The Bastardy of “Martial Law”

As Samuel Johnson once reputedly quipped, nothing focuses a man’s mind more than his impending hanging.

Martial Law
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Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Constitutional Militia

My latest book—By Tyranny Out of Necessity: The Bastardy of “Martial Law”—is now available through Amazon. Its title encapsulates its theme: namely, that “martial law” (as most Americans conceive of it) is a wholly illegitimate concept which appeals to some supposed, but false, “necessity” in order to establish a very real tyranny.

Some might say that, in light of the present parlous condition of the Republic, and especially the pathetic indifference of average Americans to this sorry state of affairs, writing such a book will prove to be a fool’s errand on my part —or perhaps a hopeless task quixotically undertaken for the benefit of fools. Obviously, I disagree. I consider the subject-matter of this book to be vital to this country’s survival.

To be sure, By Tyranny Out of Necessity is not the most important book which I have written on the general subject of the place of the Militia in America’s constitutional edifice. The others—Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume One, The Nation in Arms; Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume Two, The Sword and Sovereignty; Thirteen Words; and Three Rights—were more significant in principle, because if patriots in sufficient numbers had paid attention to the message those works conveyed, and had taken action upon it, the danger of “martial law” would already be well on the way to being obviated. As of now, however, By Tyranny Out of Necessity is the most important of my books in practice, precisely because most Americans have not been paying attention—not so much to my works, but to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution upon which those works are based. Now, people are becoming increasingly worried about the imposition of “martial law” in the course of some jury-rigged “national emergency”. They are being told by “the Powers That Be” that “martial law” is legitimate, and that sufficient steps are being taken to prepare for it—especially in the para-militarization of State and Local “law-enforcement” and “emergency-management” agencies. Through the media, they have witnessed an example of the implementation of “martial law”, on a small yet highly organized scale, in Watertown, Massachusetts, hard upon the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Many of them have had personal experiences with the bestiality of “martial law” in the myriad episodes of unpunished “police brutality” which take place almost every day throughout this country. Yet, overall, most Americans have no idea whether “martial law” is even lawful or not—but apparently are resigned to the belief that nothing can be done to stop it from being imposed upon them.

One would presume that, in light of the seriousness of the matter, Americans would ask: “What is ‘martial law’?” and “How is ‘martial law’ legal?” Certainly, proof of the illegality of “martial law”—in any of its particulars, let alone as a whole—would provide a firm foundation for opposing it, and for deposing from public office those individuals who propose it. So I anticipate (or at least hope) that By Tyranny Out of Necessity, which demonstrates in exhaustive detail why the common misconception of “martial law” is industrial-strength bunkum, will be a smashing success in terms of its usefulness among patriots who intend to keep their heads out of the sand, their feet on the ground, and their eyes on the ultimate goal of living in what the Second Amendment calls “a free State”.

Yes, one would presume, perhaps even expect, that such would be the case. Yet hoping does not make it so. There remains the possibility that this country has already plunged so far off the deep end of Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abendlandes that nothing can be done to salvage the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any semblance of “a free State”. What might constitute evidence for that lugubrious conclusion?

A. The evidence. That I have had to write By Tyranny Out of Necessity (or, for that matter, any of my books touching on the Militia) is prime evidence of the decay into which this country has fallen. For, as By Tyranny Out of Necessity explains, the Militia are, as they always have been, the definitive preventive of and answer to “martial law”, or any other manifestation of usurpation or tyranny. No threat of “martial law” would exist if Americans were properly organized in “the Militia of the several States”, because any constitutionally valid form of “law” that needed enforcement by “martial” institutions against civilians would be the civil laws of the Union and of the several States executed by the Militia—that is, by WE THE PEOPLE themselves.

