A Mumia for the Glibertarians

Last time we paid attention to Adam Kokesh, former co-protestor Medea Benjamin was saying “The thing about Adam is he’s a publicity hound. He loves the attention. He’s got a huge ego.” (This was before Ms. Benjamin re-established her own bona fides heckling the President on Thursday.)

Now, according to Dell Cameron reporting for the political types at Vice, Kokesh’s latest Totally Awesome Not At All Impractical Performance Stunt, calling for “1,000 people to march across the Potomac on July 4 carrying loaded rifles, may possibly have hit a wee minor snag:

Last week, I spoke to activist and libertarian talk show host Adam Kokesh. Less than 24 hours later he was taken into custody by federal agents…

Adam’s latest agenda is probably his most controversial to date. A couple of weeks ago on his talk show Adam vs The Man, Kokesh announced his plans to celebrate Independence Day by marching into the nation’s capital with 10,000 followers, all of whom would be armed with loaded firearms

Because there’s enough malware on my aging desktop already, I’m not gonna explore whether the WaPo underestimated Kokesh’s call to arms or Vice overstated his enthusiasm by a factor of ten.

… The day after our conversation, Adam was arrested at “Smoke Down Prohibition,” a public protest for the legalization of marijuana that takes place every month in Philadelphia… Before last Saturday, no arrests had ever been made at one of these events, despite the fact that police were always present and laws were broken every time.

There are several videos on YouTube that document the moments before and during Adam’s arrest. In one of the clearest videos, Adam isn’t sparking up. He continues talking into the microphone while everyone else is flicking their Bics. Within seconds, the police move in and Adam yells, “Everybody get closer. Show some love. Come on, we’re going to make it difficult for the police here.” That didn’t work out so well…

According to Lucas Jewell, Adam’s podcast manager, the arrest is in direct response to the upcoming Independence Day march, not the Smoke Down Prohibition demonstration. “They walked by a big black guy with dreads smoking a blunt and snatched Adam when he hadn’t done anything illegal.” The fact that Adam was originally taken to a local jail but then picked up by agents and transferred to a Federal detention facility has only fueled this theory….

It’s unclear if Adam will be released in time to conduct his march on DC, if it will be canceled, or whether the arrest will inadvertently cause even more people to show up on July 4 with loaded weapons slung over their shoulders. If the arrest was indeed a preemptive strike by law enforcement attempting to stop the open carry march before it took place, the tactic of targeting Kokesh in public might very well backfire….

Or then again, maybe Kokesh has found a face-saving tactic to avoid the embarrassmment of explaining to every media camera inside the Beltway why his “10,000 followers armed with loaded firearms” had devolved into “a couple dozen scruffy weirdos, plus several buses of elderly Midwesterners carrying nothing more dangerous than their KFC Double Downs”. Tha MAN is keeping his people DOWN!:

VICE: Hi Adam, thanks for talking with me. How many people have signed up to join your open carry march?
Adam:The total is over 4,000 now, so we’re well on our way to meeting our goal of 10,000. There are a lot of people who have signed up by e-mail who said they’re going to be organizing buses. So I think with all of the support we’ve gotten outside of Facebook we’re close to 10,000 already…

While we’re on the topic of politics and guns, do you think the tens of millions of dollars spent by groups like the NRA place the value of the money above our influence as individual citizens on the political process?
I think, really, the problem of money’s influence on politics isn’t the money that is used to communicate ideas for whatever reason. The problem is that people are willing to vote without thinking. In a sense, voting is an act of aggression because you are saying that if I happen to have the majority when I cast this ballot, it’s legitimate for the government to force my will on you; to name a leader for you that has certain policies that you may or may not agree with. To impose a tax on you or pass a law that is going to be forced on you. As long as people believe that somehow voting is appropriate as a way to organize society through force, then we’re going to have a problem with influence from various places that are going to try to effect how people vote and who the guns of government are pointed at. I think that’s a much deeper problem.

Myself, I think that is some fine, uncut, weaponized-grade Glibertarianbabble, right there. Much more at the link, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.






80 replies
  1. 1
    sublime33 says:

    If Al Sharpton tried to organize 10,000 African Americans to march in Arlington Virginia brandishing open weapons, would the same goofs who support Adam Kokesh support Sharpton?

