by Keith Preston
A scene from the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film “A Clockwork Orange”, based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess, features a telephone conversation between a dissident writer and an unseen cohort. Noting the efforts of the government under which the film’s characters reside, a crime-ridden welfare state, to legitimize the experimental torture of prisoners, the writer remarks: “We have seen this before in other countries…Soon we will have the full apparatus of totalitarianism upon us.” This is precisely what is happening to America today. Present efforts by the regime to legitimize torture and eliminate habeus corpus will, if successful, be the final phase in the transformation of the old American republic into an executive dictatorship and imperial police state. Those who are aware of this precarious situation and stand in opposition to this downward spiral to absolute tyranny are certainly few in number but span the entire spectrum of political and cultural identities. They have many disagreements among themselves. Indeed, the only area where there is commonality concerns the need to oppose the police state. How can this be done?
American politics is driven by single-issue movements. Obvious examples include gun rights, gun control, pro-life, pro-choice, gay rights and environmentalism. The movement for resistance to the imperial police state needs to be organized in the same manner, uniting all enemies of the present regime into a single-issue coalition for the purpose of resisting the rise of totalitarianism in the United States. The leadership corps of a such a movement will need to be drawn from the ranks of the all of the present opposition elements, and essentially play the same role as the US founders at the time of the first American Revolution. The leadership of this new movement may come from people who are already relatively well-known, or they may be entirely new faces. Initially, conferences will have to be held and dialogue will have to take place whereby the new revolutionary leadership agrees to put aside its internal economic, cultural, ideological, ethnic and religious differences, at least for the time being, and agrees to put forth a united resistance front against the common enemy.
The backbone of the present regime is the police and the military. It is this aspect of the state that must first be attacked. It will, of course, be necessary to cultivate a relationship with dissenters within the ranks of the armed forces and law enforcement, but ultimately there will need to be a foundation laid out for the waging of armed struggle as the state begins to fully wield its apparatus of repression. The first step will be to assemble the military arm of the resistance. There are several relevant precedents from recent American history. One of these was the Black Panther Party formed in the 1960s to resist police brutality and repression in the black community. Another was the patriot militia movement of the 1990s formed in response to the atrocities at Waco and Ruby Ridge. It goes without saying that any armed resistance group of this type will automatically come under the scrutiny of the authorities who will undoubtedly attempt to strangle the insurgency in its cradle. How the armed forces of the struggle organize should be dependent upon the nature of local political conditions. In some regions of the US, it may be possible to cultivate a positive working relationship with local sheriffs or other conventional law enforcement who sympathize with the anti-government cause. In these communities, citizen militias may well be able to train and otherwise operate on an above ground basis. Even so, any open, public militia should conduct its operation within the confines of the law. Otherwise, the militia will become a target for infiltration (this will happen anyway) and entrapment schemes. Public displays of militia power should be symbolic in nature with the purpose being to gain media exposure and raise public awareness of the existence of the militia for the sake of steering potential recruits in the proper direction. Beyond this very elementary level, there needs to be a “militia within a militia”. A 1990s era militiaman explained how this works:
“Every militia has its share of idiots or informers. We’ll teach a basic defensive course for the whole group, where to shoot people when they kick down your door, guerrilla warfare, the tame stuff. The guys who are serious about changing things know that defense isn’t going to do the trick. Later, usually the next day, we have another meeting with a few of the leaders who understand what’s going on. We teach them offensive tactics-how a small force can take on a larger military force and win. You can call it terrorism, but it’s just being practical. If you’re serious about changing things, it’s the only option.”
