The Thin Black and Blue Line: Murder as Official Policy by Bill Buppert

Death by cop is at a high tide this year. It even takes a British newspaper instead of the American central government to track the numbers. We all know the Federal government simply couldn’t afford to track such numbers with their police satraps. Remember the meme several years ago where the claim was made that more Americans die at the hands of badged thugs than terrorists to the tune of about 400 per annum? All the savvy observers knew these numbers were wrong. The police are the pointy end of all politics planet-wide and it just so happens that some of the worst abuse on the globe occurs in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let’s examine the number of cops that die year after year to demonstrate the interesting imbalance and how the police pad their own figures of line of duty deaths to exaggerate actual deaths on the job.

How many cops died during this same year, compared to 680 mundane corpses stacked like cord-wood in police engagements so far? 22 to include 3 by “vehicular assault.” 22 as opposed to 680. (Thanks, Pete) The clever lads at the site consider K9s to be the equivalent of humans. I’m OK with that if the cops afforded the same courtesy to the thousands of dogs they murder every year. These are their own figures. Incidentally, gunfire deaths are down a third this year for the esteemed police officers.

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Spooner Lives! Monkeywrenching the State by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: 29 July was the death day for one of the inspirations for this site, William Wilberforce, who graces the masthead of this blog for many reasons. A tireless abolitionist and moral man of the highest water, he is the kind of spiritual apex I seek to emulate; absolutely relentless in his pursuit of freedom for the chattel slave and the termination of that horrific institution. Unfortunately, whether lack of moral imagination or the temporal constraint of the time he lived in, he suffered the same limitations of all 19th century abolitionists save one. He asked the right questions but failed to address the self-ownership issue to the man behind the curtain in the first place, the state.

Wilberforce and I propitiously share the same birthday, which happily coincides with the British burning of the Offal Office in 1814.

That single abolitionist who asked the questions to my satisfaction mining the very legitimacy of the state in a moral universe was Lysander Spooner.

I also suggest you listen to Prof CJ’s Dangerous History podcast on Spooner. Outstanding explication on the man.

You can find all his works in PDF here. I happen to be a lucky soul who owns the entire corpus of his works in a six-volume hardback collection. -BB

“The “National” system so called, is in reality no national system at all; except in the mere fact that it is called the national system and was established by the national government. It is, in truth, only a private system; a mere privilege conferred upon a few, to enable them to control prices, property, and labor, and thus swindle, plunder and oppress all the rest of the people.”

-Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner is the patron saint of this site. Months ago, I was amused to be with friends and at one point one of the fellows was haranguing us about “getting back to the Constitution”.  As if we ever left that wretched compact with leviathan government.  At one point, another worthy said that maybe we should pay more attention to Lysander Spooner.  Indeed.  For plenty of freedom advocates, it begins with Rand or von Mises or Rothbard and a host of other luminaries who saw through the collectivist sham. For me, Spooner was a primary gateway to abolitionism.

He proves your mind is the primary weapon against the state.

For others, Lysander Spooner is the strike of the match.  I was introduced to Spooner through a great book by the magnificent James J. Martin in Men Against the State. Among the several forgotten heroes from the 19th century, Spooner stands as a titan.  He made a rather interesting point concerning the Constitution in that he claimed that no document could bind a man if he is not an active signatory.  You can see where this would be rather problematic for a government and why the concept is roundly condemned in a court system staffed by robed government employees for whom honor and fidelity for justice will be observed as long as their masters approve.

Spooner is the gateway drug for maximum liberty and freedom.  If you pay close enough attention to his arguments and patterns of thinking, you come away thinking that the entire rotten collectivist project is not only desperately lacking in intellectual rigor but is founded first and foremost in an evil premise.  The premise of all collectivist and statist projects is initiated violence against ALL humans.  For the system would collapse if the fear of the monopoly of force were not the schwerpunkt of all actions from the enforcement of tax collection and aggression to the most banal of offenses, if one citizen not a member of the nomenklatura got away with it, revolution would follow shortly.

