Tag: civil disobedience

Hong Kong Protests Continue Despite Countless Arrests

Peyton Gouzien | @PGouzien

In response to recent protests in Hong Kong, Police have arrested several protesters. This comes after both the local government and the government in Beijing condemned the young protesters who stormed the legislature. Despite countless arrests, protests continue. Officials in the local government worry that the arrests could cause the protests to grow more violent.

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Maryland Sheriff: “We Will Not Comply” With Gun Control

Thomas DiGennaro | @tom.digennaro

We Will Not Comply, a Maryland gun rights movement has sworn to exercise civil disobedience against any new gun control bills that may pass through the state legislature. The interesting aspect of this group is that Wicomico County Elected Sherrif Mike Lewis is a supporter.

“If these bills pass, we will not comply”

According to Sherrif Lewis in a speech to supporters seen in a video posted to YouTube, he also promises that his department will not enforce these laws if they pass.

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Environmentalist Youth Arrested at McConnell’s Office

Dane Larsen | @_danebailey

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY) left his office this past Monday, February 25th, to a group of outspoken youth from his representative state. Hundreds of driven high school and college students from Kentucky flew out to Washington D.C. to condemn Senator McConnell. Why? His words against Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s Green New Deal.

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Puppets of Parasites: Escaping the State is Impossible

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

By definition, a government is compulsory and coercive. Do you want to be the living embodiment of Ron Swanson, despising its very existence? How about a radical revolutionary, aiming to bring about serious political change? Rather than simply holding a belief, the proper course of action, in this case, is to take action.

Ideas Without Actions

It is safe to say that only having ideas for the sake of entertaining them, to borrow a phrase from Civil Disobedience, is not bringing about any change. Even the most ardent supporter of the state, in fact, is all too quick to point this out. With a stained American flag shirt and a hollow conscience, the patriot approaches the complaining anarchist brusquely. If only were he to have voted, then he would have seen his change! By sitting at home, is he not complicit in the crimes he claims to oppose? How is he escaping the state by allowing it to exist, unchanged?

The anarchist, then, bored and well-versed, is used to such questions. Almost as if reciting a second grade play for the thousandth time while one child cannot understand, he calmly asserts that a vote is a consent to be governed. By paying taxes into the system and voting for a leader, he would be complicit in the crimes of the state. Thus, he cannot, in good faith, do so.

An Inescapable State

Despite the vastly differing mannerisms and ideologies of these two particular individuals, they have one critical thing in common: they are both right. In fact, the very design of the state prohibits anyone, in any way, from stopping its injustices. Whether it did so intentionally or not, the state has a crippling grip on its people, to the point where not a single action can fully excuse him or her from its great injustices.

The average American has quite an interesting concept of liberty. As a general rule, the Land of the Free supports freedom everywhere except right here on planet Earth. With the magnificent Space Force, the outward bound of hypocrisy may soon expand beyond even our atmosphere. For all intents and purposes, though, I will primarily focus on the crippling nature of the United States.

The Three Types of Rebels

Simply put, the right to rebel is an integral part of American culture. It is interesting, though, that nobody really tries to bring this belief into reality. Is it perhaps because of the fact that the state is currently not acting unjustly? With soldiers slaughtering children across the globe, anyone with the slightest shred of morality cannot possibly vouch for the state in this manner. However, a sweep of the country reveals that not everyone has the slightest shred of morality, or for that matter, even pauses to think about whether or not something is right.

Ardent Supporters

An individual must either support, be unaware of, or condemn the inhumanities of government. The first group, of course, has no desire to act in a civil or moral sense. Wearing stability and order like a grotesque mask, such actors in a society are no better than mounds of dirt that small children may play in. Their necessary barbarism is not even worth the passing glance a slightly concerned parent may give. Of course, the idea is terribly destructive, and like that mound of dirt, it is nearly impossible to rid the kids of it. The dirt, at least, lessens as they mature, but war only impacts them more.

The ideology of war, of murder, has no place in a civilized society. Also, those who practice it willingly will clearly have no desire to end it. Thus, those associated with it will garner no significant further mentionings.

The Unaware

The second group, then, would be those who are unaware of the government’s injustices. Someone without a great deal of political knowledge, for example, likely does not know how the state spends their money. Likewise, a backwoods recluse in a home without electricity, even if well-versed in politics, likely is largely unaware of modern drone strikes.

Though not as detrimental as the former, the uninformed do prove to be a bit of a roadblock. They act as lukewarm Spam on a table, beginning to gather E. Coli on its surface. Though not so hard to take care of, it is hardly the most pleasant thing to encounter. Without a doubt, the less knowledgeable are not meaning to cause any harm, but by silently paying into the system, they perpetuate it.

The Opposition: Tepid Supporters Nonetheless?

By process of elimination, the last group, of course, is the only one which may have any way of truly escaping the state. The first would have no desire to, and the second, at the minimum, must pay some form of tax on property, sales, or income. The third and final, having both a moral disposition against violence, as well as knowledge about the state, the institution of violence, is the only one that may have any hopes of escaping it. It is comprised of those who condemn the actions of government.

The vast majority of these individuals do not strongly attempt to escape the state. Though nominally decent, they sit and fund the wars while still criticizing them. Are they not so horrific that they are not worth any amount of self-sacrifice? This point would lead one to suggest that like Thoreau, one can live morally via tax evasion. But even then, one is not making a difference.

Innocent or Guilty: A Common Result

By not paying for the wars, sure, you didn’t pay for it. But why does this make a difference? The military budget does not rely on your tax dollars. While it would greatly appreciate them, to make itself easier to fulfill, they are not necessary. So long as a small enough percentage of the people pay, then the state may merely print the remaining money.

