On The Rights of Man, the Freemen, and Libertarians

I’ve a lot of time for the Freemen, and increasingly less and less time for Libertarians. This post was brought to you in part, by the letter A, the number 42, the very public spat between the commentariat at the Libertarian Alliance blog and Captain Ranty (found here at their place and here at his place) and this thread at Samizdata. Actually it was the thread at Samidata that riled me the most.

I shouldn’t have a dog in this fight, I’m not a freeman, or in lawful rebellion and I am also not a libertarian (big OR little l), I am an Anarcho-Capitalist and very comfortable there. Really, however, all the four (five?) things I just mentioned should have more in common than we have different, and we all should be facing the same arguments with the people we meet in our daily lives. It’s just that for some reason the libertarian backwaters of the internet just lately seem to be full of snide remark and barely-concealed contempt for the freemen, who after all are walking their talk and putting themselves in jeopardy for their rights which is something that really should garner a fair deal of respect, not sideways-glancing remarks about ‘showing us up’ and alluding to their mental health with mealy mouthed quotes from Greek myth.

We are governed supposedly by consent, whether this is given implicitly or explicitly. This is supposedly the justification for everything our government does for (to) us, all the money it taxes (steals) from us to pay for it all, and so on. But what happens if you don’t consent? Do you just have to put up with it because everybody else consents? The libertarian commenters I have been reading would seem to say so, which is surprising given that it comes from the sort of people who sometimes append ‘individualist’ to their self-descriptions. Furthermore, even if a minority don’t consent, then claims to government by consent can only be mostly true, by definition. What happens when one withdraws or, more accurately, states that they have never given their consent and furthermore refuses to pay for it all at all is the experiment that the Freemen and Lawful Rebels are carrying out. They are choosing to use ancient laws and treaties and constitutional arguments to do it, but basically that is what they are doing, snide comments about using legal mumbo-jumbo to get out of paying their council tax nonwithstanding. They are giving voice to their non-consent and refusing to play the game any longer. Bravo.

And it is a game, a game of charades. If you cannot withdraw your consent then you cannot really be said to have given your consent at all. If you do not consent but keep quiet and pay up because you are afraid of the consequences then you are cowed into submission, not consenting. In reality, there IS no government by consent, and therefore in reality we are living in a dictatorship, regardless of the existence or not of concentration camps, secret policemen, political prisoners or any of the other trappings of state power- it is a question of magnitude.

The libertarians, especially those commenters at the LA thread, seem to think that this is just fine, or perhaps get too carried away with whether Magna Carta is repealed or not, or whether the version ratified by parliament is the definitive version or whether the version signed in 1215 counts forever, or other endless circles of argument and counter-argument to actually consider this reality. This is perhaps because, as statists (a question of magnitude again) libertarians believe that such a thing should exist and therefore by extension that it should have the ability to fund itself by confiscation of wealth from those people unfortunate to live under it and so on and so forth. All arguments I have seen from libertarians against Freemen accept this premise and argue whether Freemen are legally or lawfully correct in what they are doing (i.e. staying within the state’s frame) without considering whether one group of people (the state) have the right to demand that another group of people (everybody else) give them money, allow them onto their land and so on. It should be patently obvious to everyone, but especially to libertarians, that one group of people absolutely does NOT have the right to demand these things from another group of people regardless of what the two groups call themselves. If someone comes onto your land without your permission then he is a trespasser whether another man in a wig has said he can or not, and if a man in an office rifles through your wage packet then he is a simple thief.

People choosing to stand up to trespassers and thieves earn my respect, whichever means they choose to use to do so.

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12 responses to “On The Rights of Man, the Freemen, and Libertarians

  1. I think you misunderstand the beef with Freemen. It’s not that they’re “taking a stand”; it’s that they are using a completely incomprehensible interpretation of the legal system, using the most pathetic linguistic tricks imaginable, and claiming that it is *as a matter of fact* the correct interpretation of English law. They are using this pseudo-legal nonsense for questionable purposes, and this is what people are concerned about. It’s nothing to do with “standing up” to anyone; it’s about putting a potentially dangerous set of nonsensical ideas in its place.

  2. WHOOPS

    Thank you, I feel that your post is the most honest perspective of the freeman/Lawful Rebel view of how to bring about the change so desperately needed.
    Freemen/Lawful Rebels are not trying to get away with anything, at all, they are trying to use Common Law as a defence against Statute law as they feel that Common Law offers them/everyone protection, whereas statutes only bind or fine. As you say they ‘are’ walking the walk rather than talking the talk as Libertarians seem endlessly to do without offering a way forward.
    Lets remember they are committed to peaceful Rebellion where possible but if the state insists in ignoring its own LAWS this may not last.

    Mr C/L
    Just because some one does not complete a course or gain a ‘Degree’ in LAW doesn’t mean they have no understanding of the LAW or may not comment on the LAW as many ‘would be’ lawyers and libertarians claim. As I understand things the Common Law, the ancient charters and the Constitution were created to defend the rights and Freedoms of ‘all’ the people of these islands, statutes especially over the past 100 years are created only to remove property and wealth from the people, to trample over their rights and force them to be governed by an unelected foreign power.
    I’ve no doubt you will put me right when you have gained the Law Degree.

  3. I do have a law degree. So what? I’m also studying for a Master’s. Again, so what? You’re avoiding the point: The freemen never put any actual evidence for their claims forward. By moaning about *my* legal credentials, you’re pushing the burden away from yourselves; the ones making the claim. And I think it says something this has happened in each of the three times (to date) I’ve asked for actual evidence; rather than being given it, I’m told “Well, you’re a lawyer, you can’t possibly understand the law”!

    So, I’ll try it again: Please provide legal sources- binding ones, of course- you claim these theories describe the law *as it is*- that support any of the controversial claims freemen on the land make.

  4. Mr C/L
    Excuse me, where did I say that you didn’t understand the Law?
    Not being a Freeman myself I do not make the claims you say I do.
    I do not believe anyone can call themselves a ‘Freeman’ any more precisely because of statute rules and regulations proclaimed in their thousands from on high by Westminster and Brussels.
    The freemen are looking for a way out from under the enormous burden of taxation, regulation and coercive force of the state.
    Is it not enough that men must pay and obey for local, national tax and rules, but must also fully comply with what an unelected foreign power demands of them, without recourse to remove those powers.
    Unless government is by consent then we are all F*cked. If we cannot remove consent because the LAW says so then the LAW is wrong. But being a lawyer and a libertarian you’d disagree.

  5. Great post whOOps. I don’t quite understand what Mr Civil Libertarian is trying to promote here? Is he suggesting we just turn in and give up?

    I am in Lawful Rebellion. Lawful because the alternative is violence. Rebellion because I don’t want Revolution. Rebellion is about fixing something that is broken. That’s all I want. I don’t really care whether some messy Constitution created by Lords and wordsmiths justifies it or not. The term sits well with me and I use it to describe my own activities.

    I do think MCL is extremely misguided about what we stand for and might want to actually talk to some people in Lawful Rebellion before making general presumptions. Most of us know there is a problem with the Constitution and how it has been draughted and bastardised. Few actually rely on it entirely. This isn’t the only tool in our toolbox. Far from it. For every ten free men or sovereigns or rebels (or whatever) I meet there are ten solutions to a problem. And we are getting better and more knowledgeable with each passing day. We are also getting more organised as a movement of individuals.

    I am NOT a Freeman. That corruption comes from the City of London and has masonic undertones. I AM however a free man (I quote from Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 1). I was born free and will defend my freedom to choose and to not answer to mad, self-appointed overlords….or their wordsmith lawyers.

    One problem with using the term “free” is that most people now can’t even explain it or understand the concept, they’ve been so indoctrinated and dumbed down. I look at the definition of ‘slave’ in any dictionary and simply want the opposite. “Free man” or “Not a Slave”. Same thing. People understand what a slave is and this is how I now present myself to folks that are new to our movement. We should perhaps call ourselves ‘anti-slavery’ as we may not be united in what we want but are united in what we are against.

    The current system is resembling more a Soviet state than ever before. People live in fear of arbitrary punishment for non-compliance. Uniforms and bureaucrats order us about and promise us arbitrary punishment for merely demanding the very Rights, Freedoms, Liberties, and Protections that are natural to these isles. Our ancestors gifted us all this good stuff and we seem to be allowing it all to be taken from us without a fight. We no longer have private property. The State has employed the most devious and dishonourable methods to strip us of any actual property ownership. Police “do their job” and don’t know about or care about ‘The Law’. ‘The Law’ is a disaster and few have any respect for it or its practitioners any more. Everything is corporatised. Everything! Even us mortals souls that stumble innocently into this open prison. Our consent is not ‘assumed’. It is not asked nor required. Free men consent. Consent is automatic for slaves.

    I know a lot of people in Lawful Rebellion and the bottom line is that we seem to generally have higher expectations in life than those around us. We don’t like being bullied and don’t like to see others being bullied. Most of us understand honour and are honourable. If we had honest government that did what it said on the tin and did it in a halfway competent, honourable and honest fashion I would probably settle for that – but its not. Its a complete shambles run by self-interest groups, psychopaths, and old boy networks. This current system has been completely corrupted to benefit the rich and the politically extreme. It doesn’t work for the rest of us. We are now nothing more than corporation assets. We’re not being treated like human beings. We are treated and traded as livestock. This is, in every sense, slavery. Slavery only ends when the poor, uneducated slaves say one day and in sufficient numbers, “ENOUGH!”.

    I think we are all aware now that we can’t beat a system when so many corrupt and corruptible individuals feed of the teat of that system. The cancer is too deep. Why, indeed, is it that one size gubmint should fit all? Why can’t we opt in and out to various programmes as suits us as intelligent individuals? Why do we have to meekly conform with the rest of the herd for fear of being punished and ostracised? Listen, I only have one chance at life. I have been incredibly lucky in getting that chance. Why chuck all that miracle of life away just because some dumb shit I’ve never even met tells me that I have to because “its the rules!”. Fuck ’em. Life’s too short and too precious to allow myself to be numbered, tagged, and told to obey and produce until I drop dead. And I am sure I represent the views of millions… I’d rather die free than live as a slave.

    Newsboycap is spot on in his analysis too.

    Its sad. I consider myself a Libertarian to a certain extent but this backbiting and bickering is turning me away from you guys. Libertarian, to me, means choice. Do you want to take away my choice to peacefully take a stand against corruption and criminality? Am I to be mocked and dictated to by the very guys I had hoped to get support from?

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

    Remember that…

  6. Well Bollixed, I am mostly in agreement with you, but only mostly….When one of the freemans cases is that he shouldn’t have to pay a speeding fine because he personally didn’t agree to the legislation, that is bollocks. When someone goes into court, plonks down a copy of their birth certificate and says that’s them, then THAT is bollocks too; why? because the obvious question for the judge to ask of the plonker is “Who the fuck are YOU then” and then it all falls down. I agree with the principles involved, but what is really needed is for one of these many and great Constitutional Law experts to stop giving out opinions (which, like arseholes, everyone has one, and they usually stink) and actually fight a case in public based on the issues, so we can ALL see what the issues are.

  7. Thanks RtB.

    I’ll leave the speeding charge (not a fine!) to someone else. I will say my experience is that it is often more about revenue gathering from a soft target group and less about safety. All of the free men and women I know drive carefully and safely. Maybe this was a chancer playing the ‘freeman’ card in the hope that he could pull a fast one (apologies for pun).

    BTW, did you know that your driving licence is NOT evidence of competence to drive? Its permission to act with power of attorney for DoT and whomever they serve while you operate their business (vehicle of commerce) on the premises (the road) that they allege to hold in Trust for the General Public (which is whatever they interpret that to mean as suits them). Therein lies a whole other story of deceit and corruption that you obviously don’t know about. I do. I’ve been working on this subject for some time and getting close to the answer. That’s what us “plonkers” do. Investigate. What do you think Vehicle Excise Duty is for? Where does it go? There is some easy homework for you to get you started.

    Re the birth cert. You cite one very flawed and out-dated example. The birth cert is not evidence of identity. It is evidence accepted in court ONLY of an event. I agree that these vids should be pulled from YouTube as misleading and dangerous. If someone doesn’t research or fact check and simply believes the first thing he reads then he is indeed a plonker.

    Re contempt of court. I have every contempt for commercial ‘courts’ as long as they have nothing but contempt for the rest of us. Proper criminal courts are a different matter as long as I am answering to a jury of my peers.

