Why Iím Leaving America
by Michael Fielding
For as long
as Ive lived youve been my only home. Ive had
a wonderful life here. Your inhabitants are almost universally kind,
and Ive become lifelong friends with many of your citizens.
All of my family lives here, everyone I have ever known or loved,
and I will miss them all a lot. But after 22 years, I feel impelled
to your founders, When in the Course of human events it
becomes necessary for one [person] to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers
of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of
Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to
the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes
which impel them to the separation. Well, I certainly wouldnt
want to be disrespectful.
At first glance,
you look like the greatest of all social systems. You seem like
a stable and sturdy structure. People look at you and see strength.
They see freedom and opportunity, democracy and unity. But a
peak behind the curtain reveals a scared old man, desperately trying
to maintain an illusion. Your size and complexity hide a simple
truth: that you dont physically exist. You are nothing more
than a system of human interaction; not a thing in and of
itself, but the result of a widespread pattern of behavior. You
emerge from our beliefs, and the actions they compel us to take.
We learn our
roles and play them well. The
guards act like guards, the judges act like judges, the cops
act like cops, and we all pay our taxes. You exist because individuals
behave as if you did. Of course this seems patently obvious, but
it has some frequently overlooked implications. There is an inherent
problem with this sort of system, a cancer written in your genetic
code, an inoperable tumor that spells your demise.
is so subtle that generations have failed to identify it. Your creators
devised a way to hide it for centuries. They separated your powers,
pitted ambition against ambition to mask your fatal flaw. As long
as people were content, as long as your tyranny was well hidden,
the problem went unnoticed. But it was there all along, metastasizing
beneath the stars and stripes.
is choice. I alone control my actions. Your system depends on us
adhering to a certain pattern of behavior, but we each have the
power to reject it. You will only survive as long as individuals
believe you exist and act accordingly, but you cannot compel the
choice. You can never take away my ability to choose life without
you, to ignore your behavioral suggestions, to act on my own.
Oh but of course,
you tried your best to conceal this fact, to convince me I needed
you, to give me faith in your existence, to make me fall in love
with you, to count you as my own. You started young, indirectly
at first and then directly through my education.
years I was forced into your indoctrination facilities, and social
pressure pushed me into another three and a half. Without a doubt
I learned many useful things. I had many wonderful teachers who
only wanted what was best for me. I am grateful for their wisdom.
Far more sinister
were the unspoken lessons. Structure
matters more than content; your hidden messages are far more
powerful than what is said aloud in lecture. For more than a decade
you required my direct submission to your representative at the
front of the class, using all the silly threats that work on a child.
You taught me that knowledge is obtained from authority, that all
problems have answers in the back of the book. You judged me constantly,
trying to teach me to look to others for approval, trying to make
me conform. You lead me in the pledge of allegiance over 2,000
times. But worst of all, you tried to parent me. You tried to
make me realize a familial bond with you, to make me believe you
had my own interests at heart. You tried your best to make me choose
you, but it didnt work.
The more you
try to coerce my affection, the more obvious the ploy becomes. All
the ridiculous forms of manipulation that go unseen by the masses
are the red flags of malicious intent. My obedience isnt for
my protection, but for yours. You dont want me to see the
choice because that leads directly to an investigation of merit.
No longer are you a parent that must be respected, but a business
transaction that must be evaluated. Well America, your benefits
dont outweigh your costs. You do more harm than good.
your advantages. I understand you have rivals who treat their citizenry
far worse. Raised in another land, its possible I would have
never received enough information to understand my situation. And
for that, I thank you. But its not enough. Your existence
relies on a mortal sin, and no amount of bribery will sway me to
forgive you for it. No number of schools, hospitals, roads or defense
networks could ever justify your systematic use of aggressive coercion.
the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary
manner by use of threats, intimidation, fraud, or some other form
of pressure or force. Making someone do something they wouldnt
out of their own free will. Aggressive coercion means the
initiation of such action. Threatening someone who hasnt threatened
you, defrauding the trusting, harming an innocent; the initiation
your single purpose, your only weapon and your only form of control.
A government IS a monopoly of the legitimate use of
aggressive coercion; a monopoly over the initiation of force IS
a government. Hear it straight
from the horses mouth. When all you have is a hammer,
every problem looks like a nail.
your fault. You were created with one lever, so every time the people
wanted change you pulled it. When people got scared about retirement,
you gave them Social Security. The price: enslaving the next generation.
You put the bill on the backs of their children before they were
old enough to vote, and the only choice you provided was pay up,
leave or live in a metal cage. When people got scared about flying
or drugs or pornography, you pulled the lever and made more threats.
All of your rules are coercive. Every single piece of legislation
is ultimately backed up by a threat of physical violence. Every
law is a gun under the table, and I dont negotiate with terrorists.
I will not
support the use of aggressive coercion as a solution to social problems,
even implicitly by voting or paying taxes. It causes far more problems
than it solves. This isnt a belief that was handed down to
me as many of your citizens obtained their ethics. My belief that
that coercion is undesirable and ineffective isnt based on
and Im open to the possibility that Im wrong. But this
is the conclusion of my sincerest attempt at an objective search
for truth. It is a conviction forged with evidence and reason. I
dont believe aggressive coercion is wrong because anyone says
so; I wont support its use because of the way it affects humans
as individuals and societies.
seems like a radical and unsubstantiated belief to you. Its
certainly an uncommon principle within your borders. It might be
unusual, but popularity has no bearing on truth. On the scale of
individual interactions, its clear that receiving threats
is not desirable. Nobody wants to be coerced, by definition. But
what if threats can be used for the common good? What if the negative
effects of coercion to a society are outweighed by its benefits?
The more I learn about the world, the more I realize that this is
not the case. Coercion
inhibits the evolutionary search of the free market, it prevents
us from trying out new solutions to social problems and from recognizing
failures. Im convinced its the cause of almost every
problem you purportedly use coercion to solve.
your greatest supposed benefit is the defense you provide. But what
noble defender extorts payment from its clients? How could you possibly
be defending us when YOU are our greatest threat? Like the Mafias
protection racket, our greatest danger presents itself when we refuse
to pay. There is only one entity that has ever threatened me with
death or imprisonment, and that is YOU. No foreign government, terrorist
organization or even a criminal on the street has ever threatened
my life or freedom, only you America.
provide defense from some of your smaller competitors. You imprison
lesser thieves and murderers, a charade to prove your worth. Clearly
these are problems that any society must deal with, but ceding the
power of legitimate defense to a single entity only exacerbates
them. Without feedback
such as prices and profit, no one has any idea what methods are
effective or desirable. Granting a monopoly of defense is like giving
all the guns to an army of deaf men and acting surprised when they
dont respond to our shouts. People deserve a distributed,
voluntarily-funded defense network that utilizes free exchange to
find the cheapest, most desirable and most effective methods of
preventing the initiation of force. Imprisoning tax evaders and
drug users while bombing innocent civilians in the Middle East is
NOT defense, and I will not allow you to fund your crimes with any
portion of the fruits of my labor.
social problem can be traced back to your gun in the room, pointed
at us under layers of abstraction and legalese. The most subtle,
and most deadly, was the corruption of the price system. You enslaved
us with the strongest chains known to man: a debt-based monetary
system. You deprived us of accurate value measurements. You prevented
us from equilibrating supply and demand. You tilted the scales in
the market, and threw off all our transactions. You prevented us
from acting rationally by quietly
replacing our money with a cheap replica, and forcing us to use
But your tyrannical
nature isnt the only reason Im leaving, especially not
why Im leaving right now. Im not only fleeing
your coercion, but the inevitable economic
collapse your inhabitants are only beginning to appreciate.
I better explain
that phrase. Economic collapse means a reduction is
economic complexity: a decrease in specialization, a slow down in
trade, brought about by a loss of confidence. Its not a fantastical,
delusional prediction. Your economy is based on a con game that
cannot be sustained.
and fiscal problems are rivaled only by the artificial complexity
of your financial system. But at its heart, the problem is simple:
Everything is based on the assumption of infinite exponential growth.
For a long time, that assumption was never tested. We could stick
straws in the ground and produce energy for pennies on the dollar.
The underlying economy actually grew exponentially. This allowed
the Ponzi scheme of your fiat currency to survive a little longer
than usual. For a while, the growth of the money supply reflected
the productive capacity of your people, enabling an astounding degree
of complex specialization and trade. But the
era of cheap energy has come to an end. Like any population
that finds an untapped resource, we went for the easiest parts first.
Now all the low hanging fruit has been eaten, and we can no longer
increase annual global oil production. We have generations of social
arrangements built on assumptions that are no longer valid. Your
money supply is expanding faster than ever, but it no longer mirrors
the productivity of your citizens. It is being artificially expanded
to paper over the cracks in the dam. Your puppeteers have made more
promises than could ever be fulfilled, and they are printing money
to pay off their debts. This
never ends well. Regardless of whether you print your way into
and currency collapse, or default on your debt, its clear
your path is unsustainable. Collapse is mathematically guaranteed,
and its not something to play chicken with. Id rather
be ready a decade early than a day late.
think I should work to save you instead of leaving you to crumble.
The ship is sinking, and we either need to make repairs or head
for the lifeboats. But I took a look at your blueprints, and you
were never structurally sound to begin with. You were constructed
flaws. Moreover, I believe were passed the point of no
return with this monetary system, and the dollar isnt worth
saving. The mainstream media is the band playing on the Titanic.
is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about
by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis
should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further
credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of
the currency system involved. Ludwig von Mises
want to be here to witness your darkest hour. We will all have to
face this paradigm shift, but I want to confront it on my own terms.
I want to meet it with consciousness, integrity, and a sense of
purpose. I dont want to wake up one day and have a rough transition
thrust upon me. I want to make that transition now, and sleep through
[I wrote my
first draft of this in December 2010, and I've been pretty concerned
I wouldn't be able to get ready in time. While "extend and
pretend" was the worst policy for the American people, it did
provide me with time to prepare myself, and for that I again thank
never signed your social contract. I never agreed to taxation, even
with representation. I refuse to recognize the legitimacy
of an organization founded upon aggressive coercion. I dont
recognize your laws and I dont recognize your property claims.
Im not leaving because I cant live here with my principles,
Im leaving because you physically overpower me. I stand a
much better chance fighting for my freedom outside your territory,
and I dont believe its cowardly to admit that. I see
no value in your Federal Reserve Notes, and I sure as hell dont
owe you any. Your debts are not my own. Your battles are not mine
to fight. I will not allow you to enslave me any longer.
know what the future holds. I may be underestimating the difficulty
of life without you, or your vengeance towards dissidents and deserters.
I could very well come to regret leaving your borders, but right
now I highly doubt it. All I can do is make the best decision with
the information I have, and the only logical conclusion is that
life will be better without you. Like your people are so fond of
saying: freedom isnt free; but Im more than willing
to pay the costs, no matter how high they might prove to be.
© 2012 Sailboat