Is bigger government always worse than smaller government?

Those of you who think you know me are probably thinking I’m just going to leave it at “yes” and walk away. (Now you’re probably wondering why you’re still reading this.) But I’m actually going to say “no.” And not just to be a contrarian, but rather to make a more important point. Someone asked me this question, and before just blurting out the obvious (and as I’ll show here, counter-intuitively wrong) answer, I had to consider the alternative. This is just how my brain works.

So I asked myself, “Is it possible for our government to get bigger, and still have more freedom? Is it possible for a smaller government to be more destructive of freedom?” Just by asking the question, an equally obvious but completely counter-intuitive answer emerges. Let me put it to you this way: Would you rather have a huge, bureaucratic government, that employs half the population but is funded mostly with user fee kinds of taxes and doesn’t have a military or a police force and somewhat mimics what the market would provide, OR a small government of jack-booted thugs that randomly kills thousands of people every day with drone strikes and imposes a version of Sharia law?

I hope the point of this has emerged clearly for you now before I put it in my own words: the best measurement of the evil of government is not it’s size, but how much it destroys freedom. Government being bigger and more vicious go hand in hand, but in the interest of intellectual integrity and precision, we must acknowledge that this relationship is not simple or linear. With this deeper understanding, we can only become more effective at striving towards a more harmonious, peaceful, and free world.

It’s important to me to understand this because it gives me great hope for the continued progress of humanity towards freedom despite the growth we see of modern bureaucratic governments in terms of budgets. Global violence is on the decline. It’s harder than ever for governments to lie us into war. Respect for civil rights is becoming the norm. The internet is creating a whole new realm of commerce, especially in cryptocurrency that governments can’t touch. Weed is so legal in America that it’s almost not fun to smoke anymore!

There are also numerous implications of this for how we go about transitioning away from a government-ruled society. Obviously, this suggests a need for prioritization, and so this is why I’m concerned more with stopping the overt violence of government than the covert theft of taxation. (Yes, if no one paid taxes, there would be no war, but they could always keep printing money for the war machine.) I’m more concerned with legalizing all drugs and restoring legal respect for civil liberties than debating gay marriage. I’m more concerned with your right to keep and bear arms than your right to cut hair without a license.

This also suggests that we can transition out of government by localizing it, and in the process, make it a better approximation of the market in the functions it retains AND far less viciously destructive to freedom. By embracing localization, we can unite left and right and center against the common enemy of big, centralized government. If we could just get all government globally down to the size of counties or city states, we could have much more relevant competition between governments, especially in the competition to see which can phase themselves out the fastest!

It’s important to remember what you’re for, especially when it’s so tempting to focus on what you’re against. Even though it’s true that if you’re pro-freedom, you most be anti-government because government by definition is an affront to freedom, it’s important to remember that we are pro-freedom first, anti-government second.

What do you think are the implications of this? Please let me know in the comments!

How to Defeat the Republican Snowflakes and Their Snowflake-in-Chief

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How is it possible that the Republican Party can campaign endlessly on repealing Obamacare, but as soon as they get the power to do it, they fail? All they had to do was vote! The American people clearly voted for their “representatives” to do something … and they didn’t do it! Calling the GOP the party of smaller government is like calling a blackjack dealer your financial advisor. Saying the GOP is responsive to its constituents is like saying that the guy who’s got you tied up in his basement is a great waiter. Calling Republicans honest is like calling the sky orange. (Not that they’re any better than Democrats, but I don’t even need to drag them into this to prove that the very concept of centralized government is fundamentally criminal.)

So … why?! I haven’t really followed the recent drama of congressional Republican snowflakes and snowflake-in-chief, Mr Trump. I don’t particularly care to watch their fake spines melt out of their fake faces as they lie through their fake teeth. For a long time after Trump was elected, my pinned tweet was, “Any Trump supporters want to bet against me that government will shrink under Trump?” I haven’t had a single taker to date.