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Return to Tradition: The Advantages of Dueling by Bill Buppert

“Amateurs train until they get it right. Pros train until they can’t get it wrong.” — variously attributed to Pelé, Stephen Hillier, and others

“The amateur seeks excellence. The professional seeks adequacy.” — Jeff Cooper

Bring back dueling. Yesterday.

As most know who visit this blog, I am not asking for a law or permission but the decriminalization of the affaire d’honneur; the gaining of satisfaction by challenging dishonorable scalawags to put their money where their myths are.

“While dueling may seem barbaric to modern men, it was a ritual that made sense in a society in which the preservation of male honor was absolutely paramount. A man’s honor was the most central aspect of his identity, and thus its reputation had to be kept untarnished by any means necessary. Duels, which were sometimes attended by hundreds of people, were a way for men to publicly prove their courage and manliness. In such a society, the courts could offer a gentleman no real justice; the matter had to be resolved with the shedding of blood.”

So as then and now, single combat was a primal answer to wringing justice from bad situations.

“The first rule of dueling was that a challenge to duel between two gentleman could not generally be refused without the loss of face and honor. If a gentleman invited a man to duel and he refused, he might place a notice in the paper denouncing the man as a poltroon for refusing to give satisfaction in the dispute.

But one could honorably refuse a duel if challenged by a man he did not consider a true gentleman. This rejection was the ultimate insult to the challenger.”

The modern twist would be more accurate weapons but the dishonored party could have the ability to choose more intimate  and close-quarters weapons if he chose. The defendant in the challenge could always shirk his honor and insist he will not rise to the challenge. That in itself would address some satisfaction to the aggrieved and dishonored party. The market will provide some unique solutions from training salons to escrowed and refereed single combat to weapons specifically tailored to the duel.

I have often thought that not only is dueling an unfairly maligned tradition but one whose application today could stiffen the spine of estrogen nation and put more of a “point” to affairs of honor.  The increasing feminization of society and the rampant overpopulation of metrosexual males blanch at the prospect but it puts the edge to the question.

The Germans even practiced a form that rarely led to death or serious injury in Academic fencing.

I can think of several instances in my own life where this would have resolved a difficulty.  Manners are the lubricant of civilization and alas, they are quickly perishing in America with the resultant coarseness, rudeness and cultural illiteracy that pervades the country today.  Part of this is a result of the loss of classical education, a complete lack of historical knowledge and the increasing prevalence of women of both sexes held high as the enviable male paradigm.  We are a nation with a surfeit of males but fewer men.  Men should know what they are about and have an idea of their measure under arduous or dangerous circumstances.

Some have served in the military; some participate in adventure sports and some in dangerous professions (like firefighters not cops).  Being a cop is one of the safest occupations in America outside of the self-induced pathologies of over-eating, alcoholism and suicide.

Imagine, if one would, that the tens of thousands assaulted and hundreds murdered by the state-sponsored police hordes infesting America were subject to be “called out” by surviving friends and family members. Since the state refuses to sunder the evil trifecta of officer safety, qualified immunity and police unions that make them Murder Inc. across the country, think of the braking mechanism on poor police behavior a potential meeting to seek satisfaction would render over time. I’ve always wondered where are the husbands and male relatives of all these women raped, assaulted, maimed and killed by the statist police in America?

The concept of honor is a dying creed so I expect very few adherents will step forward to advocate for the renewal of dueling as a dispute resolution mechanism. One may even see the emergence of “catch and release” duels in which the object is less than lethal but painful nonetheless.  The Southron will surprise everyone, as they are the first to step in the breech.

