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Solzhenitsyn Question: When Should You Resist?

We must ask ourselves this question and we must answer.

Solzhenitsyn Question: When Should You Resist?

The Solzhenitsyn Question

“At What Exact Point, Then, Should One Resist”

Guest editorial by James Bennett

There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief. I well remember, at every epocha of this wonderful history, in every scene of this tragic business, that, when your sophistic usurpers were laying down mischievous principles, and even applying them in direct resolutions, it was the fashion to say that they never intended to execute those declarations in their rigor.

This made men careless in their opposition, and remiss in early precaution. By holding out this fallacious hope, the impostors deluded sometimes one description of men, and sometimes another, so that no means of resistance were provided against them, when they came to execute in cruelty what they had planned in fraud.”  Edmund Burke, 1791[1]

As the battle to maintain our Constitutional Republic intensifies, a question keeps popping up in my mind and in the mind of many of others that we must squarely resolve before moving forward.  Some say that our attempts to reclaim and maintain our Constitutional Republic in the courts, through the legislature, by our relationships, with education, and at the ballot box may be in vain. 

Indeed, civic responsibility vs. authority is not even correctly understood in modern discourse.  They argue that we have, as many civilizations before us, set ourselves on the path of judgment and destruction – so why waste our energy. Some others say the judgment has just started and some say that it is already upon us…and they may be right.  And there are others, a happy, dedicated, weeping few, who are still fighting strategically even though the outcome looks grim. 

This has culminated in the great debate over how long Christians and Patriots will allow these attempts to overthrow our Constitutional Republic to go unchecked. We seem to be stuck at one point asking over and over but never answering the “Solzhenitsyn Question.”[2] 

At what exact point, then, should one resist?”[3]

Or perhaps it is better to ask two questions: “At what exact point, then, should one resist within the existing system?” and “At what exact point, then, should one resist violently?”

The answer to the former question is already settled.[4]  I have heard too many times to recall the famous mantra “now is not the right time to fight this issue.”  However, it is the moral right and duty of an individual to resist the unlawful[5] and unjust policies of any governing body.[6]

So let’s get to it, right now. Unalienable rights may only be lost through death or acquiescence.[7]  The imposition of tyranny must be confronted at every step with all constitutionally available means if for no other reason than to prevent violence.  This is done by the governing or the governed. 

With the governed, resistance commonly takes the form through what is known in Political Science as “Irish Democracy” or the civic authority to just not comply with pretend legislation[8] because it is against the laws of nature and nature’s God.  During prohibition this was especially pronounced and can be seen today in various non-compliance movements surrounding ranching.

With the governing, typically resistance takes the form nullification (non-recognition) or non-enforcement.  Both doctrines are simply an extension of the requirements in the Oath of Office and the individual moral duty to disobey an “unlawful order.”  It is also based on the simple principle that in our dual sovereignty (dual federalism) system the federal governing officials cannot be the final arbiters of whether their own actions are or are not constitutional.  In this respect, federal and state elected officials and county sheriffs are bound by Article VI of the United States Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…”

Consequently, Thomas Jefferson believed that by extension the governing officials of the states had a natural right nullify any laws they believed were unconstitutional. In the Kentucky Resolution of 1798 he wrote,

co-States, recurring to their natural right…will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shalt be exercised within their respective territories.”[9]   

Alexander Hamilton echoed this in Federalist Paper 85 “We may safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”[10] 

Non-enforcement occurs at the county level or even the city level again as an extension of upholding the oath of office.  The county Sheriff is the senior law enforcement officer both in terms of rank and legal authority in a county.  This comes from a tradition of over 1000 years of Anglo-Saxon common law.  Anglo-Saxon communities were typically organized into “shires” consisting of approximately 1000 people.[11]  The chief law enforcement officer of the shire was the “reeve” or “reef.”  Hence, the modern combination of the two words, as we know them today, “shire reef” or “Sheriff.”[12]

Consequently, the Sheriff’s pre-eminent legal authority is well established.   This was correctly confirmed in Printz v. United States.[13]  The late Justice Scalia quotes James Madison who wrote in Federalist 39:

In the latter, the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.”[14]  

Furthermore no one is above the law…including federal agents and Antifa. Federal agents will claim they “have the authority, period.” Antifa claims some “moral authority.” This begs two great questions. How will a law passed at the federal level be enforced locally? And if no one stops Antifa’s rampages who will?

Consequently, the laws we have are only as good as those officers that enforce them at the local level.  Thus, the rise of tyranny must first come through both the United States Military and the County Sheriff.  And this can only happen if those same people violate their oaths to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and their own State’s Constitution. 

Today in Washington with the passage of I-1639, and other attempts at legislating gun control, Police Chiefs and Sheriffs are publicly stating their intent not to enforce these unconstitutional measures.[15] Non-enforcement was previously successful during the attempt by federal authorities to confiscate the firearms of a veteran in Priest River, Idaho.[16]  The incident ended peacefully.

However, what about when state and local elected officials are allowing marxist insurgents to commit crimes seemingly without consequence? In other words, what about when laws are not enforced which likewise brings about tyranny? With Antifa and other communist shock troops rioting unchecked in our country and threatening to move into rural areas it is the second question of Solzhenitsyn, which is so troubling to many, especially Christians. We must settle in our minds and our hearts right now the answer.

