Well, it's a new year once again, and things aren't looking too bright for the cause of liberty. Between Total Information Awareness and the PATRIOT Act, you might think that liberty is in more jepordy than ever before, and there's a good chance you'd be right. Now, what are YOU going to do about it? Everyone makes silly promises to themselves this time of year, so why not make a few resolutions that might actually make a difference? If things are as bad as some believe, then it's the best-prepared who stand the best chance of weathering the coming storm. Pick and choose as you like from the following list of resolutions, but do SOMETHING!
2. Promote the Constitution. Carry a Pocket Constitution with you, and if you're so inclined, give it away to anyone who shows an interest. CATO sells them for a FRN each - buy in bulk and they're eighty cents. The Tenth Amendment is right there, waiting to be read and understood. Point it out to someone when it's appropriate. Maybe the person you give the Constitution to will never become a Libertarian, but they might become sympathetic to the cause.
3. Make some financial preparations. The day the debt catches up with the U.S. currency won't be pretty for a lot of people. You can minimize your own losses, as well as helping to reintroduce a debt-free monetary system, by keeping some cold, hard cash on hand. I'm talking about the real thing, gold (or other metal) coins. When the time comes that people no longer trust the FRN, you're still going to want to trade, aren't you? Bartering will work for essentials, but sooner or later any economy needs a form of money in order to operate efficiently. Gold has served as a basic currency for longer than anything else. Pick up gold coins as you can, but avoid the coin collector variety - in a crunch, that premium you paid for the coin's rarity isn't going to be valued by anyone else.
4. Make some common sense emergency preparations. Economic collapse isn't the only hazard out there - as if earthquakes, tornadoes and floods weren't bad enough, Rumsfeld and his boys are actively working to goad someone into launching another terrorist attack. In any type of emergency, water is going to be your number one concern. Buy a couple of the 55 gallon food grade storage drums, and a hand-pumped siphon. If you've got the room, buy a few more. I'm sure your neighbors are nice enough people, but I doubt that they've taken even these elementary precautions. Storing extra water is a great insurance policy against things getting ugly once they realize you're the only guy on the block with clean water. Don't forget about the water sitting in your water heater and toilet tanks. If the crisis is short-term, you'll easily be able to afford to share. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, however, insist that anyone who accepts your help promises to set aside at least 110 gallons of their own water in case of another emergency. Enlightened self interest, remember?
5. Open an e-Gold account, and start using it now. We might be able to avoid an economic collapse altogether if enough people started using e-Gold. It also grants you a lot more privacy than your friendly, neighborhood, eye-in-the-keyhole banker. If you own a business, make sure your customers know that you accept e-Gold, and offer a discount if they use it.
6. Do at least one monkey-wrenching activity this year - you'll feel better, I promise. Don't know what to do? Help out our friends at the IRS - I'm sure there are at least a few homeless people in your area who aren't filing their tax returns. Fill out a return (or two, or three) for them. Since they don't have a permanent address, use the local library, or better yet, the home of some helpful government official that always seems to want to take your money and give it to someone else. Just use a rough estimate for their income. They probably earn more than you might think. One recent news report claimed that some of the better "I Will Work For Food" spots can generate $100 a day. Once the IRS gets their returns, but no money, there's a much better chance that someone is going to come looking for the money. Oh, and I hope I don't have to say this - don't handle the paper, the envelope, the stamp, and for Galt's sake, don't lick the stamp! You'll get fed-cooties!
7. Learn some basic phrases in Spanish. You never know when they'll come in handy, particularly if you need to leave suddenly. If you already hablo, try French. Lots of French-speaking countries out there.
8. Practice with a rifle until you can hit an eight inch circle at various ranges up to 200 yards, every time, from any stance. Don't have a rifle? Get one. If you've got a rifle, practice, practice, PRACTICE! Keep adding to your ammunition stockpile. Remember the feddies don't have to kick in your door and take your guns to disarm you - they just have to make it impossible to buy more ammunition. I've got several friends who will proudly show me their collections of rifles (all in different calibers, many of them hard to find), but who never keep any ammunition on hand. If the day comes that they find themselves needing a firearm, I hope they can run fast, 'cause it's going to be tough for them to get close enough to use that thing as a club.
9. Learn a new skill completely outside your job. I'm a computer programmer, and I intend to learn basic welding this year. Great for making your own metal targets, too!
10. Try to define for yourself what is your own personal "line in the sand" for how the government treats its citizens. Discuss it with your loved ones, and talk about what your options are if things ever get to that point. Once you've determined what it is you would do, start making small preparations, just in case. You don't have to sell your house and live in an RV, but if you're mentally prepared to sell your house, and you've worked out how you would get from here to where you want to be, you're going to be a lot better prepared mentally to take the step if the time comes.
Finally, here's wishing everyone a freer new year!
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