The legitimacy of public authority in the United States, more than perhaps anywhere in the West, is explicitly predicated on the juridico-political doctrine of social contract most famously exposited by Hobbes, Locke, Blackstone, and other luminaries of the Liberal canon. According to this theory, by Nature human beings desire the preservation of their own lives above all other things, and can legitimately do whatever it takes to secure their Natural right to self-preservation. In order to secure the preservation of their lives and property against the constant imminent danger each individual life would be exposed to under anarchy, individuals collectively renounce the right to use force on their own behalf, together with the absolute freedom and independence they enjoyed in the speculative pre-social “state of Nature”, in order to found the State. The State, in this conception, legitimately exists only in order to see to the protection of its citizens, and has an absolute duty to do so. If it cannot, or refuses to, then the social contract is void, and the citizens concomitantly released from their duty to take orders from the existing public power and free to create and submit to a new authority that can actually get the job done, or, if they prefer, do the job themselves by the basic right of Nature that has devolved back onto them.
It’s not often that I agree with the contractarian line of reasoning, but there’s no gainsaying that an absolute duty to protect subordinates at whatever cost- including the safety, and indeed, the very lives of superordinates- is inscribed in the very concept of lawful authority, and that any authority that is derelict in this most elementary duty is contemptible and, moreover, null and worthless. An entity that cannot control the use of violence on its territory, by definition, is not Sovereign, and so is in absolutely no position to expect by some kind of moral right the voluntary rendering of the civil obedience it cannot compel under its own power- an idea that makes no sense, since voluntary obedience is an oxymoron and an abuse of language. This goes both for the duty of the citizen to obey the legislative/police/judiciary powers of the State (which disappear into nullity right along with the State monopoly on force that indispensably backs them up) and his duty to pay taxes (which necessarily lose their obligatory character once the State has lost or forfeited its ability to effectively impose obligations to begin with).
For the past two days, the dregs and beasts of the Left have been running riot in cities across the United States. In order to demonstrate to the world their commitment to the democratic majoritarian principle of “one man, one vote”, and the rule of law as against arbitrary force, a tiny minority have taken it upon themselves to try to overturn the results of the legally undisputed national election by taking extra-legal direct action including the trashing and burning down of places of business on a random basis. One of the affected cities is Oakland, California, whose mayoralty today sent out a form letter concerning the disorder to the local business owners who have been its principal victims. Here are some excerpts from this remarkable document:
November 10, 2016
Dear Oakland Business Owner,
Last night, as Oakland has been so many times before, our city was the backdrop for a demonstration and protest march. Nearly 7,000 people flooded our streets to express their outrage and indignation over the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. […] Tens of businesses including many of our small businesses and other institutions vital to Oaklanders were hit hard. Graffiti and broken windows were left behind by a group of anarchists who continually invade these otherwise peaceful protests with the intention of doing nothing but causing destruction.
While I know it’s little comfort to you, I want to explain why it seems our police department cannot stop them. The police who are responsible for the safety of the crowds and our community during these protests are very often the target themselves. When they step in to stop an act of vandalism while it is happening, they become the new focal point for the crowds which can lead to an escalation of violence, not a decrease in the vandalism.
We are […] working with police to continually improve our strategies, as well as finding additional ways our community can help, like keeping store lights on and possibly having a presence inside on nights when protests are scheduled to occur as another way of deterring this behavior. We’re also working to get this message to the peaceful protesters so they know how they can help in keeping their good causes and best intentions from being co-opted by an element that does not have them, Oakland or the values we cherish at heart.
Alternative, red-pilled rendering:
“We freely and frankly admit that the streets of the city have, in fact, been taken over by what we avow to be anarchists. While it may look like we’ve lost control of the situation, we really haven’t. We could crack down- but we won’t. Anarchists, after all, would just hate that, and might understandably and with perfect justification resort to violence in order defend themselves against the outrage against their rights if we tried. And we won’t try, in any case- since, it so happens, even though we disagree with the means employed, we nonetheless support their righteous opposition to President Trump as an expression of the values we cherish. (You may or may not support him, but when we said, “we”- we didn’t mean you). Besides, it’s not like we use your tax revenues to pay security forces to, you know, put themselves in harm’s way just to keep the law from being flagrantly violated, the public peace disturbed, private property destroyed, or anything like that. So just stop whining and keep your lights on or something, we don’t care”.
Fair enough. What, then, of the vaunted “social contract”? Do the citizens have any other means of legitimately protecting themselves other than keeping the lights on- say, by forming armed protective associations amongst themselves, or else contracting private security firms to do what the city disdains, and the members of the policemen’s union refuse, to do, and in order to pay them withholding future tax monies from the city accordingly? Municipal authority over its sector of the national territory having been forfeited, is the city now to have its corporate powers and privileges revoked and find itself placed under trusteeship by the State, and the business owners released from their obligation to obey municipal by-laws in the process of trying to re-build their shattered livelihoods?
Of course not. The idea! Vigilante justice! Unthinkable affront to the rule of law! Flaunting and usurpation of legally-constituted civic authority! Anarchy– writ large, this time!