All sides of the debate over whether we should obey tyrants or not assume a key presupposition: centralized, buerecratic government will always be a reality. Yet human history generally says the opposite.
American statists (whether conservative or liberal) say we must obey govt always at all times (yes, I am oversimplifying it on purpose). The clever person could respond, “Yeah, but what if the local govt decides not to carry out such and such order–think Arizona–and are at odds with the National govt, then what do you do? For you will have to disobey one govt to obey the other.”
The statist really can’t answer that question adequately, and I used to throw it out a lot. However, I can make the problem even more acute:
What if the government simply does not work anymore? I am not talking about a revolution. I am not even talking about political discontent. What if the bloated, centralized apparatus simply dies? This is a very reasonable assumption. Surely no one thinks that printing more money to pay off the interest (alone!) of the national debt, along with (printing) more money to pay for state socialism–surely no one expects a government to function in the long run. Look at California.
So what does one do then? Can you even disobey a government that doesn’t exist? At this point the evangelical statist’s worldview has evaporated.