Making Yourself Free

The motto of my home state, (NH), is, "Live Free or Die." For the independent individualist, the motto is redundant. Living free, in the words of the rebels of Atlas shrugged, for independent individualists is "the only way they choose to live." To not live free is to not live at all.

But notice, it is a choice—a choice most people will never make. The truth is, most people talk about freedom and personal liberty, but it is neither they truly want. What they mean by "freedom" is freedom from worry or responsibility. What they mean by "personal liberty" is the freedom to do whatever they want—without consequences, or at least not consequences they have to bear themselves. What most people want is security and guarantees, and freedom does not supply either. Governments promise to supply them, and most people believe their government, but governments cannot supply them either. Like everything else in life, unless you steal it, everything of real value must be produced or earned by one's own effort.

Freedom is the most important value in life, and like all other values, no one else is going to supply it—especially not a government. Governments are, by their very nature, agencies of oppression, not freedom. Notice that word, "govern," in government. To be free means to be free of anyone else's governing, it means to be self-governed.

The once freest country in the history of the world grows more oppressive every day. If you want to understand why Americans once enjoyed the greatest degree of freedom ever known under a government, it was because, in the beginning, there was so little government. If you are going to be free, it is from government you are going to have to set yourself free.

The Autonomist banner includes these words: "If you are waiting for the government to change, or society to change, or for some program or movement to be successful to find freedom, you will never be free." Then how does one make himself free?


First you must know what freedom is. That is the subject of the next article. Here I am going to mention some of general ways others have made themselves free, because freedom happens to be a very personal thing, and no two people will find freedom in the same way. The one way that will not work is to directly confront the government; about that there is much more to say.

So how have others made themselves free? Here are some of the ways:

  • Expat method.
  • Permanent Traveler method (PT).
  • Financial Isolation/Insulation method.
  • Minimum participation method.
  • Public/private identity method.
  • Redneck backwoods, "Claire Wolfe," self-sufficiency, method.
  • High risk methods (do what you like, avoid getting caught, be prepared to pay the penalty).

Let's have a brief look at each of these methods.


Not all, maybe not even very many expatriates, are independent individualists. Some individualists use the expat route to freedom, however. Like all these methods, it is not exclusive and is frequently combined with aspects of other methods as a means of establishing one's own personal freedom. For some, just "getting out" provides all the freedom they need. Some include the concept of the "PT" in their rebellion from oppression. There are many resources and WEB sites devoted to the expat life which we'll be providing.

Permanent Travelers(PT)

A "PT" is someone who has no legally permanent address. While many really are "permanent travelers," or "permanent tourists," it is more a concept then a particular state—the idea is of not being legally a permanent resident or citizen anywhere, which can free one of all those encumbrances and legal obligations, from jury duty to taxes, which permanent residency or citizenship entail. This is another case where all Pts are not necessarily individualists or particularly independent, but many are and have found this the method that works for them to establish their own individual liberty.

There are many resources for Pts. Some of them are not reliable, and some are plainly scams. We will be providing links and other resources that we think are the best and most reliable and trustworthy.

Financial Isolation/Insulations

If you are rich enough, you can buy yourself an island and have all the freedom you want. Those who are that rich won't be needing any advice from this quarter. For the rest of us, wealth is certainly a means to freedom, though it enslaves as many as it frees. We will be talking about the difference.

There is also the little question of how one goes about acquiring that wealth. Like freedom itself, there are no short-cuts, but there are principles that will work for anyone. The most important word, here is work. Wealth is earned, which means produced by one's productive effort.

There is lots of good information on how to earn money, lots of money, but there is about 100 times as much very bad information, and most of it consists of various forms of scams that we will be warning you about.

Minimum Participation

One can live in a society and make use of it without being part of it. When a society and culture is dominated by a repressive government, even though one lives in that society, it is possible to remain mostly free of the government by not participating in it's programs or using it's services. A perfect example of this are those who home school their children, which frees both their children and themselves of all those encumbrances, such as required inoculations, activities, and materials, government schools foist on students and parents.

