In Franz Kafka’s most popular work “The Trial”, his characters relate a short parable which has fascinated and confused curious readers for generations. That parable is entitled “Before The Law”, and its message has been interpreted, reinterpreted, and agonized over by the labyrinthine contrariness of academia, producing numerous conflicting views:
Existentialists, of course, automatically jump to the conclusion that “Before The Law” is a message of the absurd nature of man’s search for reason and structure in a universe of random coincidence. That “the law”, as it were, is a superficial concept that humanity uses to make life more bearable. That we seek to create artificial social constructs in order to keep ourselves afloat in a sea of chaos. This is partly true. The law is, indeed, an abstraction conjured by men. However, the source of the most fundamental laws, being inherent conscience, is far from abstract. In fact, it is one of the few aspects of our existence that is undeniably tangible and universal. It is proof that all is NOT random, and that there is a meaning and a purpose to what we do here and now.
I see “The Trial” and “Before The Law” not as treatise on the futility of man’s search for justice, but as a warning on the foolishness of man’s dependency on systems not rooted in conscience. That is to say, we have a tendency to linger about idly while others make our decisions for us. We expect the system we live in to provide answers, to provide nurturance, to provide fairness, and to provide change where necessary. This expectation is a dangerous one.
Most social and political systems today are designed around collectivist methodologies. Their primary tool is centralization of power, and the removal of choice from the public consciousness. We are made to believe that the establishment is necessary for our survival, and that to abandon it would mean certain destruction. We are taught that the individual is subservient and inconsequential in the face of the state. This is simply not so. Like the traveler in “Before The Law”, we have been defeated by our own expectations of how the law (or justice) works. We sit and wait for permission, when we should be charging through the gates and taking what is rightfully ours.
Even amidst recent and increasingly prevalent protest actions on the part of Occupy Wall Street groups, there are still some within these movements who believe the answer to fighting back against the corruption of banking cartels and puppet politicians is to hand even MORE power over to the state, and to collectivize our culture still further. The ignorance of this mentality is no less than astonishing.
The only practical strategy for combating the tyranny of centralized systems has been and always will be decentralization. Individuals must stop relying on the rules of a rigged game to see them through to the truth. This means that while mass protests are certainly a powerful tactic for voicing concerns on an international stage, they accomplish little to nothing in the way of meaningful change in the long run unless they are backed by individual actions to break away from dependency upon a poisoned political and economic framework.
The common assumption amongst Americans is that nothing can be done without mass action resulting in “compromise” from leadership. That the healing of our cultural dynamic is a “top down” process. That one person alone has little at his disposal for bettering the world. In fact, it is always self aware and self sustaining individuals who build better societies, not angry mobs without understanding or direction. Individuals blaze the path that the rest of the world eventually follows, and they do this through one very simple and effective act; walking away.
By walking away from the corrupt system, and building our own, we make the establishment obsolete. This philosophy could be summed up as follows:
Provide for yourself and others those necessities which the corrupt system cannot or will not, and the masses (even if they are unaware) will naturally gravitate towards this new and better way. Offer freedom where there was once restriction, and you put the controlling establishment on guard. Eventually, they will either have to conform to you, attack you, or fade away completely. In each case, you win. Even in the event of attack, the system is forced to expose its tyranny and its true colors openly, making your cause stronger.
The obvious question now is; how can each one of us use this strategy in our daily lives? Here are just a few easy applications:
1) Focus On The Federal Reserve
If you as an activist or the movement you support are not fully aware of the private Federal Reserve Bank and its primary role in the destruction of our economy, our currency, and our political dynamic, then your protests are a waste of time, and your movement will end in failure. Uneducated mass actions are easily manipulated, and can even end up serving the purposes of those oligarchs they seek to dethrone. G. Edward Griffin’s full analysis on the history of the Federal Reserve “The Creature From Jekyll Island” and similar materials should be handed to every OWS protester before it is too late.
2) Take Back Your Savings
Do you have a bank account with one of the so called “too big to fails”? Is the culmination of your savings currently in the hands of financial monstrosities like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, etc? Well, take your money back! This has been done by a few protestors and the response from banks has been outlandishly oppressive, including new guidelines attempting to obstruct customer access to savings, and even calling the police! This tells me that they are afraid. Afraid of Americans catching wind of the idea that the money they place in the accounts of bad banks is still theirs to do with as they will. If you don’t like how these institutions operate, don’t let them have your money. It’s as simple as that. Not only is this an act of defiance that truly hurts the banking system, it also protects your hard earned wealth (at least initially) from the inevitable collapse of these fiscally insolvent blood leaching leviathans (watch Bank of America closely, folks!).
