Posted in diary, philosophy | 23 Comments »
I was just finishing up at the post office this morning, mailing out the letters I wrote yesterday, when I got a phone call from a client.
(Matters of inconsequential fact have been changed to protect identities and my business relationships.)
Client: Hey Mike, I have a small job that needs to be translated within 2 hours. It’s in your email, can you do it?
Me: Sure, I’ll be home in a few minutes and take a look.
So I go home and check my email, and look at this document he’s sent me. It’s something to do with a civic organization applying for a grant from one of the EU’s panoply of wealth-redistribution organs.
I email him back:
Actually, I’m sorry but I won’t take this job.
I’m an anarchist. As such, I won’t do any work that supports government in any way.
Sorry for the surprise, but you’ll have to find someone else for this.
An instant messaging conversation ensues:
Client: i’m shocked. you surprised me.
Client: do you know someone else who can help?
Client: i need it in 2 hours
Me: you can try [this other guy, contact info provided] (question to myself: shouldn’t I have just said “no”, helping to further monkeywrench the job?)
Client: i’m also sending you a second file if you can do that
Client: thanks. do you know him?
Me: yes. he’s a pro.
Client: great. thanks.
Me: good luck. what’s this other file?
Client: euro funds….but for my friend also
Me: sorry but no chance, for the same reason. i won’t do any work involving getting money from governments, or helping governments operate. The only things I will do are documents that people and businesses are forced to complete by governments…
Client: i still can’t understand this…
Me: all government money comes from taxation
Me: taxation is stealing
Client: i know…
Me: i wouldn’t like to be part of the crime
Client: but what should we do?
Client: everybody is involved…
Me: resist, ignore, evade, refuse to cooperate, sabotage
Client: i’m a taxpayer too (they steal my money), so maybe this is a small legal opportunity to get some of it back
Me: stealing it back is one thing
Me: but if I do work for the state and get paid, I get some money back, BUT I still lose the value of my work, and I help the state operate
Me: the math doesn’t work out. i and others still lose.
Client: come on… get over it :-p
Me: not on this, sorry
Client: what should i do?
Me: find someone else or refuse the job
Client: can’t refuse…
Client: it’s for my good friend…and I don’t wanna dissapoint him
Client: if i pay you more, is there any possibility?
Me: for me no, it’s a matter of principle
Client: ok…it’s your business…
Client: anyway thanks for the contact
Client: have a nice day… i’m off to work.