Over at Samizdata they have an interesting post on Cuban cigars and how the government rules you no matter where you go.
For years, more precisely since 8 July 1963, Cuban cigars have been a banned pleasure for U.S. citizens but at least when abroad they could legally indulge. Earlier this month the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced that Americans are barred from not only purchasing Cuban goods in foreign countries, but also from consuming them in those countries.Sounds good right. No matter where you are the government it there watching you. If the government does not like your actions, or your cigar brand they can do the following.
The penalties for violating the prohibitions include maximum criminal fines for individuals of $250,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years. Corporations can be fined as much as a million dollars.While I find this offensive and damned enslaving this post is not about cigars.
Samizdata quoted and linked to an old post on their site that is worth reading if not for this one section.
American civil society is something I admire and which spreads the values conducive to liberty as no other society currently does... but American citizenship particularly (more than any other advanced nation's citizenship) is rather like being branded like livestock. To have that brand means that, unlike almost every other state on earth, the US government will always claim a pecuniary interest in the private property that you acquire, even if you live outside the USA and make your living outside the USA and keep your assets outside the USA. Unlike other countries, which by and large lose interest in you the moment you step outside their borders, the USA actually makes itself your super-owner. The USA do not just claim a territorial monopoly on the means of force, it actually claims to own part of your labour regardless of where you are. It owns your labour not because you are in America, but because you are a citizen. That is the reality of how the US state actually sees its people (i.e. that citizens are the property of the state) even though that is not how most US citizens perceive the nature of the 'relationship'. Yet that is what I think the truth is beyond the perception: The USA does not just control land and what people do on that land (all states do that), it actually claims ownership of the anointed inhabitants themselves regardless of where they are.Somewhere along the line the government forgot what their job was. The government was established when the first form of government under the articles of confederation did not work. The government is supposed to serve us by doing things we as individuals cannot do.
In much the same way that if I ever marry again, I will not even tell the state because I refuse to accept it is anyone else's business, so too I urge people to regard their passports as an imposition, not a privilege. Treat your national passport as a way of getting to stand in the shorter line at the airport and not some sacred document. You do not have to be a citizen to be a member of a society, regardless of what the state says. If I can find a way to marketize citizenship, that might be my next entrepreneurial venture. Hmm... maybe 'Free American Passport with all purchases of fitted kitchens over $5,000: order a fitted Italian marble bathroom at the same time and we will throw in a Italian citizenship and 1,000 Frequent Flyer Miles!'...
Yes, I like the sound of that.
Now with documents needed to travel(passport for international and photo ID for internal), work(social security card is required), and even marry(marriage license and blood test results) it seems we live and thrive at their whim. The balance is off. The balance is way off.