American patriots who refuse to discuss Committees of Safety are just as bad as those libertarians who refuse to mention agorism. Both are guilty of being adverse to potential solutions, or mere options, that are realistic and practical in securing liberty. Similarly, a class of tactics frequently ignored would be those that encompass security culture, which is really just the direct application of the right to privacy.
Many people claim to be concerned about the lack of privacy in America today, but they frequently say they don’t know what they can do about it. The first thing to understand is that although it is true that privacy is multifaceted, if there was one single thing you could do, it would be keeping your own counsel. As the author puts it:
“Obviously, the individual is in the driver’s seat. If a person wants to eliminate 72 percent of the information, then he should just keep his big mouth shut…Thus, the individual really is in control of his ‘image’; he can decide whether or not to supply an agency with information.”
This key insight, unfortunately, is lost on the mindless Millennials who have “thousands” of Fascistbook “friends” – gossip, rumor, and conjecture is what keeps the snitch culture alive and well, not to mention the self-aggrandizement, as well as the potential monetary remuneration, for informing on someone to the gendarmerie. As documented by Dr. Gini Scott, faceless “institutions” enjoy seemingly more power than individuals do, so it becomes incumbent upon libertarians to discover what can be done to upset the statist quo (pun intended).
A multitude of techniques exist for resisting the American surveillance police state apparatus. Unbanking, foreign asset protection, tax resistance, mail drops, safe houses, being the grey man, travel-trailer homesteading, and “minimalism” are but just a few topics that are broached by Kaysing in this book. Needless to say, this is quite a range of methodologies for a privacy text written back in 1997.
Faced by the sobering fact that I am surrounded by authoritarians, I was rather pleased by Kaysing’s refreshingly defiant attitude, especially in favor of homeschooling. He said:
“In a thickly wooded region of California’s central coast, there is a couple with two young children. These folks heartily agree that modern American schools are just institutes for brainwashing. The young couple has built a small schoolhouse on their property and now teach their own children, along with several others from neighboring families. The youngsters seem very alert and intelligent. They are free of the nervous demeanor that requires sedation, characteristic of many elementary school students. Furthermore, they are learning truly useful things, such as how to grow their own food and how to live close to nature. It is really a heartwarming experience to observe all this.”
I’m glad Kaysing recognized a connection between privacy and schooling. When children are subjected to government indoctrination, they lose their private space, and all too frequently, their own sense of self, which is typically why they try to fill that void with “membership” in a random click that they can most easily slip into. Freedom in education also implies (maybe not obviously to some) freedom in privacy; it’s just a tad difficult to do just that when your child is enticed to snitch on you.
Interestingly, Kaysing mentions the option of living nomadically. Whether it be on foot, by motorcycle, or via boat, there is no good reason why those who care about privacy must be tied down to a mortgage. Specifically, Kaysing wrote the following about RV living:
“Homes-on-wheels which are self-propelled began appearing on the scene shortly after World War II. The simplest types were pickup camper units that could be slid into the bed of any pickup truck. Today, there are motorhomes ranging from lightweight VW campers on up to enormous diesel-powered castles on six wheels. If you have the bucks, buy whatever you wish. If not, consider building your own nomadic vehicle from a bread truck, delivery van, old school bus or any other suitable vehicle.”
Surely, there is a perception that the DIY ethic is alive and well, as can be attested to by Alex Ansary, as well as a lady vlogger known as the SunnyVanDweller. Although there have been police encounters when stealth camping, otherwise the greater difficulty lies in the perception the general public has of full-time RV-ers as being “dirty,” in eerily much the same way there has been similar prejudice against dumpster divers. Kaysing goes onto say that:
“…the motorhome nomad is forced into a certain pattern of conformity. Therefore, it’s better to use a campground whenever possible. Being awakened in the middle of the night takes a lot of fun out of being a nomad. If you make an effort to select an overnight parking place early in the afternoon, you will not be driving around endlessly after dark searching for a place to rest.”
Of course, this is what some van dwellers have experienced, which naturally begs the question as to whether there is more, or less, privacy when living on the road? Unfortunately, if a RV or van dweller experiences a traffic stop, and their automobile is towed and impounded, that is noticeably more problematic since that is also their home; yet, Kaysing proclaims:
“By moving around constantly, the chances of continuing harassment decline. Movement is safety. ‘They’ are never quite sure where a ‘mobile’ individual is; and, if they want to be, they must put forth a lot of time and energy. With millions of persons constantly on the move, ‘they’ are bound to run out of the personnel and money necessary to keep track of all ‘mobile’ individuals simultaneously.”
In this context, Kaysing was referring to more of a safe house network. Admittedly, this might be more realistic than van dwelling, given that the amount of time spent on the roads increases the likelihood of a police interrogation. Truth be told, whatever “lifestyle” changes you make in order to gain privacy just might come at the cost of something else, and what I enjoy about Kaysing’s book is that I think he presented a fair and even-handed approach to evaluating what all of these conceivable privacy-friendly tactics have to offer.
Unsurprisingly, Kaysing encouraged frugality for the privacy conscious. He wrote:
“In summary, by eliminating the necessity for earning, banking and handling a lot of money, you will also eliminate the onus of lack of privacy, which accompanies that policy of materialism. Furthermore, by living close to the bone, you will probably be able to support yourself through odd jobs and creative activity. Thus, Social Security numbers and contributions are unnecessary. Since ‘out-of-sight’ living usually involves the country, you’ll be free of the hassles of big city heat. All in all, it’s a lifestyle that is worth a try. It’s not for everyone; there are intellectual challenges in this ‘country’ life. Yet, there are also many compensations!”
Self-evidently, this could be described as freeganism or “miminalism,” and this connection to privacy made a lot of sense to me. Voluntary simplicity is not only an application of frugality, but also a method of tax avoidance, by way of lowering one’s tax threshold. Arguably, this could also be combined with any method within the class of financially independent early retirement techniques, yet those sources ought to be as diversified as possible, for obvious reasons. It makes no sense to me to go through all the work of establishing good security culture if your whole livelihood is completely dependent upon one source of funding that could be cut off at any time.
Bill Kaysing’s Privacy: How to Get It, How to Enjoy It is a wonderfully broad look into how privacy rights can be exercised once again, if only you have the desire to take the initiative. Kaysing’s last words are thusly:
“When I first began this book, it seemed to have an infinite scope. However as I complete the work, a revelation has materialized: We don’t have to fight anybody; we don’t have to make any waves. There is no necessity for violence of any kind…In short, all we really have to do is pull away from that which is destroying us, individually and collectively, and become self-directed, self-motivated individuals…This will work if enough people control their own destinies. However, if only a small fraction of the population of the U.S. goes along with this idea, then it will be necessary for a dedicated minority to take other measures…Thus, it becomes clear that one of two things must happen if we are all to escape being ‘killed in our holes.’ Enough people must rise up to oppose the injustices and iniquities, the outright tyranny and chicanery of the existing power structure, or else a small fraction must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that we survive.”
This is evocative of what could be considered the “quiet revolution” that is composed of “neither bullets nor ballots,” which is encouraged by sincere libertarians. Generally speaking, there is nothing illegal about exercising your right to privacy, and is thus (debatably) less risky than agorism; not only that, but the regular practice of security culture also nicely coincides with survivalism. In this digital age, however, the simplest, but perhaps not easiest, method to regain one’s privacy is to boycott Fascistbook by closing down your account with them; but seriously, how many self-professed “freedom fighters” (who are not content producers within the alternative media) are going to do that?