What Is The Best Method Of Rebellion Against Tyranny?

rebellionOp-Ed by Brandon Smith

I have heard it often said that there is no one right way to accomplish a goal. I agree. However, I would add that while there is no such thing as “one right way” to achieve an objective, this does not mean there aren’t numerous WRONG ways to achieve an objective.

Doing “something” is not always better than doing nothing if that “something” is based on terrible strategy. Unfortunately, there are people out there with otherwise good intentions, even in the liberty movement, that seem to think that taking action without planning is preferable to patience. They do not understand that there is such a thing as negative returns.

The reality is that action is easy. Patience and planning are difficult. Emotional reaction is simple. Quiet professionalism is complicated.


This is the dynamic that is plaguing the liberty movement today; the battle between our emotional drive to jump headlong into conflict with our progressively corrupt establishment, and the absolute necessity for intelligent strategy and proper timing.

The issue here is not “fighting.” Most of us know and accept the fact that a fight is coming whether we like it or not. I say by all means, let’s fight, but fighting is not enough. If we fight, we must fight TO WIN, and this requires fighting smart.

On the other side of the coin, the weak handed and weak hearted will argue that fighting in any respect is “useless” or “immoral” and will result in failure.  This is the pacifist camp, which never produces much in the way of practical solutions.  There are very useful and peaceful methods for non-participation and nullification, most of which I am happy to promote.  That said, non-participation is only part of the battle.  If you are dealing with a psychopathic adversary (which we are), ultimately that adversary will use overt violence to stop you from nullifying their authority.  If you are not willing to use active self defense against true evil based on some deluded Gandhi complex, then you and the historical memory of you will be erased.  It is perfectly possible for a person to fight in self defense while maintaining his core principles.

If you fight, then there is a chance.  If you do not fight, then failure is guaranteed.  The “odds” are irrelevant.  How you fight (fighting smart) is the only matter of importance.

Recently I have seen a growing contingent of people within the movement that seek a fight but question the concept of planning or waiting. They’ll argue that planning is somehow impractical, or that there will never be a perfect time for action. This way of thinking has only been inflated by the latest events in Burns, Oregon.

The Oregon standoff is a stunning example of how emotional action leads to failure and tragedy. Many will argue over the circumstances surrounding the death of Lavoy Finicum — did he reach into his jacket, or was he reacting to being shot? Were the police officers involved in fear for their lives, or were they out for blood? The majority of liberty activists will undoubtedly assume malicious intent on the part of the government due to their track record of murder and lies. I don’t blame them. That said, I would point out that while Finicum may be dead because of ill intent on the part of trigger happy cops, he was put in that position in the first place due to inadequate planning and leadership.

The argument that the FBI should have never been in Burns in the first place overlooks the fact that Bundy and team, strategically speaking, should not have been there either. They could have been in a far better position if only they had thought their conundrum through.

Oregon and the death of Finicum are not failures on the part of the liberty movement. They are failures on the part of Bundy and team, who refused to listen to scores of people with far more experience and knowledge in such situations; the same people who tried to help the occupiers adjust their tactics and offer them safer ground and safer footing. The failure in Oregon is what happens when amateurs, not just in training but in tactical philosophy, undertake a rebellion.

Some will argue that experienced tacticians within the movement (and there are many) refused to show up for the fight, and thus sentenced the occupiers to defeat. I would argue that the Oregon standoff was FUBAR from the very beginning. From its inception it was doomed. Half the movement saw it plain as day. For me, the end result was obvious.

A team of well-meaning but unorganized and untrained activists thrust themselves into a situation beyond their capabilities and under the potential influence of agents provocateur. There was no vetting for random strangers seeking to join their ranks; no direct goals and no clearly defined strategy, only vague demands and notions. No thought of planning one or two steps ahead, let alone five steps ahead. A circus atmosphere inspiring public ridicule rather than public respect. A complete lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation leading to a false sense of safety and comfort, or in some cases even hubris.

This is why most liberty tacticians had no interest in showing up to the Oregon standoff; not because they were fearful, not because they are “sunshine patriots,” not because they are waiting for a “perfect” moment that will never come to kick off a revolution. They did not show up because it was a scenario that could not be salvaged. It was a carnival. Period.

