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Why I Can Neither Love Nor Leave the USA

To love it would be a lie, to leave it is impossible.

“Sure, ur free to leave the country anytime u wish to attempt to create ur utopian anarchist society,” a dedicated statist told me awhile back, when confronted with Stefan Molyneux’s “Against Me” tactic. If I’m less than pleased with a government, does it follow that I must relocate to an area not claimed by that government? If I don’t love the USA, do I really have to go?

Logical Fallacy

This tedious ultimatum of “love it or leave it” rolls off the tongue but falls flat when it hits the brain. It’s a false dichotomy. That means it’s a logically broken statement. Why? Because there are very reasonable alternatives to loving the USA or leaving it. Those are not the only options. And what terrible options they are. They betray an antagonism towards individual rights and free thought, values usually associated with Americans.

Let’s Make the Reality Fit the Ideal

Here’s just one of many alternative options: Love America so much you work hard to make the reality fit the promise, so you don’t have to leave it. That’s my favorite choice. America was a new land for those who immigrated here. It wasn’t for the Indians, victims of a nasty campaign of genocide. But it was for those who came here to escape famines, oppression, poverty and religious persecution elsewhere. Today’s America gives you that sinking feeling in your stomach when you compare it to that ideal. America has imported all the tyrannies people want to escape from.

Free Thought Cuts Both Ways

In a recent dialog on reddit, someone told me, “You think the rest of us are all ignorant and blind but we are not. I am generally happy with the way the country runs.” That gentleman, and there are many like him, came to their love of the status quo independently. That’s their business. But it’s a contradiction to force their judgment on others. They came to their decision freely – or so they think – so why shouldn’t I be afforded the same privilege? Why must I agree or get out?

Deconstructing “Love it or Leave it.”

Let’s take a closer look at this ultimatum. What does “Love it or leave it.” mean? Is it patriotic? Is it even possible to accept it?

  1. It assumes that land and regime are one. Are there property rights where you live? If your property is yours, then what does your opinion of the government matter? And if you may not hold both your property and a less than loving attitude towards the little dictators who claim dominion over you, is it really your property? Or does it de facto belong to the government?
  2. It admits that government is a coercive monopoly, and won’t tolerate competition. When I want to change brands of razor I don’t have to move. So why, when I’m not satisfied with the brand of government that’s been forced on the people in my geographical location, am I required to go somewhere else? Aren’t my countrymen in favor of competition and opposed to monopolies?
  3. It claims that the USA government is better than the others, and that we should just be content with that. While the USA seems to claim less power over its subjects than some other governments (for the moment), why should we be content with that? If I’m not happy with any of the bread products available in my area, do I settle? Or do I invent a better one? Not everyone has the drive to put a new and better product out there, but we admire those who do.
  4. It assumes that it is possible to escape the long arm of the United-Statesian little dictators. However, no matter where you are, the USA claims jurisdiction over you and your property. Its IRS wants you to send it reports on your financial activities, no matter where you live. They have enough satellite regimes that you can be extradited back to the US from almost anywhere. Thus the gang makes it impossible to leave. In effect, they claim authority over *you*, no matter where you are.

I Love My Country, NOT the Government

Of course, I do like my country: the land, people and culture around here. It’s just the government that I find abhorrent. The land is beautiful and pleasant. The people are good, honest and trustworthy. But they’re besieged by an all-raping, all-pillaging government that kicks you when you’re down and hands your wallet over to the rich. I simply can not in good conscience tolerate it quietly. Can you?

Conclusion

“Love it or leave it” admits that the government is a monopoly that claims ownership of us all. This ultimatum is not compatible with free market beliefs. It advocates settling for mediocrity and a monopoly. Worst of all, it’s a false choice since the very government we are urged to love will not allow anyone to leave its jurisdiction. That doesn’t fit within any definition of ‘patriotic’ I’m aware of. Does it fit yours?

Photo credit: BL1961. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

26 replies on “Why I Can Neither Love Nor Leave the USA”

That’s of course all well and good, but i can’t unterstand, why you didn’t avoid such a flat and cheesy statement like this one: “The people are good, honest and trustworthy.” THE PEOPLE are…well, millions of different individuals. Describing them as if they were some kind of homogenous body with such general characteristics, tends to diminish the quality of the text as a whole.

