Aug 282007
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I was browsing through some anarchist blogs earlier this week when I came across a comment from someone bragging that he didn’t take welfare while simultaneously stating that he received government grants for his art. I’m not linking over because this is not an attempt to call out this (or any other) self-avowed anarchist. I must admit, though, that this apparent hypocrisy enraged and saddened me. However, once I’d taken a deep breath (and smoked a tax-free cigarette to help calm my nerves) I chose to self-analyze rather than lash out.

I ended up with a startling long list of how I continue to participate in this facade we call a government-

  • I am, essentially, a government employee. Technically I work for a private company, but that company’s funding comes through various government channels, so my hands are far from clean.
  • I’ve been unable to convince my employer to stop participating in the theft of my labor through payroll taxes, or to get him to make me an independent contractor, saving him money while allowing me to deal with the IRS myself.
  • I ask permission to operate my private property on government funded roads by applying for a driver’s license.
  • I continue to acknowledge the state’s power over that same private property by registering my vehicle with the state.
  • I participate in the poorly named “justice system” by reporting for jury duty.
  • I acknowledge the state’s right to determine how my child’s care should be financed by paying child support through the county agency dedicated to such tasks.
  • I endorse various power-hungry thieves a couple of times a year by voting for elected officials (though only those that appear dedicated to truly reducing government).
  • I accept stolen goods by sending my daughter to public schools funded through theft.
  • I feed powerful lobbying organizations by purchasing auto insurance only because it’s required by law.

There must be others as well. There is truly no justification for any of these actions on my part. They are all wrong. The excuse I toss out when I’m not in the mood to debate or educate is that not doing the majority these things would make it nearly impossible to be in my daughter’s life. In fact, a few years ago, when she wasn’t in my life, I was more free than I am today as I didn’t do many of these. But, as Janis Joplin said, “Freedom’s just another word for nuthin’ left to lose.” Z’s too much to lose for me to take the stands I once did.

I’m not a total sell-out though. I have continued to separate myself from the government in a few ways-

  • I turned down the opportunity to make more money for the same job by taking my revenue directly from the government.
  • I’ve actively encouraged some of my clients (all of whom survive off of SSI and other government entitlement programs) to find private employment and stop feeding off the stolen labor of others.
  • I’ve stopped acknowledging that the IRS has any legitimate power by no longer bothering to so much as complete tax forms (other than those for my employer).
  • I’m considering joining the Free State Project, and promising to move to New Hampshire along with 20,000 other anarchist/libertarian minded people dedicated to creating an environment in which freedom will be the rule rather than the exception. (Although, regardless of when they hit the target number I won’t be moving until Z’s 18 or free to choose her own residence.)
  • Despite many around me encouraging me to do so I managed to survive another prolonged period of joblessness without accepting welfare or unemployment.
  • I’ve stepped up my efforts to avoid taxes legally by spending more online or on the grey market and eating out less to avoid sales tax.
  • In addition to not spending my cash with corporate welfare recipients I’ve started to actively inquire with the local merchants I support as to the number of government subsidies they receive and focused my spending on those that have truly built their businesses themselves.

Still a long way to go, but at least I’m making progress…

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