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What Happens If We Stop Complying?
Have you ever wondered?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if people just refused to continue going along with at least some of the silly laws our governments impose on us? What if one day the people of a city, or even a state, decided to stand up and just say “no” to whatever silly or unconstituional rules that the powers-that-be deemed to be appropriate to force us into?
In the liberty movement, terms “noncompliance” or “civil disobendience” are commonplace. But how often do these conversations move from the hypothetical to reality?
Unfortunately, it does not happen frequently enough. This is due to several reasons, but the first is fear; we are simply too afraid of the consequences that could arise if we were to defy the edicts given by our all-knowing leaders to dictate to us from on high. They fear being arrested or otherwise punished for daring to step outside of what these people allow.
One of the other reasons is that we have been programmed to just go along with whatever authority demands. Indeed, we tend to automatically assume that certain rules should be followed “just because” without bothering to question. If we were to take a step back and consider the laws we routinely follow, we might discover that most are silly while others are downright insidious.
In an example of the former, Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee in the 2020 election, Spike Cohen posted a tweet a few days after the New Year that featured footage of people in Hawaii setting off fireworks to usher in 2023.
“Fireworks are illegal in Hawaii, which meant nothing, because the people didn’t comply,” Cohen wrote. “If enough of us refuse to participate in our subjugation, it becomes impossible to enforce, and it ends.”
This sentiment is the impetus behind the current movement among liberty-focused folks to focus on taking over as many local governments as possible while leading a cultural crusade to win more hearts and minds over to the notion that freedom from the state is something worth fighting for.
At the end of the day, we are not going to convince everyone. The hard reality is that many do not wish to be free. Many want to be governed and told what to do — and there is no way to change their mind.
But the encouraging reality is that we do not need to persuade everyone. We need only to convince enough people to create a tipping point in communities across the nation to bring about the liberty revolution we wish to see.
In Hawaii, most residents likely did not purchase and set off fireworks. But enough people were willing to take this risk and the state’s government was unable to lift a finger to do anything about it; there were far too many people to arrest or cite, so they had to stand down.
Of course, there are other ways to beat back the excesses of federal and state entities seeking to impose more laws dictating how we live our lives. Nullification is one such strategy, which is why it is so important to get the right people elected at the local level. Once they have the power, they can use it to target the government instead of everyday people. They can refuse to go along with the agenda set in the White House and governor’s mansion.
But at the root of this endeavor must be an obstinate willingness to refuse to comply. This stance must persist over the long-term regardless of how difficult it becomes. Otherwise, the state needs only to bide its time as we sullenly return to once again give up our liberty for an illusory security.
This is one of several issues I will discuss in my upcoming book “Chasing Liberty: A Journey from Partisan Politics to the Fight for Freedom.”
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