Publisher’s Note: I wanted to thank everyone for the many words of praise and congratulations for reaching post #500 in the last essay.
Per the tragic NZ massacre by the gunmen in the mosques, the apparatchiks in the NZ government managed to ban semiautomatic firearms in 24 hours; Kiwis should count themselves fortunate the malefactor didn’t use a hammer or power tool or a vehicle…
Ironically the gun laws allow any potential invader to double down on compressing the time frame needed to secure the islands for conquest.
I have reached episode #150 in my quest to complete ProfCJ’s Dangerous History Podcast. I continue to be amazed at the amount of solid historical inquiry that takes place.
Please take a listen to Boston T. Party’s rousing homage to masculinity at Libertopia in 2018.
A shout-out to Donk for his very generous donation to the works here at ZG.
Less than 675 shopping days until the next teleprompter reader slouches in to the Offal Office. Plan appropriately. -BB
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.”
– Chinese Proverb
“…Thought is a means to the end of action, and most freedom activists have forsaken the cold, tough environment of action for the warm, safe bed of thought.”
– Boston T. Party
The State of the Empire is dismal. The irreversibility of the decline of Pax Americana is already set. Orange POTUS has stated in his State of the Union address that America will never become a socialist country on his watch. Sorry Mr. President, but given modern usage and understanding of the term, it’s too late. Everything from Social Security to using Eminent Domain for a wall building boondoggle along the southern part of the country that the State claims as its own property, and everything in between proves it. Not to mention, his proposed budget is the biggest in history. The Right still cheers.
One thing I’ve noticed since the rise of Trump is the incessant defense of the man in all areas by those in the Patriot movement. Anything that the man does is seen as an edict handed down by the orange Yankee liberal even if it is at odds with their basic core principles. The ultimate act of irony to me is his appointment of William Barr to be Attorney General. Yes, the same guy who defended Lon Horiuchi, who shot Vicky Weaver in the head while holding a baby and defended blanket federal immunity for all law enforcement agents no matter their crime. Silent they remain.
This phenomenon happens with every political faction when they take power, but it seems much worse this time than years past. Every 2 to 6 years the parties swap domination rights and the opposition acts as though they will resist the authoritarianism of the party in control. Neither dominant political party in these united States opposes dictators. They merely want to be the dictators. The fabricated Culture War is in reality just a war among factions of Power running fedgov, not any legitimate opposition to the status quo.
It has become quite clear to me that the various Patriot factions not only lack principle, but broadly speaking they lack the will to act. In the Obama years, there was talk of armed conflict over spending, infringements on rights, gun control, and socialism. The same folks now openly embrace it as Trump takes it all to new levels and they even make excuses for it or worse, openly defend it.
In recent years there has been a rise in discussions about Masculinity. This is undoubtedly due to the degradation of manliness in the general public. Large pluralities of modern men can’t put on a starter, frame a deck, or fell a tree. They work in cubicles. The growing trend of joining ‘tribes’ and looking for something more, is no surprise, because they didn’t grow up that way or weren’t exposed to it like previous generations. Frat boy type groups centering around political values even exist. But instead of spending all that time in the bar talking about manliness, why don’t they actually do legitimate ‘man things’ instead? Instead of talking about 9mm vs .45, why aren’t they on the range? Why aren’t they in the timber stand or working cattle instead of drinking in some urban center in a yuppie bar?
One of my ideological mentors, Boston T. Party, used to talk quite a bit about action vs. rhetoric. In the introduction to Claire Wolfe’s brilliant work, 101 things to do until the Revolution, he spoke of action libertarians vs. egghead libertarians. Ms. Wolfe’s proposals in the book were action oriented, with Monkey Wrench Gang zeal, rooted in bedrock principles. The egghead libertarians are the think tank types, or the folks incessantly debating, as Boston put it, things such as the legitimacy of urban rat control funded by taxation in New York City. While I go through phases just like anyone and enjoy a good round table discussion about philosophical issues occasionally, it dwarfs daily action. For every smart-ass comment I make to a friend in passing about X political capers, I spend hours dry firing, or in the gym or working on living self reliantly.
A full discourse on the political and humdrum activism can be found here: https://zerogov.com/against-humdrum-activism-a-critique-of-the-conventional-reaction-by-john-myers/
Let it serve as a corollary to this essay.
