Dissecting the Libertarian Party… Act II

libertarian-party-sealSo Today we move on to the second half of the Statement of Principle from the Libertarian Party platform. I got some good feedback on the first half and some spirited conversation around it. So now let’s look at the second half before we start moving on to specific issues on the platform…

Remember the Rules!

The Second Half of the Libertarian platform’s Statement of Principles:

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

Again, that is copied directly from the Libertarian Party site. Some of this was touched on in yesterday’s discussion as the first half of this re-states a bit more firmly what was already said. “We support the prohibition of the initiation of the physical force against others”. This is a tough one for me. I was a soldier, so I feel like I have a solid grasp of the times where force is necessary, and it doesn’t always fit some people’s definition of self-defense. But I am willing to discuss it (their statement, not my military service).

It seems to me that what they are saying is that they do not support the initiation of military action under any circumstance. That does not mean that they do not support defending ourselves should we be attacked. Is that how the rest of you see it? If so do you agree? If you believe that is what they are saying, given the global circumstances today, should we be standing by and letting our enemies build their armies up to strength and simply wait for their attack? This is touched on a bit more in the defense section of the platform issues later, but I couldn’t find a clear answer to what they meant by this so this is really my interpretation so far. I am open to thoughts.

“the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form”. I think we can all agree on this one. Free speech all around. But it does leave me a bit open on the side of hate speech or speech that does impinge on freedoms. For example, the fruitcakes who picket soldier’s funerals screaming hateful stuff at families attempting to mourn their fallen soldier…. does this mean that the LP protects this as well? If so, doesn’t it fall under the rule of violating another’s right to pursuit of happiness (or at least no further pain)? 

“the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.” All I can say to that is AMEN. I see no way that the government should have the right to touch my private property. At what point did they start thinking that whatever it is that they are doing is more important than my personal rights?

And the last paragraph, to me, basically says that the government should not have their nose in the business that happens between two people. I understand contract law and the need to make sure that someone doesn’t get screwed. But beyond that they are simply in my business. There is nothing as pure as the free market as it was intended to be. So I am certainly all for that.

So now let’s discuss what we have learned here. Tomorrow we begin looking at some of the more specific issues that the Libertarian party addressed in their platform in Act III which covers the first 4 of the 7 personal liberties. For the record I see this series lasting through approximately Act XII. I know it seems like a lot, but we are here to really learn what this party is about, right?


  1. Well, my thoughts on this part. I believe we are getting into the area where people who realize it is wrong for individuals to do certain things make exceptions for individuals who work for government. There is no exception. If it is wrong for me to do something, it is still wrong no matter if the president, a judge, a cop, or a soldier has official “permission” to do it.

    The initiation of physical force is wrong; self defense is not. Stopping an attack is self defense. Punishing others for their past actions is initiating force. The military is financed through theft (taxation) and it initiates force by going to other countries and through “collateral damage”.

    A true defensive force would be a militia. Instead of spreading itself around the world, it would be in every home. No stolen money would be necessary to finance it, and the savings could be spent individually on the weaponry of choice. All the counterfeit victim disarmament “laws” interfere with the militia by prohibiting the very weapons the Second Amendment was written to protect. No country would be foolish enough to invade a country where every household was armed with current “military style” weaponry, and where every person walking down the street (or travelling on the plane) was carrying the means of self defense.

    If you do not “wait for their attack” you become the attacker. It is like breaking into your neighbor’s house and shooting him because you knew he had bought some new guns and you didn’t want to wait to be shot by him. You become the bad guy by initiating force. However, if your neighbor comes in your yard and points a gun at you, you are within your rights to shoot him. If he is pointing a gun out his window at you, you have the right to shoot him, but not the right to burn down his house and kill his family.

    Free speech: No one has a right to not be offended. Protesters at funerals may be jerks, but as long as they are not trespassing or initiating force, they are within their rights. Once you begin placing limits on a right, you can justify anything. The nuts who wave their “God hates fags” signs have every right to do so, but I have every right to point out that they are evil, disgusting idiots, AND I have every right to refuse to associate with them in any way (“shunning”) even to the point of allowing them to starve to death or to refuse to save them from a burning building. Actions have consequences.

    The right to private property: Taxes violate this right. It is no more excusable to steal a penny from someone, than it is to steal their car. It is not OK to force people to pay a yearly ransom to be allowed to keep their house or car. It is not OK to tell people what they can or can not do with their primary property (their body) as long as no others are being harmed. Not even if it “offends” you. Once again, there is no right to not be offended.

  2. Great post.

    In your idea of picketers at a soldier’s funeral, ideally, in my world, anyway, the funeral would be held on private property. Thus, it is the land owner’s responsibility to prevent trespassing, disturbing the peace, etc. Notice that private individuals do have the right to control what is on their property. The prohibition is against government censorship, not private censorship.

    For that matter, I’d rather soldiers be given a stipend to purchase their own private health insurance, rather than be subjected to a government-run version a la Walter Reed.

    I’m more of a quasi-libertarian, so I don’t have a problem if a small, local government or a PTA board decides to ban a book from the public curriculum. I really don’t have a problem with this form of “censorship.” Of course, I’d also advocate privatizing education, so that individuals have a huge amount of freedom and latitude in what they are educated in and how they are educated. If the school is private, then the libertarian ban on “censorship” doesn’t apply, as it is an individual (or individuals) acting freely, rather than a government acting oppressively.

    If you really think the government should not touch your private property, USWeapon, then you should be opposed to direct taxation in any form, especially the income tax, which literally confiscates an arbitrary and increasing amount of the fruits of your labors. Excise taxes, voluntary lotteries, tarriffs, and government land sales are really the more equitable means of funding government. Inflation, the hidden tax, is among the worst ways.

    Of course, many paleolibertarians believe if a government function was really legitimate, then people would pay for it by themselves, meaning that the use of force would be unnecessary, as individuals would voluntarily pay the required fees.

    Most mainstream individuals would consider me a fruit loop for such unorthodox ideas. But I’ll stick to my principles.

  3. (kentmcmanigal), The previous poster, has hit the nail on the head, in my humble opinion.

    My dissection of these LP Principles are… Everything mentioned within the LP Principles and its platform bolster and mirror the Constitution, leaving no loopholes for despots to take advantage of. I consider the LP as the “Party with Constitutional Teeth”.

