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Guest Post: What Does Liberty Really Mean?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by David Galland of Casey Research,

For some time now – years actually – I have pondered the nature of liberty. Or more specifically, what liberty actually means to me. And to be extra clear, I am not talking about the meaning in abstract or philosophical terms, but tangibly – in much the same way I might answer if asked what my wife means to me.

The trigger for this entirely personal discourse comes from reading various articles and viewing various YouTube videos and speeches from self-styled champions of liberty (COL). There is even an entire conference, Mark Skousen's FreedomFest, dedicated to the topic.

Invariably, these well-meaning COL rail against "The Man" (something I do myself), accentuating their public angst by sharing stories of being molested by the TSA or otherwise inconvenienced by minions of the state. It is my contention that most of these individuals, and certainly the majority of "freedom-loving" Americans, don't actually understand the meaning of liberty, but rather give the matter little more than lip service.

And again, I don't mean liberty in an abstract way – like, say, "world peace" – but tangibly.

Now, before going on, tripping emotional wires as I do, I feel the need to quickly establish my bona fides on the topic. I start with the simple fact that with age, and 58 years old counts, comes perspective. In addition, unlike most of today's COL, I have actually been jailed for rioting against authority – at the naïve age of 14, as the result of actively participating in the toe-to-toe anti-war confrontations during the Oakland Induction Center Riots of the late 1960s.

In addition, as over-the-top as it now sounds, along with my now-departed friend and colleague of many years, Jim Blanchard, I spent many months assisting the RENAMO-led freedom fighters raise awareness in their fight against Mozambique's vicious dictatorship. The adventure ultimately ended up with us in a very tight spot under house arrest in neighboring Malawi, followed by a high-speed car chase with the Malawian secret police in hot pursuit.

I have been directly involved with prominent members of the freedom movement in the US as part and parcel of my business career since a very young age, including running the 1980 Libertarian Presidential Nominating Convention in Los Angeles at the request of my friend Ed Crane, the founder of the Cato Institute. Furthermore, I have been friends, business associates, or acquaintances with too many well-known COL to recount here, starting with my business partner of many years Doug Casey, but also Harry Browne, Milton Friedman, and even Ayn Rand (I arranged for and hosted her at her last public appearance before she died).

And finally, I would mention my involvement in helping to create La Estancia de Cafayate in a remote wine-growing region of Argentina, without question the largest and most successful community of largely libertarian-minded individuals on the planet.

All of which is to say that I'm not arriving to this discussion fresh off the back of a turnip truck.

So, what does liberty mean to me?

In the simplest and purest terms, it means being free to come and go as I please.

Of course it would be my strong preference to come and go without the charade and indignity of transportation security instituted by most nations these days (ironically, the "Land of the Free" being the worst of the lot). But, unlike some prominent COL, I don't make the mistake of conflating transiting airports with protesting against the inanity of transport security.

That's because if I wanted to mount a protest against TSA, I would do it in an organized fashion. Say, by arranging for a large and loud demonstration at whatever passes for TSA's headquarters, making sure that the media was there to provide coverage. I certainly wouldn't do it ad hoc without media present, on a day when I actually needed to travel from point A to point B.

After all, like trees falling in remote woods, if a protest happens and there's no media to record it, was there a protest?

The polar opposite to being free to come and go as one pleases, the essential tenet to my personal definition of liberty, is to be trapped in a jail cell. Been there, done that – and very much have no interest in doing it again.

Thus, I avoid engaging in activities where one of the possible outcomes is being arrested and jailed. For example, making angry displays when a TSA minion asks me to take off my shoes.

Now, I realize that the degradation of principles and justice in countries such as the US means that pretty much everyone breaks a law or three every day, but miscarriages of justice resulting in an innocent person being sentenced to jail (or gunned down) are statistically very rare. Yes, they happen – but so does getting struck by lightning. Thus, when I talk about acting in a fashion unlikely to lead to being locked up in a cage, I'm talking about playing simple odds.

And no, I don't need to be a cowering sheep to keep the odds of my being jailed near zero. Rather, I just need to take note of the laws of whatever land my feet are currently planted on and avoid tripping over the big stuff.

In the US, for example, walking around with a bag of pot in your pocket could lead to jail time. In Uruguay or Amsterdam or dozens of other countries, it's legal. So, when in the US – again, ironically still called "the Land of the Free" – I can manage without the pot. (Actually, I've done without pot for many decades; I'm just using this as an illustration.)

Failing to pay the legally proscribed amount of taxes is another easy way to end up in jail. As a US citizen, there's no denying I'm trapped in a tax regime I find abhorrent and counterproductive to the building of capital. That's a big disadvantage compared to many countries.

But am I willing to trade my liberty for the money I might be able to hide from the IRS? Hardly. That would be the equivalent of choosing the latter when confronted by a gun-wielding thug demanding my money or my life.

Does this mean I'm powerless against the institutionalized theft of taxation? Not at all.

It just means I have to work harder to uncover legal ways to minimize the tax bite, starting by hiring good counsel. And let's not forget, for the citizens of most countries, minimizing the tax burden is as simple as getting on a plane, as – unlike the Land of the Free – they don't tax non-resident citizens on worldwide income.

As for US citizens, if the issue is important enough to you, there are specific steps you can take to legally avoid the taxes altogether, by replacing the passport you carry in your pocket. It's not particularly quick or easy, but if paying less (no?) taxes is that important to you, then there are clear paths to accomplishing just that objective without risking the loss of your liberty.

I'm not making these comments cavalierly, but rather to point out hard facts about the world we live in.

So, freedom to come and go is the core principle of my personal liberty. What else?

Well, part of that freedom has to do with personal finances. Namely, you can have all the liberty in the world, but if you don't have the money necessary to actually travel, you probably aren't going to get very far… at least not in a fashion you might enjoy.

While there are countries such as North Korea where the government makes accumulating any wealth almost impossible (unless you are part of the dictator's inner circle), in most of the world, this aspect of life – call it "financial freedom" – has far more to do with a person's willingness to work hard than anything else.

That said, I readily acknowledge that governments everywhere are a constant weight on the entrepreneur's back. Yet, simply looking at the facts as they are, I personally know dozens of people, here in the US – and in places like Argentina, where the government makes doing business an order of magnitude more difficult – who, through their own creativity and exertions, are fabulously successful.

As something of a tangent, while generalizations are rarely useful, in my direct experience many individuals who paint themselves as libertarians have trouble coming up with the proverbial two nickels to rub together. Doug Casey and I have discussed this on more than one occasion, and I don't think either of us has a good answer. If pressed to it, I would hypothesize that it has to do with a latent inability to work as part of a team, something libertarians tend not to be very good at but which is often required to launch a successful career. In support of that hypothesis, look no further than the reality that the Libertarian party has never been able to mount an effective national political campaign.

