Monday, October 15, 2012

Bukovsky on Power and Submission

Heroic Soviet dissident and author Vladimir Bukovsky

"We had grasped the great truth that it was not rifles, not tanks, and not atom bombs that created power, nor upon them that power rested.  Power depended upon public obedience, upon a willingness to submit.  Therefore, each individual who refused to submit to force reduced that force by one two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth of its sum.  We had been schooled by our participation in the civil-rights movement, we had received an excellent education in the camps, and we knew of the implacable force of one man's refusal to submit.  The authorities knew it too.  They had long since abandoned any idea of basing their calculations on Communist dogma.  They no longer demanded of people a belief in the radiant future - all they needed was submission.  And when they tried to starve us into it in the camps, or threw us into the punishment cells to rot, they were demanding not a belief in communism but simply submission, or at least a willingness to compromise."

~ Vladimir Bukovsky, To Build a Castle: My Life As a Dissenter, (New York: Viking Press, 1979), p. 33-34.

Bukovsky's conclusion follows in the train of the great 16th century French political theorist √Čtienne de la Bo√©tie as expressed in his The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude.  Vladimir Bukovsky continues to resist Big Government in the form of large artificial political unions.

One has to wonder if we in the United States are moving toward a political prison state.  Is Vladimir Bukovsky's nightmare our future?  Just how much do we value our liberty in these United States?  

The only thing that will bring this disturbing trend to an end is when a critical mass of the people decide that enough is enough.  It will not be through armed revolt or violent resistance, but rather through ideas and peaceful discourse.  We need to win people over with our words and with our love for liberty and non-aggression.  There is a big difference between withdrawing consent and rebellion.  Bukovsky helped overthrow Communism in Russia without firing a single shot.  Guns and violence are absolutely useless in this conflict; real power is in ideas and ideals spreading from person to person.  The First Amendment trumps the Second - especially in a day and age when the federal government has even nuclear firepower.  In the battle for liberty, your iPhone & facebook are many times more powerful than Smith & Wesson.  And when the State starts putting people in prison for reading books, that is the beginning of the end of that tyrant.  They will eventually lose the consent of even the most brainwashed of the people.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

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