The idea of counter culture has been coming back to me lately. I’ve been thinking about the dichotomy of a group which rejects the societal standards, laws and authority, then demands that the same society protect them. Stupidly, we do.
Look at the Sovereign Citizens, an anarchist organization that believes the existing U.S. and State governments are illegitimate. They claim the protection of common law and use Orwellian logic and Truth Speak to argue constitutional legitimacy of law enforcement as unconstitutional. Seriously, look it up on U-Tube with police encounters.
The Sovereigns do make a point, to be a citizen is willingly submit to the government. That is a good and clear point. Rousseau’s essay, “The Social Contract”, made the same point before the United States won it’s independence. To participate in a society, in essence is to surrender some of your rights to the province of governance. The opposite side of that is that to reject the society and government is also to reject it’s protections. The constitution, amendments, laws and safety they establish are for U.S. citizens.
The right and responsibility of a governed society is to protect itself, it’s citizens. The oath sworn by the military is “…to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. Police Officers swear to enforce the laws of the land, protect life and property. When I consider the verbiage of the oaths; enforce, protect, defend, they are violent and aggressive suited to the people and methods that may be employed. Where a citizen may, at need, defend themselves, they also surrender justice and revenge to the laws of society.
So, do those that reject the laws and governance of society deserve the protections of that same government? Does force majeures give us the right to enforce our laws on others within our borders, whether they accept our society and rules or not?
If you use force to resist the laws you are either a criminal or invading force and subject to arrest or destruction. The people who go on a rampage of looting and riot as a form of protest, may not fall completely into the category of enemy of the state but they are criminals. Attempting to justify criminal acts by claiming self-righteous anger over a perceived wrong is sophistry and not a defense.
The provisions for protecting society as a whole are allowed for within the constitution, federal and state laws. To accept that an anarchist group has the right to flaunt those same laws degrades them. Why should anyone expect us to surrender our moral authority and rights to defense of ourselves, our society and our government because they disagree. You either support the society or you don’t. If you reject the society and what it entails, you should not expect that same society to protect you.