That's the way things appear to be going. It has been an ongoing and growing theme at this site that the social situation in the U.S. is bad and getting worse, and it's time to revisit it. Nor is this my take only. I've quoted the Rev. Donald Sensing before. Here is a bit more of Rev. Sensing, for context:
A friend of mine emigrated here from Romania after Ceaucescu's regime fell. He told me the other day that Americans are over-regulated. Think about that; a man coming from a communist country believes that Americans are over-regulated. It chills.I've quoted the Geek with a .45:
A long time ago Steven Den Beste observed in an essay, "The job of bureaucrats is to regulate, and left to themselves, they will regulate everything they can." Celebrated author Robert Heinlein wrote, "In any advanced society, 'civil servant' is a euphemism for 'civil master.'" Both quotes are not exact, but they're pretty close. And they're both exactly right. Big government is itself apolitical. It cares not whose party is in power. It simply continues to grow. Its nourishment is that the people’s money. Its excrement is more and more regulations and laws. Like the Terminator, "that’s what it does, that’s all it does."
I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free.
We, who studied the shape and form of the machines of freedom and oppression, have looked around us, and are utterly dumbfounded by what we see.And again:
We see first that the machinery of freedom and Liberty is badly broken. Parts that are supposed to govern and limit each other no longer do so with any reliability.
We examine the creaking and groaning structure, and note that critical timbers have been moved from one place to another, that some parts are entirely missing, and others are no longer recognizable under the wadded layers of spit and duct tape. Other, entirely new subsystems, foreign to the original design, have been added on, bolted at awkward angles.
We know the tools and mechanisms of oppression when we see them. We've studied them in depth, and their existence on our shores, in our times, offends us deeply. We can see the stirrings of malevolence, and we take stock of the damage they've caused over so much time.
Others pass by without a second look, with no alarm or hue and cry, as if they are blind, as if they don't understand what they see before their very eyes. We want to shake them, to grasp their heads and turn their faces, shouting, "LOOK! Do you see what this thing is? Do you see how it might be put to use? Do you know what can happen if this thing becomes fully assembled and activated?"
Some, to be certain, see these things, and perceive the danger. Many of these, their minds and judgments clouded, act as if they had appeared new and pristine, and proceed to lay all of the blame, 100% of it, at the feet of the current administration, judges and legislators, not stopping to think that such malignity does not appear de-novo, and all at once.
It is human, after all, to assign blame for such things as the evidence of ill intention and malign design, and sometimes it is just to do so. We remind ourselves though, that it isn't always the case, and that evil can also emerge unbidden from the sum of vectors, rather than the charting of a course.
Such sickness as this grows over time, years and decades. It accretes in lightless corners and in broad daylight in places where self-deception, man's oldest enemy carries the day.
Alone, and in small groups, we sit in the shade and think, to find clarity. Some of the forms we see are plain as day, and others are ambiguous. We know that it is human nature to see patterns in the stars, to connect the dots. Often, the patterns we see are real, and sometimes, they are just constellations. We pause and check each bit of history, one at a time. We know that we cannot afford to be wrong.
The original machine designers warned us of this. They knew that the temptation would always be there, and they sternly warned us that assembling such machines, even with the best of intention was to court a cascading disaster.
To the people of my parent's generation, World War II was a reality that they had lived through, and not a bunch of black and white movies starring John Wayne.And he found that real estate agent, and moved out of New Jersey to Pennsylvania, where it's better - but only by comparison.
Books upon books were written on the subject, to help them digest and understand just how it was that something of that magnitude could actually happen, how it was that an entire European society could go insane and do what it did. (As for the Japanese society, it was insane to begin with, and thus more easily understood)
Yes, as politically incorrect as it is, I stand by what I just said:
"Entire Societies Can and Have Gone Stark Raving Batshit Fucking Insane."
For some, it was brief and temporary, and for others, it was more or less a permanent state of affairs.
You can quote your moral relativism and chide me for my white male euro/christo/judeo centrism, but I will never, ever, ever, ever accept that it's perfectly OK for a society to commit genocide, mass rape, enslave and/or execute conquered military and civilian people, as a matter of that society's normal operating procedure. That is the very definition of a high end insane society.