When Trump was elected, the American people voted for someone “to be in charge of them.” If you’re looking for a leader, you’re going to get a ruler, and you probably deserve it for not taking charge of your life and leading yourself! This could be said to be the source of all government corruption. If power corrupts, and we don’t want corruption, maybe we should stop giving people power! (Just to defend myself from the piss of the pedantics, I’m referring to political power here.)

So if you really don’t like Obamacare, and your answer was to trust the Republicans, I’ve got a government bridge to sell you. If it wasn’t obvious and undeniable before, it had better be now: the Republicans are the apologist wing of the Democratic Party. While Democrats are open about wanting to grow government, Republicans pretend to be about smaller government in order to pacify the Americans who still care about freedom to serve the same agenda of GROWING government. If you want government to keep growing out of control, keep voting Republican. (Just for the record, trying to get the Republican Party to reform or be honest is like trying to get Trump to … reform or be honest.)

If you genuinely love freedom, it’s time to find an honest foundation for that love, because denial isn’t working. Democrats and Republicans are both corrupt big government parties which primarily exist to serve their special interest sponsors. Libertarians are the only ones offering you a credible alternative. The only way that we defeat this grotesque government is to take it apart from the top down. It would be far easier to elect someone to dismantle the entire federal government than find an honest elected Republican, and that’s what it’s going to take to defeat big centralized government once and for all!

How to investigate a murder without government

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Adam,

If someone hired a detective in a stateless society to investigate someone for murdering someone in their house and the detective went to this person’s house and asked them if he could search the house, what would happen if they said no?

Voluntary Interactions

Voluntary,

Great question! I can only predict so much based on what I know of what the market will demand and what technology will provide at that point, but I can present one possibility based on my best guesses. If the person refused to have their property searched, then that right would be respected. However, if there was sufficient evidence as might be something like today’s standards of a warrant, such a declaration would be issued and they would be given another chance to allow the home to be searched.

If they refused again, they might be dropped from insurance coverage or security/dispute resolution services. If there was sufficient evidence and demand, the person might become an outlaw, in the sense that they are not afforded community protection of a common law court or be banished so severely that they would effectively not be allowed to leave their own property.

Of course, a few of the coming leaps in technology could completely change what is possible for accountability. Clearly, as humanity continues to evolve to be less violent, this might be so much of a freak anomoly occurrence that it’s almost irrelevant. It seems like technology is on track to render much of the incentives for murder irrelevant as we become exponentially more productive, intelligent, and capable of effective communication. What do you think would happen?

Peace and love,

Adam

Can “communist” be a type of libertarian?

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I’ve always (since waking up) held the position that in a free and voluntary society, people are welcome to form their own voluntary communities based on private property and their own preferences. A single-family homestead would meet this definition. So would a community centered around a factory. Or a decentralized network online. Or a network of a company and its customers. Or an actual communist commune. As long as it’s voluntary!

I define libertarianism generally as the belief in freedom and freedom as what you have when no one is forcing their will on you in any way. This is a message of morality and ethics, (based in love) not social organization. It only prescribes the moral ground rules for social organization. Of course, if capitalism is defined as an economic system based on ownership of the means of production, it would still be capitalism to have a communist commune if it was based on legitimate owners choosing to give up certain property claims voluntarily and/or by contract.

Most philosophical communists who I’ve met with have described their ideal society as voluntary, but with a different concept of property rights that everyone buys into. I would describe this as contrary to the reality of the human condition. But imagine that suddenly everyone said, “I don’t want to claim any property outside of my body,” and voluntarily gave up all such claims. It would seem that in this scenario, we have BOTH a communist world, and a libertarian world. Now, I don’t believe that this world is possible, but if everyone else in the world went communist like this, but respected my right to own property, I couldn’t object morally, only aesthetically. (As in, I would aesthetically prefer that people own things outside of themselves because it will lead to more productivity. Which may be irrelevant soon with AI and automation anyway.)
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One of the reasons I’m writing this is to bridge what I think is an important philosophical divide, and a dangerous and unnecessary one. Everyone who is an ethical person should understand that whatever your preference for social organization, you are a libertarian! So if you’re a communist, but not one who advocates violence or theft but just wants to be a part of a peaceful community that operates a certain way, you’re a libertarian! If you’re a conservative who can let “the gays” do what they want in their own home, you’re a libertarian! If you’re a liberal who wants to help people but doesn’t want to steal from others to do it, you’re a libertarian!

