“Freedom Outlaw.” The term came up here a few days ago. It’ll arise again and again on this blog.
If you’ve been hanging out in my vicinity for a few years, you probably know what I mean by it. If not, you might be puzzled or even offended by the notion that people who believe in freedom are (or should be) criminals. Thought I’d stop this morning and define some terms.
So this is mostly for people who haven’t heard it all before.
A Freedom Outlaw is (loosely) somebody who cares so much about freedom that he or she will go after it regardless of any laws or regulations blocking the way. Will go after it personally. Not petition for it. Not write letters for it. Not vote for it. But GO for it.
Also, a Freedom Outlaw has panache. Think Robin Hood. Think V. Think (not to be self-promotional here, but …) of the swashbuckling fellow on the cover of this book.
Does a Freedom Outlaw really have to be a criminal? Well … yes and no. If the thought of being a criminal offends you, I can only say, “Get over it.” As Kent McManigal states so well, every, single one of us is already a criminal. We violate obscure laws from the time we open our eyes in the morning till the moment we fall exhausted into bed. Three Felonies a Day according to Harvey Silverglate. And the more innocent we are in our hearts when we commit those “crimes,” the riper we are for the plucking by corrupt prosecutors and regulators.
Heck, we probably violate laws, federal or state, even as we snooze. Maybe our PJs flout fireproofing regulations. Perhaps our snoring is regulated somewhere as noise pollution. Maybe our dreams are filled with acts of subversion.
But the simple fact is that we are already criminals, each and every one of us, even if we do our utmost to be “law-abiding citizens.”
There are simply too many laws to abide.
So we might as well embrace and enjoy what we are.
“Outlaw” isn’t an exact synonym for “criminal,” though. Historically, an outlaw was a person placed outside the protection of the law — fair game, in other words. Well, we are not fair game if we’re armed, both physically and mentally. But increasingly, the best people of the world are indeed “outside the protection of the law.” The law, such as it is, exists to fleece, silence, intimidate, and control us — not to protect us.
We’re there. So again, we might as well embrace and enjoy our status.
And that is what a Freedom Outlaw is and does.
I was tempted to call this scrap of prose a Freedom Outlaw’s credo. Or manifesto. But as soon as the thought entered my head, I realized that any true Freedom Outlaw would rip up anybody else’s attempted manifesto — would fire an arrow or slash his sword or put a 230-grain bullet through anyone’s proclaimed credo. Or maybe just step on the thing and ignore it as he strode boldly by. Because whatever else they are, Freedom Outlaws are all different from one another. Nobody can speak for an Outlaw but the Outlaw.
In the past, when proclaiming the Grand Freedom Outlaw Cabal (which I can do because unlike a credo or manifesto, it doesn’t require anybody else’s buy-in; feel free to be a Cabal-of-One, as I am), I’ve sketched out three types of Freedom Outlaw: the Ghost; the Agitator; and the Mole.
- The Ghost slides through the world with minimal visibility. He may live without “official papers” and do all that implies — living outside of databases, credit reports, and forms-in-triplicate. The Ghost lives on the margins, in the spaces where “good little citizens” don’t go.
- The Agitator … well, he makes noise. But not just the polite noise of letters to the editor or participation in rallies. The Agitator may be a trickster. Or a monkeywrencher. Or a leader of factions. Or a Julian Heicklen-style crusader. But in any case, he’s someone who puts his (or her, of course) own life and health on the line to commit direct action for freedom.
- The Mole lives an exemplary life, obeying all possible laws, filing taxes, crossing the street only in crosswalks, holding a respectable job (maybe even a government job) … but on the side and in silence gives help to freedom causes and freedomistas. Or saves herself up for the day when a single act of sabotage or whistleblowing can bring down an enemy of liberty.
Very few people are all one kind of Outlaw. Nobody can or should be squeezed into any one category. The categories are just there to be used if you find them useful.
