This is the second in a series on how to make ourselves and our communities ungovernable. This time, we’ll focus on increasing the cost of enforcement of laws. We often tell ourselves that, once the state is smashed, it will be too expensive to re-establish it. But that’s only true if we make it so. Humanity began without governments. Will things be different this time? That depends on us. And we can start today making laws difficult to enforce.
- Smash the Panopticon. The abstruse French philosopher Michel Foucault had many insightful observations about the ways we enforce cultural norms. In Discipline and Punish, he compared our societies to a medieval prison concept called the Panopticon. Briefly, in the Panopticon a central authority, unseen but all-seeing, monitors prisoner behavior from a central location. It is fear of the presence of authority, more than an actual display of authority, that keeps prisoners in line. In Foucault’s conception we, as members of a modern society, have become our own jailers as we police our own behavior and that of our neighbors. Even when police are not present, we are constrained by the suspicion that any of our fellow citizens may be, or become, an informant. In this way, minimal actual enforcement is required to control a large population. Don’t be that snitch. Make it clear to neighbors and friends that you see the difference between immoral and illegal and that you won’t do the state’s bidding for them.
- “Do you accept bitcoin?” By now, we all know how opaque bitcoin is not. But the bigger the ledger, the harder it is for law enforcement to trace a bitcoin address to it’s owner. There are lots of ways to earn and spend bitcoin. Earn bitcoin for odd jobs on XBTFreelancer or for programming help on codementor.io. Sell your stuff on bitify or openbazaar. Get paid to be part of someones mechanical Turk on 21.co. Then surf to gyft.com to use your bitcoin to buy gifts cards to Uber, Amazon, HomeDepot and more. But the best way to spread the gospel of bitcoin is to say to everyone–your nanny, your Uber driver, your roofing contractor, your maitre d’–those 4 magical words: “Do you accept bitcoin?”
- Do legal stuff in shady ways. The more time police spend investigating things that are not crimes, the less they can spend tracking down things that shouldn’t be crimes. This is related to blurring the lines. Get yourself on some watchlists. Encrypted communication platforms like Signal, protonmail and TOR are a good start.
- Troll the 5-0. Here’s the part where I deny we had this conversation. I’m not a lawyer and am not advocating breaking any laws <wink>. However, the more time police spend chasing down bogus information, the less time they’ll have to harass your black neighbor and/or shoot your dog. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has an online tip form www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form. If someone were to write a script that sends fake tips to that line, and install that script to run periodically on hundreds or thousands of computers, that would be super unfortunate. Definitely do not do that. Also, when you sign up for things online and don’t want to give your phone number to robocallers, please do NOT use the ICE tip line which may or may not be (866) 347-2423.
The consent of the governed is increasingly critical to the modern state. The gentle, stateless revolution moves forward as we demonstrate that we know who the enemy is and we will not go quietly.