"The act or an instance of open revolt against civil authority or a constituted government.", and as synonymous with "rebellion", which is defined thus:
"rebellion: a rebellion against the government or rulers of a country, often involving armed conflict."
Insurrection has been described as not only necessary, but as a virtual obligation - "When the government violates the people's rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensible of duties." -- Marquis de Lafayette
(For those of you who may not remember the finer details of our early-American history, the Marquis de Lafayette was a French noble who served in the Continental Army, as a Major General, during the American Revolution, 1777-1779 .)
"The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it should have done. Calculate that one rebellion in thirteen states in the course of eleven years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one. Nor will any degree of power in the hands of government prevent insurrections." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.
How did we reach a point in these United States, 145 years after the "Civil War", that the word insurrection would be mentioned in any sentence relating to our internal affairs? The Civil War as also known as the War Between The States, which is more accurate, inasmuch as there is no record of any of the combatants requesting permission from an opponent to shoot at him, or apologizing after the fact for his termination. The war wasn't the least bit "civil".
Perhaps the Marquis de Lafayette and Jefferson were correct. The will of a free people can only be ignored by their elected government for so long, before there are grumblings of anger and resentment against that government. But, as they say, "talk is cheap" (unless it's a 60 second Super Bowl commercial on TV). Actually, according to our Constitution, talk costs nothing as it falls under the First Amendment's "freedom of speech". Of course we know that it means we are free to say that which is on our mind, but nobody has any obligation to provide us with a free venue for presenting those thoughts. But, I digress...
Insurrection could be very loosely interpreted as any expressed disagreement with the government or other ruling body. However, the word "insurrection" has historically been used to describe an armed and violent expression of such disagreement. Are we on the verge of such an expression? I still slightly doubt that we are. Are the dangerous TEA Party participants ready to usurp authority of their government? The question itself is ludicrous. The only acts of violence involving TEA Parties have been brought to the party by outside influences - such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) egging vehicles at the recent Searchlight, NV TEA Party. SEIU members have also been filmed invading the "personal space" (the space between colleagues during a normal conversation, is usually about 20 to 36 inches. If the person is not well known to us,we will stand from 2 to 4 feet away during a conversation.) of others and "getting in their face" in an attempt to provoke a physical reaction. So far these tactics have been unsuccessful, but... sooner or later the liberal, government-sponsored union thugs will get just what they want from somebody. And when they do, it will be plastered all over the media for days! Who are the people threatening violence and name-calling in Arizona over their new immigration law? Is it the conservative right (who are supporting their Governor's efforts to enhance their safety) or the liberal socialist left (who believe that anybody should be allowed into our country at any time without any documentation)? And which side has the President's support? Those who would like to see the federal government live up to it's Constitutional obligation to secure our borders, or those would would like "open borders" - which is the equivalent of NO BORDERS at all?
Here's the bottom line - governments provoke an insurrection by thumbing their nose at the expressed will of the people, and/or instigating confrontations between government agents (official registered agents, like law enforcement - or unofficial government sponsored thugs, like the SEIU) and normally non-confrontational groups (like the TEA Party participants).
The worst abuse of government power thus far within our borders was undoubtedly the use of the United States Army against the "Bonus Army". In 1924, a grateful Congress voted to give a bonus to World War I veterans - $1.25 for each day served overseas, $1.00 for each day served in the States. The catch was that payment would not be made until 1945 (the obvious hope being that many of those veterans would die before they could receive that which they had been promised). However, by 1932 the nation had slipped into the dark days of the Depression and the unemployed veterans wanted their money immediately.
The Bonus Army was composed of 10,000-15,000 American veterans of World War 1, most of whom were conscripted (drafted) into service. Their cause during the summer of 1932 was to pressure the government into living up to its promise of "adjusted compensation" for their lost earnings during their service. These men did nothing violent - they were simply an embarrassment to the government. Insurrection at a more controlled level. But violence was brought upon them by the Hoover administration (see accompanying video).
The big surprise for me was the name of the Army officer who led the cavalry charges into those veterans... Major George S. Patton Jr. The lesson to be learned from this encounter is that our government is not above using our military to control civilian dissent.
An insurrection is provoked in the same manner as a barroom brawl. Somebody pushes somebody else, either physically or emotionally, until the "pushee" responds in some manner. The response could be verbal: "You #$@!&**#!", but it provides the pusher with enough justification to retaliate and not immediately be seen as the jerk he is by onlookers. A response of physical force ameliorates the pushers culpability even further: "He swung first, so he deserved to be crippled when I hit him with that bar stool!"
In an ideological insurrection it becomes more difficult to determine which party is the provocateur. To my way of thinking though, the responsibility should always lay upon the shoulders of the provocateur. The provocateur is the one doing the "baiting"... similar in most respects to what the law now refers to as "entrapment" by law enforcement personnel. If you don't call a black man by the feared and awesome "N" word, he probably won't beat the hell out of you with the first handy object he finds. And if you do use the feared and awesome "N" word, when he does beat the hell out of you, he - and most witnesses to the event - will feel he was completely justified in doing so. (Whatever happened to the legal concept of "sticks and stones"?)
So, if you are ever faced with legitimate opposition, and you feel motivated to squelch that opposition:
First - make sure you label the aggrieved party(ies) as "right-wing nuts", "loonies", "Nazis" and/or "racists". That makes you the "good guy"... and you get to wear the white hat. Your opponents immediately get to wear the fools cap and the idiot mittens.
Second - insure that your mirrors are all polished to a high luster and that your smoke machines are fully loaded.
Justify, justify, justify - No matter how idiotic your position might be, justify it! There are copious numbers of dullards in the world who will believe you if you are charismatic! (Almost three decades ago an unusual series of events led to the deaths of more than 900 people, led by the Rev. Jim Jones of "Jonestown" infamy, in the middle of a South American jungle. After relocating to California in 1965, the church continued to grow in membership and began advocating their left-wing political ideals more actively. In November 1978, California Congressman Leo Ryan arrived in Guyana to survey Jonestown and interview its inhabitants. After reportedly having his life threatened by a Temple member during the first day of his visit, Ryan decided to cut his trip short and return to the U.S. with some Jonestown residents who wished to leave. As they boarded their plane, a group of Jones's guards opened fire on them, killing Ryan and four others. Jones told his followers that Ryan's murder would make it impossible for their commune to continue functioning. Rather than return to the United States, the People's Temple would preserve their church by making the ultimate sacrifice: their own lives. Jones's 912 followers were given a deadly concoction of a purple drink mixed with cyanide, sedatives, and tranquilizers. Jones apparently shot himself in the head.)
As you can see, even a lunatic can generate charisma. Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK), George Lincoln Rockwell (founder of the American Nazi Party).. the list goes on and on. Charismatic leadership is nothing more than "a rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm." They do not have to be honorable, well-intentioned, or even particularly intelligent people to be charismatic. They can however, focus the wills of like-minded individuals on the accomplishment of a single goal... for example national health care, or government control over critical industries such as manufacturing and finance... or the elimination of Jews from the face of the Earth.
Charisma is no substitute for honor, but "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King."
OPEN YOUR EYES AMERICA!