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Disarmed, in Body and Mind

(originally launched into cyberspace on 04/23/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Below is my commentary on the shootings at Virginia Tech. Actually,
I wrote this over a year ago. It's part of my "Tyrant" book ( ), but it pretty much covers most of what
I'd bother saying about the recent killings. Why was the massacre
attempted? Because someone seriously unstable decided to try it.
Why did it SUCCEED? Because, as far as I can tell, it didn't occur
to many (or any) of his targets to forcibly defend themselves. Why
not? Because they have been trained that way. (See below.)


Larken Rose

(P.S. Remember, this book is talking to aspiring tyrants.)
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The Sin of Self Defense

Transforming independent individuals into slaves requires extensive
indoctrination. The way they view life, the world, and themselves
must be molded into an outlook that is compatible with tyranny.
They must be trained to be scared of the world, and always to be
seeking some "authority" to protect and take care of them.
Whenever a problem arises, they should look to their rulers for the
solution rather than taking it upon themselves to fix it.

One of the main problems that the peasants must be trained not to
deal with themselves is violent conflict. It is imperative that
they view you (and your enforcers) as the only protection against
robbery, assault, and murder. In short, they must be indoctrinated
in such a way that they do not even want to be able to defend
themselves. The reason is simple: if the peasants feel capable and
entitled to "enforce justice" themselves, they might just decide to
enforce a little justice against you. And that obviously won't do.

They must be trained to give up their belief in their right to
defend themselves, which is not an easy thing to do. You must
attack "peasant justice" in any ways you can think of, such as: 1)
"Vigilante justice can never be as just or fair as our system"; 2)
"You can't possibly protect yourselves; let us do it"; 3) "If you
have a gun, you'll only hurt yourself"; 4) "If the peasants were
allowed to use force, there would be chaos"; 5) "Private protection
agencies would just deteriorate into competing gangs of thugs"; and
so on. Often privately-enforced justice is referred to as the
people "taking the law into their own hands," which reinforces the
idea that only enforcers of "the law" should ever use force, and of
course the lowly peasants can't be allowed to do that.

The point requires a lot of indoctrination because it is so
contrary to the instinct every creature has to defend itself and
its pack. A few samples of past attitudes show how far the U.S.
empire has come in training its citizens to loathe the idea of
having to defend themselves.

"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on
the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader
and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as
property." [Thomas Paine]

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who
are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws
make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants;
they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an
unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed
man." [Thomas Jefferson]

Even when it came to defending against foreign invasion, the
founders of the United States of America abhorred the idea of a
"standing army," and preferred instead an armed (and trained)
citizen "militia."

"A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms,
is the best and most natural defense of a free country." [James

"[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the
people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when
young, how to use them." [Richard Henry Lee]

Even worse, a mere couple of centuries ago, even well-educated,
respected individuals spoke openly about the possibility of the
common folk using violence against their own rulers.

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as
they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in
America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole
body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to
any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in
the United States." [Noah Webster]

"[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to
form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to
the liberties of the people while there is a large body of
citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the
use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of
their fellow citizens." [Alexander Hamilton]

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone
who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it
but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are
ruined." [Patrick Henry]

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear
arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in
government." [Thomas Jefferson]

Needless to say, that is an idea that you must rip out of the minds
of your subjects at all costs. The common folk should not view
themselves as justified even in fending off a common crook by
force, much less fending off a foreign invader, or fending off you
and your thugs. The revolutionary concept of a "militia,"
consisting of the people in general, which stands ready to forcibly
resist tyranny even from their own "government," must be removed by
any means necessary from the realm of possibilities in the minds of
the peasants.