Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Private Security Isn’t Enough: Why America Needs Militias | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 2, 2021

The problem is that private security will almost always choose to work for the highest bidder. And the highest bidder is almost always going to be the bidder with the monopoly on piracy, brigandage, and graft: the state (or the socialists, who are just the state in training).

Jason Morgan

In late May we learned that, after a five-month deployment to one of the most dangerous cities in the world, the American military would finally be going home.

Well, not really. They already were home. The dangerous warzone was the American federal capital, Washington, DC. And the “danger” that the military was supposed to be countering was entirely government made. The military—the National Guard—was on a mission to “secure the capital” after a few hundred rowdies had a Jacksonian moment on Capitol Hill. People who obviously had no plan beyond their afternoon tear through the halls of Congress were somehow presented as an existential threat to the American government, and so the statists in Washington ordered the National Guard to remain deployed. Apparently, the guy who stole a piece of stationery from Nancy Pelosi’s office in January was so terrifying that it took thousands of troops to make sure he didn’t come back and do it again.

Of course, on every other day besides January 6, 2021, Washington, DC, is not dangerous because of people like the stationery thief. It’s dangerous because it’s run by the government. The National Guard standing watch against some takeover by the boogaloo bois was all a show, meant to deflect from the government’s failures by making it seem as though it were ordinary Americans, and not their leaders, who are the real threat to peace and security. (It also didn’t hurt to have the National Guard on the steps of Congress so that the purge of patriots from the ranks by woke apparatchiks could continue apace. The last thing the military needs these days is anyone actually dedicated to preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution.)

What is most troubling about this whole situation is that it was never supposed to be this way. The rationale behind a militia (of which the National Guard could be deemed a modern-day extension) is to defend people and their property, not the government which sponges off both. But over time Washington co-opted the militia spirit of the National Guard and turned it into a ward of the state. The Dick Act of 1903, for example, was but one key turning point of several in the transition from American militia to federal police force. Seen in this light, the spectacle of the National Guard occupying Washington was a complete inversion of the intended order of things. The militia is supposed to protect us from the government, not the government from us.

There is an important lesson in this for those of us who, unlike Washingtonians, still love our God-given liberties. The American empire is coming apart at the seams. God willing, the damned thing will collapse with a shudder very soon. Many around the country have long since been preparing for this day, and also taking measures against the government while it still functions by exploring the possibilities of private security. Private security is surely necessary now, and will be even more necessary as the American Leviathan turns belly-up. But beware. History teaches that private security works for a while, but almost always ends up increasing oppression in the long run. As Americans rediscover the honorable militia traditions of their past, they should also take in the notes of caution which that history also contains.

Perhaps the best place to start to understand how and why private security tends to become statist oppressor is to look at foreign history first. Take the samurai, for example. The samurai are probably most often thought of as swordsmen of the Tokugawa martial law order, and that is certainly true. But the samurai started out, not as state agents, but as private security forces. The Heian Period (794–1185) was a time much like the hedonist period (December 23, 1913–present) in the USA today. The central government in ancient Japan, just like the central government in the USA today, was filled with courtiers and well-connected girly men (not that I’m thinking of Hunter Biden as I write this) who were infinitely concerned with their own social schedules and could spare very little time for administration. Because of the self-absorbed nature of central government politicians, the provinces were increasingly left to fend for themselves.

But countryfolk in Japan are made of sturdy stuff, just like good old boys in America. The Japanese locals didn’t just roll over and whimper when things got bad. They did what any sane group would do—they stocked up on weapons and took the law into their own hands. The toughs who emerged as peacekeepers and eventually kingmakers from all this were the bushi, the samurai.

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