Obsessed With Freedom in a World of SlavesSubmitted by freeicky on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:59
(*Note: this is a true story of my present circumstances, a stream from my conscience, in a sense, with some freedom mixed in.)
When will I stop pretending?
I just got out of bed. It's very early in the morning, probably 3 or 4...I don't know. My bed is an air mattress in a studio apartment which I share with a girl named Blackie. There is nothing romantic between the two of us, we're only friends. We met in the last hostel I stayed at. She has been a truly good person to me. She used to work at Goldman Sachs.
I often have a hard time writing with speed, but now it is coming easily to me as I force myself to record every thought.
I just smoked some weed and now I'm sitting on the toilet, lid down. I'm writing in the bathroom because I don’t want to wake Blackie. I'm writing to tell you something, to tell myself something. I hope I have gained your attention.
Peril lies within human existence. But you already knew that. It's obvious.
Am I depressed? According to the popular way to determine such a thing, yes, of course I'm depressed. But I am not only depressed by problems, I am depressed by the lack of solutions. What is it about depression in our lives today? Why does everyone seem to have it? Well, of course not everyone has it, but you know what I mean. There is a great void in understanding when it comes to recognizing the truth behind things like depression. Depression can come from nowhere else but from inside oneself or outside oneself...
Last night I made a complete fool of myself in front of a girl. She's Venezuelan, her name is Ruby. I'm saying I made a complete fool of myself because I was drunk and I don't really remember what happened. I drink quite a lot, but decided to stop when I woke up to write what I'm writing now. Drinking is the way I've dealt with depression--that and weed, although the weed is not a problem aside from my tendency to eat massive amounts of pizza while I'm high. Honesty is what is coming out of me right now. I hope it doesn't come back to hurt me, but I can't stop it.
So depression comes from two places, from within oneself and from outside of oneself. It comes from these two places because there is nowhere else. The same applies to everything else which is in our human method of understanding. So, in other words, depression is the same as the wind in that the wind also exists in one of these two places. The wind blows, and so does depression. Depression can be seen in much a different light...hmmm...what I'm saying may be complete mumbo jumbo, my thoughts on the subject may coalesce later...
I just came to one of the most supreme realizations. I can stop pretending and be happy if only I dispense my thoughts. I can help other people. I care about people. I must stop fooling myself and start showing the care that I feel. It is in this way that I will recognize myself and become one with the world around me. It is very important for me to expel what is inside of me because it is hard for me to track my thoughts. My thoughts come brilliantly all at once--they are a brief vision, without words--and then they dissipate all at once; it often is impossible to relay them, although that is what I'm making an effort to do here.
I'm wondering now if Blackie will throw me out eventually. She genuinely cares about me I think.
(Did you know that there are definitely thoughts that are better kept to oneself? The thoughts which are best kept to oneself are those thoughts which might be hurtful to someone else who is undeserving of the hurt. That's why I'm pushing bad thoughts away right now.)
Boy do I have trouble maintaining a train of thought. I'm going to refocus myself now so I can talk about what is so important for me to relay to the world. My thoughts here which are coming forward now are my way of freeing myself from agony. I hope that what I have to say can help some people, although it will be met with disdain by some and with dismissal by most. For those who find disdain with, or no importance in, what I have to say, I would ask you to reconsider. I don't have anything to say but the certain truth. This is my confidence and I will stab my confidence now with my pen and make it bleed with the ink on this page. Well, it started as ink, now it's digital text, but you get the point.
Eloquence comes out through honesty and it can change the world. That's what I want to do, change the world. It is the only thing that will avail me to the promised land. When I say promised land I don’t mean anything related to to what is normally attributed to any popular god or religion. Religion is what we make it and what I want is a religion that will bring prosperity to people, one which will bring us out of pain and suffering and lead us all to the utopia of the promised land. The promised land is an ideal world; it is utopia. This is a bit of hyperbole, mind you.
Utopia begins with not aggressing, with the absence of aggression. If one does not place the human being above all other life forms, a necessity for the prosperity of human beings, then the words that I have to say here may be irrelevant. However, those who desire a righteous and peaceful world must recognize the benefit of placing our own life form above all others. I think we ought to work together to achieve what could be a truly splendid and blissful human condition.
Can we start with the most basic agreement? Human on human violence is bad. How 'bout we, then, end it. Now, keep in mind that, as long as violence is used, it cannot end. So, this is a plea to the individual, not a plea to incomprehensible bodies of people (bureaucracies, governments, the state, etc.) which have no clear identity. All that is formed of people is made up of individuals. For this reason I find myself uncomfortable saying that the "government" did this or that. No, although saying that the "government" did something may relate some sort of meaning, it is so unspecific that more harm is done by this inexactitude than can be imagined. Responsibility is transferred in such a cheap description as "government". Individuals act, not governments. Ludwig von Mises taught me this. When will we stop attributing such grand inhumanity to "government" and realize that what is bad can end if individuals cease their violent actions.
It seems ok to many that the "government acts in 'defense' of the country", that the "government" commits preemptive violence as they mangle what it actually means to be defensive, but, yet, when a classroom of children are killed by an identifiable individual, there is outrage. Don't you see the discrepancy? Where is the outrage for the dead children in the Middle East, those children who are murdered in far greater numbers, whose deaths are attributed to the monstrously unidentifiable, responsibility diluting "government"? Why don't you care, Obama, as you authorize the order? Why don't you care Mr. Drone Operator, as you pull the trigger? Why don't you care?
The scramble of my thoughts forces me into a regression, into a spillage of my transgressions. I made a great transgression last night. I mentioned it before. Although I had good intentions I drove drunk with a girl, Ruby, who I had offered to help find a place to live. She had to have a friend come pick her up because I was such a mess. These sorts of things cause me to ponder my life, namely, what I'm doing with it.
So I feel a great deal of guilt, shame, and sorrow. I've explored all of these feelings, these manufactures of conscience, in great depth. I understand that my feelings are my choice, yet still I can't help but wonder from where they come. These feelings are masterful, not in a good sense, but in one that is bad, in a sense that they control, they master, life. Feelings are an interpretation, a manifestation, by and of our conscious environment--both the environment within ourselves and the environment that is outside of ourselves. In other words, our sadness comes from the environment. We are sad because there are sad things; we are depressed because there are depressing things. There is no malfunction of the mind; the mind is, rather, making the appropriate determinations and interpretations.
The solution lies not in mind numbing pharmaceuticals which do nothing but fool the mind, but, rather, hope can be found in a change of environment, in either environment, the one inside or the one out. One's environment changes most effectively as a result of one's own actions. An improvement in the world, then, relies most heavily upon those individual actions, yours especially. Am I making sense? Your understanding of my words is a choice. These are not easy connections to make, but if the concept is grasped, the mind is transformed and understanding follows along with faith. I am trying not only to convince you, I am trying to convince myself.
My roommate is one of the kindest persons in the world. Blackie used to work for Goldman Sachs, like I said. She quit because she didn't like the environment there, one of many things which gives me so much respect for her. She doesn't tell me what to do. She is letting me stay for free until I have money, which may never come. But she is only a friend, let me be clear. I think a person like Blackie is who I needed. She's befriended me and I befriended her. This is a true friendship because I'm a royal fuck up yet she is still here for me. I try to be as good a friend as possible to her, but I don't think I've been completely successful. Come to think of it, I don't know if I've ever been that great a friend to anyone.
My life is approaching either its end or its beginning. If what I have to say is not well received, then this might be the end. If people care, then this is the beginning, not just for me, but for everyone else.
Life exceeds violent interaction. Violence is a tool of misery. It must be realized that violence can be attributed to the actions of individuals. Those individuals who act with force, those who are not doing so as an act of defense, should be personally condemned, regardless of whether or not that act of violence was the result of a "superior command", or not. One is one's own superior command. Individuals act and violence is an act of the individual. Defense is not violence; defense, rather, is a force which defeats violence. The means for defense should be achievable for all individuals equally so long as no one is permitted the use of violence. All individuals should be capable of the ability to exercise force with any means desired so long as the force is never used for any purpose other than that which is defensive. Unless force is used to discourage violence, to exercise defense, then that force is violent and morally reprehensible to utilize. To violently discriminate against any individual in a way which would inhibit his or her ability to acquire the means to exercise force, to give some individuals the right to certain methods of force while preventing others from the same right, gives rise to an environment with a discrepancy of force; offensive violence follows with misery not far behind.
One of the primary weapons of force used for violence today, and throughout the history of the world, is money, or, rather, the creation of it. Thankfully, due in large part to my primary influence, Ron Paul, the awareness of this problem has grown. Is it not without certitude that more dollars are being created? Those who have no sense of the effect of this have not really thought it over. The money, as it is created, becomes less valuable unit per unit. If one cannot grasp this clear relationship between the total quantity of a thing and the value of each part, then there is no hope for that person's involvement in the advancement of humankind. Massive amounts of new dollars, our fiat currency, whether they be paper or digital, are created all of the time. What is the point of this? You must ask yourself why it is necessary to create more and more money. Who benefits from this strange behavior? More money encourages more spending and spending is what allows for the acquisition of property--actual valuable goods. The dollars created enter the banks first. Banks, then, quite literally, sell the fiat money. They sell the money in exchange for physical goods or services.
