It's Independence Day! The 4th of July! Burgers! Picnics! Fireworks!
That's what it's all about, right? Go, America!
Actually, no, there probably weren't any hotdogs cooking on the grill on Independence Day in 1776. When the founding fathers of our nation signed the Declaration of Independence, they probably weren't wondering if the beer was cold yet, if Ben was going to burn the burgers again, or whether Thomas remembered the lighter for the fireworks.
They were thinking about freedom.
The whole purpose of the gesture was that these men were tired of bowing down to someone who did not have their best interests at heart. They were determined to no longer be the subjects of a King who looked at them as a way to make himself wealthy.
And, sadly, here we are a couple hundred years later, dependent yet again.
Our culture is just so incredibly dependent. Freedom is terrifying to most people because it means that they and they alone, are responsible for the actions that they take. An independent person succeeds or fails on his or her own merit. Independence by its very nature means that the possibility of failure exists. It requires a sense of adventure, confidence, and the ability to fail and get right back up again, and it seems like these things are being bred out of the American people.
What "independence" actually means
"Independent", by definition, is the opposite of dependent. Here's a whole list of definitions:
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself.
2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free
3. not influenced by the thought or action of others.
4. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.
5. not relying on another or others for aid or support.
6. rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.
7. possessing a competency.
So, if you are, at heart, a free person, the above is the description of your character.
Maybe you read that list and realized it doesn't describe you. With some hard work and a big dose of courage, it can. Here's how:
You must reduce your dependence on everything that is out of your control.
You must reduce your dependence on the government, the large corporations, the transportation system, money, the banking system, entities like the FDA and the USDA. All of these are marketed to us to make it seem like we can't survive without them.
Those who signed the Declaration of Independence, hundreds of years ago, knew this was the case. When Britain tried to coerce them and convince them that they needed help and governance from the other side of the ocean, those patriots decided that there was not one single thing that England could provide for them that they needed enough to remain under the rule of the King. (Click here to read about how high the cost of freedom was for some of those men.)
Once you decide that there's nothing that you need, then the boogeymen who would control us all lose their power. That's why nearly everything you need to do to become self-sustaining is either illegal or strongly discouraged: milk straight from the cow, water collection, front-yard vegetable gardens, carrying a firearm. They need you to need them.
How we're manipulated into dependence
The government is not really made up of the elected officials that it purports. It's made up, mostly, by people who sell their souls to huge corporations that have an interest in beneficial laws being passed and laws that would harm their businesses shut down before they ever reach the desk of the presidents.
As well, the supposed watchdog entities, like the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture are also populated by those who have been hand-picked to support corporations, no matter what the detriment to the American people whom they pretend to protect. If Congress was like NASCAR, the members would have to wear uniforms emblazoned with their sponsors. However, Washington DC does not have the transparency of professional car racing, so we must guess at the sponsors of our members.
We are buried under silly laws with the sole purpose of generating revenue or adding to the slave labor force in the for-profit prison system. We must work most of our waking hours to be able to pay for our basic necessities. We are convinced repeatedly that we must have things that our ancestors would never have considered owning, much less requiring.
Hand in hand, the mega-corporations and the government entities work together to keep us subservient and in our places. The corporations create products, the watchdog agencies "test" the products, and the government mandates an artificial need for these products.
They have most people convinced that they must follow the food pyramid, the vaccine schedule, and the rules that force us to have licenses for every darned thing we do. We must pay for and be granted permission to feed ourselves, transport ourselves, build shelter for ourselves, unite in matrimony, and even to own pets.
Like some kind of frighteningly authoritarian parent, they assure us that it's for our own safety, these breaches in our independence, and that we must comply or face the consequences. They ground us by taking away our licenses. They send us to our rooms that just happen to be located in for-profit prisons. They don't "allow" us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness because once we taste that sweet freedom, we won't want to be under their oppressive thumbs anymore.
But some of us have seen the corporate government for what it is: a bully that reigns through fear of reprisal. They hold over us these fears:
- We will die if we don't eat things that were inspected and approved by them.
- We will be jailed, fined, or have our children taken from us if we don't toe the line.
- We are unable to figure things out for ourselves because we are not "experts" and therefore we must suppress our own judgments and bow to their far greater knowledge.
- We will die if we don't follow their expert health and nutrition advice.
- We'll be murdered by scary foreign terrorists if we don't allow the TSA to fondle our private parts and perform x-rays that show us naked before we fly.