I’m using the most offensive ideology possible to make my point. (Yes, I know: Nazism, Klanism, Satanism, Racism, Sexism, and Scientology are all more offensive, if somewhat less relevant here.) Libertarianism is about respecting the free will of people to live and relate to each other without violent interference. It’s not a political ideology so much as an anti-political ideology. Sadly, modern politicians have lead us to confuse aesthetics and politics so that we are fooled into thinking that we need to use government to force our aesthetic preferences on others. When humanity is ready to put down the guns of government and embrace freedom, you will be free to have a liberal, conservative, socialist, communist, corporatist, artist, polygamist, Scientologist, Satanist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, secularist, nudist, escapist, or individualist community – or no community at all! What unites us is that we all love freedom. (Which means we’re all libertarians, even if some of us haven’t figured that out yet.)
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There’s never a bad time to buy crypto!

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(at least until it’s completely displaced all fiat currency)

This is one of those times when Bitcoin is down and alt coins are down even more and there’s at least a widespread sense of coming off of a high from what I can tell. All very predictable of course. As of right now, bitcoin is around $2390, having “corrected” from a peak of around $2960 just around a month ago. For any other asset, this might seem like a huge cause for concern, but for bitcoin, it is a predictable swing in the process of – you know – revolutionizing how money works and displacing all of the world’s corrupt fiat currencies! No big deal. Cryptos are just the best thing to happen for humanity since sliced bread.

I would tell you that this is a great time to buy Bitcoin and any other cryptos, but I shouldn’t have to and ultimately is doesn’t matter if you do or not because the cat is out of the bag: fiat money is obsolete. If you care about justice and helping humanity escape from the rip off of government money, you should relish the opportunity to buy bitcoin at this point in human history. I’ve heard people respond to the price of bitcoin since it hit $100 by saying that they feel like they just missed out. “Awww. I was going to buy some bitcoin, but it’s over $100 now! Maybe I’ll get some when it goes back down.” Yeah. Don’t be that guy when Bitcoin hits $100k.

Until cryptocurrencies displace fiat currencies altogether, IT’S A GOOD TIME TO BUY! But right now is an especially good time to buy, especially alt coins. Yesterday would have been an even better time! Personally, I have a small buffer of savings in silver coins, (it’s also a great time to buy silver) and the rest of my money in three different risk brackets of cryptos. For low risk, that’s bitcoin. For medium risk, I like Ethereum and Dash. For higher risk, I’ve made a few successful plays and a few unsuccessful plays with some long shots like Dogecoin and Coinye and I’m looking at some ICOs now. My most recent long-shot success was Nexus, which I bought last December at $0.04, and it’s now trading steady around $0.80, even after coming down from a high of $1.70! I think it’s time to move that into the medium risk category.

If you still don’t know what a Bitcoin is, you haven’t missed the boat, not by a longshot. But if you don’t get in now and adjust your financial life to include cryptocurrencies as much as possible, your regret will only grow with the prices. My biggest regret may be spending so many $10 Bitcoins on the Silk Road! Then again, I’m happy to have been a supporter of cryptos from near the beginning, using every platform available to encourage people to buy, hold, and use Bitcoin. The future is here, and all you have to do to be a part of it, is buy yourself a little piece.


*If you don’t know anything about bitcoin, here’s a great place to start. *


While I’m not an expert on cryptocurrencies by any means, it’s a subject I’d like to get into more and I’d like to organize my campaign and my nonprofit to take advantage of blockchain technology to the greatest extent possible. So all criticisms, requests, and suggestions are very welcome!


*If you want to donate Bitcoin to support our 501(c)3, The FREEDOM! Fund, please go to thefreedom.fund

The Importance of the Bundy Case to Your Freedom

Out of all of the ways the US federal government steals property from its rightful owners, the situation of land ownership in the American West is one of the most egregious and blatant. Nearly half of all of the land in the West is claimed by the federal government. In rancher Cliven Bundy’s home state of Nevada, the federal government “owns” 86% of the land.

Cliven Bundy, along with his family and his supporters, the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, have been fighting against this theft for over 20 years. Now he, members of his family, and several supporters including journalist Pete Santilli are incarcerated and facing long-term, if not lifetime, imprisonment.

The dispute started in 1993 when, as a protest, Cliven Bundy peacefully refused to continue paying the “grazing fees” that the federal government was demanding for use of land that the Bundy family had been ranching on for generations. His continual protest resulted in a 2014 federal raid to forcibly remove his cattle from the land, and demands of over $1 million in grazing fees and fines.

On April 12, 2014, Bundy and his supporters stood up against the “cattle gather.” A standoff ensued that caught national attention due to the treatment of the protesters. All in all, several cattle were killed, but Bundy retained control over his land and the cattle gather came to an end.

The protest for land in the West continued in 2016 when Cliven’s son Ammon Bundy lead a standoff in Oregon in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Cliven was arrested on his way to the protest while Ammon Bundy and the other Oregon protesters were arrested at the scene. Journalist Pete Santilli was arrested shortly after, with his involvement in live coverage of the standoff being the basis for his warrant. They have been denied bail, in custody ever since, and are awaiting trial expected in the coming months.

This saga touches issues of property rights, free speech in journalism, and fighting back against the continuous overreach of the federal government.

On July 15th at 7PM PST at Rainbow Gardens in Las Vegas, Nevada, I will be speaking at THE STAND: The Ultimate Event for American Freedom in support of these prisoners, along with Roger Stone, Sean Stone, Mike Adams, and others. Tickets are available here for just $12, and VIP tickets are also available for $150. The funds Raissed will go to support families while the political prisoners are being jailed and going through trial. Stand with us! For more information, go to standlv.com.

Has the Internet Already Ended War?

War is a racket. War is a lie. War is the health of the state. War is over. If you want it. Or maybe whether or not you want it doesn’t matter. When us dreamers point out that a world without war is possible, sometimes the naysayers like to come back with something about “the inherently violent nature of man.” This always strikes me as being like saying that we can’t have airplanes because of “the inherently earthbound nature of cars.” Maybe they are correct in their assertion, but it doesn’t necessarily make them not obstinate jerks for waving around this red herring.

If people are inherently violent, does that mean that inevitably, until the world is swallowed up by an expanding sun, we will have rich old men convincing millions of gullible poor young men to dress up in silly costumes to meet in the middle of a field where none of them live to kill each other because they’re wearing different colors? In the age of the internet, a real force on force kind of war is inconceivable! (Yes, I know what that word means.) Just because humans are violent, doesn’t mean we have to be stupid about it forever, and whether or not you believe the premise of Idiocracy, humans are getting effectively more intellectually capable with technology.

Let’s get back to war itself for a second. We have been duped by the powers that be into thinking that wars are fought between countries, rather than conducted by governments. This easily dispelled mythology would lead you to believe that wars are symptoms of the dark side of humanity, rather than symptoms of the government racket. WARS ARE NOT FOUGHT BETWEEN COUNTRIES! They are conducted by government using violence to expand their protection rackets! (Incidentally, this also means that the best defense for any group of people to embrace it to refuse to be governed by anyone.)

The violence done by government requires deception because in order to exist, governments require enforcement classes of cops and soldiers willing to do violence against peaceful people. Having experienced the modern American military first hand, I can tell you that it is the most propagandized population on earth. When we had TVs in the chow halls in Iraq, Fox News was too “fair and balanced” and had to be replaced with the “Armed Forces Network.” All propaganda, all the time.