Having just a cursory presence in the gun/liberty blogosphere, even I can see the obvious. Articles or blog postings about the latest piece of gear for someone’s next patrol against the communist legions headed by AOC get the hits, but articles about employing ones carbine quick and efficiently or techniques for the clinch range gun fight get nothing. A gear review or a caliber debate will get a million hits, but an article about what your practice routine looks like will get none. People like to talk and live vicariously through others.
The reality is the philosophy has been written. It’s been debated and refined. It’s now time to do.
The food stock piling, sheep dogging, Three Percenter movement is largely comprised of talkers. Many focus on political solutions to the nation’s problems and place great faith in the President, even while preparing for the full on collapse. They see in Trump what their hopes are and never face the reality that he is a corporate capitalist New York City liberal in a right wing populist suit.
Bravado in these ranks runs rampant. If you invite them to a range day or heaven forbid a class, they recoil and fold like vampires in sunlight. You see them a week later on X, Y, or Z online forum flapping about 9mm vs 45 ACP or talking about something they’ll never do anyway. The things they say usually demonstrate that they have never done anything in relation to the subject anyway.
If one has made it this far in this essay, they probably think that I’m hinting that it is finally time! and that there are calls for violent revolution and storming the ramparts contained herein. Settle down, 102nd Chairborne.
Be the change you want to be. Define your span of control. Then act on it. You cannot control what Congress does, but you can control what you do.
For the outsider, if they spend enough time around a country store in the hills of the South, they may hear a foreign, but quaint phrase from the guys sitting on the bench out front. “Well, I’m fixing to commence…come and go with us.” He’ll usually finish the sentence with a description of the work he is about to engage in, such as mowing hay or going on a bear hunt, as he walks toward his truck.
When the phrase is used it is said with a veil of fun but it is of grave seriousness. There is to be no more talking about the task, the work is about to begin.
It’s been pretty much a unanimous phenomenon across large swaths of people in both the general preparedness and the firearms training scene, the folks simply do not follow through with what they say they will do. This is mostly out of lack of prioritization of training in their laundry list of things they are involved in. This generally gets coupled with the Dunning-Kruger Effect, creating a pretty bad recipe for piss poor performance. This needs changing, yesterday.
I overheard a conversation amongst some friends somewhat recently about how they had been working with a group of people for years. There were meetings about meetings to set up other meetings about meetings. The plans and logistics were in place, but no one wanted to take the next step and actually train the skills they talked about for years. He finally had enough talk and walked.
There are talkers and there are doers. The doers generally have no use for talkers. But the talkers love the doers because it gives them someone to try to reinforce their ego by simply associating with them.
As part of Kyle Defoor’s Mindset lecture in his classes, he harkens back the principles quoted in the opening quote. T, W, D, H. Thoughts, Words, Deeds, Habits. If you are going to do something, for instance; ‘I want to be capable to protect my family from all threats from a harsh word to a hand grenade,’ you have to start with thinking that mission. You have to be able to put it into words. You have to then do the deeds to be competent in completing the mission like training your ass off in all manners of skills applicable to your context. You have to then make it a habit and keep up on those skills.
Many folks can think and verbalize what they want to do, but the deeds and habits part never happens. This is a result of lacking motivation and follow through, but sometimes there are legitimate financial reasons.
The tactical oriented type of people will bicker endlessly about gear, yet never even use the gear enough to realize that they cannot buy skill. You have to put in the time. The same people who claim they cannot afford 1 or 2 decent top shelf rifles that are reliable every time, usually have 10 times their cost tied up in 12 Budget Builds that will break on the first real training session. But they never realize this, because they don’t actually train in ways that some of us do.
They will argue about the best tactics for clearing a trench or the best format to write an OPORD (Operation Order) in their Tactical Fantasy Band Camp scenario, yet they cannot even lift their packs to put them on their backs. An article about gun confiscation in the future will be debated endlessly. “The cops wont enforce that!” “When X happens, Y will happen!” Yet the reality is, under the 20K (or whatever the actual number is) gun laws in America today, those guns are being confiscated right now by various means. But everyone wants to talk about tomorrow, not today’s reality.
