Is America Still Land of the Free?
Over the last several decades, I’ve had many epiphanic or “red-pill” moments in my life that forced me to re-examine my belief systems. One of those moments was in the late 1990s after watching the movie called, The Matrix. The Matrix captivated my imagination but it wasn’t the special effects or the action scenes that did it for me. It was the film’s brilliant storyline. The idea behind the Matrix opened my mind in a way that allowed me to explore new possibilities about my own reality. Peter Joseph’s series of Zeitgeist films were also very instrumental in my awakening. After watching Zeitgeist for the first time, I was so blown away, that I went to the website and bought a dozen copy’s to hand out to my friends and family. I had a similar experience after reading the book about the takeover of our banking system written by G. Edward Griffin titled, “The Creature From Jekyll Island”. Another red-pill moment was after reading an article in 2010 written by Jim Kirwan, titled “Illusions of Freedom”. I believe the article was based on a video presentation made by Stephan Molyneux called “The Story of Your Enslavement.” The article (and video) discusses the film, The Matrix, freedom, slavery, and human management systems. Because freedom is such an important topic that affects everyone, I would like to take an in-depth and critical look at what it means to be free in America. First, I’ll discuss Kirwan’s article, then the film, The Matrix. Then I’ll go through some examples of how our current system is very similar to the film and article. Are we really free or do we just think we are free? Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
Illusions of Freedom
In the article, Illusions of Freedom, Kirwan states that the rise of state capitalism in the 1800s was a movement to increase productivity using a form of livestock management that was refined over the years and applied to human management systems. The underlying idea of the article is that if you give livestock (and humans) more space and limited freedom, it increases their productivity rate, which increased profits. Kirwan points out that an important component of this management system, when used with people, is that the subjects must have incentives and believe they are free. He states that all countries are actually tax farms that use different livestock management practices. Here is an abridged version of the article. Below are a few excerpts from the article:
“When cows are placed in very confining stalls they beat their heads against the walls, resulting in injuries and infections. Thus farmers now give them more room, not because they want to set their cows free but because they want greater productivity and lower costs. The next stop after free-range [In Chickens] is not freedom [It’s chicken Mc Nuggets]. “
“The rise of state capitalism in the nineteenth century was actually the rise of free-range serfdom. Additional liberties were granted to the human-livestock, not with the goal of setting them free; but rather with the goal of increasing their productivity.”
“Of course Intellectuals, Artists and Priests were and are well paid, to conceal this reality. The great problem of modern human-livestock ownership is the great challenge of enthusiasm. State Capitalism only works when the Entrepreneurial Spirit drives creativity and productivity in the economy.”
After watching the Matrix, Zeitgeist, and many other films like them, my mind was pretty open by the time I read, Illusions of Freedom. All of those previous influences along with the article made me step back and take a macro view of our social and economic system. Ultimately, I found a lot of striking similarities with our current system, the Matrix film, and the article that I would like to impart in this article. Like most people, I just assumed that because we live in America, “land of the free” that we are free people. Unfortunately, when we objectively analyze the current system we live under, and the results it produces, it’s difficult to make the case that we are free at all. In fact, the term, illusions of freedom is the perfect way to describe our current circumstances. The truth is, we are literally slaves to a system of our own consent. Why don’t more people know about this? Much like the film, our reality has become a prison we cannot smell, taste or touch, but it’s present in our life every moment of every day.
The Matrix Film
For those who haven’t seen the film, here is a quick summary: The Matrix is a sci-fi film made in the late 1990s. The two leading characters, Morpheus (played by Lawrence Fishburne) and Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) are the film’s main protagonists or heroes. Neo instinctively knows there is something wrong with the world but he’s not sure what it is. As Morpheus puts it, “it’s like a splinter in his mind driving him mad.” Morpheus and Neo meet through a series of cryptic online communications which leads up to the red-pill scene. Neo chooses the red-pill and learns he is actually living in a dystopian future where AI machines farm and enslave human beings for their energy. Neo’s physical body, (along with millions of others) is sealed in a pod filled with liquified nutrients made from other human slaves designed to sustain his life and harvest his energy to power the Matrix. The life he thought was real was actually a computer-generated program being streamed into his consciousness through a port in the back of his head. Upon his awakening, Neo learns just how insignificant his life is. He is nothing more than one of the millions of batteries that powers a cold, emotionless network of machines that are using his own energy to enslave him. When Neo unplugs from the matrix, he can see with his real eyes for the first time and begins to realize his full power.
“Artists use lies, to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” –Alan Moore
Do We Live In A Matrix?
