A Rebellion of Furious Paper: Pseudolaw As a Revolutionary Legal System

Paper delivered at the Centre d’expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalisation (CEFIR) symposium: “Sovereign Citizens in Canada”, Montreal, 3 May 2018

23 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018

Date Written: May 3, 2018

Abstract

Pseudolaw is a collection of legal-sounding but false rules that purport to be law. Though pseudolaw is now encountered by courts and government actors in many countries world-wide, pseudolaw is remarkably constant, nation-to-nation.

This observation is explained by the crystallization circa 1999-2000 of a matrix of pseudolaw concepts interwoven with a conspiratorial anti-government narrative. This Pseudolaw Memeplex was incubated in the US Sovereign Citizen community. The Memeplex then spread internationally and into additional anti-government communities. That expansion either complemented or replaced other pre-existing pseudolaw systems.

The Sovereign Citizen Pseudolaw Memeplex has six core concepts:

1) everything is a contract,

2) silence means agreement,

3) legal action requires an injured party,

4) government authority is defective or limited,

5) the “Strawman” duality, and

6) monetary and banking conspiracy theories.

Only the defective government authority component shows significant national- and community-based variation. This adaptation is necessary for the Memeplex to plausibly operate with a new non-Sovereign Citizen host population. The “Strawman” duality is second-order pseudolaw, in that the“Strawman” builds on and ties together the first four concepts for its operation.

Together, the components of the Memeplex cause a radical re-balancing of individual vs government and institutional authority. The Memeplex promises free money, immunity from legislation and government regulation, and grants an unprecedented authority for individuals to force obligations on others. The Memeplex also incorporates a powerful conspiratorial anti-bank and anti-state narrative. The Memeplex therefore promises both benefits and a justification for aggrieved anti-authority populations to take illegal action against perceived enemies.

Keywords: pseudolaw, sovereign citizen, detaxer, freeman on the land, freemen on the land, OPCA

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Netolitzky, Donald, A Rebellion of Furious Paper: Pseudolaw As a Revolutionary Legal System (May 3, 2018). Paper delivered at the Centre d’expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalisation (CEFIR) symposium: “Sovereign Citizens in Canada”, Montreal, 3 May 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3177484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3177484

Donald Netolitzky (Contact Author)

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench ( email )

1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0R2
Canada

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