What is “Citizenship”? And What is “Liberty Layaway”? By Tony Palmentera

What is “Citizenship”? And What is “Liberty Layaway”? 

The Abusive Relationship Between You and Government

Citizenship is being an extortion victim, a victim of intimidation, and a beast of burden. Is that harsh? In Ancient Rome, what was it like? You’ve heard…think back. The unlucky people were slaves, some sex slaves (and not in a weird but harmless fetish way). Actual slaves. Runaway and get killed slaves. The lucky ones were subject to all sorts of abuses. Even in the best of times, they were under threat from their own government. But that isn’t relatively bad, because the foreign people their military ran into got way worse. They were violently conquered through orgies of unprovoked murder (if they refused to pay up). Once they paid the extortion fee (the protection money/tribute), they were left to live like all those citizens of Rome did (more or less). They were allowed to not be chattel slaves, not be murdered. Well, not usually anyway.


How was it for other empires? You’ve heard. Think back. Take a moment to really ponder it. Do you see the theme? Was it worse then, than it is now? Sure. But is the underlying theme the same? Yes. If you don’t pay up, they’ll use violence against you. You either pay the extortion or… …back in the days of empire and dynasty murder was the penalty for foreigners, and property confiscation, cruel corporal punishment, and/or imprisonment was the penalty for domestics. At low points they sometimes demanded you sell yourself into slavery to fit the bill. Things have improved, to be fair. Now the penalty for foreigners is…well, still death. BUT, for the domestics like you and I, chattel slavery has ceased to be an option. Bless their hearts. The charity extended to us domestics, if we don’t pay the pizzo (see footnote #1 below for the meaning of pizzo), is simply kidnapping (arrest), imprisonment…and murder, if we righteously resist our kidnapping and imprisonment.


They spared us the corporal punishment. That’s simply incidental, and less than rarely, but almost randomly, administered during the arrest (kidnapping process). In theory, you could actually be innocent and get corporal punishment, since it is related to the arrest and not the validity of the charge of failing (or refusing) to pay your extortion installments (taxes). So, I’m not sure how much credit should be afforded for that particular modification to the modus operande…but certainly some credit, I suppose. So, things have gotten much better. But I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we still pay extortion money in exchange for being left alone, or we pay through confiscation of our property (our labor or our justly-attained and justly-held physical possessions). CITIZENSHIP IS BEING AN EXTORTION VICTIM, A VICTIM OF INTIMIDATION, AND A BEAST OF BURDEN. Isn’t that harsh? Damn right…that IS harsh. Addio estortione, addio della stato (see footnote #2 below for translation). It’s that simple. You are paying them not to hurt you. If that aspect of your relationship ends, so does the relationship. If you can admit that to yourself, that’s the first step to accepting it’s not a healthy relationship, and you need to break up. “It’s not you, it’s me.” No, no, that won’t do. “Get out, and don’t ever come back. I deserve so much better than you. I have my dignity.” Much better. Be assertive. Be confident. Make it a break up to be proud of. And you do deserve better. That part’s true. I’m not suggesting you take the problem head-on in a physical confrontation (individually or collectively). I’m not suggesting you stop paying them to not hurt you (although it would be ethical in any consistently logical ethical theory, even if less than optimal, as would self-defensive violence in the course of them trying to enforce such laws when you resisted them peacefully previous to the enforcement attempt). I’m suggesting you simply acknowledge this reality, and no longer see it in any other way. It is what it is…no sense in letting our egos try to shield us from it. No sense in letting the traumatic experience go unaddressed. No sense in letting “patriotic” and authoritarian brainwashing cloud our perception of this reality.

We can’t get well until we admit we have a problem. Our problem is this sadistic relationship we’re trapped in. “Breaking up” means seeing it for what it really is, and eventually getting enough other people to see it so that it is abolished like some of its more distasteful punishments. “It” being the state, of course. So, clearly, the goal is to decrease the level of coercion and harshness of the punishments employed where coercion still exists in this bad relationship. Anything that does that leads us closer to ending this disturbing relationship. Be careful, however, because it is easy to forget the goal is to break up completely when it keeps giving you free stuff, or stuff you have to really struggle hard to remember (or realize) that you don’t need it to get.


If you forget that you are only getting free stuff, or stuff no one else has because they are not allowed to provide that stuff while they are also in a relationship with this sadistic institution (yes, it is cheating on you, on top of everything else), then you might lapse into having strong feelings for it, not being conscious of the positive feedback loop going on in your brain when you get gifts from it, and as a result get too comfortable in this horrible relationship. If you do that, you’ll never leave it, and this relationship is permanent. What’s worse, the government doesn’t die on you, and when you die it will NOT be following closely behind you. It will exist for your kids, and their kids. You would subject your children and grandchildren, for who knows how many generations, to this evil and abusive stepfather. You being a co-dependent masochist is one thing…but to force your kids and grandkids to marry your abusive mate? Unforgivable. You’d be irredeemable (in your own eyes, I hope). Don’t take it’s hand. Don’t marry the state. Divorce, for the sake of the kids. And don’t forget, the state gets meaner and more expensive as it gets older. Sure, each new state gets progressively and (only) relatively nicer, but each state gets more violent and costly as it ages through its own, even if lengthy, life cycle. Just because your new significant other is relatively nicer than the last doesn’t mean it’s good enough. And one fit of rage can reverse all the progress (see democide stats). Don’t settle. Rome was worse than the United States government…but only in degree, not principle. We deserve better. Have some dignity. Abolish the state.

Spread that message, wake up as many as you can, and urge them to pay it forward. We may not live to see this relationship end, and our kids’ kids may not see it either, but the work we do today will save lives, money, and time of people in the future. You can purchase the end of someone else’s slavery with your labor in pursuit of liberty today. THAT IS LIBERTY LAYAWAY. Struggle for them like you would for yourself…unless, of course, you can rationalize how future victims of this abusive relationship are worth less than victims in the present. I just can’t convince myself of that. Footnotes: 1 “pizzo” is a Sicilian term for the money paid to mafia in racketeering schemes, also known as protection money when extorted. Functionally, it is identical to taxation, other than it is illegal and the body you pay the extortion to is not called “government”. 2 “Addio estortione, addio della stato” is Sicilian for “Goodbye extortion, goodbye state.

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Brandon Martin

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