Interacting with my fellow citizens lately, it seems that we do not in fact admire those who invent new and better products.

We hate them. We wish they would die. We write articles about how we should kill them, cook them, and serve them for dinner.

We think of them as the evil elite stealing our future from us by not sitting on their asses, doing nothing, and being broke and on welfare like everybody else.

At least, that’s what I’m hearing from the statists.

I was once caught off guard by the LIOLI argument. But I quickly developed a quippy, sound bite of a retort. When commanded to love it or leave it, I replied, “I don’t cut and run!”

It appears that you are engaging in a bit of historical revisionism.

Another gross fallacy in your presentation is that the United States government will extradite you from almost anywhere. That will not happen if you renounce your citizenship and take up another.

We should not be “content” with the government we have, and should be striving to having it adhere to the limits set in our Constitution.

And a complete rejection of “love it or leave it” – an expression RARELY used by anyone seriously – tied in with an idea of being free of government ANYWHERE is rather childish and unrealistic.

Have you ever LIVED in another country? I mean TOTALLY on the economy of another country? I would guess you have not, but I could be wrong.

Interesting. The same two countries where I have lived on the local economy, plus one more. How long did you live there? Were you paid in their currency, hired by their companies?

As I wrote before, it appears that you are engaging in a bit of historical revisionism.

Another gross fallacy in your presentation is that the United States government will extradite you from almost anywhere. That will not happen if you renounce your citizenship and take up another.

We should not be “content” with the government we have, and should be striving to having it adhere to the limits set in our Constitution.

And a complete rejection of “love it or leave it” – an expression RARELY used by anyone seriously – tied in with an idea of being free of government ANYWHERE is rather childish and unrealistic.

The IRS claims you for at least 10 years after you expatriate formally. That is if they let you do it. They charge money for it and make it a PITA.

You are out of touch. People use “love it or leave it” all the time. You may not see that because you have already made the choice to love it.

Being free is something great people have risked their lives for. Sometimes they have lost their lives over it. Was Rosa Parks childish and unrealistic? Gandhi? Jesus?

If a person has the guts to expatriate and not just whine, it does not matter what the IRS “claims” you. In reality, it is not going to do anything unless you hold millions and millions or are a criminal.

I have heard that “love it or leave it,” but it is invariably in response to the “Blame-America-Firsters,” the America bashers, the historical revisionists. The people who think Howard Zinn’s version of America is the right and “honest” one.

I do not get the comparisons to Jesus and Ghandi. It sounds like you just want to get on a moral high horse. You ain’t either one, pal.

Oh, Rosa. Do you know about what kind of a school she attended; that is where she got her instruction in how to do what she did?

The Highlander Folk School. It was run by Communists.

There is a difference between the civil rights advances and who promoted and backed these (people of all persuasions), and the civil rights movement (left-wingers).

So, please do not set her up as a beacon of freedom. Has a nice ring to it, but her name is just used by people because they know most will not say anything in contradiction for fear of being called a “racist.”

Non sequitur. They have long arms. They can extradite you from almost anywhere if they want. Or they can just make your life hell.

The fact that they claim ownership of you is enough to substantiate my claim that you can not leave their jurisdiction.

What a ridiculous strawman. Where did I claim to be anybody but myself?

Are you saying the civil rights movement was a communist conspiracy?

EDIT: There is no single work of history that encompasses all possible truth in any given context. That is simply beyond the medium of ink on paper. Howard Zinn’s works make a valuable and unique contribution to the body of work called history. But to say his work does or does not represent the complete truth is simply ridiculous on its face, given the nature of the medium.

I have lived overseas for probably 25 years and never even once seen the reality of such an IRS claim. Just because there are certain types of laws on the books does not mean that there is a reality to them. Until recently, Connecticut had laws on what positions in which a man and wife could have sex by law. If one wants to think that the police then might come busting in one’s house to enforce it, or that this is an infringement on one’s freedom, then I would say that person either needs psychiatric treatment or fits in one of more of Hoffer’s descriptions of the “true believer,” the fanatic.

