What Would You Do for “Truth”?

progress truthI closed a recent post by saying this:

If you’re not willing to suffer for your beliefs, you’re not much of a believer.

To that I will add that the statement remains true, no matter what types of beliefs we’re talking about. Either we have the guts to stand by our beliefs or we don’t. (Which is why a lot of people avoid them – they haven’t the guts to choose.) Holding to our beliefs under fire is the crucial test – not of our beliefs, but of ourselves.

Anytime you move the world forward in some way, you will receive a backlash. In a world like ours – a world neurotically devoted to stasis – that is almost unavoidable.

Have you ever noticed that when people complain about tax collectors or the police, they look around first and lower their voices? The reason why is ultra-obvious: They expect those groups to seek out and hurt people who oppose them.

Why We Suffer

In societies that dedicate themselves to law and punishment, people learn to neurotically avoid all blame. That’s the big problem with “law” – it demands that you remember tens of thousands of rules and punishes you if you fail to obey them. That leaves all of us subject to punishment at every moment of our lives. And that’s a recipe for stress and neurosis.

On top of that, people very well understand that by changing their opinions or actions, they are judging their previous choices as “bad.” And bad, of course, means that you can expect punishment.

Since everyone in a “modern society” grows up learning that changing opinions invites punishment, they come to instinctively avoid it.

What all of this means is this:

For all practical purposes, progress is grounds for punishment, and talk of progress is both suspicious and dangerous.

Yet here we are… and here all sane, healthy people are… trying to move forward.

The sad truth is this:

If you wish to progress, those people who’ve bought into the system will instantly see you as a threat and will therefore oppose you.

Sure, these people should grow up and do better, but the system has trained them in this behavior all their lives. My dad, for example, was a very bright man and definitely not a coward. But when he once asked me what I was doing that evening, I mentioned that I might attend a meeting of libertarians, and he said, “Ah, crap. You’re gonna go to jail.”

My dad may have leapt to a conclusion, but he very rightly understood that going against the status quo brings trouble.

(I didn’t actually go that night, and believe it or not, I’ve only attended one or two official libertarian meetings ever.)

The Price We Must Pay

As I say, in the current situation, moves forward will be opposed, and that means you’ll have to accept pain. That sucks, but it doesn’t suck worse than the alternative, which is a neutered stasis in a permanent semi-slavery.

And please don’t think you can avoid the pain and still make any meaningful progress. What’s going on when we move forward is that we suffer for our virtues. The only way to avoid that is to turn away from those virtues. And that means diminishing ourselves.

Don’t do it – your life is worth more than that.

We may as well accept that we’re enemies of the status quo, and our lives therefore involve risk.

Anyone who is serious about goodness becomes an enemy of the system. Anyone who is serious about liberty is already an enemy of the system. We can either accept that or evade that, but it will not go away.

If we accept it, we make ourselves better and we eventually make the world better.

If we evade it, we degrade ourselves and we degrade the world.

Let’s choose not to be harmless serfs. We’re so much better than that.

Paul Rosenberg

15 thoughts on “What Would You Do for “Truth”?”

  1. There will be pain.

    For over a decade I have worked as a self employed consultant, accepting only work as a contractor. Why? Because of my Liberty values and because over time the benefits far outweigh the temporary pain I would experience if I accepted traditional employment, and the pain is greater with traditional employment.

    But what about the so-called “benefits” afforded by traditional employment?

    Quick Examples:

    The last time I was traditionally employed, I had over 34% withheld from my pay plus $600/month for Health Care I neither wanted nor needed.

    After that traditional job I had little in the bank and Unemployment benefits were maxed at about $1300/month, and my mortgage was $1200/month. You see my dilemma.

    The next time I was between jobs, as a Self Employed independent contractor, I had $17,000 in the bank and still had $10,000 in receivables due over the next couple months! Why? Because I received 100% of my pay instead of 65%. Are you receiving any tangible benefits from all the taxes that are withheld from your pay? I’m still responsible for taxes, but as a small business I have incredible tax advantages that aren’t available to traditional employees, and pay far less in taxes than if I were an employee. Which situation above would you rather be in?

    My next big project will be a documentary film of a 13,000+ mile camping road-trip from the Great Lakes to South America as a small business, not anyone’s employee. (see http://7thpillar.wordpress.com/ to follow progress)

    Don’t get the idea that living by my ideals is without pain. In the last year I’ve grossed about 10% of what I’m used to, so there is pain. Yet the next contract will quickly make up for last year’s pain.

    The Boot-Strap Expat

    1. Hi 7th Pillar,

      I here everything you said. I was once a W2 and now a sole proprietor.

      However, I still have to pay taxes. Nearly identical burden as W2 employee, just labeled differently, ie self employment tax, income tax, and state income tax. Deductions have to be a real business expense. Scorps,LLC and others do not help and the bogus concept of an executive draw is just that , bogus.

      Tax avoidance is fine but for example, if I put 5500 in my IRA this year, it will reduce my tax bill by 800.00. When you do your taxes honestly, you realize there is no way out.

