Take Liberty
Don't Ask Permission - Just Take It
Articles by
Richard G. Rieben
author, maverick, zetetic

Liberty Series - Online Booklet
  • Introduction - Anarchocapitalism & Libertarianism vs. Liberty
    "The arguments for anarchy and/or anarchocapitalism - and the arguments for limited government or constitutional government - both seem to bypass liberty on the road to an application." [NOV03]

  • Ch. 1 - The Libertarian Rabble
    "The reasons for people being disgruntled with the values of their community can range from rational to irrational ... to psychologically disturbed. This is what makes the liberty movement a rag-tag bunch." [JAN04]

  • Ch. 2 - Eschewing Group Methods
    "Liberty will not be won by a group. It will not be won by numbers. It will not be won by might. It will not be won with money. Liberty is a birthright of individuals, and it can only be claimed individually." [JAN04]

  • Ch. 3 - Why the Liberty Movement is Doomed
    "The form of organization - the manner of organizing - is structurally based on hierarchic orders, which are, themselves, anti-liberty, and which end up playing into the hands of the framework of "domination-over" government. They are cut of the same philosophical cloth, and that cloth is what suffocates liberty." [JAN04]

  • Ch. 4 - The Program - Why It Works
    "The trail must be so secret that the travelers are the only ones who are aware of their footsteps; and they are only aware of their own footsteps.... Access to the road is publicly and easily available to anyone, but it remains invisible to those who are opposed to liberty." [JAN04]

  • Ch. 5 - Taking Liberty Underground - "The goal of liberty needs to be clearly conceptualized, but more: The road to liberty needs to be cloaked in such a manner that it cannot be hijacked, derailed, diverted or subverted - intentionally or unintentionally." [JAN04]

  • Ch. 6 - Liberty, If You Can Grasp It
    "Liberty is an individual effort. As a political "movement," it doesn't look anything like conventional, authoritarian, domination movements for political change. It isn't just a change in masters. It's a whole different ball game (without a ball!)." [NOV03]

The Passion of Liberty
6-Part Series, exclusively at Strike the Root

5 April 04 ~ Part One
  The Soul of Politics
"In turning away from existing designs and systems of government ... and away from the idea of formal government or power structure of any description, we do not give up the field of boundaries of our individual sovereignty, nor our intention to secure them by other means, nor our desire to effect greater social harmony in consequence."

6 April 04 ~ Part Two
  Respect One Another
"Reciprocal respect is the most profound, direct and effective means of securing liberty. It's the active principle of individual sovereignty. It is what makes liberty tick. It is the only saving grace that allows human societies function at all. Today, it is a new idea -- a salvation idea. Reciprocal respect is an expansive, loving, giving, and healing message."

7 April 04 ~ Part Three
  Goodwill To All
"Benevolence comes from within as a reflection of our personal, individual sense of well-being. To force it, externally -- through moral intimidation (altruism), social intimidation (duty), or at the point of a gun (legislation) -- debilitates our personal sense of well-being and negates the source of benevolence."

8 April 04 ~ Part Four
  Original Sin
"Those jeering throngs, littering the roadsides of history long before and ever since Calvary, are programmed defenders of the authority of their group. They are not individual human beings, but subordinated human beings, be they Jew, Roman, Christian or American. They have subordinated their own authority to an institutional power above themselves, and sanctioned its use of force in perpetuating itself."

9 April 04 ~ Part Five
  Resurrection and Redemption
"The Kingdom of Liberty is a citadel of humanity. The "king" of this domain is the sovereign individual human being, lord and master of himself, and a sovereign, independent agent negotiating with, contracting with, and respecting the agency of all other sovereign individuals. Freely."

10 April 04 ~ Part Six
  The Symbol of Liberty
"The crucifixion should remind people of their own sin of clan or group indoctrination, their own sin of authority worship, and their own predilection to perpetrate the same abuse as was suffered by the Christ on any stray individual whose values, choices and life are contrary to the authority of their clan."

