James Sweet Reprint: Voices of Dissent
If you are a voice of dissent, you have a unique opportunity. You live in a time that puts you at an advantage to change the world for the better. It’s true that the world is always changing; change is the only constant. But I am convinced that you have a strong say in how it will change. This is a time when the despotic rackets of the world behave like cornered rats, becoming more vicious in their desperation. You have a choice of whether to let them bite you or to bring down your heel. What will you do?
It seems easy enough for one to find a constant and steady outpouring of ethical and utilitarian arguments against the State, but precious few that deal with how to dismantle said State, or at least how to live more freely in its midst. I’ve put in some advice of my own on the practice of anarchy (see, “A Plan of Direct Action,” and the sequel and e-mail me with any input of your own or if you’d like to see it put into action) and while the “how”-to-“why” ratio on the Internet and elsewhere is still pretty meager, there’s a growing amount of practical advice out there. Any good search engine will turn up some leads regarding self-sufficiency untaxed commerce, even monkeywrenching if you have time to kill… For the next couple of decades.
Financial non-participation is the second biggest factor in the State’s demise. Tax resistance, and intentionally drawing funds away from the government via the welfare system, have already gone a long way toward collapsing the system under its own weight.
But the biggest factor is active non-participation. No government employees = No government. No jurors, no conscripts, no pencil-pushers… No dice. The U.S. government is already dangerously understaffed, but I feel sorry for the folks who hang on to the last out of a hunger for power. You’ll have to choose for yourself how the epilogue will take shape in your neighborhood. Power is the most binding addiction I know of, and I think it entirely likely that everyone from former senators on down to former infantrymen will turn freelance and take their marauding directly to the homes and businesses of America. And whether you fight back or offer them coffee is your choice as well.
But I digress. To separate verbal dissent from practical overthrow is to create a false dichotomy. Dissent is overthrow by inches. Protests do make a difference. Just imagine going back in time to World War One, and telling a pacifist that someday protests and civil disobedience would effectively put an end to the draft. Do you think he’d dare to believe you? Go back further to the first half of the nineteenth century, and imagine telling an abolitionist about an America with no slavery in the traditional sense, and a young generation that has a hard time even understanding racial prejudice. And not because of war, not because of Congress, not because of the President, not because of new constitutional amendments or reams of new laws; but because of a massive shift in the way people regard personal freedom and natural rights. Think that might be received as just a tad optimistic? So do I.
People in the entertainment industry tend to defend free speech on the grounds that speech doesn’t directly affect people. I defend free speech because I know it does affect people. Speech doesn’t force anyone to do anything, but that’s not to say it doesn’t affect people. Never underestimate the power of the pen.
So get to work and write and speak what you know in your heart to be true. You don’t have to be a flawless writer. You don’t need a college degree. If you speak with conviction, people will listen to you. To the extent that people know that they don’t need government, they will undermine said government’s existence.
Not only can the State be abolished, it cannot exist if the masses dissent. Once the shroud is lifted, once the majority see that the emperor has no clothes, it’s all over. And the future isn’t written out. One racket doesn’t have to be replaced by another. Never before have more people had a clearer vision of what shape a free society can take. You can make it happen, and you can do so within your own lifetime.
So go forth, speak out!
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