Security: at what cost?
The easiest social area to argue the need for centralized authority is security, because primitive fears are evoked when security is threatened. Logically flawed statements such as “we must destroy our potential enemies before they destroy us” or “we must operate secretly and outside the law, and deprive you of your privacy and liberties, all in the interest of national security” are readily accepted without critical evaluation in a state of fear.
“Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” — Benjamin Franklin
When people are tricked into abdicating their responsibilities to higher levels of the social structure, they become weak and dependent, ripe for exploitation by predators and parasites who seek to control and infest any and every organization with concentrated power at the top of a pyramidal structure. There is no better example of such structures than typical military command and control structures, which rely on unquestioning obedience of subordinates to the dictates of central authority. Therefore, the realm of security is a favorite of predators and parasites. If there is no enemy the elite will create one; if there is no war, the elite will instigate one and support both sides. The ideal enemy is one that can not be seen or defeated; the ideal war is an endless one. The goal is perpetual fear, total submission to central authority and permanent abdication of liberty.
A formula for real security
Real security begins with free individuals taking the responsibility to protect themselves, then their families and their communities. Children should be taught from an early age to be self-sufficient and able to defend themselves. They should learn objective critical reasoning skills to accurately assess their situation. They should learn survival skills, including the normal need to provide themselves with food, clothing and shelter. In some traditional cultures, the very measure of adulthood is the ability to grow or hunt for food, or to build a home from what is available from the land. In the U.S., organizations such as Scouting and 4-H can provide hands-on, experiential education and training for children in these areas beyond what is available in the school system.
Senator S. I. Hayakawa well understood that true security is built on the inner security of a healthy personality. Here is an excerpt from his 1965 speech on this subject:
“Since the theme of this conference is ‘The Search for Security,’ let me start by contrasting two views of security, namely, the static and the dynamic. The static concept of security my be pictured by thinking of the oyster inside its shell, the frightened person behind his neurotic defenses, or pre-war France behind the Maginot Line. The main idea in the static concept of security is to build up enough protective walls and to sit still inside them. The “search for security” for many people still is the task of building and mending walls around oneself.
“The dynamic concept of security can be pictured by thinking of a skillful and self confident driver speeding home in the traffic stream along Bayshore highway. He knows that the highway is dangerous; he knows that he may encounter drunken drivers or cars with faulty brakes, and he knows that a slight error in judgment at 60 miles an hour may result in his not getting home at all. Nevertheless, he is not insecure, he is not frightened; in fact, this daily confrontation of danger doesn’t worry him at all, because his security in this dynamic and dangerous situation depends not on walls to protect him from danger, but on internal resources — skill, knowledge, experience, flexibility — with which he knows he can cope with danger.” — Senator S. I. Hayakawa
We can learn from the attitude of an experienced boatman, who leaves port for the open sea with the understanding that should he encounter problems, his survival depends on his own equipment, preparation, skill, experience and judgment; he does not count on being rescued. Some sportsmen take the challenge of self-sufficiency to an extreme, and their writings offer insight and inspiration. My personal favorite is Walter Bonatti’s The Mountains of My Life. He accomplished a series of stunningly audacious solo first ascents, such as the North Face of Matterhorn in winter, during an era when equipment was relatively primitive. These words of his capture for me the essence of individual sovereignty:
“Right from the start my own motivation has been mostly of a thoughtful, introspective nature, ending in an assertion to myself about myself.” — Walter Bonatti
But “no man is an island unto himself.” Not every individual can be fully self-sufficient. Eventually everyone is diminished by old age, if not by illness or accident. The responsibility to care for the elderly and infirm falls first to the family and then the community. The young and healthy should help others in their community when they are able so that when they need support it will be returned by those whom they have supported. Those who may have less to contribute in some areas may have more to contribute in other areas. The elderly, especially, can offer experience, knowledge and wisdom.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens… But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” — Galatians 6, KJV
To the extent that this ideal is approached, community members operate from a position of strength and independence rather than weakness and dependency. When strong individuals interact in a mutually beneficial way, the main social dynamic is interdependency rather than codependency, the latter being comparable to the mostly passive food role in the predator-prey and parasite-host dynamics. Interdependency generates prosperity and security through mutually beneficial cooperation.
