Greetings: And The Loss of Perspective

   Greetings to all. I am glad to be back on the net again after an absence that ended up lasting much longer than I had anticipated. While I have been down there has been much that has occurred both for good and for ill. However, the thing that worries me the most, after having had several message exchanges with people from all over, is that there are some in the patriot and militia movements who seem to have lost their sense of perspective.
   Now, it may be that I am more sensitive to that than other people may be. My initial training was as an anthropologist. Anthropologists pride themselves on trying to study all there is to study about people. Anthropologists look at peoples' culture; their technology; their social organizations; their languages; their biological growth, adaptation and development; how they lived in past times; in short, the holistic study of man. Then I enlisted in the Navy. I was trained to operate naval propulsion plants. Again, the emphasis was on the big picture. One had to know how each individual piece of a system fit together with every other piece of that system, and how all the systems and their various pieces all fit together to make the entire plant function. To lose track of that essential information would almost certainly entail that if one had to respond to an unforeseen circumstance, one's actions would likely be wrong. For the interactions of various different systems and system components could be quite complex, and over attention to one facet would almost surely entail that one was missing something vitally important somewhere else. Eventually, I obtained a commission. I stood watch as Officer of the Deck, Underway (OOD) on a warship in a combat zone (Desert Shield, Desert Storm, etc.). Yet again, the emphasis was on the big picture. The OOD had to be on top of everything that was being done onboard the ship that could potentially impact the ability of the ship to maneuver, had to be keeping track of all other ships and their courses in the surrounding area, had to know where the ship was, where the ship was going, and what the other ships in formation would be doing when changes in the formation were ordered as well as a host of other things. Again, forgetting to keep track of only one of those things could potentially bite one, one's ship and fellow crew members in the tail.
   The consequences of losing one's perspective could vary. As an anthropologist, one would likely end up being ridiculed by one's colleagues. As an engineering watchstander on a naval propulsion plant, loss of perspective could end up leading to damaged equipment and potential loss of life. As an OOD, loss of perspective could potentially entail the loss of the entire ship and her crew. However, in the situation we face today as members of the unorganized militia, loss of perspective may result in an even higher cost. We stand to lose not only our entire country, but even our posterity as well. Based on the penchant we have seen demonstrated for tyrannical regimes to rewrite history and control education it is almost certain that if we lose, our great grandchildren will not even know to curse our names, because they will never know that our way of life was different from what they will then be experiencing.
   It should be obvious to all that we dare not lose. And the only way not to lose is to win. And it is impossible to win if one has lost one's sense of perspective. The vital question then becomes how to obtain this sense of perspective and keep it amidst all the trials, toils and tribulations that are sure to come.
   There is a sense in which perspective is nothing more than common sense writ large. One has to deal with the proper things in their proper order. So, the first thing that one has to do is to decide what it is that they are all about, what they hope to achieve, what they are willing to fight for and how they will conduct that fight. At this point an important thing to realize is that the answers one person comes up with may not agree on all counts with the answers that other people come up with. Our country has a population in excess of 260,000,000 people, and literally covers a continent. There are a large number of different things that are going to have to be done simultaneously in different areas to preserve both our nation and our people. Also, all of us have different talents, skills and abilities; and will likely be facing different problems at different times.
   Thus, the first major points are that one should use common sense, and also realize that the answers they believe to be best for themselves in some instances are not necessarily the best answers for other people. Thus, for one person to argue that their way alone is correct, and all others are cowardly/ignorant/insert pejorative term of choice/ is to miss a part of the perspective that one needs. There has only been one perfect person in this world. He was nailed to a cross almost 2,000 years ago. Thus one must bear in mind that the possibility always exists that someone you disagree with may be telling you something you vitally need to know. And they will probably not want to cooperate with you to do something that really needs to be done if each time you come into contact with them you insult them.
   So, the question of what we want to achieve needs to be looked at. As I see it, the Constitutional Militias in this country are attempting to preserve a limited constitutional republic which both protects and respects the unalienable rights of its citizens. In the process of doing this, loss of life, property, and territory is to be held to the minimum necessary to achieve that goal. It should also be pointed out for the benefit of those who seem to have somehow misunderstood the concept that the Constitutional Militias call themselves such because they see themselves as attempting to enforce the terms of the Constitution on the government, not because they were created by the Constitution.
   Now, I have heard that some have argued that the Constitution is "dead". As a result, attempts to save it are of no value. It is my opinion that such a position is woefully mistaken. In fact, I believe that this represents the ultimate loss of perspective. Now, I will grant that the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, and any other document written by men are only words on paper. They will just sit there, and will not do anything in and of themselves to aid or hinder anybody in doing anything. However, to then say that these documents are therefore "dead" and of no value misses the point.
   Human beings communicate to each other by the use of symbols. And the documents in question have become, both in terms of their idea content and what they themselves represent, some of the most powerful symbols that mankind has yet developed to communicate the ideas of liberty and freedom from tyranny. Not only that, but the Constitution is in a very real sense the symbol that both represents and defines what it is that America is all about. If you trash the Constitution, you then have to redefine what it is you are all about, and what it is you have to offer people. The major disadvantage you will face, especially in times of severe stress and turmoil, is that the vast majority of the 260,000,000+ people in this country know the Constitution represents and stands for over 200 years worth of unparalleled liberty, freedom and growth for the country that it defined. You and the ideas you would substitute for the Constitution, however meritorious they may be, will be viewed with suspicion and skepticism. Neither you nor your ideas have stood the test of time. The documents which define this country have. Furthermore, and by no means is this a small or negligible consideration, all previously and currently serving members of the armed forces and law enforcement personnel are currently sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. If you come to these people and talk to them about trying to preserve that which they are sworn to protect, then they are much more likely to listen to you than if you come with some sort of ideological rant about your pet theories of government.
   Therefore, when I say that I stand for unalienable rights, and somebody asks me what I mean by that, I can refer them to the Declaration of Independence as one of the important documents for defining not only the concept of unalienable rights, but what it is that America is all about. I can show how these ideas were then incorporated into the Constitution, explain to them the advantages of that form of government, and provide approximately 200 years worth of historical background proving that this type of government can work. Most importantly I know that other people in other parts of the country who have never read anything I have ever written or heard of me in any way are also doing the exact same thing. Because this way of doing things was so widely agreed to and so successful for so long, it is almost inevitable that groups will spring up all across this country doing exactly this when the real feces hit the fan. If, however, I am trying to sell people Mike Johnson's version of the only true way to run government, then I am likely to be the only person in the entire country who is actively selling that approach. My ideas would be likely to die off when I did, or worse yet become a source of contention between various groups down the road as they struggle to reunite this country against opposition.
   It should be obvious given the size of our country, that we are going to have numerous groups doing a wide variety of things in different parts of the country when the feces hit the fan. One of the things one is going to have to look at is how one is going to unite all, or at least a significant majority of them under the same banner. We simply are not going to be able to preserve a limited constitutional republic without the support of a majority of the population. If for no other reason than that a legitimate government derives its support from a majority of the population. Thus, to try to establish a legitimate government that respects unalienable rights based on only having the support of a minority of the population is a contradiction in terms. As I have been trying to explain all along, I believe the best chance of doing this is in adhering to the the ideals expressed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as closely as possible. An important question then becomes, how does one relate to the various groups and organizations that one will encounter that do not share this view? This becomes an especially important consideration when one is dealing with individuals and groups that could be described as racist.
   The question of how to deal with racists can be especially thorny. While racism is total and complete bunk, the sad fact is that there have always been racists in this world, and in all likelihood there will always be racists in this world. Furthermore, under the doctrine of unalienable rights and the resultant freedom of conscience it entails, I find that one has the perfect right to hold disagreeable opinions and express them pretty much as they see fit. Thus, to go about beating up on racists and groups suspected of being racist simply because they are racist is to become that which we are fighting. For if we decide that the unalienable rights of racists do not have to be respected, then which "disagreeable" group will be next after we feel we have done a suitable job of racist bashing? The slippery slope looms large.
   There is, however, a potential way out of the problem. It is not a utopian solution, because utopia is not an option that we have to choose from. However, it does have the benefits that it tries to incorporate not only common sense, but elements of the common law as well. Proposed quite simply, how one goes about relating to racists should vary based on what it is that the individual(s) in question are actually doing. For purposes of discussion, we will split racists up into three categories. I should note that these are proposed largely for the sake of discussion, and that trying to assign a specific person or group that you may encounter to a given category should only be done after a prolonged period of observation. In any event, each person has to be judged on their own merits as an individual, as there are always cases that don't fit proposed classification schemes.