(T)here is a hidden exodus that you won’t read about in the papers:
“People are moving away from certain states: not because they've got a job offer, not because they want to be closer to family, but because the state they are living in doesn't measure up to the level of freedom they believe is appropriate for Americans. We are internal refugees.”
The fact that things have gone so far south in some places that people actually feel compelled to move the fuck out should frighten the almighty piss out of you.
Ten or fifteen years ago, I would’ve dismissed that notion, that people were relocating themselves for freedom within America as the wild rantings of a fringe lunatic, but today, I’m looking for a real estate agent.
It is a symptom of a deep schism in the American scene, one that has been building bit by bit for at least fifty, and probably more like seventy years, and whose effects are now visibly bubbling to the surface.
Just open your eyes and take a long look around you.
Back before the election last year I wrote several posts on the possibility of another civil war. A three-way discussion, with much commentary, sprang up between here, Who Tends the Fires and Freedomsight. Ironbear at Who Tends the Fires wrote:
I have read a great deal of history. And I have read a great deal of past political debate and discourse. Like (Billy) Beck, the last time I recall that we were this irrevocably divided between major factions was in the 1850's and 1860's - and we actually went to war within ourselves over it.Fourteen months on, things are - if anything - worse.
The divide is once again that stark, and that bleak. It's not "1968 all over again", it's 1858.
Unlike the first one, the dividing lines don't cut across states. Like the first one, the dividing lines are drawn across views of the ownership of men.... of wether we are owned by ourselves or by The State.
It would be a mistake to paint the conflict exclusively in terms of "cultural war", or Democrats vs Republicans, or even Left vs Right. Neither Democrats/Leftists or Republicans shy away from statism... the arguments there are merely over degree of statism, uses to which statism will be put - and over who'll hold the reins. It's the thought that they may not be left in a position to hold the reins that drives the Democrat-Left stark raving.
This is a conflict of ideologies...
The heart of the conflict is between those to whom personal liberty is important, and those to whom liberty is not only inconsequential, but to whom personal liberty is a deadly threat.
At the moment, that contingent is embodied most virulently by the "American" Left. This is the movement that still sees the enslavement and "re-education" of hundreds of thousands in South Vietnam, and the bones of millions used as fertilizer in Cambodia as a victory. This is the movement that sees suicide bombers as Minute Men, and sees the removal of a brutal murder and rape machine from power as totalitarianism. This is the movement that sees legitimately losing an election as the imposition of a police state. This is the movement that believes in seizing private property as "common good". That celebrates Che Guevara as a hero. The movement who's highest representatives talk blithely about taking away your money and limiting your access to your own homestead for your own good. The movement of disarmament.
The movement of the boot across the throat.
Think about it. When was the last time that you were able to engage in anything that resembled a discussion with someone of the Leftist persuasion? Were able to have an argument that was based on the premise that one of you was wrong, rather than being painted as Evil just because you disagreed?
The Left has painted itself into a rhetorical and logical corner, and unfortunately, they have no logic that might act as a paint thinner. It's not possible for them to compromise with those that they've managed to conflate with the most venal of malevolence, with those whom they're convinced disagree not because of different opinions but because of stupidity and evil, with those who's core values are diametrically opposed to what the Left has embraced. There can be no real discourse, no real discussion. There's no common ground. There can be no reconciliation there - the Left has nothing to offer that any adherent of freedom wants. The only way they can achieve their venue is from a position of political ascendency where it can be imposed by force or inveigled by guile.
And all adherents of freedom have far too many decades of historical precedent demonstrating exactly where that Leftward road leads - to the ovens of Dachau.
Take, for example, this recent Watcher's Council winning post by psychologist Dr. Pat Santy, Let's Discuss Bush Derangement Syndrome Again. Excerpt:
The psychology of some of the Bush Haters is pretty cut and dried. They hate Bush because he stands between them and the implementation of their collectivist "utopian" vision. I have no time to waste on them, except to note that their intentions are deliberately and decidedly malevolent toward this country. They want it to fail at anything and everything it does and they openly cheer for the barbarians at the gate.Fran Poretto's recent post is along pretty much the same lines, though what Dr. Santy attributes to insanity, Fran attributes to malice:
They are indistinguishable from the barbarians we are actively fighting, with the only difference being that they have different ideas about which group of thugs will be in charge of the "utopia". They prefer themselves--a more secularly-oriented set of thugs--to rule.
But what about the average person on the street who has, or has come to have a visceral hatred of President Bush? Perhaps they simply didn't vote for him in 2000, believing the media propaganda or caricature of his intellect and capabilities; or perhaps they simply didn't like him because he was from the opposition party, or a Texan. or any other number of normal reasons.
It seems to me that the Democrats and the Left have used their continuous propaganda well, but there is a also a strong personal psychological factor involved in being able to convince normally sane people that the source of all evil in the world is George W. Bush.
After 9/11, in many cases, even a mild dislike of "W" rapidly morphed into the ferocious Bush hatred we are now all familiar with. The opposition to a conservative Republican; and reasonable disagreement with his policies became a swooning hysteria; and an unmitigated, deranged hatred with all the accompanying paranoid delusions.
The dominant voices on the left side of the American political spectrum:One of Fran's commenters notes:
- Are absolutely intolerant of their political opponents;
- Will brook no criticism of America's enemies;
- Will lie, deny, and vilify anyone who challenges them, without compunction, in their ardor for power;
- Would refuse to recognize themselves in a plain description of their tactics even at the point of a gun.Politics of our sort cannot function anywhere near the necessary efficiency under conditions where one side holds itself to a high standard of truth and accountability, while the other recognizes no moral constraints and refuses to grant its opponents the presumption of sincerity.Your Curmudgeon used to be amused at this sort of thing. After that, he was perplexed. Today, he's rather alarmed. He fancies he sees a prospect of mass political disintegration -- the withdrawal of all allegiance to the country, its laws, and its electoral system by millions of people -- that could cripple the Republic, at a time when it needs to draw together as never before.
There was a time when no one advocated a harder line against the Marxist hard left than American liberals, but since the passing of that generation from the scene we are now left, pardon the pun, with people whose politics were formed in the New Left politics of the sixties, a politics that drank deep from the poisoned well of Marxism-Leninism. They are people who have succeeded in taking the commanding heights in the media, the universities, and many of the professions.The commenter, Akaky Bashmachkin, has described what Thomas Sowell has vividly illustrated as "The Anointed," and Dr. Santy and Fran Poretto have described what Eric Hoffer illustrated as "The True Believer" - in 1996 and 1951 respectively.
From their point of view, now that they have their best and brightest in positions of power in this society they should be leading the country into a bright new future. The problem they have is that since their heyday forty years ago, the population of this country has grown increasingly conservative and want no part of their redistributionist fantasies, the Cold War ended, showing the world that Marxism does not work and that trying to implement it anywhere usually causes human suffering on an enormous scale. The essential psychological problem for the left is that they believe that they are the Elect, the Chosen to whom power and deference is owed by the masses they mean to uplift whether those masses want uplifting, and those same masses reject their benificence by electing Bushitler and his merry men. Frankly, I think the screeches we keep hearing from these folks are the shrieks of people suffering psychic hernias, the wails of people born to command being told by their intellectual inferiors, no, thanks, pal, I dont want any.
Mark Alger of Baby TrollBlog weighs in:
Akakay's observations are spot-on. But they fall short (if at all) in one regard: they seem -- stress that "seem," as the oversight may be mine -- to treat the takeover of certain centers of cultural and intellectual life in the West by hard-core Marxists, their tools, and fellow travelers, as a natural phenomenon which -- like Topsy -- "just growed."And concludes:
The sequence of events leading to today's state of the culture was deliberate, planned -- if not conspiratorially, then in collusion -- by individuals as diverse as Samuel Gompers, John Dewey, Margaret Sanger, and V.I. Lenin.
That this is the case ought to be chilling to any freedom-loving individual.
I submit that civility in political discourse is no longer possible -- at least not with the present core of the Democratic Party.And war, as von Clausewitz so accurately put it, is merely a continuation of politics by other means.
Until and unless patriotic Democrats can wrest control of the party back from the former '60s student "activists" and Soviet tools and agitprops, there is no dealing with it. Its leadership cannot be trusted. Their agenda is utterly alien to American ideals and values. Deny it as they will, the truth of it is plain. The Limbaugh Interrogative says it all: if they are not Americas staunch enemies, how exactly would their words and deeds differ if they were?
No. (And I hate with a passion to say this.) It is to be war. To the ashes. There can be no alternative but victory -- both abroad as well as at home.
