How To Defeat Tyranny: "No Shortcuts... No Secret Weapon... Only Indomitable Spirit"

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

Among liberty activists, there is a rather universal consensus on what ails our nation.


We understand that there is a concerted and deliberate effort by the establishment to undermine individual rights and constitutional protections.

We understand that there is a coordinated effort by international financiers to destabilize our economy and siphon wealth from the middle class until it shrivels up and dies.

We understand that there is an organized plan to radicalize the public along ideological lines and pit them against each other.

We understand that geopolitics and regional wars are exploited to distract us from underlying issues.

There is not very much debate over these realities; the evidence is overwhelming.

However, there is constant disagreement among activists on solutions to these problems, and there are several reasons why this conflict persists.

Let's examine them...

Ease Versus Struggle

This is one conflict that I don't think many people recognize or pay much attention to, but it stands as a key weakness that derails effective action. There is a distaste among some liberty activists for the idea of self sacrifice and struggle in achieving freedom. The reality is most fights are won through persistence and force of will; there are no shortcuts to defeating tyranny. There are no secret weapons.  There is only indomitable spirit. That's it. It doesn't matter if you have a movement of 100 people or 100 million — any goal is achievable, but only so long as you accept the cost of pain and sacrifice required.

In my years working in the movement I have seen hundreds of poorly conceived silver bullet “solutions” rise to prominence and then fail or disappear entirely. In every case there is a period of overblown excitement while practical strategies are completely ignored. A perfect example would be the current love affair among a subculture of activists with cryptocurrencies. The concept of rebellion on a virtual level is certainly alluring to those who fear real world work and a real world fight. A fantasy of defeating the establishment with ease appeals to those who fear struggle. This is something the powers-that-be take full advantage of.

To defeat concerted technocratic centralization requires nothing less than a willingness to risk everything without the promise of reward. The sooner people realize that there is no easy path to a freer society, the sooner we can act effectively.

Thinking In The Present Versus Thinking Ahead

One truth that I consistently try to point out to activists is that they may never see the benefits of the fighting they do today. They must fight with the expectation that they will not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Successful freedom fighters do not necessarily fight for themselves so much as they fight for the next generation. They fight so that their children can live without tyranny, not only so they can live without tyranny. This idea seems to bewilder some activists, and I blame this on the self serving nature of our society and its addiction to immediate gratification. Even among the best of us, there is a tendency to only plan in the now and seek solutions in the now.

Real rebellion requires long term tactics. Deeply rooted tyrannies are whittled down over time, sometimes over the course of multiple generations. They are not defeated overnight.

Optimism Versus Nihilism

I have seen many liberty analysts attacked as “doom and gloomers,” but this accusation is usually wielded by ignorant people with little understanding of how freedom movements function. They do not function on “doom” or “fear porn,” but on a healthy dose of reality coupled with the optimistic philosophy that knowledge is power. What the skeptics do not grasp is that we work to comprehend the intricacies of a crisis because we have enough optimism to foresee that the crisis can be stopped, or that something better can be built.

We are not “doom and gloomers,” we are actually issuing a rallying cry, because we know that “doom” can in fact be averted.

The real “doom and gloomers” are actually the nihilists — the people that blindly dismiss the possibility of victory. These are the people that do not want to hear about strategies or solutions; they only seek to criticize because they do not have the intelligence to offer up a solution of their own. These are the people who are constantly saying “Yeah, you've told us about the problem, but what are YOU going to do about it,” when they should be asking themselves “What am I going to do about it?”

Isolation Versus Community

This is perhaps the defining argument of my years as an analysts and macro-economist, and it is something I continue to fight for to this day. The greatest weakness within the liberty movement and in America as a whole, in my opinion, is the refusal to take the necessity of community seriously. Whether it be because of laziness (ease), because of paranoia or because of too much exposure to Hollywood fantasies of the survival world, many people have adopted the philosophy that preparation for crisis is best done in isolation. In other words, the “lone wolf” mentality.

