Archive for Editorials

IS AMERICA HEADED FOR ANOTHER REVOLUTION?

The following article was published in a 2018 issue of American Survivor newsletter, the official publication of Live Free USA. Members who join online can download over 70 back issues.  The recent Constitutional Sanctuary movement where towns, counties and states will refuse to enforce or cooperate in enforcement of Federal Laws is just another indication of how timely this article is. Back in the early 1970's we published an article about "The Coming Age of Terrorism"  Live Free USA has an excellent record of anticipating threats and disasters..

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

By James C. Jones. EMT/CHCM

Introduction

It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution.  The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution.  There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population.  During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time.  The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out.  However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society.  A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times.  While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America has maintained a relatively homogeneous population. While absorbing significant numbers of legal immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, America was still expanding in available land, jobs and resources.  There were certainly conflicts, paranoia and prejudices, but it did not truly divide the nation.
  • America was generally isolated from foreign influences, religious extremists and political influences and threats. Ethnic and religious hatreds did not migrate into American society as dramatically as they do now.
  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.

There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”

Effects of Revolutions

With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for.  Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East.  While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced.  There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.

  • Revolutions can also degenerate into civil wars that divide the state into warring regions. When this happens, the chances for restoring peace and unity are almost non-existent.
  • Wide-spread demonstration can lead to the development of terrorism and even guerilla warfare that plagues the nation and destroys safety and security for generations. The Balkans and the Middle East are prime examples of permanently broken societies and civilizations
  • Those who instigate a revolution usually anticipate a quick and clean overthrow. Usually the revolutions are long, divisive and brutal, ruining the nation’s economy and destroying homes, towns and cities.
  • Foreign enemies and opportunists insert themselves into revolutions to provide weapons and even “volunteers” to various sides, increasing the level of death and destruction and prolonging the conflict. The longer and more devastating the fighting is, the more power and money they get.

In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.

Precursors of Revolution

While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited.  A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:

  • Continued unchecked expansion of violent and non-violent crime leading to a loss in public confidence and trust in the police and further trends towards vigilantes and private security networks.
  • Any pervasive economic down-turn generating large-scale unemployment.
  • Significant reductions in welfare, social-security, and other benefits.
  • Political assassination and violence between political organizations.
  • Raids and thefts from armories and gun stores.
  • Any extreme shift in government policies either left or right resulting in deprivations, confiscations, or oppressive measures.
  • Contested and contentious elections marked by threats, demonstrations and violence.

It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance.  It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate.  Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.

Surviving a Revolution

Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business.  You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care.  The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance.  The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising.  A few possibilities include:

  • You may be able to adopt a neutral position of defensive non-involvement. You do not aggressively take sides but will defend your home and family against any attempted pillaging or violence.
  • If your community is predominantly sympathetic to one side or is simply forced to resist threats from a particular element, then you may have no choice but to actively participate in revolutionary or resistance activities.
  • If local, state or federal agencies are overthrown or find it expedient to suspend liberties, confiscate property or initiate mass arrests citizens may have no choice except to resist or escape.
  • History tells us that revolutions can generate high levels of violence and neighbor-against-neighbor animosity that must be avoided and survived by each person and family pragmatically.

Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.

Conclusion

While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, we can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades.  If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized.  Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations.  We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations.   But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead. 

 

The title of the movie is “The Adventurers”.

   It’s not my imagination:   A month after I wrote the above article a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that thirty-one percent of respondents thought that the United States would experience a civil war within the next five years. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats and thirty-two percent of Republicans anticipated a civil war in the near future.  A full fifty-nine percent were concerned that those who oppose to President Trumps policies will resort to violence. Unfortunately interest in preparedness and organized readiness is suffering from rampant complacency and disinterest when responsible citizens should be organizing, educating and preparing for the probability of civil disorder and even civil war in 2020 or before.