While more and more money is fighting for a limited supply of goods, there will be losers. Those who have use of the money first, the banks, will profit most, as is clear. This is why so many businesses fail. Failure is built into the system. In a top down money system, like what we have, the banks win by "loaning" money. If the business is successful in gaining enough dollars from the marketplace (business must compete for dollars in the market, while the banks are given dollars for free) to pay his debt to the bank, then he will succeed; if not, he will fail. But the bank wins either way. If the business is successful, the bank gets more money than it gave out; if the business fails, the bank gets whatever property was purchased with the loan. Don't you see the problem with this arrangement? There is a monopoly over our money by the banks! And I haven't even finished touching the surface of this deeply complex problem which branches out into nearly every realm of our existence. This is one of the things that frustrates me so, that people can't grasp this very basic logic, and many of those who do grasp it don't seem to care.
By diverting quickly from topics of importance, like money and violence, to topics which are not so important, like the trivial sadness of my own empty existence, I hope to retain attention and gain the therapy I need simultaneously. I'm in the library now, sober. I'm lucky I'm basically out of money because if I had some I would almost certainly buy some alcohol and drink while I write.
Blackie thinks I'm at work, but I'm not going to be going back there. "Alpha Metals" is the name of the company. I was "selling" precious metals over the phone, working off "leads" provided by Alpha. I've placed "selling" in quotation marks because I never sold anything while I was there, although that was the intention, and "leads" is in quotation marks too because we were essentially just cold calling business owners. Now, I believe in precious metals. I guarantee that I had a greater understanding of the value of precious metals than anyone else who worked at Alpha, but...
I'm trailing off again now...I was just thinking about the title of what I am writing and I thought about "Obsessed With Freedom in a World of Slaves". That's what I am, really, "obsessed with freedom", and I feel like a slave. I know what's possible and I don't know what to do about it. And, again, that's why I've decided to write what I'm writing now. I really don't feel comfortable telling anyone what to do because of the nature of my own mostly pathetic life. But, just because I am pathetic, because I feel pathetic, this does not mean that I don't know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I have been wrong, I have acted out, or rather failed to act right, in more instances than I can count. This current exposition is an effort to do something which is right. It might be my last effort, I just don't know if I can handle much more.
I think I hit rock bottom two nights ago when I drove Ruby, the Venezuelan girl, while I had been drinking quite heavily. I wanted to be her friend, genuinely, I wanted to help her, but I couldn't even accomplish this most basic of tasks. I'm honestly in search of romance, as well, and Ruby is a very cute girl--which I'm sure I told her many times as I drunkenly embarrassed myself. Wow, what a ruin. It is not only that I am too ashamed to face Ruby again, I also feel too greatly undignified to face the rest of the group of people around whom I met Ruby. Blackie introduced me to them; they were from her church. I'm so embarrassed that I have acted in this way. I was in desperate need for some nice new friends, and now the chance seems gone. It is not that these people would not accept and forgive me, it is more that I would be overwhelmed by the power of my misdeeds if I am ever again in the presence of these kind people.
I wonder if the tenderness I feel around my belly is because I had been drinking so heavily. Oh well, I think Blackie is probably gone to the chocolate festival now (she loves, and I mean LOVES chocolate), so I'm going to go back home and smoke some weed. It's cold in the library.
Blackie hadn't left yet--the car was still there--my car, I mean--I was going to let her borrow it. (Actually, I told her this morning that she could borrow it anytime, which I don't know why I hadn't offered before. It's the least I could offer her--she doesn't have a car, she is very responsible, if there's anyone to trust, it's her.) At least she'll be working tonight. I'll wait to go back till she's at work, I really just need to be alone with some weed and some food.
Back to Ruby. My biggest problem with that night is that I can't remember much of it. I know that what I can remember was pretty bad, but what I can't remember might be worse. I'm a true fuck up.
I'm down to my last two dollars and some change. I had planned on going to work for one last day to get paid, but I really can't bear it. To be around a bunch of maniacs who like to scream at strangers on the phone is not my kinda thing. This is certainly part of the reason I began to drink everyday for work. In the mornings and at lunch I would load up on the cheapest vodka I could find, and, do you know those little bottles that Five Hour Energy come in? I would fill two or three of those up, too, so that I could pour some in my coffee in the morning as I made phone calls, or to have a quick shot when I went to the bathroom during the day.
