Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him. Yet so little faith do we find now in the world beyond Lothlorien, unless maybe in Rivendell, that we dare not by our own trust endanger our land. We live now upon an island amid many perils, and our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp. – Haldir, Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Rings
Distrust has been sewn among the ranks of all those who oppose the Dark Lord. But they are right to be distrustful! Bad things do happen, and blind trust is more likely to allow the enemy his chance at sabotage. And since they are so accustomed to having to defend themselves, a violent reaction becomes second nature.
But I want to live in a world where the hand is more often upon the harp. When force is being used widespread against peaceful people, how can we not be on our guard? We don’t want to be victims of attack by the government or fellow citizens, so we can’t go placing blind trust in strangers. Many of us today do feel that we live “upon an island amid many perils.”
So what must be destroyed is the Dark Lord, but to do this, power itself must be destroyed; Tolkien embodied this power in the Ring. And it is like that today as well. Who do you trust? Well this is the live and let live philosophy. Don’t take action against someone unless they try to impose force on you. If multiple groups are working towards the same goal, eliminating power monopolies and therefore the government, we should not fight amongst ourselves.
Right now movements fight amongst themselves. The right claims to hate the power that the government wields, and the left claims to hate the power that the corporations wield. Yet this power is one and the same. Corporations could not use force without the government selling them their power. It is therefore the power that must be destroyed. But today’s equivalent to Sauron is happy to have Republicans fighting with the Democrats about whose ideas will lead to less oppression.
The enemy is the power of force. The elves and dwarves should not be fighting while they both oppose the Dark Lord, and neither should conservatives and liberals while they both seek to solve problems in our society. And when either side wants to use force to solve these problems through government, they will be corrupted and become the evil that they once fought to eradicate.
Indeed, many on the left and the right simply want “their side” to win, and gladly use the force government has to offer. They are the enemy, agents of Sauron. We should not be fooled by someone in our own movement, whatever that may be, who claims to believe in freedom, and then seeks to use force. And likewise we should not categorize everyone in a rival movement, when they may be working for the same goal. The test is easy: do they want to use force to get their way, or are their ideas good enough to stand alone?
If we all properly recognize the enemy as those who use force to get their way, instead of mutually beneficial transactions and agreements, we can join forces and achieve the better world, by destroying the ring of power, and destroying the power of force. And when that force is no longer legitimized with the magic word “government”, our hands will be more often on the harp.