Facebook Civil Disobedience Discussion
In a post titled “You’d Better Not,”, Billy Beck loops the civil disobedience discussion into Facebook. I am not a Facebook member, so I am not privy to the discussion taking place, there, but I’ve recently posted on the idea of civil disobedience here, which Billy contributed to here.
Billy’s most recent contribution, “You’d Better Not,” notes the importance of language, words, and ideas.
“If we’re going to talk about it, then let’s get it out straight. I don’t like to fool around with the language.
We’re talking about actual combat. Shooting & shit: people dying badly, wrongly, and early, and their stuff getting blown up.
Now… of course, that’s already happening right now. Just for one example: I don’t know what people under Nixon thought they were paying for when it came to a ‘War on Drugs’, but that’s exactly what it is, and people should be goddamned careful about their metaphors, because they have a special sort of blinding way about them. When the language does not refer directly to extant referents (the objects and concepts in reality around us) then what happens is that thinking is deprived of its necessary and elementary cognitive material. The function of language is to raise concepts to the perceptual level—through words (they are the percepts) and for the purpose of concept transmission—and this means that when the language does not refer to reality, then no concepts are being transmitted, and then all bets are off…
Here is my largest point at the moment, Randell: I see very few people in in this country who know what to fight for, or why. Nevermind how.”
From Billy Beck: ‘Motherfuckers: you will not shoot at us with impunity. You will not kick our doors down and take our property. You will not concern yourself with who we are, where we go—or how, or where our money goes: our lives are ours, and we do not live at your grace. Now: you can have this fight if you want it, but you’d better not.’
Well said. I agree with the both of you (Billy) on everything,,,except your posture on voting. Doesn’t mean we’re not on the same team. Maybe, but not likely, we should carve out a new republic, because it’s not going to change anytime in the near future. Sometimes you have to use the only tools available to get where you want to be.
I realize you’re going to tear a big hole in this…but I believe healthy debate is good for the soul.
Catch some big ones.Posted by Yabu on 06/30 at 08:47 AM
Well said. I agree with the both of you (Billy) on everything,,,except your posture on voting. Doesn’t mean we’re not on the same team.
Yabu, we needn’t agree on everything, and since our introduction, I’ve not once concerned myself that you’re aligned against me.
It took me a number of years to realize the complacent dangers of voting, and it is a tough idea to articulate to individuals in such a way for them to grasp the significance of the importance of the not voting concept. I do not have a definitive answer as to how to effectively make this a working reality on a national scale.
... I believe healthy debate is good for the soul.
I agree, and would add it is also good for the rationally thinking mind.
Catch some big ones.
Oh, I have been, and will be.Posted by John Venlet on 06/30 at 10:08 AM
You know John…people who agree on everything, are boring. People who don’t disagree are ignoring the facts. Fact. I’m not aligned against you.
If people don’t have opposing opinions, than they cannot advance their thoughts.
Kind of like fishing…you never really know what is under the water until you land it. Same goes for politics, and life.
Have a good day…
PS…I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around “not voting”. I’m trying to understand…I really am…no big deal.
Fuck it…lets go catch some fish and have a smoke.Posted by Yabu on 06/30 at 12:04 PM
A question, Yabu: if you came upon a crowd of people at the end of your neighbor’s driveway who were trying to decide whether to break into his place and steal his stuff, and they were taking a poll on whether to do it, would you cast a vote on that issue?Posted by Billy Beck on 06/30 at 12:39 PM
Regarding the voting thing, I have never understood why anybody would choose (vote) someone to rule over them. I’m a grown up and expect to run every aspect of my life, so why in the world would I want anyone to just make arbitrary rules for me to follow, or else?
When I ask voters why they are going to vote the most common answer is, “If I don’t vote for A then the worst of 2 evils will get in office.” But then, a year after they are complaining how much of an asshole the person they voted for turned out to be and they’ll say, “I’m sorry I voted for that bastard.” I see that now all over the place from disgruntled Obama voters.
These people, apparently, need to be *preminded*, like reminded but before the fact rather than after, that their choice is going to haunt them and just a cursory review of near history shows this to be very true. ALL politicians, at ALL levels, are lying thieves and THAT is what voters need to be constantly preminded of.
Just like eating an entire horse is done one bite at a time, changing a nation starts with one voter at a time.
It took a long time for this thing to get to where it is today and it will take a long time for it to go back to what it was, if it is to go back at all.
Old people are reluctant to change and want to keep things as they are, so attrition will sift them out of the game. Its the young people that will make all this happen, if we teach them how to think, one mind at a time.
@Billy…point taken, but I would vote. I would vote against breaking in and stealing his stuff. Would you not? I’m having a hard time getting downtown with “voting” is a bad thing. I truly believe that voting is your say…everyone is entitled to say what they believe, or don’t. But, sometimes, you have to say something. Sometimes you have to make a choice. That’s all I’m saying. It’s not a black and white world. I’m not far off your path, but I’m far enough off to still question which direction to take when I come to crossroads. Honestly, I can’t seem to get my arms around your philosophy. Not saying I can’t, but I have many questions. Questions that challenge the values I grew up with. I really don’t know, but I am looking for answers, and am open for a change in what I believe. Help me out. Tell me why and where I took the wrong fork.Posted by Yabu on 06/30 at 02:56 PM
“Would you not?”
Absolutely not, and more: I say that only a fool would. The matter simply is not open to question. There would be no vote about it. In fact (and as I’ve said before with this example), I would calmly inform that mob at my neighbor’s driveway that they are involved in a criminal conspiracy, and that they had better disperse and move along before I start shooting their asses off right there on the spot.
This is such a simple and obvious principle to me that it is almost axiomatic: I don’t quite know how to say it any other way. There simply is no such thing as a right to vote on others’ rights.Posted by Billy Beck on 06/30 at 03:01 PM
Yabu: Before any gov’t can presume to do good it must FIRST do bad.
That is, before a gov’t can help the needy it must FIRST steal from the non-needy.
Gov’t has only what it has stolen from others.
Frankly, I cannot think of one good thing any gov’t has ever done anywhere.
If politicians spent only their own money on stuff they want the rest of us to have I might have a different opinion of them, but they don’t.
They only know one thing, theft.
@Billy You are, in all my years, the first person to call me a fool. I’ve been called many things before, but never a fool. I resent that. I almost understand your point of view(s), but I am not a fool. I have an open mind, and I’m not a fool. People have a right to choose to vote or not to vote. I believe in voting, but I don’t believe who believe as I don’t, are fools. I do not think you are a fool. Quite the contrary.
There simply is no such thing as a right to vote on others’ rights.
I do agree with what you said, probably the best one line…ever…
Just don’t call me a fool. People have a right to disagree.
@Don I’ve thought it through.
<i>...None the less, each person must choose the right thing to do and as everyone should know, you don’t do things that harm other people and thats exactly what voting does.<i>
I do not believe that voting is harmful, and I don’t believe that voting harms other people. I always choose what I believe is the right solution for a particular situation, or problem. If I don’t vote, I can’t have an opinion with the outcome of the vote. I wasn’t talking about political theft…I was thinking more about a quorum. I guess, in the end, if people didn’t vote, you wouldn’t be able to express your opinion, because it wouldn’t matter…because you didn’t vote.
@Billy and Don…What happens if nobody votes? How would this country have been founded without a vote? Since we do vote, and that is the thread that supposedly holds “us” together, what would happen if nobody voted?
I understand what your saying…I think I do, and I also understand current situations, and I can also get on board with your thinking. I really do understand your points…but don’t call me a fool, or don’t agree that I’m a fool. I’m probably a better friend than you think, but I am no fool.Posted by Yabu on 06/30 at 11:12 PM
Yabu - That was a classic *Beck* move, I’ve seen it several times in the past, and I chuckled inwardly when I saw it this time.
You can consider it an insult, which you shouldn’t, or you can consider it Lesson 001 in Philosophy 101, which you should, by the only person I have ever known qualified through continuous performance to do so.
Back in the day this was called a *slap upside the head* by Professor Beck and goes straight to the tender underbelly of what voting is all about.
People are harmed everyday by voting and this necessarily makes voters complicit in that harm. Again, a politician cannot come to power without the implicit support of voters.
Your presumption that voting is not harmful is wrong. Just look at your own paycheck. Look at the paperwork in your wallet, look all around you. The harm is all over everything and increasing in leaps and bounds every single day.
Regarding your question about how this country would have been founded without voting. You are using the end to justify the means and there is no right way to do that because in the end massive amounts of people, yourself included, are harmed in the process.
