“Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.” ~Mark Twain
“What signify a few lives in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
– Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Col. William S. Smith (November 13, 1787)
The quote above is employed by members of the Patriot and Sovereign movements all the time to provide the basis for what ails them. These movements tend to be comprised of a startling number of professionals (dentists, doctors, etc) and, as expected, a fair number of them are in the courts and prison system maintained by our rulers in DC and their satraps in the states.
I rarely, if ever, accept speaking invitations from Patriot or Sovereign groups whether clothed as militia or religionists. I made that error early in my career but started to notice a disturbing trend of state idolatry, as long as it was their construct.
These are the same folk who divine guidance from touchstones as various as the Illuminati to the New World Order to issues of Constitutional steerage. On occasion, they think we share common cause and in that they are mistaken. When I lived in north Idaho, some people in the community became Sovereigns as a convenient means to avoid fulfilling contracts they had entered in to and discovered they could not fulfill such as payments on loans. They would talk about the evils of the Uniform Commercial Code and the strawman government, debt elimination and “rescinding” your Socialist Security Number. I find no profit or merit in any of these contentions but they may believe what they wish. The worst mistake these adherents make is thinking that they can prevail in a judicial system formed, maintained and staffed by the State. Somehow, their amazing and passionate legalistic formulations are going to convince the robed government employee on the dais and his minions that the powers invested in the State must be reduced or eliminated. Good luck with that. As a matter of fact, there is no precedent or antecedent for that historically in America. The history of America has been one long march toward greater and more expansive collectivism.
We see the influence of Dominionism and its subsets in Christian Reconstructionism animating large swaths of the Patriot movement with some rather nasty offshoots like Christian Identity. George Grant goes so far as to:
“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less… Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.”
World domination issues indeed and a unique vision of the efficacy of Romans 13. This is simply a sampling of the religious aspects of this collectivist ideology. Yes, you heard that right. I submit that the Patriot Movement, with very few exceptions, is peopled by folks who don’t want to be free of the state but simply wish to transform it into an instrument and hammer of force to compel others to submit to their ideology of how a government should be run. I have written before of the infantile and asinine notions of some of the usual suspects mewling about returning to the “real Constitution”. There is no such animal. What was birthed in 1791 is the reason we suffer under Leviathan government today. That document is a blueprint for big government and the Federalists (they prevailed) were quite candid in the Federalist papers about that very thing. Hamilton did not even need the king he longed for because his rabid collectivist vision came to pass…in spades.
I get the desire to be a sovereign citizen but the notion of going to the court system to plead for interpretations of ownership the State will never recognize and bait cops with supercilious and fruitless notions of independence is barking up the wrong tree.
This not about building a better government, a more just state and “getting the right people in office”, this is bigger than that that. Much bigger.
This is about changing the paradigm to embrace one simple nostrum: the violation of a man’s self-ownership who does not harm others is always wrong. Period. Not only is his consent inviolate but the initiation of aggression through force or fraud is always morally wrong.
The Patriot and Sovereignty movements embrace violence at the more extreme fringes of behavior and uniformly engage in what is arguably a greater sin: the intellectual and spiritual justification of the initiation of force against others to form their version of governance which in the end will be just as bad as the worst variants we have seen on the North American continent.
And by the way, I despise the collectivist apologists and state fetishists at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That particular entity has been the driving force magically transforming citizens who are fed up and subscribers to different ideologies in the same camp as domestic terrorists. A pathetic and intellectually bankrupt organization whose closest analog in our history is the thugs Woodrow Wilson subsidized during WWI.
Civil disobedience begins most elementally in the conviction that your self-ownership is yours to dispose of as you wish and your greatest weapon is your refusal.
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” ~Voltaire