Simple Liberty  

 

     
   
     

Reflections From The Front Porch

The Life of Liberty

Written by Darrell Anderson.

The bulk of living a life of liberty is philosophical and attitudinal. Somebody once quipped that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Yet, many people nonetheless seek a punch list or “how-to” procedure with respect to opting out of various statist entanglements. The biggest challenge for many people is realizing and accepting that a life of liberty is mostly between the ears.

There are no magical silver bullets. From the beginning of human history there never have been. Any individual who from the fringes watches the various freedom movements will learn that most of the cookie-cut solutions offered are well intentioned but doomed to failure.

Those so-called solutions occasionally succeed for a handful of people, but their success is not so much due to the solution, but due to the numbers and luck of the draw. Thus, an occasional “win” here and there tends to get the fringe people excited. True, the alphabet soup gangs and local tinhorns do not have the numbers to chase the small fry. Yet, many people fail to understand that if they make enough noise they will become targets. The squeaky wheel always gets the oil. That is another reason why a life of liberty is mostly between the ears. Sometimes being a squeaky wheel is necessary, but that path requires preparation and fortitude. A less stressful way is to simply “pass through,” or to become a “perpetual traveler.” People need to learn to be as gentle as doves and wise as serpents.

There are way too many theories about how things should be run. Too many people place illusionary faith in parchment barriers and other nonsense. Many people seem to be “experts” about what the principles or rules should be, but haven’t a clue about true liberty. The only humans who truly understand liberty are toddlers who run buck-naked around the house after they finish their bath. Everybody else has to un-do years of brainwashing, falsehoods, and illusions.

Therein lies the major stumbling block for many people. To achieve a life of liberty requires some study, but mostly requires a willingness to shed false teachings and illusions. Most people are never taught how to do that, and instead accept numerous presumptions about how the world turns.

One of the illusions many people believe is people can bail out of “the system” 100%. Even those people who dramatically opt out by assuming new identities do not truly escape the statist reach. An individual could be stark naked and possess title to nothing and still would be affected because the land where that individual stands is taxed. There also is the hidden embedded cost of all the various taxes passed to the final consumer. Thus, people need to realize that a life of liberty is not about escaping “the system,” but reducing and avoiding most of the effects. In the end, a few bribes always will be paid (property taxes, for example, either directly as a titleholder or indirectly as a tenant).

Additionally, nobody can completely bail out of “the system” without losing sanity. Many elements of what are commonly called “the system” actually are part of various social structures. Complete bailing is impossible. The best anyone can strive for is proper balance. The old Pareto 80/20 principle is a good way of focusing effort. Discover how to resolve the vital 20% of those interferences that tend to infringe 80% of your liberty and let slide the other trivial 80% that interferes only 20% of the time.

Many people fail to realize that many of the “mandated” expenses they pay now through the focus of statism still would be paid in a world of true free association and voluntary exchange. Many people still would choose to buy various forms of insurance, for example. Yes, the choices would be made without coercion, but the costs would not disappear. Some costs might even rise because there would be no political subsidies or equalization through no-fault practices or fiat statutes.

All of this sounds philosophical, but that is exactly where a life of liberty begins. Convincing people of a life of liberty is challenging because many people are so entrenched in the statist system that once they actually realize the effort necessary to loosen and hack the shackles that bind them, most will surrender and continue the status quo.

To achieve a life of liberty often requires significant lifestyle changes. A life of liberty is largely between the ears, although there are practical steps necessary to achieve liberty. Most people spend much of their life getting into “the system” and all but a few will require several years to break the chains. There are no overnight deliveries to achieving a life of liberty. Therefore, few people will accept that reality and surrender. The trick is to create realistic timelines to achieve goals.

Yes, a life of liberty is more than a mindset. There are practical efforts one must pursue to achieve a life of liberty. Sadly, the number one reason many people cannot escape statism is debt. Only a debt free life allows an individual to escape the many traps of statism. Only a debt free life eliminates a majority of the statist paper trails. However, shedding a life of debt requires much desire and endurance. Most people give up.

Liberty is much between the ears and changing what is between one’s ears is a challenging journey. The idea is not to be cute or seek magic silver bullets, but to learn to avoid participating in the many and various ways the statist political system entraps people. Recognizing those traps is almost impossible, however, unless one develops an appropriate mindset.

Finis.

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