Renouncing privilege and fake solidarity: 595-12-5274

9 May 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in crime, diary | 35 Comments »

About a week ago I scanned my US Social Security card and published the images online, inviting readers to “steal” the number — as if numbers could really be owned, anyway.

In that posting I didn’t really give any reasons for doing it. Some looked at it as an act of pure anarchy, others looked at it as sheer insanity, and I was even accused of “aiding and abetting” “illegal” “aliens” who might use the number in the United States.

Now I’ll tell y’all why I done did it.

First of all, I’m going to burn the card later this year. That event is postponed until I, card and fire are in front of a camera suitable for making YouTube videos. So you can consider the posting just a teaser for the main event.

A token of fake solidarity -- yours for the taking

A token of fake solidarity -- yours for the taking

Second, and more importantly, I have resolved that I will never accept payments from Social Security, or any other state pension scheme.

Now, maybe you’re saying, “Eh, you’re not even a citizen any more anyway, so you lost that!” Not true. Citizenship has no bearing on “benefits” eligibility.

Or, you might be saying, “But you could at least take back what was stolen from you in taxes!” Not true either.

Given how Social Security is structured, what was stolen from me in taxes will always be stolen. It cannot reasonably be reclaimed, since it’s already been redistributed to millions of other people. Despite the fact that many Americans receive regular Social Security “statements” which twist language to make it appear that contributors have “invested” something, there is no investment. There are only ledger entries made, accruing future privileges to be delivered via robbing future workers.

The money that was taken from me in Social Security taxes between 1987 and 2003 is effectively gone. I cannot justify taking a Social Security pension twenty years from now in order to reclaim those funds, because to do so would be to support a system that will steal anew from other people in order to pay me. The notion of rightly getting back what you put into such a program is fallacious.

A Social Security pension — or any other state-funded pension program of the type — is a product of legal privilege. If I were to go out and rob a few million peaceful people in order to fund my retirement, civil society would rightly call me a criminal. The machinery of the state — or, even, a free people — would descend upon me to stop my crime, punish me, and perhaps attempt to make restitution to the victims.

When the state goes out and robs millions in order to fund people’s retirement pensions, the robbery is sanctified. It’s called “solidarity” or “the social contract” or other similar nonsense.

Marxists sometimes criticize what they call “capitalism” for “atomizing” society, for driving divisions between people and breaking the bonds of true solidarity which hold communities and societies together. But what could be more atomizing than a state pension system that says, “submit to robbery while you are young, so that you can enjoy the privilege of benefiting from robbery when you are old”?

No thanks. I’d prefer real solidarity. And given the choice between fake solidarity which supports the state’s privileged robbery and the real solidarity which must be expressed by each individual volunteering to support those worse off, I’ll choose the latter. Even if doing so means living in poverty at the end of my days.

Anyone who wants to fund my retirement — or, during this crisis, my living expenses — is warmly invited to do so by clicking “Support” above. Real solidarity is welcome. I won’t have any of the fake.

  1. 35 Responses to “Renouncing privilege and fake solidarity: 595-12-5274”

  2. By Leo T. Magnificent on 9 May 2009

    Well, unlike a lot of lazy people on the interwebz, I actually did a little investigation and reach that conclusion by logic my friend ;)- that being that you have no form of citizenship. I have to admit, that you have “balls;” for it seems that you are one of the few people of action, in a world of, “library libs,” and, “arcade anarchs.” Keep up the good work my market comrade! ;D

    -Lassiez Faire!

  3. By Mike Gogulski on 9 May 2009

    Thanks, Leo, but which conclusion, specifically?

  4. By Leo T. Magnificent on 9 May 2009

    “- that being that you have no form of citizenship.”

    Yeah, sorry if I wasn’t specific enough, my bad.

  5. By DixieFlatline on 10 May 2009

    I’ve come to the same conclusion Mike.

    Still working towards re-orienting my life, but last year I turned down 50 weeks of paid employment welfare, and have never felt better about myself. There is no way I will claim a state pension, and have already allowed my state health insurance documentation to lapse.