The formula of interdependency based on self-sufficient sovereignty and leading to prosperous security extends to all levels of our social structure. As with individuals, strong, self-sufficient communities and nations are well-positioned for mutually-beneficial trade with their peers without risking exploitation or absorption.
Self-sufficiency → Sovereignty → Interdependency → Prosperity → Security
Where we went wrong
It was a mistake to turn over care of the elderly and infirm to the state and to corporations. Social Security funds and Corporate Health and Pension plans are subject to looting. If they haven’t been already, they will be in the near future. Then bureaucratic “death panels” will decide who can live and who must die.
It is a mistake to rely solely on police and military for protection against attack. If citizens give up the responsibility to defend themselves, they become weak, dependent and easy to control. National Guard units and local police departments are increasingly controlled by the federal government, and are being transformed into para-military units for use as instruments of control of the population. The distinction between police and military is blurring, as military units are increasingly assigned domestically, in defiance of the Posse Comitatus Act.
It is a mistake to relinquish the right to bear arms. We can learn something from the Swiss, who are required to keep a rifle in their home after being trained in its use during their military service. Even Hitler hesitated to invade Switzerland. Historically, governments disarm the people as a prelude to tyranny and genocide. There has been an ongoing campaign by the federal government to erode the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. In recent years, even veteran soldiers have been systematically targeted for loss of these rights.
It was a mistake to ignore President Eisenhower’s prophetic warnings about the military-industrial complex, recently repeated by his son. Few things are more dangerous to liberty than a standing army and so the U.S. Constitution has specific checks against them, but they have failed:
“There can be no denying that the Framers’ efforts to protect the nation from involvement in unnecessary and unjust wars and from an enormous standing army have failed. The two mainstays of their plan — a small defensive military force and a constitutional separation of war powers — are dead letters. The country is routinely engaged in conflicts in every corner of the globe, none of which has anything to do with the military’s only legitimate purpose: to defend the country from invasion. The power to wage war has coalesced under the executive and the government maintains an increasingly imperialistic foreign policy. Free of the constitutional chains that the Framers imposed upon it, the federal government is now on a road of empire, intervention, militarism, aggression, occupation, and torture, not to mention increased taxes, inflation, and despotism at home.” — Bart Frazier
Even when Social Security funding is under attack, the bloated military budget is untouchable, draining the financial lifeblood of the country. How can this be in the “interest of national security?” America has become so mentally and morally weakened that a military invasion is not even necessary for its conquest. Our wealth is being sapped from us while we have been duped into endless expensive wars on drugs and terror. First our industrial base was moved overseas, then our monetary base was diluted, and now our retirement security fund is being looted. This all came about because people turned over their sovereignty to central authorities.
Ways to support decentralized security
Real security is built on and by strong, self-sufficient, free individuals and communities.
- Acquire self-defense and firearms training.
- Acquire first-aid and emergency training.
- Store food and water for emergencies and shortages.
- Learn to grow food and build shelter.
- Develop other specialized skills that will benefit your community.
- If you don’t feel part of a real community, consider relocating or starting your own.
Here are some other specific ways to support decentralized security:
|Support the movement to defend county sheriffs as the only directly elected law enforcement officials, answerable only to their constituents, bound by their oaths to the Constitution, and having ultimate law enforcement authority within their jurisdictions, as explained by Sheriff Mack in his book The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope. YouTube video summary: Part 1, Part 2.|
|Support Oath Keepers: Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution.|
|Consider decentralized alternatives to conventional health insurance; as an example learn about at the Christian organization Samaritan Ministries.|
|Form or join an existing Resilience Circle or similar community group: A Resilience Circle is a small group of 10 – 20 people that comes together to increase personal security during these challenging times. Circles have three purposes: learning, mutual aid, and social action.|
|September 12, 2011 was celebrated as Interdependence Day with this crowd-sourced short film Declaration of Interdependence. Consider declaring your interdependence. When the people of the world realize their interdependence, there will be no more wars.|
This is the eighth article in a series of eleven on the theme of decentralization: Fractal Sovereignty, Decentralized Manufacturing, Decentralized Money, Decentralized Education, Decentralized Agriculture, Decentralized Government, Decentralized Communication, Decentralized Security, Decentralized Energy, Decentralized Medicine and Decentralized Religion.