Question about revolution
Throughout my military career, I often thought how the right to bear arms was supposed to enable us to protect ourselves from tyranny, yet with the modern military and militarized police, our arms seem entirely insufficient for the task of liberation.
Lately, I have put a lot of thought into how our country could be liberated from the liberal stranglehold. I also began to realize I do not know of a single time in history when a middle class of people have risen up and liberated themselves from tyranny. Even during our own revolution, it seems that it was a higher class of people who brought about the revolution.
Is there a historical case where a middle class of a society has risen up and thrown off a tyrannical government? I cannot think of a single example.
I still hope and pray we are a long way from armed internal conflict.
That’s a very important question. Probably our number one difficulty is that all, or virtually all, of our society’s elites are on the other side. This is shown by the fact that any passionate protest against the tyranny that is taking form under Obama—a protest that comes from our very essence as Americans—is instantly slapped down as “extreme,” “racist,” etc, and even the Republicans get apologetic about the alleged “racism” in Republican ranks. Our present society is designed to disapprove and crush any forceful reaction against the Obama takeover. We have none of the leaders of society on our side. We don’t have a Washington and a Mason and a Jefferson on our side. We have no influential organs of opinion on our side. Any meaningful actions on our part would be instantly deprived of legitimacy, not just by the liberal media, but by the establishment conservative media, such as it is.
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So, if the U.S. government becomes a tyranny,—which I believe it already is, but it will get much worse—what effective form can resistance take? Tea Party demonstrations and blog entries? Angry phone calls to Congress? Sporadic individual acts of violence—which would only result in a crackdown on all conservatives? Imagine what would have happened with the American Revolution if as soon as they began to organize Committees of Correspondence, as soon as they began to talk about holding a Continental Congress, all respectable opinion in the Colonies denounced them as dangerous extremists and hate mongers and the embodiment of what is most wicked, so that they had to put all their energy into defending themselves from these charges. Our situation is something like that.
I remember reading in William Shirer’s still-worthwhile book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich how Hitler, after he was released from prison following the failure of the beer hall putsch, realized that the putsch had failed because it had none of the power-holding classes of Germany on its side. He then systematically set about winning over some of the leading elements of society, especially members of the wealthy industrial class and I believe some army higher-ups. This gave him an effective base of support in the upper class for his pursuit of power. He was no longer just a marginal person. He was backed, and funded, by people who mattered. And this was a key to his future success.
How that historical example helps us now I don’t know. It remains the fact that liberalism is the ruling ideology of our society, and that no one is admitted into the ruling class unless he is liberal, which precludes the possibility of a non-liberal elite that will support the middle class in any serious standoff with the Obama dictatorship.
Richard P. writes:
In modern times successful revolutions depend less on firing shots than on the failure to open fire. Specifically, a modern revolution can succeed when there is mass dissent and the enforcement mechanisms of the state refuse to use violence to suppress it. Imagine if there were massive protests in most major cities surrounding government offices and loudly demanding change. Now imagine most police and military personnel refused to suppress the demonstrations. Maybe they agree with the protestors and voluntarily stand down. Maybe many of them just don’t show up for work. Maybe the government is broke and they haven’t been paid. (The Caesars knew they must always pay the legions first.)
We’ve seen this happen many times in the last few decades. Think of the broad protests against the Shah of Iran in the late 1970s. They succeeded not on their own merit, but because the Shah’s security forces stood down and refused to fire on the protestors. Think of the chain reaction across Eastern Europe from 1989-1991. Masses of people took to the streets and the security forces didn’t have the will to stop them. Gorbachev sent tanks to break up protests. The tankers refused to fire and ended up joining the protestors. It’s likely that the student protestors of Tiananmen Square would have brought down the Chinese regime had those soldiers stood down rather than slaughtering unarmed students.
If the crisis reaches a level where there is large scale public revolt, many in the upper classes will join in to either save their own hides or to position themselves well in a new order. We’ve already seen some state governors hinting at pushing sovereignty and even secession. Mass public outrage might appear to some of them as an opportunity rather than a crisis. What do the Feds do then? Obama is no Lincoln. I seriously doubt he could command military force to be used against citizens without widespread refusal and desertions. Would he be able to order the punishment of those soldiers without even wider backlash?
I believe that the kindling has been laid and we’re just waiting for a spark. The health care law has frightened and angered many people, but it hasn’t really affected them yet. Most people are still hopeful that things can be worked out within the system. A point can be reached where that hope evaporates. When it does, I think we may well experience something like the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Change will come very quickly, it will be decisive, and it will largely happen without a shot being fired.
Tadeusz H. writes:
Starting with the Bolshevik coup in Russia, generally no Communist revolution was brought about by the “higher class people.”
It is true that Lenin, Mao, Castro etc., were intellectuals, but they were hardly representatives of established, political, economical and cultural elites.