The Matrix is a fitting metaphor for the times we live in because, in a very real sense, we do live in a technologically advanced manufactured reality designed to control our minds and harvest our energy. Maybe not quite like the film, but our current system produces similar results for much of our population. In America, our minds are controlled through the corporate media, the state-controlled education system, politics, and our overall culture. Our energy is harvested through excessive taxes, excessive inflation, and many other subtle ways. Just like in the film, where Neo was literally trapped in the Matrix, our system is equally difficult to escape. Morpheus tells Neo, “the Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” In many ways, we have been blinded by a false reality that is so pervasive and complete that we can’t even see it. Most of the components that make up this false reality are hidden in plain sight but our cultural programming blinds us to this reality. Some people don’t even want to look and would rather remain in their perceived bliss. Much like in the film, there is a significant portion of our population who are unwilling to even consider new information that conflicts with their belief systems for fear of disrupting their paradigm. Peoples cognitive dissonance is a very real obstacle and a difficult mental barrier to penetrate. Here is how Morpheus describes those people in The Matrix:
“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.” – Morpheus
You may think I’m crazy for comparing our reality to a movie, but it’s really not that far fetched at all. Especially, when we consider that our eyes can only see what our minds can comprehend and our thoughts play a significant role in determining our perception of reality. In fact, some scientists and philosophers think we may be living in a simulated reality and there is even scientific evidence that suggests we do live in a matrix. Did you know that there are plenty of examples of mind control found in nature? Did you also know that there are only a handful of private media corporations that control just about everything we see and hear? This small group makes up a tiny percentage of our population yet have enormous control over the rest of the population’s perception of reality. So how does the Matrix compare with our current circumstances? Let’s look at what it means to be free in America first.
What is Freedom?
The definition of freedom in the Merriam Webster dictionary is as follows: The quality or state of being free: such as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: Independence. There are many other forms of freedom like free speech, freedom of religion, property rights, etc. I would like to keep it simple and discuss freedom in a general sense as it pertains to one’s individual sovereignty.
The Freedom Paradox
At its most fundamental level, freedom is our time, energy and ability to choose how we spend it. We exchange our time and energy for money to pay the costs of living. Money is just a representation of our time and energy, so money = our freedom. Unless you live off the grid in the woods, you’ll need to exchange your freedom (time & energy) to live a somewhat comfortable existence in the modern world. Our time is our freedom, yet we need to forfeit most of to participate in the current system. Therein lies the paradox. There are really no other choices either. It’s either the system or off-grid in the woods. My issue is not with contributing to society through the free market system. The problem is when the socioeconomic system is so bloated, inefficient and corrupt it ends up consuming all of its peoples’ freedom by force, and by design. So why do we need to give up so much of our freedom just to exist in a “free society”?
The Cost of Living In a “Free” Country
How many months out of the year do we need to trade our time & energy (freedom) just to pay our taxes? By most estimates, it’s around four months out of the year just to pay federal, state and local taxes. There are many other taxes (on just about everything type of human activity) that are not even included in this example. We can add a few more months for those. I’m not against contributing to society or our nation through fair and sensible taxation, but that’s not what we have right now. We have an extremely complicated and punitive tax code that is over 70,000 pages long and growing (including statutes and case law). The average person will never even begin to understand the tax code and it even confuses most tax experts. It’s almost like the tax code is designed to keep people from becoming financially independent. The current tax burden alone is harvesting a sizable portion of our energy (freedom). At what percentage does a person give up their time & energy and still call themselves free? Let’s look at some of the other aspects of our system that diminish our freedom.
Excessive Inflation Steals Our Freedom
Time is our most precious asset and the one thing in this world we can never get more of. This is why the value we place on our time is so important. Excessive taxation is obvious to most people but there is another tax that devalues our time and self-worth that is far less obvious. This is excessive inflation. I use the term excessive because there is a natural rate of inflation too, but that increases at a much slower pace. Excessive inflation is when we create new money to go to war or for programs like quantitative easing or setting artificially low-interest rates. Those are just several examples but there are more.
America was once on a gold standard. When our currency was backed with gold it gave our dollars intrinsic value. The gold standard was also meant to limit the amount of currency that could be created which was tempered by the amount of new gold mined. Gold mining adds about 1% to the total supply per annum. When our country went off the gold standard, it allowed central banks to create new money with nothing backing it, which created excessive inflation. Excessive inflation literally steals the value of our time by diluting our currency supply, much like the issuance of new shares in a company beyond its productive capabilities will devalue the company’s stock price. This is why some people buy gold, silver, and now finite cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a hedge against excessive inflation.