3) Use Alternative Currencies
After you take your savings away from the banks, you still aren’t quite free of their influence. You are now holding fiat dollars, which the Federal Reserve, the foundation of all banking fraud, is currently devaluing. The idea of walking away from the dollar sounds ridiculous or even frightening to those trapped in the centralization mindset, but it is a highly effective method for combating the system itself. The dollar is a sham, and has been since its future was handed over to the Fed in 1913.
Alternatives exist, and they must be utilized. Communities across the country use various scripts as a means to diminish reliance on the dollar, but ultimately, the best currencies are those that cannot be created out of thin air unhindered. This means gold and silver.
Central banking proponents have been railing against even the concept of a return to gold and silver currencies for years, and the Department Of Justice has labeled the use of such alternatives in place of dollars as a form of “domestic terrorism”. This should tell you, quite clearly, that they are deathly afraid of activists organizing to drop the dollar to pursue metals. If the system is willing to use the law as a weapon to keep us from having sound money, then we should be rubbing their nose in it daily by trading without dollars. They should be forced to react, and in the process, forced to expose their true intentions for our economic futures.
4) Build Barter Networks
If a bunch of people can band together to huddle in parks with signs for weeks in cities across the nation, then they can band together to trade goods and services outside the establishment system as well. Barter networks grow spontaneously out of economic collapse regardless of what any group decides to do, but generally, they appear AFTER the worst has happened. Wouldn’t it be wiser to organize such markets now, before a full collapse takes place? By preempting disaster with a backup or failsafe free market barter economy in each town and city, we insulate ourselves from the effects of the crisis, and, we cut loose from our dependency on the controlled mainstream economy. Localized trade makes it possible to walk away from corporate chains and maintain the circulation of wealth within a community, while countering the increasingly higher taxes caused by austerity and inflation that we are likely to see in this country very soon. It really is a no-brainer.
I don’t know how to say this nicely; don’t be a jackass, learn to grow your own food. Don’t expect that our economy will continue to sustain you. Actually, you should have every expectation that it won’t! If every Wall Street or Fed protester had their own garden patch and some stored goods, we would all be much safer. Food dependence is the worst kind. It has been used by governments and despots for centuries to cull the masses and dissuade dissent.
Sharecropping should be common in every community. Neighborhood gardens should be standard. Every household should have a year’s worth of food. Period.
Imagine that you lose your job and every cent you have tomorrow. Imagine that mom and dad are broke and have no money to lend you. Imagine that food stamps are a thing of the past because the national debt has become so exponential that entitlement programs have been erased. Now, how do you live from day to day? Where do you get the nutrition required for you to continue holding up that sign or shouting that slogan? Think about it…
6) Start A Micro-Industry
If the U.S. economy is ever going to get on its feet again, it will be because average Americans bring it back through local industry. This means ending our community addictions to corporately produced goods and returning to specialized trade skills. It means coalitions of local farmers, craftsmen, and micro-industries providing goods and services with a city or county based market focus. Large manufacturers and business chains relying on the model of globalization will have absolutely no ability to rebuild mainstreet commerce, even if they wanted to, because their methods depend upon constant outsourcing and downsizing for survival. Private tradesmen will be the only people capable of filling the dark void these corporations leave behind.
7) Start An Activist Group
The establishment HATES when you do this. The spontaneous organizing of groups outside government or corporate purview has generated notoriously absurd responses from authorities, including accusations of “extremism”, infiltration, and wrongful arrest. If this sounds frightening, then I suggest you get over it quickly, because this is going to be the norm for many years to come. The evils of the world are not undone by apathetic naysayers anymore than they are undone by mindless mobs. Without the coordinated actions of aware individuals with a common focus, nothing is going to change.
This group could be something a simple as a local barter network or a political discussion forum, or, a complex national organization geared towards tangible political action. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s based on the promotion of Constitutional freedoms, and its leadership is decentralized. Just make it happen…
At bottom, if we want to fight back against a system we cannot take back through traditional means, then we must learn to walk away. If the system feeds us, clothes us, and shelters us at will, then ordinary protest is pointless. Our tender parts are in a rusty vice on the autocratic workbench and until we pull them out, no amount of screaming and pounding will improve our situation. Independence is won through the constant striving for self responsibility. Freedom is won through a position of personal strength, not weakness and self-enslavement.
Numbers alone do not make a movement, and the elites we currently work to supplant are not going to flinch at a few random protests. In all likelihood they will welcome these actions as a useful distraction. Tyrants don’t fear the torches and pitchforks anymore. What they do fear is balanced insight, self reliance, and exceptional force of will. A handful of men with these attributes are far more dangerous to a corrupt system than thousands of citizens driven only by insatiable anger. To overcome oppression, we must first overcome ourselves. The ability to step outside the paradigm, the ability to act without permission, and charge the gates without apprehension, is the key to toppling totalitarian systems and exposing the great lie of our age; that we cannot exist without the cage we were born into.
You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]
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