Nor is it only the Right who sees things in terms of absolutes and irreconcilable differences. Take, for example, this post at the Democratic Underground, which I will excerpt only part of:
I think much like Mike Malloy, my Boiling Point with Republicans in general, or anyone who still supports this administration has been reached.I find it interesting that "TheWatcher" uses The Terminator reference as does the Rev. Sensing, but I find the context even more interesting. Rev. Sensing attributes the machine-like malevolence to government, and "TheWatcher" only to Republicans. Continuing:
After Jean Schmidt's comments in the House, and the absolutely criminal Bill that was passed last night, which rapes the people AND the land to such extremes that anyone who still calls this a Free Country or a Democracy is a fool, and deserves nothing but The Lash, after the debasement and debauchery that has been displayed these past couple of months, I have simply had enough.
I am through trying to reason with these people, these sub-humans that run this country, and those that support their policies.
I'm through with holding out hope that somehow we can all co-exist and put our country back together.
This is WAR. I have no compassion, no understanding, no quarter, no parlay, no sympathy, and no use for ANY of these people.
This is the darkest time of our history, and though we have not yet seen the full effects of what has been done, we are in serious danger of losing everything. If it isn't too late already.
I am sick and tired of being told to take the High Road, to be passive, reasonable, to be above them, to be dignified. I'm tired of be told we have to watch what we say and do so that we don't get painted in a negative light, and turn others off to our cause.
Enough is Enough.
We have finally reached a point where even 10% support for these people is sheer insanity.
People in this country need to wake up to some very simple, easy to understand facts about what they are facing.
You are up against an adversary that DOES NOT CARE. It has not one shred of humanity. Human life means NOTHING to these people. Morality, Right and Wrong, Reason, Logic, mean NOTHING. The majority of the American people, which means 95% of you, the well-being and interests of said people means NOTHING to these people.
You are dealing with something that functions on a purely primal level, where the only things that matter are very, very simple.
Power. Money. Greed. Control. And the Sustenance, expansion, and accumulation of those four ideas AT ANY COST. It does not matter. No matter what must be done. Murder, Thievery, Deception, Fraud, Rape, Pillaging, WHAT EVER IT TAKES. It is a very simple Tunnel-Vision concept. Anything that falls outside of this concept is simply ignored, discarded or destroyed.
If you need something to help you understand what you're up against, here are some Film References that Might help you.
Gordon Gecko's character in Wall Street.
The scene in Terminator where John Connor implores to Sarah Connor
"Listen! And understand! That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with! It can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever", until you are dead!" Or when he is being interrogated by The Police: "You still don't get it, do you? He'll find her. That's what he does. That's all he does! You can't stop him! He'll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her fucking heart out!"
Or perhaps the Scene in Die Hard when Bonnie Be Delia[sic] confronts Alan Rickman: "All of this. Everything you've done. After all your posturing, all your speeches, you're nothing but a common thief."It goes on in this vein for quite a while before concluding:
Perhaps the scene in Independence Day at Area 51 when Bill Pullman asks the Aliens what they want us to do, and he gets a simple one word response.....
These people do not deal with anything on a human level, because they are befret[sic] of humanity. They could care less about human life, the environment around them, or any concept regarding morals or principles. They simply stay on message with their agenda, March in lock step with whatever advances it. They are Soulless Monsters with no concept or care for consequences of their actions.
They simply want to steal, plunder and pillage ANYTHING that is not nailed down. It's very simple.
And I don't know which is worse, the thugs carrying this out, or the MORANS[sic] who support them.
The feeble-minded, willfully ignorant, racist, bigoted, homo-phobic, fake, fundamentalist, robotic, culture-less vacuous soldiers who Goose Step In Perfect Unison into whatever Hell has been prepared for the world, by these monsters.
I can no longer peacefully co-exist with these people. They are accessories. They are co-conspirators, willful or ignorant, misguided or fearful, it matters not. They are ALL Guilty. I cannot have these people around me. I cannot have them in my personal space. I do not have children, but if I did I would not accept them being around my children.
They are filthy, degenerate, and LOST. And I no longer find their very existence acceptable. They are aiding in the destruction of this country, and as individuals they have absolutely NOTHING to contribute to the progression of the human species. NOTHING. I deeply hesitate to use the word "Useless Eaters", because of the negative connotations behind it, but I no longer care.
