by Frederick Mann
"American Government is not an Authority; it has no control over individuals and no responsibility for their affairs. American Government is a permission which free individuals grant to certain men to use force in certain and strictly limited ways; a permission which Americans can always withdraw from American Government." -- Rose Wilder Lane
Brief Biography of Rose Wilder Lane
This biographical sketch is largely based on the Introduction by Roger Lea MacBride to the book The Lady and the Tycoon edited by MacBride.
Rose Wilder Lane was born in 1886 on a homestead claim on the prairie near De Smet, South Dakota. Her parents were Almanzo James Wilder and Laura Elizabeth Ingalls. Her mother later became the author of the popular children's books about pioneering days - the "Little House" series.
Rose's first job was as a telegrapher with Western Union. She worked at this job in various parts of the country, finally in San Francisco. She then became one of the first female real estate agents in California, specializing in farm land in the San Fernando Valley. In 1909 she married Gilbert Lane. In 1918 they divorced.
Rose began her freelance writing career around 1912. Later she joined the Sa Francisco Bulletin as a reporter. She wrote Henry Ford's Own Story (1917). A fictional serial for Sunset Magazine was published as her first novel, Diverging Roads (1919). She also wrote White Shadows in the South Seas (with Frederick O'Brien, 1919) and The Making of Herbert Hoover (1920).
Towards the end of World War I, Rose travelled on behalf of the American Red Cross an Near East Relief to the Balkans, Russia, the Near East, and later Albania. Initially she was attracted by communist ideology. But what she saw and experienced about communist practice and its consequences soon disillusioned her. She narrowly escaped jail in Russian Georgia. Later she settled for a while in Albania. She wrote Peaks of Shala (1923) about her experiences in the primitive parts of that country, and she translated The Dancers of Shamahka (1923) from the French.
She returned to the United States to live and write in Mansfield, Connecticut. Her short stories and articles appeared in a variety of magazines. Many were anthologized. In 1922 she won the O'Henry Prize for the best short story of the year. She became one of the highest paid authors in the United States. During the following years she wrote Hill Billy (1925, novel), He Was a Man (1925, fictionalized biography of Jack London), Cindy (1928, novel), Let the Hurricane Roar (1933, best-selling novel about pioneer life, dramatized for radio by Helen Hayes), Old Home Town (1935, short stories), Give Me Liberty (1936, experiences with totalitarianism and freedom), and Free Land (1938, pioneer novel).
In 1938 Rose bought a farm in Danbury, Connecticut. She stopped writing fiction, in order to concentrate on spreading her philosophic, economic, and political ideas. The Discovery of Freedom was published in 1943. For several years she edited the Review of Books, published by the National Economic Council. She engaged in extensive correspondence with a great many individuals in order to spread her freedom philosophy. One such individual was Jasper Crane, a Vice President of of E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company. Four thousand pages of this correspondence was edited and published by Roger Lea MacBride - The Lady and the Tycoon (1973). This book reflects the tremendous influence Rose Wilder Lane had in moving many individuals towards greater freedom.
In 1965 Rose went to Vietnam as a war correspondent for Woman's Day to write about the war from a woman's point of view. At 79, she was America's oldest war correspondent. Upon her return she bought a winter home in Harlingen, Texas. She died in 1968.
In my opinion, Rose Wilder Lane's The Discovery of Freedom ranks among the top few seminal works on freedom. I have attempted to further develop what I regard as her most powerful ideas.
Discover That You Are Free
One of the most important books ever written on the subject of freedom is 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). She said, "Very few men have ever known that men are free. Among this earth's population now, few know that fact." In order to discover that we are free, we need to understand the nature of human energy.
We live on planet earth. The physical matter that makes up our planet can be regarded as more or less solidified energy. Rocks are very solidified; water is less solidified; and air is even less solidified. Our planet could be regarded as a giant rock, with water on parts of its surface, and surrounded by an envelope of air. Rocks are relatively fixed - they don't move around a lot. Water is relatively mobile - it moves around considerably. Air is very mobile - it moves around a great deal.
