There is a philosophical war raging lately in comments on various posts across at Western Rifle Shooters Association. In simple terms it would appear to be between two camps: those who support, broadly, the USC and can thus be termed Patriots, and the anarchist fringe, for whom nothing has value or is sacred. These types seem to be embedded in their own form of indoctrination, full of conspiracy theories and absolute distrust of any form of government, including that which was intended by the Founders. They appear to be confused by internet-generated superstitions, pseudo conspiracy-history, and kook-theories.
Oddly, in reply to some of the comments I have put up recently, which had nothing to do with any form of government, I have been challenged by some of these anarchists to explain what I would (to paraphrase) ‘have in mind to force people to do if there was ever an SHTF situation’ and a need to rebuild this country. It’s almost as if they think I have a role in mind for myself in such a situation (Warlord?), other than simply being a tactical trainer and author with the mission of trying to keep good folk alive should such a situation happen. This speaks to the paranoia in which they live their lives. I have actually written extensively about Rightful Liberty on this blog (HERE is the first in the series of such articles ‘Rightful Liberty and ‘Standing Up’) and that is about it really, it doesn’t get any more complicated than that. The USC was written to enshrine Rightful Liberty and if we could simply use that as the guiding principle, then we wouldn’t have a problem. Even the anarchists should realize that.
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
But the anarchists are a confused bunch who see conspiracy everywhere, even among the founders of this country. They cannot trust any kind of government or collaborative effort (they cry collectivism at the very mention of any kind of collaborative team effort) , including mutual defense and support.
But that is fine. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. That is your Rightful Liberty. Because what they don’t seem to realize is that if you are a Patriot, you support this country and thus don’t want to see it destroyed. You may want to see a reversion to the intent of the founders, away from our current Statist nightmare and onerous administrative law/re-distributive tax burden, but you support the USC and in many cases you either swore an official oath of allegiance to it, or something similar in your own mind.
The USC did not fail. Americans did. Sorry folks (and Fox News) but Gruber was right. He may not be a nice guy, and he may be on the other side, but he was right. We are where we are because Americans dropped the ball, because we let it get to where it is. No one else is responsible. How about taking some responsibility? Blame the Statists, the collectivists? Statists will as Statists do, if you let them.
The USC is not a perfect document, does not need to be ‘worshiped’, and it was written for the culture and people of the time. Not for the pesudo-Americans that make up the majority to the country today. Once the lazy figured out how to vote the funds out of the treasury, or off the producers, we were done.
Ooops, there goes the Second Amendment. It ‘shall not be infringed.’ Really? While I watched the super bowl….anyway I digress….
Getting back to the point of this post, there was a useful article on WRSA which discussed a potential reality if we suffered a significant collapse/catastrophe and a full societal reset. I don’t believe, as some in comments appear to believe, that the article was advocating for feudalism, but it stated that that may be a potential result. It was simply a dose of history/reality. The article criticized the ‘rugged-individualist’ and this got many hackles up. I also like to criticize the ‘rugged-individualist’ because in many ways I see it as a myth, and a dangerous fantasy mindset. Anyway, the article made some interesting historical points:
‘Hope is in the Past‘ – with 151 comments as I write this.
What I want to get my teeth into on this post stems from a couple of links I found in comments on a recent WRSA post, which one I can’t remember. A commenter had linked to two articles over at an anarchist website ‘Strike the Root’:
Here are some quotes:
I have noticed people here and there arguing for rights and getting all balled up logically, just as one would expect when discussing a religious notion where everybody has their own opinion of it. Around and around in circles they go. Meanwhile, the rulers chuckle. “See ya in court!”
Rights are supposed to be this thing that everybody is inherently born with that can never be taken away (for example, people take great pains to point out that the Constitution did not create the right to bear arms, but only recognized a pre-existing right).
Why should I care if people have religious notions like this in their heads? Mostly, I don’t. Religion is a lot more widespread than most people realize. It’s just how humans interact with a barely-comprehensible world; we can’t all be Einsteins. Those who pick the wrong memes will pay a price some day, but there is nothing I can do about it.
I hasten to add that I have no ill will toward those who believe in rights, any more than I have to those who believe in a god. It’s all opinion, and I’ve been wrong plenty of times before. No reason to let it get in the way of a friendship.
The title of this article merely reflects that I feel better off without government-approved fantasies in my head. It also makes me feel less dependent on the ruling class, to think in these terms. The world looks a lot different, and in my eyes much better, without filtering it through these fantasies.
I will say that the author (Paul Bonneau) is on to something, but he is confused, and that confusion comes from an absolute distrust of any form of government. He is simply blinded by his anarchist beliefs.
To explain why, I will try and keep this very simple. Let’s move it away from pseudo-history and internet generated superstition and talk basics: If you are killing me, it does me no good to bleat about ‘rights’. I have no right to life if you are killing me. Do you have a right to kill me? It is irrelevant, because you are doing it anyway. Whether you believe that these rights came from ‘the creator’ as divine rights, whatever, it does not matter. Rights are simply a construct. This construct was a philosophical argument at the time and the concept of rights was used by the founders to express their world view and their desire to move out from under tyranny.
In Hobbes’ State of Nature rights did not exist. Life was ‘solitary, nasty, brutish and short.’ If I am being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger, where is my right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?’ It doesn’t exist, at least not in any meaningful way.
So in essence, rights are a social construct based on a group morality. THIS is our morality so THIS is what we will codify as our rights. If you are an individual out there, you have no rights, unless you can defend what you define as your rights. I am forever banging on about the importance of team, the importance post-collapse of sustainable communities. Historically, people are not ‘rugged-individualists’ but teams, of family, clan and tribe. When a country is founded, such as the United Sates, with the creation of a document such as the USC/BoR, what is happening is that the morality of the founders is codified into law. The law is there for the protection of what are deemed to be people’s rights. So, for example, we agree that we all have a right to life, liberty and property – we will now codify that into law so that it can be protected, because if it is not protected, bad men will come and take it.
The very basis of this is self-defense, or mutual self-defense. We will band together and protect our village. Good luck doing that on your own. I don’t have a ‘right’ to self-defense but I have a need for it. Once I have that mutual defense plan in place, I can then set about codifying my ‘right’ to it, to ensure that those who come after are protected.
In order to create a community that can sustain itself, in the face of man’s imperfections and external threats, you need a system of law and government. In our case, with our morality and beliefs, that means Rightful Liberty is codified to prevent infringements by one on another. As such your rights are protected.
So it is really a vacuous argument, whether or not rights exist in any concrete manner. If I am being eaten by a tiger, my rights do not exist. If I can protect against the tiger, my rights do. The anarchists, in their paranoid rejection of any form of law, government or community, miss this point. We create rights and law to protect our rightful liberty and allow communities to exist. Under the USC/BoR, rights very much do exist. Whether you agree or not with the current state of the country, and whether the USC is actually still in play, that does not change the fact that it is/was what it is/was. The fault of where we are lies with us.
As for the anarchists, good luck with those rights that you don’t have/don’t want, out there all alone in the wilderness. I prefer team and community.