Guest Post: Defiance, A Lost Virtue?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Brandon Smith of,

It was August 19th, 1920.  A military detachment of Red Army soldiers led by Bolshevik authorities steamrolled into the Russian town of Khitrovo to implement a policy known as “Prodrazvyorstka”; resource allocation in the name of national security which led to the confiscation of vital grain supplies and the starvation of millions of peasants.  To be sure, multiple excuses were used to rationalize the program, all in the name of the “greater good”.  But in reality, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw the farming culture of Russia not as human beings, but as mechanisms for feeding city residents and the army; the power centers of the newly formed Communist government. 

This attitude of collectivism (and elitism at the highest levels) and the treatment of the food producing subsection of the populace as slaves to the machine predictably generated the desire for civil unrest and even rebellion.  By the time the Red Army had entered Khitrovo, the region was already a tinderbox.  After they had taken everything of value and began to beat elderly men in public view as an example to the rest of the town, a war had ignited.

At the height of what was later called “The Tambov Rebellion”, over 50,000 – 70,000 Russian citizens had taken up arms against their oppressive government, including Red Army soldiers who left their posts to join the cause.  Vastly outnumbered, and technologically outclassed in every way, the guerilla fighters managed to infiltrate multiple levels of Bolshevik society and government, and had struck debilitating hits against Russian infrastructure.  So great was the threat, that Lenin along with Red Army leadership ordered chemical warfare to be used in the forests where guerrillas were thought to be dug in, as well as summary executions of civilians, many of whom were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Concentration camps were built, mostly to house women, children, and elderly people thought to be related to insurgents and to be used as bargaining chips.  Eventually, the rebellion diminished, but not before Lenin was forced to end the policy of Prodrazvyorstka along with many other directives that had angered the Russian public.

The Soviets later attempted to erase all memory of the event, destroying records and removing public figures who might recount what had happened.  However, the fight against collectivist control and state power continued through numerous movements until the break-up of the empire decades after.

Now, many historians and cynics of today would label the Tambov Rebellion an overall failure.  They did not succeed in removing Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  They did not defeat the Red Army.  They did not directly put an end to Prodrazvyorstka, though they did trigger a chain of dominos which forced Lenin’s hand.  There was no glowing victory as there was during the American Revolution centuries before.  The freedom fighters were mostly forgotten until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of documentation that had survived the purge.  However, what these men and women did accomplish was to set an example; to remind us of the ongoing and inevitable battle between oppressive establishments and the people they seek to dominate.

Even in the nightmare world of communist Russia, from the conquests of Lenin, to the terrors of Stalin, even in the face of organized and energized tyranny, people decided to fight rather than quietly live in servitude.  The lesson we are taught by the Tambov Rebels is that there is no such thing as unassailable empire, that free thinking people will ALWAYS exist, that the drive for independence is inborn and inherent, and that no oligarchy will stand unopposed for very long. 

Another lesson we learn, is that defiance is a virtue unto itself.  It is its own means, and its own end.  Wherever people seek truth, and honor, no consequence is foreboding enough to stop them.  Defiance takes no notice of the threat of death.

Some may question the example of the rebellion described above and its relevance to our times.  “Surely”, they will say, “the days of concentration camps, martial law, food confiscation, and general war against the people by most governments are long gone.”  We are living in more “civilized times”, where technology and reason prevail.  The gullibility of this world view is hard to ignore…

In fact, Americans today may very well bear witness to similar or far worse tragedies in the coming years if current presidential directives and congressional legislation are any indication.  It has become obvious that the Patriot Acts which many in the public rolled over for (under some protest) were a mere warm up to policies like the following:

FISA: An overarching domestic surveillance bill which joins the cooperative efforts of corporations and government agencies.


The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act: A Bush supported action which allows the president to unilaterally declare a “public or national emergency” for any reason he wishes without congressional consent and institute martial law policies aimed at suppression of the populace (the president is requires by the act to “inform” congress of his intentions after 14 days, but does not give congress the power of oversight).  Also solidifies the erasure of Posse Comitatus.


Presidential Directive 51: Signed in private by George W. Bush.  Allocates further power to the president to declare a national emergency for any reason he sees fit and to institute Continuity of Government Policies (martial law, among other things).  This directive was only partially released to the public, but the entire document remains classified, even to members of congress!