But since they’re there … To those three (highly flexible, mutable, and very non-exclusive) types of Outlaw, I’m now, a bit reluctantly adding a fourth:
- The Cockapoo. That’s a type I’ve hinted at from my first books. But it’s a last choice — a choice of the tired, beaten, and all-but-defeated. But these strange days, an increasing number of us are tired, beaten, and darned-close-to-defeated. So … when no choice is left to you, when all else has failed, become a Cockapoo. Accept every scrap of “aid” offered by the benevolent but all-consuming state. Be useless. Become the government’s pet — and contribute in your own small, but purposeful, way to sucking it dry.
Don’t tell me about it if you don’t like that — or any other — form of Freedom Outlaw. Just go your own way and be your own kind of Outlaw. Nobody is stopping you except YOU.
But know what you’re doing. And do it with style. And don’t kid yourself that you’re a Freedom Outlaw if you’re actually just going along to get along and you never actually take meaningful, real-world steps to become more free.
We all break laws all the time. We can do it in a vile, truly criminal way by committing acts that are mala in se. Or we can — and do, every day — commit acts of mala prohibita. (Thank you, T., for the reminder.)
We can commit mala prohibita with furtive, creepy, ordinary criminal intent. Or with ignorant innocence, as millions of our stumbling fellow citizens do all the time. Or we can do it with “creative disregard” for the silliness or cruelty of bad laws. We can do it with insouciance, verve, boldness — knowing full well what we do and embracing what we have become in the process — former citizens now “outside the protection of the law.” Above all, we can live with purpose, furthering freedom in our own lives and with our own lives, by our refusal to cower and mindlessly obey.
Freedom Outlaw. It’s not what you do; it’s how you do it. It’s an attitude — from which actions always follow. It’s a do-it-yourself occupation. And a lifetime vocation.
Freedom Outlaw is such a wonderful contradiction, what a wonderful thing!
Sunday morning I went on a hike with a friend and we probably violated at least half a dozen Federal and State, laws, rules, regulations and heavy handed suggestions. Had a great time.
There’s even a place where you can sign up to be “recognized” as a Freedom Outlaw if you don’t mind being seen… a bit of “in their face” activism for those who don’t need to remain totally under-the-radar: FreedomOutlaws.com
Bravo! Excellent post! Refreshing…
And that is the concept that made me a fan of yours in the first place.
It took me a few years but I think I finally get your — if I may use the word — “brand” of freedom.
Great post! I think I’m a combination of several of those.
An old friend from a few years back! Gotta stay tuned in more often! We think alike, and by golly, we act alike – methinks! How about just being a rebellious Redneck, and be done with it? Cheers!
🙂 Greetings again, Luther. Good to see you hereabouts.
Rebellious Redneck? That works, too. Works just fine …
parabarbarian, :-), thank you. Go ahead and use the word brand if you like. But I hope one day my brand of freedom can become “generic” — found in every home!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙂
And oh yeah. Kent. Good link. I’d forgotten about that Freedom Outlaw site. Many old friends there.
On another forum I’m on, there seems to be this kneejerk assumption that anyone who loves freedom must be the type to engage in open combat on the battlefield, much like was done during the Revolutionary War and the War Between The States. People seem to forget that there are other ways to fight. Some more subtle than others.
STARVE the fucking beast…… don’t play his game any longer///
do not purchase bonds , nor hold them……. neither in regular or retirement accounts…..
why have your money in the banks…..the banking system controls us……. we are not being paid any interest after inflation is accounted for …. in fact you are losing buying power…..
put your money into cash and hid it under the matress would serve you better…… but more practical buy commodities for long term investment is best…. hold them yourself ….. fuck wall street’s corrupt paper….
Think about all the rules and regulations of the beast…. and the time and taxes the beast is stealing from you …. Think about all the taxes, fines, license fees, accredations, mandatory insurances, etc that are imposed on you ….
THE LAND OF THE FREE…. BULLSHIT…. THNK AND ANALYSE ….YOU ARE AT LEAST 70% SERF…..