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Village Praxis Series: The Minimalist (Airline-Approved) by Skip Lyttle

Minimalist 3 I created the minimalist to meet my frequent traveling on airlines, both CONUS and OCONUS as a backup to the main components inside my bag. If, for whatever reason, I had to modularize my essentials into a larger bag, this would serve as a minimalist version of that. Since there are stringent airline restrictions nowadays, I’ve researched and tested what items can fly and assembled them into a small kit (left) that fits inside my Every Day Carry (EDC) Bag.

Minimalist 1The three main components making up The Minimalist, is the main compartment, an imitation Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer I picked up overseas, a spray-painted black Altoids tin, and a black Witz ID holder waterproof case.

Closed, the Minimalist is packed tight as a drum, but stows nicely within my EDC.

Opened, the Mini Pocket Organizer has tons of space to retain easily accessible items, as well as pockets for stowing items deep within.

The layout (below) shows the basic components within the Minimalist.
The David sling is a non-descript way of getting a small-game capability aboard an airline carry-on. I’ve used this since I was a boy and it requires skill to hit a rabbit or squirrel at 20 paces away. Along with snare line, these two methods will still be challenging, but supplemental to the mini-fishing kit inside the Altoids tin.

Minimalist LayoutI use the ID holder for small incidentals that can make living easier, instead of just surviving. Some meals require salt, pepper, herbs, or spices.

There are Band-Aids, 2X2 Gauze pads, Alcohol prep pads, wet naps, as well as a packet of instant coffee.

Minimalist 2The Altoids tin (below) lay-out includes a list of the contents.
There are still a few more items I’d like to add to the Altoids tin, which include the ESEE Izula Gear Navigation and Survival Card Sets, a micro glow stick, and the micro Sparkwheel Fire Starter (below):

Minimalist (tin layout)Other additions could include a star chart, train and shipping routes, and water navigation aids.

The number of helpful items in one small, convenient package are limited only by your imagination.

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American ISIS: The Government War on the Confederacy by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: Please keep in mind that in the broader sense that every war in history is about slavery; about who will own you and your resources.

My friend Joe Jarvis recently published a book I just read called Anarchy in New England. I posted a review at Amazon here. I highly recommend it. –BB

“A government that can at pleasure accuse, shoot, and hang men, as traitors, for the one general offence of refusing to surrender themselves and their property unreservedly to its arbitrary will, can practice any and all special and particular oppressions it pleases. The result — and a natural one — has been that we have had governments, State and national, devoted to nearly every grade and species of crime that governments have ever practised upon their victims; and these crimes have culminated in a war that has cost a million of lives; a war carried on, upon one side, for chattel slavery, and on the other for political slavery; upon neither for liberty, justice, or truth. And these crimes have been committed, and this war waged, by men, and the descendants of men, who, less than a hundred years ago, said that all men were equal, and could owe neither service to individuals, nor allegiance to governments, except with their own consent”

– Lysander Spooner

Dylann Roof murders nine black folks in cold blood in their house of worship in South Carolina; an awful event that deserves the fiercest condemnation. If one of the congregants had been armed, fewer people would have been harmed. It just so happens that the pastor is a former government “representative” who opposed concealed carry.

An enormously tragic event but the availability of guns didn’t cause the killings; an individual mindset intent on evil deeds did so.

Inevitably, the usual political suspects dance on the graves of the barely cold corpses to call on the restrictions of weapons and in this case, Confederate regalia.

Roof is seen in several photos wearing a jacket with both a Rhodesian flag and the flag of apartheid South Africa. By extension, he is a supporter of the Confederacy.

In a span of weeks, this single private psychopath’s murderous rampage somehow led the governor and political apparatchiks in South Carolina to lower the Confederate flag that was flying over the capitol and retire it. There are many interesting trends to tease out of this reaction.

We even hear rumors of large chains like Amazon and Wal-Mart being asked to remove the sale of any Confederate items from their shelves both virtual and brick and mortar.

