Over the years I’ve received innumerable emails asking, in tones that range from suppliant to stentorian, for a practical approach to the restoration of freedom in America. For a long time I’ve resisted such urgings, on the grounds that my gifts don’t lean in that direction. I’m an analyst rather than a political strategist or tactician. Yet those who’ve put themselves forward, in their several ways, as strategists and tacticians have failed to excite much hope or sympathy among those of us averse to bloodshed, especially if the blood shed is likely to be theirs. It’s had a darkening effect on my mood, and a sense that perhaps it’s time to try my hand at the formulation of a practical approach to the re-liberation of the United States.
Let’s get the dismal part out of the way first. Just yesterday, I wrote:
The edifice is rotten to the core. It has pitted us against one another, especially those of us who work for government versus those who don’t, in a multitude of ways. It cannot be saved.
However, it cannot be replaced until it has first been demolished. How that is to be achieved, given the overwhelming preponderance of force in the hands of the State, I cannot say. More, and more ominous, there is no guarantee that the replacement would improve on its predecessor. Moralities and mentalities have changed too greatly since our Founding Era for any prediction to be sanguine –and that’s to say nothing of the hostile and alien sub-populations America has acquired these past few decades.
That would seem to be a counsel of surrender, even of despair. I didn’t mean it that way, as harsh as it appears. It’s time to say what I really do mean: the “who, what, when, where, and how” of a campaign for the restoration of freedom that has a visible chance of success.
Let there be no mistake about it:
Believe me, Gentle Reader, the notion upsets me quite as much as you – and I’m a cinch to be part of that “great majority.”
The self-centered approach to such a conviction of personal doom would be to kick back and enjoy what remains of one’s life as best one can, rather than to immerse oneself in the struggle for a future one will never see. Author and lecturer Jeffrey Rogers Hummel called this the “Harry Browne” approach, in reference to Browne’s famous tome How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World. Hummel counterpoised that strategy to the “Patrick Henry” approach of “Give me liberty or give me death,” in which the individual cashiers his own hope for an untroubled existence to enlist in the fight for freedom, regardless of the sacrifice involved.
‘As Aragorn has begun, so we must go on. We must push Sauron to his last throw. We must call out his hidden strength, so that he shall empty his land. We must march out to meet him at once. We must make ourselves the bait, though his jaws should close on us. He will take that bait, in hope and in greed, for he will think that in such rashness he sees the pride of the new Ringlord: and he will say: “So! he pushes out his neck too soon and too far. Let him come on, and behold I will have him in a trap from which he cannot escape. There I will crush him, and what he has taken in his insolence shall be mine again for ever.”
‘We must walk open-eyed into that trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. For, my lords, it may well prove that we ourselves shall perish utterly in a black battle far from the living lands; so that even if Barad-dur be thrown down, we shall not live to see a new age. But this, I deem, is our duty. And better so than to perish nonetheless – as we surely shall, if we sit here – and know as we die that no new age shall be.’
How many Americans, foreseeing with near-perfect clarity the dreadful end to which the Last Army of the West seemed certain to come, would follow in Aragorn’s train? Not many, if I’m any judge of such things.
However, there are other ways to fight than by the exchange of bullets and bombs – and those other ways have a greater chance of long-term success than any imaginable violent uprising. Today’s tirade will address the appropriate target for such a campaign – i.e., the “who.”
To many eyes, the “who” – the enemy to be fought – is a clear and simple thing. They immediately nominate the Left, or the government, or some other gaggle of identifiable miscreants. I must disagree.
Consider first a brief passage from John Pugsley’s landmark work The Alpha Strategy. His setting is an island community of two: yourself, and a somewhat naughty “economist” named, appropriately, Maynard:
Pretend for a moment that you have cultivated a cabbage patch on your island, and Maynard has some goats. Every night Maynard opens your gate and lets his goats into your yard, and each night they feast on your cabbages. You decide to approach the problem by appealing to reason. You put together your arguments about how this is ruining your garden, stifling your incentive to grow cabbages, and will hurt the whole neighborhood in the end. You then walk out of your house, march down to your garden, and have a heart-to-heart talk with his goats.
A ridiculous approach, you say? Of course. While the goats are the ones who eat your cabbages, Maynard is the one who milks the goats. In the end, he is the beneficiary of their theft—he is the culprit who must be dealt with. Even if you find a way to communicate with the goats, it will not help. No matter how many goats you succeed in winning over to your point of view, the moment a goat sees the light and agrees to stop eating your cabbages, Maynard will stop getting milk. Immediately, Maynard will rid himself of that goat and replace it with another one that will eat your cabbages again. So it is with politicians. Even if you convince one to stop plundering you, he will be quickly replaced.
Pugsley continues from there in a bifurcated fashion:
Man will steal if he perceives it to be the best way to get what he wants. He is primarily interested in satisfying his immediate needs, not in providing for some distant future. He cannot be educated to altruism. In a political democracy that gives a voter the power to confiscate the wealth of his neighbors, human nature guarantees that he will do so. In my estimation, neither politics nor moral preaching offers a rational, workable solution, and it would seem that the historical evidence corroborates this. If the political process is not the answer, and educating the masses is impossible, is there any solution? If there is, where does it lie?
Right under our noses. The best solution is the simplest solution, and the simplest solution is the easiest to overlook. Anyone who has studied the evolution of species has observed the solution at work in every form of life. The solution can be understood by observing the way in which all life forms cope with their hostile environments. The theft of our property by others is an attack that is essentially identical to the destruction that any species feels from any hostile force in nature....
The way to build a free society and to abolish all of the economic and social destruction that has been man's lot all these many centuries is a simple three-step process. First, correctly identify the direction from which the individual is being attacked. Second, make the individual aware of the nature and methods of his enemy. And third, leave it up to the individual to devise methods for self-defense. Just as a person will try to increase his wealth and comfort by the most effective method (plundering, if that is effective, and producing, if hard work is effective), once he owns something, he will vigorously defend it. The answer to change is not an attack on government, but the development of individual techniques for the defense of personal property.
In short, the solution, according to Pugsley, lies in self-defense, propelled by the self-interest of the aware and educable, while the unaware, ineducable masses continue to plunder one another toward inevitable extinction through their demands on The Omnipotent State. It’s an appealing prospect, except for one little problem: those “unaware, ineducable masses” are unlikely to plunge heedlessly into self-destruction while they can still spot, target, and plunder you. The barons of State power will happily assist them in finding and mulcting you...as long as they get their percentage, of course.
Nevertheless, Pugsley has fingered the correct “who” for our purposes: those “unaware, ineducable masses” who support the State’s plunders with their voices and their votes. They probably include many of your neighbors. They might include some of your relatives. Despite their mundane appearances and seemingly agreeable conduct, they are the enemy we must defeat.
There will, of course, be other segments in this series. I’m as yet unsure of the order. All the same, as I’ve said so often in the past: