by Frederick Mann, December 1999
By "freedom factor" I refer to an important aspect of freedom, or some important activity related to freedom. In the Introduction to Freedom Engineering, I cover the three most important aspects of freedom engineering: definition of freedom, formulas, and adding value. Other important aspects of freedom engineering are covered in this article, as well as in the Freedom Engineering Concept Glossary [unpublished article].
[Dillema: I distinguish three levels of freedom:
To make freedom engineering more acceptable to most freedom lovers, I considered restricting freedom engineering to freedom levels 1 and 2, because many freedom lovers have difficulty with freedom level 3. However, reducing freedom engineering this way would devalue it. In this section, items that deal with level-3 freedom are preceded by three asterisks (***).
If you disagree with asterisked items, please don't let that prevent you from involvement with freedom engineering. I suggest you simply ignore the asterisked level-3 items. There's a great deal of value in the other freedom engineering materials.]
Answers, Not Having Them All. It's a mistake for any individual or group to operate on the basis that they have all the answers. I believe it's important to keep an open mind for improvements in knowledge, thinking, and action from any and all sources. Any suggestions for improving any aspect of freedom engineering is most welcome.
Axioms of Freedom Engineering. For freedom engineering I propose the following freedom meta-formulas or axioms:
Garry Kasparov has a "formula" in his head for playing chess. Similarly, IBM has its "Deep Blue computer chess formula." Kasparov has a winning record against Deep Blue because his formula is superior.
Both the enemies and the friends of freedom operate on formulas. From a dispassionate freedom-engineering perspective, we must conclude that where the enemies of freedom have a winning record against the friends of freedom, the enemies of freedom have slavery formulas that are superior to the freedom formulas of the friends of freedom.
For freedom to triumph, the friends of freedom need to improve their freedom formulas (and remove any hidden slavery formulas they may suffer from) to such an extent that their freedom formulas become superior to the slavery formulas of the enemies of freedom.
"Superior formulas win" is related to W. Ross Ashby's cybernetic principle of 'requisite variety', which in another form can be stated as: "In a system with competing agents, the agent with the most options (greatest variety) wins."
"Some men seem to attract success, power, wealth, attainment, with very little conscious effort; others conquer with great difficulty; still others fail altogether to reach their ambitions, desires and ideals. Why is this so? Why should some men realize their ambitions easily, others with difficulty, and still others not at all? The cause cannot be physical, else the most perfect men, physically, would be the most successful. The difference, therefore, must be mental -- must be in the mind; hence mind must be the creative force, must constitute the sole difference, between men. It is mind, therefore, which overcomes environment and every other obstacle in the path of men." -- Charles F. Haanel, "The Master Key"
"It's the formulas in the mind that overcome..." -- Frederick Mann]
Branding. See article by Linda Cox . The key to branding is that people are persuaded to identify with "freedom engineering" as a brand. They think of themselves as "freedom engineers" and are proud to say so. They display a banner or shield on their websites to show the world they are freedom engineers. "Freedom engineering" is "positioned" in their minds.
Building Freedom. Much more thought needs to go into understanding freedom-building processes. Think of each human being as a microbe that has a choice of producing two kinds of "substances": freedom and slavery. The freedom and slavery "substances" coagulate to form "freedom structures" and "slavery structures." Recognizing several distinctions is important:
[Each individual's situation and circumstances are different. It's up to each freedom engineer to decide which freedom actions are appropriate for him/her to take, and which slavery actions to perforce continue taking. Because of the violence used by the "agents of the beast," it's not practical at this time, in most parts of the world, to try to eliminate all slavery actions -- I pay tax when I buy gas for my car!]
Changing Political Systems. Educating the general public about freedom is an important aspect of changing political systems. There may be several ways in which freedom engineering can play a role here:
Jesse Ventura and his election team applied formulas to get him elected Governor of Minnesota. Libertarian Party activists could improve their formulas to achieve better election results. They could also apply freedom engineering's money-making formulas and Liberty Money Machines to raise more money for election campaigns. (Imagine the effect if freedom lovers on average were twice as wealthy as they now are and there were twice as many who didn't have to work at jobs to survive!)
Freedom activists involved in single-issue campaigns such as gun ownership rights, drug legalization, property rights, etc. may similarly become more effective through the application of better freedom engineering formulas. See also 'Unfair-Issues List'.