  2. 2

    @sublime33:

    If Al Sharpton tried to organize 10,000 African Americans to march in Arlington Virginia brandishing open weapons, would the same goofs who support Adam Kokesh support Sharpton?

    No. SATSQ.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    As long as people believe that somehow voting is appropriate as a way to organize society through force, then we’re going to have a problem with influence from various places that are going to try to effect how people vote and who the guns of government are pointed at.

    It boggles the mind that they think each person having one measly vote in the government is dangerous and “an act of violence,” but that a multibillionaire bribing a politician to do the same is a sacred and inalienable right.

    ETA: well, okay, no, it doesn’t, not to anyone remotely familiar with their hard-on for hierarchy and “the rich have every right and it’s not ours to object” principle. But it does make one want to break their fucking nose.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    In the middle of this program:

    Broadcast
    Into Harm’s Way

    The West Point Class of 1967 arrived at the United States Military Academy during the heady days of the early 1960s when it appeared that America was destined for a century of unrivaled success. Four years later, when the members of that class were graduated and commissioned as officers in the United States Army, the country was embroiled in a strange and unpopular war in Southeast Asia. The Class of 1967 paid a high price in that war, yet most stayed strong, bonding as brothers and as soldiers in a way that has endured through to the present.

    “Into Harm’s Way,” a feature documentary and first person chronicle, is an honest and often painful look at the shadow war casts long after the guns have fallen silent, and at how the Vietnam War in particular continues to occupy an unsettled place in the American psyche. Check your local PBS listings to find out when you can watch!

  5. 5
    Joseph Nobles says:

    So I guess what we need is a nice tyrant to weed out all this aggressive voting? Or was there a better way Kokesh was advocating that I missed at the story? Maybe that was just an admonition to not vote angry.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m just guessing here, but could it be that someone agitating for a march through town by 1,000 to 10,000 armed people might strike the local constabulary as a greater danger to public safety than a few ganja smokers at a historically peaceful gathering?

  7. 7
    Anne Laurie says:

    @sublime33:

    If Al Sharpton tried to organize 10,000 African Americans to march in Arlington Virginia brandishing open weapons, would the same goofs who support Adam Kokesh support Sharpton?

    How many of them would be wearing dreads and smoking blunts?

  8. 8
    West of the Rockies says:

    Well, I guess there are grifters all around, eh? He sounds like less of a true believer than a cause-of-the-week-that’ll-get-me-some-press kinda guy.

  9. 9
    Delia says:

    This belongs in a mockumentary by Christopher Guest. Or maybe we’re so far gone into history replaying as farce that there’s no way to tell the difference between reality and satire anymore.

  10. 10
    Redshift says:

    I’d be worried about these wackos (who even at their most deluded estimates of their numbers would be a drop in the bucket of the number of people in DC for the 4th) posing a danger to normal families enjoying the fireworks — if I believed that they were capable of finding their asses with both hands.

    As it is, I’m not worried about them marching across the bridge. It sounds like they’re glibertarian enough that they won’t apply for a permit to march, so they’ll either start walking in traffic and get arrested, or they’ll gather with their GUNZ to start, and the number of 911 calls from the aforementioned normal folk will ensure it goes nowhere even if they hadn’t already broadcast their plans.

  11. 11

    @sublime33: No. And they’d be listening to different stuff on their iPods.

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    In a sense, voting is an act of aggression because you are saying that if I happen to have the majority when I cast this ballot, it’s legitimate for the government to force my will on you; to name a leader for you that has certain policies that you may or may not agree with.

    Well, it would be nice if we were all sufficiently rational and generous that we could organize our society on the basis of unanimous consent. It would also be nice we all had a pet unicorn. In the meantime, giving a monopoly of force to a democratically-elected government is the best way of running society that (mostly selfish and irrational) humans have thought up.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    Ah,… voting is an act of violence,… and to achieve non-violence, we have to be armed to the teeth. Funny, how it’s all about violence and threats. Well, not so funny.

  14. 14
    El Caganer says:

    @sublime33: No. Different set of goofs.

