Hey, look: more right-wing cop-killers. But remember, it’s the left which is the problem. Arthur Bixby is just another exception.
Edit: I’m going to expand on this, because I jotted it off a bit too quickly. If you look at Bixby’s history, you’ve got a pretty iconoclastic guy who doesn’t respect the legitimacy of the United States government. The problem is the violence. The other problem is the strange alternative government people like Bixby make up. Being an anarchist is one thing; inventing new rules and expecting people to live under them is another.
I don’t think you can rationally call yourself an advocate for minimal government if you’re relying on filing hundreds of nuisance suits in order to get your way. Maybe you’re a member of a cargo cult, though.
I won’t disagree with your general right-wing gun-nut pervasivness theory, but did I miss something in that story you pointed to? Looks like it was a case of a guy with a grudge against the highway department, not some mini-McVeigh.
What you missed was the presence of militia literature in the guy’s house. Not surprising, since mention of it was buried near the end of the article. If it had been Communist or Islamist literature, it would have been in the headline…
Also, I prolly shoulda included this link.
What, you mean like in the John Allen Muhammad case? Most media coverage that I’ve been exposed to–until very recently–has studiously avoided discussion of Muhammad’s Islamist sympathies.
I suspect that part of the reason `right-wing militia'(*) types don’t get more coverage is simply that they’re concentrated in areas that most journalists don’t pay attention to.
*: I also think that `right-wing’ is not necessarily an appropriate description for the whole militia movement, but I’ll leave that for another day.
I think t.rev’s correct regarding appropriate descriptions.
What is accurate is that a certain faction of the Republican Party has catered to militia movement rhetoric. But I wouldn’t really call the militia movement conservative (or right-wing) in the classic sense of the word.
There are a lot of political movements in this country which have never been incorporated into `mainstream’ discourse, but haven’t died out either. These tendencies have mutated and interbred; it might be useful to use linguistic drift as an analogy.
The militia movement is an example. It descends in part (or parts of it descend) from organizations like the KKK, and racist and fascist ideology have certainly influenced it. It’s also influenced (sometimes overtly, sometimes implicitly) by Christian millenialism, and by American paleo-libertarianism (which in turn is an fusion of British common-law peasant individualism and 19th century American radical traditions). Just like there are Nazi skinheads and anti-racist skinheads, there are fascist milita groups and libertarian militias.
The point I want to make here is that the `strange alternative government’ you refer to is not really made up or invented. It’s a sort of legal neo-paganism: a reconstruction of legal traditions (in this case mostly British common law) that were once generally accepted, but have been overridden and suppressed by the One True Faith (in this case, federal government). Adherents usually justify their stance in terms of natural rights theory: their legal system is grounded in `rights’ which are inherent in the nature of the universe, and thus override any imposed government. You may find this belief ludicrous–I certainly do–but it helps make sense of their other claims.
I think the neo-paganism parallel is pretty good, actually, particularly since some neo-pagans still feel they’re using age-old traditions even though Gerald Gardener came up with the stuff last century. I would argue that the line between “made up” and “reconstructed” is fairly blurry. Some stuff is made up, and some stuff is reconstructed.
The key in my eyes is what happens when historical research leads to a conclusion that does not support the desired outcome. If a logical extension of natural rights theory leads to a conclusion which prevents a member of a militia from doing something that he wants to do, and he reworks his theory to allow him to do it, he’s making stuff up. If he accepts the logical extension of his theories, he’s reconstructing.
Note that the Bixbys spent some time in New Hampshire infringing on someone else’s property rights. I am immensely more tolerant of people who respect the rights of others as much as they respect their own. (And I know such people exist.)
Heh. Now, most neo-pagans I know start to slip into chaos magick by virtue of accepting that their tradition is new and to a degree self-created. What’s the political equivalent there? Or does the analogy break down?
Well, Natural Law theory is unfalsifiable and essentially religious in character. It requires a leap of faith, though this is often framed in terms of the ‘self-evident’ nature of natural rights. This is a very old argument in libertarian circles, with egoists, pragmatists and empiricists on the other side.
This looks like a decent defense of Natural Law theory.
Funny you should mention chaos magick in this context. R. A. Wilson has published a pamphlet (not on the internet AFAIK) titled `Natural Law: or Don’t Put a Rubber on Your Willy’. His thesis:
I’ll let you connect the dots.
Thanks Bryant, but WHERE is it written that Arthur Bixby does NOT “respect the legitimacy of the United States government”? WOW! talk about taking things to the extreme, re: your going FROM the local COPs withIN the local gov’t by-passing the state to the feds! AND re: your mention of “the strange alternative government people like Bixby make up”. After reading their letter TO the gov’t on the internet, they merely were asserting their rights, however wrong they MAY be, it be NOT the job of any gov’t agents to squelch them, but to put the dis-pute into the “system” to compare what that road agent presented in the paper map when he returned, with maybe the testimony of the previous owner that he did NOT deed away any R.O.W. to the State, nor was there an eminent domain taking 40 years ago, the point being of NOT to use violence to assert your supposed rights to TAKE somebody else’s land, BUT like it probably reads in the S.C. Constitution, like here in N.H., let there be a jury trail for all disputes regarding real estate of where the value in controversary is $1500 or more. It is NOT the sytem that is corrupt, but the goons withIN it that do NOT play by the rules, and when they rub somebody the wrong way, what do they expect!? and especially from somebody with the thinking of: given them an inch, and they’ll TAKE a mile. Somewhere the line has to be drawn, and in my book that is the threshold of the house since a Man’s Home is his Castle! cross the mote and you may be re-pulsed backwards into where the alligators will eat you alive!
And re: your 100s of nuisance suits, again, you’ve gone overboard, but I do like your term of the “cargo cult” (;-), reminds me of some Saturday morning cartoon called: Clutch Cargo, going to Google now for nostalgia, thanks!
Plus adamg = Adam Gaffin of http://www.bostononline.com/common/ with e-mail invitation to report back here for a REPLY, = great point of the militia literature that “was buried near the end of the article (that…) If it had been Communist…it would have been in the headline”, yeah, as in the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO of application of all rents to public purposes, as this did apply to me once in a Tax Sale where the town wrote to my tenants to pay them the rent and BEFORE I had my day in court, them technically using “Mail Fraud” as in another subsequent Sheriff’s Sale, and speaking of goons in the U.S. gov’t, do you think the Postal Inspector from Manchester would be interested? Hell no, we won’t go, was his answer to me while at the Concord office with two other witnesses years ago (Andy T. and Bob G.) saying that whatever the judge says is what he believes in too, or in other words the verbal word over what the law reads in the U.S. Code BBELIEVE IT OR NOT! = rule by man, not law, that is George Orwellian “1984” doublespeak that we must digest according to their recipe for our dis-aster! but only for so long, as in the end the thief is like a pig ready for slaughter is how the town undertaker once told me, see also Proverbs 6:30-31 in the good book for the sevenfold formula. (;-), thus to assert your rights and hold the fort, or let the goons take over and feed!