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FAQ-KYFHO: Keep Your Freakin' Hands OFF!

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at


Guess which word the popular version uses. It is not Freakin'

A work in progress. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

What is KYFHO?
KYFHO is an abbreviation for "Keep Your Freakin' Hands OFF!" only the popular version doesn't use the word Freakin'.

It is concept, a philosophy, a political platform, and a warning, but only if you are willing to back it up.

I first ran across the word KYFHO in a story called "The Equalizer" as part of The Best of Jack Williamson. I promptly forgot about it until I read The Lanague Chronicles by F. Paul Wilson. I've embraced it ever since as a practical philosophy and personal goal.

There are three assumptions that KYFHO rests on.

First, nobody owns you except you.

Second, others have no right to do things to you without your consent, or take the things you value without your consent.

Third, if anyone does try to do something to you without your consent, any and all resistance is justified.

Notice how this matches the so-called "Jeffersonian ideals." Those same ideals of minimum government (or ANY) interference in your life became unpopular with the Great Depression. We've been paying the price ever since.

But didn't the Great Depression show how those
Jeffersonian ideals don't work?
The Great Depression was caused in part by a government attempt to control the price of gold. Bet you weren't taught that in history class.

It was prolonged by government interference in the stock market and banks. Without World War II and increased industrial activity, it could have lasted indefinitely.

Industries do best and grow fastest when they are regulated least.

Economic actions depend on the flow of capital. Restrict that, and you restrict your economy.

But don't people deserve to be protected?
From what? Their own mistakes and misjudgments? And I should be required by law to pay for that?

Shield people from the consequences of their own actions and not only will they ignore the consequences, but the costs will be catastrophic. It happened with the savings and loans. It's happening now with the major pension plans. But eventually someone has to pay the bills.

If I choose to give something, that is charity. If it is taken from me by force and given to someone who I didn't choose, that is extortion.

Extortion? That's a little harsh, isn't it?
Is it? If it were anybody but the government doing it, that is exactly what you would call it. Does having the "legal authority" somehow make the action morally correct?

Is KYFHO only economic?
No. KYFHO is self-ownership and responsibility. If you don't harm another, there is no reason for them control you. Government and your fellow citizens have no justifiable interest in your decisions. It shouldn't matter to them what brand bathroom tissue you use, or if you like cold showers or hot baths, or what color your shelf paper is. These are decisions you are perfectly capable of making yourself without some officious bureaucrat sticking their nose in and making those choices for you and without consulting you.

If you let the government decide, from that point on that government agency will always be involved. It doesn't matter if it is marriage, employment, what you eat, what you wear, or what pharmaceuticals you might use. Choices that should be yours are now made for you, always "for your own good" of course. It doesn't matter if you disagree with those choices, you are no longer allowed to make them.

L. Neil Smith made a great point in one of his novels, he thought that insurance companies would be better equipped to give and rescind drivers licenses.

Most business, health, and zoning regulations are designed to benefit the people already there and make it difficult for new people to move in.

Beyond equally protecting the lives, property, and rights of it's citizens, a government has no compelling interest. The rights of the majority do not supersede the minority. The rights of an individual do not displace the rights of another individual.

Give the government power today, and don't be surprised if tomorrow that power is used against you.

Using KYFHO, what do you think should happen?
Start by eliminating all laws that regulate behavior if the behaviors do not cause measurable harm to others. That would eliminate most of the existing laws.

You could get drunk and nothing would happen. But drive while drunk and cause an accident and you are in deep deep trouble.

You could own a gun of any kind you like. Use if for anything other than self defense and you will be in deep deep trouble.

You could put anything you want on land you own. But if that anything affects someone else's property by poisoning the water table or polluting the air, you are in deep deep trouble.

Then make tort and compensation laws practical. Then you could do away with health and building codes.

The idea is that you are free to do exactly what you choose, provided you don't take that freedom from anyone else.

Do you think it will happen?
No. Not yet anyway.

The progressives would have to give up the power to compel economic behavior. The conservatives would have to give up the power to compel moral behavior. The pacifists would have to give up the power to compel non-violent behavior. The arms merchants would have to give up the power to compel war. And so on and so forth.

But here is a secret. The only thing they are really giving up is the power to compel behavior in others.

Last revision Tuesday, 24Jan2017

Posted: Mon - June 6, 2005 at 09:39 PM

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