How “FREEDOM!” by Adam Kokesh took me down Memory Lane

in freedom •  3 months ago

This is one of the most important books that I’ve ever read. While it’s not all that long (about 100 pages), I found myself slowing down and contemplating each sentence. Practically each paragraph that he wrote made me remember back to some headline, some of which have been long forgotten because of our tendency to excuse the bad behavior of government.

Adam makes it abundantly clear where power really lies. If you haven’t studied economics and don’t question where your money comes from, government thanks you. There were some surprises as well, due to the fact that so many of us fail to completely question why things are the way they are. For example it never occurred to me that regions without government are the most impervious to invasion. The natural assumption is to believe that without a strong military, you’re ripe for invasion, but it’s actually the reverse. Now I know why (a strong military means its population has already submitted to invasion). Invaders invading an area without government, have to pick up all the costs on their own which becomes expensive very quick.

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Adam’s service record made me think back to the late 1970’s when I almost enlisted in the Marine Corps. Back then we used to take a test and they told me that I scored in the top 1% of all applicants. Believe it or not, that really isn’t saying much about my intelligence. It was the test that made me question whether I should even enlist. It was so easy, that you would have had to have been an illiterate 5 year old not to pass. It was pretty obvious that they had no incentive to disqualify anyone.

The questions were like this:

If someone gives you a dollar and you give them back 50 cents, how much do you have left?
a. $0.50
b. $2.00
c. $3.00
d. $0.00

My mother, who went back to college back in the late 60’s to finish school was the only one around who used to say “question authority” and this was during the Vietnam war protests. Then the Kent state massacre changed the national mood. Students hadn’t imagined that they would be gunned down in cold blood for protesting, but that’s exactly what happened. That’s when “turn on” in the 60’s became “drop out” (of the system) in the 70’s. But we didn’t drop out. We became slaves. Adam explains exactly how this happened.

By 1980, I knew I was a CO (conscientious objector), but the way this is framed is a perverted form of the “non-aggression principle”. To claim CO status, in order to be taken seriously, you should belong to another group that violates this principle. I wasn’t terribly clear about my political standing, nor was I particularly interested in what that was. It was all very confusing and I just went along knowing the world was full of shit surviving day to day. While I realized that I was a voluntarist somewhere around 2010, Adam’s book gave me almost what one could describe as a “life review” after death. The whole panorama was laid out for me, in the simplest and clearest terms on how I screwed up.

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(Maria Alford and me at University of Denver Centennial Towers Oct 1981)

I had everything handed to me. White, male, 6’4”, physically strong, high IQ, born on a 96 acre farm to a family with a last name attached to the road (Manwaring Rd). But I was ripped away from this into inner city slum life and gang warfare by the early 1970’s. Adam explains how the social structure is manipulated and how everything really boils down to one thing: owning yourself. This is something that government doesn’t encourage. The concept is so completely foreign that to even contemplate it is very difficult for most people. It’s why authority has had such a stranglehold on the behavior of the population for so long.

I could have “played along” and risen in the ladder of authority. Even after I left Denver and got a job, I was getting constant offers of promotion. I refused anything that would take me off the night shift at Elmcrest Children’s Center for 21 years which was a security position with a lot of spare time. I spent many years with my nose buried deep into ancient texts, many which were originally written in ancient Greek or Latin. I had stopped engaging in the “real” world. Adam’s book is about how to correctly engage in the real world and why so many fail to do this correctly.

The legal fiction we’re all saddled with from birth keeps us in chains and blinds us to the reality of control that surrounds us. Adam’s book “Freedom!” will take off the blinders for anyone so inclined as to want to see the truth. I highly recommend this book!

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Havent read the book yet. Maybe I should give it a try.

What has kept me from doing so is my disagreement with Adams recent political endeavours. I do not think we need political action to claim our freedom. Indeed I think it is even counterproductive. Right now we have so many great developments that are targeted at making government redundant and wake people up, but pushing the political angle is reinforcing trust in the political institutions.

What I would support is a campaign to make fun of governance.

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Sounds like Vermin Supreme ... there's an inherent contradiction in being a leader of anarchy.

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The beauty to me is that he entertains the possibility of arrival without political action. Instead of being opposed to those who believe in a non-political solution, he is working in parallel. While he notes that the elimination of coercive force is necessary, he is not claiming that "he" is the solution to all of our problems, per se. Just one solution, and possibly the most direct approach.

Rule by force is the disease, who and how are symptoms.

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"It is not because of governments [that we have progressed], but despite them." I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Every marvel society has to offer came from human ingenuity.

The natural assumption is to believe that without a strong military, you’re ripe for invasion, but it’s actually the reverse. Invaders invading an area without government, have to pick up all the costs on their own which becomes expensive very quick.

That is such a weird but insightful point. If a decentralized government was taken over by a centralized one they would have to foot the bill for all their own infrastructure.