The Theory of Resistance

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Locke believes that the relationship between the state and its citizens took the form of a 'contract,' whereby the governed agreed to surrender certain freedoms they enjoyed under the state of nature in exchange for the order and protection provided by a state, exercised according to the rule of law.

However, if the state oversteps its limits and begins to exercise arbitrary power, it forfeits its 'side' of the contract and thus, the contract becomes void; the citizens not only have the right to overthrow the state, but are indeed morally compelled to revolt and replace it.

Locke believes that the citizens are compelled to revolt because absolute power is never a remedy for the state of nature; however, Locke makes great effort to point out that if the citizens are going to revolt they must be on the right side of the issue.

Old Holborn has a good post on The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion - all 198 of them - courtesy of Captain Ranty. This was reproduced from Sessecion Net
- Creating a worldwide Secession Network promoting the Right to Secede - Community-Based Secession - Libertarian/Decentralist Political Processes - Nonviolent Secession and Institutions.

That made me think. The phenomenon of disobedience and resistance deserves academic research.

In the contemporary climate this is based around libertarian blogging, single-issue campaigns such as No2ID, and various individual demonstrations of disenchantment with the State. My own theory is that this is a legitimate reaction to an increasingly illiberal and repressive government and State.

Back in the 1960s and 197os, there was a wider academic tradition of studies surrounding peace, conflict, gender and race, citizen participation and resistance. This was underpinned by the radical agenda of the time and the context of the Vietnam War and acceptance of Marxism as a political theory (Marxism is still cited by historians as a valid theoretical framework...not without reason). Many of our own Leaders admit to a fondness for posters of Che Guevara and a residual admiration for Fidel Castro and Cuba.

Since then, the focus has been on media studies and politics studies. Everyone wants to be something off the West Wing, a spin-doctor or policy wonk, subservient to the System.
Is it time to look afresh at the social theories of citizen participation, peace and conflict, and resistance? In the context of the modern State? The starting point I would suggest is opposition to the Iraq War and the repressive "anti-terror" policies that followed, along with the creeping agenda of the database and surveillance state. The "resistance blogs" and wider campaigns are an evolving phenomenon tied to dissatisfaction with the State and this deserves study.

Any universities out there fancy chasing a research grant? We could even get money from the State to fund this resistance...appears to be the way ahead nowadays!


4 Responses to “The Theory of Resistance”
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Anonymous said...

All it takes to ignite a freedom movement is a good idea and one or two leaders who can inspire.

The Ron Paul movement to end the Fed began in the 1980s, but began to ignite when people noticed that their freedoms were ebbing away and their votes didn't count for much.

We have a similar situation here, but we lack a Ron Paul. Can Farage and Pearson light the way?

28 November 2009 at 17:08
Captain Ranty said...

It's quite an old list, VOTR, but I figured it was somewhere to start from.

Maybe someone brighter tham me, (which is pretty much the entire population) can update it to suit our times.


28 November 2009 at 21:21
Captain Ranty said...

Than not tham.


Thick as mince.


28 November 2009 at 21:22
Anonymous said...

This is a good post. Sorry I am a bit late on this one.

Locke gives the intellectual basis to the present situation.


The Social Contract has been broken. We have no moral obligation to obey any of their laws or rules. They are outlaws.

The American Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776 states as follows:-

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . ."

The political theory of "Consent of the Governed" states that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power derives from the people or society over which that power is exercised. If the people withdraw their consent then the government loses its legitimacy.

Modern government depends on a certain amount of cooperation from the people.

This Mass Civil Disobedience must be organised outside the usual party political activity as it is doubted whether mainstream politicians can be relied on to organise it - but actually it should appeal to decent members of all political parties and none.. This includes members of the Labour Party who are seeing their Party ruthlessly hijacked by a totalitarian force.

Will everyone who agrees with this please consider what form the Mass Civil Disobedience should take.

The form of the Mass Civil Disobedience must be something very simple and cost free for ordinary people to do and join in with, but which if done by sufficient number of people causes government to freeze.

30 November 2009 at 16:16