Citizen… a word much used and abused. I suspect few people understand the classic meaning of the term. Far too many people who write about the current state of affairs in the world, even most of those who profess to want individual liberty, demonstrate poor understanding of it.
So, here it is:
1. a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection (distinguished from alien ).
2. an inhabitant of a city or town, especially one entitled to its privileges or franchises.
If you are a “citizen,” you belong to the government of the territory where you live and work. You “owe” them both obedience and whatever part of your life or property they decide to take from you. Generally speaking, you have little or no recourse. If you refuse to surrender your freedom or property long enough, they will see to it you spend your life in a cage… or are killed.
And no, you can’t “vote” to change any of that. You and your neighbors might be able to influence one of the rulers, or vote to tinker with the amounts and peripheral provisions of the government dictates, but you will never be offered an opportunity to opt out, to say “no thanks,” and retain both your freedom and property by agreeing not to ask for or obtain any of their supposed “privileges or franchises.”
In other words, actual freedom – being left alone to trade or associate as you please, etc., as long as you do not harm others – is simply not an option anywhere.
Every human being is born with full authority over their own body and life. Parents are the natural guardians of this authority until the individual is able or willing to exercise it for him/herself. We may get into a long discussion over when that point is reached, but a review of a teen’s usual transition from child to adult is informative.
The fact that many do not exercise good judgment – then or afterwards – does nothing to negate the fact that they own their lives. Those who refuse to accept personal responsibility for their actions and choices are ideal “citizens,” because the state pretends to dictate the terms of life, and offer both “safety” and reward for obedience. And, all too often, sets things up so that the individual can be punished for disobedience at the same time they are relieved of any personal responsibility. How neat is that?
So, both the “citizen” and the one who rejects all aspects of citizenship are punished, with prejudice and vigor, for select failures to obey, and many are actually enabled, even encouraged, to harm those around them. The only real crime, it seems, is disobedience to the state without the special status being granted.
So, where does government obtain the authority to wield the power to accomplish all this? From those who are willing to be “citizens” and believe that government, religious leaders or anyone else has any legitimate authority to control their lives and property against their will.
Sounds an awful like plain old slavery to me.
I am not a willing “citizen” of any territory or political entity. I own my body and my life, and am the only one responsible for that life and my safety. I want neither protection nor benefits from any non-voluntary government and reject all claims they make to my life or property. And yes, I am ultimately forced to comply (not agree) to many of these things at the point of a gun.
I only want to be left alone to live in voluntary association, cooperation and mutual aid with my neighbors.
What about you? Do you still want to be a “citizen?”