Jobs Trump Freedom

May 10th, 2012   Submitted by Seth King

You’ve heard the defense uttered many times before: “I was just doing my job.” It’s a quote that infuriates lovers of liberty and justice and is often the refuge of scoundrels. But it tells us something important about human nature that should not be missed by activists; jobs are more important to people than freedom. And if you think that is only the case for corrupt police and military, think again. It is true for the great many of us, including anarchists. The sooner we understand this near-universal human characteristic the better we can focus our activist energies.

I see there as being two categories that people fall under. There are those that are willing to risk your freedom to protect their own job, and there are those that are willing to risk their own freedom to protect their own job. The common denominator between all individuals is their desire to protect their own job. And it is precisely this point that we should be concerned with instead of our differences.

Consider the police and military. They violate the non-aggression principle on a daily basis. If ever they decide to stop infringing on the freedom of others, they will be fired. Case in point the Jefferson Memorial Dance Party. Watch this video one more time with this thought in mind: the police in this video are threatened by peaceful behavior. Their fear is not of violence, but of unemployment.

Please do not think I am trying to justify their behavior. I’m merely attempting to better understand what motivates us.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. – Sun Tzu

On the other side of the coin you have individuals that will risk their own freedom to protect their job. Consider those who trade contraband for a living. They are essentially risking life-sentences behind bars to maintain work for themselves. Often times these people are criticized for not finding work that isn’t illegal or risky, and the liberty community is quick to aid in their defense. Yet, the liberty community is hypocritical towards police and military; demanding that they give up their jobs for something better.

Even most libertarian anarchists are reticent to give up decent and high-paying white market jobs for low-paying gray or black market jobs. So, the beat goes on. And if you think things will change through political rhetoric you’d be wrong again. When people like Mitt Romney campaign on providing jobs they are all but assuring themselves popular victory over somebody like Ron Paul, who campaigns on freedom. We need to get it in our heads that jobs trump freedom… every time.

So, where does this leave us as activists? It is clear to me that we have no other choice but to offer people better paying jobs in the underground than can be provided otherwise. The economic depression is perhaps our greatest opportunity to alter the paradigm towards that of freedom. If governments could provide massive prosperity and tyranny simultaneously, freedom wouldn’t stand a chance. Fortunately for freedom activists, tyranny precludes wealth creation.

13 Responses to “Jobs Trump Freedom”

  1. anonymous infowarriorNo Gravatar says:

    Very good article, Seth.

  2. helioNo Gravatar says:

    Brilliant insight, Seth. I think putting the ‘capitalist’ in anarcho-capitalist and being in positions to employ people will yield better results than resisting cops in our efforts to convert others. Once our numbers are large enough, then civil disobedience will work its magic.

  3. Kathy KingNo Gravatar says:

    You are more generous than I am, son. I think cops that beat up on people who are unable to defend themselves do so because they enjoy it.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      It doesn’t matter if they enjoy it. If the job is to beat people up, the people who enjoy that line of work will gravitate towards it.

  4. jojojojoNo Gravatar says:

    (Job)Security vs Liberty

  5. JimmaldNo Gravatar says:

    Ironically, the greatest boost of all to jobs would come from the removal of the jackboot of government regulation and taxation. If anyone could start a business (as they could in the 19th century) without an army of lawyers and accountants, and without being an expert on government regulations and procedures, there would be a lot more jobs around!

    • Jerome BiggeNo Gravatar says:

      Yes, there would be a lot more possible jobs available without all the governmental regulation. Much of this regulation is supposed by established businesses wanting to protect their business from any “competition”. Getting the “government” to provide the “protection” through regulation is the usual way established businesses prevent other from competing with them. This also applies in all the licensed professions too. Free open competition lowers the cost of services to the consumer, but also cuts into the profits of established providers of such services. All of our licensed professions rely upon “government regulation” to assure themselves a better income than they could earn if there was competition from others willing to provide the same services for less money. The same thing holds true in virtually any business that doesn’t have government “protection” through regulation.

  6. JorgeNo Gravatar says:

    Very good article!
    An eye opener for me, thanks!

  7. MamaLibertyNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent analysis. I had a good job as a “licensed professional.” I gave up the “license” for many reasons, and now – of course – cannot find any employment that begins to utilize my specialized experience or expensive education. Without the “license,” I’m relegated to burger flipper or poverty.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      You’re one of the few.

      I read a personal story on the Free Keene forum a few days ago, by a lady in SoCal who was close to finishing some sort of medicine license or whatever, and got busted for being a midwife to someone without a license. She’s now a felon and won’t get off of probation until January, at which point she says she’s moving straight to New Hampshire.

      I hope once she gets here she’ll continue to practice medicine without permission.

  8. DinoNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent, thought provoking article, Seth. Thank you for being you.

  9. Bob RobertsonNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry for the late posting, I only just found this in my quotes files:

    Edward Gibbon: “In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security.
    They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all — security,
    comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to
    society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished
    for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be
    free and was never free again.”