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The Essential Rules Of Tyranny

The Essential Rules Of Tyranny                         by Brandon Smith

As we look back on the horrors of thedictatorships and autocracies of the past, one particular questionconsistently arises; how was it possible for the common men of theseeras to NOT notice what was happening around them? How could theyhave stood as statues unaware or uncaring as their cultures were overrun by fascism,communism, collectivism, and elitism? Of course, we have theadvantage of hindsight, and are able to research and examine themisdeeds of the past at our leisure. Unfortunately, such hindsightdoes not necessarily shield us from the long cast shadow of tyranny in our own day. For that, theincreasingly uncommon gift of foresight is required…

At bottom, the success of despoticgovernments and Big Brother societies hinges upon a certain number ofpolitical, financial, and cultural developments. The first of whichis an unwillingness in the general populace to secure and defendtheir own freedoms, making them completely reliant on corrupt establishment leadership.For totalitarianism to take hold, the masses must not only neglectthe plight of their country, and the plight of others, but also becompletely uninformed of the inherent indirect threats to theirpersonal safety. They must abandon all responsibility for theirdestinies, and lose all respect for their own humanity. They must,indeed, become domesticated and mindless herd animals without regardfor anything except their fleeting momentary desires forentertainment and short term survival. For a lumberingbloodthirsty behemoth to actually sneak up on you, you have to bepretty damnably oblivious.

The prevalence of apathy and ignorancesets the stage for the slow and highly deliberate process ofcentralization. Once dishonest governments accomplish an atmosphereof inaction and condition a sense of frailty within the citizenry,the sky is truly the limit. However, a murderous power-monger’s dayis never quite done. In my recent article ‘The Essential Rules ofLiberty’ we explored the fundamentally unassailable actions andmental preparations required to ensure the continuance of a freesociety. In this article, let’s examine the frequently wieldedtools of tyrants in their invariably insane quests for total control…

Rule #1: Keep Them Afraid

People who are easily frightened areeasily dominated. This is not just a law of political will, but a lawof nature. Many wrongly assume that a tyrant’s power comes purelyfrom the application of force. In fact, despotic regimes that relysolely on extreme violence are often very unsuccessful, and easily overthrown. Brute strength iscalculable. It can be analyzed, and thus, eventually confronted anddefeated. Thriving tyrants instead utilize not just harm, but theimminent THREAT of harm. They instill apprehension in the public; afear of the unknown, or a fear of the possible consequences forstanding against the state. They let our imaginations run wild untilwe see death around every corner, whether it’s actually there ornot. When the masses are so blinded by the fear of reprisal that theyforget their fear of slavery, and take no action whatsoever to undoit, then they have been sufficiently culled.

In other cases, our fear is evoked anddirected towards engineered enemies. Another race, another religion,another political ideology, a “hidden” and ominous villaincreated out of thin air. Autocrats assert that we “need them” inorder to remain safe and secure from these illusory monsters bent onour destruction. As always, this development is followed by the claimthat all steps taken, even those that dissolve our freedoms, are “forthe greater good”. Frightened people tend to shirk their sense ofindependence and run towards the comfort of the collective, even ifthat collective is built on immoral and unconscionable foundations.Once a society takes on a hive-mind mentality almost any evil can berationalized, and any injustice against the individual is simplyoverlooked for the sake of the group.

Rule #2: Keep Them Isolated

In the past, elitist governments wouldoften legislate and enforce severe penalties for public gatherings,because defusing the ability of the citizenry to organize or tocommunicate was paramount to control. In our technological era, suchisolation is still used, but in far more advanced forms. The breadand circus lifestyle of the average westerner alone is enough todistract us from connecting with each other in any meaningfulfashion, but people still sometimes find ways to seek out organizedforms of activism.

Through co-option, modern day tyrant’scan direct and manipulate opposition movements. By creating andadministrating groups which oppose each other, elites can thenmicromanage all aspects of a nation on the verge of revolution. These“false paradigms” give us the illusion of proactive organization,and the false hope of changing the system, while at the same timepreventing us from seeking understanding in one another. All ourenergies are then muted and dispersed into meaningless battles over“left and right”, or “Democrat versus Republican”, forexample. Only movements that cast aside such empty labels and concernthemselves with the ultimate truth of their country, regardless ofwhat that truth might reveal, are able to enact real solutions to thedisasters wrought by tyranny.

