Introductory Freedom Guide
© Copyright 1993, 1995, by Frederick Mann, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
[Compiled and edited by David T. Freeman, from various other introductory reports and articles.]
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmond Burke
- Are you tired of government oppression?
- Are you being impoverished by confiscatory taxes?
- Would you like to enjoy all the fruit of your labor?
- Do you yearn to be free?
- Well, keep reading to discover how you can enjoy all the benefits of freedom right now!
Subsections in this report:
(Allow the full file to load before using the links below.)
- Introduction — Political Revolution vs. Economic Revolution — Building Freedom
- What Is Freedom Technology? — Freedom Technology In Practice
- Your Own Mind is Your Most Important Freedom Resource — There are two fundamentally different approaches to freedom
- A Brief Summary of Our Strategy
- The Three Economic Sectors — The Power of the Public Sector — Introduction to Free Enterprise
- Basic Principles For Civilization
- The Power of Information
- The Free Enterprise Shift — Examples of The Free Enterprise Shift
- Notes on Personal Power — The Spooner-Insight — The Debilitating Fear of the Tax Collector
- The Challenge to Overcome — Developing Thinking Skills
- The Small-Step-Progression Principle — Abusive Relationships
- Values and Results
Many freedom-lovers think there is little or nothing they can do to increase either their personal freedom or freedom in general. Many have concluded that it is a hopeless task. Their hopelessness has become so strong that it pervades and colors their perception and thinking.
The current world we live in is a function of the contents of the minds of individual human beings. “My life” is a function of my mind – to a much greater extent than you might think. “Your life” is a function of your mind – to a much greater extent than you might think. All kinds of thinkers have said: What the human mind can conceive, the human being can achieve.
The concept of the Sovereign Individual who lives free despite coercive political systems is relatively new and extremely powerful. If you live in the trap of believing you can’t be free because of the political system, then you have many pleasant surprises waiting for you. You will be amazed at the positive options that become available to you as you develop your Personal Power.
Political Revolution vs. Economic Revolution
Peaceful political revolution involves individuals donating money for a campaign. Leaders and volunteers conduct the campaign to persuade people to vote for the leaders. A shift in money and power occurs from donors and voters to the leaders. Even if the leaders win, they may be prevented from taking power through election fraud. If the new leaders do attain power, they may or may not change the political system according to the wishes of the donors and voters. Even if the leaders change the system as promised, they may later change it back to the way it was before, or worse. In any case, donors and voters have to wait for the leaders to change the system, before they can enjoy the benefits.
Our method is a peaceful economic and business revolution. Individuals discover how to practice real free enterprise (described later) despite the tyrants, politicians, and bureaucrats. Individuals discover how to reduce or eliminate illegal taxes and corrupt government interference from their lives. Individuals become freer, wealthier, and more powerful – and inspire others to do the same. This economic and business revolution increases individual freedom, wealth, and power. It involves a shift of wealth and power away from tyrants, politicians, and bureaucrats to individuals. Furthermore, individuals can start reaping the benefits of practical freedom right now!
When you work on changing yourself, the results can be quick and dramatic – which is empowering. When you work on trying to change a political system, it may take a very long time before there are any results – which tends to be disempowering. Often the result is frustration, disillusionment, and depression. Free yourself and become empowered instead!