Back to the point, despite the government's meddling, financial freedom is imminently attainable for individuals who focus on their work and who put in steady efforts at increasing their personal knowledge (including learning how to handle your money, once you have some). Of course, succeeding may not be easy... it rarely is, though it can be.

While I'm sure there are additional nuances to my personal definition of liberty that I could mention, the big point is that as long as I am free to come and go as I please and have the capability to build the wealth I need to do so, then I have pretty much all the liberty I need to enjoy my limited lifetime on this planet. After all, with those two conditions in place, if one place becomes too unfree for my taste, I can move on.

"Wait a second!" some of you may find yourselves thinking indignantly.

What about the wholesale trampling of the US Constitution in recent decades? What about the militarization of the domestic police force here in the US? What about the loss of freedom in the Land of the Free?

I might respond with a sad shake of the head and by mouthing words such as "tragic," or "damn shame," or even "it's outrageous, criminal even." And there's no question it's all of those things and more. The idea of America in its youth was amazing, especially considering the era in which it was birthed. But that idea has been so diluted at this point to be almost meaningless… here in the United States.

And therein lies the importance of being able to travel freely. You see, unlike many, I refuse to define myself by the artificial borders that were determined solely by an accident of birth. Why should I?

Do I relate to the idea of America? Of course; what thinking person wouldn't? But during these philosophical Dark Ages for freedom in the United States, what practical purpose does clinging onto that idea serve?

To use an overused comparison, what practical purpose would it have served for the head of a Jewish family during Hitler's Germany to stand on a street corner handing out anti-Nazi pamphlets? The obvious answer is "none." It would have just resulted in the ultimate loss of liberty – his death and likely that of everyone he loved.

Personally, I look at the Americans and I see a people who have been very effectively brainwashed, or who simply have given in to the entirely human tendency to shuffle unquestioningly onto the path of least resistance and let themselves go.

I see a people who, on a wholesale basis, have consciously or unconsciously decided to trade the idea of America for the false security of a totalitarian state.

While there are voices in the woods, such as Ron Paul, that warn of the consequences, I'm trying to focus today on hard realities. And the hard reality is that if you were to assemble all 300 million US citizens in an auditorium to listen to well-presented arguments for less vs. more government and then ask for a show of hands, the vast majority would raise their hands in favor of the current system that has the state deeply involved in pretty much every aspect of the economy and society at large.

Skeptical? Then ask yourself what percentage of the audience would raise their hands in favor if asked the following:

"How many of you want Social Security to remain intact?"

"How many think the government should subsidize health care?"

"How many think the rich should pay more taxes?"

Or ask your questions in the negative, and watch how few hands stick in the air.

"How many of you think the Food and Drug Administration should be abolished?"

"How many of you think recreational drugs, including cocaine and heroin, should be legalized?"

"How many of you think the Department of Education should be shuttered?"

"How many of you think that the tax credit for mortgages should be canceled?"

At the end of the exercise, the level of support for the very same tangled body of state-controlled handouts, regulations and central economic planning now choking the last gasps of life out of the body politic would be obvious and overwhelming.

The practical point I am trying to make here is that the COL are fighting against a very entrenched and increasingly dangerous public mindset. Some like to hearken back to the days of the revolution when prominent men in the community risked it all to overthrow the British. I would contend that the situation today is totally different. Then it was a foreign enemy daily adding salt to the open wound of what was essentially an occupation by marching troops around and passing highly unpopular and often arbitrarily punitive laws. Today the enemy (of true freedom) is within. In fact, the nation is overrun by them… they dominate in most every community, in most businesses and even in most families.

And your fellow citizens don't want what the COL are selling. Sure, there are a fair number – for instance, members of the Tea Party – who might be sympathetic on a largely abstract level, but drill down into the specifics by asking questions such as those above and you'll quickly find just how far off the grid you are.

So what's the point?

  1. Face the facts – free no more. Contrary to popular delusions, the United States is no longer the Land of the Free – either in terms of its judicial system or its market structure.

    Rather, it is the land of the paranoid, the state-dependent, supporters of Guantanamo and permawar… with the highest incarceration rates in the world, militarized police and… and… and…

    That said, it's also the land of the convenient shopping, relatively inexpensive food and housing and trains that run on time. Provided you pay attention not to trip over the big legal no-nos, you can enjoy a very high standard of living (though, in fairness, that's true of most of the world).

    If, on the other hand, you don't think you can stay out of trouble here or in any country whose government is becoming a danger to residents, then go somewhere else. Or, to quote my friend and partner Doug Casey, "Stop thinking like a serf."

  2. Define what it is you want from your life. And I am speaking about this life, not some promised afterlife. Do you really want to put yourself on the front line of a battle that the vast majority of the populace wouldn't support you in?

    If the answer is "yes," that you are willing to lose your liberty – the ability to travel freely – in support of the cause, then I can only wish you well. I hope at the end of your life, which in the US could come quicker than you'd like, you'll have found satisfaction and purpose in the struggle. Just be sure you are clear on your objectives and are willing to accept the consequences.

Of course, I'll continue to support the champions of liberty here in the US, even though I think they are tilting against windmills for the most part. And I will almost certainly find occasion to speak against the totalitarian tide myself, albeit in terms sufficiently tame to avoid leading to a loss of my liberty.

Far more important, as it relates to my personal liberty, I'll continue the process of diversifying my life between political jurisdictions so that if and when things in my native country become unbearably oppressive – and therefore an active risk to my ability to freely go about my business – I can bid it goodbye.

Call me a coward, but in my view it's far better to switch than to fight, especially when the vast majority of my fellow citizens wouldn't know the true meaning of freedom if you served it to them on a silver plate.

 

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Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:35 | 2705437 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Liberty means you have the liberty to lick the boots of the banksters or go to prison or die.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:36 | 2705449 Michael
Michael's picture

I was thinking about this subject the other day. Truly know what liberty means in your mind, and it will set you completely free.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:44 | 2705478 clymer
clymer's picture

MDB in 3...2....1....

(and make it a good one MDB)

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:00 | 2705518 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

between happiness and freedom which would you choose?

 

you can always condition people into believing delusions of faux happiness (consumer culture paid with shitty jobs) by glorifying their shitty situation as if it is any good.....example: rappers and ghetto culture, or recently redneck reality shows

 

freedom isn't free. sometimes it may even cost your happiness. but truth shall set you free!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:32 | 2705593 forexskin
forexskin's picture

sure he paints a well covered canvas, but its far from a complete picture. we all have the option to shrug (since he mentioned ayn rand), or bitch about things, or prep, or scream, but ultimately, this whole thing is on an arc leading to some outcome, probably unexpected.

i like having foresight as much as anybody, and spend probably too much time reading stuff like this, looking for patterns in the tea leaves. but i grew up with asimov, and while it may appear that the state is an all powerful monolith, there are always inflection points where a simple idea can change things.

sure we're going broke, and the economic system will work until it doesn't (and will likely fail slowly until it fails fast), but i'd prefer to see the rotten tooth out sooner rather than later - i'd rather my kids not have to fight the brave new world / 1984 battle.

so i'll go on reading, trying to keep it all in perspective, live an honorable life, and try to keep my wits regardless of how insane this gets. someday this country might wake up, but i'm convinced it won't happen until many are hungry and get to look into the abyss and see what they're really made of. hope i'm not found lacking when (not if) the time comes.

i see i'm mostly in fellow company here.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 05:44 | 2706087 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/are-the-government-and-the-big-banks-quietly-preparing-for-an-imminent-financial-collapse

 

Richard Duncan, formerly of the World Bank and chief economist at Blackhorse Asset Mgmt., says America's $16 trillion federal debt has escalated into a "death spiral," as he told CNBC.

And it could result in a depression so severe that he doesn't "think our civilization could survive it."

 

Today MEP (Member European Parliament) Nigel Farage spoke with King World News about what he described as the possibility of, “a really dramatic banking collapse.” Farage also warned that central planners want to enslave and imprison people inside of a ‘New Order,’ and he described the situation as “horrifying.”

 

Paul B. Farrell on Marketwatch.com....

Fasten your seat belts, soon we’ll all be shocked out of denial. Some unpredictable black swan. A global wake-up call will trigger the Pentagon’s prediction in Fortune a decade ago at the launch of the Iraq War: “By 2020 ... an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies is emerging ... warfare defining human life.”

 

Recently, a "team of scientists, economists, and geopolitical analysts" examined the current state of the global economic system and the conclusions they reached were absolutely staggering....

One member of this team, Chris Martenson, a pathologist and former VP of a Fortune 300 company, explains their findings:

"We found an identical pattern in our debt, total credit market, and money supply that guarantees they're going to fail. This pattern is nearly the same as in any pyramid scheme, one that escalates exponentially fast before it collapses. Governments around the globe are chiefly responsible.

"And what's really disturbing about these findings is that the pattern isn't limited to our economy. We found the same catastrophic pattern in our energy, food, and water systems as well."

According to Martenson: "These systems could all implode at the same time. Food, water, energy, money. Everything."

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:00 | 2705788 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

"but truth shall set you free!" says AldousHuxley

The bitter truth about the coming future is; If you are given the opportunity to play the role of a Cheerful Conformer, you should take it and try and perform the role, It seems everyone will not have equal access to those parts, some can only choose between more overtly victim roles, they having some tendency placing them on the casting director's "Enemies" list.

I think the future is very close, in all the great public concern about people's money I have not heard one word of concern for the children and the elderly, I feel a Society which makes no effort to care for it's most vunerable is displaying a symptom of an oft fatal societal disease.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:15 | 2705812 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

"between happiness and freedom which would you choose?"

There is no Freedom without happiness, what freedom is it to inhabit an unhappy body? Yet we must always inhabit our bodies nomatter what conditions the body lives under, so be Happy and be Free in the only World which really matters, that  is the one between your ears! If you are free in there that is all you can hope for!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:43 | 2705844 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

 

 

I'm feeling sort of philosophical tonite...............

"There are those that have always hungered under oppression who will fight for any untasted freedom, whereas there are those that have never hungered under freedom who will not fight for it until it is no longer tasted at all."   -  The Big Ching-aso

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 03:51 | 2706038 RECISION
RECISION's picture

 

 

"Personally, I see a people who have been very effectively brainwashed, I see a people who, consciously or unconsciously, have decided to accept the false security of a totalitarian state."

Adolf Galland

 

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:06 | 2705882 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Agent Smith: Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 04:04 | 2706047 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

freedom isn't free. sometimes it may even cost your happiness. but truth shall set you free!

Alex, I'll take truth and freedom, door number 3, at any cost.

Anything after that is Bull Shit, and I'm not interested.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:50 | 2705490 Paul Atreides
Paul Atreides's picture

To know the definition of liberty in your mind does not set you free, thats like saying knowing the definition of washing up in your mind cleans your dishes.

You need to fight and stand up for every inch of liberty and freedom, especally right now. Get active, join protests, practice civil disobedience and most of all boycott the system (taxes, fines, cable TV, wal mart, the stock market).

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:12 | 2705543 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

most people can't handle the truth

most people aren't even ready to be unplugged from the consumerism matrix

most people will actually opt for forced fake smiles rather than freedom of expression.

most people don't want liberty or freedom, because they don't want the responsibility.

 

founding fathers had high expectations with liberty. but with technological advances, people have become irresponsible thus deserving less and less of liberty. give stupid people right to vote and they vote for whomever gave them $10 gift certificate at the grocery market (true story in Mexico).

 

If you want to see TRUE liberty, go see people live in jungles of Amazon. They don't give a shit about  status symbols, unemployment, laws, fulfillment, etc.

 

Just eat, sleep, fuck, shit then die when done with their part of genetic evolution.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 06:31 | 2706104 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 "most people can't handle the truth" and most people don't want the truth. begin rant:

one example: the founding fathers. first, we are talking about an elite. benevolent, mayby/yes, but an elite nevertheless. second, this elite had a completely different mindset and education from the modern American. This is evident in many things, particularly in the constitution. They were people who's imagination and wisdom was grounded in the classical history of democracy. They were people that debated extensively about issues like constitutional frameworks, division of powers, constitutional balances of power and so on.

My point/opinion is that if you would take them with a time machine and bring them here, the very first thing they would notice is that the spending and legislative power of the US States has shifted to the Federal "Center". Then, they would immediately notice that the US Senate is elected. And this was exactly what they did not want. Because the US Senate was designed, in their view, to be the State's watchdog over the Federal Government. Their framework, that worked - until 1913 the 17th was repealed - was of having the State's elected legislatures appointing two (if necessary recallable) Senators to go to Washington and brake excesses. To balance. Because it was in their entrenched political interest as a local power group. A cynical view, yes, like a whole group of elected thieves appointing two thieves to oversee and catch other thieves's excesses. Call it a sane opinion on how humans function.

But no, nowadays Americans believe that constitutional frameworks matter only in the realm of personal rights. "What's in for me?"

And that directly elected is always better than appointed. (Duh, of course, eh?)

The Founding Fathers would disagree vehemently. They believed in constitutional design being important for how government functions.

-----

I notice this here on ZH every time I try to correct certain ideas of how we europeans see and handle certain things in the EU, including the framework between the Commission (note the word! dammit!) and it's boss, the Council.

rant end

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 09:41 | 2706480 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

What pisses me off the most is that very few of us probably know what you're talking about.  

You're 100% correct.  Bravo.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:03 | 2706543 forexskin
forexskin's picture

maybe you'd be surprised, at least among the ZH readership.

i take issue with the characterization of this republic as a democracy (if it was that), which is of course two wolves and a sheep voting on the dinner menu. but the points were thoughtful, so i'll cut slack.

but ultimately, the structure of government is to keep the tyrrants away from the innocents; the point about power devolving in structure by intent is ultimately about respecting sacred individual liberty.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:16 | 2706957 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'Americanism' includes elitism.