Even the half-witted rogues in the Disgrace of Columbia would think long and hard about the inadvisability of attempting to invoke “martial law” if WE THE PEOPLE awakened to their own constitutional authority in the Militia; refused to recognize the legitimacy of any form of “law” that needed “martial” enforcement against civilians, but was not executed by or under the control of the Militia; organized themselves for the purpose of revitalizing the Militia by means of State legislation under the States’ reserved constitutional authority in that respect; and through that effort prepared themselves to oppose “martial law” even if that legislation could not be enacted in time in every State. Emphasis on the last point is vital: Even if patriots could not succeed in having proper Militia statutes enacted throughout this country before a major economic, political, and social breakdown occurred, they could at least motivate, educate, organize, equip, and train tens of thousands of Americans who would be capable of acting collectively in their and their country’s interests. This critical mass does not exist at present; and it will never come into being unless and until adequate steps are taken to revitalize the Militia. Perhaps only a small part of it can be amalgamated before a calamity strikes. But something for some is better than nothing for all—a self-evident truth to which every passenger who found a seat in one of the few lifeboats on the Titanic would have attested.

B. Some of the responsible parties. The plain fact is, however, that neither “the Militia of the several States” nor any significant movements in favor of revitalizing the Militia exist in any State. Who is to blame for this? Of course, “the Powers That Be” and their partisans, clients, stooges, and hangers-on are the primary culprits—because the very last thing they want is for WE THE PEOPLE to organize themselves in the institutions which the Constitution describes as “necessary to the security of a free State”. “The Powers That Be”, after all, recoil from “a free State” as vampires recoil from garlic. Yet they are not the only responsible parties. Many other Americans are at fault, too. For example—

• The catastrophards. These doomsayers contend that it is useless to promote the revitalization of the Militia (or any other constitutional reform, for that matter), because all is already irretrievably lost. A national catastrophe, in one horrendous manifestation or another, is inevitable, imminent, unavoidable, and unmitigable. Perhaps surprisingly, in the front ranks of these people march certain lay preachers who declaim in the style of prophets out of the Old Testament how this country is “under judgment” and will soon be destroyed by the hand of God. Well, if that is so, then good riddance to it. But is that prophecy true? Apparently their voices have not reminded them that God still helps those who help themselves. Neither have their voices recommended to them the alternative explanation of contemporary events, that Americans have not yet failed Heaven’s test, but are being tested right now—that all of the cultural bolshevism, pessimism, decadence, perversion, depravity, criminality, corruption, usurpation, and even tyranny from which America suffers is being allowed to afflict her so that WE THE PEOPLE can finally screw their courage to the sticking place and reassert the principles of “a free State” under “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—and that “judgment” will befall them only if they fail, neglect, or refuse to pass this test.

• The appeasers. Amazing (at least to me) is how many self-styled “patriots” are actually rather abject appeasers of and collaborators with “the Powers That Be”. This manifests itself most strikingly and sickeningly in the childish fear of “the M word” endemic in these people. How many times have I heard it said, and all too accurately so, that “even most of those Americans who support the Second Amendment do not want to be associated with anything concerning ‘militia’”? How, though, is this possible? Precisely how can someone claim to support the Second Amendment while at the same time repudiating the constitutional institutions which the Amendment itself declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”? What good is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” if it does not conduce to “the security of a free State”? And how can it do so if “the people” do not employ it in the Militia which the Amendment itself declares to be “necessary to” that purpose?

One can understand why various subversive organizations and individuals, in public office as well as private station, stridently demonize the word “militia”. They are intent, after all, not simply on tarring a word, but on psychologically terrorizing all Americans so that they can prevent the reinstatement of the very establishments which the Constitution itself declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”—and thereby insure the destruction of “a free State” everywhere within this country. Beyond understanding, though, is what those self-styled “patriots” who appease these subversives by distancing themselves from, if not demonizing, the word “militia” expect to gain from such craven and stupid behavior. Collaboration of that ilk can only hasten the day when no “free State” exists anywhere in America.

If these appeasers are ashamed of and unwilling to support their own Constitution with respect to what it declares in no uncertain terms to be “necessary”, they should emigrate to North Korea, where even lip-service is not paid to the principles and practices of “a free State”. They would do truly patriotic Americans a favor, because the departure of each defeatist collaborator from this country would give those patriots who remained that much of a better chance to prevail—at least to the extent of not having constantly to worry about being stabbed in the back.

The intellectual élite. A not insignificant part of the self-styled “patriotic” leadership in this country contends that next to nothing can be done to dam the political, economic, social, and cultural sewage pouring out of the Disgrace of Columbia because, although the intellectually acute leaders themselves fully understand what needs doing, average Americans are little more than bovine morons whom the leaders simply cannot educate or motivate to do the right thing. So it is supposedly hopeless to expect “the sheeple” ever to understand the need to revitalize the Militia. This, however, is pathetic special pleading on two counts.