      I do not gross enough to justify the expense of creating an offshore shell which is the only way to hide income.

      You apparently evaded taxes. Good for you, but for me I am to scared to take the risk…

      Any person who claims to have found a way around taxes is simply deluding themselves. If your tax accountant does it for you, majority do, he is guilty of fraud, so are you but the pair of you will probably get away with it because tax accountants have special government favor.

      I think taxes are bunk and I am not criticizing or judging you, I wish I had the stones, I am just trying to keep it real. There is no legal way to beat the taxman…


      1. No Tax Evasion on my part, Joch.

        Taxes and tax burdens vary greatly across different types of businesses and you don’t necessarily need to be an S Corp or LLC to gain the greatest advantages.

        As a consultant I am amazed by how much one can legally reduce tax burdens by working in accordance with what is in your best interests, yet legal.

        I’ve gone up against the IRS twice, once for a client (yes, I’ve been preparing taxes for a handful of clients for over twenty years) and once on my own behalf and am batting 1000. I share my personal batte experience at http://7thpillar.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/249/

        I never claimed to have found a way “around taxes,” but educating yourself rather than relying on others is the best way to assure you pay the minimum.

        I don’t have offshore accounts, but I do plan on taking myself offshore and join the growing list of those Expats who relinquish US citizenship. The benefits of doing so outweigh all arguments against doing so.

        The Boot-Strap Expat

        1. IF it is legal, then it’s tax avoidance rather than tax evasion. With that being said, there are not many opportunity’s to evade taxes without setting aside large chunks of cash. I mean I could have had my wife contribute 17K to her 401k but then our house would have went into foreclosure. The 17K would only save us a fraction of the that on our tax bill. So tax avoidance comes at a steep price today with the hope of a greater return far down the road.
          I will read about your experience at your blog.

          1. “Legal” is a slippery term. What was “legal” yesterday is “Illegal” tomorrow. Income taxes were “unconstitutional” until 100 years ago, and all such taxes were “temporary” when authorized. How’s that workin’ out for ya?

            Case in point: FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of the USSA is nothing more than unconstitutional Capital Controls legislation.

            It’s supposed purpose was to assure that Gazillionaire US citizens could not “legally” shelter their earnings or assets. It assumes that “citizenship” makes individuals “slaves” or the chattel property of the state, in this case the USA.

            Unfortunately, few of the 7,000,000+ US citizens living and working abroad aren’t even “middle class,” let alone Gazillionaires and the USSA has demanded that ALL sovereign nations on the planet bow to their ownership of their tax-slaves/citizens by providing the USSA with ALL personal financial information on ALL US citizens to the US.

            Last time I checked, Butt-Fuck-Egypt didn’t owe Uncle Sam the time of day, let alone the financial information of some US citizen hangin’ out in BFE. Yet virtually every fictional government on the planet has capitulated or denied US citizens banking services.

            There is presently a case of a brain damaged man, born in Canada to US parents who have set aside thousands of dollars to care for their son once they pass on, and the USSA is claiming that since the brain-damaged son is not competent to relinquish his US citizenship the US is due taxes on all the money his parents have saved to care for him.

            Keep in mind the 2% tax on tea and the attempt by the Brittish Empire to confiscate weapons is what sparked the War of Secession (American Revolution).

            Meantime, most productive tax-cows in the US pay between 50-70% of their efforts, skills and expertise to a government that can’t find its own ass with a gps implant.

            Until recently, the US was the only nation that taxed its tax-cows on foreign income. Now there about half a dozen nations claiming that they should be paid taxes by people based solely on the accidental location of their birth.

            I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell didn’t choose to be a US citizen, nor would I given the chance.

            There was a time when a Sole Proprietor could transfer his business to his wife or some other person he trusted, receive a salary commensurate with his responsibilities (essentially his draw) and thereby virtually eliminate the Self Employment Tax. In the 1980s I save dozens of small businesses thousands of dollars a year doing so. (Note: I’d have to do some homework to see if this is still a viable option for Sole Proprietors)

            Ultimately the question becomes “What are you willing to put up with?”

            Not “What is legal?” The governments will never have enough until WE tell them what “enough” looks like.

            And THAT is the primary reason I’m leaving the USSA – Whatever I give, it’s never enough.

            The Boot-Strap Expat

          2. “There was a time when a Sole Proprietor could transfer his business to his wife or some other person he trusted, receive a salary commensurate with his responsibilities (essentially his draw) and thereby virtually eliminate the Self Employment Tax. ”

            Yes but the person receiving the draw has to pay either self income tax or his employer has to pay employment tax.

            Yes our pyramid structure provides great privilege to tax accountants and any other person with state permission slip.

            I am telling you, there is no legal tax avoidance techniques. The IRS wants what the IRS wants.

            What the handlers of the IRS really want is millions upon millions of people who know full well they break the tax law. Internet users also know they break the law depending on content viewed. Law breakers have 1 thing in common, they do NOT rock the boat. You see, just more control. Make everyone a potential felon and then everyone will keep their mouth shut. These tax dodgers also advocate more government because they think everyone else is paying the tab and they falsely believe tax rates are not so bad. So now they have an army of useful idiots.