The founding fathers perceived themselves as the finest of the finest, the elite of humanity, a new breed of aristocracy...

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:28 | 2707012 akak
akak's picture

Chinese Citizenism includes death worship.

The Chinese founding fathers of Chin Shi Huang Di and Mao perceived themselves as the finest of the finest, the elite of sub-humanity, a new breed of aristocracy ... and went on to prove it by killing millions of their OWN subjects in the pursuit of their vainglorious schemes to immortalize themselves at the expense of the average Chinese citizen (whose servile, obedient, bootlicking nature is eternal).

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:13 | 2705546 CH1
CH1's picture

Not to quibble, but being "free in your mind" includes removing the fear of acting, which plagues the world.

There is NO substitute for action.

Talk is cheap - action is precious.

If you ain't acting, you ain't helping.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:14 | 2705957 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Fear is how they keep you under their control.

 

But for those who have nothing to lose, have nothing to fear.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:57 | 2705781 Paul Atreides
Paul Atreides's picture

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 03:08 | 2706019 IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture

Excellent.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 03:10 | 2706020 RECISION
RECISION's picture

Fear is the little destroyer - it destroys you little by little.

(may also be a quote from Dune...)

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:14 | 2705811 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Forget going Galt. Work within the system to bankrupt tyranny.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 09:43 | 2706484 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

I always thought that was Greenspan's intention all along.  People talk about how he betrayed the principles he held when he was part of Ayn Rand's collective, but they talk about it like they never read Atlas Shrugged.... think about it.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:36 | 2705833 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

"Call me a coward, but in my view it's far better to switch than to fight,"

WTF is the article writer trying to say, anyway ?   If its a complete lost cause, why bother writing the article ?  He'd rather 'switch' ?  To what ?

I kept waiting to read a pitch to move to some resort they sponsor in South America or something.  Unfortunately, in the New World Order there is no place to hide.

A coward is under the illusion that he'll live forever.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:04 | 2705875 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...WTF is the article writer trying to say, anyway ?   If its a complete lost cause, why bother writing the article ?  He'd rather 'switch' ?  To what ?...

I shall assume from yur use of caps that yu are sincerely seeking an answer to the question yu pose...not just taking a veiled swipe at the author.

Slowly but surely, Merikans have lost the capacity to even judge the degree to which their liberties have disappeared, replaced by similucrum of same...hollowed out, ghost-like images and word memes of what, in their conditioned minds, represent dimly remembered freedoms that were part of a childhood now long departed.,.a childhood not even available now to those growing up in a land of faux food, mandated sickness-inducing vaccines, toxic water, chemtrailed air, a poisoned hollow-wood media world of a sad, desacralized society stripped of every value and pretence of morality...

Switch....means choosing conciously to leave the fallen lands of the west in search of some place to take a stand...to encounter others of similar mind, recover one's wit's and strength of purpose, remember that we were placed upon this earth to preserve and enjoy the paradise which was our legacy, and finally, resolve to defend that birthright for the sake of those who follow us, no matter how hopeless the odds of success. That's what liberty really means.

The walls are closing in. Soon nuff, there will be no more 'unauthorised' departures from the Euromerikan prison zone.

 

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:18 | 2705901 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

And where is this paradise of liberty ?

Will any place be ignored if the New World Order is established ?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:17 | 2705959 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

in your head.

your mind is free to imagine and dream of a better world.

 

but don't spew that shit outside otherwise you will get in to trouble. elites don't like freedom for you.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 05:56 | 2706094 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Aldous started out strong, then sputtered to a halt...fear of freedom syndrome?

Liberty...it's in yur imagination...that's something what gets beat outta slaves...Paradise? We were all born into it...but lost sight of it somewhere's along the way...seeking our way back may be fruitless, but it's the only road a freeman takes the trouble to look for.

I personally live on a small micro-nation of my own design...loosely associated with an Aegean nation which has the same issues as any other repository of human beans....but being outside of the Euromerikan prison zone, affords it's denizens the luxuries now denied to the inmates of the formerly free world...

on an adjoining island lie the ruins of chuch or monastery, probably Orthodox, it's former inhabitants long forgotten and unknown...only one furry rodent occupies that space now, scurrying amongst the stones and tall grass. It too, enjoys a freedom now lost to the folk of the fallen lands. Like myself, whatever he creates, there's no one to tell him -yu didn't build that!

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:17 | 2705902 monad
monad's picture

He's free to come and go, you're free to fight for what you belive. But he's not free to trouble you with securing his capability to play, run & hide, and you're not free to compel him into service or compliance.

You will attract alot more bears with honey than with shit.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:27 | 2705912 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

I don't believe in compelling anyone because the use or threat of use of aggression against another's person and property is morally wrong IMO.

If a rather small percentage of the population didn't believe that over 200 years ago, Americans wouldnt have had their experience (though brief) of Liberty at all.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:00 | 2705932 monad
monad's picture

I was talking to Muadib.

Your history, who taught it to you? The people who manipulate you in every other way? You should check it for accuracy and completeness; or start fresh. True history is valuable, most 'history' is bullshit. If you want to know what really happened, study the economic history of the United States. Names, dates, places, amounts, encyclopedic continuity with an accountant's fiduciary obligation to detail. Its quite a different story from what you think.

People who make bad choices pay for it. And they make as many other people pay for it as possible. You are free to get out of their way, and to give them a push if they are particularly heinous, and you have a clear shot.

Liberty is the freedom to choose. Compulsion is the use of deception, threat or force to deny a person their liberty. You can't protect a thing by taking it away. You can't have it both ways. 

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:03 | 2705948 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Who's talking compulsion ?  We're discussing a topic on ZH. All that's being tossed is words - which, just like the article, can be accepted or rejected.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:19 | 2706614 monad
monad's picture

“One more word about giving instruction as to what the world ought to be. Philosophy in any case always comes on the scene too late to give it... When philosophy paints its gloomy picture then a form of life has grown old. It cannot be rejuvenated by the gloomy picture, but only understood. Only when the dusk starts to fall does the owl of Minerva spread its wings and fly." - Hegel

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:36 | 2705922 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

do not use banks.  stop using cell phones.  stop buying anything from costco, safeway, walmart, apple, ebay, gap, all of them, stop working for them.  stop using credit.  trade or buy from your local grower, if you can't grow your own, buy or trade from your local tailor if you can't or won't learn to sew.  stop driving, stop buying insurance, fuel, stop borrowing---start lending to friends and neighbours.  support your local food bank, support ideas and people and business that encourage your neighbours to flourish and grow, stop supporting chains of all kinds.  stop allowing banks and governments to control your world, your friends, neighbours and you. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:10 | 2705672 AU5K
AU5K's picture

As the bullet went through his head, he finally realized... he loved Big Brother.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:48 | 2705486 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

"Banksters"?  They can be avoided.  You don't have to buy their products.

