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Using the State for Fun and Profit

Plinky the Elder

The government is not our friend. Sure, it may pretend to be our friend, but it is a two-faced skunk that will rip you off when your back is turned. But like a skunk, it isn't absolutely worthless. Skunks eat smaller vermin such as mice and insects. However, we must look a little harder to find good uses for the government.

Profit as a vendor

If you are unfortunate enough to have to deal with a government as a client, you can turn this around and make it a little less unpleasant. Needless to say, you must be careful or you'll find yourself looking for alternate employment or worse. This is one of the most obvious ways to take advantage of the state, but also among the easiest at which to get caught. But if you keep your wits about you and act cautiously, you can render unto Caesar the same way Caesar's been rendering unto you.

One of the first things that comes to mind is "subjective billing". That's right, padding the bill. Some folks might think padding the bill to be immoral, and that's a decision you'll have to make if you're presented with this opportunity. I don't see it as any more immoral than a kid taking his own bike back from the neighborhood bully. Chances are you'll never get the opportunity to take back more than they've stolen from you.

Along similar lines is "liberating" supplies and materials. Just don't get too greedy. A lot of high-dollar items have serial numbers and may be difficult to return to the free economy. And whatever you do, don't rip off the personal belongings of the employees, regardless of how slothful you deem them to be. The folks who work at these places, while often unmotivated or misguided, are attempting to engage to market their skills to a willing buyer.

As a vehicle for propagating memes

You can use the government to help you in disseminating pro-freedom memes. Most of these methods aren't exactly legal, so use your best judgment. If you are looking for some memes, check out this Freedom First! site.

FRN fun:
Print pro-freedom messages on the government's fiat currency. You can use the Inkjet printer method advocated by Alan Greenpants, or you can just use your trusty "Deadly Assault Pen" to write one of your own. Some folks have been known to have rubber stamps made so they can imprint "GUN OWNER$" or something similar on the backs of Federal Reserve Notes. Just don't go overboard and get caught with a whole wallet full of modified bills.

Booklets and Forms:
Government forms and booklets can be an excellent place to put pro-liberty fliers or just witty observations about government foibles. Putting such messages into tax booklets will almost guarantee an agreeable reader.

Library books:
You can put also put fliers in library books. It's important to keep in mind who your target audience is when selecting a message and book to carry the message. The person reading Oprah's latest choice probably isn't going to be too freedom oriented, so use a message that will whack them with the old clue-by-four. On the other hand, you may want a subtle message suggesting some form of activism in Human Action or The Machinery of Freedom.

If you have some pro-liberty books that have made the rounds with your friends already, consider donating them to the library. Yeah, I know, it's helping out the state. But you can use it as free advertising for your favorite pro-freedom group, like say... Liberty Round Table. Print up a big ad and glue it into the inside cover. It's the only way some important books are ever going to get placed before the reading public. I don't see my local library buying Unintended Consequences or Send in the Waco Killers, but they'll probably accept them as a donation. If your library has an electronic card catalog, you can also have the satisfaction of seeing your book getting checked out and read.

Court houses:
Court houses are also a great place for disseminating memes. I can think of no better place to post Fully Informed Jury Association literature. You can even make up your own "Get out of Jury Duty for Free" kits that informs potential jurors that they'll probably be dismissed if they let it be known that they have a duty to try the law in addition to the defendant. It's also a good place to unload your old Liberty and Reason magazines for folks who didn't bring their own reading material. Word of warning: Some judges and prosecutors may view this activity as jury tampering.

The mails:
You can send pro-liberty postcards very inexpensively. However, you are largely limited to mostly anti-freedom audiences since you'll be doing this postage due. Just write a meme on an anonymous postcard and use a one-cent stamp.

Surprising uses for supplies

Well, not that surprising. But you can get some useful supplies from the government with minimal risk.

Large stacks of government forms (get them at the post office) can be used as packing material or can even be rolled up into fireplace fuel. A nice tall stack of thick booklets makes a wonderful pellet gun backstop.

Aside from their obvious use as trendy decor, road signs have other uses such as excellent plinking targets, cookie sheets, etc. Just don't take any signs that will cause dangerous traffic conditions to exist.

For some reason the government likes to put up a lot of fences to keep people off supposedly public land. But with a pair of bolt cutters, some stealth, and a little elbow grease, your yard can have some high quality chain link fence. But the same warning as with the signs: don't remove any fence that is there for safety reasons.

Many pro-freedom gurus advise that you keep your cache of freedom supplies on public land. After all, if the government seizes your house, you're probably not going to have a chance to dig up them cached rifles and gold that you put in the backyard. Loompanics has a whole section of its catalog devoted to hiding things.

This is my favorite use for the state. If you live in an area where you are charged for how much trash you produce, why not put the state at your "disposal"? The government has plenty of places where you can drop off junk: highway rest stops, bus shelters, government offices, military reservations, the list goes on and on...

Even if you don't have to directly pay for the amount of trash you produce, there are other ways the government tries to get your money, chiefly through "environmental impact" fees for automotive items that are most often recycled anyway. Instead of paying the garage some government-mandated disposal fee to get rid of your old tires or oil, why not drop it off at the front door of your local friendly government office.

Use common sense

Once again I have to emphasize: use some common sense if you're going to try out some of these suggestions. Don't take any insane risks, like piling up huge piles of garbage at the front door of your police station. But if you can exercise some degree of caution, you can get back a little back from the state, even if it is only the satisfaction of turning the apparatus of the state against itself in some small way.

Use your imagination and have fun!

(c) 2000


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