by Benjamin Marks, editor

Dear Ed,

Mavis here. I did what you told me to last week in “My boyfriend calls himself a Marxist and votes Labor, what should I do?”

Nothing worked, so I told him that I did not want to be in a relationship with a supporter of the Labor/Liberal Party, because that would make me at risk of abuse at their hands and maybe an accomplice to their crimes.

But then he said that if I don’t like Australia’s politics, I should leave the country too, and because I don’t leave the country, I consent to Marxist politics and so there is no reason for me to leave him.

He’s gone to his Student Union meeting, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to report my progress and ask what to do next.

This is great progress Mavis, congratulations. You won your case; he is making the argument about you, and not him. His argument is that staying in the country implies approval, consent, hypocrisy or laziness, compromising your attempt to maintain: that you never consented to government and that, therefore, government is criminal in demanding you pay taxes and follow other demands.

There are eight ways to deal with this one:

Firstly, tell him, “I want to stay in the country, yet leave our relationship, because: in the case of a crazy country, I’m able to enjoy the political circus at a slight distance; but when my boyfriend becomes part of the act, it is getting a bit too close for comfort. True, I might not be able to find a better country, but I should be able to find a better boyfriend. Besides, you enjoy watching wrestling matches and reading about murders; but just because you enjoy or custom those activities, I don’t accuse you of being a torturer or murderer, or of approving or consenting to them. Yet that is exactly what your attempt to paint me as a hypocrite for staying under the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a government I never consented to amounts to. Consider, also, the fact that government allows the distribution of this website that you hate,; does that mean the government agrees with or endorses it just because they don’t shut it down?”

Secondly, tell him, “I’m not leaving; you leave! So maybe my views are unpopular at the moment, but the status quo has been known to change occasionally, and there’s no contradiction in me staying in the country trying to effect change, or, as the case may be, staying in the country occupying myself with other activities until others effect change. So if you don’t like what I’m doing, why don’t you leave? It is my right to stay, and your right to leave.”

Thirdly, tell him, “I’m not able to leave the country with all my property. Even if I sell it, the government will then confiscate part of the proceeds. Moreover, there are similarly criminal organisations called government in most other countries. And preferring one criminal to another does not make the preferable criminal not a criminal at all, which is precisely what your argument entails.”

Fourthly, tell him, “Staying within this government’s borders no more means I approve of or consent to its domestic fiscal, monetary, environment, education, healthcare and workplace policies than leaving the country would mean I approve of their foreign aid, trade and military intervention policies, which, by virtue of me being out of Australian territory, I would be subject to, and according to your logic, because I do not leave the area where Australia applies its foreign policies I therefore approve of and consent to them, because I could always return to within Australia’s borders where its foreign policy does not apply. But what if I oppose both Australia’s domestic and foreign policies; am I meant to leave planet Earth? So, obviously, leaving the country does not mean I’ll cease to be subject to the policies of this country’s government. What staying in the country may well mean is that I prefer ‘our’ government’s domestic policy to its foreign policy.”

Fifthly, tell him, “Me staying in the country and obeying this government’s laws does not prove consent. What it proves is that I take their threats seriously, respect their shows of force and do not want to risk having them restrict more of my liberties and confiscate more of my property. Acquiescence, via, say, paying taxes I never consented to pay and being threatened with fines and imprisonment if I evade paying, no more proves consent than paying a ransom to a kidnapper transforms the kidnapping into mere babysitting.”

Sixthly, break into your boyfriend’s place, steal his stuff, and when he catches you, tell him, “I’m not stealing. You consent to it. Or maybe I’m seeing someone else, and he’s my mandate, and the two of us singling you out mean you’re the minority. If you don’t like it, you can always leave both me and the country.” If he declines, ask him, “How is that any different from what you said to me when I said I never consented to government and you said I could always leave?” This should make it obvious to your boyfriend that he has no theory of property rights and no response to the fact that government has no just claim to the area it declares sovereignty over.

Seventhly, if none of that works, doll yourself up, buy a new wardrobe and try all the above on him again.

Eighthly, if he still won’t budge, it is now time for the most drastic of all measures: follow the lead of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and save us all.

Please let us know how it goes.

In next week’s instalment of the Political Advice Hotline: “Oh no, help me; I’ve been raped!”

