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The information about volunteering is not new. Ayn Rand, a noted philosopher and author of our time, used much of her famous novel, "Atlas Shrugged, to make similar points when government tricks became obvious to her in the 1950ís.

At one point in her book the scenario went like this as the government tried to control the heroís special technique for making metal. The scene is a courtroom where a three judge panel has summoned Hank Reardon. He has just been advised that cases of this nature are not tried by a jury, but are tried by a three judge panel appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. Reardon has just refused to enter a plea:

"Do you... " the judge stumbled; he had not expected it to be that easy. "Do you throw yourself on the mercy of this court?"
"I do not recognize this courtís right to try me."
"What?"
Hank Reardon repeated his statement.
"But, Mr. Reardon, this is the legally appointed court to try this particular category of crime."
"I do not recognize my action as a crime."
"But you have admitted that you have broken our regulations controlling the sale of your metal."
"I do not recognize your right to control the sale of my metal."
"Do you mean that you are refusing to obey the law?" asked the judge.
"No. I am complying with the law to the letter. Your law holds that my life, my work and my property may be disposed of without my consent. Very well, you may now dispose of me without my participation in the matter. I will not play the part of defending myself where no defense is possible, and I will not simulate the illusion of dealing with a tribunal of justice."

The dialogue in Ayn Randís novel continues between Reardon and the court for another page and then the court questions if he is aware of the gravity of the charges against him and the sentence he could receive.
Reardon challenges the panel to impose their sentence.

"This is unprecedented," one of the judges said.
"It is completely irregular," said the second judge. "The law requires you to submit a plea in your own defense. Your only alternative is to state for the record that you throw yourself on the mercy of the court."
"I do not."
"But you have to."
"Do you mean that what you expect from me is some sort of voluntary action?"
"Yes."
"I volunteer nothing."
"But the law demands that defendantís side be represented on the record." "Do you mean that you need my help to make this procedure legal?"
"Well, no ... yes ... that is, to complete the form."
"I will not help you."

The insight Ayn Rand had in realizing what govern-ment was doing in the late 1940ís and early 1950ís is displayed in the books she wrote at that time. A better understanding of the attitudes which prevail among bureaucrats today, can be best developed by reading this great classic- Atlas Shrugged (New American Library, Signet Books, Hardcover Edition from Random House). So that you'll fully understand....

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We *want* them broken. You'd better get it straight That it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up againstĖ then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted Ė and you create a nation of law-breakers Ė and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."
-- Ayn Rand, _Atlas Shrugged , Ch. III, "White Blackmail"


[Similarly, the following passage begins on page 448 of the 35th Anniversary Edition of "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand:

"According to the procedure established by directives, cases of this kind were not tried by a jury, but by a panel of three judges appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources; the procedure, the directives had stated, was to be informal and democratic. The judge's bench had been removed from the old Philadelphia courtroom for this occasion, and replaced by a table on a wooden platform; it gave the room an atmosphere suggesting the kind of meeting where a presiding body puts something over on a mentally retarded membership.

One of the judges, acting as prosecutor, had read the charges. "You may now offer whatever plea you wish to make in your own defense," he announced.

Facing the platform, his voice inflectionless and peculiarly clear, Hank Rearden answered: "I have no defense."

"Do you-" The judge stumbled; he had not expected it to be that easy. "Do you throw yourself upon the mercy of this court?"

"I do not recognize this court's right to try me."

"What?"

"I do not recognize this court's right to try me."

"But, Mr. Rearden, this is the legally appointed court to try this particular category of crime."

"I do not recognize my action as a crime."

"But you have admitted that you have broken our regulations controlling the sale of your Metal."

"I do not recognize your right to control the sale of my Metal."

"Is it necessary for me to point out that your recognition was not required?"

"No, I am fully aware of it and I am acting accordingly."

He noted the stillness of the room. By the rules of the complicated pretense which all those people played for one another's benefit, they should have considered his stand as incomprehensible folly; there should have been rustles of astonishment and derision; there were none; they sat still; they understood.

"Do you mean that you are refusing to obey the law?" asked the judge.

"No. I am complying with the law - to the letter. Your law holds that my life, my work and my property may be disposed of without my consent. Very well, you may now dispose of me without my participation in the matter. I will not play the part of defending myself, where no defense is possible, and I will not simulate the illusion of dealing with a tribunal of justice."

"But Mr. Rearden, the law provides specifically that you are to be given an opportunity to present your side of the case and to defend yourself."

"A prisoner brought to trial can defend himself only if there is an objective principle of justice recognized by his judges, a principle upholding his rights, which they may not violate and which he can invoke. The law, by which you are trying me, holds that there are no principles, that I have no rights and that you may do with me whatever you please. Very well, Do it."

"Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle - the principle of the public good."

"Who is the public? What does it hold as its good? There was a time when men believed that 'the good' was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and that no man had the right to seek his good through the violation of the rights of another. If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they deem to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it - well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act."

A group of seats at the side of the courtroom was reserved for the prominent visitors who had come from New York to witness the trial. Dagny sat motionless and her face showed nothing but a solemn attention, the attention of listening with the knowledge that the flow of his words would determine the course of her life. Eddie Willers sat beside her. James Taggart had not come. Paul Larkin sat hunched forward, his face thrust out, pointed like an animal's muzzle, sharpened by a look of fear now turning into malicious hatred. Mr. Mowen, who sat beside him, was a man of greater innocence and smaller understanding; his fear was of a simpler nature; he listened in bewildered indignation and he whispered to Larkin, "Good God, now he's done it! Now he'll convince the whole country that all businessmen are enemies of the public good!"

"Are we to understand," asked the judge, " that you hold your own interests above the interests of the public?"

"I hold that such a question can never arise except in a society of cannibals." ]


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