Monday, April 12, 2010

Render unto Caesar

Probably no one reading this paper is considering, or ever will consider, declaring himself a sovereign individual—that is, an independent government unto himself. Opponents of the Tea Party Movement, however, are often fond of suggesting that the beliefs and goals of the Tea Partiers and those of the sovereign individualists are the same.
Though the sovereign individualists may be kooks—and dangerous ones at that—the rest of us can learn a few things from them. Dangerous ideas are rarely completely wrong.
To paraphrase the Christian writer C. S. Lewis, wrong can not be wrong in the same way that right is right. If something is right, it’s right because it’s consistent with the natural order of the universe. That which is wrong, of course, can not be consistent with the natural order of some other universe, at least not as far as we can tell. Wrong is wrong because it’s either a denial of something that’s right, or it’s a corruption of something that’s right. Thus, every wrong idea begins with at least a particle of truth; then it corrupts or denies the facts that follow from that truth.
Sovereign individualism proceeds—along a twisted path—from the Social Contract Theory. If government (to quote a subversive document called the Declaration of Independence) “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed,” and if human rights are individual rather than collective (another basic American belief), then it naturally follows that any individual can choose not to give government the consent to govern him.
The sovereign individualists go astray by refusing to accept the whole package. They reject the rule of government, but they insist on receiving the benefits of government.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Sovereign individualists insist that, as sovereign individuals, they can’t be legally compelled to pay taxes. They also go as far as saying that they can’t be legally compelled to get a drivers license.
Jesus was once challenged with that very question. He asked to be shown a coin used to pay taxes, and He asked whose image and name (superscription) was on the coin. When told that they were Caesar’s, He said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Render unto God the things that are God’s.”
That wasn’t just a clever turn of phrase. Jesus was appealing to the basic fact that, if you play the man’s game, you play by the man’s rules. If you choose to use money authorized (however dubiously) by the government, you can use it only under the guidelines set by government.
How does that apply to drivers licenses? The roads don’t belong to sovereign individuals. The roads were built according to the Social Contract between taxpayers and their government. The government, therefore, has the right to make the rules as to how the roads may be used—provided, of course, that those rules enjoy the “consent of the governed.”
To what degree may individuals adjust the Social Contract to meet their individual needs? To some extent, every one of us is a sovereign individual in that we have some freedom to act independently of government.
Every time we use heritage seeds to plant a backyard garden, we’re creating value independently of government, and we don’t have to pay taxes on it. Every time we barter a bag of homegrown carrots for a neighbor’s bag of apples, we’re engaging in commerce independently of government. Unless the law has changed, I don’t think we have to pay taxes on that act of commerce.
Don’t forget that barter need not be limited to goods. We can also barter services.
In Taiwan, groups of people often establish private agreements that serve the purpose of private lending institutions. It’s much less expensive, and much more responsive to customer needs, than banks are. Since it is illegal, both in Taiwan and the United States, I can’t recommend it to you. I mention it only because it works very well.
I’m giving you only the most obvious examples of how we can assert our independence. There’s a term for that kind of behavior; it’s called self sufficiency.
A little earlier in this article, I suggested that money—fiat dollars, actually—have a dubious quality to them. What we call money isn’t really issued by our government. It’s issued by a private banking cartel called the Federal Reserve (the Fed.)
In another article, I’ve explained how the banking system works. (Click here.) Each new dollar the banksters create out of thin air—backed by nothing of value—takes value form existing dollars. In effect, the banksters pull off an invisible form of taxation by inflating the dollar supply.
That’s the form of taxation we should seek to avoid, at least until we can pressure our government to abolish the Fed. By avoiding the use of fiat dollars issued by the Fed, we deny the banksters some of the power they assert over us. In so doing, we also deny the banksters some of the power they unjustly assert over our government and our government officials. We can start to take our country back.
We can draw inspiration from our neighbors south of the border—no, not Mexico—much farther south. I’m talking about Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil.
During the first decade of the new millennium, Wall Street bankers caused the collapse of the American economy. Using the collapse as a pretext, they got bribed officials in Congress to use the collapse as an excuse to rob the American people of trillions of dollars. If you think that all this was due to a miscalculation on their part, think again.
During the 1990’s, they did exactly the same thing in Venezuela. They did exactly the same thing in Brazil, in Bolivia, and in Argentina.
In all four countries, the pattern was the same. American and international banksters caused economic collapses in all four countries in succession. Then they proposed “rescue packages” to privatize national industries on which the people had come to depend for social services. “Privatization” meant that multinational corporations could buy up these countries’ vital industries at bargain-basement prices and take all the profits out of the country.
Those four scams appeared to have been a trial run for what the same banksters did in the United States between 1999 and 2010. The United States didn’t have nationalized industries to loot, so the banksters arranged for trillions of dollars to be borrowed against the taxpayers, their children, grandchildren, and so on.
What are Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela doing now that we should see as an inspiration? They established a credit system among themselves. Once it was up and running, they told the IMF, the World Bank, and other banksters to stick it. They’ve also arranged a sophisticated “barter” system, in which valuable commodities such as oil and minerals are used as media of exchange. In so doing, they’ve declared their independence from the banksters’ fiat dollars.
These arrangements have yet another benefit for the people of Latin America. Since they all require trade agreements and other treaties, their arrangement has the effect of an alternative to the banksters’ proposed free trade zone.
The banksters are having fits. It’s no wonder, then, that America’s mainstream media frequently call the elected leaders of those four countries—Kirchner (Argentina), Morales (Bolivia), Lulu da Silva (Brazil), and Chavez (Venezuela)—dictators and all-around terrible people. Yeah, right. They’re terrible people because they listen to the voices of their people instead of toeing the line for the IMF, the World Bank, and the Wall Street banksters.
We should follow their example. Each of us can start by checking out our own congressman’s voting record for the bankster embezzlement bills, the confiscation of the auto industry, the sweetheart deal for Big Pharma and the health insurance companies, and many other examples of fraud and theft. (Click here.)
The people of four Latin American countries drove the money changers from their temples. Now it’s our turn.

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