Roof’s actions are reprehensible and the government’s reaction is expected as they tend to fill their pants when non-badged gunmen mow down innocents like the state is wont to do against the MOVE headquarters in Philly, Ruby Ridge, Waco or the recent incident where the cops ran over several children during a high-speed chase. After every one of these incidents, no one clamored to remove the flag all of these miscreants flew under, Old Glory Like the currency in the US, the Federal government hates competition and turns an angry visage toward any killing that is not government approved and authorized.

So suspend your history and logic and take a gander at the reaction of the politicos after the massacre at the church. The shooter is somehow connected to Confederate sympathies because he flies the flag that is flown by millions in the US and planet-wide. I have seen rebel flags of every variety flying in the Middle East. While in the Army when I commanded, I had a 3×5 Bonnie Blue proudly adorning the wall behind my desk despite the Army ban on Confederate regalia because I could depend on the historical ignorance of my colleagues that they would fail to recognize it. I am married to a woman who is a blood relative of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. I have done a fair amount of reading and while I am not a fan of what the Confederacy became over time during the Second American Revolution, I have every confidence they did the right thing in forcing a separation from Lincoln’s leviathan.

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The Torture State: American Inquisition by Bill Buppert

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

“No conditions justify torture.”

– Norman Finkelstein

Publisher’s Note: Most of the monsters involved in the torture regime at the beginning of this new century have skirted justice and remain at large prospering and grasping at the levers of power as we speak. -BB

America has formally endorsed torture since August 2002 and has practiced it as an extension of warfare at home and abroad for most of its history. Waterboarding originated in the Spanish=American War in the Philippines at the close of the 19th century when America was stretching its legs in its brutal colonization pogroms planet-wide after 1983.

What is torture? Per the universally accepted definition of torture:

“For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

This “tortured” definition is typical of what a bureaucrat would come up with to describe the impossible philosophical calculus of the state that immoral means will yield moral ends. One will notice that the last sentence gives the official torture regime pardon planet-wide much like the state excuses its actions for terrorism. Terrorism is the employment of politically motivated violence against innocents and non-combatants. A reflective person would instantly apprehend that this is the cornerstone of the state’s power and that torture is merely a subset in the toolset that is the government maintenance effort for power and expansion thereof.

The existence of private torture is certainly a reality. I in no way suggest that private malcontents and twisted psychopaths don’t ply their trade globally. There are ample lurid testimonials to this in the literature and the news splashed across the screens humans habitually stare at in the absence of reflection and cognition. But they hold no candle to the government’s ability to break human beings and stack up corpses like cordwood.

Like the advocacy of abolitionism, the moral and consequential efficacy of torture is undisputed among those who have a virtuous compass. It doesn’t work but it does always transform the torturer and tortured into one twisted artifact of inhumanity. Per the efficacy of torture in divining accurate intelligence, Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose makes a succinct and powerful case:

“Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him … These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me tell you, the white heat of truth comes from another flame.”

Like so many things the state does, it cannot help but be the warp and woof of everything it does everywhere. Everything the empire does abroad, it will do at home. The emerging evidence of a police state in all its ugliness in America is no accident. It’s simply a natural outgrowth of a barbarous and formerly sub rosa bundle of characteristics that have grown in the orchid hothouse of government expansion that is most American history.

Politicians are merely violence brokers; nothing more and nothing less. The coin of the realm for the state is the threat and actual employment of violence. Either the lingering forms that would include torture or the sudden extinguishing of lives through minor and major pogroms outside of warfare. The US has a long and sordid history of employing official torture in the pursuit of its interests especially when on military expeditions as hundreds of thousands of corpses can attest to if they could speak of the unspeakable things done to them in the name of US dominion.