Change Becks scenario around a little and put the voters at the end of your own driveway. How is it right that other people get to dictate even one parameter of your life?
As I said, think it through.
Beck chooses all of his words very carefully and unlike most other people walking this earth today, means every single one of them and each is vitally important.
This thing will all change by changing the hearts and minds of people, one at a time.
It starts with you.
I’ve been called many things before, but never a fool. I resent that.
Yabu, don’t consider Beck’s use of the word fool as being directed at yourself, in the more commonly understood meaning of the word.
Consider the word as a direct incentive to more fully understand the importance of the idea being presented in this thought thread.Posted by John Venlet on 07/01 at 10:58 AM
I want to retract something I wrote above, after considering it in hindsight.
I don’t think Bill *chooses* his words carefully.
I think the way he writes, and speaks, may *seem* like careful choices but in reality it is just the way he is. He says exactly what he means, and for some that may take some time to digest.
Believe it or not I go back through his archives on occaision and reread some of his stuff and learn even more things that hadn’t occurred to me before. Like his *Dark Thread* article, which is helping me come to terms with something I’ve been mulling over for some time now dealing with individuality vs collectivism. I’ll work it out one of these days.
Voting *is* a fool’s game. It’s used by political elites to lend a *bogus* moral basis to the use of force to deny people their fundamental, natural, human rights. QED.
Since when was the strong ganging up on the weak anything other than, “the law of the jungle.”
Anyone who votes on the basis it justifies the use of force has my utter contempt. Representative Democracy is the biggest evil ever perpetrated. At least in a Dictatorship somebody gets what he wants.
In certain - limited - circumstances, voting may be a useful way of making a decision based on facts and possible outcomes which are disputed or questionable. Thus I could stomach Direct Democracy in certain situations where it was absolutely necessary to get a necessary thing done. That said, there are so very few necessary things that could possibly need to be put to a vote - if you have principles to guide you.
See also Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.Posted by Johnny on 07/01 at 01:17 PM
Civil Disobedience Discussion
I am a new reader of this blog and find it interesting, but there is one thing that is constantly missing in most discussions of this nature. That is the drawing a distinction between those actions that are a defensive in nature from those that are acts of civil disobedience.
Defense: defending from attack, danger, or injury; the forcible repulsion of an unlawful and violent attack, such as the defense of one’s person, family, friends or property.
Civil disobedience: The refusal to obey a law out of a belief that the law is morally wrong while willingly accepting the consequences of breaking that law.
For some strange reason there are a large number of people who believe that in the “government” they are facing a unified resistance. Nothing can be further from the truth; recent events (illegal drugs, the Census, illegal immigration…etc) should amply prove that the present “national,” as opposed to a “Federal,” government is anything but unified or even capable of being unified.
In what instance has the national government shown the ability to strangle an active resistance to actions which have been declared illegal? Think of the Probation Laws of the 1920’s or any other time in history where a mass of people collectively refused to obey the “law.”
Now, apply that lesson to an underground economy, a tax revolt, or a freedom movement. Does anyone really think there would be a unified response from the national government? Vote with actions!
Yabu: a foolish act bears its own yield in reality. Do you understand? I didn’t call you a fool: I judged the act of voting on moral principles. Now, you can wear that mantle if you think that necessarily follows, but that is your affair and not mine.
A couple of more points to make, so far. You wrote:
“I guess, in the end, if people didn’t vote, you wouldn’t be able to express your opinion, because it wouldn’t matter…because you didn’t vote.”
That is in no way true. Do you understand? That is simply not a fact. I “express my opinion” all the time, and I don’t have to vote to do it.
“Since we do vote, and that is the thread that supposedly holds “‘us’ together,...”
No, it isn’t. Aside from the manifest facts of reality today, which point to a culture more divided by political pressure-groups all fighting each other for massed-power at the polls (this is simply gang-warfare), what united this country in its original flowering was a regard for freedom.
Here is your principle for the day: democracy is not freedom.Posted by Billy Beck on 07/02 at 08:40 AM
@Billy…I stand by my beliefs, but I also understand where “you’re” coming from. No problem, I respect you…and whatever it is you choose to believe. I truly do, with all my heart and mind….but don’t slap me because of what I believe. Both of us might be wrong, or right, but, at least, we have opinions. This is a good thing.
