Chafing Against the Law

I abandoned participation in the political process years ago. It’s an utter and complete waste of time. However, one area I’ve seen a slight improvement in is through the work of the Libertas Institute of Utah, where I live. Libertas was founded in 2011 by a friend, Connor Boyack. The institute’s sole purpose is in increasing the freedoms enjoyed by Utahns. This is accomplished by the Institute’s lobbying efforts at Capitol Hill and direct influence on legislation. This takes up the bulk of their efforts. Other efforts include reporting on legislation, maintaining a legislator freedom indexgrading cities on how liberty friendly they are, and produce excellent children’s books that teach libertarian and economic principles.

This singular pursuit has been my solitary area of participation in the political process. I’ve given Libertas my hard earned money in the past because of the success I have seen from their efforts. Unfortunately, the parasites and predators that are government actors have continued to push back against these successes, unsurprisingly. Here’s a recent lament by Connor:

Once upon a time, I was frustrated with people who didn’t vote, didn’t follow the news, and didn’t have an opinion about the latest policy controversy.

And while my life’s work is to make those people care about—and shirk off—the chains with which we’re bound, I no longer am frustrated with them.

Truth be told, I’m often envious of them.

Take it a from a guy in the trenches: for every success we boast, there are far more defeats… and even our successes are often undermined, thwarted, circumvented, etc.

Care for an example? Here are two…

The bill we got passed—after four years of opposition from city governments—to prohibit them from requiring fees of home-based businesses? Many of these cities are imposing all sorts of restrictions the law doesn’t allow, in order to keep collecting the money.

And the food truck freedom bill? Several cities are flouting it by passing additional restrictions that limit food truck operations in their city in order to maintain control.

Reminds me of another example. A few years ago we worked on legislation requiring school districts to send a notice to parents about their rights regarding their children’s education. Alpine School District, in compliance with the letter of the law, printed the text in size 7 font on the bottom of a paper about something else, lost in a stack of many papers sent to the parent at the beginning of the year. And instead of explaining the issue helpfully, they included references to the bill number that no parent would understand.

This is the crap we have to put up with, and constantly push back against.

I have thick enough skin to do it, and am called to the work.

But if you don’t, and you’re not, then that’s fine. It’s messy business. It’s frequently maddening, especially when you are compelled to finance the operation you’re trying to undermine, and your taxpayer funds are being used to lobby against what you’re hoping to achieve.

So go about your business — be productive, contribute to society, focus on your family. That’s what really matters, and to the extent the oppressive state allows you to do so unmolested, you should make the most of it.

Eventually, many folks in this situation will chafe against the law and find themselves becoming actively aware and involved. And we stand ready to help those people succeed.

There’s strength in numbers. We could use more fighters. But I’m no longer frustrated by those who choose not to fight.

I wish Connor and the Libertas Institute all the luck in the universe in their fight against tyranny.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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Alex Knight
Alex Knight
5 years ago

I agree. Know enough to construct your own “survival” strategy — whatever that may look like — but otherwise just ignore all the statist hoopla. Life is just too short to do otherwise: