IPFS Larken Rose


Do good people have a duty to be oppressed? No? Well, what's the alternative?

Do good, upstanding citizens have a moral obligation to allow themselves to be oppressed, harassed, terrorized, assaulted, and wrongfully detained or imprisoned? Most people would say "no." But would most people actually mean it?

There are many examples of "law enforcers" treating innocent people like dirt. Random stops at "sobriety checkpoints" is a favorite of mine, since the local jackboots do that in front of my house on occasion. (In fact, they're doing it right now, as I write this.) The border Gestapo is even worse. And a YouTube search for "police abuse" will provide you with hours of infuriating examples of fascist pigs in action.

So, do we have an obligation to put up with being treated like that? Think carefully before you answer. Because an answer of "no, we don't," implies that we have a right to resist it, to not cooperate. And, of course, the control freaks and megalomaniacs with the badges aren't going to react kindly to anyone disobeying their gang. They will always escalate things to violence until they get their way.

If, for example, you believe that you have a right to not be searched
without cause, a right not to be interrogated for no reason, and a right not to be detained for no reason, then logically you must also believe that you have the right to drive right through a "sobriety checkpoint" without stopping. And what if they try to forcibly stop you--as they certainly would--for exercising your rights? Do you then have an obligation to be oppressed? Or do you have the right to respond with force against force, in whatever degree it takes to overcome their attempts to detain you without just cause?

This is the horrible choice tyrants force everyone to make, on a regular basis: you either submit to their will, or you react with violence. And, unlike the badge-wearing crooks who call themselves "law enforcers," the good people don't like to use violence. So they almost always allow themselves to be oppressed. And that tells the tyrants that they can increase the injustice even more. The end result is ... well, Frederick Douglass summed it up quite well:

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."

Let me put the point even more bluntly: Every time oppression increases, the people have only two choices: unconditionally submit, or kill the oppressors. These are the only choices, because the oppressors themselves don't allow for any option in between. (There is sometimes a temporary third choice: running away and hiding. But not only is living on the run a form of oppression in itself, but sooner or later, when the control freaks find you, you will have to either submit or resist.)

Even if you "passively resist," or "resist" with mere words, you are submitting to the tyranny, by letting them lock you up and punish you for your disobedience. (To say that the moral thing to do is to allow yourself to be oppressed, and then complain afterwards, still implies that you have an obligation to be oppressed.) On the other hand, the moment you actually resist--the moment you refuse to allow them to oppress you--you will plainly see the violence inherent in all "government" action.

And, of course, when oppression is "legal"--as it usually is--if you resist it, you become (by definition) a "criminal," and probably a "terrorist" as well. Of course, the violence, harassment, intimidation, threats, assault and outright murder committed in the name of "government" aren't usually called "terrorism" (though that's exactly what they are) but resisting such oppression is.

In short, "government" makes terrorists. Whether you're talking about international thuggery or domestic oppression, it is nearly always authoritarian violence which drives people to resort to the violent reactions which are dubbed "terrorism." Of course, that doesn't mean such reactions are always justified (and they are never justified when they target innocents), but it does mean that, in almost every case, "terrorism" is a product of "government." An authoritarian regime traps people, controls them, and backs them into a corner, where they see violence as their only option. Whether their cause is righteous or not, or their means justified or not--whether you're talking about the American Revolution, or some suicide bomber in the Middle East--the pattern is the same. People are driven to the point where a perceived injustice is so great that they feel they must resort to violence.

With that in mind, ask yourself, what would your local "law enforcers" have to do before you would resist by force (thereby making yourself a "criminal" and/or a "terrorist")? Try to take your guns away? Try to take your children? Try to arrest you for criticizing "government"? In other words, what level of oppression will you actually not tolerate. Because so far, you've tolerated pretty damn much. Yes, lots of people whine, complain, and criticize, but until you actually resist, you are, by definition, tolerating the injustice, by allowing it to happen (to you and others).

Of course, I "tolerate" it, too, as demonstrated by the fact that I'm not dead, and not a fugitive. I'm not advocating martyrdom here. But it's about time for Americans to start thinking about things they've been trained to not think about. The bogus tripe about "land of the free and home of the brave" is sounding pretty lame these days, when you look at what Americans quietly submit to on a regular basis. Of course, it's not up to me to tell you at what point you should resist. But you ought to start thinking about it. Because somewhere between where we are now, and complete totalitarianism--and that gap is shrinking all the time--you will have to decide between being a slave, and being a "terrorist."

10 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Actually, things have changed a whole lot. Despite all the people being mass murdered around the world, think about this. The number of people who die in the next 100 years (provided someone doesn't find a fountain of youth that really works), will be more than all the people that have ever died in the past since life began on the earth.

