June 17, 2011
Before leaving New York, I was enjoying a perfectly nice afternoon yesterday walking around the Upper West side. When I got to Lincoln center, roughly at the corner of Broadway and W 62nd Street, reality set in.
No fewer than ten NYPD storm troopers were ‘patrolling’ the sidewalk outside in full combat gear: Kevlar helmet, flak vest, semi-automatic 9mm sidearm, and Colt model 933 with M900 foregrip and M68 aimpoint. A few of them had M203 variety grenade launchers fitting snugly underneath the barrel.
And to what did we owe the deployment of such unnecessary firepower? An invasion of the Canadian hordes? Terrorists on the loose? No. Some visiting politician… clearly an individual who feels important enough to merit an intimidating death squad in his vicinity.
This is the nature of the system. Police are armed to the teeth… and while their official marketing slogan may be to ‘keep people safe’, their real function is to be the protectors and enforcers for the political class, all while keeping the people in check so that the know who’s boss.
On this note, we received a lot of comments this week from readers who reject the idea of considering greener pastures overseas and instead choose to “stay and fight.”
Reader Jay K, for instance, wrote that “sooner or later you’re going to have to fight. It might as well be in your own home, city, neighborhood, and country.”
This ‘stay and fight’ mentality does seem incredibly noble. It invokes images of Paul Revere and the original patriots standing their ground in battle against the red coat British forces. Unfortunately, the world just doesn’t work that way anymore.
There is no real enemy to fight… no clearly defined opposing force conveniently dressed in a different color like the rival baseball team. The battle is one of ideas.
At its simplest, the conflict comes down between those who believe that government is the problem, and those who believe that government is the solution. Most people are brainwashed statists who unquestioningly hold the latter as their ethos.
And then there is the big faceless void of government itself… politicians, bureaucrats, low-level workers, regulatory agencies, etc. We’re not talking about a single individual here, but an entire institution.
It begs the question– for all the ‘stay and fight’ people, who exactly are you fighting? And more importantly, how?
Of all the hundreds of similar notes we’ve received from people who claim they are going to ‘stay and fight’, I am still waiting for one… just one single email… from someone telling me exactly how they plan on doing that.
Are you going to go to the polls and kick the bums out? Go right ahead. If you can convince the majority of other voters (most of whom probably don’t share your ideology), then you’re just going to vote in another set of bums.
Politicians are politicians because they either (a) are attracted to power, and/or (b) think that government is the solution, not the problem. Replacing one set with another is hardly a credible course of action.
What else is the plan– armed conflict in the streets? I don’t understand this fantasy. The people are going to arm themselves and join together for an Old West style shootout against the police, the people will win, and then a new nation will be rebuilt espousing limited government principles?
It sounds like a great movie… but pinning your hopes on being able to win a revolutionary style victory against a military police state that has superior tactics, firepower, and combat experience is simply unrealistic.
Besides, real turmoil in the west is just getting started. Right now the conflict is in Greece and Spain. It will spread to Italy, Belgium, UK, etc., and then finally to the US.
When it does, people will find out first hand that the police have absolutely no problems turning into violent thugs… and this police state grows stronger every day.
Truthfully, there is no way to fight a faceless enemy. The government is essentially the same as your credit card company– no single individual or front, just a collection of various departments and bureaucracies.
What do you do when your credit card company raises your fees, takes your money, provides you with poor service? Do you petition for change? Do you try and convince fellow credit card holders to demand new management? Do you stalk the customer service center in Sioux City, Iowa? No, of course not. You simply get a new card.
This is ultimately the solution that I’m advocating, and I’m here to tell you that there are a lot of great cards out there in the world.
If you recognize that the trend is bad, at least have a plan to safeguard yourself, your family, your livelihood, and your assets… something that extends beyond the unrealistic (voting the bums out) and the mythical (doing battle in the streets).
It’s time to reject bombastic fantasies and check in to reality. Make a grounded appraisal of the situation, and if you decide to stick around, great. Just make sure you have strong safeguards in place, a plan to execute if you ever deem it necessary, and most of all, a clear idea of your breaking point.
After all, the boiling frog only survives when it senses danger and jumps out.