Among the many repeated quotes from the time before this nation was a nation is the Patrick Henry quote, over time it has become an often misused quote for many. In our present day and age there is a looming potential for violent action, for myself I ask for peace.
“…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” – Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775
He gave this speech after combat had already been joined, though the first “military” action that occurred was later that year in Lexington and Concord there had already been several instances of bloodletting in which the British regulars had attacked groups of British citizens who were tired of taxation, rules from leadership that had no idea what they faced and above all were tired of paying to promote the imperialistic gains and movements of the then largest Empire on earth, Great Britain. The Boston Massacre had occurred almost 5 years prior to this “shot heard round the world” on March, 5 1770. There had been many other minor events of individuals and groups being accosted, families being evicted from their homes and more. Was conflict a desirable outcome, did it have lasting results, and more importantly did this revolution result in long term freedom and liberty? No, is the resounding answer to all of the above. For it was a short ten years after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia and less than eight years after the infamous Treaty of Paris in 1783 that congress ratified the “CONstitution”, and in a masterful stroke assured that their future generations would live on in the United States as chattel slaves as Chris Dates recently wrote here.
There are hundreds of thousands of not millions of Americans who are currently looking around wondering what has gone wrong. The numbers of unemployed and wrongfully imprisoned increase in leaps and bounds daily, the powder keg has been lit, but is bloodshed what is needed or wanted?
I argue that we are men* with far more available options than mere violent letting of blood. Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth noted that the major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns. (Why Civil Resistance Works, the Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict 2008) additionally others such as Gene Sharp have written similar works lauding the use of nonviolence as it applies to the success of the movement both during and after the revolution.
In my research I have discovered that of the violent revolutions waged over the past 300 years the large majority of “wins” has resulted in the eventual or immediate replacement of the prior “state” with yet a larger more complex, better organized version. A version 2.0 in geek terminology, it is those nonviolent revolutions that have succeeded in often times replacing the entire approach with something that has been actively better.
The question is why, is it that humans are tiring of conflict and with the advances we have made in our abilities both technologically and mentally we no longer have the desire for large amounts of conflict or is it that as Theo Zagtech at Occupy your Brain recently stated, “Humans continue to rebel against their governments, the scope of each getting smaller and smaller. As the scope gets smaller, the power gets smaller, and thus the people become stronger. Inch by inch we, as a species, are becoming more confident in our ability to achieve happiness and success without the protection of a ruler.”
Accomplishing a nonviolent revolution of the type many of us desire which is the complete removal of the state and its accompanying embellishments which result in millions of deaths, imprisonments and chattel slaves annually, will take time. It will also take the thoughtful presentation of facts, ideas and options as compared to what we have now. We must show others that a free society is a functioning one; we must show others that our business models work, that roads and “protection” is possible without the hand of the “state” guiding it.
In a recent article on Occupy your Brain I wrote, “Do not attack others personal beliefs regardless of the reasoning we may have in doing so. Learn to support your arguments with more than media speculation or the idle chatter of others surrounding you. If you must protest then do so after first understanding the issue you are protesting. Be ready when the cameras get to you, so that instead of a stuttering vacant eyed fool you come across as a truly enigmatic, knowledgeable individual who possesses the knowledge and desire to change the world.” Above all this is the easiest way to launch a “nonviolent revolution” of the type necessary to ensure our future generations have a world to live in where they retain personal liberty.
I would also add that we should work to assist our neighbors in all things that they may have need, reintroduce the idea of neighbors helping neighbors and simply being neighborly. Show others that the state is unnecessary by whenever possible building our own roads, engaging our own private fire departments, and working together in “civil” neighborhood watches to dissuade criminal activity.
Do not engage the “state” if at all possible in any way unless by so avoiding the state you cause a threat to yourself or your family from the state, in which case I leave that to each individual. Frequent farmers markets, swap meets and any other venues where you can operate in a fashion that reduces the amount of theft the state takes from you for transactions of which it has no moral right to avail itself of. Above all be prepared, as the “militias” pre-Revolutionary war were, train with your neighbors in “fire drills” that allow for the largest best response to potential criminal activity or natural disasters and more. I leave the specifics up to yourselves though a quick study of several (a short list will follow) “preparedness” books will allow you to better assess your needs.
I leave you all with the following thought, we can live in peace with our neighbors, regardless of religion (which is private), race (which is a non-issue for many) or any other commonly presented “issue” capitalized on by the state for the sole purpose of separating us and ensuring our docile nature of subservience. Strike the root, occupy your brain, liberty is a thought away.
Free your mind and you will free your body.
*I am falling back on the classic term “men” and in fact mean all humans within the “borders” of the United States.
Principles of Personal Defense, as a practitioner of the “art of the gun” I train in the steps of the greats, Jeff Cooper and more. Sadly Jeff Cooper is no longer with us though his methods live on.
How to survive the end of the world as we know it, though I am personally not a fan of Rawles’ incessant religionist approaches I am must grudgingly admit that he is a well written individual. See his blog here
Rogue Nation Eternal Militias Handbook 2, this is a great anonymous book specifically designed to guide people through the quagmire of potential “law enforcement” intervention as well as preparation.
IRA Green Book, directs your attention to the less palatable side of the nonviolent (or violent) activists life and interaction with state enforcers.
For more similar books, use the terms, survival books, long term living, preparation and the Mormons (among the best of the “preppers” in existence with close to a hundred years of experience and use), avoiding the state