portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

imperialism & war | political theory

Want to STOP Amerikan Fascism? Then STOP supporting it! Tax Rebellion 2007

So you feel like shit cause you can not stop the occupation of Iraq, the clandestine war in Iran, the build up to weapons of mass destruction again Iran, the class war waging on our streets, the erosion of basic civil liberties, the corporate assault on the biosphere and so much more Amerikan Fascism.

Then stop supporting it. Simply stop paying federal fees, taxes, debt and other ransoms from neo-feudalism. Starting now! Highway Blog, spray paint, banner drop, tell friends, call up family, shout it out to neighbors, leave leaflets at pubs and cafes, hand write it in big letters on that wall or across the window.

"STOP THE WARS, NO MORE TAX PAYING!"

"STARVE THE BEAST!"
MONKEY MASTERS AND POLITICAL POWER
Part three in a series by Dr. Gene Sharp

EDITOR'S NOTE: This the third of a special series of articles by Gene Sharp
on the general problems and possibilities of achieving liberation from
dictatorships being published in Khit Pyiang in ten installments, initially
in English and later in Burmese.

___________________________________________________________

Achieving freedom with peace is of course no simple task. It will require
great strategic skill, organization, and planning. Above all, it will
require power. Democrats cannot hope to bring down a dictatorship and
establish political freedom without the ability to apply their own power
effectively.

But how is this possible? What kind of power can the democratic opposition
mobilize that will be sufficient to destroy the dictatorship and its vast
military and police networks? The answers lie in an oft ignored
understanding of political power. Learning this insight is not really so
difficult a task. Some basic truths are quite simple.

The "Monkey Master" fable

A Fourteenth Century Chinese parable by Liu-Ji, for example, outlines this
neglected understanding of political power quite well:

In the feudal state of Chu an old man survived by keeping monkeys in his
service. The people of Chu called him "ju gong" (monkey master).

 http://www.burmalibrary.org/reg.burma/archives/199404/msg00036.html

Each morning, the old man would assemble the monkeys in his courtyard,
and order the eldest one to lead the others to the mountains to gather
fruits from bushes and trees. It was the rule that each monkey had to
give one tenth of his collection to the old man. Those who failed to do
so would be ruthlessly flogged. All the monkeys suffered bitterly, but
dared not complain.

One day, a small monkey asked the other monkeys: "Did the old man
plant all the fruit trees and bushes?" The others said: "No, they grew
naturally." The small monkey further asked: "Can't we take the fruits
without the old man's permission?" The others replied: "Yes, we all
can." The small monkey continued: "Then, why should we depend on the
old man; why must we all serve him?"

Before the small monkey was able to finish his statement, all the
monkeys suddenly became enlightened and awakened.

On the same night, watching that the old man had fallen asleep, the
monkeys tore down all the barricades of the stockade in which they
were confined, and destroyed the stockade entirely. They also took the
fruits the old man had in storage, brought all with them to the woods,
and never returned. The old man finally died of starvation.

Yu-li-zi says, "Some men in the world rule their people by tricks and not by
righteous principles. Aren't they just like the monkey master? They are not
aware of their muddleheadedness. As soon as their people become enlightened,
their tricks no longer work."

Necessary sources of political power
The principle is simple. Dictators require the assistance of the people they
rule, without which they cannot secure and maintain the sources of political
power. These sources of political power include:

* Authority, the belief among the people that the regime is legitimate,
and that they have a moral duty to obey it;

* Human resources, the number and importance of the persons and groups
which are obeying, cooperating, or providing assistance to the rulers;

* Skills and knowledge, needed by the regime to perform specific actions
and supplied by the cooperating persons and groups;

* Intangible factors, psychological and ideological factors which may
induce people to obey and assist the rulers;

* Material resources, the degree to which the rulers control or have
access to property, natural resources, financial resources, the economic
system, and means of communication and transportation; and

* Sanctions, punishments, threatened or applied, against the disobedient
and noncooperative to ensure the submission and cooperation
which are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its policies.

All of these sources, however, depend on acceptance of the regime, on the
submission and obedience of the population, and on the cooperation of
innumerable people and the many institutions of the society. These are not
guaranteed.

Full cooperation, obedience, and support will increase the availability of
the needed sources of power and, consequently expand the power capacity of
any government.

On the other hand, withdrawal of popular and institutional cooperation with
aggressors and dictators diminishes, and may sever, the availability of the
sources of power on which all rulers depend. Without availability of those
sources, the rulers' power weakens and finally dissolves.

Naturally, dictators are sensitive to actions and ideas that threaten their
capacity to do as they like. Dictators are therefore likely to threaten and
punish those who disobey, strike, or fail to cooperate. However, that is not
the end of the story. Repression, even brutalities, do not always produce a
resumption of the necessary degree of submission and cooperation for the
regime to function.

If, despite repression, the sources of power can be restricted or severed for
enough time, the initial results may be uncertainty and confusion within the
dictatorship. That is likely to be followed by a clear weakening of the
power of the dictatorship. Over time, the withholding of the sources of
power can produce the paralysis and impotence of the regime, and in severe
cases, its disintegration. The dictators' power will die, slowly or rapidly,
from political starvation.

The degree of liberty or tyranny in any government is, it follows, in large
degree a reflection of the relative determination of the subjects to be free
and their willingness and ability to resist efforts to enslave them.
Contrary to popular opinion, even totalitarian dictatorships are dependent on
the population and the societies they rule. As the political scientist Karl
W. Deutsch noted in 1953:

Totalitarian power is strong only if it does not have to be used too often.
If totalitarian power must be used at all times against the entire
population, it is unlikely to remain powerful for long. Since totalitarian
regimes require more power for dealing with their subjects than do other
types of government, such regimes stand in greater need of widespread and
dependable compliance habits among their people; more than that they have to
be able to count on the active support of at least significant parts of the
population in case of need.

The English Nineteenth Century legal theorist John Austin described the
situation of a dictatorship confronting a disaffected people. Austin argued
that if most of the population were determined to destroy the government and
were willing to endure repression to do so, then the might of the government,
including those who supported it, could not preserve the hated government,
even if it received foreign assistance. The defiant people could not be
forced back into permanent obedience and subjection, Austin concluded.
Niccolo Machiavelli had much earlier argued that the prince ". . . who has
the public as a whole for his enemy can never make himself secure; and the
greater his cruelty, the weaker does his regime become."

The practical political application of these insights was demonstrated by the
heroic Norwegian resisters against the Nazi occupation, and as cited in
Chapter One, by the brave Poles, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, and many others
who resisted Communist aggression and dictatorship, and finally helped
produce the collapse of Communist rule in Europe. This, of course, is no new
phenomenon: cases of nonviolent resistance go back at least to 494 B.C. when
plebeians withdrew cooperation from their Roman patrician masters.
Nonviolent struggle has been employed at various times by peoples throughout
Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australasia, and the Pacific islands, as well as
Europe.

Three of the most important factors in determining to what degree a
government's power will be controlled or uncontrolled therefore are: (1) the
relative desire of the populace to impose limits on the government's power;
(2) the relative strength of the subjects' independent organizations and
institutions to withdraw collectively the sources of power; and (3) the
population's relative ability to withhold their consent and assistance.



Centers of democratic power

One characteristic of a democratic society is that there exist independent of
the state a multitude of nongovernmental groups and institutions. These
include, for example, families, religious organizations, cultural
associations, sports clubs, economic institutions, trade unions, student
associations, political parties, villages, neighborhood associations,
gardening clubs, human rights organizations, musical groups, literary
societies, and others. These bodies are important in serving their own
objectives and also in helping to meet social needs.

Additionally, these bodies have great political significance. They provide
group and institutional bases by which people can exert influence over the
direction of their society and resist other groups or the government when
they are seen to impinge unjustly on their interests, activities, or
purposes. Isolated individuals, not members of such groups, usually are
unable to make a significant impact on the rest of the society, much less a
government, and certainly not a dictatorship.

Consequently, if the autonomy and freedom of such bodies can be taken away by
the dictators, the population will be relatively helpless. Also, if these
institutions can themselves be dictatorially controlled by the central regime
or replaced by new controlled ones, they can be used to dominate both the
individual members and also those areas of the society.

However, if the autonomy and freedom of these independent civil institutions
(outside of government control) can be maintained or regained they are highly
important for the application of political defiance. The common feature of
the cited examples in which dictatorships have been disintegrated or weakened
has been the courageous mass application of political defiance by the
population and its institutions.

As stated, these centers of power provide the institutional bases from which
the population can exert pressure or can resist dictatorial controls. In the
future, they will be part of the indispensable structural base for a free
society. Their continued independence and growth therefore is often a
prerequisite for the success of the liberation struggle.

If the dictatorship has been largely successful in destroying or controlling
the society's independent bodies, it will be important for the resisters to
create new independent social groups and institutions, or to reassert
democratic control over surviving or partially controlled bodies. During the
Hungarian Revolution of 1956-1957 a multitude of direct democracy councils
emerged, even joining together to establish for some weeks a whole federated
system of institutions and governance. In Poland during the late 1980s
workers maintained illegal Solidarity unions and, in some cases, took over
control of the official, Communist dominated, trade unions. Such
institutional developments can have very important political consequences.
Of course, none of this means that weakening and destroying dictatorships is
easy, nor that every attempt will succeed. It certainly does not mean that
the struggle will be free of casualties, for those still serving the
dictators are likely to fight back in an effort to force the populace to
resume cooperation and obedience.

