Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The price of passivity

Having decided at long last to join what Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll last year called the "mad blog rabble", I initially thought to open my own with a lofty statement of purpose. Things being as they are today, though, it’s as well to just jump in:

On the op-ed page of this morning’s Arizona Republic, blogger Joanie Flatt reacts to yesterday’s ghastly massacre at Virgina Tech (no link): "My brain just screams at me, ‘Why? Why? Why?’" While the creatures who engage in this kind of thing do indeed seem to be from a different planet, their motivation is not difficult to discern. It is a consuming greed for total personal power; a power so absolute as to be worth yielding the remainder of one’s life to enjoy a brief spell of it. In one of Fjordman’s reports at Gates of Vienna, he cites an interview conducted by the Swedish sociologist Petra Akesson in which immigrant thugs described a similar sensation:

"‘Power for me means that Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet.’ The boys explain, laughingly, that ‘there is a thrilling sensation in your body when you’re robbing, you feel satisfied and happy, it feels as if you’ve succeeded, it simply feels good.’"

But there is another reason "Why, Why, Why" these atrocities occur – a reason Mark Steyn put his finger on in a column in Canada’s National Post six days after 9/11:

"The airline cabin is the most advanced model of the modern social-democratic state, the rarefied version of trends that, on the ground, progress more slowly. There is no smoking. There is 100% gun control. You are obliged by law to do everything the cabin crew tell you to do. If the stewardess is rude to you, tough. If you're rude to her, there'll be officers waiting to arrest you when you land. The justification for all this is a familiar one – that in return for surrendering individual liberties, we'll all be collectively better off. That was the deal: Do as you're told, and the FAA will look after you.
"On Tuesday morning, they failed spectacularly to honor their end of the bargain – as I'm sure the terrorists knew they would. By all accounts, they traveled widely during the long preparations for their mission, and they must have seen that an airline cabin is the one place where, thanks to the FAA, you can virtually guarantee you'll meet no resistance."

As the Roanoke Times’ quote from a Virginia Tech official hailing the defeat of a bill to enable concealed-carry permit holders to bear their arms at Virginia institutions of higher education indicates, the same paradigm is in effect on university campuses. And this involves not merely a proscription against being armed materially, but a requirement that one be unarmed mentally. Per Max Weber’s dictum, the state must enjoy a monopoly on force; to subdue miscreants is the job of its functionaries. Your job as a mere civilian is to flee if it is possible and to submit if it is not.

If this sits ill with you, the late great Jeff Cooper, father of the Modern Technique of the Pistol, propounded a far better idea in his "Principles of Personal Defense". Emphases original:

"We often hear it said – espcially by certain police spokesmen who, it seems to me, should know better – that in the event of victimization the victim should offer no resistance, for fear of arousing his assailant. Perhaps we should ignore the craven exhortation to cowardice made here. ‘Honor’ may in truth be an obsolete word. So let us consider only results. The Sharon Tate party did not resist. The Starkweather victims did not resist. The LaBiancas did not resist. Mitrione did not resist. The next time some ‘expert’ tells me not to resist I may become abusive.
"Apart from the odds that you will be killed anyway if you submit to threats of violence, it would seem – espcially in today’s world of permissive atrocity – that it may be your social duty to resist. ... If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim. ...
George Patton told his officers, ‘Don’t worry about your flanks. Let the enemy worry about his flanks. It is high time for society to stop worrying about the criminal, and to let the criminal start worrying about society. And by society I mean you."

Words to live by – and let any potential adversary, be he criminal, terrorist or tyrant – be in no doubt that I do live by them.

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