With Millstones Around Our Necks

Filters off. Today I rant.
Humanity has been progressing steadily over millennia. The terrorist empires of the ancient world are gone. Chattel slavery, a filthy curse upon our species since several thousand years BC, was obliterated in Europe a thousand years ago and remains in only a few barbaric corners. Humanity is healthier and better fed than ever in history, and by a huge margin.


Filters off. Today I rant.

Humanity has been progressing steadily over millennia. The terrorist empires of the ancient world are gone. Chattel slavery, a filthy curse upon our species since several thousand years BC, was obliterated in Europe a thousand years ago and remains in only a few barbaric corners. Humanity is healthier and better fed than ever in history, and by a huge margin. We have vast knowledge at our fingertips and technology that would have been considered magic not too long ago.

(People fixated on darkness will object to my itemization of humanity’s progress, but everything I’ve written is indisputably true.)

My point is this, and if I could write it in giant, flaming letters, I would:

Humanity is ready to break out and fly.

“No, we’re not!” scream a hundred objections. “War machines, surveillance, stupidity, terror, obedient sheeple, psychopaths in power!”

And yes, I understand. But fixating on evil gets us nowhere. We have to lift up our eyes, see the path before us, take the millstones off our necks, and move. And that means leaving our precious complaints behind.

If you’d prefer to stand in place and complain, that’s your choice. I’ll probably agree with most of your complaints, but I won’t join in your chorus, because complaining doesn’t move me forward. And I want to move forward. I’m sick of watching a big, rigged game in which the debased triumph and the good stand around moaning.

I’m done with it. I give no consent. I offer zero respect. I’ve turned my back to it.

Have you ever considered the attitudes of the first Christians, stuck inside the Roman Empire? “We are not of this world,” they said. “We are strangers and pilgrims on Earth,” they said. They believed all the kingdoms of the world were evil and acted accordingly… and they were not wrong.

The Nexus of Coercion

  • Is coercion the font of righteousness?
  • Is intimidation superior to reason?
  • Is permanent menace the source of health and prosperity?

Think carefully, because if you maintain that the state is good, necessary, or God ordained, you believe precisely these things. Why? Because the state, like it or not, is the nexus of coercion in this world.

I know you were taught that the state protected you from coercion, but that was simply a lie. A big, fat lie… as in “demonstrably false.” (Not that reason has ever been much of a basis for idolizing the state.)

Rudolph Rummel documented 262 million “deaths by government” in the 20th century alone. Nothing else comes remotely close to that toll – not mass murderers, not petty thugs, not drug gangs, not all of them put together.

And where does the coercion in your life come from?

  • Does your neighbor demand that you hand over half your income or he’ll lock you in a cage?
  • Does your electrician force you off the road, demand your documents and issue you fines?
  • Does the grocer forbid you from working without a hugely expensive certificate?

The conclusion here is obvious and simple: The state is the nexus of coercion upon Earth. It’s easy to see that this is true; we’ve just been trained to look away.

And Coercion…

Coercion is a blight upon humanity. The theory of coercion being our savior – as in “we need a monopoly on coercion to save you from coercion” – is simply ludicrous. No mind that hadn’t been preprogrammed to it would accept it.

It might be fair to say that medicine saves us. But did organized coercion create medicine? Did it teach us to grow food or build cars? Did it discover the laws of physics?

Of course not. Coercion takes, by manipulation, fraud, and force.

None of this is complex. Understanding it requires no genius. It’s simple and obvious.

Our Path Forward

The path forward is almost equally obvious: a voluntary society, a society of consent.

And there is no reason not to reorganize ourselves into a society of consent. It would involve the usual human problems, of course, but they exist in coercive society in even greater measure. The real problem is that organized coercion forbids it.

We are violently prevented from experimenting with new ways of life. We are threatened with any number of punishments if we stray from the pattern that is dictated to us.

These monopolies of coercion always promise “freedom,” but their “freedom” applies only if you stay inside their limits. If you want to live differently, you are to be hammered down.

That’s why I call this a millstone. It forbids us from living any other way. It forbids adaptation. It forbids experiment. It forbids progress.

The worst part, however, is this: Organized coercion demands that we warp our minds and bludgeon our judgment, so we can praise it as the true and great savior of mankind.


