|A victim of "Legitimate" Federal Violence at Wounded Knee.
When the "heroic" (and much-decorated) Seventh Cavalry slaughtered hundreds of starving, freezing Indians at Wounded Knee Creek in December 1890, the perpetrators of that massacre weren’t committing an atrocity. Instead, they were exercising what New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler calls “legitimate violence.”
After all, the mass killing was carried out as part of a civilian disarmament exercise – what we would now call a gun “buy-back.” It simply wouldn’t be acceptable for the Sioux to retain any means to defend what little they had left from the government that had expropriated them and driven them from their homes.
During the subsequent war to suppress Philippine independence, the U.S. military slaughtered at least 128,000 Filipinos – another expression of what Nadler describes as the defining characteristic of the nation-state. The same trait was displayed in the aerial fire-bombing campaigns against Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, and Yokohama during World War II, the nuclear incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of that conflict, the slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis on the “Highway of Death” at the end of the first Gulf War, the78-day terror-bombing of Belgrade in 1999, and the murderous siege of Fallujah (which involved the use of chemical weapons and depleted uranium rounds) in 2004. We shouldn’t neglect the vital role played by Delta Force operators in the mass murder of the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel in 1993.
|Nadler, pre-gastric bypass surgery.
During a recent Capitol Hill press conference, Rep. Nadler urged his colleagues to support confiscation of high-capacity ammo clips legally obtained by American citizens. When a reporter asked if the military should be allowed to keep its high capacity magazines, Nadler decanted a reply that was pure, unfiltered Leninism:
“One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence. And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence…. If the premise of your question is that people are going to resist a tyrannical government by shooting machine guns at American troops, that’s insane.”
The unexamined premise of Nadler’s reply is that it is perfectly sane and rational for the segment of society most deeply implicated in the violent deaths of innocent people to have a monopoly on “legitimate” violence. Embedded within that premise is the assumption that the same government that monopolizes violence will have the exclusive privilege of defining “legitimacy,” as well. For him, as for totalitarians of all varieties, that which the government does is innately legitimate, and those whom the government decides to kill have an inescapable duty to die.
Nadler’s reply was a more verbose rendition of Lenin’s definition of government: “Power without limit, resting directly on force.” The distinction he drew between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” violence brings to mind comments made by Dear Leader Emeritus Bill Clinton in an interview published by Foreign Policy magazine, in which he defined terrorism as "killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority and go beyond national borders." (Emphasis added.)
By invoking the mystical notion of “state authority,” government officials act as necromancers, transmuting such base acts as “killing and robbery and coercion” into noble acts of public policy.
|Your (militarized) local Sheriff's Office, circa 2012 A.D.
While it is tragic and regrettable that the colonial-era American patriots allowed a central government of any kind to be created, it’s worth recalling that the Framers of the United States Constitution did not create a “nation-state.” They created – at least on parchment -- a confederated republic in which the federal government was given certain delegated powers to act on behalf of the states.
The American republic was fatally flawed ab ovo, to be sure, but it was not a “nation-state” of the kind brought into existence by murderous centralizers like Bismarck, Lenin, and Lincoln.
The Second Amendment is actually a much worthier document than the Constitution itself. That Amendment served two indispensable purposes. One was to forbid (in concept, if not in execution) the federal government from disarming the state militias, which would (and did) lead to a deadly concentration of power. The second, and more important, purpose of that amendment was to recognize, unambiguously, the individual right to armed self-defense.
That right exists independent of government, and cannot be infringed by it.
Most importantly, it establishes a critical threshold at which the government relinquishes any claim to legitimacy (at least among those who are willing to grant it such). Any government that seeks to disarm the people is one that can and must be resisted through force of arms.
Tax-devouring, ambulatory obscenities like Jerrold Nadler serve a useful function by making vivid and tangible the otherwise abstract evil connoted by the word “government.” The reason we have guns is to prevent the likes of Nadler from working their will upon us unopposed.
Thank you to everyone who donated to Pro Libertate this year! If you can continue to help, please do so -- and thanks, once again.
Dum spiro, pugno!