We are being MURDERED. This is GENOCIDE. It may be slow enough, and calculated enough to make the declaration of it as such absurd, but the intent is CLEAR. The PURPOSE is clear. THAT is what is being DONE.
When are people going to learn these people DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING. THEY STAND FOR NOTHING. THEY BELIEVE IN NOTHING.
They are merely parasites who want to STEAL EVERYTHING for THEMSELVES, and leave the rest of us for DEAD.
We do not matter to them. We are garbage. We are disposable. We are nothing more than a MEANS TO AN END to ADVANCE AN AGENDA. We have no other purpose than to be used for whatever ridiculous fantasy they want to unleash upon the Planet. These people probably can't even achieve AROUSAL, unless they are killing, destroying, looting , or stealing SOMETHING.
Someone needs to say it. Ultimately, we MAY NOT be able to deal with them in a peaceful, reasonable manner. They are not going to give up what they have gained legally and peacefully.
Those who think they will need to ask themselves one simple question.
WHY WOULD THEY?
They have gotten away with so much, and they will do ANYTHING to keep the status quo. They will do WHATEVER IT TAKES. If they have to Kill, they will Kill, and they have done so. If they have to Steal, they will Steal, and they have done so. And on, and on, and on.
And NOTHING has stopped them.
What is to stop them? WHO is to stop them?
WHAT OR WHO IS TO STOP THEM?
And I ask this, because so far, NO ONE or NOTHING HAS.
They don't even bother to TRY to be inconspicuous anymore. Now, every day they simply rub everyone's nose in it. They LIE, They STEAL, They KILL, They PLUNDER, They PILLAGE, and they smile for the Camera and basically tell everyone "What The Fuck Are YOU Going To Do About It, CITIZEN?"
These are the most sub-human, vacant, dead-eyed, soulless creatures that have EVER walked the Earth.
Even with their Poll Numbers at all-time lows, with Federal Indictments handed down, with more on the way and Fitz sharpening his Axe, with Almost 70% of the country sour on what is going on, even with the Wheels Coming Off, these fucking ASSHOLES trudge forward.
And they are NOT going to STOP.
Because it's What THEY DO.
It's ALL THEY DO.
For those that read this and think it is a Doom And Gloom Post, I ask you to refrain from the notion.
You see, I have simply reached my Boiling Point.
I have Had enough. I am FED UP. I cannot TAKE ANYMORE OF THIS.
I know most here, including me, think the most desirable conclusion to this sad tale is to bring these people DOWN, and make them ACCOUNTABLEI am reminded of a classic exchange in the talk.politics.guns usegroup where some commenter asked "Why don't all of you gun-nuts go off and start your own country?" to which some wit responded, "We did. Who let you in?"
for the THINGS THEY HAVE DONE.
Convict Them. Jail Them. Make Them PAY as High A Price as Necessary.
But do it Legally And Peacefully.
But as the days go by, I am beginning to wonder if we will be able to find the answer to the simple question concerning that which must be done.
Because they have all but taken away ANY remedy we may have to stop them. Legislative. Judaical[sic]. Executive. They have STOLEN all the options, and if we attempt to bring Justice, they simply ignore it or spin it away. We DO have Fitz, and he has given us all a glimmer of hope that we CAN restore some order, but still we cannot ignore what these people are capable of.
Does ANYONE REALLY THINK they are going to give up what they have gained LEGALLY and PEACEFULLY?
I don't think they will. Not for a minute.
WHY WOULD THEY?
I am an American, Born and Raised, but I am NOT a citizen of BUSH'S America. I want nothing to do with the country these people have created.
And for those who support them, Let's get Something Nice And Sparkling CLEAR:
Stay The Fuck Away From Me. Stay OUT of my personal space. I want NOTHING from you. I want NOTHING to do with you. I want NOTHING to do with your "vision" of what the world should be.
What DO I want from you?
I will freely admit there are days, and they are becoming more than not, that the Alien at Area 51 in Independence Day and I share quite a common ground on the answer to that question.
And I am NOT apologizing for it.
In the words of the Late, Great Bill Hicks, about the most conciliatory thing I can say for those people at this point is simply this:
LET. MY. COUNTRY. GO.
Let my country go, indeed.
Now, I have to ask: When the author, an obvious victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome, emphatically exclaims: "We are being MURDERED. This is GENOCIDE. It may be slow enough, and calculated enough to make the declaration of it as such absurd, but the intent is CLEAR. The PURPOSE is clear. THAT is what is being DONE," and "I can no longer peacefully co-exist with these people. They are accessories. They are co-conspirators, willful or ignorant, misguided or fearful, it matters not. They are ALL Guilty. I cannot have these people around me. I cannot have them in my personal space. I do not have children, but if I did I would not accept them being around my children," does this rhetoric correspond to a conclusion of: "Convict Them. Jail Them. Make Them PAY as High A Price as Necessary. But do it Legally And Peacefully"? Especially when he notes explicitly: Does ANYONE REALLY THINK they are going to give up what they have gained LEGALLY and PEACEFULLY?
He later adds:
Is there no limit to the atrocity, the depravity, the utter depths to which this country will have to endure before we are set free from these people.Like, say, the ovens of Dachau?
As of this writing there are 273 responses to that post. I was unwilling to read them all, but I saw no comments that disagreed with the author.
Back in September, 2004 I wrote:
So, here's my prediction: When Bush wins the election with enough margin to prevent cheating on the part of the Dems, there are going to be riots. There will also be domestic terrorism by the moonbats.A little later in the month I'd altered my thinking a bit. I still expected riots after the election, and I'll admit I was wrong about that, but only (I think) in the timing. I think they're still coming. But what I concluded at that time was this:
The "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party" has no place to go? They've been stirred up past the point of no return. They're going to go completely nuts.
The divide is certainly real. It is wide and deep and growing. It has passed the point, I think, of reversal. The last time the nation was this divided, we did go to war - an actual, by-god uniforms-and-artillery shooting war.And I still think I'm right, but the scale will be bigger.
But this time we won't. It won't be that simple. The problem isn't that we're divided, it's that there's not two sides UNITED.
The divide now is philosophical, too, but not as easily demarcated. It isn't slavery vs. abolition, it's "Left" vs. "Right." It's Libertarian vs. Conservative. Green vs. Democrat. Socialists vs. Capitalists. Anarchists vs. Government. Christians vs. Humanists. Jihadists vs. Infidels. Atheists vs. Christianity. Gun-grabbers vs. Gun-nuts. The perpetually disinterested vs. everyone else.
Grab any six random people off the street - chances are they'll have strongly held (and largely unsupported) opinions on a variety of topics, and those opinions will stray all over the philosophical boundaries of the merely Left and Right. It's not a binary division, it's an n-dimensional space of varying density.
The divide is largely geographical, but again not conveniently so. It's primarily Rural vs. Urban. The "Red State/Blue State" division is more of a reflection of how heavily urbanized any particular state is rather than a real state division. Remember the Red/Blue county map?
That's my impression of the sides, and we're not going to put on uniforms and engage in combat over our ideals. Not gonna happen.
Why no civil war? Because the Left won't be able to organize themselves to, and without that the Right won't drop its internal schisms enough to be motivated to. I stick by my argument that there will be riots (small) and guerilla activity (smaller) but there won't be organized warfare.
We're going to have the Balkans right in our own back yards, Somalia writ large, and the Anarchists are going to get to try out their non-system. We're headed for stark, raving, batshit fucking insane; mass political disintegration, because the heart of the conflict is between those to whom personal liberty is important, and those to whom liberty is not only inconsequential, but to whom personal liberty is a deadly threat.
I've read that during the Revolutionary War about a third of the population was in favor of independence, about a third was Loyalist, and about a third didn't care. The same ratios held for the Civil War. This time, I'm not sure that there are that many of us who hold the idea of personal liberty as essential, much less important. Decades of public school instruction has seen to that. (Thanks, John Dewey!) We've spent decades voting for the lesser of evils - choosing wedgies over outright castration, as it were. What else was our choice? But the wheel keeps on turning, and, as the Geek noted, our deep schism has been building for decades, the Statists against the Individualists.