Inflation also drives up the price of goods and services making it more expensive for people to live (which further diminishes freedom). It wouldn’t be so bad if wages kept pace with the rate of inflation but they don’t. The average wage doesn’t even keep up with reported inflation, never mind true inflation. This puts immense pressure on America’s working class. This also hurts savers and older generations living on fixed incomes. Inflation is just another form of wealth or energy redistribution. Excessive inflation or endless monetary creation is a hidden tax that siphons wealth out of the real economy, significantly devalues our currency (self-worth) and essentially transfers our excess energy (wealth) into the hands of the few who directly benefit from the monetary expansion (politicians, too big to fail banks, corporatocracy, weapons manufacturers, and the banks behind the Federal Reserve).
Our System Needs a Reboot
Have we reached a point of diminishing returns with our current system? It’s not just excessive taxation and inflation that is diminishing our freedom but government inefficiency and corruption. Everything the government gets involved in becomes less efficient and more expensive. Government policies interrupt the whole competitive nature of the free-market system. Our healthcare system is a perfect example. Bureaucracies are simply not efficient, nor are they effective when tasked to solve our problems. Our politicians have also squandered enormous amounts of our wealth. In fact, the government has wasted or lost over 20 trillion dollars of our nation’s wealth in the last two decades alone. Over the last 30 years, our country has experienced an unprecedented explosion of wealth, but the large majority of Americans only enjoyed a fraction of those gains. Most of that wealth went to the top economic 1%. I’m not here to bash the rich. I think everyone should try to attain as much wealth as possible. Wealth gives you many more options in life and is the only way to experience true freedom in our society. The problem is that the system has been gamed and is widening the wealth disparity between the haves and have nots. This is not conducive to peace and prosperity in a free country. You would think that with all of the technological advances we’ve had in the last 50 years it could have afforded us more free time and freedom itself. That is obviously not the goal. In this system, money or our wealth (freedom) flows up the pyramid, not down. This is not by accident, it’s by design.
These are just some of the reasons that most of America’s working-class net energy exchange will never exceed the cost of their basic necessities by more than a few months. How many months out of the year must the average person trade their freedom to merely exist? Basic necessities being: food, shelter, heat, water, clothing, healthcare, education, transportation, fuel, taxes, fees, etc. Ten months or more? Many American workers live from paycheck to paycheck and have still incurred an average personal debt of almost $40,000. Much of this debt will never be paid off, only rolled over into new debt. Many Americans work two and three jobs just to make ends meet. If you fail to pay the costs to exist in modern civilized society, your next stop is living with your relatives, or in a homeless shelter or maybe in a cardboard box under a bridge. However, if you are a large corporation deemed too big to fail, the government will bail you out. This is not free-market capitalism!
We Are Not Free People
I would like to start with a caveat by saying, there are many different circumstances that limit our freedoms. Some through external forces, and some we do to ourselves by the choices that we make. Many times the choices we make (politically) give external forces power over us without us even realizing it. Again, let’s keep it simple for argument’s sake. If freedom is our time & energy, but we are not free to choose how we spend it or have to trade most of it working at a job we don’t like just to exist, how can we possibly claim ourselves to be free? I’m not against the idea of work, career or contributing to society by creating goods and providing services. In fact, the people who love their careers or businesses are perhaps the freest out of everyone. I’m merely pointing out that by definition, the majority of people in America (the so-called “land of the free”) are not truly free. I’m not even including the ever-growing list of laws, restrictions, and new taxes placed on us by our government every year (many of which we ask for). In some states, Americans are even losing sovereignty over their own bodies. This is not freedom!
Free Range Tax Slaves
In previous times, slaveowners needed to feed, clothe, house, heat, transport, organize, provide medical care and generally look after their slaves. Have we fallen prey to complex systems designed by unseen architects that have merely shifted those costs and responsibilities to the slaves under the guise of freedom? In this new free-range system, the slaves pay these purposely inflated costs of living themselves and hope to have something left-over at the end of the year without incurring too much debt. In this new free-range system, it doesn’t matter where you live or work, the system itself will always exact their price on you through taxation and many other ways. The people who don’t or can’t work, the state will provide just enough crumbs to get by every week. These same people are controlled by the state through dependence and will vote for whichever politician that gives them the most free stuff. We are supporting a system that is enslaving us just like the matrix. This is free-range serfdom in today’s world. Why do we need to spend so much of our energy just to exist, and who benefits from this system?
Central Banks & The Monetary Matrix
There is a giant yoke on our nation’s collective necks that is not obvious to most people. When we think of the term slavery, images of chains and whips come to mind, but those are antiquated methods. In 1913, a far more subtle and sophisticated form of slavery or slavery 2.0 was implemented under false pretenses and dubious circumstances. This relatively new form of slavery uses credit, interest, inflation, debt, fractional reserve banking, and war as a means of full-spectrum domination over the population.
“There’s a plot in this country to enslave every man woman and child. Before I leave this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot.” President John F Kennedy (shortly before he was assassinated)
The central banking system is a complex and lengthy topic. I’ll try to sum up the broad strokes in a couple of paragraphs. For the sake of brevity, I will need to leave out a lot of information, so I encourage everyone to do further research on the subject. G. Edward Griffin wrote an excellent book that describes the creation of the Federal Reserve called “The Creature From Jekyll Island.” He goes into great detail about the rapacious and parasitical nature of the Federal Reserve. Griffin also filmed a lengthy video presentation that can be seen here. James Corbett of the Corbett report made a video presentation about the Federal Reserve called Century of Enslavement: History of The Federal Reserve. Peter Joseph made a shorter video presentation about central banking in his film Zeitgeist (below).
The Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve is a semi-governmental institution but owned and controlled by private banks. In 1913, The Federal Reserve Act passed which technically usurped the Department of Treasury powers and gave a small group of wealthy bankers control of the U.S. monetary supply. The U.S. Government (we the people) pays interest to the Federal Reserve on every Federal Reserve Note (dollar) they create through the use of bonds. Every dollar in the central banking system that’s created and lent out has debt attached in the form of interest, but the money needed to pay the interest on the debt is created with debt too. This ensures an endless debt cycle that can never be serviced, by design. This is modern debt slavery.
The Federal Reserve was created under the pretense that it would provide stability to our monetary and financial system, but it has done neither. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, our currency (energy-wealth-freedom) has lost over 95% of its original purchasing power. We’ve had many bubbles and subsequent crashes directly caused by the Federal Reserve policies. It’s even said that the Federal Reserve was directly responsible for the severity of the great depression when they contracted the money supply. To make matters worse, the private entities behind the Federal Reserve have used the wealth of our nation to gain control over every important aspect of our economic, political and social systems to increase and then consolidate their power. The situation we find ourselves in today is exactly why so many people throughout history, including our founding fathers, warned us against using unbacked fiat currency and central banks.
Central Banks & War
There are many reasons countries go to war but usually not the ones we are told, which is why most wars are started under extremely questionable circumstances. War has also been a powerful tool used by the ruling class to not only gain control over geography and resources but to gain control over their people. There are many benefits to war if you’re seeking to control a nation. First, war removes the bravest and most patriotic men and women in our society (the ones who would be first to stand up for rights & injustices) and indirectly puts them on the central banker’s payroll. It also puts them directly in harm’s way, and many will never make it back. When you join the military, you’re essentially owned by the state. War also allows the ruling class to rally its citizens around an external threat, real or fabricated. When a nation goes to war, its powers over its people is amplified greatly. Aside from the military-industrial complex, there can be no doubt that the biggest beneficiary of war is central banks because they profit from all sides of the conflict.
What Shapes Our Reality?
Aside from the physical experiences in our daily lives, our perception of reality is heavily influenced by the highly centralized corporate media industry. Most people think the news media is a watchdog that exists to hold our government accountable, but that’s a farce and is not even possible under the current corporate media business model. The truth is that the establishment media has become the protector and marketing division of the corporatocracy. I don’t think people can fully appreciate the significance of the fact that only a handful of corporations control just about everything we see and hear. What’s more, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are deeply involved in the corporate media complex and have been for decades. They’re also deeply involved in the entertainment industry and television programming. To make matters even worse, it’s actually legal to use propaganda against U.S. citizens. This should be very troubling to anyone who thinks we have a free press.
The executives at these large media corporations and select people within our government agencies have an enormous influence on our culture and the reality we perceive. They decide what the public can or cannot see. They define and enforce the spectrum of acceptable topics allowed to be discussed – which is extremely limited. The media keeps people in a constant state of fear and anxiety and generally controls and lowers the collective consciousness of those who consume it regularly. This state of fear and anxiety makes it easier for people to be controlled. The fake news meme doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the deception that is taking place, which goes way beyond just the news media. Every centralized point of influence over our culture has been co-opted in one way or another. This includes our education system, health & science agencies, the entertainment & music industry, Silicon Valley or big tech, and the list goes on. The truth is, that we cannot trust anything we see or hear today because our media is nothing more than a propaganda tool used to maintain control over the official narrative and brainwash our nation.
