A legal rumination on Citizen Sovereignty

July 31, 2014 at 6:39 pm (Politics) (, , , , )

Now, some of you may be a little leery of taking the opinion of somebody who is evidently worse than a pedophile, a destroyer of families who steals a million and a half homes a year without due process. Because apparently, that’s what I am for taking a job with as a state accountant, making sure that people’s tax dollars end up where they’re supposed to, that people get credit for following the law, that nobody conveniently misplaces a few billion in sales tax receipts, and that people can have some confidence in the financial reports that they read when making decisions about whether or not to invest in a state, or if the government is doing a good job being a steward for their tax dollars. It’s not the first time I’ve had to defend my employment, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Though it is the first time I’ve been told that I’m worse than a child rapist. Somebody who actually does destroy lives and families. Somebody responsible for trauma that may never heal. I was completely unaware that I was doing so much harm by preparing and distributing monthly revenue reports so that people know the government isn’t bankrupt.

However, in case Certain Individuals thought that applying such a label to me would get me to go off in a huff and be offended, or to forego any pretext of polite, civilized, intelligent conversation, I’m going to go ahead and pay attention to the meat of the message I was sent that called me such.

You see, in case you’re not following the emails where I was told all of this (or are reading this at my blog, https://dttaboos.wordpress.com), I’ve been having a fascinating debate with somebody who has come to typify what I’m used to from the Sovereign Citizen movement in general. Somehow, this started with a discussion of whether or not gay marriage was an abomination and utter perversion of the very concept of marriage that no sane society could countenance, and ended with a 30 page primer on how the Declaration of Independence is the de facto supreme law of the land, and that therefore the government can enforce no law that the individual does not consent to, because people are all granted the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness under the Declaration.

First off, may I first express my profound gratitude that the original poster apparently has decided to agree with me that gay marriage should be permitted! After all, we are all granted the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, res ipsa loquitur, gay marriage must be permitted to avoid denying people their unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

Lexicon iuris novi uti etiam, Jerry.

Now, let’s take a look at this foundational view of the law. Let’s disregard the fact that the Declaration of Independence is less a codification of law than a statement of intent. Let’s disregard that it was never really voted on or consented to by all the people. Let’s disregard that it was never really meant to be anything more than a flat-out statement that King George could mount upon himself and why. Let’s just take a look at its incredible power in the form of legal guidance, which brings us to another bit of Latin, just because I was given 30 pages with numerous Latin quotes to work my way through in the course of getting to this point.

Tres sunt constantes in mundo est. Scientia enim est opus in mortem. Rex cives, et ipsum oligarchs et opus erat. Nemo umquam exigi consequuntur intentionem.

What this means is… well, kind of my family motto. There are three constants in this universe. Science is working on death. Sovereign citizens and corporate oligarchs are working on taxes. But nobody will ever get rid of unintended consequences. (Latini, ne his interpretationibus trucidare. Ego sum ​​hominem dirum qui, Google Translate.)

The Sovereign Citizen school of thought works under the idea that, because it is the first legal document in the United States (I know, it was written before the United States were… well… united, but let’s disregard that too), it is the first, most supreme, dominating, unalterable law of the land. That it establishes unalienable legal rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Rights that cannot be denied without our individual consent. According to my legal references at Wikipedia, this is described as Declarationism.

The problem is that this particular school of thought is fraught with the aforementioned unintended consequences.

You see, under this school of thought… there is no law. There can be no law. Laws are established by governments. Governments are, as the particular individual I was debating with is quick to state, legal fictions. They are not imbued with unalienable rights by their Creator, but with legal rights established by the mere mortals who craft them. They are not people. In this, I agree with the movement, but we rapidly diverge from there. They maintain that, as legal fictions, they cannot establish laws that would abrogate the unalienable rights of the individual.

Those unalienable rights preclude any law.

They are so broadly stated that nothing can be precluded. You cannot punish an individual with death or imprisonment. More importantly, law inherently restricts freedom and keeps them from doing whatever they please; the very concept flies in the face of the pursuit of happiness. Citizen sovereignty, coupled with this Declarationist school of legal thought, is nothing more than a justification of anarchy. And not merely natural anarchy, arguing that because of our inherent freedoms we can do as we please, but egotist anarchy, arguing that because there is no legal means of punishment, our rights are as we are capable of enforcing by our own force.

What is there to stop the pedophile that I am apparently worse than from victimizing children? An armed parent. What is to stop that armed parent from double-tapping Weird Uncle Charlie because he’s convinced that Charlie’s responsible for the molestation? Weird Uncle Charlie having somebody or something to protect him. What’s to stop Weird Aunt Ethyl from enacting price for her husband’s death, kidnapping the child and sacrificing him under the new moon to her Imaginary Friend in the Sky of Choice? Nothing, except for the armed parent again (unless, of course, they had a pre-existing contract that both entered into consensually allowing murder in the event of the child’s molestation – THAT would be an ironclad defense against human sacrifice!)

Let’s expand this out to the broader scale. After all, the society in general probably objects to child raping. There’s no such thing as a social contract under the Sovereign Citizen school of thought, but there is such a thing as lynch mobs, often equally effective in deterring activity that would normally be considered criminal!

What’s to stop the lynch mob from going out and taking out anybody they don’t like? Maybe somebody who didn’t have a truly American experience growing up? Somebody who doesn’t worship the same Creator they do? Somebody who doesn’t agree that Star Trek is better than Star Wars?

Well, of course, you’d need overwhelming force to protect yourself from something like that. But overwhelming force costs money.

Actually… if you *have* overwhelming force, maybe you should go out and make sure everybody knows? Use a little bit of it, if necessary, just to show you mean business. Why, really, they should be thanking you. Your overwhelming capacity to project force, that very expensive capacity, is protecting them! It’s keeping other people from coming in and murdering and raping and otherwise acting like an extra in The Purge! You’re not throwing them off of the land that, by all obvious rights, should be yours if you want it!

They owe you.

Of course, it helps if you have a few buddies with still-formidable firepower of their own to help you enforce your rights. You can give them some of the land that you clearly have the unalienable right to conquer, in exchange for their helping you make sure that those rights are protected. They can be your lieutenants, keeping an eye on the mercs you hire to make sure nobody gets in the way of your spending time pursuing happiness.

Hmm. Does this sound familiar to anybody? I mean, it’s an obviously futile system, but I just can’t quite remember the word for this.. futile… social… system…..

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(All thanks to http://brucealmighty.edublogs.org/)

Thank you, Sovereign Citizens. In your efforts to escape the tyranny of democratic republics, you’ve removed the need for divine right to take us back to the dark ages.

But don’t take my word for it!

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So. If believing we shouldn’t go back to an era when he who had the most guns had the unquestioned and unquestionable last word on anything that wasn’t said by somebody with more guns makes me worse than a pedophile?

At least I’m not shitting on the Founding Fathers and twisting their words to justify my right to destroy everything they and the other soldiers of the Revolution fought and died for.

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