  15. 15
    Unsympathetic says:

    He’s defending the right of the minority to get their way even though the majority believe something other than him..

    So you’re saying he’s a Republican?

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @Joseph Nobles: The idea that all government power is from the threat of violence and therefore all taxes are theft is pretty standard libertarian stuff, but extending that to say that voting is an act of violence is pretty bizarre to say the least. I guess their alternative is that people just get together and do the things they want voluntarily, and no one other than government would get anything by threat of violence because argle bargle. But since this guy is basically a grifter, it’s probably not even worth asking what he thinks the alternative should be, since most likely he’s just saying what he thinks will get his current compatriots to keep thinking he’s a true believer who’s being persecuted for their shared beliefs.

  17. 17
    Redshift says:

    @PeakVT: Worst form of government except for all the others…

  18. 18
    PIGL says:

    Re egregious Mumia comparison, get back to me when the noxious pile of goose droppings is about to be executed. Cause that would be exciting.

  19. 19
    Keith G says:

    Hmmm….Preemptively detaining a protest organizer/performance artist. Was he expressing an immediate, or imminent intent to do violence? Was there a clear and present danger?

    Maybe there was some other (federal level) misbehavior his past?

  20. 20
    different-church-lady says:

    As long as people believe that somehow voting is appropriate as a way to organize society through force…

    OK, so you’re an anarchist. Nice to know.

  21. 21
    Anoniminous says:

    @PeakVT:

    Well, it would be nice if we were all sufficiently rational and generous that we could organize our society on the basis of unanimous consent. It would also be nice we all had a pet unicorn.

    I’ll have my pet unicorn pinky, fluffy, and dancing on rainbows and a piece of Chocolate cherry pie, if you could be so kind.

    To All and Sundry on this Sunday afternoon:

    It may be my unicorn-less, chocolate cherry pie-less, condition but methinks the protest of:

    They walked by a big black guy with dreads smoking a blunt and snatched Adam

    is centered more on the fifth, sixth, and seventh words in the quote – primarily the sixth – than the last.

  22. 22
    Melissa says:

    At first, I read the line “march across the Potomac” literally–a vision of thousands trying to walk on water, then falling in.

  23. 23
    Jon says:

    I respect the honesty instead of black box bullshit about liberty. He is very honest about being a terrorist.

  24. 24
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Shorter Nutjob: Your democracy oppressed my Gliberty.

  25. 25
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: Thanks for the tip on the PBS show. On a related note, I’m about 3/4 of the way through a book titled “Embers of War” by Fredrik Longevall. It’s an extremely detailed history of the events leading to our involvement in Viet Nam. Extremely readable, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Lots of info on Amazon, as usual. I only learned this today, but Longevall was awarded a Pulitzer for the book. I know you have a lot on your plate these days, but tuck this away for when things settle down. Have a great holiday!

  26. 26
    Beauzeaux says:

    I’m reading The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond. Read it and you’ll actually be grateful for the modern state. These anarcholibertarians have no clue about life without government…in addition to being smug little weasels.

  27. 27
    Haydnseek says:

    @Beauzeaux: Thanks! Looks like it’s right up my alley. I’ll add it to my ever expanding list…..

  28. 28
  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    Argh. I hate FYWP. Twice I tried to comment something tangentially related, and twice it sent it to the ether, without so much as a moderation warning.

    It had to do with a glibertarian treatise I found last week about how traffic lights are tyranny, because a cop has to have probable cause to stop your car, and traffic lights are just stand-ins for cops, ergo argle bargle.

  30. 30
    fuckwit says:

    This guy is a screaming douchebag.

    Still, I don’t like the idea of the feds preemptively throwing him in jail for something unrelated. It reminds me too much of the Mumia for which I have the most sympathy: Aaron Swartz. They nailed him and threw the book at him for something trivial, because they had tried, and failed to nail him on something else. They were out for petty revenge, and that to me was the ugliest part of it.

    It also reminds me too much of stories of rock musicians in the 50s and 60s getting preemptively arrested before a show, in order to stop the show, rather than to prosecute them for anything they actually had him on.

