Theft by Any Other Name Is Still Theft!

Column by Paul Hein.
Exclusive to STR
You encounter an ominous character on the street who stops you, points his finger at you and declares that he wants your money—all of it---and he wants it now, and you’d better give it to him, or face the consequences.
You reach into your pocket, but instead of pulling forth your wallet, pull forth your .38 caliber automatic and point it at his forehead. You ask him to reconsider his request. He withdraws, muttering imprecations.
A few days later, you receive a letter from the mugger (never mind how he got your address) in which he explains that you have violated rule 201.681-4(a) of the Muggers Code, stipulating that anyone accosted by a licensed and certified mugger, and who refuses his demands, is subject to immediate expropriation of all of his property and should remit the demanded amount, plus interest, within ten days to avoid said expropriation.
Naturally you sit down at once and write out a check to the mugger for the amount required to satisfy him, breathing a sigh of relief that you could so easily escape his wrath.
Well, maybe not. If the person you mistook as a mugger was, in fact, an agent of some group calling themselves, not a gang, but a government; and if his demand was pursuant to some whim they had written down in the most solemn fashion (i.e., a “law”), then you may find that your resistance constituted a crime--because they said it did. After conviction in their court, and serving time in their prison, you will pay what they wanted, with interest and penalties.
The difference, of course, is that a mugger, or common thief, operates outside the law. The “authorities,” however, operate within the law, because, after all, they wrote the law, and it says right there in Sec. XXX that they can take your property, by virtue of their right to do so, which they quite properly and formally gave themselves. The mugger, however, can make whatever claims he wants, but if he is not a member of their fraternity, his claims are worthless, while theirs are binding--because, again, they said so. (Besides, their gang outnumbers his thousands to one.) It’s quite simple and clear.
Except: it isn’t! Quite by accident, I came across this section of the Missouri Revised Statutes. It is Sec. 570.030.1, headed “Stealing--penalties.” It reads: “A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion.” Without a doubt, that describes the actions of the mugger, but it also describes quite accurately those who collect for the government gang. Usually, statutes describing crimes committed by the rulers bear a phrase such as “except when pursuant to law,” or some such. Perhaps the legislators felt it unnecessary to exempt themselves, being, after all, above their own laws, just as a father is “above” the curfew he assigns to his teenage son.  Or maybe they just didn’t realize what they were saying.
In any event, it is clear that those who claim “jurisdiction” over us consider themselves entitled to do whatever they want, and, in my experience, resent being asked for any justification, probably because there can be no justification save that which they give themselves.
As I never tire of repeating: power corrupts!

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


Suverans2's picture

G'day Paul Hein,

A rhetorical question[1], are you a card-carrying member of the "group calling themselves, not a gang, but a government", in other words, are you a "citizen", i.e. "someone who has the right to ...the legal and social benefits of that country [government] as well as legal obligations toward it[2]"?

    "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

″Power [i.e. authority] rests on nothing other than people's consent to submit[3], and each person who refuses to submit to tyranny reduces it by one two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth, whereas each who compromises [with it] only increases it.″ ~ Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky

[1] "A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked in order to make a point and without the expectation of a reply."

[2] Macmillan Dictionary

Que sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus. He who derives a benefit from a thing, ought to feel the disadvantages attending it. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1433. ~ Maxim of Law, Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary

"legal and social benefits = legal obligations

[3] "Citizens" are members of a political community who, in their collective capacity, have...submitted themselves to the dominion of a government for the promotion of their general welfare and the protection of their individual as well as collective rights. Herriot v. City of Seattle, 81 Wash.2d 48, 500 P.2d 101, 109

Submission. A yielding to authority; e.g. a citizen is bound to submit to the law... ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1426

Suverans2's picture
Suverans2's picture

G'day JD,

"All governments must have citizens in order to exist," not employees in the Prosecutor's Office.

″Power [i.e. authority] rests on nothing other than people's consent to submit, and each person who refuses to submit to tyranny reduces it by one two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth, whereas each who compromises [with it] only increases it,″ not employees in the Prosecutor's Office.

Now you know who it is that you must get to "resign". Every time you point a finger at someone else there are three fingers pointed back at YOU.

"YOU must be the change you want to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi [Emphasis added]

We cannot rightfully ask anyone else to sacrifice, if we, [individually], are not willing to sacrifice.

Samarami's picture

Suverans2, you bring up some good points and timely quotes in both of the above comments. I'm pleased to see your quotation by tzo from his 2010 essay where he refers to the parasites (my term) who "...assume authority, but also of all the 'citizens' who support the imaginary enterprise..."

Because that is what government ("our country", "our-great-nation", et al.) amounts to: an imaginary enterprise -- a religion (from which any of us can become free if we so choose). Due to the narcissistic ego and the bumblefungling [my new word] that accompany all sociopaths who seek election and who collectively have become by far the most gigantic employer(s) on earth (for the most pervasive religion on earth), we can work our way out from under the pestilential scab that is government.

I use as an analogy the spectrum of a large Catholic community (or other religious settlement) the likes of which you often find hidden in the hills of almost any part of the earth -- particularly U.S. and most of Europe. You can see the steeple for miles, and if you settle for whatever reason into the community you'll discover abruptly that you are definitely a minority -- especially if you are Israelite. The lives of the entire community center around the church, the parochial school, the priest(s) and nuns, and the general ambience of religiosity.

In that situation you quickly recognize that it will be to your distinct advantage to respect the people, their families, their clergy, their way of life. You may even discover means to leverage on their religiosity at times. You will definitely have no respect for their pope or church echelon, but you'll know enough to keep mum about that under most circumstances.

Never disrupt the bees without your sting suit on; but better yet leave 'em alone whenever possible.

There will be no necessity for you to become a Catholic to enjoy your neighbors and friends. And if it turns out you "are" a Catholic (by birth or youth), once you discover your disunion you can fade away gracefully from religion without antagonizing the troops. A good many of them are half-assed Catholics under the surface anyhow, so it will become you to let them simply assume you're a "backslidden Cat-lik". There is no need to create a scene -- or a target upon your back -- by resigning or "turning in your card" (or burning it at some alter or on the church steps).

"Consent-of-the-governed" is an egregious assumption, not a binding principle.

By your own example a good many of them may come to want something of what you have. But you will never influence freemen through antagonism. Let them become free of their own will at their own pace. Whenever, wherever you encounter someone seeking liberty, all you can do is present the hand of freedom for them to grasp hold of. They will have to set themselves free -- in their own time.

Paul made good points about theft by agents of state. I used the Catholic community analogy, but we all face a much more threatening community of folks next door and up and down the street who have been inundated from infancy into believing in the sanctity of state. Because they can't find it in themselves to recognize state agents -- all state agents -- as thieves.

Most of them genuinely believe it is their civic duty to vote -- and in the process they are complicit in the thievery. My only stock in trade is the example I set.


Paul's picture

We will have to introduce Paul to the gun culture. :-) Anything that is called ".38 caliber" is going to be a revolver, usually shooting ".38 S&W Special" ammunition. A ".380" on the other hand, aka ".380 ACP" is an "automatic" (which is a common but poor name for a pistol) but its actual caliber is .355 inches. Maybe he meant a .380 ACP pistol.

Kent McManigal's picture

You might appreciate a video I made on this very topic: Theft by any Other Name