Help Wanted

Column by Jim Davies.

Exclusive to STR 

The power-crazed psychopaths running government need one thing above all: a supply of employees to do their grunt work. With that, they can survive any crisis, any criticism, any revenue shortfall, any desertion by voters; but without it, they are powerless. Therefore, those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need do only one thing: persuade all of them to quit. Nothing less will do, and only one other thing is needed: to show everyone how to live and work in a society by voluntary exchange alone. Not at all hard, except for the numbers involved.

True, when the ruling élite perceives the threat, they will try enslavement--to compel employees to keep working, not to leave. A desperate measure, which will not long succeed. Once a person has seen the wickedness of the task he's being paid to perform, if he's prevented from leaving he will still find a dozen ways to go slow, or to monkeywrench his allotted task.

It's therefore very obvious that the task of persuasion is the only one that matters. To imagine that a government-free society will come about by political force, for example, is ludicrous. No other pro-freedom activity counts, unless it directly supports this one. So long as the machinery of oppression remains, with people working its knobs and levers, nothing permanent can be achieved.

There are two approaches to the persuasion needed, and both of them require education: moral, and pragmatic. Once a government hack can be shown that his or her "contribution" to society is actually causing damage both to society and himself, he will be ready to seek alternative employment. And once he is shown that working for an outfit whose resemblance to the Mafia is as close as a Remington shaves, his conscience will give him no peace until he quits. Demonstrate both of these, and the work force will drain away; and to reach everyone, we need only to "go viral."

So far, so good, and that is the thinking behind The On Line Freedom Academy, going strong since 2006. Recently, I've been wondering whether it might be complemented. Might it be possible to approach government workers directly, with the suggestion to quit? That might make the very light workload of Academy graduates (finding one friend a year to join) even easier, by preparing the ground.

Government people publish their locations only if they are at the top of a particular heap--and of those, few if any will respond because they are hopelessly drunk on power. We're interested more in those who work for them, and upon whom they depend, and generally those don't advertise where they can be found. Hard to blame them. So some form of publicity is needed, tailored as closely as possible to the particular job being done.

Obvious example: tax department clerks. Some years ago, Russell Kanning stood in the lobby of the IRS office at Keene, NH and offered handbills to workers coming and going at lunch- and quitting-time. He had a short stay. Police were called, to violate his First Amendment rights, and after he returned following their first ejection, he was hauled off to jail. So perhaps a better tactic would be to stand just outside the door, on the sidewalk.

Bumper stickers like this one would look very colorful on the doors and windows of tax offices, but that would be to decorate government property, no doubt contrary to some law. It's more convenient to undertake this noble task without breaking those, if possible--though just to stick them on one's own bumper seems a bit diffuse; the advertising is hardly targeted. But Paypal me $1 via jimdav {at} copper {dot} net, and I'll mail you two.

Another good target would be soldiers, now returning from the Middle East. How about a "Welcome Home!" letter to the local editor, which would raise the question of whether they now saw it as a fair risk of their lives, to try to impose "democracy" on people who do not want it and who made their preference lethally clear. The military is a very important part of the government tyranny machine, and right now is a good time to try; note the groundswell of support it has given to Ron Paul, just because he suggested America should mind its own business and follow the Golden Rule. And that support came not from draftees but from volunteers! Be sure to include a Web link in the letter, so that they can read more.

Imagination is the only limit, but here's another idea I'm developing currently:

Slogans, letters to the editor, T-shirts and bumper stickers like these aren't going to motivate anyone to change his career unaided, so each should (unlike the red one above, but like the black one) incorporate a URL to some web page that will offer a more detailed explanation. It's not hard to set one up; is a fine facility for clipping to it a catchy name, as in QuitGov above. Why not make your own; the more, the merrier. Or if you'd like to contribute to QuitGov, email me your offer; the site is still a work in progress and any with experience working at some government job could greatly enhance some of its pages, and correct their errors. Use View Source to see the list I have in mind (in green, perhaps) and please suggest new ones you think are needed.

Everyone needs this re-education, because we need not just to prise present government workers loose from their jobs, but to motivate all others not even to think of taking their places. Freedom will begin when government HELP WANTED signs go up and nobody responds.


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Jim Davies's picture
Columns on STR: 243

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"


Suverans2's picture

"It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it." ~ Upton Sinclair

Jim Davies's picture

Indeed. In fact my article points out some of the difficulties, and if you followed through to the Q&A page on the referenced site you'll have seen that particular one addressed at least once. Resistance to our good news about freedom is most intense among government people and they may well be among the last to jump ship. That's why I felt a little extra (to the freedom Academy) might be useful, as the article said.

I wonder what your position is here, S2. In the first paragraph of "Help Wanted" I stated my premise: "those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need do only one thing: persuade all [government workers] to quit. Nothing less will do..." Do you agree with that, or disagree?

If you disagree, spell out please what method you do propose, for bringing about a free society in tolerably short order.

If you agree with it, spell out please what alternative (or additional) work you see as necessary to overcome the difficulties, one of which Sinclair so perceptively identified.

A third alternative exists, though I hope it applies to nobody here: that we give up, having judged the task impossible.

So again, where exactly do you stand?

Suverans2's picture

JD, it should be obvious, to the regulars here, where I stand.

