Violence cannot solve problems. This works both ways. Those who promote government violence (and really, most of what the government does involves violence or the threat of violence) to solve problems will never find the solutions they are looking for. In turn, anyone who thinks violence against the government is an answer to keeping the government at bay is completely wrong.
There was an article recently that was linked by Drudge Report. It cites a poll in which 29% of registered voters think that an armed revolution might be necessary in the the next few years in order to protect our liberties. While I can see where the wording of the question with the word “might” could lead to more affirmative responses, it is still an unexpectedly high number. I’m also guessing that most of those who agreed are probably more liberty minded, although it would not surprise me if some of them were simply Obama haters. (I use the term Obama hater here to describe someone who hates Obama, but who does not hate, or even endorses, George W. Bush, despite the similarity in their policies.)
When it comes down to it, violence is not necessary to keep the government from infringing further on our liberties. In fact, it would be completely counterproductive.
As I’ve written so often, government can only exist with the consent of the governed. It is not that the general population has to endorse particular candidates or even like the way the government is being run. But the general population must accept the system they are under. Many people may gripe about certain politicians or about how poorly certain government programs are run, but most of these same people accept the system that they live under.
If a substantial number of people all of a sudden did not even support the system of government in place, then it would become more and more difficult for that government to exist. It would quickly lose legitimacy. If that were the case, violence would likely be completely unnecessary.
If there simply weren’t a large enough group of people denying their consent, then using violence would do no good. It would make the large majority just despise the small minority that much more and would solidify the government’s grip.
I always like to say that you could take every single member of Congress, along with the president and his cabinet, and make them disappear and it would not really make much of a difference in the long run. All of the new people coming in would simply take over from where the others left off. The power would attract corrupt individuals who seek to control others. Unless public opinion changed, the seats would be filled by replacement sleaze balls.
So, once again, it all comes back to education. If you want liberty to grow and government to shrink, then you have to spread the word. You have to convince others that it would be beneficial for them to see less government and greater liberty. You have to educate others on your moral principles against the initiation of violence and how we should apply the same principles to government.
As more and more people learn this message of liberty, then the rest will take care of itself. The power-hungry politicians will lack support and lack legitimacy. These are just a few individuals amongst a nation of over 300 million people. If 150 million people want radically smaller government, then it will happen. It won’t even require an election. In fact, if just 50 million people want radically smaller government and another 50 to 100 million don’t care that much, then that will still probably be enough to tip the scales.
We don’t need a majority, but we need a bigger minority than what we have right now. Our numbers are growing, but we still have a long way to go.