First, those in glass houses should not cast stones. If the sheeple are stupid, are the shepherds any smarter? How many among the self-obsessed intellectual élite of the “patriotic” leadership really understand the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and especially the relationship between the two? How many realize what the Second Amendment calls “a free State” actually is? How many are willing to do what is required to guarantee the survival of “a free State”? And, most to the point, how many pay any attention to the only institutions the Constitution itself declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”? Apparently not very many. For how many among the leadership support, or even mention, revitalization of the Militia?

Second, only a poor workman blames his tools. By hypothesis, average people need “leaders” because they are incapable of “leading” themselves. True “leaders” qualify as such because they are extraordinary individuals who demonstrate the capacity to show average people the right way to go. Therefore, the primary responsibility of “leaders” among the intellectual élite is always to devise a means to educate the people, not to complain about how uneducable they are. Just as a cabinetmaker must hone his chisels to fine edges in order to perform satisfactory work, if the people’s wits are dull the first task of the leadership must be to sharpen them. So, if America’s “patriotic” leadership does comprehend what is “necessary to the security of a free State”, its failure to pass on to average citizens the gist of this knowledge is more likely its own fault, rather than the fault of its pupils. The leadership cannot justly blame the people for its own sloth and incompetence.

The “patriotic” gurus of the ether. The gurus who haunt the “patriotic” alternative media of websites, blogs, videos, talk radio, and so on make their livings by expatiating endlessly on the terrifying dangers that are impinging upon this country. In style, they are strikingly akin to the gnats of summer. They flit wildly from one topic to another (or provide a plethora of links that encourages their audiences to do so). They buzz with the artificial excitement of the moment. Sometimes they bite with trenchant comments. But, when all is said and done, their effect remains ephemeral. No one remembers tomorrow what they said yesterday. This is because, although they are often good at identifying obvious problems in the short term, they always seem unable to propose really workable long-term solutions. They sometimes can tell Americans what is going wrong, but almost never delve into how to set it right. Perhaps this is because they are unable to grasp that, although the day-to-day problems may change, the underlying causes of—and the ultimate solutions to—them never do. Or perhaps it is because they do grasp that the ever-intensifying difficulties assaulting Americans are (as the Chinese say) their very own rice bowls, without which they would have to find other sources of employment and income. Whatever the reason, they tend to be more public nuisances than public benefactors, because their viewers, readers, and listeners imagine that they have done something useful by tuning in, or that they need not do anything else, or that nothing more can be done.

In contrast, the Constitution sets out certain fixed principles of permanent value for WE THE PEOPLE’S control of the institutions called “government” at every level of the federal system. The most important of these is that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”, because the overarching purpose of the Constitution is to secure “a free State” for all Americans. One would hope that THE PEOPLE would not need any “patriotic” gurus (or anyone else) to remind them of that. Yet, inasmuch as THE PEOPLE seem to have temporarily forgotten this principle—as evidenced by the absence of “well regulated Militia” in all of the fifty States— to be worth their salt the gurus should be emphasizing it at every opportunity. That they are not is revealing.

The members of “private militias”. It is worse than simplistic to dismiss the members of various “private militias” scattered across this country as mere rustic buffoons who stupidly imagine themselves capable of employing Eighteenth-Century tactics to save America from Twenty-first- Century tyranny. For they at least understand that it is more intelligent to put some extra lifeboats on the Titanic before she sails, than to attempt to cobble a few together from deck chairs as she is sinking. They at least comprehend that it is more prudent to organize their families, friends, and neighbors into what they mistakenly call “militia” before a nationwide crisis breaks out and “the Powers That Be” invoke “martial law”, rather than afterwards. For obviously it is better to bring together as many people as possible in cooperative endeavors on the basis of common plans before any such crisis supervenes—rather than when society is in utter disarray; when in the midst of chaos patriots are compelled to act as individuals or in small groups who or which do not even know of each other’s existences; and when, realizing their own isolation and lack of support from anyone else, patriots cannot depend upon or even minimally trust their own neighbors. For part two click below.