We should all say thank you to the G-20 protestors: the oxymoronically self-labeled ‘left anarchists’, the greens, the anti-‘capitalists’ (actually anti-corporatists – they fail to understand true capitalism, having never experienced it) and associated other demonstrators. As banksters, having committed the greatest financial fraud in modern history (perhaps in all of human history) walk away with millions; as government conspires with the titans of corporatism to bilk taxpayers out of billions; and as central banks proceed with the printing of trillions, thereby damning future generations to further debasement of the currency and its resulting inflation and confiscatory taxation, only these brave souls risk their freedom to challenge the state.
In the west, we have been taught that it is soldiers fighting foreign wars that protect our freedoms. God bless these soldiers – they do not have the luxury of choosing their battles. While they may protect American lives, they do not protect American freedoms in service to our modern state. It is not Islamic terrorists that directly threaten your freedoms, it is the state. A radical proposition? Hardly.
Ask yourself this:
Who is a more direct threat to your 2nd amendment rights, the Taliban or the United States Congress?
Who is more likely to increase your taxes, your statehouse or Osama bin Laden?
Who is more of a threat to your 4th amendment rights, Al Queda or the DEA?
Like you, I oppose collectivist groups of any kind – be they Islamcists, communists or fascists – who would deny our rights and attack our way of life. These threats must be addressed and forcibly opposed relative to the danger they present. But, when it comes to rights, I am more concerned about the immediate threats right here at home than those abroad.
While I and others like me have consistently been accused of being ‘right wing anarchists’, those who follow this site and others like it know that I am a minarchist, and understand the fundamental nuances involved. Like Jefferson, I believe there must be some form of state. To the extent that we live in a world full of states, some of these other states will be hostile – and there is nothing more horrific than the full power of a modern state. In addition to defense, the state exists to protect contract rights and intervene when necessary through a judiciary, an arbitrator of contract disputes. (Ironically, I am criticized by true anarchists for this position and labeled a statist or an Objectivist. It is ironic first because I am labeled an anarchist by the statists. It is ironic second because minarchists and anarchists have far more in common than either do with the true statists.)
But like Jefferson I am deeply suspicious of the state. I distrust the state because of its nature – a nature that was understood by our Founding Fathers – and because I have seen first hand the mass horrors that only the modern state is capable of carrying out. Therefore must the state be kept in perpetual check by a free and independent people.
In Jefferson’s time, the policeman and tax collector feared the free man. Today, the free man fears the policeman and the tax collector.
And this is why we should admire the G-20 protestors. While we may not agree with their political philosophies, we must respect their defiance of the state and their courage to resist. Let us hope that events do not deteriorate to where we must all demonstrate such courage rather than comply with the demands of the state – American riot police and SWAT teams are unlikely to show the restraint of their British cousins in uniform.
American Protest Movements
Largely, American protest movements have been ineffective. For all the hot air coming from the Lou Dobbs and Glenn Becks of the world, where is the action? Where is the tax protest? If your average anonymous citizen ceases to comply with the confiscatory tax regime set forth by the state, his assets are confiscated, his wages garnished and, ultimately, he is imprisoned. If a major public figure takes such action and provokes the wrath of the state, everyone takes notice. Others may join in. A movement may be started. Where are our elites today, other than blowing hot air on the nightly news? I will take such men seriously when they put their own money –and their own freedom- where their mouth is.
What made our revolution singularly unique is that it was not the result of a riot of the masses, nor was it the well-planned and carefully managed act of some behind-the-scenes vanguard. Our Founding Fathers were the elites of their time – educated, land-owning, productive – and they had everything to lose. The Crown (behind which stood the Bank of England) would have gladly bought their silence and their compliance, and indeed did purchase such compliance from many others. Yet our Founding Fathers pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to a cause that was bigger than themselves and set forth a unique free state where men could govern themselves and own their destiny, where sacred rights were recognized rather than ‘granted’ by the state and where the state was forcibly limited in size and scope by an active, proud, free and well-armed populace.
Today we lack such leaders and, sadly, we lack such a populace.
Instead we have elites fearful of what they may lose and hanging on to what they have. We have a populace that embraces the state rather than fearing it, a populace unable to live independently of the state and its apparatus and a populace unwilling to take the responsibility of true self-government where the individual human being is raised back to his rightful place above and beyond the reach of the state. And finally we have a police that is highly militarized and grows further and further detached from the citizens they police. We have a police force that is a Law Enforcement Agency first and a protector of the people second. We have a police culture that fosters and insular, ‘us vs. them’ attitude and one that is trained to carry out orders as dictated by the state – not to question such orders and the effect they may have on the life, liberty or happiness of a free people.
And so I salute the protestors, though I may not agree with their political philosophy. They are the true heroes in the slowly unfolding battle between state and man. I can only hope the citizenry utilizes what little leverage it has left over the state to halt the morphing of our free society into a corporatist police state while those levers still exist. As for our ‘elites’, well, I fear we are on our own this time.