Energy in the form of sunlight pours onto our planet, its water, and air. There are living creatures on earth: plants, animals, and humans. Plants have roots and their position is relatively fixed - they don't move around much. Animals are mobile - they roam about. Humans are much more mobile - through the use of machines we can travel very far very quickly; we can even leave our planet.
Life can be regarded as organized energy; living creatures as energy organizers. What are the differences between plant energy, animal energy, and human energy? How do they organize their energy differently? Plants receive energy from the sun. They use that energy to extract carbon from the air. They also sink roots into the ground, enabling them to extract moisture and minerals from the soil. They combine carbon, moisture, and minerals to grow and operate their "bodies." Who or what controls and directs this process? Does a plant have a "self," "ego," "spirit," or "soul" that organizes its energy? Or is there a "plant god" that controls and directs plants? Or is there a "plant government" that "legislates" the "laws" that "govern" plant behavior?
What about animals? Animals essentially receive their energy from the air they breathe, the water they drink, and from the plants and other animals they eat. They use oxygen from the air, water from rivers, lakes, and ponds, and plant and animal substance, to grow and operate their bodies. Who or what controls and directs these processes? Does an animal have a "self," "ego," "spirit," or "soul" that organizes its energy? Or is there an "animal god" that controls and directs animals? Or is there an "animal government" that "legislates" the "laws" that "govern" animal behavior?
And what about humans? How do we differ from animals? We could say that we are much more conscious than animals, we have a well-developed ability to reason, and we use tools and machines to a vastly greater degree than animals do. We could further say that - judging by the degree to which we control and direct ourselves and our environment, including plants and animals - we humans are the "master animals" of planet earth. We don't know for sure to what extent plants and animals might be conscious and have the ability to reason. But because we control and eat them to a far greater degree than they can control and eat us, we can assume that we are indeed the "master animal."
There are other differences. A plant has few options, if any, available to it. If it doesn't like the place where it lives, it can't pull up its roots and move somewhere else. It simply has to passively receive the energy and substances that are "given" to it by its environment, and use these to grow itself. We could say that a plant has practically no volition. But does a plant have any volition at all? Can a plant "change its mind" and do something different? Does a plant have any "choices?" We know that a sunflower can turn its flower so that it always faces the sun. Can a sunflower "decide" on a particular day that it has had enough sun, and the sun is too hot anyway, and turn its flower away from the sun? Who or what controls and directs the behavior of a sunflower?
Suppose a human were to give the command, "Sunflower, turn your flower away from the sun!" - would the sunflower "obey?" Who or what, if anything, controls and directs the energy that animates a sunflower? Does a plant control itself, or is it controlled by "external forces" like the wind and the sun?
An animal has many more choices available to it than a plant has. It has more volition than a plant. It can walk around to find plants to eat. With a few exceptions, its plant victims can only stand passively, rooted to the ground, while being devoured partially or wholly. An animal can chase another animal, catch it, kill it, and eat it. Of course, a feed animal can stay out of the range of predators... Who or what, if anything, controls and directs the energy that animates an animal? Can an animal "change its mind" and do something different? Does an animal really have any "choices?"
Suppose a human were to give the command, "Horse, turn around and run away!" - would the horse "obey?" Clearly, a horse that has been "broken in" and "trained" (enslaved?) will "obey" - sometimes... But what about a wild - free? - horse? It might simply carry on doing whatever it is doing - or run away from fright... Who or what, if anything, controls and directs the energy that animates a horse? Does a horse control itself, or is it controlled by "external forces" like the human voice or a bit and bridle? What is the nature of animal energy?
Consider the range of options available to a typical animal at any given time: hunting, eating, drinking, building its nest, fleeing danger, playing, sleeping, fighting, sex, and migrating. Because of factors like consciousness, reasoning, using tools and machines, accumulated knowledge, agriculture, food distribution systems, etc., most humans spend far less time and effort on "survival options" (eating, drinking, fleeing danger, etc) than animals do. Humans can be regarded as more efficient energy organizers than animals. So humans have additional options available to them: working (a practically unlimited variety of options), talking, reading, writing, watching TV, going to the movies, walking dogs, riding horses, driving cars, flying planes, etc. Who or what decides which of these options a human will exercise at any given time? Who or what, if anything, controls and directs the energy that animates a human? Do humans control themselves, or are they controlled by "external forces" like "gods," "governments," or "laws" (so-called)? What is the nature of human energy?
You are reading this report. Who decides whether to continue reading or not? Who is in control? When you get to the end of the page you turn to the next. Who decides to turn the page? Who or what controls and directs the energy that makes your finger turn the page?
If someone points a gun at you and says, "Turn the page, or I'll shoot you!", who decides whether to turn the page or not? And if the page is turned, who or what controls and directs the energy that makes your finger turn the page? This is how Rose Wilder Lane explains it:
"A human being is a dynamo, generating energy. You are reading a book; you want to turn a page. You generate the energy that moves the muscles of your arm and hand, and turns the page.
Each living person is a source of this energy. There is no other source. Only an individual human being can generate human energy."
Non-living energy operates consistently. Whether it be the energy of an electron, a hurricane, or the sun, energy behaves consistently. This fact makes scientific knowledge possible. Non-living energy - electricity, for example - always operates in the same way in the same conditions. No one knows what makes it consistent, but because it is consistent, those who have observed how it acts can predict, with sufficient accuracy, how it always will act. Rose Wilder Lane continues:
"Living energy is different; it is creative, and variable. It changes, and it changes the conditions in which it acts. It is unpredictable, because it never acts twice in precisely the same way. Not even two blades of grass in a lawn are identical. No two children of the same parents are alike; not even two quintuplets.
Yet living energy is controlled. Everyone knows what controls human energy. Your desire to turn a page generates the energy that turns the page; you control that energy. No one else, and nothing else, can control it.
Many forces can kill you. Many, perhaps, can frighten you. But no force outside yourself can compel you to turn that page. Nothing but your desire, your will, can generate and control your energy. You alone are responsible for your every act; no one else can be.
This is the nature of human energy; individuals generate it, and control it. Each person is self-controlling, and therefore responsible for his acts. Every human being, by his nature, is free."
A person who has discovered that he or she is free, I shall call a "Free Sovereign Individual." At this time there may be more than a million Free Sovereign Individuals on earth.
Overcome Your Wimp
Some may find the implications of being naturally free frightening. There may be an overpowering psychological "wimp" in our mind that blinds us to our freedom. If so, the next step is to overcome that wimp.
Deep within the psyche of practically every human there resides a pernicious wimp. Your wimp is like gravity. It is invisible. It is powerful. It pervades your life. It pulls you down. It affects your every thought, your every action... It usurps your power.
The wimp within you makes it possible for people to manipulate you. The reason politicians, lawyers, bureaucrats, and tax collectorss get away so easily with their fraudulent brainwashing and bloodsucking is that practically all their victims are afflicted with virulent wimps that inhabit the core of their psyches. In general it is easy to dupe wimps and separate them from their consciousness and their money.
Once you begin to understand your own personal wimp and recognize when it exerts its influence over you, you can begin to overcome it. You do it little by little. An understanding of the evolution of human consciousness will help you identify the nature of your personal wimp. Consider the bicameral model of the mind below.
The Bicameral Model of the Mind
Bicameral stage 1:
|Automatic visions and voices tell you what to do. |
You automatically obey the "voices of authority."
You think and speak like a slave.
Obedience is paramount.
Bicameral stage 2:
|Automatic feelings and thoughts tell you what to do. |
You behave like:
(a) A true believer (sometimes a fanatic fighter for a "great cause"); or
(b) A helpless wimp (languishing in apathy, sometimes complaining); or
(c) A self-righteous preacher (making self "right" and others "wrong"); or
(d) A macho rebel (compulsively fighting "the system," "the IRS," "the government").
Being "right" is paramount.
|You have largely mastered your feelings and emotions.
You have the ability to critically examine every concept, every thought, every action.
You strive to increase your competence in every aspect of your life.
You carefully observe the results you produce, using that as feedback to improve your concepts, thoughts, communications, and actions.
You live free and creatively - you are a Freeperson.
Producing results is paramount.
According to Dr. Julian Jaynes (The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - Houghton Mifflin, Boston; 1990 - first published in 1976), up to about 3,000 years ago humans were not conscious as we know consciousness today. Their minds worked like this: Situations triggered mental voices and/or visions that were automatically generated in the right brain, from where they were communicated via the anterior commissure to the left brain, where the visions were "seen" and the voices "heard." The mental voices and visions "told" people what to do. Today, some people still manifest this form of mentation - sometimes called schizophrenia. I call this stage in the evolution of consciousness, bicameral stage one - the pre-conscious human. In this stage obedience is paramount.
Many people are aware of an automatic, apparently uncontrollable "stream of thoughts" going on in their heads. Sometimes a situation will trigger an automatic thought like "she doesn't love me," followed by automatic feelings and emotions - apparently not under control. When I watch and listen to a TV talk show like "Good Morning America" or "Morton Downey, Jr.," it seems to me that most of the participants, including the host and the specially invited speakers, merely regurgitate their automatic thoughts - their emphasis being on trying to prove self "right" and others "wrong." I call this bicameral stage two - the proto-conscious human. In this stage being "right" is paramount.
A rapidly growing number of people have started questioning and critically examining concepts, beliefs, and behaviors held sacred by their elders and most of their contemporaries. These people want to produce better results in their lives: their health, their relationships, their careers. In any area where they think their results are below expectations they seek to improve their knowledge, their skills, their competence. They also realize that some of their difficulties stem from destructive thoughts and behavior patterns acquired or developed during childhood. Their emphasis is on producing results. I call this the conscious stage.
Many humans are in transition from bicameral stage 2 to the conscious stage. Some are still in transition from bicameral stage 1 to bicameral stage 2. Some show signs of all three stages.
Where does your wimp fit into all this? If you believe in total obedience to something outside yourself (an external "authority"), your wimp may have total control over your life. If you're a bicameral stage 2 proto-conscious human, your wimp will probably make you a true believer, a somewhat helpless apathetic, or a compulsive rebel. These three types compare to three of the life-orientations identified by Dr. Eric Byrne in Transactional Analysis: "I'm not OK - you're OK" (true believer); "I'm not OK - you're not OK" (helpless apathetic); and "I'm OK - you're not OK" (compulsive rebel). As you evolve into the conscious stage you move towards "I'm OK - you're OK."
The way you recognize your wimp is to identify any area of your life where the results you produce don't meet your expectations. If you are inclined to lose your cool in certain situations, or in the presence of certain kinds of people, you have another pointer to your wimp. If you consistently blame things or people outside yourself for your lack of success or your lot in life, you have another indication that your wimp is at work. If you're involved in any activity where it is claimed that "X is the only truth, philosophy, politics, etc.," your wimp is of the true believer kind. Similarly, your wimp may be the helpless apathetic or compulsive rebel type. If there are things you want to do but somehow you don't think you can do them, or you just never get around to doing them, that's another pointer to your wimp. If you're stuck in some destructive habit - you want to drop it but don't seem able to - that's your wimp at work. If you often get victimized - for example, provoke violence or coercion against yourself - that's a definite wimp pointer.
If you believe you can't escape the clutches of the tax collector, then your wimp has got you - there are probably at least ten million people in the USA who are largely free from government coercion. You can join them whenever you want to.
