This week, Tim DeChristopher received the official word that he will spend the next two years of his life in prison and pay a hefty fine. His crime? Bidding up an auction of public land in an effort to demonstrate how large oil companies were using contacts in the government to pay criminally low prices for valuable natural resources.
His bravery inspires reflection: after I read his statement, I must ask how he is going to prison while oil and gas companies' executives remain on the loose. He offered to pay for the land that he bid on, but it seems such land is only available to those who will exploit it. His case makes obvious the reality that our government does not serve the interests of the people at any level, but the interests of those who pay the politicians.
Of course, this has long been an anarchist argument against government, which embodies power in various, corruptible authorities. Tim De Christopher is living proof that the United States holds political prisoners, a reminder that we are all one just action away from prison ourselves.
In his words:
When a corrupted government is no longer willing to uphold the rule of law, I advocate that citizens step up to that responsibility.