Government, a Force of Nature

Column by Paul Bonneau.

Exclusive to STR

When I go outside this time of year, I get cold. I compensate by getting a coat on, and then go about my business. This is the standard way of dealing with forces of nature. I don’t spend a lot of time lying in bed wishing it weren’t cold. I have better things to do with my time.

Why is government any different?

Government is just a gang of humans, which are themselves a part of nature. Millions of words are spent on the Internet and in other venues bemoaning the fact that our liberties are being trampled by tyrants and complaining that people are sheep in the face of it. “Why do these people put up with it?” I’ve said it myself, many times. “Those sheep!”

Of course the bemoaners and complainers are not voluntarily putting themselves in the same situation as those they criticize, to prove they would handle things in a more manly fashion.

People are who they are. Most of us don’t bother ourselves with what the average Joe in Topeka thinks about our religion or lack thereof, or our choice of cars, or what hamburger chain we prefer. We don’t have time for such worries. Shouldn’t government be treated essentially the same way, in almost every case?

I spent a lot of time on homeschool email lists in the past. Whenever a homeschooling newbie appeared on the list, almost the first thing off their keyboard was the question, “How do I get right with the authorities?” I would invariably answer, “Why bother?” Why do people even think about getting permission for every little thing? Is this another version of grade school, where you have to ask the teacher for permission to pee?

No doubt what I am saying is not much news to folks around here. But I sometimes get the impression we don’t fully realize the extent to which the state (or its minions) don’t matter; otherwise we would tone down the complaining about it.

For parasitism to work, the parasites have to be relatively few, otherwise the host organism is overwhelmed. There just aren’t that many minions and enforcers out there to get excited over. Cops run on the order of one per thousand population. One per thousand! Of them, very few are actually homicidal maniacs.

The Dorner manhunt was instructive. The whole Keystone Kops brigade were out there looking for him, vast numbers of cops. They were looking amazingly ineffectual, not to mention absurdly stupid (filling a truck full of bullet holes without worrying too much who was in it). These are the people we are supposed to be afraid of? These are the ones whose job it allegedly is to protect us? This is the implacable state?

Remember how long the two idiots Malvo and Muhammad had their way in the Washington D.C. area?

Sometimes I wonder if the “thrashing of the dead dinosaur’s tail” that is so dangerous to us as the current empire comes to an end, is not actually the thrashing of a dead gecko’s tail.

You might say, “It could have been my truck they filled with bullet holes.” Well, yeah, it could have been. You could have been struck by lightning going to work, too. You could have been a victim in a terrorist suicide bombing. But you weren’t. Do we concern ourselves with every unlikely possibility? Driving itself would be impossible. At some point, sane people put the fear aside and continue on.

Do we really care what gun control is passed by Congress, for example? Why? If you think your “gun rights" depend on those bozos, you might as well hand ‘em over right now. Some of us don’t intend to be quite so accommodating. The majesty of the state does not impress us. We actually do believe it is just a grubby collection of criminals. Our ownership of guns depends on their opinion? I don’t think so!

What is going to give us problems is the collapse of the economy. But that too is just another force of nature, since it is part of our human nature to have economies--and also to bend them to our personal needs if we have the power to do so. Some forces of nature actually can smash us. Every now and then a big storm comes along, and you have to batten the hatches down. Prepare the best you can, and then carry on.

Otherwise, the antics of humans should be a source of amusement. We are an amusing creature, after all. Mencken had the right attitude: "Here (in America) the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly, the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat slittings, of theological buffoneeries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villanies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only a person born with a petrified diaphram can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night and wake up with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-School superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows."

I don’t know if I’m getting my point across, or even if I have much of one. Maybe that, if you are constantly in fear and frequently finding yourself agitated, the rulers might have you just where they want you! My guiding light these days seems to be Alfred E. Newman, “What, me worry?” Works for me. I also like this statement by Karl Hess: "The revolution occurs when the victims cease to cooperate."