Minimum participation involves more than just evading government, however. Individualism is about choosing for oneself how to live—to the extent one's life is determined by what is culturally popular, accepted, or expected, one is not free. For example, do you have and watch television? Ask yourself why. If it's not providing you with a value that truly serves your purposes, it is limiting your freedom (and stealing your time and attention).

Public/Private Identity

Perhaps, for some, the only means to freedom is simply to disappear. One way to do that would be to arrange to witness a high profile crime and enter the government witness protection program. Besides the difficulty of arranging that, the problem with the method is it is usually government you want to disappear from.

There are many reasons a new or additional identity might be desired. For some individualists, who would like to live a certain way, the reasons for a new identity, or additional one, will be to maintain a necessary level of privacy in matters that are no one else's business, particularly the government's, and to be free to live without anyone's interference.

The means of acquiring new or additional identities is not particularly difficult, and information about that is readily available. The problem is, much of that information is very bad, and there are a great many crooked individuals ready to, "help," which can be quite dangerous. I will be providing the best safe and reliable sources on privacy and identity I have found.

Backwoods, "Claire Wolfe," Self-sufficiency

It seems obvious, to the extent one is dependent on others one is not independent. The independent individualist prizes self-sufficiency as a necessary aspect of living freely. Self-sufficiency does not mean one does not use the services provided and products produced by others, it means that one is not dependent on any other individuals for anything—if push comes to shove, the individualist can provide himself with whatever he requires to live his life as he chooses or happily do without it.

There is a self-sufficiency movement, begun originally by a character named, Kurt Saxon, called survivalism. The survivalists, and the industry that has grown up to support them, is a source of many kinds of information and products that can be useful to the independent individualist, but the concept of survivalism is inconsistent with independent individualism.

[Digression: Kurt Saxon is definitely an individualist, a peculiar character, owner of Atlan Formularies with unique views, which I definitely do not recommend. If interested, these links, "How Not To Survive" and "Father of Survivalist Thought," have more about the man born Donald Eugene Sisco who renamed himself Kurt Saxon.]

The survivalists think of everything in terms of surviving impending naturally or politically caused crises or disasters. While it is true one is neither free or independent if they are dead, and there is always the possibility of some crisis or disaster catching one off guard, the emphasis of the survivalists is wrong. The independent individualist does not intend on surviving disasters, he intends not to be there, where and when they occur. Life is not surviving disaster. As the motto of the "nomad4ever" site says, "life is what you make it." The whole business of setting yourself free is the business of making your own life what you want it to be.

High Risk—Pay The Price

Life is risky and living free is the riskiest life of all. Freedom means being responsible for all one chooses and does. No one is omniscient or infallible, and no matter how careful we are, some choices are going to be bad with equally bad consequences. We can, and should, be prepared for the worst when it happens, but to attempt to evade consequences, and learn from them, is an evasion of reality itself.

That is what most people want, however. Most people do not want freedom; they want security and guarantees against the risks of life, the very guarantees governments promise. Though no government can deliver such guarantees, most people believe their governments and gladly sell their freedom for some supposed government provided assurances.

The independent individualist is fully aware of the risks that a free life entails and is not only willing to accept that risk, but knows, to be free and to live as he chooses, to be able to make his life whatever he wants it to be, he must not only be free to enjoy all the fruits of his efforts, but must bear the consequences of his miscalculated choices and wrong actions.

The life chosen by some individualists is riskier than that chosen by others. Such individualists do not embrace risk for risk's sake, but understand, the higher the prize the more risk there is in achieving or acquiring it. They willingly accept that risk, and when the worst happens, willingly accept the consequences as part of the price for living life as they choose to live it, because they are unwilling to live any other way.

What You Do

The Autonomist's Notebook says, "Life consists of what you do, not what happens to you. Things happen to a rock." Freedom does not "happen to you." Freedom is not being born in a free country (even if there were any). Freedom is not being set free by some, "liberating army," which is an oxymoron anyway. Freedom is living your life the way you choose to live it—it is something you do, not something you have or, "happens to you."

If what you intend to do is be free, please see the Freedom Pages which are all about establishing your own freedom now.