If one third of the serfs would just stop complying and be proactive… it could end……
thanks so much for letting me know that there are more individuals than just myself that came to the conclusion that the best way to defeat the system is to infect the system…I stopped working (for anything but cash, that is), applied for food stamps, cash aid, ANYTHING that that government was offering. I am going to school now, thanks to California! But in the meantime, I am growing one hell of a subsistence garden, banking water and hard currency, and preparing for the notification that there is no more candy coming our way. That, of course, may be a disaster for some, but I believe I am following the path that John Galt himself may have chosen when faced with the choices that the current system has offered to citizens wanting to just be free…I feared I was alone, but I know now…I am a COCKAPOO!!!
the same sort of thing from a different perspective…:
“You don’t want to be at the mercy of governments, bureaucracies, police, or other outside forces, do you? Surely you don’t let them dictate your entire life. Don’t you do what you want to, what you believe in, at least whenever you can get away with it? In our everyday lives, we all are anarchists. Whenever we make decisions for ourselves, whenever we take responsibility for our own actions rather than deferring to some higher power, we are putting anarchism into practice. So if we are all anarchists by nature, why do we always end up accepting the domination of others, even creating forces to rule over us? Wouldn’t you rather figure out how to coexist with your fellow human beings by working it out directly between yourselves, rather than depending on some external set of rules? Remember, the system they accept is the one you must live under: if you want your freedom, you can’t afford to not be concerned about whether those around you demand control of their lives or not.
Do we really need masters to command and control us? In the West, for thousands of years, we have been sold centralized state power and hierarchy in general on the premise that we do. We’ve all been taught that without police, we would all kill each other; that without bosses, no work would ever get done; that without governments, civilization itself would fall to pieces. Is all this true? Certainly, it’s true that today little work gets done when the boss isn’t watching, chaos ensues when governments fall, and violence sometimes occurs when the police aren’t around. But are these really indications that there is no other way we could organize society? Isn’t it possible that workers won’t get anything done unless they are under observation because they are used to not doing anything without being prodded—more than that, because they resent being inspected, instructed, condescended to by their managers, and don’t want to do anything for them that they don’t have to? Perhaps if they were working together for a common goal, rather than being paid to take orders, working towards objectives that they have no say in and that don’t interest them much, they would be more proactive. Not to say that everyone is ready or able to do such a thing today; but our laziness is conditioned rather than natural, and in a different environment, we might find that people don’t need bosses to get things done. And as for police being necessary to maintain the peace: we won’t discuss the ways in which the role of “law enforcer” brings out the most brutal aspects of human beings, and how police brutality doesn’t exactly contribute to peace. How about the effects on civilians living in a police-protected state? Once the police are no longer a direct manifestation of the desires of the community they serve (and that happens quickly, whenever a police force is established: they become a force external to the rest of society, an outside authority), they are a force acting coercively on the people of that society. Violence isn’t just limited to physical harm: any relationship that is established by force, such as the one between police and civilians, is a violent relationship. When you are acted upon violently, you learn to act violently back. Isn’t it possible, then, that the implicit threat of police on every street corner—of the near omnipresence of uniformed, impersonal representatives of state power—contributes to tension and violence, rather than dispelling them? If that doesn’t seem likely to you, and you are middle class and/or white, ask a poor black or Hispanic man how the presence of police makes him feel. When the standard forms of human interaction all revolve around hierarchical power, when human intercourse so often comes down to giving and receiving orders (at work, at school, in the family, in legal courts), how can we expect to have no violence in our system? People are used to using force against each other in their daily lives, the force of authoritarian power; of course using physical force cannot be far behind in such a system. Perhaps if we were more used to treating each other as equals, to creating relationships based upon equal concern for each other’s needs, we wouldn’t see so many people resort to physical violence against each other. And what about government control? Without it, would our society fall into pieces, and our lives with it? Certainly, things would be a great deal different without governments than they are now—but is that necessarily a bad thing? Is our modern society really the best of all possible worlds? Is it worth it to grant masters and rulers so much control over our lives, out of fear of trying anything different? Besides, we can’t claim that we need government control to prevent mass bloodshed, because it is governments that have perpetrated the greatest slaughters of all: in wars, in holocausts, in the centrally organized enslaving and obliteration of entire peoples and cultures. And it may be that when governments break down, many people lose their lives in the resulting chaos and infighting. But this fighting is almost always between other power-hungry hierarchical groups, other would-be governors and rulers. If we were to reject hierarchy absolutely, and refuse to serve any force above ourselves, there would no longer be any large scale wars or holocausts. That would be a responsibility each of us would have to take on equally, to collectively refuse to recognize any power as worth serving, to swear allegiance to nothing but ourselves and our fellow human beings. But if we all were to do it, we would never see another world war again.”
