You never signed a social contract agreeing to any terms or conditions regarding what authority your government has over you or what you get in return for ceding authority to your government. You were just born into a country at random and told what laws you were expected to follow and how bad the consequences would be if you didn’t follow them.
This might not bother you. You might even be able to come up with an excuse that sounds good on paper to explain why it’s a good thing you didn’t get a choice in whether or not you wanted to be a citizen who is subject to the laws of the country you were born and/or raised in. Even if this arrangement is legally justifiable, it’s still important that we be absolutely clear about what this means. Your life, liberty and happiness are bound to the conditions of a contract you didn’t sign.
It’s a logical fallacy to say that since you have some freedoms then you’re free. You’re not free. You may have some freedoms, but you only enjoy those freedoms at the whim and leisure of the people with the power to dictate and enforce the law. You may be free to choose which religion you express belief in, but at no point are you free to drive as fast as you want, to do whatever drugs you want, build whatever you want or take your clothes off wherever you want. You’re not that free.
Even if you would have chosen to follow all the rules you’re subject to there’s a very important principle implied by the fact that you didn’t choose them. The laws you’re subject to…subjugate you. Forcing you to do something you never agreed to is an indignity to you even if you would have done it anyway. The indignity of the situation is doubled if you willingly follow rules you never agreed to, and the more you celebrate your own subjugation the more indignity you heap on yourself. Anyone who would tell you to celebrate your own degradation is not your friend. Your government doesn’t treat you with respect and dignity; by forcing you to follow rules you never consented to, your government treats you with the disrespect and indignity of a slave, not a free and equal human being.
This inherent state of indignity is compounded by a list of other factors such as the fact that you never agreed to pay taxes. You never agreed to what kind of taxes you have to pay, how much those taxes are, what they’re spent on or what the punishment is for not paying them. You were simply told that you have to pay an arbitrary amount decided by someone you’ll never meet, and the punishment for not paying them was set arbitrarily by an arbitrary person…yet you’re held to those expectations strictly. If you’re a citizen of the United States of America you’re still expected to file taxes in the United States for the rest of your life even if you expatriate and renounce your American citizenship.
True, you do get something in return for your taxes, but that doesn’t justify taking any amount of money from you for any reason, especially when you’re punished severely for not paying. Even if your taxes were completely fair and were spent entirely on public works that benefit you, if you’ll go to jail for not paying taxes you never agreed to then you’re being extorted. If there’s any basic human right that everyone deserves, it’s the right to choose how much money you give to your government in return for services of your choosing, but you don’t have that right. You owe your government a lifetime of money the moment you’re born, and since the only way to get money is to work for it that means you owe your government a time debt. That time is infinitely valuable, because life is short and irreplaceable; the fact that you have no say in how much of your life is taken from you is infinitely degrading.
Not only are you denied the right to choose what taxes you pay, how much you pay or what that money is spent on, you don’t have the right to even know what your taxes are spent on. There are thousands of rooms in this world with “Top Secret” signs on the doors that nobody outside is allowed to enter or know the contents of without authorization and a need to know. You don’t have authorization or a need to know…what your taxes are spent on. You never chose to be kept in the dark about what your taxes are spent on, and you have no recourse to rectify the situation. If you don’t continue to fund these mystery projects you’ll go to jail. This is not a situation you put someone you respect into.
The people who authorized your taxes to be spent on classified projects will tell you that you’re being kept in the dark for your own protection and benefit, but what are you being protected from? You’re being protected from someone overthrowing your existing government and replacing it with one that forces you to follow rules you never agreed to and pay taxes you never agreed to for projects you never asked for and aren’t allowed to know about and will get thrown in jail for not funding.
If you assemble in a group of protesters large enough to have the leverage to influence your political leaders then your political leaders will order the law enforcement agencies (that you fund to protect you) to terrorize you and your fellow citizen/protesters until you disperse. If you need any proof how free or represented you are, just watch footage of the last protest your government shut down. If you need any proof how much dignity your government believes you’re worthy of, watch footage of the last instance of police brutality that went unpunished.
If you come to the conclusion that your government only cares about you to the extent that it can exploit you for taxes and farm you out to businesses as wage slaves and no amount of protesting will influence your leaders to treat you with the dignity becoming of a human being then you might decide to just leave your birth country.
That sounds reasonable in theory, but all the governments of the world (by intent or incident) have effectively colluded to make that option impractical to the majority of the human population. In order to emigrate to pretty much anywhere you need a degree from an accredited university and at least $10,000 in cash. Plus you have to be perfectly healthy. University degrees tend to cost more than $30,000. So unless you have at least $40,000, an able body and a brain smart enough to pass all your university classes then you can’t leave your home country. You’re effectively a prisoner. I know all the arguments and reasons for why immigration laws exist, but if they sound reasonable and justified then that just means it’s reasonable and justified to imprison human beings in their birth country. Furthermore, it means the poor and stupid don’t have the right to choose where they live or which laws they’re subject to. So by justifying the current immigration laws, you’re justifying denying equal rights to all human beings. You can make that argument, but in doing so you cede the right to claim you believe in freedom, equality or the right to life, liberty and happiness.
