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Ma Hongkui

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Without establishing national laws, how can you suppress the rebellion?
--
"CHINESE WARLORD". LIFE Magazine Vol. 25, No. 18: p. 58. 1 Nov 1948. 

 
Ma Hongkui

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Our popular Government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled—the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains—its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets, and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace, teaching men that what they can not take by an election neither can they take it by a war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.

 
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You will do away with the military frontiers, and those economic and commercial barriers which are still worse. Protection introduces violence into the expansion of labor; like militarism, it brings in a fatal absence of balance. You will suppress that which justifies among nations the things which among individuals we call murder, robbery, and unfair competition. You will suppress battles — not nearly so much by the direct measure of supervision and order that you will take as because you will suppress the causes of battle. You will suppress them chiefly because it is you who will do it, by yourself, everywhere, with your invincible strength and the lucid conscience that is free from selfish motives. You will not make war on yourself.

 
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There are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say: You desire peace; and you blame me that we do not have it. But how can we attain it? There are but three conceivable ways. First, to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. This, I am trying to do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is, to give up the Union. I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say so plainly. If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise. I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible. All I learn, leads to a directly opposite belief. The strength of the rebellion, is its military---its army. That army dominates all the country, and all the people, within its range. Any offer of terms made by any man or men within that range, in opposition to that army, is simply nothing for the present; because such man or men, have no power whatever to enforce their side of a compromise, if one were made with them.

 
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Such rebellion is too deep and too constant to express itself in picketing, marching, sitting-in or freaking out; it is the serious, unresting protest of serious people. It is 24-hours-a-day rebellion, not intermittent, showy, status-seeking public uproar. It is rebellion as a way of life.

 
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We are told: "It is a universal truth, that he that would excite a rebellion, is at heart as great a tyrant as ever wielded the iron rod of oppression." Be it so. We are not exciting a rebellion. Opposition, nay, open, avowed resistance by arms, against usurpation and lawless violence, is not rebellion by the law of God or the land. Resistance to lawful authority makes rebellion. … Remember the frank Veteran acknowledges, that "the word rebel is a convertible term."

 
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