The above insight into power does mean, however, that the deliberate
disintegration of dictatorships is possible. Dictatorships in particular
have specific characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to
skillfully implemented political defiance. Let us examine these
characteristics in more detail.

Chapter Four of this series will be published in the next issue of Khit
Pyiang (New Era).

c copyright by Gene Sharp, 1993. All rights reserved including translation
rights. All requests should be addressed in writing to Gene Sharp, Albert
Einstein Institution, 1430 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
02138, USA, FAX USA + 617-876-7954. They will be sympathetically considered.
Reproductions of the individual articles, as by photocopying, by Burmese
democrats are permitted provided the author is notified. In order to ensure
the quality of translations and to avoid duplication of work, these articles
should not be translated without written permission.

This story, originally titled "Rule by Tricks" from Yu-li-zi written by Liu
Ji (1311-1375), has been translated by Sidney Tai, all rights reserved.
Yu-li-zi is also the pseudonym for Liu Ji. The translation was originally
published in Nonviolent Sanctions: News from the Albert Einstein Institution
(Cambridge, Mass.), Vol. IV, No. 3 (Winter 1992-1993), p. 3.

Karl W. Deutsch, "Cracks in the Monolith," in Carl J. Friedrich, ed.,
Totalitarianism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954), pp.
313-314.

John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence or the Philosophy of Positive Law
(Fifth edition, revised and edited by Robert Campbell, 2 volumes). London:
John Murray, 1911 [1861], Vol. I, p. 296.

Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy," in The
Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950),
vol. I, p. 254.

See Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent,
1973), p. 75 and passim for other historical examples.

homepage: homepage: http://www.burmalibrary.org/reg.burma/archives/199404/msg00036.html


I agree, but it takes knowledge 20.Feb.2007 16:06

Al uh looyah

I totally agree, we've got to starve the beast that feeds on us, as tools for empowerment toward this end, please check out the following e-books on the subject of taxation:

Investigating The Federal Income Tax" by Joseph R. Bannister
 link to www.tnimc.org

Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins -
 http://sandiego.indymedia.org/media/2007/02/125026.pdf


and "Cracking The Code: The Fascinating Truth about Taxation in America" by Peter Hendrickson:
 link to www.uads.org).pdf

note: if last link doesn't work, go to root directory:  http://uads.org/u/looyah and scroll down till you see "Hendrickson - Cracking" click on that.


knowlegde starts now 20.Feb.2007 16:35

slave rebellion

Tools for a Revolution
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/333109.shtml

Video of Gene Sharp on non violent revolution
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/348005.shtml

The Power and Potential of Nonviolent Struggle
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/348011.shtml

pending Martial Law break out song 20.Feb.2007 16:37

pass-the-word-on

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in this town
See me and the boys we don't like it
So were getting up and going down

Hiding low looking right to left
If you see us coming I think it's best
To move away do you hear what I say
From under my breath

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in the town
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So don't you be around

Don't you be around

"Jailbreak" Thin Lizzy

A real rebellion would be to use a different wealth-storage currency... 20.Feb.2007 16:56

...instead of use the empty paper of the US dollar

Income taxes don't run the country though. It doesn't even pay off a sliver of the interest payments on federal debt each year. It's simply that financially your income taxes aren't required. What they are required for is a police state environment poking into your lives, when it NEVER HAD THE CONSTITUTIONAL authority to do so.

Just watch the Russo film on this and you will see what I mean. So while tax rebellion might be interesting, since the money the U.S. government uses it prints itself and it has no backing in any tangible assets, they would just print more.

A real rebellion would be to hitch the empty currency to something that keeps the elites from using inflation and recession to impoverish everyone and steal their wealth.

A real rebellion would be to use a different currency.

Street Fighting Man 20.Feb.2007 17:23

Rolling Stones

Ev'rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the
street, boy
(chorus)

Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution
But where I live the game to play is compromise solution
(chorus)

Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his
servants
(chorus)

Whoa--read through; and now i wonder, 20.Feb.2007 17:47

did i miss?

the practical advice on how to avoid paying taxes?

Or, what?

Income?

Property?

Sales?

Manufacturing?

Excise?

Are to be avoided, how, again?

to Whoa--read through; and now i wonder, 20.Feb.2007 18:23

starve'em out

actually everything. with no income for law enforcement and money being deverted as the system hits critical that would put the whole thing into a mess. the the fascists would have two options:

1. bring back the troops to crush the rebellion that actually is supporting no imperial wars (a message that must be clear)

2. the corporatists (not government) hires private contractors to enforce laws and that would cause an open rebellion from all political spectrums.


from the words of Sun Tzu, the Art of War:

"He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

Has not the US been in a "lengthy campaign"?

