Incredible essay in favor of 2nd amendment from a Progressive viewSubmitted by FrankX on Sat, 02/09/2013 - 20:27
The Fundamental Political Principle
"That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -- George Orwell
Let’s start with this: The citizen’s right to possess firearms is a fundamental political right. The political principle at stake is quite simple: to deny the state the monopoly of armed force. This should perhaps be stated in the obverse: to empower the citizenry, to distribute the power of armed force among the citizenry as a whole. The history of arguments and struggles over this principle, throughout the world, is long and clear. Instituted in the context of a revolutionary struggle based on the most democratic concepts of its day, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is perhaps the clearest legal/constitutional expression of this principle, and as such, I think, is one of the most radical statutes in the world.
The question of gun rights is a political question, in the broad sense that it touches on the distribution of power in a polity. Thus, although it incorporates all these perfectly legitimate “sub-political” activities, it is not fundamentally about hunting, or collecting, or target practice; it is about empowering the citizen relative to the state. Denying the importance of, or even refusing to understand, this fundamental point of the Second Amendment right, and sneering at people who do, symptomizes a politics of paternalist statism – not (actually the opposite of) a politics of revolutionary liberation.
While I would certainly differ with the author on some economic issues, this is an extremely well written piece. The intellectual and moral clarity on display is a rarity regardless of political alignment. I think it also serves as a pertinent reminder that the MSNBCs and NYT of the world are to real progressive politics what Faux news and Glenn Beck are to real conservative and libertarian politics.
Warning: it is quite a long read, but I believe it is time well spent. Also worth passing on to any liberal acquaintances.