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Abolition is the Default State of Being Human by Doug Cook

Publisher’s Note:  Doug has graced the interwebs and my site with his poetic license and waxing eloquence as Mountain Top Patriot; I have urged him to start his own blog. He refuses. He did scribble this and I’m posting it here. Enjoy. -BB

Liberty is about one thing: Self Determination, or to put it another way, people are the sovereign and it is we who decide what is good or not good for us. That is all there is to it. That is the nature of our sovereign power, It is what makes us sentient beings, and by default makes each of us the master of our individual destiny. If the state uses its force to deny any fraction of this sovereignty we are each born with, than why would you have elections and referendums, submit to extortion rackets like taxes and obeying any “law’, but Gods primal fundamental laws of rightful Liberty you are bestowed with? What is the point really, unless you allow, permit, remember this is about choice, the state or any power but your sovereign power to determine what is good or not good for you?

It is the most profound question of what came first, the chicken or the egg.

What where you conceived with, liberty or slavery?

What came first?

Look at it from another logic. Abolition is the default state of being human. That I was created as a living Sovereign Entity. This state of life is Default by conception. Why is the creation of life so sacred if it where not the truth of us?

Sound far fetched? Wait a second, give it a good think now. The implications are the greatest paradigm of our time.

Here is my argument: Abolition is the absence of any power over my life that is not benign.

Any application or imposition or intrusion in my affairs, use of force, coercion, extortion, threat, covert or overt, which limits my own choices, bars me from self determination in any fashion whatsoever, is artificial to my natural state of abolition. I was conceived and was born purely as pure can be in a natural state of abolition. This is primal. Any construct of control over me and my self determination comes after the fact. It is therefore by default also, artificial and inhibiting. An insipid construct of evil minds without moral compass.

By this very definition, any power but my power which is employed to deny me my primal self determination is not legitimate. It is not even a right. It simply is the truth.

That Truth is a beautiful thing indeed.

So…is it so hard to believe, that abolition is not just possible, but it already exists?

That it is the default state of existence?

Think outside the box.

Billions of people acquiesce to the power of the state, billions submit to the artifice of power over their self determination, every day, and they are enslaved by this power, ruled by this power, ruined by this power, inhibited in every facet of the spheres of their lives by this power, and they are maimed, suffer cruel unspeakable humiliations, indignity’s, a universe of injustices, they are incarcerated, threatened with bodily harm if they refuse to comply, they are denied, they die, they are murdered by the millions exactly because they submitted in one way or another to this power.

Is that a truth you can accept?

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Happy Dependence Day, Tovarishch by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note:  I took a stab at modifying the 1776 American Declaration of Independence to present standards of governance, moral malpractice and cowardice; I discovered that much would be left out on the cutting floor and severe alterations to verbiage would be necessary to keep the Homo Sovieticus Booboisie in America from filling their pants and gibbering in abject fear at the prospect of freedom with risks and costs not underwritten by their neighbors. I had to erase over half of it and wipe out any reference to any behavior absent government permission. So I had to move on to the more fitting document for human bondage and perpetual government, the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence continues to be a masterwork of brevity and directness in its promise to sever ties and formalize a divorce.  There is no sizable sector of America today that would even have the temerity to sign it much less live up to it. Well, maybe at an abolitionist meeting but I digress.

So I scrapped that project and found a document more in keeping with the modern 21st century American mood.

Now the Soviet Constitution is something that most Americans can cotton to with the slightest modification in verbiage.  I chose the latest of three variants from 1977.  I have included a link to the original text at the bottom.  All I changed were the descriptors and none of the prospective language.

On another note, in a nation that has institutionalized theft and torture and turned it into rule and color of law, I figured the Supremes would get around to the codification of taxing inactivity, which is the secret sauce in the recent ruling.  On page 193 of the infamous  decision, Thomas says the most important observation in all the pages of painful and obtuse totalitarian apologia for ObamugabeCare:

“As I have explained, the Court’s continued use of that test “has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.” Morrison, supra, at 627. The Government’s unprecedented claim in this suit that it may regulate not only economic activity but also inactivity that substantially affects interstate commerce is a case in point.”

