“Show Me The Writ!” — The Spirit You Must Always Have In Order To Be Free

In 1776, a bloody rebellion started, as economist and historian Murray Rothbard depicted in his five-volume  classic Conceived in Liberty.

What came before that was the true revolution.

Dozens of times a week, I have phone conversations, email conversations, and text conversations with people in which they say they are subject to some policy. I ask for the policy. They don’t have the policy. They have never read the policy. They have never seen the policy.

Sometimes after that conversation, they refuse to even get the policy. They talk about how intimidating it is to ask for, or how the website with the policy was hard to navigate. They sometimes even say “I’ll just look for an attorney.” Wouldn’t it be easier to just call a person who handles the website and ask them to either navigate you to a PDF of the policy or to email you a PDF of the policy?

Listen to me. If you aren’t resolute in what you want, hiring an attorney is one of the surest paths to getting cheated. If you can’t work up the gumption to ask for a policy from a boss you’ve known for 12 years and whose children’s birthday parties you’ve gone to, you have no business hiring an attorney. Unless, possibly, if he is somehow a saintly attorney who also happens to have a totally empty schedule devoid of work commitments, family commitments, or all other commitments and hobbies. Not sure that I know anyone like that. Otherwise, your paid attorney will pay you the indignity of ignoring you, just as you allow your employer to do. You can’t outsource your fight for your personal freedom to an attorney. You have to do your own growing to be free.

An attorney is not a surrogate for you in your own personal growth, yet so many treat an attorney as such. An attorney is someone who works for money. He will do what it takes to get himself money. If you don’t have the wherewithal to direct that effort, you will end up with your attorney chasing money, no matter how harmful that pursuit is to you.

Attorneys can be great. They are useful in open and shut cases. None of today’s public health mandates are open and shut cases. There’s a lot of uncertainty. They are also great when properly managed. Attorneys can leverage up the influence of a free man who knows what he is about, or they can create greater misery in a client’s life. Am I saying not to get a lawyer? No, quite the opposite. I’m saying to toughen up a little and to be ready to do the things it takes to be more free.

Often the most potent thing you can do to protect your freedom is having frank conversations with those who consider it their duty to limit your freedoms. That can be very hard for some people. Without that growth, such people will not be free. Freedom ultimately comes down to honest, face-to-face conversations.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. That’s true at work, or with an attorney, or in your day-to-day steps through life. A lot of us, me included, have some growing to do in that regard. Freedom isn’t a theory. Freedom is a result of how you live your life. It is easy for some to speak about the theory, the reality of living life freely however can be very hard for some, almost everyone, in fact. It takes constant, moment-to-moment vigilance around your boundaries and values as you walk through life, literally being prepared to defend your freedom every second of every day, or put a different way — being prepared to defend your boundaries and values every second of every day.

You’ve got to squeak a little, my friend. You’ve got to have the gumption to say what you want and get it. If you don’t have a policy in hand and have read it, you have no business writing me or anyone else, you have no business talking to anyone about what the policy actually says. If you do so, you are doing nothing but spreading fake news. Get the policy. Read the policy. Understand the policy. Resources like Black’s Law Dictionary can help with any legalese. Then you really know where you stand.

My experience to date is that few bosses have read the policy they are enforcing, because employees so often find obvious loopholes once they see that policy. Realizing that they have busy lives, sometimes it’s your job to point out these loopholes to a supervisor and to request that these loopholes very clearly be made known to all who work for the company.

We live in a society of letters. Decisions are committed to paper — if we force them to be. They are memorialized. Tyrants don’t want to show you a policy. They don’t want to craft a policy. They don’t want to record evil when they do it.

Paper doesn’t save you from evil. But putting things on paper makes it a little harder for evil to do evil. You have to be especially brazen with your evil to put lots of evil on paper, as we are now seeing with Anthony Fauci, who is looking increasingly likely to have a perp walk and orange jumpsuit in his future.

In contrast, Illinois machine politician Michael Madigan, retired from public life as of February 2021, was said to not even have a cell phone. He recognized how beneficial it is to not be traceable. He knew he was doing evil and wanted no trail leading back to him. He brilliantly held power for decades. Madigan is, in fact, “the longest-serving state legislative leader in the country’s history, serving as speaker for 36 of the past 38 years.” That’s what a tyrant wants. Nothing traceable, nothing in writing.

That being said, you want it in writing. You want every policy in writing. You want it written by an attorney. You want it signed off by someone in authority. You want it to have been passed by a board.

If you don’t have those things, those are all red flags.

Mr. Boss, what day was this policy approved by the board? 

Ms. Health Maintenance Organization CEO, what day was this approved by the board?