Comment by Darrell Tucker
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 Sadly, nothing will change.  The only way to inact change is to quite feeding the beast that is the Goverment.  Do what you can to avoid paying taxes.  Barter were possible. Business people, offer discounts for cash.  Just deduct what the taxes would have been.  The customer gets a break, and you keep all your hard earned money.

Comment by Frederick Dallmeyer
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I disagree with your position that there are only two (or three) ways to deal with an oppressor: to "unconditionally submit, or kill the oppressors." I agree that if one prizes their individuality, they have an obligation to themselves to resist; however history has shown that passive resistance can work as well. The problem for the individual is that often a sole resistor is either ignored, ostracized, or eliminated. This is why we seek others who share mindsets to form a common goal, which after time and struggle (and I'm oversimplifying here) become societies in their own right, with their own laws and guidelines (whether written or not). The independence of India is an example of an alternate path to the two (or three) that you pose.

Comment by bill nixon
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For this individual, any person who tries to inject me with an anti-virus serum will be resisted with my 2nd amendment right.

But I don't have to worry.  I left the good ole US of A years ago because it has become a police state.  To Mr. NSA man reading this, yes you!, don't you have something better to do?

Comment by Don Duncan
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Another great essay! I have often wondered where my line is. I have thought it was refusing to give up my gun or shut my mouth. But I will not know for sure until I am tested. I suspect we will be tested soon (within the next 2 years). I have lived a life of passive resistance for 67 years but I have had to put up with way too much oppression. I have survived without going to jail for more than a few days (3 times). If enjoying life is revenge then I have had mine, but I want more. I have been a tax resister since 1972 and I remember the day I started as a euphoric one. I tore up the census form. I have chosen to let "them" bring the fight to me by refusing to stop speaking out. That's my line in the sand.

Comment by Justen Robertson
Entered on:

I would love to be able to say, "I will fight even the smallest of injustices with my life if necessary", but we know that will end in me dead and many very large injustices unopposed. For that reason it's irrational and wasteful, even if it seems most honorable.

 I know exactly where my line is. It is where the chance of victory times the reward of victory exceeds the cost of defeat times the likelihood of defeat. Risk vs. reward. If we more accurately and consistently make that calculation than the thugs, we are assured success. : )

Comment by Chris Kaiser
Entered on:

There are a lot of people who took a principled stand - who are now in jail or dead. There are certainly consequences for opposing the state. As Michael Badnarik said, it's a line in the sand that each person has to decide for themselves where to draw.

I'd comment more on Larkin Rose's blog, but I suspect if I register there, I'll be added to a terror watch list.  Loved the Iron Web, fyi.

Comment by Sharon Secor
Entered on:

Thank you for your well-written commentary. My sister and I were discussing this exact subject just last week, though to be honest it is something we discuss quite frequently. In our last conversation, I said to her that I was somewhat amazed to find myself to be classifiable as an extremist. How have I reached that point? Because I take what is today an extremist position -- that the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution still apply. Because I believe that the continuous governmental attempts to tell us that those founding documents do not mean what they say are illegitimate.

(An interesting side note, in the Texas Constitution, their version of the bill of rights has this caveat added -- “PROVISIONS OF BILL OF RIGHTS EXCEPTED FROM POWERS OF GOVERNMENT; TO FOREVER REMAIN INVIOLATE. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this "Bill of Rights" is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.” )

Clearly, when government makes laws and regulations that abridge the rights detailed in the founding documents of the nation, we are not obligated to obey those laws and regulations. Yet, time and time again we do, seething with resentment.

Once, in NY, I stepped out of my house to let my dog pee, just as cops were chasing a suspect down my block. All of a sudden 10 cop cars appeared, a cop with his hand on his gun screaming at me to secure my dog (I was in such shock, I couldn't even process wtf was going on at first) and next thing you know government thugs had me on the ground in front of my 4 year old and 3 year old children, spread eagle, kissing the concrete. I could have protested the illegal detainment and search. They would have dragged me downtown, but not before they took my children into custody, as they wouldn't just leave them there alone in the apartment. So... I laid on the ground until they ran my name, searched me, and allowed me to get up. I allowed an officer to accompany me into my house to verify that yes, dinner was on the stove, and in fact I was taking the dog out quick before feeding the children and had no knowledge of whatever crime supposedly happened out there.

It wasn't all bad though... my children learned something right then and there, something I couldn't have taught them with words alone.

