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The Fascist State
By Peter O’Brien

Assume for an instant that what’s been said about Mr. Trump is, in fact, true; he’s a megalomaniac, intent on seizing control of the government and ruling as de facto dictator.

And if he did? What would you do about it?

The vast majority of us would directly feel the loss of freedom, the loss of rights, and would want to resist.

But how? Could you fight back? If Mr. Trump, or any President, usurped our rights and effectively discarded the Constitution, would it be appropriate to join an armed resistance? We have a little guidance; the Declaration of Independence states: But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

But, there’s the question of being appropriately armed, of being able to "throw off such government.” The first thing dictators have done throughout history is to ensure the tools of power were concentrated in their hands. One step in that process is reducing the number of weapons in the hands of the citizenry.

Consider China.

Just to be clear, China is already a dictatorship. It's not like there’s anything approaching popular government, limited powers, or democracy in China. China calls itself a communist state to be sure, but that can be argued. A communist state is one in which the state owns the "means of production" as well as any of those things dubbed necessities, such as housing, transportation, farms. etc. Communism owns the far end of the spectrum.

Then there’s socialism. A socialist system is one in which the means of production are owned by the state, but private property is still allowed (you can own your home, a car, etc.) In practical terms many socialist nations are really mushy about this sort of thing: small businesses like restaurants and cafes are common, some larger businesses are still owned by other than the government, etc. But the government controls what the businesses - large and small - do and do not do.

A little bit further right, but still far to the left of center, is fascism.

Fascism (a la Hitler and the Nazis; Nazi being a German acronym for "National Socialist” party) differs from socialism in that under fascism large businesses are still owned privately, but they’re subject to strict - very strict - government control. Usually, this is accompanied with nearly monopolistic pricing policies because the government has already "picked the winners" in most markets and competition is very difficult, and often, practically speaking, impossible.

Fascism then, is not a right-wing government, it's leftist; it's about lots of power concentrated in the hands of a small number of people.

"President" Xi of China is in the process of erasing what’s left of their constitution and setting himself up as "president for life,” with virtually absolute power, aided and abetted by a whole host of hi-tech industry, including many US and European firms that make a great deal of noise – outside China – about how liberal they are and how they oppose Trump and other "fascists."

Communist or fascist, Xi sits atop an incredibly intrusive police state, one that can confiscate nearly anything it wants, arrest anyone it wants, and intrude on personal property and data any time it wants. One of the reasons he can do this is that ownership of weapons in China is illegal, except under tightly controlled rules for hunting and sports.

So?

Amid the horror of various mass shootings, we must remember that the 2nd Amendment isn't about protecting the right of the people to hunt, or defend themselves from criminals. And it isn’t about revolution. The right to keep and bear arms is about protecting ourselves from oppression, about ensuring the people have the means to keep the government in line, to prevent the rise of our own President Xi.

President Trump is far from being a would-be dictator. In fact, his judicial appointments suggest just the opposite. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to understand and protect our rights.

The 2nd Amendment is about preventing any future government, wishing for more power, from confiscating weapons, thereby allowing it to coerce and terrorize the citizenry. The 2nd Amendment is, as Washington said, is "the People's Liberty's teeth." And he knew a thing or two about fighting an oppressive central power.

 





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