I take none of them seriously until they are actively working to put themselves into some sort of physical shape capable of the task at hand. OPORD’s don’t matter until you are actually physically capable of conducting a patrol. What good is your third class on Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, when you are going to die from a heart attack in a week due to bad life choices over the last 20 years? Why have you taken 7 classes on squad level communication when you cannot even shoot straight and manipulate your weapon in the first place?
I hear the excuses all the time about ‘muh knees! I can’t squat!’ or ‘I don’t like working out like that!’ or ‘strength training isn’t functional!’ or whatever excuse they come up with. Ask the guy in Michigan recently who had a powerlifting competitor dead lift a car off him so he could be pulled out from under it, if dead lifts are functional. If you talk about running a team against the invading biker hordes like Ol’ Tommy Beckett post-SHTF, and you cannot move your team mate behind a point of cover if they take a round because of lack of physical stamina and strength, what good are you to that team?
One thing that always aggravated me was people making fun of the proverbial fat dude at the gym. Whether it being in person by seeing an overweight person on the track walking after work or by proxy in watching a YouTube video of some gym blooper involving a tread mill accident. This is completely wrong. That guy is actually at the gym attempting to better themselves, whenever most of the Patriots are arguing about Mosin Nagants being the ideal assassination platform because of their superior accuracy at distance and reliability from their mom’s basement.
If you claim to be a cultural justice warrior in defense of traditional American customs and values, (ignoring the fact that the whole concept of American homogeneity and universal acceptance of a specific set of values is a founding mythology) are you living those values daily? You cannot control what someone 10 states away is doing, but you can control your own life, can’t you?
Culture is not going to be preserved at the point of a gun, with a border wall, and Roy Moore running the Supreme Court. (And the idiotic argument that “American culture” must be preserved, so the democratic party shrinks in influence, and the republicans can restore liberty, is probably the most insane, historically ignorant and void of reality argument I’ve ever heard in my entire life. What happened to the last 20 years of the patriot moving telling everyone about the demopublicans and republicrats being 2 wings of the same predator?)
I do not intend to turn this into a religious diatribe, and I could literally give a flying flip about your devotion to religion or your lack of religion, (and theism or atheism damn sure shouldn’t be forced on anyone) but if you claim to be a proponent of making America into some Christian nation based on Christian values, why aren’t you even at Church on Sunday? Why aren’t you leading from the front in your personal life? I never hear of the loudest proponents of that sort of thing being at food banks, clothing the homeless or engaged in firewood charities for poor families. But they surely have no problem sending you 300 chain emails a day with bible verses and posting memes on social media about abortion, do they?
If you claim to be that proverbial sheep dog, out to protect the masses and you are not carrying a gun everyday, you are living a lie. Why are you not dry firing 3-5x a week minimum with a range session every 2 weeks? Why are you not in the gym? Why are you not working on getting accurate hits quickly with as much passion as you engage the dirty libs on the Reddit forum?
If you claim you can be self reliant in SHTF, why are you not doing it right now? Why aren’t you seeking to separate yourself from systems of control be it the state or other? Why aren’t you at least trying to heat your house with wood or attempting to grow some vegetables with those seeds you have stock piled for the post-state, post-industrial society?
The goal should not be political or cultural revolution. Those always fail to live up to what they promise. After the Thermidor, its usually a case of new boss becomes old boss. Aim for the quiet insurrection. Do not just seek new arrangements. The goal should the impossibility of being arranged. The hunger for freedom is the healthiest of addictions.
Matt Graham codified two of the best principles I know in his mindset rules for his Killhouse course. No one is coming to save you and everything is your responsibility. Digest that.
You only have one shot at this life. As Mark Bell, the inventor of the Sling Shot bench press accessory, said:
“You might as well be a fucking savage. And live your life the way you want to live. You might as well put your best effort and your best foot forward and train like a motherfucker… So for you, trying to take the easy route, trying to find excuses why you shouldn’t be training…and your trying to find research on why you should miss a work out, you are taking the easy way out.”
Its time to leave the safe comfortable bed covers of thought and embrace the tough environment of action. Start with yourself.
“I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary.” – Mike Pannone
About the author: John Meyers traces his Appalachian ancestry back nine generations to the 1750’s. He lives with his family on the high ridges of the Smoky Mountains.