The Chains People Revere

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I learned in school that governments were, "...instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..." as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence. I have also been told that this obligates everyone to submit to the restrictions imposed on us by government. This is supported by the claim that we are free because we have a democratic election process under a constitutional republic. Obedience is freedom. We do this to ourselves for our own good.

This is all a smoke and mirrors. The political class does not represent any of us. There is no agent/principal relationship between the populace and officialdom. We do not have the authority to govern our neighbors, so we cannot delegate an authority we do not have to a politician by any means whatsoever. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights have utterly failed to restrain the ambitions of the political class as they violate its plain language with impunity. How are we to rein them in? By voting? That's the process that got us into this mess as the politicians make empty promises appealing to the base nature of the voting public. These promises are always broken. Nonetheless, the majority is content. Many imagine they are net beneficiaries of government's rapacious plunder. At the very least, despite political factionalism, people tend to believe the system is legitimate.

For those of us with independence remaining in our souls, this is an insult. We understand the chains of politics because we move enough to feel them weigh us down, or reach the point where they draw tight around our throats. The government is in reality a gun to our heads. The docile citizen can pretend the chains don't exist, but obliviousness does not disprove the chains. Worse still are those who blame the independent individual while cheering those who restrain him by threat and violence. These are cowards who seek vicarious counterfeit heroism by idolizing the government's enforcers wielding the guns.

Historically, we could seek new frontiers away from the State. People shook off the chains and moved away from the stifling control of settled lands, but the State followed. In many cases, these pioneers brought the state with them. In other cases, once the trail was blazed, lesser men followed with the State in tow. In any case, freedom-minded people often drifted to the frontier to homestead or to live alongside the native tribes. While I don't mean to invoke the noble savage trope, then, as now, conflict was instigated by government trespass. When the government followed, politicians lied, stole, cheated, broke treaties, and murdered innocents from the start. This made people understandably angry, but the victims were presented as a threat to civilization despite the openly uncivilized behavior of the political class. Government was sold to the public under the guise of protecting them from rebellious hillbillies and dangerous savages.

The globe has now been entirely divided up by governments. There is nowhere to escape these tyrants and their lapdogs. Cyberspace is being pioneered now, but the state also seeks to control, regulate, and monitor everything here, too. Encryption, cryptocurrency, and the free flow of information are a threat to the busybody control freaks. The docile citizen cheers the march of the State as he laps up the propaganda telling him to fear this electronic frontier. Hackers, the Dread Pirate Roberts and his Silk Road, software piracy, and all manner of other matters are used to justify new encroachment. The only solution they can comprehend is a government solution. They want to see us chained down as they are, and demand that we see these chains as a blessing. I cannot join the chorus of worshipful reverence for useless bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, abusive police, and honorless soldiers.

"...[W]henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,..."

There is always the temptation to stage a revolution, but waging open war against the State is playing by the rules they know best, brings harm to innocents, and results in either a stronger version of the original state, or gives an opportunity to a new group to form a new political class. We need to fight the idea of political legitimacy to truly kill the political system. I am utterly confounded by self-labeled "anarchists" who want to surrender more authority to these monsters under the guise of charity or security. The idea of political legitimacy still infects our circle now just as it infected the pioneers. I don't know what we need to do specifically, and there is no guarantee of safety in seeking liberty, but we cannot abolish governmental overreach through obedience to, or participation in, the selfsame system that seeks to enslave us.

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The beginning of your last paragraph highlights the reason that a peaceful solution needs to be found. A successful armed insurgence that results in anything besides even more misery is a teenage fantasy. The American revolution is a rare example of success, and it still ended up with the regeneration of what became the most powerful state entity that has ever been known to man.

Seems to me the whole notion of "liberty" is always going to run head-first into the significant segment of the population — hereunder "governments" of different kinds — who operate by the need/want/compulsion to control other people. The challenge becomes how to (functionally) navigate that in a non-violent manner... so-called "revolution" might look tempting — on paper — but I'd submit that the reality of most people's level of "consciousness/awareness" would only drive a "violence begets more violence" outcome... besides, a violent option seems only more likely to give rise to a (violent) response designed to CONTROL violence... thus resulting in repression rather than liberty.

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It's a real conundrum. Working within the system reinforces the system. Fighting the system reinforces the system. We need to undermine it, sidestep it, and point out its illegitimacy. I have always thought pot smokers just breaking the law were more effective than legions of activists marching in the streets begging for permission.

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Yes, and good point about pot smokers.

Although it typically falls on deaf ears, I have long suggested to anyone who cares to listen that the best way to change something you don't like is to find ways to render it irrelevant.

Many years ago, a friend was all about boycotts and waving placards of protest outside the fuel stations of major oil companies to protest the rising gas prices. I suggested she start riding a bicycle... thereby simply removing the relevance of rising gas prices and the oil companies...

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Cryptocurrency is a way to render the government's funny money and fiscal shenanigans irrelevant, but of course they want to horn in on our alternative money, too.

Well said. Centralized governments are everywhere and they keep expanding their reach along with their centralized fiat bankers. They are making it harder to trade fiat into crypto and vice versa. Hopefully enough people wake up and we use the power of numbers to stop the centralized minorities.

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Once again, I'm late to the party... but I will gladly upvote one of your comments, in lieu of the post itself! (...not that my bag holds much wealth to share, but my heart is in it...)

I absolutely love this piece. You've stated so much, so well, and you've put your finger on the throbbing heart of the problem:

"We need to fight the idea of political legitimacy to truly kill the political system."

Indeed; the problem is almost entirely in the hearts and minds of the (m)asses, of which I of late am/was one.

BTW, though a week old, I've been able to re-steem this using eSteem Surfer, a tool I've found quite useful because it allows access to certain features that the Steemit website/platform obfuscates.

But back to your topic:

Personally, I began withdrawing support from the system decades ago. Over that time span, I've had the scales fall from my eyes to a much greater extent, and I now feel that I see things far more clearly than ever before. I love your post because you see the heart; but I still struggle--as apparently do you--with the problem of conveying that clarity to Joe Sixpack and Jane Homemaker.

Without a doubt, a large part of the problem is "The Church" (and here I'm referring to Christianity in the most generic sense). I have concluded that the state is in all truth the beast John speaks of in the Book of Revelation, and that the church at large has been coopted as its false prophet.

One of my missions is to bring this awareness to focus in the minds of the (otherwise very sincere and well-meaning) clergy and congregants with whom I am engaged in the local instances of Christian assemblies I've been and am a part of.

The push-back is at times brutal! But I continue to learn more and more, a detail at a time, how to counter the corrupt renderings of Romans 13 and I Peter 2...

And so, know that "I hear you, Brother!" and that I take heart just knowing that I'm not the only one who sees these things clearly. Thank you for carrying on here. :D <3

😄😇😉

@creatr

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Check out @badquakerdotcom if you like my sentiments. I am largely in agreement with Ben Stone's assessment. I own the physical books being serialized there.

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I've been aware of Ben and the website for a long time, but (as things drift in and out of my conscious awareness) I'm always glad to be reminded and to have my attention redirected...

Also, BTW, still very much looking forward to the opportunity (in some unspecified future happenstance) to meet you in person and share a conversation, perhaps over a good beer or two... :D

P.S. I've begun reading "Anarchist to Abolitionist," much to my delight. Will be forcing my granddaughter to read it (at the point of a gun, of course).