Yes, I do answer border patrol questions -- 100 fucking miles off the border -- when I make the 200 mile round trip into town for groceries and yes, I seethe with rage as I do. I have sat at the border patrol station, my kids and I shivering at the side of the road, as they search my vehicle not once, but twice. I have had to ask an agent if I could please have a diaper from my bag so I could change the baby.

It wasn't all bad though... Yes, the children learned a bit more and so did I.

I know where my line is. 

While right now I think the best way is refuse to pay, refuse them the money they use to harass and oppress us (keeping income below taxable levels is still legal, as is reducing consumption to decrease the amount of sales tax paid into the system), I also recognize that there is just so much I am willing to allow to be taken from me, that there is just so much oppression that I as a human being am going to allow to be foisted upon me personally.

I know where my line is.

I would prefer to do what I do in a normal day, ignore the government and go about my daily life as I see fit. It is easy for me. I live in a remote area where enforcement of petty bullshit costs more in time and money than it is worth. It is so remote, that officials are forced to confront the fact that official acts can have personal consequences, a fact that tempers their behavior and keeps the balance of power closer to what it should be. For example, we live on mostly dirt roads here. 1400 miles of them. If I were driving down one of them and saw somebody had dragged the CPS agent that had driven 100 miles to harass somebody out of his vehicle and was administering a well deserved beating to him.... Well, I would keep on driving and never say a word to anybody. Call a cop? Report the incident? Pull over and try to put a stop to it? Not a chance. And not out of fear, but because the act would be just in my mind. I don't care what happens to those who choose the side of the oppressor.

I know where my line is.

My sister tells me that I should not accept the government's definition, that I should never accept the term extremist, because expecting that our founding documents be respected and adhered to isn't extreme. It is American. She says that I should never forget that they are the extremists -- extreme in their attempt to seize our natural rights, extreme in their efforts to deny us a means to address their wrongful abridgement of those rights (as I've said again and again, today we only officially have the rights we can afford to defend, and the average person simply doesn't have the cash available to defend their rights in court... so what else is left?), and extreme in their Orwellian attempt to reshape and redefine the language of and the desire for liberty as domestic terrorism. 

There are many people thinking and talking about this subject, there are many people that are coming to decide exactly where their line is, the exact point at which it becomes necessary to step over that line and enter into an entirely different level of resistance. In fact, I am pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people throughout the nation that are defining their personal by any means necessary tipping points. It gives me great hope for our future.  

Thanks again for your excellent commentary.









Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

Larkin forgive me for I will always try to find a way besides violence.

Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

Lark-bro I have misjudged you and I. Since we have spoken I have become more threatened and more combattive. And I'm an inch for dedicalaring war.

But warriors unrestrained are bad news. We trample every garden, we piss in every flower pot and fishpool.  And brother Larkin, you are one of the few people in this movement I feel I can trust because I feel your position is sober and considered.

Dude, we have to be an army of restrraint and love. You alone are capable of much damage. You and me together could give the combined might of the military forces of the United States Of American a run for their money and if we get just a few or our friends in? We have enough destructive capability to do in half a universe. Behold we are warriors. We hold the power of life and death in our hands. and we each have followers that will do our bidding.

So brother Larkin, seeing and we literally have the power of life or death in our hands, can you explain to me slowly what "we should do with it? For brother, I admit to you, I am neither as wise or as far-sighted as you are but I consider you to be my older brother and if you say "attack" I want to know you have carefully  considered this. But (the great erasor) if I see you attack, right or wrong, I will throw me and my dog into the fight and at that point I don't care who's right or wrong, we're just in the middle of a fight. And if we live or die, I will count on you to explain just why in the hell we were fighting for.


Love you bro. You are a captain. I'm a dumb warrior. We don't have to know what's right, we just have to fight. But ours is not a game. We fight, people die. No games, no pussy-footing. We are Sandmen. We close your eyes permanant and deep and real. Me and Ed Vallejo my brother, we are bad news. Bad man of death. We hide behind our loving demeanor but we are men of business.


Therefore, before you call our lethal force, I will give you a chance. And I will give you a second and a third and a fourth and a fifth chance. I will give you every chance and a chance besides that because one the blood starts spilling brother, it will be hard to call it back. And I tell you becuase I like the taste of blood, I like the warmth running down my fingers. I like the blood of innocents. It tastes good when I hear the screams of little children and men and women; we gain their power and drink their blood.


So carefully consider. Is this what you want?


I don't think so. This is not what you want. Brother Larkin, my tomohaek is thirsty indeed and it does not mind who it kills. And I know you are are a warrior too so you know where I'm coming from.


Rethink your position. You must be a leader. And you must impose discipline on the troops so that we do not rape and pillage. And if you don't, I'll kill you myself.


Because without honour we might as well be dead right now.


Love you bro.