Brandon Smith, Contributor
For most of us in America today, childhood was a time of vast and unassailable dreams. What we could become, what the world could become, was limited only by the strength of spirit setting aloft our ideas, and this strength, as all young people instinctively know, is infinite. While the possibilities of the future seemed boundless, few of us, including myself, ever considered “political extremism” as a viable lifestyle decision. Astronaut? Maybe. Filmmaker? Sure. Enemy Belligerent? Not so much….
While each of us is ultimately a product of our own decisions and internal choices, even beyond the influences of our environment, the cultural atmosphere of our age certainly determines the manner in which we are able to express our individual character. The brilliant and talented are sometimes cast into roles of poverty and obscurity. The obscene and devious often ascend to positions of righteous reverence. Good men are often painted as villains for centuries, while evil men are regarded as saints for just as long. The point is, the times in which we live rarely express in an honest way who we really are, unless, of course, we take hold of them tight, and cut out a new path for history to travel….
Those men and women who drive forward without fear or doubt to assert control over their destinies, and force their era to reflect their principles, rather than their principles becoming a side-note to their era, whether honorable or dishonorable, are invariably considered “extreme”. Most human beings waft about with the tides of time as passengers; spectators watching events unfold from the sidelines. Those who swim against the currents, or who attempt to change their flow altogether, are usually rare and confounding to the masses. Therefore, that which the masses consider extremism is often merely that which they consider far outside what they have grown accustomed.
Frankly, history has proven over and over again that the majority is usually wrong about most things. Groups and collectives do not create, or discover, or advance humanity. Only individuals are capable of this. All great concepts begin as seeds within independent people, and then spread like wildfire as they educate others. A society that strives for artificial normality and collectivist harmonization is a society on the verge of chaos and death. Only free hearts and minds give man hope of survival.
In my view, that which is extreme is not that which violates the boundaries of “normal” society, but which violates the boundaries of inherent truth, and conscience. In an honest society, an extremist is someone who denies the universal foundations of existence, and tries to play demigod in a fantasy world of moral relativism and rationalized criminality. A disjointed freak of nature that seeks to impose his twisted will upon others. Unfortunately, the honest definition of extremism is not the most popular amongst the frothing elitists that reside over the functions of our political structure today.
Life is a bummer like that….
So instead, why not embrace the label that the establishment is so keen to pigeonhole us with, and make it our own? I have found that the less I care about the critical eye of others, the more free I am to change things for the better. Certainly, by any standard of our current national leadership and by the throngs that support it, I am an extremist. Luckily, this does not concern me. It is not important to be accepted by the mainstream; it is only important to remain objectively correct in one’s position. In the grand scheme of the world, to be a thorn in the side of so-called “proper society” is a sure fire path to a life without regret. America was founded by undesirables, and built by non-conformists. We are a nation whose blood is thick with defiance and outright knock-out revolutionary badass anti-authoritarian hostility. We cut kings down to size.
At least, we used to….
In modern America, it’s not nice or pleasant or practical to approach political problems with the attitude of a radical. That puts people off. And there’s nothing worse than having people not like you, right? Better to play the game and hope that a better world will simply materialize out of the ether. Don’t rock the boat, especially when you’re in it….
For those of us in the Liberty Movement, this passive approach just doesn’t satiate our ravenous hunger for the bizarre. And by “bizarre”, I mean honest. Our time here is short, and usually ugly, and filled with people and circumstances and disasters and biases and abhorrences and painful moments and sometimes smells that we would much rather not deal with. The least we can ask for is a little truth. If I have to be confronted with crusted wheezing gas-bloated nightmare figures like John McCain or Joseph Lieberman — men who would label me a terrorist if they could — then I should be allowed the satisfaction of a concrete fact or two before I am shipped of to the nearest Halliburton-run military-sanctioned prison facility for re-education and naked dog-piling (which these men seem to particularly enjoy).
The truth is the first and greatest sin in the dark pestilent pit of any active tyranny. I recommend it highly. Seek the truth, and ye shall be fined…or jailed. This is the first step towards a glorious career as an American extremist, and living such a lifestyle can be fun and exciting, if one follows these simple guidelines:
1) Make A Ruckus
Identify the imperative issues of the day that most people don’t want to be confronted with . . . and then talk about them constantly. But don’t just talk about them; talk about them intelligently and with an informative stance. That really drives the willfully ignorant crazy. Make your position and the facts behind it visible in the mainstream, through writing, videos, protest, graffiti, bumper stickers, tatts, whatever…
The establishment’s first line of defense is not necessarily to suppress the truth, but to keep it on the fringe of society, out of sight of the average citizen. Your job is to shove the truth in people’s faces, so that they are forced to at least acknowledge that it exists, even if they don’t want to accept it.
2) Laugh At Petty Authority
Most authority in our modern world is, really, only petty authority. True authority is fostered by a sense of respect that is earned through leadership by example. The greatest authorities are those who teach, not those who command; and political governance is null and void if that governance was attained through subversion and lies.
Of course, this view is a proven fast track to the nearest solitary confinement cell, but, hey, living such a rock ‘n roll flavored “extreme” existence is not without risks….
