Notes Book

A Polite Revolution

In the USA, it is against the law to advocate the violent overthrow of government. Advocating the non-violent overthrow of government is OK. The polite revolution hopes to create a society in which one group of people does not have a monopoly of force. We hope to accomplish this without being rude, but humor is permitted. It may be possible to laugh the Government out of existence.

Revolutions typically have two main targets: Control of the armed members of the state, and control of the state communications apparatus. A polite revolution merely asks to grant other elements of the society exactly the same privileges to maintain and use arms that the state enjoys. If the state maintains assault weapons, tanks, bombers, and atomic weapons, then other elements of the society should have the same privilege. If all are equal and one can own a given type of weapon, then so should anyone else. Otherwise, we have two unequal classes of people: Those who own certain classes of weapons, and others who cannot. We certainly find those two classes of people in the US of A.

I personally don't think atomic weapons are a practical means of self-defense, and I wouldn't voluntarily join any group that owned atomics, or any other weapons of mass destruction, but if one person has the privilege of owning such weapons, then anyone should. Otherwise all people are not truly equal under the rules of the society. With no state monopoly on force, "checks and balances" would not be an empty phrase. A polite revolution merely asks for real freedom of expression, and a society whose actions prove that it believes all people should have equal rights, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, black, white, yellow, or purple.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then a hundred million personal computers in the hands of citizens are certainly more powerful than any number of atomic warheads. I believe the ability to discover and speak the truth is the best protection. Tyranny cannot stand against weapons of mass instruction in the hands of honest people.

A polite revolution seeks to end taxation. Taxation is hardly polite. A polite revolutionary will oppose any tax for any reason.

A polite revolution seeks the release of most prisoners. The only people who should be in prison are those who have killed, kidnapped, raped, or committed serious violence. Theft and fraud should be punishable only by theft and fraud.

A polite revolution does not seek mass demonstrations or riots. It does not seek to take the possessions of the rich and give them to the poor. It merely asks to stop the rich from continuing to take the possessions and confiscate the labor of the poor. If the rich can maintain their wealth with their own labor, without thievery or fraud, then they should be able to keep what they have and earn more by honest means. But I fear that many cops, lawyers, bureaucrats, and corporate executives will need to be retrained to prosper in a polite society. The poor already know how to survive on their own labor. They have no other resource.

Now that we have the Internet, video cameras, and cell phones, we don't need to gather together in large groups physically to organize and convince. We can sit comfortably in our homes and type or talk. We can mail in absentee ballots. We can get audio and video recordings of the activities of the government and disseminate them. We can use personal computers to analyze government documents and expose government lies and obfuscations. We can report the activities of government agents using cell phones and email. We can do these things with little personal risk. Technology is becoming smaller and cheaper. The crimes and lies of governments are becoming easier to expose.

Does accepting the constraint of being polite mean that a revolution will proceed slowly? I think not. To join a violent revolution requires a major risk. If you loose, you are likely to die or face long jail terms. Even joining a non-violent revolution based on mass demonstrations requires considerable amount of inconvenience and expense, and there is always the risk that non-violent demonstrations will turn violent with the attendant risks and penalties.

Joining the polite revolution can be done with minimal risk; therefore it should be easier to get people to join. There are no papers to sign, oaths to swear, or dues to pay. And a polite revolutionary is more effective at bringing about real change than someone who is pushy and rude.

A polite revolution can save the power elite from the fate that will otherwise befall them when a more violent revolution occurs. No state, including the USA has lasted very long without a violent revolution. The USA was born in a revolution against King George, and saw the War Between the States less than a hundred years after the ratification of the Constitution. There are those who believe the Constitution survived the War Between the States, and those who believe it did not. The constitution created three equal branches of government, but gave one branch control of the use of force. Guess which branch is now more equal than the others.

Members of the power elite who are intelligent enough to see that some sort of revolution is inevitable will not resist a polite revolution, and may even join it because it is preferable to the alternative of violent revolution. If we all become more polite, we will fight less and work more, and we will all become more prosperous. It is possible to talk, write, and vote the government out of existence, and I believe it will be done sooner than most people think.

Authoritarian Communism collapsed in the Soviet Union. It is time for Authoritarian Capitalism to collapse in the USA. Communism is not the problem. Capitalism is not the problem. Authoritarianism is the problem. Few thought the Berlin Wall would fall but it did. Few think that the invincible US army and government will loose their monopoly of force, but they will.