So there are two layers of propaganda involved here, one of which I propose the internet has more or less taken care of, and the other one I’m working on still (with the help of FREEDOM! And many others!) The first layer of propaganda is the foundational propaganda of statism based on making people believe the lies that government is good and necessary, politicians care about you, and police and soldiers only exist to keep you safe. The second layer of propaganda is the “debate” around immediate policy:
Should “we” invade Syria or Libya?
What drugs should remain targets in the “war on drugs?”
How many children do we have to kill with drone strikes to keep our children safe?
Why do the people of Iran want us all dead?
When do we force people to bake cakes for each other?

If people can be distracted by this second layer of propaganda, they might never get to challenge the first layer. BUT! Now the internet is making the distraction of that second layer much less effective. That second layer doesn’t just distract you from the first, it is also how governments figure out what they can get away with, and so it seems, not so much any more.

As a veteran of the “Global War on Terror” I can look back at the scale of the destructiveness and mourn without diminishing its significance, but looking back at the scale of wars that happened before the age of the internet, the violence of the modern era is a drop in the bucket and as the work of Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard would show, we are living in the most peaceful times in human history.

Remember when Obama tried to get boots on the ground in Syria? Social media was there to tell him that was a bad idea because even the troops didn’t buy it and the internet blew up with pictures or military members with notes over their faces saying things like, “Obama, I did not enlist to fight for Al Qaeda in Syria!” How long have they been trying to get a war going with Iran? Even with all the best efforts to trick us into thinking they are about to nuke the US and Israel off the map, we can still Skype people in Iran and get the real story.

A lie can still travel halfway around in the hurry, but now the truth will catch up before any troops can be deployed – if not before any Hellfire Missiles are fired. Do you see what’s happened here? The worst that modern governments can get away with are relatively limited proxy wars. As many innocent people may die, the violence that governments can get away with today is a tiny fraction of what it used to be. As much as I want to give credit to so many influential peace activists who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much, (I’ve been arrested in protest over three dozen times myself) I think we can attribute this fundamental shift in human existence more to the internet than to any individuals. But who knows, without the peace activists applying the technology, maybe it would be useless.

More importantly at this point, how do we apply the technology now to address the first layer of government propaganda? Do we have to at all, or will it happen automatically? If I’m correct in my predictions, the word “libertarian” will be as obsolete as the word “abolitionist” in a couple decades and for the same reason. The ideals of freedom will be so universally accepted as to be not even noteworthy, just as today, no one would introduce themselves with, “Hi! I’m an abolitionist. That means I’m opposed to the institution of slavery!”

However you want to explain it, humanity gets all the credit here. We made war obsolete! Congratulations! GO TEAM PEOPLE!

Governments are next.

(With an appropriate nod here to Smedley Butler, David Swanson, Randolph Bourne, Mark Twain, Cindy Sheehan, Ron Kovic, Thomas Young, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and every victim of war ever.)

