The Death of Liberty: Problems and Solutions for the Liberty Movement
I have been meaning to write a post for a week or so now, concerning patrol formations. But things have been busy with the post on the Finicum killing. I may yet get round to the patrol formation post, but given recent events, I have to ask myself: WHY? It’s just more free tactical chicken on the Internet that will perhaps intellectually interest some, but will be no use to anyone who is not willing to participate in training.
In light of these posts:
It really makes you wonder, particularly when you assess the fallout from the Finicum killing, and also anecdotes on the forum about the inability of people to conduct maintenance training, and effectively work together as teams.
Do I think this post today will make any positive difference? The answer is, sadly, no.
Most of what we see is just internet outrage porn, people bashing away at their keyboards and ultimately doing nothing constructive. Most of the country are a bunch of statist cretins anyway; either ‘law and order’ types cheering the demise of liberty, or left wing moonbats cheering for as much death and murder of ‘right wing nuts’ as they can. What a bunch of murderous idiots.
The ‘Liberty movement’ is riven by division, ego and stupidity. No one can agree on what Liberty actually is, or an end game. They can’t even agree that the United States Constitution, or a return to, could be a good common start point. Simply a return to the actual law in this country?
As far as the ‘Patriot Movement’ itself, what a cluster. You have this so-called leadership, groups who in their actions seem to me nothing but a controlled opposition. They make me want to vomit. They keep making statements such as ‘No more free Waco’s,’ but when an atrocity happens they always talk their way back from it – this “isn’t the hill to die on” and associated cowardice. What is the point of these groups? To collect membership fees? I see them as nothing but sensationalist, with their claims of super-secret information that only serves to try and highlight their own self-importance. Does a “Waco” refer only events that specifically happen in Waco, involving a compound filled with Branch Davidians?
But what are these ridiculous organizations to do anyway? Violence? Well, it appears that if tyranny keeps encroaching, the logical answer is that violence will become the only option, because at some point it becomes inevitable unless you intend to simply acquiesce, against the very oath you took to the Constitution? But who is going to do this violence? Which of these various groups? What a joke. Let’s think: what about the Bundy Ranch? What about the soup sandwich that was, and the infighting between the various groups and organizations, and the super secret BS about drone strikes etc, simply because they were not happy about Ryan Payne being in charge of security, or whatever the tiff was about.
Let’s imagine for a moment, if another Bundy Ranch style event happens. Assume that I am sufficiently motivated to get in my truck and go join the protest. HELL NO! Why would I voluntarily join in a guaranteed shit show of disorganization and incompetence? Why?
I have written about it many, many times. Leadership, teamwork, training, continuity training, legitimacy and competence. The ‘Liberty Movement’ has none of that. Unlike leftists, who understand that at some point they simply have to get behind an umbrella cause in order to make things happen, Liberty types spend endless time on the internet arguing in circles about who is right. Meanwhile very few are actually training or doing anything effective. For example, you can’t have a simple rallying cry such as the supreme law of the land, the USC, because then you will have a bunch of abolitionists or anarchists saying they don’t believe that. Philosophizing and dissecting Liberty to death, and so on. Then you get the black helicopter paranoid nut job types entering from stage right and messing it all up.
Where the crap is the rational in all of this? Most of it is simply outrage porn on the internet anyway. Pointless. Meanwhile, Leviathan sits back and laughs, cheered on by the assholes that make up the majority in this country.
I will have nothing to do with it.
If I was to make a suggestion, it would be along these lines: you all need to have your collective heads banged together, and get a grip. I know it is pointless for me to write this, because it won’t happen. But I’ll do it anyway, out of sheer bloody-mindedness. You need to fall in and get in line. STFU. Even that statement will set many off: it includes the word ‘collective’ and implies that you actually have to STFU and start following a leader(s). That statement is not going to fly with the ‘rugged individualists’ who totally misunderstand that whole concept, and think it simply means to be a grumpy disagreeable individual rather than someone who is free, has their own mind, but can organize for a cause, such as mutual defense, when necessary.
People like to talk a lot and make parallels with the Revolutionary War and the Civil War (i.e. War of Northern Aggression). But the guys who formed as the militia were actually under orders, it was an official organization, even though the training and discipline was not as extensive as for regular troops. What about the Confederate troops in the Civil War? They were signed up and under orders, as an army. Do you think they just stood there in formation and received enemy fire because they wanted to? Or charged with the bayonet into the enemy guns? Can you imagine trying to organize that (tactical era differences aside) nowadays? Everyone on FaceBook being told to show up and form up? No I get it, it’s not the same tactical era or style of fighting we are talking about, it’s not the more likely 4GW, but the point being that at some point, these civilian soldiers needed to STFU and get under military discipline, without which none of this would have happened.
