This story is amusing. Pete Eyre was in a courtroom. (Why was he in court? That wasn't clear from the articles I read. I wouldn't voluntarily go to court, unless there was a specific person I was trying to help.) He refused to take off his hat. He was jailed for "contempt of court".
There's a lot more to protesting the State than escalating minor disputes. It isn't a competition to see "What stupid thing can I get arrested for?" You don't intentionally start a fight with a bully over a minor issue.
If every slave refused to back down for every minor transgression, then the State would collapse. If only a handful of people do it, State thugs will eagerly imprison you.
State thugs *CAN* murder everyone. (Soviet Union, China) In their minds, they aren't evil, so they wouldn't try it. Besides, what kind of milk farmer would murder all his cows?
State thugs can't imprison everyone. Someone has to work and pay taxes/tribute. However, State thugs *CAN* imprison 2% of the population. They already do this.
It would be very easy for State thugs to round up the 10,000 most articulate "market anarchist" writers, and imprison all of them. There probably aren't even 10,000 people.
State thugs wouldn't even need a trial. They could just die in an "accident".
That's a good question. Why haven't State thugs done that? Are they incompetent? Is "market anarchism" lost in the noise of all other stuff? Any government insider smart enough to understand agorism is probably also smart enough to realize that the current system is doomed. Agorism may be the best way to survive the collapse without too many people dying.
There are two conflicting sides to this issue. First, there's "WTF? Contempt of court for refusing to take off your hat?" Second, there's "Don't you have better things to do, than get arrested/kidnapped for something minor?"
Look at it from the point of view of the judge/bailiff. He had two choices:
- Let him leave his hat on.
Also, Pete Eyre probably had confrontational body language (although I wasn't there). The State thug's instincts kicked in. "He's disrespecting my authority!" Pete Eyre was arrested/kidnapped for his body language, in addition to the refusal to remove his hat. Refusing to remove a hat is the "official" reason. The real reason was the hostile body language.
A courtroom is a church for the State. In Christian church, the rule is "Remove your hat to show respect for God." In State church, the rule is "Remove your hat to show respect for the State."
There are many little fnords in a State court. They are little reminders that God=State, priest=judge.
Reviewing the similarities:
- You must remove your hat.
- The benches in a courtroom look like pews in a church.
- The priest wears black. The judge wears black.
- A church displays a cross, the symbol of God. A courtroom displays a flag, the symbol of the State.
- The altar is on a raised platform. The judge sits on an elevated seat.
- The "judge's bench area" is treated like a holy place. Only "altar boys" (lawyers) may approach.
- You must believe, without proof, that God exists. You must accept, without proof, that all the State's laws and rules are beneficial.
- In church, you stand up and sit down when the priest orders you to. In court, you stand up and sit down when the judge orders you to.
- If you disobey God, you are punished. If you disobey the judge or State, you are punished.
- A priest interprets the Bible. A judge interprets State law.
From the point of view of the bailiff/judge, every rule must be strictly enforced. If the slaves start disrespecting stupid rules, they'll start disrespecting important ones.
In fact, the stupid rules are a type of trap. A stupid slave will start disobeying the stupid rules before disobeying the important ones. This makes it easy for State thugs to identify troublemakers.
One of the rules of State court is "The judge can make up whatever rules he wants. He can jail you for 'contempt of court' indefinitely for whatever reason." If you disobey, violence is the preferred solution. I'm sure the bailiff enjoyed arresting Pete Eyre. His colleagues are congratulating him for his excellent work. In New Hampshire and Keene, State thugs are eager to arrest/kidnap the "Free State" and "Free Keene" crowd.
Yes, State thugs overreacted by arresting/kidnapping Pete Eyre. However, according to their own rules, they had no choice. You should resist the State. You should pick your battles wisely. State thugs have virtually unlimited resources, especially when it comes to silencing disobedient slaves.
Doesn't Pete Eyre have better things to do than waste time in jail for something trivial? He isn't costing State thugs a dime. They'll let some murderer go free, just to keep a jail cell available for a political prisoner. (However, if *EVERYONE* acted that way, State thugs couldn't jail everyone. It's a type of equilibrium, when almost everyone goes along with the State without resisting. State thugs can then spend lots of resources silencing dissenters. From the State thug's point of view, the cost of jailing political prisoners is a "cost of doing business" for the State extortion racket.)
The "freedom movement" isn't a competition to see who can get arrested/kidnapped for the stupidest reason.
Right now, only a tiny minority understand how the State is one big scam. State thugs have superior resources and numbers, compared to people who know the truth. It's a waste of time and energy, to get kidnapped/arrested for something trivial.