The latest Chief Justice Roberts Goebbels-gargling for the Offal Office to keep National Socialist healthcare afloat came out just a few weeks ago to make this 4th of July even more ridiculous if anyone still believes this is a free country. When Roberts isn’t teaching creative writing to the Executive Branch, he’s lording over the finer details of totalitarian architecture at the Supremes’ monster factory.

In essence:

“In this instance, the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase . . . Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

You can’t make this up.

Most of the ahistorical tax Helots automatically associate the 4th of July with the wretched Constitution anyway. Constitution Day is in September but why wait when the DI has been so famously and ingloriously betrayed in every aspect of its essence and message. The majority in that decision would applaud the Soviet Constitution not that the earlier American version was any shakes when it came to liberty.

The Fourth of July is the same day in 1863 that the defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg snuffed out any hope of the South prevailing in its divorce proceedings during the Second American Revolution and the Lincolnian juggernaut would take the Constitution to its final stages of expanding and securing a place for the leviathan state in North America.

Happy Dependence Day, comrades. -BB

PREAMBLE to the 1977 Soviet Constitution slightly modified to American standards:

The Great November Democratic Revolution, made by the workers and peasants of United States under the leadership of the US Government headed by its Presidents, overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, established the dictatorship of the voter, and created the American state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building government intervention and democracy. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to government intervention.

After achieving victory in the elections and repulsing free market intervention, the American government carried through far-reaching social and economic transformations, and put an end once and for all to exploitation of man by man, antagonisms between classes, and strive between nationalities. The unification of the American Republics in the Union of American Democratic Republics multiplied the forces and opportunities of the peoples of the country in the building of government intervention. Social ownership of the means of production and genuine democracy for the working masses were established. For the first time in the history of mankind a democratic society was created.

The strength of government intervention was vividly demonstrated by the immortal feat of the American people and their Armed Forces in achieving their historic victory in the Great Cold War. This victory consolidated the influence and international standing of the American Union and created new opportunities for growth of the forces of government intervention, national liberation, democracy, and peace throughout the world.

Continuing their creative endeavors, the working people of the American Union have ensured rapid, all-round development of the country and steady improvement of the democratic system. They have consolidated the alliance of the working class, collective-farm peasantry, and people’s intelligentsia, and friendship of the nations and nationalities of the US. Sociopolitical and ideological unity of American society, in which the middle class is the leading force, has been achieved. The aims of the dictatorship of the voter having been fulfilled, the American state has become a state of the whole people. The leading role of the US Government, the vanguard of all the people, has grown.

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Montani Semper Liberi: The Art of Being Free in the Back of Beyond by John Meyers

apprifleman.jpg Publisher’s Note:  Again, I’m pleased that John has provided another great narrative about the history of “state repellant” areas and regions in the USSA. This should serve as a reminder that state resistant regions like Zomia in SE Asia and other mountainous zones planet-wide can shuffle off the planetary impulse to govern every human transaction. If one wants to establish a redoubt, success will depend on interesting map lines. There is a rich history in the Appalachians of saying “nope” to any question that begins with “Should the government…?”

John just did the wonderful account of MAJ Redmond.

Our Southern Highlanders here.

Providential that we would publish this as PorcFest is fired up in NH and the Orcs in Mordor pass more nonsense from their satraps in the Supremes.  -BB

Mountain peoples have always had a knack for being free. Mountainous topography has historically acted as a talisman against over bearing authoritarianism. Rugged individualism in the Appalachian, Ozarks and Rocky Mountain chains in these united States is still rampant despite the usual suspects best efforts to squash it. Regions across the globe from Southeast Asia, to the Highlands of the Isles of Great Britain, to the Swiss Alps, demonstrate a similar allergy to despotism. Mountainous regions have long served resistance movements well from the Hindu Kush to Chechnya, the Sendero Illuminoso in Peru to everyone’s favorite counter-culture movie classic, Red Dawn set in the stereotypical Middle American small town at the foot of the Rockies.

