So you may have heard that the Supreme Court ruled that Congress is within its rights to tell universities that if they accept any federal government money they have to let the military come on to campus to try to recruit their students — even if this conflicts with nondiscrimination policies the university enforces against all other corporate recruiters.
The solution to this is as obvious as it is unlikely — wean yourselves from the Capitol teat, universities! Extreme, yes, but not without precedent.
Ultimately, it’s just as vital that we stop accepting stolen money from the government as it is that we stop letting them steal our money.
When the government gives money or privilege, the recipients in return help to empower that government — whether they want to or not. The government, by selectively rewarding some and withholding rewards from others not only rewards compliant behavior directly, but also gives additional power and prestige to those who behave as the government wants and to those who by their actions provide a role model for submissive behavior. The privilege or money granted is only the government’s to give because the government denies it to or steals it from someone else.
It might seem that taking money or license from the government is a good thing, or at worst a neutral thing, but because it has these side effects it’s the kind of gift horse that needs a full dental check-up.
When Gandhi was commander-in-chief of the Indian independence movement, his campaign of non-cooperation included tax resistance and other forms of civil disobedience, but he not only instructed his nonviolent army to resist taxes, wear untaxed domestic cloth, break the British salt monopoly by harvesting salt, and so forth — he also told them to resign their government posts, renounce any government-awarded titles or authority, take their children out of government schools, not ask for protection from the government’s law or courts, and stop voting or running for office. He explained why:
This is the way of non-co-operation, or peaceful severing of relations. That is, that we should neither seek help from the Government nor offer it any help. How can we part company with it? First we should renounce titles. For us now to hold titles is a sin. Next we should give up the courts. The dispensing of justice should lie in our own hands. The courts strengthen the roots of the Government. Lawyers should give up their practice. If it is possible for them they should, after giving up legal practice, serve the country. Even if they cannot serve the country the giving up of legal practice would be by itself sufficient service. They should take up other trades. Parents should withdraw their children from schools and universities. Boys who have reached the age of 16 should be treated as friends and advised to withdraw. They should be told not to continue their studies in these institutions. They should be told to go to school at institutions where they can remain free. We should not go for education to a place where the Government’s flag flies.
The Congress has also said that we should not go into the Councils. The election to the Councils will take place on . It is the day when we shall be tested. First we should persuade the candidates to withdraw. If they do not give in, it will be the duty of voters to remain at home and not to cast their votes. We should go on pleading with the candidates till the night of . We should fall at their feet and beseech them not to stand for the Councils. If they do not come round but persist in going into the Councils it will be your duty to refuse all help and do no work for them. Again, soldiering is a sin. You should not get recruited as soldiers, but it is your duty to become soldiers of freedom.
…With great humility I ask you: What have you done? Have you withdrawn your boys from schools and colleges? If your boy is grown up have you made him aware of his duty? Have you given him your blessing in this matter? If you have not done this, why are you gathered here? It is the duty of boys to leave schools and to convince their elders. Have you decided not to vote? Have you taken the swadeshi vow? These questions concern everyone. Government recruitment should stop. We should take our litigation to our elders and seek justice. This will put an end to the “prestige” of the Government. The Government will at the same time realize that its hundred thousand whites can no longer rule over three hundred million people. So long the Government has carried on its rule over us by making us quarrel among ourselves, by offering us enticements and by giving and taking help.…