Wednesday, March 31, 2010



My colleague Brian Doherty mentioned yesterday that the mainline Michigan militia groups don't seem to have much respect or fondness for the Hutaree, the Michigan-based Christian militants hauled in last weekend for allegedly plotting to kill as many cops as they could. For more on the differences between the two varieties of militia -- and on the general ideological ecology of the militia milieu -- I recommend this interview with Amy Cooter, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan who has been writing her dissertation on the militia subculture:

The divide between the Hutaree and the other Michigan militiamen reflects the split between the "millenarian" and "constitutionalist" wings of the militia movement, a rough distinction outlined in the University of Hartford historian Robert Churchill's book To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face. The constitutionalists organize in public, they emphasize gun rights and other civil liberties, and they see themselves as a deterrent to repression and abuse. The millenarians are more likely to organize in secret cells, they emphasize elaborate conspiracy theories, and they see themselves as survivors in the face of a coming apocalypse.

Bonus Michigan militia link: Militia members lend a hand with search and rescue; militia watchdogs hit the roof.

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