Leaving Liberty

Many people with a serious commitment to liberty are willing to relocate to a different planet, if necessary, in order to find or make a society that is organized on the basis of political liberty.

Expats from different regions have emigrated throughout history in this quest ' to England , to the United States , to Argentina , to Costa Rica , to Montana or New Hampshire ' to many places and from many places.

Few wars have been fought for such a purpose, mostly because the means convolutes the ends; and most people know instinctively that war is not the way to create peace or liberty. The condition of liberty is neither pacifist nor nondefensive, but it sees war as a nuisance that will compromise the condition of liberty rather than protect it. Battle , therefore, is only a last resort, reluctantly engaged because ' win or lose ' liberty will suffer in consequence.

The prerequisite framework for achieving liberty provides a limited window of application. People need to want it enough to do something about it, but not enough to fight for it (or, perhaps, enough to not fight for it).

Many people just leave. In resettling, they attempt to congregate in groups of like-minded individuals, such as to sustain the advantages of society, and, insofar as they are able to conceptualize the undertaking, to avoid the disadvantages of group empowerments.

Expats and emigrants go through some of the oddest psychological maneuvers to attain a semblance of liberty. Whereas they nominally agree to abide by the general rules of the state into which they move, as a culturally distinct peoples they tend to practice a kind of freedom that is more cultural than political. They may be constrained by legal boundaries of a state (many of which may be oppressive, intrusive and illiberal), but they practice a higher level of freedom from social, moral and cultural constraint than they were allowed in their home countries.

The feeling of 'respect and toleration' that the immigrants practice toward the natives engenders a reciprocated 'respect and toleration' accorded to them by the natives. This reciprocated respect has greater value (and purity) in that it was not fought for, but simply attained by a change of location ' a maneuver which neither challenges their cultural programming nor tarnishes the simple reciprocal truth of liberty.

The question of achieving liberty without moving and without fighting, but through the means of reciprocal respect (which is, ultimately, the defining composition of the goal), presents several tough dilemmas.

In traditional societies, human beings are presumed to have consented to give up their full sovereignty in order to secure protection for some parts of it. Through this maneuver, they create a political and social power structure. This power structure is threatened by a return to liberty.

Those who have, through historical duplicity ' not innocent misunderstandings ' attained power over others, in violation of the sovereignty of each human being, are loath to part with such power, or even to acknowledge that their power is illegitimate. They will go through many intellectually convoluted and dishonest rationalizations to prove the legitimacy of slavery, supported by intellectuals, religions, and academia, but, ultimately, it is 'proven' at the end of a gun.

They know (and most of their subjects also know) that the state does not hold power by virtue of any rational or moral argument, nor through the 'implied' consent of the subjects, but only by means of force. Those holding power strenuously avoid openly revealing this 'final argument,' but, in the end, that is all there is or ever has been ' for any state authority.

The resistance to liberty includes not only those holding power, but those who have bought into the legal, intellectual and/or moral arguments for their own subordination, and who feel 'safe' in their cages. They would feel rudely shocked if confronted with their complicitous sanction of their own slavery ' they prefer not to see it in that fashion, nor to admit to such self-betrayal.

Most people, however, indoctrinated from birth, have not committed a conscious self-betrayal. They have been cheated, but without even knowing what was at stake. And the little that they know of alternatives has been filtered through their rulers.

Whether they fear confronting self-betrayal ' for which they are not culpable, in itself ' or fear assuming responsibility for their own sovereignty ' for which they are ill-prepared ' they are resistant to giving up their slavery for a better and more fully human life.

These people, acculturated and indoctrinated though they may be, are not without an inherent core of self-sovereignty. Though religions often preach self-sacrifice (altruism), this doctrine cannot completely eradicate the core of self-sovereignty without killing the human being.

The divine spark of self-sovereignty is the spark of life itself, howsoever it may be derailed, crippled or enslaved in the process of living under moral and political codes that seek its submission and its subversion.

The process of teaching liberty to someone is the process of deprogramming ' as for any cult-ure. It is not the process of teaching any values or 'healthy' cultural indoctrination, but of empowering their dormant sovereignty. Through the mechanism of respect, deprogramming is a process of healing the suppressed soul, heart and mind.

The healing process, if it is begun at all, will entail stages of vehement denial, of severe depression, of voracious and righteous anger, and of total self-abnegation in submission, placation and propitiation. It will not be a straightforward matter of turning on the lights and rectifying a simple mistake. The mistake of statism, of slavery, of servitude and of subordination is woven into all other values, beliefs, motives and actions.

But, at the core, resides a solid little ball of sovereign dignity willing to illuminate their lives, as was intended from their first breath.

