Maybe some of the ideas and principles reflected here can be adapted for "building extropianism."
"I recently read your interview with the Penn State Young
Americans for Freedom. Interestingly, I just left college at the end of this past fall semester as a means to pursuing a completely free life and consciousness. I was actually contemplating writing a book (or possibly report) from a recent student/dropout's perspective on "higher education" and how it is the ultimate capstone to a childhood of brainwashing and enfeeblement."
- "Mike Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists,
not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought."
- Ludwig von Mises
Interview between John Preston of the Penn State University Young Americans for Freedom <http://www.clubs.psu.edu/psyaf/> and Frederick Mann <http://www.buildfreedom.com>:
With your consent, I would like to conduct an interview over e-mail with you for the Pennsylvania State University Young Americans for Freedom newsletter. I think a celebrity like yourself could offer a great viewpoint for such a publication, and I'm sure many students would benefit from reading your ideas. Also, the publication would be an excellent way to advertise your activities, most notably your website <http://www.buildfreedom.com>. I'll ask some questions, and you can e-mail me back the questions with your answers. Keep in mind you may omit any questions you object to. I would appreciate your responses, and will do very little editing of them.
Frederick Mann is an entrepreneur involved with several successful businesses, the author of 'The Economic Rape of America' <http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/rapecon.htm> as well as many practical and useful reports, and the founder of the Free World Order, also known as Terra Libra.
PSYAF (John Preston): In your web site you advocate
"building" freedom instead of fighting tyranny or fighting
for freedom. Can you explain what you mean by building freedom?
Mann: One of the basic ideas of building freedom is that the power of tyrants depends on the support they receive from their victims. In general, such support takes the forms of victims paying taxes to the tyrants, victims obeying the tyrants, victims providing information about themselves to the tyrants, victims allowing themselves to be controlled and regulated by the tyrants, victims demanding and utilizing "services" provided by the tyrants, and victims participating in tyrant elections.
Another basic idea of building freedom is that when you oppose something, there's often an almost automatic reaction to increase the force against the opposition. The extreme manifestation of this phenomenon is "enemies have to be crushed." The Waco massacre was an example.
By building freedom I mean that individuals remove their support from tyrants and tyrant systems to the extent they practically can. They exit tyrant systems to the extent they can get away with. They learn to live free in an unfree world as far as possible. They create their own freedom.
Living free requires what I call freedom technology, which basically consists of the practical knowledge, methods, and skills to outwit tyrants and run rings around them, to organize your life and affairs so tyrants leave you alone. Freedom technology includes the means to defend yourself with minimal effort when attacked by tyrants. If a cop pulls you over, you want to handle the situation with least risk to yourself and have the cop let you go as soon as possible. If a tyrant sends you a threatening letter, the ideal is to respond with one letter that induces that tyrant to leave you alone in order to pursue other victims who are easier prey.
A further aspect of building freedom is the creation of institutions that make it easier, more convenient, and safer for individuals to live free. Examples are in areas such as transacting and banking free from tyrant knowledge and control, business institutions that don't steal part of your earnings to hand over to tyrants, alternative health care, alternative energy systems, alternative communication systems, etc. The Internet is the best example of an institution that makes it much easier for individuals to earn a livlihood while living free.
PSYAF: If I understood correctly, you implied that participating in political elections supports the tyrants. Do you also think that the Libertarian Party should be disbanded and libertarians shouldn't vote?
Mann: For the purpose of this interview, I distinguish two levels of promoting freedom. So far I've been talking about level two: withdrawing support from tyrants and living free. Unfortunately, operating at this level seems so unrealistic to many freedom lovers that it's very difficult for them to even consider.
For most freedom lovers it's appropriate to operate at what I call level-one freedom. This is the level where you learn about freedom philosophy and principles, try to educate others about freedom, support the Libertarian Party, and so forth. This is the most important level of promoting freedom, because it's the best way to reach the masses.
Level one is also where freedom lovers campaign on issues such as preventing Internet censorship, stopping the "know-your-customer" bank regulations, fighting the FDA, campaigning for hemp legalization, and so forth.