In almost every historic or modern societal collapse on record, it has been organized communities of people with necessary skill sets that have had the most success in survival. And, it is these communities that offer the most dangerous threat to oligarchies. So, the question becomes, what do you hope to accomplish? Do you seek to survive? Then community is the best possible option. Do you seek to fight back against the encroachment of authoritarianism? Then numerous voluntary communities prepared for disaster are the best weapon.

Does the nail that stands up get hammered down? Possibly. But without community, you ensure that you will always be a nail, and never the hammer. Isolated preparedness is a recipe for failure.

Localization Versus Centralization

As much as liberty activists rail against the problem of centralization, they tend to fall victim to their own centralization schemes. Community only matters when it is VOLUNTARY and within arms reach. This means that internet based communities, while encouraging because they can reveal our true numbers and make us feel as though we are not alone, also tend to centralize our activism within a false framework, isolating us more than uniting us.

A web based community is not a community, just as a web based solution is not a solution. If you are not utilizing the web in part as a tool to build localized community in the real world, or a localized economy in the real world, then you are wasting your time with web activism.

What internet activism does do, unfortunately, is give people a false sense of security, and it prevents them from pursuing real community in the place they live. I have heard on thousands of occasions from activists who claim that “no one around them is awake and aware;” they claim they are alone in the midst of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. This is nonsense. In every part of the country I have found liberty-minded people in droves, often all in the same town or city within easy driving distance. And, the people who claim they are alone are usually the people who have never tried to look, or to organize. Why? Because that's hard work, and their virtual community on the internet is so much easier.

The Source Of All Freedom

Beyond the internalized conflicts within liberty movements, there is a defining methodology at stake. The gravitational pull that strengthens communities, the fuel that drives optimism and a respect for the future, the thing that makes us all more than what we seem to be on the surface, the thing that catches authoritarians off guard, is our propensity for courage and human kindness. Without these two things, any fight against tyranny is destined to implode.

Endeavor requires risk, and all risk requires courage (or perhaps stupidity, but courage can often be mistaken as stupidity). The greatest endeavor in the history of mankind is the endeavor to live free. This is one of the few things in the world actually worth fighting or dying for.  It only follows that such a fantastic goal would require ultimate risk.

Courage is the willingness to take risks while knowing full well the consequences of failure. In some cases, courage means taking action while knowing that there will be consequences even in success. Sometimes, there are no benefits to the courageous beyond the knowledge that they have benefited others. The fight is not about profit. The fight is not about personal survival. The fight is about something much more.  Something difficult to define, but intuitively felt.

Taking terrible risks with the intention of benefiting others, many of them not even born yet, requires human kindness.  Kindness in itself can be a form of risk.  A self-absorbed sociopath or narcissist will never achieve greatness, because greatness requires actions that are counter-intuitive to self preservation. A person who embraces moral relativism will also never accomplish much for the future. Kindness requires moral resolve, not moral “flexibility.”

It is these two characteristics that will help to dissolve the conflicts within liberty activism listed above.  It is these two characteristics that defeat tyrants, and so it will be these two characteristics that tyrants will seek to undermine. It is difficult to conquer a people when they are not afraid of sacrifice and when they are not afraid to organize in the real world. It is difficult to isolate people with selfishness when they are driven by the empathy inherent in kindness. ALL solutions, all practical strategies rely on the existence of these two forces within a movement.

As 2017 comes to a close, it is my hope that every liberty activist prepares for more dangerous days ahead. But above all else, their preparations must flow from a foundation of struggle and self sacrifice, foresight and endurance, community and practicality, courage and kindness. If not, then really, what is the point?

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HopefulCynical SunRise Fri, 12/29/2017 - 12:23 Permalink

Escrava is NOT an idiot.

