by Frederick Mann
The idea to create Build Freedom was sparked by Eric Klien and Dr. James Robertson. I saw two of Eric's advertisements for new countries in Reason magazine. I discussed Eric's ideas with Jim, who has had the ambition to start a new country since his teens when he read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Out of my discussion with Jim grew Build Freedom. The seminal idea is a "worldwide information-based country that extends across national borders."
Around 1975 I started finding out who I was. Over a period of a few years I discovered that I was free by nature. In 1977 I decided that I was a free sovereign individual. Since then I have lived my life on that basis. I found the means to do this practically, in many parts of the world
Nevertheless, I still have some limited interaction with traditional political systems. For example, I have a government passport and a government driver's license, and the car I use for travel is registered by a government agency. I put up with a few minor inconveniences to avoid potential hassles with police.
We are fortunate in America that most Americans can quite legally severely limit their interactions with government agencies. The practical means have been developed to exit many government systems legally, elegantly, and safely. People in America who do this are not "protestors" - they are Free Sovereigns in accordance with the American legal system. In many other parts of the world people can also legally, elegantly, and safely exit government systems, if they know how.
I have acquired a great deal of what I call "freedom technology" - the practical knowledge, methods, and skills for living free in an unfree world. Essentially, I have been living free for nearly seventeen years. It's relatively easy for me to live free in many cities, without being subjected to government coercion.
My next step was to organize a worldwide "free country." It's called Build Freedom. It's a voluntary association of Free Sovereign Citizens. Build Freedom is a world-wide information-based country. It's a "worldwide free-enterprise zone" - for those who practice real, true, or pure free enterprise, as described on pages 5 and 6. Build Freedom has a Code - see page 4. Anyone who believes in individual freedom may become a "Free Sovereign Citizen of Build Freedom" - or a "Build Freedomn."
Webster's defines "citizen" as "an inhabitant of a city or town; especially one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman... " There is more to the definition, but it's this first part that applies to a Free Sovereign Citizen of Build Freedom. A Build Freedomn doesn't have to live in a town or city to qualify. Any human born or living on Earth qualifies as a Build Freedomn, provided he or she supports individual freedom.
In Build Freedom, slavery has been abolished. The first clause of the Code of Build Freedom states: "Free Sovereign Citizens own their own lives, minds, bodies, and labor, and may do with them anything that doesn't violate the equal rights of others. This principle of individual sovereignty or self-ownership is the foundation for all legitimate property."
In Build Freedom there is no taxation. All transactions are in principle based on voluntary exchange and mutual agreement.
In order for Build Freedom to become a viable reality, the following has to happen:
1. Find Out Who You Are.
Individuals need to discover that they are free and sovereign. We individuals are senior to "countries," "nations," etc. This sovereignty is embodied in trial by jury as originally formulated in the Magna Carta, and more recently adopted in the U.S. Constitution. The individual juror is senior to Congress who passes a law, the President who signs the law, and the Supreme Court who interprets the law. The juror says, "Not guilty - it's a bad law." The power and the duty of the juror to judge the law is called "jury nullification."
Finding out who you are also involves a shift from being outer-directed to being inner-directed. Obedience is a vice and disobedience a virtue (except in military-type organizations). When you take orders from someone else, you are not you. You are allowing your free will to be submerged. In a sense, you are allowing someone else to be you. In the American legal system (if practiced in accordance with the U.S. Constitution) jurors are inner-directed. They are free to ignore the judge's instructions. They are free to determine the law.
There is much more to finding out who you are. This is covered in detail in Report #TL04: How to Find Out Who You Are.
2. Shift From "Being Right" To Producing Results.
There is a human tendency to use our reason to prove that we are right, instead of focusing on producing the results we want. The philosopher Hans Vaihinger (author of The Philosophy of As-If) formulated the principle of The Preponderance of Means over Ends. We tend to get lost in the means while losing sight of the ends.
For Build Freedomns the result is more important than the means. (But the means need to follow the Build Freedom Code!) Build Freedomns enjoy the benefits of freedom right now. They don't get stuck in any means that promise only a vague hope of freedom in the distant future.
The shift in emphasis to producing results also involves choosing results wisely. Particularly, it is much easier to change yourself than to change others. Build Freedomns focus on increasing their own personal freedom.
