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Is it time to leave?

I have to admit it; if I were rich I’d have left the U.S. by now. Or I’d at least have prepared a nice little offshore getaway — a vacation place that would be there when the day came that it was really, really, indubitably time to escape.

I’m not a rich person. You’re probably not, either.

Still, we Americans are living in a country whose government (not our government, but some strange occupation force, some junta that seized power when good people and fools alike weren’t watching) has declared its authority either to assassinate us at will or “disappear” us equally arbitrarily.

That’s not tolerable. One way or another, that has to end. It ends either by us leaving or by that government being ended through resistance.

—–

Do you think about leaving? I know there are people here who say, “Never. Absolutely not. This is my country and they’re not going to drive me out of it.” “I’ll fight for it,” some say. “I’ll die before I surrender it to tyrants.”

Part of me understands that and agrees. Part of me, on the other hand, says, “Freedom is my only country and it goes where I go.” Part of me says, “If you have to fight or fear all the time, then by definition you’re not free and never will be.”

—–

I know a handful of non-rich or non-connected people who’ve made it as ex-pats. One has lived in Central America for 10 years, scraping by, living in a quasi-semi-sort-of not-too-illegal status.

He periodically nags and browbeats me about my failure to leave the U.S. He’s also generous with ideas and offers of hospitality. He makes me think.

Of course it’s possible for less-than-monied folk to get out, if they’re willing to live like gypsies or are okay with a quasi-semi-sort-of not-too-illegal status. Or if they marry a foreign national. Or have lucked into dual citizenship. Or get a job that stations them outside the U.S. Or qualify for a critical-skills immigrant status. There are a lot of ways.

None of those ways apply to me, probably not to you, either.

—–

I’d go if the right opportunity came along. My Central American ex-pat friend thinks that’s just a dodge. He thinks it’s a way of making excuses for not having the guts to pick up and leave.

He may be right.

Yet my objections are real. For all the faults and growing terrors of this country, I don’t know of another that’s “better enough” to dislocate my life for.

Gun rights? The U.S. is still outstanding. “But you can get a permit to own a firearm so easily here!” my ex-pat friend says.

“But I don’t want no steeeenking permit,” I reply.

My friend in Central America has to deal with bribing officials — something I’ve never contemplated doing here and don’t want to contemplate.

He points out — rightly, I’m sure — that it’s not the laws on the books that matter; it’s how those laws are enforced (or not). Plenty of places with “worse” laws than ours are, in practice, pretty much live-and-let live. Yet I live in a small town where, mostly, the laws and I leave each other the hell alone. And I know that the country where he lives — a very good place in many ways — has become a horror story for some ex-pats.

I’m thinking of a couple of Americans there who got into an auto accident with locals — no witnesses, strictly he-said-she-said — and literally had to flee the country because the locals were able to turn a corrupt legal establishment on them. The Americans in question were rich, and somebody decided to use that against them, hoping to profit.

But then, you and I probably aren’t rich. We wouldn’t have to worry about that. Unless, in the wrong circumstances, somebody thought we were rich.

—–

There are so many factors. Dogs. Have you ever looked into the costs and complications of transporting dogs to live in another country? Some countries are easier than others. But nowhere is it a cheap and easy process.

I take the dogs to another country — and you know I wouldn’t leave them behind — and 1/3 or more of my resources are gone — poof! — before I even get started on a new life.

And dogs are … well, just dogs. You may have family you can’t leave. A job you can’t give up. Property you can’t sell.

My friend in Central America would say that’s all just excuses.

He’d say, “Yeah, the Jews in Germany in 1933 made the same objections. And they were fools. They died. Get the hell out while the getting’s good.”

And we might say, “It’s bad, but it’s not going to get that bad here.”

And he’d say, “That’s what they said, too.”

And he’d be right.

Still, the Nazis were an anomaly. Weren’t they? Weren’t they? Please let them be an anomaly.

—–

A week or so ago there was a good, commonsense article on reasons not to go ex-pat. The author — who had tried it himself — makes thoughtful points.

Even non-political ex-pats often warn that going offshore isn’t for everybody. Here and here, for instance.

And many of the people who agitate eloquently for getting the heck out are still clearly talking to the well-off. (Here, too.)

Oh yes, just buy yourself a second passport. Take $100,000 or so and invent in an offshore property. Diversify your assets among a host of countries. EZ-peezy.

Until the U.S. government reaches its tentacles into your offshore bank. Until your pleasantly prosperous offshore dream is shattered by FATCA.

Because of course, that’s the other thing. The U.S. government is everywhere.

Whether you’re rich or poor, it’s there. The eye of Mordor on the Potomac sees around the globe.

Still, unless Mordor seeks you directly, getting out can be a relief, and more and more events are pointing in that direction.

And every time you get a reminder about how bad it’s getting … don’t you at least think about leaving?

—–

I know one man — well off and very smart — whose version of “going offshore” simply took him to a U.S. state that he believes will probably secede when push comes to shove.

And more power to him. He has other reasons for locating where he did, of course. But I gotta admit that’s a creative idea — even if it’s one I think is farfetched.

And I have my own idea of “offshore.” Being in a tiny, out-of-the-way town is pretty good.

Until, of course, the moment it isn’t.

But that’s true anywhere.

—–

This is all just dithering and therefore possibly pointless.

I’m choosing not to see it that way, though.

I don’t know about you but I’ve found that in my life the worst dithering often comes just before the biggest decision points. Sometimes the dithering and inaction seems as if it’s going to be endless … until suddenly it ends. And ends in a powerful burst of resolution.

Mud becomes clear. Helplessness becomes power. Confusion becomes enlightenment. Weakness transforms into an irresistible force. It happens. The mind is a miracle worker — though one whose ways are sometimes as mysterious as God’s.

Through struggle we become our own leaders, our own gurus. There aren’t any shortcuts — at least none that lead to good ends. But damn, what wimpy leaders and gurus our poor selves often seem!

Some things we can be sure of, though.

One thing I know at this moment is that the present state cannot stand. Wherever our country truly lies (in our hearts and minds, and other places), these bastards cannot, do not, will not own it. Not &^%$#@ing ever.

82 Comments

  1. Water Lily
    Water Lily December 30, 2011 5:07 am

    I think about it a lot. Quite frankly, I’m ashamed of being a US citizen, when I consider the horrors we’ve inflicted on human beings. I feel like we are living in an occupied country, and I’m really fed up with it.

    However,

    Hubby and I are older, and if we were able to retire, I might talk hubby into move to Chile or Uruguay. But we don’t have the means to do it, and I’m not sure that freedom will prevail in other places if the US goes down.

    We talked about the possibility of driving to South America with a travel trailer if things got really, really bad, and if we could get out. But that’s not realistic.

    So, we’re 99% sure we are staying in the US. We are very interested in relocating to a state with people of like mind and that may consider seceding. I would say that the chances of us doing that are very good – at some point. We already have a state picked out, and it’s just a matter of getting our act together, and figuring out a way to make enough money in that state to survive.

    I’m afraid that if the US continues the way it is going, other countries will follow suit. The world’s strong men may rise and take power, no longer concerned about the US being the world’s policeman. I think history runs in cycles. I hate to be a pessimist, but I believe we are now entering a dark age of totalitarianism and global war. It’s past the time to reverse this cycle. No matter where we are, we’ll have to go through it, but maybe not for too long. Maybe that’s what it will take for people to wake up, I don’t know.

    If I were in my twenties and had some money, I’d probably own a small bit of land in another country, hold a second passport, and have a skill that could be easily transferred. But we’re too old and too broke, so realistically, we’re pretty much stuck here. We’ll have to stay and endure what is coming, just like our ancestors did down through the ages. After all, freedom is a state of mind. 🙂

  2. Water Lily
    Water Lily December 30, 2011 5:30 am

    To clarify, I didn’t meant to imply that the bad guys of the world will take power in the absence of a strong US military. I’m cynical enough to understand that dictators are favored by the US, and the govt usually helps them achieve their goals. What I meant is that the world may become a very dangerous place if the US succumbs to totalitarianism, because there WILL be war, and the US will lose.

  3. Another Anonymous
    Another Anonymous December 30, 2011 6:20 am

    Even if I wanted to leave, “they” won’t let me, just like they won’t let me on a plane, or let me work for a living, and for the same reasons. So if they want me out they’ll have to throw me out themselves.

  4. Bulucanagria
    Bulucanagria December 30, 2011 6:52 am

    As you say, Washington is everywhere. My immediate plan is to stay off of their radar, a precarious and nerve-racking proposition. Still, I find it easier to do so in a context that I’ve grown up with and have some small measure of understanding of. Also, should I eventually get noticed, this country does have a structure in place to allow me recourse and protection. Though that structure is rapidly eroding, it still gives me more comfort than the thought of being taken into custody in a country insignificant enough to be worth escaping to.
    Also, I have a daughter. We live far apart and most of our communication is electronic so I could stand the distance and separation, but I feel that I have some degree of obligation to stay and try (in my small ways) to make this a better country. Though I think it’s futile, I owe her the effort.

  5. Pat
    Pat December 30, 2011 6:52 am

    I’ve thought about leaving too, but I can’t think of another place I’d trust. (Well, possibly Canada, but that’s too close and too vulnerable to the U. S.)

    I thibk Water Lily is right when she said, “I think history runs in cycles. I hate to be a pessimist, but I believe we are now entering a dark age of totalitarianism and global war. It’s past the time to reverse this cycle. No matter where we are, we’ll have to go through it, but maybe not for too long.”