One of the most powerful tyrant strategies is the "Frog-in-Pot Strategy" (described below). It may be worthwhile for freedom activists to put a great deal of thought into how to counter this strategy. It may also be possible to design a number of "taste-a-little-freedom" strategies. You provide someone with some "innocuous little morsel of freedom." Having "tasted" this "little freedom," you then provide a "slightly bigger morsel of freedom," etc.
Coalition of Freedom Lovers. Freedom engineering is intended for freedom lovers of all stripes: Anarchists, Anarcho-Capitalists, Classical Liberals, Conservatives, Constitutionalists, Egoists, Extropians, Geolibertarians, Georgists, Individualists, Individualist-Anarchists, Libertarians (left), Libertarians (right), Limited-Government Libertarians, Neo-Tech Owners, New-Agers, New-Civilization Proponents, Objectivists, Patriots, Permanent Tourists, Panarchists, Posthumans, Transhumanists, etc. What we should all have in common is that we reject coercion, defined as the initiation of force, fraud, or threat of force.
One bone of contention among freedom lovers is the issue of private property rights. Note that within an overall system of private property ownership, groups of individuals are free to acquire land and form communities where land is communally owned. They are free to implement a system of land rent as proposed by Henry George. As long as people don't attempt to impose their land-ownership systems through coercion on others, different systems can coexist in harmony.
Another bone of contention is "how much government?" Note that within an overall system of no government, individuals who want government are free to acquire land and form communities with governments. As long as people don't attempt to impose their government systems through coercion on others, different systems can coexist in harmony.
Yet another bone of contention is attitude toward "capitalism." Some people are antagonistic toward "big business in league with government" which they regard as "capitalism." Some people are in favor of an economic system of private property and voluntary exchange which they regard as "capitalism." To them, a coercive political system and "capitalism" are mutually exclusive.
Some freedom lovers are antagonistic toward corporations. In my opinion, most corporations are largely enemies of freedom. They support coercive political systems in various ways, such as paying taxes, bribing politicians and bureaucrats, etc. In general, I don't regard the so-called "private sector" as freedom friendly -- see Economic Sectors, below.
One of the ideas of freedom engineering is that participation is invited from anyone in favor of greater freedom.
Coercive Political Systems. Political systems, across the world, vary in the degree to which they reduce the desirable, positive options available to individuals and groups. In their efforts to expand freedom, many freedom activists focus largely on attempts to curb, reduce, or eliminate coercive political intrusion. Others focus on freeing themselves by various means (Freedom Technology) as far as possible from political coercion. For a better understanding of Coercive Political Systems, see '#TL07B: The Nature of Government'.
Control. You and only you control the energy that animates your body and mind. This fact has profound implications. See '#TL05: HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR FREEDOM' and '#TL05A: THE NATURE OF FREEDOM'.
According to Rose Wilder Lane: "Freedom means self-control; no more, no less."
A strong case can be made that control should be regarded as the most important essence of freedom engineering. To further improve your understanding of control, I highly recommend the book 'Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom' by William Glasser, M.D.
Extracts from the "Ten Axioms of Choice Theory":
1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own... When we actually begin to realize that we can control only our own behavior, we immediately start to redefine our personal freedom and find in many instances, that we have much more freedom than we realize...
2. All we can give or get from other people is information...[Frederick Mann: We have total control over the information we give to others. Unfortunately, we can also receive "solid information" such as bullets and other forms of physical violence, as well as threats of violence. A weakness of Dr. Glasser's book is how he uses the term "coercion."]
6. We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun...
8. All we can do from birth to death is behave. All behavior is total behavior and is made up of four inseparable components: acting, thinking, feeling, and physiology...
10. All total behavior is chosen, but we have direct control over only the acting and thinking components. We can, however, control our feelings and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
See also '#TL12: HOW TO ACHIEVE EMOTIONAL CONTROL'.
Definitions of Freedom. See Introduction to Freedom Engineering.
***The Dominator and Sovereign Individual Paradigms. The Dominator Paradigm is based on the assumption that some people must be ranked above other people, that some people must control other people, using violence or threat of violence if necessary to do so. Some people are "royalty" or "aristocrats"; others are "subjects," "commoners," and "peasants." Some people are "government"; others are "citizens." Some people's words are "laws" which others must obey.