“…I have finally come to the inescapable conclusion that collective declarations, constitutions, political action and statutory law cannot possibly be a successful means to achieve freedom. Any of these efforts might be a reasonable attempt to limit tyranny, but not to build freedom. When people are enslaved, they might do any number of things to make their lives better or make that tyranny tolerable. But to achieve true freedom (Rose Wilder Lane: “Freedom is self-control, no more, no less.”), humankind has to evolve just a bit further than where we are now. Social technology based on non-coercive institutions has to develop to replace the State, and this will not likely happen until such institutions are obviously better than their State counterparts at satisfying human desires. This judgment must be made not only by libertarians, voluntaryists and anarchists, but also by the average person who could[n’t] care less about the elegant ideas of freedom we share. In short, the product (freedom) should work better and be more marketable than it is today. We must improve the product by building non-coercive organizations to replace coercive ones.I applaud the efforts of your newsletter… and others who promote the ideas of individual liberty through education… However, it seems to me that more than just education will be necessary. Some technology which may not presently exist, combined with the increasingly obvious inability of the State to provide everything for everybody, will one day allow for a critical mass of dissenters to successfully implement civil disobedience. Perhaps the collapse of banks, bond defaults, hyperinflation and/or debt liquidation (deflation) will make this possible, or perhaps it will have to be more gradual. But I am convinced that it will happen. Perhaps there just aren’t enough freedom lovers yet to bring it about. Perhaps there are, but they haven’t been organized yet…
I have become particularly interested in the idea of creating non-coercive businesses and other organizations to take over the functions of the State as it proceeds inevitably down the path toward its own destruction. To me, this offers the most exciting prospect for the future of freedom… Who is working on building such alternative institutions? Perhaps those doing the most for tomorrow’s freedom are those building businesses in communications, alternative lifestyles, property protection services, computer software (especially shareware), and other “cutting edge” activities…
What if someone were to develop an effective, inexpensive personal defensive shield? If individuals could defend themselves against the aggression of the State without presenting an offensive threat, the present coercive institutions wouldn’t last long…” [emphasis added]
Such a “personal defensive shield” has been developed. It is called Freedom Technology. (described below). However, you can’t just buy the shield and use it. You have to discover who you are. You have to discover your freedom. You have to shift from being outer-directed to being inner-directed. You have to practice and develop your freedom. You need to develop the determination to live free, no matter what!
In this context, freedom is like a brain and a muscle. The brain needs to learn. The muscle needs to work. You need to actively beat the bureaucrats. Freedom in action! You shift from complaining about lack of freedom to actually living free. Freedom Technology is something which anyone can learn – and implement all or part of it to their liking.
What Is Freedom Technology?
Freedom Technology is the practical knowledge, methods, and skills for living free – the street-smart know-how to outwit freedom-violators (“government” bureaucrats) at every turn.
Freedom Technology makes it possible for us to legally, elegantly, and safely exit coercive government systems and to live free. By becoming proficient in Freedom Technology, you are able to live free almost anywhere!
Some aspects of Freedom Technology are:
- The practical means to protect yourself, your income and your assets against attacks from freedom-violators.
- An understanding of the phenomenon we call “freedom.”
- Understanding and recognising coercion in all its forms; and the ability to escape, avoid, evade, or otherwise nullify anyone’s ability to coerce you. The practical means to defeat coercers.
- The discovery of your personal freedom – the realization that you are free and sovereign by nature.
- The methods for improving your brain and mind.
- The methods for improving thinking skills.
- The methods for achieving superhealth (We want freedom lovers to be the healthiest people on earth – and the longest living. One way to beat the enemy is to outlive him!).
- The methods for achieving freedom from illness, psychological and emotional problems, and death.
- The methods to blow away the bogus power of political shysters.
“Freedom” can be described as the positive options practically available to you. Such options include: physical survival; the ability to think; the ability to communicate; the ability to travel; the ability to enjoy work and play; the ability to own and utilize property. Freedom is affected by personal factors and external factors. Personal factors are those you have a great deal of control over, like your mind, body, health, fitness, and happiness. External factors are those you have little control over: the laws of physics; the weather; the political system; the police.
An important theme of Freedom Technology is that you primarily focus your attention on improving personal factors so as to maximize your personal freedom, power, and wealth. It’s much easier to change yourself than to change others.
You also learn to minimize the negative effects the political system and their accomplices (such as police) have on you. By improving yourself and being involved with a network of like-minded people, you can greatly reduce the extent to which the political system and police limit the positive options available to you. (Nevertheless, some people have developed and applied the freedom technology to prosecute and obtain restitution from political individuals and agencies who fraudulently and illegally violate their persons, property, or freedom.)
Freedom Technology In Practice
“Freedom Technology sounds good in theory, but does it work in practice?” you may well ask. Well, just for a few examples: one person purchased our materials just over two years ago. He effectively changed his status to that of a Sovereign Individual. He reorganized his business as a Sovereign Business. In less than two years he increased the assets of his business from $285,000 to over $12,000,000. He’s had attempted attacks by terrocrats (terrorist bureaucrats or coercive government agents) several times, but has stopped all the attacks so far. (See The Harry Plott Saga I & II.)
