By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
A couple of centuries ago, our country’s Founding Fathers wrote and signed a declaration of our independence from another country. They included a bill of the rights that they wished to ensure for their descendants. While not perfect people, by any means, they tried to create a nation of liberty that would go on for centuries to come.
What people seem to be missing is that the Bill of Rights isn’t a list of “privileges” granted to us by gray-haired rich men in the 1700s. We are endowed with natural human rights from the moment we are born. We also bear the responsibility to protect our independence from those who would subjugate us.
Fast forward to our current day. Human ingenuity has come so far in many ways, but at the same time, many have lost that spark of liberty, that sense of compassion, and that pride that urges us to achieve even greater things. There are so many people in our country who are just ready to turn over all control of their lives and wait for a handout.
Our education system has had a great hand in this. These days, many educators are more likely to wax poetic over the joys of socialism than to tempt students to greatness with the benefits of capitalism. And decades of indoctrination is beginning to overcome centuries of liberty-minded ideals.
Lately, the 4th of July simply makes me sad.
I was trying to summon up a rush of pride to write about what makes our country great, and all I could think about was how far we’ve sunk. How distant we’ve ventured from those original settlers who said, “No more!” and declared their independence. They fought and sacrificed to be free of a government that oppressed them, taxed them, stole from them, and enforced rules without any type of representation upon them.
We have somehow forgotten what freedom really means and so we have lost it, incrementally and for many people, voluntarily.
Here we stand today, on July 4, 2018, with a government that has systematically crushed the rights that were demanded more than 240 years ago when the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. And I’m not just talking about the current administration. This stuff has been going on for decades, if not longer.
- They tax us unreasonably, and if we don’t pay, they will take the money right from our bank accounts or steal our possessions.
- In many states, we must ask for permission to catch a fish, drive a car, own a gun, or build an extra room onto our homes, just to name a few.
- Permits and licenses are big revenue generators from start to finish – and if you proceed without asking permission, they will extort more money from you in the form of fines. If you refuse to pay the fines (or if you can’t) they’ll kidnap you and lock you in a cage, where you’ll be forced to perform manual labor for 10 cents an hour for whatever length of time the legal authorities feel is sufficient to teach you a lesson.
- Then there’s civil asset forfeiture. In many instances, without due process or a trial, our possessions and money can be taken from us on the “suspicion” that they are the benefits of some crime we haven’t been convicted of.
- We’re unable to voice our opinions without incurring the wrath of so-called social justice warriors, who may actually mean well in an idealistic kind of way, but end up causing more oppression when they try to right a wrong by forcing people to abide by their way of thinking. And this is only if we get it past the censors on social media.
And yet, people comply. They truly believe that this is what freedom looks like. When they lose freedoms they comfort themselves with, “This is the price we pay to live somewhere safe and civilized.”
Every time a bad act occurs, people plead to give away even more of their freedom because they believe it will make them safer. They are willing to be fondled and naked-body-scanned by the TSA in order to board a plane. They want to make a phone call and wait for the police to save them instead of picking up their own firearm and refusing to be a victim. They want to be surrounded by gun free zones, rainbows, and armed guards instead of taking responsibility for their own safety.
Somehow, this land of rugged individuals has become populated with scared children, who expect to be cared for, fed, protected, and made to feel good about themselves, all by government mandate. Many people seem to have no desire whatsoever to earn their keep, provide for their families, or take responsibility for their own safety. They expect the workplace to be one of sunshine and lollipops, with ample time off, equal pay for all, and. don’t forget, lots of kind words for everyone.
Our culture is just so incredibly dependent.
Freedom is terrifying to most people because it means that they and they alone, are responsible for the actions that they take. An independent person succeeds or fails on his or her own merit. Independence by its very nature means that the possibility of failure exists. It requires a sense of adventure, confidence, and the ability to fail and get right back up again, and it seems like these things are being bred right out of the American people.
What “independence” actually means
“Independent”, by definition, is the opposite of dependent. Here’s a whole list of definitions:
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself.2. not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free3. not influenced by the thought or action of others.4. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.5. not relying on another or others for aid or support.6. rejecting others’ aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.7. possessing a competency.
So, if you are, at heart, a free person, the above is a description of your character.
Maybe you read that list and realized it doesn’t describe you. With some hard work and a big dose of courage, it can. Here’s how:
You must reduce your dependence on everything that is out of your control.
You must reduce your dependence on the government, the large corporations, the transportation system, money, the banking system, entities like the FDA and the USDA. All of these are marketed to us to make it seem like we can’t survive without them.
Those who signed the Declaration of Independence, hundreds of years ago, knew this was the case. When Britain tried to coerce them and convince them that they needed help and governance from the other side of the ocean, those patriots decided that there was not one single thing that England could provide for them that they needed enough to remain under the rule of the King. (Here’s how high the cost of freedom was for some of those men.)
Once you decide that there’s nothing that you need, then the boogeymen who would control us all lose their power. That’s why nearly everything you need to do to become self-sustaining is either illegal or strongly discouraged: milk straight from the cow, water collection, front-yard vegetable gardens, carrying a firearm. They need you to need them.
“Government” is a giant scam.
The government is not really made up of the elected officials that it purports. It’s made up, mostly, of people who sell their souls to huge corporations that have an interest in beneficial laws being passed and laws that would harm their businesses shut down before they ever reach the desk of the presidents.
As well, the supposed watchdog entities, like the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture are also populated by those who have been hand-picked to support corporations, no matter what the detriment to the American people whom they pretend to protect. If Congress was like Nascar, the members would have to wear uniforms emblazoned with their sponsors. However, Washington DC does not have the transparency of professional car racing, so we must guess at the sponsors of our members.
We are buried under ridiculous laws with the sole purpose of generating revenue or adding to the slave labor force in the for-profit prison system. We must work most of our waking hours to be able to pay for our basic necessities. We are convinced repeatedly that we must have things that our ancestors would never have considered owning, much less requiring.
Hand in hand, the mega-corporations and the government entities work together to keep us subservient and in our places. The corporations create products, the watchdog agencies “test” the products, and the government mandates an artificial need for these products.
They have most people convinced that they must follow the food pyramid, the vaccine schedule, and the rules that force us to have licenses for every darned thing we do. We must pay for and be granted permission to feed ourselves, transport ourselves, build shelters for ourselves, unite in matrimony, and even to own pets.
Like some kind of frighteningly authoritarian parent, they assure us that it’s for our own safety, these breaches into our independence and that we must comply or face the consequences. They ground us by taking away our licenses. They send us to our rooms that just happen to be located in for-profit prisons. They don’t “allow” us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness because once we taste that sweet freedom, we won’t want to be under their oppressive thumbs anymore.
But some of us have seen the corporate government for what it is: a bully that reigns through fear of reprisal. They hold over us these fears:
- We will die if we don’t eat things that were inspected and approved by them.
- We will be jailed, fined, or have our children taken from us if we don’t toe the line.
- We are unable to figure things out for ourselves because we are not “experts” and therefore we must suppress our own judgments and bow to their far greater knowledge.
- We will die if we don’t follow their expert health and nutrition advice.
- We’ll be murdered by scary foreign terrorists if we don’t allow the TSA to fondle our private parts, make us walk barefoot for 30 feet, and perform x-rays that show us naked before we fly.
Because some people fear these things and believe these tales so thoroughly, they allow the government to enforce ridiculous, unconstitutional laws “for our own safety.” They say, “Better that I give up my rights as a human being and save the world from a terrorist.” They justify, “These agents are only doing their jobs.” Heck, I’ve even heard people in line at the airport thank the TSA for patting them down.
Stockholm Syndrome and the government
Our government strives to create in its citizens a dependency. They want us to feel as though we actually can’t survive without them.
There’s a name for this: Stockholm Syndrome.
Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological term that was coined after a 6-day siege at a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. The 4 hostages began to feel affection, even love, for their captors.
The phrase was reported to have been coined by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot. Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg was intrigued by the phenomenon and went on to define the syndrome for the FBI and Scotland Yard in the 1970s…
…His criteria included the following: “First people would experience something terrifying that just comes at them out of the blue. They are certain they are going to die.
“Then they experience a type of infantilisation – where, like a child, they are unable to eat, speak or go to the toilet without permission.”
Small acts of kindness – such as being given food – prompts a “primitive gratitude for the gift of life,” he explains.
“The hostages experience a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They are in denial that this is the person who put them in that situation. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live.” (source)
Stockholm Syndrome is defined as “feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor.”
