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Is it unlibertarian to work for the TSA?

I have a friend who is trying to convice me to apply to the TSA for a job. I consider myself a hardcore libertarian and want the TSA abolished and not replaced with anything. That being said, would it be unlibertarian to apply for the job considering that some form of airport security would still exist in absence of the TSA? It's nowhere near my first choice of jobs, but it's a rough economy.

Edit: The TSA does other things than grope people. They also man checkpoints throughout the airport and watch for suspicious activity. I'm not sure that everyone does the more notorious things.

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I can tell you that despite

I can tell you that despite not having a job last year, I didnt even think to apply to something like the TSA. I think the only way I would even think to apply is if I was about out on the street or something. However, that is never to happen.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

To be honest, one of the

To be honest, one of the reasons I made the post was to help gather arguments against applying for me to give for my friend. I didn't mention that in the post because I had other reasons for asking, including curiosity about community opinion, and I thought that some people might enjoy philisophical debate. I know I enjoy that kind of thing because I'm just geeky like that, lol.

I actually go further than most to further libertarian ends in my personal life. For instance, I haven't purchased patented or copyrighted products in years. Not medicine, not software, not movies...nothing. That is huge. Do you have any idea how hard it is to eshew patents and copyright in modern America? I only make an exception for copyleft because it's such a huge improvement over copyright. Defensive patents where firms contractually eshew ever using the patent except against someone suing someone them or fellow stakeholder for patent infringement is also okay, though. I also ONLY use cryptocurrency in online purchases. I'd do the same in brick and mortar shops, but there aren't any such shops around me.

No lover of freedom

could work for the TSA. The only way I could see it is if a person went to work there to become a spy or a mole...kinda go undercover to disrupt or to get intel that could be used by the liberty movement. Tricky proposition.

A popular children's book

says it's OK.

From ‘Olivia Goes to Venice’:

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Thanks for the Input

Not a lot of the responses are particularly nuianced, but if I understand the very rough consensus, working for the TSA doing security is inherently unlibertarian. Working for the TSA as a filing clerk (for instance) might be neutral (almost any government job is immoral), but not especially moral. Only moral reason would be to infiltrate for either information dispersal or some risky (to my job history) attempt to change things from within.

I'm not going to stop voting for GOOD candidates (I'd never vote for a bad one) on election day. That's the worst strategy in the history of forever. It's been done many times by various groups and it's ALWAYS resulted in them losing everything. Even if political victory isn't the solution, you need elections to raise your ideology's profile against entrenched statism that can manipulate information disemination.

Big Gov would love it if all

Big Gov would love it if all the jobs went to people who love Big Gov while leaving pro-liberty supporters out in the cold. Just some food for thought.


Ron Paul would say...

... "We need more libertarian minded people in these positions. Just like how we are trying to influence the Republican party from within, and change the culture from the inside, you could do the same thing from within the [TSA] by working your way up to become a supervisor, manager, or shop steward in the union."

How do I know this? Because that's what Ron Paul told me the fist time I met him. I asked him if it's wrong for me to work for the #2 military industrial complex contractor, (granted I just work on the commercial side, not military), and that's more or less what he told me.

Think about it! If you were going to let some dude touch your junk, wouldn't you rather it be done by a libertarian that at least has a conscience about it? What if we someday had the majority of TSA positions filled by libertarians, constitutionalists, paleo-conservatives, and classical liberals? Maybe they could protest to get these policies changed.

I care more about what someone in authority does to me

than whether they lose sleep over doing it because they have a conscience.


Sure. If you consider your self a spy for liberty.
Copy every thing. Post it here. Give it to Alex jones.
From inside you may be able to make a greater difference.

Like maybe a well timed theatrical exit in protest! :)

"You only live free if your willing to die free."

If you end...

up getting the job, you won't make it past probation. Either you will become disgusted at what you are required to do or they'll catch on that you're no ordinary follower.

No im sure it'd be fine. If

No im sure it'd be fine. If that fails, you can apply for a border security checkpoint officer to harrass people driving around, or you can become NYPD (if your IQ is low enough).

In time, other opertunities may arise, for example, you could eventually join the thought police or storm troopers, which ever comes first.

Seriously though: @#$% NO its NOT OKAY TO JOIN THE @#$%ING TSA!!!!

They represent everything that is wrong with America. Do YOU want to be everything that's wrong with America!? Jesus titty @#$%ing Christ do NOT NOT NOT Join the TSA!

Is it unlibertarian to work at the TSA?

This is like asking "Is it unvegetarian to eat a Big Mac?" My advice to you is that if you're this desperate for a job, do something more noble like pan-handling.

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” - G.K. Chesterton

It would eat at me...

It would eat at me to have to do things that I disagreed with. I don't think I would feel right benefiting from taxpayer money doing something I wholeheartedly disagree with. That's just me though.

BUT, there is always a silver lining if you look.

I'm sure there are ways you could inject liberty into your new job if you decided to take it.

