“If you wish to keep slaves, you must have all kinds of guards. The cheapest way to have guards is to have the slaves pay taxes to finance their own guards. To fool the slaves, you tell them that they are not slaves and that they have Freedom. You tell them they need Law and Order to protect them against bad slaves. Then you tell them to elect a Government. Give them Freedom to vote and they will vote for their own guards and pay their salary. They will then believe they are Free persons. Then give them money to earn, count and spend and they will be too busy to notice the slavery they are in.” ~Alexander Warbucks
Who the hell is Alexander Warbucks? Nobody knows. He wrote this article, How I Manage My Slaves, back in 1978, and nothing before or since. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to break down his opening quote and discover ways to avoid slavery.
Basically, the best way to manage slaves is to convince them that they are free so that they don’t rebel against a corrupt system, and so that they diligently work for the system no matter how sick it makes them. This is one of those rare occasions where it is easier done than said.
And it’s being done, en masse, the world over. It takes the seemingly benign form of statism. But it is most definitely malignant in that it tricks people into slavery by lording comfort, security, safety and the illusion of freedom over their heads, and by being irresponsible with its overreaching power.
In short: the best way to manage slaves is to erect a state, and to declare that state almighty by forcing people to consent to its law and order no matter how unreasonable, unjust, or violent that law and order may be.
Statism creates massive societies made up of people who are mostly ignorant, lazy, cowardly and indifferent to political underhandedness. As long as they are comfortable, safe, and secure in their immoderate bliss they don’t care about policy. Because of such ignorance, laziness, and cowardice, statists (soft slaves) prefer the certitude of psychological chains over the ambiguity and tension of real freedom. Hence the proclivity toward soft-slave statism rather than the hard work of maintaining freedom.
Here are five ways to avoid becoming (or remaining) a soft salve…
Don’t ask for permission to be free:
“I must create a system or be enslaved by another Man’s.” ~William Blake
Become a free-range human. The path from soft-slave statist to free-range human is difficult, but, as Spinoza stated, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
A soft-slave statist is anyone who believes they need a ruler to rule over them, who thinks they need permission to be free, who blindly worships a flag, and who believes violence is the answer to solving problems.
A free-range human, on the other hand, rules over him/herself, does not need permission to be free, does not worship a flag, and thinks that violence is only necessary when used in self-defense or in defense of those not capable of defending themselves.
Besides that, free-range humans practice the following core principles: the golden rule, the nonaggression principle, the art of fighting without fighting, radical forgiveness, and radical interconnectedness (interdependence over independence over codependence).
Don’t pay for the guards to guard you:
“I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” ~Robert A. Heinlein
The only time you should pay the guards to guard you is if you are incapable of guarding yourself.
If, as Stefan Molyneux said, “The law is an opinion with a gun,” then it stands to reason that we should check untenable opinions with a tenable solution. Privatized defense-minded policing is that solution.
It is based upon the reasonable precept that for any free human who is unable to protect themselves or their property –whether due to lack of skills, an ailment, age, or even cowardice– they (or their loved ones) are free to hire a defense-minded police force to help protect them and their property.
Important caveat: Defense is primary. Defense is key.
As long as the hired police force remains defense-minded and does not become offense-minded by forcing their values, ideals, rules, or laws onto others, then it can be a morally tenable means of policing.
Simply put: Healthy policing is an extension of healthy self-defense. Defense turned violent and overreaching is no longer about self-preservation. Similarly, policing turned violent and overreaching is no longer about protecting and serving. Physical violence should only ever be used in self-defense and never as a means toward enforcing one’s values, rules, or laws onto others, no matter how popular they are.
Learn self-defense and honor the nonaggression principle:
“Too much of the animal distorts the civilized man, too much civilization makes sick animals.” ~Jung
Don’t be a sick animal. Also, don’t become so distorted that you lose your humanity.
Non-consensual, state-created social contracts might as well be toilet paper for all they’re worth. The only social contracts that matter, in the grand scheme of things, are those governed by universal law: the golden rule and the nonaggression principle. Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, and don’t be a violent idiot. That’s it.
Easy, right? Nope.
Statism has to come it and fuck it all up. As Nietzsche profoundly stated, “State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.’” The state is not the people. It’s the illusion of a people. People are made up of individuals. Individuality is predicated upon freedom. Therefore, a free individual should not tolerate the overreaching tyranny of the state which seeks to turn free individuality into a lawful collective.
Learning how to defend yourself, your loved ones, and your property is the single best way to avoid becoming a slave and to maintain your freedom. Learning the art of fighting without fighting is the second best. The only reason it isn’t the best is because you will still need to know how to defend yourself when it doesn’t work.
Infuse your freedom with loving kindness, compassionate tolerance, and radical forgiveness and avoid cruelty, violence, and hindering the freedom of others. But, if others should attempt to be violent or hinder your freedom, practice the art of fighting without fighting first and, if that fails, practice self-defense as a last resort.
Don’t vote in, vote out: Voting with your feet:
“If you vote, you have no right to complain.” ~George Carlin
The next best thing to direct-democracy sortition is voting with your feet. Since almost every democracy across the world is far from being evolved enough to have a system of sortition, the best way to progressively evolve toward a healthier system is to vote out rather than vote in, and to always vote with your feet.
What does vote out rather than vote in mean? It means only voting when it serves the purpose of checking power and never voting when it gives someone, anyone, too much power. Simply put: a healthy democracy votes out bad leaders and bad seeds, an unhealthy democracy gives you the illusion of choice between bad leaders and bad seeds (or the lesser of two evils).
What does voting with your feet mean? It means putting your foot down and being a proactive citizen. It means becoming your own politician, despite career politicians. It means turning the tables on the Powers That Be by hitting the streets and creating a little civil disobedience that shames and mocks the current power dynamic and untenable status quo. It means voting with your money and using it to move things forward in the political direction that best moves us toward a healthy and progressive evolution for our species.
Don’t rely on government; govern yourself:
“I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it.” ~George Carlin
Become your own authority: an author of self. Learn self-rule over being ruled.
Decide you are a leader. Own it. Take control of the narrative by creating the narrative and then have the confidence to declare to any and all so-called authorities that you cannot be owned and that you own yourself.
The only thing more important than owning yourself is using that ownership to maintain a healthy world. Interdependence over independence over codependence is the key. Becoming your own authority for the sake of the whole is becoming the tip of the spear for a healthy and progressive evolution of our species; and using that spear to strike at the heart at any corrupt system (corrupt power) that seeks to hinder the freedom of people through violence, slavery or tyranny.
Real leaders don’t follow power; they learn how to turn the tables on power, even their own, so that power does not corrupt. Real leaders don’t kowtow to “the law,” tyranny or authoritarian rule; they question it, despite the “rank and order” and outdated narrative that props it up. Real leaders have the courage to do what it takes to maintain truth, health and freedom. Even if it is unpopular. Even if it means shame, a loss of reputation, incarceration, or death.
As the now famous graffito said: “When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will be free.”
Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (The Best Way to Manage Slaves (And How to Avoid Becoming One)) was originally created for The Mind Unleashed and is published here with permission. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.