In terms of structuring the form of government to align with the principles of sound political-economy, the US Constitution supports the primacy of free market money and militia. The key pillars are already present in the “supreme law” of the land.
The failures presently experienced, however, emerged while putting the Constitution into operation. More specifically, the tolerance of average citizens for deviations from principle allowed the natural gravitation of centralization to birth the same “erection of new offices” and “swarms of officers” to harass the people and “eat out their substance”.
Recognizing this tendency leads back to the need for every able-bodied citizen to contribute to the security of a free state. Citizens must be engaged at the beginning and end of the political process. Yet, the armed “individual” in insufficient to halt the corruption of government that will inexorably defeat even the most prepared. Atomized individuals will inevitably be overwhelmed by the insatiable appetite of the monopoly state’s bureaucratic juggernaut.
No man is an island. Community is indispensable to human survival, let alone well-being and flourishing. Yet, attendant to civil society is the inevitability of politics. To be against politics is akin to shoveling sand into the tide.
It is also useless to try avoiding politics. Running away is also a losing proposition because the political caste subsists through expropriation. Eventually they run out of other people’s money and will come for what you have.
Rather than ignoring politics or trying to suppress it, the better option is to help shape it. That is exactly why Thomas Jefferson referred to the militia unit, at the county and ward level, as the most organic element and salutary aid in the administration of government.
In short, to have a well-functioning and decentralized republic requires, not only putting an end to gun control but also, the whole body of the people actively engaged in ensuring adherence to legal principles, where it counts, in the enforcement of law.
While acknowledging the major contribution of the Founders toward dispelling the Divine Right of Kings and ushering in a new political order, one with liberty as the chief object, we who are looking to secure a free state and maintain justice in the present need not be wedded to antiquated structures that no longer fit the current, or anticipated, circumstances.
Advances in politics and economics since the American war of secession from England continue to reveal new potentials for “securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity”. Concepts like Liquid Democracy, opt-in governance, or membership-based states offer models of political association more conducive to social harmony, and less likely to escape the limits of delegated authority, than what the general government of the United States has become.
Those looking to institute ‘new guards for their future security’ can keep an open mind as to what modern forms of a decentralized federal republic, particularly when enabled by modern communications and blockchain technology. Determining how to administer security and justice operations, which authorities to outsource and which to maintain locally, can be readily informed by the nature of distributed networks and the greater exercise of choice made available through tokenized assets, smart contracts, decentralized finance, and remote conferencing.
Yet the crucial matters of security and justice come down to enforcement and, more importantly, who does the enforcement. The key matter, and what is the main thrust of The End of Gun Control, is that these services cannot be entrusted to political manipulation and bureaucratic management.
The Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is present so that the whole body of the people may form well-regulated militia to execute the laws of the union and secure a free state. This does not contradict the Constitution or undermine “the government”. It actually fulfills the Constitution and ensures We The People own and operate the government while preventing the corruption of law and governance by a privileged politico-bureaucratic caste.
To do this, the people must be armed, organized, and disciplined. Heretofore, the political composition of the republic has been oriented on the states and the general government. Obviously, the general government of the United States has become a bloated looting machine, far beyond the pale of even the most expansive interpretation of its constitutionally delegated authorities, and is, therefore, operating untethered to any legitimacy.
Ending gun control and standing down the massive bureaucracies, by standing up the militia to execute the law, particularly in the area of collecting taxes, will work wonders to let those unconstitutional actions, agencies, and offices wither on the vine. Yet the states governments as well are entirely too large, invasive, and unmoored from any legitimate authority, to the degree that some require licensing to arrange flowers or paint nails.
None of this has to do with security or justice. In fact, these nanny states that claim to be acting toward the good of their citizens are little more than kleptocracies “eating out the peoples’ substance” at degrees far beyond what sparked the secession from England in 1776.
Each state within the United States is comparable to, and in many cases wealthier than, other European or OECD countries. This means that these American states too must be decentralized in order to halt the assault on people, private property (including arms), and the free exchange of goods and services.
Again, this is not contrary to constitutional order but, indeed, the fulfillment thereof. Thomas Jefferson proposed that the republican principle should extend to the sub-county level to make self-governing wards no larger than six square miles.
The actual geographical dimensions for such “ward republics” would vary based on population density or terrain. However, the concept of reserving governance matters to the most local level and allowing self-determination for the “inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit”, as the great economist Ludwig von Mises described in his book on Liberalism.
