Once you accept that you are not sovereign, governments can do whatever they want.
They don’t play by any rules. But they force you to follow them. Some governments do this by blunt force. Other governments do it by controlling the media narrative. Still, others twist the law to fit their purposes and appear legitimate. Most use a combination of tactics to keep people compliant.
In America, governments and corporations like to pretend there is some sort of objective law. They spend time in legislatures and courts determining what will pass as legal and what will not. But it is basically just a silly dance. They are trying different combinations to unlock the “do whatever the hell they want” box.
Certain dance moves are preferred by the populace, whose are easily entranced. Money to pay lawyers and lobbyists helps to sell the government as legitimate. And political connections help too. But for the everyday citizen or small business owner, the deck is stacked against you.
For instance, the Constitution is pretty clear about citizens being allowed to own guns, as well as run businesses. Supposedly laws must be applied evenly.
But San Francisco wants to ban gun stores. They can’t just go and ban gun stores. They have to be clever.
So they think up an ordinance. Somehow local laws can stomp all over people’s property rights–citizens have accepted that. They make a local code that says gun stores cannot operate with 500 feet of a school, liquor store, bar, or residential district.
They have performed a dance that San Franciscans accept. It seems to make sense–guns don’t seem to mix well with alcohol, or children.
Yet now, all San Francisco has to do is make sure one of those things occurs at least every 1,000 feet, and they have effectively banned gun stores.
They can make anything they want a residential district. There is probably already a bar or liquor store every 1,000 feet. And an appeals court just upheld the ban, saying the second amendment does not guarantee gun store owners have the right to locate anywhere they wish.
Do any of us have a right to locate anywhere we wish? Or must everything be approved of by the government? Couldn’t this argument also be used for gun owners? Or for that matter, couldn’t this argument be used for any of our rights?
The arbitrariness of laws is what gives rise to corruption and discrimination. This is the same philosophy that allows certain corporations to get special subsidies and tax breaks. This is the underlying logic behind government enforced racial segregation.
If the government gets to slice up the population and decide who will get to exercise what rights and where, then there are no rights. If the government can arbitrarily make special rules for segments of society, then there is no objective rule of law.
So private property doesn’t really exist, does it? Local governments can restrict what you can do with the land, and require permits if you want to move a pebble. And then they charge you yearly rent they call property taxes.
If we accept that they have this control over us, what’s the use of complaining about this particular law or that particular law? It is all based on whims, and our preferences just relate to what is best for us. The corporations’ and politicians’ preferences relate to what is best for them.
Guess whose benefit is going to win?
Rejecting any authority over our lives pre-empts the idea that we can be arbitrarily controlled by this little ordinance or that little code. Those “little things” are what open the door to an unequal society. It is what allows governments to put in the fix for corporations and cronies.
That being said, it is easy enough to move out of San Francisco and choose a better place. The real problem comes when rules are enforced on such a large scale that there is hardly any alternatives to choose from.
So why continue the dance? Why make San Francisco go to court to defend their terrible ordinances? Why not just let local jurisdictions do what they want to do?
If people see a benefit to living in such close quarters, and voluntarily decide to submit to a local government, so be it. I would prefer to let cities and towns be as draconian as they wish if it meant not allowing a bigger government to come down in support of them.
When it comes to living in such close quarters, there are obviously going to be more rules in order to prevent clashes. A sovereign individual could accept that, and voluntarily suppress some of his own interests for whatever benefit he sees in living there.
The option would always exist to go somewhere without other people, and therefore not have to compromise your way of life. This too would have benefits and detriments a sovereign individual could weigh.
People who think and act sovereign will allow the real innovation to occur. Their lives are experiments in how to be free, and not accept arbitrary and unlimited authority from above. And the best part is, they are already operating, testing limits, and trying new styles of living.
Tell me in the comments how sovereign you think it is possible to be in this day and age.