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 75
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Comments

KenK's picture

The only quibble I have about what you've written here Paul is to note that the more numerous and pervasive the staties are, the harder they are to ignore. In rural areas it's easy, in towns and cities not so much; in airports, at border crossings, gun shows/stores, or when shopping for tobacco, liquor, cannabis, automobiles, or real estate, to name but a few things, it's damn near impossible without resorting to stealth and deception. However, I'm okay with that, as I gather you are. When I must deal with that ilk I metaphorically enter into a an ethics-free zone where lying, obfuscation, and concealment, and other things I'd normally rule out, become perfectly fine.
I enjoy your common sense libertarian ideology and your conversational style of writing. Were you influenced much, or at all, by Max Stirner?

Paul's picture

Stirner, no, I haven't read him. Maybe I should.

I don't go to airports any more; it has not inconvenienced me much. Same with border crossings. Gun stores, well with a little bit of bureacracy I can still walk out with a battle rifle if I want, which is the main thing. And so forth... it's like Heinlein said, "I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

Glock27's picture

Paul...Stiners text can be found in its entiriety under Ego and Its Own (Proudhoun) www.flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/theego0.html

Glock27's picture

Paul...Stiners text can be found in its entiriety under Ego and Its Own (Proudhoun) www.flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/theego0.html

Glock27's picture

Paul...Stiners text can be found in its entiriety under Ego and Its Own (Proudhoun) www.flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/theego0.html

Samarami's picture
    "...if you are constantly in fear and frequently finding yourself agitated, the rulers might have you just where they want you!..."

Perfect synopsis! I'm astounded at the wailing and gnashing of teeth by many who should by now have seen this light that you've shed. Psychopaths depend upon your whining over their machinations -- also your attempts to convince me that I'm not free (according, apparently, to your standards).

Karl Hess was right, but I'm the only one who can cease to cooperate. I wish you would cease also, but what you do is out of my control. I can quit being a victim. And I must remain sovereign -- whether you or any of my family members acquire freedom or not.

Good article, Paul!

Sam

Thunderbolt's picture

Nice article, Paul. I am reminded that Thoreau said, "It is not often that I live under a government."

John deLaubenfels's picture

I completely disagree.  Are the record numbers of people in prison for victimless "crimes" an illusion?  Something we should respond to with "What, me worry?"  Is the $15,000 extorted from me by the IRS every year an illusion?  Should I just tell them to F*** off, I'm keeping it?  A lot of people who try that don't fare well, and the rest have set up a situation in which every knock on the door can trigger a jolt of adrenalin.
 
Perhaps you're just a better man than I, Paul; I can't help resenting deeply the intrusions of government, and fearing that they'll come for me because I speak against them.

Samarami's picture

John:

    "...and fearing that they'll come for me because I speak against them..."

It's precisely that fear, John, that keeps "them" where "they" are -- in what appears a very dominant position over you.

Resent "their" intrusions as you will, John. But please: Abstain From Beans.

That, plus your refusal to continue rewarding "them" with "voluntary compliance", is about your only weapon as of this moment.

Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Sam, you linked us to a good page about Voluntary Compliance. Excellent quotes there from former IRS Commissioner Shirley Peterson, and others.
 
Vol-Comp is of course an oxymoron. Ask them the difference between voluntary compliance and compulsory compliance, and their lips will zip. The most I've heard anyone get was a tale about stopping for a red light; "it's 'voluntary' only in the sense that there is no cop in your car to press the brake pedal." They maintain that paying i-tax, like stopping at the red light, is still compulsory. (Ask to see the law that compels such payment, though, and their lips will zip again.)
 
John is right, however. Outright refusal to obey these creeps has not proven a successful strategy.  And if you should happen to be one of the exceptions, you'd do well to keep it quiet and use your pseudonym.

Samarami's picture

My primary stock-in-trade, Jim, seems to be age. And low-profileship (a new word developed by me). What's in it for those stupid bastards to spend time and effort chasing me 'round the mulberry bush when there is young and tender meat to ravish?

And scare.

Too difficult to unnerve a crusty old veteran.

Irwin Schiff, a true American martyr, had the disadvantage of high-profileship. Not good for him, but very good for the few who have used his example and acquired strength through it.

More will follow. With the ongoing efforts of Irwin, writers like you, and those of us willing to "...just say no...", the days of the psychopaths are numbered.

