Thursday, August 11, 2011


"The right of the foolish to be guided and governed by the wise, is the first right of man, beside which all the others pale in comparison..."

Thomas Carlyle, The Present Time

Who gets to decide who is wise? It is a foolish question. It is pellucid, to any with understanding, who is wiser - he who knows what to do in an emergency IS the government. Khuenhelt-Ledhin used to tell the story about a sinking ship, in which a stampede to the lifeboats is stopped by a passenger with a gun; this passenger demands that the men do their duty, that women and children be allowed first, and then that an orderly evacuation follow. It cannot be said that this is democratic; nor can it be said to be peaceful or "normative"; nor can it be said that it is voluntary. And yet it is, in a sense, voluntary. The man with the gun might have happened to be a violent, selfish criminal. Indeed, in such situations, this may be the first element to show its head. Much as in the story of Wyatt Earp, the West faces an increasing lawlessness in which it is unclear what "law and order" any longer mean. In these situations, even the most peaceful, milk-drinking, kindliest old gentleman may well pull forth an old rusty Birmingham horse pistol, and hoarsely demand of the rising element of chaos or criminals that they "be so good as to retire, & that with promptitude". This is not democracy, but it is good government. Those who resist the anarchists, the opportunists, and the tyrants - look to these. It matters not what form of government they impose; it will be doubly, triply just - just because they oppose the wrong; just because they are good men; just because they are brave. They may well be said to be Jefferson's natural aristoi, of whom Romans 13 was written in truth, or Calvin's "lesser magistrates" - men who do not fear death enough to bow before its Incarnation. Pray for these men, and support them. Let the devil back his gift to us of the magical power of 51%.

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