To Achieve Freedom, First See Government As It Truly Is

Photo of commuters in a train station

A mishmash of unique individuals, physical capital, digital files and beliefs

By examining what government really is and is not, you can shed the delusions holding us back, and develop effective strategies for overcoming government aggression.

Some define government as “an administrative service provider for a given region.” Others define government as “institutionalized aggression.” Both definitions are vague, overly-simplified and unrealistic.

The brilliant Larken Rose would say government doesn’t exist at all, which leads us to the following question.

In reality, the concept called “government” consists of what?

  • A diverse group of individuals, each of which is unique and only responsible for his or her own actions.
  • A collection of objects (buildings, computers, etc.)
  • A series of bank accounts (entries in a database)
  • A series of rules (sentences written or typed by individuals)
  • Borders (lines drawn on a map, some of which are guarded by individuals with guns)
  • Investors (individuals and organizations that send money to these bank accounts in return for interest payments)

What differentiates government from other organizations?

The aggression committed by some and accepted by many.

Most individuals within government don’t commit aggression. They follow instructions and serve others in return for a paycheck like any employee. The only difference is the way aggression is used to fund their job, something many of them probably haven’t questioned from an ethical perspective. Many of these individuals work for government because alternative employers have been driven out of business, out of the region, or prevented from entering the market.

Other individuals within government do commit aggression as part of their job, and thus are aggressors. They live according to a different set of rules. They behave like members of a criminal gang. Most just obey orders, filling a variety of roles for a variety of reasons.

Finally there are the upper level bureaucrats, politicians, judges, etc. who direct aggressors below them. Even many of these “leaders” do not fully understand the nature or consequences of their behavior. Each votes or instructs others to commit aggression for various reasons.

Therefore, unlike other organizations or businesses, certain individuals within this concept called government, commit aggression regularly as part of their job.

What differentiates these government aggressors from other criminal gangs?

Their delusions

Many government aggressors have been conditioned to believe they’re the good guys working for the good guys serving “the people” or “the greater good.” Typical gang members don’t share this delusion.

Public perception

A critical mass of people, called statists, view government agression as legitimate. This unconditional support to commit aggression is the main source of government power. It’s what makes government aggressors so much more dangerous than any other criminal gang. It’s what allows them to commit aggression on such a large scale without facing justice. Ironically it’s also one of their greatest weaknesses.

So when we deal with government

We’re not dealing with an evil force or a massive beast. We’re dealing with individuals…

  • Some within government
  • Some who perceive government as legitimate
  • Some guilty of aggression
  • Some innocent and peaceful

The Take-Away

As freedom lovers, our enemy is not “The Government,” because “government” is not homogeneous. It’s a mixture of things, some potentially good, some inevitably bad.

Do sociopaths and narcissists exist within this cocktail called “government?” Yes.

But if you think government is a group of people with a common goal to oppress you, you’re delusional. Such an attitude is not dissimilar to that of a bigot, i.e., Lumping millions of people into a stereotype that disregards the unique nature of each individual.

Furthermore, most people I know personally who have worked for “government” were genuinely trying to help others and doing what they thought was right based on their beliefs and the information they had. I can’t be angry at them for that, any more than I can be angry at myself for attempting to help others and do what I feel is right.

Positive Emotions

By recognizing the heterogeneity of government, that many within government are just trying to do what’s right based on their beliefs, you can replace negative emotions of hatred and disgust with positive emotions of empathy, understanding and love. Positive emotions strengthen us, improve our health, attract good people into our lives and inspire others to join our movement.

It’s ok to get angry from time to time, when the current system enables a sociopath to commit horrible violence and avoid justice for example. Such moments of anger can energize us. But don’t direct that anger at anyone who doesn’t deserve it and don’t let those negative emotions consume you.

Potential Allies

Many individuals within “government” have the potential to become freedom lovers. Treating all government employees, voters, vendors, etc. as if they were your mortal enemy sabotages any effort to win the hearts and minds of the good people among them.

Strategies Must Fit Reality

As we work to better ourselves, to increase our numbers, to transform cultures and defend peaceful people from the minority of individuals that deliberately aggress against us, we must remember what government really is. And our strategies must fit that reality, which by the way, is far more exciting and promising than ever before.

Overcoming Intimidation

If you think of government as a single beast with tentacles in every aspect of your life, or as a group of villains with a common mindset, it can seem incredibly powerful and impenetrable.

But once you break it down and see it’s components and fictions as they truly are, once you recognize the unique individuals involved, the task becomes less intimidating. The strategies you can take to achieve freedom become clear. Your confidence grows.

I’m not saying aggressors within government aren’t dangerous. Some of them are, and you should manage those risks when choosing strategies. But don’t let that small minority paralyze you. The legion of employees they command can be turned. The stockpile of physical objects they’ve accumulated can be recycled or re-purposed for peaceful use. The products and services they provide can be rendered obsolete by innovation. The half-baked ideas and beliefs that exist in people’s minds can be dethroned. The free market, the individuals in our movement, and the principles of freedom, peace and happiness are a far more powerful elixir than any cocktail called “government.”

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About DanShielding

Dan Shielding is a freedom strategist. He researches, explores, develops and tests various strategies for achieving real freedom in an effort to improve lives. To be free, Dan believes you must live as you truly wish, adhere to the non-aggression principle, and shield yourself from the aggression of others. So his strategies vary from self-help guru advice to practical steps collaborators can take to peacefully establish and maintain a free society.
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