This core dignity does not so much need encouragement in itself, as it needs to be relieved of the repressive forces that prevent its natural, whole development. It needs to be respected ' consistently. Deprogramming, however, is never a simple matter. The indoctrination, begun at birth, goes deep into the psyche and the heart. There is no simple surgery or technique capable of removing it, least of all for removing all of it.

The best solution ' the most healing environment ' would be the implementation of absolute liberty, such that the sovereignty of all individuals is respected and protected forthwith. The resistance to such a solution comes from various fears and from those who have a vested interest in the continued subordination of their fellows.

With these conflicting elements, and with deprogramming integral to the process of achieving liberty (which is also a critical environment for the deprogramming process), yes ' it is much, much easier to just leave home . . . and relocate to Mars. I mean, really! ' how muddled such a simple thing has been made by the intentional design of power-mongers in the first few hours of life on this planet. Harrumph! What a mess.

If you want liberty, you have to deprogram yourself and your neighbors. You have to do a lot of healing. And, that healing would go a lot faster if you already had liberty in which to do it. Indeed, in the condition of liberty, you wouldn't have to work so hard to overcome anti-liberty subordination because you wouldn't be surrounded by it all the time, as you are now. It wouldn't be chronically reinforced upon you.

But you are surrounded by it, are tainted by it yourself to some unknown degree, and still, somehow, you know that it ain't fit for human consumption (bright lad; clever lass).

Moving to Mars , Costa Rica or New Hampshire is not going to make much difference . . . and, in the long run, none at all. Shooting your anti-liberty neighbors may bring momentary respite, but, again, in the long run, it won't do the trick (indeed, it only leads you farther away from liberty).

Except to explore some background guidelines, I won't go into the solutions suggested by the words 'supplant,' 'parallel,' and 'shadow.' These have been developed elsewhere, and Kelly Ross's brilliant little web site, PracticalLiberty.org, has a succinct presentation.

Patently, means determine ends.

If you want liberty in which to heal, you need to heal enough to attain liberty. To begin the healing process at full bore, you only need to attain liberty itself. Basic, simple and rough ' not a sophisticated design. You don't need to be selling anything else (to yourself or to others). Forget the '. . . but what about BLANK?' ' ignore the evasive excuses and the mock arguments.

Don't focus on undoing anything. Don't even force the issue of nonsupport of statism. Give yourself and your neighbors a power that supplants your present dependence on the 'protective services' of the state.

Withdrawing support is a great idea, but don't labor over it. Withdrawing from the pork barrel is also a great idea, but partaking can be rationalized as hurrying the collapse of the state (in a fiat money system), such that it is moral to withdraw, but not immoral to precipitate crisis as knowing saboteurs (and not critical, either way).

Do what you need to do to survive within the present system, and, simultaneously, build an alternative system ' parallel, shadow, and free (in every respect).

There are a thousand things to be wary of, but build basic liberty and don't fret over anything else. The rest ' most of it ' needs a healing space to achieve resolution. Build that healing space, thoroughly enough and broadly enough to survive a holocaust (and in large measure that will avert the coming holocaust), and hold fast to it, regardless of temptations, squalls or storms, threats, and ill-repute or misrepresentations.

Strive to make it simple, clean and pure, as Ms. Ross has demonstrated. And don't force anything beyond it. Let the rest happen.

If you want all the comforts, securities, benefits, free-range and the dignity of self-sovereign liberty, you must heal. To do that, you must effect an environment in which to heal. The composition of that environment is the primordial, original, and preordained root relationship amongst human beings (before all other relationships) ' it is composed of respect for the sovereign boundaries of every individual human being, and it is called Liberty .

In order to make liberty, we begin by applying it. Here, wherever we are. Now, while we can still exercise that option. As much ' and as generously ' as we possibly can.

Liberty is not conservative. It is expansive. Liberty is not escape. It is immersion. Liberty is not a demand. It is a gift. An exchange. Of respect.

Liberty is not an organization, institution or movement. It is the action of individuals. And that's all it is. (From the beginning stages, to its full fruition.)

Approached in this manner ' recognizing its life-giving, intimate nature ' liberty is a more powerful, healing and appealing idea for all of humanity than any revelation of the prophets ' bar one: 'walk the walk.' I can't top that one, but I sure can use it.

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Richard Rieben's picture
Columns on STR: 14

Richard Rieben was a world traveler, house remodeler, and sometime author and philosopher. The thesis of his manifesto, Reciprocia, is, briefly: “Sovereignty is the base; reciprocity defines how to make it work.” Aside from harping incessantly on the theme of liberty, he led a fairly normal life in middle America, where he scouted for silver-linings. His internet articles are featured at TakeLiberty.com.  He passed away sometime after 2005.