Saturday, 1 February 2020

Jurisdiction

Trevor Watkins 1/2/2020

Mindful chatter

I am saturated with intelligent and sincere hand-wringing articles on:
  • how bad government is
  • how stupid the ANC and all their voters are
  • how this or that thoughtful free market solution will fix everything
  • these are all words filled with sound reasoning and furious argument, signifying nothing to the powers that be.
We are just so many crickets chirping in the undergrowth as the lions amble by.

Actual power

If you want actual power, join the ANC and work your way up through the branch structures. (You may have to kill some people, but don't worry your cause is just.) After you have defrauded the state of billions you can afford to pay various factions to support your crazy ideas.

These days even making billions doesn't seem to give you any real power, if you are white.

Solution

Why on earth should we respect the jurisdiction of a state that has no respect for its own founding principles? The constitution is no longer a hallowed document, it is a hollow document, perverted at the whim of the occupying powers.

The solution is to treat the ANC state as though it wasn't there. Most of the time they won't even notice. If you have something to sell, just sell it. Just like everyone else in the townships. If you want to buy something, be careful who you trust and how you spend your money, just like you should always do. If someone cheats you, do you really think the police will help in any meaningful timeframe?

On those rare occasions when the organs of the state do actually react and take you to court, you can go with the Stalingrad defence. This starts by refusing to recognise the court's jurisdiction. When the judge asks you what jurisdiction you do recognise, there comes the rub.

While you know that you hate the current dispensation and the current jurisdiction, the vast majority of us have no idea of any useful alternatives. It would be nice if you could claim to be the 53rd state of the United States of America, but the Americans are probably not keen. Tiny disaffected groups in Africa are two-a-penny and hardly worth the trouble of investigating.

Establish a jurisdiction

So you must establish your own jurisdiction. There are good precedents for this in the many independence movements both here in South Africa and around the world. But very few of them offer a well-defined and articulated jurisprudential system that you could offer as your alternative jurisdiction.

For about 10 centuries commercial interests in Europe have used the law merchant as their jurisdiction in Commercial disputes. this has now evolved to become the TransLex Principles collected and formulated by Klaus Peter Berger (University of Cologne) and his Center for Transnational Law.

This would be a fine solution for commercial disputes, but what about disputes with the state within which you reside, of a political or criminal nature. The most obvious one is a refusal to pay tax to the state. Most existing governments get very excited by this refusal and are quick to take offenders to court.

Generally, existing nation states require that claimants to alternative jurisdictions have their own nation state consisting of physical land bounded by accepted borders and confirmed by other nation states and organisations such as the United Nations. Are you, as a citizen of the world, obliged to abide by these rather stringent requirements?

What about claiming your own private property (within some nation-state) as your jurisdiction, no matter how small?

What about claiming a virtual jurisdiction in some cyberstate such as Bitnation?

Estonia offers e-Residency, a program which allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. The program gives the e-resident a smart card which they can use to sign documents.

What about claiming to be a citizen of a tiny jurisdiction like Liberland and applying their laws? 

What about becoming a citizen of a country like Mauritius or Lichtenstein and claiming their jurisdiction as your own.

All of these possibilities are worthless if you do not have the power and authority to enforce them against your own overbearing nation state. It is highly unlikely that Liechtenstein will send troops or even lawyers to help fight your case in South Africa.

When enforcing your claim to be bound by an alternative jurisdiction you are pretty much on your own.

What is needed is an independent and private jurisdiction enforcement agency consisting of soldiers of fortune of the worst sort who would strike fear into any opposing legal process, while always acting within the bounds and statutes of the jurisdiction that you claim. So, for example, any attempt to violently detain or incarcerate you would trigger an equally violent response to the detriment of the enforcers in the opposing state. Rather like the American response when American citizens are taken into custody by some two-bit third world fleabag country. Generally just the mere threat of response is sufficient to concentrate the minds of tin-pot dictators in distant lands.

Of course an effective response does not always have to be violent. If one has the means one can normally resolve virtually any legal difficulty with a payment to the right set of individuals. In many cases a little research into the backgrounds of these corrupt figures plus a threat to make the details public will result in an acquittal for any particular individual.

Define a constitution

In order not to appear like a lawless mob, your preferred jurisdiction should have a well-defined and widely accepted constitution. For most libertarians this is a short and succinct statement of principle. The Individualist Manifesto is a good example. What better way to popularise the principles of individual freedom than to insist that they be applied to you when arraigned in a court whose jurisdiction you do not recognise.

The best strategy when dealing with a bully is to walk away. The worst strategy is to accept the bully’s terms, to appease and cower. In the words of Ayn Rand, the “sanction of the victim” is the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the “sin” of creating values.  

Demand that the state recognises YOUR jurisdiction!

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