    "Government is an organization that consists not only of those who are "given the mandate" to assume authority, but also of all the "citizens" who support the imaginary enterprise. The citizen is just as integral a part of the definition of government as is the King, President, Parliament, or whatever other fancy label some of the participating humans choose to affix to themselves. All governments must have citizens in order to exist. ~ A Theory of Natural Hierarchy and Government by tzo

Therefore, "those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need do only one thing: persuade all [CITIZENS] to quit. Nothing less will do..." Do you agree with that, or disagree?

If you agree, are YOU the change you wish to see in the world? That is to say, have YOU withdrawn from membership in the government, or do you still accept member-only benefits and/or privileges? Do you still use one of their Taxpayer Identification Numbers? Do you still seek permission (license) to perform acts which are not in violation of the non-aggression principle, i.e. the natural law?

"Do as I say, not as I do", will never work with men, women and children who are able to think for themselves, and they are the only ones we will ever reach. The rest will just follow the herd...whether it be to greener pastures or over a cliff.

Jim Davies's picture

No, S2, perhaps it's "obvious" to some "regulars" but it's not to me. On March 30 I asked you some specific questions regarding your position relative to the article I wrote, and upon which you were as usual quick to comment, but you have not answered a single one of them.

Until and unless you do, I will not pay attention or respond to any further posts you may make.

Suverans2's picture

Oh-h-h-h, anything but that, JD!! lol

I think that if you believe that you, (and your TOLFA followers), are going to "persuade all [government workers] to quit", you should get your other oar in the water. You have about as much chance as the proverbial "snowball in hell" of doing that.

Nothing any of us will do will bring about a "free society in tolerably short order", JD. Even if the present Lewyathan were to collapse under its own weight, a "free society" is hardly the inevitable replacement, as you correctly pointed out to Mark Davis. Most individuals, IMO, don't want personal responsibility; they want rulers to protect them and to tell them what to do.

    "...we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles."

JD: So again, where exactly do you stand?

Go read my reply posted on March 31, 2012. The short answer is, we, individually, must BE the change we wish to see in the world.

At the risk of harming his good name, I am pretty much in agreement with this, from Paul Bonneau.

    Your sales program to the statists is, "Be just like me, rational," although you will not be able to say it in any such straightforward manner (which itself is a hint it is lacking). My sales program to statists is, "Be like you want to be, have exactly the kind government you want. Just leave me alone." Seriously, is there any question which has the better chance of success?

Not in my mind, Paul Bonneau.

Mark Davis's picture

Jim, it might be possible to dissuade some young people from starting a "career in public service", but the old guys will hang on to their jobs as long as they get paid and have a cushy retirement to look forward too. The tight job market also makes this difficult. I think that will change when the Federal, State and local governments run out of money and the checks stop coming ala the USSR. Then the system will change overnight.

Jim Davies's picture

Hi Mark. Yes, when the checks stop flowing - or rather, when the "money" they convey won't buy anything - then they will stampede out into the White Market. However I don't see that happening until the White Market has developed into a very significant part of the economy. Note also that the outcome in the USSR was not a free society, but one comparable to our own. That's the kind of thing that will take place if the economy just collapses on its own, instead of as a result of action by us to prepare everyone for life in a free society. Unless they are taught, nobody will understand how to live by voluntary exchange alone.

The new site at is not a panacea; I hope it will serve mainly to soften up the resistance among the old guys - and only the soldiers among them, not the godfathers and capos. If you've spent some time in it you'll see it offers quite a respectable set of motives to quit on _moral_ grounds, but the tangible benefits are less obvious. Nonetheless, I hope it will make it a little easier for TOLFA grads to meet the modest target of one new student each, per year - which is the key.

Suverans2's picture

G'day Mark Davis,

I think of "the system" as a merry-go-round; I can choose to stay on or get off. When there are too few "riders" it will have to shut down.

    "...all experience hath shown, that men are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by Withdrawing from the governments to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to Secede from such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of this Man; and such is now the necessity that constrains this Man to Secede from this Government. The history of the United States Government, rather than securing, has a record of repeated injuries to, and usurpation of, Man’s Inalienable Rights, all having as their direct objective the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over men."[1]

I have chosen to "get off", that is to say, I have withdrawn from membership in the government, I do not accept member-only benefits and/or privileges, I do not use any of their Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and I do not seek their permission (license) to do anything.

I am not lawless, nor am I a law unto myself. I do my best to obey the Supreme Law of the Land, which is the Law of Nature.[2]

[1] Excerpted from my own Declaration of Independence, Notice of Secession

[2] The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9

Paul's picture

Well, I become pretty doubtful when I hear extravagant statements such as "Nothing less will do". Actually, a lot less will do.

Government employees are the people who still get to eat, when things get bad. As such, and given the human capacity for rationalization (which appears infinite at times), I don't hold a lot of hope for persuading government employees to do the right thing and quit - particularly when things look to be getting pretty bad pretty soon. However, that is not saying we should ignore them entirely. Gene Sharp, the doyenne of nonviolent resistance, considers it key to work with government employees including police, getting at least some help from that quarter. There are some decent people in government who can affect outcomes in our favor even if they don't take that final step of quitting.

Glock27's picture

Being a stupid red-necked, gun totin, whiskey drinkin, bible thumpin mountain man I guess I am not the only one to figure out that someone is trying to promote their own agenda brand. Hm-m-m