The steps for overcoming your wimp:
Introduced by painful experiences in childhood, self-doubt weaves itself into the fabric of your identity. There, disguised as the truth, utilizing the self-defeating attitudes (Mind Traps) it generates, self-doubt asserts its poisonous influence over every aspect of life, from work to relationships. Self-doubts and Mind Traps are hardy enough to withstand overwhelming conflicting evidence. They are even resistant to good common sense - no matter how much some people may love and respect you, you may still doubt yourself. And you may find yourself sabotaging your own welfare."
These two habits of thinking about causes have consequences. Literally hundreds of studies show that pessimists give up more easily and get depressed more often. These experiments also show that optimists do much better in school and college, at work and on the playing field. They regularly exceed the predictions of aptitude tests. When optimists run for office, they are more apt to be elected than pessimists are. Their health is unusually good. They age well, much freer than most of us from the usual physical ills of middle age. Evidence suggests they may even live longer."
The wimp is a pessimist. Optimism is a methodology or technology that can be learned. Doing so will eventually defeat the wimp. (Though, sometimes over-optimism needs to be tempered with realism.)
Become a Free Sovereign Individual
The idea of a Free Sovereign Individual and what you have to do to become free, may also serve as a guideline to overcome your wimp. In some very important aspects a Free Sovereign Individual is a special breed of human. Below is an example of the kind of basic assumptions, assertions, or affirmations that a Free Sovereign Individual lives by:
Each Free Sovereign Individual has his or her own set of basic assumptions, whether explicitly formulated or not. Some of the implications of the above assumptions follow:
1. I am free
You can't become free by merely asserting that you are free. I also suspect that it is very difficult for people who haven't lived free to discover that they are free. But people can discover that they control the energy that animates their bodies, and that - ultimately - every action they take follows from a decision in their brain. Reading The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane may assist this discovery.
My mind and my body are in my power... Whatever beliefs I might have about not being free are beliefs in my mind. I chose those beliefs. I can change those beliefs.
2. I own myself (I am sovereign)
Either you own yourself, or somebody else owns you and you are a slave. By extension, if you own yourself, you own your life, your mind,your body, your property, and the fruit of your labor. Being sovereign and owning yourself are the same thing.
The discovery that you are sovereign also follows from the realization that you are free and that all coercive political systems on planet earth today are fraudulent hoaxes. Reading Report #TL07: The Constitution of No Authority may assist this discovery. I do not rule others, nor am I ruled by others. I am sovereign over my life, mind, body, and property.
3. I am responsible
The realization that you are responsible follows from an increasing awareness of the links between your actions (and non-actions) and their consequences. Your choices have consequences. The kind of life you now lead, your degree of freedom, and the state of your health are consequences of your choices. You have created your life. You are responsible, whether you know it or not.
To a very large extent, I cause my actions, I produce my own outcomes, and I determine what happens to me. Though I realize that while I am free to choose my actions, I am not free to choose the consequences of my actions.
Being responsible also means that I keep the agreements I make.
4. I choose the values by which I live
Whatever moral code you live by you chose it - even if by default. If you decide to live by the "laws of a country" (so-called), that is your choice. A Free Sovereign Individual knows that there can be as many moral codes as there are conscious individuals.
5. I live my life the way I want to
For the most part, this is really an obvious statement of fact. To think otherwise is to deceive yourself. If you wanted your life to be different you would have created it differently through your choices. Of course, we do realize that "chance events" have considerable influence - but it is the victim or slave mentality who blames external factors and feigns helplessness.
6. I practice association by consent
Force or coercion by human against human is a remnant of the practice of slavery. I believe in voluntary association. I do not force or coerce others. I organize my life so as to reduce coercion from others against me to a minimum.
7. I want others to enjoy the same freedom
Other Free Sovereign Individuals enrich my life. Social contact with them tends to be rewarding, business mutually profitable. In general, life is more fun and rewarding among a circle of Free Sovereign Individuals. Benefits result from my successful attempts to assist others to increase their freedom.
Parallel: A rational person seeks associations with other rational individuals, and profits from their existence through voluntary exchange in which all parties gain value.
