In my opinion, getting it through one’s head that states are simply big criminal monopolies is actually a source of relaxation and peace. If someone holds you at gunpoint in order to take your money, it is a traumatic experience. But at least you don’t feel guilty for submitting.
But when the government is involved, all sorts of American mythology about standing up for one’s rights, and “liberty or death” confuses one’s thinking. One has some sort of duty to stand up against tyranny.
No, you have a duty to survive it as best you can.
Patrick Henry is not inspired (and never meant “Liberty or Death” as some sort of eternal principle anyway), but Solomon was. And he said, “he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion“–which exposes grand stands of the Alamo kind as really exercises in mass suicide.
And it frees you from illusions of legitimacy. Does anyone think that Paul would have modified Romans 13 if someone had said that a ruler had not been “lawfully” appointed by some legal tradition? Do you think you get to avoid paying income tax because the amendment wasn’t properly passed or doesn’t really specify income?
Why bring trouble on yourself?
Most regimes in human history have come to power by coercion (actually, all of them have). A legally predictable and consistent regime would be a great blessing, but it is not a reasonable expectation in most times and places and it is never an excuse for rebellion or even non-submission.
Joseph was kidnapped and enslaved through nothing but criminal activity. When Potiphar’s wife asked him to “lie with” her, he replied,
Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?
Get that? Joseph doesn’t even mention that adultery is a sin against God. He only spoke of how greatly his master had blessed him and how it would be a sin to be untrustworthy and ungrateful. Joseph restricted his reasoning to a reply that would work just as well if a fellow slave told him to stop laboring so hard when his master wasn’t looking. He, a kidnapped victim, regarded himself as obligated to his master.
I’ve written a fair amount about how we’ve been enslaved since the Paulson coup in September 2008. Don’t confuse what I write about our increasing and illegal (i.e. unconstitutional) slavery with some hasty course of action. In the American movie version of Joseph’s story, he would have escaped Potiphar’s house with gunfire (and probably slept with his wife too, come to think of it).
But he would never have inherited the world.