On a comment thread here on Militant Libertarian, a reader named Kyle commented on an article with the following:
Wonderful essay! Far too many people accept the brainwashing they have received since birth and do not dare question the authority of the great and mighty Oz. I believe that it is a commonly accepted philosophy (correct as well) that we deserve no more Liberty than we are willing to fight for. Unfortunately, it would appear that I and so many others are waiting for something…some sort of sign???
I responded with the following, which I thought useful and interesting enough that maybe you all might enjoy reading it here if you missed the original thread:
Thanks, Kyle. I personally am not waiting for anything. I live as freely and gov-free as possible right now. All it takes is the willingness to do it and the facility to say “no.” The rest of my efforts go towards whittling away at those things that I can’t avoid (banking, for instance) and encouraging others to join in on the liberty.
Probably the #1 thing that’s helped me and my family get out of the slave pens was leaving the city. Small town living is where it’s at if you want to be as free as possible without becoming a hermit. I refer to my banker, the town mayor, the hardware store owner, the cop, etc., etc. by first name. They do the same to me.
Once you have that sense of community, liberty becomes MUCH easier to accomplish because nobody is “just an address” or “just a name on the list.”
After that, it’s a matter of securing the basics: shelter, food, etc. We grow a large portion of our food, we know where the hogs and cattle we eat come from, and property here is very cheap. Even with a mortgage, there’s no reason to have payments higher than $800/month (that would be a small mansion).
The point is: all you have to do to have twice as much liberty as the average American schmo is GO GET IT. It’s there and doesn’t require a lot of fighting or protesting to get. You just have to rethink your idea of what is “living” and what is “success.”
Here’s a clue: my grandad once told me (he was an accountant before retiring into shoe cobbling) that “it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you spend that matters.” Our monthly bills are less than $2,000. I could work for minimum wage and get that. Instead, I work freelance and completely independent, which is better. In another year, our monthly expenses will be even lower. We’re working on $1,000 as our goal. Most of them are utilities, insurance and so forth.
That, folks, is my simple lesson in liberty. Remove as much of yourself as possible from the big gov machine. To get where we are, I had to sacrifice three years working a regular job driving a truck, away from home and family, but we got it done. More than one person told me that my talents were being wasted behind the wheel. Often I was asked why I bothered, because I was “smarter than a truck driver” (turns out, a lot of them are pretty damn intelligent folks). I did it because it was what I had to do to get us out of Utah and the city and into the place we wanted to live: Wyoming.
Now I find that having the nearest Walmart a 90-mile round trip away makes me appreciate the small stores in our town and the social interaction that takes place when I visit Leroy at his hardware store or talk to Becky or any of the others at our small co-op grocery. We talk gardening, repairs, about the rodeo, the weather, our new baby, the latest thing the town council or the mayor/veterinarian (one and the same) have done.
And yes, we talk about religion and God too. People aren’t afraid to say “God bless you” and “I will pray for your family.” Nobody gets offended because they aren’t of your particular religion. In fact, I’m not a subscriber to any religion, but I don’t mind the sentiments and don’t begrudge people their theologies. Except, unlike Utah (where we came from) there are half a dozen different churches in this town of 1,200 people,* so the “church on every corner” means something else here – there’s a Baptist church directly behind our house, in fact, and the minister and his wife are nice people – we swap dog stories and gardening tips. *That population count includes all of the ranchers, farmers, etc., etc. The actual town is a lot smaller than that. :)
Today, in the “big city” (Cheyenne, pop. 57,000), the news in the paper says that the Safeway union employees are complaining that their Colorado counterparts make $3/hour more than they do. My response? Move to Colorado, then, nitwits. You can then see that three bucks disappear in state income taxes (which we don’t have), higher sales taxes, higher gas taxes, higher property taxes, and otherwise generally higher costs of living and TAXES.
The point is, folks, freedom is right there in front of you. All you have to do is go fucking get it. If all you do is complain about not having it and attend the occasional protest, you’re just another wasted lump. LIVE FREEDOM, HAVE LIBERTY, OWN YOURSELF. Or at least be actively going to get it right now. Then go talk about it with other people. I left the Libertarian Party because it’s just a glorified debate club. Don’t be a lot of hot air. Live free now!