2020 FORESIGHT, The potential chaos in the coming year

The article below appeared in an earlier edition of our American Survivor newsletter.  Social/political conflict can be considered as much of a survival threat as other disaster conditions.  While we cannot predict how events will unfold in the new year, we can be sure that some forms of chaos will develop, that could result in a variety of survival challenges.  Watch our site for further articles, or --- better yet, join and and get access to all of our information.  Stay safe. 

20/20 Foresight

The Potential for Chaos and Conflict in 2020

While the election of Donald Trump seems to have put support for the self-reliance and survivalist movement into a state of extreme apathy, we are approaching a period of social and political conflict and chaos that could endanger every American’s survival, freedom and right to be self-reliant.  While attendance at preparedness expos is down, every survival periodical (except this one) publication has ceased, and membership in preparedness organizations is declining, none of the serious dangers to survival and freedom have actually diminished.  The economy has improved, but the national debt and other economic issues remain as a time-bomb.  The rest of the world is in an economic and political death-spiral, sending hordes of desperate people fleeing into the remaining few free and safe nations. The frequency and severity of natural disasters continue to increase.  Crime and various forms of terrorism are no less prevalent.  While a conservative, pro-freedom administration is certainly to the advantage of self-reliant citizens, most survival threats are beyond the control of government agencies.  Furthermore: we must anticipate a powerful and possibly violent counter-attack against freedom and self-reliance as the elections of 2020 approach. Special interests and extremists are gearing up for a life-or-death struggle to take back control and impose their agendas on the American public.  We can also be assured that whichever side wins the elections in 2020, the other side will not accept the results.  We can expect massive demonstrations, sabotage, domestic terrorism, economic disruption, and even massive civil disorder and possibly armed combat situations.  The wise survivalist or prepper should be taking advantage of this short period of calm to maximize preparations and organization instead of apathetic procrastination.

  We are already seeing terms like “resistance” and even “revolution” on demonstration signs and in social-media posts. We are also aware of growing militant groups at both ends of the political spectrum, some with definable objectives and values and others simply seeking chaos and power. The following is an examination of the options for a world-be survivor depending on how events develop before, during and after the 2020 elections.

  • Resistance: The political left currently uses the term “resistance” to stir-up support for demonstrations against a variety of political actions or for various legislation. As in the 60s, racism and economic inequality are often used as excuses for violence and destruction in the streets.  Of course true resistance movements such as those used against the Nazis in World War Two or the Soviet Occupations throughout the Cold War involved sabotage, assassinations and raids.  Resistance is by definition a counteraction to the existing regime.  So, whoever feels that they are the losers in 2020 are likely to take resistance to a new level in a sustained campaign.
  • Counter Resistance: While we see counter demonstrations on some issue, the major counter resistance groups have focused on financial support for candidates and conservative causes. If a robust and violent resistance develops after the election we could see the rise of “Home Guard” and “Militia” groups as a counter to crime and civil disorder.
  • Revolutionary Action: Both the extreme left and the extreme right contain armed and trained elements. Gangs might align themselves with left leaning revolutionaries while elements of the military and police might be inclined to support rightwing insurgencies. Such a development is highly unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility. Actual armed conflict and a breakdown of law-and-order could develop and spread. Urban areas could turn into battle grounds. States could even secede.
  • Counter Revolution: If one side is actively trying to overthrow the elected or established regime then actions to resist such an insurgency are counterrevolutionaries. If a revolutionary force has already succeeded in some kind of coup or overthrow by whatever means, then the immediate efforts to prevent the establishment of that regime is counterrevolutionary.

Whether a group or movement is a “resistance”, “counter resistance” “revolution” or “counter revolution”   can depend on ones point of view and the propaganda value of the term.  Depending on how events in the next few years develop, many of us could intentionally or unintentionally find ourselves in one of these categories. Maintaining neutrality may be difficult to maintain.

  • Active Neutrality: Even in the most popular revolutions and resistance movements only a fraction of the population is actively involved.  Most just want to survive the conflict while others may wait until they can see how things develop before committing to even minimal support of either side.  Active neutrality may be best summed up in the slogan “Don’t Tread On Me”, but The very act of defending your home and family may force you into a resistance or revolutionary position. When your community or your associates are swept into the conflict, they may take a “with us or against us” attitude.  Neutrality will be particularly hard to maintain.  Active neutrality means taking your own side, alone against both sides.
  • Passive Neutrality: It may be possible to simply keep a low profile and avoid contact and commitment throughout a conflict. If you reside in a low density or rural population and have no vested interest in the situation, this may be your first option.  Of course this requires being able to survive the economic disruptions, grid dysfunction, and other challenges until order is restored.

Any involvement in these options should be positive on morally justifiable.  Destruction of property, looting, vandalism, disruption of public services (e.g. food, power, transportation, etc.) must be avoided. It is wrong and will only alienate the public that you need for support. Violence of any kind must be defensive and justifiable. Responsible resistance or revolution could include:

  • Active crime prevention when law and order systems are ineffective
  • Property protection against illegal seizures, looting, and vandalism.
  • Protection of schools, churches, business and political events.
  • Border protection if the border defenses have broken down
  • Support of the military and police as needed
  • Providing medical aid and support for victims of political violence
  • Active publicity for your side, including radio, internet and print.

Conclusion

Given to polarization and rhetoric in today’s society, it is difficult to imagine a peaceful election and post-election scenario for two thousand twenty. The current apathy and inactivity within the survivalist and prepper movement is unjustified and a prelude to socioeconomic disruptions in a few years. The wise citizen should be stocking-up, organizing, training and preparing for social and political conflict in addition to the existing threats of natural disasters, economic instability, terrorism and war that continue unabated.   Even if one is able to avoid direct participation in any conflict, the effect on one’s safety, property and liberty will be survival challenges for many citizens.

Constitutional Sanctuaries for Citizens

Sanctuary for Citizens

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

While the term “sanctuary cities” has been used to describe municipalities that have chosen not to cooperate with the Immigration and Control and Enforcement agency (ICE) in the enforcement of America’s laws, the term sanctuary and the now established concept of defiance of federal laws by local governments may be essential to defending legal citizens against unconstitutional violations of their civil and constitutional rights. Most of the candidates running for the presidency in 2020 are strong advocates of gun confiscation and socialist (anti self-reliance) legislation. Draconian gun-laws and other oppressive actions must be anticipated at the state and national levels within the next one or two years. While effective individual and small-group resistance to such unconstitutional and un-American activities has little chance of success, there is a real potential for effective and successful resistance on the local, county and state levels, through American sanctuary resolutions and legislation. In states where so-called “Red Flag” laws have been enacted most of the rural and many of the suburban police departments are simply refusing to enforce them. Some towns and counties have official declared themselves to be “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in defiance of these laws. Many police officers in urban areas are “pro-gun rights” and the great majority of suburban, small-town and rural police officers are second amendment supporters. They are not going to be knocking down doors and serving warrants on their neighbors and law abiding citizens. They are not going to be welcoming or cooperating with invading federal agents who come to confiscate property and criminalize their friends and relatives. How the federal government would react to massive defiance is difficult to estimate, but the more wide-spread and organized the Constitutional Sanctuary movement is, the more likely they will back-down, without actual violent confrontations. Before the federal government enacts unconstitutional legislation, constitutional sanctuary towns, counties and states need to be declared and well established as a deterrent or the basses for national resistance. The establishment of scores of sanctuary states, thousands fs sanctuary counties, and hundreds of thousands of sanctuary towns will not only serve to protect the second amendment, but would be a revolutionary power shift away from centralized authority and back to local and state level autonomy. The first American Revolution started when the British acted to confiscate local armaments. The people understood that once they had lost control of their personal, and locally owned weapons, the British could enact and enforce any laws and taxes that they chose with impunity. Today’s elitist, and socialist look down on local governments and despise individualism and self-reliance, but by going after the guns they may be (as the British did in 1776) enabling a unified and dare I say, revolutionary response in the form of a massive establishment of sanctuary territories supported by law-abiding and responsible citizens who want nothing more than to have their constitutional and human rights respected.
An American Constitutional Sanctuary movement could and should be established. This could be an official organization or a cooperative effort by multiple pro-freedom organizations. A few of the activities that such a movement could and should initiate would include:
• Establishing networks between sanctuary and pro sanctuary towns, counties and organization.
• Initiating petition drives to encourage states, counties and municipalities to establish pro-sanctuary declarations or legislation.
• Sponsoring email campaigns to encourage candidates at all levels to sponsor and support sanctuary legislation and declarations.
• Creating publicity campaigns to support the constitutional sanctuary concept and candidates
• As anti-freedom legislation becomes more imminent, demonstrations and even civil-disobedience could be necessary.
While to specter of gun confiscation, higher taxation, regulation and centralization should be disheartening to those of us who value our rights to self-reliance, the impending struggle offers the opportunity to unite, energize and win. While a sanctuary is generally defined as a place of refuge it can also serve a basis for resistance and victory. .
The author would propose that Live Free USA official declare its support for all constitutional sanctuaries and enact a formal declaration at the next Annual Meeting.

