An Unexpected Key to Freedom

school, freedom

From the time we are born, we are conditioned through force and manipulation to comply with just about everything dictated by figures of authority and ignore our own freedom.  Is it any wonder then, why so many of us believe everything we are told by our government?

The fact is that compliance and discipline are necessary skills to survive in our society.  Without knowledge of the rules and tools necessary to function successfully a person will never get the chance to become successful because the various systems of enforcement will make it impossible.

Your parents protect you against physical hazards by teaching you to avoid them.  This is compliance with basic common sense.  “Don’t put your fingers in a light socket,” that makes sense.  “Don’t eat rat poison,” this too makes sense.

Soon enough you’re off to school, where rules become the focus.  “Be on time.”  “Do your assigned work.”  “Be reliable.”  These ideas condition you to be successful at a job.  If you are not timely and reliable, you will not succeed at your job, thus they are important skills, imperative to success.

But what happens when the information disseminated to you, from sources that are supposed to be trustworthy, is false or inappropriate, but you have been taught to accept the veracity of everything you hear from these sources?

What happens when your teacher spreads information that is blatantly false?  If you fail to answer test questions that include this false information in the way you were taught, there is a penalty.  Your grades will suffer.  You may be disciplined.  You eventually come to the conclusion that compliance makes your life easier and brings better results.

I suppose I was always a fighter.

As I began writing this essay, I remembered something that happened to me in the 7th grade.

My teacher created a program called “IALUAC,” which stood for, “I am lovable, unique and courageous,” sounds innocent enough.

Part of this program included a requirement to write a five paragraph essay that told the teacher about your biggest problems.  Even at this young age, I felt that my problems were none of my teachers business.  So I wrote the paper, making up silly meaningless problems and in the conclusion I said something to the effect of my biggest problem was coming up with problems to put in that essay.

Essentially, I said that my personal life is none of your damn business!  This did not go over well. Between the repeated summons to counselors, my parents being called in to school, and what seemed like a month of harassment, I was taught not to think for myself and instead to comply.

The system was created to beat us all into compliance with authority. This is why the abuse of authority is the most unforgivable crime.

Enter President Richard M. Nixon, a prime example of the abuse of authority.

President Nixon was prosecuting a war in Vietnam, a war which was extremely unpopular.  He saw that some of his harshest critics were “Hippies” and “People of Color”.  Nixon clearly had a problem with being challenged, so he felt it was appropriate to attack his critics as his aide John Ehrlichman states in this 1994 quote, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities…We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

If we study the effects of this example of abuse of authority the trail is mind boggling and fraught with decades of carnage.

The anti-drug campaign was part of all of our lives.  Millions of people still believe what they were forced to believe for Nixon’s personal benefit.  In school, we were taught and taught again of the dangers of drugs unsanctioned by the state, while some of us took the legal equivalent of methamphetamine just to make us conform to the system.

We wrote essays, prepared skits, and so much more that parroted back the dangers of certain drugs.  I did avoid the use of drugs, but that had nothing to do with school, that was due to a combination of efforts from my Mother and the fact that I really was not interested in trying them to begin with.  I was not an addictive personality, so drugs were never an issue to me.

I do not make the argument that drugs cannot be harmful, but it is well known that many more people die from legal drugs – under the supervision of a doctor – than illegal drug abuse.

The government sanctioning of a substance does not guarantee its’ safety, and the illegal nature does not mean it is unsafe.   I would prefer that drugs were not abused, regardless of their legal status, but this is not the world we live in.

So, as Nixon wanted, the war raged on and he won office and was re-elected.  His little white lie started landing people in jail and ruining their lives, this mushroomed into what we have today – millions of Americans with criminal records who harmed no one and over a trillion tax dollars spent on a “War on Drugs” that did not decrease usage at all; forty years of misinformation, and for what? So that a dead president that resigned in disgrace could keep his job.

This is why abuse of authority in government is far more treasonous than the actions of a person such as Edward Snowden, whose only crime was telling the American people that the NSA was violating the constitution and abusing their authority.

If you were to expose a lie from a dictator, that dictator would have you killed.  If you expose a lie or violation of your government, your government will try to do the same:  ask Mr. Snowden, who is exiled to Russia instead of being able live at home and receive the congratulations of the people who are grateful for the risk he took in exposing the truth.

Compliance is paramount to government.  If you fail to comply with their requirements, you will pay a severe penalty.