(Note that Mises was describing the liberalism of ‘live and let live’ laissez faire and not the faux liberalism used as cover to agitate for socialism)
It is important to recognize that Mises advised allowing local self-determination as the only feasible way to prevent revolutions, wars, and other forms of social strife. The goal of civilization is to foster and environment where peace and prosperity can flourish. People cannot be held subservient to political unions they view as illegitimate and expect social harmony. Coercive political regimes are the source of conflict and the antithesis of justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and the blessings of liberty.
Effectively administering a political unit, meaning to provide justice resolution for internal disputes and security against invasion from external aggression, requires planning, resources, personnel, and leadership, to be sure. However, entrusting such matters to an exclusive group allows the elite to shape the enforcement power in favor of their interests and at the expense of everyone else.
Over time, a minimalist state will become a maximalist or monopoly state. Unless actively maintained, a limited and decentralized republic will transform into an omnipotent central authority in which no property is safe from expropriation and all rights become subject to the whims of prevailing attitudes, i.e., mob rule.
We know from experience that public sentiment can be easily manipulated through propaganda. Those seeking to uphold republican principles and decentralize political power to the most local level are vilified, children are conditioned through public schools to revere the state like a parental figure, and mass media confines public discourse to establishment narratives.
Anyone looking to reassert the key pillars of sound political economy, namely market chosen money and self-determining militia, are vilified, labeled extremists, and dismissed as being beyond the pale of civilized society.
The disjointed efforts to revitalize a militia system without the institutional support called for by the US Constitution are derided, labeled extremist, and, often rightly, portrayed as farcical. Predictably, too, absent the ability to operate openly, transparently, and through legitimate channels, like all good governmental institutions should, they will attract unsavory characters or unsuitable leaders.
Those looking to re-establish constitutional order through decentralization of federal law enforcement and reassert organic institutions of self-government are frequently infiltrated by agents acting on behalf of the politico-bureaucratic caste and are easily provoked into foolish actions that only perpetuate the propagandistic narratives of militia being dangerous and “anti-government”.
This unfortunate state of affairs is not easily remedied. It is a serious challenge that must be overcome if liberty, law, and social order are to ever prevail. Moreover, the right to keep and bear arms will never be safe from ‘gun control’ until these safeguards of liberty are activated.
So long as the word ‘militia’ is maligned in the public consciousness and claims of a monopoly on the power to organize militia are asserted by uncooperative state level and general government entities, local initiatives may need to use alternative labels.
While it is beyond the scope of The End of Gun Control, whether local communities enjoy ‘home rule’ or are considered mere ‘creatures of their states’ (the so-called Dillon Rule) will impact how much authority they have to organize militia in the constitutional sense. Navigating the rules of procedure is always a matter of local conditions.
However, the spirit and function of these, inherently governmental, institutions (however they are named) is in alignment with Jefferson’s concept of a ward republic, with each self-contained political unit organizing for the administration of security and justice within their jurisdiction.
I will recommend the works of Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr. and the Tactical Civics training center for implementation strategies for revitalizing local militia organizations. My focus in this work is to inspire the mindset shifts necessary to stop playing into gun control narrative and offer
specific rhetorical arguments aimed at securing a free state (of affairs) where everyone is secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects (i.e., private property).
Once enacted through a legal charter, the local organization must proceed with a plan for consistent training in specific law enforcement and security related tasks. Technical and tactical subjects aside, the first priority is to properly incentivize membership and active participation.
Authentic, efficient, and practical training promotes further legitimacy for the project. It may be that only hardcore ‘Second Amendment’ types will be initially motivated to train, at first. With time, however, demonstrations of competence, professionalism, and distinction will attract a wider constituency.
This may still not be enough, particularly amid the widespread disdain with which establishment voices will decry such efforts. The nascent movement must also remain vigilant to the likely infiltration, provocation, and sabotage efforts that could derail the drive toward legitimacy.
Nevertheless, persistent effort along the dual path of scholarly and martial arts, along with a continued focus on public service (protecting people, their property, and the common wealth) will bring the “armed culture” into the center of civic virtue, where it belongs.
This is a generational quest. It will take time to gain legitimacy and build popular support. It also involves many inherent pitfalls. In the event of a major crisis, such as economic disruptions or a breakdown in social order, every civic institution will be challenged and stressed. A well-regulated militia could rise to the occasion and accelerate the support process should they demonstrate proficiency in the core tasks of law enforcement and security.
Alternatively, a militia that simply focuses on arms and equipment while neglecting good organizational and disciplinary aspects will likely fail, thereby bringing dishonor to themselves and discredit to the movement.