John Q has an amazingly rosy view of government.
Like his wife Jane, he sees it as benevolent. Fallible, of course, yes, and corrupt occasionally; but basically kind-hearted and well-meaning. That is the image he's absorbed from its formidable PR apparatus; twelve years of influence by its school teachers, four more by professors in colleges it approves and largely finances, and then a lifetime of exposure to its licensed broadcasters and well cultivated newspapers. Of course he thinks well of it. Of course it takes a while to disabuse him, to de-program him from the "cult of the omnipotent state."
That's why the second segment of TOLFA addresses the key question of what government IS, in its essential nature. What influences everyone throughout childhood and adolescence is a picture, an image, a fiction; the Academy gets down to the reality, to an analysis of its actual function. This is consistent with the natural Law of Identity; a thing is what it is, not what it's painted to be: A is A.
Perhaps you've met him before, but a renewed acquaintance will do no harm. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon called himself an anarchist, but his prescriptions for the ills he found in the France of the 1840s do not compare well with the straightforward elimination of government promoted here. Nonetheless, his understanding of the problem (not his cure, which was a form of socialism in a country where Jacobin socialism had been a violent failure a mere half century earlier) is brilliant without equal, and is reproduced here in all its devastating power:-
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
"To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.
"It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored.
"That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."
I know of no other short indictment of the institution of government more accurate, more passionate. It ought to be inscribed, carved in the marble, of every wall in every government building, and never will be. Probably its most astonishing feature is that although written 180 years ago in a foreign country, it precisely describes what the US government is and does right now, today. Proudhon managed to perceive the universal, timeless attributes of government.
Take his first paragraph; those monstrous intrusions into personal privacy and liberty are done, he says, by "creatures" lacking the right, the wisdom and the virtue to do them. Well, of course they lack them. They have no right, because all rights are endowed by nature and derive from the self-ownership right; so nobody has any right to snoop on his neighbor or to appoint anyone else to do it for him. This is the fundamental flaw in Thomas Paine's apologia for government: that man tends to evil, and so needs someone to call him to just account. But where are those "someones" to come from? - the very same, allegedly tainted pool of persons. Proudhon: they have no right, they have no wisdom, they have no virtue. Happily, there is a public awareness arising that is increasingly reluctant to place "virtue" and "politician" in the same sentence.
Take his second paragraph; at every transaction government notes us, registers, counts, taxes us and so on. It's a brilliant picture of bureaucrats at "work". They do nothing useful or marketable, but they ride and monitor what productive people do, slowing them down and charging for the service. It is amazing that Proudhon could see this taking place in 1840 France; the oversight must have involved a vast number of watchers, with their notebooks and dip-nib pens. How much easier, faster and more devastating it is today, with every transaction monitored and supervised electronically. Every use of a plastic card creates a trail for government to follow, to tax and to check whether it obeys its rules. Telephones were unknown to Proudhon, and emails would have stretched his imagination; but every such communication is now watched by the Five Eyes. Billions and billions of them, as Carl Sagan might have said.
Take his third paragraph; notice the hoax and pretext underlying government! Covered by the charade of usefulness and even the fiction of necessity, what it actually does is to extort, repress, and punish resisters. Proudhon's hammer-blows of all the synonyms is, again, a magnificent use of language and a devastating indictment.
Then his final line is, to my mind, the most devastating of all: sweep away the cant, the pretense of nobility, and see exposed in all its ugliness: that is its justice, its morality; he saw government in all its naked, repulsive hypocrisy.
That is the disgusting disfigurement of humanity which we wish to eliminate, and we have the means at hand in the TOLFA method. It costs virtually nothing. It takes very little time. It burdens each with very little work or skill requirement. It involves no conventions, no rallies, no motivational meetings, and of course! no politicking whatsoever. It is impervious to hostile action, being completely decentralized. It will undermine the State in a way that will remove its ability to respond before it even realizes there is a need to respond. If you're not already on board, today is not too late.