By Robert LeFevre
How can one individual assist in maximizing human well being by advancing the cause of liberty? His first task is to learn his true nature.1. Each of us has the ability to think and act as he pleases.2. Each of us controls his own energy. We do it wisely or foolishly, but we do it individually. We may act on the advice or the command of others. Or we may decide not to. Our own energies remain under our individual command and control.3. It follows that I cannot make you free; I can earn my own freedom by controlling myself instead of trying to control others.4. What steps do I take when I wish to be free?5. I free myself from dependency on others when that dependency is created or maintained by force. Since there is no way that I can survive without the help of others, I will always be dependent to some degree. But I can depend upon the voluntary support others provide when they willingly buy my goods or services. If I have to compel them to buy my goods or services – either directly at the point of a gun, or indirectly through governmental avenues – then I am acting in a way that is counter-productive and anti-freedom.6. Having recognized this point, I break off all relations with government.a. I will make no contributions to any political campaign or political party.b. I will endorse no issue and no candidate.c. I will not vote.d. I will de-register and refuse to participate in government-sponsored proceedings of any sort.e. I will not run for office, nor hold a political job even if asked.f. I will patronize those persons and firms that have the least to do with government. If a firm or individual is heavily subsidized by the government, I will have nothing to do with it; it is an arm of the State.h. I will not ask for government help, guidance, advice, money, or emolument of any kind.i. I will accept no government check for Social Security, welfare, injury, pension, or for any difficulty I may be in. I will solve my own problems.j. I will set my own standards in such a way that I impose on no one.k. I will injure no one for any reason.l. I will be as generous and helpful to others as my ability makes possible.m. I will live up to every contractual agreement I voluntarily enter into.n. I will, therefore, take great care to only enter into those agreements that are worthy of fulfillment.o. I will be true to the highest and best within me, committing no act of theft, dishonesty, or violence against any other human whatsoever.
The foregoing are the rules. How many will follow them? Predictably, very few. That is why human society is in such upheaval. What I have set forth isn’t popular.
But it is factual and in harmony with the reality of man. The fact that I do not participate in government at any level and in any way does not cause the government to cease to exist. Should you reason your way through the human morass and decide to emulate the non-participation procedure, government will surely continue.
That, in itself, should cause rejoicing. The recommendations I have set forth provide a method that will be as gradual as the dawn of intellectual integrity. That is as it should be. Any other procedure will contain a reaction, a backlash that can destroy any temporary gains.
By employing the method of logic and learning, no one is coerced into accepting an unwelcome or misunderstood objective. He advances toward freedom and a free society in exactly the speed and to the degree that he is prepared for it. That is the only way it can be done. It will not be popular because we have been nurtured on the hopes of panaceas and quick political solutions. But it is the only way that will never have to be repeated.
Today the world is sick with the greatest social disease of all. It isn’t herpes or syphilis. It is, in fact, a pagan faith in the State. Around the world, terrorists are operating under the noses of various governments, often aided and abetted by those same governments.
We will move toward a free society, one by one. We will never achieve a free society in the sense that we can finalize the process. The price of freedom is eternal effort aimed at achieving self-control and self-mastery. We do not achieve this by controlling others. We move toward achievement when we learn to control and govern ourselves. Freedom is self-control, not license to impose on others.
It has taken me a lifetime to learn this. I am grateful that I have lived. I am even grateful that I have made mistakes, yet continued to live so that I could learn more. Man learns by trial and error. Few of us learn much of anything by success.
I am also grateful that some across this great country of America agree with at least some of my conclusions. They are out there now, quietly minding their own business, improving their own performance, raising their own standards, and willfully imposing on none.
– A WAY TO BE FREE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ROBERT LEFEVRE, Culver City: Pulpless.com, Inc., 1999, Vol. II, pp. 496-498. Reprinted by permission of Tom LeFevre, email dated Feb. 1, 2011.