So it's been interesting to watch Gerard Depardieu as he attempts to take the advice that so many of us have been given before, usually with a whiny, dismissive tone: "If you don't like it here, just go somewhere else." Normal, well-adjusted human beings would of course read that statement as implying that the offer is to actually do that, taking with you what is yours and demanding nothing more in return.
Well, yes...or, rather, no. This being the State, after all, the...oh, go with it, let's call it a "deal" just to soak up the full effect...the "deal" has two little conditions attached to it. To wit:
- You can't leave without paying us what we, in our sole discretion, think is a fair price.
- You can't leave our protection racket without proof that you've selected another one, of which we, in our sole discretion, approve.
This is not hyperbole. Via William Grigg on Facebook, the AP today reports:
MOSCOW — Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has waged a battle against a proposed super-tax on millionaires in his native country, has been granted Russian citizenship.
A brief announcement on the Kremlin website on Thursday revealed that President Vladimir Putin signed the citizenship grant following an application from the actor.
The former Oscar nominee and star of the movie "Green Card" has been vocal in his opposition to French President Francois Hollande's plans to raise the tax on earned income above €1 million ($1.33 million) to 75 percent from the current high of 41 percent. Russia has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
Now heaven only knows what Pooty-Poot's real motivation might be in this--I shudder even to contemplate it--but certainly this shows at least arguably rational thinking on Depardieu's part. Thirteen percent may be thirteen percent too high for non-voluntary extraction, by any moral standard, but on a practical level at least it's not more than half an order of magnitude higher.
But here is where (through the perfectly-to-type "Authorized Journalist") they just come right out and say it--the point entire:
France's Civil Code says one must have another nationality in order to give up French citizenship because it is forbidden to be stateless.
"...it is forbidden to be stateless." There it is, for the next simpering statist who attempts to dismiss you with the "luv it or leave it" argument. It should be enough, of course, to simply ask, "Where?" since there is not a square inch of land on this planet that is not claimed by at least one nation-state...but then again it should be enough to argue that it's simply wrong to forcibly compel anyone who has not harmed another.
"...it is forbidden to be stateless." That's pretty clear, and the attitude behind it is even clearer: your life is not your own, but belongs to the State. You will be milked like a cow, and the only reason we might leave you alone, is if you can prove to our sole satisfaction that you've subjected yourself to the milking ministrations of another racket just like us.
Interesting ... when I read that Yahoo article, I scanned that statement twice, unable to believe it was there in print.
When I refreshed the article, that line was conspicuously missing.
Anon, the article I read was in the Deseret News, with the AP byline.
As of this evening, I still see the quote in the same article. Is it possible you didn't click through to page 2? The UI at Deseret News does not make it really obvious that there is a page 2; it took me a moment to find it myself, although it was right there in front of me the whole time, immediately below the article text.
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