The Irrelevancy of the Presidency

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As you probably know by now, I’m getting ready to run for President in 2020 on the platform of the peaceful, orderly, responsible dissolution of the entire federal government. The proposal is to sign a single executive order to begin the pre-ordained process of dissolution, appoint “custodians” of each agency to carry out that process, and resign the presidency to become “Custodian of the Federal Government.” My only power would be to supervise the process. There’s nothing less libertarian, (and not much less ethical) that a person can say after, “I want to be President.” I’m much more comfortable with (and it’s much more accurate) saying that I’m running for “Not-President.”
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So why am I writing about the irrelevancy of the presidency if I think it can be used to achieve this great change? Well, it’s precisely because the presidency is irrelevant that this campaign is possible. President elections have become contests of who can be the best frontman for the government racket. The powers that be want to know who will best be able to pacify the American people.
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While I don’t know how true it is I like the Bill Hicks explanation of the Presidency. Basically, when the President gets elected, they put him in a smoky room full of cigar-smoking bankers and they show him the Kennedy assassination video. Then they ask, “Any questions?” And the only acceptable one is, “What’s my agenda?” It doesn’t matter what issues they campaigned on or what promises they made. They’re going to do what they’re told or they’re taken out!
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I’ve set up my campaign to work the opposite way. My entire platform will be carried out by a single executive order that will neutralize and privatize, localize, or liquidate the entire federal government. Because presidential elections have become the point at which the American people give their consent to the system, it is also where it can be withdrawn. When an overwhelming majority of the people vote on the record that they think America would be better off without the fed than with it, the consensus will be undeniable and unopposable, except by myself of course. Which is why I have told people repeatedly, if I am elected and don’t sign the order for some reason on day one, shoot me. And if my VP doesn’t sign it, shoot them too.
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While technology has clearly rendered government obsolete, the challenge remains of how to transition out of this statist paradigm. Why not start from the top down and localize government to the community level, and then see what happens? (This idea of “Localization” is laid out in Chapter 10, Section V of FREEDOM!, available free at TheFreedomLine.com/freedom) The idea of arbitrary rule seems ridiculous to the internet generation. I would (and will with a future post) make the case that the internet has already rendered war impossible for governments to get away with on any large scale.
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We are able to look forward like never before and so there is a growing consensus on the obsolescence of the current concept of government, if not government itself. Just today, Edward Snowden’s tweet summed up much of this sentiment brilliantly: “It was once impossible to imagine countries without Kings. A time will come when they look back and say the same of Presidents.” I hope we’ll have the support of people who think like Snowden!
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Have you seen the various “Nobody for President” memes and merch? “Nobody can save this country! Nobody cares about you! Nobody can solve all your problems! Nobody should be our President!” For 2020, we’re working hard getting organized, raising funds, and spreading the message to garner enough support to put a real “Nobody” on the ballot in 2020. I hope you’ll join us in this effort. KokeshForNotPresident.com

A Lesson About Insecurity Learned the Hard Way

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We all have our demons that hold us back. Sometimes we wrestle with them. Sometimes, we just cuddle. I’m familiar enough to know mine pretty well and how they affect me. My biggest one is my insecurity. It’s a deeply ingrained character flaw that was installed by a series of challenging life events in my childhood. My parents separated when I was young and I was generally under-parented through a contentious divorce. I went through a period when my skin was so messed up with acne that I had to take medication. I went to boarding school for high school to avoid switching between two houses every week, then left the first one I went to because I “didn’t like the students there,” then got kicked out of the next boarding school I went to. Then ended up as the only white student to have EVER attended the now defunct Native American Preparatory School where I was in the perfect position to hide my issues under “the experience of being a minority.” All of this insecurity lead me to commit the most dangerous, destructive, and evil thing that I have ever done: enlist in the US Marines in order to kill for politicians. Not only did this lead to a whole other host of personal challenges with “authority,” but also a PTSD-inducing 7 months in Fallujah.

So what this all adds up to is a tendency that I see is very common today. Maybe putting “insecurity” in the title of this post is a bit misleading. Insecurity could be said to be the motivator, and I think we all have some, but I want to focus on the thought pattern that this insecurity has produced in me, because I think that would be far more helpful than getting to know my demons. Self-awareness is useless without the commitment to apply it and examine how that self-knowledge can improve your life. So I leave that part to you and highly encourage you to get to know your demons enough to dispel their power. Similar to the talk therapy approach I would advocate for fellow combat veterans dealing with PTSD, “The process of taking things that are rattling around in your subconscious mind and putting them front and center in conscious mind through talking about them, writing about them, or making art inspired by them, – whatever your mechanism is – empowers you to control them, instead of them controlling you.” Let us not be prisoners of our past!

Regardless of your personal demons, what I see in our community that I’d like to address is a thought pattern that leads us to always err on the side of, “they probably don’t like me.” For some this is driven by insecurity, for others, by a fear of hurting someone else. For me, it’s both. It’s like having a hyperactive conscience that convicts you without a trial. When something goes wrong, we consider ourselves guilty until proven innocent by others. Not only does this reinforce an unnecessarily negative mindset and create unnecessary mental anguish, it wreaks havoc on our relationships and robs us of our potential connectedness.