John Wilkes, "Lord Mayor of London," said that, "A man is a sovereign unto himself, and (thus) may only be ruled by his own consent." That's still part of the Dominator Paradigm. See '#TL07A: The Anatomy of Slavespeak' and '#TL50C: Bought-Into-The-System'.
The Sovereign Individual Paradigm basically states: "I am free and sovereign by nature. I will never consent to be "ruled" by anyone!" See 'Sovereign Individual Paradigm'.
The Dominator and Sovereign Individual Paradigms are in people's minds. Freedom engineers progressively remove all aspects of the Dominator Paradigm from their minds and replace them with aspects of the Sovereign Individual Paradigm.
[Because we live in a world of Dominators with guns, Sovereign Individuals may expediently pretend to be part of the Dominator Paradigm when appropriate. For example, I have a piece of plastic in my pocket that says "Driver's Licence." If a "cop" were to pull me over, I would act "real respectful" and show him my "papers" because he has a gun and friends with many more guns. Note that in a private-road system, there might be more stringent safety measures that would be contractually based.]
Economic Means to Freedom. The tyrants of this world have an almost iron grip on the finances of many individuals. Employees in corporations typically earn just enough to pay the bills. In most cases, taxes are withheld from our pay checks and handed over to our political masters. We have little choice but to use the monopoly currencies and banks of our money masters. Many of our transactions are recorded and can be traced. Big Brother wants to know everything about your money and what you do with it. How do we escape this dreadful economic servitude? Answer: the 'Economic Means to Freedom'.
Economic Sectors. We can usefully distinguish three economic sectors: public, private, and real free enterprise.
See "Free Enterprise, Real." below.
The Education-to-Learning Shift. Part of the Dominator Paradigm is that some people must "educate" other people. Children must be forced into "schools" (concentration campuses for brainwashing) where they must be turned into slaves of the Dominator Paradigm. Bill Ellis has suggested the slogan: "ENVISION A WORLD WITHOUT SCHOOLS." "Education" is something others do to us. Learning is what we do for ourselves. See his book 'Creating Learning Communities'. See also 'Compulsory Schooling vs. Private Learning'. We need a massive shift from "compulsory state brainwashing" to private learning.
Freedom Activist Burnout. Claire Wolfe, author of 101 Things To Do 'Till The Revolution, I Am Not A Number, and Don't Shoot The Bastards (Yet), used to write a column for 'WorldNetDaily'. On September 29, 1999 she announced why she had stopped writing her column. She gave up her column so she could "earn a living" (and for other reasons mentioned). She wrote: "But as WND reached into the mainstream, a darker current began to rise through the e-mail stream. It took a lot of forms. (Don't get me started...) What spooked me most was this: No matter how many times I cried, "Think for yourself!" or "There are millions of individual paths to freedom!" a small but frightening percentage of readers made it clear they expected all answers to be provided for them -- that they preferred to follow a freedom guru or obey a Supreme Dictator of Individuality -- anything other than think and act on their own responsibility. Worst of all, an increasing number of self-proclaimed freedom seekers made it clear that the magical answers they demanded must require absolutely no work, risk or inconvenience on their part."
Wolfe also suggests three freedom formulas: "Ultimately, I have only three things to convey, and you probably already know them:
(Freedom Technology in a nutshell!) Unfortunately, despite her exemplary efforts to expand freedom, Wolfe had not found a viable formula for herself. Result: burnout. Her efforts to promote freedom did not "earn a living." (See 'Building Freedom' -- (d) Freedom action that is self-sacrificial in the short term and (e) Freedom action that is "self-liquidating," above.)
Freedom Capital Formation. As I write this, there's a huge boom in technology stocks, particularly Internet stocks. Great value is being created and added to the economy. This value is reflected in the total market valuation of technology stocks. It also represents capital formation. Unfortunately, all this capital is measured in terms of the enemy's currency. The companies involved are corporations in the enemy camp. They pay corporation taxes to the enemy, file reports with the enemy, collect individual taxes on behalf of the enemy, etc.
The Economic Means to Freedom requires that capital formation also take place in the real free-enterprise sector (underground economy). Anthon L. Hargis & Co. operates a "fledgling" free market share exchange.This and/or similar exchanges (as well as private banking outside the enemy system) need to expand dramatically. Maybe Laissez Faire City can play a role here. At least some of the balances in e-gold accounts can be regarded as freedom capital.
