Guest Post: Non-Participation As An Effective Weapon Against Tyranny
Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,
Legitimate revolution takes time, patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, this is a strategic concept that is lost on many Americans today who suffer from a now common ailment of attention deficit disorder and an obsession with immediate gratification. Even some who have their hearts in the right place and who work to defend and resurrect our nation’s founding ideals seem to believe that any action to defeat corrupt oligarchy must be effective immediately, otherwise, it’s not worth the attempt. History, of course, teaches us the opposite.
The American rebellion against the British monarchy was not an abrupt or immediate affair. Anger and unrest over the trespasses of King George simmered for decades. The first British troops stationed with the intent to stifle colonial freedoms arrived in Massachusetts in 1768. The Boston Massacre took place in 1770, and still, the Founders refused to leap into open retaliation. Lexington Green and the “shot heard around the world” did not take place until April 19, 1775. The Revolution took years to culminate into an actual physical war. So what did the colonists do in the meantime? Sit on their hands?
In fact, early Americans employed economic tactics against their enemy long before they picked up muskets and powder. British imports were turned away or destroyed. Clothing and other items normally shipped from Europe to be sold in the colonies were boycotted, while colonists began producing all of their own survival necessities. They refused to participate in the system that was designed to enslave them and this gave them a foundation on which to launch their eventual fight for liberty. Without efforts in economic independence, the American Revolution may not have ever taken place.
I always recall this example whenever I am confronted with a Gung-ho liberty movement activist who demands to know when “we” are going to “do something” about criminal government. Or, when I am confronted by nihilists who proclaim that “we” should have “pulled the trigger” long ago, and now it is “too late to do anything.” The Founders had the same doubts and faced the same naysayers, and had the wisdom to act with the correct force at the correct moment.
The methods of non-participation have been repeated in many dissenting actions against despotic establishments, often with much success. This does not mean that one can necessarily topple tyrants simply by refusing to use their goods or their currency. That would be a childish assumption. Very few tyrants have ever been removed from power without an act of force. However, the process of learning to become self sufficient makes each person more effective as an activist or revolutionary, and thus, more dangerous to those who seek control.
Sadly, one of the greatest threats to the American public in 2013 is the possibility that our government will cut off public access to Federal funds. Our society has become so addicted to government tainted money that up to one third of the country relies on some form of paycheck or welfare from the system. If the system breaks, or is deliberately sabotaged, the sickening level of citizen dependency today makes catastrophe inevitable.
The most interesting aspect of the current “shut-down” situation is the fear it is generating, and the partisan fury it facilitates. Republicans and Democrats are nearly ready to tear each others’ throats out all over the continuance or non-continuance of a political body that no longer functions anyway and has become a middle-man for global banks. This interests me because it is an entirely solvable problem, yet the average American appears completely ignorant of the fix.
Most people are either ready to riot, ready to undermine themselves with bad legislation or a Constitutional Convention, ready for a military coup (another idiotic idea the elites would enjoy), or they have become despondent and uselessly morose, when all they really have to do is consider that perhaps they should not be so dependent on such an unstable economic structure or political dynamic in the first place.
The real power is in OUR hands, and has always been in our hands. Federal welfare, and the idea of the loving provider nanny state are the great illusions. The idea of barreling head first to topple this soulless machine, though satisfying to consider, is also inadequate. A more rounded strategy is required...
The mindless drive for infinite spending often associated with the “Left” is a recipe for utter fiscal disaster in the form of suffocating liabilities, massive deficits, and a hyperinflated dollar. But,the mainstream Republican notion that there will be no consequences if debt default occurs is equally foolish. I have been astounded by wild assertions from the GOP that American tax revenues will be more than enough to cover interest payments on U.S. debts. There are many conservatives and Liberty Movement analysts that should know better than to use official Treasury Department interest numbers and debt numbers to support their arguments.
Given that the real U.S. National debt including entitlement programs is estimated at around $200 trillion, and real deficit figures stand at around $5 trillion per year, I’m wondering how anyone in their right mind could claim that annual tax revenues of $2.5 trillion (2012 direct revenue numbers) could possibly cover foreign interest payments on top of existing liabilities? A massive piece of flesh has to be taken somewhere, and the U.S. financial system is on life support already.
The no-worries default theory does not take into account the fact that median household incomes have been dropping every year for the past five years, thus continuously diminishing tax revenue opportunities. It does not take into account the massive spike in interest payments that would come with a foreign sell-off of U.S. Treasury debt. It does not take into account the possibility that foreign creditors might refuse to accept payments on interest in U.S. dollars (as creditors refused to take German Marks as payment during their hyperinflationary collapse). Nor does it take into account the eventual loss of international faith in the dollar as the world reserve currency, which would rain havoc down upon the U.S. populace in the form of dollar devaluation and exploding prices on every commodity imaginable. Think this cannot or will not happen? The Chinese are now openly calling for it to happen!
There is a false notion floating around alternative economic circles that a default is caused only by the refusal of a nation to pay the interest on existing debt obligations, and that these debt obligations are somehow static and predictable. In fact, a default also takes place when Treasury bonds (consider the vast sums of short-term bonds circulating in foreign coffers) are unexpectedly liquidated by creditors and the debtor nation does not honor them in full. Greece went through a similar “haircut” process, though the domestic and global effects are limited because they do not suffer the distinction of holding the world reserve currency. The U.S. does carry that distinction, and with it comes danger. America has only defaulted on debt payment once during the time in which the dollar ascended as the world reserve, in 1979. This was a "technical" default the government blamed on an organizational error, and was extremely short lived.
Never has the U.S. gone into full default mode while holding world reserve currency status.
Let’s not delude ourselves, fellow conservatives. There is a steep price to be paid for debt default. I fully agree that mathematical reality requires our nation's government to end it's fiscal spending obsession, and if that means we suffer a painful withdrawal, then so be it. Obama cultists don't seem to grasp that this event is inevitable anyway. However, attempting to gloss over the consequences will only make it easier for the mainstream media to demonize us later down the road as the cause of the coming catastrophe. There is no way around it. There is no magical silver bullet solution to avoid the pain. We will have to take our medicine, one way or the other…
Fantasies of a serene default scenario are luring many conservatives into a false sense of security which distracts them from preparation. Never assume we are destined for the best possible outcome. Always assume the shark circling you in the water sees you as dinner.
Whether the White House gets its way, or no-one gets his way and the whole debacle eventually ends in default (which has been my personal prediction since the debate began). America’s economy will face the same destruction on only slightly different timetables. As I pointed out in my last article, The Possible Outcomes Of The Shutdown Theater, the only conceivable winners will be international banks, who can play the market and bleed it dry based merely on what their politician friends tell the media on any given day, and who ultimately WANT to dismantle the United States, our economy, our sovereignty and our Constitution to make way for a new global financial edifice.
If there is no way for the average American to win this game because the rules have been written by our opponent, then perhaps we should stop playing the game altogether.
This means millions of Americans must actively pursue a more independent standard of living. This means each and every person must learn to provide all of their own survival necessities, including food, water, shelter, energy and self defense. This means growing a well-planned garden and educating one’s self on raising livestock. This means learning a valuable trade skill that is useful and always sought after regardless of the state of the mainstream economy. This means striving for off-grid status and cutting ties to electric, gas, and water utility companies. This means training to keep one’s self and one’s family safe in an atmosphere of violence where state sanctioned law enforcement may not be present to protect you. This means building relationships within one’s neighborhood, town or county that allow for proactive organization without the oversight of government. This means providing your own community safety and disaster response without the aid of FEMA. This means establishing alternative local trade (like a barter market) that is NOT dependent on the Internet or any other government watched and regulated network. This means refusing to follow the mandatory directives of Obamacare. This means removing your children from federally funded and dictated schools. This means divorcing yourself completely from government.
There are those within the Liberty Movement that are working to make it easier for regular people to transition away from the mainstream, providing outlets for education and organization for those seeking more independence through non-participation. My own website, www.Alt-Market.com, is geared towards helping people network for barter and mutual aid at the local level.
Oath Keepers, a Constitutional organization of veterans, currently serving military, police, firefighters and concerned civilians, has just launched its “Civilization Preservation Program.” It is designed to set up highly adaptable training groups across the U.S. who will teach any interested citizens within their community the survival methods needed to endure disaster, whether natural or man-made, as well as how to rebuild as the storm subsides.
If one is dependent on a tyrant, one cannot hope to defeat that tyrant. The reason so many people are afraid of the results of government shutdown and debt default is because so many people refuse to step away from the system. The reason so many people are afraid to fight back is because they have seen the establishment as their source of income for so long. If more Americans were self-reliant, if more Americans were willing to give up free goodies from the state, if more Americans built their own economic foundations, a collapse of our financial structure would be meaningless. We could simply sit back comfortably and let it die, for why would we care about the funeral pyre of a vicious and reckless political/corporate suicide train?
As things stand at this moment, though, the death of the system is not something to cheer, no matter how much we might wish it to crumble under the weight of its own criminality. The collapse of the existing system will not be the end of our troubles, only the beginning. Chaos always opens doors for evil men, and they will certainly take full advantage of the chaos triggered by shutdown, default or continued inflationary debt spending.
We must make ourselves ready to resist by making ourselves separate from the monster we plan to fight. Crisis waits for no one, and on the path our nation now walks, crisis is assured.
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