National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2012): Incorporates policies outlined in John McCain and Joseph Lieberman’s thoroughly rejected “Enemy Beligerents Act”.  Allows the president along with the Department of Homeland Security to label anyone, even an American citizen, and “enemy combatant” under the laws of war.  Opens the door to the complete dismantling of Habeas Corpus, giving military authorities the ability to arrest U.S. citizens without warrant, without due process, without trial by civilian jury, to be held indefinitely.  In other words, rendition and black-bagging of U.S. citizens regardless of civil liberties or the Constitution.,0,2046039.story


Assassination Programs: Obama has not only claimed the right to assassinate American citizens, he has executed such orders.  This policy works as an extension of the NDAA, meaning, anyone can be labeled an enemy combatant without trial, and, that person can be detained, or killed, as such.  These actions have been opposed by civil liberties unions and politicians alike, but because they have so far only been used against U.S. citizens working with “Al Qaeda”, the general public remains on the fence or oblivious to the dangerous precedent.  The Constitution specifically outlines what is to be done with Americans who aid the enemy in times of war in the Treason Clause.  The Treason Clause allows NO assassination or detainment without trial.  In fact, it REQUIRES a trial by jury along with two witnesses testifying to the overt criminal act.  The Treason Clause has been utterly ignored by the Obama Administration thus far.


National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order: Obama recently signed this executive order which allows the president and the DHS to commandeer or confiscate public and private resources (any resources) in the name of national security, and, even allows for what essentially amounts to forced labor of U.S. citizens in the name of the “national good”.  An almost exact replication of the powers claimed by Lenin and the Bolsheviks that triggered the Tambov uprising.




Internment And Resettlement Operations: A secret Department of Defense document recently leaked to the public outlines extensive planning on the part of the government to use DHS and FEMA to “relocate” U.S. citizens and detainees to internment camps for processing.  Triggers for such a policy could include natural disasters, man-made disasters, and terrorist attacks, among many others.  The document specifically requires “special exceptions” to Posse Comitatus, allowing for military operation of the camps in question.

The response to many of the disturbing provisions listed above has so far remained in the legal and political realm.  A considerable portion of those aware of the dangerous path our government has taken over the past decade alone is to approach the problem from the top down.  Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize or understand the greater crisis at work.

As matters stand, there is very little recourse politically outside of full state nullification under the 10th Amendment.  At the pace these executive orders and draconian bills are being churned out and slapped with a stamp of approval, the American people would have to unseat the president, not to mention almost every sitting Senator, and every Congressman, replacing them with true Constitutional statesmen and revamping Washington D.C. in the span of a few years in order to prevent the inevitable totalitarian abuse of the legal powers that now exist.  This is not going to happen.  Given that almost every president and presidential candidate for the last few decades has supported identical policies as far as expanding government power, voting in one party or the other (at least at the national level) does not appear to make much difference anymore. 

Legally, every avenue is being explored, but with little progress.  The recent block on the NDAA by 4th District Court Judge Katherine Forrest was a moment of hope amongst anti-NDAA proponents, but the end result was obvious to some of us in the Liberty Movement who know the history of legal action against such legislation.  So far, the Obama Administration has stated that her ruling is basically of no consequence to them, and that they will continue to implement the NDAA as they see fit.  Apparently, the Judicial Branch now only has a say in matters of government when it agrees with the position of the president or DHS.  This shows conclusively that the government intends to ignore court based decisions that are contrary to desired policy, and that while the legal fight should be pursued, we should not expect much in the results department.

So, where does this leave us?  If we cannot redress our grievances through elections, or through the courts, what is there for a freedom loving American to do?  Though the thought causes some to shudder, it is not only logical but imperative that we look at the existing alternatives seriously.  Invariably, if a government was to widely enforce any or all of the policies listed above, the result would be citizen dissent, peaceful and militant. 

When a social system becomes so corrupted that its only prerogative is its own survival and self perpetuation, even at the cost of the life and liberty of the people it was originally tasked to defend, the populace has no choice but to question whether that system should continue to exist any longer.  Conflict, is unavoidable. 

As clear as this fact is to anyone with any sense, though, I find that many seem to treat the idea of physical action as astonishing, or shocking.  Some even laugh as if the concept is outdated and absurd.  Yet, they never seem to have an answer to the primary underlying question:  What else is there?  If working within the system only results in wasted effort and wasted time, what do the naysayers plan to do?  Curl up in a ball and die?  Or perhaps join the venomous establishment they could not subdue?

As discussed earlier, the Tambov Rebellion and examples like it impress upon the narrow-minded visions of failure.  To them, defiance, real defiance, leads only to death and disaster.  The key to their extraordinary mistake is that they assume that defiance is about the “assurance” of victory.  There are never any assurances.  There were no assurances of victory for the Founding Fathers, there were no assurances for the Tambov Rebels, and there are no assurances for us if we one day have to draw a line in the sand against the very system we were born into.