What about the GOVERNMENTS?  They have GUNS... 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:02 | 2705522 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

governments run on bonds....governments need money too....banks have all of our money.....they control civilian government who control military and police.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:48 | 2705765 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

beware today's government bonds.  the last time that coupons in the 2's, 3's and 4's were issued (30 year), they sold for such deep discounts before they matured the rich (who have always run things) got a(nother) special law passed that said they could be turned in at par value to pay estate taxes.  called them flower bonds:  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_flower_bonds_still_available

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:33 | 2705973 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

with expiration of lower taxes on dividend next year, rich most likely will shift safety assets into state bonds which get fed and state tax exemptions.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:02 | 2705523 CH1
CH1's picture

What about the GOVERNMENTS?  They have GUNS...

Shit, millions of immigrants avoid them every day.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:57 | 2705654 illyia
illyia's picture

Finally. A response with some hope in it.

(I know, I know...)

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:31 | 2705916 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Hmmm - - lets see. How did having all those guns work out in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Vietnam for that matter ?

There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.  Maybe that's Liberty this time ?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 09:45 | 2706490 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

BRILLIANT!!

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:27 | 2705913 monad
monad's picture

Steel isn't strong. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? The mind is stronger still, but will is strongest. The first thing you learn traversing dire straits is not to hurry.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:49 | 2705495 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

Liberty means after you lick the boots you politely ask them not to kick you in the ear

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:09 | 2705536 CH1
CH1's picture

Sayeth Thomas Jefferson:

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:28 | 2705705 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Such an amazing quote.  Thanks for the reminder of the constant genius of Jefferson.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:08 | 2705887 monad
monad's picture

Freedom is participation in power.” Cicero

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:11 | 2705893 monad
monad's picture

Thomas Jefferson

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies..."

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:35 | 2705500 philipat
philipat's picture

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship". 

-Alexander Tytler

PS. About 50% of Americans now pay no Federal Income taxes and about 35% receive some type of "Entitlement". See the above.

 

 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:48 | 2705767 FiatFobia
FiatFobia's picture

Actually our form of government here in the US is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.   There is a difference although I don't think the progression to totalitarianism is necessarily different.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:21 | 2705819 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Actually our form of government here in the US use to be a constitutional republic, but has devolved into democracy.

Fixed.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:12 | 2705895 monad
monad's picture


Actually our form of government here in the US use to be a constitutional republic, but has devolved into multinational kleptocracy.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:17 | 2705961 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Actually, we have an Oligarchy.  Mega-Business own the controls of government at every level.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:23 | 2705965 monad
monad's picture

The banksters own  Mega-Business. Kleptogenetic pecking order... the men who put stone penes in all the altars of - all - all - the religious establishments of the dominator class were pretty damn clever...

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:26 | 2706111 philipat
philipat's picture

Constitution?

The original idea of a Constitutional Republic by the founding Fathers was to prevent the Government form becoming either too weak, in terms of defence (Look where that got us) OR too strong in terms of controlling too much of our lives (Look where that got us)

The concept of a Constitutional Republic, and admirably so, was that the soverignty should remain with "We the People". How did that work out?

 

I rest my case.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:55 | 2705778 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

the only addition this well known quote needs is that voters' can be bought off with propoganda, itself purchased by the wealthy corporate interests-----who , with their money---buy the votes they need to buy themselves corporate welfare.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:51 | 2705640 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

In Muppet school we were taught these questions could result in loss of EBT, cheese and free basic cable.

I should report you all to Muppet Homeland Security. You'll get a visit from Big Sis and she will make you cry.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:30 | 2705712 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

Road to Serfdom Bitchez!!!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:34 | 2705439 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Liberty means never having to say 'Bernanke'...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:34 | 2705441 ACP
ACP's picture

Freedom is the ability to spend my EBT $$$ wherever I damn please!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:35 | 2705445 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

USA=Tyranny

I have been to Communist China a few times and those that have never left the USA will never know the freedom in China.

Enjoy the internet while it is still allowed........5,4,3,2,1...........I say tires and gasoline, Winnie Mandela style bitchz!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:40 | 2705462 old naughty
old naughty's picture

and I can't get Bloomberg and Rense there...tee hee.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:52 | 2705502 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

Just Khazar lies anyway. You ain't missing nothing.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:45 | 2705484 Jason T
Jason T's picture

can't believe you got 2 junks... I too was in China back in 2008.. the freedom Vs NYC is astounding.. you are far free'er in Shanghai than NYC.  Was a huge shock to me when I came back to NYC.. 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:03 | 2705525 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

I was there in 2007 and then last July. Going back over Christmas and New Years this year and I can't wait!! Great food and all the women are skinny and look like they are 17. Yummy!!!!!  Going to Chengdu this time. I might apply for permanant residency. (My wife is a Han)

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:19 | 2705963 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

My aunt went with Nixon, she has you all trumped.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 07:44 | 2706169 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

Does your Aunt own a Newspaper in Tennesee and did she go with her HUsband who was the Spokesman for the Pentagon? I talked with that lady.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:04 | 2705515 philipat
philipat's picture

Part of the problem is that average Americans don't travel overseas and have no basis for comparison, so they have to rely on the MSM to coninuously remind them of "American exceptionalism" and being "The land of the free", "USA, USA, USA" etc. For the 96% of the world's population which is not American, this is perceived, at best, as hubris, at worst as ignorant arrogance.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:12 | 2705542 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

Americans have been, continuously, lied to by the Khazar MSM. Their loss!!!!! I just keep my head down and tell people I am Canadian when I travel!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:07 | 2705531 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Yes, they have a large degree of personal, day-to-day freedom, but what they lack is social justice and the rule of law, due process, freedom of speech, a bill of rights, etc.  Just ask Bo Xi Lai's wife or Ai Wei Wei, and countless others who stray outside the limits of their petty personal freedoms.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:59 | 2705607 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

That bitch was guilty. They had a blood sample taken from her victim; taken at the scene from the victim at his hotel. The bitch confessed because she knew they had the goods on her and she is trying to avoid the death penalty. She is a murderer and she will get what is due to her by process of law. Innocent people don't confess. Ask Bernie. You are just a toady!

What about due process for all the old retirees, savers, home owners, who had a quadrillion dollars in equity and benefits stolen by people like Jon Corzine? Where is their due process? Who speaks for them? What good is a bill of rights when my equity is stolen by Wall Street common criminals? Those lies you speak of don't mean diddly-squat. The bankers roll on planning their next crimes while they buy islands with the money they stole from honest workers. Your full of shit with our pack of lies. Do you actually believe those words you wrote? If so you are a sorry sack of shit.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:55 | 2705777 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Well we have those things in writing, in the Constitution.  What we lack now is the courage and conviction to make them real again. 