    “(1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.”

    The right to life, in the Libertarian sense (my interpretation follows)…

    Abortion is a very sensitive issue and has been used by neo-cons to bolster the support and growth of their party.

    (definition of neo-con… “one whom uses a platform of conservatism to promote one’s party, without actually practicing conservatism”).

    They talk the talk, while avoiding the walk. Hypocrite comes to mind. They self-proclaim to be “Pro-Life” but at the same time, have no problem at all supporting the execution of hundreds of thousands of innocent folks to comply with an unconstitutional agenda. Thus, thousands of dedicated U.S. soldiers, by simply “following orders” have served unknowingly supporting unconstitutional actions of those whom serve unconstitutional agendas vs constitutional compliance.

    “(2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form”

    My input…”What part of [Free Speech] do the people not understand?” Free speech happens wherever one is. “Free Speech Cages” (Zones) are not what the founding fathers were conveying within the text of Amendment I, Constitution of the United States. We have a right to be verbally offended, as well as the right to verbally offend. The same applies to hieroglyphics or text/written word.

    “(3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.”

    All I can respond with, is this… “Robbery=Taxation; Trespass=Eminent Domain, Fraud=The IRS & Federal Reserve and Misrepresentation=Unconstitutional Legislation Illegally Justifying all of the above.

  4. Wow…some well thought out comments. I am at work so I don’t have the time to reply just now but as soon as I get of this evening I will be in to discuss I promise! Off at 10:30

  5. I think the question I have is, how do we get there from here?

    It’s very nice to speak of fully functioning pockets of society, small townships or communities, that willinging pay taxes to provide public safety and road maintenance, etc., but there has to be a bridge. People will not voluntarily pay taxes at this point, that’s a pipe dream.

    Roads and safety have to be paid for and maintained, and yes, to paraphrase Boortz, the government is taking the tax money at gun-point. But to actually elect some Libertarians to any office, some compromises must be made.

    Where do you make the cuts?

  6. Someday people will be astounded that we ever settled for government-owned roads. User fees (“tolls”) are a probable solution. Some people are under the impression that we have “free roads” now, but that’s just silly.

    Does there really have to be a bridge? Ferries, swimming cars, flying cars, …. I can think of a lot of possible solutions IF government regulation were eliminated. But if there still really has to be a bridge, why wouldn’t locals or local businesses want to chip in to have one built? If it is important to them, I’m sure they would. These ways solve the problem without stealing from anyone.

    If Libertarians compromise their principles in order to get elected, then they don’t deserve to be elected as “libertarians”. If libertarians can not be honest about reality and still get elected, then society isn’t ready for libertarians. My own experience tells me that there is probably not a political solution anyway. This isn’t meant as pessimism, but as an alert to be working on a backup plan.

  7. revolution2010 says:

    Wow! This conversation is interesting… if I can shed a little reality… BEST CASE SCENARIO…if the LP were to be able to get 5 elected congress members in the next election that would be PHENOMINAL!!!! 10 are just silly great. We as a people will never agree as a country to elect all of the same party, so the conversation being had is nearly null and void. The LP is trying to put some of their right fighters and watchdogs on the case, and that is how you have to look at it. They would at first, merely keep the other parties more honest… People who run on this platform would seem to be inherently trustworthy when compared to most elected officials who are currently in office. Now lets get to the issues…

    “We support the prohibition of the initiation of the physical force against others”. Great, they don’t want anyone to use physical force against us… that is pretty straightforward. I did not view this as a military directive, rather… we will have police to protect you and arrest bad men if you are mugged.

    “The right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form”. I think this is one of our most important rights. There aren’t many that will disagree, with the exception of “you gotta be kidding me Christian conservatives”. The only questionable word here is action, though if you qualify it by the first statement, it would read “the liberty of any action which does not inhibit the rights of others.” That is pretty clear once clarified.

    “The right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.” I don’t know anyone who would think this was a bad idea. I will guarantee you that eminent domain was never claimed on a congressman so they could pay him $.03 on the dollar for his property!

    All in all, I think the second half of the preamble is pretty straightforward and is all a manifestation of our Constitution. So far, I have no problems with any of it.

    I do have to make one point that is off subject and yet relevant. People are talking as though the LP is going to stage a coup. These ideas are fairly well thought out, seem to be purposefully verbalized and do not seem threatening. To get to a point where all of these policies could be implemented would have to be a gradual progression. Evidence of this can be seen if you look at the “Current Affairs” section of the issues page on the LP website. In referring to the war in Iraq it states “It is time for U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible in a manner consistent with the safety of our troops.” In a manner consistent with, implies they know it is not an immediate action, but rather a process. While it was a good idea to break this up into parts, you still have to look at the whole platform and stance on issues to understand the implications of their words.
    Gee, I guess we would already know that had they been invited to a friggin’ debate!!!!

  8. lingeringmethane says:

    Wow is right! They are some well thought out posts but I think that they got a little ahead of the topics that you want to discuss here.

    First I want to say that in order to have a functioning country without taxes is a fallacy and another pipe dream. What is this central Mongolia in the early 1400’s? I’ll have beef and broccoli in my helmet please! Do we just want some of the constitution? There are some necessary, for lack of a better word, programs that need funding. I don’t consider taxation to be theft. I consider excessive taxation to bolster inequitable constituent or personal gain – theft, i.e. $17.2 Billion in Pork this year, welfare, corporate welfare… If you look at article 1 section 8 paragraph 1 of the constitution it spells out congress has the power to tax, pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. I agree with Dreweth some compromises have to made at least in the short term.

    The right to life, I don’t even want to talk about abortion, it is not a political issue, it’s a personal one. I do not have the right to tell you what you can and can’t do with your body and nor does the government.

    Mo you hit the nail on the head with the free speech and Rev. that is a beautiful piece. Nuf said.

  9. Mo and Kent,

    I feel the anger there. And I understand it. We are all angry with the government. I want to be careful here because I value your input so I don’t want to offend you. I have to look at all of this a bit rationally. I know the Libertarian party is not perfect and that they cannot go in with guns blazing and change the world. The point is that they seem to be more in line with what we are seeking than the other two parties. We can’t have a coup, so we have to work within the confines of what we have. It’s like writing in the Star Wars genre…. you have free rein but you have to be mindful that you are operating in George Lucas’s universe, there are certain givens that you just have to accept. Such as yoda kicks ass.

