Human Rights vs. Company Rights

Bear's picture

With various state legislatures tackling the "issue" of guns in the workplace parking lot again, I see the usual Repugnican apologists whining that letting workers store guns in their cars violates the companys' rights.

Let's put that argument in plain corporate English:

From: Management
To: All Peons Employees

It has come to our attention that many employees are abusing company property. This will cease immediately.

As of this date, all employees are forbidden to consume the company's atmospheric oxygen, and likewise are forbidden to contaminate the workplace environment with the federally recognized pollutant carbon dioxide. Henceforth, all employees are required to hold their breath for the complete duration of their work shifts, and while on company property, whether on duty or not.

Your individual human rights to life are trumped by the property rights of this artificial legal entity. If you don't like it, quit. Or if you are caught consuming company air, or polluting the offices with greenhouse gases, you will be fired, without any severance package.

Those employees who attempt to skirt these rules by using medical oxygen canisters and CO2 absorbing rebreather elements must be aware that oxygen also presents a heightened fire and explosion hazard; bottled oxygen is forbidden on the same penalty of termination.

CO2 absorbers are probably pretty safe, but since you are on our property, you may not have them either.

Understand this: The company's property rights take supreme precedence over any of your human rights.

Similarly, defensive firearms will not be stored in employees' privately owned vehicles in the company parking lot. You will respect company property rights, even to the point of death.

Do not bother trying to sue the company for protection of life that we are hereby forbidding you to provide on your own. Since the courts all say that the police -- specifically charged with protecting the community -- have no obligation to protect you, our over-paid attorneys find the idea that the company should do so totally hilarious. Really- Mr. A. Chaser actually blew scotch out his nostrils when he heard this. Besides, we added it to the company handbook that you have no right to legal process.

And heads up; it has come to our attention that some of you have currently unemployed offspring. We are considering making it a condition of continued employment that you give your first-born to the company to be used at our discretion.

Well, that takes care of life and liberty. And we suppose that it also makes the pursuit of happiness moot.

God, we love the concept of company property rights.

Sincerely,

The Overseers and Masters


When honest people speak of "rights" we are using a bit of verbal shorthand; the complete term is "human rights." Real people have rights; not artificial legal constructs.

Shameful

That's a ridiculous post, and nearly enough to make me drop Sunni's blog out of my bookmarks.

Elaboration?

What do you find “shameful” and “ridiculous” about it?

Shameless

Gee, my first post in... what, a year? And someone was annoyed enough to make a remarkably childish threat.

I haven't lost my touch.

bear threats

like Joan Armitrading's song, some days the bear will eat you, some days you'll eat the bear. I look at the situation with water and see similar circumstances surrounding Bechtel and water rights. the legal entity 'corporation' is a fiction as a human being - there is much there that could be fixed, but won't be.
BTW: it's too pretty to eat - if i have a chicken sit on it, will it hatch? yum....

Look: it's not a "threat".

Look: it's not a "threat". It's a fact, and whether you think it's "childish" or not means nothing to me. And it doesn't have to mean anything to you, but this is important to me because it's true:

The institutions that you see fit to sneer-off with the (yes) "childish" exercise in what evidently passes for humor in your mind are actually owned by real people. They all make voluntary and responsible decisions in their various relationships with these entities, in acquiring and holding stock in them. And the element of personal responsibility also extends to people simply punching an employment clock every day. Yes: if there is any given objection by any of them about what they're involved with, then they're free to invest their money or seek their employment elsewhere, but there is no such thing as an individual right to unilaterally dictate -- or even claim -- the conditions of these relationships. If a majority of stockholders don't appreciate a ban on handguns on corporate property, then they're in the driver's seat, and that is how they can change things.

To it there and type out this sort of utter crap, however, is the very height of childish nonsense, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Idiot.

Diverse threats and threads

I think the “threat” Bear was referring to was your comment regarding dropping this site from your bookmarks.

While some may not like the over-the-top (that’s my view of it, anyway) style Bear chose, he does touch on several elements that deserve scrutiny:
1]. The legal status given to corporations in this country; my understanding is that they have equivalent standing with an individual—and I would much appreciate being corrected if I am wrong on this. Some have asserted that this standing allows corporations corporate owners [edited for precision] to avoid accountability in some ways.