When one’s belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one’s home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about one of them individually – especially at a time when the thoughts of the person arrested are wrapped tightly about the big question: ‘What for?’ – and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest.”

He expounds on the idea further in a footnote:

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if…people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Then he concludes powerfully by writing “‘Resistance!  Why didn’t you resist?’ Today those who have continued to live on in comfort scold those who suffered.  Yes resistance should have begun right there, at the arrest itself.  But it did not begin.”  The failure to answer that question correctly and then act accordingly led to the untold deaths of tens of millions in communist regimes around the world.[17]  Indeed in such scenarios, I am in fact my brother’s keeper.[18]

And so most will find difficulty in this: violent resistance begins when anyone comes up the stairs to unjustly arrest our neighbors, destroy their property, attempt to physically harm them.  Yet, there should not be difficulty at all in this because our Founding Fathers justified the entire Revolution on this principle.

Recall April 19, 1775, where the British, after receiving orders to seize the weapons of the Massachusetts Militia and arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, marched on Lexington and Concord.  At Lexington Green[19] Captain John Parker issued the famous command to his minutemen “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” The British fired the first shot of the Revolutionary War and we promptly reacted almost one year prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence

At what exact point, then, should we resist? We have a duty to stop evil in the spiritual as Christians and likewise we have a duty to stop evil when it manifests in the physical. Christianity proclaims in Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” This implies there is a point where peace is not possible. At that point, we must be prepared to act quickly to defend our homes and our families from those that seek to do us physical harm, destroy everything we hold dear, and overthrow our Constitutional Republic.

Let us give thanks we have not had to do that yet.


Solzhenitsyn Question
Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives, they have not chosen themselves.  Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.  God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Executed April 9, 1945[20]




[1] The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV, Page 8 (1791).

[2] Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn political prisoner for over ten years in the Soviet Gulag for challenging Joseph Stalin. 

[3] All quotes are from Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, Pages 13-15.

[4] We must exhaust all options given to us in our existing system as the founders did and detailed in the Declaration of Independence.  For us there are a few options left, like the pending lawsuits in our Federal Courts, the State Sovereignty Movement, KTR Movement, and the calling of a Constitutional Convention.  However, the latter is extremely dangerous because even very progressive controlled websites are advocating this approach (this means the progressives believe they have the votes to control it).  The former is all but a band-aid on a much bigger emerging issue. We have two completely separate countries existing within our boundaries, one populated by those who wish to live in freedom and one populated by people who wish to live in slavery.  The State Sovereignty and KTR Movements are truly the last great option because it is based on individual civic authority of the governed and the governing fulfilling the oath to protect and defend the Constitution by defending liberty locally.  

[5] Unlawful meaning that the order goes against the laws of nature and nature’s God.

[6] Taking by threat of force the fruits of one’s labor and giving it to someone else, picking corporate winners and losers, nationalizing industries, and generally subverting the Constitution are examples of unjust policies. 

[7] An unalienable right cannot be liened against (someone putting another interest above it or attached to it).  Such a right comes from God not man and is written into the very fabric (truth) of nature.  Unalienable rights like life, liberty, property, and the ability to defend the same were recognized in the Declaration of Independence. 

[8] The Declaration of Independence recognizes the concept of “pretend laws” stating “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.”  This acknowledges jurisdictions not consented to by the people and legislation that violates the laws of nature and nature’s God.

[9] Kentucky Resolution of 1798, Thomas Jefferson, Adopted by Kentucky Legislature on November 10, 1798.

[10] Federalist No. 85, Publius (Alexander Hamilton), August 13 and 16, 1788.



[13] Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)

[14] Federalist No. 39, Publius (James Madison), January 16, 1788


[16] It is interesting to note that the County Sheriff, State Representatives, Pastors, and 1700 Citizens all were present.  Remarkably two days later the VA Doctor who originally marked Mr. Arnold unfit, without doing an examination, drafted a new form miraculously declaring Mr. Arnold was now fit to keep and bear arms. 


[18] Genesis 4:8-9

[19] A common area used for local militia training.

[20] A German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and participant in the German Resistance against National Socialism.


James Bennett is a longtime journalist, Christian apologist, and pro-gun activist proudly born and raised in the American Redoubt.

“Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution (1789)


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5 Comments on Solzhenitsyn Question: When Should You Resist?

  1. Excellent, well researched article/commentary, thank you James. Without a widespread & immediate awakening, it appears we will repeat the mistakes of our ancestors across the ages. We’re allowing tyranny to get a foothold, in small and (seemingly) insignificant measures. We have to stand up, say “No!” now. Men, find a pair, stand up for your family. If you don’t – now – it will get a whole lot worse, sooner than we think.

  2. Openly calling for “Revenge” sounds militant and is either insurrection or treason.

    The one thing missing from article to article is the deprivation and suffering that will occur when supply lines are cut. That is probably why nothing major has occured…deep down it is an unspoken reality.

    There won’t be an America to provide relief…because we are America.

  3. If the history of The GULAG Archipelago was taught in AMERICAN primary schools then we would not be in the straits that we are. The Bolsheviks were clearly inspired by Nineteen-Eighty Four. Our anarchist soyboys and their fat houri are merely post-modern Bolsheviks.

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