Chapter 1-4

Whatsoever a people believeth shall make it free, enslave it, or corrode its very marrow in strict accordance with natural order. Consequently if a people place implicit faith in what philosophers teach them, they are liable to be duped. If many nations are so duped, their deception is a menace to the liberty of the world.

Freemen should never regulate their conduct by the suggestions or dicta of others, for when they do so, they are no longer free. No man ought to obey any contract, written or implied, except he himself has given his personal and formal adherence thereto, when in a state of mental maturity and unrestrained liberty. It is only slaves that are born into contracts, signed and sealed by their progenitors. The freeman is born free, lives free, and dies free. He is (even though living in an artificial civilation) above all laws, all constitutions, all theories of right and wrong. He supports and defends them of course, as long as they suit his own end, but if they don’t, then he annihilates them by the easiest and most direct method.

There is no obligation upon any man to passive obedience, when his life, his liberty, and his property are threatened by footpad, assassins or statesman.

One of Columbus’s lieutenants in the West Indies, captured a Carib chief by means of a subtle stratagem. The chief was invited to a feast and when there, persuaded with honeyed words to don (on horseback) a set of brightly polished steel manacles; it being cunningly presented to him, that the irons were the regalia of sovereignty. He foolishly believed his astute flatterer, and when the chains were firmly clasped around his limbs, he was led away, to die of vermin, turning a mill in a Spanish dungeon. What those glittering manacles were to the Indian chieftain, constitutions, laws, moral codes, and Hebrew dominated civilizations, are to the nations of the earth. Indeed, under the name of Progress and Social Evolution, mankind has been lured into foetid dungeons, where it labors unceasingly and for naught, in darkness, despair, and shame. Like the Spanish Lieutenant, the masters of the earth first flatter their dupes, in order to more easily enchain them. Who talks nowadays of the ‘sovereign people,’ without a laugh of derision? And yet it was once thought to be term full of significance. Their ‘sovereignty’ is now acknowledged sham, and their freedom a dream. The sovereign people be damned.

It is clear, therefore, that the man or nation that would retain liberty, or be really safe, must accept no formula as final-must trust in nothing written or unwritten, living or dead-must believe neither in special Jehovahs, nor weeping Saviours-neither in Raging devils, nor in devilish philosophies-neither in ghosts, nor in idols, nor in laws-nor in woman, nor in man.

“O threats of hell, and hopes of paradise,

One thing at least is certain-this life flies;

One thing is certain and all the rest is-lies,

The flower that once has bloomed forever dies.”

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