2]. Corporate owners – whoever those individuals might be – often hide behind the corporate image and/or bureaucracy when creating or modifying company policies; I would go so far as to venture that sometimes, the owners are not even the individuals setting corporate policy—that’s left to a CEO or president or perhaps even a gaggle of managers. Thus, identifying precisely who is responsible for corporate policy, in toto or any specific element thereof, can become an exercise akin to unicorn-chasing, or watching those atop the corporate hierarchy duck responsibility. Pointing out that dynamic does not mean that one isn’t aware of the individuals who own a company, and who ought to be owning up to both the good and the bad regarding its actions and policies.

3]. Of most interest to me is the more fundamental issue of when can an individual’s human rights justifiably be set aside. Is my right to protect myself and my children more fundamental than a store owner’s desire to keep “scary” guns out of his shop? If so, why; and if not, why not?

Attacking ideas is welcome, and even encouraged, here. Attacking a person – which includes name-calling – is not. Keep the discourse civil or don’t participate.

"I think the 'threat' Bear

"I think the 'threat' Bear was referring to was your comment regarding dropping this site from your bookmarks."

I know that, Sunni. And what's implied in the concept? It's that I'd be doing something wrong -- indictable as a "threat" -- if I did that. Well, I say that that's just stupid.

On your ponts:

#1 -- I understand this, and it's definitely worth consideration in some of its finer legal aspects. However, in the context of responsibility and authority for behavior on company property, there are no "individual rights". Those get checked at the gate the second that one steps foot on the property, and (this is the crucial part of it) nobody has to do that.

#2 -- Nothing about any of it has to be that hard. Don't want to chase unicorns? Fine, then: sell the stock or go find another job. It can be that simple. And even if it's not, there is no call to go around claiming individual rights where they flat don't exist.

#3 -- "Is my right to protect myself and my children more fundamental than a store owner’s desire to keep 'scary' guns out of his shop?"

No, Ma'am, it certainly is not: not while you're on his property. That would mean that his rights have been dismissed in favor of yours, when the fact is that you could still exercise your right by the simple expedient of staying away from his place. The matter is not nearly so simple as is posed in your question.

As for the "attack" thing:

Look; I call 'em like I see 'em. There is nothing about this matter that a person of even sub-normal intelligence couldn't figure out. And "civility" comes from thinking clearly first.

No bullshit and no apologies.

Your move.

Not simple 'tall

However, in the context of responsibility and authority for behavior on company property, there are no "individual rights". Those get checked at the gate the second that one steps foot on the property, and (this is the crucial part of it) nobody has to do that.

So, the second you step on someone else's property, your rights of life, liberty and property suddenly become subject to their whim?

Property. As in, your car in their parking lot.

There is nothing about this matter that a person of even sub-normal intelligence couldn't figure out.

I don't think there's a single issue of ethics, politics or morals that that is true about.

"So, the second you step on

"So, the second you step on someone else's property, your rights of life, liberty and property suddenly become subject to their whim?"

That -- "whim" -- is your word. Not mine, and I will not stipulate to it. It's a snide pejorative handy to dismissing someone else's values while you're arguing to violate his right of property by dictating the terms and conditions of his exercise of it. All while -- I hasten to add, and as I've already pointed out -- the whole conflict is quite unnecessary and easily avoided if you just take the simple and obvious step of staying the fuck away from him.

Now: how many times do you people want to run around this mulberry bush? I can do this all day long, all week long.

"I don't think there's a single issue of ethics, politics or morals that that is true about."

Oh, yeah? Well, I'm not responsible for what you don't think, but I know authentic retards who know all kinds of things about all kinds of ethical and political and moral issues that are immutably true. For instance: they're dumb, but they know that stealing is wrong.

Is this your position?

Am I to understand you are stating that all the time a person is on property that is not his or her own, individual human rights completely cease to exist? That seems to be what you’re saying, and I want to make sure I know what your position is.

Regarding the other stuff, I don’t see any implication of rightness or wrongness in the use of the term “threat”. It’s just a statement of a possible course of action, to my mind. And I honestly don’t care much who bookmarks this site, signs up for its feeds, etc. On civility, how does calling an individual – who I am quite certain you have never met in person, nor had a direct conversation with – an “idiot” represent “thinking clearly”?

"Am I to understand you are

"Am I to understand you are stating that all the time a person is on property that is not his or her own, individual human rights completely cease to exist?"

Absolutely not, Sunni, and I should think that you would know me better than that. There is a context to this, and I believe that you can understand it if you think about it. It's all right there in what I wrote. (Here's a clue: in the sort of conflict that you're positing, neither person's rights are more important than the other's.) I'm not being flip about this with you: if you cannot understand it, then I'll be surprised, but I'll also do my best to help make it clear.

