Of Rebels and Rebellions
It has been claimed, by prominent media outlets and even the American government, that right-wing movements comprise insurrectionary parties and that many conservatives are inherently opposed to the existence of our current government. But by following the writings of a man who greatly influenced the founding of our country, one could reasonably conclude that insurrection in America has already been underway for quite some time -- and that the conservative movement is not its main proponent.
John Locke once wrote that society's supreme function is the preservation of its members and their property through the formation of a legislative branch, and subsequently the establishment of law (Second Treatise of Government, sect 87). Shy of these laws, mankind would be doomed to an existence of war, in which the stronger would subjugate the weaker and in which justice may become revenge and wrongs may never be made right.
So it is through this very pursuit of lawful justice that man can seek peace, having forfeited his right to act on his own behalf as judge, jury, and executioner. Instead, he is to grant these powers to popularly elected, impartial public servants. And these elected public servants will seek to maintain the citizen's person against any who attempt to violate his unalienable rights -- i.e., those rights being established only by his Creator and plain to all mankind (sect 135 and 136).
But suppose that an official of the government were to act against the common good of his society by disregarding the established laws and infringing upon the man's unalienable rights. Such an act would remove that citizen from the protection of the commonwealth and place him again in a state of war. For any organization which seeks to take property or life without legal precedent should commonly be recognized as an outlaw party no different from any pirate or robber (sect 202).
Locke argued that a man's position of authority gives him no more license than anyone else to act outside the law, just as anyone who has a greater chance of harming someone should be held by his neighbors under equal, if not greater, scrutiny. To do otherwise -- to grant authorities greater power to act outside their legal boundaries and to break laws -- would place citizens in greater danger than they were in before they formed their society in the first place. For a man defending himself against an entire nation of individuals and small gangs would stand a far greater chance than he would standing against an authority who maintained a total monopoly on violence.
It is plain to all who read the Constitution that our governmental powers have been transgressing their boundaries for quite some time now, and that they have overridden the original intent our forefathers engineered for both themselves and their children. Of course, some of these advances into the private citizen's rights have been made incrementally, and with the consent of an increasingly lazy, litigious, and immoral citizenry. But there are certain infringements which have blatantly crossed the boundaries delineating government by the people, instead becoming government over the people.
One such example involves the creation of indiscernible laws, which intrude on areas of the public's life in ways which most lack the intellectual capacity to understand, because the legislation exceeds any readable size. Such legislation was expressly condemned by James Madison in Federalist #62 as dangerous to both the existence of liberty and the rule of law.
The second example comprises such an insidious perversion of laws that it strips our citizens of any serious rights, instead favoring subjective interpretations. This dismantling of rights, most dangerously instated by our 14th amendment, seeks to enforce legal standards which are so ambiguous that application is entirely predicated by those in power. We see these "standards" come under threat of rearrangement by every appointment into the Supreme Court, allowing our very rights to be dissected and revalued not by letter or spirit, but by the whims of its progressively injudicious interpreters.
The third example, in which our leaders display a pattern of
1) refusing to enforce laws protecting the autonomy of states,
3) refusing to enforce laws because certain races flout them more frequently,
6) subjugating the rights of the American populace to domestically situated hostile cultures,
is tantamount to treason. After all, the people, having elected leaders with the intent of establishing and propagating a system of law, must necessarily be protected by that law. If that people, with its leaders having refused to enforce certain laws pertaining to sovereignty, finds itself under the authority of hostile foreign nations, it is only fair to assume that those in leadership -- and those who vote for them -- have no intent of being public servants, and that they maintain an agenda contrary to the public good (Second Treatise, sect. 217).
There are circumstances, of course, when a person in leadership may forego enforcement of an evil standard. One should never expect an official in Nazi Germany to kill Jews in the name of statesmanship. But this right of leadership to not enforce truly evil laws is an ability reserved only to those who understand the concept of unalienable rights. And these rights, as expressed by our Creator, constitute the sole reason why a man may forego enforcement of the law, and the only way in which a public servant may be exonerated from the penalty of doing so. But to disregard the law for any other reason is to declare oneself an opponent of the society which elected him, in effect to declare oneself a rebel.
It should be very plain to all patriotic Americans that a rebel is not one who lawfully carries a gun to a rally, or one who opposes encroachments upon the unalienable rights of man, or one who demands that the officials elected to represent him abide by law. Rather, the rebel is one who purposely and continuously discards or perverts law intended to preserve the people's rights, seeks to replace a historical people with another, and openly declares his intent to transfer authority to unaccountable international powers (Second Treatise, chapter XIX). It is impossible to be a rebel who supports the rule of already established law, supposing that those laws abide within the boundaries of eternal and unalienable rights (sect. 226). Conversely, it is impossible to be a public servant who ignores the God-given rights of man and who refuses to serve the public according to the rule of law.
If the latter be America's leaders, and large portions of the American public be their supporters, then that is America's lot. Such a result is no fault of anyone other than a cowardly, ignorant, unrighteous populace. But those who oppose such traitors cannot be declared either outlaws or the true threat to our great American society. Rather, it is plain to all reasonable men that the opposition of illegitimate governmental pursuits amounts to nothing less than patriotism and self-defense. Indeed, under these circumstances, our very leadership, should it counter that patriotism, acts as a rebel force. So if Americans will not take their stand today for the protection of their God-given rights, it would not be unwise to declare victory for the rebels already.
Jeremy Egerer is a recent convert to Christian conservatism from radical liberalism and the editor of the Seattle website www.americanclarity.com.