It believes in Marxism, which is by definition idiotic. As to the actual statement of "tax tyrants at 99%" - who determines what constitutes a tyrant deserving of such tax? According to Marxists, tyrant means anyone who has a penny more than you do. Never mind the painfully obvious fact that no lawful entity can "tax" an actual tyrant; any who tried would be summarily executed - that's sort of incorporated into the overall definition of "tyrant," now isn't it?

Nice try at white knighting, though.

In reply to by SunRise

JSBach1 Erwin643 Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:07 Permalink

It is up to us to hold the flame lit for those who are unwilling or unable to do so. 

In every great cause it is up to the survivors to carry the banner of just cause. Are you part of this movement? It depends on the actions you choose to engage in for its material manifestation.

Who here is not outraged at the conspiracy that took the last President of this country who displayed an independent thought process in contrast to the evil within : none other than JFK :


In reply to by Erwin643

Jim in MN JSBach1 Fri, 12/29/2017 - 02:06 Permalink

Look man, I have the JFK files downloaded, so do many of 'us'.  I find the Mexico City CIA station files quite fascinating, also the reports from Chicago about 'Jewish money' coming in for an operation vs. Kennedy. 




We all know that Corruption is the real enemy.  We can fight it.  We have.  What alarms me this Christmas season is the comfort zones on display from my fellow Citizens.  Why do my lovely children need to die in mudholes because of everyone else's fucking comfort zones????  The very idea makes me want to puke (in your shoes). 




This is our LAST peaceful chance.


May God bless our fair Republic.

In reply to by JSBach1

Dabooda HopefulCynical Fri, 12/29/2017 - 13:36 Permalink

@Jim in MN -- Completely disagree.  Corruption is not the problem.  Your belief in The Republic is the problem.  The idea that "government," however constituted, is a rightful Authority which may morally take your stuff and boss you around without your consent -- that's the problem.  Check out "Sacred Cow Shish-Kebab" a Larken Rose talk from Anarchapulco 2017 -- google it, if this link doesn't work.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

Dabooda HopefulCynical Fri, 12/29/2017 - 15:04 Permalink

@Jim in MN -- Completely disagree.  Corruption is not the problem.  Your belief in The Republic is the problem.  The idea that "government," however constituted, is a rightful Authority which may morally take your stuff and boss you around without your consent -- that's the problem. 

Brandon Smith doesn't get it right, either.  His comments on community are worthwhile, but all the rah-rah talk about sacrificing yourself fighting the tyrants for the sake of future generations -- that's futile, suicidal crap.  His objection to the  "shredding of our constitutional protections" is the core of his delusion.  He thinks words on paper will restrain tyrants and give us rightful rulers.  Or perhaps that putting "good people" in charge of government will make everything right. Nope.  Good people aren't interested in stealing stuff or bossing people around, and they want NOTHING to do with "government."  Thieves and power-junkies are drawn to government like flies to shit.  The delusion that ANYONE can be a "rightful ruler" over other people is the real enemy here.  Larken Rose calls it "the most dangerous superstition" -- and it is.

Check out "Sacred Cow Shish-Kebab" a Larken Rose talk from Anarchapulco 2017 -- google it, if this link doesn't work.


In reply to by HopefulCynical

OCnStiggs Erwin643 Fri, 12/29/2017 - 06:18 Permalink

You obviously never heard about Boeing's experience.

The 787 program was behind schedule and way over budget. They had showstopper technological hurdles they needed to resolve, and quickly. In a last ditch effort, they brought back some "old heads" who had worked on some of their most successful programs. These "old farts" were in their late 70's and early 80's. Given complete access to the program and the management, they attended meetings and quickly found out what was going on. Their out brief to the 787 management team and design staff was equally honest and devastating.

These old farts pointed out that the new engineers had relied on technological advances that had not yet been invented. In fact, not just single-level advances but, several layers deep into the design. In classic "old fart" language, one of the old design team engineers said, "These young kids are smoking dope if they think this is sound design philosophy." These old farts were correct. Boeing lost million and millions of dollars in the process but got their design staff back on track and the 787 program is now judged an unqualified success. The cost of the young engineers mistakes can be measured in the 20-odd spanking new 787 airframes sitting in Everette with concrete blocks where engines should be. These airplanes are defective and will never fly.