"Regarding the other stuff, I don’t see any implication of rightness or wrongness in the use of the term 'threat'."

Well, I do, and that's why I don't go throwing it around like some common Usenet sniveler. It's a word and a concept with precise connotations, and what I had in mind is not one of them.

"And I honestly don’t care much who bookmarks this site, signs up for its feeds, etc."

I didn't think you would.

"On civility, how does calling an individual – who I am quite certain you have never met in person, nor had a direct conversation with – an 'idiot' represent 'thinking clearly'?"

I bloody read what he wrote, and I hold him responsible for it.

That's how.

Leaving "company property"

Billy Beck wrote: #1 -- I understand this, and it's definitely worth consideration in some of its finer legal aspects. However, in the context of responsibility and authority for behavior on company property, there are no "individual rights". Those get checked at the gate the second that one steps foot on the property, and (this is the crucial part of it) nobody has to do that.

I (Robert) respond: I realize Billy Beck can apparently no longer answer this question here, so the following question is put to anyone else who wishes to answer it: What if the "company" is the VIRGINIA COMPANY, which, (according to some sources), has been renamed UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; can a Native American, (i.e. any man or woman born on the continent known as North America), leave "company property" without leaving the Land of their Nativity?

P.S. Could someone please tell us how to inclose quotes in a box as others here have done? Thanks.

A couple of tips ...

Billy has been unblocked for some time now, but I think this conversation left such a bad taste he’s not been back.

To set off quotes, use the “blockquote” tag. (Bonus tip: anytime you see something you like on a web site, you can see how it’s accomplished by viewing the source code, and sometimes, also checking whatever style sheet[s] may be called to render it.)

This is a fairly old thread, and I think it was also quite unsatisfactory for most involved. If you would like to contribute to one that is much more recent and therefore probably more active, I recommend cls’ recent post, Your right to bear arms ends at my property line.

And last, what’s with the royal we schtick? If both of you want to participate here, each of you can sign up. To my mind, it really undoes what the clever name suggests ...

I agree that "artificial

I agree that "artificial legal constructs" don't have rights: but the people behind them do. The owners of a company, or the shareholders of a corporation, are real people. Their property rights allow them to set the conditions of employment at the business they own. They could require employees to come to work naked and covered in maple syrup, and still be within their rights.

Obviously, if the conditions of employment at a firm are too onerous, it will hurt them financially. It's sad when requiring employees to disarm doesn't hurt a company enough to get their attention -- but so it goes....

-MAL

Actually,

Actually, for the most part, publicly traded corporations are not owned by people, they are owned by institutions. Institutional investors, defined as pension funds, investment companies, insurance companies, banks and foundations own 61.2% of total 2005 U.S. equities(stocks) according to the Conference Board (they publish the Consumer Confidence Index and Leading Economic Indicators index). Among the 1,000 largest corporations, institutions own 67.9% of the outstanding stock.

These institutions do not care about the long-term health of the companies. They are interested in the quarterly reports that come out and affect the short-term stock price, and thus the monetary values of the funds they control. They know little or nothing about what happens at the level of the store or individual workers, and they don't care. So the ban on handguns in the stores/plants/etc. is meaningless to them, unless it affects the quarterly numbers. Which it more than likely won't.

I'm not certain of the specific case you are referring to, but I think that it's a strong possibility that this decision was made by a corporate manager who did not consult the shareholders. This is simply not the thing that is discussed in a quarterly conference call.

Actually, for the most part,

Actually, for the most part, publicly traded corporations are not owned by people, they are owned by institutions."

...who what; find that money to invest under the milk bottle on their porch every morning?

Honest to god, already.

I swear it: I look around at the quality of thinking -- the sheer gimpiness of conceptual range -- prevalent in this country today, and I conclude that we are just fucked. All the way up-to-here.

We're really not going to make it.

OK, let's try this again

*takes a deep breath*

Yes, the money eventually comes from people. But those people are so disconnected from the operations of the companies in question that most of the time they don't even know that those companies exist, let alone concern themselves with the day to day operations of a company.

Let's start with one source of the money for institutional investment, insurance fund float, shall we? Few, if any, of the policyholders even know that the insurance companies invest the float in company stocks. The few that do have no idea what stocks that the float funds purchase, since that is generally considered proprietary information, and it changes often. Fund managers move in and out of stocks constantly.

Second, let's consider another source of funds, the mutual fund. While the fund's major holdings are listed in the funds prospectus and reports, few people bother to read them and wouldn't know who many of the companies were if they did. Minor investments are not even listed (which might be major to the company in question).

