Freedom from Statism begins with a major paradigm shift to let go of the superstition of “authority” and to think and act like responsible adults.
The Way Out by Larken Rose
If you’re waiting for constitutions, elections, or other documents and rituals to make government into something that actually serves and protects the people, stop waiting. It won’t ever happen. “Government” has always been the enemy of decent people, and playing the games engineered and controlled by sociopaths will never result in freedom and justice. “Politics” and “democracy” are designed only to legitimize authoritarian domination and give the false appearance that the people are in charge. Despite all the mythology and rhetoric that is used to try to make ruling classes look proper and necessary, the state is, and has always been, the enemy of the people.
But what are decent, freedom-loving folk to do if the game of politics is rigged and pointless? What is the alternative? If, for example, the only way to stop the ever-increasing injustice and oppression occurring in the United States is the complete physical destruction of the vast police and military apparatus of the state and federal governments, what hope is there?
Can the intricate schemes and deceptions of those in power be ended only when every member of the public fully understands those schemes and deceptions? To put it bluntly, if achieving true freedom and justice requires the American people as a whole to be fully informed, philosophically enlightened and morally courageous, then we are doomed.
But we aren’t doomed. Fortunately, every authoritarian regime has an Achilles’ heel, a weakness which no amount of military might or clever conspiracies can make up for. In short, when the people as a whole stop imagining a moral obligation to obey and pay tribute to a ruling class, nothing in the world can keep that ruling class in power for long. When the people no longer imagine that there is something inherently wrong with disobeying the arbitrary commands of politicians (“breaking the law”) and no longer feel guilty if they try to avoid being robbed (“tax evasion”), then all the apparent strength of “the powers that be” evaporates into nothing.
Of course, if only a handful of people disobey and resist, the politicians’ mercenaries–soldiers and police–will make short work of them. But if even a large minority refuses to comply, refuses to surrender the fruits of their labor to the ruling class, even if they don’t lift a finger to actually fight back, the empire will crumble. This does not require any election or revolution, but it does require people letting go of their authoritarian indoctrination and reclaiming ownership of their own lives. Empires weaken and fall, not through voting or “working within the system,” but through the people no longer viewing their own subjugation as legitimate.
Authoritarian power may be weakened by non-violent resistance, such as the movement in India led by Gandhi, or by clandestine means, such as the undermining of the fugitive slave laws in the U.S. by the Underground Railroad, or by brute force, such as with the American Revolution. But in all cases, freedom from tyranny begins with a mental revolution in which the people stop imagining an obligation to bow to those who claim the right to rule.
The United States will be no different. Real change will never occur as a result of people voting, petitioning, campaigning, or in any other way playing “politics.” Instead, real change will occur only when the people dare to actually disobey, when people stop begging for the politicians’ legislative permission to be free and start thinking and acting like free people even when the ruling class has declared freedom to be “illegal.”
“Authority” is always in the eye of the beholder. When the people stop imagining that a group of parasitical liars and thieves has the right to rule them, only then will the people have any chance of ridding themselves of authoritarian oppression, not through begging and petitioning, but through outright disobedience and resistance.
Even the most intricate schemes which tyrants use to empower themselves and enslave the people depend upon the masses feeling a moral obligation to obey the arbitrary “laws” of those in power. The people do not need to understand all the governmental conspiracies and deceptions–or even know that they exist–in order to defeat them. For example, for the Fed’s “fractional reserve banking” swindle to collapse, the people don’t need to actually understand how the fraud works; they need only ignore the currency laws forcing people to participate in the scam.
Likewise, the people do not need to see through all the false flag tactics and other fear-mongering propaganda in order for war to end; they only need to stop feeling an obligation to pay the taxes which fund it. To end the “war on drugs” does not require the masses to have an in-depth understanding of the economic and practical reasons why it is so counter-productive; it only requires that the people be willing to ignore laws which punish victimless “crimes.” And so on.