No, I am not saying the civil rights movement was a communist conspiracy. There were communists involved in it, and they provided support and funding; the CPUSA was deeply involved, and the Soviets had specific reasons – internationally – for getting involved.

But I only made a reference to it because of your presumptuous writing in which you tried to take the moral high ground with references to Park, Jesus and Ghandi.

Zinn’s work is simply an attack on every basic American institution in a rentless fashion, and the premises he presents are wrong and malicious.

You wrote that the Indians were victims of genocide. A complete distortion or a deliberate lie. Something someone like Howard Zinn or Noam Chumpsky would write. First of all, most died from disease, and that was not intentional. Second, the use of the word “genocide” is appalling and outrageous. That term is used for the planned extermination of a race of people. The planned – repeat, PLANNED – extermination of an entire race of people.

The more I hear from you, the more I can understand why some people might get frustrated and provide suggestions about your presence in America.

Just because they don’t have enough resources to come after you (assuming you are not already in complete compliance), is not proof this is false.

Here’s something on this from the IRS themselves. It looks like they may have altered the rules recently to some extent, but it’s the same thing.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97245,00.html

Just because there are certain types of laws on the books does not mean that there is a reality to them.

Any law on the books is a threat. It is made credible by the state’s firepower and their record of pegging anything they can on people they don’t like. And the injustice system conviction rate is very high.

If one wants to think that the police then might come busting in one’s house to enforce it, or that this is an infringement on one’s freedom

The cops are capable of anything, mostly because no one is willing and/or able to hold them accountable.

Of course it is an infringement on one’s liberty to burst into someone else’s house without their permission. That’s just obvious.

Zinn’s work is simply an attack on every basic American institution in a rentless fashion, and the premises he presents are wrong and malicious.

Why?

I suppose in your mind the Trail of Tears and the enslavement of Indians in south america was entirely accidental? A regrettable happenstance?

Give me a break.

Have you even read any Howard Zinn? Which books did you finish?

I am having a conversation with a radical. An extremist, someone who believes that the State may come in to one’s house and check if one is having the proper sex with one’s spouse, just because it is on the books from the early 18th century, and this demonstrates that our liberty is being threatened.

You have not answered my comment about your claim that the Native Americans were victims of genocide. You only respond – as with references to Jesus and Ghandi – with references to a horror story and present this as policy. You used the term “genocide” and you are not facing up to it.

You used the same tactic that is used by the Left winger in America: Present names and events like the Holocaust, Jesus, Hitler, and assume the person is either against the “good” guy or for the “bad” guy, and put him in a position of telling you WHY he is not like Hitler or is not denying that the “Trail of Tears” happened. It is a devious and dishonest way to avoid responding to what has been said, but I can see right through it.

Yes, I have read Howard Zinn: “A People’s HIstory of the United States.” Have you?

What magical power do you assign to calling people names? Do you think that actually proves your claim or persuades anyone?

Here’s a guy that was facing life for having sex outside of marriage (while allegedly selling oxycontin), just as one example of obscure sex “crimes” being prosecuted.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/adultery_could_carry_life_sentence_in_michigan/

My liberty is not just being threatened. Parts are already gone and lots more is under assault. Being in Japan, perhaps you don’t pay attention to goings on in the US.

I certainly did reply to your objection to the Indian genocide thing. Are you not familiar with history? Do you want me to send you a history book with post it notes on the pages where these things are discussed?

Your third paragraph makes zero sense. It suffers from collectivization and over-generalization.

You can’t possibly be this naive as to continually insist I haven’t done things that I actually have.

I’ve read A People’s History at least twice.

I can understand if people react to you the way you complain and whine about America. You are the kind of person who exaggerates and distorts reality. The kind who will see the law on the “books” in Connecticut that a married couple are supposed to have sex only a certain way and actually CLAIM that this is some kind of danger to our freedom.

That is so preposterous that it simply does not make sense.

Are you trying to claim that America had a policy of genocide of Indians? Be clear now.

My third paragraph make perfect sense, of course. You do not respond rationally, but simply make references to Jesus and Ghandi. Absurd. Your Leftist tactic is that if someone does not agree with you, they are a racist, excusing genocide, or are against people like Jesus or Ghandi.

