Yes, Or No?


Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

There can be good reasons for not answering questions. If you are being questioned by the police, for example, prudence would dictate that you remain silent. Or perhaps you do not know the correct answer to a question, and would prefer not to guess and subsequently be proven wrong.

But you might also decline to answer if your answer could put you in an uncomfortable position. In that case, you might resort to evasion. I have found this to be a position frequently taken by politicians and bureaucrats. Therefore, I have devised a simple questionnaire for my public servants, asking only for Yes or No responses. Of course, they can ignore the questionnaire entirely, but in itself that is informative, since the questions are certainly reasonable. Silence, as a federal court has maintained, is itself a form of speech. The final form of the document will resemble this draft.

Dear Public Servant:

In order to better understand my relationship, if any, with the state, and therefore, with you, I would appreciate your answers to the following few questions. I enclose a self-addressed envelope for your convenience. (It is not stamped, but you have franking privileges and I do not.) Simply circle Yes or No. Thank you.

No. 1 Black’s Law Dictionary defines a statute as “the written will of the legislature.” Do you agree with that definition? Yes No

No. 2 The dictionary defines laws as “rules written by the government.” Do you agree with that definition? Yes No

No. 3 Are the “rules written by the government,” or “the written will of the legislature” binding upon me? Yes No

No. 4 The federal Constitution tells us that the powers of Congress are delegated to them by the people. Is this true? Yes No

No.5 My state’s constitution (Missouri) declares that all political power is possessed by the people, and delegated by them to the government. Is this true? Yes No

No. 6 A person cannot, nor can many persons, delegate a power which they lack. Is that true? Yes No

No. 7 Government officials cannot derive from the people a power which the people do not possess. Is this true? Yes No

No. 8 The people cannot express their will as “laws,” or make binding rules obligating the general public. Is this statement true? Yes No

No. 9 Government officials routinely exercise powers which could not have been delegated by the people, or derived from them. Is this true? Yes No

No. 10 Thomas Jefferson wrote that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Was he correct? Yes No

No. 11 Have you sought or acquired the consent of your constituents, even if they did not vote for you? Yes No

Thank you for your cooperation.

Will this tactic result in a re-growth of freedom? No. Its purpose is to make members of the ruling class simply think about what they habitually do automatically. It can accomplish this even if it’s discarded after a glance. A thought, once introduced, cannot easily be suppressed. Sooner or later, it must be faced. Our Rulers have the great advantage of having been around for so long, that the validity of their existence is taken for granted by their victims and certainly by themselves. My idea is to introduce a therapeutic germ into this malign organism or, as Thoreau put it, to strike at the root.

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


mishochu's picture

I like the idea but politicians can't, generally, answer simply "yes", "no", or "no comment":

Samarami's picture

True, the entire superstition of government and politics is obfuscation from stem to stern. It would be unthinkable for psychopaths, grouped under one of those brainless abstractions, to make statements or provide answers in direct, understandable format. The science of rulership dictates that the governed constantly be manipulated into believing and standing in awe of those doing the governing. Why do you suppose, if you wind up in one of the white man's courts, are you forced to be treated to the spectacle of it being virtually mandatory that everyone rise ("all rise!") when a "judge" swaggers in?

We libertarians often smile at and refer to the little story "The-Emperor-Is-Naked". But how often is the question asked, "...why do people stand around watching an emperor parade by in the first place?..." What force, or eerie spirit, has appeared to afflict individuals since the earliest recorded history to want to follow emperors and their collectivist insanity? And to aggrandize their machinations and their endless wars?

Bernie Sanders' answers to the ignorant interviewer are as natural for the lunatics of his category as corn bread in January. What else should one expect from his type -- reason??? Logic???

Insanity is the Social Norm.

In order for me to achieve freedom it has been necessary to cease thinking and/or writing in terms of "Our Rulers". They might be your rulers. They are not our rulers. Sam

Paul's picture

I don't know Paul. Sending such a thing to anyone would seem to put me in a subservient position. I'd rather not.

Not that I haven't myself done or imagined doing the same thing in the past. The point though, is not to change the thinking of a member of the ruling class, but to open others' eyes. Not that even that limited aim seems to have much success, but I suppose little ideas could dig into an observer's mind and eventually bear fruit (pardon the mixed metaphor), without us being around to notice it.