Opting Out

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Some people, when envisioning the dismantling of the State, picture a violent revolution, fought by guerillas against well armed soldiers. Others, however, believe that it will be a rather peaceful process where more and more people simply ignore the government and it eventually withers away. I think that a long lasting change in the conduct of human affairs, such as creating a stateless society where a state used to exist, requires efforts resembling the latter vision. Things like this have to come about organically and voluntarily; they cannot be imposed (that would be contradictory, really). But I don’t think it will be as simple as described. One can only opt out of the State so much before it retaliates (assuming that she remains a resident in that state’s claimed boundaries. The ultimate opting out of expatriation, which is beyond the scope of this post. But fret not, I’ve written of it here.) She can refuse to accept government contracts, limit tax exposure, homeschool, etc. These are things she can do on her own. But if she refuses to pay income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, payroll taxes, or any other form of state robbery, the state will attempt to punish her. What is required then is a critical mass of individuals choosing to opt out in this way, so much that the state can’t possibly punish them all. For the ones they do try to punish, jury nullification can supplement the peaceful efforts. This will require much coordination and much courage. It might take a while to get to this point.

The biggest hurdle in this starts with us as individuals. Are our minds free? Do we live each day as though we can accomplish what we want as long as we work hard enough, obstacles aside? Sometimes I focus so much on how to become freer and shrink the State that I lose focus on what I want to do with all that freedom. We should live with a free mindset, not letting the State take away any more joy out of our lives than we let it. When or friends see how happy and successful we are, they will ask where we get or joy from.

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Opting Out « Teddy3indc – Reason, Logic, Belief, and Seeking Truth

  2. Pingback: Shift – Liberty in North Korea « Anarcho-Buddy!

  3. Pingback: » Shift – Liberty in North Korea Anarcho-Buddy!

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