Obviously, “offensive” military operations must remain as clandestine as possible. The proper model is one of individual lone wolves and autonomous cells. An excellent example of the former is Theodore Kaczynski, aka “The Unabomber”, who carried out his operations undetected for years until he was finally snitched on by a relative (Remember: No one must know.) Whatever one thinks of Kaczynksi’s specific actions or ideology, he is certainly a splendid example of a lone wolf who was quite successful for many years. As for the cellular model, plenty of precedents exist for such a struggle. The key element is to keep it small. Cells are soon exposed when they start putting quantity ahead of quality. A cell should never be more than 3 to 5 persons. When it grows larger than that, the cell needs to divide with a new cell being formed, with the process then repeating itself over and over again. This is how the most successful Islamic resistance groups operate. They use this methodology because it works. There is also the question of particular tactics. An insurgent force that acts without restraint will soon alienate the public at-large (the recent al-Qaeda bombing in Jordan is an illustration of this). Citizens should not feel personally threatened by the insurgents beyond the unavoidable level. Competent insurgent forces choose their targets of military action wisely and selectively.
Once the military arm of the resistance is well-established, an alternative infrastructure needs to be developed in other areas. The first order of business is the creation of an alternative system of crime control, dispute adjudication and penal sanctions operating as an alternative to the state’s system. The patriot militia began some important work in this area with the creation of the common law courts. There are indeed many precendents for non-state legal systems, including not only common law but admiralty law, private law, merchant law, canon law and customary law, with these typically ordered on the basis of mediation, negotiation and arbitration. The goal should be to create a legal infrastructure operating independently of the government’s legal system. This can be the foundation of a large scale public boycott of that system. The idea is to provide ordinary citizens with the means for settling criminal or civil disputes without relying on the government’s courts or laws. As an extension of the militia, there can be the creation of expanded neighborhood watch programs, the hiring of private security forces and the organization of citizen posses under the leadership of local constables elected directly by popular resistance organizations independently of the state’s electoral system.
The core idea here is to provide ordinary citizens with the means of self-protection against crime so that they will come to feel that the government’s police, judicial and penal systems are unnecessary. How would this work? Jane steps outside her house or apartment one morning and notices that her car has been stolen. She is aware that it is unlikely that the police will recover her property or even find the perpetrator. She has heard through rumors and word of mouth that the posse or militia is much more effective in this area. Jane contacts a nearby acquaintance known to have militia connections and the details of her problem are passed on to the relevant unit of the resistance forces. Using their elaborate network of informants and volunteer, or charitably-paid, investigators, the citizen posse locates Joe, the car thief. Joe is offered an alternative. He can pay Jane for her car and her troubles, with interest rates set higher than what Jane would receive from insurance payments (these typically require a police report) or court-ordered restituion, and Jane will forgo informing the police or pressing any formal legal charges. This way, Jane comes out ahead and Joe stays out of the hoosegow. Everyone wins and the authority of the government is weakened. Even more serious crimes involving rapes, kidnappings and homocides might be resolved using this system. Within the context of the resistance movement, common law courts and arbitration panels might review evidence brought to them by self-proclaimed victims. Once the victim’s case was judged to be legitimate (there might even be an appeals process), the common law court might give the posse the green light to exercise a little “private justice”.
The importance of a large-scale public boycott of government institutions and regulations cannot be overstated. An important foundation for these types of actions has been laid by the “sovereign citizen” movement. The Anti-Defamation League, a private intelligence agency that operates in collusion with the government and the police state while pretending to be a legitimate civil rights organization, nevertheless provides a reasonably apt description of the sovereign citizens idea:
“Since these contracts were made without people’s knowledge, they could be declared invalid and torn up. Social Security numbers, licenses and permits, even birth certificates could be revoked, allowing people thereby to become ‘sovereign citizens,’ freed from the jurisdiction of the ‘de facto’ government and courts. They were once more subject only to the “common law.” The development of this theory resulted in a movement whose members believe not only that virtually all levels of government have no jurisdiction over them whatsoever, but also that acceptance of any government regulation or permit means entering into a ‘contract’ with the government that results in the loss of liberty and freedom. Consequently, committed sovereign citizens resist, sometimes with violence, nearly every form of governmental authority, from police enforcing traffic regulations to inspectors enforcing building codes.”