    In other words: I suuuure hope that the feds 1) have something solid on this guy, preferentiallly regarding the march specifically, and 2) are explicit about that, and 3) actually have enough evidence to get a conviction in open court.

    Shorter still: I hope the feds are acting from a position of strength, not weakness. Preemptive arrests in order to silence someone are weak, and cowardly, unconstitutional in spirit if not in letter, and not what I want them doing, thank you very much.

    Let the screaming douchebags scream, and let their douchbaggery stand tall for all to mock.

  31. 31
    nineone says:

    10,000 angry CSA milita-types marching on DC? What the flying fuck could possibly go wrong? Hey asswipes, we didn’t let Bobby Lee and his ragtag band of ruffians in, what makes you think we’ll let you? Yeah, I know it’s a scam, but ‘da noive a sum peepelz. Harrumph.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    In a sense, voting is an act of aggression because you are saying that if I happen to have the majority when I cast this ballot, it’s legitimate for the government to force my will on you;

    “And that’s why I fully support abortion rights,” said no libertarian ever.

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    @Yatsuno: That article must be wrong. Private corporations can never fail. Ergo, the public bridge caused the trains to derail.

    Here’s a map. It is a bit odd that there’s level-crossing directly underneath a public road.

  34. 34
    cathyx says:

    Man oh man my internets are slow tonight. I cleared my cookies, restarted my computer, and even washed the screen. It’s still slow.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MikeJ:

    traffic lights are tyranny

    Yup.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    IIRC, St. Ayn Rand herself was strongly in favor of abortion rights using libertarian reasons. But she’s the only one I’m aware of.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    This moron Kokesh deserves to end up like Koresh.

  38. 38
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Beauzeaux: Have them read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and see if thet want to live in the world of freedom from the FDA and no food safety or a world before OSHA.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    @Yatsuno:

    And another one down…

    Unfair to compare that to the one here. The bridge didn’t fail until it was hit by a train.

    BTW, the safety score for the I-5 bridge was 57. The Alaskan Way Viaduct? A 9.
    http://nationalbridges.com/

  40. 40
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @MikeJ: The local rag has some of the teatards screaming that they don’t want their taxes raised to pay for the bridges. I wonder how the KVI/KHTH dittoheads on the wrong side of that bridge and counted on touristy moolah for their livelihoods feel now?

  41. 41
    Keith G says:

    @fuckwit: Well, at least there seems to be to us who give a shit about civil liberties. As you said, I hope the feds have something important on him

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @Redshift:

    if I believed that they were capable of finding their asses with both hands.

    If history is any guide, I would have to say that being able to find one’s ass with both hands is not a pre-requisite for being able to do something stupid with a loaded firearm.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    @burnspbesq:
    It is a little harder to shoot the weapon if both your hands are on your ass.

    Unless the weapon is up your ass, then maybe not so much.

  44. 44
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Forgive my foreign ignorance, but is it not possible that openly organizing an armed insurrection in the national capital is illegal?

    That seems closer to “shouting fire in acrowded theater” than legitimate political speech.

  45. 45
    Todd says:

    @Beauzeaux:

    I’m reading The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond. Read it and you’ll actually be grateful for the modern state.

    My youngest daughter and I met him back in the winter. Really neat guy, inspirational, even.

  46. 46
    The Sailor says:

    “Fuck the law, smoke it anyway!” Kokesh shouted into the microphone. “Bring it in! Hey, everybody show some love. Make it difficult for the police here.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....pot-rally/

    The 31-year-old was arrested after he allegedly “assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, and interfered” with federal officers at the monthly “Smoke Down Prohibition” meeting.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/adam-ko.....ss-1278855

  47. 47
    Keith G says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Possibly. Yet, was insurrection his intent? I somehow doubt that. And again…the seizure was preemptive it seems, unless there was another issue.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: @fuckwit: From what are you concluding that the arrest was preemptive with relation to the armed march and not for something relating to the marijuana rally?

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @MikeJ:
    The bridge in WA was hit by a truck. This bridge was hit by a derailed train.
    Maybe there are just some things we can only anticipate as 100 year events. That said, building a bridge in what looks like the middle of nearly nowhere right over a level crossing may not have been all that bright. Hoocoodanode?

