Well done! You've now completed 17 segments in this Academy, and hopefully read many of the recommended "further reading" books, so if TOLFA's designers have done our work properly, you will be hungering and thirsting for a free-market society to begin yesterday. Excellent!
For it to begin, one further big thing is needed: everyone else must come to hunger and thirst for it just as you are doing. That won't take long as this page shows but it can't take place overnight. And yes, as the Home Page says, it does depend on you.
What's needed is that you find ONE other student per year, to complete this course and then find and mentor one other person per year himself or herself.
That's all! - as this other page reiterates. Of course, if you can find more, like one every month, that would be splendid; "E-Day" - the day that government Evaporates - will arrive much sooner. But one per year will do the whole job in as little as a single generation - 20 to 30 years from 2006, perhaps less. There is absolutely no way government can function or even exist if nobody wants it to survive. When nobody wants to work for it, it will have ceased to be.
Notice the enormous contrast between this simple, peaceful plan for liberating society, and the ill-considered notion that somehow government can be overthrown by violence. First, violent overthrow would simply replace one set of violent thugs with another - there would have been no abolition of thuggery at all. And second, if in practice it were possible to overthrow the best-armed organization in the world by violence, there would be no need to do it! - for that imples a huge majority able to do the fighting. And third, a systematic program of initiated violence against the violent State would initiate force, which would violate the very principle of self-ownership we wish to implement.
Violence, then, is off the table. The worst that might be said of us is that we growl, like a bulldog - for our way could be expressed by the acronym, GRR:
So will the 10,000-year, blood-spattered, misery-ridden Age of Government finally terminate.
- Graduate from the Academy, thoroughly grasping the intellectual imperative of liberty
- Recruit one friend a year and help him or her through it, and
- Resign any job that may be held in the government sector.
1. How to Find & Mentor a New StudentEveryone is acquainted with about 200 other people.
So in any one year, all that's needed is to find the ONE out of that set who's "ready" for TOLFA. For the present, it doesn't matter if the other 199 say "no" - or even if you don't ask them. As time passes and rumors get around that something interesting is afoot, some of those 199 will open their minds; there will come a year when some of them say "Yes, okay, I'll take a look."
And remember, even if you're one of the earliest members and so have to wait say 25 years for E-Day, you'll still need only 25 of those 200 to enrol in TOLFA! Your task is to find only 1 in 8 of those you know, and you have a quarter century to get the job done. Not too hard!
Here are some suggestions about finding and mentoring a new TOLFA student; and remember, it's vitally important to find them one by one, one-on-one. Advertising will not work! (There was some targeted advertising to kick-off TOLFA in 2006, but that was a one-time event.) The great power of personal recommendation is that the new student knows his Mentor, and starts the course in large part because he holds you in high regard, values your opinion!
(a) Make a Short List. Yes, that will mean shutting off the TV and getting out pen & paper and perhaps your address book and e-address list and picking out a dozen or so whom you think might be worth inviting now to visit www.TOLFA.us. Be systematic.
Don't try to predict who will accept and who won't - there may be surprises both ways. But form the short list from people you think may feel as you do about what a nuisance government can be. Include anyone you've heard expressing discontent with the way things are. But if someone appears to be complacent and accepting of whatever Fate hands down, he or she may not yet be ready - so postpone entry of that name for a later year.
(b) Make the Call and Choose the Words - best, raise the subject when you are in contact with the person face-to-face. The way you introduce it should be in a style that fits you and the way you normally interact with him or her - but convey a seriousness, and probably start by saying you have found something very, very interesting and might you suggest (s)he takes a look at it too? Mention something you remember he said, that tells you he might be. Say that amazing though it seems, this (TOLFA) might actually bring about a huge change for the better, and you've decided to be a part of it.
It's probably good not to use a phrase like "learn liberty" because once people leave school or college many have a sense that they know everything (though few would admit that of course) so have nothing left to "learn" and don't expect to be "taught" any longer. Better to refer to TOLFA as a facility to "study some interesting ideas about freedom." Then it's described as it truly is: a place to conduct postgraduate study, at one's own pace and in one's own time.
Mention that it's free of all charge, because "FREE!" is such an attractive word. Be a bit careful with it though, because a zero price can also convey the idea of a zero value! Just make clear that the obstacle of money has been removed; there's no cost to deter a favorable decision.
You might want to make use of the excellent Flash presentation recommended at the foot of Segment 1, titled "The Philosophy of Liberty." As you'll recall, it gives a fine, 9-minute overview of the subject and may arouse interest. If he's one of the many who have been schooled to suppose that government is vital for civilization, consider giving or lending him a copy of Jim Davies' Denial of Liberty to open his mind to what governments have always, actually done.