Another of our associates has been operating a free-enterprise gold-based bank (not part of the terrocrat banking establishment) for about 18 years. So far he has successfully dealt with all terrocrat attempts to interfere with his business.
For some specific examples of practical Freedom Technology information, examine the Practical Freedom Reports, Manuals, and Documents area.
Operating in the free-enterprise sector can be very profitable. In fact, companies in the free-enterprise sector (not being oppressively taxed or regulated) enjoy huge competitive advantages in the marketplace. A free-enterprise explosion has started.
Your Own Mind is Your Most Important Freedom Resource
For those who have not yet discovered that they are free – or for those who are convinced that they are not free – the biggest barrier to freedom lies in their own minds.
The most important resource that determines your degree of freedom is your own mind. In addition to the reports, articles and books available here, there are two books you must study if you have not yet discovered that you are free and you yearn to be free:
- How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne (Avon Books, NY; 1973);
- The Discovery of Freedom: Man’s Struggle Against Authority by Rose Wilder Lane (Arno Press & The New York Times, NY; 1972 – first published in 1943).
- Attempt to persuade politicians to change the system in order to give us liberty;
- Discover that you are free by nature and acquire freedom technology to live free in an unfree world.
Both approaches involve education. In the first approach people attempt to educate others about the morality and merits of liberty. In the second approach people educate themselves about the practical knowledge, methods, and skills (freedom technology) for living free. The two approaches are mutually enhancing. There are many organizations practicing the first approach, and a few that emphasize the second. Our organization focuses on the second approach.
An outgrowth of the second approach is the creation of free institutions to serve the needs of the free. Financial services organizations that enable people to handle their finances without coercive interference are such institutions. Organizations that teach people how to legally protect their income and assets against government theft and robbery are other examples.
There is a natural evolution from the first approach to the second. While involved in the first approach you learn about liberty and how to educate others. After a while you may become dissatisfied with the results. Then you find out that you don’t need to change the system in order to be free. You start thinking in terms of reorganizing your life to enjoy greater freedom. You discover that you are free by nature. You may link up with other free people. You may start a real free-enterprise business. We seek to accelerate this natural evolution.
A major shift in thinking is also involved. People applying the first approach tend to think that liberty is something given to them by others (politicians changing the system). People applying the second approach realize that they are free by nature and they develop their resourcefulness to overcome obstacles to freedom so they can live free in an unfree world. It is a shift in thinking from being outer-directed to being inner directed.
We support all approaches that expand freedom. We believe that our best chances to achieve a free world come from the combination of a wide range of different freedom-increasing activities – circumvent, ignore, criticize, ridicule, weaken, reform, and replace the enemy on many fronts.
We also believe that regardless of the strategy you use, understanding and using Freedom Technology is still essential and potentially of immense value to everyone. Freedom Technology also includes having an in-depth understanding of the enemies of freedom. With this knowledge alone, many freedom-activists could become vastly more effective in their current activities.
- View freedom as a quality inherent in every individual, from where it can spread;
- Provide individuals with the practical means to discover and develop their personal freedom, power, and wealth, so that respect for them as individuals and respect for their property is increased;
- Create voluntary alternative institutions based on the principle of respect for individuals and their property, in areas such as education, privacy & asset protection, currencies & banking, justice, energy & water utilities, secure communication, etc.;
- Bring about a massive shift of resources and economic activities into the real free-enterprise sector.
- Encourage people to shift their current businesses into the free enterprise sector, or start up new free enterprise businesses – The Free Enterprise Shift (described later).
- Freedom Technology enables you to legally, elegantly, and safely shift some or all of your economic activities into the free-enterprise sector. The entrepreneurs who facilitate this shift will become the millionaires and billionaires of the next century.
- Eventually, the free enterprise economy will achieve a “critical mass.” At that point, enough people will be in the free enterprise economy so that fraudulent, coercive, illegitimate political systems and their perpetrators will become less relevant to them. As the coercive institutions of the freedom violators continue to worsen and collapse, more people are likely to naturally shift their economic activities into the free enterprise economy.
