What do you do on the day taxes are due? Do you rail against an inevitable evil that you feel powerless to stop? Or do you shrug and say this is the price we pay for peace and freedom?

Peace? When the money wrested from our labors or printed out of thin air goes to build weapons that can extinguish us in a blink and to fund wars and proxy wars all over the world?

Freedom? When our every word and action is surveilled and documented and regulated?

Either we were born free or we were not. We may have been born into bondage or dragged into subservience or coaxed into surrender, but we were indeed born free — if nowhere else, then between our temples. No shackles can bind our minds as long as there exists a spark, and woe to the despot who ignites that spark.

Anything — power, technology, even the tools of peace — in the wrong hands can be subverted to evil, and the wrong hands are in charge of the apparatus.

This is the price we pay for allowing the wrong hands to creep into control. It’s possible we are powerless to stop them. It’s also possible that we can creep back into control of our lives.

Look to names like Thoreau and Gandhi and King. That’s what I do, on the day taxes are due: I pay my bill and study their wisdom. 

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