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L. Neil Smith's
Number 526, July 5, 2009

"There are aliens among us."

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Do Marriage Licenses Automatically Make You a Slave to Government?
Questions on the "practicality" of being a free, sovereign individual
by Dennis Lee Wilson

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise*

In an extended discussion on a Yahoo message board regarding the pros and cons of government marriage permits, the following question was raised:

I don't disagree with what you are saying but is that to imply that for people who get marriage licenses that they will automatically become slaves to governments that issue them?
—Michael Renzulli at [this link]

Not satisfied with a simple yes or no, my answer kept growing until it became what you see here.

No, Michael. The implication is not that simplistic. MOST (not all) people in the USA have SINCE BIRTH been enslaved to a multiplicity of governments—federal, state, county, city, parish, school district, etc.. Marriage permits are merely the point at which a very long cycle of servitude begins to renew itself.

Consider: MOST people are born in a government regulated and subsidized hospital, delivered by a doctor and staff who are heavily regulated and often subsidized by various government agencies. Before leaving said hospital, the baby is "branded", that is, issued a federal government SS number (soon to be implanted, of course).

Upon leaving the hospital, MOST babies are transported in a government regulated (and now subsidized) vehicle upon a government subsidized road to a government financed house, where they are raised into school aged children on government regulated and subsidized food, sleep on government regulated and approved mattresses and pillows, and play with government approved toys.

Eventually MOST children attend government schools where they are taught government approved material by government approved teachers. Following several years of government controlled "education", most young adults find government regulated jobs, increasingly with the government itself, and—after taxes—deposit it their government printed money into government controlled banks and pay for things with government approved and regulated credit/debit cards that are tracked and monitored by government agencies.

By this time in their lives, many of them have obtained—in addittion to the SS number which is required for most jobs—government iissued licenses to do various professional and non-professional work, licenses for their cars and permits to drive them, permits for the dwellings they rent (paying endless property taxes hardly qualifies as ownership) and pay endless taxes on every item they buy and sell and the services they use and provide.

Eventually MOST people apply to some government for permission to live together (marriage) and have children, which starts the cycle all over again.

* * *

I submit that MOST people in the USA are government slaves from birth. MOST people.

There are SOME who free themselves at some point in the cycle described above.

To say that any single government rule, regulation, subsidy, permit, license or tax enslaves a person is to trivialize the situation and to be totally, completely, utterly blind to the extent of one's enslavement.

Furthermore, opposing or avoiding one of the myriad government rules, regulations, subsidies, permits, licenses and/or taxes does not/will not make one free.

There is an old saying that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". The VERY FIRST STEP on the road to freeing one's self is ATTITUDE.** If a person thinks like a slave, his own servitude is guaranteed. If a person thinks like a free man there are no guarantees, but the first requirement to being free has been accomplished. When a person realizes the condition of servitude into which most of us are born and unthinkingly live, when that person deliberately chooses to rid himself of his complacent servility and end the dependence and the slavery, that person has taken the first step. Without that attitude change, no journey on that road is possible, no individual freedom can ever be achieved.

No, Mike. Marriage licenses do not cause slavery. But, after that first step—that attitude change, the seeking of a non-governmental alternative to marriage could be the second step on the journey by which an individual seeks to free himself.

If you want to BE free, you must do things that MAKE you free.


* The article first appeared on the "blog"/discussion board at and may continue to be expanded there. Thoughtful comments are welcome and solicited.

** In the second half of one of my articles in The Libertarian Enterprise I describe—from personal experience—some of the exhilaration of such a journey.

Expanded version is here.


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