And this is why none of it will happen now. Very few people actually train to a tactical standard on their own, and even then they mostly lack leadership, self-starting and motivational skills. That is why in the military you have discipline to get people out training. Otherwise, why show up for PT in the morning? Which is why *most* civilians will not show up for their own PT in the morning, because why? That is why we need self-discipline, and very few have it.
To continue the Civil War analogy, consider this short extract concerning the actions of Colonel Jackson to reorganize Confederate Forces at Harper’s Ferry:
The former Virginia Military Institute professor discovered “things presented a most hopeless aspect” upon his arrival, and immediately began transforming Harpers Ferry into an army town. Drawing upon his experience as a West Pointer and Mexican War veteran, Jackson first deposed the militia generals and disposed of the whiskey. He then stripped independence from the individual militia companies and organized them into regiments, recruiting VMI graduates into many command positions. Within a week of Jackson’s arrival, the “pomp and circumstance of glorious war” had been replaced with seven hours of daily drill and enforcement of the strictest military code. “What a revolution three or four days had wrought,” observed the commander of the Staunton Artillery. “Perfect order reigned everywhere.”
Of course, to be able to do this, Jackson required recourse to some form of authority. In a modern militia type standoff, no-one has that authority, except perhaps by force of personality. Hence, ego and big problems. Now, no-one expects any armed conflict against leviathan to take the form of the Civil War, with formed armies marching on the field, but the point is there.
Concerning the Malheur protest, the stupidity of calling this a ‘tactical operation’ is still making the rounds of the blogs. Whether through intent or incompetence, this was not run like a tactical operation, but as a protest occupation. Could they have benefited from better security? Of course, but that is a matter of security to a protest, not a tactical operation. If this was in fact a tactical operation, none of what they did, should have been done, in simple terms. You can denigrate them, if you wish, for their lack of security and the ‘tactics’ that they employed, or failed to employ, but in my mind they were simply trying to organize a protest occupation. Some out there simply do not have the mental flexibility to see the differences here. It’s a case of nuance – not everything is a camo clad militia tactical operation.
If we are talking tactics, and again I have commented on this before, setting up a fixed ‘key point defense’ is not a sound plan – where you can be surrounded and reduced at will. And herein lies the nuance – the proper tactics to fight leviathan are those of guerrilla hit and run, but of course we are not in that situation at this time, so what did you expect the protesters to do? The situation we are in is one of FaceBook outrage, and calling on others to ‘do something,’ and trying to increase our organization’s reputation by sensationalism on the internet. Granted the most likely situation we will face in the future is something similar to the Bundy Ranch, where a cause appears and people want to rally to it – some sort of armed standoff if you will. Again, this whole ‘standoff’ mindset is tactically unsound. If you must get involved in a standoff, then you really only want protesters and some form of basic security at the actual site. You want any tactical teams outside of the key point, acting as a QRF. You want them separate but able to respond from the outside of any LE cordon operation – this prevents the standard ‘Waco’ style standoff from developing. However, this requires organization, leadership, training, competence and coordination, something that I do not see – even if individual groups have it, it cannot be used between groups, who simply want to bicker about who is in charge and who has a better ‘tactical’ plan.
And while we are on it, we need to have legitimacy, and sound judgment. This means you cannot have a bunch of stolen valor wannabes or petty criminals running your show. You also cannot have the paranoid, because they cannot objectively assess the situation, on for example what the FBI may be thinking, because to them everything is a conspiracy theory and they therefore cannot apply sound judgment and decision making. They are thus more likely to make poor decisions regarding matters such as rules of engagement, because when everything is a conspiracy in your mind, it is more likely that you will make a bad call.
I’ll throw out some points that I think would be great to see in the Liberty movement:
- An agreed objective, that has a chance of gaining popular support. Something to unite the disparate groups and thinkers. I would suggest the USC, because it already has legitimacy as the law of the land, and is at least known by the population at large. Whether or not people understand how this country has been corrupted or not, it is a start point – a return to the Constitutional Republic. This is in line with oaths that people have taken and their understanding of America, whether or not they are living in a fairy tale fantasy land or not. The military and the LEOs understand it, even if right now they do not know how far we / they are operating from it. You can get behind a broad objective such as that, or you can philosophize it down the rabbit hole so that any cause dies by 1000 cuts of internal bickering. Up to you.
