December 1, 2002
Doc wrote in last week:
“Vin — I have watched freedom take two crushing blows during this most recent election. Nevada’s marijuana decriminalization was defeated by about 2-to-1. And South Dakota’s jury nullification initiative did worse than Castro’s most recent opponent. The battle for freedom in this country is suffering the longest losing streak since the baseball gods invented the Chicago Cubs. Now with the Patriot Act and the Total Information Awareness program marching forward, our privacy will be both more important and more difficult to defend than ever before. Do you see the same dire future, or are there some hopeful signs that I am missing? — AKS, Las Vegas”
Hi, Doc — Things have been getting progressively worse since 1933 — to some extent since 1913. And so long as the enemies of freedom control the mandatory government youth indoctrination camps (“public schools”) there will be no rescue via political strategies dependent on “convincing the majority” to roll back the usurping state and restore freedom.
This is not a debate about how to restore freedom — 94 percent of our neighbors, especially those under 40, have had the space in their brains once reserved for analysis, reason, and the knowledge of history instead filled with memorized government-school sound bites which numbingly insist what the Founders knew as “freedom” would in fact be a dangerous level of anarchy if ever restored in the land, “perhaps permissible in an 18th century agrarian society but ridiculously unsuited to our modern, fast-paced, urban, multi-racial society,” blah blah blah.
The remaining sources of hope are few, but the best of them are:
1) The sheer incompetence of government in general and of burgeoning police states in particular — remember, the thugs of the East German Stasi reached the point where they employed one-third of the citizenry as snitches to record the private conversations of the other two-thirds … but simply ran out of anyone to listen to the tapes.
What ended the feudal tyranny of the Middle Ages? Improved transport and communication, which in turn facilitated commerce, private wealth, and (eventually) that death knell of the upper class’s monopoly on knowledge — the printing press. The old elites were, at the end, actually stuck clinging to such ludicrous symbolic gestures as the sumptuary laws, which forbade the upstart wealthy merchant class from wearing purple cloth or fur collars lest they be mistaken for their increasingly threadbare “betters” with the escutcheons and the “better family names.”
Remembering this, listen to today’s taxmen proposing fantastic new levies while muttering darkly about “sales tax revenues lost to Internet transactions” and the growing number of folks getting their news and information from “dangerous radical libertarians on talk radio and the Internet.”
We tend to fear government’s use of technology to track us — rightly so — but we forget how much we facilitate such outrages by obligingly filling in our nine-digit slave number every time we take up a new job, or open a new bank account … and we forget it was technology that made it impossible to sustain the lies on which the Soviet Union was based.
The Soviet Union wasn’t conquered — it died of embarrassment at the sheer obviousness of the fact that the planned economy does not and cannot work.
Organizing to challenge leviathan is probably a doomed venture, for the foreseeable future. There’s no better way to get hanged than to try and start a revolution prematurely, as Lenin’s older brother learned in 1887. But the sheer disorganized and spontaneous actions of millions of self-interested American “taxpayers” turning to the Internet to conduct (de facto) tax-free commerce, shifting their resources offshore, bartering their services for cash to evade the increasing intolerable straitjacket of the tax-and-regulate nanny state?
Read the comments of just-retired IRS Director Charles Rossotti, who will rot in hell. He whines that without vastly more “enforcement resources” the agency can’t possibly keep up even with the legitimate tax avoidance strategies now being cooked up by the high-powered CPA and investment banking firms … before we even get around to discussing the double-digit percentage of Americans who are now in complete and outright, nonfiling “noncompliance.”
They’re losing it — and they know it.
So the best current hope, I believe, lies in thousands and eventually millions of Americans quietly, surreptitiously taking a brave but secret pledge:
“I promise that from here on in, every day and in every way, I will work to become a bad citizen. I promise not to wear my seat belt ever again until they repeal the seatbelt law. I promise to buy dangerous, subversive books. I promise that — unless I’m actually in the act of applying for a government benefit (God strike me low) — I will respond to any request for “your Social” by cheerfully replying “577-60-1114. (My name is John Edgar Hoover, I was born in Washington, D.C., on New Year’s Day, 1895.”)
We’ve tried it the way we were taught in civics class. Californians passed Proposition 215 — and the federal narco-terrorists simply announced they were going to ignore it. So perhaps the time has come to do the thing they fear most. Withhold your cooperation. Cheerfully, peacefully … begin to disobey. — V.S.
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.