But as bad as it is here now, if you think it is better in China, then, by all means, go for it.

Look I lost my life savings to the crooks on Wall Street, but I still believe we have a better chance at restoring liberty and rule of law here than in China.

I assume you are being sarcastic about Bo Xi Lai's wife, if not I would only say, have you seen the evidence personally?.  I don't know if she is guilty or not, but I am sure if the government wants her to be found guilty, then she will be.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:38 | 2705840 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

She freely confessed to three judges, in court, to poisoning the guy!!!!! She thought she had covered all the bases, cremating his body the day after he was found. She missed the blood sample that was taken by the paramedics responding to the call at the hotel where they found the dead English guy. What's not to believe? A paramedic would take a blood sample of a dead guy found in a hotel room? She thought she had covered her tracks but, the blood sample was conclusive. More than enough evidence to convict her so she confessed to save that bullet that they would put in her temple for murder!!!! Look it up dude! I've done my research. I suggest you do your own!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:02 | 2705663 illyia
illyia's picture

Ahh... I . do not . know . what . to . say... So I will just highlight:

but what they lack is social justice and the rule of law, due process, freedom of speech, a bill of rights

You have heard about the Goldman ruling? The pepperspray thingy? TSA? Ummm.... how about the Robo Signing....

whatever.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:23 | 2705766 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Well have those things in writing, in the Constitution.  What we lack now is the courage and conviction to make them real again. 

But as bad as it is here now, if you think it is better in China, then, by all means, go for it.

Pepperspray?  TSA?  Those are not serious breeches of our freedoms and social justice.  The national guard killed 4 unarmed students in 1970, and what about American citizens being kliled now in drone attacks?  What about the NDAA?  Now those are serious.  But these examples do not mean the system is bad; it just means the people running it are out of control.  The system is redeemble.  It is still within our power to fix it, if we choose to act rather than giving up.  And if you think it is better elsewhere, I suggest you check it out closely before giving up your citizenship.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:29 | 2705826 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The Constitution won't stop a bullet and it won't stop a tyrannical government.

When you understand that, then you understand why you can't have government.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:54 | 2705985 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

"When you understand that, then you understand why you can't have government."

There has never not been government.  It was the first human institution.  Government is a result of human nature.  So long as we are human, there will be government of one sort or another.  It cannot be otherwise.  It never has been, and it never will be otherwise.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:41 | 2707561 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"There has never not been government"

Really? How about this: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeer

"Xeer, pronounced [?e?r], is the polycentric legal system of Somalia. Under this system, elders serve as judges and help mediate cases using precedents.[1] It is an example of how customary law works within a stateless society and closely resembles the natural law principle.[2] Several scholars have noted that even though Xeer may be centuries old, it has the potential to serve as the legal system of a modern, well-functioning economy."

Government is man's ingenuity applied to the alpha-male social hierarchy. It is man's adaptation of an adaptation of the ANIMAL WORLD.

It should be relegated to the animal world: 400 million people killed by government in the 20th century.

You cannot simultaneously claim to be human and also support the existence of government.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:36 | 2705446 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I see a people who, on a wholesale basis, have consciously or unconsciously decided to trade the idea of America for the false security of a totalitarian state.

 

Thats nonsense right there. The moment you realize you are facing true evil and no other choice remains, the lowest human on the planet will stand his ground and fight to the death. The only question, when will enough wake up so the real fight can begin?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:45 | 2705482 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

You are way to optimistic.  There are plenty of humans on this planet who would rather die then stand up and fight, and lack the capacity to realize anything.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:19 | 2705559 CH1
CH1's picture

Pleas re-read, and notice the word "unconsciously."

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:09 | 2705805 AT
AT's picture

You mean just like the Jews did, right? Right? Oh.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:55 | 2705862 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

If you consider that morality is a behavioral adaptation of the survival instinct, you can see how one person's evil can be another person's good.

Tens of thousands of years ago, it was perfectly moral to slaughter the tribe over the hill, if your tribe benefited from it.

In the modern era, the gist of that morality has changed into controlling or enslaving, while slaughter is frowned upon and used as a last resort.

The problem is that government can evoke the worst aspects of morality in people and use it against each other.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:02 | 2705447 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

To the author:

What do you suppose happens if there are too many of you?

Or perhaps more importantly, there have been too many of "you?"

"Call me a coward"

I will not call you a "coward."
I will call you Self-Interested.

It means you do not understand nor appreciate the very "hand that has fed you" --

the same hand you prepare to abandon, when things turn sour,

the very "Liberty" you write about...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:21 | 2705563 CH1
CH1's picture

the very "hand that has fed you"

There is no hand that fed me, aside from those of my parents. Are you trying to imply that some cosmic "america' fed us, and we owe some sort of cosmic debt?

America has some good folks, but "it fed me"? FAIL.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:24 | 2705574 CH1
CH1's picture

I will call you Self-Interested.

Friend, we're ALL self-interested, including those of us who fight the thugs hardest. We do it because it matters TO US.

Self-interest is a healthy function; a virtue.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:56 | 2705652 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Good for you, CH1 -- you've even convinced yourself that self-interest is a virtue.

So then, I suspect you've failed to understand that self-interest has brought us to our knees.

Where does self-interest take us next?

Or will you be somewhere else, in your safe haven, watching and waiting for the answer?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:03 | 2705878 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Absolute crap.

The self-interest of a select group combined with the power of the government has 'brought us to our knees'.

Self-interest without government underpins the free market, which is a blessing to mankind.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:23 | 2705906 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Actually, it is the dearth of emotional intelligence -- which is the breeding ground of self-interest, and which spirals out of control -- that brings us to our knees.

It is a very simple arrangement.

There seems to be some kind of nirvana-esque picture of a remotely-similar society that can exist without government and with self-interest driving the show.

Your vision of "self-interest without government" that "underpins the free market" is blurred.

You will be ingesting your so-called "absolute crap" sooner or later, but ingest it, you will.

In the meantime, stop reading books authored by sociopaths, grow some humility, and then look for some truth.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:26 | 2707503 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You're wrong again.

It is 'emotional intelligence', i.e. the social brain, that is the cause of most all problems.

The desire to control, manipulate, or use other people as objects, that is the action of the social world.

As for truth, your truth appears to to be that of your genes.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 21:13 | 2708902 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Late reply, but for posterity's sake...

Mr. Anus,

You demonstrate an ignorance of "emotional intelligence," and appear to have a bone to pick with anyone who challenges your personal definition.

(You are are quite sensitive, and then defensive for a reason.)

You can be considered part of the greater problem -- the tried and sometimes true "you will never understand" works perfectly.

For the record,

"The desire to control, manipulate, or use other people as objects, that is the action of the social world."

While that can be true of some with emotional intelligence, they are the exception, and they are the true psychopaths.

Those who desire to control and manipulate are by and large of very low emotional intelligence.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 17:39 | 2715470 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You are clueless.

The entire social world is a spectrum of psychopathy and the only escapees are on the autistic spectrum. They tend to manipulate, control, and use objects, not people, as they tend to be asocial.

Manipulate - a woman who wishes to change a man's perception of her by wearing makeup and tight jeans. She creates deception with emotional thinking.

Control - the very nature of government and church, usually through threat of force and use of social conditioning based on emotional appeals to one's morality. The basis of thousands of years of death, destruction and slavery.

Use - the annihilation of millions through war by legal control (draft) and emotional manipulation for emotional reasons arising in those in control. War is the ultimate expression of the failure of emotional thinking.

.

 

 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:40 | 2705615 GernB
GernB's picture

Is it self interest that motivates you to criticize the author for his self interst?

Exactlly whatl actions did the author take to obligate him to this country? Or does his mere existnace obligate him to behave in a manner you want him to behave?

It simply cannot be argued, exceot by the insane or dillusional that a country that can jail you for not buying health insurance, is free. Especially when all you need to do to circumvent the constitutional protections against such overreach is (or one would presume any clause of the constitution) is to call it a tax. What is tragic is that the desire to see no one go without health care has been turned into a weapon against the very people the public professes to want to help.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:36 | 2705450 old naughty
old naughty's picture

"...I look at Americans and I see a people who have been very effectively brainwashed..."

Heads in sand-now-with-water ?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:46 | 2705485 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Complacency?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:33 | 2705719 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

Who said this?

"You know, I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, you know when I was flipping burgers at McDonalds, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine washing dishes or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life," Ryan told at least two thousand fired up supporters at Lakewood High School in suburban Denver. "I thought to myself: I'm the American dream."

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:07 | 2705886 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

It would've been better for America if he was still flipping burgers.

At least he would be doing something productive.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 04:37 | 2706067 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Complacency?

Damn right. Evil ego...

I am successful; I am well off... Until not so much; or at all.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:47 | 2705488 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i went to home depot today...there was a register with tywishia working it next to the self serve terminals...i told laquisha i came to her and not the self-serve to keep her employed...lucindas eyes just rolled in her head and did not have a clue of what i was talking about....we have no chance...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:26 | 2705580 tj3
tj3's picture

Really, when I say that to Sally-Mae Cartright, I get a kiss on the cheek.

Nigger baiting writers...you have no chance to see the Lord.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:35 | 2705611 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

We have just as much a 'chance' as you do.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:39 | 2705455 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Free Pussy Riot!... Free Corzine! (oh wait)...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:33 | 2705601 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Free Pussy Galore!  Oh, wait.....nevermind.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:39 | 2705458 The Axe
The Axe's picture

Live free or Die

 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:02 | 2705521 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Too many people are afraid of death to truly live, and the first mistake is asking for permission to do so.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:34 | 2705605 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Death before Dishonor.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:40 | 2705461 cossack55
cossack55's picture

You would have made a great loyalist. Tea time?

 

 

P.S. Chickenshit

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:41 | 2705464 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

"Conan! What is best in life?"

"To crush your enemies -- See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!"

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:06 | 2705528 Row Well Number 41
Row Well Number 41's picture

So long and thanks for all the fish.  :)

#41

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:41 | 2705466 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Liberty means, resisting the temptation of a bribe and killing the fucker for offering it.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:41 | 2705467 Wm the Shrubber
Wm the Shrubber's picture

And this is how liberty dies - to thunderous applause!

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 01:11 | 2705955 monad
monad's picture

If you're not clapping, you're a terrorist.

Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:41 | 2705468 mobtown
mobtown's picture

Wow. Well written. Don't want to agree with most, but yea I do have to live here. I still say fuck the gov. whenever possible. Protect your family.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:43 | 2705474 bigwavedave
bigwavedave's picture

That Kardashion woman has nice tits. No?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:00 | 2705476 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

 

 

What is the definition of liberty?   Hmmm

Liberty:

lib·er·ty/?lib?rt?/

 

Noun:
  1. The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life.
  2. An instance of this; a right or privilege, esp. a statutory one.
Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:43 | 2705623 CH1
CH1's picture

Wow, which statist tool wrote those?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:45 | 2705481 same old story
same old story's picture

I think I remember reading a similar essay by nelson mandela, and the woman in burma.  i wonder if this guy was there advisor

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:49 | 2705491 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

Fleeing: Its what our founding fathers did. They left England and the rest of Eurpoe behind to find freedom in this land. They found it. Now we need to find it either here, somewhere else, or within ourselves.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:53 | 2705505 sixsigma cygnus...
sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

I want JPM to look after my freedom:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-14/jpmorgan-to-house-client-collat...

JPMorgan Bank to Hold Collateral After Futures Firms’ Losses

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) will allow customers to house excess swaps and futures collateral in a separate bank account as it seeks to reassure investors after losses at MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGLQ) and Peregrine Financial Group Inc. (story continued)

Isn't that like Bernie Madoff announcing a new hedge fund to keep your money safe from...Bernie Madoff?

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:56 | 2705509 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Liberty is explained and defined in detail on www.electanewcongress.com.  

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:57 | 2705511 Translator
Translator's picture

Liberty to me means the citizenry have been bestowed the right to own sufficient weapons to overthrow the government, should the government breech it's contract with the people and resort to tyrrany, and attempt to strip citizens of their God given rights.

 

 

Call me old fashioned......

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 20:59 | 2705513 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

I think most Americans today think of liberty as personal freedom; it is self-centered: my freedom to come and go  as I please, and to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.  It's all about me, me, me.

But I think in the 1700s it meant the collective freedom of a society from the tyranny of a king.

We have come to believe our petty personal freedom is sufficient, and as a result we have let our larger societal freedom slip away so that we are now increasingly under the joint tyranny of government and global corporations. 

The day will soon arrive when a majority will finally wake-up to that fact, but it may already be too late.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:51 | 2705853 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Most folks confuse "liberty" with "license"...

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:00 | 2705516 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Liberty means dying for Israel....

http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-set-to-assure-israel-that-if-all-else...

Obama set to assure Israel that, if all else fails, US will attack Iran by June 2013

Yay more wars for Israel!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:06 | 2705529 Griffin
Griffin's picture

Animals are smart enough to relalize the importance of freedom.

All attempts to convice people that freedom and liberty is not worth fighting for are destructive and should be killed and buried, preferably in a single blow.

I think the need for freedom can not be taken away from people, its a part of us, like other emotions, love, hate etc. We will always at some point fight for it, one way or another.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:07 | 2705530 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Liberty means you can build a raft, and sail it from any third world country, to the United States. Upon arrival you receive a SNAP card, and voter registration.

  When you finish pumping and dumping the system, and want to go home, the { California/New York) State Board of Equalization, hunts you down via the bankrupt U.S.P.S. in BUM FUCKED Egypt, and escorts you to the local ATM!

