I think you can tell by now that I’ve been spending a lot of time over at Occupy NH. In talking with some of the big "L" Libertarians that have shown up, they have had the mantra of "why should only Statist values and theory be discussed and become the mainstay of the OWS movement, at least here in NH?" Well, in watching and then debating at Occupy Manchester, it became clear that this was the right thing to do. Hey, they said "we’re inclusive!", so I "went Alinsky" to have them honor their own rule book in their own online forum. Thus, they have to listen to the Right side of each and every discussion and idea – just the Grokster way of taking the fight to the other side! We do not outsource our responsibility to defend our beliefs to others!
And with advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, there are plenty of opportunities to get in there and defend Conservative beliefs (instead of what seems to be the Republican pacifist derring-do of just walking away). Conservatives ought to be out there and never ever letting the other side get to speak up alone and capture the discussion, the debating points, or mindshare. After all, the Left is fully invested in this movement, so we should be that counterbalance force (even if just to show up) on each and every issue.
Anyways, one of the longest running discussions has been "The Great Gun Debate" about whether or not guns should be allowed at their meetings or protests (among other tangential discussions). No, this is not just an OWS discussion; but in many ways I am seeing many in OWS as a proxies for the Hard Left / Liberals / Progressives / Socialists, so there is much to blog about (the following has been lightly edited to be a tad more bloggish):
But I suppose to maintain a shred of a link to the original topic, what might happen is the destruction of the current system, will be the diminution of the sense of Rule of Law and/or "Law and Order" – and being a Conservative with some small "L" libertarian leanings, that distresses me mightily.
Thus, I disagree with Progressives that seem to wish us all to outsource our self-responsibilities to others, especially on the topic of self-defense. I have read the back and forth and I maintain that it is MY responsibility to keep ME safe, all other things being equal. No, that does not mean that I flaunt or brandish what I may or may not have with me at any particular time, but I do believe that the Founders gave us a foundation based on (for the time period) two RADICAL ideas:
- Our Rights came from out Creator and not given to us by other men
- We are Individuals, Sovereign unto ourselves and that we need to positively give our consent to be governed.
These philosophical pillars are both RADICALLY different from all other forms of governance that had been tried in the past and for that time period in which our Declaration and Constitution were written and ratified. If I hold that to be true, as was pointed out earlier, I should not deviate from that foundation, else I leave myself open to hypocrisy. Government should be viewed as the outgrowth from, and for the protection of, our Individual Liberties. It is never meant to be an institution that merely "takes care of us" – for that should be a demeaning and degrading thought to all adults to be treated like children. And while I can see much thrown my way for that line, let me respond first to some of what has already been written and that might become clearer in meaning.
Back to point on Guns and self-responsibility:
…thus, I thank Mr. Ruger, Mr. Mossberg, Mr. Colt, and Mr. Walther for providing the means to be responsible for my own security, as I am now of the age (and shape) such that I can no longer put my right foot into anyone’s ear at high velocity from 6" away anymore if called upon to defend myself from a Greedy person who desires what I posses or just wishes to violate my person.
Well, that struck a nerve with one of the more thoughtful and philosophically oriented OWSers:
In my humble opinion, we give up the "law of the jungle / might makes right" in exchange for creating a civil society based on reason with legitimate governance (constitutional republic with a bill of rights) having a monopoly on force over specific territory and based on the concept of negative liberty.
This is the implicit (not explicit) social contract that we are operating under.
Now, I am convinced that this use of the social contract is not anything like Warrenism but still is the "unwritten and unspoken" ways we interact with each other. In terms of a "civil society" however, I had to point out that there are those that do not behave by the rules the rest of us have implicitly agreed to (else, why have law enforcement and a judicial system); my response to:
"In my humble opinion, we give up the "law of the jungle/might makes right" in exchange for creating a civil society"
This is similar to someone who will fight only under the Marquis of Queensbury rules that comes up against an MMA fighter.
and in response to:
"This is the implicit (not explicit) social contract that we are operating under."
I answered thusly:
Yes, what you describe SHOULD be the norm and it is. The problem is those that bring the law of the jungle back into civil society and do not behave according social norms. Yes, in general, we have the court system and law enforcement to deal with that behavior.
Yet, when someone wishes to drag me back into the jungle unwillingly, I will willingly defy that behavior personally, as they have made it personal. To simply go all pacifist is not part of my social contract, nor do I believe in a social contract that says otherwise; a social contract is not a suicide pact especially when it is implied and not agreed to by all parties (e.g., the jungle dweller).
Like I said, this discussion was with one of the more thoughtful folk who truly who have bought into the Liberal ideology that all people are good (if we just show them the way, even if we have to push them into being good):
Why would anyone want to do that, if I am a peaceable person?
Smart person, but just a tad too, well, trusting in some ways, thinking that EVERYone would see his/her goodness and keep walking past. I thought that was a bit misguided in correcting that attitude:
I only have to look at the reports from the major OWS sites like Oakland, San Fran, et al, where thefts have occurred, physical / sexual assaults have occurred.
Those are examples of "the jungle" coming into your own encampments. The people committing those crimes don’t care whether you are a peaceable person on not.
Now, did I win the argument (as I talked about in the start)? It may not have persuaded my opposite, it might have done so with someone else. In the end, I dunno if it did or not, but if what if no one had made the effort?
Make that the effort, Conservatives – don’t just keep talking amongst yourselves!