In general, economic resources and activities shifted from the public and private sectors into the real free-enterprise sector constitute freedom capital formation. Additionally, capital can be created in the real free-enterprise sector itself through the formation and expansion of real free-enterprise ventures.
Freedom Education. Many individuals and organizations are involved in freedom education. Here are some of them, together with their Alexa traffic rankings on 11/16/99 (the lower the number, the higher the traffic):
WorldNetDaily #1,167 Neo-Tech #15,883 Build Freedom #18,595 Cato Institute #19,329 Free-Market.Net #35,520 Advocates for Self-Government #36,080 National Libertarian Party #39,921 Reason Magazine #42,151 The Spotlight #116,607
These and similar organizations (explicitly or implicitly) use formulas to attract visitors to their websites.
Freedom Infrastructure. The next challenge is to persuade freedom builders (engineers) to cooperate in the building of more "freedom structures" and "freedom institutions," that make it easier and more practical for individuals to take freedom actions. For example, Anthony L. Hargis & Co., e-gold, and NORFED (American Liberty Currency) make it easier for individuals to perform financial actions in ways that build freedom rather than support slavery.
Most corporations are more slavery-supporting than freedom-building. Generally, they support coercive political systems by paying taxes, filing reports, and submitting to "government controls." Many corporations also have a slavery-inducing effect on most of their employees -- see Infinite Wealth by Barry C. Carter.
One of the main ideas of freedom engineering is to build many more freedom-promoting institutions covering all areas of life. Another challenge is to build and promote freedom structures in ways to persuade many from the majority of people, for whom freedom as we understand it isn't an issue, to patronize our freedom structures because they provide better products and services.
Freedom Resources. There are vastly more "freedom resources" available in the world than most freedom lovers realize. The minds of all freedom lovers are (or could become) freedom resources. The same applies to at least some of the time, money, and assets of freedom lovers. Coercive political systems are generally organized in ways that result in many of the resources of freedom lovers being utilized in support of the systems.
How do freedom lovers reorganize their lives and economic activities such that more of their resources are shifted from supporting coercive political systems to expanding freedom? (Paying taxes and/or working in companies that pay taxes supports coercive political systems.)
How can freedom engineering principles and/or formulas be applied to shift resources from supporting coercive political systems to expanding freedom?
***Freedom Steps. 'Report #TL05B: FREEDOM STEPS' contains some specific steps individuals can take to expand their freedom.
***Freedom Strategies. More freedom strategies may be available to you than you realize. For a range of freedom strategies, see 'The Most Powerful Freedom Strategy'. See also 'Freedom Strategy'.
Freedom Technology. For over 25 years, I've lived my life almost free from political coercion. I've developed all kinds of formulas, skills, methods, and techniques to eliminate the effects of most political coercion on my life. In the words of Harry Browne, "I've found freedom in an unfree world" '#FFP05: Harry Browne's Freedom Principles'. I refer to these formulas, skills, methods, and techniques as "freedom technology" -- how to outwit "agents of the beast" at every turn! Earning a living "outside the system" is one of the most important aspects of 'freedom technology'.
Freedom Tycoons. The Economic Means to Freedom could grow dramatically if there were more freedom tycoons. By my evaluation, them greatest business tycoons have been those -- Henry Ford and Bill Gates come to mind -- who have added the greatest values to their own lives as well as the world in general. It's more difficult to be a freedom tycoon. For a gallant attempt, see 'The Harry Plott Saga'. We can learn from both successes and failures. It may be possible to utilize International Business Corporations (IBCs), offshore trusts, and tax havens in creative ways to escape much of "big brother's long reach." See "Offshore Resources".
Free Enterprise, Real. By "real free enterprise" I mean an economic system characterized by
In a real free-enterprise system there are no taxes and no coercive terrocrat regulations; no one initiates force, fraud, or the threat of force to overwhelm the will of another; people are free to do whatever they like, provided they don't violate the rights of others -- basically the right to own property and to engage in voluntary exchange. Real free enterprise is a freedom formula or human success program. Coercion can be a human success program for those administering the coercion and for some who benefit from the coercion, but is a slavery formula or human failure program for everyone else.
The greatest potential for providing people with the means to elevate themselves (in all respects) is in the real free-enterprise sector, because this is where we enjoy the greatest freedom, where we have the most scope to add value to our own lives and to the world in general. If you can find ways to operate with reasonable safety in the real free-enterprise sector, you enjoy competitive advantages: no or few taxes, no or few regulations. Freedom engineers constantly look for better formulas for shifting more and more of their activities into the real free-enterprise sector.
Note that within the scope of an overall real free-enterprise system, groups of individuals are free to set up their own different subsystems where participants practice whatever systems they contractually agree to. As long as people don't attempt to impose their economic systems through coercion on others, different systems can coexist in harmony.
Frog-in-Pot Strategy. A frog can be gradually killed by putting it in a pot of cold water on a stove. The water is gradually heated. The heat overcomes the frog before it realizes the danger. By the time it wants to jump out of the hot water, it's become too weak form heat exhaustion. So it perishes. On the other hand, if you throw a frog into hot water, it immediately jumps out.
One of the most powerful tyrant strategies is gradual enslavement. Freedom activists need a counter to this strategy. One possibility is to show people how the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto have been gradually implemented in your part of the world -- see 'WAKE UP AMERICA! - CHAPTER ELEVEN: AMERICA - CAPITALIST OR COMMUNIST?'.
Gun Ownership. Private ownership of guns is an important check on the growth of tyranny. See 'Gun Freedom'.
Health, Fitness, and Longevity. I regard death as the ultimate "unfreedom." The healthier and livelier you are, the more freedom you have. The longer you live, the more desirable, positive options you can exercise. See our health section.
International Business Corporation (IBC). Offshore IBCs can be used for certain businesses to operate with a high degree of freedom: no taxes, no regulations, no reporting. See 'Offshore Resources'.
The Internet. Claire Wolfe also writes: "After a year of high visibility on the Web, I no longer regard the 'net as a miracle of freedom. It's a magnificent research and communications medium, absolutely. But it's just one more place where do-nothings, including `keyboard revolutionaries,' can waste time. And the real killer is that it also gives them unprecedented ability to lay claim to other peoples' time, as well. Sluggards who wouldn't put out the effort to lick a stamp cheerfully thrust their e-opinions and their e-wheedles at anyone whose address they can snag" Wolfe's Lodge
On the contrary, here are some ways in which the Internet can be used as a "miracle of freedom":
***Killer Applications. A Killer Application in the context of freedom engineering is any application with the potential of wide acceptance and market penetration, resulting in substantial individual empowerment and/or significant loss of power by tyrants. Hushmail probably qualifies as an example of such a killer application. See also "Killer Applications".
It's also worth looking at killer applications from the point of view of "our slave masters":
How can freedom engineering principles be applied to undermine the killer applications on which the power of tyrants most depends? Which of their killer applications have soft or weak spots (see Freedom Engineering Concept Glossary [unpublished article]) that can be exploited?
Liberty Money Machines. The effect of having created a few liberty money machines -- that automatically, with little work, provide you with income -- is that you have much more time available for freedom engineering. Liberty money machines are an important aspect of the Economic means to freedom.
Living Free. In many parts of the world, it's possible to organize your life, assets, earnings, and affairs generally, in ways that largely eliminate political coercion against you as an individual. This may involve operating in the real free-enterprise sector (see Economic Sectors, above). The better you understand the nature of coercive political systems, and how anti-freedom agents (along with some of the general population) in them tend to operate, the easier it becomes to outwit them so the impact of their coercion on your life is greatly reduced, virtually eliminated. See The Ten Core Concepts of Freedom Technology and #TL05C: How to Seize Your Freedom.
Marketing Freedom. If your attempts to market freedom (or anything else) result in lots of perceived or real losses, you're likely to burn out. Some of the most powerful marketing information I know of can be found in a book by Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson called Newsell. The essence is to focus on those parts of the marketing process where you have most control. The prospect's decision to buy or not occurs in his/her own mind -- the part of the sales process where you have least control. Focusing on "closing the sale" tends to be counterproductive and results in losses. If instead you focus on improving the quality of your sales message and presenting it to as many qualified prospects as possible, and answer their questions, your results may improve dramatically. Also, when you don't try to close sales, you don't suffer any losses. You greatly reduce the likelihood of burnout. Hewitt-Gleeson's marketing formulas are dynamite! The Internet makes it particularly easy to present your sales messages to many people and achieve many sales without ever having to try to close a sale!
