and so wide it can never be spanned. Most crucial of all: that compromise and peaceful coexistence between the two sides is no longer possible.
When you must do battle with a monstrous adversary who places no limit on the extremes his barbarism and cruelty might compass—a struggle in which defeat means death, quite literally—then your survival will depend on recalibrating your own ruthlessness to exceed his, or at barest minimum match it. This is the precise shape and nature of the battle before us. Understandable though it is that some of us still desperately seek a way to breathe life into the murdered hope of receiving humane, merciful treatment from inhuman, merciless blackguards, it is still folly—deadly folly.
The positions of the combatants are hardened, the divide clean and clear, the choice as simple as it is stark: there will be liberty, or there will be tyranny. And that, truly is ALL. The conflict between them is not new, unique, or unusual. On the contrary, this conundrum is written throughout the annals of human civilization. Rarely has the conflict been resolved without violent upheaval; never has its resolution been other than temporary.
In our human conceit, each generation presumes itself to be in control of such events. We most certainly are NOT. Properly perceived, they are not events at all but processes, all part of a historical pattern whose inevitability and terrifying immensity places itself far outside the pitiful reach of even the most powerful and perceptive of men, although they usually do play a role in its initiation. But once the process is set into motion, it very quickly swells into just too big a damned thing for mere men to direct, slow, or stop.
To reduce the issue to metaphorical terms, one could imagine not a car jouncing roughly along a rocky and sharply-curving mountain road, but a ship being violently tossed upon a heaving, storm-wracked sea. The latter is a much better fit with our current wildly-careering, unmanageable predicament, for the car is at least nominally under the control of its human driver, whereas the ship’s captain—though able to exert some small influence on his circumstances, however ineffectual—is in truth but a passenger, if not quite a helpless spectator. Whatever comforting lies to the contrary the beleagured captain may tell himself in hopes of soothing his mortal vanity, his destiny ultimately rests in King Neptune’s hands, not in his own.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, fellas, but if y’all sincerely want to try to right this fast-foundering ship, “legal, Constitutional, nonviolent” just ain’t gonna cut it this go ’round. No “demand” you can ever make, regardless of how firm a tone you use, is going to move those Billy correctly identifies as “predatory animals” to just slink away and leave you the hell alone. Harsher, more radical measures are the only thing that will work.