Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Politically Insoluble Part 2

There’s a firestorm on the Right: an exchange of words, sometimes bitter, between the generally like-minded. It flows from the pervasive sense of betrayal by Congressional Republicans:

According to an article in the left-wing outlet Politico and reported by Breitbart, Republican House Speaker John Boehner held secret negotiations with Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, leading up to his decision to flip-flop and fund Obama's executive amnesty; including a pre-hashed out deal to use the hoopla around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 address to Congress over Iran's nuclear ambitions as political cover to sneak in the extraordinarily controversial vote.

As part of this effort, the former chiefs of staff to House Speaker John Boehner and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, through a group called the American Action Network, spent $400,000 for advertisements aimed at pressuring House conservatives to support Obama's executive amnesty and fund it in its entirety through the end of the fiscal year.

On the same day as Netanyahu's speech, the Republican-led House of Representatives caved to the demands of Democrats and passed a "clean" Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill by 257-167 with a majority of Democratic votes. Seventy-five Republicans voted to pass the clean bill, 167 voted against passage. The measure provides full funding of the DHS through September 30th, the end of the federal fiscal year, leaving Obama's executive amnesty untouched. In essence, the seventy-five Republicans, who joined all House Democrats to fund Obama's executive amnesty, aided and abetted the shredding of the Constitution by giving Obama the funding and future permission to rewrite federal law as he sees fit.

Rewarding his cooperation, the Democrats have vowed to protect Boehner from any challenges to his leadership by conservative elements of the Republican Party.

Parts of the above are unconfirmed by objective evidence...but none of it is implausible.

I’ve given you my assessment of where that leaves us politically. Add to it my colleague Dystopic’s poignant yet penetrating analysis:

America is an Empire. It crossed the Rubicon to Imperialism, not in the manner of the “colonialist oppressor” Social Justice Warriors are so fond of repeating as a mantra, but in the manner of centralized Executive Power. We have a Julius Caesar in office, though mind you without any of that man’s martial talent or wisdom. He is a tyrant, but an ineffective one, which is all the more infuriating....

America is the most laughable Empire to have ever borne the title. Her armies are in retreat all across the globe, leaving organizations like ISIS, far worse than garden-variety dictators like Saddam Hussein, in their wake. Militant Islam has never been stronger, ideologically, than it is today, excepting perhaps the days in which it overran the dying Roman Empire in the 600s. Competent military men have been removed from their posts, and feminist equality given a priority greater than that of combat readiness. The greatest military machine to have ever existed is repeatedly dealt terrible blows, not from the enemy, but from purported friends....

Imperial America is dying. Her education system is rife with Progressives and historical social justice revisionism. Her universities are staffed by lunatics, priced to the point of debt-slavery, and set as the prerequisite for getting any job that doesn’t involve retail or flipping burgers (and, even then, sometimes the sheepskin is needed). Enslave yourself to make a living doing nothing at all. Meanwhile mass Media spouts lies by the boatload and politicians don’t even bother to hide their disgust for the hoi polloi any longer. There is no reasoning with them, no middle-ground possible, no compromise with those who do not want us to exist.

Take a moment to digest that. Can you see any way to refute it? I can’t. Neither can any of those who remain optimistic that political methods – “ballots, not bullets” – can restore our Constitutional health. The best they can do is to say that “we shouldn’t give up hope.”

Nor can I refute Dystopic’s prediction for what follows from here:

Imperial America will die. Regardless of whether or not we wish it, human nature demands it, and nothing can stand in the way of that. The only question is what shall rise from her ashes.

A great way to start the morning, eh?

If we were to leap to the conclusion that open insurrection is the way forward, we would face the following questions:

  1. “Who bells the cat?” Who would undertake to organize and lead an insurrection against the federal government?
  2. The regime still commands the most powerful military on Earth and would surely use it in its own defense...assuming, of course, that America’s men at arms would be willing to fire on American citizens. While it’s pretty to imagine that the military would side with the insurrectionists, that development is not guaranteed by any means.
  3. How would other nations react to an insurrection in the United States? The nation does have external as well as internal enemies. Civil disorder here would embolden some of them to take steps we would not approve of.
  4. What chance of prevailing would the pro-Constitutional forces have? Few would willingly enlist in such an uprising were the outlook less than favorable. “Victor’s justice” is seldom merciful toward the victor’s enemies.

Many a totalitarian regime has come and gone over the millennia, but few have been replaced by a better, more freedom-oriented regime after a violent insurrection. Rather, as Bertrand Russell wrote:

Those who have seized power, even for the noblest of motives, soon persuade themselves that there are good reasons for not relinquishing it. This is particularly likely to happen if they believe themselves to represent some immensely important cause. They will feel that their opponents are ignorant and perverse; before long they will come to hate them...The important thing is to keep their power, not to use it as a means to an eventual paradise. And so what were means become ends, and the original ends are forgotten except on Sundays.

This makes it plain that we ought to spend some time contemplating alternative courses.

It seems inevitable that a collectivity – in this case, a State – must be opposed by an opposite collectivity – e.g., a rebel army. Yet this need not necessarily be so. Indeed, it might well be that locking ourselves into a force-on-force mindset, wherein two organized armies would meet in open warfare, would predetermine our defeat.

Not long ago, I wrote:

The political class and its hangers-on fear exactly the same things as the victimists: being ignored. Were they to become aware that no one is paying any attention to their enactments and decrees, they would soon slink away. Some might even enter productive trades, perhaps as cheap prostitutes.

They haven’t done any such thing because we continue to pay attention to them, and for no other reason. They do have their tools: the media, the many interest groups they support and encourage, political favors to the amoral and weak-minded, and of course a considerable amount of potential force. But none of these things are irresistible. Indeed, they pale in comparison to the force available to the citizenry.

He who yearns for a return to freedom cannot repose his hopes in the State, in politics, or in any imaginable “movement.” He must simply say to himself, “I am free; I shall do as I please,” and sincerely resolve to endure the consequences. There is no other avenue; all other roads are “roads to Mishnory.” While we remain on it, we’re inexorably fated, not to “go through all these things twice,” but to go through them over and over ad infinitam.

This is not a brief for political anarchism, as intellectually attractive as that is. It’s an exhortation to applied practical anarchism, perhaps alternately phrased as individualist anarchism: your personal refusal to grant the State unmerited attention or respect. That includes ignoring statist dictates that have no moral basis. (You might already be doing exactly that on subjects near and dear to your heart.)

This strikes me as the most promising approach.

A nation the size of the United States cannot be policed comprehensively or effectively from a central seat of power. The enforcement power required for that undertaking does not exist. That’s a great part of the reason Washington has strained to seduce state and local law enforcement organizations with military equipment: the mandarins of the federal government know they can’t impose their will on all of us without cooperation from coercive forces in every state, county, city, village, and hamlet.

Consider as an example the states whose governments have passed oppressive firearms laws. Those governments have become aware that they lack the power required to enforce those laws. No, they haven’t backed away from them yet, but the day will surely come. Even power-worshippers are aware that unless 98% or more of a populace agrees with a law and conforms to it voluntarily, the law is unenforceable. Should some myrmidon try to enforce such a law, he could find himself staring down the barrels of his target’s neighbors’ “prohibited” firearms.

Faced with that sort of resistance that resists openly only when poked, the Washington regime would be impotent. Unless it were willing to threaten to use weapons of mass destruction internally, it would have no counter to such defiance of its wishes.

However, it falls to us to produce that sort of locally organized, self-defending resistance. Though there are pockets in which it already exists, the mindset required is far from being universal.

The first step is waking Americans from the dream of salvation by politics.

More anon.

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