Perhaps rather than thinking of it as a job, you could think of it as getting paid (taxpayer money) to promote liberty inside the TSA! Perhaps as others suggested, you could mount an internal investigation and compile a bunch of evidence.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Sure...but when you see me coming with my Ron Paul

shirt on...wave me on by.

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I know major allies who fund them" Gen. Dempsey


"would it be unlibertarian to apply for the job"

No. You have to do what is best for you. I would not recommend a long-term career in government service but if you cannot find work or the logistics are good - definately take it.

I'll say hi when you have to come pat me down for refusing to walk through the full-body scanners.


These days, very few jobs in USA are libertarian in nature.

This is what it really means to "vote."

Voting on Election Day, isn't really voting at all. That's just a ceremony that is used to usurp your energy for four years.

Consider skipping Election Day and, instead, do vote for yourself the other 364 days a year with your feet and with your wallet.

That means, do things that you support and that you want to see more of.

By shopping at coffee shops that you support, turning off Fox/CNN, and working for companies that you want to see more of, you are exercising your personal power to create more of the things that you want. By shopping at (say) Starbucks, watching Fox/CNN, and working at the TSA, you are creating more things that you don't want.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Bravo! Excellent response.

This is real voting. Vote with your actions, day in and day out. Repetition creates habits and patterns and structures.

Bravo! Excellent response.

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.

Thanks for your post. It

Thanks for your post. It very politely said what I was unable to politely say.


Generally, I avoid all jobs that involve things I personally disagree with. However - I understand that some don't have a huge assortment of options.

That being said, if you take that position and stick to your principles and values, I would certainly prefer you being a TSA agent over some thug they pull off the streets. And if you stick to your values, and fight back against the corruptness and perversion - then you'll be getting paid to point out and attempt to fix something awful. But that means pointing out when fellow employees grope, or do anything you disagree with. You should confront them, no matter what.

As mentioned below, though, sticking to your principles may get you out of that job fairly quickly. But any job that makes you compromise your principles isn't worth having anyways. So, stick to your principles, and if it ever gets to that point, just walk away.

tasmlab's picture

If you have to ask...

In the general scheme of things, you aren't doing any thing worse than paying taxes or riding on roads in terms of being libertarian. And most people's jobs probably get some funds or protection or something from the government.

But why sign up for something you know you are against? Every time you slide on your Cap'n Crunch epaulette, put on your tough-guy quasi-police hat, and squeeze into those rubber gloves (prior to squeezing into somebody's orifice) you are going to feel like shit.

Looks like a tedious, crap-ass job anyways. Do something you can actually be proud of, like cleaning up dog shit in people's yards or picking through garbage cans for returnables.

I like the suggestion below: take food stamps. It's not very libertarian either, but at least you don't have to wear that uniform and tell people to take off their shoes for eight hours a day.

If you do take the job, at least grow a creepy mustache. Totally required.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

We need spies.

We need spies and inside information on the establishment.

don't worry too much

Its probably also unlibertarian to pay into social security, drive on public roads, or pay taxes that support foreign wars. So unless you're willing to make a martyr of yourself in pursuit of being the ideal libertarian, I'd just do your best to get by and change the system that puts us into these situations

Right. Don't stand for any

Right. Don't stand for any principles, just do what everyone else does and keep your head down. Just like Ron Paul does, right? I'm sure it's not dehumanizing at all to work for the DHS.


you are saying you don't pay taxes or social security and don't drive on public roads?? I think you are being a little too critical of what he was trying to get across

"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."

-Thomas Jefferson

I have every right to drive

I have every right to drive on the public roads. The public roads belong to the people and I pay to build and maintain the roads from the tax on gas. Who here thinks a libertarian shouldn't drive on a road that he is part owner of? As for taxes, I pay what I owe. As for SS, I stopped paying in to that voluntary retirement program years ago. You should, too. It's a legal Ponzi scheme, you know.

thanks; well stated arguement.

I enjoyed your response and agree completely. You should have included it in your post!!

On another note... How do I stop paying social security when my employer deducts it?? do you have to qualify to opt out?

"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."

-Thomas Jefferson


Ron Paul spent half of his life as a government servent...What are you talking about? Or are you just a detractor?

Well, cmon, he went into the

Well, cmon, he went into the belly of the beast and spent 30 years fighting for principles. Not hardly equal to taking a job with the TSA and and taking orders from Big Sis. This whole thread is a detractor. I'm truly sorry I posted anything at all in this ridiculous thread. I mean, when someone comes to a public forum and asks for other people's opinions about what to do in their private life, I should just keep moving and not take the bait I suppose.

And it was a rough economy that

many German's used to justify joining the brown shirts.

It is why a bad economy is so essential when trying to wrestle freedom from people.

I for one will call you for what you are - a pos.

Sorry - but half baked excuses for doing dirty work is still doing dirty work.

A morale compass should not be swayed by the monetary benefits of moving the needle - otherwise - the compass was never really true to begin with.