The "Freeman" DelusionSubmitted by NowOrNever on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 23:10
I'm going to argue that the origin of the "freemen-on-the-land" and "sovereign citizen" movements is the following erroneous line of thought:
Premise (a) The government can't violate people's rights unless people have voluntarily ceded their rights to the government
Premise (b) People don't think they've ceded their rights to the government
Premise (c) The government does in fact violate people's rights
THEREFORE, people must have *unwittingly* ceded their rights to the government
The legal theories of the freemen are all about explaining how people have unwittingly ceded their rights to the government. The freemen claim that, behind the plain language of documents like drivers' license applications, there is an esoteric meaning which says that the applicant is ceding his rights to the government. The entire system of "admiralty law" which the freemen have cooked up consists of such invented esoteric interpretations of actual law, designed to explain how people have unwittingly surrendered their rights to the government in various ways.
This entire corpus of fantasy-law is motivated by the desire to explain how people have unwittingly ceded their rights to the government (with corresponding fantasy procedures for getting those rights back). And the belief that people have unwittingly ceded their rights to the government is based on the erroneous line of thinking I outlined above, which is erroneous because Premise (a) is false. The government *can* violate people's rights without them having waived those rights previously. We libertarians might think the government *shouldn't* do so, but the government absolutely is able to do so, and does so constantly. In the final analysis, then, freemanism rests on a confusion between what the law *is* and the what the law *should be*.