19 votes

Hi folks, I am about to ask a tough question

So, since RP didn't get the nomination I haven't really dabbled in much of the forums here on DP. I do however occasionally browse the articles (I generally treat this place as my news source), but that is about it.

That being said, something has been burning in my mind recently and I want to ask (hopefully) Liberty minded men and women what they think about it.

We all know that Natural Rights, and our constitution, was based around Lockean Theory.

Locke himself even thought that revolution was needed in very dire cases when they government has overstepped their bounds.

I pulled this from Wiki for a reference (yes I know it is wiki, if you don't believe me do further research for a "better source".)

Locke also advocated governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances.

That being said, whenever I browse through the forums and read, I hear many many people make a statement that is basically this:

"Look I am not advocating violence here...."

However, if it is clearly within the peoples right to revolt against a government, according to Lockean Theory, when is violence the right answer?

We currently are watching our government stomp all over individual rights, exactly when is it ok to do something clearly within our right?

***************************************Please note this is hypothetical, no I don't need police banging on my door taking me away to prison because of an internet forum********************************

TLDR: So, if "violence is not the answer at this time", is it ever the answer? John Locke believed it had to be at certain times?

So DP: When is violence the answer? Is it EVER the answer? How long do we wait to make the hard choice? What things must happen first?

***Mods if my thread is somehow offense let me know, if/when you delete it. I am merely trying to understand the DP's mentality on this issue.***

Comments, questions, concerns are welcome. I want to hear what the DPers think about the tough question.

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Thanks all

Thank you all for the comments folks, please if you haven't given your opinion I would love to hear it.

There are steps between

I think we are in the initial stages, but I agree with other here that violence is not the next step.

As Dr. Paul encouraged, mass acts of civil disobedience must be first. This is because it is the reaction of those in authority that is key to the next step. If the powers react by stepping down, retracting laws, or making changes - then you are free to move on to, as Jefferson said, "alter or abolish". If the powers react with more oppression, then the next step is increased demonstrations, destruction of government property, and on it goes. If these latter actions are met with violence - then you have reached that step. But, we haven't even begun the revolution yet. It will take a large percentage of the population to do any action that gets attention. I don't think it needs to be a majority, but maybe 30% - the majority of that percentage from the middle class.

Action: Boston Tea Party/Refusing Tax Collectors
British Reaction: Blockades/Armed Tax Collection/Arrest Instigators
Action #2: Breaking people out of prison/Destruction of military property/lynching aristocrat lawyer.
British Reaction: Full armed regiments/Confiscate Arms
Action #3: It's On!

I think the only thing that would work would be a pretty massive refusal to pay income tax - then the FED doesn't get their interest payment (neither does China) and the stone would quickly start down the hill. Or, it could start as 'innocently' as mass protests against SWAT teams and the drug war insanity to start, then refuse taxes, then government workers lose jobs, no one to do the detail work, the politicians crumble.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

I think you've asked an

I think you've asked an extremely important question, one which has divided people since the dawn of time. Hell, the movie series "X-men" comes to mind, where Xavier and Magneto agree on ideas / theory, but disagree on the means of getting there.

My take is that it really depends on the situation. However, I assume that you have today's economic / political environment in mind. To that end, I would argue that violence would not simply be futile, but counter-productive to the cause of liberty. The reason is simple, and very well explained by Ron Paul in his farewell speech: America's government today reflects the morality of the people.

Any violent move against the government would be like cutting the head of a hydra: three more would grow back. Because it is not just a handful of politicians that are corrupt, but the entire system: the financial institutions, the pharmaceutical companies, the military industrial complex, the media organizations, etc... down to the average Joe watching Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow, cheering on the death of Yemenese children or voting himself more food stamps.

Any positive change to a system so ubiquitously corrupt must start from the inside - with the populace itself and their deep-held beliefs. This is what the good Doctor has advocated for decades; the fight for liberty is not a battle to be won in Washington DC, but a battle of ideas to be won in living rooms and sports bars.

The good news is that we have history, truth and reason on our side. And we have an idea. An idea so infectious, so dominant, that once it takes hold of a person's mind it remains there forever. For once a person learns of liberty, once they crawl out of the cave and see the sunlight, there is no going back. And that, my friend, is more powerful than any gun.

As has been pointed out, they

As has been pointed out, they will bring the violence. You won't have to. They already are. Just have to wait until they can no longer whitewash it with the masses and the masses realize what has been done to them.

But there's another reason. If you adhere to the NAP the last thing you want to do is start a new society on the seeds of immorality.

When the masses wake up, it will be ugly. It could well be when the debt crisis comes. The state will no longer be able to fund anything but it's own apparatus of coercive control.

Some of you won't like this, but I do believe we need to stand ready to stand against vengeance against the tools of the bad guys. Killing them in rage will solve nothing, and the real stolen wealth won't be in their hands. I'm not sure I would go as far as risking life or limb, but where words can avail we should.

Our job will be to say let it never again be so. Never let them have the power to steal, kill, and enslave and they never will. The problem isn't who controls the power. The problem is the power exists at all. If it exists, it will be used first to steal, then to enslave, then to murder.

Collective power is usurping the power and rights and property and life of fellow men. It is evil by nature.

Those who control collective power are evil even when, especially when, they think they are not.

There is no exception. There are no angels to give power to. There never will be.

Hi folks, I am about to ask a question that has been asked here

many, many many times.

It's a newb question. Basically. And one that always comes down to some sort of collectivism on the part of the questioner. Because what's really being asked here is more like "when will YOU take action?"

And the reasons for this are usually pretty simple and resolve to basic questions like:

1. When will people like YOU rise up and save people like ME.


2. If you go first, will I know it's safe for me to take action?

or simply,

3. Will you go first?

I dunno. OP if the "feds" come to my house with guns, will you show up with yours to defend me?

If such is not your bond, frankly I'd prefer you didn't ask me or anything of me.

South is the new way up! Major trend for 2014: Latin America. Start checking out South American investment, it's part of our future now.

Not at all.

Considering my join date isn't necessarily far from yours, I guess it cannot be a noob question.

In the almost two years I have read here I have never come across this post. If somehow it has been posted one million times then I apologize, the good news is I can repost it if I want.

Also to note, I was an paratrooper in the 82nd ABN as an infantryman for about 5 years, good sir I don't need you to come save me rest assured.

To clarify however, no you are wrong on your assumptions. I was actually waiting to read a false character assumption as well but you didn't go that far!

All in all, the question was that I read constantly people being afraid of violence as an option. My point was merely that it is well within our right according to Lockean Theory.

Therefore the question was, what personal threshold needed to be broken in order for people to consider it an option.

Now please, take your foot out of your mouth.

The Late Aaron Russo had Advice that is more Applicable For Now

Revolution is for when all else fails and there is no longer any pretense of fairness in the system. There is a lot that can be done before then. At the conclusion of this landmark interview Aaron Russo gives advice that is more applicable (Start at 1:25:00 here and go for about 5 minutes):


By the way, if you have never seen this interview then there is nothing you've ever seen that's like it. It will blow you away!


You do not pick the answear it finds you.

You are to match force with force until you stand on top of the dead.

If you go protest peacefully and other take it to a higher level then you do. MATCH IT

There is NO REASON ON EARTH TO LEAD WITH FORCE... the state will GLADLY bring force to YOU enabling you to match it back:)

Life is great with Isagenix

Choosing pure theory is dangerous

Even though some "Lockeans" may agree that violent revolution is a right in theory, and if we existed in a vacuum, more people would probably advocate this. But I think practically, we have to prioritize our lives; and in many cases, protecting ourselves and our families may be a higher priority than upholding principles of theory. Those advocating violent revolution are definintely subjecting themselves and their families to harm by arrest or worse. That is one of the reasons I hold the American revolutionaries in high esteem, because they literally sacrificed their lives (and the lives of their families) for the cause they believed in, which is something very few people are actually willing to do.

And many Lockeans may also feel that they can advance a revolutionary cause in a non-violent way, through education, debate, peaceful protest, etc. In this way you can balance the belief in revolutionary theory while protecting yourself and your family in the real world also. To purists, this may be seen as a sell-out, but many of our real-life choices are sell-outs of some manner. Most choices we make in life must balance some opposing desires.

Best way is to always follow the self defense rule.

Even the men on the Lexington green did not fire, the British fired first.

Self defense or protection of another.

If your looking for the Christian answer. It's almost the same.

When Peter stuck those who were arresting Jesus, Jesus told Peter "put away your sword(notice he didn't say give it up,) those who live by the sword, die by the sword."

Christ told him to put his sword away, that these tyrants will die and be conquered.

It always happens, tyrants are doomed to death. Going all the way back to the beginning of Israel when God told them "If you obey The Lord and do not rebel against His commandments, if both you and your king follow The Lord - Good, but if you do not obey The Lord, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you."

Has evil ever fully triumphed? The cycle always continues, as those who are good fade by the generation, corruption takes its place and those who stand for truth and justice will stand up yet again.

What the others said is true, now is the time to learn and teach. Do not worry about fighting until it is a must. If that time ever comes, you will know it is time.

The right to a jury trial is the foundation

The right to a jury trial is the foundation of our system. You have a right to defend yourself. When and where you choose to do that is up to you, but if accused, you'll need to answer to a jury of your peers.

The problem is the our peers have now been convinced that we don't have a right to defend ourselves against somebody wearing a uniform (or anybody else for that matter). Our peers have become looters who's very lives depend on robbing their neighbors using the law and a uniform as their weapons. We live in a system of injustice rather than justice.

If there's no such thing as an illegal order, and those who enforce the law are above the law, then you will NEVER be justified defending yourself against a tyrant.

Win the public debate, and you'll win your case should you ever be forced to defend yourself against a murderer carrying out illegal orders.

I think for most people their

I think for most people their families, friends and jobs are more important than their perfect conception of liberty.

America has crossed a line, I believe, its govt. institutions are too strong and entrenched to be taken down by any adversary foreign or domestic.

For those who are serious about a revolution, the model to follow would be that of Pakistan's ongoing proxy war through non-state agents on India and the Maoist revolution in our eastern states.. The desperation that would lead to such measures has not set in and I doubt it will in the near future.

I would advocate selfishness and patience. Wait, watch, prepare.

Now is not the time for violence...

..it is the time for education. In my opinion, we need to keep educating now, so if the violence does need to happen, then the goal is clear and moral. Just because a revolution occurs doesn't mean the revolutionaries are automatically for liberty. Many people want a revolution right now because they think capitalism is destroying the country. We need to educate so if a revolt happens, the nation knows that the goal should be more freedom and less government, not less capitalism and more government.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

Respectfully disagree

In my opinion one of our issues is a lack of concrete action from a leadership standpoint. Those of us who are educated are not only obligated to educate others, but to take appropriate measures necessary and that does include violence. Whether it be in self-defense or defense of others. It also includes being pro-active even if it means taking violent action. I say this because I believe the war has already been declared on us and our constitution. It was formerly more of a covert war on the people, but now it is blatantly in the open. Violence does not have to be initiated by us. If states start nullifying unconstitutional laws and the feds use force in response, it is our responsibility to fight back. War is hell, but at times necessary to stop the decay of what was once a moral and virtuous country.

Liberty: Too big to fail

Want a revolution...take away their TV's

Can you imagine the anguish not being able to view Dancing With the Stars would cause? Seriously though, until the American public gets together and forms some type of a Union which tosses out the polarizing two party system and it's corrupt leadership nothing will change. Unfortunately we have approached a critical mass type of threshold where enough individuals are dependent upon government "largess" that such an occurrence is unlikely. We are going to have to wait until the collapse of the economy renders the government incapable of keeping the masses sedated and under control and most likely until the government runs out of a couple of billion bullets.

If not us than who?

I Agree But Some Things We Can Do Now

I'm a veteran of the Vietnam war. I tell young people do not join the military. It has become a mercenary force to do the bidding of the Washington political establishment. To truly serve the nation means to serve the people, not the unconstitutional government. If people don't join there can be no war.

Sometimes when I talk to a male family member I bribe them with 20 dollars (not worth too much these days). I say, "Here, take this. If it keeps you away from a recruiter's office for one day it's worth it." I offer to take them to a VA long term care facility to see what war has been done to the minds and bodies of those who have served. I offer to take them to my local VA outpatient clinic to see Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with no arms and legs. I make them think.

I show them a copy of the U.S. Constitution. I read to them the preamble, to wit: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The emphasis is "We the people, ourselves": that's us. Not the corporations who benefit from manufacturing weapons of war, not the flag wavers for foreign governments and not the global bankers whose existence is to keep you in debt.

We can do things in the moment even if they're little to impress upon the youth, our children, about what war is really about; what freedom really means, that we must be ever vigilant when the politicians rattle their vitriolic sabers towards nonexistent enemies to expand American hegemony for world conquest.

I tell them to not pick up the sword is patriotic; it is heroic. A brave person stands against tyranny when it wraps itself around moral corruption and jingoistic nationalism.

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave because we are rebellious in our cause for liberty. Let us not be afraid to speak out on behalf of freedom and our pursuit of individual happiness.


Is terribly true. I actually believe that propaganda itself is a much greater weapon. Watching people being glued to their TVs is depressing.

However honestly to an extent, I think that dealing and exposing propaganda is much more important.

I don't see the logic

You are making the assumption that a revolution equates to violence which is not a necessity. Look up the "bloodless coups" which took place in the Eastern Bloc in the late 80's.

You are correct in saying I

You are correct in saying I am making an assumption.

My assumption is based on the fact that many people with lots of power stand in the way to any change.

I simply assume they will do whatever it takes to prevent real freedom. Therefore I assume worst case scenario.

This is how it is for me

If I were a single man without a family of my own, my revolution would have started years ago.

Liberty: Too big to fail

My guess is many people don't want DHS attention.

To say certain websites aren't patrolled(especially DP) is ignorant. Plus, advocating violence makes those who wish to label us "fringe" that much more credible. You can win more people over advocating a message of peace, then violence. I see our current battle as a intellectual one, not a physical one just yet.

"Look I am not advocating

"Look I am not advocating violence here....".........first!

Liberty folks want to avoid violence at all costs, but are by no means oposed to it if they are forced to defend themselves, even then, IF they choose to, i will not call anyone a coward who may be scared or incapable, hell i freely admit to being scared of a world where we are forced to defend ourselves from a tyranical government,

People who avoid violence to the point of death, i would honour and weep for them, for in my mind, anyone who would rather die then lift a hand, is the best of us, if the world were made of them, the likely hood of wars, i think, would become a thing of the past.
Edit: and i think its for that reason, i have an overbearing sense of protection and guidence from folks like that.......in what little i can do anyway, then again who knows what each of us can do to help in an unknown situation

The best thing we can do, is if a government has it on mind to turn fullblown tyranical, is to, unfortunetly, wait for them to slip up, and give the public, undeniable proof of their, how shall i say this, "tyranical" tendancies

The very fact the US are using their fusion centers to "spy" on peacefull protests, tells us, thats exactly what, THEIR worried about too

That was actually a very thought provoking question, i thankyou for it

Violence is the right answer if you wish to generate violence.

I wish to generate love. No matter how tempting, and how I might justify it, if I initiate force I LOSE, regardless. My core belief is that we cannot overcome evil with more evil, that cycle is why we keep "needing" revolutions. It is time for humanity to CHOSE evolution. Evolution of the mind, and there are no short cuts. If we resort to violence, we become part of the cycle the elite perpetuate to maintain power.
For the record, I am completely at peace with having jack-booted thugs break into my home and murder me in cold blood. Not what I want, or what I think is "law" or "order" but I am aware that I live in a society that worships violence and markets fear. How else would a person promoting non-violence expect to die in such a society?
I do believe there is a viable option: We can forgive each other, everything. Let it go in a moment, and then move forward together in love. "Jubilee." It is not just a pipe dream, if you really understood the debt cycle, you would realize it is inevitable. They may water it down and call it "Quantitative Pleasing" but they will forgive themselves. They will forgive their debts to each other, and they will keep demanding we pay them: fees, fines, taxes, licenses and registrations, keeps them in control and us destitute.
Forgive each other and forget the era of banking.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:

One of my favorite Moody Blues songs.

"Revolutions never won, it's just another form of gun, to do again what they have done....."

If not us than who?




"Brave the winter weather's storm,
as you trudge toward, your perpetual ending.
Shout and shiver, along side
the "too far gones" and the "never weres."

Fighting the war within has never felt so good.
Clawing and kicking for anything.
Fighting the war within has never felt this sweet.
Reaching and grabbing for anyone.

I can be the one to lead a revolution.

Like pigs to the slaughter, you drop dead,
in a pool of your own filth.

Forever faithful to the idea that someday,
sometime, you will have your kill.
Frustration sets in and down you go.
But it's a good thing that some dreams never die.

We can be the ones to lead a revolution.
It's a good thing some dreams never die.
Dreams don't die.

Militia men march for the love of our sound.
Stamp sincerely to the heart in our song.

(I will start a revolution!)

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.


It's great that people are thinking about this tough question.

Of course, I can't speak for the Daily Paul, but...

It is probably time for the insights of Locke, Hayek, and others to be revised.

On the basis of the current state of oppression, it is clear that violence is now justified and has been justified for a long time, at least on the face of it---that is, on the basis of the level of immoral actions by the small psychotic predatory portion of society known as government servants. Make no mistake, these are not servants of actual people. They are servants of government and fundamentally enemies of civilized society.

Of course, no one wants to pay the price for executing that violence. That is one factor and, if that were all there were to it, this mollifying influence could be attributed to simple cowardice.

Many of the colonists in 1775 didn't have this character flaw. If violence was called for (and they decided it was), then they were ready to act. They were ready to pay the price for future generations.

