Are we spearheading a peaceful evolution or delaying a violent revolution? I have recently had my worldview shaken by an article written by Christopher Cantwell called, "Violently Overthrow The Government." The reason for said shaking is because it scared me to my very core; not because I am scared of a violent revolution. If that must take place, then so be it. It scared me because I have put all my faith and work into the belief of a peaceful evolution. Chris destroyed it in a single article, albeit a long one, with logic and within the boundaries of the Non-Aggression Principle.
First let me say that I, in no way, support the killing of anyone, even if they wear a funny costume and shiny badges. I judge individuals on their own actions and won't blame one costumed man for the actions of another. I want with the deepest of my being for every one of my fellow human beings to wake up tomorrow and be free along with me. I base my life around education and truth with the intention of helping others to think for themselves.
That being said, I also fully support, believe in, promote, and have a basic human right to self defense. If someone tries to kidnap, steal from, or attack me, I have the right to defend myself and my property. If necessary, I can kill my aggressor. I would feel sad for the loved ones survived by said attacker, but have no remorse for the attacker himself.
Now that I have set a standard of my thinking, let's get into the article.
Chris first shows the logical and factual failings of democracy, civil disobedience, education and peaceful parenting. These are not new ideas, not new practices and history shows that the State, in the end, will prevail. So, where does that leave us?
My proposal, and in all honesty, I’m still working out the details, has been to resort to force. For free men and women to forcefully defend themselves against agents of the State. To kill government agents who would otherwise use force against them, until their jobs simply become so dangerous that they seek other lines of work. -Cantwell
He isn't calling for a violent "revolution" per se, but for already free men and women to defend themselves against already established aggressors. He isn't purposing that we organize together and insert new leaders and elected officials. Just defend yourself and, if you are a moral man/woman, your neighbors and fellow humans.
No, the goal of overthrow must be to put an end to the State, not shuffle the deck. -Cantwell
Honestly, I can understand and even agree with that reasoning. It is both logical and moral. If he was asking for us to just start killing agents of the state at random, then I could not support his stance. He isn't asking that; only that you defend yourself when they aggress against you. My nagging question, even though I may agree to a point, is, "Are the state of affairs bad enough to warrant such actions and if they are, how do you achieve this without just being some uprising that was quickly quelled?"
The most attractive part of force, is that it requires the fewest participants...... Let us assume that the average cop writes 10 traffic tickets per day. If 5% of the population of a given geographic area simply understood that force was necessary and proper, a police officer would be coming into contact with one of those people roughly every other day. Up that number to 10%, or be in a place where police write more than 10 tickets a day, and the likelihood of such an encounter becomes much greater. -Cantwell
In the last paragraph of the article I see, what I believe, to be Cantwell's true intentions of writing this gut wrenching and paradigm shaking article.
Those who have attempted to avoid this discussion, such as Stefan Molyneux, and the Free State Project, do so at the peril of their own credibility, and do a disservice to those who they would claim to be trying to help. This discussion is happening with or without you, and if you really think I’m that far off base, then the proper way to handle that is to make a coherent response. Shutting down the lines of communication only proves that you don’t have one. -Cantwell
Aha! Seriously though. Why isn't this a discussion? Is it so unbelievable that sometime in the future retaliation against the State will be necessary?
Luckily, someone I respect answered the call of violent revolution or peaceful evolution. Derrick J Freeman! I was excited. He even titled it Chris Cantwell is All Wrong. I was going to have my faith in peaceful resistance restored because I was, unfortunately, unable to destroy Cantwell's logic. I was hopeful.
What it comes down to is a war of ideas. If all the world’s a stage, and we all the players, then let us demonstrate for the world what a free society can look like. Let us provide the example and be the light on the hill. Let us provide alternatives to the things the state provides, like food and care for the old and needy. -Derrick J
The people have to be won, they have to be sold on the idea. -Derrick J
And listen, you’re picking the wrong battle. You’re outmatched. There will never be a successful violent revolt in America; it will be squashed. No, like the Cyclops in the Odyssey, free humanity must outwit the sociopaths to defeat them. -Derrick J
BOOM! Come at me Bro!
There’s nothing special about you or this time. You aren’t owed freedom in your lifetime, but you can have it....If your self-interest is personal freedom, then live free and take the consequences.... -Derrick J
I am a free and unique human being, that makes me special. That's why killing is wrong. Everyone is special. And in the truest sense of time, "now" is the most important time. You're right about not being "owed" freedom because it is already mine, but that won't stop a Cop/FBI/Military from killing me if they so wish.
Live free and take the consequences? I could agree with that IF one were talking about the consequences of not saving enough money or seeding my fields too late in the season, but I should "take" being beaten by costumed criminals for smoking a flower?
Derrick's article left me wanting. He made some substantive points, but didn't address the issue that people are dying now, activists are being caged now, victimless crimes are destroying lives now, a little brown baby was most likely bombed while I was writing this article. Where does that leave me?
I heard someone once say, "Freedom, by any means necessary."
If that statement is true, then all practices that will help facilitate, develop, maintain and secure that freedom should be used. Derrick makes a salient point when he says that there are still other options.
...we can side-step them until they are irrelevant. Livestreaming video communications, Uber transportation worldwide, cryptographic currencies, smart-contracts built on blockchains, decentralized autonomous corporations... -Derrick J
I agree. There are amazing advancements in not complying with the State and even those who are fighting with in it. I believe they will work and are working and that is the very reason we need to have the discussion that Cantwell is trying to have.
Let's say we continue down the road we are going and more and more people "defect" and use alt-currencies, group together, (like the Free State Project, Blue Ridge Project, Free Island Project, etc.) grow their own food, and stop paying taxes until a paradigm shift takes place. The state will do what it always does when it's power is threatened: It will attack.
We ignore that historical fact at our own peril. We stand atop new ground. Never has the world been so globalized. Never have the people of the world desired freedom as much as they do now. Never have we seen a time in history in which that shift is possible. I feel it. I hope you feel it. We're desperate for freedom, but the state is desperate to keep it from us.
I have a simple suggestion. We do both. I'm not suggesting we start shooting cops. I'm not suggesting we sit idly by while the state grows in power. Let's build those communities. Let's grow crypto-currencies. Let sever any and all ties to the state that we can. Let's not forget that the state is violent, illogical and powerful and will do anything to remain powerful. We should always be, not only physically ready to defend, but mentally ready as well.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -John F. Kennedy
In the end, we are not the ones who will make it impossible.