Tag Archives: Insurrection

Understanding and Embracing the Role of the 21st-Century American Dissident, by Brent E. Hamachek

If you reject the primacy of government and its narratives, we’ve reached the point that you can expect to lose some or all of what you considered your rights. From Brent E. Hamachek at brenthamachek.com, with a hat tip to reader and friend Leif Smith:

Recently a couple of stories have surfaced that most people are not associating with one another. In Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned to Moscow after having spent several months in Germany recovering from an attempt on his life by means of the old Soviet method of poisoning. In what was almost certainly at the direction of Vladimir Putin, Navalny was arrested as he stepped off the plane.

Meanwhile, here in the United States, Russia’s opponent during the Cold War, the City of Philadelphia took the gun away from 51-year-old Police Detective Jennifer Gugger. Her “crime”? She attended the rally in Washington on January 6th. There was no indication that she was inside the Capitol, simply at the rally. She had some strong posts on social media, especially about Vice President Mike Pence, but not anything that would constitute a direct threat.

What do these two seemingly quite different people have in common? They are both dissidents. They both acted as though they had the right to say and do what they said and did. They were both mistaken. In Russia, given its history of totalitarianism, Navalny likely knew what he was getting himself into. In our country, however, where totalitarianism is in its infant stages, it is quite likely that Gugger was caught unawares.

This is going to be commonplace for many of us over the next several years as we are forced to come to grips with the fact that this is no longer the “home of the free and the land of the brave.” We can stomp our feet and deny it, we can try to act as though we don’t accept it, but it is not going to change the reality that the great American experiment that was launched just over 230 years ago is finally producing empirical results. The conclusion: People are capable of sustaining individual liberty only for as long as they can be constrained by a system of law that suppresses and contains their true nature.

Hobbes was right.

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Insurrection Then Revolution, by the Zman

The bargain between the rulers and ruled is breaking down, with revolutionary implications. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

A popular fantasy among the more edgy conservatives is that one day, the Left will get the civil war they claim they want and then they’ll get it good and hard. In this fantasy, those gun-toting, constitution-loving conservatives will show Lefty why the right to bear arms was enshrined in the Constitution. It is a popular fantasy on-line, because revenge fantasies are fun and they provide relief for well-founded frustration. In reality, the great conflagration will never look like the fantasy.

Civil wars are when two sides in the ruling class cannot find a middle ground and refuse to give into the other side. The English Civil War, for example, was a fight between those elites who supported the King and those who supported Parliament. Sure, commoners were in the mix and rose in status, but it was largely a war between two factions within the elite. The same was true of the American Civil War. Slavery was the pretext, but it was largely an extension of the English Civil War.

Revolutions, on the other hand, are when a new elite overthrows the old elite, because the old system offers no way for the new elite to join the elite. The French Revolution is often framed as a peasant rebellion, but the Jacobins who led the revolt were educated and capable men, a new elite for a new age. The Bolshevik Revolution was similar, except there was competition for who would be the new elite. The communists won, so they got to name the revolution after themselves.

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