Economic Warfare is Nothing Short of Warfare

Individually, or collectively, when you boycott, when you make a decision against your own economic interest, and penalize a merchant because you don’t like his politics, you are foreshadowing a far darker reality. You are preparing the field for battle. You are setting the stage for what Benjamin Franklin eventually endured when he wrote dramatic words to an old friend in 1775.

Mr. Strahan, You are a Member of Parliament, and one of that Majority which has doomed my Country to Destruction. You have begun to burn our Towns and murder our People.—Look upon your hands! They are stained with the Blood of your Relations!—You and I were long Friends:—You are now my Enemy,—and I am Yours.–B. Franklin

Here’s how it works. Before villages are burned by naval artillery, before farmers are murdered for securing their firearms, someone will propose measured warfare: “Let’s starve them out.” The American colonists tried this in 1768 with a non-importation agreement. After a series of wholly illegal revenue acts by the British ministry (commodity taxes on things like glass, lead, oil, paint, paper, and tea), the Americans simply determined not to trade with Britain.

This was the right measure at the right time. King George, and his pension-bought members of parliament, thought the Americans could be used as revenue slaves. The economic warfare began—the first blood was drawn—by British ministers who thought they could balance the ledger by taxing the Americans without their consent. (Need money? Tax the colonists. They are not represented in parliament. You don’t even need a whip to count votes.)

The colonists met political warfare with economic warfare. They orchestrated a measured response, and a collective one. It wasn’t some informal, social media “boycott Target Stores” campaign, proposed one day and forgotten the next. It had the high seriousness of covenant theology: trade with Britain and you are no longer one of us. “You are shunned. You are my enemy. I place the pointed-finger sign above your shop.”

My contention here is just this: it’s war. If you enter a man’s home and take away his family’s meal, night after night, you may not be putting the barrel of a gun to his head, but you are endangering their lives nonetheless.

If you are the victim of cancel culture, if you have lost your job because of political expression, if you can no longer trade with government agencies because you object to a pervert-story-hour for children, or you have some nagging doubts about election integrity, or you are one of the best character actors in the world and Hollywood won’t hire you, then consider this: you are one of the first soldiers to be wounded on the field of battle.

We all need to consider a very real danger on the horizon, which I will present by way of example. When Matt Walsh told Dylan Mulvaney, in no uncertain terms, his attempt at womanhood was a ridiculous farce, the real danger wasn’t Dylan Mulvaney, or even his kind. The real danger was the vast majority of well-meaning conservatives who thought Matt was being mean. When a family is harboring a dangerous psychotic or a shameless groomer, there’s always a greater danger than the threat itself: people who think you can ignore the problem and make it go away. It won’t go away. You need to shout it down.

Rules for warriors:

  • Don’t let the social justice warrior take the offensive. Let it be known, if you want to bring the kids to, say, a symphony, and someone describes that as “too Western” or “too white,” don’t be afraid to call this sort of objection moronic. 
  • Leaders: do not allow your school, church, or company to be hijacked by someone compulsively claiming “racism, homophobia, patriarchy.” When you hear this sort of fundamentalist cult language, shame the person using it as someone beyond the pale. 
  • Enjoy your life. It might inspire people without a life to seek one. 
  • Your children and friends might not be on board. Harden yourself to their opposition. Let your loved ones know: “we’re in for a battle. If you want to be in the inheritance, you better start defending the inheritance itself.”

The hard core political Left are very few in number, but they show discipline in their battle plan. They walk into a charter school and demand everyone affirm their own irrational hatred for the “enemy.” They have their own version of the rules I’ve outlined above—and they follow those rules with cult-like devotion.

Learn something from these children of the devil, and apply it to building the kingdom of God: start buying goods and services from the people who will stand with you in the coming battle.

Find some local merchant who speaks the truth and start trading with them. We are certainly available, but it’s not about us.

Be that merchant, and that customer, wherever you are. There’s a war on. It’s about time some of you acted like it.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About James Patrick Riley

James Riley is the owner and operator of Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, California and the creator of "Courage, New Hampshire," a television drama seen on PBS stations across the country. The father of six children, Riley performs "Patrick Henry" and supervises a living history program visited by hundreds of thousands of school children. He holds a degree in history from Stanford University.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images