  50. 50
    Keith says:

    So what was he charged with? The closest I have found is the Washington Times saying he was charged with felonies that were reduced to citations…but for what? Felony possession of weed is usually a minimum of 2-4 oz, so I doubt that. Was it for inciting violence against police or something along those lines?

  51. 51
    gogol's wife says:

    Open thread, so: I was interested in this op-ed piece in the NYTimes about the fact that 10 of our Army bases are named after Confederate generals:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05.....&_r=0

  52. 52
    Arclite says:

    @fuckwit:

    In other words: I suuuure hope that the feds 1) have something solid on this guy, preferentiallly regarding the march specifically, and 2) are explicit about that, and 3) actually have enough evidence to get a conviction in open court.

    My thought exactly. I think this guy is a douche, and I think that organizing marchers with loaded weapons actually suppresses freedom not expresses it. But it’s completely wrong if it turns out that the force of the gov’t was used to target this guy without cause.

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    Hopefully the local U.S. Attorney’s office is smart enough to deny this idiot the martyrdom he is seeking. Let him have his fun for now, and after a careful review of the file and thorough interviews of witnesses, quietly decide that the evidence is borderline and even more quietly drop the charges. It’s not like the National Park Service never over-reacts when assholes start mouthing off.

  54. 54
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Come see the violence inherent in the system!

  55. 55
    Shalimar says:

    He originally called for 1000 marchers, but within 24 hours he had more than 2000 people pledge to march. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has adjusted his target upwards by a factor of 10 since then, and I’m not getting out of the boat at either link to find out.

  56. 56
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Keith G: Does it matter what his intentions were? Dude wants to march a brigade of riflemen up pennsylvania avenue. That’s not terribly different from Robert E lee’s ambitions.

  57. 57
    Hypnos says:

    Armed people marching on a nation’s capital, where have I heard that already?

    Oh yeah, 1922 Italy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_on_Rome

  58. 58

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Forgive my foreign ignorance, but is it not possible that openly organizing an armed insurrection in the national capital is illegal?

    Yeah. One guy carrying a loaded gun into DC brands you a douchebag libertarian. 10,000 guys brands your an insurrectionist army.

    Did nobody consider that when your goal is to outnumber and outgun the police 3:1, that it’d be interpreted differently?

  59. 59

    @gogol’s wife: You say that as if we wouldn’t open a Hermann Göering Air Force Base.

  60. 60

    @Ruckus:

    The bridge in WA was hit by a truck.

    Um. Bridges aren’t supposed to fall down when they’re struck by a truck on the carrying member. They’re actually quite specifically designed to not do that because it’s a commonly anticipated event. I’d be shocked if the bridge wasn’t struck at least one time before.

  61. 61
    MikeJ says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Open thread, so: I was interested in this op-ed piece in the NYTimes about the fact that 10 of our Army bases are named after Confederate generals:

    Interesting you bring that up in a thread started from an article in Vice. Memphis is having an interesting time renaming parks named after the founder of the Klan:
    http://www.vice.com/vice-news/triple-hate-part-1

  62. 62

    @Keith G:

    Yet, was insurrection his intent? I somehow doubt that.

    Doesn’t matter. You put 10,000 armed protestors in front of 3,000 armed police and insurrection may well spontaneously develop on its own. But another way, what’s the point of marching armed protestors if not insurrection? If you want to make a point, you can make the very same point with unarmed protestors. Nobody will know you are unarmed unless a gun battle breaks out.

  63. 63
    lojasmo says:

    100 unarmed protesters arm in arm would totally fuck the kokesh dip-shittery.

    Anybody in?

    ETA: Regarding the arrest. Bwahaha!

  64. 64
    The Sailor says:

    @👽 Martin: I would be tempted to remotely set off a string of firecrackers in their midst.

  65. 65
    Shalimar says:

    @MikeJ: Forrest wasn’t the founder of the KKK. He was recruited as leader to bring order and unity to already existing organizations. Before he was convinced to join, it was organized county by county with no overall leadership. A very minor factual mistake though. He was still the only leader of the Reconstruction-era Klan.

  66. 66

    @The Sailor: As would I. A starters pistol would lead to interesting outcomes.