So, how can we solve the problem of abuse of authority vs. the necessity of compliance?  Comply with the realities of the world, but don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore what is really going on around you.  Pay attention to what is really happening.  Don’t let “drug-war-style” brainwashing blind you to certain realities that government has used to bolster their revenue, power and control over you; thus solidifying their grip on power and job security as Nixon did so long ago.

Consider a few conventional items required by government today and you may notice that these are also abuses of authority.  These abuses of authority may not be as egregious and destructive as Nixon’s “War on Drugs,” but they are still violations of your rights and some are out right theft.

If you make the connection that you have been manipulated, through the system, to believe what you are told by your government, you will never make the connection that these things really do happen. They are wrong and are designed to strengthen government’s grip on you.  You are more likely to believe that these were done in the interests of protecting you than to see the truth:

  1. The creation or manipulation of laws which impose a penalty for an action which is reasonable to the average person, and aggressive enforcement of these laws.
  2. The creation of a government run facility that imposes regulation, licensing, and other government oversight and related fines and punishments for non-compliance with these rules and institutions that should not exist in the first place.
  3. The creation of an enemy that is not really an enemy. This is used for the purpose of rewarding political cronies, and to motivate you to give more authority to your government in the interests of protecting yourself and those you love.
  4. The creation of laws which preclude private citizens from providing services that are provided by government. These will be touted as protections, but the real motivation is to keep growing, and if private citizens can provide services that are comparable or better than what is provided by government, this is a threat to their existence.
  5. The creation of an environment in which the masses are reliant upon government for their basic survival needs. This is a complex situation in which taxation and regulation become so onerous that the people are left with little disposable income and have no choice but to turn to government assistance.  The more people that are forced to utilize these services, the stronger the grip of government on the people becomes.

Can the people overcome this combination of forced indoctrination of the activities of government; combined with misinformation about their abuses of authority?  I fervently hope so.

What plan can I offer to allow for the discipline necessary for survival to be part of us, without the brainwashing that results in most of us not seeing reality?  This is the $64,000 question.

It is a given that government controls the schools.  It is a given that government controls the curriculum in those schools.  It is a given that people who speak in opposition to the lessons crucial to sustenance of the power of government are punished. It is a given that the people are forced to accept lies with respect to the abuse of government authority or pay the consequences.

The media is a willing partner as well. Mass media is used for the purpose of reinforcing any lies that cover up the motivation of the abuse of authority as well.  We are constantly bombarded with false and manipulative information from all angles.  It appears that there is nothing we can do.

Believe it or not, the answer to this is twofold – social media and the closure of the Department of Education.

The closure of the Department of Education is pretty obvious, in that the decentralization of control of education would allow for less central control of curriculum.  The effect of social media is why the “fake news” propaganda is swirling around in Washington D.C.   There is an inconvenient barrier to complete control of the news media and it resides in the first amendment to the constitution.  That barrier is Freedom of the Press.  The “fake news” campaign is a precursor to an attack on freedom of the press.

If we remain steadfast to the protections included in the Bill of Rights, which our government sees more as a hurdle than a barrier, I see the pendulum swinging back in the direction of the people.

Here’s how:

While mainstream media (MSM) still reports what they are instructed to report, and while schools still disseminate the same, it is social media that allows the people to interact with each other on a large scale.  The people are not happy, and while the MSM encourages them to blame another political party that actually works in concert with their own, they really do not know why the people are so unhappy.   I believe that most people “smell a rat” and are looking for the truth that is being shielded from them.

Social media, as long as it is allowed to operate freely, is the leader in the dissemination of truth (as long as the reader has the ability to filter out the crazy stuff).

This is fact: mainstream media may indeed succumb to the misinformation provided to it by our government, but they are in business for profit.  If they are forced to choose between losing money and ceasing to exist or continuing to disseminate lies, they must choose survival.

As the people learn more of the truth of the current situation and make the connection that they are being lied to, they will seek out alternative sources of information.  While many people prefer to hear lies that support their views, I believe that more people want to know the truth, because the truth en masse can lead to better decisions and a better life.

As this truth is uncovered, they will make decisions to stop electing politicians who believe in mass manipulation as the way to achieve their personal goals while in office.

The people will demand truth from mainstream media at some point in time, and if they fail to provide what their customers demand, these entities will fail and their new competitors will soar.

So as wacky as social media may seem, it is a vital key to freedom.

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Steve Kerbel is a businessman, author, and former Libertarian Party candidate for President of the United States.