Imagine a life without jobs, exams, taxes, bosses, debt, mortgage, wars, theft, corruption, oppression, servitude, slavery, terrorism, lockdowns, politicians, kings, dictators, presidents, governments, bureaucracy, visas, passports, and so on…
Imagine a life of true freedom with no authority to answer to.
Sure, such a life is only a dream for the modern individual. Yet, our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived just like that.
Considering that we lived as hunter-gatherers for the overwhelming majority of human history, it’s no wonder why the modern individual craves a life of freedom.
Human beings have populated the earth for about 200,000 years. The entire history of human societies can be broken down into just 3 stages:
- Hunter-gatherer societies (∼188,000 years)
- Agricultural societies (∼12,000 years)
- Industrial societies (∼250 years) –> We are here
For more than 95% of the time we populated the earth, we were hunter-gatherers. For a little less than 5% of the time, we were farmers. Modern living came with industrial societies, which doesn’t even constitute a mere 1% of the entire human history (more like 0.1% to be precise).
Having spent the majority of our time on earth as hunter-gatherers has massive consequences which haunt every human being alive. 0.1% is just a blip in the history of humanity which is why our nature is thoroughly incompatible with modern living.
That most people can’t quite put a finger on why life sucks despite all the accomplishments of humanity is because none of us knows another way of life than modern living. We viscerally loathe modern living just like we hated living in agricultural societies but most of us can’t figure out why.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had none of the common problems of modern human beings. They didn’t worry about theft, governments, bosses, jobs, or debt. They moved freely as they pleased without having to take permission from a bunch of “authorities”. They didn’t need to wake up early to go to work. They didn’t worry about burning out from working overtime.
Hunter-gatherers worked 8 to 15 hours a week with no boss to answer to, no politicians to oppress them, no governments to tax their earnings, and no thieves to steal what they produce. In fact, overtime work was discouraged since hunting more than they could eat would deplete resources as they didn’t have the technology to store excess food.
Unlike the life of the miserable modern human or the hapless farmer, the free life of the hunter-gatherer was so good that looking back from an agricultural society, hunter-gatherers were considered to have lived in paradise.
James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg observe that “the expulsion from the Garden of Eden can be seen as a figurative account of the transformation of society from foraging to farming, from a free life with food picked from nature’s bounty with little work to a life of hard labor.”
Unlike modern humans who have to ask for permission from multiple authorities for even the most mundane of things they want to do, hunter-gatherers required permission from no one. Neither their kids had to ask for permission from the teacher just to pee.
Hunter-gatherers weren’t deployed to the other end of the world to die fighting other people’s wars.
Even their work probably didn’t seem like work. Considering modern men’s fascination with team sports and that hunting is a hobby, hunter-gatherers probably enjoyed their teamwork of hunting as opposed to most of us who hate our jobs, bosses, and the government that ruthlessly taxes the hard-earned income we generate.
Unlike the hapless modern human who has to go out of his way just to exercise, consumed in pursuit of finding the motivation to work out, physical activity was built into the daily lives of hunter-gatherers.
Why “Fuck You Money” Is A Thing
The hunter-gatherer way of living a life of freedom is engraved in our DNA. Considering that for at least 96% of the time humans inhabited the earth as hunter-gatherers, it’s no wonder why modern human beings instinctively crave freedom.
All of the evils that plague modern humans started precipitating on humanity with the transition to an agricultural society.
Wherever farming took root, violence emerged as a more important feature of social life. Hierarchies adept at manipulating or controlling violence came to dominate society. Farming made both crime and government paying propositions for the first time.
— James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg
The late transition to industrial societies improved our standard of living but failed to give humans their freedom back.
Our visceral disgust for modern life and longing for personal freedom manifest themselves through our various popular pursuits such as the hopeless motto of “do what you love”, the pathetic celebration of “thank God it’s Friday”, and the dreams of the elusive “fuck you money”.
The modern man’s eternal pursuit of “doing what you love” without having to endure the drudgery of work and without a boss breathing down on one’s neck stems from our love for the work of hunting for our food with no authority to answer to.
