Why is a sovereign citizen considered an extremist?
If you know what a soverign citizen is do you agree that they are considered a threat to society by the FBI?
C.S. Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
The current aim of the federal government as a whole, and sadly consisting of the better part of both major Parties, is to rule rather than govern. There is not room for sovereign citizens in a socialistic society where "the good" of the many is the mantra of those in power. It is not about the individual liberty of citizens and, in reality, it is not about the good of the many either. It is about control and power. What much of the media and Washington now call "extremist" are what we used to call Constitutional patriots. We believe in the liberty of individuals, freedom, free-markets and a government of, by and for the people, not one above the people.
As a matter of fact, sovereign citizens are not extremists as they are also a part of our society, but there are some matters they should be counselled including the obeying of statutes or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal level and they should know the government is machinery for the public itself
A sovereign citizen, simply put, is a citizen who does not believe he follows under federal authority (and many times state authority) and therefore, follows basic common law. This in itself is not a threat. The problem comes when those beliefs turn to certain actions. Since these beliefs usually consist of an anarchist society where everyone does what he chooses in each best interest, with little regard to others, problems can obviously arise.An anarchist society is close to natural law. The concepts of Locke and later the US founders suggests that governments are created in order to live beyond that natural law, to live in a society where the government protects from anarchy. This is considered a safer way of living by most of society. Founders ultimately chose federalism as a way to maintain civilized protection by government. Of course, this is more complex than what I write here. The sovereign citizen denies federalism and claims anarchy (lack of govt, natural state of being) as the rule. When that sovereign citizen chooses to live outside the laws of the federal, or state, legal system and also breaks laws which are many times terroristic, then at this point, the FBI would consider them terrorists. There are really two things going on here: (1) Since by its very nature, anarchy is harmful to societal order, to subscribe to the beliefs is an ideological threat to society -- left for scholars and great thinkers to ponder, not necessarily the FBI. and (2) actions that promote living by anarchy -- where people are actually being terrorized and hurt/killed. In that case, the FBI has lumped the whole group into terrorism. They have a point: If I think its in my best interests to murder you and you do not think its in your bests interests for me to murder you, who wins (with equality) in an anarchial or common law society? On one hand, the sovereign citizen can be likened to Islam to a degree -- there are some who act against the law and hurt others and some who really do not. Do we throw them all into the same pot? The reason the FBI throws all sovereign citizens into that same pot is simple (I did not say "right") is that the nature of the sovereign citizen promotes breaking laws, living in anarchy, etc. If they followed federalism, they would not exist, unlike exp Muslim sects. Do I agree the FBI should do this? No, not really. We all have the right to our own beliefs -- ironically, by US Constitution. Do I understand why the FBI does this, yes.
I see a sovereign citizen, not as an anarchist, but, instead as an individual who understands person liberty. The Constitution was set up to protect the people from a tyrannical federal government, not to protect the people from themselves.
Mitch -- let me rephrase. The Constitution is to protect from a tyrannical fed. govt. The desire for govt to exist in the first place creates a social contract to protect from a natural human state of being. ps: I didn't say govt was good at it.
Karre, Thank you for the clarification. I do believe there is a need for government, even a federal one, but only one constrained by the Constitution. One that is truly of, by and for the People.
Mitch. I completely agree with you. I was answering why the FBI would lump the sovereign citizen (as defined by the FBI) into a terrorist grouping.Obviously, there are lots of complicated issues and SCs have valid points that many citizens share.
This is a very interesting discussion, and I would add only a couple of points.
First of all, this is not new. Jefferson favored the idea that sovereign citizens and occasional violent revolt were necessary to a healthy nation until he saw the horrors of the French Revolution. Under various names, both the belief that a society ought to develop advanced laws and governance (such as courts and tax systems), and that this endangers personal freedom, have been around for at least 800 years.
Secondly, I think it is a mistake to say that the Constitution has *the* purpose of protecting individual (and State) rights from an excessively powerful Federal state or one that abuses power. The framers of the Constitution *wanted* a Federal government with more power because the original federation, which allowed taxation of commerce by the states and didn't have unified currency, was inevitably breaking down. So the purpose of the constitution was to create "a more perfect union" that would provide the benefits of central government and also protect us from it gaining excessive power or misusing the power it has. People from both sides of the issue will debate endlessly whether the Federal government is violating our rights, and whether individuals with freedom are misusing those rights to harm others.