Sounds familiar, right?
So here’s how the government does it.
The corporate system is constructed around making us feel as though we need what they are offering. They want us to believe we need their expertise, their handouts, their approvals, and their protection. They want us to feel that we are not capable of making our own decisions without their input.
Once they create this insecurity in you, then you have become their slave.
You must work, almost non-stop, to be able to afford the lifestyle they tell you to have. Your home must meet their standards, your dependence upon the grid is absolute, and you must never, ever partake of a food that has not passed their approval process. You should call the experts to protect you, via 911, as opposed to taking care of your own security. Your children must be supervised constantly, unable to grow and seek adventures, in order to create the next generation of adults who submit without even realizing they are doing so.
When it’s put like that, you can see how absolutely ridiculous it all is, right?
Let’s take food, for example.
Historically, in nearly every takeover of the modern world, food was involved. Think of communist China in the early 1960s or the Holodomor, for two examples. The government took control of the farms “for the good of the people.” They controlled all of the food – every single bite. If you complied, you ate. If you rebelled, you starved.
Back 100 years ago, people drank milk. You got it from cows as opposed to the store. Now, the substance they drank is called “raw milk” and it’s the subject of taboos, warnings, and legal hoops that must be jumped through. It’s a million times easier to purchase a known carcinogen (cigarettes) or a mood-altering substance (alcohol) than it is to get fresh, creamy milk from a cow and drink it. We’ve been brainwashed into believing our milk must be heated to the point that the good bacteria is exterminated and then approved by the USDA before we’re able to drink it. Milk is controlled like a dangerous Level 1 narcotic, for crying out loud. But pasteurized milk from the store, which often originates from cows that have been given recombinant bovine growth hormone and antibiotics, is perfectly fine. It’s “USDA approved.”
In a million small ways, folks are being brainwashed that we require permission to do nearly everything. Think of an abusive relationship, because our relationship with the government is a classic example of such a thing.
The abuser says things like this to the victim:
- “You’d never survive without me.”
- “You obviously need me to take care of you because you aren’t smart enough to take care of yourself.”
- “Why did you do that without my permission? Now, you’re going to be punished.”
- “I’m doing this for your own good.”
The abuser keeps track of your time, makes you account for your earnings, seizes your personal belongings, coerces you into doing things you don’t want to do, and harshly discourages any vestiges of independence. Because if you are independent, they have lost control of you. Compliance is rewarded and rebellion is punished.
Let the TSA pat you down, you are allowed to travel. Refuse to be groped and you lose the price of your plane ticket and your opportunity to go to your cousin’s wedding by air. Sell a homemade edible product that hasn’t been “inspected” and approved by local officials, they will fine your business out of existence. Not only this, but occasionally we’re allowed to feel we’re independent and do these things, and we pay extra for the privileges for living our lives, traveling, and earning a living.
There IS something you can do.
Whether you call it freedom, liberty, sovereignty, or self-governance, the point remains the same: if you’re reading this, you probably want to determine your own life, whether the result is success or failure. You want to have control over your ability to live, truly live, and not merely exist as a slave to the powers that be.
There actually is something we can do.
We can say no.
We can be the squeaky wheel.
We can be louder than those dependent, noisy individuals who want to throw away liberty. We can.
You may feel like you aren’t in the right place in life to declare your independence. Perhaps you don’t have room to raise your own food. Perhaps you have a physical handicap that bars you from living 30 miles from civilization in a yurt located down a dirt road, over a creek, and in the woods. Maybe it’s all you can do financially to keep the refrigerator full of groceries for the week.
But wherever you are right now, that’s okay. Wherever you are, know that every single person, even the very free-est person you know, started at a place that was less free than where they are right now. The most important thing is to begin to recognize the chains that are on you so that you can begin, link by link, to break them.
How do you break free of the life that nearly every single person around you lives?
It’s simple, yet so complicated. Here it is, the ultimate act of insurrection:
You have to need less.
When you need less, you have less to fear.
Now, every year when I write about this topic, a few people come out of the woodwork to claim, “It’s not enough.”
Well, not everyone is a warrior. But taking steps to become freer than you were the day before is a cause for celebration.