Sam

Glock27's picture

Samarami!!!!
Where do you come up with all this the IRS thing among others? I hope your eyes are on the road when you are haulin. I have been contemplating the idea of not filing my taxes anymore. I see on T.V. all these people who have not filed in years and owe hundreds of thousands of dollars and walk away paying a pitance. If these IRS lawyers are that good I should come out rather fine. Wonder what their fees are?

Samarami's picture

Glock27:

    "... I have been contemplating the idea of not filing my taxes anymore..."

(Emphasis mine) You're going to think this is nit-picking. It's not:

If I want to be free, I'll have to act free (Thanks, Mark Davis). That means I'll have to talk free.

I end up paying tribute (parasites and predators grouped into "states" like for us to call it "taxation" -- I try to avoid that word) to side-step ultimately being locked up or shot down. That, my friend, is U.S. "Justice"

Tax agents are worse than poisonous snakes. Snakes, first of all, do not enjoy the acceptance of my neighbors, family and friends. That renders snakes of lesser threat than tax parasites. Secondly, snakes try to get away from me unless I barge impetuously into their territory. I try to walk slowly in the woods, and never reach without looking.

Tax "collectors" won't just slither away.

Snakes of the rattler variety will loudly warn you before they strike. Unlike rattlers, dangerously armed goons in state costumes gather themselves into cowardly "teams", swoop silently upon you, beat your door down, shoot your dog and and your wife and your kids if they don't display immediate and obedient peonage. They will then proceed to hall your ass to a rape cage and eventually put you in front of another goon who feeds out of the same nosebag, where you will get a taste of U.S. "Justice".

Ask Irwin Schiff. He can tell you all about U.S. "Justice".

So, Glock, my suggestion to you is that you first look at your own language before "going up against" the hyenas at the local or federal taxing "authority": I do not file (whatever that's supposed to mean) "my" taxes. That's because "I" have no "taxes".

One act of genius by the power elite in garnering tax slaves has been to propagandize them into taking personal possession of "'their' tax duties". If we can keep 'em chanting "...I pay MY taxes...don't YOU pay YOURS?" the sheep will be easily be led to the shearing pen, and eventually the slaughter house.

Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Well said, John. Such "deep resentment" is the beginning of wisdom, and I've heard something to the effect that success in warfare is contingent on knowing one's enemy. And I see from our Quotes Library this from Goethe: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Samarami's picture

Don't for certain know where you're going with the Goethe quote, Jim -- was that supposed to be a surreptitious message? If so, I think it's absolutely essential that you not equate "serenity" with "slavery".

There's a thing that's gone 'round for years called "The Serenity Prayer". I personally tend to leave "G-D" out of the equation (not that you should -- or shouldn't). But the thing makes sense:

I wish to always have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

I am a sovereign state ensconced in an unfree world. For a lengthy period -- long before I stumbled upon STR, discovered and absorbed yours and Paul's and many others' excellent essays, and declared sovereignty -- I was a slave in that unfree world. I wrung my hands and whined and moaned over "...the demise of Our-Great-Nation..."

A virtual slave.

Then I declared myself sovereign -- head of a sovereign state no less.

The planet on which my "state" rests is not a free one. In my 77 years it has become less and less and less "free". The future ain't what it used to be. : - }

That falls under the category of things I cannot change.

I've stayed on here and other anarchist sites, I've read and I've discussed -- even gone up against you, Jim, a time or two (and I hope you do understand I'd do anything in my power to never allow harm and/or insult to come to you personally) -- which falls into the category of "...the courage to change the things I can".

I've been changed by my interchange with you and Paul and Glock and the many root-strikers over the years.

I see myself as wise enough to know the difference. My serenity is NOT slavery. I've fought down tax parasites until the dumb jackals finally gave up on me. I think.

Who knows -- like Paul said, they might come storm-trooping at my door at any moment. At my age I might just feel relieved to allow 'em to pummel away on me. They have that "right"-- I'll grant them that.

And I suffer from no illusions that the beast has any intentions of following anything like "...due process of law". The proclivities of that beast is definitely a thing I cannot change.

But if freedom's to be it's up to me. Not "them".

Sam

Paul's picture

"Are the record numbers of people in prison for victimless "crimes" an illusion?"

No, but they are evidence that a lot of people are willing to submit to the state, or think they have no other choice.