    Kent you mentioned that punishment for past actions is an initiation of force and should therefore not be allowed. So does that mean that there should be no punishment for crimes? A killer murders 10 kids and we shouldn’t punish, or do you merely mean there should be no capital punishment. I just want to understand what you mean better than I do.

    I hear you on gun control, but that will be covered in a post shortly so I will avoid the topic for now.

    I understand your neighbor analogy, but we are talking about something like China staging a massive attack on the Canadian border. In that situation should we simply wait for the attack, wait until they are at their strongest and feel they are best prepared to win? I don’t want a war, that is for sure. But more importantly I don’t want to lose a war. If it is imminent, you take whatever advantage you can. War sucks, but if you are forced to play, play to win. I liken this to my stance on fighting. I don’t like it at all, but I am real good at it. If I am in a bar and something starts to escalate, I don’t play the “he has to swing at me first” game. If I know he is going to swing, I take whatever advantage I have, and if that means I swing first, then so be it. And then I ensure that he spends the rest of his life regretting his decision to give me any trouble. Its worked so far. The one time I waited for someone to swing and tried to walk away, I ended up getting my nose rebuilt. Never again.

    You mention that you don’t think politics will work so we need to have a backup plan. What exactly would a backup plan look like? Are you talking know how to survive in a chaos filled anarchy or some other structured alternative plan? Just wondering.

    Please keep coming back. I think the conversation is much more focused with so many different views.

  10. Mormon,
    I would love for every funeral to be on private property. I don’t know the answer to the pieces of shit picketing soldiers funerals. I just know I don’t like it. And it is cruel and hurtful to people who have already lost a lot. You won’t get me off that position. And if those whackos end up at a funeral that I attend…. well you can reference how I handle a fight above.

    Education and the privatization of it is a very popular opinion these days. We will be discussing education in a later post but I tend to agree with you on this I think. I look forward to your further thoughts then.

    And no I don’t oppose all taxes. But I do oppose all taxes that I have zero input into how they are spent. I submit that we need taxes for basic services such as fire, police, roads, etc. But perhaps we should all be more involved in our governments in a way that allows us to control where our money goes instead of people lining their pockets with it. I would like to see a world with far fewer taxes because we are depending less on the government than we do and we are allowing less wasteful spending. If you want an example, go to the monkey wrench link in the blogroll and read her blog about earmarks and pork.

  11. Revolution,
    I think as usual you are right on. Getting some folks in there is the first step in holding them accountable. I think that is the biggest image problem that the party has. Many people think that they are a hard line in the sand radical party. It is clear that they are not. I want to discuss the platform here, but you are right that there are many things to look at. I hope that my commentary will not be the sole source of people’s information. If so they will be adequately misinformed. And getting the LP in some major debates would open a lot of eyes to the possibilities

  12. Lingering,

    I hear you on abortion. It is personal. But that makes it political simply because some people want to unconstitutionally take that right away. We will be discussing it when it comes up in the issues shortly. But it is a tough discussion because so many are too emotional to discuss with logic.

    And you and Dreweth are dead on when you say zero taxes is a pipe dream. There are things that need funding. But we should have more say and there should not be the massive taxation that occurs today.

  13. “Punishment” that doesn’t pay restitution to the victim (or the victim’s survivors) is not right. It is really just institutionalized revenge. Who benefits from imprisonment? The state does, that’s for sure. But does the person who was hurt by the act of aggression benefit? Any fines are usually paid to the state. You may say that while the bad guy is in prison, he isn’t out there harming anyone else, but the reality is that prison has become “Criminal University”; causing some rather harmless individuals to become real predators once they are released. I believe that few murderers would survive in a free society. Their intended victims or others around them would be able to thwart the attack without fear of going through the legal wringer afterwards.

    On in international level, “fight them there now, or fight them here later” has turned America into the bully of the world. As in the bar fight example, there are defensive measures that can be taken to avoid the punch without becoming the bad guy.

    I can justify shooting soldiers who are coming down my street to harm people or property; I can’t justify going to China (as in your example) for a pre-emptive strike. One is self defense; the other is aggression IF NO ACTUAL FORCE HAS YET BEEN INITIATED. Invading Iraq or Afganistan for the acts of individual terrorists who were supposedly killed in their terrorists acts is an initiation of force. If you want to go to Cave-istan and hunt down Osama, do it as an individual and pay your own way or get financial backing from other individuals. Don’t claim to be going in my name and using stolen money and equipment to wreak destruction on innocent individuals.

    “Chaos” is what we have now. I strive for anarchy. We all live in a state of peaceful anarchy every day in all our private interactions. It works pretty well, I think. Only when the state and its counterfeit “laws” interfere does society break down.

  14. You know Kent, while I initially blew off your view, I can at least understand where you are coming from. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I understand. Perhaps if we went the way of the wild west, murderers would not last long. But would we ever be really safe. I mean I am an ex-military guy and I can handle myself, so I figure I have as good a shot as any at surviving in that world, but even I couldn’t last there long. Eventually, someone would get me. Eventually someone would get anyone if they wanted to.

    And where does that leave us? Take someone like Einstein as an example. There were people who thought he was crazy when he talked about the theory of relativity. People thought his ideas were dangerous. What if someone gunned him down because of that. Sure someone would take revenge and the free society has righted the ship. But we lost a great mind who advanced our understanding of things ten-fold. I don’t like the wild west. I don’t want a world of he who is strongest holds all the cards. In the world you speak of would Blacks have gotten equal rights given that they only make up 12% of the population? Or would every leader in the black community that stood up for his rights simply be killed….and done so legally I might add. Would the brilliant and successful women in our society have ever had the chance to be? Or would they still not have the right to vote and live knowing that there are no laws to protect them from stronger men?

  15. And before I forget Kent. I was talking about the Chinese gathering on the US border preparing for a strike. Do we just sit and wait for it. I am not saying we attack mainland China. I am saying they are there, 50 miles from the US border, gathering forces and preparing for the strike. We know it is coming. They didn’t gather there to roast marshmallows and hunt moose with Sarah Palin. They are preparing to take us down. And every day we watch them do it they get stronger and the odds for their success increase. Do we just watch and wait?