In my experience, this has manifested particularly painfully around social media and other digital communication. You didn’t reply to my text? It couldn’t possibly be because you were busy and somehow replying to me slipped down your to do list just underneath getting in a car accident, losing your job, or having your house burn down. You must be ignoring me! You didn’t write back to my simple email request? It couldn’t possible be because you’re overwhelmed with email like nearly everyone else. It must be because you think you’re better than me and my emails aren’t worth responding to! You didn’t call me back after I left you that heartfelt message? It couldn’t possibly be because it’s under a pile of voicemails as high as Willie Nelson or that the NSA intercepted it. It must be because you’re ignoring me!

So I’ve learned to identify this thought pattern and there are a few things that I’ve started doing myself that have helped. The first is to … SUCK IT UP AND DON’T BE SO DAMN SENSITIVE, YOU NANCY BOY! Wait, that was my drill instructors answer … and I guess that’s sort of part of it. But to put it in more practical terms:

  1. Have faith in yourself. If this pattern is coming from insecurity, examine and address that. Are you not feeling good about yourself because you haven’t been working out? Eating well? Taking your alone time? Are you feeling down about some recent life event or situation? Sometimes basic self-care failures can lead to an ego deficiency and sometimes you just need to take care of your ego to maintain a positive self-image. If it’s a hyperactive conscience that drives this pattern for you, examine what irrational fears are driving it and what experiences have conditioned you to blame yourself so eagerly. Oftentimes, the way we are taught by parents to respond to accusations has a lot to do with this. Parents that induce cowering in children will raise cowering adults, even if that cowering is better hidden in adulthood.
  2. Empathize with others. When you remain sensitive to the emotional state of those around you, it makes you much more understanding of what they’re going through. This will resolve the issue half the time when you realize, “Oh! They’re just having a bad day and projecting on me! Maybe I can help them!” This will help you recognize when it’s really their problem, not your problem. So you can stop worrying, and decide whether or not to help without your judgment clouded by your own emotional reaction.
  1. Never act on assumptions based on someone else’s internal state. Ask them! This is part of empathy applied to relationship strategy. We’re all going to make assumptions, so that’s unavoidable. The problem is when we sit on assumptions and hem and haw about what to about them and waste so much energy when just directly asking someone how they feel would save you all that trouble. You can (almost) never go wrong by asking someone how they’re feeling.

  1. Reach out directly! Most of the petty conflicts that I see online would be completely avoided with private messages. I, for one, am extremely accessible, mainly because I want everyone to feel like they can bring issues directly to me when they need to. I don’t get to respond to every email or message I get, but I can still see almost all of them most days and most activists in the movement have my cell phone number. In fact, I’m so accessible, my number was just “doxed” on Facebook and 4chan. This is also important for settling issues while doing the least harm. If two people in a dispute have to tear each other apart publicly before settling things privately, they’ve just suffered more needlessly. And yet somehow, I regularly hear people tell me, “I was going to mention that, but I was afraid to bother you or piss you off.” And somehow, the answer is usually, “I would be a lot less bothered and pissed off if you had brought this up sooner!” Don’t let your negative assumptions stop you from clearing the air, otherwise you’ll always be sitting on some kind of resentment or unease.

  1. Never forget that your true self is awesome and everyone would love you if they got to know your authentic self, so be that, and enjoy the love! Don’t let your false negative self-image or self-doubt or negative assumptions stop you from getting or giving every drop of love possible in this short life.

In writing this post, I have many motivations. Of course I always want to help and empower my readers. I want to affirm for myself something that I’ve identified but not yet mastered in order to get myself closer to mastery. I want my fellow freedom activists to be more effective. And most importantly: Can’t we all just get along?! I hope that this small dose of self-awareness can help shift society towards greater peace, harmony, cooperation, and understanding, which inevitably … lead to FREEDOM!