    We are headed for political chaos where every tyrant, large or small, thinks he can get away with anything. “Hiding in plain sight” seems to be as safe as any tactic when Third World countries blackmail us on a dare, and “cartels” such as the U. N. are determined to bend us to their will and take over our country. And the biggest enemies are our own leaders who don’t have the sense to know how to govern, the will to say “No” to their own wants and whims, or the guts to blaze their own trails.

    What to do? Hunker down and (I said it on another blog) practice… practice… practice.

  6. Woody
    Woody December 30, 2011 6:58 am

    I contemplated retiring to Costa Rica at one time. I subscribed to the local newspaper the Tico Times for several years to get a feeling of how life there might agree with me. I eventually decided that the advantages were not sufficient for me to completely reorder my life, learn a new language and move. As I watched the news I eventually got a glimpse of how expats were regarded by the locals and some of the legal, cultural, and political pitfalls lurking in the shadows.

    Gun ownership there was a big problem. Although legal with the proper permissions there were serious restrictions that would have required me to leave 95 percent of my guns behind. Had I tried to import all of my guns they surely would have thought I was planning a revolution. Ammo there had a 1000% tariff on it. Only the very well heeled got to practice much.

    Now I have a major hobby that involves stationary tools weighing tons. I’d have to abandon that completely in order to move with little chance of resuming it in my new home.

    And of course there are my 4 dogs. You already covered that pretty well. I’m not going anywhere without them.

    I don’t like it here and I’m not making excuses about how “It isn’t _that_ bad.” I just don’t see that the personal effort required of me is worth the potential rewards of leaving. Perhaps if I were just starting out in the world the attraction would be greater. As it is I’ve got more past that I have future so I’ll stay hunkered down in the woods, let the country collapse without any help from me and deal with whatever comes my way when it arrives.

    We live in interesting times.

  7. Game Kitten
    Game Kitten December 30, 2011 7:08 am

    Though about what it would be like to live in another country from time to time (Scandanvia, Turkey, Greece are some ideas), but never seriously considered it. My family means too much to me to do it.

    So I’m content to try and live my life as I see fit, regardless of what the crips & bloods (they call them “red” and “blue”, so why not that nickname?) say I “must” do.

  8. Stryder
    Stryder December 30, 2011 7:40 am

    I can’t leave, I won’t leave. People say they love their country, while I don’t love the government I Do love the land. As Woody said, “This land is your land, this land is my land.” While many didn’t know that song was protest song, maybe, just maybe, we need more people to rise up and put their foot down. Again.

  9. Karen
    Karen December 30, 2011 8:27 am

    As Woody so well stated,
    “As it is I’ve got more past that I have future so I’ll stay hunkered down in the woods, let the country collapse without any help from me and deal with whatever comes my way when it arrives.”

    Where I am, I may not ultimately be beyond the long arm of the law/govt, but I have local knowledge, skills and resources to be able to blend in and stay below the radar. If I go someplace else and stay on my own, I may no longer have access to these three crucial elements of survival. If I go someplace else and join a group of expats, then I’m part of a larger target if push comes to shove. Being part of a larger group also makes me vulnerable to the whim and whimsey of the other members, leaving my wellbeing at some mercy of others.

  10. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 30, 2011 8:35 am

    Claire, you nailed my attitude when you said “I don’t know of another that’s ‘better enough’ to dislocate my life for.

    Until the US makes America enough worse, or something makes another country enough better, the rewards aren’t great enough. That could change overnight.

    For now, I keep wilderness areas in my head with my own idea of expatriation. Or wait til I can sign on with a Firefly that has a destination. “You can’t take the sky from me…”, but you can pollute it with your drones that demonstrate your absolute obsessive paranoia and need to watch us all out of fear we might decide we’ve had enough of your stupidity.

    I have one of those “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feelings. Usually they are wrong. Someday, the feeling will be right.

  11. Matt, another
    Matt, another December 30, 2011 8:37 am

    The when to leave discussions always seems like a high level Fight or Flight decision.

    If/when the “rich” people leave, they will just screw up the places they go to. Those places will also cease to welcome them when the money or percieved value of the rich gringo ceases to exist. Buying friends or shelter only lasts as long as the money holds out.

    That said, you might consider some parts of eastern europe instead of latin america. Most people in those areas love freedom and will fight to keep communism and totalitarianism at bay.

    I’m an American and still believe in the dream and concept that is America. Even though classified as a U.S. citizen, I’m an American first and foremost. It would seem easy to flee the country to return when order and freedom is reestablished by those left behind, either Freedom is worth fighting for or it is not. It can only be bought by the lives and blood of Freemen and tyrants. Tree of liberty and all of that.

    Don’t forget at one time the iron curtain of communism would never fall. Many regimes would arbitarily detain their citizens, would disappear them, had bad command economies etc. Many of their citizens that could not flee, fought and died. Their progeny held on, did what they could and when the time was ripe rose up and threw off the opressor.

    The battle is not lost unless we give up.

  12. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 30, 2011 8:46 am

    I’m not a “citizen” of any place. A citizen is owned by that place and those who control it.

    Indeed… most of my life is behind me. I will contribute what I can to the young so that they may learn how to become individual sovereigns.

    I’m not going anywhere.

  13. Lynn Swearingen
    Lynn Swearingen December 30, 2011 8:57 am

    A little cheesy – but a favorite song seems to convey the words I believe:

    Chess : Anthem Lyrics

    No man, no madness
    Though their sad power may prevail
    Can possess, conquer, my country’s heart
    They rise to fail
    She is eternal
    Long before nations’ lines were drawn
    When no flags flew, when no armies stood
    My land was born

    And you ask me why I love her
    Through wars, death and despair
    She is the constant, we who don’t care
    And you wonder will I leave her – but how?
    I cross over borders but I’m still there now

    How can I leave her?
    Where would I start?
    Let man’s petty nations tear themselves apart
    My land’s only borders lie around my heart

    (Okay Video here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-dvNa_5DL8&feature=player_embedded#! The original stage production was much better).

  14. Matt, another
    Matt, another December 30, 2011 8:59 am

    Just had my second grandaughter born. Yesterday as a matter of fact. She’s cute and squally and absolutely helpless. Her future and her freedom is worth fighting for, it’s worth the toil, effort, danger to continue to try and build a world focused on freedom.

    The Nazis can and are rising again. We probably won’t see the uniforms, but will get the propaganda. We are looking at the advent of Corporate Socialism, much like the old National Socialism, except.

  15. Ole Wolf
    Ole Wolf December 30, 2011 9:32 am

    Look folks, I’ve travelled alot – or at least enough to see a bunch of people in Ex-Pat situations. With the exception of a very few people who genetically, culturally, and emotionally were able to become fish in the local population sea IT DID NOT WORK. Please, I’m NOT racist… a fact is a fact is a fact. No matter how large the local ex-pat community the locals will ALWAYS take care of the locals first. I’ve seen elderly retirees lose a spouse, be unable to care for themselves or just break down and waste away with no hope or sign of help. The locals are both rarely set up to do it and often uncaring. Those kind of issues are handled by family. I’ve had to let a couple of my guys drive a lonely old man to the counselate 200 miles down coountry, given a good looking young lady cover & concealment out of the country sans passport, and marked supplies and equipmet as “field expended” so a family could re-dig a well.

    Look sometimes it works – friends in a couple countries will never come back. Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, even a guy in Germany. But these are not inexpensive, politically freer, or safer countries to live in… just easier. The guy in Germany is fluent and married to a German, and has her family 1000% behind him.

    We just stand out too much… even when we have little $ to work with we’re often RICH compared to the locals and it’s visible no matter how hard you try… Like the Japanese warning goes… the nail that stands up highest, gets struck first. In the US the squeaky wheel gets the grease… if you DO go MINDSET first.

  16. Scott
    Scott December 30, 2011 10:18 am

    I’m not leaving the U.S.-I will very likely move to another state in the future, but I won’t leave the country. Yes, there are problems here-but it’s worse-much worse-than it is here. Central America-and probably South America as well-are just too unstable. Live and let live today turns into round up all foreigners tomorrow.
    Europe? They’re no better off-worse in many ways. Asia? Same thing.
    You would be much better off to pick a “freewheeling” state and move there. In a small town. Despite the Hollywood image of the Buford T. Justice small town cop, that seems to be the exact opposite of reality. Generally, small town cops leave you alone,and cut you a lot more slack-rural and small town life ain’t the big city. Even in the Northeast, small towns are much more freewheeling than the major urban centers.
    The pendulum of history swings into the stupid every so often, but it also swings back…there are far more decent people than many people like to believe.

  17. Water Lily
    Water Lily December 30, 2011 12:02 pm

    Here you go, Claire and all:

  18. EN
    EN December 30, 2011 2:13 pm

    I just had this conversation with a few friends on Christmas day. Most were upset by my views, so let me talk about my tone. It’s matter of fact, not hostile, or sad, or anything other than the truth as I see it, and there’s nothing but faith in the future in my heart of hearts… even if reality indicates faith in a good future to be a stretch.

