“One must be honest to live outside the law” Bob Dylan.
One of my favorite freedom fighters, liberty thinkers and all around question “authority” types is Claire Wolfe. She has written numerous books on the subject of the ever-burgeoning state and how this current trend is in direct conflict with the intentions set forth by the founders of this nation. I encourage you to follow the link to read one of her most eloquent articles —FREEING YOUR INNER OUTLAW.
Another of my favorites sources for independent views on the news is Reason Magazine. Here, they offer their perspective on the matter of breaking unjust laws. It is great to know that Reason Magazine is celebrating its 45th year of publication. I applaud them for bringing, well, reason to the political arguments and social issues of the day.
Please understand that it is vitally important to know the distinction between the criminal and the outlaw…between a criminal act and something done outside the law. Within the lexicon of law there is a distinct difference between crimes that are understood to be inherently wrong and acts that are made criminal by legislation. The former are referred to as Mala in se — Wrongs in themselves; acts that are morally wrong; offenses against the conscience. Examples of laws that are “Mala in se” are fraud, murder, rape and robbery. In general these laws are widely accepted across virtually all cultures. They are deeply rooted in history and are often taught as part of long standing religious doctrine. Contrast this to the laws known as Mala prohibita — Prohibited wrongs or offenses; acts which are made offenses by positive laws, and prohibited as such. Acts or omissions which are made criminal by statute but which, of themselves are not criminal. Examples of these types of prohibited offenses might be, prohibitions against the use of cannabis, speeding, carry a concealed weapon, tax evasion, violation of building codes, operating a business without a license and many more. The list of these types of “crimes” is very long and has the potential to be endless depending on the whim of the lawmakers. It is not an overstatement to say that each day, everyone of us are in violation of some statute whether we know it or not.
In America we are currently witnessing the wholesale abrogation of the founding principles upon which our system of governance was based. I wrote about it in this post a few months ago. It is explicitly stated within the founding documents of this nation that all powers granted to the government are limited. Those limits are enumerated in both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Yet, in America today, we see an unbridled growth of government along with an utter disregard for the limits placed upon those actors charged with the duty of stewardship. Every member of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of this government is required to swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Many of these men and women, the so-called “leaders” of our nation, have regularly and repeatedly failed to honor that oath. Moreover, they have intentionally violated their oath as they set about enacting legislation that is nowhere to be found within the scope of their prescribed authority. This usurpation is often advocated by corporations that have an interest in nothing more than their own profit. The hierarchy that was set in place by the founding generation was based upon the concept of Natural Law.
We may consider it in the following structure:
God creates man.
Man created a Constitution.
Constitution created government.
Government creates laws that empower corporate entities.
In this hierarchy the creator is always greater than the creation. Subsequently, that which has been created is always beholden to the authority of its Creator. It is clear that this system of government provided for the people to be the master and those in government were to be the servants.
In its current incarnation the dysfunctional form that government has morphed into is a perverse upside-down equation that looks something like the following:
Corporations hold undo influence over the government — judges, legislators and the executive branch.
Government actors have disregarded the Constitutionally prescribed limits to their authority.
The Constitution is effectively void and legitimate authority is usurped.
The concept of a superior authority is nullified.
This is a form of corruption and did not happen overnight. It has been “a long train of abuses”. The culmination of decades upon decades of usurpation. There is a palpable tension across the America and I believe that we are near to a tipping point.
This long train of abuses is something that has brought into question the legitimacy of government at all levels. Another of my favorite freedom writers offers his take on the loss of legitimacy that the government of the United States now suffers. I encourage you to go read; “Losing the Mandate of Heaven“. The disorder we are currently witnessing on the politic and social landscape is ultimately the resulting chaos brought to bear by a distortion of the natural hierarchy.
Now comes the case of one Edward Snowden. In a nutshell, Snowden was an employee of the government and had access to what are believed to be “sensitive documents”. He released information to The Guardian newspaper of England that showed that various agencies of the United States government are effectively spying on everyone. He has been labeled with the nefarious moniker of “traitor” by the real traitors in congress and various other elements in government, including Obama. All the while, we are assured by many in government that “no one is listening to your phone calls.” and that this NSA program is “in full compliance with the law.” Ha!
I am reminded of a poignant comment from the great 19th Century philosopher and anarchist, Lysander Spooner “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
In a recent development, Snowden has been charged under the espionage act. If members of the esteemed legislative bodies in the U.S. were to honor their oath of office, they should rightfully be seeking to ensure that Snowden is protected under the Whistle-blower laws. After all, the motto of the National Whistle-blowers Center is “Honesty Without Fear”.
Based on the information I have read, I consider Edward Snowden to be a hero and a man of conscience. Edward Snowden is not a criminal. There is no indication that what he did was for personal gain or to betray any information that could compromise the security of the American people. He has put himself in great peril and made his life a literal hell. He is currently seeking to avoid extradition back to the U.S. and being aided by a number of other governments, Hong Kong with the blessing of China and Russia. There should be no doubt that the governments of the aforementioned countries are not known for their stellar support of issues related to individual liberty. Naturally, the same governments are making political hay of the situation in order to besmirch the government of the U.S. So be it. The hypocrisy coming out of Washington, D.C. is long overdue for a bit of international comeuppance. Snowden is seeking asylum in Ecuador and must go through channels that are outside the reach of the long arm of U.S. law. None of these countries have agreements with the U.S. as it relates to extradition.
Former Congressman and Presidential candidate, Ron Paul was spot on in a recent comment on the matter of Snowden and charges of espionage. Here is a quote from Dr. Paul:
In all of this news media frenzy about Snowden there is an important point that has been lost. The real issue is not about Snowden. THE REAL ISSUE IS THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS SNOOPING ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! Funny how no one in the media is talking about that, isn’t it?
Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, very much liked the saying that Benjamin Franklin conjured for the Great Seal of the United States. In fact he liked it so much that he chose to use it on his own personal seal. It said: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton
Voltaire said: “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”
George Orwell said: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ai Weiwei of China is someone I greatly admire. Here are two quotes that are attributed to him.
“For each person to earnestly cherish their rights is the essence of civil society.”
That sounds an awful lot like one of the Founding Fathers of America, doesn’t it?
“There is no outdoor sport greater than throwing stones at a dictatorship.”
Wow! How can you not love this guy? If this man is brave enough to standup to the Chinese one party regime, how can it be that we, in America are too timid to confront these statists who aspire to rule over us?
Here is a thought to ponder: Neither Socrates nor Jesus Christ ever wrote a single book, but both men have had countless books written about them and the influence their lives have had on many generations that followed. Neither of them were ever known to have used force to further their position. Both of these men spoke candidly about the nature of power and its corrupting influence. Subsequently, both were sentenced to death by the state.
To quote again from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous letter from a Birmingham Jail: “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
So, on this “Independence Day” I say it is time to “free you inner outlaw“! It is the very American thing to do.