It is simply reality that most of us cannot make a stand in every single aspect of our lives. We have children that could be taken away from us. We have homes that could be seized. We fear being imprisoned in a cage. I get that, truly. I don’t want to lose my daughter or my home or be thrown in jail either. The folks in control have done their job in that respect, but we can work around it.
We can refuse to eat the poisoned apple that they graciously hand to us. We can stop sending our children to public schools for “free” education. We can all stop purchasing processed food that originated as the bastard child of factory farming and a chemistry project. We can refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, K-mart, or any of those corporate discount stores that have their products manufactured in sweatshops overseas so that they can undercut the Mom & Pop stores right out of business.
I raise vegetables. I collect rainwater. I have things repaired instead of replaced. I don’t pay interest to the banks, heck – I don’t even leave money in the bank if I can help it. 911 is not my default for home security. I don’t have Obamacare, cable TV, a maxed-out credit card, or a home phone. I live my life quietly, and without many of the things that others consider “necessities.” I live frugally so I don’t have to sell the majority of the hours in my day for enough money to survive the other hours.
Every single day, I strive to reduce my vulnerability to coercion. Because the less I need, the more difficult I am to manipulate.
You don’t need this stuff they are offering, either. There is so much that you can do to free yourself from them.
You have a natural human right to be free.
This freedom is also supposed to be protected by our Constitution, which gets undermined on a regular basis. If you aren’t free, then revolution is your duty. Part of the power that the government holds over people is the fact that they hold the keys to the stuff we need. Look at Venezuela, where the government controls access to food, water, and electricity.
True independence is to not need the stuff they have. When there is nothing that you require enough to submit, then coercing you becomes much more difficult.
Make your life a declaration of independence.
Here are 20 ways to make yourself less dependent on the whims of the economy, the government, and corporate interests. Don’t worry if they seem impractical to you. They may not all be possible right this moment. Pick one and act on it, then another. Every journey begins with the decision to start the trip.
- Question absolutely everything you hear on the news. Always be a skeptic. All major media goes back to just a few conglomerates. The “news” is a propaganda ploy to help the rich get richer and the powerful remain in power. The media can make or break a candidate with unholy zeal in less than a week. These people and others like them are the ones that decide what the rest of us get to see.
- Call out the media. When you see coverage that is clearly biased, take a moment to call out the media about it. Take the time to comment on mainstream media websites and point out the unbalanced coverage. If you use social media, share this information and post on the media outlet’s social media pages as well.
- Get out of the banking system. By opting to “unbank” or “underbank,” there is a limit to what can be easily stolen from you. When you have physical control of your financial assets, you are not at as high a risk of losing those assets, and therefore, less likely to be dependent on “the system.” (Remember what happened to account holders in Cyprus?)
- Educate others. At the (very high) risk of people thinking you’re crazy, it’s important to let people know WHY you do what you do. If you are an anti-Monsanto activist, teach others about the dangers of GMOs. If you object to a municipal policy, speak at a town meeting or send a letter to the editor of your local paper. Be calm and present intelligent arguments.
- Get others involved in the fight. For example, if you are fighting with the city council that wants to rip out the vegetables growing in your front yard, let your friends and neighbors know, post a notice at the grocery store, and write a letter to the editor. When injustice occurs, use the power of social media to spread awareness. Often a public outcry is what is necessary to get the “authorities” to back down. Remember the case of Brandon Raub, the veteran who was kidnapped and taken to a mental hospital for things he posted on Facebook? Raub was not charged, but he was detained in the psych ward involuntarily. His friends and family immediately mobilized and spread the videos of his arrest all over the internet. It snowballed and alternative media picked it up – soon Raub was released, and all because of a grassroots and social media campaign to bring the injustice to light.
- Grow your own food. Every single seed that you plant is a revolutionary act. Every bit of food that you don’t have to purchase from the grocery store is a battle cry for your personal independence. When you educate yourself (and others) about Big Food, Big Agri, and the food safety sell-outs at the FDA and USDA, you will clearly see that we are alone in our fight for healthy, nutritious foods.
- Take control of your health. It is imperative that you not blindly trust in the medical establishment. Many members of this establishment are merely prostitutes for their pimp, Big Pharma. Millions of children are given powerful psychotropic drugs to help them fit into the neat little classroom boxes, and the numbers are growing every day. Americans spent HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS on psychiatric drugs in 2013 and the booming industry is only getting bigger. (source) You have the right to weigh the risks and benefits of a suggested medical treatment and seek second and third opinions before making a medical decision.
