Right now, America can be roughly divided into two groups: those who are deeply confused about what is going on politically and economically, and those who are not.
This division cuts through both “sides.” There are conservatives who are deeply confused as well as liberals. And there are elements of both sides who may not like it, but are not surprised or baffled by the direction things have been going.
The unifying belief that separates the confused from the unsurprised seems to be one difference of opinion: are we a unified nation, or are we currently in some kind of civil war?
Those who believe we are “one nation, indivisible” continue to be flabbergasted by the incompetence, stupidity, and foolish shortsightedness of our leaders and politicians, they way they are bowing to loud minority opinions and endlessly politicking for votes before yet another predestined election.
In the worldview of the perpetually confused, they see otherwise intelligent people making obviously stupid decisions with such consistency it defies all explanation.
“The world’s a crazy place,” they say to themselves as they tune in to another episode of Good Morning Fake News.
But to those who believe that we are a nation deeply divided and at war with ourselves, everything becomes a lot clearer.
The “stupid decisions” of our politicians are simply evidence of the vicious internal power-struggle. Acts that harm our country in order to make the other side look bad are par for the course and, in fact, good strategy.
Moderates and centrists bemoan this as “tribalism.”
They are right.
It is tribalism.
And calling it out does nothing to stop it.
Implicit in the declaration that we are “descending into tribalism” is an assumption that by calling it out, we will all realize the error and stop before we go “too far.”
So if you watch the news and think, “what the hell is happening?” It’s time to catch up to the game you’re watching unfold.
There is a civil war happening around you right now. There is nothing we can do to prevent what has already begun.
At least, not by the means with which you may be familiar. We can’t vote our way out of this, or have a cultural come to Jesus moment to reunify the country. I don’t think even another 9/11 could bring us together now.
So what SHOULD you do?
In many ways, acknowledging that we are in fact in a Fourth Generation war is half the battle.
Understanding the nature of such a conflict tells us pretty much everything we need to know in order to make smart decisions in pursuit of surviving, perhaps even winning. And in the long-run, survival is contingent upon winning, since the opposition is a metropolitan managerial class who aims explicitly for population reduction and the destruction of localized identities.
I’ve written about the nature of Fourth Generation War (4GW) and how to win it in the past, and I’d urge everyone to read that post, but the key takeaway is the importance of having finer degrees of escalation in the degree of force. If you don’t have any in-between degrees of power between vocal commands and firing a weapon, you will be legally (if not physically) helpless against agitators and assailants armed with laser pointers and pepper spray.
But a war cannot be won by defensive planning alone. A smart offense must be a part of the equation. In the context of Fourth Generation War, that means either a decisive, overwhelming strike or a slow, sustainable war of attrition — and for citizens today, a decisive option isn’t really on the table. If people want to win the war against the forces of transnational, technocratic feudalism, offense must become a day-to-day affair. It must become a way of life.
But, at the same time, such a strategy must not incur serious risk — especially if it is to become a weekly or even daily matter.
As one solution, I offer incremental outlawism.
By “outlaw,” I do not mean becoming a “criminal” in the classical sense of one who employs violence or theft. Rather, an outlaw is merely someone who is “outside of the law.” Today’s law requires extensive self-reporting for the sake of monitoring and taxing the actions of citizens. Outlawism in this context refers to doing things that would be otherwise legal if reported and paid for… but without the self-reporting.
This is, of course, something that the wealthy elites have already been doing for decades through a variety of channels including non-profit fundraising, charitable write-offs, offshore bank accounts, etc.
“Incremental” simply means that one ought to be reasonable and smart in not biting off more than one can chew. Even the drug cartels of Latin America have legitimate cover-businesses. American citizens wishing to starve the tax-machine and media-machine should do their outlaw work in addition to — and not in lieu of — ordinary work. Naturally, purchasing patterns must also be reasonable and reflect their un-augmented “legitimate” earned income.
So what would this “incremental outlawism” look like in practice?
Work for cash
If you have a skill, whether auto-repair, hair-styling, or carpentry, or sell a product like clothing, food, or even eggs, consider ways in which you might move some of these transactions under the table.
Better than working for cash, one might consider horse-trading: installing a new counter-top in exchange for automotive service.
