18A017 Two Possible Futures by Jim Davies, 4/24/2018    


The first will happen if you do nothing, and the second will happen if you and I take action as below.

Great events and changes in society have always taken place because, some time previously, someone did something. At the time, he or she may not have foreseen the consequences of his action, though he may have done; but always, there is a cause of an effect. So today, we have a choice. We can affect the future.

The do-nothing option is grim: freedom will shrink, government will get worse. There is no reason I'm aware of to expect anything better. Always, over time, governments everywhere became more grasping, more controlling, more oppressive. Sometimes and in some places that process has been very rapid (eg Germany, 1933-45) but more often it has been slower (eg America, 1781-2018.) But there has never been a government that decided to cast off its own powers and increase personal freedoms. All history, therefore, tells us that the do-nothing option will make things harder for our children and theirs. There is no avoiding this; it's the nature of government to increase the reach of its rule.

What particular form that increase will take is much harder to predict, but current trends may give some indication. I think it very likely for example that government's grip on money will tighten rather soon. Money is the key to so much else; the golden rule of governing is that he who has the gold, rules. Cash - media of exchange partly or wholly outside government control - is its greatest enemy, so we can expect the war on cash to intensify. Already, non-government exchange media like Bitcoin have drawn bloodthirsty threats from government junkies - like executing crypto exchangers. Already, such exchangers must obey government decrees about their trade and open their books to its snoops.

Sweden is widely regarded as a kind of test-bed for new techniques of rulership, because Swedes happen to be so compliant, so respectful of authority. I visited, not long ago, and had occasion to pay a significant bill - for which, unusually, the merchant did not accept plastic. So I took my credit cards to the most prestigious bank in town, and asked for a cash advance. The banker told me such transactions were no longer possible and that his branch kept cash for withdrawals (of any kind!) on only two days a week!

The aim is clear: for every purchase to be electronic, and therefore trackable... and taxable. Plastic is very convenient, very often; but only if the choice of its use remains with the holder. When no other payment method is allowed, it becomes a major instrument of tyranny and control.

News from Doug Casey, whom I greatly respect, is that another form of control is being tried out in China: "Social Credits." Money is one way to get what one wants, and so long as it's earned by voluntary exchange, it rather accurately reflects the esteem in which one is held by others. But the Chinese government is launching this parallel measure. Favorable treatments (access to the best seats, trains, airlines, housing...) is being made contingent on how well one conforms to rules and shows oneself to be a good, obedient, patriotic citizen! It's rather like Brownie points for grown-ups. Tax resisters and other dissidents will, for example, go to the back of the line for all manner of goodies. No matter how much money they offer.

Those are two possible ways government will get worse. There's an unlimited number of others. Every legislature does nothing other than to craft and enact laws, and every law diminishes liberty. It's their sole occupation. It will continue until the day they disappear; and they will not volunteer to vanish.

So to the second type of future, and how to bring it about. It is that government will rapidly shrink and vanish; not, for sure, of its own accord but because it has no option. Governments rely on acceptance of their rule by the great majority of subjects (expressed in democracies by votes, for one archist candidate or another) and to some extent on payments from them - though, as above, in the last hundred years or so its grip on money has become such that this dependency is not acute. However they still do totally depend on their employees. Without grunts to carry out and enforce their orders, there is no way that governments can survive. Indeed, its employees constitute government; take them away, and nothing at all remains. That set of people is the ruling class, literally.

Hence the only thing needed, to end the existence of the state, is to persuade everyone not to work for government. When all its employees have walked off the job and nobody is willing to replace them, the task is over. A free society will then result.

Notice, the task is not just to persuade all government workers to quit (that would be hard enough!) but also to persuade everyone else not to take their places. In fact, my Transition to Liberty visualizes the process and expects that government workers will as a class be the last to accept the persuasion - for they have an obvious interest in resisting.

As always, this persuasion must be done one by one. Therefore, some central school or college will never do the job - it's too big by far, and any central facility would be hopelessly vulnerable while young. Such freedom schools have an honorable history - Robert LeFevre's in Colorado took students in small numbers and gave a thorough grounding, and among his graduates were the Koch brothers. What a huge influence they have had, ever since! But with a quarter of a billion Americans to re-educate, a different approach is needed and the only answer I have seen is that of exponential expansion.

That idea is by no means new; a form of it was used by the early Christian church, for example, when its adherents grew from a dozen or so to about 5 million, the largest religion in the Roman Empire, during three centuries - a growth rate of about 40% per decade. By being simpler and more systematic (each anarchist brings just one of his or her friends to an interactive school of freedom every year) the expansion rate will be 100% a year.

One of the fun times in the 28 years (or so) that the process is taking is, as described in Transition, the way that the rump of the population (government workers) will be won over, mostly towards the end of the period. At its beginning, of the ~200 friends that everyone has, only one or two in a year will be at a time in life when to take a close look at ideas of freedom seems to make sense. We ask the rest again, in about a year's time, but another "no, thanks" doesn't much matter. Plenty of fish. But at the end of the period, every participant will have a shortage of unconverted friends to invite, with the result that any one of them will get invited by several freedom-school graduates! - eventually, even several per day! The peer pressure on them will be huge, and will come at a time when they see their colleagues quitting in droves and the value of their paychecks, plunging.

The needed tools are already in place; if you're not taking part already, please begin now.


What the coming free society
will probably be like
How freedom
was lost
How it is being
The go-to site for an
overview of a free society
Freedom's prerequisite:
Nothing more is needed
Nothing less will do

What every bureaucrat needs to know
Have them check TinyURL.com/QuitGov

How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff

2016 book tells the sad story and shows that government is even more evil than was supposed