In more advanced forms of despotism,even fake organizations are disbanded. Curfews are enforced. Normalcommunications are diminished or monitored. Compulsory paperwork isrequired. Checkpoints are instituted. Free speech is punished.Existing groups are influenced to distrust each other or todisintegrate entirely out of dread of being discovered. All of thesemeasures are taken by tyrants primarily to prevent ANY citizens fromgathering and finding mutual support. People who work together andorganize of their own volition are unpredictable, and therefore, apotential risk to the state.

Rule #3: Keep Them Desperate

You’ll find in nearly every instanceof cultural descent into autocracy, the offending government gainedfavor after the onset of economic collapse. Make the necessities ofroot survival an uncertainty, and people without knowledge of selfsustainability and without solid core principles will gladly handover their freedom, even for mere scraps from the tables of the samemen who unleashed famine upon them. Financial calamities are notdangerous because of the poverty they leave in their wake; they aredangerous because of the doors to malevolence that they leave open.

Destitution leads not just to hunger,but also to crime (private and government). Crime leads to anger,hatred, and fear. Fear leads to desperation. Desperation leads to theacceptance of anything resembling a solution, even despotism.

Autocracies pretend to cut through thedilemmas of economic dysfunction (usually while demanding libertiesbe relinquished), however, behind the scenes they actually seek tomaintain a proscribed level of indigence and deprivation. Theconstant peril of homelessness and starvation keeps the massesthoroughly distracted from such things as protest or dissent, whilesimultaneously chaining them to the idea that their only chance is tocling to the very government out to end them.

Rule #4: Send Out The Jackboots

This is the main symptom oftenassociated with totalitarianism. So much so that our preconceivednotions of what a fascist government looks like prevent us fromseeing other forms of tyranny right under our noses. Some Americansbelieve that if the jackbooted thugs are not knocking on every door,then we MUST still live in a free country. Obviously, this is arather naïve position. Admittedly, though, goon squads and secretpolice do eventually become prominent in every failed nation, usuallywhile the public is mesmerized by visions of war, depression,hyperinflation, terrorism, etc.

When law enforcement officials are nolonger servants of the people, but agents of a government concernedonly with its own supremacy, serious crises emerge. Checks andbalances are removed. The guidelines that once reigned in policedisappear, and suddenly, a philosophy of superiority emerges; anarrogant exclusivity that breeds separation between law enforcementand the rest of the public. Finally, police no longer see themselvesas protectors of citizens, but prison guards out to keep us subduedand docile.

As tyranny grows, this behavior isencouraged. Good men are filtered out of the system, and small(minded and hearted) men are promoted.

At its pinnacle, a police state willhide the identities of most of its agents and officers, behind masksor behind red tape, because their crimes in the name of the statebecome so numerous and so sadistic that personal vengeance on thepart of their victims will become a daily concern.

Rule #5: Blame Everything On The TruthSeekers

Tyrants are generally men who havesquelched their own consciences. They have no reservations in usingany means at their disposal to wipe out opposition. But, in the earlystages of their ascent to power, they must give the populace a reasonfor their ruthlessness, or risk being exposed, and instigating evenmore dissent. The propaganda machine thus goes into overdrive, andany person or group that dares to question the authority or thevalidity of the state is demonized in the minds of the masses.

All disasters, all violent crimes, allthe ills of the world, are hoisted upon the shoulders of activistgroups and political rivals. They are falsely associated with fringeelements already disliked by society (racists, terrorists, etc). Abogus consensus is created through puppet media in an attempt to makethe public believe that “everyone else” must have the same exactviews, and those who express contrary positions must be “crazy”,or “extremist”. Events are even engineered by the corrupt systemand pinned on those demanding transparency and liberty. The goal isto drive anti-totalitarian organizations into self censorship. Thatis to say, instead of silencing them directly, the state causesactivists to silence themselves.