Confucius, who lived in the age of agricultural society, famously said “choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, which still resonates with modern people. Yet only a tiny minority of us actually love our jobs, if that.
“Thank God it’s Friday” is another manifestation of our longing for freedom that’s imprinted in our DNA. The modern man pays for the 2 days of weekend freedom by enduring a 5-day long weekday servitude that he loathes.
The reality is that Friday is a made-up day invented for convenience. No one actually loves “Fridays” or hates “Mondays”. What we hate is the servitude that starts on Mondays and what we love is the temporary freedom that starts on Friday nights.
“Fuck you money” is an arbitrary amount of money believed to be enough to free you from the shackles of corporates and bosses. The point of “fuck you money” is that you have enough money to support yourself for the remainder of your life so that you can say “fuck you” to working for the man.
Notwithstanding the fact that only a tiny minority of us manage to make “fuck you money”, in its essence what we crave is not the money per se but the freedom to do whatever we want without answering to anyone. We essentially crave freedom, not money.
While there are no guarantees, it probably takes decades of hard work and also a lot of luck to make “fuck you money” and attain the freedom that our hunter-gatherer ancestors enjoyed by default without having to lift a finger.
To add injury to the insult, even in the unlikely case that you manage to make “fuck you money”, it’s still highly unlikely that you’ll attain a level of zero-strings-attached freedom.
You’ll still be subject to government oppression by taxation to extort a sizeable amount of the money you make; and passports, visas, and a throng of other permissions that prevent you from moving and living freely.
Hunter-gatherers didn’t have to find a job that they love. They already had it. They didn’t have to get a degree and go through a job interview for their “job” of hunting. They didn’t cheer “Thank God it’s Friday”. For the hunter-gatherer, every day was a Saturday. They didn’t need to work hard for decades to make “fuck you money” that’s supposed to grant them freedom. They were, by default, free and happy from the get-go.
Enjoying the level of freedom that a basic hunter-gatherer enjoyed by birth is nearly impossible in the modern industrial age we’re living in. Yet, we have the temerity to look down on the hunter-gatherer man as primitive, backward, and savage but the joke’s on us. The modern man is a thousand times more miserable than the primitive man he underestimates.
While the modern man is lucky to afford a shoebox apartment that costs a fortune in most modern big cities with harsh climates, the hunter-gatherer man lived on ten thousand acres with temperate climates. Think how rich should you be to be allowed such luxury today.
The modern individual is lost. Everyone desperately wants to escape the tentacles of the “system” but very few manage to do it, if any.
This is why the transition from a free life of ease of foraging to first agricultural and then industrial life of toil and servitude has been a matter of deep regret for humanity.
This is why we viscerally hate alarm clocks and waking up early to go to work and why we hate authorities who dictate to us how to live and why we hate asking for permission.
This is why Emiliano Zapata’s famous quote “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees” resonates with a lot of modern people. The question isn’t “should you die for your freedom?” The real question is “why did humans consent to lose their freedoms when they were already free?” because that’s what we deeply regret.
This is why depression and anxiety are rampant in our age even among rich Western populations who seemingly have everything they want. What they don’t know is that without freedom, you have nothing.
This is why life is hard when relying on your long-established instincts and the ease of instant gratification are replaced with the hard work of having to think rationally and settle for delayed gratification.
This is why modern life sucks although you can’t quite put a finger on the reasons why. You feel it in your bones, muscles, and DNA that there’s something seriously wrong.
The Illusion Of The “Free World”
I’m sure you’ve heard at some point in your life that the President of the United States of America is referred to as “The Leader of the Free World”; the “Free World” being the countries of the Western Bloc.
This is not an article to discuss whether the President of the United States actually leads anything but is the so-called “free world” actually free?
Of course not. Not even by a long shot.
“Free World” is nothing more than a propaganda piece to justify the colonization of the rest of the world who are supposedly not as free as the West. It’s true that the citizens of other countries aren’t free but neither are the citizens of the Western countries who are only as free as free-range chickens are free.