To compare events to the first American Revolution, I do not see the standoff and the shooting of Finicum as a Lexington Green moment (though it hasn’t fully ended yet). Rather, I see it as a Boston Massacre moment. The Boston Massacre was an absolute tragedy, but also not a cut-and-dried affair. John Adams, acting as legal defense for the British soldiers accused of initiating bloodshed, realized that the Sons Of Liberty were desperate to use the event politically to rally support for direct revolution, but also understood that the timing and the circumstances were utterly wrong. The Sons of Liberty wanted to hold up the Boston Massacre as a symbol of ALL the oppression the colonials suffered under the crown. Adams, though an avid champion of the cause, correctly treated it as a singular tragedy and not an opportunity for exploitation.

The colonials would eventually enter into revolution at Lexington and Concord; clearly defined defensive scenarios in which the militia obstructed the path of British soldiers sent to arrest leaders of the Sons of Liberty (Samuel Adams and John Hancock), as well as to confiscate firearms and black powder caches. The militia had a direct goal (to impede the British from reaching Adams and Hancock) and the British used clear and overt force against them, resulting in an immediate and violent justified response by other militias. This is one right way to start a rebellion.

So if Oregon represents an example of the wrong way to do things, what is a better way? I described alternative methods with a much greater chance of success in my article “Real Strategies For Removing Federal Presence From Western Lands,” but I would like to explore beyond specific tactics and discuss mindset — the overall philosophy behind a winning rebellion in our modern era.

Divided We Win, United We Fall

This might sound counter-intuitive; I’ll explain.

A movement should be united in its stance and its values in order to succeed and I believe the liberty movement is indeed united for the most part on these terms. However, when it comes to concrete action the more centralized our efforts the less we will achieve and the more likely we are to fail.

I find it interesting that whenever a call goes out to the movement to take action it usually involves concentrating large masses of us into a small area with no outlined plan or directives. With the exception of Bundy Ranch, which I believe was entirely organic in how it came about, most of these calls to arms are initiated by questionable personalities or people possibly under the influence of provocateurs who seek to march us all into a box, whether it be a bridge in Washington, D.C. or a scrub brush refuge in Oregon. In the face of a vastly superior opponent in terms of arms and technology, it seems to me that the establishment would prefer us all to be hyper-focused on only one battle space at one time, putting all our eggs in one basket and leaving us vulnerable.

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Instead, a rebellion in this day and age must be asymmetric in nature; meaning smaller groups acting covertly on their own initiative everywhere rather than in only one place. Amassing in one small region might be useful under very specific conditions, but if you want to pose an actual threat to a large criminal system, you need hundreds of events, all of them far better planned than Oregon.

Organization Through Localism

If you cannot even secure your own family or your own neighborhood from potential threats, then why would you expect to be successful in projecting out to a whole other state and community and securing it instead? Local organization is more important than national organization or grand posturing on the national stage. If you can strengthen your own community while others do the same across the country, then the effects will be felt nationally by default.

Far more can be accomplished through localism than by rolling the dice on mass theatricality and Alamo-style tactics.

Communications Networking

Unity does not come best through concentrated action but through solid communications. The fact that most of the liberty movement has no coms networks outside of the mainstream grid is a sad state of affairs that will lead to our downfall. As far as my information shows, the Oregon occupiers had no ham radio communications and relied primarily on cell phones. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

When there is a national network of ham operators providing communications to the liberty movement, then and only then can we claim to have the means to organize effectively outside of our own communities. Do not assume for a second that you will have access to mainstream grid communications when you need them.

Prepare To Aid People Outside The Movement

The establishment would like nothing more than for the liberty movement to completely isolate itself from the general public. The more we refuse to interact with our communities the easier it will be to paint us as dangerous outsiders. The more we offer valuable services and training to a community, such as classes on emergency medical response, personal defense against active shooters, food storage and preparedness, etc., the more likely we will be seen as valuable assets to that community in the wake of a crisis.

I have been undertaking such efforts in my own community for the past couple of years and have met many excellent people who are of like mind but not necessarily “activists” in the traditional sense. If you discount efforts to improve your local situation and to build bridges, you do so at your own peril.