    Can I dodge the first punch in the bar? Probably, but what if I can’t? If I know he is about to strike, why should I let him? I don’t like going into other countries and imposing our will either. I don’t like how collateral damage takes innocent lives. But since the terrorist attacks were done by a few terrorists and they are now dead, does that mean there is no further action by us at all?

    So I would ask you this to further the discussion. Once they take action, how far do we go in return? Iran is a threat. They are probably building a nuclear weapon. Let’s say we take your tact and do nothing with them unless they attack us. So they lob it on over here and take out New York City. Let’s just go with 6 million dead New Yorkers. We have now been attacked, so I assume you would say it is OK to retaliate to defend ourselves. So what is an acceptable level? Do we let the heat of 100 nuclear bombs turn the entire area of Iran into a giant sheet of glass? Are we only able to retaliate to the point of killing an equal amount of their people? Or are we only able to go as far as attacking strategically to eliminate their ability to lob another one at us? See national defense ONLY says that last option is the only one. I say if you are a housecat, you don’t swat the nose of a lion. If you do, the lion takes your head off…. all of it.

  16. USWeapon said..

    “So I would ask you this to further the discussion. Once they take action, how far do we go in return? Iran is a threat. They are probably building a nuclear weapon. Let’s say we take your tact and do nothing with them unless they attack us.”

    First I need to clarify that (supposedly) the majority of “Terrorists” that flew planes into buildings were from Saudi Arabia, the home of the bin Laden family; friends and business allies of H.W. Bush & family. They had been friends & business partners for decades. The following excerpt should be taken as necessary historical information pertinent to this discussion. Dots need to be exposed and connected to understand their importance relating to the justification(s) of pretexts for U.S. Military actions and the resultant-collateral-demolition of our Constitutional Republic.


    From the September 18, issue of From The Wilderness (2001 ?)

    ~bin Laden~
    There are direct historical links between Osama bin Laden’s business interests and those of the Bush family. On September 15 I received the following message from FTW subscriber, Professor John Metzger of Michigan State University:
    “We should revisit the history of BCCI, a bank used by the legendary Palestinian terrorist known as Abu Nidal. BCCI was closely tied to American and Pakistan intelligence. Its clients included the Afghan rebels, and the brother of Osama bin Laden, Salem. Salem bin Laden named Houston investment broker James R. Bath as his business representative in Texas, right after George W. BushÕs father became CIA director in 1976. By 1977, Bath invested $50,000 into juniorÕs first business, Arbusto Energy, while Osama bin Laden would soon become a CIA asset. George W. BushÕs FBI director Robert Mueller was part of the Justice DepartmentÕs questionable investigation of BCCI. (On BCCI, the bin Ladens, and the Bushes, see the books, The Outlaw Bank, A Full Service Bank, and Fortunate Son).” Further details of the business and financial relationships between the Bush and bin Laden family are found in Peter Brewton’s 1992 book The Mafia, CIA and George Bush. BCCI, incidentally, was founded by a Pakistani.
    (End Excerpt)

    First off, “we” (as the govt’)- would be doing “something”, as opposed to nothing, prior to the initiation of force. (Or “we” should be)
    Such as… Building strategic fronts to contest such a scenario, in preparation to protect and defend our country’s border(s).

    The militia (which consists of all U.S. citizens capable and ready to defend their homes and their neighbors’ homes) would have been apprised of the threat prior to the attack, and readied through networks. Please note: the militia costs the taxpayer nothing, they are self-supplied and self sufficient.

    As for another country or nation state’s procurement of certain weapons; are “we” (as the U.S. Gov’t), the purveyors of liberty, freedom and self-government, not the ultimate hypocrites by maintaining a nuclear arsenal, capable of wiping out all of civilization? At the same time, dictating to sovereign entities throughout the world, that it’s ok for the U.S. to have and maintain certain weapons, but they can’t?

    This country cannot survive by continuously insisting that we are the World’s Police. We have 170 U.S. military bases around the world. “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions”.
    It costs 1,000,000,000,000.oo dollars a year (one Trillion Dollars) to keep this U.S. dictatorial-empire afloat. Our children and grandchildren will be footing the bill for tyrannical decisions made today.

    The Constitution of the United States states that Congress shall have the power to declare war. The whim of one person, be they, the president, vice president, whomever, shall not have dictatorial power to make such crucial decisions. The founders knew that despots would be tempted to take advantage of such scenarios; they weren’t stupid.

    Libertarian Principles promote the inalienable rights of the “individual”, not a “certain group” as the influential-representatives of government. “The Constituent is the master, the government is the servant to the Constituent”.


  17. I don’t want to be “safe”; I want to be free. Safety is for pets or livestock; freedom is for me. Of course, I have no right to force anyone to be free, just as no one has a right to impose their vision of “safety” upon me.

    You do realize that “the wild west” was a myth, right? Many eastern cities where few people were armed were much more deadly. An armed society is a polite society, as they say.

    I believe that in a society like I envision, “blacks” and women (or any other group) would be free to live to their full potential without being held back by “officialdom”. See, that is my real gripe with government: the bad guys are able to do the same deeds that the “bullies” in an anarchistic society might do, but they are sheltered from retribution because of their position and “the law”.

    In the cases you mention, it was “laws” which kept the repressed people from exercising their rights. I support the right of every person to live free in spite of the will of the majority (or a vocal minority). “Laws” are the weapon so often used to violate rights.

    Yes, just as in our current world, some good people might be killed for their beliefs, but no longer would the killers be able to claim “sovereign immunity” or “we were just doing our job”. Bad guys would be held accountable. And not just by being killed during the commission of their acts, by through the right of association. If, say, a business owner wants to refuse to serve Jews, that is his right. However, it is my right to refuse to do business with him, too, and to tell all my friends why. If a man tries to kill a person with “dangerous ideas”, why do you assume he wouldn’t be able to defend himself, and why do you assume no one else in his vicinity is willing to come to his defense? Victim disarmament “laws” have made aggression a relatively safe pursuit. That must end if civilized life is to return.

