Pemes - Levels of Freedom

Freespeak (
Sat, 07 Mar 1998 22:17:36 -0700

Three levels of freedom are relevant to
this article:

1. The freedom philosophy level;

2. The practical living-free level;

3. The complete peme-free level.

(Other freedom levels are beyond the
scope of this article.)

[Note: Earlier parts of this "peme debate"
-- including the "peme rules" -- can be found
at <>.]

1. The freedom philosophy level

The first level is that of the "typical"
libertarian, anarchist, egoist, etc.
Typically at this level, you change
your belief system from believing in
statism to believing in freedom. You
discuss, debate, and argue freedom issues
with others. You may work as an activist,
promoting the Libertarian Party, writing
letters to editors and politicians, etc.
You probably live largely as an "obedient
citizen" and you probably "pay your taxes."

At this level, you clear most or all
surface pemes from your brain. You may
believe that in order to enjoy the degree
of freedom you desire, "the system has to
be changed" -- a peme near the surface?

At this level, you probably follow peme
rule 19:
"Whenever pro-freedom humans (secondary
peme purveyors) communicate -- although
they may question, attack, and expose a
few surface pemes -- they shall make a
special effort to use deep pemes in their
language -- in order to maximize peme
survival and propagation."

I must emphasize that it's perfectly OK
to operate at freedom level 1. Given the
nature of "the system" and the relative
difficulty of earning a living in level
2, at this time it's more appropriate
for most freedom lovers to operate in
level 1.

2. The practical living-free level

The second level is that of people who
have decided to "exit the system" --
most notably the "tax system." At this
level, you seek to not only talk freedom,
but to also live freedom. You may have
been influenced by Harry Browne's 'How I
Found Freedom in an Unfree World.' You
learn what I call "Freedom Technology":
The practical knowledge, methods, and
skills to live free; the street-smart
know-how to outwit bureaucrats and their
agents, running rings around them; etc.

Browne's 'How I Found Freedom' is available from
See also <>.

To operate at this level, you need to
overcome *fear* of "the system." You
also *disobey* "the system" in practical
and profitable ways. You may also take
some risks that would be unacceptable to
someone who decides to remain in level 1.
You probably experience "the system" as
far less powerful than the way it tends
to be perceived by a level-1 person.

You may also learn a few "tricks" about
stopping bureaucrats who attack you --
for a real-time example, see
This is a former "federal employee" who
decided to "exit the tax system." The
great merit of this example is that it's
real-time -- as soon as any communication
is received or sent, it's posted to the

You may also learn a great deal about typical
bureaucrat behavior, and how to outwit them --
see <>.

At this level you may discover that you
are free by nature, by dint of the fact
that you and only you control the energy
that animates your body -- see 'The
Discovery of Freedom' by Rose Wilder Lane
-- <> and
'The Mainspring of Human Progress' by Henry Grady Weaver --

You may also discover that you have power
of choice and that this is an awesome power
-- though it may require strengthening.

"PTs" also tend to operate at this level.
PT = "permanent tourist," "prior taxpayer,"
etc. -- see <>.

People who operate at this level tend to
invest considerable time and effort in
improving their ability to assess relative

At this level, you probably still follow
peme rule 19:
"Whenever pro-freedom humans (secondary
peme purveyors) communicate -- although
they may question, attack, and expose a
few surface pemes -- they shall make a
special effort to use deep pemes in their
language -- in order to maximize peme
survival and propagation."

[Warning: For some there could be what I call
"patriot traps" in level 2. For some heroes
it's appropriate to get rid of SSNs, driver's
licences, car registration, etc. If they
know what they're doing and they have the
courage, skills, and support system to
confront the bureaucrats head-on and win,
I salute them. The trap is that such
strategies can result in impoverishment
and jail time for the ill-prepared.]

3. The complete peme-free level

The third level is that of people who have
decided to "exit the system" at the deepest
level of intellect. They have cleared the
deepest pemes from their brains. At every
*appropriate* opportunity, they question and
attack the pemes that appear in the thought
and communication of those they associate

The "appropriate" above must be stressed.
Most of the time it's inappropriate to
question or attack deep pemes -- it tends
to destroy conversations and even friendships;
and most of your audience will simply think
you're crazy -- in accordance with peme rules:
"11. Any humans who attempt to clear any deep
pemes from their brains shall experience a
strong and compelling inner voice telling them,
"I've got to stop this or I'll go crazy!"
12. Any human who attempts to question, attack,
or expose any deep peme shall be ignored,
ridiculed, or vilified by other humans."