Even the Gates Foundation keeps its philanthropic interests and the foundation's investments separate. Their only concern for their investments is capital appreciation, not the harm that their investments may bring for the causes that they care about, and that has brought some criticism.

Now I admit that my comment about institutional investors not caring may have seemed like I thought that it was personal. It isn't. The problem is systemic. I am sure that the fund managers are decent people, love their kids, and all that. They do not resemble the characters in the movie "Wall Street." No, the problem is that the fund managers have no time to concern themselves with the day-to-day operation of any of the companies that they invest in, and frankly it's not their job. They are paid to make sure that the fund keeps increasing steadily, and that is all. They are busy looking for the investments that are likely to appreciate next quarter, rather than worrying about an issue like this.

All this gets me back to my original point. The people whose money is invested in these corporations via these institutions are too far from the situation to even know that an issue like Bear has described has even come up. Most of them probably don't even know that the corporation in question even exists, let alone know the gun rules of said corporation. The fund managers do not concern themselves with day-to-day operation of the companies they invest in, so the gun rule is irrelevant to them. The CEO or some lower manager made that decision.

Notice that I have not passed judgment on the gun decision. I actually agree with you to some extent, Billy. The owners of the company have the right to decide for themselves what their policy regarding guns on their property is, just like I have the right to ask you not to smoke in my house. In this case though, the "owners" probably had nothing to do with this decision.

Disputes like this are one of the major reasons why I want to see more worker-owned cooperatives and independent businesses. That way the employee-owners can set policy for themselves, and tell the corporations that treat them poorly to get stuffed. The problem is that regulatory barriers to entry can make that difficult, and that subject is a whole other discussion, and this comment is more than long enough. I do tend to get long winded at times. My apologies for the length of my reply. I really don't think that you and I are that far apart, but Sunni and Bear may disagree with both of us on this one.

"Yes, the money eventually

"Yes, the money eventually comes from people. But those people are so disconnected from the operations of the companies in question that most of the time they don't even know that those companies exist, let alone concern themselves with the day to day operations of a company."

Nothing about that relieves them of responsibility for their property, even out to its furthest conceptual extensions.

And it certainly is not an opening for a moral claim on a "right" at the expense of others' rights, in any circumstance.

Okay, Becky-boy

So what have we here?

Threat: an expression of intent to do harm, injury, etc.

If you don't like what you read on a blog, just stop reading it. Instead, you chose to tell Sunni that you would remove her blog from your bookmarks if material such as mine appeared. Sounds like you thought hearing that might hurt her feelings enough to dump me; a threat. Otherwise, all you had to do was quietly delete the bookmark and stop reading.

Sub-normal intelligence: I can't honestly tell you what my unimpaired S-B scale IQ is; the last time I took an IQ test (as a joke) I was a bit under the influence of alcohol. So I only scored 136 (my math skills deteriorate rapidly when I drink alcohol). It would appear that you have taken the typical elitist stance that any position that conflicts with your own must be wrong, and therefore "stupid."

Ownership: Morally, and in the US legally, property may only be owned by a person. In the US legal system, this concept has been perverted by recognizing artificial corporate entities as "people." In the scenario I presented, the corporation was the "owner."

Note that corporate agents can and actually have had stockholders (ie-owners of the corporation) removed from corporate property for trespassing. Further note the existence of "non-voting shares." In this situation, the supposed "owner" has no say whatsoever in the use of the property. Clearly the corporation retains property rights for itself, and not for the stockholders.

Rights and Responsibilities: A common philosophical view (to which I subscribe) is that rights and responsibilities are not separate entities but are two aspects of the same thing; you can't have one without the other. You have the right not to be murdered (right to life). But that also means that you have the responsibility not to murder others. If someone abrogates the responsibility not to murder, he can then be killed in self defense; he gave up his right to life. If you forfeit one side of the right/responsibility coin, you inherently forfeit the other; they are expressions of the same thing.

Interestingly, the entire point of incorporation in the US is to let individual "owners" dodge or limit their responsibilities and liabilities for actions on their behalf by the corporation. That, and to gain special privileges granted by the state, like monopolies and other limits on competition.

In a corporation, individuals have forfeited responsibilities, and therefore also forfeited rights. The rights and responsibilities reside in the imaginary corporate "person." So let us leave the stockholders (especially those troublesome non-voting holders) out of this.

