I finally got my hands on a copy of Claire Wolfe’s inspiring book The Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook. It’s subtitled “179 things to do ’til the revolution.” I’m happy to report that my experiment here on The Picket Line makes the list as Thing #29:
“Let them march all they want, so long as they continue to pay their taxes.” &qdash;Gen. Alexander Haig, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan.
…I look at that quote from Alexander Haig, and it says 10,000 times what I could say. As long as we obey and pay, our masters don’t give a flying Philadelphia you-know-what about any of our worthless little opinions. And that goes double for our quaint little petitions, letters, and pleas in public forums.
No. If you don’t like what government does, you’ve got to stop supporting what government does.… ¶ The most sure and certain way to break the system is to refuse to be the system. If enough refuse to give their cooperation, the system falls. But even if you stand alone, you can live more easily with your own conscience if you do what you know to be right.…
29. An experiment in legal non-payment of taxes (but really much more than that)
, Dave Gross went on strike. He quit his job, lowered his income to a level at which he shouldn’t have to pay any income taxes — and began detailing the entire experiment on his Web site (http://www.sniggle.net/Experiment/) as a guide for others. His is a safe but adamant form of tax resistance — and he’s discovered that not only are there fewer problems than he anticipated, there are surprising lifestyle blessings, as well.
Tax resistance isn’t merely tax resistance. It’s about the moral and ethical choices we make every day when we accept individual responsibility for freedom. It’s about putting our beliefs into action in our everyday lives, rather than sitting snug in ivory towers, making up philosophies we never bother to apply.
Even if you have no intention of resisting taxes, but face other dilemmas trying to live free in a world where freedom’s outlawed, Dave offers insights.
I also manage to claim Thing #132 for the monkeywrenching techniques and examples I’ve cataloged at sniggle.net.
Some days I feel a little foolish making all this noise, yelling into the vast abyss that is the internet, spending so much time and effort on things that most people seemingly couldn’t be bothered to pass up a chance to see another picture of Paris Hilton with her shirt off for. Today is not one of those days.