Hawley, 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:
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.