So here we are back to you holding that an imaginary legal construct has rights that take precedence over those of real, living people. Personally, I gave up imaginary playmates when I was still a child.

Now back to the immediate point. Breathing/exhalation and self-defense (and the possession of self-defense tools) are expressions of a basic human right to life. They are essential survival imperatives. To willfully deprive a (real) person, who has not committed an act of aggression, of those things is to say that you are willing to see him die, that you may actively _want_ him dead.

Corporations with no-gun policies, and gun-grabbers like Schumer, Feinstein, and McCarthy do not want to state this so baldy. But when you extrapolate their positions, this is what the anti-gun leadership wants: gun owners vulnerable to death, or dead. You doubt this? Then look at the sequence of penalties available to those who would not comply with Sarah Brady's orgasmic dream of a disarmed popoulace: in the short form, fail to turn in your guns, be arrested; resist arrest, and be killed. (In the end, all laws come with an inherent, if unspoken, potential death penalty; when you get down to the nitty gritty the state reserves the "right" to kill you for noncompliance.)

Let me tell you something,

Let me tell you something, son: people who don't have the sheer spine to write under their real names have no business cracking wise on other peoples' real names.

"If you don't like what you read on a blog, just stop reading it. Instead, you chose to tell Sunni that you would remove her blog from your bookmarks if material such as mine appeared. Sounds like you thought hearing that might hurt her feelings enough to dump me; a threat. Otherwise, all you had to do was quietly delete the bookmark and stop reading."

Shut the fuck up. I've been reading her for a long time, and for good reason -- until you came along -- and I have never even suspected that she would ever do anything but what her own thinking told her was best for her. And you can run off about what "sounds like" for the rest of your life, for all I care, but I had enough of an interest in the value of this place to state it right out loud.

"It would appear that you have taken the typical elitist stance that any position that conflicts with your own must be wrong, and therefore 'stupid.'"

Again: I'm not responsible for what "appears" to you. This is about the facts and the truth, and if you happen to get in their way, then bloody so be it.

This...

"Ownership: Morally, and in the US legally, property may only be owned by a person. In the US legal system, this concept has been perverted by recognizing artificial corporate entities as 'people.' In the scenario I presented, the corporation was the 'owner.'"

...is just so much bullshit. The basic moral principles of joint-stock operations are clear enough -- no matter what any given gaggle of lawyers, judges, and legislators might have to say about them in anyone's arbitrary interests -- and so are the basic principles of what you're pitching. You think that your right to carry a weapon is superior to someone else's right of property. So, you can spare me all your back-filling with resort to what current US law has to say about this, as well as...

"Note that corporate agents can and actually have had stockholders (ie-owners of the corporation) removed from corporate property for trespassing."

...the stupidity of stockholders who actually put up with things like that. That's their problem, and it is quite impertinent to your basic moral proposition.

"...self-defense (and the possession of self-defense tools) are expressions of a basic human right to life."

Not in someone else's house, they're not. Now, I'm warning you: I can already see the ridiculous equivocation that you're going to run at that, and you'd better not, because I'll blow that up, too. Again.

yeah, yeah, yeah

"...blow that up, too."

Blow what up? As yet, all you've done is reply to folks' (not just mine) posts of facts and philosophical positions with obscenities, insults, general rudeness, and said (in effect), "Uh uh! So there! Thwwppt!"

BTW, "Bear" happens to be a nickname I've had for several years; I'm known by that name among friends online and in the real world. But if it makes you feel superior to think of it as a an alias, then consider me in fine company- pseudonyms have a long history (pre-Revolutionary) in the American freedom movement.

Sunni, wake me up if he says anything of actual substance and value.

Someone Else's House

The element of this exchange that I find the oddest is that while you staunchly defend the right of a property owner to set the terms for visitors to it (and rightly so, in my opinion), you seem to be unable or unwilling to communicate according to my wishes here. This site isn’t real property, but it is my “online house” in the sense that I pay for it and have my name on it. Telling someone to STFU is not civil, no matter how one might cavil about the definition of the term. Your account has been blocked.

Thanks for stepping in

Sunni, thanks for stepping in. The tone of this conversation was getting too much for me. I administer a mailing list (that you are more than welcome to participate in, BTW) that can sometimes get contentious, but we at least keep name calling to a minimum. I had to bite back a nasty reply to Billy's comments myself, but I try to follow my own advice: "don't feed the trolls."

Thanks, Presto.

Thank you for the invitation, but I’m unable to keep up with the things in my life right now. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think Billy is a troll. I could say more, but I’m nursing a nasty headache and I simply do not have the energy to deal with this matter further.

reconsider?

