Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tax resistance is important because money is the primary source of power that the governments and oppressors of the world exercise.  By refusing to pay taxes, I am refusing to submit myself to the whims of the military.  I would be more than happy to pay taxes, if my money only went to roads and parks and schools and libraries, but neither I nor anyone else gets to earmark their tax money to go to these things.  A good way to get around this is to refuse to pay traditional taxes and instead donate your money directly to those responsible for the creation and maintenance of roads, parks, schools and libraries.  If those in power do not have the resources to impose their law upon everyone else, it will be easier to circumvent them and begin the process of change. 

            By voting to abstain, I am refusing to put someone in power in the first place.  If there is no legitimate and consensual leader, then society becomes more egalitarian and it becomes possible to communicate with all others on an even playing field, where no one holds power over any other. Voting is abstain is not the same as not voting altogether, instead I’m letting the ‘leaders’ of the country know that I refuse to elect them, any of them.  No matter whom I vote for, my voice and my opinion will not be heard; instead only the opinions of the rich donors and the party leaders will matter.  Without people in power in the first place, then they aren’t there to circumvent in the first place and then the process change can truly begin.   

            Gandhigiri is a term that originates from the 2007 Bollywood movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai[1], which is about an underworld don in the Indian city of Mumbai called Munna Bhai who sees the spirit of the Mahatma Gandhi.  The image of Gandhi teaches Munna Bhai about Satyagraha, truth, and non-violence, part of the whole philosophy which Munna Bhai calls Gandhigiri.  Munna Bhai begins to employ Gandhigiri to help random everyday people with their problems.  Since the movie premiered in 2007 Gandhigiri protests or spontaneous expressions of individual civil disobedience have begun to appear both in the United States and India.  In 2006, in the Vidarbha region of India, farmers staged a protest against food prices utilizing flowers as a form of Gandhigiri protest.  Going forward Gandhigiri will be the primary means of resisting civil government everywhere.  Lots of small scale acts of kindness and non-violent civil disobedience will add up and actually make a real substantial difference in people’s lives.

[1] Translation: Carry On Munna Brother

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