THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 706, January 20, 2013
Democrats, it's time you cleaned your house, time you
purged yourselves of the desire to control others.
Is There Anything You Would Fight and Die For?
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
I was having one of those Internet discussions, and found myself accused of the following: "...you counsel refusing to surrender the guns, and refusal to submit to arrest."
Leaving aside for the moment the accuracy of this characterization of my position, I decided to ask him a question, the same question as the title of this article. I did it not to taunt him (which I believe is how he took it despite care not to come off that way), but to make a point about slavery. Since he refused to discuss it further, and since I think it's an important point that people ought to consider, I decided to expand on it here.
"Is there anything you would fight and die for?" There can only be two possible answers to this—yes or no. "No" is the answer a complete pacifist might give. I had asked my debater because I wanted to find out if he was one. I don't really know what to do with that answer. It appears to mean that such a person would not even fight to defend his own family, for example; something completely beyond my ken. So, I don't really want to address that answer. If we have pacifists on board here, I'd be interested in hearing their comments below about this.
What I expected was a "yes" answer.
We can imagine most people have some factor, call it "X", that they are willing to fight and die for. An obvious example for "X" would be "wife and kids". A much more problematical example would be something like "king and country"; I will address these below. But let's posit that most people have some "X" they would fight and die for.
Well, the next question, assuming you have an "X", is, "What are you going to fight with?" Except maybe for kung fu masters, most of us would say, "a gun". It makes sense. Guns can be very effective fighting tools with only a modicum of expense and training; age, sex or strength hardly factor into the equation. Guns are the obvious and correct answer.
The conclusion to this line of argument must be pretty obvious by now. If you are willing to fight and die for "X", you must as well be willing to fight and die for your guns—because without guns, you can't fight! Conversely, if you aren't willing to fight and die for your guns, then you aren't willing to fight for "X" after all. Not in any realistic sense; instead, you are faking it.
This is why it is not so unreasonable after all, to literally fight a firearms confiscation. If you don't, you are a slave. Slaves can't have guns, can they? If there is ever a line in the sand, firearms confiscation is it.
I have a feeling most people don't realize this, or haven't thought it through, or understand it only at an instinctual level (e.g. the stereotypical "gun nut"). Here is one (very readable) story of a man who got a rude awakening about this particular fact: Jew Without a Gun. He's no longer faking it.
If the above is true, some corollaries are also: you really ought to start carrying a gun—again so you can put up a real fight, not just an imaginary one. And you probably ought to finally move out of that state of yours that throws people in a cage for carrying guns. But then, you should anyway, since such states are the ones where things will be worst when the economy crashes.
I mentioned as a sample "X" wife and kids. Yes, this answer is sexist I suppose, and there is a reason it is; at least a reason that works for me. Besides impregnating women, what are men here for? Protecting women and children. That's our main job, men. That, and "providing". Now I happen to believe it is not a woman's main job to be protecting men. Children, OK, but women really have the main job of creating life and nurturing.
Let me put it this way. I'd look askance at a man who was incapable or didn't feel the need to protect his family. I wouldn't, for a woman who was not quite up to that job. Not to say that women are incapable of it, nor for that matter to say that men are incapable of nurturing. It's just a matter of emphasis.
For some people, "X" means country, almost without thinking about it. This choice does need some thinking about, though. For one thing, what is meant by "country"? People, land, way of life? Those things could make a good "X". But when the ruling class says "country", they mean "government". They mean them! That's not a good "X". Government is violence and plunder. I don't think fighting for violence and plunder is defensible.
One might say, "Fighting for one's country stops invasion, and the bad things that come with it." I'd buy that if the fighting took place in one's own country! Sorry, "Fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here," is nothing but bullshit. It is a rationalization for empire, for invasion and plunder of others.
It is easy to be confused about this, after 12 years in a government school. I'd say in general, that fighting for any political entity really means fighting for the ruling class, rather than for people, land or way of life. This is easy to prove: Which gives you your orders? People, land or way of life? No. The generals give you your orders, and they take them from the ruling class. So if you join the Army, you are fighting for the ruling class. Sad but true. I'm not trying to come off as superior; I made the same mistake when I was 18.
Of course he was talking of a time and condition much worse than we face now. We aren't there yet, so the question is not so clear. But, the more the criminal "Justice System" turns into a farce, the more draconian the penalties for trivial mala prohibita violations, the more we will have to consider resistance. We're not living in Mayberry any more.
People remain perfectly able to take their chances with an institution designed to keep the rulers in power. Good luck with that. Understand the reality, and make your choice.
One final note. My debate opponent claimed, "Net result: a countryside scattered with the bodies of those who take your advice."
I assume what is coming will inevitably lead to bodies. Of course the state is drenched with blood, and there are already a vast number of bodies. Am I to be blamed for them?
People have their own free will and make their own calculations; I assume they are competent to do that. My only aim here is to think things through to the end, and bring up whatever points need bringing up, that might figure into their calculations. There will be bodies in any case—even with complete submission. Sometimes, a strong stand inhibits bloodshed. "If you want peace, prepare for war."
Even with peace, there will be bodies! Jim Morrison reminded us, "No one gets out of here alive."
Was that worth reading?