Those who make peaceful revolution impossible

Just as a governor of an engine maintains the speed of the engine at a particular speed setting, government, in the most general sense, is a means of keeping things consistent and predictable.

Some examples of a consistent and predictable government:

  • You can safely predict that if you drive on your side of the road at or slightly below the speed limit, and follow the other “rules of the road” you can drive down the highway without being stopped by armed men representing the government demanding you pay a fine.
  • You can safely predict that if someone takes or damages your property without your permission, and they are caught, they will be punished for their actions.
  • You can safely predict that if you have a agreed upon contract with another person or corporation that the contract can and will be enforced according to the terms of the contract.
  • You can safely predict the same laws and regulations will be applied to everyone equally.

This consistency and predictability promotes the general welfare to such a great extent that it is probably impossible to accurately forecast and it can only be crudely measured under extraordinary circumstances.

This difficulty in measurement works both ways. Just as it is difficult to know how much benefit there is to consistent and predictable government it is also difficult to know how much disadvantage there is to inconsistent and unpredictable government. Politicians use this to their great advantage by giving favor to special interest groups and individuals.

But regardless of the difficulty of measurement we know, without any doubt, that inconsistent and unpredictability is the exact opposite of government in the most general sense. It is bad government. It does not create “social justice”. It cannot be considered “doing the right thing even if it is unlawful.” It means people do not have a stable environment. It creates uncertainty and risk that ripples through our entire society. It encourages, nay, requires, people to seek special treatment from the political elite to protect themselves and to punish enemies and competitors.

Yet it is happening now. It is happening in our country.

There were contracts and bankruptcy laws that cover the situation where a corporation has expenses and debts that exceed their capacity to pay. Yet these laws were ignored when certain “to big to fail” corporations actually did fail. The U.S. government bailed out GM using money allocated for other uses. This misallocation of money was done under both the Bush and Obama administrations. It was not within their authority to make such changes in the laws.

It is against the law to sell or transfer firearms to people with felony criminal records. Yet the ATF demanded that many gun stores do exactly that in operation “Fast and Furious”. The publically stated reason was to “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.” But they did nothing more than “hope”, if that, on the tracking part of the operation. Many observers concluded the real reason for the operation was to aid in the creation of new, and probably unconstitutional, gun laws in the U.S. It was not within the authority granted to the ATF by Congress to arm violent criminals nor to enable crime for the purposes of creating new laws which violate the rights of innocent people.

We have laws that specifically state that purchases of multiple long guns do not require any special reporting as is required for handguns (18 USC 923(g)(3)(A)). Yet in some states the ATF requires the same special reporting for long guns just as it does for handguns. The ATF is a law enforcement agency. It does not have the authority to make laws. For them to do this is no different than for some local sheriff to create a 9:00 PM curfew for all dark skinned people or a registry of homosexuals. It is not within their authority to make such changes in the laws.

We have a law that says all health insurance plans must conform to certain minimum standards of coverage. Yet President Obama, without changing the law, told insurance companies they could continue selling the banned policies. It is not within his authority to make such changes in the laws.

The IRS was used as a tool to harass political enemies. It is not within their authority to use the tax system to oppress innocent people.

The NSA captures almost all Internet traffic and stores it, apparently indefinitely. This includes all email and your most personal financial and medical information. They do this in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

We have laws that specifically forbid the violation of, or even conspiracy to violate, civil rights (18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242). Yet individuals and governments routinely violate these laws without consequence.

We do not have the rule of law in this country. We have the rule of people who imagine themselves philosopher kings with all the corresponding hazards.

This JFK quote keeps running through my head:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

A peaceful “revolution” involves changing the laws and replacing public servants. But nearly all the servants seem to believe they are the masters and laws are ignored with impunity. So, if JFK was correct, doesn’t that mean violent revolution is inevitable? And doesn’t it also mean that those in political power made it so?

18 thoughts on “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible

  1. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    My first reaction is that this must be the plan. Then I realize that the quote assumes revolution to be inevitable, that it WILL happen, one way or the other. Then I realize that we’ve BEEN in a largely peaceful, on-going revolution for generations now. The Progressive (incremental communist) revolution has been in play in the U.S. at least since Teddy Roosevelt.

    So which particular revolution was JFK talking about? We heard OWS and those of similar world view chanting, “No justice, no peace!” which is similar to JFK’s quote. It can also be taken as a threat of course, and it is often intended that way.

    The very term “Progressive” refers to a slower, more peaceful communist revolution as opposed to the standard, violent over-throw. So who was he talking to, and about what?

    The only really stark difference between what you are saying and what the progressive communists are saying then, is in your very different (opposite) definitions of “justice”. Therefore we need to be very, very clear on that difference, which is a purely moral one.

    • The concept of the rule of law verses the rule of Men by Men can now be similarly applied by either side. It depends on what you mean by “law” for one thing, and for another; we have laws affirming both (communist and libertarian) world views. Obama, to some, represents the “law” of “social and economic justice” for example, and anyone attempting to roll back the creep of Progressivism will no doubt be accused of lawlessness, heavy-handedness and rule by fiat. The “law of social and economic justice”, which is considered universal and immutable by some, was not written into the U.S. constitution and so there are those who argue that that renders the constitution null and void— From that point of view it is a deeply flawed, if not an illegal, document.

      In short; tactics and behavior, the finger-pointing, and to a significant extent the rhetoric, of both sides is very similar, UNTILL we get into the realm of morals and Right Reason, and it is there in that realm that all our arguments must be firmly grounded.

      • Lots of interesting comments on government in that thread…. (You read all 10,000+ comments?)

          • I wouldn’t begin to know how to point them out to you. Many are in the middle of the thread but you have to keep unnesting them. I read all but about the last 3000.

          • It doesn’t matter, now that the majority of comments on this post have been side-tracked.

          • How can anyone summarize 7000+ comments? Try doing that with 7000 comments on this blog…. The thread just has a lot of interesting comments regarding our political systems, medical service around the world (we pay the most and get less), “murica,” positive/negative liberty, libertarians, socialism, etc. etc. etc.

  2. The last line of your post, “And doesn’t it also mean that those in political power made it so?” is immaterial. If violent revolution occurs, it does not matter who started it.

    If you find yourself in a condition of violent revolution, the only important thing is winning.

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  4. I have a relative that worked as a chief of staff for a few years, until the representative lost a primary. 90% of legislative work is strong-arming businesses into paying protection money – threatening to pass detrimental legislation if the money isn’t paid.

    Low-level representatives pass 50% or more of their raised funds on to the party, in return for being able to credibly threaten. If they don’t pay, then their ability to move legislation is stripped.

  5. “You can safely predict the same laws and regulations will be applied to everyone equally.”

    Actually, no, you can’t.
    Too many people, due to wealth or political power, can simply ignore the law whenever they want and not worry about it.

  6. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

    And THAT is why we see so much gun control drivel from Schumer and Feinswine and the like. Gun control is all about making a credible resistance to tyranny impossible.

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