One of the things it is very difficult for the unfree, the vast majority of humanity, to believe is that there are literally millions of people in this world who are living their lives as free individuals.

One reason this is generally unknown is because the truly free are largely invisible, but there are signs of their existence everywhere. One of those signs is what is call the, "shadow economy."

Misunderstanding Governments

H.L. Mencken described the nature of human gullibility about government thus:

"It seems to be difficult if not impossible for human beings to avoid thinking of government as a mystical entity... A government at bottom is nothing more than a group of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men.... Yet these nonentities, by the intellectual laziness of men in general, have come to a degree of puissance in the world that is unchallenged by that of any other group. ...they are assumed to have a kind of wisdom that is superior to ordinary wisdom...."

In spite of the fact governments spend inordinate amounts of money and resources attempting to know everything possible about everybody and intentionally bolster the impression that it, like Santa Claus and God, is privy to everyone's private life and business, governments actually know very little about most individuals, and the little they do know is what individual's naively reveal themselves.

Except for a very small number of very special cases, the government does not know where most people are or what they are doing, or when something is done, who has done it.

The government does not know where you are, or what you are doing, unless you have done something to call the government's attention to yourself. Except for those cases when you make the government aware of yourself, the government does not even know you exist.

Even when the government intentionally looks for individuals, they often cannot find them:

—Here are picture of 340 bank robbers the FBI can't find.

—According to the National Crime Information Center there are over 87,000 missing people in the United States government authorities cannot find.

—"4,432,880 people globally went missing, never to return, in the past 20 years."

"Globally, 607 people go missing every single day, without a trace. Over a year, this totals 221,644 missing individuals."

The article says, "In the broadest terms, there are two types of missing persons: those missing voluntarily and those missing involuntarily." It goes on to describe those voluntarily missing as being motivated by, "mental health issue, problems with relationships, and financial problems. The most important reason people voluntarily, "disappear," and what their, "disappearance," really means is not mentioned.

They Are Not Missing

What does it mean to say someone is missing? In most cases, it means the government doesn't know where they are. It does not mean they are missing from the world, or that no one knows where they are. Many individuals, especially free individuals, choose to live their lives as privately as possible. It is not easy to do, and like any other worthwhile effort, requires some effort and inconvenience, but the reward is a life unbothered by government interference. I'll call such individuals the, "missing free."

The, "missing free," are also part of another aspect of reality governments do not like to recognize. It is called the, "shadow economy," also referred to derogatively as the, "black market," or, "underground economy."

The Shadow Economy

Like missing persons, the so-called, "shadow economy," only means those aspects of the world's production of goods and services that no government controls or has knowledge of. In reality, there is only economy, the total value of all products and services produced in the world, part of which is under the thumb of governments, enabling governments to confiscate (tax) some portion of that produced value. Those parts of the world's economy that are able to escape the confiscatory forces of government are called the shadow economy.

The article, What is The Underground Economy And How It Affects The Real Economy Of A Country says: "It's estimated that the global average of the black market runs at around 20 percent of the overall economy," and points out, "this is a whopping $2 trillion ..., leading to lost revenues of almost $500 billion every year for the governments involved."

The size of the so-called shadow economy, that is, that part of the economy the government doesn't control, varies with each country. For most European countries, Australia, and the United States the average shadow economy is about 18 to 19 percent of the total economy. For Latin American and sub-Saharan African countries, the averages is higher than 40 percent.

The Shadow Economy

The size of the so-called shadow economy, that is, that part of the economy the government doesn't control, varies with each country. For most European countries, Australia, and the United States the average shadow economy is about 18 to 19 percent of the total economy. For Latin American and sub-Saharan African countries, the averages is higher than 40 percent.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) report, Shadow Economies Around the World: What Did We Learn Over the Last 20 Years? provides a wealth of information about the worlds shadow economies.

There is a direct correlation between the degree of government control of the economy and the size of the shadow economy in any country. The more government controls the economy (the less fiscal freedom there is) the larger the shadow economy is. The table at the end of that report "Size and development of the shadow economy of 158 countries over the period 1991 to 2015," provides ample evidence of that fact.

An, "Underground," World

The governments of the world would like everyone to believe the only legitimate world is the world recognized and controlled by government, but governments do not control the entire world and there are literally millions of people, businesses, and even societies which are mostly invisible to governments and to the all that is part of those political systems, including most educational institutions and most media which all take the government or, "popular," view.

In the article, The Privileged, I pointed out that many of the 46.8 million millionaires in the world are free individuals. They are mostly unknown as part of the "missing free." There is, in fact, a whole world of individuals that governments neither recognize or control and their lives and work constitute a world invisible to the popular world.

I've called it an, "underground," world, but it is not either clandestine or, "secret," in any esoteric sense. There is no, "underground," movement or ideology, because the citizens of the underground world are not, "members," of anything. Their only common ground is their individual independence, their individual integrity, and their individual productivity. Like Christians' claim, "they are in the world, but not of the world," at least not of the political world that is mistaken for the real world.

What It Means To You

It means one must recognize no government is some supernatural power that knows everything and has endless resources. Even if the government could magically store data covering every detail of everyone in computers some actual person would have to be able to access and understand that data before it could be used for anything. Governments are only human beings with no more ability than any others. It is not possible for government to know everything about everyone (or even very much about very many).

Do not let government obfuscation of the facts and repudiation of what it cannot control deceive you. To government, all individual freedom is dangerous and evil, because it cannot control the free and expropriate their wealth. The actual production and trade of goods and services it cannot control it calls a, "black market." Any wealth that is produced that it cannot control is considered, "dirty money," but any method of keeping government from getting its grubby paws on one's money is called, "money laundering." Those who choose not to be part of government's surveillance society and to live their lives privately are called missing persons (or fugitives from justice). Any business that attempts to provide goods where government oppressive laws forbids its citizens from having them is called, "smuggling." In the real world there is no such thing as a, "black market," "dirty money," "fugitives," or "smuggling." They are all the inventions of governments.

Do not believe you are obligated to voluntarily provide any government with any information about yourself, your wealth or income, what you are doing, where you are, or where you are going. Most of us lean these things too late in life and have already allowed the government to have too much information about us, but it is never too late to begin creating our own privacy.

How To Be Invisible

If you do an online search you will find many sites called things like: How To 'Vanish Without A Trace', How To Disappear And Never Be Found Again, How to Disappear Completely aka "Off the Grid", How To Disappear With A New Identity, and How to Move Away and Never Be Found Again.

While some of those sites have some ideas that might be useful to a free individual achievement of a private life, most of those solutions are much more radical than anything a free individual living freely in this world requires. A free individual is not hiding from the world, the free individual simply lives his life as he chooses meaning the rest of the world is mostly uninterested in his private life.

Upcoming articles in both the Daily Freedom section and Freedom Strategies will provide useful articles for achieving one's own invisibility.