Well – it rolls off the tongue easier than:
“immoral, reckless, illegal Sons of Liberty…“!
Kind of insulting to those dogs, Claire.
Although I know of one that was a kind of an attention hound.
I’d like to add the digital renegade. Those people developing and distributing crypto algorithms for the people. Or those people exposing big government lies on wikileaks. But in they waren a subset of the agitator.
[…] what exactly is a Freedom Outlaw? Posted on June 8, 2010 by Bill Miller This article on BackwoodsHome.com. A Freedom Outlaw is (loosely) somebody who cares so much about freedom that he or she will go […]
If you enjoyed this commentary then you will love Tom Baugh’s book Starving The Monkeys!
I enjoyed your article. There is more need of your book and ideas now than ever before. I have been reading your material for several years now and find it refreshing to see these ideas in front of the public.
Probably my most common form of Freedom Outlawism is to jaywalk. You know, cross the street when the orange hand is ablaze. Since I am blessed with great corrective lenses that allow me to see when no vehicles are approaching an intersection, why should I have to stand there like an automaton and wait for an inanimate object tell me when I can cross the street? Were I to dutifully stand there until the little white walking man appeared and step out into the interesection without looking and get run over by a red-light runner, I would be just as stupid.
Recently, I came to an intersection at which two bike cops were stopped, dutifully waiting for the little walking white man to appear. I decided to test them. After stopping and looking both ways and seeing no approaching traffic, I started to cross. The fat one of the two called out to me and told me that I couldn’t cross yet; I was jaywalking. Not wanting to provide any more financial assistance to the city than I have to, I returned, but commented to the fat bike cop that I thought that one of the reasons for corrective lenses was to enable a person to see whether anything was coming. He ingnored my comment and thanked me. The officer took the provided opportunity to make a complete ass of himself. I continue to jaywalk every chance I get.
Crime against person? Check.
Crime agains property? Check.
Crime against government? Sorry, no such thing exists.
Outlaw, one who answers to a higher authority than the law. Therefore outside of the law. The higher authority might be the Constitution, God, etc.
Are You a Freedom Outlaw?…
<p> Here at Freedom Offshore, we are passionate about freedom. But we always advocate attaining your freedom legally and ethically. </p> ……
[…] Home Magazine – So, what exactly is a Freedom Outlaw? (Hat Tip: Brian B.) Share and […]
When freedom is outlawed.. Only outlaws will be free.
[…] guess what, you are probably already an outlaw. A Freedom Outlaw is (loosely) somebody who cares so much about freedom that he or she will go […]
After reading Atlas Shrugged over ten years ago I decided it go “on strike”, but realised I couldn’t do it all out and keep the family farm.
I suppose I’m a kind of cockapoo, Obeying such arbitrary laws as I can’t avoid and slipping through the cracks when I can.
I remember my dad had a strong sense of right & wrong but a low regard for laws for their own sake.
Freedom Outlaw also means spiritual freedom, getting out of the material mentality and spirituality. It means getting out of the system that enslaves you (yet one can work within a system that does not enslave you)…actually, most Americans are mentally and emotionally enslaved rather than economically or politically.
Good article, but a couple of suggestions for you to disregard:
1. How about having the comments in descending chronological order? I fear that nobody is going to see this here blathering of mine, which rubs my gluttonous ego the wrong way.
2. When considering going the “cockapoo” route, keep in mind that sucking the beast dry is a slow going process due to the constant and steadily increasing stream of transfusions afforded to the beast at the expense of the productive class upon which it preys. The more you suck on the beast, the more the beast sucks on us working stiffs. So while Cockapoo Steve gleefully proudly declares himself a righteous parasite and regails us with his “do evil for good reasons” nonsense, those of us that are trying to follow our own moral compass as we navigate toward a clean break are getting soaked for it.
But then again, I suppose I should thank Cockapoo Steve for turning up the heat. Maybe this will just motivate me to redouble my efforts to liberate myself from this bull shit system.
As Thoreau so eloquently pointed out, bad laws SHOULD be disobeyed!
[…] a litty ditty posted at BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE. “Become a FREEDOM OUTLAW”! YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAW. Let Arizona return to its rabid individualistic roots upon which it […]
I am a mole and made a conscious decision to be one when I realized that the government breaks every law -or refuses to enforce them – they expect others to follow.
But I don’t think the Cockapoo is a Freedom Outlaw; he is just an outlaw plain and simple. It’s one thing to do what one can to get around ridiculous, absurd laws and taxes whose sole purpose is to control and rob us. It is quite another to steal from your fellow man.
Stealing is “retiring” on food stamps, collecting unemployment while working on the side tax free, and collecting benefits that others legitimately require -the handicapped and the sick. And I am not fond of people stealing from ME when my fellow citizens and I are paying taxes for you. I’m not fond of the idea of the cockapoo who walks away from a contract on his house while the gov is bilking ME to cover the loss of revenue.
If the Freedom Outlaw wants to work tax free, then okay. I have no problem with that one. You are your own boss, you make what you can, you’re not stealing anything. Just don’t apply for unemployment benefits which may suck the beast dry but also suck your fellow man dry. If you want to walk away from your mortgage payent, fine. Just don’t expect me to support the idea of your living rent free in your foreclosed property while the government soaks ME with additonal and never-ending bailouts.
Libertarianism is a fine political and economic ideology to which I adhere, but I adhere to personal integrity more. Sponging off me so you can be a cockapoo ain’t cool.
Great job Claire!!!! Have enjoyed your work before, but you really out did yourself in a very simple piece. My 14 year old even loves it!
I think there are more of us then they think there is. We come in various forms and with many names. We have been around for centurys waiting for their time to come when the institution runs out of people to enslave. I look forward to the day when money means nothing because of hyperinflation. Everyone has the same basic needs, air, water, food and something to believe in. What happens when the people that serve “them” realize they have a life to live and they better make a decision as to who and where they will serve it. We country bumkins will survive living off the land only going to the stores for toilet paper. Keep God in your life and friends and family close, pray together, ignore the suit and tie society- they’ll die off in the end.
How to stop paying taxes without being locked up: losthorizons.com.
Great Freedom Outlaw music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wt_PWMnwKc
Ultimate Freedom Outlaw movie? Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMjtZqm8PqU
[…] So, what exactly is a Freedom Outlaw? […]
There are 2 secrets that a true outlaw comes to understand in there lives the first thing is no one has authority over them on this planet and the second thing is the true outlaw knows they have to answer to no one here no matter who they are that is what makes a true outlaw. This is the secret that makes the true outlaw free and feared.
So how does this guy, Bob Fasanella, lay claim to this essay?
Sorry, not very clear here. I was referring to “Freedom Outlaw « How to act like an American:” in Comment at 3:20 pm above.
Pat. Wow. If that’s not a mistake, that’s pretty damned disgusting. I made a comment on that site noting that the work is mine, not some guy named Bob’s. Comments don’t appear automatically there. Have to wait and see whether somebody has made an honest error — in which case they’ll print my comment and change the byline — or whether you’ve spotted a rip-off artist. In either case, thanks for the catch.
So many good comments on this piece I think I’m going to have to respond with another interminable essay quoting some of you. 🙂
I just read your article posted over @ the Silver Bear. Visited for the first time and truely admire the work you and others are doing here.
Your words speak volumns of truth, compassion and logic in a world of the land of the ‘free & brave’ going mad….but not quite there yet.
Gottago,I believe American Idol is on…
[…] by Claire Wolfe, BackwoodsHome […]
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blog post being linked to so many times in my life!
Tell Dave he needs to publish this one in print!
You shouldn’t encourage people to survive on government bene-tits. It’s understandable that some people need free $ from the state sometimes but if we are going to be independent people then we need to work to get our selves out of participating in those scams like unemployment insurance and social insecurity and even public schools.
I left america completely .. i live in the philippines Only law i deal with is immigration law here in republic of the Philippines.
When justice is made a travesty and obeying the law becomes not only burdensome but also detrimental to life, good men MUST become outlaws, or they are no longer good.
I intended to say this yesterday, but forgot after I clicked on “How to be an American” website.
Sometimes you can’t help but be a Cockapoo.
Shortly after reaching retirement age, I needed emergency surgery. I was continuing to work, but had no insurance, so asked both hospital and doctor if I could pay on time, to which both agreed. I also asked NOT to submit a Medicare bill, that I would pay that amount as well — and was informed that govt did not allow that, that I HAD to be covered by whatever amount Medicare deemed correct. (BTW, I was working at that hospital, so they knew they could get the money by taking it out of my paycheck.)
Since then I have been working *VERY HARD* to stay healthy until I die in my sleep. I do not intend for Medicare to ever pay another cent for my care.
And BTW again: the blood-sucking “private” companies that now handle Medicare – something like the census-takers who do the work for Census Bureau, getting paid with OUR money – are truly full of “poo.”
All our liberties are due to men who, when their conscience has compelled them, have broken the laws of the land. — WILLIAM KINGDON CLIFFORD
Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. — John F. Kennedy
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. — Billy Graham
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. — Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964 (1909-1998)
If you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law. — Winston Churchill
Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! — Patrick Henry
“LET US CONTEMPLATE OUR FOREFATHERS, AND POSTERITY, AND RESOLVE TO MAINTAIN THE RIGHTS BEQUEATHED TO US FROM THE FORMER, FOR THE SAKE OF THE LATTER. THE NECESSITY OF THE TIMES, MORE THAN EVER, CALLS FOR OUR UTMOST CIRCUMSPECTION, DELIBERATION, FORTITUDE, AND PERSEVERANCE. LET US REMEMBER THAT `IF WE SUFFER TAMELY A LAWLESS ATTACK UPON OUR LIBERTY, WE ENCOURAGE IT, AND INVOLVE OTHERS IN OUR DOOM.’ IT IS A VERY SERIOUS CONSIDERATION…THAT MILLIONS YET UNBORN MAY BE THE MISERABLE SHARERS OF THE EVENT.” — SAMUEL ADAMS, SPEECH IN BOSTON, 1771
THE MORE CORRUPT THE STATE, THE MORE NUMEROUS THE LAWS. — TACITUS (A.D. 55?-130?)
If a man neglects to enforce his rights, he cannot complain if, after a while, the law follows his example. —OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
“On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?” — Thomas Jefferson
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.” – Ronald Reagan
When law and morality contradict each other the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his sense of morality or losing his respect for the law. — Frederick Bastiat
I don’t know what else to say?
Something to think about…….
“We are outlaws, we are free.”
September 15, 1970
(Violent Marxist Radical Group)
[…] the “Freedom Outlaw” article, and then let me know what you think. Are you a Freedom […]
[…] Copied from Living Freedom: […]
Don’t let your ego get too near your posture, to ensure if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn’t go with it.