The Price of Your Freedom
[Article Recovered from Hacked Autonomist]
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," Thomas Jefferson said.
Winston Churchill spoke of the value and cost of freedom in these terms: "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Winston Churchill was speaking of the freedom of a nation from the tyranny of another. The British people at that time enjoyed a level of freedom that in today's Britain cannot be imagined. That Britain was worth fighting for. Today's Britain is as oppressive as the country they fought to keep themselves free from.
Jefferson was not referring to the freedom of a nation, but of a nation's citizens. The tyranny that threatens them and about which they must be eternally vigilant is the tyranny of their own government. Since the loss of individual liberty in this country is very great, it is obvious the people have not been very vigilant.
Churchill was right about the value of freedom, death is better than life as a slave. The greatest threat to an individual's freedom, however, is never other nations; it is always one's own government. Jefferson understood that, but was mistaken in thinking individual liberty could be gained or preserved simply by keeping one's eye on the government. They are both right about one thing, however, freedom is not free.
What Will It Cost?
Whatever the cost, the price of freedom is never too high for those for whom freedom and life are synonymous. If you choose to be free, to live as an independent individual, it will be the most costly, difficult, and risky thing you ever do. The most valuable thing in life, the most precious of all possessions, cannot be achieved or acquired cheaply or easily. If you want something cheap, easy, and safe, settle it in your mind, individual liberty is the one thing you will never have; but if it is ease, security, and safety you seek, it is not freedom you want anyway.
At a minimum, your freedom will cost you time, effort, planning, and continual attention to all aspects of this world that directly affect you and your life.
What You Need To Know
Most people are woefully ignorant of what is going on in the world, even in their own country and communities. For example, most people are unaware of what their children are being taught in government schools; that their children are told not to tell their parents what they are being taught, and that their children are being used to spy on their parents by pediatricians as well as schools.
Obtaining freedom is not like an inoculation, it is not something you achieve and forget, because the moment you take your freedom for granted you'll begin to lose it. It does not have to be a continual struggle; you can establish a level of stability and routine, depending on what living your life as you choose means to you; but you will have to be eternally vigilante.
You don't need to know everything that is going on in the world, but you do need to know about anything that can directly threaten your freedom. It means being aware of any new laws that may limit your movement, affect you finances, or compromise your privacy in any country you may be in or do business with. To some extent you have to be concerned with what is happening in international markets and monetary policy. One thing you must always be aware of are the perpetual wars that governments engage in?because they are always unpredictable and always destructive.
Places that are perfectly secure today can suddenly become volatile and dangerous tomorrow. Institutions that are totally trustworthy can quite quickly become a threat to both your privacy and your wealth. For example, not so long ago, Swiss Banks were among the most secure places to make your wealth safe from the biggest crooks in the world?governments. Since the late 1980's, that is no longer so, but many WEB sites and agencies are still recommending Swiss Banks for asset protection. Bank Secrecy Waiver Agreements are making traditional offshore and other financial safe-havens anything but safe. There are more details in: "Peeking into Those Swiss Vaults."
Freedom is Very Risky
If you are to live a truly free and independent life, it will be risky, primarily because you will have to be responsible for everything in your life. That fact is, everyone is, even those who think they can pass off that responsibility to the government or some authority.
Everything worthwhile entails risk, but risk can always be dealt with and planned for and the worst limited. The risk may be high, but it is always reasonable risk. One never risks more than the prize is worth or more than one can afford to lose.
Living free means that for you, all the things others look to the government to do for them, you have to do, or at least provide, for yourself. It means everything from providing yourself defence (which you mostly have to do anyway, even with a government) to providing for your retirement years, if you really want to ever stop being a productive human being.
Future articles will deal with many of these things and provide resources that will be useful in providing yourself with those things you want to provide yourself.
Your Personal Individual Liberty
There is only one meaning of liberty and it means being free to live any way you choose. Everybody is different, however, and what every individual wants to do in life is different. What any individual must do to find freedom will depend on what it is they want to do. For some, it will be necessary, perhaps, to become a, "permanent traveler," or an expat. For others, it may mean changing what they do to earn an income or those they associate with. For some, the method of finding the freedom they want may only require a number of small measures that make it possible for them to live the way they choose.
Though all governments are oppressive to some degree, freedom does not require you to avoid all governments. For some, that might be necessary, but not for most.
There may be a great many restricting laws, even laws an individual
understands are wrong; but those laws may not restrict your freedom if they only prohibit what you are not interested in doing anyway and only require you to do what you would do anyway. A small example. If you always wear a seat belt, living in a state that has seat belt laws will be no restriction on your freedom, as it would be on mine, because I despise seat belts. However, I know people who always wear their seat belts, and would whether there were seat belt laws or not?even though they regard those laws as oppressive, their own personal freedom is not restricted.
Before you can establish your own personal freedom, you must first know what it is you really want to do and how you want to live your life. When you have established that (and you can always change your mind) you then must determine what is preventing you from living the way you choose and what changes you must make to be able to live that way. Remember freedom is freedom to do, not freedom to have. If you think you cannot be free if there is a government that extorts income tax from it's citizens, you may never be free. If you only want to keep what you earn, there are certainly ways to accomplish that without eliminating governments that tax other people.
First find out what you want to do, then find a way to do it. When you can do whatever you really want and choose to do, you are free, wherever you live, or however unfree those around you are.