Hat tip, Katzmeow.
Having had the Fourth of July recently, I’ve been thinking about government, and the response to a government that doesn’t listen to its citizens. There is an old African saying, “No village, no chief.” There are analogues in the modern world.
As civil libertarian, I am an enthusiastic supporter of individual rights, including the second amendment. It irritates me, as a fiscal conservative, that both the social conservatives and liberals/progressives want to meddle with other people’s lives. Of particular importance is sex, for both groups, but in different ways. I think the Pink Pistols and other folks who are interested in personal freedoms have a point. One made graphically by Oleg Volk.
When this comes up in conversation, amusingly enough, the people around me have an tendency to bring up Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Thoreau. “I’ve got two words for you, Civil Disobedience,” I’ve heard often. “Civil Disobedience will shame people into acting properly, you don’t have to resort to violence.”
And as Dr. Phil says “How’s that working for you? I’ve got more two-word comebacks, such as Pol-Pot. Warsaw ghetto. Ethnic Cleansing. Tiananmen Square.. Civil disobedience works when your adversary can feel shame. Gandhi’s adversary was Winston Churchill. Thoreau was protesting the Mexican-American War, the actions of President Polk. Martin King was opposed by powerful interests in the southern United States, but they needed the approval of public opinion of the US as a whole.
I agree with the eleventh commandment, as promulgated by Robert B. Parker*, and I believe people should keep it wholly. I wish to be left in peace, to go about my business. The world is a wicked enough place, and violence is rightly a last resort. Freud said the inventor of civilization was the first person who used words instead of a weapon, and I agree with him. As a last resort, though, I wish to have the ability to resist coercion, coercion by the local bully or one further away.
*”Leave everyone else the fuck alone.” Double Deuce 1988