Although I personally devote most of my time to level-two freedom, I do also support the Libertarian Party.
PSYAF: What prompted you to create the Free World Order?
Mann: It's an intended antidote to "New World Order."
PSYAF: Why did you choose the Latin phrase "Terra Libra?"
Mann: Actually, I think in proper Latin it would be
something like "Terra Libera," but "Terra Libra"
sounded better to me. Terra Libra is used to indicate
Individuals, to the extent they have freed themselves, are part of Terra Libra or the Free World Order. The Internet and other freedom institutions are part of Terra Libra or the Free World Order.
I distinguish three economic sectors: public, private, and real free enterprise. The "public" sector is basically the coercive or "master" sector. Their primary modes of behavior are violence, threat of violence, deception, fraud, and brainwashing.
The "private" sector is basically a kind of "slave" sector controlled by the "master" public sector. However, there are "masters" in the private sector who "buy" public-sector tyrants in order to receive special privileges such as monopoly licences, tariff protection, subsidies, etc. Many private-sector tyrants steal part of the earnings of their workers to hand over to public-sector tyrants. From the point of view of building freedom, the private sector is as much an enemy of freedom as the public sector.
The real free-enterprise sector is based on property rights, voluntary association and exchange, and is essentially free from coercion and tyranny. Economic activity free from fraud and coercion constitutes Terra Libra or Free World Order. As individuals free themselves, they shift more of their economic activities into the real free-enterprise economy. I call this the "Terra Libra Shift." It's an essential aspect of building freedom.
PSYAF: In your web site, you include many topics ranging from tax relief to health improvement? Why do you cover such a broad range of topics?
Mann: Freedom can be regarded as the range of positive, desirable options individuals have available to them. One of those options is to own the fruits of your labor to dispose of as you wish (provided you don't harm others).
If you're ill in bed, your range of desirable options is curtailed; you're less free. Building freedom includes optimizing your health and fitness.
PSYAF: the Young Americans for Freedom and the ACLU are hosting a debate on affirmative action at Pennsylvania State University. Can you enlighten our readers as to where you stand on affirmative action?
Mann: As I see it from an admittedly oversimplified perspective, affirmative action involves the tyrant stealing from Paul to pay Peter, because in the past both Paul and the tyrant stole from Peter. Affirmative action tends to make the "beneficiaries" more dependent on handouts from the tyrant. In general, individuals who want to build and maximize their freedom shouldn't depend on affirmative action.
However, a ruthless freedom builder might argue,
"Whatever the tyrants have they have stolen. They
are corrupt thieves not entitled to own anything. They are fair game and I'm free to take from them whatever I can get away with!"
PSYAF: I'm writing an opinion piece on Social Security reform. I noticed in your web site you provided information for individuals to drop out of the entire Social Security system by relinquishing their SS number? Can you provide more information on that for our readers?
Mann: Some people go to the extreme of actually relinquishing their SS number. In my opinion, for most freedom lovers this is not a practical course, particularly if they remain dependent on "the system" for their income. To operate completely without an SS number may require considerable legal knowledge and skills, as well as having one or more income streams in the real free-enterprise sector. Nevertheless, I do know of people who manage reasonably well without SS numbers.
PSYAF: Where do you stand on the right of private citizens to own firearms?
Mann: The ultimate obstacle to absolute tyranny is private ownership of guns. Tyrants know this and will do their utmost to eliminate individual gun ownership. Some of the American Founding Fathers knew this, and that's why the right of individual gun ownership is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights. Freedom-loving Americans should regard the right to private firearms ownership as inviolable.
PSYAF: What do you see as the biggest obstacle to individual freedom?
Mann: Undoubtedly that so many freedom lovers work at 9-5 jobs in the private sector, essentially supporting the tyrant system that enslaves people. I suspect that most freedom activists operating in the private sector have not even considered the degree to which they support the coercive political system through their work. If these people could find ways to become financially independent in the real free-enterpise sector, they would not only withdraw a great deal of support from the tyrants, but they would also have much more time available for promoting freedom.
PSYAF: Are you suggesting that freedom lovers operate in the "black market" or "underground economy?" Isn't this too dangerous for most?