- Refuse to comply. If you know your natural rights, which are guaranteed under the Constitution and its Amendments, then it makes it much harder for “authorities” to bully you. You don’t have to let them search your home without a warrant, you don’t have to answer questions, and you don’t have to comply with laws that are in conflict with the Constitution.
- Don’t overlook the little things. Governments like to chip away at rights a tiny bit at a time until one day you wake up and realize that all of those little things add up to a really big deal. Today, the bulk purchase of ammo might be limited. Tomorrow, you might not be able to buy it at all. Today, home births might be subject to a set of rules. Tomorrow, those rules might be expanded to the point that the birth of your child is totally legislated.
- Embrace your right to bear arms. Be responsible for your own safety and security.
- Don’t be in debt. No one can be free if they are in debt. If you are in debt, you are forced to work in whatever conditions are present, for whatever amount is offered, complying with whatever criteria is necessary to keep your job in order to either pay your debt or face penalties. As well, the high-interest rates that you pay only serve to make the bankers more wealthy. Instead of borrowing, save until you can afford something or realize that if you could actually afford it, you wouldn’t need to borrow money to have it.
- Be prepared for disaster. Have enough food, water, and supplies to take care of your family in the event of a natural disaster. Don’t expect FEMA to take care of you.
- Be involved in your children’s education. For some, this means homeschooling or unschooling, and for others, this means being on top of what they are learning in a formal school setting. Join the PTA and actively volunteer if your child goes to school. Be an advocate for your child and insist that the teachers teach. If your child goes to school, supplement this at home with discourse about current events and outings that help them learn about the world around them.
- Be the squeaky wheel. If you see something wrong, don’t just ignore it. Say something about it, and keep saying something until it changes. Whether this is some process that infringes on your privacy, a job requirement that impedes your health, or another injustice, pursue it relentlessly. Ask questions publically, write letters, and use social media to bring pressure to encourage a change.
- Buy locally. Support local small businesses to help others who are fighting for independence from the system. You might pay a little bit more than you would at your big box store, but the only people benefiting from your purchases made at the corporate stores are those with the 7 figure annual bonuses.
- Develop multiple streams of income. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Figure out several ways to bring in income. You are less entangled in the system and not subject to corporate whims. If one business fails or becomes subject to regulations that make it no longer worthwhile, you are not forced to comply just to keep a roof over your head. (Learn more HERE)
- Say thanks, but no thanks. There is no such thing as a benevolent hand out. Nearly anything offered for free (particularly by a government entity) has strings attached. Maybe there is a handy-dandy registration form that you need to fill out. You might be influenced to vote a certain way just to keep the freebies coming. You might have to pee in a cup every two weeks. Perhaps one day you’ll need to have a microchip embedded in your hand. Either way, by accepting handouts from those in “authority”, you become beholden to them or you need them, and someone who is free is neither beholden nor needy.
- Collect water. Either harvest it with rain barrels, store it in a cistern, or create a source for it on your property (digging a well, for example.) Water is life.
- Don’t take the easy road. Power hungry entities like to seduce people with simplicity. “If you just sign this paper, it will be much easier,” they say. “This chip is for your convenience,” they tell you. “By giving up this, it lets us take care of you and you will be much safer.” The easy road only gets you to Slave Street a whole lot faster. Take the difficult road and be responsible for yourself. Don’t take shortcuts that compromise your beliefs. Go to court to fight a ticket, read the laws and defend yourself.
- Know that anything you give up, you will never get back.
The way you lead your life every single day can be a personal Declaration of Independence.
We don’t have to bow our heads in submission. We don’t have to live like wage slaves and bury ourselves ever deeper in debt. We don’t have to hate our neighbors and fight on the internet with people whom we’ve never met. We don’t have to be like “everyone else.”
We can be different than today’s norm. We can be kinder. We can be independent. And maybe, just maybe, we can teach others by our example.
By refusing to concede your natural rights, quietly and resolutely, you are performing an act of revolution.
This only requires one thing: your consistent determination not to be infringed upon.
Make that decision today and you will really have something to celebrate on Independence Day.
Go ahead. Be free.