In a long-ago discussion in Comments, I made the statement that if I had my preference, Iíd like to die either asleep in my wifeís arms, or else on the barricades.
I think Iíd better explain the latter, because someone may get the wrong impression, and Iíd hate that to happen.
Although Iíve started to look like a Frenchman and am descended from the French, most Gallic qualities have long since been burned off by the passage of generations. Most especially, the need for le geste magnifique, mais inutile (the magificent, but futile, gesture) has long ago been purged from my psyche.
So donít expect me to rush to the barricades when The Glorious Day comes, AK clutched in wrinkled grasp, with ringing exhortations coming from my lips.
I am uncomfortable in the role of "revolutionary leader." Iím not a rabble rouser, or an agitator. I seek not to form an army, or an underground movement, or any kind of Maquis. I donít care about glory, or notoriety, or any of that nonsense. I am, quite simply, a man who will go so far, and no further, and who will resist oppression without fanfare, without recognition, and without a qualm.
I am also not a terrorist, or "freedom fighter," and I will never engage in any activities which are proactive against Our Enemy, The State.
I may, however, choose to resist, in a manner of my own choosing, because I have various boundaries, personal boundaries, which may or may not be the same as those of others.
So my "barricade" would be a lot simpler, and a lot more personal.
It could be at my doorstep, when agents of the State come to confiscate my suddenly-illegal guns.
It could be in a court of law, when I am forced to choose between paying a fine for disobeying an unjust law, and going to prison. (It will, I promise you, be the latter.)
It could be when the State tries to confiscate or trespass on my property.
It could be when the State threatens my family.
It could be when the State tries to load me, or any other "undesirables," into the cattle cars (real, or metaphysical).
It could be when an agent of the State demands "Papieren, bitte," and I show them my tattoo instead.
It could be when I am restricted in, or forbidden to exercise my freedom of speech, or any of the other freedoms enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I will decide what constitutes "reasonable" when it comes to restrictions thereon, and not some Congressman, lawyer, judge, policeman or government bureaucrat.
Just like Nock before me, Iím not intent on "setting an example," or influencing others, or making a splash of any kind. Those who wish, may do what I do, or not. Those who wish to castigate me for my choices may do so, but it will have no effect. Those who wish to use me as an example do so without my consent or blessing, and those who expect me to "lead" them will be disappointed.
I am a quiet man, a reasonable man, but I am not nor will ever be a slave to the State. I left one country to escape that, and I will not live like that in my adopted one.
So if I die on the barricades, it may be known to others, or else just an unseen spark which flickers and dies in the darkness. Either way, I am indifferent. But it will be known to the agents of the State, I can promise you that. I will not go quietly into that dark night of oppression. It may well turn out to have been a futile gesture, but it will not be futile for me.
I may have lost most Gallic qualities, as I said earlier, but the one I have most definitely lost is the impulse to surrender.
And thatís all Iíll have to say on the topic. Ever.
Other essays by Kim du Toit may be found HERE.
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