- A political wing. There are a lot of thinkers and bloggers out there. How about the formation of a Liberty Party? And I don’t mean to actually run for office, but as a pressure / interest group. This way, Liberty can be represented by people other than camo clad militia, the political bloggers can stay out of ‘tactics’ and we may actually have a chance of being represented.
- Along with the Liberty Party, it is essential that their be a PR operation to go with it, to counter the left wing propaganda that all Liberty supporters are white racists, or whatever the latest is. I have a little suggestion, that many will not like, but that I think would make a huge difference – separate the PR campaign for Liberty from any religious message. Yes, liberty includes your freedom of religion, and many are strong Christians, but I think the liberty message should not be a religious one. Take it or leave it – if you want Liberty, understand this means Rightful Liberty, and not everyone agrees with you, and the religious types do not even agree with each other. Keep the religious debates on points of biblical dogma off the comments sections! For example, much as I like Krisanne Hall, she in my opinion needs to separate her Constitutional message from her religious one – it is a common problem.
- If you get involved in a standoff protest, tell everyone to STFU, and control the message to the media. How about a snappily dressed professional looking female PR rep? If you insist on having camo clad stolen valor nut jobs at your site, don’t let them speak! Keep them hidden, preferably tied up behind the woodshed!
- Auxiliary / Support Network: build it. This is where all the curmudgeonly old bastards who will not give up their M1 Garands go. They are either support personnel using the diverse skills they most likely have, and perhaps local security. Vital.
- Tactical Teams: Training & Professionalism is vital: Whether you are training for the general collapse, or perhaps to resist the tyranny of leviathan, no one expects vast armies in the field. What is needed is local. You need to be serious about your competence, training and physical fitness. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be under enemy fire and have to conduct yourself tactically? See: ‘The Conflation of Shooting and Tactics‘ – those that don’t or won’t understand this should be, as above, in the auxiliary. Any tactical operation is not conducted from your porch in comfort.
- Physical Training – get on it.
- Real tactical training: get on it. You can read as many of these posts as you want, or FMs, or whatever, but that will not suffice as training.
- If you won’t listen to this advice, then forget about it. Or be in the auxiliary. The auxiliary is vital. But if you cannot be bothered to get fit and maintain your tactical training levels then forget about operating in any sort of tactical team.
- Seek a buddy. This is your basic building block. Then seek to make a four man team, then a squad. You HAVE to associate to get this done. You also have to spot the duds and those that will not make the effort to attain and maintain tactical competence. Learn to discern the warriors from the poseurs.
- If you are any sort of group, you have to seek professional training in order to achieve a level of basic competence. You can seek that training from MVT, any other competent tactical trainer, or a suitable veteran. If you choose to be trained by a veteran you know, then make sure they actually have the relevant ability to train you for combat. Not always the case, probably more than you would think. There is a lot of hokey BS out there.
- If you are running a group, you need to be absolutely serious about it. Given that you are all volunteers, then you should be motivated to make it work. I would suggest running it along the model of the Army Reserves or National Guard: have monthly training weekends, but have training for both the tactical teams and support personnel in different areas of specialization. Be ruthless about it. Ensure that everyone goes through some professional training to join the group. Run an annual training event which could include continuation professional training. For example if you wanted to do your training with MVT, you can run Combat Team Tactics (CTT) as the ‘basic training.’ You could do the 6 day Combined CTT / Combat Patrol. Or, as part of annual training, you could come back for Combat Patrol or Force on Force Team Tactics, or Citizen Close Combat.
- MVT does run remote private group classes at affordable rates that work for groups who want to bring MVT in to add a professional element to the group training. We can build classes of any duration and also specializing in any particular skills you want – want to do more on satellite patrolling for border interdiction operations, focusing on both mobility and dismounted / combination operations? We have the knowledge and experience to do that for you.
I made the following comments in the post ‘On Legitimacy:’
Moving on to some comments about personal and group legitimacy.
- Constant infighting will erode any legitimacy in the Liberty movement. This seems to be beyond the ken of many, who seem to live for the feud. Witness those national level personalities who would not get behind Malheur, simply because of bruised egos over the Bundy Ranch clown show. Is it about Liberty and the Constitution, or is it about your own place and power within the ‘movement?’
