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Opening the Cage

By Larken Rose  Posted by Rajiv Bhushan (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Message Rajiv Bhushan

If one accepts the fundamental truth that each of us owns himself, and ponders all the things which logically follow from that simple concept, the way the world looks suddenly changes drastically. Concepts like "government," "law," "authority," "countries," and so on, fall apart like a house of cards. Because that scares the heck out of people, however, many go to great lengths to DENY that they own themselves. The ramifications are just too weird, and too scary, for most people to even think about.

Here is just one example:

I own me. Imagine that the me I own is standing ten feet south of the border between Montana and Canada, looking at the nifty scenery. While I stand there, some people way over in Washington think they have the RIGHT to rule me: to impose taxes, regulations, commands, requirements, prohibitions, and so on, which (they think) I am obligated to obey. But I own me, and they don't, so I have exactly ZERO obligation to obey any of their proclamations and legislation.

(I do, however, have an obligation to refrain from doing anything which would impinge upon someone ELSE'S self-ownership, such as robbing, defrauding, murdering, vandalizing, assaulting, and so on. But that obligation does not come from any "legislation," nor could any "law" or "rule" alter that obligation one bit.)

Now, if I step over that imaginary line, into Canada, then a DIFFERENT set of megalomaniacs imagine themselves to have the right to tax me, regulate me, command me, control me, and so on. (In fact, they also think they have the right to prohibit me from stepping over the line in the first place.) Their claim is equally
bogus: I own me no matter where I am. What I am obligated to do doesn't depend one bit upon who thinks they have the right to rule me. None of them do.

That being the case, what is the significance of that border to me? What difference is there between one "country" and the next, if I actually own myself? Yes, what might HAPPEN to me in different places will be different (many foreign megalomaniacs are a lot more overtly vicious to the noncompliant than the ones here), and what the people there will think, and how they will behave, will be different, but what I am OBLIGATED to do, and obligated to REFRAIN from doing, doesn't change one bit.

Some people have asked me, without borders, how could we have a country? I gave them the disturbing answer: we shouldn't have a country. No one should. (Please don't be so silly as to read that as an agreement with the "New World Order" fascists.) Today, "countries" are defined solely by WHICH group of megalomaniacs claim the right to rule a certain piece of dirt. Sure, cultures and places are real, and I can see feeling a loyalty or attachment to that. But imaginary lines drawn by people who believe they own me? Why on earth should I care about that?

When I walk from the place in Montana, to the place that looks exactly the same in Canada, what did I leave behind? Why should I feel any differently? What actually changed? Did morality CHANGE, because a different set of tyrants claim to be in charge here? Unless you think that politicians outrank nature, the universe, or God (or whatever you believe to be the origin of right and wrong), the "law" cannot possibly ALTER morality. If I still own me, what difference does a "border" make?

Again, people often go flying off to all sorts of tangents when faced with these concepts. They start pontificating about what we need, what works for society, all the nasty things that will happen if we don't all bow to an authority, and so on. But again, I'm just talking about what IS. If I own myself--and I do--what possible
meaning can "countries" have to me? I might like a group of people, or a place, or a culture, but that is NOT what a "country" is. (I bet everyone on this list can think of a LOT of places in the U.S., and a LOT of people in the U.S., who they feel no attachment to and no comradery with.)

The path to accepting freedom is really disturbing to almost everyone (it sure was to me), which is why most people desperately fish for an excuse for NOT going down that path. "THERE WOULD BE CHAOS! WE NEED GOVERNMENT! DEATH, MAYHEM, ANARCHY!" But no such dire predictions or emotional tantrums can alter the painfully simple logic involved: either I own me, or I am the property of someone else. And if I simply accept that I own me, the world looks like a VERY different place.

The feeling is exactly like that of an animal that has been in a small cage all its life, suddenly being shown a vast expanse of open wilderness (like Montana, for example). Unfortunately, most caged animals, when they catch a glimpse of freedom, cower into the back corner of their cage, and snarl and whimper until the door is
shut again.

How about you?

Once again, let's peek out the open door of the "authority" cage, and see what there is to see out in the world of "I own me." It's drastically different from how the world looks from inside the locked cage. "Countries" are but one concept that falls apart once we accept that we own ourselves.

In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass (former slave) described how a lot of slaves back in those days were completely convinced that slaves are what they SHOULD be. Many, if not most, would even look down upon any slave who would be so despicable as to try to run away. To the radical like Mr. Douglass, however, who realized that no amount of whips, chains, or cages could change the fact that he rightfully owned HIMSELF, the world looked drastically difference. To him, the supposed "owner" was the enemy--an evil thief committing both assault and theft on a daily basis.

The world looks very different depending upon one's ideas about who he belonged to: himself or someone else. In hindsight, most of us look back at that time and sympathize with the lawless, disobedient "slaves" who were willing to break the LAW in order to assert their rights to be free. But most people refuse to accept the same principle as it applies today.

It was not too many years ago that, when I heard the term "law enforcement," it had a positive connotation for me. The cops were the good guys, enforcing "the law" against those nasty criminals (defined as anyone who disobeys the "law"). However, now that I realize that I own myself, and that the same is true of every other individual, "police" appear to me as what they really are: people who commit evil far more often than they commit good. I'm not talking about when they break the law, which happens often, too -- I'm talking about when they enforce an immoral, unjustified "law," which is MOST of the time. The number of "laws" which simply formalize the use of inherently justified defensive force (such as "laws" against theft, murder, assault, etc.) are far outnumbered by the so-called "laws" which ADVOCATE theft, murder, and assault.

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