Abstract: Herein we propose a simple test to determine if you are a tool of the state. The test also determines your reliability as a tool if you are a tool of the state and your risk of becoming a tool if you are not a tool of the state. This study is brought to you by The People Advocating Truth, Responsibility, Individuality & Opposing Tyranny (PATRIOT) advocacy group. The satisfactory completion of the test will henceforth be referred to as a PATRIOT ACT.
Background: One frequently encounters tools of the state in everyday life and reads about them in numerous publications. There are other people who act like or appear to be tools of the state but, to some degree, are not. The first group has completely abdicated their freedom of choice and their conscience to the state. The state is, for all practical purposes, their operator, and they are nothing more than automatons who carry out the state's commands. The latter are not always tools of the state. They may actually hate the state, but for reasons of fear or self-interest they act as tools of the state under certain circumstances. For example, this clerk of the National Archives appears to be a tool of the state:
"Ask again," he hissed, "and I will call security to remove you from the building and have you barred as a security risk.”
The person asking the question was Sarah Whalen, a professor at Loyola University School of Law, researching Saudi Arabian history. But perhaps the clerk has a wife and children to support and has been threatened with imprisonment if he were to comply with the professor's wishes. Perhaps he hates the state and is surreptitiously providing documents to researchers who know a secret password. A more common example of seeming tools of the state are the many people we see since the invasion of Iraq driving with flags affixed to their cars. Perhaps they have a loved one in Iraq and are attending "Bring Them Home" rallies and the flag on their vehicle is just an illogical way of showing solidarity with their loved one. On the other hand, if they have no loved one involved, those with newly placed flags on their vehicles are probably tools of the state.
There are certain special occasions when it is important to know if one is dealing with a tool of the state. Otherwise, one might unnecessarily place one's liberty and privacy at risk, or waste valuable time under the impression that they are talking to a real, live, thinking human being rather than just a tool. These times include, but are not limited to, talking on the telephone, visiting the library, and using e-mail on the Internet.
To accurately assess whether or not others are tools of the state, one must first be sure that one is not a tool of the state themselves, or if one is, to what degree. Because becoming a tool of the state can be an unconscious process, a process that began in early childhood, this can be difficult to determine.
What is needed is a simple test that can be performed with commonly available equipment and accurately reflects whether or not one is a tool of the state. The test should not require technical skills beyond those possessed by the average person. While the test as described is always preferable, one should be able to modify the test to account for physical disability, or perform the test mentally if that is the only option available. Below, we outline a test that should satisfy these criteria.
Materials and Methods: The test involves driving a car past a stop sign without stopping. The test subject will require a motor vehicle in operating condition, the technical ability to drive the vehicle and an intersection with a stop sign and good visibility (at least mile or approximately 1 kilometer) in all directions. One competent, reliable spotter for each direction of crossing traffic may be required. One may substitute a traffic light for a stop sign, but this option may require waiting for the light to turn red before one proceeds. If a vehicle or the ability to drive is a problem, one may substitute a bicycle or wheelchair, or simply walk. If necessary, one may perform the experiment as a mental exercise, but in this case, honesty is a limiting factor.
Passing straight through stop signs without stopping is illegal in every jurisdiction we can identify. Federal, state and local law prohibits such activity. We assume that the state (here we refer to federal, state, and local jurisdictions) passes such laws for the safety of individuals who use the roadways. Therefore, if the safety of individuals is not at issue, there is no reason to bring one's vehicle to a halt when approaching a stop sign. Nonetheless, no jurisdiction we can identify allows one to pass straight through a stop sign even under these conditions. Under conditions where safety is not an issue, blind obedience to the state would be the only reason to slow or stop one's vehicle when approaching a stop sign. It is noted that slowing or stopping does waste energy and time.
(Ed. Here we anticipate certain arguments that cite precedent and the idea that some individuals with good vision may not reliably be able to spot a vehicle approaching on a road with adequate visibility for mile. In response the authors would note that incompetence or unreliability are disqualifying factors for the test, and in any case, stupidity and incompetence are risk factors for vehicle accidents independent of any issue of stop signs.)
To perform the test, one simply identifies an intersection that fits the criteria above, and during an interval when no vehicle is within mile in any direction, drives straight through the intersection without stopping. (Spotters are used as required.)
Analysis and Conclusions: Individuals can be categorized based upon the results of their testing:
Tool of the State — These individuals were capable, but even in the absence of law enforcement were unable to complete the test.
Tool UndeR Duress (TURD) — These individuals completed the test in the absence of law enforcement, but showed obvious signs of anxiety such as sweating, tremors, and looking behind small bushes for law enforcement; and showed palpable relief when the test was over.
PATRIOT (acronym previously explained) — These individuals completed the test in the absence of law enforcement and showed obvious signs of pride, happiness, and the sense that a burden had been lifted from their shoulders. These individuals might at times feign being a tool of the state for reasons of expediency or extreme coercion, but always think and act in defense of their liberty and in opposition to state control.
Libertarian — These individuals didn't give a damn if law enforcement was present or not. They completed the test without a second thought. When questioned they responded with phrases such as, "It's no big deal." and "Why on earth would I even consider stopping." The state's threats and demands seemed to have no impact on the libertarians' actions. These individuals are of no use to the state.
(Ed. The authors note that at the time of publication a certain number of the libertarian group have been charged under various sections of the traffic code as well as for refusal to pay their fines. Some are incarcerated.)
August 27, 2003