When enough people stop believing in an obligation to obey those in power, the collapse of an empire becomes inevitable, no matter how all-powerful or all-knowing that regime might seem. Exactly how the fall happens is secondary. What matters is the philosophical change in paradigm, which occurs when people let go of the lie that being a good person means always “obeying the law” and “following the rules” (when it is sociopaths and criminals who dictate what those “laws” and “rules” are). More often than not throughout history–such as in Soviet Russia, Red China and Nazi Germany–the bad guys were “law enforcers” and the good guys were “law breakers.” The U.S. is destined to follow the same path, with ever-increasing injustice and oppression being enacted as “law,” so that the only hope for freedom and justice will come from those whom the rulers will label as “criminals” and “terrorists.” This same pattern has been repeating for centuries.
But therein lies the bigger problem: whenever one authoritarian regime falls, another takes its place, often worse than the one before. For example, Americans still celebrate their independence from the British Empire, but rarely think about the fact that under the current constitutional republic, they are far less free than they ever were under a king–with far higher tax rates, far more invasions of their privacy, far more intrusions into their financial dealings, and far more regulation of every aspect of their lives.
Notwithstanding all the good intentions, all the patriotic rhetoric and mythology, any objective examination of things shows that in the long run, the American Revolution and the Constitution resulted in Americans having less freedom, not more.
So is this how it will be forever, one tyranny after another, punctuated by unrest, revolution and violence, with mankind never achieving lasting peace and freedom? No. There is a way out, and it is staring humanity in the face. In one sense, what needs to change is enormous–a dramatic shift in how human beings view society. In another sense, the solution is very simple, and can be summed up as this: instead of the people occasionally proclaiming, “we no longer believe that gang has the right to rule us,” humanity as a whole needs to proclaim, “we no longer believe that any gang has the right to rule us.” In other words, instead of figuring out that this or that “government” is illegitimate and a threat to society, mankind needs to figure out that ALL “governments” are illegitimate and a threat to society.
Of course, this goes against what almost everyone hears from his parents, teachers, the media, and (of course) those in power. Nearly everyone is taught, directly and indirectly, that obedience to authority is a virtue, that we need a group of all-powerful “rule-makers” in order to have civilization, that without government we would all behave like wild animals, with no chance of having a peaceful, prosperous society.
But that is a lie, and has always been a lie, no different than a plantation owner telling his slaves that they should be thankful that he is there to take care of them, to protect them, and to provide “order” in their lives. In reality, not only is government not at all necessary for human organization and cooperation, government is the exact opposite of cooperation: it is violent domination, where one group commands and another obeys. Nonetheless, it takes a major paradigm shift for most people to let go of the superstition of “authority,” and to start thinking and acting like responsible adults. Even most of those who can see how destructive and immoral a particular regime is usually focus their time, money and energy on political action. Even most activists and “freedom fighters” falsely assume that the problem is the person sitting on the throne, instead of recognizing that the real problem is, and has always been, that there is a throne to sit on.
Trying to elect politicians who will serve the people is the equivalent of a slave trying to get purchased by a kinder master. Even if he succeeds, he still fails. He is still a slave whose time and energy are the property of someone else. Likewise, even if the people create a relatively benevolent ruling class (“government”), it is still their master, will still steal the fruits of their labor, and will still forcibly dominate and control them. The best that “government” can ever be is a relatively gentle abuser, a somewhat less greedy thief, a moderately permissive slavemaster. Only voluntaryism and a stateless society allow for actual freedom, actual equality, actual justice, actual civilization.
Sooner or later, that is what humanity will have. When enough people fully understand and embrace the concepts of self-ownership and non-aggression, and realize that those concepts completely rule out the possibility of a legitimate ruling class, “government” will become a fading memory, an old and irrational superstition, like worshiping volcanos and offering human sacrifices to mythical gods. When human beings can fully embrace the self-evident concept of “I own me and you own you,” and let go of the centuries of anti-human authoritarian mythology, then–and only then–will humanity find its way out of the centuries-old cycle of suffering and injustice.