(in order of appearance on
  1. Acquiescence
  2. Sports Fans Should Be Libertarians
  3. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  4. Government Schools Teach Fascism Perfectly
  5. Deport Government to Solve Immigration Problem
  6. The Drugs Problem Problem
  7. Self-Defeating Campaigning
  8. Gittinomics: Economics for Gits
  9. Exclusive Ross Gittins Interview on The Happy Economist
  10. Population Puzzle Solved
  11. An Open Letter to the CIS
  12. Principled Foreign Policy Options: Reinvade or Shut Up and Get Out
  13. WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Political Corruption Exposed!
  14. Feedback please: Is this worth doing?
  15. CIS and IPA Defend State Schooling
  16. A Thorough Review Without Spoilers of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  17. Dead Reckoning and Government: A Proposal for Electoral Reform
  18. Quadrant Defends State Schooling
  19. The MPS 2010 Consensus
  20. Slogans for Property Rights Funeral
  21. Government is Impossible: Introduction
  22. Government is Criminal: Part 1
  23. Exclusive John Howard Interview on Lazarus Rising
  24. Response to Senator Cory Bernardi and the IPA
  25. Earn $$$$$ by Justifying Government Against Anarchocapitalism: Survey
  26. Statism is Secrecy: WikiLeaks vs
  27. One question the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, the CIS, the IPA, Ross Gittins, Ross Garnaut, Ken Henry, Gerard Henderson, John Quiggin, Clive Hamilton, Tim Flannery, Catallaxy Files, Club Troppo, Larvatus Prodeo, Phillip Adams, Robert Manne, Michael Stutchbury, Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and Dick Smith are scared to answer
  28. Libertarian Philanthropists Should Exploit Tax Evasion Convictions
  29. Ronald Kitching Obituary
  30. The Minarchist Case for Anarchism
  31. Libertarianism in a 300-word rant
  32. in the news again
  33. Libertarianism In An Executive Summary
  34. The Banking Bubble Blow-by-Blow
  35. WARNING: Libertarianism Is NOT ...
  36. Would Anything Possibly Convince You that You Are Living Under a Protection Racket?
  37. An Open Letter to Dick Smith
  38. at 42
  39. "My boyfriend calls himself a Marxist and votes Labor, what should I do?"
  40. "He says if I leave him due to politics, I should leave the country too."
  41. No Booboisie at Gülçin’s Galt’s Gulch
  42. "Hey, Mr Anarchocapitalist, show me a society without government"
  43. The Three Epoch-Making Events of the Modern Libertarian Movement
  44. Government is Criminal: Part 2 - Methodological Individualism
  45. Government is Criminal: Part 3 - Subjective Utility
  46. Government is Criminal: Part 4 - Praxeological Synonyms
  47. Government is in a State of Anarchy
  48. Limited Government is Absolute Government
  49. Why the 2012 double Nobel laureate is coming to Sydney
  50. Exclusive Oliver Marc Hartwich Interview on Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  51. A Critique of the Opening Two Sentences of the "About CIS" Page on The Centre for Independent Studies' Website,
  52. An invitation for ANDEV members to the Mises Seminar
  53. Sell the ABC to Rupert Murdoch: Lid Blown on ABC Funding Disgrace!
  54., The Centre for Independent Studies new blog
  55. The Unconstitutionality of Government in Australia (demonstrated in under 300 words)
  56. The Best Libertarian Film Is ...
  57. Launch Southeast Asian Military Operations to Free Australian Drug Dealers and Consumers
  58. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  59. Hoppe's Inarticulate Australian Critics: The Hon Dr Peter Phelps, Dr Steven Kates and James Paterson
  60. Vice Magazine Westralian Secession Interview
  61. Sideshow to Dr Steven Kates' criticism of the Mises Seminar: Davidson vs Hoppe on Adam Smith
  62. The Best Australian Think Tank Is ...
  63. Announcing a new magazine to rival Time and The Economist
  64. The exciting new Australian Taxpayers' Alliance
  65. Neville Kennard Obituary
  66. Contrarian Conformism
  67. An invitation for Dick Smith, the IPA and other Walter Block fans to the 2nd Australian Mises Seminar
  68. Westralian mining legend Ron Manners of Mannkal belongs in The Property and Freedom Society
  69. What would Bert Kelly think of the Mises Seminar and Walter Block?
  70. Bad news about the Mises Seminar
  71. Gina Rinehart Fan Club gives big to Australian political education
  72. Sam Kennard wins North Sydney by-election by unanimous consent
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  1. "My boyfriend calls himself a Marxist and votes Labor, what should I do?"
  2. "He says if I leave him due to politics, I should leave the country too."
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