    I firmly believe that if America would stop meddling around the world, there would be no reason for foreign armies to attack us. Also, if my anarchistic society were reality, what would be the point of an attack? If they took over and occupied DC, no one would care. Except those who lived there. And they would probably have support from everyone else within driving distance.

    A country can only be conquered if there is centralized control (“government”). If every household were armed with current military hardware, do you really think any governmental army could “win”?

    Where are these Chinese troops? If they are in another country, why are they being allowed to prepare an attack? Do you think Montanans would sit quietly if the Chinese army were on their ranches preparing for an attack of Canada? If offshore, with obvious aggression in mind, an attack would be justified. It is just like having your neighbor pointing a gun at your head. But as I say, imperialism and meddling are the cause of internatrional tensions. The founders tried to tell us “Trade with all nations; entangling alliances with none”. We didn’t listen.

    You ask “But since the terrorist attacks were done by a few terrorists and they are now dead, does that mean there is no further action by us at all?” Yes. If your neighbor’s son attacks you and is killed in the attack, you are not justified in raping his daughter. No matter how mad you may be, and how much you want to do something. The smart thing would have been to learn some lessons, such as: Disarming plane passengers does not make them safer… If you meddle in other countries’ affairs, there may be unpleasant consequences…. cooperating with attackers does not mean they will let you go…. killing people in other countries will make a new generation mad enough that they will give up their lives in order to punish people who had nothing to do with the original aggression.

    With Iran – Who is telling us that they are building a nuclear weapon? People who profit or otherwise benefit from continued wars. Does Iran have a way to deliver a nuke to America? Are there no defensive actions that could be taken without becoming the bad guys? Why can’t money be spent on defensive things?

    Obviously the tactic of “the lion will take your head off” has not been effective. If “peace” is the goal. It is time for the lion to stop telling the housecat where to crap, what to eat, and when to nap.

  18. Kent,

    You make me chuckle, and I mean that in a good way. You make some great points here that I want to carefully consider before really responding. I will answer a few questions that you had though. Iran was a hypothetical. I don’t know if Iran is building a nuclear weapon. I was only saying if we knew that to be true. I think there are certainly defensive measures that we could take. And we should be working more on those as well. There needs to be a solid missile defense system developed that works every time.

    You obviously don’t like the lion taking the head off option, but what is justified? Only strategic strikes against a country willing to nuke New York?

  19. To all,

    I get where people are going with the militias being cost effective and that an “armed to the hilt” America is a dangerous target. It is also an unorganized target. Let me tell you the one thing I learned about this tactical plan while in the military: Many of the places where America has “operated” (and whether you like or not that we do so is another topic for later), are countries that are armed to the hilt. Somalia has guns EVERYWHERE. Iraq has guns EVERYWHERE. Afghanistan has guns EVERYWHERE.

    And everywhere we go to face these armed to the hilt militias, we kick the crap out of them. Before you mention that we lost in Somalia, I will tell you that Somalia is a very sensitive issue to discuss with me for reasons that I won’t go into now. But the fact there was that we lost 18 out of about 200 soldiers and it is reported that they lost almost 2,000 in the firefight that day. We got out because of whatever reason you believe we left, but it wasn’t a “loss”. An organized military will beat a unorganized militia 100% of the time in today’s world. This isn’t the 1700’s where the organized army will march in line like the British did. If you are really going to rely on a “militia” to defend this country, then prepare to speak Chinese or Russian or Farci. No matter what those farmers in Montana think, they won’t stand up to a Chinese bombing run or the special operations troops that will follow. I know first hand what a well trained group of soldiers is capable of. And no militia will stand a chance against them.

  20. I don’t care what language my descendants will speak, just as I don’t care what language my ancestors spoke (nor would they have cared what language I am speaking now). That is a threat that gets repeated too many times on the internet. Usually as a justification for doing very nasty things.

    What I do care about is that my descendants understand what is is to be free and honorable. If I am forced to murder in order to live, then I may commit the murder, but I would be wrong. Real life rarely forces those kind of choices, but they make for good drama. Few people who are not out there doing things they shouldn’t be doing get put into those kinds of situations. Ever notice that most of the murder victims have mug-shots on file? I’m not saying they deserved it, just that if you hang around with certain types of people, some things become more likely.

    An unorganized target has no “head” to be chopped off, and no generals who are authorized to surrender. As long as any are still alive, the war is not over.

    I doubt you can really compare third world militias with a hypothetical fully-armed American militia. But pretending that you can, I would still rather fight a foreign army marching down the road here than to commit an immoral act of going “there” to kill them first. Ethics mean something to me. It is better to be a dead resistance fighter than a victorious Hitler. Too many people forget that there are worse things than death.

  21. USWeapon,

    What right do you have to punish another person?

    You may have a right of restitution – that is, a return of your losses.

    You have a right to peace and protection…

    But how do you claim a right of punishment?

  22. On the issue of waiting for the attack, supporters of self defense, including you, Kent, find it defensible to shoot someone who is pointing a gun at you. You can’t shoot your neighbor because he bought a gun, but you can if he pointed it at you. If China is amassing on the border in preparation for an attack, then you can shoot them too. If a country is using their military might as a threat against you, then it is the same thing. If a country is not threatening you, then you have no right to dictate their military level for any reason. If they are threatening or attacking other countries, then it is tantamount to defending your neighbor. If I like next to kind old Ms. Smith and I see someone attacking her, I will come to her defense, and I do not consider that an initiation of force.

    Now, that brings in the complication of perception. What if kind old Ms Smith was actually not under attack, or what if she initiated force and I saw it late? Who decides if my actions were justified? If an investigation is required, who undertakes this, and who pays for it? There is a place for police, and for rescue services, and various other things. There are better ways in which to conduct their organization and funding, but a neutral body, such as a government, remains the best solution.

    As for the advantages of an organized military versus an armed populace/militia, I have no question a proper military is far superior in an actual war. I understand the argument that an armed US population could not be compared to the armed populations of Somalia, or even to the more formidable guerrilla situations of Vietnam during the war. However, the superiority of an armed US is largely due to the implementation of modern US weaponry and tactics and other technology, which would not exist without the organized military that we have and have had for the last couple centuries. Furthermore, some uses of that technology would only be possible for trained persons, not just any citizen, also supporting the idea of a proper military.

