for individuals and up to $10,000 fornbusinesses.nUnder the Constitution, the censusnshould count adult heads and nothingnmore. No ethnic or racial questions.nNo income questions. No toilet questions.nNo who-is-living-with-whomnquestions.nMaybe by the next census, Americansnwill be reading the Constitutionnand First Samuel again. If so, theynwon’t put up with another decennialncensus and the pestilence it brings in itsnwake.n—Jeffrey A.TuckernTHE 1990 CENSUS arrived lastnweek, along with the usual past duennotices and Gold Card applications. Inam one of the lucky Americans whonreceived the long form, which asks fornsuch inconsequential data as hownmuch I earn, which of the myriadnminorities I swear allegiance to, andnhow much money I spent on utilities.nEven to track down the informationnwould have taken several hours, andnafter reading through the form I couldnnot find any mention of payment fornmy time and trouble. Besides, my childrennare something like one-thirtysecondnNative American, and I wouldnnot want any careless answer of minento blight their prospects of joiningnthe ever-growing class of minoritynvictims.nI’ve been through all this before,nback in 1980, when a census-taker withnthe long form tracked me down to mynown God’s Little Acre in McClellanville,nSouth Carolina. She was obviouslyna nice person, an unemployednschoolmarm, but I did not ask her in.nGovernment agents are like the Devil:nit is always safer not to invite them tonstep across your threshold. You see, shenexplained, all this apparently privateninformation is really the government’snbusiness, because they have to makenplans and allocate resources. To donthat, they have to determine wherenpoor people, especially poor minorities,nlive.nI said then what I say now. I don’tnwant the government to allocatenresources or to waste my tax money onngovernment programs to help whitensocial workers to enslave “minorities.”nWhat is more, I am opposed on moralngrounds to the whole idea of govern­nment statistics. As Murray Rothbardnpointed out in a recent issue (Wintern1989) of the Journal of LibertariannStudies, the federal government beganncollecting statistics in a big way onlynduring the Progressive era. In WorldnWar I Edwin Gray rose to prominencenas head of the statistical department ofnthe War Trade Board and later as headnof the Central Bureau of Planning andnStatistics. The gathering of statisticsnwas a crucial element in this firstnattempt to create a command economynin America. Small wonder that Graynsaw what he called “that wretchednArmistice” as “almost … a personalnblow.” As Rothbard observed, Wilson’snplanning boards were only thentrial runs for FDR’s more ambitiousnexperiment in social engineering.nThe Census Bureau, however, assuresnme that it is my duty, as a goodncitizen to fill in the entire form. Inbelieve in obeying the law, and as mostnof our readers must be aware I take anLutheran view of civil disobediencenand would repress nuclear protests andnOperation Rescue with the rigor usuallynexercised against other revolutionaries.nHowever, conscientious refusal isnnot civil disobedience. If the governmentntold me to kill my children orndivorce my wife or compose atonalnmusic, I would politely decline on thengrounds that there is a higher law thatnwe must obey and that our own civilnorder depends upon this higher lawnthat has been acknowledged for severalnmillennia. While I am not justified innbreaking good laws to protest bad, I amnrequired not to do those things I knownare wrong. State socialism is worsenthan inefficient and repressive; it is, as Innnand many people believe, immoral. Itnmakes war upon families and communities;nit subverts the moral order; itncorrupts the taste and deprives life itselfnof half its savor. State socialism dependsnupon statistics, graphs, andncharts. The planners have to know hownmany bathrooms I have, if they are tontell me, some day, that I have exceedednmy quota of bathrooms, water, andnchildren. They have to know if I amnwhite or black or Pacific Islander, beforenthey can decide upon my officialnstatus. Once upon a time, it wasnenough to be free and a citizen. Nownthat liberty and citizenship have beenneimptied of meaning, the governmentnis devising new status categories. At thentop are the honestiores — corporate executivesnand government bureaucrats,nwhile ordinary members of the workingnclasses are now consigned to thenlowest class oihumiliores. From here itnis only one step — as Hilaire Bellocnargued long ago — to slavery.nAnd so for this reason and becausentoadying to statisticians and filling outnforms and applications goes against myngrain as a once-free American, I decline,nfor the second time, to fill outnthe census form. I do supply the informationnto which they are entitled bynthe Constitution: name, address, birthndate. After all, even under the GenevanConvention a POW has to give name,nrank, and serial number.n— Thomas FlemingnAPARTHEID is the sole issue everndiscussed in this country with regard tonSouth Africa. Readers and viewersnmust occasionally ask themselvesnwhether that huge and varied country.nJUNE 1990/7n