Tyrannical power structures cannotfunction without scapegoats. There must always be an elusive boogieman under the bed of every citizen, otherwise, those citizens mayturn their attention, and their anger, towards the real culpritbehind their troubles. By scapegoating stewards of the truth, suchgovernments are able to kill two birds with one stone.

Rule #6: Encourage Citizen Spies

Ultimately, the life of a totalitariangovernment is not prolonged by the government itself, but by the verypeople it subjugates. Citizen spies are the glue of any police state,and our propensity for sticking our noses into other peoples businessis highly valued by Big Brother bureaucracies around the globe.

There are a number of reasons whypeople participate in this repulsive activity. Some are addicted tothe feeling of being a part of the collective, and “service” tothis collective, sadly, is the only way they are able to give theirpathetic lives meaning. Some are vindictive, cold, and soulless, andactually get enjoyment from ruining others. And still, like elites,some long for power, even petty power, and are willing to do anythingto fulfill their vile need to dictate the destinies of perfectstrangers.

Citizen spying is almost always brandedas a civic duty; an act of heroism and bravery. Citizen spies areoffered accolades and awards, and showered with praise from the upperechelons of their communities. People who lean towards citizen spyingare often outwardly and inwardly unimpressive; physically andmentally inept. For the average moral and emotional weakling withpersistent feelings of inadequacy, the allure of finally being givenfifteen minutes of fame and a hero’s status (even if that status isbased on a lie) is simply too much to resist. They begin to see“extremists” and “terrorists” everywhere. Soon, people afraidof open ears everywhere start to watch what they say at thesupermarket, in their own backyards, or even to family members. Freespeech is effectively neutralized.

Rule #7: Make Them Accept TheUnacceptable

In the end, it is not enough for agovernment fueled by the putrid sludge of iniquity to lord over us.At some point, it must also influence us to forsake our most valuedprinciples. Tyrannies are less concerned with dominating how we live,so much as dominating how we think. If they can mold our verymorality, they can exist unopposed indefinitely. Of course, theelements of conscience are inborn, and not subject to environmentalduress as long as a man is self aware. However, conscience can bemanipulated if a person has no sense of identity, and has never putin the effort to explore his own strengths and failings. There aremany people like this in America today.

Lies become “necessary” inprotecting the safety of the state. War becomes a tool for “peace”.Torture becomes an ugly but “useful” method for gleaningimportant information. Police brutality is sold as a “naturalreaction” to increased crime. Rendition becomes normal, but onlyfor those labeled as “terrorists”. Assassination is justified asa means for “saving lives”. Genocide is done discretely, but mosteveryone knows it is taking place. They simply don’t discuss it.

All tyrannical systems depend on theapathy and moral relativism of the inhabitants within their borders.Without the cooperation of the public, these systems cannot function.The real question is, how many of the above steps will be takenbefore we finally refuse to conform? At what point will each man andwoman decide to break free from the dark path blazed before us andtake measures to ensure their independence? Who will have the courageto develop their own communities, their own alternative economies,their own organizations for mutual defense outside of establishmentconstructs, and who will break under the pressure to bow likecowards? How many will hold the line, and how many will flee?

For every American, for every humanbeing across the planet who chooses to stand immovable in the face ofthe very worst in mankind, we come that much closer to breathing lifeonce again into the very best in us all.

You can contact Brandon Smith at:


The Essential Rules Of Liberty                          by Brandon Smith

There is nothing worse in this worldthan an enslaved man who naively believes himself free, except,perhaps, trying to explain to that same man his predicament. You canlay truth after truth before his feet. You can qualify your everyposition with cold hard irrefutable data. You can plead and scream and raise veritable hell,but before he will ever listen, he must first become aware of his owndire circumstances. As long as he views himself as “safe andsecure”, as long as he imagines his chains to be wings, he will seeno reason to question the validity of the world around him, and hewill certainly never invest himself into changing his own deludeddestiny.