A government in charge of both budgets and the coining of money is a dangerous combination. This danger only multiplies when the figureheads are using this for the immoral practice of war.

Moreover, a large percentage of tax evaders end up going to jail. In this situation, the state is paying for your food, utilities, clothes, and more. Does your clean conscience excuse the fact that because of your actions, the state now needs even more money? Not only do the wars not stop, but your place in a jail cell only furthers state action, transforming you from the puppet to a part of the parasite itself.

The Boulder Comparison

Compare the situation to a group of one thousand men rolling a boulder up a hill to a cliff. Armed guards stand behind, and will shoot anyone who dares to step out of line. Additionally, the guards have a nearly endless supply of men that, also held at gunpoint, will fill in if enough men stop pushing. A town lies below the cliff, and at this rate, the boulder will miss a few of the closest homes and sail farther away, crushing most of the town. But, if you stop pushing, the boulder will lose a tiny bit of speed, crushing every home and person in town.

Two options exist: you may either continue to push the boulder, or you may step out of line and face severe punishment. By pushing the boulder, you may be able to slightly lessen your role in the collective harm done. When you avoid prison, the immoralities still occur, but you are not adding to them. When you accept punishment for yourself, you live with a clean conscience, but the burden on others is even more. What is the value of your clean conscience, when it may only bring further harm to others?

Puppets of Parasites

Much like the boulder situation, the state is inescapable, even through lack of participation. By taking an inactive approach, even if you do not find yourself in a jail cell, there is no real improvement, so long as the state has control of the treasury and does not change the budget. Is there, then, a way to truly escape the state’s parasitism? It appears, at least in the short term, that such a notion is impossible. We all, for now, are either puppets of parasites or the parasites themselves.


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The Right to Rebel

By Benjamin Olsen | United States

The right to revolution is a concept that seems to have its roots at the beginning of time. The first widespread idea of the right to rebel and the overthrow of rulers was started in ancient China. The philosophy was known as the “Mandate of Heaven.” The Mandate can be summed up as: “If a monarch is behaving poorly, then bad things will happen. If bad things happen, then heaven has withdrawn its support and the people may rise up to overthrow the ruler.” This sentiment is mirrored in a more secular way with the idea of the social contract, the idea that we continue to allow ourselves to be ruled as long as the ruler protects our rights. This idea has been promulgated by John Calvin, John Locke and the Founding Fathers of America. The idea of the right to rebellion has been seen all throughout history, but the most successful execution was seen in 1776.

The philosophy of the American Revolution was rooted in the ideals of the age of enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and other revolutionaries saw the power these ideas had to change not only their country, but the world. Most of the founders were hesitant at the fact of starting their own country and rather sought to reconcile their grievances with the magistrates of Great Britain. It was John Adams, a founder with an ideology leaning towards monarchism, that lead the charge towards a full separation from the island of Great Britain. This idea was deemed radical and the Congress debated the idea for over a year before finally ratifying the Declaration of Independence. Even after ratification, the general populace was against the idea of revolution. Only 25% of the population was active in the fight against Great Britain. The idea of splitting from a government that the majority of people had familial and other ties to was beyond belief. Revolutions can start small but can grow to be an unstoppable juggernaut. The American Revolution was truly started by a small organization known as the Sons of Liberty. This small fraternity was responsible for the Boston Tea party and the opening shots at Lexington and Concord. What the American Revolution exemplifies the best is how successful a small revolution can be. Starting with a small fraternity and ending with an independent nation and a modern day powerhouse.

Another example of revolution is the Easter Rising in 1916 that took place in Ireland. This revolution is different from the American one as it takes place in what is considered the modern day and it is a failed revolution that sparked something bigger than itself. The Easter Rising is rooted in an ancient rivalry between England and Ireland. Dating back to 1169, England tried to exert its dominance over the British Isles, and in particular Ireland. Irish history, as a result of such occupation and colonization, has a history rife with tragedy and turmoil. Irish rebellions stretch back to the first occupation and extend all the way to the 1990s. The true turning point in the same story of a failed rebellion came in 1916.

In the midst of the great war, a small organization of Irish patriots, ranging in ideologies from socialism and monarchists to classical liberals and fascists, planned to rebel against the English crown while it was occupied in the trenches of northern France. The rebellion gathered its strength in secret and trained with what arms it could manage to procure. On Easter Monday, 1916 the small band of revolutionaries struck. They first seized the General Post Office and rose the Irish Tricolor, that continues to be the flag of Ireland to this day. By the end of the week, the rebellion was defeated. All of the signers of the proclamation of the provisional government were executed. The Easter Rising had failed to free Ireland from the British. However, within the next two decades the Irish people would rise up, their eyes opened to the British atrocities. Ireland would become independent in 1937. Throughout the rest of the century beginning in the early 50s and continuing until the late 90s, Irish freedom fighters fought for the freedom of the North and the ability for it to join the Republic of Ireland. The Easter Rising shows how even a failed revolution can lead to an independent nation.

All people that are governed have a right to overthrow their governor if their rights are not protected. In today’s world, we are taxed at a rate unimaginable by the Founding Fathers. We have atrocity after atrocity perpetrated against us. Rebellion does not always have to be with fire and bullets like the Easter Rising and American Revolution, but we cannot continue to allow our rights to be curbed in the name of security and safety. As Thomas Jefferson put it “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” We should all seek such freedom and the ability to decide our own destiny free from intrusion by a government, that may as well be foreign. Revolution can come through the ballot box such as the Civil Rights Movement. Revolution can be peaceful such as Gandhi’s liberation of India. Only if necessary must a revolution be violent. Let us not suffer to be ruled, but to be rulers of our own lives. A revolution is needed to be freed from the bureaucratic quagmire and corrupt governance that plagues this nation.


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