"The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is... legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay ... If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply and develop into a system." ~ Frederic Bastiat
How to Deal With Your Big, Fat, Obnoxious Government
Frequently, I receive in my mail box pleas for help in solving a problem by political involvement of one form or another. Many people perceive a situation where the actions of The State are responsible for an injustice. Others wish to solve an apparent injustice (created by The State or others) by initiating or increasing State involvement still further into the lives of individuals.
The method of action chosen to resolve such problems or injustices is always to petition The State--through telephone pleas, written letters and emails, or signed petitions. This practice rarely, if ever, results in meaningful change. If successful at all, the improved situation is temporary and brief. Apparent positive change only occurs if The State sees an opportunity to increase its power and scope; through increased wealth redistribution and/or involvement in the lives of those residing under its domain. The State is a beast only provoked to action when doing so works to its advantage. Despite much evidence to the contrary, many continue to believe in the benevolence of the beast; that if enough of the right people approach it in just the right way, the beast will be moved to grant the wishes of its petitioners. In reality, the creature is distinguished by its characteristic hostility and antagonism towards any who will trouble it with complications and delays in accomplishing its agenda; an agenda planned, built, initiated and directed to satisfy its own needs.
Petitioning The State only shows you are willing to play along with its scam--the scam that claims that elected and appointed elites will provide justice, maintain peace, and protect the life and property of its subjects. The fact that one is requesting help in these areas broadcasts to The State that yes, indeed, the petitioner does indeed recognize the State's legitimacy as protector and agent of change. Individual sovereignty has been replaced by the 'people's sovereignty,' the elements of which, are determined by State propaganda. As French author Jacques Ellul states in Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, 'A government does not feel legitimate and cannot claim to be so unless it rests on this sovereignty of the people, unless it can prove that it expresses the will of the people. Because of this mythical belief in the sovereignty of the people, all dictators try to demonstrate that they are the expression of the people's sovereignty.'
Asking The State to regulate its own is a waste of time. It will never happen. The State only eats its own (prosecutes, jails, kills) when the offending party doesn't follow the party line and threatens its members' lives of power and ease. The actions of The State are accountable to no one, despite the claims of numerous, eloquently written documents. I will agree that petitions and lawsuits help publicize the crimes of The State, but those who initiate such actions are foolish to expect that such actions will result in real change for the better. The beast will remain; and participating in its scam only legitimizes its power over free, sovereign individuals.
Those who petition The State for change often claim a change of leadership is the key to successful government. However, mobs following leaders is how The State got away with killing about 200 million souls last century. Why does anyone NEED a leader? Instead of following leaders and looking for a savior, free people should follow their conscience, which more times than not, is moral. The hearts of political participants are certainly in the right place, but problems ALWAYS arise when the heart leads the way instead of the head. Also, keep in mind that sentimentality can easily be manipulated by State propaganda.
What to do? How can one help initiate change yet not participate in the political process? The answer lies in how one lives one's life. The way you live your life not only helps maintain the ideal of individual sovereignty in your mind and heart but also shows others an alternative lifestyle of stateless consciousness. In brief:
1) Ignore and evade The State's mandates as much as possible. Defy and disregard abundant, unjust laws. Rely on the principles of non-aggression, individual respect and common sense to guide your interactions with others. Look towards actions and decisions that empower you as an individual rather than ones that further tighten the chains of State dependency. By all means, carry a weapon. It is your body and life. Ultimately, you are responsible for defending both. Solve problems by going directly to the source. Avoid State-controlled arbitration. If The State itself is the source of the problem, find alternative solutions that bypass its ever-growing tentacles of power. Government is a worthy opponent but never a match for a crafty, creative mind producing decentralized solutions.
2) Rid your mind and heart of all statist inclinations. Someone once said, 'We are all born as anarchists.' We have no concept of State existence or involvement in our lives when we first enter this world. That idea must be imprinted by our surrounding environment with schools, media, and statist neighbors being the offending parties.
3) Lead--don't follow. Stop searching for that brilliant, selfless, mortal savior to lead you to the promised land. Guess what? He/She doesn't exist! Set your own agenda to pursue happiness and fulfillment. Ignore negativity and statist restrictions that impede your progress toward this goal. Individual sovereignty cannot be achieved without a dedication to self-determinism. You are not part of a national interest. You are not just a nameless cog whose interests are subservient to the nation state's. As Mighty Murray Rothbard observed, "There is no nation; there are only individuals. The nation is a collectivist and therefore pernicious concept. The concept of 'national self-determination' is fallacious, since only the individual has a 'self.' Since the nation and the State are both collective concepts, both are pernicious and should be combated." Only the actions of individuals can counter the crimes committed against individuals. Only individuals can oppose the usurpation of power from individuals.
4) Educate others of their God-given supremacy to the wishes and directives of self-appointed elites, State sponsored or otherwise. Influence others through writing, speaking to groups or just through personal chats--one person at a time. Everyone has some ability to communicate. Continually read and educate yourself on matters of liberty. Keep up to date with the interminable State threats against life and freedom. Pass this information on to others.
The State is a ubiquitous, pesky beast that claims a large territory to range and feed. Sovereign individuals may share that territory without surrendering to or appeasing the beast's appetite. As more and more individuals refuse to become prey, the growth and function of the creature will eventually cease. The body of the beast will wither through starvation. It's inherent disease of moral depravity and debt will weaken its strength. Its undeserved reputation of noble creature will be traduced, replaced by epithets of 'pest,' 'useless varmint,' and 'destructive nuisance.' Bit by bit this ghastly organism will break apart into a pathetic assortment of insects scurrying from the light and stomping foot of liberated men and women. Extinction is the inevitable destiny. Alas, its certification of death will be signed by the blood of liberty's martyrs.