March 29, 2015

Freedom Outlaws Handbook 13-17


13.  DON'T DEBATE

Don't argue philosophy or issues with people who disagree with you on fundamentals.  Waste of time.  You will persuade no one, but rile everyone, including yourself.  Don't you have something better to do with your life?  If you really want to convert 'em to the value of freedom, give 'em time, experience with the "helpfulness" of government, and maybe a good book.

Don't even argue with people who are close to you on issues unless you have a good persuasive powers and the issue is important to getting free.  Next to writing letters to congressthings, there is no greater waste of time than yammering about how you'd run some future utopia.  Yes, we need to have a vision of the future.  But there's a great difference between having a vision and moving toward it and merely chewing your intellectual cud while the real world goes to hell around you.


Libertarians are very fond of theoretical argument-- and it's one reason we have so little influence in the real world.  Many of us ismply aren't in the real world.

Now, you might think that "don't debate" doesn't apply to members of the Disruptive Order of the Agitator.  Well, yes and no.  Surely, if an Agitator gets a chance to debate in a fair public forum, where people who care might hear, that's a good thing.  But in private conversations, chat rooms, and so on-- even the Agitator is wasting her time if she's just getting pulled into an emotionally exhausting rant session or an exploration of some airy utopia that never has existed and never will exist.  There's vast difference between genuine persuasion, which seeks to find areas of agreement, and the kind of "see how smart I am?" adversarial head-banging that marks too many political debates.

This is another bit of advice I admit I often have to kick myself in the butt about.  It's so easy to get sucked into a discussion where somebody's just trying to show how smart he is and nobody's really listening.  If you get sucked in, pop yourself back our at the earliest opportunity.

"Knowing is not enough;  we must apply.  Willing is not enough;  we must do."-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

14.  DON'T SAY ANYTHING YOU DON'T WANT THE WORLD TO HEAR

The international spy system Echelon scoops up your phone calls, faxes, and e-mails and scans them for "suspicious" words.  The FBI's Carnivore may be scanning all Internet traffic that passes though your ISP.  That hasty comment you made on a message board, on a listserve, or in a newsgroup will still be archived five, or 10, or who knows how many years from now.  Your cellphone transmissions can be intercepted by anybody with the right equipment.  Even a whispered comment made in a restaurant could be picked up by a stranger or a microphone.

Make it a policy to stop discussing your private business in the open.  Even if you "have nothing to hide" because you're "not doing anything wrong,"  remember-- that's not the way the world works any longer.  The slightes thing you say that fits the wrong behavior profile can get you in trouble.  Your actual guilt or innocence has become virtually irrelevant in a world where the database, the anonymous tip, the hysterical over-reaction, guilt by association, and the ruthless desire to make good conviction stats dominate the "justice system."

Later Chapters will have some specifics on keeping private business private.  For the moment, just grow your awareness, if you haven't already.

And remember that even if you "have nothing to hide"-- hiding it drives the government crazy.  Which is a worthy goal in itself.

Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny.  Not force, but secrecy... censorship.  When any government, or any church, for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,"  the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives.  Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything.  You cannot conquer a free man;  the most you can do is kill him.-- Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100

15.  STOP SUCKING AT THE TIT

You cannot untie yourself from the apron strings of the nanny stat while scarfing up nanny's goodies.  Do not accept:  food stamps, welfare, housing allowances, Medicaid, Social Security benefits, government jobs, independent government contracts, business subsidies or any other government handout, privilege or special consideration unless you have no other choice for survival.

You say you've paid for all this with your taxes?  Then stop paying!  But don't take other people's money under the thin justification that it's really your money coming back to you.  That's just the story we hand ourselves to ease our conscience and justify "doing unto others as they do unto us."
Nobody can liberate him or herself entirely from the government.  We can't avoid driving on its roads or using its post office.   Even if we try to live in a tree or a cave, that tree or cave is either on taxed property or tax-exempt (subsidized) property.  But you can avoid actively making yourself part of the problem.

A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can exist only until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits form the public treasury,  with the result that a Democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by dictatorship.--  Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish historian

16.  DON'T RESPECT THE OFFICE

Some say we should respect the office-- like that of the presidency-- even if we don't respect the individual in it.  Bullshit.  The office doesn't exist aside from the individual.  The office is only as worthy as the lowest oaf who plants his or her ass on its chair.  Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon.  Millard Fillmore and Warren G. Harding, for cryin' our loud!  George W. Bush!  That's what the "glory" of the presidency is worth.  Give no person, no office and no institution unearned respect.

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong.  If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.-- Lord Acton

17.  DON'T GET ALL GOO-GOO ABOUT COPS AND SOLDIERS

We should be very, very suspicious any time any profession gets surrounded with a halo.  Any profession.  It's a sure sign our eyes and minds are being directed away from reality.  NOT all soldiers are sacrificing themselves so we can have freedom.  NOT all teachers are saints toiling away for the sake of the children.  NOT all motehrs are June Cleaver reborn.  and above all, NOT all cops... not even most cops... not even some teeny, tiny percentage of cops... are "heroes."

Next time you see a police car in your rear-view mirror, or get stopped at a checkpoint, reality-check yourself.  Does the experience give you the glow you'd experience if you were really getting the opportunity to associate with heroes?  Next time you hear about some wrong-house raid that ends up with some kid or old person dead... reality check.  Next time you hear about some cop being arrested for domestic violence or stealing bags of cocaine from the evidence room... reality check.  Next time you hear about some poor sap being arrested simply for enjoying a peaceful smoke of the "wrong" herb... reality check.

Sure, some cops are good guys.  But with most of the laws int he U.S. now flagrantly violating the U.S. Constitution, how can anybody remain a police officer and still be serious about freedom?
Here's a good think-piece, by the way.  It's a law-journal article:  "Are Cops Constitutional?" (http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm)  Its author, Roger Roots, points out that professional police didn't even exist until the early 19th century and that their very existence has helped expand the power of the state over the citizens.

Support your local police:  Beat yourself up.-- Bumper sticker
9-12
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