This article was originally published at uncoverthenews.com on July 20th, 2008
Recently, I wrote an article explaining the tyranny of seatbelt laws and pointing out some basic flaws in the system that make me question of the reality of our supposed freedom in this nation. In my opinion, we are no longer a free people and instead have become, for the most part, a nation of sheep who are unwilling to stand up for liberty and individual rights and instead have decided to go along in order to get along. I also believe, however, that more and more people are beginning to realize the folly of this position and are starting to find the intestinal fortitude to stand up to those people who continue to insist that they have authority to rule over our lives. I believe their stories need to be told and support garnered for their struggles and so I wrote about Jon fighting the seatbelt laws.
Sometimes these stories of mine get quite a bit of attention. Such was the case with this story. As usual, it was blogged in a number of places and the authoritarian statists posted their rants praising the laws and the greatness and wisdom of the state. Many of them made fun of Jon and stooped to calling me names, questioning my sanity and suggesting I was somehow an inferior human being. None of this bothers me as I consider the source and I rise above such juvenile practices. I did, however, see one blog post that caught my attention not because of what he had to say about the content of my article, which was irrelevant as he had obviously missed the point, but because of how he decided to end his post. He decided to use the tired old argument used by many government apologists, authoritarians, statists, and other collectivists when they become unable to carry on a reasonable discourse that if one doesn´t like the laws, he should leave the country. America, love it or leave it, as the old saying goes. I feel the time has come for me to share my opinion on this type of thinking.
When I was a kid, I was taught that America was the place the oppressed and downtrodden of the world came. These were the dregs of society, the people no one else wanted populating their world. I often wondered why these people had abandoned their people, why they hadn´t stayed in their homeland and fought for their rights. I was certain even back then that if enough of them had stood up for their rights that they could have overthrown their oppressors and gained their freedom. Of course, I realize now that things are not so simple. The poor classes hardly had the wherewithal back then to rise up and throw off the yoke of tyrannical government, and anyone with the money, the cunning or the willingness to work hard for a time who managed to make it to America were welcomed with opened arms and American society was better off for it as we built a powerful nation on the backs of willing, hard working individuals. It is those individuals that built America and made it a great nation, not the government. These pioneers came to a new world and cared not what the governments of Europe or any centralized authority had to say, they did things their own way and hardly ever asked for help from authorities.
Now a few people would demand obedience from everyone. In their minds, anyone who would disagree with them should be dismissed from society. They seem afraid to listen to them, fearful that their points may be poignant and valid. It reminds me somewhat of a child who sticks his fingers in his ears and sings "La, la, la, la, la" so that he doesn´t have to hear something someone else is saying when he knows they´re right. They feel that if the messenger goes away, if those who realize the truth no longer live amongst them, than their problems will be solved and the message will fade to oblivion. But things don´t work that way. Those who worship at the altar of the state might think that dismissing those who believe in the power and rights of the individual will lead to the state providing welfare and security for them, but at what cost? As the old saying goes, what good is it to gain the world at the cost of one´s soul? Besides, you´ll most likely find that when all is said and done, you will have no security, no welfare, and no freedom.
This is the message that has been passed down to us through the ages. It was a message that was realized by civilizations as ancient as the Greeks and perhaps by civilizations even further back. The message is that freedom works, that people don´t need to be ruled over in a tyrannical fashion, that they can do business, socialize, and interact with each other on a voluntary basis and they don´t need some higher power stealing their money and telling them how to run their lives. We have finally evolved to the point where we can truly understand the truth and the importance of this message. We have finally found a technology that makes it easy to disseminate this message to the vast majority of the populace. We have finally found a place, the land called America, where that message can settle into the hearts of millions, grow and maybe someday bear fruit. I´ll be damned if I am going to abandon such a place and such a time because a few collectivists still want to try to convince the majority of people that the state knows better how to run their lives than they do.
I will not abandon my freedom loving friends who wish to take their lives back. Did Martin Luther King, Jr. abandon his people when he saw injustice in the world? No. He stayed in the country of his birth and spoke out against it. Did Thomas Jefferson or George Washington abandon their people when they saw the tyranny of a king cracking down on their friends and neighbors? No. They put their lives and fortunes on the line, fought against the ancient power of royalty, and forged a new nation with the blood of free men. These were true patriots, dedicated to the principle of honoring other men´s freedom and respecting the choices of their neighbors. They were not those who would rule over others and tell them how to behave. They would not try to legislate safety or tax the free man on his labor. They were individualist, not collectivists, and they understood the wisdom in letting individuals decide how best to live their lives and spend their money.
I will not abandon those who see the inherent wrong in a system that insists on making behaviors into crimes rather than prosecuting only those who have victimized others. I will not abandon those who see the truth of coerced taxation, that it is nothing more than a form of legalized slavery. I will continue to live in the country of my birth, the country that supposedly embodies the principles of freedom and liberty, and use my keyboard as best I can to battle tyranny. Unlike those who back in the early history decided to abandon their countries to come to a foreign land offering freedom, I will stay with the people I grew up with and try as best I can to convince those who need convincing that freedom of the individual and respect for their natural rights are the best options, not obedience to the state. And for anyone who wants to remain obedient to some power, rest assured that in a free market where such demand exists someone will offer the service of watching over you, providing security and welfare, for a fee. You will be free to contract such services and will not have to worry about forcing everyone else to contract with the company that best suits you.
Another disturbing comment I´ve seen making its way across the blogosphere lately is the comment that we should stop "whining", that we should just shut up and deal with the problems government has created. This kind of statement is the cousin to the "if you don´t like it than leave" mentality. It is not whining to point out an inherent wrong in the system. It is not whining when one attempts to right the wrong. If no one complains, than how´s anyone supposed to know there is a problem? If no one says anything, than those in power will continue to fleece the sheep more and more, to see how far the sheep can be pushed, how closely they can be shaved. Well, I for one have had enough. I will continue to speak out against injustice, against big brother, against the intrusions on not only my privacy, but on everyone´s, and against the coercive nature of the state. I will continue to speak out as long as someone, somewhere is forced to pay for services he doesn´t necessarily need, won´t necessarily use, and doesn´t necessarily want to pay for. I will continue to speak out against unjust laws so long as the powers that be continue to kidnap my friends, railroad them in the court system, steal their money and falsely imprison them for "crimes" that have no victim. I will not shut up and I will not abandon my freedom loving friends. If you don´t like it, than you have the right to not read my articles and I will respect that right. If you don´t like it, then go ahead and speak against the message of freedom and defend the tyrannical state. You have every right to do so and I respect that right. Unlike the state I will not infringe upon your rights, even though I never made the promise or set it down in writing as they did. Unlike most of those individuals who run the state, I am a man of my word.