Well, what does it mean to be an Outlaw anyway?
If the law says, “Round up ‘Ze Jews,” and you say, “Take a hike,” then you’re a “criminal.” If the law says, “You need ‘Ze License for ‘Zat Lemonade stand,” and you sell the Lemonade anyway, then you’re a “criminal.” If the law says, “You can’t feed ‘Ze Homeless,” but still you feed them, then you’re an “criminal.” If you make a habit of disobeying laws, then you’re an “Outlaw.”
In a Just civilization,
- where harmless or helpful human behavior is not prohibited by law,
- where harm or the allowance of harm to fellow humans is not mandated by law, and
- where money is not taken from the population by force to perpetuate theft, kidnapping, and murder,
in such a world, the term “Outlaw” would be a label of shame, worn only by the most vile wrongdoers among us; in the world in which I live, it is a badge of honor. As Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
There are laws that say you can’t sell food that you made in your kitchen without paying thousands of dollars in licensing fees, buying an industrial oven for thousands more, and complying with volumes of regulations that only a team of high-priced lawyers could begin to comprehend. The justification for all this bureaucracy? “Public health and safety.” If you buy that line, why don’t you ask someone who works in the food service industry which is more sanitary: the food that’s prepared in the kitchen at work or the food that they make in their kitchen at home? When people use laws to regulate decentralized business out of existence, are they protecting the public — the consumers? Or are they actually protecting larger businesses from competition, at the public’s expense?
And when your grandmother starts illegally selling fresh baked cookies out of her home to supplement her income, will you call her a “criminal” and report her to the police, so that hot plates of “justice” may be served? Or will you recognize that she has done nothing wrong, and that she deserves neither penalties, nor threats of violence, nor actual violence, but perhaps she should get an Award for Best Pecan Sandies Recipe? And when it’s not your grandmother, but a total stranger, will you instead see what the judge and prosecutor want you to see? A greedy and evil person who did terrible things and needs to be punished?
The U.S. prison system is filled to the brim with peaceful people who never harmed anyone until they were locked in a cage and forced to fight for survival.
“Oh, but drug dealers are notoriously violent and addicts commit theft all the time, so you’re full of shit about those folks in Column E being ‘peaceful people,'” right?
So then what are columns B, G, K, L, and M for? Even if we add all of them together, that’s only 66,115 people. If we make the asinine assumption that every one of them has an overlapping drug charge, thus contributing to column E, we’re still left with an extra 18,631 completely peaceful “offenders” in that column.
So just who is harmed by these people’s “illicit” activities?
And how does the public benefit from locking them in cages for months, years, or decades at a time?
If you still believe that ‘law’ is synonymous with ethics, morals, right action, and justice, then don’t forget to pay your taxes, because nothing says “righteous” like people threatening to end your life if you don’t pay them to indiscriminately drop bombs on millions of brown people.
If, on the other hand, you can distinguish between what is right and what is the codified ramblings of politicians, then I encourage you to identify the ethical shortcomings of the latter at every opportunity; be warned, however, that should you choose to align your behavior with the former, then it is inevitable that you too will become an Outlaw.