    What, I think, you are alluding to is people standing back from the fictitious corporate Person and demanding that they are recognised as natural men and women. Not that they want to ‘get away’ with something but that they are held accountable as free men and women (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 1) and will answer to their ‘criminal’ actions as men and women under Common Law and answerable to their peers – not the arbitrary corporate rules and regulations of UK PLC and its EU master. The Soviets loved statutes and regulations for exactly the same reason we despise them. In the right hands they are attractive. In the wrong hands they are the enforcement tool of a totalitarian state.

    The Law should be about protecting our freedoms and providing justice where a wrong has been occasioned. What we have now is exactly the opposite of that.

    By the way, I don’t go to court. When they say (I quote) “Who the fuck are YOU then”, I reply in writing “I have no idea, why don’t YOU tell me”. This silences the bureaucrats. Its such a huge fucking mess that even they don’t know and can’t prove anything. Courts shouldn’t act on presumption. They shouldn’t but they do. Bottom line. I am a free man by default. Anything else has to be proven. They created this mess so let them sort it out. Why should I play along just to make their miserable bureaucratic lives easier? They go out their way to make our lives as miserable as they can. Good fun too. πŸ™‚

    Lots more to this but I have to go do stuff. Try looking into it. I promise you’ll be surprised and might stop underestimating and attempting to ridicule what we do once you have a grasp of what we’re really about.

  8. Hi Bollixed,
    Plonker was used in the sense of ‘one who plonks’ as in the birth certificate, could perhaps have been better phrased…. I entirely agree about cameras being more about revenue than safety, especially with the way limits are so obviously contrived and arbitrary; a new dodge to cow the people is to tell them how much the prosecutions fees are likely to amount to should you lose, Β£700 was quoted at me last time. That with the licence is scary, how does that work? Having done the tests (plural as I have car, motorcycle and LGV) I surely passed what was a test of competence and said test(s) are shown on the licence. Surely that is all it can be, it does not make me a good citizen, a hard worker or even an honest man, only someone who has demonstrated a level of competence above a certain arbitrary standard.
    I DO know about VED, and it’s a scam. Brought in against very strong opposition and only accepted in the end as it was to be used ‘solely for the upkeep of the roads’. That lasted till about 1936 when MacMillan (?) decided it could be added to general revenue and robbed the fund, this has continued ever since. The great scam was to stop calling it road tax and make it VED. You tell me another duty that has a. Its own seperate collection department divorced from Revenue and Customs and b. Is payable every year instead of just once, at purchase. I hate the DVLA with a deep and abiding hatred.
    I also agree about ‘commercial’ courts, they seem more interested in money than any form of justice. I have had many rows with them regarding the idea of justice as opposed to ‘the law’ (speeding cameras, parking, you name it) and the idea that I am somehow answerable to every little tin hitler with a council ID card.
    You wrong me if you think I am trying to ridicule you, I admire the movement but some in it are their own worst enemies (those You Tube vids, for Gods sake get them pulled) I do however believe that you are on a hiding to nothing unless you can somehow get peoples attention, something to do with the iniquitous rates of tax and the stealthy robbing of the commons on any or no pretext; Income tax – a war measure, Inheritance tax – even the dead aren’t safe, Rates, Council Tax, VAT….it just never ends. These are the things people understand, money out under threat of punishment, sod all back. Get the Government or Courts wrong footed on this, you suddenly have something people can relate too; telling them they shouldn’t stand in the dock at court because that makes them agree to be a ship just makes them go ‘Wot’
    Regards

  9. Personally I had a lot of respect for Ranty and enjoyed reading his blog..up to the moment he took a few polite and genuine questions as a personal attack and went off in a hizzy fit swearing to never blog again. His fellow Lolfools then-apparently, as i haven’t read his blog since- decided that i must have been an Establishment Agent. These days if I want to understand something about the whole FOTL/LR ‘thang’ then I read Nomine’s blog who seems to understand that every question isn’t necessarily a stab in the back or personal affront.

    When a Lolfool walks down Cold Harbour Lane with a loaded firearm in one hand and his CoE Baptism Cert in the other then I’ll be impressed…and if he is found ‘not guilty’ by a court then I’ll admit that the real legal experts were all wrong to a man.

  10. I’ve got two CofE baptism certificates πŸ˜‰
    Bloody hell, this is what happens when you don’t check your emails for a few days, the whole shebang moves onto your blog and you don’t even notice!

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