Our situation is this:

Humanity has been crawling into the future with millstones around their necks. The millstones are useless and debilitating, but they’ve been part of their lives so long that most people can’t conceive of removing them. But if ever they do remove them, they’ll be ready to fly.

Is organized coercion the only problem we face? Of course not. Our primary problems are internal… the kind that stop us from pulling the stones off our necks.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

* * * * *


Paul Rosenberg

20 thoughts on “With Millstones Around Our Necks”

  1. Paul, I wanted to add that this essay persuaded me to buy the Kindle edition of your book. I hope it will ease the pain of losing dezmoduo as a subscriber to your free blog. I just hope I live long enough to read it as I’ve got a formidable backlog of things to read.

  2. Excellent Article Paul!
    “Laws are just opinions with a gun” someone termed correctly. As hard as it is to believe only 537 people (include Pres and VP) have placed that full control on 324,118,787 citizens of the USA. Whats wrong with that picture?
    Anyway very metaphysical in the sense that to “resist is to persist” so the answer is pay very little attention to them and their little games.

    1. And it is even worse for the 6 million US citizens who live outside of the United States. They have absolutely no political representation whatsoever! Yet they are expected to pay taxes to the US government! FOR WHAT! If these 6 million Americans lived in a state, it would be the 20th largest state in the union! This state would have 2 senators and 8 representatives. So much for the delusion of representative government for all Americans!

  3. Paul,
    I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion. My question is: Exactly how can we remove the millstone that is around our necks? It will not be easy – don’t you agree?
    All the best,

      1. I think that you are correct. But would it be a Gandhi style revolution, or would the people have to pry their freedom from the cold dead fingers of the sociopaths who have managed to get control of the United States?

    1. Hi Steve,
      The answer is that WE don’t do anything. We, as individuals, must think and live differently. Once we get into collective efforts (“join Jim’s revolution”) we move right back into collectives and the same old mistakes, leading right back to the same mess.
      And I agree, it isn’t easy. We must each – alone – act on our own judgment to make the future better. We must each turn our backs on a barbaric past and move in a better direction.

      1. Okay, fair enough. But I am wondering what an individual is to do when a ruthless sociopath puts a gun in that individual’s face and demands his servitude and/or his property, and if the individual refuses to comply he will be executed by the sociopath in order to “send a message” to all those other individuals who actually believe that they can refuse to comply. Is anyone naive enough to actually believe that there are no ruthless sociopaths in this world who will use any physical force necessary to get what they want? Even a casual glance at history will validate this horrible insanity over and over. So what do we as individuals to do about the ruthless sociopaths? Naively ignoring them will accomplish nothing except the injury and/or death of the individual who is doing the ignoring. Do you think that allowing the sociopath to kill us is a viable solution to this nightmare? If so, then the irresistible force has encountered the immovable object! If not, what do you propose? You only have two choices – use physical force against the sociopath to save your life and property, or die! Please tell us which you choose?
        All the best,

        1. This is the quintessential question is it not? We have various historical examples of both. Do we inspire with courageous martyrdom or courageous defensive action? Martyrdom is probably more difficult especially if they are martyring your family first. But it is also more virtuous as it is a morally purer action requiring no violence. It is, for sure, a most difficult choice. I do not think I could resist taking up a defensive posture, but I am not convinced I would be right either.

          1. My choice would be a Gandhi style expression of civil disobedience that would overwhelm the sociopaths and expose them for who they really are for all to see.The problem is that this kind of demonstration requires the participation of a large number of people and nobody seems to be motivated enough to participate! This is the tremendous advantage that the sociopaths have over normal human beings – they are organized!
            As Paul has reminded us, people will suffer evils as long as evils are sufferable. The terrifying truth is that the degree to which people will allow themselves to suffer evils is mind boggling. Just consider the millions of people who allowed themselves to be rounded up, loaded onto boxcars, then herded into “showers” before they finally understood the truth of their predicament when it was too late to do anything about it! I, for one, do not intend to allow the ruthless sociopaths to round me up and enslave and/or exterminate me. Why are there so few people with that attitude? They have to be suffering from a serious lack of self respect and/or they have allowed themselves to be cleverly brainwashed! It is very possible that we will live to actually see the extinction of true human beings, who feel love, joy, pain, and sorrow, by the ruthless sociopaths who are so obviously hell-bent on enslaving and/or destroying anyone who does not submit to their domination. Could this be Armageddon?
            All the best,

          2. I don’t know if it is the dawn of Armageddon, but the lack of interest in civil disobedience or even an open conversation (as so many topics are circumscribed by the parameters of allowable opinion) is —without a doubt — disheartening. I think it is largely bad education and the intended effects of propaganda.