In their capacity as Free Sovereign Citizens of Build Freedom they don't attempt to change the political systems of other countries. In their capacity as citizens of other countries, they are of course welcome to attempt to improve the political systems of those countries.
When you work on changing yourself, the results can be quick and dramatic - which is empowering. When you work on trying to change a political system, it may take a long time before there are any results - which tends to be disempowering. Often the result is frustration, disillusionment, and depression. Free yourself and become empowered instead!
3. Become Superhealthy.
It is possible for most humans to enjoy a level of health beyond what they now think possible. The information on how to do this is available to Build Freedomns and prospective Build Freedomns - order Report #TL09: How to Achieve Superhealth.
4. Learn, Develop, And Disseminate "Freedom
The "secret weapon" of Build Freedom is practical information on how to live free right now. How to organize your life and affairs so as to minimize the chances of being coerced. How to effectively deal with coercers and stop them dead in their tracks. This practical information, together with the skills to apply it, constitutes freedom technology. The practical methods for freeing yourself have been developed to a high degree of workability.
5. Create Your Own "Free-Enterprise Enclave."
From the combination of knowing who you are and the freedom technology you have acquired, you develop your own "free-enterprise enclave." It's like an aura around you. Almost wherever you go, you create a free-enterprise enclave in your immediate environment. It extends to aspects of your personal life, your business, or wider.
The origin of your free-enterprise enclave stems from your individual experience of freedom. Free Sovereign Citizens of Build Freedom experience themselves as free. This reflects a fundamental perception of reality and outlook on life. Build Freedomns acquire a wealth of practical street-smart know-how on how to handle those who attempt to violate their freedom. Hence they can practice free enterprise in many parts of the world.
The combination of the free-enterprise enclaves of individuals constitutes a worldwide free-enterprise zone - applying of course only to those who practice real, true, or pure free enterprise. Build Freedom seeks to increase the number of people who practice real, true, or pure free enterprise and expand the scope of their free-enterprise economic activities.
6. Develop Methods To Sell "Practical Freedom" At
For Build Freedom to expand significantly, we need to be able to sell the information individuals can use to discover who they are and free themselves. It has to be done in a manner that enables customers to apply the information. Customers need to be able to empower themselves. Customers need to be able to materially enrich themselves by applying Build Freedomn freedom-technology.
To the extent that these objectives can be met, customers will happily pay for information, making Build Freedom a profitable business.
7. Become Financially Independent.
One of the highest priorities of Build Freedomns is to become financially independent so they can easily shift their economic activities into the Build Freedomn economy. We need a massive shift of individuals, businesses, and capital into the Build Freedomn economy.
8. Get Others To Sell Freedom At A Profit.
One way to accelerate the shift into the Build Freedomn economy is to develop the means whereby practically anyone can easily sell freedom at a profit. People who incline towards freedom need to be able to fairly quickly develop a business, selling freedom at a profit. They need to be able to start in their spare time, and within six months or a year make it a full-time business.
This is one of the most important keys to the success of Build Freedom. We need to develop the means whereby practically any individual, with no special knowledge or skills, can sell freedom at a profit.
9. Lead By Example.
Build Freedomns need to become so successful in all areas of life that they stand out as examples to follow and emulate. The following illustrates the Build Freedomn approach to life:
10. Create "Free-Enterprise Institutions."
Free private financial institutions are most important. We need private currencies. Several such Build Freedomn institutions already exist. (I'm taking the liberty here of denoting them as Build Freedomn because of the nature of their operations.)
We need something in the nature of a "Build Freedom Chamber of Commerce" and the "Build Freedom Yellow Pages" to enable Build Freedomns to make contact with each other and to patronize each other's businesses. The Build Freedom Chamber of Commerce could also serve as a registry for "Free-Enterprise Companies."
There is also a need for a "Build Freedom Justice Company" to resolve disputes between Build Freedomns - probably through mediation and/or arbitration.
The Build Freedom Justice Company could also play a role in handling crime. Any Build Freedomn (or group of Build Freedomns) is, of course, free to establish and operate any Build Freedom company. In Build Freedom there is free competition.
