The local “authorities” and the corporate media have tried to hide and then minimize the facts, but the blessed “alternative” sources got the news out. In the urban county just over the river, the sheriff’s department has been having “joint maneuvers” with elite Army units from Fort Bragg. The curriculum includes helicopter insertions and home invasions.
There are a few of us old fogeys who have read words of wise Founding Fathers about standing armies and remember something about a Posse Comitatus Act. But for most Americans history is a blank and the Now is all. And the federales failing to enforce laws when it pleases them has become routine.
People will divide into different groups in receiving this news. A small number will greet the news happily because they are making money from it or psychically identify with the exercise of power.
A not inconsiderable number are so naïve and servile that they think that Uncle Sam is always warm and fuzzy and eternally looking out for our best interests. For them it is just another example of his care for our well-being.
Another not inconsiderable number will be made happy and eager to participate. The government and the armed forces at every level are full of people who regard themselves, consciously or not, as the masters and not the servants of the citizens. For them the people should always obey their betters (which includes themselves) if they know what’s good for them. Despite the Pollyanna versions of the American past that are widely believed, our history since 1861 has revolved greatly around the federal government using violence to enforce obedience.
Some of us will regard this matter with great uneasiness. We do not believe that government is always just and benevolent. Given the present regime, force is as likely to be used to make recalcitrant law-abiding citizens toe the line as to suppress real dangers to the safety of decent people. It is not hard to imagine our present rulers coming down on armed property owners who are merely protecting themselves. The rulers will respond to the needs of the most influential and favored groups, which definitely does not include the general run of citizens.
This is made more persuasive in that the police these days have been showing less interest in punishing felo de se and more in enforcing malum prohibitum. The first refers to offenses that are naturally evil—murder, rape, robbery, arson, etc. The second refers merely to offenses that are not in themselves evil but consist of breaking government regulations—like driving over 55 or not paying taxes to the rulers.
Perhaps these divisions among the people will become more pronounced as time goes on. One can symapthise with the old Chinaman who prayed to be spared from living in interesting times.
This is an aspect of Sam Francis's anarcho-tyranny.
Clyde N. Wilson is the Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and a Contributing Editor to Chronicles. Dr. Wilson is best known as the editor of the 28-volume documentary edition of The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the author or editor of a dozen other books—including Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture—and has published over 700 articles, essays, and reviews. He is also the co-owner of Shotwell Publishing.