    1. Revolution on any scale beyond the individual is a degeneration back to subservience and back to the collective.

  4. Prescription laws exist to provide physicians with a government enforced monopoly which they exploit to their own profit. Going by my own experience, these laws benefit doctors to the tune of about $30,000 a year over what they’d have without them.

    1. Doctor Keith Smith at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma investigated the cozy relationship between the hospitals, the insurance industry, and the government. His revelations are shocking to say the least! For instance the hospital will bill the insurance company $100 for an aspirin that costs 1 cent. The insurance company will “valiantly” negotiate the price down to $5 and they get a fat commission on the $95 that they “saved” their company. Then the hospital will report a $95 loss to the government, which will reimburse the hospital! So there is absolutely no incentive to reduce the price of the $100 aspirin to its true value. The consumers/taxpayers pay for this outrageous corporate welfare. So much for the delusion that medical and insurance costs are fair and realistic!

  5. Hello Paul,
    The human mind is the most incredible dream factory on planet earth. It is capable of manufacturing an infinite supply of amazing and beautiful dreams, ideas, and visions. However the vast majority of these dreams will never withstand the harsh test to which they will be subjected in the real world by the physical forces that rule it. For example, I dream of flapping my arms and flying around the world in an hour, but that dream has an ice cube’s chance in hell of ever being actualized. I would also like to look like Tom Selleck, but the chances of that are less than zero. You get the idea. The point is that there are dreams that are capable of being actualized, but the vast majority of them will never be more than fond figments of our imaginations.
    The founding fathers of America had a dream that all men were created equal and that they should be able to live their lives in any way that they chose as long as they didn’t interfere with another individual’s right to do the same. Our Founding Fathers were able to actualize this dream in America for many decades through their implementation of the US Constitution. However, there are many people in this world who do not care about other individual’s rights. They only care about getting what they want no matter what it takes. They will lie, cheat, steal, intimidate, and murder to get what they want. These people are called sociopaths. Over the years since our Republic was established these sociopaths have slowly but surely managed to distort, curtail, and restrict the individual rights that were given to all Americans by our magnificent Constitution. Over the past 200 years the clever sociopaths have slowly but surely managed to get control of the American government and have used their power neutralize the rights and freedoms that were originally given to us by our Constitution. What they have created is a fascist military/industrial/political complex that now dictates just about every aspect of American’s lives. The Constitution is nothing more than an ineffective piece of paper with writing on it that has no longer has any legal effect.
    In your latest article you have once again expressed your dream that we can all live as independent free-thinking, independent individuals who respect the right of other individuals to do the same. Is this an actualizable dream or is it nothing more than a fond figment of your imagination? Only time will tell. I sincerely hope that it is actualizable because I have the same dream. In fact I believe that it is possible – except for one huge problem – the sociopaths! As long as 2% of the human population is composed of sociopaths, who will stop at nothing to get what they want, they will manage to find themselves and form a gang that will intimidate, deceive, manipulate, terrorize, incarcerate, and murder normal, peaceful, respectful human beings in order to get what they want. Until normal human beings recognize what a critical problem is sociopathy, and devise a way to identify and then neutralize all sociopaths – your beautiful dream will NEVER be actualized! Keep in mind that there is no way to convince a sociopath that they are mentally ill. Sociopaths don’t recognize that they are sick or that what they are doing is a violation of other people’s human rights! Doing whatever they have to do to get what they want no matter who they hurt is perfectly normal behavior as far as a sociopath is concerned! There is no way to cure a sociopath! You might be able to someday repair the defective gene that causes them to behave abnormally. But until then, they will have to be prevented from interacting with normal human beings so that they never have the chance to violate normal people’s human rights. Only then can we remove the millstone that is around our necks. Then your beautiful dream will finally be actualized! I look forward to that day with eager anticipation!
    All the best,

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