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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sean Gabb on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

BBC Radio Lancashire (MP3):

If you believe that people are not fit to keep arms, it's a bit odd that you believe that people should have the right to vote in a government that rules all our lives. You either trust people, or you run the country like some gigantic open air lunatic asylum, which is what the present government is doing....

For anyone who doubts the need for the RKBA, here's a list of reasons: the Black Codes; the post-Haymarket repression; Grover Cleveland's use of federal troops to suppress the Pullman Strike; declarations of martial law in Western states during the copper wars; the Palmer Raids during Wilson's Red Scare; the use of state militia against strikers in West Virginia's Coal Wars; the gassing of the Bonus Marchers; the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942; the McCarran Internal Security Act; Fred Hampton; COINTELPRO; Garden Plot; Louis Giuffrida, Ollie North and Rex-83; MOVE headquarters; Ruby Ridge and Waco; John Ashcroft; USA Patriot (and God knows how many future versions thereof)....

As the movie poster for V for Vendetta says, governments should be afraid of their people--not the other way around. And as the anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker said years ago,

Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced on parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security... Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace....

The peoples owe all the political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength.

The ultimate source of our rights is government's fear of violating them, and our capability of resistance. A disarmed populace holds its liberties at the sufferance of the government, as a sovereign concession of grace.

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