By Lily Dane
“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”― Oscar Wilde
Abuses of personal liberty have become commonplace in America, a country once known as the “land of the free.”
But are we partly to blame? After all, Americans have been voting for corrupt politicians for ages. Some justify this by saying they are voting for the “lesser of two evils,” but does that make sense? Isn’t that just choosing your own oppressors? By voting, are we validating a nefarious system?
Because rapacious politicians and their cronies are exploiting and plundering the masses for their own gain with no end in sight, perhaps it is time for us to take matters into our own hands.
In his piece for Reason titled Let’s All Disobey Stupid Laws, John Stossel suggests that noncompliance might be our best recourse now. He refers to a new book by Charles Murray who is a political scientist, author, and libertarian:
Charles Murray, already controversial for writing books on how welfare hurts the poor, on ethnic differences in IQ and on (less controversial, but my favorite) happiness and good government, has written a new book that argues that it’s time for civil disobedience.
Government has become so oppressive, constantly restricting us with new regulations, that our only hope is for some of us to refuse to cooperate.
Murray’s suggestion—laid out in By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission —will make some people nervous. He argues that citizens and companies should start openly defying all but the most useful regulations, essentially ones that forbid assault, theft and fraud.
Stossel goes on to give examples of oppressive government policies:
While we try to invent new things, government constantly seeks new ways to control us. The number of federal crimes on the books is now 50 percent larger than back in 1980—a time when many people mistakenly thought the U.S. would cut the size of government.
Murray says, correctly, that no ordinary human being—not even a team of lawyers—can ever be sure how to obey the 810 pages of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 1,024 pages of the Affordable Care Act or 2,300 pages of Dodd-Frank.
What if we all stopped trying? The government can’t put everyone in jail. Maybe by disobeying enough stupid laws, we can persuade judges that only rules that prevent clear, real harm to individuals should be enforced: “no harm, no foul.”
In A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, Howard Zinn says:
The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.
Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.
What will YOU do to help end the vicious cycle of tyranny that we are trapped in?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau:
I heartily accept the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.