    The initiation of force for resources, to protect citizens operating outside of the US jurisdiction, to “prevent” or “preempt” attacks, to “spread democracy and freedom”, etc. are certainly out of the scope of a defensive action, thus are not justifiable.

    As for prisons and punishment, there is a certain place for the removal of persons from society. I do think that the primary function should be enforced restitution to the harmed parties, and the financial support of the incarceration facility. I am no fan of vengeance, but there is a place for justice to be served in the case of past crimes.

    Governments can fund themselves through true charges for services rendered. Even sales taxes can be justified as a surcharge for government oversight of contracts, fraud prevention, and even basic economic protections such as the military, police, etc. If you don’t want those services, you would have to go through an exemption process or qualification, similar to a tax exempt person or organization. Then, it is not a tax, but a surcharge, and justifiable.

  23. also, on the note of the idealistic libertarian state being an academic discussion at best, I totally agree. An overabundance of idealism has been a hindrance to the libertarian party. People need solutions, not end goals, especially when they feel pressed by the weight of current circumstances.

  24. “a neutral body, such as a government”

    I find this a preposterous statement. Government is the most biased organization there is. It is completely, unquestionably, dedicated to the proposition that it is the legitimate holder of the monopoly on force.

    Why can’t average people (“just any citizen”) train to use current high-tech military gear? Only because it is forbidden to them. Why would this gear not exist without the government military? The only things the military inventors create are the weapons of mass destruction that cause “collateral damages”. These things cause more problems, ethically, than they solve. Normal precision weaponry, such as better rifles and such, are created by gun companies and individual inventors. Then they are unilaterally claimed by and for government.

    How does imprisonment advance “justice”? Once again, you need to accept the fact that petty thugs learn the skills to become really dangerous predators in this subculture. It reinforces the “us vs society” view. It may feel good to people who desire to “punish” others, but it solves nothing.

    If government allowed people to “opt out”, I would back off on a lot of my opposition to it. That undermines the entire foundation of government, though, and will never be allowed. Once the average person saw that those who opt out of government are better off and happier than those who remain under its “protection”, the entire house of cards would collapse.

  25. JonSmith,

    Thanks for visiting and reading and most importantly, commenting. I don’t know that I can find fault with a single thing that you have added to the discussion. I must agree that the police and fire and other functions have a place in civilized society. Could the organizations be run better? Absolutely, the government has become very good at wasting money.

    You hit my nail on the head about the initiation of force. That is where I was heading. The problem becomes defining the initiation of force. In my bar analogy, the drunk threatening to hit me has initiated force prior to actually striking, and I shouldn’t have to wait for that strike to stop it. China masses on the border, then they are initiating force and will be dealt with.

    The military is a powerful force. I know there are many who believe that a civilian force can stand up to it, but thus far the most powerful armies in the world have net been able to stand up to ours. Has it made us a little headstrong? Sure. Has it gotten us into the habit of putting our nose where we shouldn’t? Definitely. I would like to see this stop as much as anyone. But when we are legitimately threatened, we should be able to respond with massive force. We have no right to tell Iran what to do about creating a nuclear weapon. But the second they start aiming it at someone, we have the right to help the target. The second they aim it at us, we have the right to stop them.

  26. Kent,

    “Better Guns” are not created by who you think they are. They are created by large contractors funded by the government. Some of the precision weaponry that will come into play in the coming years is amazing. The OICW alone is a gun that puts all others to shame.

    The military has consistently over the years striven for more accurate weaponry. While war sucks, I sure feel good about the fact that it is MY government that is doing this. Terrorists are doing the opposite. Most countries are as well. We are actually making an attempt to limit collateral damage, which is more than most can say.

    And I submit to you that your armed America theory of preventing attack is sound on the global level. The country with the most guns stands the best chance of avoiding someone making that attempt. Our military is the most powerful in the world. And as such we have not seen attacks like what we saw this week in Mumbai. Most countries are not willing to attempt to attack America, and that is something that I am very grateful for.

  27. You have a government? I don’t, other than self-government. It is the only kind that really works (or ever has).

    “Large contractors” invent nothing; individuals do. Those individuals may work for large contractors which get funding from government contracts, but those people who have an innate understanding of guns and how to make them better (such as John Moses Browning did in an earlier era) would still be designing better guns without government funding. In fact, government actively prosecutes those who dare to create innovative guns without government permission. What might be available if we were really free?

    The Mumbai tragedy just about made me ill. Thousands of people with no real option but to run and/or die. These crimes are on the hands of those who disarmed the victims just as surely as they are on the hands of the attackers who pulled the triggers. The “authorities” were either targeted first, or ran away. This is why a universally armed population is the best defense. Never let the disarmament activists forget their guilt.

  28. I understand the sentiment about the people who took away the guns are just as at fault. I guess that I kind of agree with that although it will require some more thought from me. So I agree in principle for now. I do agree with you that an armed populace makes sense. This is why I don’t want any laws that prohibit guns. I personally believe that you should be able to have any gun that you choose to have. I, if I were the government, would reserve the right to take those guns from you if you were to show yourself to be a danger to anyone by possessing them. If you start pointing them around for no reason, you are threatening people without provocation, and therefore have become a public nuisance. So long as you don’t do that, I am cool with things and don’t want to take anyone’s guns from them.

    That is a good point about the invention of guns. I am unaware of the laws that prosecute those who attempt to design a better gun. I have always assumed that wasn’t the case but will admit to ignorance on this one. Can you provide me with a few more details on these laws? I am simply interested to know about them so that I can subjectively rant about them in the future, lol.

  29. The blog “The War on Guns” often has stories about gun makers who the BATFE targets for prosecution, even when they attempt to jump through all the legalistic hoops set before them. Len Savage, KT Ordinance, and the inventor of The Atkins Accelerator are some that come to mind quickly, but there have been many more. This has a chilling effect on those who would innovate.

  30. Thanks Kent,

    I will go and check out that site when I have a chance later today. I believe that we are in agreement when I say I don’t think the government should have any right to inject themselves into the creative process here. Anyone with the knowledge and inclination to design a new gun should be allowed to do so.

