Want to stop the sociopaths in Washington DC?
Ron Paul told you how. Judge Napolitano is on board. Tom Woods provides intellectual firepower to back it up.
And today, I’ll share six steps to get you started.
Obviously, it will take some work. But what should a liberty lover actually do?
March on DC? Lobby Congress? Support a campaign in the 2016 presidential election?
Answer: No. No. And, no.
RON PAUL’S ADVICE
Ron Paul said nullification would “reverse the trend and stop the usurpation of all the powers and privileges from the states to the federal government.”
The game-plan is right in front of you. It’s nullification.
That bears repeating: if you want to stop federal thugs, Ron Paul advises you to nullify.
I can’t think of a stronger endorsement for libertarians than this powerful statement from the man who brought the principles of liberty to the mainstream.
Think about it. Nullification isn’t just an interesting theory or some historical oddity for study. It’s a method Ron Paul himself endorsed as a path to “stop the usurpation of power.” That’s serious business, and a call for you to take action.
What IS nullification? In order to share a plan of action, you must first understand what nullification is. When Thomas Jefferson called it the “rightful remedy,” he didn’t specifically define it.
Dictionaries from that time offer a pretty broad definition. Nullify: To annul; to make void.
Dictionary.com is far more specific. Nullification: “the failure or refusal of a U.S. state to aid in enforcement of federal laws within its limits, especially on Constitutional grounds.”
Personally, I find that definition far too narrow.
Tom Woods’ indispensable LibertyClassroom.com says nullification happens when states “refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws.” Woods also points out that outright resistance can be part of the process too.
The Tenth Amendment Center takes a “big tent” view when defining nullification: “Any act or set of acts which has as its end result a particular law being rendered null and void, or unenforceable within a particular area.”
NULLIFICATION: IN PRACTICE
Nullification is more about the end result than the method. There are five main paths.
1. “Legalized” public defiance. State laws allowing what the feds have banned can accomplish nullification. Such laws encourage people on the margins to join in with others already defying the federal act.
State marijuana laws fit into this category. In a conversation with Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul confirmed state marijuana laws are an act of nullification. In his recent Mises Institute article, Mark Thornton agreed.
While such laws don’t create physical barriers blocking DC from enforcing their criminal acts, time and increasing numbers create a situation the feds can no longer stop or control.
2. State, local and individual noncompliance.
By 1928,28 states stopped funding alcohol prohibition enforcement and local police only sporadically enforced the law. In a 1925 address to Congress, Maryland’s Senator Brucestated, “national prohibition went into legal effect upward of six years ago, but it can be truly said that, except to a highly qualified extent, it has never gone into practical effect at all.”
There are similar actions happening today. Washington State and Colorado will stop enforcing marijuana prohibition. Andstates and local communities are considering bills refusing cooperation with NDAA “indefinite detention” provisions or gun control measures.
Judge Napolitano recently observed how powerful noncompliance like this can be. He noted that the federal government simply doesn’t have the manpower to enforce all its laws. Therefore, noncompliance can make federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”
Ron Paul strongly supports individual noncompliance:
“Rosa Parks is one of my heroes, Martin Luther King is a hero — because they practiced the libertarian principle of civil disobedience, nonviolence.”
3. State and local interposition. State agents “stand between” you and the federal government to protect your rights. In general, this includes criminal charges for federal agents attempting to enforce a nullified “law.” Inresponse to the fugitive slave act of 1850, a number of states did just that and were quite effective.
Two bonus categories:
Jury nullification. A jury votes to acquit, even if a “law” was broken.
Individual nullification. Every time you break a so-called “law” and get away with it, you nullify.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Here are some steps that you can start taking now. Not after the next election, and not next year. Not next month or next week. Today, not tomorrow. Right now.
1. Forget that the 202 area code exists. If you’ve spent days calling DC to support or oppose this or that, you’ve wasted your time. To advance liberty, forget DC – that pit of criminals. You will never, ever accomplish your goals there. Don’t call anyone there. Don’t send letters to reps or senators. Don’t support campaigns, or donate money to them. Ever.
2. Support all nullification bills. Any piece of state or local legislation pushing back on federal power, whether refusing compliance with so-called federal “laws,” or frustrating or preventing enforcement, is a good thing. As Thornton wrote on Mises.org, “This is important, because, if thanks to nullification, governments have to obtain acceptance, or at least acquiescence from subsidiary governments, rather than just imposing their dictates on them, they are more likely to act in a less threatening and harmful manner.”
3. Get on a jury. As Don Doig and Stewart Rhodes wrote, “Serving on a jury should be viewed as a form of liberty guerrilla warfare in the current ‘soft’ or cold war between the forces of liberty and the forces of tyranny.” Vote to acquit!
4. Vote with your Money. Market demand can overpower even the strongest government. Hundreds of marijuana shops flat-out defying federal power in one city alone proves it. The feds may rough people up from time to time, but they’re fighting a losing battle. As much as you can, support businesses, organizations and individuals willing to defy government power. Every dollar you spend helps grow the market and makes it stronger.
5. Just say YES! If they ask you to turn in your firearm, will you? When it comes time to comply with mandated insurance coverage, will you be obedient? Will DEA bans prevent you from planting hemp? Will you continue to comply with legal tender laws on gold and silver? Will you fight that next war because “it’s your duty?”
A “No!” to tyrants is a “Yes” to liberty.
ONE FINAL STEP
Criminal politicians have proven over decades that taking one small step at a time is extremely effective. Liberty will not win in one year, one legislative session, or with one action. It will take time and relentless action.
I agree with Murray Rothbard’s warning against “falling prey” to “short-run optimism”:
For short-run optimism, being unrealistic, leads straightway to disillusion and then to long-run pessimism.
I urge you to heed Rothbard’s advice:
For the libertarian, the main task of the present epoch is to cast off his needless and debilitating pessimism, to set his sights on long-run victory and to set about the road to its attainment.
Our long-run victory will come one step at a time.
The path is before us. Nullify, nullify, and nullify!
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter - @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.