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Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough

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Numerous Internet news sources and commentaries have carried an increased number of reports for many months about various group in-person protests and email/petition actions in the US (and elsewhere) in regard to high government taxes and/or various regulations.

I contend that public complaining and even protesting in public is of little real meaning unless those protesting withdraw their sanction/approval from and usage of the things that government does, all paid for by taxes or from borrowed money with principal and interest then repaid from taxes. A brief list of recommendations:

1. Do not make use of "government services" that can be obtained privately;
2. Initiate/support cooperative efforts that replace "government services";
3. Do not work for or do business with governments of any form in any capacity;
4. Preferentially associate with those who do not work for governments - positive social preferencing;
5. Do not voluntarily associate with those who continue to work for government despite being encouraged not to do so - negative social preferencing;

Last but not least and actually primary to the preceding,
6. Practice self-responsibility and encourage the same by all others, especially children and young people.

It is clear that a better society is the desire of most, if not all, of the activists against high government taxes and choice-limiting regulations. However, it needs to be understood that the withdrawal of sanction and the practice of self-responsibility are both necessary for any real changes in human society which will benefit each member all at the same time. I find myself very often reminded of nonviolent power theoretician Gene Sharp's reference to "the most vulnerable characteristic of all hierarchical institutions and governments: dependence on the governed." (Gene Sharp interview in March 2007 Progressive Magazine)

Governments exist because the majority of people are not self-responsible; they have not matured to full psychological and social adulthood despite having physically matured into biological adults. Encouraging dependency rather than self-responsibility is the practice of those who seek to attain or retain positions of authority backed by the legalized initiation of force - this being the effective description of any government.


To the degree that an individual looks to others to solve his/her (hir) problems, s/he is not self-responsible. This does not mean that a person must be totally self-reliant in order to be self-responsible. A self-responsible person will consult with others, especially in areas where hir own knowledge is limited, but s/he will make the decisions and take responsibility for the consequences and the incurred costs. To do otherwise is to be dependent on the decision-maker and cost-payer, who are most often the same. Such a dependent state is natural for a child, but it is not the optimum arrangement for adult humans.

No one can know you and what will maximize your lifetime happiness (the purpose of each person's life, whether or not s/he recognizes it) better than you. Your very best friend - likely your spouse or domestic partner - will know you better than anyone else, but even s/he will not know you as well as you know yourself. The ability to communicate one's own thoughts and emotions to another are limited, even when one is well aware of them by introspection. Humans have not yet achieved the capability of the "Vulcan Mind-Meld".

Despite the impossibility of complete knowledge of everyone by everyone else, those in government continue to claim that they can and should make rules and regulations that limit the available actions of all within their jurisdiction (and often far beyond it, especially in the case of the US). In decades and centuries past, there was some figment of logic in having the clan elder, tribal wisemen, town "fathers", etc make many types of decisions for all those in the clan, tribe, town, etc. The tasks of and related to hunting and gathering in order to feed those in the earliest societies took the majority of time of all those beyond young childhood and survival of the individual depended on association with others. Those who had survived longest had the most experience and consequently the most knowledge for surviving - and prospering - in that environment. Practices that promoted the wellbeing (or appeared to do so) of those in the group were remembered by the older members and were passed down to the young. It is likely that those who were too old to continue be good hunters or gatherers - or maybe individuals who were never very proficient at the basic tasks - maintained their value to others by being the repositories of much of the knowledge necessary for survival. In such a society, decisions on when and where the group would move to find new sources of food likely were made by the senior most individual(s); divisions of groups also likely occurred when a fair number of individuals (enough to sustain another group) no longer agreed with the decisions .

Through the thousands of years since those earliest of human societies, the amount of information that forms the body of knowledge available to humans about reality - and surviving and prospering in it - has expanded immensely. Up until a few generations ago, access to such information was limited only to those with sufficient time to study the books and papers in libraries; such individuals were ones supported by the Church or the Monarch, and later also by wealth accumulated from their own previous, or an ancestor's, efforts. It was common for those who spent the majority of the hours of each day "making a living" to defer to those who had "more schooling" for what was best to do in all areas outside of one's limited work knowledge/experience. Even with the increasing availability of all manner of written material since printing presses came into common usage, the majority of people still accepted the idea that "others" knew best about the vast majority of what constitutes all aspects of an individual's life. The US "Founding Fathers", those who created the various mechanisms and the documents describing them as an alternative to the governing format of England and other European countries from where they or their recent ancestors had come, were generally men who had acquired knowledge that included philosophical ideas of the past - not the topics of discussion for the general man and woman. The typical individual, though, always knew what social atmosphere made it easier or more difficult to perform the tasks for not merely surviving, but highly prospering. Enormous numbers sought those locations, where social arrangements enabled more available actions towards improving their lives by means of their own efforts, without the imposition of restrictions opposing that desire.

