IPFS Larken Rose

More About: Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings

Tolerating Tyranny

Last weekend I was hiding out in New Hampshire at a pro-freedom "rally." (I was merely a spectator at this one.) At the rally there was, as usual, a long list of complaints about all the nasty things being done by the people who call themselves "government." And there was much zeal and enthusiasm about condemning the various injustices--past, present, and potentially future--committed by the megalomaniacs in Washington (and elsewhere). And there were the usual statements about how we shouldn't tolerate what the politicians are doing to this country, we should demand that they change their ways, and so on.

But then, as there almost always is at such events, there was the vague, anticlimactic call-to-not-really-action. There was plenty of righteous indignation at the ever-increasing tyranny, and the countless forms it is taking these days, but not much was said about what people should do about it. Some opined that the people have to "educate" themselves. Well, I'm all for that, but then what? I'm sure the people who said that weren't just hoping for a more enlightened bunch of slaves. There was also talk of trying to wake up other people to what is going on. Again, I'm all in favor of that--as daunting a task as it may be, given how brain-dead the American public is. But then what?

Then there were the suggestions about how we should call our "representatives" in congress, and "demand" that they vote for or against this or that legislation. But what, exactly, is such a "demand" backed by? And when people say we shouldn't "tolerate" what the politicians are doing, what does that mean? It sounds a little like we're all supposed to call our congress-crooks, and say, "Don't support this or in a few years we'll vote against you ... well, maybe ... unless the other guy is just as bad as you ... as he almost certainly will be. Then we'll hold our noses and vote for you anyway."

It's good to be precise in your language. If you say you won't "tolerate" something, that means you aren't going to allow it to happen. When you say you are going to "demand" something, it sort of implies that, one way or another, you're going to make sure you get it. But in reality, what most activists and advocates mean is more along the lines of, "If you do this, I'm going to whine really loudly!" Well, okay. Speaking out is better than doing nothing, but is talking and voting the extent of what Americans are willing to do for freedom? I'm afraid that in most cases, it is. And if it is, we might as well shut up and crawl into the cages right now, and skip the pathetic spectacle of begging and whimpering.

I'm not questioning the motives of all of the "patriots" out there advocating this or that candidate or legislation, but the fact of the matter is, when you do that you are doing exactly what the tyrants want you to do. Allow me to quote myself, from my first book, "How To Be a Successful Tyrant." (Keep in mind, this book was written as if talking to an aspiring tyrant.)

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While the peasants will tolerate a lot, there are limits to their patience. But those limits can be all but eliminated simply by giving them some sort of outlet (completely ineffectual, of course) for their displeasure with you and your regime. As long as there is some system of 'checks and balances' whereby the peasants can appeal to different levels and agencies of your regime, they will almost never resort to violence. 'You have to work within the system.' That should be your mantra, and it will quickly be echoed by most of the peasants. Of course, working within your 'system' is never going to get the peasants freedom or justice, but even giving them the illusion of 'due process' and some form of appeal will keep most of them forever banging their heads against a bureaucratic wall instead of actually resisting you.

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And, I'm sorry to say, that perfectly sums up what most of the pro-freedom "movement" is doing, and has been doing since before I was born. While I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, the main thing he accomplished was to demonstrate that no amount of work, money or enthusiasm is going to put someone into power that the puppet-masters don't want there. The courts, elections, the legislative process--it's all for show. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how things really work. It is all designed to give you the illusion that "the people" have some say in the matter, and that they have some "legal" means to control what "government" does. And as long as the people believe that lie, they will never actually resist tyranny.

Let me explain what I mean by "resisting," as bluntly as I can. If, as one example, the feds try to impose forced vaccinations on you and your kids (a possibility now being much debated), and you think the vaccine is not only unnecessary but dangerous, don't bother calling your congress-crook. Don't bother signing a petition, or threatening to vote against someone. Instead, if you don't have one, get a gun. Then refuse to "cooperate." And by refusing, I don't mean begging or voting. I mean not cooperating. That may just mean ignoring the tyrants' decrees; it may mean telling them to get lost when they show up at your house; or it may mean blowing their damn heads off if men with guns show up to either forcibly "vaccinate" you, or try to lock you up for refusing. That is resisting.

As another example, if the government tries to disarm you, don't let them. I don't mean vote against "gun control" politicians, and I don't mean call your congressman. I mean, arm yourself, whether it's "legal" or not, and if the police show up to take your guns, shoot them. (Then you might want to run away.) Personally, I think the minute the chief of police of New Orleans openly declared that they'd be disarming everyone (except the government thugs, of course) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, someone should have shot him in the head, along with any Louisiana "law enforcer" who didn't immediately and loudly refuse to enforce such a fascist command. That would be resisting.

But the truth is, most Americans, including those who claim to be the most zealous advocates of liberty, don't actually believe in resisting tyranny. They don't really believe in "demanding" anything from those in government. (Generally speaking, it's not much of a "demand" until it has a pretty serious "or else" attached to it.) In fact, Americans--even the vocal ones--keep demonstrating that they will tolerate almost any amount of injustice, and not do a damn thing about it. Not to be nasty, but it seems that many live by the motto, "Live Free or Whine."

For example, how many people just had their life savings--and take a moment to consider the full meaning of that term--stolen and given to bankers and huge corporations (by both Bush and Obama)? Many people who had worked for decades, thinking they were saving up for the future and their kids, were robbed blind and left destitute. Via the so-called "bailouts" and the deceptive banking, credit and currency scams that the parasites have been running for ages, millions of people were retroactively enslaved, a large portion of their life's work stolen, right out in the open for all to see. And what happened? People whined and complained, and showed "outrage," but then what? They quietly crawled back into their cages.

If this really was the land of the free and the home of the brave, populated by people with spines, the "bailouts" would have been immediately followed by an armed riot in Washington, probably followed by public lynchings of politicians, until the others decided not to go ahead with the communistic mass robbery (a.k.a "bailouts") after all.

(Actually, if Americans loved freedom, the way they pretend to, such violence wouldn't need to happen, because this country never would have gotten anywhere near the situation it's in today. Just as a potential victim brandishing a weapon will deter most criminals, a populace with the means and willingness to resist tyranny rarely needs to. But the American tyrants know full well that, though there a lot of gun owners in this country, there are very few willing to disobey a so-called "authority.")

I would suggest, instead of screaming at your masters, who just laugh at you and whip you harder, that you take some time to seriously consider the question that matters: At what point will I actually resist, and how? The answer will be different for different people. Some people won't ever want to resist by force, but might engage in civil disobedience. Some will wait until their life is in imminent danger before acting, while others have a little more forethought than that. (For example, a lot of people learned the hard way that when you're already in the cattle cars, or stepping into the gas chamber, that's not the best time to start resisting.) And, of course, it makes a difference how many other people will be resisting along with you. (If you're the only one, it probably won't turn out well.)
But regardless of what it would take to make you resist, it's high time you started thinking about it, if you haven't already. And if you can imagine a situation in which you would ever forcibly resist, you ought to go acquire the means to do so (i.e., get a gun).

The problem is, as indoctrinated as Americans are into the idea that obedience to "authority" is a virtue, actual resistance is something most people are utterly incapable of even thinking about. And if they won't think about it, they won't talk about it either, and they certainly won't ever do it.

Admittedly, talking about resisting tyranny, especially if it means killing someone, is not a particularly pleasant topic of discussion. But not talking about it won't fix anything. The history books are full of examples, spanning all of human history, of horrible atrocities committed in the name of "authority," which weren't resisted until it was too late. And by the looks of things, this country will soon be on that list. Will it be because you chose not to do anything about it?

6 Comments in Response to

Comment by Larken Rose
Entered on:

I do think that, to a large extent, obedience to authority is a residual animal instinct, "hard-wired" into us. However, considering the constant, intentional authoritarian indoctrination that the control freaks engage in, and the fact that lots of us still manage to escape the slave mindset, I don't think our DNA dooms us to forever be slaves. The question is, when will our (supposedly) rational minds outrank our primitive impulses? It happens in some (like the readers of FreedomsPhoenix) a lot earlier than it does in others (like Obama supporters).

Comment by stupidamerkin
Entered on:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero


Comment by GrandPoobah
Entered on:

Larkin addresses the apparrent  problem well.  However, to paraphrase Sun Tzu, if you do not understand the problem then you are toast.

I think, and I could be wrong, that the problem is hard wired into us because evolution made us authoritarian in nature.  And by that I mean obedient to authority.   Please, if you have the time to watch his video and speech, take about the same amount to go here


and add your comments.  If possible, back them up with evidence.

Thank you


Comment by foundZero
Entered on:

Powell says now we are in the lull. I'm not convinced atall that we needed be so, but it's important to keep perspective: the movement, like the political mood in America, goes through it's phases and shifts.

Larkin's position is uncompromising. He's one of the few to stand serious jail time for his beliefs. But like Larkin, I have sat in the conference rooms where patriot speakers were saying "will you take it anymore" and hearing a thunderous "no" and will you pay taxes anymore?" and the thunderous "no" and are you gonna go out of here and stand for your rights?" and the thunderous "yes" in response.

I don't know what Larkin and other direct-confrontation activists think when they saw/heard this or ditto when they see/hear this but I know almost every single one of these voices is gonna go home and not make a peep, not so much as squeek a fart out of order on their income tax return. Otherwise there would be tens of thousands of us in jail. Right now.

My response to Larking personally is that it's every man's decision how far, how much and when. This is almost a personal decision on the level of taking an oath, something sacred between a man and God. The implications are most dire. A man has much to consider. Has he a family or does he want one? And what does it mean to fight and at what level?

We have seen that we can fight at many levels. There are indeed those who have given their lives. Rosa Parks refused to take a seat on a bus.

I would return to Larkin and agree to watch what you say because one day your money, or lack of it, is gonna be where your mouth is.

Take it from a poor satirist. If I keep up that way I'm going my teeth ain't gonna be where my mouth is but at least I know the risks.


Comment by CharS
Entered on:

A very brave column.  And a wise one, too.

Thank you!

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

"While I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, the main thing he accomplished was to demonstrate that no amount of work, money or enthusiasm is going to put someone into power that the puppet-masters don't want there.  "

Toss in Kucinich and Gravel too.  Their main benefit was educational.  It is a whole lot clearer to a lot of people that the system ain't broke, it is working exactly as planned.  Add the collapse of people's wealth immediately after the election as predicted by Dr. Paul and  the education spreads and is reinforced. 

Now we are in the lull.  We are watching as the new president expands the policies of the old two fold in under six months.  The lid is chattering on the caldron.  Will the population boil over finally? 

I think they need another collapse of the dollar to seal the deal. Until then resistance is as long term useful as the fellow who wrapped steel plate around his tractor and proceeded to decimate city hall and several councilmen's homes.  The fool then took his own life rather than face the applause.  But he accomplished little in the way of resistance.  And is largely forgotten.