You read Zinn’s book twice? Reading your posts, it all fits. According to Zinn, the “people” in America constantly struggle for tolerance and equality, but they are always defeated, of course, by a small band of elites. Our American Revolution is a “clever device to defeat potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.”

I suppose you agree with that…..

Why is it preposterous?

America is a group of people. Are you talking about the United States?

You are trying to move the goalposts of the discussion to a new issue re/ the Indian genocide. I’m just not interested.

Mishima, please find something better to do with your time than put words in my mouth. It is really unbecoming.

It is preposterous because you deny reality. The reality is that the police in Connecticut DID NOT bust down doors based on reports that married couples were having illegal sex, of course. If they did, they would be a laughing stock.

In our society, we sometimes must give up some “rights” for a bit of order. Consider an extreme situation in which we are at war or there has been an earthquake and danger of looting. Can we scream obscenities wherever we want? Do we take our liberties to the extreme of saying that we should be able to walk down the street naked? To say otherwise would be an infringement on my rights; I am not harming anyone and it is my body. Please give me a reasonable and rational reason that I should not be allowed to do this, if you do think the police should discourage such behavior.

Also, you read Zinn’s book twice. Please tell me your opinion, your judgment. I know you already told me that his information is useful, etc., but what do you think of his overall view of America and Zinn’s conclusions about the purpose of its formation?

I do not deny reality. Why aren’t the cops in Michigan a laughing stock for prosecuting a guy for adultery? Why aren’t you laughing at them?

Your second paragraph is not properly contextualized. Only voluntary agreements are valid. Are you hypothetically screaming obscenities in your house? On someone else’s street? In someone else’s shop? Are you creating noise pollution at a time when most people are resting? If you’re not hurting anyone else and you’re doing it in a place that belongs to you or where you have permission, then it’s AOK with me. Otherwise, it’s not.

Is that *your* street that your walking naked on? Yes? Good to go – but not if you have voluntarily agreed to not do that with someone in a valid contractual agreement. No? Gotta get the owner’s permission.

I found Zinn’s works to be useful. I have also found works by Ayn Rand, Ralph Nader, Che Guevara, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Bukowski, Sun Tzu and countless other authors to be useful.

I generally agree with Zinn’s interpretations. I do not have the time right now to further evaluate a 720 page book that covers 500 years of history.

You duck and dodge. You did not answer whether it OK for a person to walk down the street naked? Of course, it means a public street, not on a neighbor’s property. Or in a public place, as a library, paid in part by the nudist’s taxes. Is that how far you would take “freedom?” Can a husband and wife have sex on their front yard in a residential neighborhood? After all, they are on their own property and not “harming” anyone. And it is mutual consent.

And I thought you could respond with common sense when I referred to obscenities and not define it to death. (And I was nor referring to volume, of course.) OK: There was a case in which the Supreme Court got involved. A person went into a court, as an observer, with a “F… the draft” T-Shirt with the word written out, of course. The judge had him thrown out of the court. He screamed First Amendment rights, and it went as far at the Supreme Court and he got his selfish way.

I am not at all surprised that you agree with Comrade Zinn’s interpretation. I will take that as an answer and not your “I do not have time” dodge. I will tell you what I think: It is a rant of hatred of America and capitalism, and it is an excuse for Marxism. Zinn was a Communist, ya know. He denied it, but he was one of those who taught basic Marxism in a union, and there are many who have testified that he was a member of the CPUSA,

With statements like you make, I can understand it if people have said something about leaving the country to you. Have you had that hurled at you?

Is it ok to eat bread? This too general a question. Does it have mold? Is it made from radioactive wheat? Is it stolen? Et cetera. If you want to discuss ethics, you have to be prepared to discuss these things. There is no ducking or dodging involved, only clarification and contextualization. I answered your question many times over.

It all depends on what voluntary agreements govern the time, place and manner of use of these properties. It all depends.

So what if someone is a communist? Does that automatically negate their intellectual abilities? Their human rights? Your capacity for brotherly love and empathy?

Your comments are degenerating into ad hominem. I suggest you either restore a civil tone or take your nastiness elsewhere.

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