I had a discussion with a family member recently on the topic of politics. This family member has a relatively mild case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, but believes that I can be "reached" because - I suppose - I'm family. I tried to explain that I haven't swallowed the GOP Kool-aid, that I don't agree with everything the administration has done and is doing (in fact, my support is pretty much only for the GWoT, and I believe that's being handled poorly from at least a P.R. standpoint). I tried to explain that it isn't that I hate the Democrats, the poor, the needy, it's that I oppose the idea of government as the solution to all problems. That what the Left advocates is the disproven, disastrous path of socialism.
The one consistent thing I've noted through the months that I've studied and considered this subject is that those on my side of the aisle see government as the enemy, the implacable Terminator machine that grows continuously, eating liberty and excreting laws and regulations until we all choke in it. The other side(s) sees only the other party as the enemy - as "Jane Galt" put it so eloquently, "The party in power is smug and arrogant; The party out of power is insane." And that insanity is spreading to society as a whole. Billy Beck, in the essay linked to by Ironbear, and in several comments here in the past has advocated passive civil disobedience as a solution:
Rational people yearn for liberty. This passionate recognition of their own nature cannot be denied or suppressed. Every human being has a "threshold of outrage" beyond which a transgressor proceeds at peril of response. At this point in our history, individuals are responding ever more frequently. The only question to me concerns the nature of the response.The Germans did. The Poles helped. The Russians, Chinese, Cambodians all slaughtered millions. The world watched. When societies go batshit insane, civil disobedience doesn't get you much but dead, maybe a bit slower. Civil disobedience would have been a good solution if the populace had been educated in that philosophy for the last 100 years. Of course, if the populace had been educated in that philosophy for the last 100 years, we wouldn't need it, because we'd have a population of rational people instead of what is apparently a majority of irrational ones.
There is no question over the rampant destruction which must be manifest in widespread armed confrontation. All rational people will agree on this point. Most will agree that is should be avoided.
Does this mean that those who passionately hunger for liberty must resign themselves to endless pedantic debate over definitions and principles, without satisfactory resolution?
I think not.
I see a course lying between your two alternatives. That course is massive, passive, civil disobedience.
I am convinced that sufficient numbers of rational individuals could focus the essential dispute of our times by simply, and peacefully, rejecting the claims of government.
Stop paying taxes of every kind. Stop voting. Burn drivers' licenses, social security cards, marriage licenses, business licenses, and every other document which attaches the sanction of government to one's own private affairs. Cease, immediately, the obedience to every article of posited law which our "representatives" scribble across our days and years. Conduct one's affairs according to the right, regardless of the "law".
I am fully aware of the implications of such a course.
I am, right now, a "criminal" by the definition of the federal government. I await my arrest. I have brought harm to no person, but I have acted in perfect disregard of certain federal "laws" which presume to dictate the disposal of my productive efforts. They are wrong, and I will not submit my conduct to their error.
However, I will not resist with arms against prosecution. In my view, such a course would commit the future to complete hopelessness. The reason is that my individual resistance would be perfectly futile against the massed force of the government. The destruction of my life which would result, would also leave not the slightest possibility that the future might see a day when my liberty will again be upheld as a proper object of "public policy"...and not its subject.
There is no way for me to know what the intervening days, months or years might bring, or the hardships to be endured. However, should that day of liberty ever actually dawn, I would walk out into its light shining on a world ready for me to exploit to productive ends, without the heavy task of reconstructing something long gone in the winds of war. I would simply take the place which I had left behind, and go back to my normal work.
In considering the option of armed resistance, I value my own course for its possibility of recovering a social fabric which, otherwise, will certainly be destroyed. It is my own, freely chosen, course. I would point out that it has nothing to do with "martyrdom", or any other notion of "sacrifice", for I do not recognize the concept of "sacrifice". I choose from a rationally valid hierarchy of values, and the foremost of them is my integrity. The concept of right bears me through the challenge.
I would only suggest that others consider the same challenge. Whether they do, and choose to act similarly, will have no real bearing on my own choice...with one important caveat:
"The more, the merrier."
This tongue-in-cheek reference addresses the impact of massive disobedience. It is an easy matter for the state to dispose of a single life. It is quite another to effectively dispose of millions. I can easily go down in the dark. To take millions of others down would require an effort of state that must move in the clear light of day, while the world...and all other Americans...watch.
Perhaps human beings are like lemmings. Periodically we just have to massively reduce our populations, either through disease, war, or self-immolation.