Humans didn’t need governments for 96% of their history but the “advanced” modern man somehow needs to be “governed”. If you’re governed, you aren’t sovereign.
If 100% of your economic output is confiscated by your overlords then you’re a slave. Thankfully, if you live in the “Free World”, you are totally not a slave. Lifetime tax rates in the United States, the supposed leader of the Free World, are calculated to be between 75% and 90%. The state confiscates three-quarters to nine-tenth of your income. You’re just 10 to 25% away from being a slave, not to mention the backbreaking servitude in order to generate the income only 10-25% of which you’re allowed to keep.
Too bad that the government doesn’t even need to bother negotiating your taxes with you. You can vote though, and elect a different shade of brown of the same crap, provided that your vote is actually counted.
You can theoretically save some of the income you manage to keep to yourself after the government claims its lion’s share but unfortunately, that too will erode in value thanks to inflation caused by the government irresponsibly printing money.
Governments might be grossly incompetent at tasks aimed at helping the citizenry but they’re extremely creative and competent at coming up with ways to extort money from their
As a free-range slave, you can leave your henhouse (country) if you pay for your passport and take permission from your government and the government of the henhouse that you’d like to visit (visa).
If you think you actually own your house or your car, try not paying your property taxes and see who actually owns them.
Do you want to move your money out of the country to avoid government confiscation? You’re allowed to do that but only if you be the good citizen you are and pay your exit tax.
The reality is that the citizens of the so-called “Free World” are anything but free because freedom is sovereignty and no citizen is remotely sovereign. Not even close.
Up until recently, the citizens of the Western Bloc used to live in a state of ignorance in which they hallucinated that they were free (at least compared to the citizens of communist states or countries governed by dictators). But, they were in for a rude awakening.
Why It Recently Got Worse: Corruption, Income Inequality, and Increased Government Tyranny
Except for the members of a few remaining indigenous tribes still living in jungles (who are, unfortunately, being killed by modern governments), every human being who’s alive has never lived in a society that isn’t an industrial society.
We look at the modern comforts we enjoy and hallucinate that life must have been more difficult for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. We imagine that we live better lives when none of us have experienced another way of life.
The transition to an industrial society from an agricultural society in the West began after 1750. It was 1845 when Henry David Thoreau famously said: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” How can we claim that we’re happier than our hunter-gatherer ancestors when the masses live in desperation?
We can’t. The truth nobody wants to believe is that modern life sucks. We live worse lives than the hunter-gatherers who we look down on.
It’s also significant that Henry David Thoreau wrote those words in 1845, at a time when governments and other reigning institutions were less corrupt than those of today. Recently, it got worse. People of today are even more miserable than the people of Thoreau’s time.
While big governments and the reigning institutions of the industrial societies have never been efficient institutions to organize life, they at least had served some function in Thoreau’s time. They’ve recently become entirely corrupted and a complete and utter burden on the population. They not only exploit the population while giving nothing back in return but they’re also antagonistic to the people who they mercilessly exploit.
While these two types of governments positioned themselves as diametric opposites of each other, in reality, they are just different versions of the same exploitative system.
Communist systems prohibited private ownership which disincentivized productivity. Less productivity meant fewer resources to exploit for the state. As a result, the Soviet Union exhausted itself quicker than Western democracies and collapsed in 1991.
The western democratic capitalist state is a similar organization to a communist state, the only difference being that it was able to extract more tax revenue by allowing private ownership, the efficiency of which incentivized the creation of more taxable wealth. More private wealth meant more resources to exploit which is why democratic states of the Western bloc got relatively richer and survived longer than the communist states of the Eastern bloc.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States of America was declared the winner of the cold war. The fall of the communist Soviet state was considered a triumph of the capitalist democratic state. While it’s true that the democratic state can be considered triumphant over the communist state, the fall of the Soviet Union is more a precursor to the fall of the democratic state than its triumph as they’re similar types of jurisdictions.
