What good is political education without political action?

As Saint James teaches, “faith without works is dead.” God’s grace may be “amazing”; but He desires men’s active cooperation with it for its full effects to emerge in changing their lives for the better.

The same is true—perhaps to an even greater degree—with political education. How often have Americans heard patriotic pundits tell them that education is the key to political reform in this country—to returning it to a true Republic, in which We the People actually govern themselves? But exactly why and how is that true?

After all, education can go on throughout one’s lifetime, without any effect outside of the student’s own mind, unless it inspires him and provides the intellectual and moral resources for action. So, to what ends—to what actions—should and must political education be directed at this moment in America’s existence?

Not just to winning elections every two or four years. Nothing is more familiar than the sequence the pundits promote: educate the voters, elect good candidates, improve government. Yet nothing is more obvious than that this process is not working as promised. Why? Perhaps because, once they elect their favored candidates, the voters return to their private lives, taking little or no further interest in day-to-day politics, let alone participating personally and directly in them. No wonder, then, that even basically honest public officials, after the election season has passed, imagine themselves independent of and superior to the voters—with a “mandate” to do whatever they want for the next two, four, or six years, no matter what the voters may really desire, or what their own oaths of office require. And no wonder, either, that after sufficient election-cycles have come and gone, all too many Americans are inured to this situation, expect it to happen, and even assume it to be the inevitable and unavoidable, if not the natural and just, course of events.

Exacerbating this problem is that contemporary America cannot count on basically honest politicians to any significant degree. The “two” major political parties—aided and abetted by their touts in the big media—have taken over and thoroughly corrupted the election business. The “two” parties operate as a central committee of professional revolutionaries of a rather totalitarian stripe, who purport to act in the name, but actually against the interests, of We the People. Not that they give serious consideration to the People’s interests. Why should they? They hold the People in contempt, distrust the People, deceive the People, and even openly ridicule and defame the People whenever the People oppose them. And they assume they can get away with this misbehavior forever, because the People are ignorant, and more to the point are politically impotent—except to vote in the manner of zombies for the “party list” of candidates hand-picked from behind the scenes, so as to supply a veneer of “democratic” authority to incumbent public officeholders as they misgovern this country for the benefit of special interests.

The overall effect is that America is misruled by a political system not very far removed from Lenin’s prescription in his book What Is To Be Done? And if anyone doubts the accuracy of this description, let him consider simply what has been going on with regard to the “immigration reform” bill now pending in Congress, and what is happening to Representative Ron Paul’s bid for one of the “two” parties’ Presidential nominations.

Oh, yes, after the electioneering hysteria dies down, common Americans may contact “their” legislators to put in their personal two cents on this or that particular issue. Precious little good will it usually do them, though, except to ventilate their own anxieties and frustrations—and with about as much other practical effect as whistling down a wind tunnel. But, besides blowing off steam in this way, what else do people do? What else do they imagine they ought to do, and can do? Not much, if anything at all.

Self-government, however, is not and can never be a spectator sport. It is not someone else’s doings that a patriot simply watches on cable-TV from the comfort of his couch, a frosty-cold beer in hand. Self-government requires active, personal participation—whenever self-government is necessary. Because whenever self-government is necessary, and does not assert itself, some other form of government will. And self-government is always necessary, everywhere throughout this country, because the Forces of Darkness never sleep.

Moreover, self-government requires not simply individual activity, but also and especially concerted activity. Not just self-education about government, but also and especially mass mobilization and organization for direct, coordinated participation in government, so that common people in overwhelming numbers end up exercising legal authority by and for themselves, not having legal authority exercised against them by and for someone else.

