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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

It’s a debilitating condition, bureau-phobia, in these days of regulated everything, there is much I don’t do because the heavy hand of government touches just about everything and I get turned off. And there are some things I do which are regulated for which I don’t ask permission. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission is my belief in many areas. Bureaucrats are not evil people, some of them can be quite human even, but it is the job they are required to do and the stifling regulations they are so keen to impose that are evil and immoral and bring on my fear and phobia.

Take chopping down a tree in your backyard: you are supposed to get Council approval, fill in a form, and pay a fee — ridiculous. The “Tree Cops” think they know what should be growing on your land. You can own the land, plant the tree, nurture the tree, like the tree, and then get to dislike the tree. Maybe the tree’s roots go where you don’t want them to go, or the shade isn’t right, or drops leaves in your gutter or threatens to fall and damage people or property. Whose tree is it?

Or building a little extra room out the back, for a study, studio, storage, spare bed-room … the Crats want to you to fill in a form, pay a fee, wait in their Applications Queue, and then tell you whether they like what you want to do. They may want you to build it their way and not your way.

The worst Crats seem to be the young ones. Fresh out of some school, imbued with the earnest enthusiasm of youth and to make their way by going by the book. Older Crats have been around a bit, know the stupidity of much of what they are asked to police, and can turn a blind eye, bend the rules a bit, suggest a way to get what you want. Older Crats may be approaching retirement and be seeking fewer, not more, problems.

Our Enemy, The Council could be a book, like Albert Jay Nock’s classic Our Enemy, The State, but focus on the local manifestation of The State.

My neighbours, and the contractors and tradesmen I deal with all hate the Council; we collude to avoid them. We appraise the chance of being caught for what we want to do, and then work out strategy to avoid the Council Crats.

Property Rights, the essential ingredient for prosperity and freedom, are progressively chipped away by Council and Government Rules and Taxes and Regulations. These Rules and Taxes and Regulations have nothing to do with ethics or morality, or with safety, or with being a good neighbour. So it is fun, and moral, to do as Henry David Thoreau, the American writer and advocate for Civil Disobedience, suggested — “Be a Good Neighbour and a Bad Subject”.

Bureauphobia — it may be an incurable condition, but it is manageable. You can tough it out and bite your tongue, or pretend the symptoms are not there, or play games with the Crats and their regulations, like a sport, and see what you can get away with.

How much civilisation is lost, how much progress forgone, how much money wasted, how much personal responsibility lost through the masses of regulations and fees that our Crats seek to impose?

Responsible civil disobedience — the way to go for the sufferers of Bureauphobia!

(in order of appearance on
  1. Welcome from Neville Kennard
  2. Think Tanks Don't Work
  3. "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
  4. The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
  5. Corporate Welfare
  6. Citizenship for Sale?
  7. I Don't Vote
  8. Voting: Right or Privilege?
  9. Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  10. Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
  11. Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
  12. Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
  13. Government Likes War
  14. Collusion is Our Right
  15. Why Not the Drug Olympics?
  16. Unconventional Wisdom
  17. Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
  18. Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
  19. Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
  20. Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
  21. Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
  22. Separating Sport and State
  23. Your Home is Not an Investment
  24. Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
  25. A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
  26. Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
  27. Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
  28. What is a good Australian?
  29. Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
  30. The Market Failure Industry
  31. Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
  32. Wot if ...?
  33. The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
  34. The Tannehills
  35. Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
  36. Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
  37. Minarchy vs Anarchy
  38. Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
  39. The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
  40. Is Howard Our Best PM?
  41. Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
  42. Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
  43. Authoritarian Freedom
  44. Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
  45. The Tyranny of the Majority
  46. If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
  47. Business Should Exploit Boat People
  48. The Immorality of Trade Unions
  49. "America" vs "The United States"
  50. Sweet Anarchy
  51. The Illusion of "Job Creation"
  52. Gold Is Money
  53. Guilty Capitalists
  54. Bureauphobia
  55. Prosperity vs Growth
  56. Capitalism vs Democracy
  57. More people = More fun
  58. Self-Ownership - the very idea!
  59. Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
  60. The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
  61. Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
  62. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  63. Government Needs Bad Guys –
    that's why they like wars
  64. What Is Obscene?
  65. Traffic Economics
  66. Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
  67. Neville Kennard Obituary
  68. Neville Kennard in 1979 proposes new alliances to end penalty rates
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