Another important theme of our organization is that, in general, we don’t fight the system. When you oppose something or try to reform it, you encounter opposition. Your effort elicits an almost automatic counter-effort. Our organization does not attempt to change, oppose, reform or overthrow any political or economic systems. One of our most fundamental principles is that we create what we want, rather than oppose what we don’t like. When you oppose things you tend to give them more power and you diminish your own power.
We become adept at operating within the system to the extent we choose. We withdraw from the system to the degree of our choice. We create our own alternative systems. We tell people: “Take a look at our systems. If you like our systems, come play with us. We’ll tell you how to play our systems.”
The Three Economic Sectors
We can distinguish three economic sectors: the public sector, the private sector, and the free-market or free-enterprise sector. The public sector is what the terrocrats (coercive government agents or terrorist bureaucrats) do. It includes government post offices, government telephone companies, and other nationalized industries. The public sector consists of coercive monopolies. Anyone who tries to muscle in on the action is taken care of with violent means.
The private sector consists of privately owned businesses that in general kowtow to the terrocrats. They pay terrocrat taxes. Some depend on terrocrat contracts and other terrocrat favors such as licensing and special-interest legislation. Generally, private sector entrepreneurs are in league with terrocrats.
The free-market sector consists of economic activities outside terrocrat control. It is real, true, or pure free enterprise. Some people call it the “underground economy” or “black market.”
Many people conduct some of their activities in the private sector and some in the free-market sector. Freedom technology enables people to legally and elegantly shift economic activities into the free-market sector.
The Power of the Public Sector
The public sector is like a parasite that lives off the private sector. Discourse of Voluntary Servitude and The Constitution of No Authority explain in detail why the power of the public sector is tenuous (fragile and of little substance). Public-sector terrocrat power is based on lies and private sector victims believing those lies.
Unwarranted fear (a human failure program) prevents many freedom-lovers from operating in the free-market sector. My “guesstimate” is that most freedom-lovers overestimate terrocrat power by a factor of 10 to 100! In other words, they believe the terrocrats are 10 to 100 times as capable of preventing freedom as they really are.
Many freedom-lovers also tend to underestimate their own potential personal power by a fact of 10 to 100! Freedom technology – the knowledge, methods, and skills for living free – greatly reduces terrocrat power to prevent freedom. The accomplished freedom-technology practitioner is, of course, a careful calculator of risk. Learning Freedom Technology is also the means by which you discover your true potential personal power.
Introduction to Free Enterprise
Many people have been led to believe that the U.S. and other countries in the “free West” are “free countries” and that their economies are based on “free enterprise” or “capitalism.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Three basic principles characterize capitalism or free enterprise:
- Private property – the inalienable right to own private property;
- Voluntary exchange – no transactions forced on anyone;
- The right to contract – supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Private property means that individuals own their lives, minds, bodies, the fruit of their labor, and other property. “Tax” means a demand for money (or product) imposed by an “authority” – an enforced exaction. It is taking property without permission. “Tax” is a fancy government word for theft. (In the case of people who voluntarily pay the government, it is more appropriate to call their payments “voluntary contributions,” rather than “taxes.”) In a capitalist or free-enterprise country there could be no taxes.
Under a system of private property, individuals are free to form associations and own property jointly or in common. For example, a group of individuals could purchase tracts of adjacent land and form a socialist or communist community. Their system might cause themselves problems. However, if they didn’t try to impose their practices on people outside their community, there would be no outside interference. Under capitalism people are free to practice socialism or communism on their own.
Voluntary exchange means that individuals decide according to their own judgment whether or not to engage in transactions. When both parties judge that each will benefit from a transaction, then they complete the transaction. If either party judges the transaction to not be beneficial to him or her, then the transaction is declined.
If I point a gun at my neighbor and tell him, “Give me $100 or I’ll jail or shoot you,” then I’m committing a form of theft called robbery. This is an enforced exchange. My neighbor has to give me $100 in exchange for not being jailed or shot. Most people would consider this immoral.
Now, if ten people were to form an association and call themselves a “gang,” and point their guns at their neighbors, and demand $100 from each, most people would still regard this as immoral robbery.