            I don’t like Alex Jones, his yelling and screaming at distracting but I do like his prison planet. He did not invent this. There have been many before him that realized, if you can not build a prison to fit everyone, just turn the prison inside out.

        2. Too funny, I just visited your blog and see that you have The Taxman lyrics printed. I use to think the Beatles were being snobbish but now that I make some money and have had to send the IRS some hefty checks, I know exactly why George Harrison wrote that song.

  2. Hi Paul, great incisive article as usual. But I have to admit I snickered when I first quickly scanned this sentence:
    —When he once asked me what I was doing that evening, I mentioned
    that I might attend a meeting of libertarians, and he said, “Ah, crap.
    You’re gonna go to jail.”–

    What made me laugh about that?
    Simply, I misread the word “libertarians” as “librarians”.

    Now THERE’S a radical bunch!

  3. “That’s the big problem with “law” – it demands that you remember tens of thousands of rules and punishes you if you fail to obey them.”
    In America ignorance of the law is no defense. So American law does not care if you remember anything or even ever learned the 40,000 laws in the first place.
    The all seeing eye loves to make us have a guilt complex, Jesus tried to do the exact opposite…

    1. “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it…

      “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

      “Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted –and you create a nation of law-breakers– and then you cash in on guilt.

      “Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

      Excerpted from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957, By Ayn Rand


  4. The day is quickly coming when you will not be able to give up American citizenship , so as I did many years ago.I obtained a second citizenship and am working on a THIRD.

    When I hear or read rumors of my birth country ( not the U.S.) attaching MORE slavery to citizenship, it (the citizenship) will be gone in a millisecond.

    I further opened legitimate CORPORATIONS in these other countries, according to the laws of those other countries, where SALES money of assets, inventory or services is directed to those corporations and not to me personally.

    I can choose, or NOT, to take out salary,dividends or bonuses OR loan repayments and thus control my tax situation, LEGALLY.

    It is unfortunate we have to play these games BUT governments have the BIG guns, to force us, in spite of NATURAL LAW and our NATURAL RIGHTS not to pay “Taxes” which are only LEGALIZED THEFT

    You may be able to utilize my system or not

  5. “see the world as it really is” Translation: See the world in the same way that I do.
    I mean, unless this man has some kind of reality meter (And it is almost always a man, since women generally have a much better understanding of the nature of the world) I doubt that the author has ever read “The true believer”. I also doubt that he read The Art of War, of if he did, then He certainly did not grasp the fact that in order to successfully address a problem one must first have an understanding of the problem. And understanding of the problem does not constitute (X is good, and Y is bad. Defend X and destroy Y).

    I find another good rule to be that anybody who lays claim to having the truth is either a liar or a fool. I do not know of many mass atrocities that have not been committed in the name of the truth. Really, do you think that a group of people will engage in mass slaughter in the name of ambiguity or falsity?

    Search on the two words orwells boot. Read the first item that comes back after paid links, usually under the name factotum666 and after paid links. It is about 6600 words long. You may find it useful

    1. Hi Doug,
      Assuming a person follows the libertarian non aggression principle, truth is in their corner.
      Regarding women’s and a better understanding of nature? As in apples taste good?

  6. @ Micheal Rivero (freemansperspective):
    Your suffering is a personal thing. It is meant to cause you to be humbled to the fact that there are other beings who may be superior to you in certain aspects (or ALL aspects) of your interrupted life here on what is called a ‘mortal coil’ that we all currently exist in.
    Either you accept your current state, and acquiesce to the FACT that you are CREATED (and not the CREATOR); or you continue to whine and pule and try to place the blame ELSEWHERE (and thus deny the Creator and the Power that can cause you to rise above this).
    What would I DO for TRUTH? Is THAT the question?
    Oh, HELL, I would even explore websites, and watch those who are striving for it; and post responses to their whining, puling, selfish expostulations for self-gratification.
    WE are the CREATORS, after all (so you are trying to say), and WE control OUR OWN DESTINIES (until the health issues which our current enemy overcome YOUR OWN naturally-given ability to LIVE).
    PAIN is NOT the original idea. Anyone who espouses this doctrine does NOT understand the Original Intent.

  7. Excerpted from: anpog.org

    No man-made law has ever stopped anything from happening.

    All we really need is but one all-inclusive law, and it is just this: If you harm another’s life, liberty, and/or property in a real and measurable way, then you shall be held to account relative to the harm done, and the intent, or negligence —as such may be shown— under which the harm was initiated. Let the restitution, and punishment —if any— fit the crime.

    All other law is nought but an excuse to engage in endless oppression by matter of degree.

    The essence of all law is power, and power left unrestrained or untended, becomes unto itself its own supreme authority, existing without limits, for it may be ‘interpreted’ at will to mean just anything its wielder professes or describes, regardless.

    The bottom line: If what you are doing is harming no one else in a real, and measurable way, then your acts can not rise to judicial notice, and you MUST be left unmolested by busybody control freaks.

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