Civil Disobedience…Jim Davies

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
By Paul Martin

Booing the Goose

Jim Davies

Exclusive to STR

Chapter 8 of my Transition to Liberty shows that I foresee the time–in the mid-2020s, for reasons it explains–when widespread civil disobedience will play a valuable part in hastening the end of the government era. It will be a period when around one in four of the population has learned what liberty means (and what government means) and so is eager to experience it and ready to quit any government job in disgust. Simultaneously and as a result of that great walkout, a staffing crisis will be crippling government. When the two come together, it’s not hard to see that a lot of people are going to stop obeying all its zillions of silly laws, at the very time when the lawmakers lose the ability to prevent them. Freedom will then be only a couple of short years away; an ever-swelling “Boo!” from the long-intimidated population will increasingly shoo away those armed and dangerous squadrons of government geese.

Such civil disobedience is to be clearly distinguished from some other forms of protest, such as those against the income tax. Irwin Schiff’s famous illuminated sign near the Las Vegas Strip enquired of one and all, “Why Pay Income Tax When No Law Says You Have To?” and the IRS’ only answer was to get him inside a government cage for 13 years; the far simpler remedy of citing the missing law was apparently beyond its ability. Note, though: neither Irwin nor any of the others called for any law to be broken. They merely point out that none exist. Some years ago the IRS called them “illegal tax-protesters” but the rebuttal was only to move the hyphen; they are “illegal-tax protesters” and all of them would willingly pay any tax in obedience to law. The protest is not against tax, but against unlegislated tax. Accordingly, it’s quite wrong to call this movement “civil disobedience.” They are civil, but aren’t setting out to disobey any law at all.

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