    I’m seriously debating letting my driver’s license as well.

    I wonder if I can renounce my SIN (Social Insurance Number) if I have no intention of claiming… hmmm….

  6. By Mike Gogulski on 10 May 2009

    @Dixie: As I wrote in a new post:

    Though I am doing some perhaps bold things on the intertubes these days, I am really doing so yet only in spaces where I feel relatively safe. In that vein, I would like to be as bold as possible. I would also like to avoid prison and the gallows in the process. I have bowed to authority in becoming re-documented; not because I think that is necessary, but because the “stateless person’s travel document” functions as a talisman to ward off cops who might otherwise jail me.

    I’d suggest keeping your driver’s license, for defensive purposes, and in the recognition that it doesn’t represent privilege — rather, it functions in limited circumstances as garlic does to vampires.

  7. By Brice on 23 May 2009

    Dead fucking on.
    I’ll choose reality anytime.

  8. By Jack on 25 May 2009

    Yeah, you’re not an anarchist, capitalism cannot be anarchist.

    Go fuck yourself.

  9. By Mike Gogulski on 25 May 2009

    Jack, that makes about as much sense as saying white men can’t love cheese. Go and expropriate someone’s toothbrush — elsewhere.

  10. By Luke7777777 on 1 June 2009

    Hi, Mike. I translated your text into Polish and put it here:


  11. By Mike Gogulski on 2 June 2009

    Luke: You rock! I am once again honored.

  12. By Elise on 20 June 2009

    I am interested in more detail on how you define the difference between asking for donations and being a part of social security.

  13. By Mike Gogulski on 20 June 2009

    Elise: A donation is a voluntary act. Social Security is a tax, tax is theft, and the penalty is death. See the difference?

  14. By ANonEMoose on 25 June 2009

    “But what could be more atomizing than a state pension system that says, “submit to robbery while you are young, so that you can enjoy the privilege of benefiting from robbery when you are old”?

    No thanks.”

    I’d prefer plain, old-fashioned robbery ;D.

  15. By Czar on 12 July 2009

    Interesting post, but isn’t tax payments some kind of SAVING for your old days? I’d like to read your point on that… You pay, you save, then you are supposed to get a retribution, ain’t it?

  16. By Mike Gogulski on 12 July 2009

    @Czar: There is no savings, there is no investment. The money you pay in today (which is stolen, via tax) is immediately given to others (redistributed).

  17. By Demetrius Martinez on 10 December 2009

    Social Security is the mother of all Ponzi schemes.

    Furthermore, the notion that it is (or was initially sold) to be some “insurance plan” is a blatant lie.

    Good stand Mike!

  18. By Ty Trevino on 10 May 2010

    Can anyone direct me to perhaps a website or to find information regarding legal channels, of renunciating U.S. citizenship? I also need to know if I must continue filing for taxes, although I have recently moved to the United Kingdom, and established Permanent residency on April 1st, of this year. Any suggestions are most welcome!

  19. By Mike Gogulski on 10 May 2010

    @Ty: Clicking “renunciant resources” above should get you much of what you need…

  20. By L_Gobbo on 10 July 2010

    Mike, congratulations on a very interesting post and website. I recently came to a similar thought about burning my SS card, and encouraging others to do so. However, it was from a slightly different perspective. SSNs are required to get government permission to do a variety of things: to work you must file tax forms and provide your employer with a SSN, to open a bank account, get a passport, etc. But more than anything, the Social Security card and SSN represent the link that chains individuals to debt and credit-score slavery. (And this is no coincidence that the state issues a number that the banks use to enslave and control.) Burning your SS card, and renouncing your number are bold moves in today’s credit-dominated society. I need to keep saving and working towards getting my and my family off the grid before taking the same step. But you are an inspiration.

  21. By Alan on 17 May 2011

    When SS was originated the money was actually invested and Yielded an impressive amount of money. These funds were not to be touched by the feds. Enough to take care of even the baby boomer’s. These funds were embezzled by the government to pay the national debt. Now we have the state that you speak of to the extent that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy those stolen bucks anyway because there just wouldn’t be enough funds there anymore to steal. It appears that there is no other course but an economic collapse in the future due to the structure of our economy. Due to banks issuing checks that they only have to pay 15% of. You try that and see what happens. Printing money to make up the difference. Can’t work forever the evidence I think is already rearing it’s ugly head today. However I don’t see your actions as being a solution. Especially in our society (the me generations)that was taught to be selfish. I don’t see many people rushing to each others aid because in case you haven’t noticed the world is broke and how do you know what your neighbor needs. You probably don’t have the bucks to take care of yourself let alone the major bucks it takes to help others. You are not lessening anyones burden and what is wrong with taking care of the elderly. I am sure you are not paying for the medical needed by these aging nor taking food to their homes. the modest amount the government pays, doesn’t pay the rent half the time, and food stamps run out long before the end of the month. Where were these so called brave acts when the government embezzled the funds that could have given every recipient a cost of living wage and paid the medical as well. When you make a more sensible act such as this then I will be impressed. Do your research. Then sue the government for what they have robbed and insist they serve time just as we would have.

  22. By Shane on 5 June 2011

    Alan, I think you need to read further. Mike does not live in the United States nor does he ever plan to claim SS.
    If you honestly believe that paying social security is “taking care of the elderly” then you are dead wrong. It’s money taken from each U.S. citizen that is never fully repaid and it represents theft in every sense of the word; no exceptions; box it differently and try to re-sell it and it’s still the same evil scheme. a SSN is something that the government forces every person residing in the U.S. legally to retain as an “identity”, not as a benefits claimant or payee number as it was originally intended. unless you would consider it a benefit for me to rake $100 from your wallet, keep it for 50 years and then give you back $50 then SS is not a benefit. You me and every “law abiding citizen” are simply rendered enumerated cash cattle for the elite by the SSN scheme and not a thing more. Whats worse, one must pay for private SSN insurance to avoid having this “identity” stolen because of the sheer incompetence of the numbers issuers.
    I just had to comment, your idea of suing the government and putting it in jail is beyond ridiculous. Why are you blaming Mike? His acts are indeed brave and FYI the Federal government has been embezzling SS funds since before Mike or I were even born. How about giving each man a chance to come of age and then act on his own…? I am planning to do the same as Mike and I hope he is an inspiration to millions in the end in spite of all the hopeless naysayers in the world like yourself.

  23. By Anon on 1 September 2011

    When Social Security was initially set up, the number of children that each parent had (read: Baby Boom) was quite easy to support the previous generation during retirement.

    Now that the Baby Boom has passed, we’re into the “Baby Bust”, or “Generation X and Y”… where the number of kids each parent has is just barely enough to keep our population alive. That’s a big difference, economically, when you go from 4 kids for every couple 1.2 kids for every couple.

  24. By Aric on 23 January 2012

    I have a question. Are you simply denouncing Social Security, or are you against any sort of taxation at all? I only ask because, although I agree that Social Security is fatally flawed and that the government taxes us entirely too much, I do believe that some taxation is necessary. The government needs to be able to do some things, such as road construction, city sewage systems, and general defense. Without at least some taxation, I can’t imagine how the government could afford to do these things.

  25. By Mike Gogulski on 24 January 2012

    @Aric: I consider all taxation to be robbery, and oppose all of it. The construction of your last sentence suggests something of a lack of imagination. Is it just not possible that non-taxing entities could provide those services?

  26. By brian on 14 July 2012

    I understand what you are saying Mike. but unfortunatly, not too many people out here are going to jump on the wagon with you or me. It was stated in an earlier post, this is a “me” generation. folks don’t care about anything but themselves these days. and they all believe everything that is told to them by the media as gospel. so when the gov. says all is well, they say “ok, lets party”. no worries for them now. I don’t mind the idea of helping the elderly or the poor…but to trust the gov. to help them for me, using my money? nope. as for the post commenting on the tax for the upkeep of our roads? well, the gov. pulls in trillions each year, but our country is falling apart. I say it’s time to let them know that we will not trust them with the money any longer.