If you don’t have a skill one can trade in this fashion, learn one. If you don’t have a product one can sell in this way, learn to make one.
This goes across the board: switching to a flip-phone, getting music and movies on hard disks, perhaps even moving your money out of a bank and into a physical safe (naturally, this would require working something out with employers regarding direct deposit).
Assets can’t be frozen or even watched if they aren’t digital.
And more importantly, you can’t be watched and analyzed if your actions aren’t online. (It goes without saying that I will have to be more careful simply for having written this article).
Homeschool your children
This is perhaps the most important and also the most logical manifestation of incremental outlawism.
In a war fought primarily in the mind, schools become the most powerful weapon of the transnational brahmin caste, both against your children and against you. Homeschooling is the most essential act of rejecting the government’s claim to stewardship of the child’s mind, and asserting parental primacy.
Break the supply chain
To be independent of the corporate oligarchs and the government (and their oh-so-precious roads), you need to remove your dependence on major centers of commerce. Buy second-hand and find a group to join to trade with your neighbors first before heading to the big box store.
If you can’t grow or raise your own food, buy it from local farmers. The only real food deserts are the cities where everything has to be trucked in. If you live somewhere where you think there are no farmers, think again: you’re probably right among them and just haven’t seen them.
Harvest from your yard wealth
The most resource independent people are often the ones who often have beat up old cars moldering in their front yards. This is not an accident.
Keeping “trash” in your own yard is a great way to have tools and parts on hand for totally innocuous, if ugly, reasons. If you have mechanical skill, keeping a few out-of-order vehicles on the property will help keep you stocked with parts you won’t be able to find forever.
If cash for clunkers or the Home Owner’s Association asks you to clean it up, that’s a sign it’s time to move.
Go off the grid without ever leaving the grid
Find ways to support your lifestyle even if basic resources are unavailable. This is smart even if you have no intention of living off the grid full time. Even a prolonged snow storm and power outage should be prepared for, because we will always have to fear the elements, government or not.
Your food storage counts for nothing if it’s all in the freezer on the day the power goes out.
Your dry oatmeal and dehydrated MREs won’t help you if you have no way to heat and eat them.
And your family will freeze if you don’t have the heating sources and warm clothes needed to last a frigid winter.
Become an outlaw, a little every day
At the end of the day, the fight we are in is over property.
On one side is the claim that no citizen has a right to ownership, and should live as cheerful serfs for a kind of technocratic chivalric order — “you will own nothing, and you will be happy.”
This claim is asserted in its own incremental manner, ratcheting demands by way of taxation and handouts, which themselves seem to serve as a kind of moral claim to responsibility for the success of citizens, in the way that the Christian God was once given credit for the success of his believers. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. And our God, who art in D.C., certainly will taketh away.
Remember, “you didn’t build that.”
Incremental outlawism reasserts one’s ownership of one’s own property.
This assertion is not made in a violent and revolutionary manner (of the sort the authorities hope for so that they can sweep in under the veil of legitimate response to a threat and take even more — see Waco or Ruby Ridge).
Rather, it is made in the manner consistent with fourth-generation warfare tactics, with more finely-calibrated escalations so as to make policing such assertions more difficult. And when they are more widely adopted, outlaw manners of life and income become normalized.
There’s nothing illegal in suburban backyard chickens, a decent victory garden, a mechanics hobby, and a wife who knits.
In fact, these are things that every man should be proud to cultivate, in and of themselves.
The Dignity of the Outlaw
Beneath the strategic utility is a more basic assertion of dignity, in the face of an institutional superstructure which claims to champion and guard dignity even while degrading, manipulating, mocking, and humiliating those they claim to represent.
Like Wallace in Braveheart, marrying his wife in secret because he “would not share her with an English Lord,” the incremental outlaw moves outside the law in tandem with the law’s claim to ownership of his property, children, and even his life — not primarily as a political scheme to win a culture war, but as an expression of dignity in the face of indignity.
At the end of the day, incremental outlawism is not about winning a culture war, even if that is a hoped-for and desired effect. It is about maintaining sovereignty over oneself. It is about maintaining the possibility of self-respect by maintaining ownership of one’s own life and property, and thereby retaining the responsibility and and dignity that comes with that ownership.
There may be no honor among thieves, but there is dignity in being more of an outlaw.