This is precisely the type of resistance movement that needs to be cultivated. Precedents for de facto revolution through simple non-compliance abound throughout history. Strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience are tried-and-true methods of resistance. However, to be successful, such efforts must be organized and the individual participants must be mutually supportive of one another. Joel Dyer describes the effectiveness of the militia movement in this area:
“Following Ruby Ridge and Waco, the antigovernment movement focused on the creation of militias. With its military arm in place, the movement’s next push came in the form of common-law courts. As the sovereignty concept took hold across the nation, antigovernment adherents began to form organizations that encompassed all of these antigovernmental elements-sovereignty, courts and militias. The goal is that each organization should become self-sufficient, able to fully govern its membership with no assistance from the outside world. It’s as if there are thousands of independent countries operating within the border of the United States…Regardless of their differences, which are substantial, these groups realize that they must ultimately support each other to avoid being crushed by the federal government…These self-governing antigovernment bands range in size from a dozen people to several thousand…The actions of these supposedly sovereign groups are often in direct conflict with the laws of the United States, which they no longer recognize…The longer it exists, the stronger it grows, as more and more people are choosing to opt out of the federal system, whose taxes make the difference between a family’s eating or sending its children to bed hungry…”
An alternative infrastructure must be created that can step in to pick up the pieces once the present system disintegrates. An alternative military, crime control and legal system, combined with a total boycott of the present government, is an important first step. However, alternative infrastructure will be needed in all areas of civic and social life. Alternative media is obviously very important and such modern inventions as the internet, short-wave radio, cable access television and the like provide an important means to that end. The printing and circulation of radical pamphlets, such as Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”, played an important role in the first American Revolution and will be very important for the second American Revolution as well. Neighborhood or community committees need to be set up, perhaps modeled on the Committees of Correspondence of the revolutionary era, as a coordinating body for radical activity of every kind from militia training to development of alternative media to alternative educational arrangements (such as home schooling) to the common law courts. These can be organized as parallel bodies to existing governmental institutions, perhaps even replacing them eventually. It will also be necessary to infiltrate larger, more mainstream organizations such as conventional community groups, single-issue pressure groups, minor political parties and local chapters of the major parties, civic, professional and cultural organizations of every kind for the purpose of pushing all of these in a more radical political direction.
Any formidable resistance movement must have a solid economic foundation. It will be necessary to cultivate a working relationship with labor unions, defense organizations for disadvantage economic groupings, and advocacy groups for the claimants of public assistance along with the creation of cooperatives, credit unions, mutuals and alternative methods of social service delivery. The Hezbollah militia of southern Lebanon has for many years maintained such services. Resistance forces in the US would do well to study and emulate their example. There also needs to be elaborate networks of businesses, financial and fundraising organizations owned and maintained by resistance forces, preferably clandestinely, for the sake of financing the insurgency. A public works program established by the resistance organizations, and operating completely independently of the government, would provide a propaganda weapon of immense value. The maintenance of alternative monetary systems and barter networks might likewise serve to “pull the rug out from under” the state’s system. All of the aforementioned civil associations would then need to be collectively organized into a resistance-led political party. In addition to the alternative infrastructure described above, there might also be a type of “leave me alone” coalition established, consisting of a tactical alliance of all groups under attack by the state from midwives to marijuana smokers to tobacco farmers to tax resisters, that would then serve as the constituent base for a new radical party. Such a party would be much more than just another electoral party. It would be the mere political arm of a vast array of organizations, institutions and individuals acting in resistance to the present system. The party would then work to educate citizens about their Second Amendment rights of self-defense against both common criminals and government, the right of juries to nullify foolish or wrong-headed prosecutions by the government’s courts and the need for mutual solidarity of all anti-system forces against the common enemies.