  31. Kent,
    I am well aware that individuals invent guns. I am also well aware of the restrictions on weapon making. My dad is a gunsmith, and a good one. He could make a fine gun, but it would require a $5,000 per gun license, making it impossible to afford or do at a profit without making a lot of them. The license doesn’t get cheaper until you are making around a hundred or more.

    Also, I agree that many people would love to train on F-16 combat operations if they were allowed to, the problem is this: who would buy an f-16 and who would pay for the training, who would currently do the training. Who, in an anarchist state, would even try to invent such a weapon? What is the motivation for an individual to develop such a weapon. Only the very rich could afford to fund the research and build the plane. Then you have the issue of a mismatched armament among the population.

    So let’s say some rich guy built a small fleet of warplanes. He get’s it into his head that he can do whatever he wants, or that the ends justify the means somehow and that some illegal acts are worthy if they save a life later on. So he decides to test his new hellfire missile on your house. Even if your neighbor retaliates and takes him out afterward with his new fancy, highly accurate rifle, you are still a goner. Also, that would be a revenge step, not true defense according to one of your previous arguments, yes?

    What if it was an invading country that did this, unleashed a whole armada of planes. Let’s say your rich guy was on the up and up, and he sends up his fleet of 25 planes, so do a dozen other people. Up against an entire air force of the invading country. They will lose, and they will not be able to cover the entire country with their defensive net. In fact, without coordinated listening systems, satellites, etc., we would not see them coming, and a great deal of damage would be done early on. An armed and unorganized populace may never be fully defeated, but it will not exactly be safe. In fact, an invasion would likely succeed on some level, the seizure of some resources, the seizure of smaller regions of land. A military is something a country such as ours needs, whether you wish it or not. And a surcharge for the protection of that military is justifiable.

    That said, much of the military could be privatized eventually, and the scope of the military certainly needs to be reduced to defensive purposes only, nothing more.

  32. Once again, there is little or no motivation to attack, and nothing to be gained by attacking, a governmentless society, so the whole exercise is moot, but.. I’ll play along.

    F-16s are a government answer to the question of “air defense”, but not necessarily the best answer. Government doesn’t concern itself with cost the way you and I do. After all, they steal or print their money.

    You also have to remember that government costs us around 87% of our total wealth. In a free society we would be much richer and things would probably cost much less. But even if this were not true, there are many possible solutions.

    Those “very rich” in our theoretical free society who are funding the research and development of the planes (or whatever) would likely want to sell their products in order to get more rich. That is just the way things work.

    Just because something wasn’t originally created as a weapon doesn’t mean it can’t be used as one or adapted. Without government stifling innovation, I believe there would be a much broader range of aircraft in use in private hands today.

    Some of those aircraft would probably be adapted for “fighting” use as a sport, and I can even imagine games and sports being competed in, where targets or drones are chased down for a score. People can and do weaponize everything, even where it is prohibited. It is in our nature, and it is fun to test our skills against targets. Look how many games involve “aiming” of some sort.

    There is already a mismatch of weaponry among any population. Some people have none; some have armories in their basement. It doesn’t cause a problem unless someone initiates force, and then the mismatch doesn’t even come into play in reality. Whether your aggressive neighbor kills you with a hellfire missile, with a baseball bat, or by using the big stick of government, you are just as dead. No society, not even a free one, can prevent bad people from doing evil things. The difference is that in a free society, the bad guy can not pretend to have legitimacy for his evil actions. And there would be no “legal” mismatch on the kinds of weaponry he is allowed to have, but you are not, nor on the acts he is allowed to commit, but you are not.

    Why do you assume “we would not see them coming”? There are already private satellites, even with heavy government regulation and meddling. In a free society, there would doubtlessly be many more, for all sorts of purposes. If there are people who want to watch the skies for invaders or missile launches, there will be satellites they can subscribe to that will allow them to do just that.

    Have you ever heard of SETI@home? It takes data from radio telescopes and sends it to peoples’ home computers to analyze, looking for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations’ signals. No one gets paid to do this, and it really takes no oversight; being automated as it is.

    As the tech gets smaller and cheaper (which it always does) people who are concerned about invasions could put up their own radar stations to watch the skies. Other people could help watch the incoming data for problems, or programs could alert watchers to potential invaders. They might even form clubs to share information and equipment.

    Then, too, you ignore all the possibilities for passive defense. A decentralized defensive shield, of whatever type, would be much harder to effectively defeat than an “eggs in one basket” approach. I might like to have an underground house in the boondocks that would be practically invisible unless you knew it was there. Maybe I would like to build a laser system to shoot geese with. A man’s gotta eat, you know. It might also work with incoming missiles or attacking aircraft.

    Some people will always be paranoid. They would probably put a lot of effort into designing defensive stuff. With no state to get “counter-paranoid” who cares? This is absurd, I know, but what would stop people from doing this sort of thing if they were really free to have everything they ever really wanted, as long as they attacked or cheated no one?

    Once again, I don’t wish to be “safe”; I demand to be free. Safety is always an illusion anyway.

  33. lingeringmethane says:

    The Enterprise had photon torpedoes

  34. Motivation? Sure there is. How about seizing the oil fields in Alaska. No central government to give a crap about that region, and a likely decreased population after government installations are removed. There would be plenty of motivation to seize land and resources, wherever they may be, if they are not well enough defended by someone.

    I did make a mistake in my thinking, and there is no excuse for it, since I tend to whine about other people making this same error. The error of the zero-sum game. The world is not static, the removal of the cost of government would certainly free up a lot of resources, making many things not so cost prohibitive. By the same token, some things currently covered by our taxes, such as defense, would have to be covered. There are also the collective concepts, such as a business that would offer insurance against attack and act as a mercenary type defender.

    You are correct that the rich would want to sell their inventions, but, again, only to other rich. Certainly, a warplane would not be as expensive in the private sector as it is for our wasteful military, but it still would be out of range for the average person, 87% more wealth or not. Certainly other things can be made into weapons, but there is still the issue of coordinated attack/defense. An organized military will defeat an unorganized one. Also, the average person will not choose to spend their new found wealth on defense in most cases, and as a whole, I expect a far less armed society in the absence of a government.