If it wasn’t, this begs the question, “Why not?” Request that such a policy be crafted, presented to the board, and discussed by the board. In fact, you can even offer to volunteer (and what I really mean is that you insist) to sit on the committee that drafts that policy.

It also begs the question, “What policy passed by the board allows management to implement this decision?”

You want to see it in writing.

This can be done as a consumer, as an employee, and as a citizen, in all areas of your life in which bureaucracy seeks to impose its rules upon you.

They want you to follow proper procedure. Make them follow proper procedure. It’s a real pain for them to do so. Yet, many realize that it’s not unreasonable for you to ask that they do so. So many slave-minded fools exist in our society, though, that a good amount will see it as insubordinate for you to make such a request. Somewhere, in each organization beyond a certain size, is a person who realizes that request to be reasonable, regardless of whether they may disagree with you on other topics.

Before this is all over, if we are to win, each free man will be an amateur lawyer in his own right, being able to say to each person demanding compliance with him “Show me the writ!” “Show me the policy.” Only it will not be called “being an amateur lawyer.” It will be called “how a free man behaves.”

In 1760, many of the colonists would never have asked such a question as “Show me the writ.” Everything was fine. By 1775, that had changed. People had learned to assert themselves and their rights in new ways.

We don’t need societal change. We need you and me to change. We need you and me to be able to assert our rights in our own lives and in our own spheres of influence. That shifts the world around us, the spheres of influence around us. It makes that world around us more free. A few people like that in every community grows into a few dozen, and maybe even eventually into a few hundred. Tyranny cannot handle dozens of people in each community who are each capable enough to say “Show me the writ,” “Show me the policy,” every time they are confronted with an order they find unjust.

It’s not 1775 anymore, so people wouldn’t say, “Show me the writ.” They would say, “Show me the policy,” “Show me the warrant,” or “Show me the law.” The spirit is the same, though. It’s the first step to understanding what another is requesting of you.

Others want to yell about the Constitution, which sometimes makes sense, but usually doesn’t. Others want to seek out a lawyer, which sometimes makes sense but usually doesn’t. Sure, it can be good to be talking to a lawyer in order to understand details that do not make sense to you.

It’s worthwhile to ask for the policy and read the policy before doing all that. Also, it’s important to point out, I’m not talking about a “policy” written on a webpage or a “policy” written as bullet points in an email from your boss. I’m talking about the full 4-page, maybe 14-page policy drafted by a lawyer and approved by a board.

That’s the policy where you will find exemptions, loopholes, and who knows what other treasures.

If you don’t do this, it is as foolish as having a conversation with someone who doesn’t understand the language you speak. Your words are undefined. You don’t share a common dictionary. Until you find this policy, you are having pointless conversations.

Once you find this policy and read it, you will know more on this specific topic than almost any lawyer you will find.

Ask for the policy. Ask for it right away as soon as you are given any order, really any order, not just an order you don’t like. Bind them in their own procedure, procedure some seek to bind you in. This can be done with a PCR test mandate, Covid shot mandate, mask mandate, whatever it may be that is objectionable to you. Honestly, though, what is stopping you from doing it with every single policy, whether objectionable or not? In doing so, you train your boss to follow procedure before it comes down to a moment in which you disagree. If you wait until a moment in which you disagree, you will face far more resistance.

Usually, the less wordy you are with such requests, the better, as brevity opens up fewer avenues by which your request can be challenged. A note asking that procedure be followed can look something like this:

Dear Boss,

Thank you for your note about XYZ. Would you please send me the PDF of the complete policy, as well as the policy around exemptions? 

Respectfully, 

If you don’t like the policy, do this:

Dear Boss,

Out of curiosity, what date was this policy passed by the board?

Respectfully, 

If it was passed by the board, do this:

Dear Boss, 

This seems like a significant departure from previous policy. What is the method for asking that this policy be reviewed more substantially? 

Respectfully, 

These emails do the job in most situations. There might be heavy resistance in some. I’ll skip the resistance for now, in order to quickly illustrate the idea. You have every right to 1.) See the policy that applies to you, 2.) Know that the board of directors has approved it, and 3.) Request review of that policy.

Every man or woman who wants to live free will get comfortable doing that. These are basic, irrefutable aspects of living civilly in society. Your one-sentence email might create three hours of work for your boss. Not fun, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

Is this bureaucratic and procedural approach the key to freedom?

In essence, yes.

Freedom is had by constantly negotiating with those around us in a way that allows us to honestly protect our boundaries.

 

If you’re still doing so, even if just to get through the door, it’s time to stop wearing the face mask. This is the low hanging boundary, an easy to overcome challenge. “Face Masks in One Lesson exists to help you do that, as do these LewRockwell.com pieces, and the email newsletter at RealStevo.com  full of quick, easy to watch videos on how to make that and other bold steps a reality in your own life. 

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