Seize Your Freedom
(This section is based on a flier written by the mysterious author "J.E.T.")
So you want to be free? Then become free! All the freedom is yours which you are able to seize! How do you seize freedom? By avoiding, evading, escaping, discouraging, overpowering, destroying, or otherwise frustrating anyone who initiates force, fraud, or the threat of force against you.
Do you beg for freedom? - "But the oppressors ignore my pleas for freedom," you complain. Do you expect them to set you free? (Graffiti in a Las Vegas shopping mall: SLAVES NEED MASTERS.) As you yourself point out, your oppressors have the morals which would shame a beast of the forests. As long as you obey their rules, no matter how onerous, and pay their taxes, no matter how burdensome - why should they set you free? - why should they relinquish the easy life of a parasite?
"And the oppressors dupe my neighbors who are confused, unaware, and apathetic," you protest. Do you expect them not to deceive? - not to tame their flocks? The herdsman can milk only tame cows; the shearer can shear only submissive sheep; the tyrant can drive only obedient slaves...
"We must overturn the oppressors," some of you proclaim, "and rule wisely and justly in their place." Then go do it - if you can! But don't be surprised when the oppressors stampede their bewildered subjects against you.
"We must educate - teach increasing numbers our values and ideas," others shout, "And some day truth will prevail and evil will be banished from the earth." But as even you admit in your more reflective moments, this will take time - much time. So how shall you live the only life you will ever have? And how many followers can you attract and hold if you offer only visions of a paradise for their great grandchildren?
"I do want freedom," you cry, "But there is no way to get it now - no chance to elect, no means to revolt, and no place to go." I reply: If you want freedom, seize it.
"But my oppressors are organized into a powerful government, an omnipotent state - their laws shackle me," you object, "And they have thousands of agents and millions of police." I reply: However, each of their minions has only the same two eyes, the same two hands, and usually not as much brains as you or I. They are individuals. They cannot be everywhere. They cannot see everything. They cannot understand everything. They cannot do everything. You do not have to obey them.
"But they collect a tax on my earnings before I even see it," you protest. Only if you are so craven as to hand it over. Discover ways to avoid their extortions: Get your earnings under your own control; trade with those who practise freedom; or be a Gypsy who sells - and flees!
"But they will confiscate my property," you quaver. Only if you are so foolish as to lead them to it. Convert your wealth into forms you can conceal. Put it where they can't get at it. And rent your shops and homes - or mortgage them to the hilt.
"But they will throw me in jail," you object. Only if you are so careless as to stumble over them - they who have trouble apprehending morons and psychopaths. Make yourself difficult to find.
"But that is too much trouble," you complain, "I would rather follow their rules and pay their taxes - lick their boots and hone their axes - do everything they demand - and maybe, oh maybe, they will leave me alone just a little." Then tag along with the sheep to slaughter, you who expect freedom on a silver platter. For how long can you appease the tyrant who will demand more and more, until he owns you completely?
And what do we know of this libertarian utopia that some of you dream of? In every land of which we hear, there are some who covet the lives and creations of others - predators who rob and enslave the weak, the foolish, and the cowardly. And when have they failed to recruit millions to vote for them, finance them, and work for them as humble agents and police?
Some predators prowl alone or in small gangs, slinking about as criminals. So the Free Sovereign Individuals go about like tigers - armed and ready for self-defense.
Some predators join together, masquerading and strutting about as "rulers." So the Free Sovereign Individuals go about like foxes - inconspicuous and ready to hide.
In almost every land, those with the courage to assert their freedom seldom need to fight or hide - for the predators live off the easy prey.
Now, at last, I have the key -
The elixir of liberty -
For the first time in history -
And once sufficient numbers see...
Well, maybe... but in the meantime, all the freedom is yours which you are able to seize.
Disclaimer - Copyright - Contact
Online: buildfreedom.org - terrorcrat.com - mind-trek.com