It would be best if such a party were to be organized on the basis of local sovereignty. Each local party could then tailor its platform, political line, campaign strategies and other actions towards local political culture with the goal of radicals taking over lower level positions such as city councils or county boards of supervisors, school boards and sheriff’s offices. From there, full-scale local and regional secessionist movements could be developed, combined with militant labor action, a national tax strike and the boycotting of corrupt federal elections, civil disobedience in resistance to government actions, the seizure of enemy state or corporate facilities and a general boycott of arbitrary state edicts. Local communities might be mobilized around opposition to symbolic features of the imperial police state, such as the PATRIOT Act. An particularly interesting tactic employed by some in the militia movement has been the so-called “V.O.G.” or “victim of government” strategy whereby individuals who come under attack by the state are aided by the appearance of organized militia groups at the scene where an arbitrary arrest, property seizure, eviction or the like is taking place. Eventually, full-scale armed resistrance will of course be necessary. Contrary to the claims of some, the US regime is highly vulnerable to a determined guerrilla insurgency. This can be observed in the successes of the present insurgency by the Iraqi resistance. Other models are Hezbollah’s success in driving Israel from Lebanon, the victory of the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation and of the Vietcong against the US in Vietnam. Indeed, the more successful the insurgency becomes the more it will grow. The Anti-Defamation League describes the growth in the militia movement following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995:
“…the overall result of the bombing and its attendant publicity was actually a rise in the militia movement, because the media attention informed many potential supporters that such a movement actually existed. As a result, the militia movement grew in numbers and activity all through 1995 and into 1996.”
A militia leader, Ron Cole, likewise described the taming effect of militia actions on the government:
“At Ruby Ridge the government just opened fire on the Weavers. They didn’t care how many people protested their actions. They turned right around and handled Waco the same way. They went in with a surprise attack, guns blazing. They’re (the U.S. government) the single largest abuser of human rights on the planet. Congress did its investigations (of Ruby Ridge and Waco) and slapped them on the wrist, but that wasn’t going to change the way the government deals with us. Look at the way they (the government) handled the Freemen in Montana-completely different. And the only reason it was different is because somebody blew up a building in Oklahoma City. Now, the government understands what happens when it abuses its power. They handled the Freemen situation properly, so nothing blew up in response. It (Oklahoma City bomb) was a terrible situation, but it’s the only thing that got the government’s attention.”
Indeed, democratist regimes such as that of the United States are particularly capable of being influenced by insurgent forces. As Vox Day notes:
“But the real reason democracy cannot end terrorism is that terrorism is ideally suited for influencing democratic results. Terrorism is violence by and for the people, which is to say, it is expressly designed to speak through the mass media in order to influence the masses. As every successful politician knows, fear is an excellent means of manipulating the minds of the voting populace, and so terrorism has a utility in democratic societies that it does not have in autocracies. The political effect of this can be seen in Israel and Spain, where terrorism has effected genuine policy change, and the reality of its democratic utility can be seen in Iraq and in India, where there is far more terrorism than in autocracies like China and pre-invasion Iraq. Thus, it is increasingly clear that the administration’s strategy of ending terrorism sponsored in the Middle East by effecting regime change in favor of democratically elected governments will fail, indeed, that it never had a chance of success in the first place.”
Enemies of the present US regime are everywhere. A resistance movement, to be the most effective, must cut across the cultural, ideological and even national boundaries that divide opponents of the system. Joel Dyer describes how this might be done:
“A new breed of other elements within the movement-representing perhaps yet another step in the movement’s evolution-is also seeking foreign funding. One of my contacts, whom I will call ‘Tom’ since he spoke on the condition of anonymity, told me that he is actively seeking money abroad. Tom’s antigovernment organization, which has established dialogue with Mexico’s Zapatistas, South America’s Shining Path guerrillas, and the Nation of Islam, is the antithesis of the Identity-driven groups. But don’t mistake Tom for a leftist-he’s not. His vision of America is similar to that of the sovereigns, with small pockets of self-governed individuals living in regions outside of any federal authority. ‘If blacks want to live separate from whites,’ says Tom,’they should have that right. I don’t think that’s necessary, but people should be allowed to choose how and where they live.’ Tom says that the American government is responsible for creating the conditions worldwide that have spawned the sort of radical organizations his group communicates with in other countries, so it’s only natural that today’s antigovernment movement should consider them as alllies. In line with this vision, he says: ‘Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll have a standoff in Texas …and the Zapatistas will come to our defense. It could happen.”