Massive Action. Certain activities, projects, or businesses require massive action for success. Such is the case of the Libertarian Party. Freedom engineering can be successful from the point of view of individuals who apply the principles and formulas, thereby freeing themselves. So we can succeed without massive action -- up to a point. However, as long as there are terrocrats (coercive political agents or terrorist bureaucrats) in positions of power, our lives and assets are at risk. It will require massive action by thousands of freedom engineers to bring about a general condition of freedom in the world.
Mass Privatization of Work. In his book Infinite Wealth, Barry C. Carter writes: "Mass privatization is a system of human organization whereby the individual worker, or a small team of workers, owns the substantial share of the specific work performed. Individuals are interconnected through advanced information technology. They are also interdependent through partnerships with other individuals, organizations, or teams of private owning partners. The organization is structured so the individual wins when he or she helps others win. It is a system with no managers, employees, unions, salaries, wages, bureaucracy, or hierarchy."
Carter also indicates that, "In the early 1990s, on any given day, 8,000 people moved into self-employment. During the same period, on any given day, 250 managers and 1,500 employees lost their jobs! In 1994, the fastest-growing segment of the economy was the one-person enterprise." This is a major economic/freedom trend. Through freedom engineering it can be accelerated. The self-employed can be connected with freedom-building institutions, further liberating the assets, earnings, and financial transactions of the self-employed. Freedom-building institutions can be organized according to Carter's mass-privatization-of-work principles.
Missing Function/Formula. Consider freedom meta-formula #7, above: "No matter how good and comprehensive your current formulas, there may be a "missing formula" you haven't identified, the absence of which inhibits your freedom." Also, Wolfe's three formulas: "Ultimately, I have only three things to convey, and you probably already know them: Think for yourself. Live free. Foil the plans of tyrants." What's missing here? Suppose that in order to survive, you have to work at some "job" (just over broke!) in some system-supporting corporation. How do you "live free" and "foil the plans of tyrants?" Become a homeless dropout? What's missing, of course, is also what was missing from Wolfe's own freedom formulas: "earn a living outside the system"; "make money promoting freedom." See also '#TL30B: The Missing Function'.
[My intention isn't to criticize Claire Wolfe, but to indicate that with better formulas she would find ways to promote freedom that can be sustained. In fact, if she were to work with us, we would most likely become considerably more effective and she would earn some good money promoting freedom. This is an open invitation to Claire to join us any time.]
Money. Money can buy a great deal of freedom. If you have to work at a "job," obeying the dictates of your bosses (and making them and the shareholders rich), your freedom may be severely curtailed. See 'Economic Means to Freedom' and 'Liberty Money Machines,' above.
Money is an area where many people are infected by debilitating and even devastating anti-formulas. Similar to "political correctness," there's "economic correctness." It's "economically correct" to have a "job" and a "career." "Money (or the love of money" is the root of all evil." "Filthy lucre." "Money isn't everything." "Money can't buy you freedom, only problems of a different kind." "You have to pay your fair share." Etc. Etc.
See also 'Millionaire Reports'.
Offshore. See ' Offshore Resources'.
Opportunity Gap Principle/Formula. Someone from Brazil recently wrote: "The only thing with me is that I sometimes feel I can be anything I want, but then I look around our economical crisis with so few opportunities, I tend to get in a more hopeless state." The principle of the "opportunity gap" is that the lack of anything is an automatic opportunity for someone to provide what is lacking. If some people lack freedom, money, whatever, it's an automatic opportunity for a resourceful person to do something about what's lacking and to personally benefit. See 'The Economic Means to Freedom'.
Permanent Tourist. "PT" -- See 'Live Free ' and 'PT Reports'.
Personal Growth and Development. The more you grow and develop psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually, the more capable you become to create more desirable, positive options in your life. See 'Personal Power & Influence'.
["Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed." -- William James, 1906]
Positioning. This is a marketing term popularized by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. I believe that "freedom engineer" and "freedom engineering" are terms that lend themselves to positioning. See also 'Branding,' above.
