July 6th, 2011
Brandon Smith of Alt-Market has generously contributed this missive for your reading pleasure and educational enlightenment. Somewhere along the way, no doubt with the help of Big Brother, our definitions of freedom and liberty have been lost in translation. The following article is a must-read for adults and teens alike, as it outlines ten critical ‘rules’ for liberty that have been forgotten or looked down upon for too long. The end result, of course, is a citizenry that is quick to point the finger at the first sign of trouble and one that has become dependent on government to solve basic problems.
The Essential Rules Of Liberty
There is nothing worse in this world than an enslaved man who naively believes himself free, except, perhaps, trying to explain to that same man his predicament. You can lay truth after truth before his feet. You can qualify your every position with cold hard irrefutable data. You can plead and scream and raise veritable hell, but before he will ever listen, he must first become aware of his own dire circumstances. As long as he views himself as “safe and secure”, as long as he imagines his chains to be wings, he will see no reason to question the validity of the world around him, and he will certainly never invest himself into changing his own deluded destiny.
Unfortunately, there are many such men crawling and scraping about here in what was once a land graced with a self sufficient and independently minded public majority. The great lie that has been perpetuated in this country over the past several decades is that we can defer our responsibilities of vigilance and place our well being and our futures into the hands of others for the sake of “collective efficiency”, or leisure. We have been conditioned to live in a state of constant indifference, a society which prizes compromise over principle and steadfast resolve.Those who refuse to compromise that which is honorable for the sake of ease and comfort are indicted as “extremist” or even criminal. The idea of personal revolution is treated with discomfort, and all we claim to stand for becomes muddled in a fog of inaction and cynicism.As Americans, we have forgotten what it means to earn and protect our own freedoms. We have forgotten that in liberty, there are standards that must be defended.
This, however, does not mean we cannot yet again remember ourselves. The desire for freedom is as inborn and natural as our own heartbeat, as our own breath. It is instinct. It cannot be erased from within, only oppressed from without. The tide has always been against tyranny, always, though we may find that hard to believe. If liberty was not ingrained into our very DNA, humanity would have succumbed to bondage and self destructed long ago. This is not the case. Stretching under the surface of our superficial force-fed mainstream culture are the roots of something real, and honest. Simmering beneath our so called “civilized” veneer, many Americans are finally rediscovering their wild and defiant origins. In the recent past we have been taught to feel ashamed of our rebelliousness. Now, we are learning to hold it quite dear.
For those of us who are awake, and for those who are on the verge of understanding, certain rules come into play that strengthen our stance and shield us from folly. Liberty is not a self perpetuating social condition. It requires guidelines, and effort, and sacrifice. Liberty will not survive without our willingness to maintain it. If you are not ready and willing to fight for your own independence, then you are not truly free.
Let’s examine some of the inherent laws and guidelines of free will and free action that will allow us to not only win back our self determination, but to keep it for generations to come. You want liberty? This is what it takes…
Rule #1: Never Take Anything For Granted
A lot of people today seem to have serious issues with expectation and assumption; what we in the alternative media often refer to as “normalcy bias”. We have grown used to the idea of abundance and relative safety. So much so, that we fail to notice when our abundance and safety begin to disappear. We assume that the condition of the world today will be the condition of the world tomorrow, and for all time. In the U.S., we have even come to expect not only that our prosperity and our freedom are inevitable, but that they will also increase exponentially with each passing generation. This is a relatively new and narrow cultural mindset likely caused by the explosion in industrial growth after WWII which seemed to erase all memory of the Great Depression in our society, leaving us with the belief that surely, our circumstances would never become so desperate again.
Those who are truly independent realize that nations, no matter how affluent, can self destruct at a moment’s notice, especially when they fail to recognize their own weaknesses and confront their own demons. Never suppose that that which is good and just will remain without your own initiative. Never wait for others to fix those problems which you could just as easily solve yourself. Never expect that freedoms won cannot also be easily lost. Always prepare for the worst outcome, and strive for the best outcome.
Rule #2: Educate Yourself
Never become a useful idiot, or a waste of oxygen. Being a part of the herd is nothing to be proud of. Strive for knowledge, and thirst for the truth every moment of every day. Many of the things we deem “important” in modern society are in the grand scheme hollow attempts to fill our lives with distraction, only wasting time until we finally bite the dust filled with regret.Pretending to further the depth of one’s life is not the same as actually doing so. I can’t think of anything more horrifying than becoming a man who rushes around frantically every waking moment, but ultimately accomplishes nothing.