    FWIW, I think anyone who wants to open carry in that manner is a fucking coward, so I would expect them to all duly shit their pants, hide, and then try and kill each other trying to escape.

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I guess it’s my glaring ignorance, but I was shocked by this story.

  68. 68
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You say that as if we wouldn’t open a Hermann Göering Air Force Base.

    Reagan put a wreath on the grave of the SS.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su0Hvt6hTmA

  69. 69
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MikeJ: Oops, don’t tell them who invented traffic signals, then.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: God damn, I love that song.

  71. 71
    Maude says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Yes, it is shocking because these people aren’t balanced.
    If someone set off a firecracker, these fools could shoot when startled and kill people.
    I am tired of spoiled children pulling out enemy fantasies and acting on them.
    They have no idea what government oppression is about.
    To them it’s all a little game. They don’t know about paying consequences.

  72. 72
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Keith G:

    Possibly. Yet, was insurrection his intent? I somehow doubt that. And again…the seizure was preemptive it seems, unless there was another issue.

    I understand your qualms, but on the other hand, there were good reasons Dr. King didn’t preface his civil right marches by announcing to the media that he’d be spending the evening at the local jazz bar mingling with the smokers. Seems to me like Kokesh wanted the payoff for ‘martyrdom’ without all the hard work of organizing and standing between “ten thousand” armed followers and some predictably large number of armed riot police. Nobody who’s finished puberty gets to pretend that The Man is a brute force itching for violent suppression of one’s liberty and also that one should totally be allowed to “spark up” without getting grounded.

  73. 73
    Keith G says:

    @Anne Laurie: But why the FBI?

    @👽 Martin: I think his point has been made. Performance art that didn’t even need its final act.

  74. 74
    fuckwit says:

    @Lurking Canadian: And, I suspect, with the same motivations as well.

  75. 75
    Marc says:

    @Lurking Canadian: The District of Columbia has very strict gun laws. Carrying a loaded or unregistered weapon is illegal; certain types of guns and magazines are banned entirely. The DC police will have every reason to stop them from entering the city.

    Not the least of which is the danger to public safety posed by 1000 idiots carrying loaded weapons.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    It was if I am not mistaken an oversize load which may mean it was overweight as well. And yes your point is well made, a bridge should be able to withstand some pretty good abuse, because it will get that.
    But would this bridge have failed without this truck? That to me is the bigger question right now.

    ETA Forgot to mention that the I-35 bridge failure did not have an unusual event like an oversize truck striking it and it failed.

  77. 77
    dcdl says:

    @Maude: That’s exactly it. They don’t have any idea of what government suppression is about and government doing whatever it wants.

  78. 78
    rdale says:

    @Haydnseek: Totes agree; that was a mos excellent book, one of the very best I’ve read on the Vietnam war. I learned a great deal about how early on the US was involved in the war and how we really caused it to continue when the French were ready to pull out. I have a colleague who is a real scholar on the literature of the Indochina conflicts and he recommended it.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Jonathan says:

    “In a sense, voting is an act of aggression because you are saying that if I happen to have the majority when I cast this ballot, it’s legitimate for the government to force my will on you”

    My understanding of a pre-med course of study is that the first half is spent learning about the normal, healthy human body, and the second half focusing on pathologies. Would one rightly consider someone who doesn’t know much about pathology someone qualified to discuss health? Then why would one think someone who’s only learned the coloring-book version of American civics, in which pathology is all but defined out of existence, has any business whatsoever speaking from a position of authority about the political world?

    I’m afraid that Kokesh is uttering the sober truth; it’s merely the (intentional) ignorance of statecraft among the non-elite castes that makes this truth untenable to them. Simply put, while most of us may be operationally familiar with the lesser penalties for transgressing the standards of social conduct, such as civil judgments, fines or incarceration, it is an open secret that all are ultimately backed by the threat of the ultimate banhammer: “if you don’t play our game by our rules, you don’t play at all.”

    Besides, what reflexively makes anyone who doesn’t happen to like *this* hierarchical system of authority with *this* set of institutionalized players either an anarchist or a terrorist? Narcissism, or merely a lack of imagination?

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