Sorry I haven't posted here recently. I've been busy with both the hustle and bustle of the holiday season as well as some personal hardships. These forces have combined to make me sit down and reflect on what I have. I believe that we are each confronted with difficulties in our lives, and few of them are unique, and that when this happens we must make a decision. Will we allow ourselves to be burdened and oppressed by the difficulties we face, or will we choose happiness? Will we make a decision, here and now and again and again, to focus on our own power and our own possibilities, and to find a way to press on with hope? Sometimes the wind is at your back, and sometimes you have to lean into it, but if we keep taking steps we will keep moving forward.
So in that vein I have been thinking about ways to achieve true freedom. Freedom from tyranny, violence, and lies. Instead of focusing on the problem we must focus on the solution. Society is an imagined construct, it can not act, and it can not hold responsibility. Instead, it is the individual who is always responsible for history. So what can individuals do to move away from statism and towards voluntarism?
Firstly, I believe that we can work to become divorced from the state system. Think critically about what services you rely on the state to provide, and find private solutions instead. Learn to be self reliant instead of reliant on others. If you rely on government schools, then school your children at home or in the private sector. If you rely on the government to provide protection, then learn to protect yourself and acquire the means to do so. If you rely on the government to insure the safety of the products you purchase and the foods you eat, then go out and do your own homework. Eat at restaurants where you know the food is safe. Read consumer reports and research vehicles before you purchase them. Ask for references before you engage in business contracts. These are simple activities that you can do which will increase your ability to be self reliant and decrease your need for the state.
Secondly, you can secede economically from the system. Purchase products from some online vendors or from private individuals where taxes are rarely collected and difficult to enforce. Engage in unregulated economic transactions where you can set your own prices and freely contract with others. If possible, relocate to parts of the country where taxation and regulation are less intrusive. Rely on private organizations for your charitable giving, not the state. Whenever possible, make decisions which will give money to individuals, and not to the state.
Certainly economic secession isn't the answer to the problem, but it can be one tool you can use to lessen the power of the state. Less taxation is still theft, but it is also less theft. Less regulation on private contracts between consenting individuals is still unjust, but it is also less prohibitive. Economic secession will not in and of itself put an end to the state, but it will enable you with greater resources, greater self reliance, and greater opportunity.
While you may find these actions to be redundant based on the fact that those services are supplied, at least theoretically, by the state, you must remember the poor job the state does at each of these things. Your children will receive far better education, and have far more opportunities as a result, if you educate them privately. Protecting yourself will yield far greater results than relying on others to do so. Houses in unregulated municipalities may not be safe, but then again they may be, and you can get them inspected and choose only to purchase those that are. There are ways to handle your own business, without reliance on the state, and you will find the rewards worth it.
And most importantly, the state will not be around forever. With every “economic stimulus package,” and every corporate bailout, and every government “solution” the problem gets worse. The system is unsustainable. It will fail. And when it does, you want to make sure that you will be one of the people ready to thrive, not one of the sheep struggling to survive. If the electricity quit coming through the wires, and the trucks quit coming into WalMart, and the water quit coming through the pipes, how long do you think most people would survive? How long before true chaos became the rule?
Unfortunately, this is the end result of the state, and it will occur. Look through history. Every time the state fails, the people who were raised to rely on it struggle, and many of them die. Yet many survive, and people find ways to go on. They lean into the wind and mankind perseveres.
The state solution is no solution at all. It ultimately results in hyperinflation and chaos. But that is the problem. Don't focus on the problem. Focus on the solution. Focus on how you can live a life of freedom. Someday the state will collapse. It may happen in two years, or it may happen in twenty, but I don't think it will take two hundred. You may have to live through that tough time, and you definitely have to live through these tough times.
So live the best you can. Take care of yourself and your family, and find ways to live life as a free person. Encourage others to do the same. Encourage your friends and families to be self reliant. Encourage people to educate themselves. Encourage people to seek their own solutions to their problems, instead of ceding more and more authority to the state. They may use violence to take what you have and shackle you in chains, but you decide whether you are free or a slave. A free man in chains can be an inspiration to those around him. A slave is no inspiration at all. Be free. Live free. And be thankful that you are. In that way, you can bring freedom to others. Raise you children to be free.
Someday there will be a generation of men and women who do not know the evils of statism. They will live unencumbered by the chains of tyranny, violence, and lies. They will prosper and grow and fall and rise based on their own merit. We can help to bring this about. We can live our lives with the knowledge that someday, people will be free and we played a part in bringing that about. We can make that happen.
We can make the morning.