Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 745, November 17, 2013

The most common threat to individual liberty in the
United States of America is "local law enforcement."

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A Use for Old People
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Getting kind of long-in-tooth myself, this subject has been on my mind. Let's face it, by the time you hit your sixties, your productive contributions are largely over (with many exceptions, of course). Is tending your garden or painting that picket fence, supported by unwilling members of younger generations all that is left for us?

In tribal societies the older folks did have an important function, telling stories and giving guidance, based on a lifetime of experience. Sadly, this is not much valued any more. Anyway, why spend time listening to a rambling old fart when they can look everything up on the Internet?

There is however one function for old people that is still important—in fact ever more important: breaking laws and raising Hell!

By the time you've gotten old, you've heard every rationalization and every excuse there is to hear. You know the world, and government particularly, is 90% self-serving bullshit. You are not impressed with the latest new-fangled law or regulation because you remember when you got on fine without it. Unless you are clueless, you have given up worshiping in the government religion, and just don't believe the rulers any more.

Additionally, the older you get, the less you have to lose. And it is hard to govern a man who has little or nothing to lose. By "govern" I mean in the sense that Proudhon put it:

"To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

Why would old folks put up with all that? Spit in their eye!

Anyway, it's been estimated that the average individual unknowingly commits 3 felonies a day. Why not do a few on purpose?

This kind of action belongs in the old folks' province because younger people are still productive, still supporting children and families (and in most cases, us). We might as well help them out by doing what we can to delegitimize the state and expand their liberty.


Go make a pest of yourself at city council meetings. Ask how that latest ordinance or regulation or tax hike improves liberty and personal responsibility. Question the motives of the proponents.

Start up an illegal dame school. Teach kids about liberty, which is nothing they are going to hear about in a government school. Recall that homeschooling itself became accepted largely due to parents breaking laws. You can even get a little income out of it.

Carry a gun openly. In some states OC is more theoretical than real; your carrying makes it real. What are cops going to do, go up against somebody who has nothing to lose? Let 'em! You don't care, remember?

Volunteer to teach kids how to shoot; always a great way to get the ruling thugs mad at you.

Go to a politician's ralley and hold a sign saying, "WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU!" Shout it out. Start a chant if you can.

Buy another battle rifle, another case of ammo. Experiment with improvised munitions.

Get called up for jury duty so you strike a blow against the war on drugs, by freeing someone caught by it. Unfortunately this requires voting to get on the jury duty rolls; but nothing is stopping you from voting for Mickey Mouse.

Hold up a sign as close to a polling place as you can get, saying, "YOU CAN'T VOTE YOURSELF FREE!" Or maybe at a freeway overpass on election day.

Go to the local government high school and hand out flyers explaining why kids should NOT join the military, or do it in front of a recruiting office. Tell them if they want to learn how to shoot a rifle, you'll show them instead. Use your experience in the military, if you have it, to explain to them what a rotten deal it is.

Grow some pot and smoke it. It will ease your aches and pains. Support your local marijuana decriminalization campaign; however don't work to get the state regulating it!

Work on some local gatso beautification efforts.

Start a blog berating the government thugs. Will Grigg provides a fine example. In fact, ship Grigg some of your spare cash; he really could use it. There are other liberty supporters on the Internet that could also use some help. Put 'em in your will.

Use your imagination. Get busy; there's still time left. Find something the ruling thugs don't like, and do that. You can be useful to others once again, so relish it. Besides, it will keep you young(er).

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