Column by new Root Striker Andrew Henderson.
Exclusive to STR
Most people wouldn’t give a second thought to the idea that citizenship is anything other than a birthright. In particular, those “lucky” enough to have been born in the United States--or as I call it, “The Land of the Free”--should thank their lucky stars for winning a genetic lottery.
In reality, citizenship is just another tool governments use to control your every move. They use it to violate your rights, enslave you to their toxic economic policies, and make sure your offspring are branded with the same mark and continue to pay up so the government can keep the party going.
Citizenship is an albatross, not a gift.
It started in Greece, where only the élite class could become citizens. You can guess how well that went. Later, the Roman Empire realized it could enhance the legitimacy of its expansive government by granting a single citizenship to everyone--if they qualified. By the Middle Ages, everyone became subjects of a king. The feudal lord-serf relationship reigned.
I’d argue things haven’t really changed. We’re told our nationality is a source of “pride.” But that nationality is really nothing more than having Washington (or London, or Beijing . . .) as the feudal lord to our perpetual serfdom.
Having spent some serious time in dozens of countries, I’ve seen this phenomenon in countless places. The State has convinced its subjects that it's a great deal to proudly proclaim being “American” or “Chinese.” While it’s true each country has a certain amount of culture we can proudly associate with, the idea of basing one’s entire identity based on squiggly lines on a map confounds me.
Being born in the United States wasn’t my choice. In 1984, the US topped the “Best Places in the World to Be Born” list and anyone who would have said my birth there was a curse would have been looked at as if they were on fire. Fresh off Reagan’s lowered taxes in the early 1980s, there was actually a year where not a single American renounced their citizenship.
As I got older, however, I began to see the fault lines in this “gift” I received simply for being born on a patch of dirt controlled by a government that calls itself “the United States.” When I started traveling as a very young adult, I quickly saw how the government used the “post-9/11” mindset to keep its serfs in line.
I recently had to send my passport into the State Department. After hitting nearly 40 countries in the last three years, and with another 30 more in the next two years, I needed more pages. Just getting them to add some pages to your passport requires you to sign off on all kinds of draconian surveillance state madness. Having a low-level drug conviction in the past could cause them to deny your request. Owing a balance to the IRS can put to kibosh on it. Behind on child support? You’re going nowhere. The list of “persons ineligible to receive a US passport” is long and getting longer.
And to top it off, they promise to potentially share your personal information with more people than Publisher’s Clearing House.
While I’m sure we agree the UN is mostly a bunch of ninnies in monkey suits, their Declaration on Human Rights had a few good ideas. Among them, the idea that “You have the right to leave your country to go to another one; and you should be able to return to your country if you want.”
How, pray tell, do I have the basic human right to leave the plantation I was arbitrarily born on if the people who formed “the government” on said plantation maintain a list of “persons ineligible for a passport”?
Oh, that’s right . . . I don’t. Real freedoms aren’t taken away willy-nilly.
Long before they would lower the boom on Liberty Dollars and Bitcoin, government was stopping people who chose not to chain themselves to the State. After World War II, a man named Garry Davis renounced his US citizenship in France and formed the World Service Authority. The goal was to issue a world travel document to true “citizens of the world”; stateless refugees who needed to escape. He also issued a World Passport to anyone who would apply for it in the same way you’d apply for any other passport.
After years of issuing these World Passports to liberty-minded people, the French government cracked down on him, eventually convicting him of “confusing the public.”
To Big Government, it must be confusing that anyone would want to escape their monopolistic system. They must stop anyone who dares spread the word that their system is nothing more than a government cattle brand “confusing” the everyday schlub.
The state needs that confusion to stay in business. As a US citizen, you’re required to pay tax on your worldwide income, even if you don’t live there--or even if you’ve NEVER lived there. Merely having the “good fortune” to evacuate a birthing canal somewhere between Canada and Mexico earns you a lifetime of paying into whatever draconian tax scheme the bureaucrats can dream up. Since guys like Obama and his minions can never give a straight answer to “how much is enough?”, you could really be screwed. The only way to get around this is to renounce your citizenship.
And if bullies like Senator Chuck Schumer have their way, you’ll be penalized for doing so and branded an “ex-patriot.” Penalties would include never being allowed to return to the US, as if the rest of the world is a hellhole devoid of any natural beauty, culture, or things to do. That’ll teach you a lesson!
To these people, anyone who finds a greener pasture is a traitor. They want you to believe there is no greener pasture. They act as if you had a choice of countries and chose theirs, only to renege on your contract to them later.
And if you try to escape the whole system and become stateless like Garry Davis, you will likely be refused. Most countries have set up laws that forbid you to become stateless. That means that, until you hold dual nationality, you can’t renounce your home country citizenship. It’s a great ploy. They can keep milking you indefinitely.
In The Land of the Free, deciding to no longer be an American gives them one last chance to milk you. It now costs $450 to renounce your citizenship. At least we finally know that’s what it’s worth--and the answer isn’t “priceless.”
All of this only shows that you don’t own your citizenship. It’s not a gift. It, like your passport, is the property of the government and subject to their whim. Step out of line or don’t follow whatever facocta laws they dream up and they can unilaterally cut you off.
These days, it’s harder for the average person to get a second citizenship . As more Americans are waking up to the reality that their country isn’t the amazing panacea they’ve been brainwashed to believe it is, other countries are working to making their immigration process harder. (Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?) I was recently in Singapore, where just a few years ago you could become a citizen in three years; due to high demand, it’s now seven. I spent time in Belgium last year; they have also tightened their once-easy path to citizenship. The escape routes are slowly closing.
To many, it may sound odd to say that leaving your birth country once and for all is an “escape route.” For those who love liberty, it’s hard to see it any other way. What you don’t own isn’t yours.