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

By James C. Jones

Introduction

It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution.  The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution.  There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population.  During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time.  The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out.  However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society.  A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times.  While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America has maintained a relatively homogeneous population. While absorbing significant numbers of legal immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, America was still expanding in available land, jobs and resources.  There were certainly conflicts, paranoia and prejudices, but it did not truly divide the nation.
  • America was generally isolated from foreign influences, religious extremists and political influences and threats. Ethnic and religious hatreds did not migrate into American society as dramatically as they do now.
  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.

There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”

Effects of Revolutions

With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for.  Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East.  While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced.  There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.

  • Revolutions can also degenerate into civil wars that divide the state into warring regions. When this happens, the chances for restoring peace and unity are almost non-existent.
  • Wide-spread demonstration can lead to the development of terrorism and even guerilla warfare that plagues the nation and destroys safety and security for generations. The Balkans and the Middle East are prime examples of permanently broken societies and civilizations
  • Those who instigate a revolution usually anticipate a quick and clean overthrow. Usually the revolutions are long, divisive and brutal, ruining the nation’s economy and destroying homes, towns and cities.
  • Foreign enemies and opportunists insert themselves into revolutions to provide weapons and even “volunteers” to various sides, increasing the level of death and destruction and prolonging the conflict. The longer and more devastating the fighting is, the more power and money they get.

In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.

Precursors of Revolution

While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited.  A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:

  • Continued unchecked expansion of violent and non-violent crime leading to a loss in public confidence and trust in the police and further trends towards vigilantes and private security networks.
  • Any pervasive economic down-turn generating large-scale unemployment.
  • Significant reductions in welfare, social-security, and other benefits.
  • Political assassination and violence between political organizations.
  • Raids and thefts from armories and gun stores.
  • Any extreme shift in government policies either left or right resulting in deprivations, confiscations, or oppressive measures.
  • Contested and contentious elections marked by threats, demonstrations and violence.

It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance.  It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate.  Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.

Surviving a Revolution

Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business.  You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care.  The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance.  The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising.  A few possibilities include:

  • You may be able to adopt a neutral position of defensive non-involvement. You do not aggressively take sides but will defend your home and family against any attempted pillaging or violence.
  • If your community is predominantly sympathetic to one side or is simply forced to resist threats from a particular element, then you may have no choice but to actively participate in revolutionary or resistance activities.
  • If local, state or federal agencies are overthrown or find it expedient to suspend liberties, confiscate property or initiate mass arrests citizens may have no choice except to resist or escape.
  • History tells us that revolutions can generate high levels of violence and neighbor-against-neighbor animosity that must be avoided and survived by each person and family pragmatically.

Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.

Conclusion

While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, I can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades.  If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized.  Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations.  We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations.   But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead.