Hope in Hawley

April 7th, 2013   Submitted by Alex R. Knight III

HawleyHawley, Massachusetts. A small little town in a rural New England area west of the Berkshires. A recent article run by the Associated Press, “Small Mass. Town Sees a Rash of Resignations,” stated that:

“Select Board member Tedd White resigned Thursday, the fourth official in the town of about 330 residents to step down since a March 12 special election to replace a selectman who died in office.

White said in his resignation letter he would rather ‘pound my thumbs with a hammer’ than attend ‘crooked, rigged’ board meetings.”

The short write-up goes on to say that:

“White said he cannot endure the ‘rudeness, disrespect, bias, and disregard for procedure’ of Board Chairman Phil Keenan.

The town clerk, town moderator and a member of the regional school committee have also resigned this month, saying they cannot work with the board.”

Let’s set aside for the moment that these resigning “officials” are, in all total likelihood, not adherents to Voluntaryist philosophy, and that, according to the AP article, 105 Hawley residents evidently signed a petition in support of Keenan. Let’s also place no particular significance on specificities of the brouhaha that led to these four former bureaucrats’ walking off the government job.

Henry David Thoreau most famously stated that, “When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.” No doubt, Thoreau, once a resident of Concord – not far at all from Hawley – would’ve been delighted by this development.

As am I.

This is what we Libertarian Voluntaryist Market Anarchists would like to see happening everywhere, en masse, no? Thus, I’m calling for an experiment.

Let’s reach out. The website, TownOfHawley.com is incomplete, poorly constructed, and contains no relevant e-mail addresses in any case (no surprise for a government endeavor). And while I do not like to encourage use of the state-monopolized (and duly failing) postal system, you might consider sending some friendly Voluntaryist outreach letters or postcards with website URLs, stickers, the aforementioned Thoreau quote, or other pro-Market Anarchist literature and materials to the legal fiction known as:

Town of Hawley
8 Pudding Hollow Road
Hawley, MA 01339

Explain in a positive manner that you read this column, or the AP article, and both admire and approve of the actions of these former town government employees – and would like to see their example followed by others. As well, you can make a brief phone call to:

(413) 339-5518

As with whatever you send by snail-mail (or private courier, should the less commendable though likely cheaper protectionist government alternative sear your conscience), don’t necessarily expect anyone to answer. But you can likely leave a short polite message in support of the four walkaways and perhaps with an appropriate Voluntaryist internet address to visit.

The beginning of my own letter reads as follows:

“Dear Town of Hawley, Massachusetts employees,

As you are likely aware, the Associated Press recently released an article carried by numerous regional and national publications, in which it was reported that four individuals formerly on your local government payroll resigned from their positions.

While the actual motivation for those resignations remains unclear from the standpoint of outside observation, I would like to commend all of them unilaterally for their decision, and warmly recommend one and all to the following Web addresses as an explanation for the favorable and optimistic view I take of these developments…”

I then include Daily Anarchist, Voluntaryist.com, an TheAnarchistAlternative.info bumper sticker, and one or two others. Recommendations of books to read, such as The Lysander Spooner Reader (himself a native of nearby Athol, Massachusetts), or the Tannehills’ The Market for Liberty might also be helpful.

It will be interesting to see if anyone does garner any favorable replies. I expect that, if enough people do participate (Keeniacs, wherefore art thou?), it may cause something of a local sensation. At any event, it cannot hurt our cause. I invite you to post your own letters to Hawley, Massachusetts below. I, for one, would also be just as eager to read these, as any responses that may be garnered thus.

And somewhere, I’d like to think, Henry David is smiling down on all of this with gleeful satisfaction.

 

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29 Responses to “Hope in Hawley”

  1. Excuse me if I missed something, but I don’t understand why an activist with endless options for possible activism would choose to act here.

    A few public officials resigned and we like seeing people resign because we don’t believe in political offices, but it’s not like other politicians haven’t resigned before. And it’s not like these politicians are resigning because they believe the government is doing something unjust. Rather, as you quoted:

    ““White said he cannot endure the ‘rudeness, disrespect, bias, and disregard for procedure’ of Board Chairman Phil Keenan.””

    So I don’t see what’s so special about this case that makes it especially attractive for activists to spend their time on.

    • Thomas McGovernNo Gravatar says:

      Re: “A small little town in a rural New England”

      I hope that you don’t consider this comment as “nitpicking.” Your writing is usually very good, but today you made a beginner mistake when you wrote “small little” in the first sentence. I don’t think that you intended to be redundant.

      Best regards,

      Tom

    • umaNo Gravatar says:

      indoctrinated zombie. this is not an ideological battle of left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is ethnic warfare against white people.

      Why are hostile globalist elite defending Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but ravaging white majority Europe/North America into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

      Why do gullible Whites kowtow to murderous Jewish/Crypto-Jewish bolshevik commissars, who butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars, confiscate White people’s guns, infiltrate & subvert our banks & spying agencies, indoctrinate White children in academia/mass media, & plunder White jobs, wages?

      East Asia is 99% yellow. Africa is 99% Black. West Asia is 99% Brown. But 3rd world colonizers are annihilating Whites, just as Chinese colonizers are annihilating Tibet. Genocidal Jewish Bolshevik terrorists slaughtered 100 million White European Christians from 1917-1991.

      “Native” Americans are not native. They invaded from East Asia. They slaughtered countless women/children. Muslims, Jews, China, India, Mayans, Africans all are guilty of slavery, genocide. From 1000BC till today, Whites were victims of Jewish, Turkic, Islamic, African imperialism, genocide, slavery.

      Gullible Whites should reject subversive Jewish ideologies – libertarianism, feminism, liberalism, socialism, & reject hostile slanders of racism, collectivism.

      Love to all humanity, but White people must unite & organize to defend & advance their families, their fertility, their interests, their homelands. Reading list:
      goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

      • Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

        So aside from that, the world is in good shape?

      • MAMNo Gravatar says:

        Who gives a fuck if in 100 years everyone is fucking brown. Grow up.

      • AK47No Gravatar says:

        @ uma,

        Go fuck yourself you racist piece of shit. No one on this site is going to fall for your collectivist/socialist race propaganda.

        • MAMNo Gravatar says:

          Mises utterly destroys racism as a “natural” idealogy of man on pages 167-168 of [i]Human Action[/i]

      • uma: If you think you are likely to gain adherence to your race-baiting philosophy here, you are in all total likelihood wasting your time. And I’m not wasting any more of my own responding to your nonsense.

  2. HReardenNo Gravatar says:

    Uh, those who resigned will be replaced. Likely the replacenents will not resign but even if they did they would be replaced by others also. Keep in mind that when when South Vietnam fell it was replaced by a state far more oppressive and thus it was not an event worth celebrating. I wonder if those who resigned will be taken to the Village and assigned numbers.

    $
    http://youtu.be/JzUCCl9YaBQ

  3. Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

    Due respect, but PeaveRequiresAnarchy and HReardon may have missed Alex’ point. Here are some government employees or officers who have quit,for some reason, and their quitting is much in the public eye. Now is therefore a fine time to draw the attention of other such employees to some other strong reasons to quit, as urged in the site below and those Alex named.

    Government will persist for as long as anyone is willing to work for it. When nobody will, it will vanish. This is therefore Priority One.

    • “Now is therefore a fine time to draw the attention of other such employees to some other strong reasons to quit”

      Okay, that seems like a decent reason. I suppose its difficult to tell which forms of activism are more efficient than others. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do this, I’m just saying that it wasn’t clear to me why Alex or others believed that this opportunity for activism was likely to be especially effective.

  4. Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry, I thought the “site below” would appear in the post. The one I had in mind is http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov

    Sorry too for the typo, PeaceRequiresAnarchy.

    • Thomas McGovernNo Gravatar says:

      Your “PeaceRequiresAnarchy” is a terrific statement and I will remember and use it in my writing.

    • Thomas McGovernNo Gravatar says:

      I just saw that “PeaceRequiresAnarchy” is the name of another commenter. I regret that my comment was misdirected.

      • I got the inspiration for my username from Roderick T. Long’s statement “A consistent peace activist must be an anarchist” in his short “An Open Letter to the Peace Movement”: http://peacemovement.wordpress.com/

        The statement “peace requires anarchy” is true, assuming that “peace” refers to a situation in which there are no standing threats of aggressive violence, rather than simply a situation in which physical violence is not used.

        If a slave is obedient and submits himself to his master, he may not be beaten or otherwise have violence used against him. Some people may thus call this situation peaceful, but most of us would say that due to the fact that the slave-master is threatening to use aggressive force against his victim if the victim chooses to act as if he is free rather than obey his slave-master’s commands, then the situation is not peaceful.

        So extending this to the definition of “peace” in general so that peace means a situation in which no standing threats of aggression exist, it is true that “peace requires anarchy” because all governments necessarily employ aggression.* Absolute peace is thus not possible if governments exist meaning peace is only possible in anarchy. In other words, peace requires anarchy.

        * In the words of Stephan Kinsella, “States always tax their citizens, which is a form of aggression. They always outlaw competing defense agencies, which also amounts to aggression.”

  5. I thought everyone might like to have a look at the full text of my own letter, in case you were having difficulty in coming up with ideas:

    8 Pudding Hollow Rd.
    Hawley, MA. 01339
    April 8, 2013

    Dear Town of Hawley, Massachusetts employees:

    As you are likely aware, the Associated Press recently released an article carried by numerous regional and national publications, in which it was reported that four individuals formerly on your local government payroll resigned from their positions.

    While the actual motivation for those resignations remains unclear from the standpoint of outside observation, I would like to commend all of them unilaterally for their decision, and warmly recommend one and all to the following Web addresses as an explanation for the favorable and optimistic view I take of these developments – this first one in particular:

    tinyurl.com/QuitGov

    You will also find enclosed a bumper sticker with a URL adjunct to the aforementioned. Other useful and informative internet resources are, though certainly not limited to:

    voluntaryist.com

    strike-the-root.com

    lysanderspooner.org (himself, incidentally, a native of Athol, Massachusetts)

    An article preceding this letter may also be found at:
    http://dailyanarchist.com/2013/04/07/hope-in-hawley/

    I hope and trust you will find the above and enclosed sources interesting and educational. In closing, I would like to quote from Henry David Thoreau:

    “When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.”

    Sincerely,

    Alex R. Knight III

  6. Thomas McGovernNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for your follow up. I read “An Open Letter to the Peace Movement” and particularly liked the quote from von Mises.

  7. Davi BarkerNo Gravatar says:

    For all you nay-sayers who think writing a letter is too much work, but writing a comment isn’t, I’m going to do you a favor. If you reply to this comment I will personally print out your comment and send it to the sociocrats of Hawley at my own expense. No more excuses.

  8. Davi, I wrote my first comment in the hope that I would gain an understanding of why Alex thought this activism was worth performing. I could have just written a letter as was requested, but I don’t see what I would have gained by doing that. Of course, I do support the cause of liberty, so I might have written a letter for that reason, but I didn’t think that writing a letter would be very effective at helping the cause of liberty so I didn’t bother.

    I still don’t think that writing a letter will help, but since you seem to think it’s a good idea and since I value your opinion I’ll write a quick letter.

    Dear employees of the government of Hawley, MA,

    I saw in the Boston Globe that four people recently resigned from your organization. This was interpreted as meaning that there is “big trouble” in the town.

    While I do not know anything about your town, including whether or not it is in trouble, I would like to share why I think resigning officials is a good sign and why you should follow the resigning official’s lead and resign yourselves.

    As Etienne de la Boetie first pointed out in the 16th century in his famous essay “The Politics of Obedience: Discourse on Voluntary Servitude,” the only power that governments have is the power that people give them. If enough of you resign your positions then the remaining people in office doing troubling things will lose their power.

    For more information on what you can do to help see Etienne de la Boetie’s essay online at:

    mises.org/rothbard/boetie.pdf

    Sincerely,

    William Kiely

  9. SATURDAY, APRIL 13th: I will be appearing as a guest on Marc Stevens’s THE NO STATE PROJECT (www.marcstevens.net) to discuss my recent debut article at: http://dailyanarchist.com/2013/04/07/hope-in-hawley/ The show will air on http://www.lrn.fm and
    www. truthfrequencyradio.com from 4-7 PM EST (1-4 PM Pacific) and will be pre-recorded (no callers). Please make plans to listen in & spread the word!

  10. dutchNo Gravatar says:

    Yes! Finally something about magic mushrooms.

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