  27. By mahwah on 9 March 2013

    check this info

  28. By Nicklas Arthur on 9 March 2013

    Its good to see there are a few out there besides me, I have written several articles on this subject – I think you will enjoy:

  29. By mahwah on 12 March 2013

    To answer your question Aric and Mike listen to Walter Burien TAXATION IS NOT NEEDED: I recommend to watch the documentary

  30. By Sweet Mother of Mary! on 13 July 2013

    While I like the idea of no state and no borders, I find it puzzling that eliminating social security seems to be a priority for you.

    I think it makes you a useful tool that plays right into the hands of the ruling elites, as it coincides with their interests.

    Why not first demand the following:
    – downsizing – if not downright eliminating – the military,
    – reducing prison population (by for example legalizing marijuana),
    – de-funding the CIA,
    – stopping wasting money on locking up and deporting immigrants,
    – putting an end to so-called “foreign aid”, which in reality is a handout to American “defense” contractors and other corporations, – etc., etc.

    Calling for the elimination of SS and safety net – limited as it is already – before dismantling of the military-corporate complex makes you nothing more than a useful idiot.

  31. By Mike Gogulski on 14 July 2013

    I can’t personally affect any of the things you mention. Refusing payment in stolen funds is one thing I can affect.

    I made no mention here of my sequencing preferences in dismantling existing states.

    As far as “demanding” things of the ruling elites goes, I got over that.

  32. By Sweet Mother of Mary! on 14 July 2013

    “I can’t personally affect any of the things you mention.”

    True, you cannot. That would require some solidarity, and Americans are taught to be such individualists. You have nothing to be grateful for to previous generations, you in no way benefit from those that came before you, you reinvented everything from scratch, starting with fire. Heck – I heard Lincoln even build the log cabin he was born in.

    Nevertheless, in the history of mankind, there have been times when people got together and did affect changes. They call those events revolutions. It happened more than once and it happened in America too, but I’m told it was long time ago.

    “Refusing payment in stolen funds is one thing I can affect.”

    On behalf of the MIC: please accept big wholehearted thanks! They’ll have more money for war and mayhem. If only you could encourage more people to willingly give up ss, it would save the propaganda machine the trouble of persuading the said people that it’s a good thing for them, and that it is indeed great to be freed from their money and live in poverty. Oh, wait – it looks like you are already doing your best. Well, keep up the good work. Maybe they’ll give you a job at the Heritage Foundation, or Cato institute, or some such.

  33. By Kristophr on 5 June 2014

    Congratulations on your decision to walk away.

    Yes, all those funds “contributed” were spent by contributors on government expenditures they voted in politicians to decide on, rather than raising taxes to pay for them.

    This is the equivalent of spending your retirement money, and then expecting your kids to take care of you anyway.

  34. By Alex on 29 June 2014

    “I understand what you are saying Mike. but unfortunatly, not too many people out here are going to jump on the wagon with you or me. It was stated in an earlier post, this is a “me” generation. folks don’t care about anything but themselves these days. and they all believe everything that is told to them by the media as gospel. so when the gov. says all is well, they say “ok, lets party”. no worries for them now.”
    = brian

    This is seemingly absurd to me. I keep seeing this perpetrated as if there is any legitimacy to it. This, X and Y generation has effected the world profoundly in moving towards a more free state, much more so than the baby boomer generation has. Arguments that the baby boomer generation isn’t the problem today seems moot. It is always the 20-30 somethings that lead the pack in activism, especially for civil liberties and to suggest that my or the following generation won’t follow the same path is simply wrong. That is the future of humanity you are demeaning there and I promise that the future, as it has in the past, holds great wonders for humanity that are being born just now in the youth of today. You may even get to stick around long enough to see it if you aren’t so negative. 😀

  35. By Guest on 26 July 2014

    Sweet Mother of Mary!,

    You have some good ideas.

    I also salute Mike for following his conscience and renouncing his American citizenship.

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