There’s an old story about an Emperor who was swindled into buying a new outfit. The Emperor “dressed” in his “new clothes” and began a procession through town.
“Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.
“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.
“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”
“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.
The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.”
Even after being told the truth that he was naked, the Emperor pretended to be clothed. There are many good people that do the same thing. They pretend to ignore reality, hoping what they think will become reality.
One example is the people that don’t vote because they see voting as “consenting to the system” when the reality is the system will exist whether they vote or not.
Wendy McElroy writes, “(Lysander) Spooner explains why voting cannot collectively bind “the people” or even a particular individual to the Constitution. A rough listing of the points in his argument is as follows:
- The act of voting can bind only those who vote.
- Most people do not vote in any given election; many people never vote. Therefore, they have not consented.
- To be binding, a vote must be “perfectly voluntary” yet a “very large number” vote in self-defense.
- Taxation is compulsory and many vote only to prevent their money from being used against them.
- Votes for unsuccessful candidates cannot be binding.
- A secret vote provides no legal evidence by which to bind any particular voter to the Constitution.
- Of voting Spooner concludes, “So far, therefore, as voting is concerned, the Constitution, legally speaking, has no supporters at all”.”
I refuse to acknowledge governmental authority to make or enforce laws regarding mandatory seatbelt use, though the reality is I’ve been cited on three separate occasions for this victimless “crime.”
I’m sympathetic to and support the peaceful anarchists that advocate working outside the system to achieve maximum freedom. However, some of those same people refuse to acknowledge the reality that the system continues to exist.
I will continue to support peaceful people practicing civil disobedience, however, I ask that anyone who does, be aware of the consequences of your actions. Though you (and I) refuse to acknowledge the authority of the government to pass such laws, the reality is they will continue to enforce them against us.