Do not assume that you already have a tangible grasp of the truth, especially if all your knowledge has been handed to you. Instead, research that knowledge for yourself. Put that which you have been taught to the test. Only in this way will you finally learn. Expand your horizons. Learn something useful. Remove unnecessary distractions for at least part of your day and focus on increasing your awareness of the environment you live in. There are very few things in this world more important than this, and self education should take precedence over everything else except your family. “Lack of time” is no excuse for ignorance. Make time! The ignorant are led. The knowledgeable lead themselves.
Rule #3: Don’t Be A Pansy
Liberty is not for the faint of heart. Emotional courage is paramount to freedom, and it can be expressed to incredible effect by even the most unlikely heroes. I’ve seen children with more courage and tenacity than some full grown men.
If one recognizes the gravity of the situation we face as a people, if one understands the considerable danger involved in the fall of a Republic to the depths of fear and autocracy, but still does nothing, that person has not only failed the world, he has also failed himself. “Making waves”, or drawing the ire of “authority”, is the least of our worries. If you have utilized an objective eye, and know you are right in your position, then there is no reason to fear criticism from anyone.
Sociopolitical action, nonconformity, noncompliance, and self defense, are unavoidable aspects of a society that wishes to maintain its freedoms. There is no way around it. If you are not willing to stick your neck out and expose yourself to risk, you remove all chance of possible gain. If you are a self proclaimed activist that refuses to sacrifice, that refuses to struggle, then you have failed before you even began. Talk must lead to balanced action. Never thumb your nose at the devil without being ready to trade punches as well, or all is lost.
Rule #4: Stop Waiting For Others To Tell You What To Do
Independent people not only consider and implement the solutions of others, they also work on their own. Complaints abound lately in the Liberty Movement;
“When is someone going to do something!? What are YOU going to do about our predicament!?”
This is the question of a slave, not a free man. A free man asks, “What am I going to do about this predicament? What is MY solution to the problem?” Therein is the key to liberty; decentralized leadership and movements based on fluidity and spontaneity of action, instead of a great mass of people standing around stiffly waiting for orders on high, or a self styled messiah to engineer their world view. As soon as you place your very initiative under the control of others, you have lost the fight. Always consider the solid strategies of intelligent people, and adopt them if they are useful, but do not remain idle because you are too frightened to exert the effort to solve problems bigger than yourself. Spectators only witness history, they do not make history.
Rule #5: Cast Off What Is Unnecessary, Keep What Is Effective
Yes, I stole this rule from Bruce Lee, but it is just as applicable to social movements and economic stability as it is to the martial arts. Invasive debt creation, for instance, is a tool for subversion, and no people forced to bear the burden of liabilities they can never repay is free.Therefore, exorbitant debt must be avoided, or cast off completely.
In our personal lives, how many useless goods do we accumulate on a daily basis, instead of useful items that we may one day desperately need? How much of our life is spent accumulating garbage in order to keep up with “socially acceptable” levels of consumer behavior? How many of us cling to careers we hate in order to service our needless consumption? The ability to prioritize must become a virtue once again, and, we all need to shut off the cable television…
This rule also applies to governments. If a government no longer fulfills its sworn duties to the people, and no longer serves the purposes to which it was originally intended, then it too must be cast off and replaced with one that does serve the people, or, it must be forced to return to its inherent foundations. Today, this kind of talk is often referred to as “extremism”, or insurgency, no matter how correct it might be, which brings us to our next rule…
Rule #6: Ignore Establishment Labels
Tactical name calling is only effective if we actually care what other people think of us. Labels like “homegrown terrorist”, “extremist”, “doomer”, or “conspiracy theorist”, are designed to shame people into self censorship. That is to say, they pigeonhole movements and their participants into categories of public shame, causing said movements to fear social reprisal.They are also meant to forcefully assign “outsider” or “fringe” status to particular political positions in order to marginalize and weaken the resolve of those who hold them. Never mind that almost every powerful and honorable cultural movement in history once started out as “fringe”.
Early in our lives, we are taught that it is far better to be accepted, and to avoid standing out, even at the expense of our individualism. Unfortunately, many adults never outgrow this childish belief, and thus become vulnerable to tactics as absurd as simple ridicule. At bottom, being slandered by a thieving bureaucracy infested with soulless parasites bent on centralization at the expense of innocent human life is a bit laughable (this goes for you too, SPLC). Globalists, along with their media cronies and their think-tank sock puppets, will say ANYTHING to get what they want. Empty words and false labels cannot stop the truth, or a movement driven by the truth.
