In the summer of 2008 I was studying mathematics and computer science at the University of Arizona. I was also, briefly, learning to Tango. It was in one of my Tango classes that I met Kristine Goodwin, a senior manager at Raytheon Missle Systems. She offered to procure me an internship (and thus a foot in the door of this and other industries). I declined; but for a time, I wrestled with this decision.

“Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.”
— Mohandas Gandhi

This was long before I had even heard of agorism, anarcho-capitalism, libertarian anarchism, and the like. And while I had an implicit libertarian ethos (a respect for private property, the Non-Aggression Principle, etc.), I had not yet made my convictions explicit. I couldn’t even satisfactorily articulate my beliefs to the woman who is now my fiancée.

In retrospect, I’m pleased that I made the right choice. I cannot personally abide the thought that I could have had a hand in the design of some weapon which, at the whim of a distant bureaucrat under orders from his corporate cronies, could be lethally deployed against innocent men, women and children in some foreign land or even here at home.

It baffles me how anyone calling himself a libertarian could. I know a certain Raytheon employee who recently ran for office in Arizona’s Congressional District 8 under the banner of the Libertarian Party. It’s enough of a contraction that a person who damns the “political means” of living, as Oppenheimer put it, should run for public office. Even more so when the same person claims to abide by the Non-Aggression Principle and believes that the State is a murderous den of thieves, then chooses to serve one of the largest suppliers of the State’s terror machine.

One might argue that he is serving a private company and not the government—that it is the end-user which is violating the NAP and that he has no control over that. He could be likened to someone working for a gun manufacturer. However, this is not the case. The guns produced by the typical gun manufacturer have many non-governmental clients who use the weapons exclusively for morally justifiable reasons, such as hunting and self-defense. But Joe Blow isn’t going to be buying a Laser Area Defense System, Microwave weapon, or Joint Standoff Weapon from Raytheon. This company is a supplier for governments—predominantly the US. Thus, serving Raytheon serves the State. I hope that this man comes to realize that his efforts are empowering the same murderous, thieving empire he hopes to restrain — and resolves to serve no more .

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”
— Étienne de La Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

At any rate, what inspired this post was the following clip from the movie Good Will Hunting, which was recently posted by a liberty-loving friend on FaceBook.