Products and Services
An extensive range of Build Freedom Reports, Books, and Information Packages is available. These are detailed in our Catalog, available on request, if not enclosed herewith. As we grow, the range of products and services we provide will expand and improve in quality.
Because of certain obstacles (mainly coercive government), the world isn't what it could or should be. There is a gap between what is and what could or should be. We can view this as an "opportunity gap."
Build Freedom is an organization designed to bring about an explosion in the production, marketing, distribution, and application of the appropriate products and services that will bridge the gap between what is and what could or should be. In bridging the gap, Build Freedomn entrepreneurs have the potential to become the next century's millionaires and billionaires. The Build Freedom reports will tell you how.
The Code of Build Freedom
Our code is tentative and preliminary. Your comments and suggestions for improvement will be appreciated.
(1) Free Sovereign Citizens own their own lives, minds, bodies, and labor, and may do with them anything that doesn't violate the equal rights of others. This principle of individual sovereignty or self-ownership is the foundation for all legitimate property.
(2) Free Sovereign Citizens have the right to own property, which consists of all possessions acquired without coercing others. They respect the equal right of others to own property, which forms the basis for productive and cooperative human relationships.
(3) No individual, group, or majority has the right to initiate or threaten force, fraud, violence, or theft against Free Sovereign Citizens or their property.
(4) Free Sovereign Citizens have a right to choose whether to communicate or associate with others. These rights of speech and privacy follow directly from the principle of individual sovereignty or self-ownership.
(5) Free Sovereign Citizens have the right to associate with others and to enter into agreements and contracts. For a contract between Free Sovereign Citizens to be valid, it needs to be entered into knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally.
(6) Free Sovereign Citizens have the right to produce and exchange property, and to own the products of their labor and thought. No individual, group, or majority has a right to the labor, ideas, production, or property of a Free Sovereign Citizen, or any part thereof, without prior consent or agreement.
(7) Free Sovereign Citizens have the right to defend and protect themselves and their property against coercive aggression, and to contract with others to assist them. The authority of voluntarily-chosen agents to defend or protect Citizens and/or their property is strictly limited to that defense or protection.
(8) Free Sovereign Citizens consider a crime to occur only when there is a damaged person or property. Therefore, there is no such thing as a "victimless crime," and no Free Sovereign Citizen can commit a crime simply by disobeying the arbitrary rules of tyrants or coercive organizations.
(9) To be legitimate, courts and trials must be based on voluntary association and agreement, rather than on coercion. However, anyone who infringes on the person or property of another may be subject to a requirement for restitution by the damaged person.
(10) Free Sovereign Citizens recognize that social order and cooperation develop spontaneously in the absence of coercion. They also recognize that leadership by example and productive effort is more beneficial than leadership by force, violence, compulsion, or fear.
(11) The principles stated in this Code apply to all Free Sovereign Citizens without regard to age, race, religion, philosophy, background, birthplace, geographic location, gender, or sexual preference.
(12) For a right to be valid its exercise may not impose a positive obligation on another; it only depends on others not taking coercive actions. Free Sovereign Citizens respect the equal rights of other Citizens, and therefore do not expect others to contribute to their interests, except through voluntary transactions or contributions.
In Build Freedom there is no government, except self-government. All "governments" consist of human beings. When people say that "government is necessary to do something," what they in effect say is that human beings are necessary to do something. This simple logic demolishes all the "government-is-necessary" superstitions.
Despite the above, some may claim that humans need to organize themseves in a certain way called "government" in order to do certain things. There is an infinite number of ways to organize ourselves to do things. If someone claims that a particular way is the only way, then they have to demonstrate that none of the other ways work - including all the ways we have never thought of. I doubt if anyone can demonstrate this.
Actually, those who claim that government is necessary, suffer from the superstition that because some people call themselves "government" - or organize themselves in a structure called "government" - therefore they acquire the magical ability to do what others can't do.
I must confess that I suffer from the opposite superstition. It seems to me that as soon as people call themselves "government," they acquire some kind of magical power in reverse. This magical power is called faecal alchemy - whatever they touch, tends to turn into faeces!
In Build Freedom all the things that need to be done are done by humans through voluntary exchange and mutual agreement (except, perhaps, the handling of crime). Humans, of course, also use machines to do certain things.