- Fear and paranoia, due to a willingness to believe anything, particularly in reference to Federal Government conspiracy and abuses, will remove all legitimacy. The black helicopter crew is a liability. As a naturalized Citizen, I notice a tendency for many in America to believe ANYTHING, with no limits to their paranoia.
- There is no legitimacy if groups are not able to work together. To be able to work together, there needs to be trust based on competence, and a professional attitude that will allow temporary mission-subordination (operational control, if you like) to another leader when necessary. You can use the fire method of command if necessary, where the leader at the scene is in command until they get to a point where they are able to hand off to a ‘senior’ or more competent leader.
- This trust will not work without trust in the ability of your leaders and troops. For example, if I was running a defensive operation at a key point, and you show up, will I give you a sector to defend/patrol if you appear incompetent? No. If you won’t listen to direction and with good will liaise and work with the units on your flanks? No. This is also tied in with legitimate combat veterans steering a mile clear of some of these BS militia outfits who have no legitimacy due to no training and professional competence. If you are going to form a public-faced tactical team, you have a responsibly to be trained and competent.
- To generate this trust there needs to be some sort of training standard, which can be identified and known. If a unit has a reputation for being trained and professional, then it will create trust when members of that unit show up somewhere. This is the idea behind the ‘MVT Rifleman Challenge,‘ which is not a unit but a competition which sets standards that can be identified and known. The Challenge has been very successful, but my original vision was for these standards to spread. Unfortunately, due to that same infighting and narrow minded thinking, it has remained simply an MVT-only event. However, if someone shows up with a Rifleman or Vanguard patch, you know that they have met a training standard.
- Something that is very important here, but which I think many like myself take as second nature due to our training and background, is leadership. So it begs mention. Many ‘leaders’ have no idea how to lead. You have to be able to lead by example. You have to set the standards. The US Army talks about ‘Be, know, do.’ So let’s say:
- Be the leader. This refers to your character and is foundational to your ability to lead.
- Know your job professionally, have the skills and knowledge, which includes interpersonal as well as tactical skills.
- ‘Do’ i.e. Lead: by example. Set the standard. Purpose, direction and motivation.
- Does this mean that if you are older or injured, you cannot lead if you can’t beat the 20-something at a run? No, but you need to have the trust and background in other areas. It may also mean that you are not the tactical leader, perhaps you run operations from the TOC, because you cannot physically set the example out on mission. It gets a little complicated in a civilian multi-generational setting such as a militia or tactical team – suffice to say people should be encouraged to do what they are good at, command in their own sphere, and make sure they set the example where possible. Put the ego aside.
- It also bears mentioning that leadership is about self-sacrifice. It is not a tribal chief sort of affair where you get all the best stuff, first cut of the roast beast. If you think running a militia is all about how important you are, you are wrong. It should be about what you can do for your people. They eat first – “first my men, then myself.” You sacrifice for them. You take more risk on the battlefield. In essence, it is not about you and your ego, it is about looking after your people so that ultimately you can achieve the mission. You have to set the example, set the standard, and set the tone of your group.
To conclude, the Liberty movement has all the legitimacy it needs, as codified in the US Constitution. The howls of the left and the protests of government unlawful overreach need to be ignored. Operate legally as the law of the land allows. In terms of personal and group legitimacy, there needs to be a lot more training done, and personal example set, based around a professional rational outlook that allows no conspiracy, fear or paranoia. To lead, you must look rationally and calmly at events, and make decisions based on sound judgment.
As a leader, be prepared to be led by other sound leaders when appropriate. Leader or led, don’t let your ego turn it into a cluster.
In summary, what I see of the ‘Liberty Movement’ I view as a shit show of internecine bickering. Yes, I have attacked groups in this post, but I don’t have a dog in the fight, and I do so to bring perspective to the situation. How about seeing if you can grip the following:
- Unified Political Leadership to support Rightful Liberty, and as suggested, the USC.
- Grip this non-tactical craziness that we see out there among many of these groups.
- I would love to see some form of training and accession process for those who want to be militia leaders, but give that this is a local not national thing, I don’t see it. However, work on the training and legitimacy of your group in such a way that you attract qualified veterans, not drive them away with your paranoia and incompetence.
And now, for your random but vaguely appropriate movie clip: