A few notes/ thoughts on legitimacy for you today, both at your group/team/individual level, and also as it concerns the Liberty movement itself.
As regards the Liberty movement, consider these points:
I am not an attorney, but I do not need to be to simplify for you the issue in this country today:
The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Any law that is at odds with what is written in the USC is ‘no law.’
We live in a post-Constitutional Republic, or oligarchy, where the perceptions of the public, and unlawful interpretations of the USC, have taken the lead.
On the one hand, the long war of the leftist/marxist agenda is partly responsible for interpretations of the USC that are in effect unlawful as per the USC. That they have taken root is to do with the success of the socialist agenda and infiltration of government/society.
The other side of this is that a bureaucracy will grow, it is its very nature. The current state of Federal overreach is due to a bureaucracy that is steadily increasing and defending its own power. As a visual comparison, Skynet (FedGov) has become aware, and is protecting itself.
Thus, we have a ridiculous situation where those who defend the law of the land, and the intent of the Founders, are painted as ‘extremists’ by the same Federal government that is protecting its own overreach.
Thus we have a loop where the Federal government and agencies is/are powerful beyond Constitutional powers, which creates fear, and thus that fear maintains its power. As an example, the protesters at Malheur cut a ‘Federal fence’ which somehow makes it a Federal crime, which is all oh so scary. It’s just a little silly, in my mind. It’s a fence.
It’s all so simple, it’s a little ridiculous, but people insist on going down the rabbit holes of arguing current ‘law’ which in itself is most often ‘no law’ as regards the Constitution. It is mostly unlawful administrative ‘law’ and regulation.
Just ignore them and proceed as per the law of the land. Ignore the left, to hell with them, they are suffering from a mental disorder, an intended brainwashing, a new cult of social marxism that is akin to the cult of Islam. It’s just another bunch of nut-jobs trying to force their ideals on those who would be free.
I have commented a lot recently about the Malheur situation. To look at it simply in terms of legitimacy, it appears to me to be a peaceful protest. Please do not make the mistake of conflating ‘armed protest’ with protesters who are lawfully armed (something you believe in, right?). It is not a tactical situation, and shows an amount of courage for the protesters to have taken themselves to an isolated place where innocents are not at risk, where they could in fact be easily overwhelmed by a tactical operation. It is, simply, not an armed stand but a Constitutional protest.
It appears that the longer this goes on, and as the hysteria, including the hysteria from the Liberty community, dies down, that legitimacy is increasing and a good public message is starting to come out. Ammon Bundy appears to the camera to be a reasonable and articulate man. It has been reported that there are a number of ‘unsavory’ characters with him at the refuge. Is this true? Is a lot of it due to Patriot infighting and blowback from the Bundy Ranch situation and infighting? The bottom line is that those that are there are there, and they are the ones that are there. If you think better people should be protesting for Liberty, why don’t you make it happen?
I’ll ask this, for those who like to equate this to the pre-revolutionary period (I don’t – who needs revolution, we already have our Constitution, how about a simple reset and restoration of the law?): What kind of people were in the Sons of Liberty? Were they all savory and beyond reproach, getting it right all the time? I have not seen an attempt to get the FBI to fire on the protesters, in the way that the Sons of Liberty did, and as John Adams defended the British Redcoats at the Boston Massacre trial? Think on that.
I was going to comment on the admirable restraint and posture shown by the FBI. I may have to revise that after reports where the Burns Fire Chief has resigned after issues with the local Judge, and after finding out that undercover FBI agents were posing as ‘militia’ in town and trying to stir up trouble. We do not want a bloodbath, and it appears that the protesters will not cause one, and it appears that the FBI was not going to cause one, but that is now in doubt if they are acting as agent provocateurs in town – if true.
KrisAnne Hall on the law as it pertains to the Malheur/BLM situation:
Burns Fire Chief statement (the part on the FBI at around 10 minutes). Make your own judgments:
Thus, it appears to me that with the exception of some question marks over some of the people at the Malheur refuge, the protesters are doing rather well in terms of legitimacy, particularly when dirty tricks are starting to emerge into the light of day. The left will howl. The left always howls. To hell with them.
