By Charlie Johnston
Many publications, including some at the edge of the establishment media, have started speculating about the federal government taking on emergency powers – or as some put it more bluntly, declaring Martial Law. It may not happen, but I must concede that the last six years has been an unending succession of assurances that some dire event will never happen. Then it does…and new assurances are made that, okay, though this happened, some even more dire situation will NEVER happen. Until it does. Then the cycle repeats.
Reading speculation on such things I have seen a peculiar combination of denial that anything serious is wrong and overheated fears. Most discussions of such a thing involve images of tanks lumbering up urban streets, lots of barbed wire and ominous men with automatic weapons. That is a cinema-driven projection of atavistic fears rather than a sober assessment of how the government – or a group – would likely seize power.
When considering such a possibility, you have to get outside your frame of reference and internal logic and enter into the opponent’s. Almost everything has an internal logic if you can successfully discipline yourself to get inside the frame of reference involved while not super-imposing your expectations and values onto the scenario. Once you get inside that frame of reference effectively, it is possible to predict where things are headed and understand why they are doing what they do.
I was pretty good at this when I did professional political work. This administration and its remoras are as difficult to figure as any I have seen. Yes, they are maliciously petty and intolerant of any disagreement, but one can be like that and still have a coherent internal logic. The problem is that, in the current status quo, there is very little internal logic. Usually, agree with it or not, I can figure out what a faction hopes to accomplish with specific actions and statements – how it contributes to its endgame. The administration has done many things that I don’t just disagree with, but make no sense from any internal framework I can come up with…tactics that will damage the very ends they seek. That is what has made analysis so difficult. They work against their own interests repeatedly and seem blissfully unaware, until the walls cave in and then they baldly proclaim that is what they intended all along – or that our lying eyes are deceiving us. The irrationality is not confined to government entities: even many prestigious publications have seemingly given up on rationality. I have unsubscribed to several publications I used to get perspectives from, useful even when they had a different bent than I do. But, for example, several foreign policy publications have written about potential flaws in the nuclear framework agreement with Iran. The problem is there was no agreement…and the principles the administration touted were all flaws and no features. It was like ordering a steak and getting a plateful of gristle. Fifteen years ago, perhaps even a decade ago, no serious person would have treated these clumsy verbal acrobatics masquerading as a deal with anything but contempt. I read some formerly serious financial publications earnestly explaining why bone-crushing massive world debt is actually good for us…abandoning all pretense of applying sound economic principles to anything. Once any entity, governmental or publication, ceases to make serious arguments and depends on “let’s pretend” they are not useful in any form of analysis.
In politics and media, there are a whole class of incompetent practitioners, usually in their mid-20s to early 30s, who have no guiding principles except their own self-regard. They constantly come up with ill-conceived schemes that inevitably collapse, but it never shakes them from the certainty that they are geniuses. Their self-regard is unconnected to any need for actual accomplishment – and they spend much of their time plotting how to blame their failures on others. These petty, scheming incompetent narcissists are largely useless – except if you can sic them on an opponent to agitate them. But they are legion and their whole obsession is to show how powerful and important they are.
Our current elites are a volatile combination of malicious, arrogant, and incompetent. I know many think there is a plot to bring the country down, to shame America. I don’t discount that…it is a thread that has run through left-wing progressive ideology for several generations now. But I don’t discount the incompetence at the core now, either, for many of the tactics and strategies are not well geared to advance the progressive causes they are mounted on behalf of. Bill Clinton was a leftist with whom I disagreed on most things. But he was competent and shrewd. I could figure out how what he was doing advanced his agenda – or covered his backside. For example, Clinton knew a strong dollar and free trade were vital to long-term economic health. Substantial parts of his base agitated against such things as NAFTA. Clinton brilliantly maneuvered things so that he both got trade agreements and strong dollar policies enacted, but was able to blame much of it on his Republican opposition. He protected vital interests while covering himself with the activist base. Much as I disagreed with him on much policy, I had to admire his deftness in maneuvering to advance his agenda while covering his flanks.
So what I am going to do is posit a scenario for establishing emergency authority in a traditionally free society that would be most effective, that would get the job done. It is not just a matter of taking control – but gaining control without triggering significant resistance…how to do it where you have gotten control before opposition can effectively rally and organize. Maximum control with minimum effort is the key to everything.
It does not start with tanks rolling down the streets for the simple reason that there are too many people, not enough trucks, and it would give away the game before you had effective control. The first step is to create a crisis or take advantage of a genuine crisis to foment large-scale fear. If, for example, you can create fear of an imminent terrorist attack – preferably using a dirty bomb or, even better, a potential nuclear threat, you can have authorities go house to house and broadcast telling people where to report for evacuation to a place of safety. Because of the logistics of such a huge population, you want to get a frightened populace to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible as the crisis opens. This reduces both the amount of labor and machinery needed to get people to camps while simultaneously reducing the available potential pool of resistance. Make a few such sweeps, punctuated perhaps with some random bombs and attacks to give the threat credibility. Only then do you send out the trucks to forcibly take the remaining recalcitrants. The opening days of such an event would not be marked by displays of raw power, but by efforts to anesthetize suspicions of ill intent and freeze into indecision any efforts at resistance. Public safety officials would not be in on the game; it would be important to convince them that the emergency is real, for they would be the most serious source of potential revolt if they thought otherwise.
In the first days as people were brought into the camps, care would be solicitous and freedom of internal movement assured – the better to get word out that this really is a compassionate effort to move people to safety. That would encourage initial resisters to come in voluntarily while confusing those who need to be taken forcefully and make it less likely they would seriously resist…while keeping alive the illusion among public safety workers that this is a genuine compassionate emergency.
Your window of opportunity to flee would come with the first announcement of where to report to be taken to safety. At that time, monitoring of specific neighborhoods would be loose, almost non-existent. If you drive, be aware of any routes to relocation centers that have been marked out publicly. Officials would be watching for vehicles moving in a contrary direction and stop them. If that happens to you, cooperate and go back in whatever direction you are told. You will get an opportunity to pull over and leave the vehicle at some point, perhaps even go back to your home under the pretext you have to pick one more thing up – then leave on foot from there. Such routes may not be marked out at first, but if they are, expect that your ability to escape by car will be difficult, perhaps impossible.
If you are a healthy adult, fleeing will be your best option IF you move quickly and decisively. If you have healthy children, it is even more important to leave quickly, for reasons I cover below. If you or someone in your family has a serious illness, it may be better to go ahead and go to the relocation camp, for reasons that, again, I will discuss below. In the early days, officials will be too busy processing intakes and sweeping population centers to spend more than cursory time looking for people who have actually fled. The greater power behind such things has a significant disincentive to search for such people, for they are the ones who would be most likely to foment dissent within the camps anyway – and are unlikely to be able to gather in any location in significant numbers to form a counter-balancing force with any alacrity. If you do flee, forming a resistance force is not your primary job, anyway, but to get to secure remote cover and keep your head low.
After the neighborhood sweeps are completed will come the first real signs that something ugly is up. Authorities will likely segregate children into separate camps or facilities at the camp you are in. This enhances control. If you are frightened for the safety of your children, you will be more likely to be docile and obedient within the camp…it takes the fight out of most people. The exception would likely be made for children with serious illnesses. Again, the key is control. Parents of children with chronic illnesses know their children are most vulnerable, so are likely to remain docile so long as they can care for their children. Caring for a chronically sick child is labor intensive – and not a good allocation of the limited resources officials have. Seeing other people’s healthy children moved to other will be sufficient to keep parents of ill children in line and leaving those children with them frees officials up for other duties.
In all things, the key is maintaining effective control – and as much as possible arranging things so people voluntarily, if sullenly, comply to free up as much manpower as possible. Within a short period after children are segregated, low-level public safety officials will start to suspect this has been a false flag…a ruse. This is a very dangerous period for top-level plotters. It will be important to be as soothing as possible for as long as possible in order to create enough uncertainty to forestall resistance among guards. Paradoxically, inside the population, there will be some loudmouth plants who try to foment resistance. This is to smoke out and identify people inside who are most likely to resist early and then move them to a more secure facility. It also serves the purpose of distracting the guards if there are a few minor revolts, convincing the guards that the problem is real for a longer period of time. If you are in a camp, your best bet is to keep your head low and go unnoticed for as long as possible. Loudmouths are as likely plants as anything else – and even if they are not plants, they lack the judgment to resist effectively. In silence, you will begin to recognize potentially kindred spirits after a month or so.
Dismiss some of the overheated fears. Even the most progressive Americans have not developed the sensibilities of Nazis yet. There is not going to be a bunch of summary executions or such: that would still incite potentially ruinous revolt. They do have very close to the sensibility of low-level Soviet commissars, eager to demonstrate their power through effective control and bullying. In the old Soviet camps, even in Siberian wastelands, inmates frequently formed mutual support groups and frustrated the efforts of their guards behind their back, recognizing each other over time in silence. You will figure it out if that is the route you have to go. Captive peoples have been figuring it out for millennia.
The key thing to keep in mind if we reached such a contingency is to understand that the minute federal officials undertake such an effort, they have not begun to consolidate their power; they have entered into the sequence that will end within a few months in their destruction. Be not afraid. This is the time when the dictum to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves most directly applies. As more low-level civil officials recognize what is happening, resistance will spring up. To the extent they can, officials will use federal police attached to non-law enforcement agencies. Park rangers, the “police” attached to such agencies as the IRS, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Commerce, and other such will be the point people because these are most heavily populated by ambitious young people unmoored by a tradition of honor and service – eager to prove they are tough enough for a real police job and anxious to bully people. They can be shipped to locations away from their home location, so will not be likely to have moral concerns about oppressing neighbors – for they are far from any neighbors they ever knew.
Local police are an entirely different story. They will be protecting their homes and neighbors – and even their early efforts to get people relocated to centers of “safety” will be part of that. When they figure out they have been had, that is where serious resistance will first begin. But by that time a lot of the federal rent-a-cops will have been moved into positions of local control. Not to worry. Nine times out of 10, a wily old Sheriff’s Deputy with a pot belly will eventually get the upper hand over a bullying young narcissist who things he’s the stuff. The military will also begin to join resistance in large numbers after they figure out the game. Yes, top ranks have been being purged, but the American military has a two-century deeply engrained tradition of duty, honor and country. It remains with the middle ranks in abundance and in healthy incidence among the lower ranks. That is why there has been such an effort to smear and vilify local police forces and the military for the last few years: they are the officials most likely to side with the people against the government in a manufactured crisis. Any wedge that can be driven between the people and such officials buys federal plotters a little more time.
Now, several caveats…first, there is no guarantee that the opening shots will be general or comprehensive. The size of the country, in fact, suggests that if several localized operations could be successfully mounted, it would make it easier ultimately to exert control. Such an effort would not likely be geared towards conservatives or Christians, as that would alert others in other areas to be on their guard and foment more, rather than less effective resistance. Take down Utah and you are going to have Texas, Wyoming, Montana and others armed to the teeth and loaded for bear. Better to take down some Islamic terror cell or left-wing terror group using the tactics you intend. That both gives you practice in real-world terms and defuses conservative and Christian opposition – perhaps gaining even some scattered support before they figure out they are the ultimate targets here.
A long-shot but very productive scenario would be to create massive fear of some of the target groups in the general population. Then you could target them openly with much greater ease. That is why, in every public shooting, the media and government officials have speculated it was some fringe right-wing group responsible – or that it was fueled by right-wing ideology. The hope is always that it will become an excuse to crack down on right wingers generally. But it constantly keeps coming unglued as the perpetrators almost always turn out to be Muslims, genuine crazies, or left-wing moonbats. Oddly, the preponderance of such types does not lead to a generalized crackdown on Muslims or left-wing moonbats. The media and officials can go from demanding a crackdown on conservatives and Christians to calling for no “rush to judgment” as quickly as it turns out, to their disappointment, that once again it was a Muslim or a lefty who perpetrated the outrage. It has become such a commonplace now that it would be too obviously a false flag operation not to trigger serious opposition.
The key to contemplating these things and coming up with scenarios that will bear more resemblance to reality than to an overheated Hollywood potboiler is to keep in mind that the prime objective is to gain as much control as quickly as possible with as little resistance as possible – and the key to that is to get as much voluntary compliance as possible. That means using fear, misdirection, and offering the illusion of soothing safe harbors. There are many possible variations on the basic scenario, but all of them will have the same key objectives.
Also, remember that this is the beginning of the elite officials’ destruction, not yours – though it won’t look that way for at least a month and probably more. Keep steady, don’t panic, be deliberate and do not give counsel to your fears, however much they rise in your gullet. Keep your head low early, seek to be unnoticed, and your moment will come.
Tomorrow I will cover some practical advice for people who flee on foot, based on my experience on pilgrimage and informed by counsel from military people who have lived in the wilderness for extended periods of time.
Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. – Psalm 27