Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joe Stack, Example of Blowback?

I just learned of a story where a man, Joe Stack, flew an airplane into a building in Austin, Tx. I first wish to express my concern and heartfelt condolences to any victims and their families who may have suffered as a result of this man’s desperate act. It’s a shame when anyone suffers through no fault of their own.

I read Mr. Stack’s letter where he ranted against the IRS before his website was shut down. He was obviously quite a disturbed individual. He was also obviously pushed to the edge by the onerous, contradictory tax code. He was likely pushed over the edge by the uncaring, unaccountable, faceless bureaucracy that makes up the IRS and the justice system. He blamed them for his woes and he made them the object of his ire. This is a terrible event, but we must be careful as to how we let government react to it.

It is not surprising to me that such an event has taken place. Indeed, there are many who have been predicting such an event would take place. No one has been exactly sure what would happen, but many have been certain something was in the air. It’s not too hard to understand why such an event would take place. Although I am not an advocate of violence, it is understandable that some might come to a place in their life where they believe they have no other options. Such seems to be the case with Mr. Stack.

It was the CIA itself which came up with the idea of blowback. The idea is that when someone, or a group of people, believe they have been unjustly subjected to violence they will strike back with violence at those they perceive are their persecutors. Obviously this man felt the IRS was persecuting him specifically.

It has come to pass that someone who felt taxation is extortion has now taken his own life and maybe others in an effort to find some sort of justice. He can’t see how futile and ineffectual his actions were. The rest of us can. This should be a lesson to all just how poor a solution violence is. It does, in fact, in nearly all cases, do just the opposite of what it was intended to do. The wars America has engaged in lately have not brought liberty, effective democracy or a better life to those that were supposed to be helped. The action taken by Mr. Stack will likely not bring an end, nor even any empathy, to the IRS.

It is more likely that there will be a reactionary response to this event, as there was to the 911 attacks. This event will likely be used to try to push through some sort of draconian laws and authoritarian agenda. There will likely be quite a bit of fear mongering to go along with this event. Already there is an establishment effort to try to demonize populist movements because their attempts to co-opt them may well be failing. Too many people have come to the realization that the two party system has failed miserably. Those who want to peacefully re-establish competition, a free market, and individual liberty are gaining popularity. The corruption within the system is eating at its core and so the system is collapsing.

It is almost inevitable that the system will try to use this kind of event to try to shore up its failing fa├žade. As the populace begins to discern the real cause of societal problems, those in power will try to shift the public focus from themselves to some manufactured boogey man. This type of event presents a nearly perfect opportunity to cast the government and their agents as the victims rather than the perpetrators. The government spokesmen and apologists will attempt to do just that. This can only work so many times, however, and it is questionable whether or not it will work this time.

The establishment media as well as other government mouthpieces will likely try to demonize any and all groups this man is or has been associated with. They will try to lay the blame on anyone they feel is a threat to their power and will use this event to try to silence popular sentiment. This was an individual who made an individual decision, and a very bad one in my opinion. His actions do not reflect on anyone or any agenda other than his own. He felt he was personally unjustly targeted by the IRS and therefore he targeted them and sacrificed himself in doing so. At least, that’s the impression I got after reading his long and convoluted rant. Do not let the establishment media convince you otherwise.

I feel that income taxes are extortion. I feel that they are unfair and unconstitutional. I feel that anyone with any knowledge of this nation’s history and the reasons it was established will recognize this. The federal government and its IRS have overstepped their bounds. It is unfortunate that this event has occurred and it could possibly cause the opposite effect than what was intended. This may very well give the federal government cause to try to silence tax protestors, including those who participate in large gatherings known as tea parties. It may cause a unprecedented crackdown and an excuse for the power elite to completely stop listening to the masses. Let us hope this is not the case. I, for one, will continue to speak out against taxation until I can no longer do so.

Violence is not the answer. Violence only begets violence. It is a vicious circle that will take a concentrated effort to break. The way to a free and peaceful society is to act like free and peaceful humans, to become free and peaceful humans, to create freedom in our communities and peace in our hearts. This cannot be done through force. I urge anyone who is thinking of initiating violence against the state to refrain from doing so. It can only harm the peaceful freedom movement. It is the power elite who resort to violence, not the common man. Do not stoop to their level. We can achieve the dreams of liberty though peaceful non-cooperation, civil disobedience and a structured dismantling of the current corrupt political establishment. We are evolving in that direction. Hopefully we will continue to do so despite the desperate actions of some who may embrace violence.

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