Remember that the second page he'll find on TOLFA points him to "Entrance - Is this for you?" and that's there for a purpose. You'll not want to take time (yet!) with a friend who simply isn't in the right frame of mind to work through and benefit from the course. That page enables him to self-qualify as a student. So urge him to look at the web site at least that far, and to tell you what he scored and what he decided (getting his score will prove that he did actually study that page, and so that he's serious.)
If his answer is "no" then fine; ask if you may suggest it again in a year or so, and move on to the next on your list. Don't argue! This Academy depends entirely on self-motivation. Answer his questions and objections by all means, but when he tells you his decision, be gracious. He'll join, when ready; don't try to teach an elephant to sing. It annoys the elephant and wastes your time.
By the way, when you start getting a lot of responses like "Thanks, but I'm already a full member of TOLFA and was thinking of approaching you!" you'll know that E-Day is getting very close. Prepare accordingly - see more below.
(c) Follow Up! If you can, when you get his agreement to take a look at the TOLFA site and answer the "Entrance" questions, agree a date by which he'll do that. Then when that date arrives, follow up and ask what he scored. Be prepared for one "Gee, I didn't get around to it" but not many more than one. If he's to work through TOLFA he will need to get around to it!
Important point: the "Entrance" page shows the prospective student what work he will face and the "Benefits" page will show him why that's worth while but he should make his decision only on the basis of those two. Some people "cherrypick" the list of segments and take a quick look ahead at one or two of them and if they detect a conclusion they don't like, quickly say "No." That's really silly! The Academy as you know leads the student logically from premise through reasoning to conclusions - many of them surprising and unconventional, but sound nonetheless - so to cherrypick in that way is completely back to front. Ask him not to do that.
(d) Be Diligent, as Mentor. Perhaps you'll have no work to do at all, to answer questions and difficulties as they arise as he works through the 18 segments; but probably, there will be a few. There may have been some which you raised, of your own Mentor. So continue to follow up, ask how far he's got, and encourage persistence. And answer the questions. If one "stumps" you, go ask your Mentor, and he will go on to his, if he doesn't know. Make sure you do get an answer. As time goes on we'll find out what the tough questions are and build an addendum to the web site - an FAQ page, to help. Do visit the Mentors' Corner page periodically, to see the latest ideas on doing this work effectively but with minimal effort. Reach it via the blue button on "Study Plan."
(e) Make CD Copies of TOLFA. Do that as soon as you can, and store the CD in a safe place for later replication. Reason: sooner or later, government people will realize how the knowledge that TOLFA is teaching will completely undermine their future, and will move to close it down. By that time, the horse must have bolted; TOLFA's future must not depend upon one web site continuing. Members must get millions of CD copies out there, handed down mentor to student. Then, there is no possible way to stop its spread. The Nazis famously burned books; CDs can be hidden so well and copied so easily that bonfires won't work. Download now.
2. What "E-Day" May Be LikeThe day government "evaporates" will not be announced; there will be no "freedom leader" (a contradiction in terms! - so if one should arise and start making speeches, recognize him as a fraud and steer clear) to do so. Government will just die, with a whimper, because nobody will turn up to work for it or do what it commands.
It's never happened before, which is why it's impossible to describe in any detail. It will be an event unique in history. It may happen on one specific day, or more likely be spread over several weeks with one government department or entity collapsing after another, as former employees take up work elsewhere. Nobody knows.
But there is one partial precedent - and another in fiction. The historical one took place in 1989 in Eastern Europe. It didn't happen fully, but although the populations there didn't know they needed to be rid of all government, they did know they needed to be rid of the Communist kind - and they walked away. Border guards just stopped shooting those trying to escape. The Berlin Wall was hammered down, literally. Joyful Germans climbed on it, jumped down on the West, helped up celebrants from each side and danced and sang on top of it. An unforgettable moment in human history! - and possibly a pattern, for the much greater demolition to happen 30 or 40 years later across an ocean.
The fictional precedent is found in Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", in which the freedom-seeking heroes walk off their increasingly frustrating jobs and retreat to a hidden mountain valley to enjoy each others' company while chaos increases elsewhere without them. It's a classic, must-read novel.
3. What Else to do, While WaitingNot much! - just enjoy life, as you would have done anyway, but with the exciting knowledge that it will soon change dramatically for the better, and that you are doing something to cause that. There's a supplementary page here to amplify that theme.
Don't waste time getting political, or joining demonstrations; they merely validate the system which quiet study and one-on-one promotion of TOLFA will eliminate altogether in time. Just raise a family, homeschool the children if possible; have fun, work hard, develop and diversify your skills, make money. The "pursuit of happiness" is what life is for! A few suggestions:
Quit Government Employ. You'll have to do this eventually, if your job is involved with government at any level, directly or indirectly - so the sooner you exit, the easier it will be. Watch that "indirectly" bit; if your boss is a "defense" contractor, for example, he may not function after E-Day. On the other hand if he makes road-paving equipment, he may see little change; roads will still need building and maintaining. Job-changing is not hard to do, nor is it at all uncommon - so provided you plan carefully, the change should be quite easy.
As above, the eventual departure of all TOLFA graduates from government employ is what will directly cause it to implode, so the sooner the better. As the more thoughtful and talented people depart at an early stage the arrival of E-Day will be hastened, for the quality of employees will then fall and so that of the "service" delivered to the public will suffer and so its discontent with government will increase and so more of those 200 acquaintances of yours will be ready to join this Academy
Read! There is no practical limit to the amount of worthwhile reading you can undertake, about the many ramifications of liberty; it keeps the saliva flowing! If you missed any of the "further reading" suggestions on the way through TOLFA, go back and pick some out; those will provide a good basic library. Don't miss the "Machinery of Freedom" recommended below.
Then explore on your own; the Ludwig von Mises Institute is a fine resource. Note though that there are not many books that commend freedom as fully and clearly as does TOLFA; rather, most of them say something very valuable about certain particular aspects of liberty, or offer a critique of particular activities of government, without following the axiom of self-ownership to its logical conclusions - many authors are mired in the "Limited Government" contradiction we examined in Segment 16. So be discriminating! Best author: Murray Rothbard.
Also, read on the Internet. There's a large number of good web sites to visit regularly, with new articles being written every week. Of course, new ones will appear over the years. A selection:
- Strike the Root is as radical as they come, with new articles several times a week
- Anarchism.net specializes in dialog with "Leftists" distrustful of government
- The Zero Government Blog - "Rational, refreshing reflections on what's happening now"
- Lew Rockwell runs an intellectually stimulating site, "anti-State, anti-war, pro-market"
- Lysander Spooner - a mine of information about this brilliant, incisive 19th Century hero
- Per Bylund shows his superbly reasoned, published articles
- Take Life Back - a large collection of freedom essays by Jim Davies
- The Voluntaryist is a fine site with well-indexed, thoughtful articles and news
- The Molinari Institute - a rich resource and forum about Market Anarchism
- The Ludwig von Mises Institute is a lively site with an Econ emphasis
- Freedomain Radio with Stefan Molyneux is highly recommended
- The Anarchist Alternative is a concise overview of the subject, a valuable fixed resource
- The Foundation for Economic Education is venerable! - subscribe to "The Freeman."
Consider Going Solo. In a regular job, you are exchanging service for money with a single buyer - your boss. You could just as well (and perhaps much better) work for several "bosses", by becoming freelance. Whatever you're good at, advertise that service (or goods, if you choose to buy and sell merchandise) widely, so that you gain several customers, each paying you a little. In total, that may leave you quite a lot better off! And trade in gold whenever possible, perhaps using one of the electronic gold exchange services (see below under "Keep Assets Secure") or the anonymous, gold-based electronic cash facility introduced in 2007 as eCache. The more used people are to exchanging real money, the easier will be the transition when E-Day arrives and government "money" becomes valuable only as wallpaper.
Plenty are doing it, even today; in fact a couple of centuries ago it was how most people earned a living - by farming, more often than not. They were their own bosses, and sold produce on the market. Now, and increasingly as the Internet matures, there is a huge number of opportunities to go solo. Some use on-line stores like eBay to make a fortune, or at least a living.
It's a good idea not to give up your day job until the revenue stream from your own business is steady and adequate, for failures happen more often than successes (so keep trying!) but by serving many customers it's possible to make much more money than by serving just one. Always, remember the chart of demand, supply and price: be sure to give good value for money.
Save and Invest. The secret to wealth accumulation is to save a little of what you earn - whether from one customer (a regular job) or from many if you go solo. The effect is amazing.
The money saved can be invested in your own business if you run one; that's perfect capitalism, plowing profits back in order to grow. Or it can be invested elsewhere, in companies that you know are successful in the long term, and there are thousands of them. Or you could pick a mutual fund with a good track record, which hires experts to pick companies in which to invest. The more attention you pay to this the better will be your rate of return; the "norm" will probably be 3% a year in real terms (and in the coming free market, there will be no other terms!) but by actively watching the portfolio you can do better. Remember, there will be no inflation so the apparent numbers won't seem as spectacular as is achieved by some current Wall Street hotshots. Here is an example of how such a nest-egg might grow, on some stated assumptions.
Keep Assets Secure - if you're able to accumulate some. As E-Day approaches the dying governments may lash out in all directions, to try to prolong their miserable existence, so be prepared for attempted theft - or even wanton destruction, such as Hitler ordered in early 1945. (To his great credit Albert Speer, to whom the order was given, risked his life by ignoring it - but we can't be sure of having anyone here with Speer's courage, Nazi though he was.) Four forms of asset protection are worth considering, well in advance:
- Physical gold buried in places with precise coordinates known only to you and your heirs; gold coins, gold bars, gold in any form. Consider these supplementary remarks about security.
- Real Estate, heavily mortgaged in terms of "dollars." Why so? - because when (not "if") paper "dollars" lose all value except that of wallpaper, you can pay off the mortgage with them, so enjoying a large real capital gain. Beware though: real estate is overvalued due to a variety of supports by government, and when those supports are removed the property will revert to its true market value; half, possibly.
- Electronic Gold such as E-Gold or E-Bullion or GoldMoney - for use in everyday transactions. Don't trust such companies with large capital sums unless you're sure they keep their supporting gold stock in vaults not accessible to Uncle - he will try to steal them when the chips are down.
- Offshore Trusts and other entities, set up in tax-haven countries with a proven record of ignoring Uncle's demands for info. Beware of charlatans on the Net, and beware of domestic trusts (where the FedGov may change the laws) but this is a time-proven way to keep what's yours, yours.
Expand Horizons. Speaking of "offshore", there's a possibility of enjoying a whole lot more personal freedom while awaiting E-Day than most suppose possible - if you're willing, skilled enough and able to cross National boundaries periodically (those borders that don't exist in reality, as we saw in Segment 9.) An excellent resource is the Sovereign Life association, whose scope includes practical ideas not just for protecting but also increasing assets.
Delay Tax Payments. Not by breaking what the IRS says is "law", nor necessarily at once; just make payments gradually later as the time for government evaporation approaches. At worst you may have to pay some interest for lateness. Reason: when that moment does arrive, there will be nobody to collect it so you'll have saved a whole bunch of your own money.
Suppose you pay $10,000 a year in "income tax." You can adjust your W-4 if employed (if you went solo, it's even easier) so that little or nothing has been withheld with respect to Year A by April 15th of Year B. Then when that date arrives, postpone it six months with a standard IRS Form 4868, and maybe pay a little to keep the Form warm. Then file a 1040, but accompany it with little or no payment, perhaps enclosing a note to apologize for being a tad "short." They will start demanding money with menaces soon afterwards, but with any luck you'll be at least a year behind when the check is actually cut.
So on the day that the IRS folds its tent, you'll have $10,000 to $20,000 that you might otherwise have poured down the Federal Sewer; and you'll have converted it into gold a good time in advance so that its value won't evaporate with its issuer
4. Segment and Academy ReviewAnswer the few Questions below to your own satisfaction, and do read the Friedman and/or Tannehill books if you haven't already, and then you will have completed this course! - and again, congratulations! You have now been where very few have been before. You have come to understand why "the Emperor has no clothes" and needs absolutely to be unseated so that all individuals can own and operate their own lives.
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
It remains to thank you for doing so, to remind you to print, frame and hang your Diploma if that's not already done, to let your Mentor know you graduated, and to wish you good fortune in finding and mentoring at least one friend a year through the Academy as above, and in living your own life as freely as you can while awaiting E-Day - again as above. You have started on the most exciting journey of your life, and the most important venture in all of human history.
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TOLFA is a resource to which you may return often. Here is a search engine to help find an item whose location may have slipped the mind.
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For further reading:
"I Must Speak Out" by Carl Watner
"A Vision of Liberty" by Jim Davies - written as a "companion book" for TOLFA members
"Transition to Liberty" by Jim Davies - a second "companion," detailing why TOLFA will succeed
"Denial of Liberty" by Jim Davies - a third "companion," designed to help attract new TOLFA students
The Rejection of Liberty by Rick Flame - very helpful in attracting friends to TOLFA
"The Machinery of Freedom" by David Friedman
"The Market for Liberty" by Morris & Linda Tannehill "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" by Harry Browne