As a writer and a blogger, I do occasionally correspond with some of my readers who my writings have touched. Sometimes I am exposed to interesting stories about their lives and maybe some epiphany they might have had. Such is the case with Howard who recently emailed me with a personal story about an interaction he had with what he described as a liberal/socialist on facebook. He now faces a dilemma many others who have discovered the message of freedom face, the dilemma of extricating themselves from a system they find repugnant without starving to death.
What happened was that the socialist pointed out to him that he was a
hypocrite because he works for a defense contractor that supplies food
to soldiers in Afghanistan. The money he was earning through his labor
was coming from tax payers. Therefore, he was just as much of a tax
feeder as anyone else who earns money through government. He was just as
responsible for legitimizing big government as most anyone else. He
argued that he worked for a private company and had no control over
where his employer got money from, but when he went to bed that night
and had a chance to think about it, he began to think that maybe the
socialist was right. This thought disturbed him greatly.
Let me say now that I commend Howard, and anyone else who may be have
had a similar epiphany. It's easy to criticize others, it's much harder
to look inside yourself or at your own way of life and see the same or
similar flaws. It's easy to maintain a state of denial and blame the
woes of the world on others. It's harder to see how you, yourself, might
be contributing to the misery.
Good German soldiers were just doing their jobs guarding the gates of
the concentration camps. Good German citizens were just doing their jobs
driving the trains to those same camps. They were just doing their jobs
making clothes for the soldiers. They were just doing their jobs
providing food to the guards. They were just doing their jobs shuffling
paperwork and making sure all the proper forms made it to their
superiors. They were just being good citizens doing their civic duty by
reporting their neighbors' suspicious activities to the proper
authorities. Like so many who testified at the Nuremburg trials, they
were all just following orders. They were all just doing their little
part to make sure the tyranny was well oiled and running smoothly.
And yet, how were they supposed to stop it? How were they, tiny cogs in a
huge bureaucratic machine, supposed to bring the system to a grinding
halt? Especially in a time of war? Especially when the people of Germany
were surrounded by enemies and battling for their very survival? How
were they supposed to worry about the freedoms of a few "undesirables"
and "misfits" when they were so worried about their own fates? Well, any
act to help those targeted by the Nazi regime, including merely
pointing out the tyranny, would have taken tremendous courage.
It starts by recognizing that there is a problem. This is more difficult
than it may sound when one considers that most people are brought up
inundated with statist propaganda. Think about it for a minute. Do you
think that German school children in the 1920s and 30s were being taught
that their country was bad? Do you think they were taught that their
system was no good? Do you think they were taught to question authority?
I doubt it. Likely they were taught that theirs was one of the most
advanced systems in the world. They were, after all, a modern industrial
democracy, just like us. They were likely taught to accept the will of
the majority, to respect and obey authority figures, especially those
elected to high office, to find their niche, do their jobs, pay their
taxes, and to just go along to get along. As adults they were likely
faced with a barrage of propaganda aimed at keeping them from thinking
too deeply. They were but a tiny entity in a greater collective. The
security of the fatherland was paramount, all else was inconsequential.
So, at least Howard recognizes that there is a problem. He has admitted
it to himself. He even recognizes that he is part of the problem. The
socialist he was chatting with on Facebook might not even recognize that
much. He might think the system is a good thing. He might think that
extortion is fine as long as they call it taxation and use it for the
betterment of all mankind. As long as the mob doing the extortion calls
itself government. The socialist might think that slavery is fine as
long as the slaves are doctors and they are forced to service sick
people with no money. He might not see it from this perspective, or he
might refuse to believe such terms are appropriate in these cases. Worse
still is the socialist who does see it in the terms described above and
still makes excuses for criminal behavior.
Once the problem is recognized and the individual's part in it is seen,
the question becomes what to do about it. While our modern society might
not have devolved to the point that German society in the 1930s did,
there's no sense in waiting that long. We certainly don't want to
revisit that dark time. So what can be done before it's too late? What
can be done before dissenters are being handcuffed and dragged off to
prison for speaking their minds? What can be done before those with
power start abusing it in ways no one wants to think about?
