Younger readers may wish to the leave the room. Older ones will want to check that their wills are in order. For I’m about to astonish and amaze with a demonstration of pure political power that will be shocking in its extent. There is a serious risk of damage to your health.
You have been warned.
Ready? Here it comes. This is your last chance to turn back!
I hereby remove my consent to be governed by government of the United States of America.
There! I did it! I have just broke irreparably the entire government!
The reverberations will take some time to filter through the system, it’s true, but it’s a mega Richter Scale 10-point-oh political earthquake that’ll take out everything in its path. And it’s coming your way. Some of you may not be able to avoid the wave. For those “innocents” who are taken out, well, you have my pity. But you should have seen it coming.
“Briggs! What did you do! More importantly, how did you do it?”
What I did was to remove the foundational support of our liberal government. Without that foundation it, of course, cannot stand. It must fall. And it was easy.
“Yes, but how?”
Well, you understand our government derives its legitimacy—this is something they themselves claim, now; they tout it—they derive their legitimacy from the consent of those governed. Isn’t that so? Isn’t that what they claim?
“I suppose so, but I’m not sure what you mean.”
What I mean is easy. If the government bases its legitimacy on the consent of those that it governs, then if that consent is removed, so is the legitimacy of the government. You can’t find a flaw in that argument.
“Don’t be so silly. What they mean by consent is that you live here, so you give your tacit consent. Besides, there’s voting. You can vote for or against what you don’t like, or for or against the people who you think will best represent you. If the vote doesn’t go your way, that’s tough cookies for you. But the vote process remains.”
You’re not following me. Let me try this. First, I have removed any tacit consent overtly. Besides, so-called tacit consent can be used to justify anything. Plus, that we vote on anything is a rule, or law, imposed by those that govern us, yes?
“I suppose so.”
And in order to create legitimate rules or laws the government itself must be legitimate, yes?
So what makes our government legitimate so that it can create these voting rules and laws? Our consent. That is the definition of the liberalism that the government says it swears to. But I have removed that consent. Therefore, I have removed the government’s legitimacy. Votes don’t count because they are not constituted legitimately.
“Don’t vote, then.”
I won’t do anything, then. At least, I won’t do anything I don’t want to do. That includes forking over my money to an illegitimate government.
“Ha ha. Stop paying taxes and they’ll come after you. You’ll be lucky if all they do is take your money. You could easily end up in the hoosegow.”
You’re saying they would rob me of what’s mine and take away my liberty?
“You know they would.”
Even though I have removed their legitimate authority for doing so?
“You can say you did that. But I don’t think they’ll listen. They certainly won’t believe it. They’re in charge. They’re they ones with the cops and guns. Do you think you’d be able to stop them?”
Now that you mention it, no. Not really. I’m only one guy. I don’t know how I could hold out against their onslaught if they refused to honor their commitment and confess that their only logical justification for punishing me has been removed.
“Face it, Briggs. They have the power and you don’t.”
So my consent has nothing to do with who holds power?
There you have it, friend. You have made the point I really wanted to make. Liberalism is based on a lie.
This post is in honor of Zippy Catholic’s memory. I pray that he is now looking down on it with favor. To all critics: yes, I meant these 680 words to be a complete, exhaustive theory of government, including all possible nuances, shades, and exceptions.
That’s some weapons-grade snark right there.
There is no discernible difference between a government and an organized crime outfit that also does a few charitable works.
Well, the government does those few charitable works badly.
And again, I’m going to miss him. God Bless you Zippy, you were a great friend.
So now when you get pulled over for speeding (and no plates on the car) you’re going to threaten to put a lien on the officer’s house? 🙂
Sounds like an argument against social contract theory on government
What happened to zippy?
Asserting “Liberalism is based on a lie” because … of semantics (here we go again):
“So what makes our government legitimate so that it can create these voting rules and laws? Our consent. That is the definition of the liberalism that the government says it swears to.”
Of course that’s nonsense (“I hereby remove my consent to be governed by government of the United States of America.” and, “…I have removed that consent. Therefore, I have removed the government’s legitimacy.”) — the core of which is common to pretty much all versions of the “Sovereign Citizen” movements.
Some of those movements are considered terrorist organizations. Call it what one will, invoking that as an argument is a sure way to undermine one’s credibility.
Guaranteed to anger everybody…sort of.
All legitimate authority stems from God and their authority is more or less contingent on the terms laid out in Romans 13. Libertarians and liberals are wrong, legitimate authority happens whether you consent to it or not. Legitimists can also be wrong (although incidentally right) because legitimate authority can be lost or abdicated, or given by God to another (from Saul to David, the splitting of the ancient kingdom into Israel and Judah, etc.).
A “liberal” government can be legitimate if it fits the categories of Romans and elsewhere. It’s just mistaken about what makes it legitimate.
Next, legitimate authority has limits under the overarching authority of God. It’s a hierarchy, and men aren’t at the top by a longshot.
Now of course, secular people won’t believe in any of this. But does that matter?
@Ken’s weird burst of word salad is a refreshing change of pace.
Anyway, I doubt that very many in the modern American mainstream would really tell you that the consent of the governed is of any consequence at all.
In our modern civic religion, the state is legitimate by definition, or by sincere inability to comprehend the question, or by crimestop, or some damn thing like that. It’s not exactly a philosophical position. It’s more of a simple peasant faith, often aggravated by the progressive’s bizarre sacralization of managerialism and top down control. That’s sacralization in the religious sense, not the thing with the vertebrae.
If you’ve read Heinlein’s “Orphans of the Sky”, recall the protagonist’s vertiginous first attempt to imagine the existence of something outside the Ship.
But even Back when “consent of the governed” was widely held to mean something, in practical terms, governance was largely a matter of getting them to consent to what they were told.
What happened to zippy?
Moved to Frisco and became a pinhead then moved back to his birthplace, Dingburg, Maryland (17 mi. west of Baltimore).
What is your opinion of George Washington?
Maybe take a look at the whiskey rebellion. This is why you pay taxes.
For the rest you just joined the rank of the sovereign citizen. The group who is considered the most dangerous in the USA and which is responsible for the majority of cops murder.
Ken says, “invoking that as an argument is a sure way to undermine one’s credibility”, but this would be an impossible task for Dr. Briggs.
Good comment, Hoyos, but I doubt that Materialist insanity (lost contact with reality) would care much as it is antithetical to the superstitious “Humanist” ideology.
Following is an excerpt from something I wrote about the philosophical justification of a quiet rebellion that MW Briggs apparently did not think worthy of consideration.
I am well aware that the following is not geared to appeal to anyone with a reading age of 12 years old or less, or to anyone addicted to subliminal emotional responses such as are the target of most advertisers and slogan producers. Nor will it be acceptable, or comprehensible, to anyone committed to some recipe for personal success and advancement, or who is committed to a perverse ideology regarding the nature and purpose of human society.
It is, therefore, expected to be beyond the comprehension of a career politician or “journalist”.
The nature of civil authority (government) and treason
The premises of this discourse are:
that it is the nature of Man (humanity) to live in society;
a functional society requires order.
I will define civil order as an harmonious relationship of variables directed to a proper end; in this case, to benefit the members of a society that make up a Nation.
A great thinker, (Thomas Aquinas, C13) developing the written down cogitations of Aristotle and his antecedents, proposed that: “civil law is an edict, based on reason, promulgated by he (or the instrument) that is charged with the care of the community for the good of the community”. (Let the unspeakable hubris of those who pretend that everything more than 50 years old is superseded by “new insights” argue with that).
He and I are proposing that a “civil authority” has no reasonable justification for its existence other than the preservation of order for the “good of the community” (i.e. the commonwealth of the people). As such it is part of the Natural Order of human life…
As is evident from history, not all Men are disposed to a voluntary order based on a desire for the common good for all; that is, that some seek their own advantage and aggrandisement to the expense and detriment of others. Therefore, a civil authority, for the maintenance of order and the prosperity of the society, must have some coercive or compulsive powers to protect the society from the depredations of malicious elements, domestic and foreign. That is a civil justice system. All good so far.
Contemporarily, treason is defined to suit tyrants and despots as: “A crime that undermines the offender’s government”. Without any reference to the nature and purpose of “government” it implies that any despotic regime with instruments to impose itself is a “legitimate government”, and that any opposition to it is treason.
According to the definition of (civil) law above, the whole purpose of government is to preserve order for the commonwealth of the people. However, if the civil authority imposes “laws” to protect itself from “the community” and/or to subject the commonwealth to its own occult ambitions and by aiding and abetting foreign interests (like secret societies, supranational corporations, banks) and other ideological instruments of economic and cultural depredation that is an act of tyranny, and it is against the commonwealth, which is an act of treason.
In that case, resistance or rebellion against a tyrannical perversion of the nature and purpose of “government” (for the good of the community) could not be “treason” but is an act of patriotism against “high level” traitors.
Resistance and rebellion is not anarchy
It is apparent that anarchy is no kind of “new, improved” order. In fact, historically and contemporarily, anarchy is produced by hostile and mercenary brigands in political, judicial, educational and “enforcement” positions who subvert right order for their own ambition, avarice, or covert ideology. That often leads to a kind of desperation amongst ordinary people (who just want to get on with their ordinary business) to accept another despotism in the hope that some kind of benevolent order be restored. Enslavement is a kind of order but not that of the Natural Order described by The Philosopher, above. /quote
@oldavid, no I don’t imagine they would care but then why are we consulting them?
As time goes on I view Ancap libertarianism as more and more insane. It’s one idea gone mad combining an insane cynicism with insane confidence. Decent administration is possible because it happened and human beings are not atomistic individuals with no prologue. Taxation isn’t theft it’s rent. “The government doesn’t own the country!” Sure it does, and if it didn’t, HOW WOULD YOU KNOW? The landlord has overstepped his bounds, sure, but past a certain point ones own birth is a violation of the non aggression principle. We have a tremendous number of decently governed examples, let’s get there first before we privatize the military and hope mercenaries don’t act like mercenaries.
Plus to whom it may concern, this is clearly satire, Briggs is not a sovereign citizen. He’s exaggerating to make a point
@oldavid, no I don’t imagine they would care but then why are we consulting them? [/quote]
Who is the “we” that are consulting them? I thought that we were deriding them.
Whether or not the “government” can “own” anything and rent it out is a whole nother argument… and not without very compelling arguments in the negative.
We now live in a mostly humor-free age. It’s hard for people to tell.
@oldavid, I apologize, what I wrote was ambiguous but wasn’t really directed against you. I was speaking more generally, “we” as a society do consult with people about freedom and governance whose ideas about both are insane.
What happened to Zippy?
@Mar: According to CAEI, Zippy was killed in a bicycling accident: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2018/09/some-bad-news.html
This was my first source for the news.
Thanks, Arkanabar T’verrick Ilarsadin. What a shame.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may the perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen