Chris Hedges Says It’s Time to Disrupt the System

While it doesn’t go as far as advocating war tax resistance, this methodical, thorough, Daily Kos post may spontaneously generate such seditious ideas in the minds of antimilitarist progressives.

If that doesn’t do it, maybe this commentary by Chris Hedges will do the trick. Overly apocalyptic, even by my pessimistic standards, it nonetheless will resonate with concerned folks of a leftish bent. Excerpt:

We have a choice. We can refuse to be either a victim or an executioner. We have the moral capacity to say no, to refuse to cooperate. Any boycott or demonstration, any occupation or sit-in, any strike, any act of obstruction or sabotage, any refusal to pay taxes, any fast, any popular movement and any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority.

Hedges vowed to stop paying his war taxes back in .

The Mennonite Central Committee has established a “turning toward peace” fund especially designed for people who want to redirect their tax dollars from the government to more constructive projects.

Since , MCC and its Global Family Program have provided more than $7 million in humanitarian and educational assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Through Global Family sponsors, five schools and nearly 6,000 Afghan children have directly benefited from peace and environmental education programs. Children also receive school kits, computers and other educational supplies.

From the Schenectady Gazette:

59 Refuse to Pay Taxes for War Support

Saying that they find it “impossible to support the war in Korea, or any other war,” 29 men and 30 women announced their refusal to pay income taxes, and called upon all who share their feelings to join them. They released the following statement through the Tax Refusal Committee of Peacemakers, a national pacifist movement with headquarters in New York city.

“Feeling that war must inevitably come unless something drastic is done by individuals to show their unwillingness to go along with war-making policies of their governments, we the undersigned state hereby that we are not going to pay our federal taxes due . For some of us this means that we will not pay that percentage which corresponds to the nation’s outlay for militarism; for others of us it means we will not pay even the first cent for the maintenance of a government whose main business is preparation for annihilation.

“We are particularly concerned at this time about the situation in Korea, where a civil struggle has been provoked and aggravated by two power-states to the point where it is already a major war — one which may be the spark that will set the world afire. We find it impossible to support policies and activities of this kind with our allegiance or with our money. We must, therefore, refuse to give money for such purposes of conquest and massacre, and must give it instead to causes which build understanding and world community.

“To our fellow citizens who may feel that this action singles out our nation for opposition we say we are unalterably opposed to militarism in all nations. It is always the first duty for citizens to attempt to reform their own governments: thus we begin with the United States. We hope that our country will change its policy and take the lead in establishing peace in the earth; we believe she should do right regardless of what others do. And we believe that her doing right will encourage other nations to do the same.

“We are certain that the only real hope lies in the abandonment of violence and in the practice of brotherhood among all peoples of the world. We invite all who share our feelings to join us now in refusing to pay taxes for war as one clear-cut and unmistakable expression of our desire for peace and brotherhood.”

The Tax Refusal Committee, whose chairman is the Rev. Ernest R. Bromley, Sharonville, Ohio, stated that refusal to pay taxes to governments, or to certain functions of governments, is an “honored action in the history of several countries, including India and the United States.”

A news report on the same group said that Bromley and “about 50 others” planned to resist their taxes that year, though Bromley himself said that his tax resistance group had “several hundred” members. “It is patterned,” he said, “after the Gandhi movement, with the emphasis on the individual changing rather than getting other people to do something.”