Tuesday 1 December 2009

We Are Not Alone

Captain Ranty's blog has been gaining a huge amount of momentum of late. He has almost installed himself as a guest contributor at Old Holborn's place.

For one good reason. He writes superb stuff, and (shhh, secret) I knew this before he started blogging. In fact, I knew it before I started this blog, which is why the moment he began writing in earnest, he was instantly added to my blogroll. I didn't need to know what he would be writing about as I didn't care. His pedigree was unquestionable, his prose a dream, and boy has he delivered in spades.

The Captain recently posted an article on how to severely piss off authority in our country. We're not allowed to be involved in government decision-making anymore so the last resort is to just make it very irritating to implement whichever rot law they force upon us. The Captain suggested 198 different ways to do so which has been widely disseminated.

Now, that's all well and good, but in case you believed Captain, or anyone else who believes in real freedoms instead of those that this government deigns to allow us, was over-reacting, may I point out a simple truth here.

This is not a little Englander mentality. It is a worldwide phenomenon. Here, for example, is the same sentiment being expressed from the US, via an applauding libertarian from New Zealand (emphasis mine).

In my opinion the best way to change the laws, in practical terms, is through counter-institution building and through counter-economic activity outside the state’s control: in other words, to render the laws so irrelevant and unenforceable, by our efforts outside the state, that even the state must make concessions to reality.


It seems to me that statism will ultimately end, not as the result of any sudden and dramatic failure, but as the cumulative effect of a long series of little things. The costs of enculturing individuals to the state’s view of the world, and of dissuading a large enough majority of people from disobeying when they’re pretty sure they’re not being watched, will result in a death of a thousand cuts. More and more of the state’s activities, from the perspective of those running things, will just cost more (in terms not only of money but of just plain mental aggravation) than they’re worth. IOW, the decay of ideological hegemony and the decreased feasibility of enforcement will do to the state what file-sharing is doing to the RIAA.


The most cost-effective “political” effort is simply making people understand that they don’t need anyone’s permission to be free. Start telling them right now that the law is unenforceable, and disseminating knowledge as widely as possible on the most effective ways of breaking it. Publicize examples of ways we can live our lives the way we want, with institutions of our own making, under the radar of the state’s enforcement apparatus.

We're not alone here. And what's more, the US and NZ generally look on the UK as a nanny state to end all nanny states.

The rest of the world laugh at us. No, I'm serious. Go look at global news aggregator sites such as Reddit, Digg or Fark and you will see the ridicule that this country suffers because of our government.

These states are nowhere near as dictatorial as ours yet their libertarian movement has kicked in strongly already. We are well beyond what other countries would accept as palatable. It really is time that something was done.

Our government won't listen to us, so why on earth should we meekly follow their absurd rules? Join in the global rejection of overarching authoritarianism and annoy some clipboard-wielding prodnose today. Then do it again tomorrow. In fact, make it a way of life.

Our politicians don't deserve respect anymore. They have forgotten who should be in charge in a democracy and need reminding.


Roy G Davis said...

Agreed something needs to be done.

However, our politicians are so far removed from all of us that the 6-degree of separation theory fails when counting the number of bodies between us and them.

It's so bad that I fear short of a civil war things would never change. Voter apathy will increase, and thus polling-day turnouts. Term-by-term the mandate in which our politicians are brought to power by will diminish.

Simply defying the rules will not make our politicos see the error of their ways. Instead, the quangos, fakecharities et al between our representatives and us will simply legislate more power to authorities to ensure the people obey. I can seriously imagine having someone in uniform coming to my house and marching me to the nearest cash machine demanding payment for a fine for failing to obey (or worse). They can probably already do that...

So, what to do? Simple. Leave. Let the immigrants become disillusioned and take action. Besides, it's unlikely us English are ever going to make the stand and fight.

Captain Ranty said...

I'm gonna spill the beans Dick.


Without DP's guidance, his support, and his efforts to get my blog up & running and looking halfway decent, I'd still be struggling today. His enthusiasm and encouragement back in May this year spurred me ever onwards. I owe him a huge debt.

Thank you also for the nice things you said about me in your post. It can be a lonely place sometimes, the blogosphere, and it is reassuring to learn that others agree (or even disagree) with whatever we put up for public scrutiny. It makes it worthwhile.

Many think I am wired to the moon, and they may be right. I have many hats (seriously, I collect 'em), but none are made of tinfoil, and most of my posts appeal to my (and your) common sense, I hope.

Oh, and you should know that I sneak in and out of here having stolen some of your great words, phrases, and sometimes whole sentences. It's a wonder you haven't caught me yet.


Captain Ranty said...


You make some great points and it is difficult to disagree.

I have trouble with your solution, because most cannot leave. It well be that only reasonably well educated people have that option, as they will be able to secure work wherever it is they run to.

My people (forgive the drama) have been here since 1398. I think I owe my forebears a little resistance, a little fightback, should it become necessary.

And yes, I work for a multi-national company and a relocate is a form filling exercise for me. I could easily be bringing in the New Year in Qatar, Dubai, Singapore, Rio, Jakarta or Mexico.

But what will that prove? And what about my conscience? What I do (or attempt to do in the future) is heavily laced with altruism. Yes, I know it's fashionable to look ever inwards these days but I honestly worry, and care deeply about our future.

I choose to fight. Even if it not meaningful to most in the short-term.

The key, Roy, to everything, is money. Reduce the flow to government and you reduce the waste. Simple and effective.


Unknown said...

Heartening words from both DP and CR.

An enlightening post DP.

Tarquin said...

in fairness, on fark they mock us almost solely via the daily mail, and mostly make bad teeth jokes

Brad Taylor said...

I wouldn't say the libertarian movement has kicked in strongly here in New Zealand, and relatively few of us are willing to engage in civil disobedience. The indoor smoking ban went largely unchallenged, for example.

There seems to be a fairly substantial movement of people wanting to ignore the state in the US, though.

A lot of the folks at (pardon the plug) the Free Agents Network describe themselves as "agorists" and see the use of black and grey markets as the best way to freedom. Seems like a great way to counter all the paternalistic sin taxes.

Would be great to have a few more Brits over there!