Of course, I am not putting the Communist, or Nazi take-over, in the same category with the American revolution, but both needed the rebellion component in order forcibly to remove the ruling establishment.
I can’t see that America’s rebirth will come about (if it comes about) without popular uprising. But seeing what America’s “higher class people” are, I don’t believe they will play a role, certainly not positive one, in popular uprising.
Also, I am not sure “higher class people” is a suitable term to apply to contemporary American, or even European scene.
James N. writes:
I’ve had a number of interesting discussions with commissioned officers about the mess we are in, and what it would take to cause military involvement on the patriot side. Let me say, by way of preface, that an armed rebellion with the Army and Marine Corps on the government side will be a bloody failure, and will allow consolidation of Federal power beyond what we can even imagine now.
For the serving officers I have talked to, THE key issue is the integrity of the chain of command. It would not matter (thank God) if EVERY officer were a Republican, opposed to everything Obama and the Congress was doing, and furthermore had contempt for him as a man. As long as his orders were transmitted through a Secretary of Defense confirmed by the Senate, and as long as his tenure in office was recognized as legitimate by the Congress and the Supreme Court, then his orders will be obeyed. This includes orders to use their superlative small unit combat skills against extraconstitutional rebellion.
The situation is somewhat more fluid if the chain of command were to be misused to pursue an anticonstitutional program. An anticonstitutional order set would have to be clearly and convincingly so to be disobeyed, however. The commissioned officer corps will not violate the chain of command based on suspicion of Obama’s motives, nor on an unfavorable interpretation of his actions, as long as an equally favorable interpretation is plausible.
These facts make the November 2010 elections vitally important. As long as there is a Congress which will provide “cover” for Obama’s actions, through acts of pretended legislation if necessary, the military will defend his person and his prerogatives. A hostile Congress, however, can put Obama in a constitutional box from which escape would involve an overt act, such as interfering with elections or attempting to legislate (or make treaties) by executive orders, or defying the Supreme Court. Any of THOSE actions could bring the military to the patriot side and end Obama’s tenure in office.
The unfortunate truth is that, although Obama’s motivations are transparent to us, he is being very clever by giving the appearance of staying on the legal and constitutional side of the line. As long as he has such large majorities in Congress, he will probably get away with his act.=
Aaron S. writes:
“It remains the fact that liberalism is the ruling ideology of our society, and that no one is admitted into the ruling class unless he is liberal, which precludes the possibility of a non-liberal elite that will support the middle class in any serious standoff with the Obama dictatorship.”
This raises an interesting question to which I honestly don’t have an answer, but I wonder if other readers with more experience might weigh in: How many—if any—NON-liberal military leaders remain in our nation’s armed forces? This would appear the only possible source of non-liberal leadership left, though as you have pointed out on numerous occasions, the armed forces seem largely to have been co-opted.
Kilroy M. writes from Australia:
On the issue of the bourgeois revolutionary tendencies, I am reminded of Sam Francis’s talk at American Renaissance in 1994. He discusses the fact that our civilisation is the first in history where the elites have a vested interest in “change” rather than in preserving the society which they administer. This is because our elite is a technocratic “knowledge elite.” The excerpt is on YouTube under the title “Dr. Samuel T Francis—Equality Unmasked.” Our present elites are therefore ensconced in a system that we would see overthrown—they are unlikely to rebel against it, they are its agents.
Van Wijk writes:
James N. wrote: “I’ve had a number of interesting discussions with commissioned officers about the mess we are in, and what it would take to cause military involvement on the patriot side. Let me say, by way of preface, that an armed rebellion with the Army and Marine Corps on the government side will be a bloody failure, and will allow consolidation of Federal power beyond what we can even imagine now.”
This has been a more or less ongoing topic over at Mangan’s for the past few weeks. A point I made there recently is that if you speak only to the officer and non-commissioned officer corps on this subject, you won’t get the whole picture. The majority of officers and NCO’s are military careerists who are looking to advance and eventually retire with a comfortable pension, but the bulk of the combat arms branches of the military (infantry, artillery, armor) is made up of private soldiers who are not careerists. Most of these enlist, serve out their contracts (usually from 2 to 6 years), and get discharged from active service; most are also white Southerners. So the real question is, will these private soldiers fire on their own people? Every doom-and-gloom scenario automatically assumes that they will, but I think a substantial portion would defect or otherwise refuse orders.
There are many factors which could work in favor of potential revolutionaries: 1) America has far more military veterans than active soldiers, many of which are combat veterans from our recent adventures in Araby and are very disillusioned; 2) if enough private soldiers refuse to fight their own people, the U.S. military becomes essentially combat ineffective overnight. Gray-headed Colonels and Sergeants Major don’t take part in firefights; 3) according to Wikipedia’s article on America’s Caucasian population, there are currently 198,984,886 non-Hispanic whites in the United States. If we take the commonly accepted Revolutionary War factor of 3% of the population under arms, we get 5,969,546. Combined active and reserve enlistment in the U.S. armed forces currently stands at 2,932,400, and it’s very likely that cuts are on the way; 4) arms and ammunition are widely available to private citizens, including rounds and magazines which are compatible with military small-arms.