Because some people fear these things and believe these tales so thoroughly, they allow the government to enforce ridiculous, unconstitutional laws "for our own safety." They say, "Better that I give up my rights as a human being and save the world from a terrorist." They justify, "These agents are only doing their jobs." Heck, I've even heard people in line at the airport thank the TSA for patting them down.
Whether you call it freedom, liberty, sovereignty, or self-governance, the point remains the same: if you're reading this, you probably want to determine your own life, whether the result is success or failure. You want to have control over your ability to live, truly live, and not merely exist as a slave to the powers that be.
How we're all being manipulated by the corporate government
The corporate system is constructed around making us feel as though we need what they are offering. They want us to believe we need their expertise, their handouts, their approvals, and their protection. They want us to feel that we are not capable of making our own decisions without their input.
Once they create this insecurity in you, then you have become their slave.
You must work, almost non-stop, to be able to afford the lifestyle they tell you to have. Your home must meet their standards, your dependence upon the grid is absolute, and you must never, ever partake of a food that has not passed their approval process. You should call the experts to protect you, via 911, as opposed to taking care of your own security. Your children must be supervised constantly, unable to grow and seek adventures, in order to create the next generation of adults who submit without even realizing they are doing so.
When it's put like that, you can see how absolutely ridiculous it all is, right?
Let's take food, for example.
Historically, in nearly every takeover of the modern world, food was involved. Think of communist China in the early 1960s or the Holodomor, for two examples. The government took control of the farms "for the good of the people." They controlled all of the food – every single bite. If you complied, you ate. If you rebelled, you starved.
Here's another example. Back 100 years ago, people drank milk. You got it from cows as opposed to the store. Now, the substance they drank is called "raw milk" and it's the subject of taboos, warnings, and legal hoops that must be jumped through. It's a million times easier to purchase a known carcinogen (cigarettes) or a mood-altering substance (alcohol) than it is to get fresh, creamy milk from a cow and drink it. We've been brainwashed into believing our milk must be heated to the point that the good bacteria is exterminated and then approved by the USDA before we're able to drink it. Milk is controlled like a dangerous Level 1 narcotic, for crying out loud. But pasteurized milk from the store, originated from cows that were given recombinant bovine growth hormone and antibiotics, is perfectly fine. It's USDA approved.
In a million small ways, folks are being brainwashed that we require permission to do nearly everything. Think of an abusive relationship, because our relationship with the government is a classic example of such a thing.
The abuser says things like this to the victim:
- "You'd never survive without me."
- "You obviously need me to take care of you because you aren't smart enough to take care of yourself."
- "Why did you do that without my permission? Now, you're going to be punished."
- "I'm doing this for your own good."
The abuser keeps track of your time, makes you account for your earnings, seizes your personal belongings, coerces you into doing things you don't want to do, and harshly discourages any vestiges of independence. Because if you are independent, they have lost control of you. Compliance is rewarded and rebellion is punished.
Let the TSA pat you down, you are allowed to travel. Refuse to be groped and you lose the price of your plane ticket and your opportunity to go to your cousin's wedding by air. Sell a homemade edible product that hasn't been "inspected" and approved by local officials, they will fine your business out of existence. Not only this, but occasionally we're allowed to feel we're independent and do these things, and we pay extra for the privileges for living our lives, traveling, and earning a living.
So how do you become an independent human being?
You may feel like you aren't in the right place in life to declare your independence. Perhaps you don't have room to raise your own food. Perhaps you have a physical handicap that bars you from living 30 miles from civilization in a yurt located down a dirt road, over a creek, and in the woods. Maybe it's all you can do financially to keep the refrigerator full of groceries for the week.
But wherever you are right now, that's okay. Wherever you are, know that every single person, even the very free-est person you know, started at a place that was less free than where they are right now. The most important thing is to begin to recognize the chains that are on you so that you can begin, link by link, to break them.
How do you break free of the life that nearly every single person around you lives?
It's simple, yet so complicated. Here it is, the ultimate act of insurrection:
You have to need less.
When you need less, you have less to fear.
Now, every year when I write about this topic, a few people come out of the woodwork to claim, "It's not enough." Not everyone is a warrior, but taking steps to become freer than you were the day before is a cause for celebration.
It is simply reality that most of us cannot make a stand in every single aspect of our lives. We have children that could be taken away from us. We have homes that could be seized. We fear being imprisoned in a cage. I get that, truly. I don't want to lose my daughter or my home or be thrown in jail either. The folks in control have done their job in that respect, but we can work around it.