However, if a million people were to form an association and call themselves “government,” and point their guns at their neighbors, demanding $100 from each – then how is this different? Children were forced into government schools where they were brainwashed with fancy slogans like, “Your duty to pay taxes,” “You must pay your fair share,” “Taxes are for the public good,” etc. Have you ever wondered why some taxes are called “duties?”
The third principle of capitalism or free enterprise is the right to contract. In theory this right is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 10). In practice it means nothing – like most of the Constitution as presently “interpreted” by most. The de facto constitution of the U.S. is a phantom called “Public Policy,” which is whatever the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court decide it to be, from day to day.
If the U.S. Constitution were applied, I would be free to contract with any person of my choice to provide me with legal services, health services, banking services, etc. I would be free to use whatever I wanted as money in such contracts. I or anyone would be free to create the currencies of our choice and contract with others to use them. In a capitalist or free-enterprise country there could be no Federal Reserve monopoly or FDA medical monopoly.
Free enterprise maximizes wealth. In a free-enterprise system people, by and large, engage in those transactions which, according to their judgment, are most beneficial to all parties involved in the transactions. When people are forced into transactions against their will, by using violence or the threat of violence, it is generally so that the users of violence can gain at the expense of the victims.
Freedom technology is the means that enable you to practice real or true free enterprise in an unfree world. The reason why you should be very interested in all this is that these are also the basic principles of a civilized society. These principles made America the wealthiest and most prosperous nation in the world. The violation of these principles is impoverishing America (and the rest of the world) and destroying society.
And, from your personal perspective, the more people there are who don’t follow these principles, the more your life, property, and success are at risk. The better you understand these principles and are able to spread them, the more civilized wealthy, and prosperous society becomes — and the safer are your life and property, and the better your chances for long-term success.
Basic Principles For Civilization
[Acknowledgment to those who assisted in the formulation of our code.]
Our code is tentative and preliminary. Your comments and suggestions for improvement will be appreciated.
- Free Sovereign Individuals own their own lives, minds, bodies, and labor, and may do with them anything that doesn’t violate the equal rights of others. This principle of individual sovereignty or self-ownership is the foundation for all legitimate property.
- Free Sovereign Individuals have the right to own property, which consists of all possessions acquired without coercing others. They respect the equal right of others to own property, which forms the basis for productive and cooperative human relationships.
- No individual, group, or majority has the right to initiate or threaten force, fraud, violence, or theft against Free Sovereign Individuals or their property.
- Free Sovereign Individuals have a right to choose whether to communicate or associate with others. These rights of speech and privacy follow directly from the principle of individual sovereignty or self-ownership.
- Free Sovereign Individuals have the right to associate with others and to enter into agreements and contracts. For a contract between Free Sovereign Individuals to be valid, it needs to be entered into knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally.
- Free Sovereign Individuals have the right to produce and exchange property, and to own the products of their labor and thought. No individual, group, or majority has a right to the labor, ideas, production, or property of a Free Sovereign Individual, or any part thereof, without prior consent or agreement.
- Free Sovereign Individuals have the right to defend and protect themselves and their property against coercive aggression, and to contract with others to assist them. The authority of voluntarily-chosen agents to defend or protect Individuals and/or their property is strictly limited to that defense or protection.
- Free Sovereign Individuals consider a crime to occur only when there is a damaged person or property. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “victimless crime,” and no Free Sovereign Individual can commit a crime simply by disobeying the arbitrary rules of tyrants or coercive organizations.
- To be legitimate, courts and trials must be based on voluntary association and agreement, rather than on coercion. However, anyone who infringes on the person or property of another may be subject to a requirement for restitution by the damaged person.
- Free Sovereign Individuals recognize that social order and cooperation develop spontaneously in the absence of coercion. They also recognize that leadership by example and productive effort is more beneficial than leadership by force, violence, compulsion, or fear.
- The principles stated in this Code apply to all Free Sovereign Individuals without regard to age, race, religion, philosophy, background, birthplace, geographic location, gender, or sexual preference.
- For a right to be valid its exercise may not impose a positive obligation on another; it only depends on others not taking coercive actions. Free Sovereign Individuals respect the equal rights of other Individuals, and therefore do not expect others to contribute to their interests, except through voluntary transactions or contributions.
