Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Demonstrations And What's To Be Done

I found this on comment on a Bob Higgs post...
[A] simple demonstration in Washington DC is ineffective. The MSM downplay it, and everyone else ignores it.

It also seems that voting and writing to representatives are also ineffective. They are no longer listening, and in most districts have safe seats, so they are not very afraid of being thrown out of office. A Congressional incumbent has a very good chance of remaining in office as long as he or she wishes.

So, what do we do? I have three answers, an easy one, a much harder one, and a much, much harder one.

1) Easy: Withdraw our consent. Stop voting. Stop helping them pretend that they represent us. Volunteer nothing, just do what is absolutely required. Get as many people as possible to stop participating in the political system. Then we wait for the system to collapse due to lack of support. The problem is that the system may not collapse for a long time. Even if effective, this approach could take decades.

2) Much harder: Apply the program of Gandhi, “Satyagraha” or “Holding on to truth”, that gained freedom for India from the British Empire. We would take dissent to the level of breaking the law. This takes enormous courage and dedication as we have to be willing to be put in jail not once, but many times. We have to be willing to suffer injury. And, very important, we _must_ have truth on our side. If so, then, in the words of Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Many may say that we are not yet at the point of the people of India under the British Raj. But, it seems we are not far off. They were not citizens, and could not vote, and their protests were ignored.

So, if our votes are ineffective, and our protests are ignored, are we much farther behind? Does being a US citizen mean much of anything any more?

3) Much, much, harder: Secede. The program under 2) can be applied with a small group of people, as long as they have popular support. Secession requires a large organization, and is fraught will difficulties. We have to find or create a suitable political subdivision, and we have to get most of the people within it to adopt our program to create a separate nation-state. Then, we have to try to execute a separation in the face of certain resistance up to the level of civil war. This has been done, of course, in our own “Revolution” 200+ years ago, and more recently in other parts of the world, typically in places were there is a ethnic, linguistic and/or historic basis for a new nation-state. In my view, the situation here is not yet to the point that most people would consider this very serious undertaking justified, even though the taxes and regulations and other invasions of liberty we face today are increasingly heavier that those our ancestors rebelled against in the 1770’s.

So there you are, take your pick, or suggest something else.

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