Third, a sovereign citizen has declared that the laws of the United States do not apply to him or her. Many such may be peacable citizens. But one of the jobs of the FBI is to watch people who are willing to break the law. Some of them may be, or become, the types of people who set off bombs that kill little children, or may, even accidentally, encourage such behavior. No one wants that.
Fourth, few people consider that both sides of this dialog might be wrong. What if neither the anarchic tendency of the Sovereign Citizen ideal nor the centralist tendency of Federalism can create a healthy, peaceful society? What if all politics is part of the problem exactly because all politics is, and creates, a power struggle? What if peace can only be created from within?
It is interesting to contrast both the Sovereign Citizen ideal and the Federal ideal (say as held by Lincoln) with the Gandhian ideal, developed from Thoreau's civil disobedience. Here, the citizen declares himself or herself sovereign, but then agrees to either obey the law or accept the penalty for violating it, without engaging in violence. It is a third alternative, a whole new way.
I stand corrected on my simple explanation of the Constitution's purpose. I want to think on your 4th point & the third alt & get back. You have made excellent points and are "right on." And you did a great job clarifying and laying this out.
Karre - Thank you, and I hope we continue the conversation. In re-thinking, you might read Jefferson, Lincoln (address to Lyceum Springfield), Thoreau's On Civil Disobedience, and Gandhi. Nothing like original sources to inspire a clear mind.
In the United States, we are all sovereign citizens. A sovereign individual is the highest authority over the human being. There is no higher authority over my life than myself. This does not mean that laws do not apply, it means that without causing harm, loss, or fraud, there is no crime to speak of. As an example, what a sovereign chooses to ingest is not a matter for debate, it is nobodies business except the individual.
An individual can consent to waiving their sovereign status for taxpayer funded benefits, but they cannot legally be forced into such a situation.
Are sovereign citizens extremist? That would depend on the individual!
"It will be admitted on all hands that with the exception of the powers granted to the states and the federal government, through the Constitutions, the people of the several states are unconditionally sovereign within their respective states." Ohio L. Ins. & T. Co. v. Debolt, 16 How. 416, 14 L.Ed. 997.
"People of a state are entitled to all rights, which formerly belong to the King by his prerogative." Lansing v Smith, (1829) 4 Wendell 9,20 (NY).
"...at the revolution the Sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects ......and have none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty." Chisholm v Georgia, 2 Dall. 440, at pg 471;
The fact that the people are sovereign is what makes the United states of America an exceptional nation, and one that has never existed before. Be careful lest you lose that which is the most valuable!
There is no higher authority over your life than yourself? Try not paying your federal, state, and local taxes or try building a building on your own property without a permit, and see if you still think we are "Sovereign."
Your soverign rights were relinquished in 1933 unless tou claim it back. The problem; they never told you that they took it in the first place.
Mininfo -- can you elaborate on your last comment? Thanks!
Just because government violates the sovereignty of its citizens does not make it right or legal. Government has a requirement to redress our grievances but fails. This makes them wrong not us. One step at a time, jury nullification!
The united states is a corporation and its citizens stock. The common currency up until 1933 was Gold and bills were used to represent Gold. Gold was then replaced by the virtual currency and every citizen was made stock. You have a set value.
I have several hubs on these subjects. Not trying to self promote, so I will not insert links, but they are there.
Because their definition of sovereign is whatever they say it is, instead of "law of the land" (Constitution. laws passed on Congress and state legislatures, county and city councils, etc.).
They are literally "law unto themselves", and thus, a threat to society at large.
There is no longer such a thing as a sovereign citizen, maybe in title only. Why waste the time to seperate the loyalist from the extremist. And what are the loyalist loyal to? They don't know anymore but I'm sure it will soon be redefined with clarity, made obvious and a choice determined by force, individually and publicly thus recertifying your false sovereignty.
I don't know what a "sovereign citizen" is, so I checked RationalWiki and it says: "The sovereign citizen movement claims that a person has the right under common law (or at least their bizarre sham definition thereof) to declare him/herself as essentially a nation unto themselves, and therefore may not be subject to the law of the land where they live". A lawless society then!
But in Malaysia, the laws are made to ensure those in power will remain in power and since the turn of the century, many non-governmental organizations have sprouted, fighting against the so-called "laws" and social injustice. For me, I agree with them but when a country is properly run, I think we should abide by the law... not when it is run by a group of bandits.
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