We can refuse to eat the poisoned apple that they graciously hand to us. Some can stop sending their children to public school for "free" education, We can all stop purchasing processed food that originated as the bastard child of factory farming and a chemistry project. We can refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, K-mart, or any of those corporate discount stores that have their products manufactured in sweat shops so that they can undercut the Mom & Pop stores right out of business.
I use well water and hope to soon install some solar panels. I raise as much food as I can and I buy the stuff I can't raise from farmer friends who treat their animals well. I don't watch television and haven't seen a commercial in more than a year, so I'm not really sure what it is I "need." I buy things I actually do need from local craftsmen and I have things repaired instead of replaced. I don't pay interest to the banks, heck – I don't even leave money in the bank. 911 is not my default for home security. We don't have Obamacare, cable TV, a major credit card, or a home phone. I live my life quietly, and without many of the things that others consider "necessities."
You might be thinking, "What about the children? Don't they feel deprived?"
I don't believe that they do. My oldest daughter just graduated from college, debt free. We budgeted carefully, she won scholarships, and she gets to start her life without being in the hole. She can take her time and travel to Europe before she gets a "real" job, because she doesn't have a student loan hanging over her head that requires her to dive into full time permanent servitude right now.
My youngest daughter stays up until midnight and sleeps until noon all year round, because she is not subject to school bells at specific times. Her grades are very good, and she has far more free time than her public-schooled friends. She takes care of horses, dogs, and cats. She actually earns a substantial amount of money shoveling poop for people who don't have the time to do so. For fun, she hikes and shoots her long bow. She meets up with other home-schooled kids to hang out because they aren't tied to an arbitrary schedule either.
I spend my mornings outside with the animals. I check on the vegetable garden and see if there will soon be something to harvest. Instead of an iPod, my music is the birds, the wild turkeys, the friendly nicker of the horses, hoping for some attention. I spend my days learning: about health, nutrition, natural remedies, old methods of gardening and preservation, and needlecraft. I read the books I always wanted to read. We don't spend a lot of money and that decreases a great deal of our need for money. I don't have to sell the majority of the hours in my day for enough money to survive the other hours.
Every single day, I strive to reduce my vulnerability to coercion. Because the less I need, the more difficult I am to manipulate.
And you? You don't need this stuff they are offering, either. There is so much that you can do to free yourself from them.
You have a Constitutionally protected right to be free. If you aren't free, then revolution is your duty. Part of the power that the government holds over people is the fact that they have stuff we need. So, the key to independence is not to need the stuff they have. When there is nothing that you require enough to submit, then bullying you becomes much more difficult.
Here are a few steps you can take to make yourself less dependent on the whims of the economy, the government, and corporate interests. Don't worry if they seem impractical to you. They may not all be possible right this moment. Pick one and act on it, then another. Every journey begins with the decision to start the trip.
- If you reduce your consumerist habits and lower your cost of living, you need less money.
- If you need less money, you can stop exchanging as much of your time for dollars
- If you grow your own food, you will never be dependent on the government to help you to afford to buy food. (Not to mention how much better the quality will be.)
- If you barter your goods or services for someone else's goods or services, then no one else needs to be involved. (Although I'm sure both parties will be happy to pay the government the taxes due for the barter exchange. *cough*)
- If you don't send your kids to school, and instead, educate them at home, then you don't need to get them vaccinated so they can attend school. You don't have to watch them get brainwashed into dependency like the other kids.
- If you don't make much money, you don't pay much in the way of taxes.
- If you are self-employed, you can't be threatened with the loss of your job for non-compliance with *pick a ridiculous law*
- If you shop locally, from farms and craftsmen, you don't need the big box stores.
- If you have the ability and equipment to defend yourself, you don't need to call 911.
- If you always object to unfairness, unconstitutional behavior, and dishonesty, you can help shed light on the issues at hand, and that is always the first step towards resolving them.
The way you lead your life every single day can be a personal Declaration of Independence. By refusing to concede your natural rights, quietly and resolutely, you are performing an act of revolution.
This only requires one thing: your consistent determination not to be infringed upon.
How will you declare your independence?
So this 4th of July, between the hamburgers and the fireworks, think about how you will declare your own independence. Revolution doesn't always have to be violent and bloody. Peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience, quiet acts of self-reliance, and living without expecting to be rescued are all ways that you can rebel, and nary will a drop of blood be shed.
Make this the day you declare YOUR independence.
Pick up Daisy's new book The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months to help with your prepping needs.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.