A lot has been said about the standoff going on right now between militia and government authorities in Oregon in response to the feds’ treatment of a local ranch family. Nothing I say will be particularly original, but might as well get it out there.
Of course, the question is which part of it are we looking at? Who’s in the right? Is it a good PR strategy? Can the militia withstand a siege or a fight?
All I can say is that while this type of confrontation might have worked three to four centuries ago, fourth generational warfare has changed all that.
People keep thinking in terms of the last war, the last conflict.
If there’s going to be a war of resistance against the feds, my estimation is that will be no organized resistance the way we think of it. There won’t be battles fought on fields or urban combat. There will be no “leader.”
The conflict will manifest itself at first in discreet, subtle, seemingly unnoticeable actions. Small acts of defiance, tiny choices. Non-PC hashtags on Twitter, voting with one’s feet or changes in behavior. Or we’ll see just how compromised the online security of the United States government happens to be. An overweight kid sitting in his mother’s basement can wreak more havoc than two thousand militiamen.
A pinprick does nothing. A thousand pinpricks will slay a beast.
And nothing will be official. This part will be hard for people to grasp. There will be no “opening salvo,” no formal declarations. It will just be.
Fred Reed has speculated on this, and I think he is correct. Armed secession didn’t work, and so it will be done through other means, mainly by people just not cooperating and overloading the system.
What can Washington do if states and regions simply go their own way? If large numbers of people stop paying income taxes, say? One tax evader can be arrested. Fifty thousand cannot. A problem for the feds is that if a state’s police decline to enforce federal laws, the feds have to do it themselves, and they don’t have the manpower. Passive resistance is hard to prosecute, gradualism offers scant pretext, rising generations seem less concerned about immigration than their elders, and a forcible response from Washington would entail frightful political risks.
Governments can put down armed rebellions and kill combatants, but they can’t send troops to fight people who vote to nullify drug laws. All politics is violence, but it is incumbent upon the state to maintain the pretense in order to preserve its perceived legitimacy. It can’t order the National Guard to shoot people for posting things online.
Fourth generational warfare will be interesting to watch. We’ve seen the mightiest military forces in the world locked in standstills against primitive cultures, and yet they’ve learned nothing.
I’m not saying that there won’t be violence; who knows what will happen? My point is that this isn’t how a conflict against the government, when it comes, will be waged. Gun rights aside, their use will come later, when the odds are evened out.