At bottom, the debate over solutions within the system versus solutions from without is irrelevant.  On our current course, there is no other choice for the average American but to say no, regardless of the law, or the threat of its violent enforcement.  Rebellion, in all its forms, is as natural as the cycles of the Earth.  It reoccurs time and again, sometimes suppressed, but not for long.  The horrors of governments gone rogue are no secret.  We have so many examples in history to draw from it is hard to imagine any crime despots have NOT visited upon innocents.  Frankly, if control thirsty elites can refine tyranny down to a science by examining the mistakes of the past, there is nothing stopping us from refining defiance down to an art form as well.  Again, what other choice do we have, but to take heart in the knowledge that though there is no assurance of victory, there is also no assurance of defeat.

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idea_hamster's picture

Unfortunately, game theory (much more effective and predictive than classical economic theory, although by no means perfect) tells us that rebellion is an excellent example of a "public good" -- high, concentrated cost in the event of failure, and no way to exclude free riders.

Consequently, escape is always the better option -- the risk taker reaps the rewards.

The US was always the escape destination, but sadly that's no longer the reality.  

Colonial Intent's picture

Someone call Dignitas, one of their patients is missing.......

AlaricBalth's picture

A fattened, sedated public which is easily entertained by modern circuses, is completely incapable of any type resistance. US obesity levels are at epidemic proportions, use of anti-depressants at record levels, SNAP card usage at all time highs as a % of population. Most people don't even know their neighbors, do you expect them to band together to support each other? Maybe in rural communities but not in the cities. Defiance? Most Americans live with fear, not hope. TPTB know that a fearful public is a pliant public.

Lucky Guesst's picture

Then move the hell out of the city!!! Yes I live semi-rural, no I'm not obese or on any meds. No I've never snapped up any welfare and yes I know most my neighbors and talk to them daily. I'm recently divorced, single mother of two little teenage rebels... just like me. I've got a kick-ass good sized garden this year and guns that we ALL know how to use. It feels great to be free. The sheep will go over the cliff and those that can survive will deserve to be here.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Free?  You seem to be living in fear.

chumbawamba's picture

Magna Carta chapter 61: Lawful Rebellion:

Though truth be told, it's the governments that are in rebellion (unlawful) against the People.

I am Chumbawamba.

johnQpublic's picture

can no one here remember the civil war?

that was our last little legal rebellion/legal cessation/10th amendment action


this article is dangerously stupid in encouraging actions which would put all those neat little presidential orders into action


leave the government alone and it will collapse in time of its own accord....just like russia did


play the game, vote, eat, drink be merry, because tomorrow they die and, unfortunately, our way of life with them

dont be in such a damn hurry to see us all fail


and while yer at it, ask yourself if there is anyone you know who you could/would trust with the stash of nukes this country maintains

JeffB's picture

Quietly and compliantly doing as told by despots often results in genocide anyway.

I don't think it helped the Jews nor their compatriots in the concentration camps all that much. Nor did it for the women dragged into compulsory prostitution for the troops in so many wars. Many were tortured and killed after they could no longer be used.

The Cambodians who willingly submitted to the Khmer Rouge weren't always spared from the killing fields and even most who survived regretted their submission.

The examples of genocide of compliant people are many.


Poor Grogman's picture

Recall the fall of the Berlin-Wall.

The Euphoria, the freedom, the whole world was electrified with the spark and the promise of freedom.

How have we sunk so low since then?

What has happened to that shining city on the hill?

It would appear that freedom is not easy or in fact free.

People who are awake like this Author correctly point out that our precious freedom is under attack from those very forces that have benefited most from its existence. A concerted effort is underway to keep people away from dangerous modes of thought, such as individual responsibility, constitutional principles, liberty, and the like.

So much of the propaganda that we are confronted with daily seems designed to focus our attention in the physical realm. All aspects of the human body, especially youthfulness (the opposite of wisdom). Anything to do with nature (particularly our negative impact on it). And of course technology and warfare.

It seems that the MSM would like to have our minds frozen on the spot where we are. Unable to progress further in our political paradigm, unable to evolve intellectually. Unable to even try new approaches to problems. As solutions to all problems now come pre packaged for our consumption. 

As a society we are in an intellectual feedback loop where all paths seem to lead back to pre planned outcomes.

The real battle that is being fought even now is a battle of ideas.

 An intellectual progession is coming into focus. First the Magna-Carta then the US Constitution, then next a future free of central planning and financial serfdom?


Stopping ideas from spreading is impossible, putting down a rebellion is not.


