03 Aug 2012

Aggression Is Counterproductive

Big Brother, Conspiracy, Pacifism 23 Comments

This story was making the rounds in my circle of odd associates on Facebook:

When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest last week, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

The raids were part of a multi-state operationthat targeted activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. At least three people were served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury on August 2nd in Seattle.

In addition to anarchist literature, the warrants also authorize agents to seize flags, flag-making material, cell phones, hard drives, address books, and black clothing.

The listing of black clothing and flags, along with comments made by police, indicates that the FBI may ostensibly be investigating “black bloc” tactics used during May Day protests in Seattle, which destroyed corporate property.

If that is true, how are books and literature evidence of criminal activity?

To answer that, we need to look at the increasing harassment, surveillance, and prosecution of anarchists and political activists associated with the Occupy Movement.

In some cases, such as the May Day arrests in Cleveland, the FBI has been so desperate to arrests “anarchist terrorists” that it supplied them with bomb-making materials and used an informant to entrap them. The same thing happened in Chicago.

The motivation for these operations, and the instruction that “anarchist” means “terrorist,” is coming straight from the top levels of the federal government. As I recently wrote, new documents show that the FBI is conducting “domestic terrorism” training presentations about anarchists.

The FBI presentation described anarchists as “criminals seeking an ideology to justify their activities.”

This is the guilt-by-association mentality that is guiding FBI and JTTF assaults on political activists; if agents find “anarchist literature” in a raid, it is evidence of criminal activity because anarchism, in and of itself, is criminal activity.

The Seattle grand jury may or may not be investigating May Day protests. What’s clear, though, is that the grand jury is being used as a tool in this criminalization of those suspected as “anarchists.” Grand juries are secretive processes that are frequently used against political activists in order to acquire information. They are fishing expeditions. If activists refuse to testify about their personal beliefs and political associations, they can be imprisoned. Jordan Halliday, for example, was recently released after serving more than six months in prison (and being imprisoned once already for four months) for asserting his First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to provide information about the animal rights movement.

A police state is coming, make no mistake. But engaging in petty acts of vandalism and especially violence only bring it that much quicker. The average person reading the above is going to be searching really hard for the “explanation,” since Americans have been taught to believe this is a free country. I mean, we all know the government wouldn’t arrest somebody just for subversive ideas.

And, after looking for a bit…yep! The average American will find it. The police are just trying to break up a dangerous threat, because these anarchists have definitely vandalized property and generally behaved like hooligans, as anyone with a TV knows.

I’m not blaming the victim here, I’m just stating a fact. It’s amazing how many hardcore revolutionaries are, on the one hand, extremely jaded, and yet on the other so delightfully naive (like thinking that attacking a Starbucks will chafe the State).

23 Responses to “Aggression Is Counterproductive”

  1. Joseph Fetz says:


    Sorry, but you said “hooligans”.

  2. Bob Bobby Bobbybob says:

    On a semi-related topic, have any anarcho-capitalist or minarchist libertarians come up with what they think is a better form of a constitution (or i guess an anarcho-capaitalist wouldnt need a constitution)? I’ve heard people say how flawed our constitution is, but has anyone written a hypothetical one that could replace it? Obviously it would include “No central bank” and a strict separation of business and government, but what else? How would a true minarchist government function (so that it did not inevitably lapse into a Leviathon government)? Or is it possible to create a miniarchist government that doesn’t lapse into Leviathon? I need real help on this for a project. I mean, as a minarchist, there seems to be so many things you want to prevent, that you’ll just start making a long list of Do Nots that ends up resembling our modern form of government. So maybe minarchist ideas are wrong… I need help…

    • Bob Murphy says:

      BBB, I don’t know if anybody has come up with such a document. But, I think you are barking up the wrong tree with that approach. The flaw with the present system wasn’t that the Constitution was too vague on certain points. If they can find a Court to sign off on everything the government currently does–and the very notion of having the Supreme Court serve that role is itself not in the Constitution–they can do the same with whatever document you come up with.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        E.g. they would say, “Sure we can have this thing overseeing all the banks. BBB’s constitution says no central bank. But this is a Federal Reserve, as the name clearly says. There are 12 districts spread out over the whole country. No central bank here.”