I believe you’re way ahead or our times…that is a compliment.
In a perfect world, no one would need to vote, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Voting is a way for the people to choose. People must choose…that’s just the way it is, now. Choice is important. It is what it is. People must choose…that is a fact. Think about that. Neither of us have a lot of choices, but we must do what we think is necessary for the current situation. We have to choose, and if the people don’t get get involved in their future, they can’t change it for what they would believe to be better for them. As I see it, the only way to change it, is to get involved. The political temperament in our country is clear…the people need to make a choice. I really don’t disagree with you…I really don’t, but you are way ahead of the times. I mean that in a good way.
Do you support Anarchy? Sounds like it to me, but realize I have no problems with that, but it ain’t gonna happen soon,,,so we have to choose. We do not live in a perfect world…people must make choices…right, wrong, or indifferent. If the people choose not to choose, they’re missing the point. I will argue this all day long with you.
So, here’s the solution…you, John, and I should go fishing for a few days. Even bring Don. I kid you not.
@John…sorry to take up time on your space, so this will be my last response to the above post. I’m done with it. The Juju Woman feels the same way…told me to back off. She’s been following it, and can’t believe I’m a fool. I know her well. I realize that Billy and Don are of superior intellect than me, and can put pen to paper better than I. No problem, but it really pissed her off when I was called a fool. At least, that’s how she took it. Read into it what you want.
Bottom Line: When your woman is pissed off, you should listen to her. She is pissed off for a reason.Posted by Yabu on 07/02 at 11:13 AM
”...but don’t slap me because of what I believe.”
Get this straight, sir: you do not get to vote on others’ rights. Nobody does. There is no such thing as a right to do that, and I would also point out that it cannot be described so benignly as “expressing an opinion”.
Now; you can believe what you want. Lots of people do. However and in any case, you can rely on me to tell you the actual nature of your belief, especially when you’re as wrong as this.Posted by Billy Beck on 07/02 at 11:24 AM
I am not doing what I said…Billy, I would not rely on you for anything. My choice. I never said I wanted to vote for your rights. I do, but if people believe that voting is the way to solve issues, so be it. I support them. I do believe that everyone has a say in their future. You’re running like a scalded dog. You need to get in the game…you would be REALLY good at it, but by not getting in the game…you are letting me down. Think about that, sir. I agree with you, nobody should vote on others rights. I agree with you, but I also understand we sometimes have to for the better of all. It’s not cut and dried.
Don’t ever try to tell me what the nature of my belief is…you have no clue…and don’t be so condescending, and I will not rely on you to tell me anything. You are no better than me.
Make no mistake, I’ve got it straight, and I believe what I choose to believe. I do think it through. I do understand the actual nature of what I believe. Just because you disagree, doesn’t mean I’m a fool. Who put you in the top seat?Posted by Yabu on 07/02 at 02:05 PM
This is a fascinating conversation! I have admittedly spent way too many years on cruise control mentally, and I have a question or two.
I can see the points of voting being pointless, especially in today’s political climate, where nearly all choices end in the same slaughterhouse.
I can see how voting for those whose intent is to tax and limit the rights of myself and others is abhorrent.
My questions are these… How then do we govern ourselves, (if at all)? Is all Government inherently evil, or simply easily corruptible by imperfect men?
Finally, I present a simple problem that will assist me in understanding these concepts:
@ Texas Shooter: How do you govern yourself now?
Me? I’m self employed and have been for almost half of my life and do a pretty good job of it except for the nosey gov’t drones that pop in now and then. THEY have been my biggest problem, hands down. I’ve dealt with thousands of people on the most expensive things they will ever vest in and not once has any one of them caused me problems like the gov’t has.
As far as I’m concerned ALL gov’t drones are inherently evil as they carry the full force of the *law* all the way up to and including air strikes and there isn’t one damn thing you can do about it.
I have lived rurally for over 4 years now and when first moving here I struck up conversations with all of my immediate neighbors and all of them offered me access to their property without my asking. Rural folks are like it seems.
In the event of total collapse I believe life will be very much as I try to live it now with one exception. I won’t live in fear that I will get caught up in some sort of gov’t fiasco that will get me harmed or killed. I get along fine with regular everyday people and always have and have never once required any so called *gov’t service*.
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