-31 votes

Opinion: All Rebellion is Immoral

You can't rid yourself of an illegitimate authority by rebelling against it. By its very nature a rebellion implies the recognition of and validates the legitimacy of the authority being rebelled against. This validation negates the moral premise of the rebellion: that the authority is illegitimate. For this reason rebellion serves to strengthen the establishment of the authority, not weaken it, even if it is illegitimate.

If the authority is truly illegitimate, then there must be a moral contradiction within its claim to power. Once this is discovered, understood, and communicated, the authority will naturally lose power through obsolescence. If there is no moral contradiction to the authority's claim to power, then it ought to be obeyed, as rebellion would be immoral.

Rebellion is a claim to the authority, it is not an argument against it. It is the other side of the same coin.

The successful rebellion will only serve to change the parties who wield the power of the authority. If the authority is illegitimate, then the rebellion is immoral because the rebels now wield illegitimate authority. If the authority is legitimate, then the rebellion is immoral because the rebels resist legitimate authority.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

What if one is being held against one's will in slavery?

Is rebellion still imoral?

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

If I am being held against my

If I am being held against my will in slavery I should attempt to free myself and defend myself in the process if necessary.

What I should not do is assume the position of a "rebelling slave", I should realize my identity as a free person, and behave as such.

And if that doesn't elevate the lesser minds in your proximity.

...do you concede to this "moral society" or do you run? (presuming you are still unchained at that point.)

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

Well ideally you would create

Well ideally you would create a situation where slavery no longer made any sense. Like by inventing a cotton picking machine or something.

Moral Rebellion = Tyranny / Time

The level of tyranny and Life span of any "slave" under that tyranny is congruent to the actuated moral rebellion. The Cotton Gin was patented in 1794. The current emancipation of slave labor was adopted nationally in 1866. THAT'S 72 YEARS! And that was with sporadic rebellion and eventually all out war. Tell your "Ideal situation" to the southern African American in 1800 and "if" he understands he would ask "what about me?! Let alone my children?" and that would be the end of you. Nothing would ever be recognized with out rebellion as far as I'm concerned.

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

Well we still have a lot of

Well we still have a lot of work to do.

Yes We Do!

If time was on our side, I agree, rebellion would be in-of-itself unnecessary. But thankfully our posterity REQUIRES us to rebel.

I understand your argument of the labeling of the word "rebel" as in that it is used by the current "authority" of the day (through out history) to classify the insolent who would no longer go along with the status quo, but I for one wear that "label" as a badge of honor. Particularly when it comes to an authority that can't see the difference between free will and the obligations of the individual to the whole.

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

See you called it an

See you called it an authority again...

But I understand what you are saying. But deriving our definitions based on the status quo will not get us to whatever new thinking is necessary to overcome the illegitimate establishment of power.

You and I

along with a majority of us here at the Daily Paul have already reached that "new thinking...necessary to overcome the illegitimate establishment of power." (No arrogance intended) The Problem is everyone else. In time they will follow (as they only love to fellow and not lead), however, by rebelling every now and then, it will facilitate a speedy correction in whatever regard a stable society requires.

I conclude that rebellions no longer need the blood of tyrants and patriots to water the tree of liberty. Just the ideas of necessity and freedom.

~Good Night, And Good Luck~


A "passe force to be reckoned with"

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

much better :)

much better :)

Only to those who don't see the Imperative.

AKA Fiodax

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

"ALL" & "IS" are pretty strong words.

What do you say about these words and The Founders:


"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."


The founders defended

The founders defended themselves against the offense of the King, and obsoleted the authority of the King by creating and establishing a new system.

And that new system

...obsoleted the "liberty" promises its founders had been making to other early Americans.

Why was the King on the Offense?

Did he perhaps perceive a rebellion in the King's Colonies?

The King realized his power

The King realized his power was becoming irrelevant.

Was his power becoming irrelevant

because the colonists refused to pay the taxes demanded and quarter the King's soldiers?

Your entire argument omits the relevance of force

Which makes your thesis fall apart.

No, defense against force

No, defense against force doesn't not have to be done with a spirit of rebellion. There is a difference between defending yourself, and "hitting back".

"If the authority is truly

"If the authority is truly illegitimate, then there must be a moral contradiction within its claim to power. Once this is discovered, understood, and communicated, the authority will naturally lose power through obsolescence."

Okay. Are you suggesting that most people or even a majority of people are moral? How does an authority lose power if the people who let it remain in place have little or no sense of morality? How does an authority become obsolete if it is armed well enough to overrun opposition with force?

Just how does

"a rebellion impl[y] the recognition of and validate the legitimacy of the authority being rebelled against?"

It seems to me, if you are rebelling against it, you deny the legitimacy of its authority, you don't recognize it!

Please, we need a little clearer thinking here. There are rebellions against arbitrary human authority which are consistent with respect for the legitimate authority of God. Please don't confuse the two.

When you say "I don't agree

When you say "I don't agree with that authority", you have identified it as such.

When you say "I will now fight against it", you validate it by offense, giving it a reason to defend itself.

However when you say, "The premise by which you are claiming authority is invalid because of these reasons: x, y, z" then you don't give it the benefit of it's existence.

When you say "I will not live according to your premise of authority" then you force it to either offend you or let you be.

Now it might attack you, but it is now putting you on the defensive, validating your existence and giving you a reason to defend yourself, which helps to validates your claim.

Recognizing the de-facto power of an

authority is not the same thing as holding it as legitimate. If that were true, then, truly "might makes right." You confuse de-facto existence and power of an authority with moral legitimacy. I do not know if that confusion were attempted deliberately so as to confuse others, or your thinking was muddled in an innocent manner. In any event, I think you would be more at home with Hobbes than Locke, which brings us to the question, why are you posting on a libertarian blog?

Rebelling against it is not

Rebelling against it is not very effective in undermining the fallacy that being used to establish the authority. It is a defensive posture, which should only be maintain while actually being attacked. Otherwise a different direction should be taken all together that establishes a more logical system.


well said.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

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Morality is subjective.

NOTE: I am not advocating violence in any way. The content of the post is for intellectual, theoretical, and philosophical discussion. FEDS, please don't come to my house.

Morality isn't subjective,

Morality isn't subjective, but even if it is, that doesn't change the principle. If someone's claim to authority over you contradicts your moral principles, then in order have integrity with your principles, the correct course of action would be to not recognize their claim.

Rebellion against God is the only sin.

Christ demonstrated how to honor those who God has placed in authority over us.

Yet He also demonstrated when to kick over the tables of money changers and how to frighten the Pharisees and Sadducees into all out rebellion against His own authority and that of His Father.

There is no minister, priest or preacher on this earth that holds such authority save Christ.

There are only saints and non-saints.

Just as Christ came to end all sacrifices, He left behind a world with no need for priests, for He is the chief Priest to end all Priests.

Those who claim such authority as head of any church (large or small) are already in rebellion to Christ and have proved themselves a false teacher and / or false prophet see 2 Peter 2.

Elders do not equate to church leaders... only that they are older and more experienced.

All real Christians are called to be saints, and if we are truly saints then we are called to judge the world 1 Corinthians 6.

Let no man but Christ rule over your faith. Judge your (false) pastor and hold your rulers accountable if you are truly a saint yourself and thus called to judge.

Be prepared to judge those who are in rebellion the way your Christ did it.

But be wary not to be a false accuser, for you shall condemn yourself if you do this.

I am not sure what

are we to do, the bad guys are in control how do we turn things around?

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