        • Major_Freedom says:

          What you are saying reminds me of one of the main reasons why anarchism is superior. There is little chance that a law document written by man, the rules of which are imposed as a geographical monopoly, will not contain holes and instances of vague language that will be manipulated and exploited by subsequent enforcers of the law.

          Just one vague section, for example the commerce clause, and a police state can be advanced through that conduit like poison gas can escape through a tiny hole in a tank.

    • Tel says:

      My biggest beef with both the US Constitution and the Australian Constitution is that a single federal court becomes the clearing house for the final decision on what is constitutional, and those judges are both appointed by and paid by the same federal government that they are entrusted to keep under control. Fox guarding the hen house really.

      If I could send a message back in time, I would explain that such a court is a weak gatekeeper at best. A much stronger system would be for every state to appoint one judge and only when something like a 75% majority agree is the law considered constitutional. By insisting that each state appoints exactly one judge, you get a genuine representative sample protecting state rights and you get people who are not interested in expanding federal power for its own sake, but who would expand federal power if there is a genuine consensus on the matter.

      • Peter says:

        @Tel: that’s a clever idea.

        Dodges the democracy that led to the 17th amendment.

  3. Gene Callahan says:

    “Aggression Is Counterproductive”

    I think that was pretty much St. Paul’s point.

  4. Peter says:

    “A police state is coming, make no mistake.”

    I’m surprised at your confidence. So do you think we’re talking Soviet or Singapore?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Peter wrote:

      So do you think we’re talking Soviet or Singapore?

      I don’t know enough about Singapore to say, but I think it (in part) depends on how everybody reacts to it.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      And I’m surprised that you’re surprised. The government openly admits that they’re already monitoring the US with drones. SWAT teams already routinely raid people’s homes in the middle of the night. They already are holding people without charging them. They already have a worldwide network of prisons. They already have a list of people the president and his advisors can have killed by flying robots.

      But they’re going to stop short of doing something really over the line?

    • The Existential Christian says:

      Oh, I’m sure it will be a version unique to America, with us being so exceptional and all.

    • Tel says:

      In no particular order:

      * The Running Man
      * Max Headroom
      * Idiocracy
      * THX 1138
      * The Sunset Warrior
      * Neuromancer

      People have seen this coming a long way off, and all the general ideas are there. We might nuance a bit this way or that. Given that legitimacy is gained by keeping up cultural appearances, I expect that they surface veneer will remain strongly American and even show a greater commitment to the Apple Pie tradition, while undermining the fundamental principles.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        People have seen this coming a long way off

        Isn’t that just an updated version of the old Marxian idea that socialism will come with the inexorability of a law of nature?

        I can accept it when people say that current events are police state this and that, but what you’re talking about it astrology.

        People can’t “see” the future. We have choice. You can’t scientifically predict future choices. Social expectations is an art.

        • Tel says:

          Well at the moment most of the people I see are quite happy to move towards a police state, so they have made their choice.

          All of science is about being able to predict the future. Social science is probably the weakest and least reliable branch of science, but unless you have some expectations about the outcome of your choices, why bother making a choice at all?

          You would have to be wilfully blind not to see the rise of statist authoritarianism in the Western world over the past few decades, so the most obvious prediction is just to draw a straight line and presume the trend will continue. Not guaranteed to work, but usually does.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Well at the moment most of the people I see are quite happy to move towards a police state, so they have made their choice.

            They can always change their minds.

            All of science is about being able to predict the future. Social science is probably the weakest and least reliable branch of science, but unless you have some expectations about the outcome of your choices, why bother making a choice at all?

            Well, the fact that I cannot scientifically predict the future path of my knowledge and thus cannot scientifically predict my actions that depend on such knowledge, does not mean that I cannot act purposefully through making expectations, selecting courses of action, etc.

            There is no inevitability to a future police state. We can choose otherwise.

            You would have to be wilfully blind not to see the rise of statist authoritarianism in the Western world over the past few decades, so the most obvious prediction is just to draw a straight line and presume the trend will continue. Not guaranteed to work, but usually does.

            That is what is called naive extrapolation. Humans can choose to deviate from past trends.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Tel, how in the world can a police state be prevented if everyone thought like you did?