It’s important to note that the reason why Western democratic states allowed more freedom to their citizens wasn’t that they cared about the people. The paltry freedoms they allowed increased the income of the government. Otherwise, they couldn’t care less about the citizens. Both the communist and the so-called democratic state are unacceptably oppressive systems but thankfully, the fall of the former is a harbinger for the fall of the latter.
Trained eyes will recognize the other signs than the fall of the Soviet Union pointing to the fact that the Western democratic state is bound to fall.
Widespread corruption among the Western democratic states and the collapse of morality in Western populations are some of these signs. They aren’t accidents.
As we will see in greater detail later in the article, history teaches us that corruption and moral collapse are signs that a system is in its final stage. Roman Empire had gotten corrupt before it collapsed and the Medieval Church also had gotten corrupt before it lost its power and relevancy.
Look at the current state of the world and you’ll easily recognize that corruption became endemic all around the world. The world is filled to the brim with thieves. All institutions of the current systems — local and global — exhausted their potential and became a burden on the backs of the citizens. One quick look at the income distribution reveals how dire the situation is for the people. Income inequality is so bad that the top 1% of Americans have about 16 times more wealth than the bottom 50%.
Of course, the members of the ruling classes don’t want the system to collapse so they’re fighting tooth and nail to preserve their accustomed privileges which is why the ruling elites of today became nasty and waged a war against the people of the world.
While the citizens of the poorer countries have long been aware that the government isn’t their friend, people of the so-called “free world” are experiencing a rude awakening, watching their freedoms taken away one by one with the pretense of fighting a “pandemic.”
In the United States, freedom of speech was supposedly protected by the constitution. Not anymore. The elites had already been scrambling to censor speech that disagrees with them by the pretense of preventing “hate speech” and they’ve recently tightened the leash by the pretense of preventing “misinformation about the pandemic.”
You could argue that the constitution doesn’t compel private corporations to respect freedom of speech but the US Government recently admitted that they have been pressuring private companies to censor “misinformation”.
For the last 1,5 years, healthy people (including the people of the so-called “free world”) have been put on house arrest by the already tired pretense of fighting a “pandemic.” Our freedom of travel is taken away with the same pretense. As of this writing, many people of Western democracies can’t even go to public spaces such as restaurants, gyms, stadiums, etc. without taking permission from the elites.
As we’ve already talked about, a lack of freedom is the primary cause of modern man’s desperation. Industrialization brought about an increase in our standards of living which served as a consolation.
However, the people of today are experiencing a decline in their standards of living while watching their already paltry freedoms increasingly dwindle with the pretense of “fighting a pandemic.” We have it even worse than people who lived in the times of Henry David Thoreau who had said that the masses of men lived lives of desperation.
Is there a chance that we re-gain our freedoms that were put on pause for the last 12,000 years?
Obviously, there’s no going back to living as hunter-gatherers. That would be as futile as putting the toothpaste back into the tube. Is there another way? Luckily, there is. And hopefully, it will happen within our lifetimes.
The Silver Lining: The Coming Age Of The Sovereign Individual
The scrambling of the elites to keep alive a dying system will sooner or later prove to be no more useful than administering cardiac massage to resurrect a corpse. Nevertheless, they’ll fight tooth and nail to hold on to their power and delay the death of the system as long as they can by increasingly totalitarian means. This is expected so don’t lose hope.
As the saying goes, it’s always darkest before dawn. Things seem to get worse before they get better. You’ve got to go through hell before you get to heaven.
While nobody can tell how long the ruling elites will manage to delay the dismantling of the current configuration of power, they’ll eventually fail and individuals will finally become sovereign in the coming age of the sovereign individual, provided that they are willing to produce and offer value regardless of geography.
Several times on this website, I had highly recommended the prophetic book The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg which was published in 1997.
In The Sovereign Individual, James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg re-evaluate the entire human history through the perspective of violence and make forecasts based on how microprocessing technology will change the logic of violence and the developments this change will precipitate.
I highly recommend you read the book and be amazed at the number of forecasts they made in 1997 that already came true, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about their forecasts that are yet to fully unfold.
