It is with great delight I notice that many are people waking up to something often called the 'Freeman' movement and I would like to discuss that along with some ideas Gandhi Ji professed.
In order to bring this discussion to the front of the website I have moved the previous discussion into the archives, accessible via a little hacking or serendipity.
If you haven't come across the idea of Freeman-On-The-Land you would do well to do a little background reading with the aid of your favourite search engine. Some terms that may help are the names of the heros of the movement: Robert-Arthur: Menard, Jordan Maxwell and Mary Elizabeth: Croft. In fact there are many terms in this article that will bear fruitful results in an internet search. While you are at it, do a search on YouTube for TheAntiTerrorist.
The Freeman philosophy is not a new one; humanity has struggled with the idea of freedom versus slavery for many centuries, going back, at least, to the stoics in the early 3rd century BC. The practical application of this philosophy in the current age, however, is only just developing.
Any internet search for Freeman-On-The-Land is likely to bring up a host of unfamiliar and, perhaps intimidating, new terms: Accepted For Value, Rejected For Cause, Reclaiming The Strawman, Notice Of Understanding, Claim Of Right, along with a confusion of legaleese, delving into the Magna Carta, Common Law, the Uniform Commercial Code, etc. It is easy to become overwhelmed by these things and to miss the simple truth from which all of this arises: Nobody has authority over you unless you grant them that authority.
Humanity in general has lost sight of their right to say "No" to any contract that offends their ethical sensibilities. Take a look at the following quote from Gandhi Ji:
In much of the world human beings are imagined to be part of a theoretical concept called 'society' and subject to a surrender of personal sovereignty to that larger society as part of what is called 'the social contract'. What remains generally unexamined is that you retain the freedom to reclaim personal sovereignty and to 'resign' from that social contract, in whole or in part, or even to renegotiate the terms of it.
Socrates is supposed to have said "The unexamined life is not worth living." and if you take time to examine many of the terms you use - government, state, country, money, law, work, taxes, ... - you will discover just how much of your life and struggle is based on these ideas and how they contribute to your unhappiness.
So I encourage you, and hope to help you, to begin to examine some of these things now.
So where to start?
As Thoreau, above, suggested, there is no way to know if you are free or not if you never disobey. Indeed, if you are obeying, who is it you are obeying and why? Either you are a slave or sovereign, which are you? The fact of the matter is that for probably your whole life you have been hemmed in by rules that you didn't put in place. Have you ever examined who did impose them upon you and why? Are they self-evident and, if so, why would you need to have rules for things that are obvious and natural to you?
If you are a slave, don't you think you should be informed of the fact? On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declared that freedom from slavery is an internationally recognized human right. It follows that there is no lawful justification for holding anyone in slavery. So we conclude that you must therefore be sovereign, have forfeited that sovereignty, or be unlawfully subject to slavery.
Only two years earlier, one of the prosecutors for the Nuremberg warcrimes trials, Chief Justice Robert H. Jackson, declared that waging a war of aggression "is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime".
There is no question that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wars of aggression and those wars were waged by, amongst others, Tony Blair and George Bush. Does anyone notice any cognitive dissonance in trying to reconcile that fact with the fact that these same "supreme international criminals" are responsible for defining the rules you and I are, allegedly, subject to?
Here Gandhi Ji observes that civil disobedience becomes a 'sacred duty' when the state has become lawless and corrupt. But what is civil disobedience? Is it license for you to become lawless and corrupt yourself? I hope you answered "No" to that but as a sovereign being you will have to make your own assessment.
Gandhi Ji went on to define it as non-violent non-cooperation, and I find that definition acceptable. It means not to cooperate with the state.
There was a time when I considered that I had to take an active part in trying to bring the state to its senses, to combat the corruption and abuses that are perpetrated in our name and in spite of our ethical convictions that such acts are contrary to our values. But where to begin? There is the unlawfulness of the many wars, repression and abuses of human rights; poisons, such as Aspartame and MSG, that are put into the food supply and flouride in the water; nuclear weapons, depleted uranium, white phosphorus; pollution, rape and theft of the Earth's resources; GMO, vaccines, and on and on. There were so many things to address that I was overwhelmed by it all and felt helpless. Victory, then, to the system at having made me feel powerless.
Then, as I began to ponder how I could live in such a corrupt system, let alone change it for the better, it occurred to me that simply withdrawing my involvement from the system would, in itself, deny any implied moral authority for what they are doing. That was the least I could do. But our lives are so tied up in the system. How to break free?
The answer from the Freeman movement is to issue Notices of Understanding and Intent and Claims of Right, and that may very well suit some folk. That is a way you can withdraw your consent to be governed and controlled via a legal process. My view, however, is that such legal steps are not necessary. I simply withdraw my consent and if the state takes issue with that I will deal with it when they do. I stopped paying tax, council tax and road tax, as a first step. There have been letters from the tax office, which I have simply ignored.
As far as the Freeman philosophy is concerned this puts me in 'dishonour' but Gandhi Ji suggests I would be putting myself in dishonour by bartering with a corrupt state. It seems that from some perspective I will be in dishonour whatever I do or decline to do. My inclination is to side with Gandhi.
The Freeman 'rules of engagement', developed from common law and observation of the court systems, are based on the idea that to remain in honour one must discharge notices by responding to them. However, in doing so they are relying on a system I regard to be unjust ab initio.
The idea is, if I want to do something that affects you I can send you notices. If you fail to respond to my notices then I have established a claim of right to do what I sent you notice of. This relies on legal maxims like: Qui non improbat, approbat (He who does not disapprove, approves), Qui potest et debet vetare et non vetat jubet (He who is able and ought to forbid and does not, commands) and Qui tacet consentire videtur (He who is silent appears to consent). But these maxims lead to injustice because default leads to a presumtion of acceptance rather than of rejection.
Why did the legal system settle on that presumption though?
If someone is proposing to do something that affects my rights and freedoms, shouldn't the presumption be that I don't consent unless I explicitly give my consent? Indeed, shouldn't it require fully informed consent? That is what we demand of those who intend to carry out medical experiments on people because they can cause severe harm. Is it not severe harm to entrap children of Nature into a life of subservience to a State and to deny them the freedom of their birthright?
In theory, as I said earlier, we take part in a 'social contract'. In practice, however, when did we consent to such a contract? Was it done with our informed and explicit consent? Are we able to dissolve or renegotiate that contract? What happens when we discover that the State we contracted with is not in any way honourable and that our participation in the contract empowers it to oppress and enslave us and to inflict atrocities on others?
How free you can be is determined by how independent you are. The most revolutionary thing you can do is to become healthy, since illness makes you dependent on the health system. Your house you can reclaim through a legal process, if you have sufficient knowledge of the system, mortgage or no (it isn't yours if it is 'registered' with the Land Registry because registration is an act of conferring ownership); likewise your car. But where do you turn if your health depends on a state or corporate system?
You need to find out what diet and lifestyle leads to robust health. In my experience it helps to eat an organic vegetarian diet and to avoid vaccines and allopathic medicine as far as possible. The largest factor influencing your health, stress, will be much reduced by the freedom you attain when you remove yourself from the system.
Next is the problem of money: how do you obtain your existential needs? That is something I can't answer for you, except to say that it helps dramatically if you can reduce your wants down to, or close to, the level of your needs. If you are prepared for the battle you can find yourself free of your mortgage, debts and many other 'overheads'.