Reminds me of a plaque a friend had in his office...

Youth and skill is no match for old age and cunning.


In reply to by Erwin643

putaipan 4Celts Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:25 Permalink

i love to read brandon. my little inner reading voice has a kinda nice roar to it. hearing him on a podcast, not somuch. reminds me of my own fecklessness. i would like to moderate an exchange between him and chris hedges tho' , tosee if there isn't sumpin' else missing.... visualize overcoming inner-fecklessness/wishfull thinking.


(look at all those cute little squiggly red lines under all my words. can i get a black greenie? a chance toedit?)

In reply to by 4Celts

new game putaipan Fri, 12/29/2017 - 06:29 Permalink

nothing will happen until ugliness is knocking at the front door.

and at that point in tyme, it is too late. hitler 101.

humans will be humans til humanity make them inhumane.

it will be a redux of all past struggles. hopefully russia can intervene and defeat dc so we can have our partial freedom back...

In reply to by putaipan

HRClinton Number 9 Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:30 Permalink

A note to the simple and the wise:

There is more than one form of Courage.

   * Physical courage

   * Personal courage

   * Financial Courage

   * Public / Civic courage

You need not have all forms, but you'd better have at least 2. Commit to a 3rd, and aim for the 4th.

In reply to by Number 9

putaipan HRClinton Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:49 Permalink

i dunno if its yer name or if you are really as much of a cryptofag as t.mosley.... but this is the first lil' black uppie i've ever given you.


(how come cryptofag  is the only word that has little red squgglies under it? does tyler's new readin'machine learn how i communicate? sheesh will the wonders never cease/skeer the bajeezus out of us?)

In reply to by HRClinton

ImGumbydmmt Number 9 Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:05 Permalink

disagree, there is much to be optimistic about looking to the past. 

If others have had sucess despite greater adversity. so can we.

If we know the example is paved with courage, kindness, and tenacity by the examples of those who came before us we too can muster up those same attributes in ourselves, and persevere despite the adversity and consequences:




“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; 
if you will not fight when your victory is 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 precarious 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 S. Churchill


“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.”

– John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780.



Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Thomas Jefferson


Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.

George Washington

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.


“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people”. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

– John Adams

In reply to by Number 9

Khan Bodin Thu, 12/28/2017 - 23:50 Permalink

I will show you how to defeat tyranny. Just pretend it isn't there. Yea. If you pretend it isn't there, then no tyranny can ever threaten you. ehehehe Besides isn't that from western spirit... pretending to thing aren't there. Anglo westerling says, "If I cannot see it, it proves it does not exist." That the crust of western/anglo thought. Of course I myself would point out that you don't see x, gamma, beta or alpha rays, or magnetic field, or gravitational field, or those photons coming from the Sun either, so by standards of the spirit of western thought they don't exist. Or shouldn't exist. It goes to show how western spirit is nothing else but empty and void nothingness, a barren wasteland of hypocrisy, lies, deceptions, frauds and deceits born out of desire of their oligarch overlords to discredit righteous teachings rejecting the vices and upholding the virtues. I guess I am teaching you how to become good westerlings. hehehehe 

putaipan jeff montanye Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:38 Permalink

but but, i ambrandishing a little sabre!

(i know it looks like quadaffi doin'a woowoo hex with his fingers, but that;s just because i could never find an avatar with all the lostboys leadership visual entendres' my nom de plume is waving in yer faces)

i don't wanna edit. it's perfect. hello again tyler's!


In reply to by jeff montanye

Cabreado Thu, 12/28/2017 - 23:50 Permalink

Oops... searched the article for Law, and searched for Humility (upon which legitimate Law is based)... 

came up with blanks.

Maybe the author's next article could articulate more concisely how the trajectory will change without a Focus on the Law.