Hi, Sunni,

It's your site, but you might consider unblocking Beck. I am interested in his position on property/human rights.

We've probably discussed this enough over the years for you to know that the potential clashes of rights are of great interest to me. Beck, for all of his less than pleasant ways, strikes me as an intelligent person. If he can be convinced to voice the "why" of his position, rather than simply reiterating _what_ his position is, I might learn something new. While what I've read as yet makes it seem unlikely, maybe I'll even be convinced.

Please reconsider, and I promise to try to behave myself.

No. At least, not now. I

No.

At least, not now. I think if I were to do it now, and if he chose to return to the discussion, you two hotheads would very quickly be at it again. While I’m very interested in a discussion of the issues your post brought up, this exchange has generated much more heat than light; and heat doesn’t really help advance one’s thinking on them.

And for the record (as well as for anyone new to the site following all this), it isn’t Billy’s disagreement that I have a problem with—it’s his manner of communicating it here.

It would be easier to have a

It would be easier to have a constructive argument if people did a better job of putting their statements in context. Consider the following from Billy Beck:

"Nothing about that relieves them of responsibility for their property, even out to its furthest conceptual extensions."

Was this intended as a statement of the way that things are? In the US? Today? If so, it could be attacked on a factual basis. Or was he describing the way he believes things would work in a free country? If that was the case, one would expect him to present his reasoning in support of the idea. If it was just a statement of personal preference, for which no counter-argument is possible, then labeling it as such would save everyone the bother of giving it serious consideration.

Somewhat related

My old FMN buddy Tooch has opined on the VT shootings, and in doing so touches on this subject:

Many people of a libertarian bent will agree with me that government officials--including the administrators of public universities like Virginia Tech--have no legitimate authority to restrict the rights of individuals. Laws against carrying a gun might carry risks for violators, but they are morally null and void.

But what if Virginia Tech was a private school? Many liberty-minded folks tell us that private parties have a right to set the conditions for use of their facilities; you either accept the conditions or go elsewhere.

In an abstract sense, I think that argument is correct. But I think it runs up against concerns about privacy--and triviality--that rightly keep us from applying the same principle to other areas of life.

There’s more, o’course, but I recommend you read it there to get the full context.

Human Rights vs. Company Rights

Sunni, we are Robert and Kathleen, and we thank you for allowing us to participate.

When I (Robert) first read Bear’s tongue-in-cheek “argument in plain corporate English” I thought it was a parody about the U.S. Government (the company) and how it’s acting as though the portion of North America that they claim as theirs, (and perhaps even the whole earth), is its “parking lot”, and although it has apparently admitted that their agents are not there to protect their “employees” (citizens), they are nevertheless making an all out effort to disarm them so they can’t protect themselves.

As we see it, when men and women elect to become members (EMPLOYEES/PERSONS) of the “company” known as the U.S., UNITED STATES, U.S.A., UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al, then they must obey all of the “company” rules (CORPORATE BYLAWS[1]) and pay whatever dues (TAXES) it requires of its members (EMPLOYEES/PERSONS).

However, at any time, and for any reason, they may withdraw their membership in the group, (i.e. secede[2] from it), and “assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Law of Nature[3] and Nature’s God entitle” them. This of course means that they can no longer receive “membership benefits”, which are the benefits that require an “employee number” (SSN) to obtain. If one uses that number to receive benefits then it is self-evident that one is an EMPLOYEE of the “company” and therefore must obey all the “company rules”.

Endnotes:
[1] These are all of the rules, regulations, and statutes, so-called “laws”, which only its members must obey.
[2] Secession. The act of withdrawing from membership in a group. – Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition
[3] Law of nature, is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the Creator, and existing prior to any positive precept. Thus it is a law of nature, that one man should not injure another, and murder and fraud would be crimes, independent of any prohibition from a supreme power. - Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
John Locke described the Law of Nature thusly, "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions".
As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

The Right to Ignore the State

The Right to Ignore the State
by Herbert Spencer

http://www.mises.org/story/2624

"...in the majority of men, there is such a love of tried arrangements, and so great a dread of experiments, that they will probably not act upon this right until long after it is safe to do so."
********************************************

"…in modern society, with its religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity, it would be much harder for any single group to demand allegiance — except for the state, which remains the one universally accepted god." – Roderick T. Long, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

God, n ...4. Any person or thing exalted too much in estimation...and honored as the chief good [primary benefactor]. - Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language