At this level, your perception of "the system"
changes dramatically. The example of Simon
Baker illustrates this -- see

For another example, see David T. Freeman's

Case Studies

At 04:02 PM 3/6/98 -0700, Curmudgeon Corner <> wrote:
>The original idea
>[i.e., "The peme program seems to consist of the
>"peme rules" -- or a similar set of rules (could
>also vary from person to person) -- together with
>a set of "surface pemes" and a set of "deep
>seemed to be a promising one - then one gets to the specifications. With
>the exception of # 14 and 24 these purported "rules" don't seem to have any
>substance, but that has been rather typical of the "magic formula"
>suggestions of Mr. Mann in the past. Let me just suggest what some of the
>substantive rules look like, at least in this society:
>(1) Education requires public schools. Without such schools we would all be
>illiterate and there would be no social unity. Unfortunately, public
>schools today are sufferring from a short sighted policy of underinvestment
>and require significantly greater funding.
>(2) Our physical safety requires a strong government police force, the duty
>of which is to suppress, imprision or kill the "bad guys" who would rape,
>plunder and kill we good guys if allowed to run around unchecked.
>(3) The Judges who sit on our Courts invariably act in the public interest
>without regard to who issues their paycheck or their other personal
>interests. Hence, more control should be given to reliable Judges and taken
>away from unreliable lawyers and juries.
>(4) Lawyers are, in any case, vile and evil and out to plunder everyone.
>They are justifiably the most hated profession in the society. Probably
>lawyers should become public employees so that they would share the
>disinterested character of judges.
>(5) Families, churches, business firms and all other sorts of associations
>or institutions that are not formed for the purpose of charity per se
>[preferably the currently trendy charity] are suspect, and should be
>closely monitored and controlled by the government.
>(6) The government represents all of us, whether or not we voted for those
>currently in power or whether or not we agree with what those in power are
>doing. If we don't like what is being done, we should vote differently next
>time. [Yes, I know it's self-contradictory.]
>(7) When discussing public matters the term "we" [or other appropriate
>royal plural] is always used to refer to views "we" like.
>I could go on for about another 40-50 points, but I'm late for work......
>Perhaps Mr. Mann will help with the list [NOT]......

>From what I know about Curmudgeon Corner, he operates at
freedom level 1; he has stated that it's too risky for
him to operate at level 2; and he believes "you can't use
paperwork to stop bureaucrats" -- in contrast to the example at

Curmudgeon's rules are typical of the surface pemes
someone in freedom level 1 has erased from his brain.
Those familiar with deep pemes will recognize that
Curmudgeon's rules are heavily infested with deep
pemes -- in accordance with peme rule 19:
"Whenever pro-freedom humans (secondary
peme purveyors) communicate -- although
they may question, attack, and expose a
few surface pemes -- they shall make a
special effort to use deep pemes in their
language -- in order to maximize peme
survival and propagation."

My peme communications are not aimed at persuading
the "man in the street" to advance to freedom level
1. They are aimed at freedom lovers operating at
levels 1 and 2. There is more you can do to expand
your freedom. You may even discover something about
the most basic factors on which the power of tyrants
depends, and what needs to be done to collapse that

At 10:33 PM 3/6/98 +1100, wrote:
>I may be missing something, but it is not apparant to me how an individual
>frees themself from a coercive political power situation merely by not
>accepting the belief system which justifies the political power.
>The political power draws its strength from its acceptance by a sizeable
>proportion of society, as well as from associated economic power. It can
>only be resisted by the action of many people. An individual, no matter how
>enlightened, is powerless without the co-operation of of a large group.

I suspect that Bill operates in freedom level 1.

Bill, you free yourself by changing certain belief
systems (surface pemes), and by acquiring the knowledge
and skills to live free -- see Harry Browne references
above. Then you go beyond that by clearing deep pemes
from your brain.

Power is often a two-way street. Consider a relationship
between a strong person and a weak person. The strong
person has a great deal of power over the weak person.
The weak person can reduce that power in two ways:
(1) Reducing the power of the strong person;
(2) Increasing his own power. (Or both.)
The same applies to any relationship you may have
with any "powerful group" you feel oppressed by.

My wish is that you will increase your personal
power to the point that you will regard the statement,
"An individual, no matter how enlightened, is powerless
without the co-operation of of a large group," as one
of the silliest things you've ever said.

Part of the process of increasing your personal power
will consist of clearing both surface and deep pemes
from your brain. Maybe you can get some inspiration
from someone who lives in your part of the world: David
T. Freeman -- see <>.

Frederick Mann

"The [one] who knows what freedom is will find a way to be free."
-- Robert LeFevre
"We are free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
-- William Faulkner
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Steve Biko
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