    You may be right about the tracking of enemy attack, and the tendency of those watching to alert those not would be within acceptable parameters. The mismatch exists now, yes, but that is not an issue in an invasion, because that is not who is called upon for defense. And yes, it does not matter how you are killed if you are dead. And true, no society can completely prevent evil. What I am talking about isnt so much an attack on you personally, I am more talking about someone taking over, lets say, 50 square miles. Who stops him if no one that is directly affected is able to? Whose responsibility is it, and is such a retaliation of force acceptable?

    I know that those who value security above freedom deserve neither. I understand your position, and you make good points for your position, but I do not believe that the freedom America gained would have existed without taking up arms. The primary reason for the second amendment is to prevent tyranny, be it from a government or a crazed maniac or an invading country. To think that force would not be required if we all just got rid of government is a little far fetched to me. Freedom has been won through force in nearly every case in history, what has changed? What is the reasoning that says that force will no longer be required once true freedom is acheived? It doesn’t work from the facts of history. I am all for being open to the changes that would exist in your proposed world, meaning that some of my arguments against it are moot, but I am not so quick to think that somehow everything is different than it has ever been, and that we will require no use of force, or that we can somehow outperform a coordinated military with militia, again flying in the face of millenia of military tactics and data.

  35. Re-read and check your math: It isn’t “87% more wealth”; it is 8 times more wealth. A huge difference, but I agree, even with that few people could afford an F-16. But no one would want to, since they will be obsolete.

    You are also assuming petroleum would continue to be as valuable in the free future as it is now; that something such as thermal depolymerization won’t reduce the value to the point that it isn’t worth the effort to attack Alaska. Or that nothing will be invented that makes petroleum obsolete.

    Why assume that “organization” comes only from government? Even ants and molecules can organize. People organize every day in complex and effective ways without being ordered to do so.

    I never claim that freedom comes without force; just without initiating force. I have written in defense of “violence” several times. Violence as a response to violence is entirely appropriate, as long as it is at the scene and time of the attack where there is no mistaking who the target is.

    I think there are plenty of people, including you, who would probably come to the defense of your hypothetically conquered “50 square miles”. People who desire being heroes will still need a way to express that part of their personalities.

    For any solution you can find any number of potential problems. Nothing is insurmountable. And freedom is always the answer.

  36. Kent,

    I am going to continue reading and responding to the posts after this thought from you but I wanted to address it first. You stated:

    Once again, there is little or no motivation to attack, and nothing to be gained by attacking, a governmentless society, so the whole exercise is moot, but.. I’ll play along.

    I disagree. See that is the thing. There does not have to be a government in place in order to attack. With government in place, do you really believe that if a group came over and took over Washington DC that the rest of the country would just fall in line and salute our new leaders? I certainly don’t. So the argument for eliminating government because then enemies won’t have a reason to attack is moot.

    Our enemies will attack to take whatever they want. If you are sitting on a beautiful piece of land with oil underneath it, they will attack because they want the oil and intend to take it from you. And in your version of society, you wouldn’t have nearly enough support to stop them. However, with the government behind you as they are now, those same enemies don’t dare attack because they know that even if they kill you and lay claim to the land, they won’t get to keep it. The government will defend her citizens. And whether you like the government or not, to insist that in today’s world you don’t need the protection that the blanket of America provides is simply denying how small the individual is in a world where organized groups will always be there to threaten. And if you organize a group to defend, you are simply taking the steps to form a mini-government of your own, defeating the purpose you had from the beginning.

  37. Jon Smith,

    I agree you made a mistake there, but submit that both you and Kent made a bigger one. In a truly free market, the laws of supply and demand regulate pricing. It is all rooted in economics. Planes, being in smaller supply and higher demand, would conceivable become more costly that they are now. After all most people wouldn’t know how to build them or have the financing to acquire the machinery necessary to manufacture them. Meaning only the rich would build them, and the rich, knowing there is a buck to be made from the laws of supply and demand, would do so. All of the arguments here leave out the greed factor and ignore the true laws of supply and demand. Look at how outrageously priced some items are today compared to the cost of making them. And that is in a market that is only semi-free. A true market would increase cost as demand increases.

  38. Lingering,

    I must admit that I was almost on the floor laughing about the photon torpedos. It is those kind of one-liners that will get me to belly laugh all the time.

  39. “With government in place, do you really believe that if a group came over and took over Washington DC that the rest of the country would just fall in line and salute our new leaders?”

    They do it every day.

    “Planes, being in smaller supply and higher demand, would conceivable become more costly that they are now.”

    Maybe at first, but with demand comes more being supplied. The market always fills a need unless interfered with. I don’t think you really understand how the market works. High prices that impact sales don’t benefit the seller. If the price is too high, a competitor will offer a cheaper version unless government makes competition difficult.

    “And if you organize a group to defend, you are simply taking the steps to form a mini-government of your own”

    As long as it is completely voluntary it is not a “government” and I have no problem with it. I’ll take my chances with freedom. I would never impose liberty on anyone.

  40. Oh, I am an economics person (both in passion and in education). I certainly understand how that all works. And the fact is that the supplier will only lower price to the point of economic equilibrium. Only in a true monopoly does a price stay sky high, but even a oligopoly will conspire to keep prices high and the competition out. And that is where we would end up, an oligopoly. I welcome the economic discussion though. It is one of the areas where I really understand all the concepts and can apply them to theory.

  41. And you said

    “With government in place, do you really believe that if a group came over and took over Washington DC that the rest of the country would just fall in line and salute our new leaders?”

    They do it every day.

    No they stand by what they believe is the legitimate government. Let Russia come take DC though, and I think you wold find a different attitude altogether. Those who would salute the new power certainly don’t have the willpower to survive in the world you suggest.

  42. I ran across this quote on another blog today, and it seemed appropriate to this discussion. Sorry about posting this so long after the fact.

    “It is interesting to hear certain kinds of people insist that the citizen cannot fight the government. This would have been news to the men of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The citizen most certainly can fight the government, and usually wins when he tries. Organized national armies are useful primarily for fighting against other organized national armies. When they try to fight against the people, they find themselves at a very serious disadvantage. If you will just look around at the state of the world today, you will see that the guerillero has the upper hand. Irregulars usually defeat regulars, providing they have the will.

    Such fighting is horrible to contemplate, but will continue to dominate brute strength.” – LTC John Dean “Jeff” Cooper, USMC (retired)
    10 May 1920 – 25 September 2006

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