Focus On The True Culprits

Eventually, someone is going to have to bring the international banking elites to justice for their direct influence over government corruption and destructive economic policy. Making stands against the Bureau of Land Management and other questionable federal agencies might be a necessary part of this fight, but the fight will never end until the original perpetrators are removed at the root. Beware of any group or “leader” who calls you to action but ignores the money-elite; they are probably more interested in exploiting you than helping you.

Quiet Professionalism

Perhaps most important of all is the need for liberty activists to adopt an attitude of quiet professionalism. This means analyzing situations objectively. This means having one’s heart in the right place without being driven emotionally. This means attaining personal excellence in any field of knowledge that might help you to gain victory.

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Winning this fight will require the extraordinary dedication of extraordinary individuals; anything less will result in disaster. Giving our all does not mean simply being willing to sacrifice our lives. That may be what happens, but this cannot be our only trump card. If you are not striving every day to master your own skills and initiative then you are not giving your all. If you are not organizing effectively at the local level because you assume no one will listen to you, then learn to communicate better and try again. If your only plan is to go out guns blazing, then you might as well stay home because you will do more harm for the movement than good.

Become a local pillar rather than a mere complainer. Seek to produce results rather than demanding others do it for you. When you act, act intelligently. Be steady in your resolve and do not let anger or panic rule your thinking. Be fair in your assessments, and above all, once again, if you fight, fight to win. Fighting merely in the name of fighting is a fool’s game.

If the movement had 10,000 individuals of this caliber victory would be assured against any odds.

You can read more from Brandon Smith at his site Alt-Market.com

  • Mark

    Regarding comms in Burns and in the future, I draw your attention to Partisan Radio Podcast Volume 30: amrron dot com

  • Psychic Warrior

    You would think that the fear of the use of the 2nd amendment by the citizens against the politicians and their bosses, the elitists; would be enough to scare them into behaving as loving representatives but they obviously do not fear an armed revolt. Until a meaningful approach is adopted the disenfranchisement of the population will continue along with all the other injustices. The vote will not change a damn thing as the vote gets overridden by the corruption of the elected which has already shredded the constitution. The Fourth Reich is alive and well. We have the technology whereby each individual could represent themselves but no infrastructure to enforce it. The masses willingly work as slaves for their favorite candidate without out a thought to their own involvement in the tyranny.

    • Brett

      Finding people with my beliefs and knowledge is the greatest frustration I have. I know I have the means and ability to build a ‘cell’ but finding people is hard. I know they are out there and they may even already know me and choose to stand with those who laugh to save themselves from ridicule. Then you have to trust those in your group. Remember, too, that your neighbour could also be your greatest enemy when times get really bad. Turning one against another within the ranks is a very old tactic!

  • marlene

    NO, Brandon. I couldn’t disagree with you more! You obviously have not done any responsible investigative research into the Oregon situation and your journalism reflects your lack of knowledge, discernment, and understanding. The best method #1 – KEEP YOUR GUNS. #2 – STOCK UP ON AMMO. #3 – DO NOT COMPLY. Have a nice day on the couch waiting for that knock on your door saying “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” or take a stand against tyranny in EVERY way possible. God bless our brave Patriots in Oregon AND FROM NEVADA and Idaho for fighting for liberty and freedom for ALL of us against the tyranny that is this totalitarian dictatorship we call “government.”

    • M.Martinez

      You talk like someone who learned about military and tactics by watching episodes of G.I. Joe.

      They outnumber you, they have sustainable logistics, are better trained and organized, and have an entire system/society/nation/economy with which to fight you with.

      I have nothing against people being armed and standing up when they have to, but standing up with no plan and no hope is just plain stupid. Why are you so dead set against having a plan and hope AND standing up?

      • marlene

        I didn’t say that. Why are you so emphatic about what YOU would do – did you?

  • dale ruff

    This discussion makes a fundamental mistake, by assuming that pacifism is the refusal to fight. The most determined fighters in the 20th Century who achieved their goals were pacifists, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The most effective strategy is non-violent resistance, which is the path of pacifists who renounce violence on the irrevocable logic that you cannot achieve peace with violence, that violence only begets more violence. Indeed, that is the entire lesson of history.

    A tyranny, by definition, is the unjust use of force. It is pure folly to think that using force against a system of force will defeat it. It only emboldens it and gives it the pretext to crack down harder. Non-violent resistance by contrast is a means which is consonant with the end; it undercuts the very foundation of tyranny by denying the claim that might makes right.