Coercive governments are rooted in violence, and probably largely controlled by money monopolists behind the scenes. The first weapon used by these monopolists is the perversion of information – compulsory state education, control and censorship of the media. Their second weapon is control of the money system. Their third weapon is violence or its threat – using “alphabet vampires” such as IRS, CIA, FBI, BATF, FDA, SEC, USDA, AMA, EPA, OSHA, EEOC, etc. to terrorize people into submission.
The free sovereign individual uses superior information to legally, elegantly, and safely exit the systems of the alphabet vampires (in America as well as the rest of the world). We seek to bring about an explosion in the dissemination of this information (freedom technology). You can assist in this endeavour by learning, developing, and disseminating our “secret weapon”, which is Freedom Technology. (We also need to rapidly expand private currency and financial systems.)
Money-and-violence-monopoly political and economic systems are gradually collapsing, because they depend on misinformation. As Nietzsche said, “Everything the state says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.” Advancing information technology renders inherently corrupt and violence-based political systems obsolete.
“If you find a chance to vanish into some wilderness out of their [i.e. the terrocrat’s] reach… build a productive life of your own with those who accept your moral code and are willing to struggle for a human existence. …[R]aise a standard to which the honest people will repair: the standard of Life and Reason. Act as a rational being and aim at becoming a rallying point for all those who are starved for a voice of integrity – act on your rational values.””…Such is the future you are capable of winning. It requires a struggle; so does any human value. All life is purposeful struggle, and your only choice is the choice of a goal.”
The Free Enterprise Shift has the following elements:
- Choose the goal to live free to the maximum degree practically possible;
- Inform yourself of the knowledge, methods, and skills for achieving the maximum degree of freedom (freedom technology);
- Increase your personal power (primarily through knowledge and developing your thinking skills);
- Create a personal support network containing people with expert knowledge in areas where you might need support (this step may or may not be necessary, depending upon your own knowledge and confidence.);
- Decide where you want to live and work or run your business (could be almost anywhere in the world);
- Implement the appropriate aspects of freedom technology to achieve maximum freedom;
- Inspire others to do the same.
The idea behind the Galt’s Gulch proposed by Ayn Rand is that a group of producers move away into some wilderness and start their own civilization in accordance with their own moral code and values. The difference between Galt’s Gulch and the free enterprise shift is that you don’t have to “vanish into some wilderness.” (Nor do you have to try the other method which some have tried, which is to buy or lease some “territory” from a “government”, upon which to build your free city.)
Most people can achieve a high degree of freedom right where they are now. It requires a change in attitude (the determination to live free), education (learning freedom technology), creating a support network (to access experts in freedom technology), and a change in action (implementing freedom technology). It involves a withdrawal – to whatever degree is appropriate for you – from the statist slave-economy. With the free enterprise shift, you can effectively move out of the reach of terrocrats, while staying right where you are. You inspire others to do the same, because the more people who shift into the free market, the stronger you and your associates become, and the weaker the terrocrats become.
Examples of The Free Enterprise Shift
The most basic example of the free enterprise shift is to practice an occupation which enables you to be paid in cash: Babysitter, Groundskeeper, Landscaper, Gardener, Plumber, Elecrician, Carpenter, Language Teacher, Music Teacher, Private Tutor, Mechanic, Handyman, TV/VCR Technician, Carpet Cleaner, Janitor, Flea Market Operator, Garage Sale Entrepreneur, Professional Gambler, Mail-Order Entrepreneur, etc. There are thousands of activities that can be started as hobbies and turned into true free enterprise businesses.
One of the highest priorities is to become financially independent so you can easily shift your economic activities into the free enterprise economy.
You may also want to set up a Trust to increase your privacy and safeguard your assets. And you could find out how to use bank accounts without compromising your privacy. Following are some examples of how others might implement the free enterprise shift:
Independent Consultant (computer and other professionals)
- Create an entity (trust or foreign company) that is invisible to or beyond the jurisdiction of local terrocrats.
- Work on a contract basis – contract between your entity and the client company – you are not an independent contractor to the client company; the entity you manage provides services to the client company.
- Create other entities, if necessary, to receive income and manage assets.
- Reduce or eliminate assets held in personal name.
- Greatly reduce or eliminate interaction with terrocrats.