Mann: Actually, there's a very important aspect of the power of tyrants that many people don't fully appreciate. Much of tyrant power depends on their having information about their victims. People in the private sector typically provide most of the information tyrants need to control them. People in the real free-enterprise sector, as a rule, don't provide information to tyrants. (This is one reason why tyrants would love to implement measures such as the "know-your-customer" banking regulations.) Provided you're discreet and prudent, you may in fact be less at risk from tyrant coercion in the real free-enterprise sector than in the private sector.
PSYAF: But aren't you advocating that freedom activists break the law?
Mann: In the USA, the senior law of the land is the US Constitution, the framers of which largely intended real free enterprise, in support of which there is considerable case law, such as the famous case of Hale vs Henkel. There is also case law that says that laws contrary to the Constitution are null and void. I advocate that all real laws be obeyed to the letter.
PSYAF: You obviously think that your level-two strategy is superior to the level-one strategies most of us are involved in. Why is this?
Mann: The disadvantage from the individual's point of view with level-one strategies is that you can spend many years -- and a great deal of money -- hoping for greater liberty in the distant future, while remaining enslaved in important ways. Many level-one freedom activists become disillusioned because of lack of results and suffer "burn out." The great advantage of level-two freedom strategies is that you can very quickly enjoy the benefits of freedom -- and keep most or all of the money you earn to boot!
PSYAF: What do you think the future will be like in America and the world in terms of liberty?
Mann: I expect that, as it becomes easier for individuals to free themselves because of institutions like the Internet, the tyrants will become more desperate and vicious in their attempts to enslave their victims. There may be more "Wacos."
There are many people on the cusp or margin between liberty and slavery. As the tyrants become more vicious and desperate, more people will be pushed to the liberty side. Also, the more repressive tyrants become, the greater the benefits of escaping the tyranny.
>From their perspective, the violence mode works
for tyrants. (Of course, they disguise it as
"helping the children," etc.) The tyrants receive
a "return on violence" in an economic sense. The businessman wants a return on investment. The tyrant wants a return on violence. People (at least those who aren't too brainwashed) pay taxes to avoid violence against themselves. The tyrants' return on violence includes receiving taxes.
With the advent of the Internet and other freedom institutions, it becomes more difficult for tyrants to control their victims, and their return on violence diminishes. Much of their power depends on a diminishing return on violence. Hence I see a great expansion of freedom, both in America and in the rest of the world, for those who take the initiative to free themselves and to build their freedom.
Tyrants all over the world, operating in accordance with a 'de facto' constitution "Everything goes... that we can get away with," may seek to make examples of some of those who attempt to build their own freedom and subject them to "Waco-like" treatment.
In order to control those who choose to remain enslaved in coercive political systems, tyrants will most likely do their best to further curtail liberty.
Overall, I see more freedom for those who free themselves and less liberty for those who choose to remain enslaved in coercive political systems.
PSYAF: What are your plans for the future?
Mann: The priority I'm working on right now is to improve the ability of individuals to become financially independent outside coercive political systems.
The next priority to be tackled will be in the area of providing the means whereby individuals can improve their thinking skills.
PSYAF: What do you think the average college student could do to increase his/her personal freedom?
Mann: Develop one or more income streams in the real free-enterprise sector. Concentrate on improving thinking skills. Drop out of college at the earliest practical opportunity and educate yourself.
PSYAF: Is there any other advice you have for freedom-loving people?
Mann: Learn to question everything, including everything you "know" about freedom or liberty, and everything you "know" needs to be done to expand freedom or liberty.
PSYAF: Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Mann. It was a pleasure talking to you.
Mann: You're most welcome!
PSYAF: Free World Order, aka Terra Libra, can be found at <http://www.buildfreedom.com/>. I appreciate your cooperation, Mr. Mann, and I look forward to future updates on your great website.
If you would like to become a donor to support the activities of Penn State Young Americans for Freedom, you can contact us through our website <http://www.clubs.psu.edu/psyaf>.
Member, Penn State Young Americans for Freedom.
The Effects of Compulsory Brainwashing:
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