There are 2.3 million Americans in jail. There are 312 million Americans not in jail. How much of a worry is it? Keep in mind that a little bit of common sense and care can further reduce one's chances from this level, even if one makes a practice of ignoring laws. Most people in jail are not very smart, after all. Even though I wrote this article: http://strike-the-root.com/political-prisoners-in-america
...I still don't worry about it. Why? Because I'm not about to let anyone arrest me.

"...every knock on the door can trigger a jolt of adrenalin." I suppose with age comes some peace. The older one gets, the clearer it becomes that one is going to die. At my age, a knock on the door by the Gestapo would almost be a blessing. It would mean I'm not going to take 3 years to die with no dignity left in the end. I might even take a few bastards with me, which would be a big plus. Which is not to say I expect it; actually I pretty much doubt it will happen.

I keep getting back to this theme of it all being a force of nature. It's been going on for 4 billion years. The world will go on in its own way when I am gone, and that notion strangely does not upset me. On the contrary, I find satisfaction in it.

Glock27's picture

I kind of feel like John here. I am coming to develop such a bitter taste in my life over the idiots in D.C. If the people in the 1700 were took your particular view where would we be today. They worried about the same similar trash until they fought back and that occurred when the british began to confiscate their weapons. The article was truely interesting and made me wish I could go along fa-la-la-la-la but I just can't get there. Really. I don't have much time left anyway and I wonder why should I give a rats butt about what they do. I guess if I have a little fight left in me I should fight rather than get my ass kicked. Then there are my kids and grandkids. What kind of an example would I be setting for them other than surfdom.

Paul's picture

Ah, you mistook my position, which is: 1) Stop worrying about government; but still 2) fight when the time comes to fight (in other words, when the particular imposition becomes intolerable). One fights best when one does not fear the outcome, but accepts it. Not easy to do, obviously, but it's not impossible to move in that direction either.

Glock27's picture

You always seem to have the right words to say. Some of us were just born to be worry worts and I guess I am one. A year ago I started a research on the Stoner Platform rifle better known by the Feinstiners as black scary guns. Because of cost I chose a Mossburge 930 tactical, 10 rund 12 guage shotgun but the attack on the scary gun I launched an attempt to purchase one. Could I find one. No--everyone was sold out. I finally picked up a Sig Sauer 556 and the last three boxes of .223 ammo. Currently I have managed to accumulate around 500 rounds and now I am looking for a reloading outfit. I can get all that stuff except for the dies for 5.56 or .223. Yep! I worry a lot, someone has to?

Glock27's picture

You always seem to have the right words to say. Some of us were just born to be worry worts and I guess I am one. A year ago I started a research on the Stoner Platform rifle better known by the Feinstiners as black scary guns. Because of cost I chose a Mossburge 930 tactical, 10 rund 12 guage shotgun but the attack on the scary gun I launched an attempt to purchase one. Could I find one. No--everyone was sold out. I finally picked up a Sig Sauer 556 and the last three boxes of .223 ammo. Currently I have managed to accumulate around 500 rounds and now I am looking for a reloading outfit. I can get all that stuff except for the dies for 5.56 or .223. Yep! I worry a lot, someone has to?

Samarami's picture

Stefan Molyneux has some good videos that would expand on Paul's thesis.

Here's one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzyogKiXhEA (**)

Sam

(**) I post two links (one embedded) because only part of the time will a link appear "live" when I simply post the link.

Glock27's picture

Government as a force of nature seems to be a joke to me. I don't know. Maybe I am just plain ol stupid about Nature and its forces. I just recently read that Diane Frankenstine is going to put together her own committee of anti-gun folks to come up with the support she needs to confiscate all the firearms across the nations. As it is here so it is with Feinstine she has not respect for the Constitution, I don't believe she believes it exists anymore.
I have read the Constitution several times over the years and more specifically the Bill of Rights (Ha!). I am finding some troubelsome spots in it. So far for me the biggest problem with the Constitution are the people trying (ha!) to follow the Constitution when "it is nothing more than a goddamned piece of paper". I continue to uphold my position regarding the Constitution based now on the idea that the Constitution has never stood a chance to operate as it was written beginning with General George Washington and his Whiskey Rebellion Act". Power comes from the end of a barrel of a gun.
In time I may come over yet.