This is how the world works. These are the indignities you’re subjected to. Yet you’ve been told your entire life that if you don’t like it then you can change it by voting. And yet, year in and year out new politicians get elected and appointed to power without changing the system that imprisons, exploits and degrades the poor. How many more impotent politicians do we have to elect before we accept that electing different politicians isn’t changing anything?
And why would you expect electing politicians to change anything when your politicians are in no way held accountable for their actions? They’ve given themselves and their friends diplomatic immunities you don’t have. They may as well have painted the words “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.” On every government building. That’s not just a line from a dystopian children’s story. That’s reality even in democratic capitalist countries. Politicians don’t get in any trouble for reneging on their campaign promises either. The can even break the law with impunity, because when politicians break the law, it’s legal. If they get really backed into a corner they can just get another politician to absolve their criminal charges. That’s true freedom. Now why would you expect your politicians to restrain themselves when they have free reign to abuse their powers? Because they represent you? They don’t represent you. Most people have never even met a politician. We only find out who we get to vote for a few months (at most) before it’s time to vote.
You’re not represented in government. You have no say in government. Your vote is meaningless at best and a lie that enables your victimization at worst. You don’t know what your government does or why it does it. If you don’t like it you have no recourse, and if you take matters into your own hands you’ll be punished with severe prejudice. The only thing you can do is run for a government office yourself and dedicate your life to your political career until you have the power to make the changes you want, but everyone can’t do that, and nobody should have to.
So what can we do about this? You can’t do anything alone. The only leverage the civilian population has is their numbers. No army can stop a hundred million people acting in unison. A hundred million people literally don’t even have to do anything to effect change. If they all went on strike at the same time or stood in the streets and refused to move then their inaction would have enough leverage to twist the arm of their politicians, but a hundred million people are never going to act in unison until they think in unison. Nothing will change as long as people have faith in their government and believe the benefit of keeping calm and carrying on outweighs the cost of sticking their neck out.
If you want to make meaningful change in your government the first thing you need to do is explain everything I’ve just said to your fellow citizens (particularly those in law enforcement and the military who will be called on to terrorize anyone who makes any progress in effecting meaningful change). When the majority of the population loses faith in their government then the stage will be set for the people who are capable of organizing nonviolent political change to do so.
If you choose not to help erode public confidence in your corrupt government then you should build a bunker to protect you and your family from the problems you’re enabling. You might survive that way, but you’re choosing to live without dignity, and you’re condemning your fellow man and future generations to live without dignity. If that’s your choice then you have no right to pat yourself on the back for anything you ever accomplish for the rest of your life because all of your accomplishments will be tainted with the indignities you’ve accepted for yourself and everyone else.
Why should you have dogmatic faith in your government anyway? Your government exists to serve you. Why would you be expected to have unquestioning loyalty to your servant? Your servant should have unquestioning loyalty to you. When you subjugate yourself to your servant you make your servant your master and place your dignity under your master’s feet. You’re better than that, and you deserve more than that not just because you’re a human being but because your government is a product that you paid for with your blood, sweat and tears. You deserve to get the highest quality product for your tax dollar. If you’re not going to demand to get what you deserve, I guess you didn’t deserve it in the first place after all.
However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:
- Don’t ask what your country can do for you
- Problems we accept are part of life but don’t have to
- Voting never has and will never save America
- Americans, you’re not represented in the 2012 presidential election
- Things Obama won’t change in his next four years as president
- Why Obamacare made me face palm
- Corruption reform
- A theory on improving the political election process
- Stop talking about guns and start talking about poverty
- Conservative Americans, you don’t need to overthrow your government to make the world a better place.
- Cost/Benefit Analysis of Terrorism
- A Discussion about Osama Bin Laden’s life, death and what it means for the future
- 10 solutions to most of America’s problems
- 6 steps to change America
- 9 reasons foreigners look down on America
- America is a pc. Europe is a Mac
- My American Beauty-esque rant about life in America
- Why are Americans so violent and unhappy?
- The Big Conspiracy Theory
- Have a sane perception of conspiracy theories
- Don’t give conspiracy theorists your money
Police and the Law
- An intervention with the police
- Thoughts on police who beat up protesters
- My experience with the TSA
- Should police enforce unjust laws?
- The 28th amendment
- My theory on accountability laws
- Why prostitution should be legal
- Why gambling should be legal
- 8 reasons to legalize marijuana you’ve already heard
- Why stop with just making drugs illegal?
- The American burqa
- Borders are inhumane
Occupy Wall Street
- Predictions on the Occupy Wall St. Protest
- An American Expat Visits the “Occupy Auckland” protest: Part 1, Part 2
- The Issue of Race in the Occupy movement
- Why I’m not sure if we need another big Occupy Wall Street style protest