That is why “the Militia of the several States” are key to the reinvigoration of self-government in America at the present moment in the course of human events. That the Militia are the indispensable institutions of and for self-government is not simply the hobbyhorse of a lone commentator on NewsWithViews.com. No, indeed. The Constitution itself teaches that the Militia are “necessary to the security of a free State.” Even more tellingly, the Constitution says as much about no other institution or establishment of government. The Constitution never explicitly describes Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court as “necessary,” for any purpose. And certainly imaginable is that all of them could be completely disabled by a “terrorist” strike, some form of natural disaster that struck Washington, D.C., or an epidemic—leaving the country to fend for itself without their direction. Quite unimaginable, though, is what could disable all of “the Militia of the several States,” such that somewhere—indeed, most everywhere throughout the country—sufficient Militiamen would not remain to preserve the continuity of government and protect social order in their Local areas at least, without requiring any assistance whatsoever from the Disgrace of Columbia.

Moreover, that revitalized Militia have the potential to become America’s premier political institutions should be obvious to any American who asks himself what major political issue confronting this country today does not also present a serious “homeland security” problem.

And, perhaps most importantly, a movement for revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” is quintessentially constitutional—which imparts to it a supreme legitimacy and, in principle, legal invulnerability.

Of course, in the face of a tyrannical regime, no guarantee of perfect legal invulnerability exists. Nonetheless, legitimacy remains the most powerful weapon in patriots’ hands in the long march from oppression to liberty. For example, in 1905, Father Gapon, an Orthodox priest, led a peaceful and lawful march of 120,00 Russians through the streets of Saint Petersburg to the Winter Palace, to petition the Tsar to grant his subjects a few elementary rights—whereupon the Tsar’s uncle, Grand Duke Vladimir, ordered troops to fire into the crowd. The people dispersed in panic. But that event—known thereafter as “Bloody Sunday”— signaled the beginning of the end for the Romanovs’ dynasty. What Grand Duke Vladimir imagined would preserve “homeland security” for the ruling class actually cut the ground from under its feet, once and for all—needing only the major national crisis of the Great War finally to dump the regime into History’s dustbin.

America has not yet suffered her own “Bloody Sunday.” But enactments such as the Patriot Act, Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and National Security Presidential Directive No. 51—together with the accelerating para-militarization of National, State, and even Local police agencies, with which every American with open eyes is familiar—provide ample warnings that no prudent patriot will disregard. More ominously, even as each brick of this police-state edifice has been mortared into place, measured layer by measured layer, all too many Americans have simply shrugged their shoulders, nodding in agreement with the little Goebbels-figures who host “conservative” radio talk-shows that all this Nazification is necessary to fight “the global war on terrorism” or some other Neo-Conzi bogeyman conjured up to rationalize the establishment of supra-national fascism.

So, working for revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” will not be a political picnic. Nonetheless, it offers the best, if not the only, means to do the job now that America finds herself infested with all too many Grand Duke (or Duchess) Vladimirs in or contending for the highest public offices in the land.

What is the alternative? To play for time—with major crises looming on the horizon in the Middle East, in the domestic arena of money and banking, and in the plot to hatch a North American Union? Or to allow the Forces of Darkness to prevail, and to destroy this country—and with it every American’s hope for a peaceful, decent life?

If you have not yet had enough of the Forces of Darkness and everything they stand for and are trying to do to you, when will you finally become fed up? When it is too late to do anything about the situation? When your children ask you, “How did you try to stop this evil from fastening itself on our country?” —and you must lower your eyes in silence and shame, while they turn away in disdain and disgrace?

How much foresight does it require to realize that “too late” is approaching all too quickly?

How much courage must be mustered to take a little political action before fighting for your own life, liberty, and property becomes unavoidable—and which action, when it succeeds, will obviate any necessity for fighting?

If these questions do not answer themselves for you, then you are wasting your time perusing NewsWithViews. And you most certainly are not material well suited for “the Militia of the several States.” So, for your own peace of mind (such as it may be), stop reading these commentaries and go back to People magazine.

The time for more, and more, and even more political education is over. Enough Americans already know enough to pinpoint what is wrong, to identify those who are responsible, and to recognize what is necessary to correct the mess in which their country finds itself. Now they need to transform their knowledge into actions, their actions into results. As General MacArthur admonished his countrymen, “There is no substitute for victory!” And, as common sense teaches, no victory can be won without effort.

vieiraDr. Edwin Vieira  is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published at NewsWithViews.com on July 3, 2007.

 

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