I don't understand why people think that insulting strangers over the phone is a good way to do business. In my mind it is the tactic of assholes who take advantage of the impersonality of the phone to vent their anger. Most of the people in that office were losers, including me, although my being a loser is for different reasons. Have these people, these men who like to strong arm strangers on the phone, have they ever heard of good will? Don't they know that the internet is a step and a click away for anyone who'd like to advertise the bad behavior of Alpha salespeople? So, not only is this method of interacting with potential customers, this rude behavior, a bad way to be a human, it's just bad business sense. Alpha had legal troubles in the past, they were successful for a short time and blew it. They are now back at it and I don't see the end result as being something different.
I admit to having some grand vision of working hard and eventually helping to change the culture there, but those damaging sales tactics were so ingrained upon the leaders at Alpha that it was not worth it. And I actually believed in the product which was being sold, physical precious metals. But why would someone buy metals from a voice over the phone, a stranger from who-knows-where, who works for a company with a bad reputation, when one can buy metals from any number of places without being pressured by a salesperson with no manners?
What I am writing now, what I have written so far, started as a letter to my family, that's why it's so personal. I don't know how much more I can tolerate, so I want to get as many of my thoughts down as possible. I want to communicate what I know, some certainties about life. The general condition of humanity is one of suffering and there is more suffering to come at the will of violent force, at the choice of aggressors. I implore my family, and anyone else who will listen, to be a tool in the solution.
I want to get back to gold and silver and tell you why you should own these metals; just don't buy from Alpha. I described some pitfalls of the dollar earlier. These pitfalls are suffered by any fiat paper currency and it is why not one has lasted throughout history...
...but I find myself not wanting to write about anything important right now. I just want a better life, but I don't seem to know how to get it; nothing seems worth putting forth my effort. I don't want to stay with Blackie anymore. I just want to be alone with plenty of things to numb myself. I want to be alone so I don't have to feel the shame brought upon by the presence of an observer. I've been anti-social my whole life. It was to the point that I said absolutely nothing as a child going through school. I am still the same person, really. That's definitely a part of the reason I so thoroughly enjoy drinking. It makes me social, and happy; drinking causes me to enjoy life in the moment rather than being stifled by all the layers of my full consciousness. I'm a careless blob right now and I'd like to sink through the drains of life and into the sewers of nothingness. Where is my presence? In this self-dwelling absurdity I have hurt myself and others. Where is my escape?
This is my last stand. I can see myself getting lower before I rise up, though, or rather, if I rise up.
If Blackie kicks me out I will be in pretty big trouble. I have very little food remaining and I will probably start becoming hungry quite frequently. I don't want to have to crawl home to my mother. When I set out from where I was going to school, when I quit school, I promised myself that I would not accept anything else from mom. She's already helped me too much. Thinking about her makes me well up, get emotional. I haven't called. Too much shame and guilt.
I won't be happy unless I'm fighting for freedom. I've certainly done this to some extent so far ever since Ron Paul introduced and, subsequently, explained the idea to me beginning in that presidential debate in 2007 when Paul scorched Rudy Giuliani over the origin of terrorism. I was scorched too by Ron Paul's words. I've devoted a lot of my time and money to freedom since then, but not enough. Paul changed my philosophy and he changed my life for the better, or worse, I guess, if you consider my current condition. I now see all things through the prism of what it means to be free.
Don't you understand all of the restrictions around you? I'm asking you here to question life's restrictions, however they are imposed. This is not to say that we should not restrict ourselves. I'm questioning, in fact I am deploring and defaming, I'm excoriating the restrictions which one places upon another whenever that restriction is not the result of a mutual, voluntary and peaceful agreement between the parties involved.
I don't think I'm the best communicator of these ideas, nor do I know the best method for convincing people of what is right. I think that this is part of my frustration in life. How can my fellow beings not see the certainty behind the positive effects of human liberty? How can a restriction keep one free when the restriction itself is an implement of offensive force, when the restriction is an exact violation of freedom? Tell me which peaceful person you would like to have restricted for the benefit of your own pleasure and I will ask you why you want to see peace defeated.