Property. I don't know that the last word has been written about "property rights." To what extent does "property rights" further the dominator paradigm -- property owners being able to dominate the propertyless? There's also a problem with the acquisition of certain property, particularly land. Suppose I buy some land. If we trace back the history of that land far enough to find that at some point it was stolen by killing or violently dispossessing an earlier occupant or owner, have I bought stolen property? Can I now claim to be a legitimate owner?
An important consideration in the property debate is that those who don't believe in private property can always buy property and then convert it into land that is jointly owned by the believers in common land ownership. For example, the Georgists (followers of Henry George who believe in "land rent") could buy all the land they can afford, and then operate their system of land rent on their property, without trying to impose their system on those who don't share their views. The point is that under an overall system of private property rights, provided that coercion (the initiation of force or threat of force) is rejected, those who believe in common land ownership can purchase land and convert it into their own system of common ownership.
It's up to freedom lovers of all stripes to apply the Economic Means to Freedom to acquire much more land. We need to outcompete the enemies of freedom.
Secession, Individual. In 1977, I effectively seceded from all coercive political systems. Individual secession is analogous to unsubscribing from an e-mail list. See Living Free, above.
Self-Sabotage. On December 31, 1999, a few minutes before the year 2000, Tod Surmon, a 26-year-old wrestler, climbed an electric-light pole in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to his departure from Stanford to Las Vegas, his wrestling coach, Chris Horpel, had told him to "be careful." Surmon replied, "You know I won't." When Surmon got near the top of the pole he placed one hand on an electric cable and the other hand on another electric cable. The 450 volts killed him and he fell dead to the sidewalk below. Later, I saw Surmon's father interviewed on TV. He said that what his son had done wasn't foolish because he had been a good climber and always calculated his next move. In my opinion, what Surmon did was far worse than foolish, it was stupid almost beyond imagination -- the most extreme case of self-sabotage possible.
Most of us have some anti-formulas in our heads that result in self-defeating behavior from time to time. The best book I've come across on the topic is Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot (A Program to End Self-Defeating Behavior Forever) by Dr. Daniel Amen. It's a very well constructed workbook, which through questions, makes identifying and overcoming self-defeating behavior an individualized process focused directly on the individual reader's situation. I highly recommend it.
Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot includes:
Do yourself a favor and buy Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot by Dr. Daniel Amen.
Sons of Liberty. A secret society arose in the American Colonies in 1765 to stir up opposition to the quartering of the standing army of 10,000 British soldiers and to the Stamp Tax. Samuel Adams was one of the leaders and a main agitator of this 'extremist cult' called the Sons of Liberty. Many famous patriots and 'founders' were members of the secret society. The name 'Sons of Liberty' came from the Englishman John Wilkes who gave the British Parliament this unheeded warning: Do not underestimate the 'Sons of Liberty' in America and/or from a speech by Isaac Barré against the Stamp Act in the same Parliament. The phrase quickly caught on in the Colonies and within a year their efforts succeeded, the Stamp Act was repealed, and the road to American Independence was firmly established -- there would be no turning back. [Adapted from the article The Philatelic Sons of Liberty.]
See also the following:
Popular meeting places for the Sons of Liberty in Boston:
Freedom engineers may benefit from studying the Sons of Liberty. However, I must emphasize that freedom engineers should never resort to the initiation of violence or threat of violence. I believe we would be far more effective using the Economic Means to Freedom.
Tax Haven. See 'Offshore Resources'.
Tax Systems. Among the killer applications of terrocrats are their tax systems. Depending on how easy or difficult it is for individuals and businesses to withdraw from tax systems (partially or completely), tax systems may also be soft or weak spots for terrocrats. Freedom engineers are encouraged to inform themselves about the practicality of withdrawing from tax systems and the risks involved, and to act accordingly. (I would never advise anyone to break any law.) See Fiscal Freedom.
There are two common traps some freedom lovers fall into:
Technology. Physical technologies have resulted in all kinds of machines and structures that do work for us and/or make it easier and more efficient for us to take all kinds of actions. The Internet is a major example. In general, technology provides us with more desirable, positive options. I expect that technology breakthroughs will lead to major human life extension and major quality of life improvements. I also expect that technological development will bring about space migration (freedom from being earthbound.)
Thinking Skills. I attempt to apply the formulas:
See 'Thinking Skills, Creativity & Problem Solving'.
Trust. See 'Trust Reports' and 'Offshore Resources'.
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