Recently, I wrote an article that was critical of Adam Kokesh’s planned march on Washington, DC – a march where he planned for all of the participants to be armed.  As it turns out, Adam has canceled his original plans in favor of a more “open and decentralized” march for revolution:

A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.

In other words, while this new march decreases the significance of his personal role, Adam has raised the stakes considerably.  He is essentially issuing an ultimatum, complete with a very specific time table for compliance.  He does not mince words as to how this will all play out:

While there is risk in drastic action, the greater danger lies in allowing this government to continue unchallenged. So if you are content with the status quo, stay home, get fat, watch the fireworks from a safe distance, and allow this Independence Day to pass like any other. But if you see as we see, and feel as we feel, we will see you on the front lines of freedom on July 4th, 2013 for this, The Final American Revolution.

In my original article concerning Adam’s original march plans, I anticipated this as a possible goal for those who would have chosen to march with Adam on DC, but now Adam has explicitly made armed revolution the ultimate goal of his 4th of July demonstration.

So, let me see if I understand this correctly.  Based on Adam’s stance, the liberty movement is ultimately going to achieve success by committing violence, or threatening to commit violence, against others?  Yes, I understand that some will claim that the armed revolt is a defensive action, but self-defense is personal.  Libertarians, of all people, should not be declaring whole groups of people based on the violent actions of a few members within that group, especially considering that many people who are in the liberty movement today were once members of that group, (i.e. the government and its various supporters), not that long ago – including Adam Kokesh himself, a former Marine!

As I pointed out previously, there’s also a practical problem beyond the philosophically confusing impetus behind an armed libertarian revolution.  The cold hard reality is that revolutions, by their very nature, are political exercises.  A successful revolution rests very much on winning the hearts and minds of those who are to be “revolutionized”, and if “the people” aren’t on your side before you start shooting, they are even less likely to be on your side after you turn their comfortable suburban neighborhoods into war zones.  So, before you begin stockpiling ammo, you might want to start going door to door campaigning to make sure that your neighbors are ready to rally to your cause once the bullets start flying.

Not sure that your neighbors – the same ones who are nonchalant about, or actively defend, TSA groping, NSA spying, indefinite detentions, Presidential kill lists, etc. – can be convinced to take a stand for liberty when pushed to choose between violent revolutionaries and “the heroes” who stand on the front lines for the government?  Welcome back to reality.

Unfortunately, some people will read such sentiments and assume that I think that the people in the liberty movement should just sit idly by and watch the government grow more tyrannical by the minute.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am probably as anxious as anybody else in the liberty movement to do something to end the State and to do it now.  However, I am not inclined to do just anything – especially if I believe a particular action will either be useless or harmful to the overall cause of liberty.

As hard as it is may be to believe for those of us who live and breath this stuff, the average person is not terribly interested in liberty.  While many of us read a half dozen or more 1000+ word liberty related articles, news stories, etc. everyday, the average person is much more concerned with sports, celebrities, reality TV, etc..  When they occasionally encounter a libertarian argument, especially of the anarchist variety that I espouse, it’s much easier for them to simply reject these ideas than it is for them to go down that very deep rabbit hole and actively engage them.

However, when your friend expresses some concern about government surveillance on her emails, if you point her to a service like Bitmessage and explain it’s importance, you have planted a liberty seed in her mind that it is likely to take root.  Or, if you point your pot-smoking friend to a service like Silk Road and contrast its peaceful voluntary nature with the government’s war on drugs, your liberty message is far more likely to be heard.  Or, better yet, if you live in or know people who live in a violent community, show the people in that neighborhood this video which features Dale Brown of  the Detroit-based Threat Management Center talking about how his private organization dramatically increased the level of security for his clients – including a healthy number of pro bono clients – and you will help them deprogram themselves from the notion that only the government can provide security.

In other words, what the liberty movement needs right now are practical solutions that the average person can immediately use and understand.  We are living at a time when the technology is available for us to create a complete set of alternatives to what the State provides people now.  It’s up to us to build it, and to invite our neighbors and friends to join us in using it.  That’s something that we must do regardless of how the State eventually falls, so we might as well use it as our primary means for challenging the State.  In this way, the State will eventually seem like a useless dinosaur, and no one will have to fire a shot to destroy it.  It will simply fade away into history.  That doesn’t mean that the State won’t put up a fight, but unlike a shooting match for which the State is well prepared, the free market is far too nimble for the State to outrun the death by a thousand cuts that it is on the brink of facing.

Get on the front lines and create or support a market alternative to the State today.

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  1. […] Read the full version of The Revolution For Liberty: Will It Be A Violent One? […]

  2. […] of Voluntary Virtues).  Of course, I am not exactly a newcomer to this issue as I have already written about the prospect of using violence to advance the liberty movement extensively, and I even published my first YouTube video on this topic.  Nevertheless, I was struck by two […]

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