H.G. Wells wrote his novel, War of the Worlds, in 1898 – when a “driver” was someone who drove horses, as in commercially.
In italics for a reason.
Or rather, a definition.
Today, we use the term, “driver” to refer to someone who operates a motor vehicle, privately. Is the distinction important?
Is it possible the people who assert that the law does not oblige people who simply operate a private motor vehicle for personal use to get (and present) a license – because they are not drivers, as in the commercial sense, might be right? They are arguably right as a matter of common law and general tradition in that until relatively recently, human beings have always been understood to have a right to travel. Put another way, until relatively recently – around the dawn of the 20th century – no one had to obtain a license – that is to say, government permission – to travel by horse or carriage or any other privately owned conveyance.
People just went where they wanted, when they wanted – using the public right-of-way. These being the roads, which everyone had a right to use.
Somehow, what had been a right transitioned into a conditional privilege, one granted by the same government that had the power to revoke it. Sovereign Citizens deny the government’s right – its authority, rather – to turn a right into a conditional privilege and on this they are on solid ground, as a moral (if not legal) matter. The government can do as it likes, of course – because government has power, which it uses to assert the extent of its authority, which it defines for itself.
Some labor under the misapprehension that government is merely an instrument of “the people” and “represents” them, acting only insofar as “the people” have authorized. This is nonsense, of course – but it requires not allowing terms such as “the people” or “represents” to pass unchallenged.
Or rather, undefined.
“The people” is taken by some (foolish) people to mean, in effect, everyone. As in all of us. But it is in fact only some of us; i.e., “the people” who hold government offices and exercise government authority over everyone, at the behest and with the approval of some of “the people.”
This is “democracy” dissected.”
But what of the people who do not hold government office – nor wish to – and disapprove of what those who do inflict upon them as well as others? There are many such people as there is not a single example, probably, of an exercise of government authority that everyone agrees with. Certainly not with respect to the laws that are just legalisms – i.e., laws pertaining to actions (or non-actions) that involve no injury done to anyone, such as the having or not having a “license” to “drive” your vehicle on the public right-of-way.
The assertion is that such laws – such legalisms – are binding on everyone because “the people” have so decided, via their “representatives.” A cretinous article to this effect appeared recently in Jalopnik – a “car” site that is to cars (and operating them) what Dr. Fauci is to health.
The article’s author writes – as regards this business of being obliged to seek government permission to use the public right-of-way:
“You may have heard the term sovereign citizens popping up occasionally in the news and wondered, what’s that all about? Well, it’s a conspiracy theory, a way of life, a right-wing grift and a pain in the ass for everyone trying to have a society around them—all at once.”
Apparently, rights are a “pain in the ass” for some people. The people who say you are “represented” – and so agreed.