What kind of system will follow the revolution? Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz offers a clue:
“Where is the way out of this trap? What are the requirements for creating New Resistance? Firstly, traditional values such as those rooted in family, ethnic or religious groups have to be rehabilitated (or at least a “non-aggression pact” with the defenders of these “natural communities” should be signed). Secondly, there is a need to accept the rule of self-limitation; self-limitation of people’s needs in order to save nature, self-limitation of an individual’s freedom in other people’s communities or society’s favor. Third, and most important, a pluralistic vision of the world, in which ideas and behaviors different from the standards of Political Correctness are on equal terms, also has to be accepted. When fighting for freedom of your own expression, you cannot deny other people this law, even if they are very different from you! A pluralistic, decentralized society can be the only alternative to a unified and centralized New World Order, a formless plasma fed on pop-culture. Not only does territorial decentralization (broadening the authority of communities and regions) have to occur but also different cultural communities should gain autonomy. Not only the state but also every community should have the opportunity to proclaim its own laws for its people. In that situation, coexistence of traditional patriarchal families and feminists’ or homosexuals’ pairs, religious fundamentalists’ communities and counter-cultural groups, military- racist communities of the right wing and anarchistic or communistic groups of the left wing would be possible. So that the territorial and cultural decentralization doesn’t become a fiction, it has to be accompanied by economic decentralization and that would mean eliminating the concentration of property and production forms. The information technology revolution gives the opportunity to make this process real. I believe that this idea of a pluralistic society is the only program, which would be able to combine so many scattered and quarrelling sections of anti-System opposition. The only requirement for accepting it is surrendering the ambition of making the whole of humanity happy by your own idea (It will be enough if you concentrate on making yourself happy only). Accepting the variety of the world and the dissimilarity of different people is a task not only for the right-wingers. Otherwise, there will still be the same situation in which a huge silent majority of people are watching scuffles between a handful of left-wing extremists and equally few extremists of the right-wing on TV and the whole show is directed by the elite from behind the scenes.”
Carolyn Chute offers the following suggestions:
“Our goal is for citizens to feel like a sovereign power first before they take the big step of cutting the corporate jugular, of dismantling corporate power. A corporation is not a person. It is a thing. It should have no human rights whatsoever, let alone sovereignty. We need to deflate all the myths of capitalism…The basic structure of our government is not half-bad. It might work if “the people” made its highly visible presence. A unified presence of all sexes and races and classes would be one that the elected representatives would fear, hence they would, represent us, not the tiny elite of organized capital…The no-wing militias don’t spend a lotta time talking gay issues, women’s issues, race issues, Indian issues, Hispanic issues, Christian versus something else. We just welcome everyone and work together to fight the enemy we all have in common. Democracy is like a Caddy-it won’t go anywhere unless you get behind the wheel…I don’t see how the economic structure could be either capitalist or communist or socialist if all people were represented. None of those huge systems are sensitive to regional differences. For instance, the Lakotas resettling the Black Hills might want a different economic system than small Midwestern farmers or the city folk of Detroit.”
Above all, the notion of individual sovereignty as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and its decrees of the inalienable right of all persons to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, must be restored, recognized and upheld. A political community (whether it be a county, a township, a village, hamlet or municipality) is, when properly constituted, but a mere aggregation of sovereign individuals. The local community then becomes the highest unit of governance. This does not mean that a community cannot be confederated with other communities on a regional, provincial or even national basis, for the purpose of pursuing joint-community projects such as the common defense, but the community itself must always retain its sovereignty, with the full right of nullification of unwanted policies enacted by larger bodies, and even full secession if so desired. Once this rightful constitutional order is fully achieved, Americans can once again claim the inheritance that is their rightful legacy from their revolutionary forefathers.
Copyright 2005. American Revolutionary Vanguard. All rights reserved.