As an observer and polemicist of the civil society, any civil society, few can surpass Algernon Sidney.
Popularly derived governments are associated with occasional tumults and disorders. The people are free in their speech and writings to make their displeasures known. If the society is civil, these expressions will not involve property destruction. Civil society produced the orderly Washington, DC Tea Party rallies in the early 2010s. In comparison, an uncivil society, or anarchy results in deadly riots like those in Watts, Detroit and Ferguson in which the goal of the mob was looting and personal enrichment rather than settlement of legitimate grievances.
On the other hand if perfect peace is the goal, it can always be found in totalitarian states. North Korean (un)civic life is peaceful.
In short, people living under a free government of their own will sometimes be boisterous without threatening their liberty.
Yet, how free is the American nation in 2016? Conservative voices have been silenced by the IRS and shunned at college campuses. Under government influence, Facebook and Twitter have closed many accounts for the expression of fundamental truths.
Here is what Sidney had to say when government officials are free to break the laws that apply to everyone else:
“If the Laws of God and Men are therefore of no effect, when the magistracy is left at liberty to break them, and if the lusts of those who are too strong for the tribunals of justice and cannot be otherwise restrained than by sedition, tumults, and war, they are justified by the Laws of God and Man.”
The laws that apply to you and me don’t apply to, for instance, Lois Lerner or Hillary Clinton. Their crimes are against both statutes and the Laws of Nature. Resistance against the regime that protects such criminals is therefore just.
But should violence be the people’s first choice? In many nations, the people have little choice but to take to the streets and threaten the destruction of their oppressors. Recall that our Founding generation tried to reason with Parliament over their grievances, but to no avail. It was only after repeated rebuffs and injuries that Britain’s thirteen North American colonies exploded in violence. The use of force to tamp down popular discontent merely made the situation worse.
America 2016 is in a similar situation. Elemental freedoms are suppressed by high government criminals. Pressure for reform, for a return to free government is building.
Unless provided with a peaceful release in the form of an Article V convention, the civil society and a monster government are certain to destroy each other in violence.