Personally, I am for secession rather than revolution. The federals would have even less reason (and hope of success) to draw steel against a secessionist movement than against a full-scale revolution aimed at overthrowing the entire government apparatus.
Jonathan W. writes:
I can’t agree with Van Wijk’s that the liberal elite who control our society would not strongly oppose a secessionist movement. States that secede to get away from bureaucratic and socialistic federal controls will be able to provide more freedom and economic opportunity to their citizens than the remaining United States will. As the productive citizens flee in large numbers from the remaining United States to the new independent states, the union will be left with the elderly and the unproductive (largely, non-white) population. That will of course be unsustainable, leading to the further collapse of the United States.
I think the only answer is for traditionalists/conservatives to migrate to a few states and politically (i.e. legally) take power. That would give us some real leverage.
Someone needs to start such a movement; why not you?
The following is an abridged version (from 1250 words down to 500) of the comment Mencius Moldbug sent. I’ve kept his main points.
Mencius Moldbug writes:
Look, it’s very simple.
If you want regime change, all you have to do is to elect, to any plausible executive office, an individual who states clearly and openly that, upon election, he will assume emergency sovereign authority and govern by plenary decree. If you elect a President under these terms, you have regime change in America. If you elect a governor of California under these terms, California secedes by definition, and you have regime change in California.
This will never happen unless you create a credible alternative government before the election. USG 5 can be created as a government-in-exile without breaking so much as a hair of USG 4’s laws. If 51 percent of Americans vote to replace USG 4 with USG 5, presto, the deed is done, the game is over. It’s called popular sovereignty. What do you need to do to make this happen? Create USG 5, make it credible and responsible, and convince 51 percent of Americans (or 51 percent of Californians, or even 51 percent of Montanans) that it should replace the present management. Over & done. No one will fight you in a million years. Not a drop of blood will be shed.
If the resulting President is asked why he flouts the will of Congress and the Supreme Court, and indeed dissolves these moldy old agencies, he replies: who dissolved the Supreme Court? Us, or the judges who interpreted a Constitution whose most sacred principle was equality under law, to mean that African-Americans get 300 extra SAT points on their college applications and the right never to be mocked or insulted? Who dissolved Congress? Us, or the masters of gerrymandering who turned the organ of democracy into the Supreme Soviet, with a 98 percent incumbency rate and a 14 percent approval? And so on. The Constitution is a contract; a contract, violated by one party, ceases to be binding on all; USG 4 long since ceased to have anything to do with this ancient piece of paper. We slew not a king; we buried a corpse, which too long sat stinking on its throne.
There’s only one realistic way for the American people to recover their country: exercise absolute sovereignty, and elect a leader or organization who actually has complete control of the government. I call this a “true election.” Others might call it a “democratic coup.” And, with all due respect, I think anything else is either (a) a temporary defensive measure, or (b) mere onanistic bluster. Unless it’s a military coup—which, as others correctly explain, will never happen.
So I have a concrete plan. Do you? Does anyone else? What do you actually plan to do about these “evil tyrants,” Gina Miller? I see a lot of spittle and no plan at all. Rather, I see the desire to achieve a concrete real-world objective by the power of prayer—something that will work if, and only if, Washington belongs to the spirit world rather than the world of reality. Well, I’ve been to Washington. It seemed pretty real to me.
James P. writes:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 28, 2010 07:10 PM | Send
“If you want regime change, all you have to do is to elect, to any plausible executive office, an individual who states clearly and openly that, upon election, he will assume emergency sovereign authority and govern by plenary decree. If you elect a President under these terms, you have regime change in America. If you elect a governor of California under these terms, California secedes by definition, and you have regime change in California.”
Not many politicians have the opportunity to run on an anti-Hitler platform, but the opponent of anyone following Moldbug’s advice would do so. It would be especially delicious to play the Hitler card against an Austrian (Schwarzenegger) trying to get elected in a foreign country (California) in order to rule by decree. Why, the campaign ads practically write themselves!
Tragically, we are most likely to have “rulership by decree” implemented by crazy liberals, which will not restore sanity but intensify the insanity.
Rather than saying you that plan to rule by decree after the election, why not run as a “strict constructionist” and say you are going to govern strictly in accordance with the laws of the Federal and State constitution as they existed in (say) 1865? All other laws and regulations enacted since that time would be repealed, and all government offices created since that time would be abolished. Nobody could argue you were Hitler if you ran on that platform. Yes, that might eventually lead us back to the same place where we are now, but if we’re stupid enough to make the same mistake twice, then we deserve to suffer, and meanwhile we’d have a period of sane government (one hopes).