Unfortunately, there are many such mencrawling and scraping about here in what was once a land graced witha self sufficient and independently minded public majority. The greatlie that has been perpetuated in this country over the past severaldecades is that we can defer our responsibilities of vigilance andplace our well being and our futures into the hands of others for thesake of “collective efficiency”, or leisure. We have beenconditioned to live in a state of constant indifference, a society which prizes compromise over principleand steadfast resolve. Those who refuse to compromise that which ishonorable for the sake of ease and comfort are indicted as“extremist” or even criminal. The idea of personal revolution istreated with discomfort, and all we claim to stand for becomesmuddled in a fog of inaction and cynicism. As Americans, we haveforgotten what it means to earn and protect our own freedoms. We haveforgotten that in liberty, there are standards that must be defended.

This, however, does not mean we cannotyet again remember ourselves. The desire for freedom is as inborn andnatural as our own heartbeat, as our own breath. It is instinct. Itcannot be erased from within, only oppressed from without. The tidehas always been against tyranny, always, though we may find that hardto believe. If liberty was not ingrained into our very DNA, humanitywould have succumbed to bondage and self destructed long ago. This isnot the case. Stretching under the surface of our superficialforce-fed mainstream culture are the roots of something real, andhonest. Simmering beneath our so called “civilized” veneer, manyAmericans are finally rediscovering their wild and defiant origins.In the recent past we have been taught to feel ashamed of ourrebelliousness. Now, we are learning to hold it quite dear.

For those of us who are awake, and forthose who are on the verge of understanding, certain rules come intoplay that strengthen our stance and shield us from folly. Liberty isnot a self perpetuating social condition. It requires guidelines, andeffort, and sacrifice. Liberty will not survive without ourwillingness to maintain it. If you are not ready and willing to fightfor your own independence, then you are not truly free.

Let’s examine some of the inherentlaws and guidelines of free will and free action that will allow usto not only win back our self determination, but to keep it forgenerations to come. You want liberty? This is what it takes…

Rule #1: Never Take Anything ForGranted

A lot of people today seem to haveserious issues with expectation and assumption; what we in thealternative media often refer to as “normalcy bias”. We havegrown used to the idea of abundance and relative safety. So much so,that we fail to notice when our abundance and safety begin todisappear. We assume that the condition of the world today will bethe condition of the world tomorrow, and for all time. In the U.S.,we have even come to expect not only that our prosperity and ourfreedom are inevitable, but that they will also increaseexponentially with each passing generation. This is a relatively newand narrow cultural mindset likely caused by the explosion inindustrial growth after WWII which seemed to erase all memory of theGreat Depression in our society, leaving us with the belief thatsurely, our circumstances would never become so desperate again.

Those who are truly independent realizethat nations, no matter how affluent, can self destruct at a moment’snotice, especially when they fail to recognize their own weaknessesand confront their own demons. Never suppose that that which is goodand just will remain without your own initiative. Never wait forothers to fix those problems which you could just as easily solveyourself. Never expect that freedoms won cannot also be easily lost.Always prepare for the worst outcome, and strive for the best outcome.

Rule #2: Educate Yourself

Never become a useful idiot, or a wasteof oxygen. Being a part of the herd is nothing to be proud of. Strivefor knowledge, and thirst for the truth every moment of every day.Many of the things we deem “important” in modern society are inthe grand scheme hollow attempts to fill our lives with distraction,only wasting time until we finally bite the dust filled with regret.Pretending to further the depth of one’s life is not the same asactually doing so. I can’t think of anything more horrifying thanbecoming a man who rushes around frantically every waking moment, butultimately accomplishes nothing.

Do not assume that you already have atangible grasp of the truth, especially if all your knowledge hasbeen handed to you. Instead, research that knowledge for yourself.Put that which you have been taught to the test. Only in this waywill you finally learn. Expand your horizons. Learn something useful.Remove unnecessary distractions for at least part of your day andfocus on increasing your awareness of the environment you live in.There are very few things in this world more important than this, andself education should take precedence over everything else exceptyour family. “Lack of time” is no excuse for ignorance. Maketime! The ignorant are led. The knowledgeable lead themselves.

Rule #3: Don’t Be A Pansy

Liberty is not for the faint of heart.Emotional courage is paramount to freedom, and it can be expressed toincredible effect by even the most unlikely heroes. I’ve seenchildren with more courage and tenacity than some full grown men.

If one recognizes the gravity of thesituation we face as a people, if one understands the considerabledanger involved in the fall of a Republic to the depths of fear andautocracy, but still does nothing, that person has not only failedthe world, he has also failed himself. “Making waves”, or drawingthe ire of “authority”, is the least of our worries. If you haveutilized an objective eye, and know you are right in your position,then there is no reason to fear criticism from anyone.

Sociopolitical action, nonconformity,noncompliance, and self defense, are unavoidable aspects of a societythat wishes to maintain its freedoms. There is no way around it. Ifyou are not willing to stick your neck out and expose yourself torisk, you remove all chance of possible gain. If you are a selfproclaimed activist that refuses to sacrifice, that refuses tostruggle, then you have failed before you even began. Talk must leadto balanced action. Never thumb your nose at the devil without beingready to trade punches as well, or all is lost.

Rule #4: Stop Waiting For Others ToTell You What To Do

Independent people not only considerand implement the solutions of others, they also work on their own.Complaints abound lately in the Liberty Movement;

“When is someone going to dosomething!? What are YOU going to do about our predicament!?”

This is the question of a slave, not afree man. A free man asks, “What am I going to do about thispredicament? What is MY solution to the problem?” Therein is thekey to liberty; decentralized leadership and movements based onfluidity and spontaneity of action, instead of a great mass of peoplestanding around stiffly waiting for orders on high, or a self styledmessiah to engineer their world view. As soon as you place your veryinitiative under the control of others, you have lost the fight.Always consider the solid strategies of intelligent people, and adoptthem if they are useful, but do not remain idle because you are toofrightened to exert the effort to solve problems bigger thanyourself. Spectators only witness history, they do not make history.

Rule #5: Cast Off What Is Unnecessary,Keep What Is Effective

Yes, I stole this rule from Bruce Lee,but it is just as applicable to social movements and economicstability as it is to the martial arts. Invasive debt creation, forinstance, is a tool for subversion, and no people forced to bear theburden of liabilities they can never repay is free. Therefore,exorbitant debt must be avoided, or cast off completely.

In our personal lives, how many uselessgoods do we accumulate on a daily basis, instead of useful items thatwe may one day desperately need? How much of our life is spentaccumulating garbage in order to keep up with “socially acceptable”levels of consumer behavior? How many of us cling to careers we hate in order to service our needless consumption? The ability to prioritize must become a virtueonce again, and, we all need to shut off the cable television…

This rule also applies to governments.If a government no longer fulfills its sworn duties to the people,and no longer serves the purposes to which it was originallyintended, then it too must be cast off and replaced with one thatdoes serve the people, or, it must be forced to return to itsinherent foundations. Today, this kind of talk is often referred toas “extremism”, or insurgency, no matter how correct it might be,which brings us to our next rule…

Rule #6: Ignore Establishment Labels

Tactical name calling is only effective if we actually care what other people think of us. Labels like“homegrown terrorist”, “extremist”, “doomer”, or“conspiracy theorist”, are designed to shame people into selfcensorship. That is to say, they pigeonhole movements and theirparticipants into categories of public shame, causing said movementsto fear social reprisal. They are also meant to forcefully assign“outsider” or “fringe” status to particular politicalpositions in order to marginalize and weaken the resolve of those whohold them. Never mind that almost every powerful and honorablecultural movement in history once started out as “fringe”.

Early in our lives, we are taught thatit is far better to be accepted, and to avoid standing out, even atthe expense of our individualism. Unfortunately, many adults neveroutgrow this childish belief, and thus become vulnerable to tacticsas absurd as simple ridicule. At bottom, being slandered by a thieving bureaucracy infested withsoulless parasites bent on centralization at the expense of innocenthuman life is a bit laughable (this goes for you too, SPLC).Globalists, along with their media cronies and their think-tank sockpuppets, will say ANYTHING to get what they want. Empty words and false labels cannot stop the truth, ora movement driven by the truth.

Rule #7: Cynicism Is The Path To Defeat

It is good to be critical, but not tothe point of nihilism. America’s past is riddled with mistakes, badjudgments, horrible crimes, and downright stupidity; that doesn’tmean that the principles on which this country was founded are anyless vital. We hear often from cynics that humanity has become toostupid and complacent to do what is right. However, stupidity andcomplacency are not inherent qualities. That’s an elitist fantasywith no basis in fact. Stupidity and complacency are learnedbehaviors, and they can be unlearned. What IS inherent is our abilityto choose what path we will take. For adherents of liberty, we needonly remind people that they have this choice. We can whine and cryall day long about how nobody pays attention and how there is nohope, or, we can exhaust all options before throwing in the proverbial towel. Wedon’t need to “like” society the way it is, but we do need torecognize the underlying potential of all people to become somethingmuch more than what they currently are (I can’t stand blindignorance either, but I’m certainly not ready to accept it as afact of American life). Remember, no fight isover until it is over.

Rule #8: True Authority Is Derived FromRespect That Is Earned, Not Bought, Or Taken

A corrupt politician is just a criminalconman in a nice suit. A law enforcement officer who refuses tofollow Constitutional Law is just a petty little tyrant in a blackuniform. An economist who knowingly skews data to fit his ownpolitical bias or to serve the political biases of men above him isjust a liar or an inept buffoon with an embossed piece of paper froman expensive university. A lab scientist or doctor who flubsexperimentation to support the interests of the corporate worldrather than the needs of the public is just a quack in a white coat.All too often, though, we find ourselves taking these cretinsseriously all because they talk the talk and wear the costume. Theyare just people, and if they cannot do their jobs honestly, then theyare useless people, who deserve our disdain, not our respect. Weshould never allow such men to wield positions of authority over us.

Rule #9: Take It Personally

When someone tries to steal from you, hurt you, or enslave you, unless you are some kind of nut, you takeit pretty personally, right? Why should it be any different when agovernment commits the same grievances? Americans should be furiousover the destruction of their economy, their currency, their infrastructure, and theirConstitutional freedoms! They should be enraged over the endless warsoverseas that are bankrupting the nation. They should be bellowing tothe rooftops over the cooption of their political system by a slimybrood of corporate bankers. Is this “extremist” behavior? Whocares!? If your anger is not visible then it is not worth a damn.Don’t just get active, get emotional! This is about your life, andthe lives of those you love. That’s not to say that we should takeout our frustrations randomly and haphazardly, but if we can’t atleast make known our anger over the misdeeds of government, then whatthe hell is the point of calling ourselves free?

Rule #10: You Are The First And LastLine Of Defense

Like it our not, this is our job. Wehave inherited a country on the verge of disaster, and we are taskedwith cleaning it up, otherwise, there will be little left to pass on.We do not get to bask in illusory prosperity for the rest of ourdays. We do not get to feed off the entitlement program trough until we are fat and contented. We are not goingto retain our rights without blood, sweat, and tears. We will not bebuilding magical floating cities in the clouds or skyscrapers onMars. We will NOT be remembered fondly as members of some fantastical “golden era”.

We have been thrust into the muck andthe mire. We are being molded as the lost children of an age betterforgotten. We have been slapped in the face with a dilemma sovolatile and so incredible it may one day be called the greatestcrisis of all time. We have drawn the short straw.

This could be viewed as some terribledoom. It could be held as a star crossed act of ferocious fate. Wecould fall to our knees and lament with despair, overcome with woe atour unbearable lot. But, this would be in violation of rule #3, andnobody wants to be a sobbing pansy. On the contrary, every “badluck generation” is only so if they refuse to see the great fortuneat their fingertips; if they refuse to seize the moment and conquerthe giants of their day. The greater the hardship, the greater theenemy, the greater the heroes. We are faced with possibly the mostunrelenting antagonists and the most treacherous obstacles in recentmemory, or even distant memory. In the same spark of confrontation,we are also presented with unparalleled opportunity to change thecourse of the world forever. Whether or not we succeed, is entirelyup to us.

You can contact Brandon Smith at:


The Essential Rules Of Liberty