The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On slowing government theft...

Much, naturally, has been made in the news lately of Joe Stack's suicidal intrusion into the Austin IRS building via Cessna. My favorite commentator on the myth of authority, Larken Rose (see, posted this today. Excerpts follow.

Suppose someone came up with a way to convince all 100,000 or so employees of the IRS that if they showed up for work the next day--or ever again--they would all die horrible deaths. And suppose they could be made to believe that without any of them actually being harmed. Frankly, I would be thrilled. Though it would do nothing to address the underlying problem--that the state's hired thieves believe "legal theft" to be morally righteous--it would, on a practical level, deter them from victimizing others as a result of their delusions.

The thugs with badges get paid to harass, terrorize, assault, extort, control, and otherwise oppress people who haven't hurt anyone. I don't believe sane people should talk as if it's up for polite discussion whether that's okay or not.

I spent years trying to make various IRS employees (and other state mercenaries) consider the possibility that maybe "doing their job" is immoral. Joe Stack spent a day showing them that "doing their job" might be hazardous to their health. Which of us did the IRS folk learn anything from? Sorry to say, I don't think it was me

If people can be shamed or brow-beaten into not acting like thugs, I'm all for it. Of course, it would be a lot better if they could instead be ENLIGHTENED into choosing the philosophy of self-ownership. And in the long run, that is absolutely what our goal should be. But history has shown all too well, all too often, that in the short term, it's a lot easier to shoot an aggressor than it is to reform him.


Bill Fleming said...

Terrorism is terrorism. Stack committed a terrorist act. We condone his behavior at our own peril.

Bob Newland said...

Exactly. And that's why we should also condemn the behavior of the terrorists who steal money from us constantly under the guise of "legal" authority.

Bill Fleming said...

Henry David Thoreau protested unjust taxation by going to jail. It you want to protest, don't pay taxes and fill the prisons.

Les said...

Piper Cherokee, not Cessna. Stacks note left no doubt of a fragile mentality. I would hate to compare Larken to Stack, but it looks like Larken is begining to move in that direction. Why convince the IRS they are wrong? Why not convince the public Bob? If you can't do that then it is time to find a different country though I don't disagree on Iris' strong arm tactics.