   The first category discussed will be that of the "casual" racist. This is an individual who, though racist, has principles and ideals that they hold higher than their racist beliefs. Thus, they may be willing to set such aside temporarily to work for the common good. It is quite possible that a significant percentage of the men who fought for the Union army during the Civil War could have been placed in this category. If you find you are dealing with a casual racist who is willing to support the Constitution, then it may very well be possible to cooperate with him on an operational level. There are, however, some obvious limitations that should be noted. These are that one should try to keep the person from coming into contact with other members of your group who are of the race that he disagrees with. While he is not likely to be overtly hostile to these people, I can almost guarantee that his foot will implant itself firmly in his mouth at the most inopportune time. Not because he's deliberately trying to sabotage things, but merely because he is what he is. Think Fuzzy Zoeller. Then think of all the time necessary to try to smooth all the ruffled feathers and return some sense of organization to the chaos. Also, this person should not be given any duties that require meeting with other groups, spokesman type positions, or where tact and diplomacy are needed. However, within those limitations, this person could prove to be a valuable addition to a group.
   The second type of racist that we will look at is the separatist. This individual has ensconced himself on his own turf, and as far as he is concerned the rest of the world can go to hell. To the extent that all he or his group does is just hang out in their own area and not bother anybody, then there should be no need to worry about them too much. One should keep an eye on them however, because if they turn aggressive and expansionist they may have to be dealt with as a threat. On the other hand if they are behaving themselves and if you happen to have members of your group who are of the race that they prefer to cooperate with, limited trading of goods and information may be possible. It would be advisable to keep members of your group who belong to races that they have heartburn with out of their territory. Granted, this is not what we are all about and it is obnoxious, but the owner of a piece of property does have the right to define just who is and is not welcome on their property. That is one of the major components of the common law right to property that we are supposed to be defending.
   The final type of racist that we will look at will be the "rabid" racist. This person wants to get about the serious business of implementing the "final solution" to deal with those he considers to be "untermenschen" , as well as those he feels are too friendly to "untermenschen". He is likely to be having fond dreams of the totalitarian dictatorship he would like to bring into existence so that the country can benefit from "strong leadership". They may try to pass as one of the other types of racist, the better to penetrate other people's organizations and create hate and discontent. This type of person and the groups they form are at the very least a potential threat to the re-establishment of a limited constitutional republic. At worst, depending on what depredations they are inflicting on surrounding people and groups, they may have to be hunted down like animals. One should devote what intelligence resources one can to keep an eye on them, with the resultant dilemma in mind. Namely that one can only legitimately go after them for what they do, not merely what they believe or what they might do. As was discussed above, to pound on them merely because you don't like what they think is to essentially put yourself in the same camp they are. However, these groups pose a serious potential threat to what Constitutional Militias are trying to achieve and could try to inflict grave harm on people and groups they don't like if they think they can get away with it.
   Now, I have heard that the topic of potentially cooperating with "racists" has been mentioned before. As should be obvious from the discussion above, there are lots of potential problems and pitfalls in doing so. What worried me the most, however, was that the groups that I heard mentioned as groups that Constitutional Militias should try to cooperate with were groups that were very likely to be of the "rabid" racist variety. Again, we come back to the observation that there are some people who appear to be suffering from a loss of perspective. I fail to see how those who are trying to preserve a limited constitutional republic that protects and respects the unalienable rights of its citizens have anything to gain by trying to make common cause with people who want to create a racist totalitarian dictatorship and yearn to implement the "final solution" on "untermenschen" and those who they feel are too friendly towards "untermenschen".
   That's basically all I've got to say for now. I think it should be obvious by now how loss of perspective can potentially lead to all kinds of problems. The major ways of avoiding this involve using common sense and focusing on what one wants to achieve. In order to obtain the support of large numbers of people, it is important to carefully pick and use symbols that they can rally behind. It is also important to educate those people as to just what you are all about, what you are fighting for, and how the government you would like to institute should operate. Fortunately, we have the best tools for those purposes that have ever been devised in all of recorded history. These are, among others, the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Now, I am not saying that these are perfect, because nothing designed by mere mortals can ever be perfect. But to turn one's back on that which has the benefits of hundreds of years of history, tradition, a demonstrated successful track record, and the support quite literally of billions of people throughout the entire world (why do you think so many people want to come here?) because it doesn't come as close to perfection as one's personal ideas do smacks not only of a loss of perspective but a rather considerable dose of arrogance as well.

- Mike/North Central Florida Regional Militia
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These  are the personal views of Mike Johnson. He is the elected spokesman of the North Central Florida Regional Militia. They are neither endorsed nor supported by Citizens For Better Government. They are presented for informational purposes only. 

Last Revision: August 23, 1997