For some time now, I’ve been considering starting a series of posts answering questions that I’m often asked as an anarchist. Kind of an Applied Anarchy FAQ, or a “How To Guide” for living free. Tonight I got a phone call that lead directly into this series…
Q) Would you lie or cheat to get out of a parking ticket?
A) No. Of course not because lieing and cheating are wrong, plain and simple.
My ex got a parking ticket at San Jose’s Christmas In The Park because her bumper was “several inches” into a loading zone. A friend told her to back the car up so that it was legally parked, take a photo, and submit that as proof that she was, in fact, legally parked. When she balked the friend suggested that I would do so (assuming the kids were not around to winess the poor life lesson) because as an anarchist I don’t respect the laws anyway.
He’s right that I think the laws are ridiculous, but I don’t believe any principled person should lie or cheat regardless of the situation. As an anarchist I would have two choices: ignore the ticket completely or go to court and fight it on the basis that the law is unjust oppression of my rights as a sovereign human being. I, most likely, would follow the former course, but I have promised Zaira that I would stay out of jail until she’s an adult, and, ultimately, ignoring the ticket would end with me in jail because violent kidnapping is the only option the government has to enforce its will on the populace. Given my promise, I would pay the ticket. However, in the past, prior to having a child to care for on a regular basis I not only would, but have merely refused to pay tickets and, when violently dragged into court, argued that the law was unjust. Of course, that always ended in jail time.
Which is why I’m moving to New Hampshire where I will have fellow freedom lovers to stand alongside me when I refuse the tyrannical government’s edicts. But that’s too much to go into in this post.
As an anarchist I believe that people are capable of governing themselves. But with this freedom comes responsibility. The only way a truly free society will ever prosper is if the people that populate it follow a moral/ethical code and take personal responsibility for their actions. Lying, cheating, and faking evidence is not taking personal responsibility. It is, as the friend readily acknowledged, weaseling out of ones responsibilities in order to save a few bucks. That is not at all what anarchy is about.