December 7, 2012


At a certain point in the near future, if the current oligarchy cannot be removed via the ballot, direct political action may become an urgent and compelling mission. It may then be necessary for many people in many walks of life to put their bodies on the line. For the moment, however, although pressing and profound questions have arisen about whether the current government is even legitimate, i.e., properly elected, there still remains a chance to remove this government peacefully. . . .

This is all terrible and rather fantastic to contemplate. But what assurances have we that it is not all quite plausible? Having discarded the principles that Jefferson & Co. espoused, the current regime seems capable of anything. I know that my imagination is a feverish instrument. But are we not living in feverish times, in times of the unthinkable?

Oh, my mistake: That’s Cary Tennis in Salon from 2005. Though Tennis was roundly, and rightly, mocked at the time, this — like the talk of secession from people on the left back then, and people on the right now — does illustrate the significance of Jerry Pournelle’s observation about the dangers of an overly-powerful government:

We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.

If the Executive, and the federal government generally, were held within the limits envisioned by the Constitution, there would be much less reason to become so exercised over the “wrong” people being in power.

Meanwhile, depressed Republicans can remember that this is how Dems felt in 2005. But things changed for them beginning in the following year. Of course, they had a lot of help from the media, but then, they always do, and it doesn’t always help them.