As I said at the beginning of this article, it can be difficult to
extricate one's self from the system without starving to death. It's not
your fault if you're stuck in the system, the system has been designed
to entrap. You were born into this system, you didn't design it. Part of
being free is having the ability to design a system that works for your
life, and part of tyranny is making sure that you are unable to do so.
It is your fault, however, if you recognize the inherent evil and
corruption in the system and you do nothing to try to overcome it. It is
your fault if you willfully just go along to get along, head down,
saying nothing, just accepting it, doing your job without protest and
making sure the wheels of tyranny remain properly greased. It's your
fault if you consent, either silently or with a clear voice, to being
ruled over in such a manner.
Certainly if one has the means one should step out of the system. If one
is able one should try to start a farm and work to provide organic food
to those who are demanding it, which is something I would like to try.
One should do their best to claim that they own their own property and
owe nothing to anyone unless they voluntarily use services that are
provided. One should do their best to advertise the claim that they own
the product of their labor, the money that they've earned, and that they
owe nothing to those who would try to enslave them by claiming a
portion of that income. One should, if one has the means, do their best
to convert debt notes into precious metals and find others who will be
willing to trade goods and services for said precious metals. In short,
if one has the means, one should do their best to participate in
alternative markets and economies rather than just bending to the will
of those who make laws proclaiming monopoly privileges on currency and
But not everyone has those means. Some people need to stay inside the
system to survive. These people should strive to do what they can to
change the system from within. They can complain, deviate and educate.
They can bring these subjects up, try to explain to others the
principles of freedom and why we are not, as a nation, adhering to those
principles. There is strength in numbers and the more people who
understand the more likely it is that positive change toward the lofty
goal of achieving liberty will be made. Just because you do a job
doesn't mean you have to like doing it, and it doesn't necessarily mean
you have to condone the activity and the corruption. But you should do
your best to find some way to disempower the established practices and
empower alternatives. Let it be known that you do not consent, even if
you begrudgingly participate.
People can do what I do. They can blog about these things. The more
people discussing such philosophies, the better. They can use social
networking to voice agreement with principles of non aggression and
freedom. These are powerful modern tools that weren't available a couple
of decades ago. The more people expressing these ideas, the better. In
this way we can become a force to be reckoned with. Remember, freedom is
a uniting idea. It might seem counter intuitive, but the ideals of
individualism actually unite while collectivist ideals have the tendency
to be divisive. That's because most everyone understands the concept of
having the ability to make their own decisions for their own lives.
They want others to respect their choices, so they should respect the
choices of others in return. Collectivism, on the other hand, moves
toward a one size fits all solution across the board and removes
choices, disrespecting your ability to make choices for your own life.
It divides people into two or more camps, each camp vying to have their
solution made into the one size fits all solution the collectivist
government will adopt.
I'm sure there are other ways to express one's preference for freedom
principles. There are as many ways to express them, as many ideas for
moving toward a more free society, as there are people on the planet. We
all have likely been hypocritical some way or another in our lives.
We've all likely been in a situation where our principles may have been
set aside for some reason or another. Life is imperfect and it is likely
that nothing is exactly how one would have it if one were in charge.
The important thing is that once one is awakened, one participates in
waking others. All one can do is try to peacefully inform those who
whose minds are open and try to open those minds that are trapped in the
jail cells created by indoctrination and propaganda. All one can do is
strive to live as best one can without interfering with others' rights
to do the same.
If you enjoy my writings, please visit szandorblestman.com to make a donation.
Below is a list of all my works available at smashwords.com. Please help
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Ron Paul's Wisdom, A Layman's Perspective. A Collection of Opinion Editorials. By Szandor Blestman
Galaxium. A screenplay By Matthew Ballotti
The Colors of Elberia; book 1 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Legacy of the Tareks; book 2 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Power of the Tech; book 3 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Edge of Sanity. By Matthew Ballotti
The Ouijiers By Matthew Ballotti