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“Out of doors political activity”

From Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit,

Traditionally, Anglo-American political philosophy allowed for what Gordon Wood called "out of doors political activity" -- behavior that was extralegal, but not exactly unlawful, in response to overreaching by authorities. Pauline Maier's excellent book, From Resistance to Revolution, documents this during the colonial and revolutionary eras, but it actually persisted for some time afterward. The thinking was that government officials couldn't always be checked via law, because they controlled the law and its administration -- thus the need for citizens to (in the words of the Tennessee Supreme Court) "keep in awe those who are in power." The out-of-doors activity wasn't necessarily violent: generally, property was targeted first (think Boston Tea Party), and efforts against officials were generally designed to be embarrassing or humiliating rather than seriously dangerous.

As we suggested in a post on Robin Hood (below), the internet is already taking on part of this role. What about email cartoons that would puncture EU pretensions and YouTube parodies of EU pomposities. . .

Laughter frightens politicians. . .