Representative government was viewed by likely the majority of those in the 18th century American colonies as an improvement over the dictates of a distant monarch, even with the counsel of Parliament. Having some say regarding the regulations of a society was an improvement over none at all, even if it was through the person of someone else chosen by those allowed to cast a ballot. And the person selected in those early days was typically a man of experience, if not actual book learning, and therefore assessed by those voting as capable and responsible at "looking out for" the general welfare - and "general welfare" is what the US Constitution states as one of its purposes and lists as the reason (beyond common defense) for the power to tax given to Congress. What a Pandora's Box the concept of "promote the general Welfare" has proven to be!

Just two generations ago, when those who are grandparents today were young children, most communication in the US was done in-person or via letters sent in the mails; phone calls were short and usually local. Information was obtained from books, with the guidance of parents and teachers, often including a prized set of encyclopedia volumes. News and commentary were the realm of newspapers and magazines, with the addition of radio broadcasts and movie shorts of special or unusual events; television was still so new that many did not even have a set. Despite what may seem like deficiencies to many now, more quantity of information was available and the speed with which it was transmitted was greater than at any time previously. Being informed about current and past events and on what was currently being and had been written and spoken throughout the country (and the world) was available to anyone who was really interested in knowing.

Today (2009), electronic access to countless sources of information (many not even available 40 years ago) and rapid lengthy communication with virtually anyone else can be had by the vast majority of those in the industrialized areas of the world and much of what is still on the road to "development". It is a rare person (adult and child) in the US who does not have access to, if not actually own, hir own computer; many have computer features in their cellular phones. For an individual in the US (and much of the world) these days to be informed on everything that happens currently or in the past and on ideas published by anyone currently or in the past is now mostly a matter of interest/desire/time rather than purely technical and/or cost availability.

So the questions can and should be asked, "Why does the individual still need to be ruled by others? Is there not a better way now to achieve social order than by some centralized governing body to which an individual can, at best, only have an effect if part of a majority casting votes for a particular candidate/bond/referendum in a particular election?"

The nature of human beings does not automatically lead to the conclusion that individuals must be ruled by others in order that there be orderly interactions between them. Society, just like any other natural system can be naturally self-regulating by means of interactions between its members, if only humans seek to discover and are allowed to implement the methods by which such self-regulation can be effective, rather than continuing to embrace social systems that need to be constantly held in an unnatural (and very unoptimal) state of balance by the operations of their rulers and other influencers. Individual self-order without rule by others is the social system whose members are fully adult (particularly meaning self-responsible) humans. Just as people can become physical adults, so can they become psychological and social adults - if only they are allowed (and even required in the sense that they will not achieve their desires unless they do) to socially mature sufficiently.

Understanding the social interaction methodology by which more individuals would progress to become fully socially mature adults requires a paradigm shift in thinking about human interactions. I invite - and even challenge - those who seek a society of individuals interacting to mutual benefit (or are maybe only curious at this point) to read "Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Human Interaction" and then review the twin frameworks of the Natural Social Contract and Social Preferencing, both of which flow from that basis.

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http://selfsip.org

I am a professional life-extensionist and liberty promoter who practices what I and husband, Paul Wakfer, encourage. More detail about both of us - philosophically and physically - at http://morelife.org/personal/ When the comment time period has closed at OpEdNews.com, readers are welcome (more...)
 

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Your anti-government rant is fatuous. Are you the ... by JonmarkP on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 3:14:47 PM
You just don't know nuthin' bout nuthin...and that... by William Whitten on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 7:34:57 PM
...for your informative, insightful and well-reaso... by JonmarkP on Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 3:30:00 PM
Hi JonmarkP, Your argument begins by mention of ... by Max Peto on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 10:27:58 PM
A good substantive comment as your very first! ;&g... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 11:56:00 PM
While I thank you for taking the time to make a co... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 11:05:42 PM
I'm always amused at people that convince themselv... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 5:25:34 AM
Some good quotes, Darren, and to sources that demo... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 4:26:48 PM
It just doesn't matter much what we think, do,... by Matthew Peters on Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 6:43:17 PM
You have a good point Matthew, in that it is very ... by Max Peto on Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 8:26:59 PM
I definitely understand your frustration, Matthew,... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 12:08:24 AM
Kitty, you present a very interesting and rational... by roy lutz on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 2:07:52 PM
"be as smart as [me]", as you put it. F... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:28:36 PM
I'm not sure I'm worth the time you spent respondi... by roy lutz on Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:01:54 AM
>> I'm not sure I'm worth the time y... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 12:19:23 AM
A substantive discussion thread has developed, fol... by Kitty Antonik Wakfer on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 11:39:30 AM