By, "practical freedom," I mean identifying what it is you want to do and achieving the conditions in which you are free do it. Freedom means being able to do whatever you choose to do without the interference of any other human individual or human agency, such as the government. If you are able to do whatever you choose, you are
The importance of determining exactly what you want to do cannot be overemphasized. It is very easy to get sidetracked into thinking freedom means being someplace where everyone is free to do what they choose, but there is no such place in the world. Every country in the world has some oppressive restrictions on some things.
The issue is not a country's government or laws, but whether you are able to do whatever you choose to do in that country. If there is a country that outlaws gambling and pornography, for example, but there are no legal restrictions on setting up and running a business, if you have no interest at all in gambling or pornography, and what you want to do is to run a business, those laws will be no restriction on your freedom.
The Free Today
If you know only those who accept the limits imposed on them by the various oppressive governments they live under, it may surprise you to know, there are millions, perhaps, tens of millions of people in this world who are completely free, who live there lives as they choose. No one tells them what to do, or not to do, and they do whatever they choose whenever they choose, without getting anyone's permission or approval.
I tell you this, because one of the greatest barriers to achieving total freedom and independence is the belief, a tacit assumption, that in the present world freedom is impossible. If it were impossible, no one would be free, but the millions that are free prove this is not true.
You actually know many of these free individuals, or at least about them. It probably does not occur to you that they are free, but being able to do whatever one chooses whenever they choose to is exactly what freedom is.
Most multimillionaires, for example, are totally free. Some millionaires and billionaires you've heard of, but most you will never know exist. Do you suppose millionaires worry about a TSA pat down, or other harassments when traveling to various countries in the world on their private jets?
If you are not aware of how many millionaires there are, the following figures may surprise, perhaps even shock you:
1. North America—3,300,000 millionaires
2. Europe—3,100,000 millionaires
3. Asia-Pacific—2,800,000 millionaires
4. Latin America—400,000 millionaires
5. Middle East—400,000 millionaires
6. Africa—100,000 millionaires
That means over 10,100,000 people can probably do just about anything they choose. How many of them choose to be free cannot be known, of course. The point is, there are that many that could live freely if they chose too.
In addition to the very rich, according to the UN there are more than 200 million people living outside their own country. Many, of course, are employees of companies with foreign contracts, but many more simply live where they can be most free. They are expatriates, or simply expats.
There are literally millions of people in the world who have already established their own freedom.
Paths To Freedom
Money is one path to freedom, and perhaps the main one. In truth, only independent individualists truly want freedom and an independent individualist is always a creator and producer. Money should always be one path available to the independent individualist. Please see the
Money section which will introduce some aspects of the money path to freedom.
An independent individualist will be a producer, but part of establishing one's freedom is ensuring one keeps the wealth one produces, which means both preserving and growing it. That is exactly what the
Investing and Saving section is all about—how to gain, keep, and grow your money.
If you have enough money, you can probably arrange to have the kind of freedom you need almost anywhere. If, however, it is your money, or your means of producing it, that are threatened by government oppression, your freedom will probably require some method of divorcing yourself from that oppressive government. Two methods of obtaining that divorce are the
Expatriation and Permanent Traveler (PT) methods.
Perhaps the kind of government oppression that is limiting your freedom is that pervasive intrusion into our private lives put over in the name of, "government services," which includes everything from education, health care, and so-called utilities like power and water. There are two methods one can use to minimize that kind of government oppression, Independent Living and Non-participation [pending].
No matter what route or routes to freedom one chooses to implement, all will require attention to one aspect of all oppression: the violation of individual privacy. Without that violation most, government oppression, such as taxes, would not be possible. The government could not tax your income if it did not know you had an income or how much it is. In order to tax you, the government must first violate your privacy to learn details about your private life which are none of its business.
Privacy Freedom [pending] is one of the first steps in establishing one's personal freedom, whatever freedom means to any individual.
Whatever freedom means to you, and whatever path you must take to achieve that freedom, there are going to be many interesting attractions tempting you away from your main pursuit. They are not usually bad things in themselves, but they will divert your energy and resources away from your objective.
It is natural, for example, to be interested in the politics of one's own city, or state, or country and to some extent, the freedom seeking individualist must be aware of those aspects of the political terrain if it will affect his own pursuit of freedom. Politics is very alluring to some, however, and it is easy to get caught up in the political itself, perhaps even being convinced that political action is a means to one's own personal freedom. It isn't, and never can be.
There is certainly nothing wrong with political action, if that is what one is personally interested in, but if one expects any such action to contribute to their own freedom, the time and energy they waste on such action will actually stand in the way of their achieving their own personal liberty.