Rule #7: Cynicism Is The Path To Defeat
It is good to be critical, but not to the point of nihilism. America’s past is riddled with mistakes, bad judgments, horrible crimes, and downright stupidity; that doesn’t mean that the principles on which this country was founded are any less vital. We hear often from cynics that humanity has become too stupid and complacent to do what is right. However, stupidity and complacency are not inherent qualities. That’s an elitist fantasy with no basis in fact. Stupidity and complacency are learned behaviors, and they can be unlearned. What IS inherent is our ability to choose what path we will take. For adherents of liberty, we need only remind people that they have this choice. We can whine and cry all day long about how nobody pays attention and how there is no hope, or, we can exhaust all options before throwing in the proverbial towel. We don’t need to “like” society the way it is, but we do need to recognize the underlying potential of all people to become something much more than what they currently are (I can’t stand blind ignorance either, but I’m certainly not ready to accept it as a fact of American life). Remember, no fight is over until it is over.
Rule #8: True Authority Is Derived From Respect That Is Earned, Not Bought, Or Taken
A corrupt politician is just a criminal conman in a nice suit. A law enforcement officer who refuses to follow Constitutional Law is just a petty little tyrant in a black uniform. An economist who knowingly skews data to fit his own political bias or to serve the political biases of men above him is just a liar or an inept buffoon with an embossed piece of paper from an expensive university. A lab scientist or doctor who flubs experimentation to support the interests of the corporate world rather than the needs of the public is just a quack in a white coat. All too often, though, we find ourselves taking these cretins seriously all because they talk the talk and wear the costume. They are just people, and if they cannot do their jobs honestly, then they are useless people, who deserve our disdain, not our respect. We should never allow such men to wield positions of authority over us.
Rule #9: Take It Personally
When someone tries to steal from you, hurt you, or enslave you, unless you are some kind of nut, you take it pretty personally, right? Why should it be any different when a government commits the same grievances? Americans should be furious over the destruction of their economy, their currency, their infrastructure, and their Constitutional freedoms! They should be enraged over the endless wars overseas that are bankrupting the nation. They should be bellowing to the rooftops over the cooption of their political system by a slimy brood of corporate bankers. Is this “extremist” behavior? Who cares!? If your anger is not visible then it is not worth a damn. Don’t just get active, get emotional! This is about your life, and the lives of those you love. That’s not to say that we should take out our frustrations randomly and haphazardly, but if we can’t at least make known our anger over the misdeeds of government, then what the hell is the point of calling ourselves free?
Rule #10: You Are The First And Last Line Of Defense
Like it our not, this is our job. We have inherited a country on the verge of disaster, and we are tasked with cleaning it up, otherwise, there will be little left to pass on. We do not get to bask in illusory prosperity for the rest of our days. We do not get to feed off the entitlement program trough until we are fat and contented. We are not going to retain our rights without blood, sweat, and tears. We will not be building magical floating cities in the clouds or skyscrapers on Mars.We will NOT be remembered fondly as members of some fantastical “golden era”.
We have been thrust into the muck and the mire. We are being molded as the lost children of an age better forgotten. We have been slapped in the face with a dilemma so volatile and so incredible it may one day be called the greatest crisis of all time. We have drawn the short straw.
This could be viewed as some terrible doom. It could be held as a star crossed act of ferocious fate. We could fall to our knees and lament with despair, overcome with woe at our unbearable lot. But, this would be in violation of rule #3, and nobody wants to be a sobbing pansy. On the contrary, every “bad luck generation” is only so if they refuse to see the great fortune at their fingertips; if they refuse to seize the moment and conquer the giants of their day. The greater the hardship, the greater the enemy, the greater the heroes. We are faced with possibly the most unrelenting antagonists and the most treacherous obstacles in recent memory, or even distant memory. In the same spark of confrontation, we are also presented with unparalleled opportunity to change the course of the world forever. Whether or not we succeed, is entirely up to us.
Join Alt-Market today, find a barter network in your area, or start your own. Insulate yourself and your family from economic collapse before it is too late.
Alt Market exists to facilitate networking, local community action, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We promote decentralization, localism, and the de-globalization of human economic systems. We aim to work with and support local economies, markets, barter networks, and farmers cooperatives; and to promote alternative currencies and monetary systems.
Author: Brandon Smith
Date: July 6th, 2011