Moving on to some comments about personal and group legitimacy.
Constant infighting will erode any legitimacy in the Liberty movement. This seems to be beyond the ken of many, who seem to live for the feud. Witness those national level personalities who would not get behind Malheur, simply because of bruised egos over the Bundy Ranch clown show. Is it about Liberty and the Constitution, or is it about your own place and power within the ‘movement?’
Fear and paranoia, due to a willingness to believe anything, particularly in reference to Federal Government conspiracy and abuses, will remove all legitimacy. The black helicopter crew is a liability. As a naturalized Citizen, I notice a tendency for many in America to believe ANYTHING, with no limits to their paranoia.
There is no legitimacy if groups are not able to work together. To be able to work together, there needs to be trust based on competence, and a professional attitude that will allow temporary mission-subordination (operational control, if you like) to another leader when necessary. You can use the fire method of command if necessary, where the leader at the scene is in command until they get to a point where they are able to hand off to a ‘senior’ or more competent leader.
This trust will not work without trust in the ability of your leaders and troops. For example, if I was running a defensive operation at a key point, and you show up, will I give you a sector to defend/patrol if you appear incompetent? No. If you won’t listen to direction and with good will liaise and work with the units on your flanks? No. This is also tied in with legitimate combat veterans steering a mile clear of some of these BS militia outfits who have no legitimacy due to no training and professional competence. If you are going to form a public-faced tactical team, you have a responsibly to be trained and competent.
To generate this trust there needs to be some sort of training standard, which can be identified and known. If a unit has a reputation for being trained and professional, then it will create trust when members of that unit show up somewhere. This is the idea behind the ‘MVT Rifleman Challenge,‘ which is not a unit but a competition which sets standards that can be identified and known. The Challenge has been very successful, but my original vision was for these standards to spread. Unfortunately, due to that same infighting and narrow minded thinking, it has remained simply an MVT-only event. However, if someone shows up with a Rifleman or Vanguard patch, you know that they have met a training standard.
Something that is very important here, but which I think many like myself take as second nature due to our training and background, is leadership. So it begs mention. Many ‘leaders’ have no idea how to lead. You have to be able to lead by example. You have to set the standards. The US Army talks about ‘Be, know, do.’ So let’s say:
Be the leader. This refers to your character and is foundational to your ability to lead.
Know your job professionally, have the skills and knowledge, which includes interpersonal as well as tactical skills.
‘Do’ i.e. Lead: by example. Set the standard. Purpose, direction and motivation.
Does this mean that if you are older or injured, you cannot lead if you can’t beat the 20-something at a run? No, but you need to have the trust and background in other areas. It may also mean that you are not the tactical leader, perhaps you run operations from the TOC, because you cannot physically set the example out on mission. It gets a little complicated in a civilian multi-generational setting such as a militia or tactical team – suffice to say people should be encouraged to do what they are good at, command in their own sphere, and make sure they set the example where possible. Put the ego aside.
It also bears mentioning that leadership is about self-sacrifice. It is not a tribal chief sort of affair where you get all the best stuff, first cut of the roast beast. If you think running a militia is all about how important you are, you are wrong. It should be about what you can do for your people. They eat first – “first my men, then myself.” You sacrifice for them. You take more risk on the battlefield. In essence, it is not about you and your ego, it is about looking after your people so that ultimately you can achieve the mission. You have to set the example, set the standard, and set the tone of your group.
To conclude, the Liberty movement has all the legitimacy it needs, as codified in the US Constitution. The howls of the left and the protests of government unlawful overreach need to be ignored. Operate legally as the law of the land allows. In terms of personal and group legitimacy, there needs to be a lot more training done, and personal example set, based around a professional rational outlook that allows no conspiracy, fear or paranoia. To lead, you must look rationally and calmly at events, and make decisions based on sound judgment.
As a leader, be prepared to be led by other sound leaders when appropriate. Leader or led, don’t let your ego turn it into a cluster.
About the Author - Max
Max Velocity is a tactical self-defense trainer and author providing instruction and advice for those preparing for disaster survival and societal collapse situations.