A tax is a restriction upon the use of one's own productivity. The products of taxes are monuments to violence. Please take care to understand what it means to be free and knock it out of your deceived mind that what is brought upon by taxes, that those things which people desire and value which are associated with taxes, ask yourself why these things could not still find a place in our world in the absence of forceful confiscation. Just because something exists as the result of a purchase made with funds that were gathered through tax, there is no logical reasoning to follow which says that these purchases could not be made through voluntary interaction instead. Look at the healthcare system, transportation, retirement, care for the poor, and the military. All of these things, which are in sad shape, have at their disposal the taxpayer. Could we not do better if we work together with voluntarism at our core. Violent force has ruined these things which are so vital to us. We can have these things, in better form, with peace. Stop believing the lie that we must unite under violence. Stop believing that there is not a gentle way.
Am I being too hard on taxes? If you think so, you have not thought it through. What about the person who wishes to pay no taxes, the person who wishes not to contribute to the elements of war and death, to a failed war on drugs, to poorly managed and inefficient systems of transportation and healthcare, to this plague of violent immorality? This person who desires to withhold any part of his productivity from the monsters of destruction, if he wishes instead to keep the whole fruit of his labor so that he can dispense it as he sees fit for the betterment of himself and those people and things which he cares about, if he follows his heart, then he will be imprisoned; or, in the case that he makes an attempt at self defense, then death at the hands of those with more physical power, murder by those who enforce the taxes, will certainly soon follow. So, please, think about what and who you support; think about where morality lies and, then, once you understand that forceful preemptive aggression is bad no matter if the purveyors yield a uniform and badge, and no matter if they cling on to the deceptive courage siphoned from the delusion of an ugly and unidentifiable "state", then you can be a part of peace and prosperity. You can help end suffering--you must first, though, transform your ideas.
I don't have credibility, but these ideas of freedom, which are certainly not my own, are the most credible and loving ideas ever realized by humanity. I'm a poor, delinquent, and belligerent messenger, but I'm begging you, please just understand the righteousness of the message.
I'm going to go smoke and eat some ravioli.
I think maybe I realized why I'm doing this, writing all of this dramatic and personal jibber jabber. There is so much pain in the world, so much despair, and I want the desperate, those who live in a confused intoxicated suffering, to realize the origin of their pain. By intoxicated, I don't mean drunk, like me, like I have been so often; I mean that people have been intoxicated by lies and mythologies, by the terror of those who manipulate ideas and organize barbaric races towards the most violent power. People are under a condition in which these forces, the forces brought upon by individual members of the mass media, individuals who participate in "government", and by individuals in countless other areas of life, these individuals have laid a path of decay in front of the suffering.
Wake up my friends! Wake up to your capabilities. I mean that you don't need to be told what to do by a higher power. You are the power and those who would like to strangle your power, your effort, have put you into a state of despair which is hard to comprehend. But if you look, then it is apparent. Won't you please recognize what it is to be free and fight for it? Unless you join me, I might drown in the sea of your ignorance.
But what have I done? I'm just sitting here in my dump of a studio apartment in my lawn chair, the only chair I have. I'm just drumming up anger and drama because it makes me feel good to tell others what is wrong with their world while I do nothing to fix my own. This is becoming quite a large fight within myself. Do I tell people what I think and risk the scorn which I undoubtedly deserve, or do I stay wrapped up in my own mind while I continue to drive myself mad? Well, if you are reading this, I decided to say 'screw it', and let it out. Fuck you if you don't care! I don't mean that. Really, though, I'm saying what I am because it's the best way I know how to love, as sad as that may seem.
To those who suffer, to those who live in poverty, and to those who think they live well, everyone must come to terms with the fact that our existence together, as it is, falls far short of what it could be. Those who have none, or who have not enough, must realize that, as you suffer, you are without something grand. It is something you have, but around it the curtains have been drawn. It's a beautiful show, the one you're missing, this show which has been hidden from you. In order to witness this disguised elegance, which is the most nurturing thing in the world, you must not take from anyone, nor may you ask others to do the taking for you. This is a thing you already have. It is your freedom!
If only we all may recognize that we need not be given a single thing from anyone else, we only must retrieve from within what we already have, what is given to us by the nature of our shared ability to deduce and induce basic logic, then we will find bliss and harmony and happiness together. If we stop trampling over one another we can work together in an indescribably elegant maneuver. The maneuver is not one maneuver only, but an infinite number of maneuvers, which are the infinite actions we make in accordance with one another. The sum of of these actions creates our human world, and to think that this incredible volley of dealings, of interactions and transactions, of love and care, to think that this most intricate dance could be bettered by humans with plans to transform this grand beauty by means of violent force upon our noble freedom--to think such a thing, that liberty should be stifled for the sake of designs made by a select and "intelligent" few amongst us--such a thought is the height of hate; it is the most pious indignity upon the beauty and progress of humanity. Be free and be good.
There’s more I have to say.
I'm not even close to done.