    We will only defeat tyranny by refusing to use the means by which tyranny controls us. Pacifism is the opposition to violence and when combined with resistance, forms the most logical and strategic force against tyranny. Violence is tyranny, and you cannot defeat tyranny with tyranny. The powers that be WANT you to bring out your guns so they can outgun you; if you FIGHT without violence, you sabotage their entire justification for their monopoly of violence, that it is necessary to put down violence.

    I expect most gun owners to refuse to give up any fantasy of taking on state tyranny, so I appeal to those who understand that violence has never produced justice or peace,only more violence. Tyranny is a cycle of violence, justified by its longevity. Undermine this cycle by refusing to use the tools of tyranny to oppose it, as Gandi and Dr. King did, overturning centuries of tyranny by confronting violent power with non-violent resistance. Fight we must, but fighting smart means fighting in such a way as to win not only the battle but the truth. “The only force strong enough to defeat hatred is love.” MLK

    • Brett

      I can certainly see your point on this matter, Dale. When you look at it a pacifist (really dont like the word) is pretty bloody brave anyway. They end up getting murdered too. Perhaps what we need is many, many more ‘pacifists’ taking the stage around the world? Not sure we can do that through the political system though? Either way, resistance from the elite is going to be mega. One thing I feel at the moment is the NWO elite are getting frustrated by all of us right now, hence, they are not even hiding anything now; they are really coming out with everything they have. They just might trip…

  • jif6360

    One peaceful solution we haven’t tried yet: vote out all the incumbents in congress and keep voting them out until they restore our voice and rights.

    • Brett

      Difficult to vote out a corrupt system, friend. They simply wont allow anyone with truth in his/her heart in the top job. They let a few pretenders in to give the illusion of democracy and thats it. The US election is rigged and already decided.

      • jif6360

        We need to try, there are no other options. We The People need to stand together and hold our rep accountable. The internet is the tool that can make it happen.

  • P.Lentz

    Brendan, I agree with your information, however, people sometimes do not know how to organize,and you did explain that it has to start in your community. But to go up against the government, is almost defeating. The Progressives are so corrupt and they do not abide by our Constitution.

    • Brett

      Its true we have a job in front of us. However, to do nothing or not try is not in my nature. I will die on my terms, that I promise you. As a free person or, as a slave? Thats the question all of us need to answer now. Once you get your head around some of these questions and answer them honestly to yourself, I believe your destiny will then be set. Fear will begin to fade. You will think easier about things. None of us should believe that hard decisions wont be required; maybe painful ones, too.

  • SallyM

    They don’t fear an armed revolt on account of they use us against us – as they are protected w/ a wall of blue – police are simply another thug agency for the banks.
    Somehow and (hopefully at some point) folks will stop hostility atwixt themselves and actually locate the shadows.

    BTW: votes no longer count – bring back paper votes w/ witnesses and you might have real elections again.

    I have no doubt that Trump won the Iowa caucus and that Rubio and Cruz have never been vetted and are not natural citizens.
    Bernie and Hillary are cut from the same backstabbing cloth…All for themselves and the all seeing eye shadows they represent.

    • Brett

      I think you are right, Sal!

  • Andross

    When it comes down to it how many people you have willing to take on a active role and openly rebel is what will decide what and how many options are available to make a stand. Sadly, when it comes to the fight for freedom the overwhelming majority are unwilling and also unable to do anything to make a difference. Apathy and stupidity are all too prevalent. Either most don’t care or are too mentally deficient to help or do anything. That’s the real question now, has the human race as a whole allowed itself to be weakened to the point where they are no longer even able to defend themself from any threat?

  • M.Martinez

    Great piece – yes you have to blend practical, pragmatic localism with the ability to defend yourself with force if need be. You must fight a system with your own system. A system includes everything include the ability to defend yourself but also to feed, cloth, house, power, and pay yourself.

  • Sandi Hornsby White

    I stand by the 3 tools our founders of the Constitution placed there to guard against Government Tyranny. Recalls, Referendums, and the Initiative Signature Gathering Democratic Process known as the Will and the Power of the People Law to be placed on the Election Ballot. The People’s Law. It goes into effect immediately and cannot be overturned by the President, Governor, Legislation, or the courts. This is very powerful!

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