“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
In my last post, The Good German, the Good American and the Bad AR, I provided an unpleasant spoiler alert for America. I noted that we are experiencing the introduction of tyrannical, Uniparty rule and I argued that we must not follow in the footsteps of “the Good German.”
The window of opportunity to stop the spread is closing fast. No, not the spread of COVID, but the spread of Socialism. We must act with urgency, both individually and collectively, before our beloved Republic is lost forever.
But confrontation is something people of a polite society generally attempt to avoid. Confrontation is not easy. It is disruptive. Confrontation is risky and often leads to pain—psychological and/or physical, and even death.
For many, however, to live under tyranny is a fate worse than death. For these people, Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or give me death” speech not only serves to highlight and instill national values, but also inspires as an urgent call to arms.
While death is the very worst possible result of taking action, countless detached, good Germans were led to this fate nevertheless. The calculation of action versus passivity is personal, it is complex, and it is largely determined by what we are willing to endure to in order to avoid confrontation.
Everyone has boundaries, but these lines in the sand are not something we typically spend much time contemplating. They often come at us in the moment, like when someone breaches a boundary by sucker punching you in the face. At that point, your response is summoned under acute stress, and it is instinctual: fight or flight.
But oftentimes we can anticipate the breach of a boundary and prepare accordingly. The committed “preppers” among us stockpile food, ammo, water, etc. and likely have an off-the-grid bugout shelter tucked away deep in the mountains. But these people tend to narrowly focus on a singular boundary and calculus.
When the boundary of complete societal decay is breached, preppers will enjoy the benefits of having planned and arranged for this scenario ahead of time. At this point, they need only apply a simple statement to their situation.
Borrowing from Computer Programming 101, let’s apply the statement “If A, then B” to a prepper’s scenario. Variable A is the condition tested for, while Variable B is what is executed when Variable A is determined to be true: “If war, natural disaster and/or societal decay, then retreat to a well-supplied bugout shelter.”
But that statement is as easy to program and run as the obvious, “if hungry, then eat.” The action does not involve confrontation, nor does it involve the possibility of pain or death. In isolating themselves from society, preppers effectively and deliberately avoid these consequences. What they have is merely a very inconvenient lifestyle adjustment.
But let us now focus on Variables A and B in our statement. First, we’ll consider possible conditions for Variable A, some of which link to actual or very possible future events:
- Your daughter’s school demands that she take a course on Critical Race Theory
- Your workplace demands that you take a course on “White Privilege”
- The police show up at your door toquestion you about an anti-mask statement you posted on Facebook
- You are a police officer ordered to arrest a struggling, small business owner who violated lockdown orders
- A Trump supporter is beaten on the street for filming Antifa
- BLM crashes your dinner at a restaurant
- The police show up at your door toconfiscate your guns
- The authorities want to send you to an internment camp for failing a Covid test
- The police show up at your neighbor’s door to intern the entire family because the kids’ mom has COVID.
The list can be much longer, but I suspect you get the idea. Now let’s consider several possible actions for Variable B:
- Phone or email authorities to voice your concern
- Become more active in politics (run for an office or position)
- March peacefully in protest
- Cooperate fully
- Resist, but peacefully
- Resist, violently if necessary
- Aid in resistance, but peacefully
- Aid in resistance, violently if necessary
- Do nothing, as it does not affect you
Again, the list of possible actions can be much longer, but this will suffice for our discussion.
Now, let us select a random condition for Variable A and a corresponding action for Variable B and plug them into our if /then statement. Let’s consider, “If the police show up at your door to confiscate your guns, then resist, violently if necessary.”
Is that a true statement for you? If so, what if we change the condition for Variable A and the corresponding action for Variable B? “If police show up at your neighbor’s door to intern the entire family because the kids’ mom has COVID, then do nothing, as it does not concern you.”
Is the statement still true for you? If not, what would be appropriate conditions and actions for you to plug into our example statement?
There are many such conditions and actions to contemplate and discuss with your family. You and your spouse may have very different ideas of where your boundaries lie as a unit. You are also likely to have divergent ideas about how to respond to someone crossing your line in the sand. It is prudent to define and prepare for breaches of your boundaries before the government sends its forces to test your resolve.
Predefining your boundaries and possible reactions when your lines are crossed will help you identify your limits, steel your will, and enhance your ability to react.
The Consequences of Inaction
I suspect that even the most committed prepper has afforded little thought to his boundaries outside the obvious. Stockpiling goods and arranging safe shelter are relatively easy endeavors—it’s simply buying and storing necessities and possibly buying or building a cabin.
To take action when someone crosses a line, however—that requires courage, self-sacrifice and introspection. It’s the difference between shuffling through the checkout line at Walmart with your head down and confronting the guy who cut the line.
After seeing that no one said or did anything about his flagrant queue cut, the Walmart line jumper will become emboldened. He will next attempt to rob the cashier. What will you do then? What if you were armed? What if the robber was also armed? What if he attempts to carjack you in the parking lot?
To do nothing when a line is crossed is to open the door to further, progressively bolder acts of encroachment. It is the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent alluded to in my The Good German, the Good American and the Bad AR essay.
Passive compliance is how three weeks to flatten the curve evolves into a year, that evolves into an open timeframe. It is how a single protest in Portland becomes an ongoing, months-long rampage of destruction. It is how an election is stolen and a senile, old man gets installed as President of the United States of America. It is how the United Staes of America becomes the Socialist States of America and ultimately a subset of the Collective of Communist Territories.
But these consequences of inaction are discussed at a macro level. Let’s zoom in and contemplate the consequences of inaction on a personal level.
Consider, for example, a scenario in which the National Guard shows up at your door, intent to either inject you with a COVID vaccine or quarantine you at a remote location. An order had passed authorizing the effort a month earlier. But, while you have no desire to take the vaccine or be interned, you did nothing to protest passage of the resolution while it was being debated. You were a good American. You kept your head down and hoped that others would thwart the proposal.
Prior to the mandatory vaccine legislation, a bill had passed authorizing the denial of unvaccinated citizens access to public buildings. You had done nothing to protest that bill, as well.
Whether consciously defined or not, your line is forced COVID vaccinations. If you had given it thought, your statement a month ago might have been something similar to, “If a resolution debating forced COVID vaccinations arises, then encourage your elected officials to oppose it.” If enough people had taken that action, the bill’s passage might have been scuttled. Same with the prior legislation denying you access to public buildings.
But, because you had not defined and defended those earlier lines in the sand, an even more dastardly resolution has now been codified. The window of opportunity to stop an abuse of power is now closed, and your statement has been escalated. It now reads, “If National Guard shows up at your door to force COVID vaccination or internment on you, then . . ?”
Then what? What will you do? Without benefit of forethought, you must now make a decision hastily and under duress. The National Guard is prepared to inject you with an experimental serum or disappear you to a remote location.
If you elect to run to the hills, do you have a bugout shelter? No? What about armed resistance? Do you have a firearm? Too late to get one now—your firearms were confiscated when a gun ban went into effect months earlier. In fact, the gun ban legislation was key in setting the stage for the National Guard to appear at your doorstep. Too bad you sat on your hands when that line was crossed, as well.
You had boundaries that were breached, but you failed to recognize, define, anticipate or act on the transgressions as they presented. Whether out of fear of being canceled, ignorance, or simple laziness, your passivity has now left you ill-prepared to effectively respond to the crisis at your door. You must now improvise against an enemy that has been preparing for this moment for decades.
Such is the price of being a good American.
Good to be Bad
The following links point to stories in which citizens have taken action against various forms of tyranny and indoctrination. They are meant to motivate and inspire action.