The Matrix Film vs America in the Year 2020
So how does the Matrix compare with our current system? The matrix is a computer-simulated program designed to control Neo’s mind (corporate media–state-controlled education–popular culture–all heavily infused with social engineering & hidden agendas) and harvest his energy (excessive taxation–excessive inflation–for-profit, corrupted healthcare system) to power the machines (centralized government–military–mass media- education–central banks) while suppressing his true power (using victimhood–dependence–excessive legislation–excessive pharmaceuticals) but providing his mind with the illusion of freedom (Corporatocracy disguised as Republic). When Neo is in the Matrix, Agent Smith (the film’s main antagonist or villain) knows everything about him (social media–big tech–intelligence agencies). Cypher is another character in the film who betrays Morpheus (and the human race) in exchange for a comfortable life of wealth & privilege inside the matrix (politicians–people of influence–well known corporate media personalities–propagandists).
Summary – The current circumstances we find ourselves in is not an organic form of human evolution based on a society with benevolent principles, but one that has been surreptitiously engineered to benefit a tiny portion of our population. As a result, we live by complex tax codes, policies, rules, laws, and regulations that are quite literally harvesting our own energy and being used to prop up a system that maintains the illusion that protects the very power structure that oppresses us. Whether we want to call it a matrix or not doesn’t matter, it’s still a system of control doing exactly what the matrix did. Just like the matrix, it’s very difficult to escape this system. What’s truly ingenious about this system is that there is no king, queen, emperor, or dictator overtly exploiting their people, but rather a self-enforcing system fleecing their people’s wealth. A system in which the slaves are fully invested in and compel them to acquiesce. Ironically, just like the film, our matrix is using our own life-force against us and most of us cannot even see it. Just like Neo was unable to see the matrix use his energy to enslave him.
The Love of Money or Love of Freedom?
When people complain about big government and exorbitant taxes, they’re told they’re being selfish or greedy for not wanting to pay their fair share. Are they really being greedy or selfish? Again, money is just a medium of exchange that represents our time & energy, which is our freedom. There is a belief in our society that relates a person’s love of money to greed (which is true in some cases) but I think it’s something different. The reason why so many people seem to worship money in our society is not greed, (in most cases) but an innate longing for freedom. While I do not dispute that there are truly greedy people in this world, I think its a mischaracterization to assign the word greed to people’s love of money. Greed is a word that is often used to guilt or shame people who want to keep more of their freedom and provide a better life for their families. In my opinion, the lack of freedom is why so many people worship the almighty dollar, not greed. Do you want to know what is greedy? The politicians who have caused most of the problems we face telling the American working class they need to give more. Politicians, celebrities, billionaire globalists, all lecturing the people telling them they need to cut back on the resources they use and pay more taxes as they fly around the world on their private jets and vacation at one of their many luxury homes. That’s greedy!
Accelerate the Great Awakening
We are going through a great awakening right now in our country and in the world. Millions of people are waking up to this illusion of freedom and many other illusions. There is, however, a growing trend towards old failed ideologies like socialism and a general move towards statism by promoting the collective over the individual. These tired old ideologies move us further away from freedom by keeping us dependent on government. Centralized power is, and always will be at odds with the principles of true freedom and liberty. The decentralization of power is what we really need. We will need to decide if this century will be about reversing this trend or submitting to it. Enough of our population have given consent to a system that is clearly working against over 90% of the population’s best interests.
The good news is it won’t take a violent bloody revolution to regain our freedom, but it will take mass awareness. We will need to make many more people aware of the true nature of our reality. We’ll also need to put aside our petty differences and focus on the real problems we face. We need to replace the establishment’s divide & conquer strategy with our own strategy where we can enlight & unite. We have far more in common with each other than we think. Almost, everyone wants freedom even if they don’t know it. Freedom transcends race, gender, religion, politics, and is an idea that is universal. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know what true freedom is, they only know the illusion of freedom. When enough people wake up to this illusion and remove their consent, the system will collapse on itself. But we must be careful what system replaces it. We need to educate people about the true nature of what it means to be free and strive for real freedom. It’s only when we reach a critical point of awareness can we begin to take back our power. Maybe one day, America can be a truly free nation.
I am a husband, father, truth-seeker, critical thinker, patriot, and concerned citizen. I’m a strong proponent of individual liberty and free speech. My goal is to present information that expands our awareness of crucial issues and exposes the manufactured illusion of freedom that we are sold in America. Question everything because nothing is what it seems.