Build Freedomns don't interfere with others playing "government." People who want to play "government" in other countries are free to do so.
Introduction to Free Enterprise
Many people have been led to believe that the U.S. and other countries in the "free West" are "free countries" and that their economies are based on "free enterprise" or "capitalism." Nothing could be further from the truth. Three basic principles characterize capitalism or free enterprise:
(a) Private property - the inalienable right to own private property;
(b) Voluntary exchange - no transactions forced on anyone;
(c) The right to contract - supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Private property means that individuals own their lives, minds, bodies, the fruit of their labor, and other property. "Tax" means a demand for money (or product) imposed by an authority - an enforced exaction. It is taking property without permission. "Tax" is a fancy government word for theft. (In the case of people who voluntarily pay the government, it is more appropriate to call their payments "voluntary contributions," rather than "taxes.") In a capitalist or free-enterprise country there could be no taxes.
Under a system of private property, individuals are free to form associations and own property jointly or in common. For example, a group of individuals could purchase tracts of adjacent land and form a socialist or communist community. Their system might cause themselves problems. However, if they didn't try to impose their practices on people outside their community, there would be no outside interference. Under capitalism people are free to practice socialism or communism on their own.
Voluntary exchange means that individuals decide according to their own judgment whether or not to engage in transactions. When both parties judge that each will benefit from a transaction, then they complete the transaction. If either party judges the transaction to not be beneficial to him or her, then the transaction is declined.
If I point a gun at my neighbor and tell him, "Give me $100 or I'll jail or shoot you," then I'm committing a form of theft called robbery. This is an enforced exchange. My neighbor has to give me $100 in exchange for not being jailed or shot. Most people would consider this immoral.
Now, if ten people were to form an association and call themselves a "gang," and point their guns at their neighbors, and demand $100 from each, most people would still regard this as immoral robbery.
However, if a million people were to form an association and call themselves "government," and point their guns at their neighbors, demanding $100 from each - then how is this different? Children were forced into government schools where they were brainwashed with fancy slogans like, "Your duty to pay taxes," "You must pay your fair share," "Taxes are for the public good," etc. Have you ever wondered why some taxes are called "duties?"
The third principle of capitalism or free enterprise is the right to contract. In theory this right is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 10). In practice it means nothing - like most of the Constitution as presently "interpreted" by most. The de facto constitution of the U.S. is a phantom called "Public Policy," which is whatever the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court decide it to be, from day to day.
If the U.S. Constitution were applied, I would be free to contract with any person of my choice to provide me with legal services, health services, banking services, etc. I would be free to use whatever I wanted as money in such contracts. I or anyone would be free to create the currencies of our choice and contract with others to use them. In a capitalist or free-enterprise country there could be no Federal Reserve monopoly or FDA medical monopoly.
Free enterprise maximizes wealth. In a free-enterprise system people, by and large, engage in those transactions which, according to their judgment, are most beneficial to all parties involved in the transactions. When people are forced into transactions against their will, by using violence or the threat of violence, it is generally so that the users of violence can gain at the expense of the victims.
In Build Freedom we practice real, true, or pure free enterprise. One reason why this is possible is because the users of violence are not omniscient (they don't see everything) and they are not omnipotent (all-powerful). Another reason is that the lawmakers often create "loopholes" for themselves and their friends. We can find and utilize these "loopholes." A third reason is that we operate with the attitude: "If you erect a ten-foot barrier, we will build a twelve-foot ladder." Freedom technology is the means that enable you to practice real or true free enterprise in an unfree world.
The Value of Freedom
To appreciate the value of freedom, consider the measures some people are willing to take to relocate from countries such as Vietnam and Haiti to countries that enjoy more freedom, such as Hong Kong and America. They take to rickety little boats. People are willing to risk their lives for more freedom. People are willing to pay for freedom. This is why it's possible to sell freedom technology at a profit.
The biggest-selling and most profitable product in the mail-order industry is information. When we sell freedom, we essentially sell information. The difference between the actual level of freedom and the potential degree of freedom in the world, defines the potential market for freedom technology. As governments become more oppressive, our potential market grows. You now have a wonderful opportunity to increase your own freedom and to market freedom at a profit to others.