"The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him."

How long have we been dictated to? And when we dictate to the usurper and the elite then we will have victory.

"Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard."

Let the fascists bring the Amerikan troops come home to crush a rebellion and then watch how long they obey their "masters".

"If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: "Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will." Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots."

The Corporatists hold money, power and your obidience "dear".

When we see the "ecology of power" and the flow of energy in this relationship between the "powerful" the the seemingly "disempowered" then it becomes clear on what must be done. Do NOT "empower" them!

Yeah 20.Feb.2007 18:45

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

I'm down with a Tax Revolt. Count me in.


^ ^ 20.Feb.2007 20:24

You're right.

In principle, we the people should be able to vote and then move on to having our majority congress cut off funding for the Iraqi war.

Problem is, after the election was said and done, we the people have been made to realize, yet-again, that we do not in fact have their ears or influence their votes in congress.

The bottom line is that We live in a parody of a democracy in which the wizard behind the curtain calls the votes as he sees fit. And so far, this war still fits him--dare i say financially. War is a racket. Always has been.

What's more, we the individual tax payers can no more refuse to pay taxes than we can refuse to go on with eating. It's automatic; built into the system; out of our hands for the most part.

Now, don't get me wrong--I take the point about not-wanting to empower the system. And, refusing to pay in--as far as possible, when you are able--is a genuinely good tool for protest.

However, in the absence of some kind of whole-sale collapse of the entire state apparatus, including the police and their law-yering, there will never be a real possibility of withholding taxes, not inside america or in any large, actionable way. Won't happen. The scale is insurmountable from the grass-roots; with too many people vested and violent.

The real solution is not to rend the social fabric all-to-hell by refusing to pay tax; but rather to re-nationalize the money system so that fractional reserve system is made to heel to the common weal, as our taxes are no longer disappearing in interest payments transferred to the private cartel owners of the Fed/Bank and that clatch of profiteers attached to their hip pockeeets.

Mammon matters most.




















is

if the System is...... 21.Feb.2007 02:24

Slave Revolt

If the system is gear to extract taxes regardless then STOP paying as much as you can. THEN burden the system with the wasting of energy and resources that the "system" did not allicate for. Sun Tzu makes this clear in his Art of War with "If he is taking his ease, give him no rest." Mei Yao-ch`en elaberated on this point "while we are taking our ease, wait for the enemy to tire
himself out." Yu Lan also adds "Lure him on and tire him out." So if the System feeds on taxes then limit the amount of food we give it and then waste its energy in so that it can not function to oppress the whole. Its time we "waste" the time of the enemy. Keep them occupied with daily demonstrations or even legal parades with lots of extra overtime pay for police and guard to drain the energy out. Keep the Enemy distracted and not focused on its war efforts both the war on the planet and the class war.



other ideas from Sun Tzu:

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder,
and crush him.
[All commentators, except Chang Yu, say, "When he is in
disorder, crush him." It is more natural to suppose that Sun Tzu
is still illustrating the uses of deception in war.]
21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If
he is in superior strength, evade him.
22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to
irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
[Wang Tzu, quoted by Tu Yu, says that the good tactician
plays with his adversary as a cat plays with a mouse, first
feigning weakness and immobility, and then suddenly pouncing upon
him.]
23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
[This is probably the meaning though Mei Yao-ch`en has the
note: "while we are taking our ease, wait for the enemy to tire
himself out." The YU LAN has "Lure him on and tire him out."]
If his forces are united, separate them.
[Less plausible is the interpretation favored by most of the
commentators: "If sovereign and subject are in accord, put
division between them."]
24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are
not expected.

The Scam That Taxes Are 21.Feb.2007 15:29

citizen

Every time you pay taxes, it goes to paying the interest on the national debt. And who is that debt owed to? Why, the families who owe secretly and privately own the Federal Reserve, of course!

These private individuals and/or their predecessors took the money printing out of the hands of Congress, where it belongs according to our constitution, and now create Federal Notes, which are loans dispensed at interest to the U.S. government. The more money that gets printed, the deeper in debt we go to these private individuals.

The Federal Reserve is neither Federal nor a Reserve, as the money is created out of thin air--there is no gold or any standard to back it up other than our birth certificates, which represent us as wealth-generating assets. In other words, the U.S. government uses us as collateral when they "borrow" money from the Federal Reserve, which in turn creates the money based on the promise that the money we pay in taxes will provide it with its desired Return on Investment.

This is all done illegally, by the way. The Federal Income Tax Act of 1913 was enacted despite never being ratified by all 50 states, and the Federal Reserve Act was voted on during Christmas break of 1913, when most Congresspeople were at home with their families.