  That's Liberty<>

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:08 | 2705533 game theory
game theory's picture

Liberty means not having to vote for any presidential ticket that has a career politician or a bankster looter on it in November. All of our choices really suck.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:10 | 2705539 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Liberty means not having to feel pressured to give a shit about Liberty............

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:26 | 2705582 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Liberty to me is, being able to be my own boss, to live or die everyday, on my ability and answer to no man! Its a glorious life, when you accomplish this, mnothing feels more liberating than this! A close second is, being able to provide my family with its own fuel, food, and energy, without being beholden to any government or corporation to do it!!

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 09:36 | 2706466 Mad Mad Woman
Mad Mad Woman's picture

Another one of those "it's all about me people". Another chicken shit.  How can you truly be free if society as a whole is NOT free? I wish you and your family luck. You'll need it.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:27 | 2705585 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

"government makes accumulating any wealth almost impossible (unless you are part of the dictator's inner circle), in most of the world, this aspect of life – call it "financial freedom" – has far more to do with a person's willingness to work hard than anything else."

   Um... most of the hardest working people that I know have no money.  In fact, go into any business, and I can almost guarantee that the hardest working people make the least money... janitors vs. CEOs... dishwashers vs. accountants.  Start with nothing, and I mean nothing and see how well you progress financially with hard work.  Without a loan, a break, a friend, family luck, you will get no where on hard work.  I recommend, for your reading enjoyment, Revolt of the Elites by Christopher Lasch.  After that you might try, The Culture of Narcissism.  You probably have no idea how many advantages you have had over a poor country kid in a trailer whose family has no assets and no connections.  Hard work... please... spare me.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:39 | 2705736 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

So true... hard work kills. The whole wage slavery thing known as "work" is the most bloated, spirit killing, planet polluting institution every to plague humanity.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:02 | 2705876 spooz
spooz's picture

I recomment Chris Hayes' Twilight of the Elites

So tired of these clueless libertarian purists who do nothing but provide cover for the elite kleptocrats.  As if liberty has more to do with taxes than with legislation like NDAA.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:44 | 2705624 David Wooten
David Wooten's picture

"How many of you want Social Security to remain intact?"

"How many think the government should subsidize health care?"

Freedom may return when the US government goes bankrupt.  This is what COL must be ready for.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:49 | 2705634 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The problem I have with liberty is that the little guy still loses--either you have big government that regulates "bad" industries and then gets bought and paid for, or you just skip the whole exercise and the "bad" industries run roughshod all over everyone.  I don't really think the 1890s were a great time for being a regular person--no retirement security, if you got injured on the job (through your employer's negligent practices, no less) you were completely fucked, companies thought nothing of busting organized labor through use of force (including using machine guns at one time or another), Wall Street and Robber Barons were 100X worse than they are today, and there was no need for a TSA because the lowly schmuck peasants had no money for travel or any economic freedom. "Working for the company store" was about all you could expect.  So spare me all the fucking liberty nonsense because it was never workable.  Not then, not now, not ever.  And neither is the current system we have, so I don't know where that puts us.  Up shit creek, I would say.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:01 | 2705874 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

The little guy loses with liberty ?

Do you think the little guy does better under a powerful dictatorship ?

Humanity's struggle (since 'civilized') has been that of Power versus Liberty.

Check out "For a New Liberty" by Murray Rothbard.

Can be found for free in written and audio forms at www.mises.org

 

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:22 | 2705904 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Exactly.

Primates developed a tyranny of the alpha-male social hierarchy.

Man developed the tyranny of the hierarchical chain of command power structure.

Humans are developing the freedom and liberty of individualism.

Say goodbye to the animal world and become human.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 21:55 | 2705651 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Free?  Free, you say?  Just how 'free' are you, really?

 

If you don't get up in the morning and go to work, you won't have money to pay your bills.  You're a slave to your job.  When you receive your paycheck, approx. 40% has been handily 'deducted' in order to pay for the Gov's largesse.  You're a slave to taxes.  When I go to the park, I can't just park, break out the fishing pole and drink some malted beverages.  First, I must PAY!  No pay, no park...that's not free.  Fishing?  Need a license, brah.  No free fishing here.  Pay or get lost.

 

Driving to the fishing hole, I had to buy gas.  I also had to 'obey' speed limits, of, I dunno, 55 mph or so.  I'm not free to drive 80 mph.  I can't carry my personal protection sidearm hidden without 'permission'.  I'm certainly not at liberty to protect myself against robbers and thugs. You can't leave the United States without a passport, or re-enter.  That's not FREEDOM! 

 

There are considerable deer in my area, but, I'm not allowed by law to harvest them, even though there are now so many that motorcylists are dying by the boatload after hitting them.  They destroy my garden (which I'm not allowed to have).  I'm not allowed to collect my rainwater.

Everything I do is regulated, watched, rationed, taxed, billed, discouraged, illegal, or otherwise attached in some way.

 

It's the population.  TOO GOD DAMNED MANY RATS IN THE CAGE!  And it's only gonna get worse.  By 2050, some estimates show 15 Trillion people (no less than 10 trillion).  What are these people going to eat?  Where are they going to live?  The gubmint will be there, every step of the way, guiding, taxing, watching, regulating, forcing, pushing, jailing, killing.  

LIBERTY?   HAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHA!

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:06 | 2705665 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

the best part is  your post was reasonable until you suggested that there will be no less than 15 trillion people.....which would take a mammoth orgy to do and even then still be about 15 trillion too few people.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 23:02 | 2705671 forexskin
forexskin's picture

you mean waaaaaaa?

good thing none of those bills were incurred by your own choices. don't like the rules where you live? MOVE dumbshit - vote with your feet! it is far less bad here or just about anywhere else for that matter.

think there's too many on the bus? no prob - make an example and hop off yourself.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 00:10 | 2705885 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Complete eugenics loving horseshit.

People have children in poor countires because they live in poverty, the survival rates are low, and they have no social 'security' nets.

As people become more prosperous, they have fewer children. In many advanced industrial societies, the population isnt maintaining itself.

The eugenists global elites dont want to share this planet with those who are prosperous and may threaten their families future dominance. They sponsored the eugenics movement and the whole 'population problem' propaganda. This is a very old story.

Not only do they want fewer people in Africa . . . . they want fewer of all of us.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:08 | 2705668 XitSam
XitSam's picture

And where are you diversifying to? Doug's little con-job subdivision in Argentina? If so then "Puleeez".

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:16 | 2705679 Rusty Diggins
Rusty Diggins's picture

I dont know, the whole thing about not making a fuss unless the media is in attendance tells me this guy is another washed up asshole hipster.  Stopped reading shortly after that.

 

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:44 | 2705751 mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

Sorry Tyler,  but this masturbatory drivel by David Galland (product of public education and liberal arts college?) is not worthy of a ZH post. 

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