Extremists recognize that a dishonest politician is only a conman in a nice suit, and nothing more. They recognize that a law enforcement official that has no regard for Constitutional liberties, or for human decency, is just a gun-toting goon in a badge and costume, and is not due any more respect than a common criminal. They see alphabet agencies as extensions of a system that no longer holds any principles beyond sustaining its own wretched existence, and rightly look down upon those who would sell out to such cancerous bureaucracies for a paycheck and some undeserved prestige. They laugh at such people, because in the grand scheme of things, these “great pillars” of our nation are, in fact, tragically ridiculous.
I once entered into a debate with a long-time Democrat over the painfully farcical presidency of Barack Obama. After discovering that I held the same exact views on George W. Bush, he became frustrated and nearly infuriated, because he could not place me into a preconceived political box. He complained that my stance could not be readily categorized, and this interfered with his ability to argue with me.
I replied…. “Good! That’s exactly the way it should be!”
Extremism itself is an arbitrary label, whose definition is shifted by those in power to fit any person or group that happens to get in their way at any particular time. However, to take this label and make it ours, we definitely can’t allow ourselves to be affiliated with hollow and meaningless political parties like the Democrats or the GOP, not to mention all the prefabricated and shallow philosophical platforms they engender. Every problem and situation should be approached as new, and should be dealt with using social and legal methods that work, as opposed to those that happen to follow a particular party line. There should be, at bottom, as many political viewpoints as there are individuals, not only two homogenized standards that we are forced to choose from in the hopes that one will be “less destructive” than the other.
4) Prepare For Life Without Window Shopping
A surefire way to become an extremist today is to suggest preparation for any kind of disaster. For the average American, there is no such thing as a tomorrow without Happy Meals and Nikes. To suggest the possibility is akin to dancing naked on the freeway with a Gadsden Flag. Despite the fact that in countries across the planet setting aside goods for survival is as common as mowing the lawn here in the United States; many in America can’t fathom adopting such habits. This is because many still believe that the system will protect them from harm no matter what happens. The “extremist” thinks differently.
He realizes that there have been too many instances in the past when government was not helpful to those in the midst of catastrophe, and, in some cases, was even the cause of greater harm. He seeks to remove his dependence on this system, and procure the insurance necessary to help himself if the need ever arises.
The Federal Government has seen fit to identify the mere act of prepping as a sign of possible extremism, so, let’s get “extreme”, shall we? I would rather be extreme and alive, than a non-threatening and law-abiding corpse.
5) Build A Terrifying Gun Collection
If the contents of your house doesn’t scare the living hell out of your yuppie next-door neighbor, then you aren’t an extremist yet. Time to pay off the layaway on that 50. Cal!
Firearms ownership is a widespread American pastime, and is growing by the month. However, there seems to be a misconception that this pastime is about our “sportsman’s heritage”, or self defense against local crime. Nope. That’s not why the extremist stockpiles an arsenal (an arsenal is defined as however many guns you happen to have when the ATF shows up at your doorstep). He owns scary guns to defend against rogue governments and the rise of the totalitarian dynamic. Freaky, I know….
Forget all this sportsman nonsense! We own weapons to dissuade oligarchy from getting comfortable on our couches! Our concern is not the wildlife….
6) Question The Accepted Reality Of Everything
You can’t be an extremist if you believe everything you hear from the TV. Actually, you can’t be an extremist if you believe anything you hear on the TV. An extremist takes absolutely no stock in what the mainstream media says without further investigation, and would rather be caught dead than caught parroting talking points from cable news broadcasts.
Is a certain philosophical or political position suddenly considered “common knowledge”? Be suspicious. Is a particular methodology or debate point appearing in every journalistic outlet at the same exact time with the same exact one-sided narrative? Time to pull out the B.S. detector. Is a politician opening his mouth and talking? Have a shovel handy….
The extremist’s job is not necessarily to be contradictory just for the sake of contrariness. It is, though, his job to be critical, discerning, and discriminating against that which doesn’t hold up to the light of candid examination. While there is always room for a certain amount of “interpretation”, ultimately if a circumstance rings false, it must be exposed. Period.
Even if that exposure is harmful to the state of our country or our culture in the short term, deceit left unchecked in the long term is the single greatest destroyer of entire civilizations, and is absolutely unacceptable, especially to the extremist….
I think it is clear that extremists in an environment of despotism are in most cases people who refuse to abandon that which makes humanity whole. We are, indeed, dangerous, but only to those who would do liberty harm. A life of conformity is a life wasted; and a life of slavery is no life at all. Whatever we may be called today, what we leave behind is ultimately what defines us. Labels are irrelevant. If I am an “extremist” because I refuse to participate in the delusion that is America in the new millennium, then so be it. I am more than happy to join the long list of insurrectionaries who inhabit this nation today and who have been the legitimate makers of the world for generations. Everything in history revolves not around governments, but rule-breakers. They alone decide whether humanity will live tight in the fist of the authoritarian machine, or live free in the wilds of unbridled independence.
One man with courage is a majority. — Thomas Jefferson
Brandon Smith is the founder of Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better or contribute to their Safe Haven Project. You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]