    I’m 59, have a form of MD (I can still get it up, and shoot, so it’s all good 😉 and have been vocally anti-guv for going on 40 years. Nothing I’ve done is secret, my views, my preps, my guns, NOTHING! It’s all written down in some NAS data storage box car of “to be looked at in case of…”, to include pix, serial numbers of weapons, latest ammo purchases, addresses of former associates (many of dubious ways and means), lovers and ex wives, it’s all there and there’s no escape in this country. If someone was looking, finding me would be easy. Going to another country isn’t going to make me suddenly be the gray man. It’s not in me. Honesty about my situation is something to take pride in. It won’t end up well even if it ends up well. So why bother leaving? My medical care here is better than in any other country outside of Europe and even Euro health care is just equal to, not better than, what I’m getting now. And there’s nothing so silly as South America for it’s casual brutality, lack of common sense, and general air of ignorance. Been there, don’t want the tee shirt… or care if you think I’m racist, anti furrener, or whatever. The multicult carries no weight with me. And James McMurtry covers it well
    http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=fZRdVv8CJSc

    However, it’s not hopeless here. The drug war has gone on forever, is well funded, totalitarian in nature, isn’t governed by the constitution in any noticeable way, and yet they’ve failed. They fail locally, nation wide, and internationally. It’s just a jobs war, certainly not meant to win and that’s the point. Winning isn’t in the nature of governments. They insist the fight go on forever because it’s not about ending drug use, it’s about a nice cushy job and an exciting lifestyle that puts one beyond the law. That’s why in the end the DEA never has any big wins, they need the Cartels, and the cartels need them (everyone in that biz is bought and paid for at some stage). What was done to Escobar by the US government was touted as a big win, but in the end most involved came to understand that the US Guv worked for the Cali and Medellin Cartels that day, not the citizens of the US, who are nothing but milk cows for Fedgov.

    What I’m trying to point out here is Fedgov isn’t omnipotent. They are usually the slowest of the slow and too lazy to commit much slaughter as the sheep will take notice and slaughter back, which ruins ones benefit package. And here we come to another point of great hope. None of these government asshats does this out of conviction, in fact they lack any convictions at all for the most part and when the money dries up so will their totalitarian ardor. One thing that’s always fascinated me about Mexico is they have this labyrinth of totalitarian laws that are virtually unenforceable because they can’t fund it. Obviously it’s been done in the past without much cash, Russia and China come to mind, but mostly it fails and too many people in the US know about Freedom. It’s easy in a country where it’s an unknown concept, but it will prove much harder to destroy in a place where even Fedgov enjoys its benefits. At least that’s my theory. It won’t be great here, but I have a feeling it will at least be as good as Choctaw Bingo, a lovely song about the “the North Texas-Southern Oklahoma crystal methamphetamine industry”.

  19. Laird
    Laird December 30, 2011 2:50 pm

    Great essay, Claire. I think about leaving almost every day, and go through essentially the same dialog as you. And, of course, I’ve done nothing and probably won’t.

    I agree with Water Lily about history going through cycles. Coincidentally, I’ve just been reading Strauss and Howe’s “The Fourth Turning”, which is about that same point. They posit that we’re entering into a Crisis portion of the cycle. They wrote: “Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. . . . The very survival of the nation will feel at stake.” This was written in 1997!

  20. JoeFromSidney
    JoeFromSidney December 30, 2011 3:57 pm

    I’ve lived in several foreign countries, for up to a year or two at a time. In none of them would I “fit.” I did my job, and when the job was over, I came home. And that’s the point. This country is home. I am not running away. My parents and my first wife are buried here. My children and grandchildren live here.

    Yes, things are bad and seem to be getting worse. We appear to be approaching the time to “shoot the bastards,” because nothing else works. Well, I’ve put my life on the line for freedom before, and I’ll willingly do it again, especially for the freedom of my children and grandchildren.

    No “ex-pat” for me. I’ll die here, and if it comes to that, I’ll try to take a few of them with me.

  21. naturegirl
    naturegirl December 30, 2011 6:20 pm

    Congrats Matt, another…….

    I deal with this every day, on a smaller scale….but I never even considered another country, never…..I assume that the US gov is the reason so many other countries hate “us” and sometimes I don’t blame those other countries for their beliefs, one bit….it’s a good reason not to decide to move there, or anywhere other than the USA, too – I’d be trading one set of problems for some other ones in a climate like that…..

    I’ve decided that I’m sticking around and concentrating on the “off the radar approach” – which is very possible if one is capable of giving up some luxuries in order to achieve ghostness…..it’s still possible to do that in the USA, for the time being, altho I don’t have the delusions it will last “forever”……It would be nice if those of us staying here and toughing it out would win back what the US was suppose to be about, but I don’t have those delusions (in my lifetime) either…..

    As was previously mentioned, I’m leaning towards settling in a state that understands and isn’t afraid to secede if it comes to that……but I know that can change in a heartbeat if the state isn’t strong enough to stand up to outside pressure…..

    Any way it’s looked at it’s sure to get uglier before it gets better, so might as well be in a place you love or feel at home in and with your animal “babies”, while all that plays out…..

  22. Mic
    Mic December 30, 2011 7:47 pm

    I have flirted with this idea off and on for over 20 years. I have even traveled to many other countries and explored. Many places are beautiful and have a lot to offer, but I find as I get older that my wanderlust while not waning is tempering a bit where I am not sure I would want to live overseas anywhere else. It seems like every single country I can think of has some serious disadvantages when it comes to firearms, dictators, cost of living, taxes, corruption, and medical care. I have yet to find a country that does as well or better than the U.S. in these areas. Therefore, my conclusion is that I will travel, but I will never leave, at least permanently.

  23. ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ
    ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ December 30, 2011 7:53 pm

    I knocked around on a small sailboat in the Caribbean and Central America for 10+ years including Cuba and Venezuela (before Chávez) and met many expats. For the most part they were a homesick lot anxious for “news from home”. Having said that I know of a couple of places I would move to in a heartbeat were I and the Mrs 20 years younger. Hint: they have no tourist industry and are nominally “ruled” by the Dutch. You don’t need guns but a steady cash flow would be helpful. The down side is the occasional hurricane.

  24. Jim B.
    Jim B. December 30, 2011 8:02 pm

    There’s also another aspect of being an ex-pat in another country. If you get in trouble, I mean in really big deep trouble legally, you could die in prison. As another commenter said some are uncaring about ex-pats, if you get in prison, then they may actually go out of their way to make your experiences even worse than what their own countrymen go through.

    While many may blame U.S. citizens for being racist, many if not most would have a hard time looking in a mirror themselves, and a lot would be even worse than we are at it.

    If times get so bad that no country escapes, they may try to take it out on the Ex-Pats. Their stuffs will likely get stolen, they may get stuck up so many times, some may even be broad daylight killed.

    No, going out of country will be too dangerous.

  25. CS
    CS December 30, 2011 8:53 pm

    The Nazis may not have been an anomaly – but the Jews didn’t have the 2nd amendment and didn’t hold more firearms than their government did. In the US we do.

  26. CS
    CS December 30, 2011 8:59 pm

    Someone (it might have been Billy Beck) once noted that he was first and foremost an American and that he’d rather rot in a jail here than contend with being “free” elsewhere. I agree.

    The problem now is how to reclaim freedom in the face of Leviathan and the Endarkenment. Network your tribe, build your resilient community, stuff your library with good books — and break on through to the other side.

    This is it: The Last Ditch and Final Redoubt of Humanity. There are no other refuges. Now is the time and this is the place.

    No adventure is more worthwhile, more exciting or more essential.

  27. Richard
    Richard December 30, 2011 9:59 pm

    For Mat – you mentioned
    “Don’t forget at one time the iron curtain of communism would never fall. Many regimes would arbitarily detain their citizens, would disappear them, had bad command economies etc. Many of their citizens that could not flee, fought and died. Their progeny held on, did what they could and when the time was ripe rose up and threw off the opressor.”
    That is usually the exception and even then tyrants just use a different method of control. Just when is Putin leaving? And don’t bring up in conversation Cuba to an older generation Cuban in Miami we are still waiting to overthrow the Cuban government. This in light of the fact that newer generations don’t even recognize the tyranny at home in the US.

    That said I think we need to stay and turn events around. Make liberty that which is within as it is without. America, these United States of America, and the principals upon which they were founded is an idea, a state of mind that immigrants from around the world are drawn to. I do believe that if we fail and let the idea of freedom die with us then all hell will break loose. At that point you will need to hope your community is strong enough to weather the storm when the SHTF. In fact Claire had a nice article on that very item.

    As for Ole Wolf – you’re right on the money on the Expat issues. Even if you speak the language fluently and can “pass” you are always seen as an outsider. People in the communities of some of the countries mentioned do not travel like Americans do. A new face although accepted for the good to the economy one may bring is never considered “one of us’. When the SHTF believe me you will be the first to get hit with the dung. You may overcome that mentality with time. Like 10-15 years of time maybe enough to be accepted as a member of the village. And if the US goes down and causes turmoil around the world do you think they’ll look upping you as that smart gringo that got out in time or another fringing that is part of the problem?

    Nope I think I’ll stay and work to live in freedom.

    Cheers 🙂

  28. MS Jordan
    MS Jordan December 31, 2011 8:19 am

    Ahhhh Claire
    Just like you, toss a bomb in the room, and close the door behind you as you left.

    You wanted engagement, ya got it, didn’t ya

    Well as a person who for 18 years was and sometimes still does work as a contract employee for the US State Department.

    My view of being an expat is a mixed bag. Unless you are the same color and speak the language fluently – the locals are going to view you as the “ugly” American until you have been there a long long time. Regardless of your economic status the locals (and especially the gov functionaries) are going to assume and presume that you are a rich American and thus can afford the “bit”. Outside of parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, every assumption you have about social norms, legal standards, government go out the window.

    So unless you are very very mentally flexable or are going to move into an American colony. It’s better to settle in here, pull your head down and PREPARE.

    MS

  29. Jolly
    Jolly December 31, 2011 9:16 am

    We’re in our late 40s, with children, and not enough resources to go anywhere except Canada.
    Running and hiding from tyranny may or may not work in the short run, but it isn’t effective long term.
    We chose to participate in the Free State Project and moved to New Hampshire. The hope is that enough liberty-minded people will all move to the same place to get critical mass to have a real effect.
    The idea is that a philosophical revolution can take place, because without an underlying philosophical back-bone, everything else will peter-out. Look at the Tea Party as an example of the lack of a core philosophy.
    Though NH seems small compared to big western states, as I sit here now, in the middle of nowhere in a farmhouse built in the 1860s, there is plenty of room.
    If necessary, I can make a phone call and have anywhere from 10 to 50 liberty-minded folk gather to a single location within a couple of hours. Where else can you say that?
    My wife and I think it’s our only chance, and we’ve rolled the dice.
    Check it out.

  30. Mike R
    Mike R December 31, 2011 9:43 am

    The major issue here is not the question of leaving as it is where to run too. The locations that are outside of the United States that are worth going to suffer from the same issues of order verses social entropy that the US does.

    All the countries worth running to are slowly imposing order, law by enacted law, thus reducing the amount of freedoms their citizens enjoy all the time.

    So if you are going to jump ship, be very careful that you are not going from the frying pan into the fire. Personally I think that the best bet is to get out of the big cities and move to a small town in an area that is to your liking where you can earn a living and live out your days, as much as you can, in peace.

  31. Pat
    Pat December 31, 2011 11:35 am

    Is it coincidence that we who bitch the most about the way this country is run are the ones most apt to stick around and tough it out? When I read the title of this blog, I expected to hear from ex-pats, but most of the commenters are definitely prepared to face the music rather than run from it. It can’t be all about the money (we don’t have) that keeps us here. If not love of country, then love of freedom that we should have had, compels us to stay. Maybe there is hope, after all, or maybe we haven’t yet lost hope in ourselves, in spite of the pessimism we project at times.

  32. Jackie Juntti
    Jackie Juntti December 31, 2011 4:08 pm

    Hey Claire,

    Great piece, as always.

    Just in case you aren’t aware of it – a man named Roger Sayles has put together a great “manual” if you will on how to leave. He has just released his book, “From Sovereign to Serf”. Anyone can order the printed copy by going to http://www.serfs-up.com. He is going to put up an E book in the near future. You can read a review on the book at http://www.dollarvigilante.com/blog/2011/12/1/a-review-of-the-book-from-sovereign-to-serf.html

    Roger has been a weekly guest on Jeff Bennett’s radio program, ‘Life, Liberty, and all that Jazz’ on Republic Radio. He has gone thru all the motions and commotions of what he has written about and for folks who may be contemplating this – I encourage them to check this out before doing so.

    Have enjoyed the comments here. I posted it out to my email list and received some good replies from list members. A lot of folks are thinking of this more and more.

    Thanks again for the thoughts and the springboard to give folks some great food for thought.

    Jackie

  33. Christine S
    Christine S December 31, 2011 4:22 pm

    Ah Claire –
    I think I know just which ex-pat has been nagging you to death.

    Now just imagine if you were [ahem] related to him.

    But on a more serious note, it is a terrifying feeling. I’m way too close to a major city. And you saw too with War’s End where my brain went in a fictional SHTF scenario. It scares the crap out of me…it really, really does.

    Despite Dad’s arguments, I find myself hitting the same wall as you do. The familiar is better somehow than the unfamiliar – and I’m even more entrenched in this place than most – mortgage, dogs, cats, chickens, small child AND no money. For now, I’m staying, and hoping to God it is the right choice.

  34. naturegirl
    naturegirl December 31, 2011 5:19 pm

    I notice those of us older folks are more inclined to stick with what’s familiar rather than go off and start completely over…of course that same familiarity is what also makes the changes here glare so intensely……at least we have a prior point of reference to guide us when the fight ramps up…..

    There’s more unknowns in going off to somewhere else, and maybe finding out that wasn’t such a good idea and then where do you go to (and how)?….

    We shouldn’t have to leave, “they” should, LOL….round em up and set them on their own island somewhere and play dictator(s) there…..if there’s an island that big…..

  35. That Expat
    That Expat December 31, 2011 6:58 pm

    I note that none of the commentators have ever lived abroad (except JoeFromSidney, who thinks he has; more about that, below). I have lived in two Latin American, and one Asian, country. I am contemplating a move to Chile if the right opportunity arises. So my opinions are all fact-based, from personal experience.

    My guess is that most of the commentators derived their opinions about how other countries actually work in practice, from TV, movies, State Department alerts and breathless horror stories about supposed maltreatment of Americans abroad. Remember, dog bites man is not news, but man bites dogs goes on page one. Of course, horrible things are sometime done to Americans in foreign lands, so they get reported in the American press. It’s news because it is NOT the normal case. But horrible things are done to Americans right here in America. (Can you say Ruby Ridge?)

    In my experience, when Americans get called “ugly Americans,” it’s usually they are. Claire, did I tell you the donut story? Most Americans are treated with respect, dignity and even admiration, everywhere I’ve been (including Paris!). Not the US government, of course, but American people are usually liked. I’ve had locals lend me hundreds of dollars and say, “Pay me when you can.” Others go out of their way to offer advice, make important introductions and help me in a wide variety of ways.

    Now what about JoeFromSidney? It sounds as though Joe never really lived in a foreign country, that is, with the intent to make your home there. I’m sorry, that makes Joe a touris, a business visitor, at best. If you do not put down roots, you do not ever see the real country. A friend’s boyfriend served part of his military service in the Canal Zone in Panama. He thought he lived there, but he really only experienced life in an American enclave with brief forrays to clip joints and strip bars. That is not living in a foreign country.

    Some of the commentators related how the people in expat communities were all homesick for the US. Well, (a) that report reeks of “expectation bias,” (b) nobody was holding a gun to their head to keep them from going “home” and (c) they were in “expat communities.” In other words, a self-selecting group who chose not to live in their new community, but in a (usually gated) enclave. Wow, that’s a wonderful way to experience your new country.

    Look folks, self-serving rationalizations are great, if you want to stick your head in the sand, but actually walking the walk is the only way you will ever be able to know if expatriation is right for you.

    Having said that, here are some REAL reasons not to become an expat:

    You are timid–Living abroad is sort of like getting old. Neither is for sissies. If you can’t handle challenges, just stay home, remove all the metal from your pockets, take off your shoes and let them irradiate you.

    You are an American exceptionalist–If you believe that America is somehow immune to the historical decline that has corrupted ALL national currencies and led to despotism, you are just whistling past the graveyard. It is happening. Period.

    You are a racist or elitist–First, get over it. No matter what Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson did, you didn’t. You are no more special then the subsistence farmer who barely feeds his family in Peru. Your “superiority” is just the result of an accident of birth.

    You are owned by your possessions–If you would rather stay and possibly die rather than give up your Sony High-Definition Wide-Screen Plasma TV, well stay and take your chances.

    You are not flexible–Things are different in different countries. Deal with it or stay home.

    You can’t leave your family and friends–Well great, when they round you up, you might end up in the same relocation camp.” However, wouldn’t it be better to get yourself out and then prepare a soft landing for your family and friends should they wish to follow you later?

    You think you can “make a difference”–I number of comments were of the “you’ll take my freedom when you pry it from my cold dead hands” variety. I always assume that the big talkers will be the first to collaborate when they get the midnight knock on the door. If that is your delusion, well, stay and man the barracades. Your fight and death will change nothing. In the meantime, I’ll be sipping a piña colda on the beach.

    Claire is giving expatriation serious thought. Maybe she will bug out, maybe she won’t, but at least she has been doing her due diligence. She reads boots-on-the-ground information, talks to me and visits possible destinations. I doubt she gives the mainstream media anything but short shift. That, folks, is the way you do it. Or you can just sing, “My country, ’tis of thee,” and hope for the best. Good luck.

  36. EN
    EN December 31, 2011 10:25 pm

    Elitism and a lack of vision comes in many forms. Having lived in other countries (admittedly only 4 of my 59 years) and traveled extensively. My horror stories never made it to American News Papers or State Department issued travel warnings. American expats can be very strange about the goings on around them. If a person doesn’t want to see changing their country of residence won’t make them any less blind. Southern Europe would be very nice. I liked Georgia quite a bit but that went to hell fast. I’m also quite fond of Armenia, but personal freedom isn’t exactly a known concept there. If I had money I’d move to Italy in a heartbeat. But I do not. It’s not about the devil I know. With two of my close expat friends trying desperately to move back here from Central America it doesn’t appear that paradise is always paradise. Oddly enough “That expat” sounds a lot like them in say… 2008. I’ve noticed that when American gets the flu many third world countries get cancer. A lot of it comes down to money, which I don’t have a lot of. If I did I’d be in the Veneto right now, waiting for the world to pass on by. But i don’t and firearms ownership is a big deal to me and it’s just not allowed anywhere but here.

  37. Pat
    Pat December 31, 2011 11:44 pm

    I appreciate hearing from both That Expat and EN — or anyone else who has real-time experience in other countries.

    No one knows how much research has been done by each of us before concluding we should Go or Stay. I’ve done quite a bit on European countries, especially Italy and Ireland. Political and economic stabilty are most important; *if they weren’t, what’s the point in this discussion?* America is getting worse every year, true — but why go to a country which has no better to offer?

    I’m not interested in South or Central America (in spite of being somewhat farther ahead in the language department) because I don’t trust those countries to maintain any degree of stability. As far as Europe is concerned, the EU has destabilized European countries, and it now promises to get worse. Furthermore, America’s tenticles are reaching into every crevice around the world these days.

    “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” is no idle cliche. There are many reasons to leave, but many reasons to stay as well. For those who have already left and established residency elsewhere, I’m happy for them if it’s working — but leaving now may be a different matter. Freedom has become a matter of degree; “pure” freedom doesn’t exist anywhere. To leave just because we don’t like it here any more may be the worst reason.

  38. A.
    A. January 1, 2012 3:00 am

    Expat- and others- it is pretty hard to take you seriously when you mention relocation camps and midnight knocks on the door as a justification for moving overseas. I am curious who you personally know who has experienced this here in the US. I would also like to know how you figure that this “mythical mass roundup” endlessly touted is even logistically feasable.
    Meanwhile back in reality, gun and ammo sales remain brisk and those in a quality business for themselves can enjoy whatever drink they want whenever they want it….
    If someone wants to move overseas, I am all for it. My father did back in the mid 90’s and loves it in Asia. But to use silly Nazi FEMA Zombie raids against your cul-de-sac scenarios is a pretty thin justification.

  39. TOR
    TOR January 1, 2012 3:26 am

    I don’t think getting totally tied to a town/ county/ state or even country is prudent. The first rule of disaster preparedness is to not be where the disasters are happening. If you can see it coming then go someplace else. If nuclear aids rain or indestructible rapist robots are coming then it is time to go someplace else. If things are about to get particularly bad for a racial/ ethnic/ religious group you are part of then go someplace else. It doesn’t matter if it is war, terrorism, government whackiness or whatever, if things really suck then go someplace else. Maybe you spend a couple weeks or even years someplace else and come back when things cool down or you like the new place and settle in.

    As for becoming an EX Pat from the US these days.

    The honest truth is that America is more free than just about every other country, even if it is less free than it used to be. In the US you can buy an AR-15 legally at a gun show. In the US you can tell a Cop to go screw and maybe get arrested or a tiny chance you may be slapped around by a bad cop if you tell it to him in a dark alley. Try that in South America or Asia or Africa and you will be dead. The issue with countries, like most of South America, with tons of nasty laws on the books that are rarely enforces is that they can be sporatically enforced, potentially upon you.

    There are so many variables. Like you said it is a much easier discussion if you are even moderately wealthy, which is almost always the case however most of us are not. Money opens doors. Still there are a lot of variables.

    Do you speak the language? Can you earn a living there? Is the area a good cultural match for you? Can you blend in?

    A spanish speaking nurse with family ties to an area is a whole different discussion than an english speaking fry cook who doesn’t know anybody.

    A prolonged (say multi week or even month) visit before you sell everything and quit your job is probably a good idea. Go to where you are thinking of moving and check it out for awhile. Maybe talk to a few perspective employers/ clients, check out places to live, see if the streets are actually safe, etc all.

  40. Woody
    Woody January 1, 2012 7:39 am

    Regarding Central America as a viable destination for freedom seekers looking to leave the United States, there seems to be a steady stream of people from those countries taking serious risks to come _here_ in order to escape what they have _there_.

    I suppose having money makes it easier for US ex-pats to avoid many of the things the locals are fleeing but it should be cause for some serious thought about what possibly awaits you at your destination.

    We tend to get anchored by our stuff as we age but we also begin to understand that life is full of trade offs. The Expat feels the trade offs are acceptable to him. That’s great. His condescending attitude is unlikely to convince others of his superior wisdom with regard to expatriation, if that was the intent of his post.

  41. Karen
    Karen January 1, 2012 8:18 am

    I’ve been wondering, through all these excellent comments, about the factor of motivation for considering expatriation. Is there a deep befief that there is a better way in a better place? Is it the desire for a challenge or experience? Is it the notion that a true freedomista should do this in order to be taken seriously? Is it the potential for regret over a missed opportunity?

    It’s not exactly the same as leaving the country, but when I was young, just getting out of college in the early ’70s, I seriously wanted to go to Alaska. If not permanently, then at very least for a year for the adventure and experience. After college I needed to work a while to get the money saved up and then life conspired to lock me out of that chance. It has been a regret over the years.

    As numerous others have noted about age being a factor, I now find that I prefer life without a great deal of adventure. I was always up for an adventure and it’s only in the last year or two(turning 61 soon) that this has changed. I’d still like to visit Alaska, but have no more illusions that I’m up to living there. I’ve also learned over time that the reality of something rarely lives up to the fantasy and expectation of it.

  42. Pat
    Pat January 1, 2012 9:40 am

    “Is it the notion that a true freedomista should do this in order to be taken seriously?”

    Oh, my! Couldn’t this lead to another blog entirely?!

  43. Karen
    Karen January 1, 2012 10:23 am

    “Is it the notion that a true freedomista should do this in order to be taken seriously?”

    Oh, my! Couldn’t this lead to another blog entirely?!
    _____________

    Absolutely NOT trying to create any dissension!!!! I’ve been so pleased that none of that SHOULD DO has crept into this discussion. I’m merely suggesting that each and any of us can often times benefit from a private examination our own internal motivations as to why we do some of the things we do and want the things we want.

    None of us who frequent places like Claire’s blog would probably openly admit that we might succumb to peer pressure, but sometimes coercion is so subtle as to go almost unrecognized. Few of us want to admit that we allow age to be such a limiting factor in our lives with self imposed restrictions on what we can and can’t do(don’t know Claire’s age-not implying anything). Few of us want to admit that we have a bit of Peter Pan in us, refusing to grow up and recognize that the good old days aren’t coming back.

    I can only speak for myself, but the wisdom of hindsight has shown me that there have been decisions in my life that were a result of somewhat questionable motivations.

  44. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews January 1, 2012 10:25 am

    That article from Mike Adams pretty much covers it for me. I think the US is large enough, with enough variety, that leaving it would be a mistake. We have a history of individualism and liberty, unlike *any* other country. You’re better off finding a pocket of freedom (your own Hardyville) and dropping out in-country than you are leaving for someplace else.

    Remember that we are 50 States. Not one homogenous country. There are more than enough places to weather the coming storm right here, where you speak the language, share the culture and have friends and family to back you up when there is trouble.

  45. Pat
    Pat January 1, 2012 10:44 am

    Karen, that’s exactly the way I took your comment. I’m not asking for dissention, here or anywhere.

    But that doesn’t mean that your remark couldn’t lead to a thought process of my own, based on other remarks I’ve heard from freedomistas in the past. (Not Claire, and not through this blogsite.)

    Maybe this wasn’t the time to say that, it was a spontaneous comment. Sorry.

  46. CS
    CS January 1, 2012 10:52 am

    First, a Happy New Year to all!

    I appreciate reading so many informed and intelligent comments here. I have a close friend who has spent over 30 of his 50 years living and working abroad; yet his attitude never changes.

    America is his home. His family is here as are most of his friends and property. He will always return given the chance. He’s seen and lived in enough of the rest of the world (every continent but Antarctica) to know that what little we still have is better than what they aspire to elsewhere.

    There is still a chance here. While there is clearly much to undo, resist and circumvent, we’re in a better position than anyone else because of our philosophical heritage of reason, freedom and individual self-worth. When the Declaration spoke of “Guards for their future security” it meant us.

    In recorded history, individual freedom has always been a radical idea. For 235 years, a bright but faltering spark has glowed amid 10,000 years of serfdom and oppression. If we allow it to go out, we sink back into the Long Night.

    Each of us — and generations yet unborn — deserve better than that.

    I reiterate a quote from one who has seen far more than I:

    For one, the worst event of this day, though it may deject, shall not break or subdue me. The call upon us is authoritative. Let who will shrink back, I shall be found at my post. — Edmund Burke, speech at Parliament, 1785

    (BTW… somehow a previous post — the one relative to the 2nd Amendment — showed up under my name. I don’t wish to claim credit for another’s post.)

  47. EN
    EN January 1, 2012 11:28 am

    Nice comments Karen. So much depends on one’s circumstances. For instance I know some State Department leeches who love their postings and hate the fact that they are forced to come back to the US every few months. However, just because you’re a subsidized leech, living the good life in Rome, is no reason to believe that it even remotely applies to the general population. Hell, it doesn’t eve apply to the average Italian. They could no more afford the good life in Rome than I could.

    Then there’s the case of Fernando Aguire. He has his own blog, surviving in Argentina. It’s his goal to leave the socialist idiocy that Argentina has become. Since he’s a Spanish speaker it makes a lot of sense for him to stay in South America, which was his intent up until a few years ago. He came here on vacation and the last I heard was trying hard to immigrate to America. Fer had some amusing things to say about Americans trying to immigrate to South America to avoid the US police state. It has nothing to do with Jingoism/patriotism for most of us. It’s just common sense.

  48. clark
    clark January 1, 2012 2:23 pm

    Man, EN you’ve got some closed mind, imho. “The honest truth is that America is more free than just about every other country,”

    HA! I doubt it.

    In Japan a Person can walk down the street holding a can of beer then walk into a bar to have a smoke, some things I would likely get tasered for doing here in the Midwest, or at the least get fined or jailed.

    And gun rights? Every time you fill out a permission slip to buy or carry one it then becomes a privilege,… a carry permit is treated the Exact same way as a drivers license in my state and as we’ve all likely been told for years, driving is a privilege. … Not that I agree.

    Others claim the poor in South America use a corrupt judge to harass and impoverish a rich couple As If the same things aren’t being done in the U.S. and the U.S. court system doesn’t have corruption,… psft.
    Ever read stuff written by William Anderson?

    I don’t use the FEMA Camps as a reason to boot-scoot, it’s more about increasing taxation and regulations resulting in fewer opportunities to advance and be successful. Or, if you’re already successful, the ways to strip you of what is yours is increasing exponentially. However; with innocent People being sent to prison all the time in the U.S., that’s a real factor to consider.

    This was a real gem, “firearms ownership is a big deal to me and it’s just not allowed anywhere but here.” That’s simply not true.

  49. clark
    clark January 1, 2012 2:46 pm

    William Anderson might be tough to find on the internet, so here’s a link and just one of many from his shockingly truthful blog where he has examples of the innocent being destroyed by a corrupt court system:

    Yes, the feds have created a tyrannical prosecutorial state

    http://williamlanderson.blogspot.com/2011/11/yes-feds-have-created-tyrannical.html

    Also, consider this perspective in comparison to those of other countries:

    http://blog.independent.org/2011/12/28/government-officials-want-you-to-know-that-your-earnings-belong-to-them/

    It’s not about where the U.S. is right now… it’s about what the current trend is leading to.

  50. Woody
    Woody January 1, 2012 4:16 pm

    So, Clark, what country are you living in now and why did you pick it?

  51. EN
    EN January 1, 2012 4:30 pm

    “In Japan a Person can walk down the street holding a can of beer then walk into a bar to have a smoke, some things I would likely get tasered for doing here in the Midwest, or at the least get fined or jailed.”

    I can do that with a beer, smoking a joint, and armed… at least that’s where I live, although for the love of Jobs don’t get caught smoking a cigarette. Oddly enough you can do that in Peshawer and Ramadi, NYC and large parts of Wyoming… but not in Lahore and Nasiriah… It’s a matter of being observant and honest about what one sees. The US is a big place, as some have mentioned. And anyone can go where they want to go. I’m just talking about me. And it’s entirely possible I might flee if things changed but with not much money that wouldn’t be easy and the ending could easily turn tragic.

  52. EN
    EN January 1, 2012 4:32 pm

    “Man, EN you’ve got some closed mind, imho.”

    Does that mean you don’t agree with me, Clark? 😉

  53. EN
    EN January 1, 2012 4:41 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law
    “Japan prohibits gun possession by citizens except for shotguns and single-shot rifles for hunting or sports. Semiautomatic and full automatic weapons are restricted to military and police. Gun owners must take a class once a year and pass a written test. Police check on the owner once every three months on an unannounced visit. They inspect the gun locker, proper ammunition storage, and the firearm. There are strict laws against owning swords unless they are traditionally hand made Japanese Katanas and a license must be obtained, it is usually illegal to carry any sword or knife in public (unless transporting legitimately).”

  54. That Expat
    That Expat January 1, 2012 4:48 pm

    A. wrote, “Expat- and others- it is pretty hard to take you seriously when you mention relocation camps and midnight knocks on the door as a justification for moving overseas.”

    That would be true if I’d actually used those examples AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR MOVING OVERSEAS. I didn’t. It’s certainly not why I moved. Those references were made because they seemed to be the pet bugaboos some posters have expressed. While all are certainly possible (and “legal” now), it’s not my nightmare scenario. I left to pursue other opportunities.

    What bugs me, is that some of the posters clearly have one or more doomsday scenarios in mind and yet, won’t Get Out Of Dodge. The primary reason being that their knowledge of other countries is essentially non-existent. After that, there are the self-serving excuses and rationalizations:

    I’m too old–Oh boo hoo. I’m 65 and hang out with expats in their 60s and 70s who are not rich and in some cases living out of a backpack and loving it. Remember, “You’re only as old as the woman you feel.” — Grouch Marx

    I’m too poor–Really? How do you know? I’m pretty much broke right now, but my cost of living is a pittance of what it would be in the States. Yet, every day I eat fresh, organic food, grown locally. You can do the same.

    There’s too much corruption–According to Transparency International The four least corrupt countries in the Americas are, Canada, Chile, the US and Uruguay, in that order. I think by next year, Uruguay will be rated as less corrupt than the US. Plus, corruption is a two-edged sword, and in any case, is much more of a problem for locals than expats.

    There is no freedom… there–Freedom is what you can do, not what the laws say. If you don’t scare the horses, you can do just about anything you want in Latin America. I experience much more freedom here, than I would in the States.

    But what about guns?–Generally, Latin American countries are no more onerous than the US. In Panama, it’s a rubber stamp application to buy a gun and it automatically allows you to pack, concealed. Chile, Uruguay and others are a bit more bureaucratic, but if you want ’em you can have them.

    I could go on, but you get the drift. If you are ready to question your assumptions and actually research the facts, more power to you, no matter what you ultimately decide. If you want to wave the flag and declare you are free as you and your children get irradiated or felt up at the airport, all I can say is, live in darkness.

    I’ve had my say. So I see no reason to repeat myself and get into further discussions about how this all works. If Claire has some comments, I will probably reply. Otherwise, talk among yourselves. :o) Expat out.

  55. Jorge
    Jorge January 1, 2012 7:43 pm

    Where to start? First of all, even though I think he is being a bit harsh, I essentially agree with That Expat. I have lived outside the US, in both Asia and Latin America, since 1989. I currently live in Costa Rica.

    People in the US do have greater freedom when it comes to firearms. As far as I can tell that is about it.

    In Costa Rica we have greater freedom when it comes to buying raw milk. When I travel (not to the US) there are no TSA goons or equivalent to search us (travel to the US is a different story). Random police road blocks and dragnets have been ruled unconstitutional by the CR supreme court. The same court is currently reviewing the constitutionality of speed cameras, so their use is suspended. Police do not enter a property without a warrant or an invitation. Period. Warrants are notoriously difficult to get (police complain about this in the newspaper constantly). The list is a lot longer, but those who are interested can find out for themselves.

    I suppose someone could put together a spread sheet to compare the various aspects of Place X vs. Place Y and come to some sort conclusion. But I doubt it.

    Absent a libertarian society we must all decide which aspects of freedom, and of life in general, are the most important to us, based on our own criteria and circumstances. For us, Costa Rica is really hard to beat. Periodically we check. So far the conclusion has not changed.

    The Mike Adams piece that Claire linked to is so full of mistakes that it is difficult to take seriously. I strongly recommend that anyone looking to make a decision discount him completely.

    To start with ‘Costa Rica has been described as a “police state” by numerous people who have visited or even lived there. […] but like all such nations, it has a socialist police state mentality.’

    Is completely false. Read what I wrote above about road blocks and warrants. Verify it for yourself.

    Also, as far a preparedness goes, attitude, as Claire has said, is everything. In Latin America, be it Mexico (read some of Fred Reed’s columns) or here, people take care of themselves. When a natural disaster strikes people do not wait for the government. They act. When a flash flood damaged a neighborhood near here two years back the entire town turned out to help. No waiting for the state. Sure, after the emergency passed everyone was complaining that the government was not “doing enough”, but no one waited.

    I would rather be here during a collapse scenario than just about anywhere else. We know a lot of people in the community, including all of our neighbors. Several are armed. We all watch out for each other. A lot of fruit grows wild and there are plenty of small family farms in the area. In addition, over 80% of the country’s electric power comes from in-country hydro.

    There are many other things wrong with that piece. Too many to address in a blog comment.

    It is possible to escape the police state. It takes a bit of work, a bit of planning, and a lot of flexibility. Even FATCA is not a problem, given the right approach.

    In closing, I agree that leaving the US, or wherever you make your home, is not for everyone, nor is it an easy decision. If you are seriously thinking about it, do not make the decision based on misinformation.

  56. clark
    clark January 2, 2012 9:24 am

    Woody, by the looks of things, it appears I live in Stasi controlled East Germany and i didn’t pick it.

    EN wrote, “I can do that with a beer, smoking a joint, and armed… at least that’s where I live,”

    Not legally you can’t.
    Doing it and it being legal are two different things. You *can* own a gun in Japan too, you might even be able to walk the down the sidewalk with it.

    EN wrote, “I might flee if things changed but with not much money that wouldn’t be easy and the ending could easily turn tragic.”

    Yeah, that last part, “tragic” I’m thinking it’s better to be proactive and avoid that part.

    This was an interesting take on gun ownership in South America:

    http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/12/letter_re_how_i_survived_an_at.html

    Also, perhaps the danger level associated with FEMA camps and the like is a little closer to home than many People think, seriously consider this, the historical track record for these kinds of things tend to spiral:

    “They may have supported this bill because—although it’s hard to believe—they think the military will only arrest active members of Al Qaida; or maybe, less naively, they believe that ‘at most’, low-level dissenting figures, activists, or troublesome protesters might be subjected to military arrest. But they are forgetting something critical: history shows that those who signed this bill will soon be subject to arrest themselves. …

    so today I warn that one cannot name a nation that gave the military the power to make civilian arrests and hold citizens in military detention, that did not almost at once turn that power [sic?] against members of that nation’s own political ruling class. …

    Mussolini, who created the modern template for fascism, was a duly elected official when he started to direct paramilitary forces against Italian citizens: yes, he sent the Blackshirts to beat up journalists, editors, and union leaders;…”

    http://naomiwolf.org/2011/12/how-congress-is-signing-its-own-arrest-warrants-in-the-ndaa-citizen-arrest-bill/

    Blogger fits right in between journalist and editors. Outspoken People fill the cracks in between, especially those similar to The White Rose,… that’d be most everyone posting here and websites like it.

  57. clark
    clark January 2, 2012 10:41 am

    As I think about it, I suppose it’s possible EN can do what he says and it’s legal,… amazingly in some areas of the U.S. private property owners can still decide to allow smoking, while others ignore the law (ho-rah for them!) and pay the fine.

    On the other hand though:

    “If The Tyranny of Good Intentions cannot convince you, then perhaps Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent can, and, if not, then both together surely will.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts274.html

    If you’re in a small pocket of the country that still allows you to feel free, good for you,… but it’s still a pocket.
    I’m thinking: what the pocket is attached to is what may determine one’s fate more than any other factor. No?

  58. Darren
    Darren January 2, 2012 4:13 pm

    I tried leaving once, lived in Venezuela for 8 years. In the end it was Hugo Chavez taking power that convinced me to come back. Sometimes leaving is just jumping from the proverbial pan into the fire.

  59. cctyker
    cctyker January 2, 2012 6:29 pm

    My hope is Claire stays home.

    Her voice helps others know what freedom is and how it is being taken from us a few sentences out of 1100+ pages at a time.

    To me freedom is the absence of government intervention in a person’s life.

    I would hope all of us who seek freedom in the future of America will stay and talk, walk, and act free. Maybe others will catch on and learn from us who know how to live freedom.

    As one does for a child – show by example how to act properly – perhaps each of us who are so inclined can show other Americans how to live as a free person.

    My fear is to be noticed by surveillance and to disappear from those who want me around. All life is risk, so be it.

  60. Karen
    Karen January 2, 2012 7:30 pm

    Donde es Claire? ¿ustedes ya han abandonado? Yoohoo, Oh Claire

  61. Claire
    Claire January 2, 2012 7:43 pm

    Claire is here eating apricot preserves, Karen. 🙂 And still speaking Murrican.

    Sorry for the absence. I’ve been deadlining like mad and just now got around to prepping a blog entry for tomorrow.

    And I’ve been reading and hugely enjoying this comment thread. I just haven’t had time enough or profound enough thoughts to add anything.

  62. Karen
    Karen January 2, 2012 7:56 pm

    I guess that as long as you have apricot preserves, then you must be OK. Busy is good. I won’t panic, but oh how much trouble I’d be in if your posts suddenly started appearing in Spanish.

  63. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein January 2, 2012 8:53 pm

    Nazi Germany wasn’t even close to an anomaly. It was just another instance of tyranny, each one more brutal than the last. The Soviet Union, China, Cambodia…none of these were anomalies, but were necessary instances. Why necessary? Because logic always holds and organizations that are designed to rule over others, rule over others. Duh. So it shall be with EVERY society formed around the idea that some should rule over others. The brutality MUST increase, since peasants (or Jews or Blacks or…) will always figure out how to avoid the last instance of tyranny. Hell, we all read “1984.” You MUST love Big Brother; that’s the key to the scam.

    There’s something different this trip, though. First we have the Information Age, where knowledge about virtually everything is available for free, to effectively everyone. That’s a big deal to creatures that survive by gaining information. And second, this is the first society in history where the “peasants” are armed to the gills. Anyone who thinks we’ve made it even this far for any reason other than that, is mistaken IMO. Virtually every other society on Earth has already devolved into a socialist/statist nightmare. Maybe not every one is so brutal yet, but they will be just as soon as the producers wake up. And they’ll wake up sure enough, as long as they have internet access.

    It was nice for Claire to share her thoughts on figuring out what’s best for herself, and I’m sure she will. But as a topic, I think this one sucks. Claire’s been writing for years now about precisely where freedom is to be found, and she’s always had it right. So now she’s talking about what maybe is best for her. That’s cool; this is a personal blog after all. But for the rest, I personally just see it as an evasion, an evasion of what a free life is actually all about. Claire’s been explaining it forever, so my advice is to just pay attention. All the rest is about the irrelevancies of geography.

    You’re already free, as a matter of plain ontological fact, so what more could you want? What you do with your freedom is up to you. Like Big Brother or the Nazis or Pol Pot, the tyranny was always built of fear. The brutality is for one purpose and one purpose only…to instill fear.

    Logic always holds and there are only two choices—overcome it or succumb to it. Create and produce for a happy life, or mooch and destroy to live like a vulture. If you’ve prepared for these times, which is what this place is all about, then there’s not a soul on the planet who can stop you. And even better, there’s not a decent person alive who would want to.

    The choice is yours. The time is now.

  64. EN
    EN January 2, 2012 11:38 pm

    I’ve been thinking it might be kind of interesting to see Claire go overseas. I doubt if she’d struggle for something to write about.

  65. Matt
    Matt January 3, 2012 10:21 am

    It comes down to this. If Big Brother decides it wants _me_ dead, I will die. Wherever I am. If I merely find myself a member of an oppressed class, there’s nowhere on Earth I’m likely to be safer than here in the US, where I can blend in and remain inconspicuous even as I am annoying.

    A lot of Jews fled Nazi Germany. Not all of them ended up in places where they were able to stay safe. Large numbers, indeed, found the Nazis following right behind them in short order, as the war went on, and ended up in camps anyway. This, it seems to me, is the most likely course of events, if the US goes full-on totalitarian.

    Where, exactly, will be safe? And what right do any of us have to demand that some other _government_ protect us against Big Brother, when we’ve decided the job is too big to do for ourselves right here?

    No, I’m staying. Here in the US, I have the background to remain unnoticed, and if I am noticed anyway, and targeted for persecution, I have the means to make the oppressors’ lives both more difficult than they’d like, and also very likely shorter than they’d like as well.

  66. clark
    clark January 3, 2012 11:40 am

    Jim Klein wrote, “You’re already free, as a matter of plain ontological fact, so what more could you want?”

    Uh, not to be harassed by and a victim of the empire.

    Some People might decide to stay, for the dogs, … reminds me of the incident awhile back of a deputy shooting the family tail-wagging dog while serving a simple warrant,… or was he just asking directions and didn’t like dogs? I forget which, does it matter? In the end the dogs and their owner didn’t win from going down that path.

    Jim Klein wrote, “The Soviet Union, China, Cambodia…none of these were anomalies, but were necessary instances.”

    Or, maybe they were directed history?

    “Increasingly, with the aid of the Internet, it seems obvious to us that what passes for “global tension” is in fact an elaborate stageplay. Just look at the 20th century. The wars that convulsed the world are nearly inexplicable. There is inescapable evidence now that Wall Street funded the Soviet Union. Someday history will show that the ChiComs were similarly encouraged by the West.”…

    http://thedailybell.com/3426/Building-a-One-World-Currency-China-India-Suddenly-Open-for-Investment

    Remaining in a country with the largest prison population kind of increases the odds of becoming a part of it… I suppose Gandhi might have said he’s still free while in prison, but I wouldn’t.

    I often think of a story from the Bible related to me by Lila Rajiva, something about a well and how the People took the well from the man who dug it. The man didn’t fight the crowd, he simply moved and dug another well.

    Is staying put a form of fighting the People over ownership of a well?

    “And how do you know when your survival is at stake?
    Check your gut response.”…

    Flight AND Fight

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rajiva/rajiva20.html

  67. clark
    clark January 3, 2012 11:50 am

    oops, if it wasn’t obvious, that should have been:

    Uh, not to be harassed by and Become a victim of the empire.

    Also, Matt asked, “Where, exactly, will be safe? And what right do any of us have to demand that some other _government_ protect us against Big Brother, when we’ve decided the job is too big to do for ourselves right here?”

    The answer is found in the link above:

    “It’s simply not true that you can’t help your country from abroad. …

    Really and truly, there are few countries in the world outside totalitarian regimes that are as conformist, pervasively and fundamentally, as this country.

    I’d rather live under a benign despot that left me to my own devices from day to day, than in a democracy where I’m spied on and manipulated constantly. I may have theoretical rights, but much good they’ll do for me if they’re strangled at birth by spies, PR flacks, and thought-police.”

    And here:

    “Rather than forcing the country to change, a far simpler and humbler strategy is to let the country go whichever way it wants, and get out of its way.”…

    http://lewrockwell.com/rajiva/rajiva19.html

  68. Woody
    Woody January 3, 2012 12:00 pm

    Matt said: “…..I have the means to make the oppressors’ lives both more difficult than they’d like, and also very likely shorter than they’d like as well.”

    Those of us who have more past than we have future have a greater tendency to have this attitude. One eventually realizes that there are some things that require extreme measures, even killing your oppressor, knowing that doing so will result in your certain death. The old saw “Never pick a fight with an old man. If he’s too old to fight he may just kill you.” seems to be more and more appropriate these days.

    We live in interesting times.

  69. Don
    Don January 3, 2012 3:44 pm

    All of the perspectives above are from the view right now, but that view is changing each day and so will your perspective. The thing to consider is, what is your personal tipping point? What can this gov’t do that will finally make you decide to leave? As we move forward always keep in mind that the time may come when you will not be allowed to leave and then it’s too late, you’re trapped on the sinking ship. You can possess 200 well made guns and thousands of rounds of ammo but all of them are worthless against an IR drone at 10,000 ft.

  70. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein January 3, 2012 5:07 pm

    “Uh, not to be harassed by and Become a victim of the empire.”

    Yes, that’s obvious. And I wish that damn mechanic would’ve tightened that drain plug correctly. Sure, one can cause torture and death, and the other only causes a pile of oil on the ground.

    But they’re the same in one respect—they’re both wishes about what others should do. Ain’t never gonna happen, and this was the point. You have FULL control over exactly ONE person, and that’s that. I was just trying to point out that this is the relevant fact with regard to freedom, not what others do nor where it happens.

    From what I’ve seen, this has been a common theme of Claire’s as well. As I said, just pay attention.

  71. JoeFromSidney
    JoeFromSidney January 3, 2012 5:28 pm

    “That expat” is right about my life in foreign countries. I always lived right with the locals, not in an enclave; I made a point of learning the language (never got fluent in any of them, but could get around); learned and respected local customs. But I never intended to stay there. I agree that’s not like becoming an ex-pat. Nevertheless, I believe I learned enough through observation to conclude that none of those countries were for me. I’d encourage anyone considering becoming an ex-pat (or an emigrant) to look carefully before settling on another country to move to. Daily life is different from what you see as a tourist.

  72. Pat
    Pat January 4, 2012 9:11 am

    I have some questions for ex-pats: Are you really “ex”, or are you “pat”?

    If the American fedgov were to implode… if TSHTF — would you fight for revolutionary ideals by returning to fight here; would you fight from abroad (and how would you do that); or would you fight at all?

    Would you return here (or not) if this piece of land — what is now America — did become free, or if somehow libertarians/anarchists managed to start rebuilding it free of the laws of tyranny that we have?

    Or would it all depend on how well you’d been assimilated into your second country before TSHTF?

    Just curious…

  73. Jorge
    Jorge January 4, 2012 6:56 pm

    @Pat,

    I will return, at least to visit, when the grossly misnamed Patriot Act and all the subsequent abominations have been repealed. I have not set foot in the US since 2002. Absent a serious family emergency or the return to “only” the Clinton era abuse of rights, do not intend to. The Patriot Act was my “line in the sand.”

    To fight I would have to feel that at least a significant minority of the population actually cared about liberty. Given the massive apathy of the vast majority towards the formal legalization of indefinite detention without charge, I do not see this happening any time soon.

    To quote Jose Marti “Prefiero ser yo extranjero en otras patrias, a serlo en la mía.” I would rather be a foreigner in another country, than to be one in mine.

  74. clark
    clark January 4, 2012 8:15 pm

    Jim Klein wrote, “You have FULL control over exactly ONE person, and that’s that.”

    Well,… no, you don’t.

    No one has “FULL” control.

    Some have more, some have less.

    Prolly splitting hairs, but that’s that.

    Most (a lot of) normal People know, you can’t control those around you, you can Only control how you react to them.

    If you’re in the U.S., even if you’re surrounded by a small group/town/area of like-minded People, you’re All still surrounded by a mass of People with a desire to control you, jail you, and even kill you. Mass-man wants to turn the U.S. into a giant outdoor prison yard,… it seems like they are succeeding,… or have succeeded.

    And, as Paul Craig Roberts has written:

    “Punishment without crime is now the American Way…. Americans seem to welcome the era of tyranny into which they are now entering.”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2011/12/31/the-outlook-for-the-new-year/

    Tomorrow, will it be a crime to remain silent when the subject of war and goberment power enters a conversation?

    Few countries seem to be on this path, rushing headlong into it with force. Do you suppose it’s better to surround yourself with a People and a goberment not hell bent on, and capable of, world domination and control of every aspect of individual life?

    Some People want everyone to stay and make the U.S. a more prosperous place,… prosperous for whom? The warmongering vipers that inhabit it? Where’s the good in that?

    An apple pie consisting of rotten apples on top of a perfect crust is still a rotten pie no matter how much sugar you put on it.

    Oh yeah, I’m paying attention.

    X2, “I would rather be a foreigner in another country, than to be one in mine.”

    One last thing, I don’t look down on People who want to stay, or the 3%’ers, it’s just that they might not be aware enough?
    The 3%’ers think it only took 3% of the population to win The Revolutionary War, however; according to Prof. Robert Higgs, the majority of the population was “for” The Revolutionary War, not just 3% … it ain’t that way today.

  75. Pat
    Pat January 5, 2012 4:06 am

    To Jorge: Thanks for your serious response. The quote by Jose Marti adds a perspective I hadn’t thought about. I will be thinking about it.

  76. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein January 5, 2012 7:47 pm

    Thanks, clark; I guess I wasn’t clear. I’ll try again.

    Yes, you DO have FULL control over yourself. This doesn’t mean you can accomplish any act you dream. You can’t flap your arms and fly to Mars, for example. So in an odd manner of speaking, you don’t have full control over that. You can’t jump off a mile high cliff and survive either, so I guess that’s some “lack of control” in a way.

    I’ll try to be more precise. Within physical limitations, you have FULL CONTROL over what you do. Like, literally. Whatever you do in the next minute, will be EXCLUSIVELY controlled by what YOU decide. And in the next hour, the next day and so on.

    Now yes, it’s noteworthy that other people can control your physical limitations, just as gravity does. But it’s also noteworthy that such is the ONLY way they can control you. So unless they’re physically holding you this minute or the next, you do indeed have FULL CONTROL over what you do. Is that any clearer?

  77. clark
    clark January 6, 2012 8:11 pm

    Jim Klein wrote, “Is that any clearer?”

    Not really.

    Exceptions to a rule?

    “Within physical limitations, you have FULL CONTROL?”

    That’s not my idea of full control, that’s partial control.

    A Person breaks a leg and they’re Not going to be doing any running, they do Not have Full control.

    A Person has a heart attack, they’re not in full control.

    For those of us who believe in God, he is the One who has Full control. Full control is not the same as free will, imho.

    As the story goes, God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, once that happened, Pharaoh had less self control than before, a.k.a. Pharaoh was not fully in control of himself.

    Someone starts kissing on anther’s significant other, most People do not have Full control over how they feel about that, they only have control over how they react. Some say, not even then do they have control. The phrase “uncontrollable rage” comes to mind. Emotions control the self?

    Splitting hairs? Idk. However; I basically agree with your Volunatryist viewpoint.

  78. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein January 7, 2012 9:36 pm

    I’ll try one more time, clark. You might find it a valuable point, and it’s definitely relevant here. The only qualification I’m putting on it is “real.” So no, of course you can’t do anything you imagine. You can’t fly to Mars; if your legs are broken you can’t run a marathon; if others have put you in a cage you can’t go to the store.

    But otherwise…yes, you are in FULL CONTROL of yourself, always and forever. Whatever you decide–again, within the constraints of reality–you can do. In fact, the only way you ever do anything at all, is exactly that…you decide it and then you do it. I know of no exceptions except sleepwalking and convulsions. Do you?

    I understand that this is not your idea of full control. But I’m not talking about your ideas; I’m talking about the facts of the, matter. We SAY “I’m out of control” when we fly into a rage, but that’s just an excuse and not really accurate. Unless you’re in a seizure, you’re in control. Personally I think that’s a pretty important point for one who seeks to be free, since it turns out that he already is.

    That’s not to deny the existence of thugs who can overpower him, but that’s a rather separate issue from what I’m saying.

  79. clark
    clark January 10, 2012 1:27 am

    Jim Klein wrote, “We SAY “I’m out of control” when we fly into a rage, but that’s just an excuse”

    Is that really the facts of the, matter? Seems more like an opinion.

    Jim Klein wrote, “the only way you ever do anything at all, is exactly that…you decide it and then you do it.”

    Stimulus, reaction.

    A Person is hit in the gut, some individuals react without thinking.

    A child faces danger, a parent reacts without thinking. Does a mother have to think before she reacts to having her baby violently snatched from her arms by a stranger? Stimulus, reaction.

    The Whole Basis of certain training by many People is to be able to react Without thinking.

    There are too many exceptions for your statement to be true,… an absolute.

    “… What he realized, however, too late, was he could not accept the effect his imprisonment would have on others – he could not bear the thought of his failure to fulfill his responsibility to others.

    This, then, is what it comes to: the state uses a man’s sense of responsibility against him, to divide him. That which a man loves is used against him, held hostage to obedience to the state’s laws. Consider, a person may believe his responsibilities include defending his family from violent crime, and so desire to carry a handgun for protection. A parent may believe his responsibility to his children includes the responsibility, not only of protecting them, but also of preserving his own life so he can continue to love and support them, and so desire to carry a handgun for protection.

    The state comes along and bans the carry of guns – for the citizenry’s “protection.” Now each must choose in which manner he will risk failing to live up to his responsibilities: A husband and father may choose to carry, risking depriving his wife and children of his love and support if caught and convicted. He may, instead, choose to not carry, in order to insure he will not fail in his responsibilities to his loved ones due to imprisonment. But if he is assaulted, and fails to protect himself or his loved ones because he chose to not carry, then he has also failed, and must forever live with the thought he knew what he should have done and failed to do it.

    Either course a man must hate himself, because either way he fails to act fully in accordance with what he believes to be right and responsible – risking either death or grave injury to himself or a loved one if he fails to carry, risking loss of his ability to provide love and support if he is imprisoned for being, as Mr. Daggett said, “bull-headed.”

    A Means to Control

    What is critical to understand is the state counts on this to secure obedience to laws that rest on its (supposedly democratic) fiat, rather than on assent to moral judgment about right and wrong (as in the case of laws that criminalize actions only if there is bad intent). The state uses a man’s sense of responsibility and what he loves against him, to control him.” …

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/snyder9.html

  80. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein January 11, 2012 10:35 pm

    “Stimulus, reaction.”

    More precisely, it’s stimulus, processing and reaction. Besides, even a person’s instincts controlling his action, is the person controlling his action. Besides besides, volition trumps instinct.

    I like your take on the state’s strategy though.

    “Now each must choose in which manner he will risk…”

    Right; Q.E.D. Even more importantly, it is never the case that a person doesn’t have a choice that will not cause him to hate himself. As you note, and much like your thesis here, that part is just false. I mean, I’m sure there are other exceptions to what I’m saying, but neither of us can think of any.

    Nice chat. Thanks, Claire. Clark, if you come up with any actual exceptions besides sleepwalking and convulsions, I hope you’ll let me know.

  81. clark
    clark March 4, 2012 9:18 pm

    Hmm, apparently the phrase, “The state uses a man’s sense of responsibility and what he loves against him, to control him.” is lost on you?

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