Posted: August 17th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for having me here. I want to thank the organizers, because they have done something phenomenal here. They’ve invited a contrary voice.
For those of you who have read “Starving the Monkeys”, you know that I’m not a big fan of political rallies, because it is my opinion that we are outnumbered in this country. Now, I know that is a very unpopular thing to hear, but if you look, for example, at some of the speakers who have been up here already, if the educational system has been taken over, can you count those people as part of us anymore? If so many people are dependent on checks, either directly or indirectly, from the government, can you count those people? Or have we lost them, to them?
If that’s the case, then political rallies, or hoping that elections can change anything, are not going to work. Let me give you a thought experiment about that.
Imagine you are on a plane carrying twenty people, and you crash on a deserted island. Seventeen of them get together and decide to enslave three of you. Because you are in the minority, is it your responsibility to accept that slavery? Of course it isn’t.
If they let you have rallies, and vote and send out flyers and write your representatives, is that going to make any difference whatsoever? It will not. So what you have to consider is, if one day we wake up in that world, and we may already be there, what strategies do we employ then? What strategies do we use on that deserted island, with seventeen people trying to enslave the three of us?
It will not be rallies. It will not be elections. The topic of that is beyond the point of our talk here today.
But, I challenge you to accept that uncomfortable possibility, because it may very well be true today. Because if someone says, “we surround them”, where’s the evidence? If we surrounded them, would we have the health care bill? If we surrounded them, would the government no longer listen to anything we had to say? If we surrounded them, would any of these problems we’ve discussed today even exist?
I know that is an uncomfortable thought. But if we are going to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, it is something you have to come face-to-face with, and not to continue to hope that the next election will change it. Because it may not. And it is likely not to.
Hope is not a strategy.
I’ve heard many of the speakers here today talk about the idea that the Founding Fathers gave us this right or that right. Nonsense. No man can give you rights. Your rights sprang into being the moment you were conceived. And your rights don’t depend on being in the majority, either, nor on what country you live in. If you were the only person on the planet to understand this, you would still have the moral claim to your rights. The other six billion people would be wrong, and if they tried to enslave you, you would be morally justified in anything you chose to do to secure those rights. Only the practical limitations of what actions were available to you might stay your hand, but certainly not ethics. You have rights by, and of, yourself, even if you stand completely alone. But you’re not alone. Not yet. You just aren’t able to vote anymore to retain the practical ability to exercise those rights without consequences.
So, this is a rally to “Restore the Constitution”. When you say these words, I know exactly what you have in your mind. You have in your mind the same idea that each soldier, sailor, airman and Marine, second lieutenant and ensign, cadet and midshipman, have in their minds when they take the oath. You have in your mind the same idea I had in my mind when I took that same oath. And that idea is that the Constitution is about liberty, and all our problems today are because we’ve drifted away from that.
But my friends, that idea is wrong. The Constitution isn’t about liberty, it is about power. The idea you have in your head about liberty comes from the Bill of Rights, which is really just a yellow liberty sticky note on the poster of Constitutional power. And this means that the Bill of Rights is just marketing spin to get you to accept the power of the national government over the states, and over you. Let me explain that.
If you read the original seven articles of the Constitution, and I mean really read them, you see there is nothing about liberty in there, except for some marketing spin in the Preamble. Everything else in those seven articles is about raw, undiluted national power. You can read more about what I’m going to say in Boston T. Party’s excellent book, “Hologram of Liberty”. I’m going to just hit you with some of the high points before I move on to what I really came here to talk about.
We are all taught that the Constitution guarantees our liberty through checks and balances. Oh really? Well, how successful are those checks and balances working out? Recently we all cheered when the Supreme Court struck down some gun laws we didn’t like. But, the larger story is that these decisions happened because of one vote on the Supreme Court. Think about that. Your liberty hinges on the actions of one person wearing a black dress. Just one person. Is that a system of checks and balances? Your liberty, our liberty, should never depend on the actions of a single person. The fact that this decision went our way was luck. Nothing else but luck. Remember that deserted island story? If the islanders put together a Supreme Court to adjudge your complaints, would you be morally obligated to accept the result if someone in a black grass skirt said you had to be a slave? Of course not.
My friends, the articles of the Constitution are articles of power, and you must never forget that. They are articles of the power of the national government over the states, and over you. As Boston says in his excellent book, our current situation has arisen either as the result of the Constitution, or in spite of it. No other possibilities exist, and neither of those are particularly soothing, are they? Wake up, friends.
Anyway, enough of that. I’m not here to convince you that the Constitution is alive and well. And I don’t have to convince you of that. Time, reality and bitter experience will do that for me soon enough. I just hope that all those people taking oaths have that idea of liberty in their minds, and not the idea of power. Because if they are really swearing allegiance to that idea of power, then may God help us all.
So what am I here for? To pop fantasies that continue to enslave us? No. I’m not really even here to talk to you. My real reason for being here is to talk about you to two specific groups: the media and law enforcement.
After the previous rally in Virginia, the media was ablaze with stories about how these people were crackpots and gun nuts. You in the media said that these people were out of touch with reality, and a menace to our society. Well, I want you to consider the reality that these people are the good guys. They wear the white hats, and if you in the media had any sense and believed your own rhetoric, you would understand this and support their efforts wholeheartedly. Why? Because they aren’t the real menace. The real menace that you should fear are those who didn’t show up today. The people here today, the white hats, still believe that this country can be pulled back from the brink. They believe it so much that they are willing to show up here armed, despite the personal risks, to make a point.
These people here today think that you in the media are merely misguided, or lazy, or otherwise benign. On the other hand, many of those growing number who won’t come to rallies like this, let’s call them the black hats, have learned to see you in the media as deliberately destructive. They see you as the propaganda arm of the powerful. And when you denigrate the efforts of people such as these, in their minds you prove them right.
I’ll get back to that in a moment, but now I want to turn to law enforcement. You, too, should be celebrating these people as the good guys. Why? Because they still believe that most of you in law enforcement are good guys, too. They see and hear stories of weapons being seized from people who do nothing wrong, and are still willing to write this off as the actions of a few bad apples. But the black hats, those who no longer believe these things, see you in law enforcement as merely the intimidation arm of the powerful. When you in law enforcement kick in doors in the middle of the night, and shoot pets and children, and harass people in their daily lives, the black hats understand these things as a systemic problem, and not just the result of a few bad apples.
The sad thing is that they are both right. Not all media people are bad, and not all law enforcers are petty tyrants. But you, individually, don’t have to be bad for things to continue to spin out of control. No matter how good or how righteous you in the media or law enforcement think your respective causes may be, the powerful can simply reward the most effective propagandists, or the most effective intimidators, with jobs and promotions. And just as easily deny these things to those who refuse to propagandize or intimidate. The result of this selection process is that things slide farther downhill. And in the process recruit more and more people to the black hat view of the world.
So let’s dig a little deeper into that black hat world view, shall we? Why not?
The white hats believe that our economic crisis is the result of mistakes, or shortsightedness, or simple corruption or greed, and that we can just work our way out of it and get back on top. The black hats, on the other hand, understand that our situation was the result of a deliberate act of financial terrorism, specifically designed to transfer trillions of dollars taken by threat of force, or intimidation, from our citizens, and give that ransom to the powerful. And that the selling of this economic terrorism and payment of the subsequent ransom was the job of the propagandists in the media. And all of it was perfectly legal, and done under the watchful eye of the Constitution you here today wish to restore, which guarantees protection by national force against those states who might resent their being plundered by powerful interests in New York. And that hard work isn’t going to be enough against enemies like that.
So how might those enemies face justice? Well, the white hats still believe in law and order, and that ultimately justice will prevail. But, consider this thought experiment. If everyone in the country were as well armed as these people here today, would a growing law enforcement community be required? Well-armed, who would fear robbers, murderers and rapists? Who would fear drug dealers? Who would fear terrorists? None of these bad people would have a chance. So then why does law enforcement continue to expand, and restrictions on personal action and responsibility grow faster and faster each year, and each month? Simply put, the black hats interpret this situation as that the fiction of law and order is merely used as a shield to protect the truly guilty from the rest of us.
The white hats continue to pledge their allegiance to the flag of this country. Many of them still bother to say the word “indivisible” when they recite this, too. Black hats, on the other hand, don’t pledge their allegiance to a piece of cloth, but to the principles, of liberty and justice for all, which that pledge is believed to represent. And not some cheap pseudo-patriotic kindergarten substitute, instead.
White hats believe in liberty and justice for people of all races and creeds. Black hats believe in this, too.
But, whereas white hats reach out the hand of fellowship to those of different races and creeds, black hats intend to then clasp those hands and join in mutual, armed strength to fight those who have, for generations, pit us against each other for the benefit of a powerful few.
White hats are concerned that they might have their guns taken from them, and many of them are willing to fight to the death to prevent this. Black hats, however, understand that being armed is a state of mind. A man of skill, knowledge and determination can become armed at any time he chooses, and with that skill and knowledge obtain more weapons from his enemies who no longer need them. Cold dead hands won’t win this war, my friends. Fight back smarter.
White hats hold rallies to convince others of the importance of their cause, hoping that if enough people could be educated, then the phantom majority would rise up and set things right. Black hats understand that the majority of people, addicted to their checks, want things just as they are. And black hats also understand that liberty, and a man’s ethical claim to his rights, aren’t dependent on, and shouldn’t be dependent on, the whim of others, no matter to what numbers the tyrants may grow.
Which brings us to the upcoming election, and the hope for change. White hats believe that an election will change everything. Black hats accept the reality that it probably won’t change anything, and that history shows that tyranny ratchets ever legally and legitimately forward at the whim of the populace, until chaos reigns.
White hats are afraid that their time is coming to a close. Black hats are confident that their time will come.
So you in the media, are you merely the propaganda arm of the powerful? Are the black hats right? If not, then come support these good people, and others like them around the country. Because if they fail, and if I am right, you, too, will be writing the checks for the hell which must be paid. Along with the rest of us disposable cogs.
And you in law enforcement, are you merely the intimidation arm of the powerful? Are the black hats right? If not, then come support these good people, and others like them around the country. Because if they fail, and if I am right, you, also, will be writing the checks for the hell which must be paid. Along with the rest of us disposable cogs.
But, I am realistic enough to know that neither the media nor law enforcement will change their paths to help set things straight. The lure of their checks is too strong. And so what must come, will come. But along the way, both you the propagandist and you the intimidator will serve our larger purpose by creating a crucible from which leaders are forged. And for that, I thank you both.
And thanks to all of you good people here today, hoping to set things right, for taking the time to listen to these words.
Tom Baugh is the author of Starving the Monkeys, Fight Back Smarter. He is also a former Marine, patented inventor, entrepreneur and professional irritant.