Buppert’s Law of Military Topography puts forth the idea that a people who live in a rifle culture in mountainous terrain, are rarely if ever, militarily defeated. Historically, there are very few examples where this is not the case. While I do not intend to analyze this theory on a world scale from a military perspective, I want to establish this as a baseline theory for study of general resistance to States in particular.

The Irish Rebellion of 1916-1922, is unique in that it offers a sort of picture window analysis of a successful western European insurgency, where as most successful insurgencies involve peoples that are much different in ethnicity, religion and cultural values than what we have here in the Occupied States. Which is why the shining example of Appalachian Anti-Statism is a crucial looking glass to draw from.

James C Scott in his writings on the stateless hill people of Southeast Asia has described that since the beginning, humans have sought out mountainous regions as retreats from the State. Whether it was evading conscription, slavery, taxation, rules, epidemics or wars. The retreat into the Appalachians represents the same phenomenon. The people seeking to be free in the America of a bygone era generally found themselves on the frontier. These regions were largely what Scott calls “non-state space” and areas where the State had difficulty establishing and maintaining its authority. If you throw in challenging terrain and obstacles, you further increase your odds of being left alone and state control being minimal.

Appalachian Lineage

There may be a genetic aversion to authority embedded in the various people who settled the eastern mountains. Stemming largely from Scots-Irish, English Borderers, Germanic (“Dutch” in the Highland Dixie lexicon) and French Huguenot backgrounds, the first settlers merely by the act of settling what became known as Appalachia were law-breakers. The British Monarch in an effort to improve Indian relations put forth a decree forbidding settlement west of the line he drew on a map. Many of these people found their way west of that line.

Of particular interest to the liberty minded person is the specific culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Lucky for us, a marvelous first hand account exists of these people from before the old ways died off. Horace Kephart’s, “Our Southern Highlanders” does a wonderful job at detailing the radical individualism, anti-authoritarianism, traditions, and cultural nuisances inherent in this group of people. Much like a modern radical libertarian, the traditional mountain folk were severely skeptical of Power and granted government little if any moral legitimacy. The same way the modern advocate of a free society might argue that the fiction of Social Contract theory is nothing but a mythology of power used to explain why we have rulers, Kephart notes:

Our Highlanders have neither memory nor tradition of ever having been herded together, lorded over, persecuted or denied the privileges of freemen… they recognize no social compact.” (Kephart, 382-383)

The first settlers to the region may have largely been materially poor, but of a unique sort. Neither did they fit in with aristocratic society nor were the seaboard towns and cities fit for them. Kephart perfectly details the distinction:

“The Western piedmont and the mountains were settled neither by Cavaliers nor by poor whites, but by a radically distinct and even antagonistic people who are appropriately called the Roundheads of the South. These Roundheads had little or nothing to do with slavery, detested the state church, loathed tithes, and distrusted all authority save that of conspicuous merit and natural justice.” (Kephart, 439)

The Scots Irish mindset has historically been that of a defiant group of people. They have long been a fighting race and its no surprise when you transplant those mountain people to America, they keep up the same legacy. As Kephart further elaborates, “Thus we see that the townsman’s weapon against government was graft, and the mountaineer’s weapon was his gun.” (Kephart, 150)

The Regulator Rebellion

The frontier inhabitants were indeed not only theoretically opposed to being lorded over, they were willing to physically resist it. It is no surprise that some of the first and most interesting acts of resistance to British authority in America were on the frontier. One of the more interesting stories of the pre-revolutionary era was the antics of the North Carolina Regulators. Given that individualists gradually moved west escaping the tyranny of the Eastern governments, bureaucrats and crony-land holders, it comes as no surprise that when the government sought to establish counties and government apparatuses amongst the frontier dwellers, they didn’t take it very well. It really does come down to Ernest Hancock’s proverbial classification of two types of people; “the ones who just want to be left alone, and the ones who just wont leave you alone.” Continue reading

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