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   Garry Wills, the historian, writes a thought-provoking essay 
   The New York Review of Books, August 10, 1995, on "The New
   Revolutionaries," about the militants and the political and
   social grievances that undergird their movement -- many of
   which are shared, Will states, by a wide spectrum of the
   populace discontented with the government:

      The suspicion that government has become the enemy of
      freedom, not its protector, crosses ideological lines.
      Liberals point to FBI plots against American citizens
      like Dr. King, to CIA experiments with LSD on American
      citizens, to the Defense Department's use of Americans
      as guinea pigs in nuclear testing. The right sees
      assaults on liberty from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
      and Firearms, the Department of the Interior, the
      Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Many
      people resent the fact that government has become a
      dictator of the terms of societal conduct -- in welfare
      programs, in affirmative action and other preferential
      attitudes toward citizens' rights, in schools that seem
      to have a "multicultural" or antireligious agenda, in
      confiscatory taxation, in the keeping of elaborate files
      on citizens' activities, in various agencies'
      surveillance techniques and bribing of informers.

   Wills goes on to review these grievances:

      The jury system.
      Police power.
      Citizen militias.
      Guns -- discussed at length.

   And, he summarizes in closing:

      With the end of the cold war, the justification for
      government activism has been taken away. If the
      government is only good for fighting Communists, and it
      no longer fights Communists, then what good is it? No
      convincing answer comes from above -- which lends the
      answer from the depths its new plausibility: It is good
      for nothing, and citizens must take their own lives in
      hand again, vindicating their own liberties. Right or
      wrong, the armed patriots at least have arguments they
      can believe in wholeheartedly. They take the mood of
      post-cold war drift, of Perotista resentment, of
      disillusionment and economic shakiness, of fin de siecle
      fear, and change it into a plan for doing something
      about one's gripes.

      The militias and their supporters are
      not the most central social symptom of our time, but
      they are among the more dramatic symptoms of a general
      crisis of legitimacy. The authority of government can no
      longer be assumed. It has to be justified from the
      ground up.

      Many people who are not militants or conspiratorialists
      can agree with parts of this analysis. Libertarians
      wonder why people who keep to themselves should be

      It is no longer so "extreme" to believe that our
      government is the greatest enemy to freedom. We see this
      in a new hatred of government agents (who fear for their
      lives in western states). Or in the unprecedented
      vilification of the head of our government. The fierce
      contempt for Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the Attorney
      General (called "Butch" Reno on bumper stickers), for
      "Condom Queen" Joycelyn Elders, reflects misogyny
      rebelling against feminism's gains; but it is also a
      sign that the office of the presidency itself may now
      incur a contempt as routine as the respect it once
      commanded. The heaping of filth on the personnel and
      symbols of government has a delegitimating effect in
      itself; and the assault is joined to the disillusion,
      anger, and disorientation that have marked recent
      electoral behavior. Where the heated deny legitimacy and
      the cool are doubtful of it, a crisis is in the making.

   WIL_mil (about 50K, in 3 parts)