According to James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg, “the collapse of morality and growing corruption among leaders of Western governments is not a random development. It is evidence that the potential of the nation-state is exhausted. Moral outrage against corrupt leaders is not an isolated historical phenomenon but a common precursor of change.”
Just like the Roman Empire and the Medieval Church became corrupt right before their collapse, politicians, bureaucrats and the elites of today are just as corrupt, which the authors see as a signal for the imminent collapse of the current world order.
Here are a few quotes from the Sovereign Individual that proves how successfully the authors of The Sovereign Individual predicted in 1997 what’s currently happening in these times of a “global pandemic”:
Just as monarchs, lords, popes, and potentates fought ruthlessly to preserve their accustomed privileges in the early stages of the modern period, so today’s governments will employ violence, often of a covert and arbitrary kind, in the attempt to hold back the clock.
Governments will violate human rights, censor the free flow of information, sabotage useful technologies, and worse.
Travel could be effectively discouraged by biological warfare, such as the outbreak of a deadly epidemic.
They’ve correctly predicted the increasing levels of oppression by all of the governments of the world, censorship, and even the pandemic. Uncanny, right?
Here are some quotes from the book predicting the collapse of the Western democracies:
We see the impending death of Western civilization, and with it the collapse of the world order that has predominated these past five centuries, ever since Columbus sailed west to open contact with the New World. The twentieth-century nation-state, with all its pretensions, will starve to death as its tax revenues decline.
In our view, you are witnessing nothing less than the waning of the Modern Age. The next millennium will no longer be “modern.”
Now, looming over the horizon, is something entirely new, the fourth stage of social organization: information societies.
If Western governments are to collapse, what will replace them? Many people fear that the elites will succeed in launching a one-world government but James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg disagree:
When the technologies that are shaping the new millennium are considered, it is far more likely that we will see not one-world government, but microgovernment, or even conditions approaching anarchy.
You will witness the realization of a new form of freedom, with the emergence of the Sovereign Individual. You can expect to see almost the complete liberation of productivity.
And finally, when people imagine the collapse of a system to be replaced by a completely new one, they tend to think it will be precipitated by a revolution or a social movement of sorts. While people can very well organize and revolt, authors think that the change will happen organically rather than relying on the preferences of the people:
If you think about it carefully, it should be obvious that important transitions in history seldom are driven primarily by human wishes. They do not happen because people get fed up with one way of life and suddenly prefer another.
If the ruling classes fail to hold on to their power, which I believe they eventually will, we’ll all have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom that comes with personal sovereignty.
Don’t be discouraged by what’s currently going on in the world because it was already expected that people in positions of power wouldn’t give up their privileges without putting in a vicious fight.
We are already witnessing that vicious fight, watching in dismay how all the institutions of the current configuration of power including governments, opposition parties, academia, the mainstream media, and even churches waged a war against the people of the world, in a hail mary attempt to preserve their positions of power and retain their relevance. They are viciously fighting to hold on to their accustomed power and scrambling to put into motion a so-called “great reset.”
When they eventually fail, the age of the sovereign individual will begin and you’ll have a shot at living a life of personal freedom — an opportunity that wasn’t available to the people of agricultural and industrial societies who lived in the last 12,000 years.
After 12,000 years of captivity, you’ll finally have a chance to enjoy a level of freedom close to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Hold the line. Don’t give in to tyranny. Don’t bother with political activism as politics as we know of will disappear with the industrial age. Stay out of trouble. As James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg emphasize, “of all 36 ways to get out of trouble, the best way is – leave.” Aim to move your business to low or zero-tax jurisdictions for the lack of tax revenue will starve the beast.
Don’t forget to keep in mind that not everyone will be able to reach personal sovereignty. It’s reserved for the cognitive elite who are capable of offering value. Never neglect to improve yourself because it’s the only way that you can offer value. The more value you have to offer, the more sovereign you will be.
Think for yourself and make your own rational decisions because it’s necessary to avoid the traps set up by the ruling elites.
Be disciplined and put in the work to become superior because competence will be far more important than it is now. Offer enough value and you’ll not miss the once-in-a-12,000-year opportunity for personal freedom.
Be sure to read: