Apparently, the FBI thinks so. In a news conference last week, the G-Men gave public warning about what they called the “sovereign citizen movement.” This movement is composed, they say, of people who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the state, its laws or officials. Furthermore, these sovereign citizens have engaged in violence – which is where I guess the terrorism comes in. On the FBI website, said “domestic terrorist threat” is described this way:
Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.
Well, if we change “United State” to “Canada,” aside of the term “extremists”, yes, I would say that pretty much sounds like me. And I am quite supportive of those in the United States who feel the same way. So, the question is: am I a terrorist?
Since, if the FBI says I am, I guess that gives the executive branch of the U.S. state carte blanche to rendition or murder me, it doesn’t appear likely I’ll get my day in court. That quaint nicety has apparently gone out of fashion. So, I shall here, for posterity, make the statement I would have made if I had been given a public trial.
A terrorist is someone who uses the instilling of terror in others to intimidate them into accepting the terrorist’s terms. Though it may not be part of the formal definition, this is almost universally understood as using mass, apparently indiscriminate, violence to instill the terror. So, well, I don’t do that. Never have done that. Don’t intend to do that and do not counsel others to do that. Well, that was simple; I guess I’m not a terrorist.
Ah, but not so fast young grasshopper, when the apparatchiks of the state use the word terrorist, they aren’t so concerned with the inconvenient details of etymology. Indeed, their definition is kind of hard to pin down. It seems in fact to be anyone who opposes them and has or would use any kind of violence in doing so. In the reports cited above, the acts of violence attributed to sovereign citizens are not planned attacks, à la 9/11, but spontaneous outbursts that arose from circumstantial confrontations that got out of hand. (And, we can’t help wondering who had the greatest incentive to escalate such situations.) That’s hardly terrorism, but it’s enough to qualify for the low-bar version of the statists. All this does though muddy the water.
Let me be clear then: I not only do not support, but unconditionally condemn, any acts of actual terrorism. To be strategically effective terrorism must be indiscriminate and that is the worst kind of violation of natural law. Initiation of violence is the single greatest act of immorality – the foundation of all immorality – in my estimation. However, anyone so brave (and, let’s be honest, audacious) to lay claim to such natural law as the basis for defending their property against the state’s theft of it has my complete moral support. They have morality fully on their side. Their choice may be audacious, but it is on the side of justice.
After all, if terrorism is the use of violence to instill terror in others to intimidate them into accepting the terrorist’s terms, whom is a greater terrorist than the state itself? Though assiduously avoided in the casual chit-chat of polite society, we all know full-well, if we refuse to surrender (for the average Canadian) 40+% of our income, for others to use as they see fit; if we defy their dictates as to what we can or can’t put in or do with our own bodies; if we trade whatever we want, with whomever we want, that will voluntarily trade with us, anywhere in the world; if we decide what commodities we prefer to use as money; and likewise with countless other violations of our liberty and property, they will send their armed agents to threaten, if that doesn’t work, assault and abduct us. And, god forbid, if one should choose to exercise their natural law rights to defend their property or body from theft or assault, the agents of the state claim the legitimate authority to kill us.
So, who is the terrorist? Like fish in water, we have all been so entirely immersed in these terrorist institutions that we accept their banal viciousness and legitimizing fairy tales as in a somnambulant trance. That analogy, though, is unfair to the fish. Its surrounding water world facilitates its existence; the water doesn’t threaten, rob, intimidate and coerce the fish. Isn’t it just a bit rich for these people to be calling anyone else terrorists? Pots and kettles everywhere, black and otherwise, scratch their chins in wonder.
But, I can’t wrap up without mentioning my favourite part of the article from the FBI website. At the end, of course, it calls upon all loyal citizens to inform on these nefarious sovereign citizens. But, the G-Men know, knowledge can be a dangerous thing, so they preface their call for informers with this warning: “You can help. First, ‘be crime smart’—don’t fall for the bogus claims and scams of sovereign citizens.” Don’t think for yourself; we G-Men will do that for you.
Whoa, dude, you better got off this web site, like, pronto.