            Are you hoping there be a foreign allied army to reduce the police state here like what occurred in Nazi Germany?

            • Tel says:

              Its all about sailing the paper boat really.

              I’m hoping that people learn something, faster than they screw stuff up.

              As for Nazi Germany, you have to remember that the allied army didn’t march in there to save the Germans, it marched in there to save itself FROM the Germans. Both Stalin and Chamberlain were perfectly happy to avoid war by whatever means they could do so. Hitler was offered many, many opportunities offered to not go to war, but he went to war anyhow, even against massively superior forces.

              Of course, the reason central planning tends to fail, is that as power becomes focussed in the hands of fewer and fewer people, those people are not equipped to make sensible decisions. The result of stupid decisions is failure.

              In the case of Nazi Germany, they invested in military programs as a type of Keynesian stimulus, and then they faced some bad harvests so they were short of food. Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy resulted in most of their foreign trade being blockaded, and his internal malinvestment meant that they had vast amounts of military hardware and trained troops but hardly anything they could have traded with anyhow. Thus, war was the obvious choice… a bad choice as it turned out (which Chamberlain explained to Hitler that it would be) but from the perspective of the central planners to make any other choice would be to admit they were less than perfect leaders.

              Now the USA has been over-investing in military hardware for decades now. Vastly more than anyone could reasonably claim was for self defence purposes. The leadership at the moment (and I mean all of Washington, and all the corporate insiders, not just the President) will do anything at all rather than admit they are to blame.

              Oh yeah, did you hear there’s a bad corn harvest coming up?

              By the way, read up about the legend of Mother Kali and what is her purpose in the universe.

              • Tel says:

                Comment I saw on Zerohedge recently:

                “We’re spectators watching a race between totalitarianism, and economics (crash). Though totalitarianism may very well return after the economic crash, so… good luck.”

                Can;t help feeling much the same.

  5. Scott Lazarowitz says:

    Well, it takes a consenting population to allow the official criminals of the State to rape, plunder and beat them.

    I want to suggest that local people urge their local government-monopolized police to refuse to aid and abet federal intruders and conspirators who suppress political dissidents’ freedom of speech and protest. But so many people now WANT the feds to “crack down” on those who criticize the ignoramuses, imbeciles, criminals and sleazebags of the criminal and treasonous federal government in Washington.

    And now the Obomber Administration is using their false flag in Aurora to have more excuses to go after the people’s means of defense against tyranny. And the UN Arms Trade Treaty gives foreign troops the power to confiscate Americans’ guns, along with the army’s new power to do so.

    Is it all over (as Johnny Most used to say)?

    I hope not. Maybe there’s still some hope for freedom in America. I try to have some hope, despite all the depressing articles I see.

  6. JimS says:

    “But engaging in petty acts of vandalism and especially violence only bring it (the police state) that much quicker.”

    Do you prefer grandiose acts of violence? I’m kidding, of course, but I have never understood the idea of not angering the aggressors. That didn’t work too well for the Jews in Europe. The police state is coming, what does it matter if it is today or tomorrow, especially for a Christian?

    I think your asssessment of the situation is reasonably accurate, but I think we kid oursselves that some form of anarchy would be violence free. It quite possibly might be more violent.


  7. cali says:

    But it wouldn’t be anarchy by definition, would it? And more violent than what?

    • JimS says:

      I think we can safely say that prew-war Iraq and Afghanistan were less violent, yes their governments, if they be called that were nasty, but we are talking violence and police force not ultimate forms of government.

      Yes. The current situation is spiraling out of control. I am fascinated by how they get police to go along with this stuff, just as I am fascinated how you can get imprisoned Jews to run the ovens. I am cautious of everyone having a private security firm (haven’t you see “Shane” or “Apaloosa”?), but I probably worry more so because it is easier to worry about one threat rather than multiple threats. But if private policing is the way, in effect doesn’t one force sort of cancel out another and keep them in check, and if that is true, why doesn’t action against a standing force do the same (Not advocating violence, Dr. Bob, just theorizing why one is different than the other). Having been around the worl dand been in violent situations the bottom line often is those who won’t use violence will be subject to those who will.


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