Recall again the fall of the Berlin-Wall....







forexskin's picture

America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. Claire Wolfe

gaoptimize's picture

I swoon over you and wish we could be in touch.  All the best to the 3 of you when SHTF.

Lucky Guesst's picture

Maybe we'll run into each other once the sheep are herded into the camps ;-)

Abitdodgie's picture

The FEMA camps will only be for wimen ans children.

Lucky Guesst's picture

The FEMA camps will be for those desperate enough to HAVE to go there. So I meant that it would easier for like minded dissenters to find each other once the majority are behind fences.

10mm's picture

Watch them there drones lady,i hear their sneaky little devils.

Lucky Guesst's picture

Oh well, I've been laying out topless so they are wasting a lot of taxpayer dollars just to see my little tits :-)

Uchtdorf's picture

I gave you a green arrow for humor, but by that anatomy comment I just realized you are a guy. That's yucky.

lincolnsteffens's picture

I like little tits. Put me on your list of future sutors.

Lucky Guesst's picture

I wish I could be lucky enough to run into a ZH'r in real life!

AnAnonymouses's picture

US citizenses enganging is US citizenisms like male mosquito noise; all buzzy and whiny but no bite.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymouses said:

US citizenses enganging is US citizenisms like male mosquito noise; all buzzy and whiny but no bite.

Ah, ah, commentation have wisdom of Confusious indeeding. Much so eternal nature of US citizensesisms being dilapidationarialist inherency.

Fast and bulbous.

Cathartes Aura's picture

/salutes the Cap'n.

(and his anymousy pal, ha)

Normalcy Bias's picture

You're back!

Your avatar still kills me...LOL

Errol's picture

Damn, girlfriend, you've just given me a valuable tip on how to distract the drone jokeys when the time comes...duly noted.

You rock!

Whatta's picture

Being hedged is not fear. There is a BIG difference.

I live rural as well, and am fairly well prepared (hedged) just in case...but I am not in fear of The End.

Worst case, we raise great veggies, healthy goats and have fresh air and peace all around us. Oh, and a stockpile of guns and a hedge.

johnQpublic's picture

fresh air as long as the grid stays up

then kiss it goodbye as the entire american nuclear infrastructure goes fukushima on your ass


Worst case, we raise great veggies, healthy goats and have fresh air and peace all around us. Oh, and a stockpile of guns and a hedge



worst case is your skin falls off as you labor to put one of your guns to your head to end the suffering


nobody thinks this shit all the way thru

our corrupt fucked up ass government keeps the grid up

i give it zero fucking days of survival during and after "rebellion"

Uchtdorf's picture

Thanks for the encouragement...if you have a better solution we're all ears.

johnQpublic's picture

the solution is to patiently wait

do nothing


the more you do, the more excuses they have to use all those executive orders


we wait

they collapse

we rebuild

yes there will be suffering, like in russia

but like them, we will recover

focus your efforts on post collapse

there will be alot of work to be done to prevent this happening again

F. Bastiat's picture

A few tangible steps each of us can take:

1. Cut off cable TV service; eliminate televised propaganda from your household.  Not only does this cut off central government propaganda, it eliminates cable taxes and it frees up funds for silver, gold, and an ACOG equipped rifle.

2. Dump some of your dollars: Purchase some silver, a little bit of gold, and a bit of platinum. Purchase 1,000 rounds of ammo and learn how to shoot it.

3. Learn the three attack vectors of the utopian/authoritarian/racialist counter-liberty left: A. Attacks upon private property B. Attacks upon the family C. Attacks upon Christianity.  Stifle those attack vectors and counter-attack by supporting private property, the family, and Christianity. 

[Note that atheists are easily subjugated because the atheist's finite life is much less important than the continuation of the state over time. Therefore, logically, the atheist must be subservient to the state.]

With every message, at every turn, at every corner.  Victory or death.



PianoRacer's picture

You had me until the part about the sky ghosts...

F. Bastiat's picture

Which part are you having trouble with?  That atheists are easily subjugated because the longer-term continuity of the state is necessarily a higher logical priority than that of the short-lived atheist?

prole's picture

What will go through his mind when his daughters are married off as number 2, 3, and 4 for the new Imam of America?

But but guys! I didn't support that Jesus guy, I'm not one of "them"

"Silence infidel,  do you have any more daughters?"

F. Bastiat's picture

Precisely.  He who rejects Christianty in the West is subjugated to the animistic polytheism of the state, by default.

Intuitively at least, it seems reasonable to conclude that the lessening defiance of the "gods" of the state can be traced directly to the ongoing relapses into the lazy-men's dogma of animism and atheism.

Frankly, whether or not a thousand years of Western civilization can survive a hundred years of mass TV media remains to be seen.

Cathartes Aura's picture

we have "Christianity" in amrka already, and a good proportion of posters here still speak of "women" as objects to be used and discarded - how is this any "better" than your "Islam" scare meme?  all fatherskygod religions believe women to be of less worth than men, why is this so?

Christianity - whose flavour of?  to which sect are you speaking, and how many actually populate it? 

the dis-respect for humans, who are image-ined as whether they are use-full sexually - this is widespread in amrka - and it's not the atheists that are spreading the story, I've seen and heard of a fair few "Christian Brothers" who use these lines too.

we are in agreement about the TV poison though.

prole's picture

I heard those Mullah types love fat chicks, so you should finally get a man

Cathartes Aura's picture

thanks much for proving my point with your post.


F. Bastiat's picture

I guess my overall point was that of how easy it is to subjugate atheists.  Since the limited life-span of the atheist is less than that of the temporal continuity of the state, the atheist is, by default, less of a priorty than the state and is easily subjugated thereby.

Are you aware of any "free" atheist states?

Cathartes Aura's picture

I guess I'm not getting your point, nor your argument, sorry.

I would say it's much easier for a nationstate to subscribe to a religion, particularly a FatherGod one that makes men "special" and women "owned by men" than to remain religion free - how else to get everyone on the same oppressed page?

hence the global "missionary" model of sending the robed troops out to instruct the non-believers in correct methods of worship, and obedience to the rules. . . I would think the nationstate could be glued on after the hierarchical belief system was firmly installed in the people's minds (see the Native Americans in the US for an example of how not to be a "savage" when the white men are telling you how to be "proper" - also Aussieland and their Aboriginal folks, same model). 

the only "free atheist state" I can point you to is in one's mind.  but that's where all true freedom resides anyhow.

F. Bastiat's picture

There are numerous flaws in your "argument".  First of all, one's individual "mind" is not a "state".  A state is a social relationship between numerous individuals.

Simply put my argument is that the state exists through time and the atheist does not.  Therefore, the "state's interest" is naturally more important than the atheist's interest and therefore the atheist is naturally, and easily, subjugated by the state because the atheist wants to live on his knees rather than fight on his feet.

Cathartes Aura's picture

the first definition of the word "state" in Mirriam-Websters's online dictionary is,

a mode or condition of being, a state of readiness, a condition of mind or termperament

this is what I'm referring to when I say "anarchy is a state of mind"

"nation states" are fictions, they change over time, always, at the will of those who control the storyline.  saying that "the state's interest is naturally more important than "an atheist's interest - which would be the self, and freedom of thought - is nonsense, and therefore your further statement that an atheist is "easily subjugated by the state" is pure nonsense as well.

religion is for people who need a guiding hand, from a FatherFigure - for someone who needs to be told the wise man's rules on how to be in the world that the religionist believes was created for him by his Father.

the atheist labours under none of these illusions, thus is free to discover reality without the weight of a pre-scribed belief system.

see ya round.'s picture

Yeah. That's exactly what happened when the USSR fell. All the nuclear plants exploded and the world ended. It was a sad day and we all cried.

johnQpublic's picture

i dont believe there was a rebellion going on

it was the slow collapse that i said we should wait for....and thats why that there grid stayed up and running(but with rolling blackouts)


and people supplemented available food sources with their gardens

but if you wanna kick up a little rebellion, its gonna cost us

be patient


it will self destruct all on its own

slow collapse good

Errol's picture

JohnQ, Dmitry Orlov has written extensively about the collapse of the former Soviet Union and it's implications for the US empire; I believe he would pretty much agree with your advice.

nyquil762's picture

Wow! Thanks for the wonderful words of encourement!

hyperbole2000's picture

Food, shelter, and energy will always be in demand and there will always be a market.  With zero oil imports in such an economic  calamity Nuke power will be a commanding component of the energy supply mix.  The only problem will be if tertiary industries required for infrastructure support can withstand a prolonged economic calamity and maintain their sustainability and viability.  After a year or two the next maintenance shut down may be the last.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

If you're not afraid you're in denial of the reality of what's coming.

Lucky Guesst's picture

That is a stupid comment. I don't know the future. If I need to know how to garden... now I do. If I need a gun for protection or to kill food.... I got that. If they start burning down the cities.... my house isn't there to burn. I believe I'm making good decisions that MAY save the lives of me and my offspring. I don't care what you or anybody else thinks about that lol

Nobody For President's picture

I  suspect you are one of my neighbors...