They also had something else going for them. They had a large portion of their fellow countrymen who saw things clearly and felt the same way. They understood what Locke and Jefferson were trying to say---perhaps better than Locke and Jefferson understood it themselves.

And they failed.

Within a decade the people of New England had imposed on them a tyranny which was essentially the same as the one Isaac Davis and John Parker had committed to throw off. That tyranny has predictably grown into what we have now.

In retrospect, we are among those future generations for whom the brave colonists paid the price of violence, and we are now in a position of much greater oppression than they ever dreamed of. And it looks like our children will be in a much much worse situation that we are.

So their violence didn't work, at least in the long term.

And that's really the key. We are very far from being in a situation where violence would be profitable. Let me try to be clear on this.

I'm trying to draw a distinction between "justified" and "profitable."

Based on the state of our current society and the immoral oppression and dependence it produces, violence is clearly "justified." If you or someone else wanted to start the "hard war" now, I personally wouldn't do anything to resist you or them.

On the other hand, based on the hearts and minds of those around me, it is clear that such an action would be futile.

Therefore, I engage in the "soft war" of trying to change hearts and minds. There are others, but far too few. Remember, "the American Revolution was won in the hearts and minds of the people before the first shot was fired" ---John Adams

And paradoxically, they lost. So, we had better make damn sure we've got this thing won in the hearts and minds before executing justified violent resistance against aggression. It is possible that a society with mental and physical standing to successfully pull off a violent revolution does not need one. (This is a modification of Locke to which I alluded.)

In any case, it is clear that we are nowhere close.

This doesn't mean there's nothing to do. There is a tremendous amount to do.

Can you feed yourself? Do you have a community in which you can independently provide all your needs? Provide your own defense? All based on voluntary interaction?

Of course you don't. Of course it's difficult. But I'm afraid it's got to be done.

If it seems difficult remember this: Whatever can be accomplished by slaves, can be accomplished better and more efficiently by intelligent industrious free men. Become an intelligent and industrious free man. No excuses.

We need to build an independent economy, and efficiency and maximum production of "wealth" cannot be the ultimate goals. I suggest "health" and "community" be near the top priorities for the economy we must create with voluntarism as a foundation. (This is fundamentally a modification of the insight of Hayek, who pointed out that specialization and anonymous interdependence tend to lead to greater wealth.) We need to have the benefit of some specialization and interdependence, but pursuit of maximum production via abandon to complete anonymity appears to require a state of dependence and instability through rejection of a foundation of voluntary interaction which destroys other important aspects of society. Wealth is not the ultimate goal. More likely it is incorrect to assume the imposition of any ultimate goal if you wish to have a sustainable society with some nominal level of peace.

I hope this provides some kind of attempt at an answer to your question.

Based on more than "Lockean Theory"

Least we forget the Catholics had been occupying the Americas since 1492. Catholics are not government, they work within whatever government knowing, goverments come, and go in time.. and the government was that of the Native Americans (who believed in slavery on their own system).. what was interesting was how the women ran the tribes, and there was democracy, unlike that England knew of or the tory's wanted.. the chief was selected by the women.. the affect Native Amerians had on our constitution was one of the greatest parts of the revolution.

Revolt... that's like flashing in the pan. If that's all you got.. go for it. The only regret I have about joining the GOP, getting on a committee and and watching my committee become a committee for liberty, is not joining in 07.

From what I have observed..

This thing is going in stages. We are currently in a stage where political activism is needed to awaken more people to the downward direction of this country and what needs to be done to fix it.

What comes after this stage.. well you should look it up. Work needs to be done now in this stage so spread the word. It is effective though. There is a sea change and people are not liking what they are seeing with the direction of this country. We need to push harder though.

Personal opinion:

I think part of the issue here is to decide whether you're a pacifist or would resort to violence if an act of aggression was committed against you or your loved ones. Since (so far) the majority of aggression against U.S. citizens has been what I would call "passive" for most people, the day may come when that's not the case. Since paying my taxes doesn't require me to harm anyone else, it's much more productive to simply pay them (even though I DO consider it theft) and move on with my life, than to resist and get thrown in jail. But if government agents were illegitimately going after me, my family, or my neighbors, threatening or committing violent acts... Well, hopefully that time never comes.

I'm a very non-violent person. I've never been in a fight; I'm afraid of getting hurt and I don't want to hurt anyone else. But, at some point, you either defend yourself or get trampled (or worse).

you are funding the wars

How much more direct can it be? Our taxes kill people all over the world. All tax-payers are taking part in this.