There are probably hundreds of millions of people in the world who value freedom. There could be as many as ten million who value freedom so highly that they would agree with the Build Freedom Code. There are thousands of books on the subject of freedom. There are a few freedom-oriented journalists, columnists, and radio commentators. There are probably several million true free-enterprise businesses in the world - branded the "underground economy" by the spokespeople of violent governments. These people, their knowledge, the information in freedom books, their capital, and their free-enterprise economic activities could be regarded as "freedom resources." The challenge: Organize a significant percentage of the freedom resources in the world in such a way that rapid expansion of the Build Freedomn economy occurs. Suggestions will be appreciated.
The Organization of Build Freedom
How Build Freedom is to be organized will be determined by the people who become actively involved. Suppose somebody comes along and says, "I want to establish and operate a free-enterprise justice company." The answer would be, "Go ahead. How can we assist you? Maybe you could write a report on your services. We will help sell the report so potential customers can find out about your services." The Build Freedom Chamber of Commerce (when established) could serve as a clearing house for free-enterprise projects.
There is a basic principle to be followed in launching grandiose undertakings: The early steps need to be small, easily executable, and become profitable relatively quickly. Furthermore, each step should make the next step easier. This is how Build Freedom was launched.
Your ideas, comments, and suggestions for expanding Build Freedom will be appreciated. Your criticism is equally welcome. Any contribution you can provide to make us more effective and efficient will be gladly received and considered.
Territorial Countries vs. Information Countries
We have shifted from the agricultural age to the industrial age to the information age. Territorial countries are rooted in the agricultural and industrial ages. The notion of being "rooted" in a particular spot makes sense for agricultural crops and heavy industry. But humans are not plants or heavy machinery. Unlike plants, humans are mobile. Plants have roots; humans have feet. The territorial country is rooted in "plant thinking."
In his book Powershift, Alvin Toffler describes how power has shifted from being based on violence to being based on money to being based on information.
A worldwide association of scientists could be regarded as an "information country." The "citizens" of this country are united by their common interest in a particular branch of science. They share information among themselves. They publish special-interest magazines. They organize international meetings, conferences, and conventions. They practice what might be called "free-enterprise information exchange."
Build Freedom is an "information country." What unites Build Freedomns is superior information, primarily the information we call "freedom technology" - the knowledge, methods, and skills for living free in an unfree world. We share this information among ourselves and with the rest of the world. Our power primarily is based on our information. And we place strong emphasis on continually improving our information - and increasing our intelligence so as to process information more efficiently and effectively.
Coercive governments are rooted in violence, and probably largely controlled by money monopolists behind the scenes. The first weapon used by these monopolists is the perversion of information - compulsory state education, control and censorship of the media. Their second weapon is control of the money system. Their third weapon is violence or its threat - using "alphabet vampires" such as IRS, CIA, FBI, BATF, FDA, SEC, USDA, AMA, EPA, OSHA, EEOC, etc. to terrorize people into submission.
The free sovereign citizen uses superior information to legally, elegantly, and safely exit the systems of the alphabet vampires (in America as well as the rest of the world). We seek to bring about an explosion in the dissemination of this information (freedom technology). (We also need to rapidly expand private currency and financial systems.)
As power continues to shift from being based on money and violence, to being based on information, we can relieve the money and violence monopolists from their burden of controlling the world.
An information country is, in my opinion, a superior vehicle for doing this, compared to a "free territorial country." During recent decades there have been several attempts to start free countries. Eric Klien's Oceania being the most recent. He and Mike Oliver plan to build a floating country 50 miles east of Panama. From what I have seen so far of their plans - including Oceania's Constitution and Laws - their operation might just succeed. Their project is covered in Report #TL21: The Atlantis Project (Sea City / Free Country).
It will cost one to two billion dollars to build their city. It may take several years to accumulate the capital. Compare this to Build Freedom:
Build Freedom Territories
Although Build Freedom is primarily an information-based country, there are also "Build Freedom Territories." Anyone is free to declare their property a Build Freedom Territory, on condition that they be responsible that the Code of Build Freedom be applied on such property or in said territory as far as is practically possible.
From a territorial perspective, Build Freedom is the sum total of all Build Freedom Territories.
Build Freedom Territories are described in more detail in Report #TL02D: Comments, Questions, and Answers.
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