Police Use Force Against Students at the University of Puerto Rico

Here is what President Obama said after Assad’s latest assault on Homs in Syria: “Any government that brutalizes and massacres its people does not deserve to govern.” Well said. That would mean that since the Waco massacre in 1993, we have  had an illegitimate government in our country. What do free people do with illegitimate governments? They get rid of them.

Remember, your country and your government are not the same thing. You can love your country. You can only fear your government, because government holds power, and power is not benign. When a government massacres its own citizens, that is the deepest, clearest betrayal possible.

Citizens give power to their government for certain well defined purposes. When a government uses that power to coerce citizens, to imprison them and massacre them, it shows that it is no longer under the citizens’ control. Then it is an act of love for one’s country to alter or abolish that government.

We have seen that sentiment throughout northern Africa and the Middle East. In one country after another, people rally to the colors of their homeland. What unites them? Their strong patriotism, and their detestation for governments that mistreat them. We have to follow their example here. We have to see that what is happening in Syria can happen here.

If our government feels truly threatened by an uprising of American citizens, it will act vigorously first to suppress, then to kill us. Do you think the government’s brutal treatment of the Occupy Movement was an aberration, an extraordinary response to an extraordinary protest? It was not extraordinary. The government’s violent response to this movement of civil disobedience was entirely in line with what we would expect from power holders who feel threatenend.

Please do not regard our government’s power as benign, selectively applied to the unwashed unemployed who occupy public spaces. The government will apply its coercive power to any group that threatens it. If the threat you pose to the government’s power becomes too great, it will imprison you. If imprisonment does not work, government will use its power to kill you.

Love your country, but do not love your government. Abolish any government willing to use violent force against its own people. Take away its power when it uses force illegitimately. Take away its power before it becomes even stronger than it has already become.


Steven Greffenius is the author of Revolution on the Ground, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and here at the The Jeffersonian.