Primer Series - Short takes - Jan04

  • Philosophy Is
    "To grasp the basic idea, it helps to understand how philosophy is organized and how it affects us practically."
  • Domination
    "The generally accepted - traditional, conventional, historical - philosophy of the world is composed of many, assorted applications of domination philosophy. It is termed in this fashion because it is an ordered, hierarchical, patriarchal, power structure of domination by some over others."
  • Ayn Rand & Libertarianism
    "Rand ... is the true mother of the libertarian movement. It is her bastard child, and she rightly repudiated its slipshod, unprincipled attempt to disconnect philosophy (foundation) from politics (application)."
  • Two Basic Views
    "Reciprocian philosophy holds that there are basically two kinds of philosophy."
  • Addicts Like Drugs
    "Liberty is not going to be satisfying to collectivists or authoritarians, any more than a fresh, raw carrot is going to be satisfying to people who are addicted to sugar, caffeine, deep-fried foods, or other junk/drugs."
  • Revelations, Reverberations
    "The political solution/formulation is ... one application out of thousands of ramifications that flow from that philosophical foundation.... A core philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics) has impact on every aspect of human existence. It is pervasive and invasive."
  • One Small Step, One Giant Leap
    "The premise of the Reciprocian political application is that liberty can be created by individuals, for individuals, between individuals, and that the process can start right away."

Ubi libertas ibi patria
Where there is Liberty,
there is my homeland

The Academic Rieben
The following essays were written by Richard Rieben in 1975-6. They are, variously, explorations of history, philosophy, psychology and culture. They presage an incipient kernal of some of his later writing. These pieces have not been edited or otherwise revised, and some of the references and positions may be somewhat dated (but it's only been 30 years, after all!)

Approaching Herodotus
Ancient Greece: The Nature of the City-State
Athens: The Development of Democracy
U.S. Inception: The Frontier Spirit
U.S.A.: The Forces of the Depression
Japan: A Consideration of Philosophy
Ending of Slavery in Canada and Haiti
Ending of Slavery in the U.S. North
Ending of Slavery in Cuba and Brazil
Ending of Slavery in Jamaica and Russia
Ending of Slavery in Zaria and the U.S. South


What is FREEDOM?
  • Freedom means lack of impediment.
  • Political freedom means lack of impediment in one's affairs by other individuals, groups and government.
  • Political freedom is defined for a social context in which individuals are free to do whatever they please that does not interfere with the freedom of others.
  • The limitation of freedom is defined by the freedom of action that is possessed by individuals who are equal in the exercise of their freedom of action. The boundaries of political freedom are defined by respect for the same freedom in others that one possesses oneself.
  • A political system of freedom is erected to mark and delineate the boundaries of freedom, so as to maintain the freedom of everyone, equally.
  • A government of freedom, is designed to ensure respect for the boundaries by enforcing penalties upon those who violate the boundaries.

What is LIBERTY?

  • Liberty is the condition of full sovereignty of an individual in a given arena.
  • In this condition, and in a given arena, an individual may do whatever he chooses without restriction, without limitation, and without considerations of the influence of or pressure by other persons or groups. He is on his own. And, in this condition, he bears full responsibility for the consequences of his choices and actions – as credits or liabilities.
  • Political liberty is a system designed to protect the sovereignty of individuals.
  • The foundation of political liberty ensures that individuals maintain full sovereignty in the arena of their personal affairs. There is no governmental monitoring or interference therewith.
  • However, in regard to social actions which affect others (and, hence, affect the freedom of action and the sovereignty of others in their own affairs), political liberty places the same limitations on individual sovereignty as it does on freedom:
    • The sovereignty of individuals in their own affairs is an equally possessed quantity by all individuals.
    • The exercise of sovereignty is limited by the sovereignty of other individuals.
    • An individual is at liberty to do anything he chooses that does not restrict or interfere with the sovereignty of any other individual.
Excerpted from the pamphlet The Basics of Liberty.

Odd Thoughts

"Neither a leader nor a follower be."
  "Divided we stand; United we kneel."  
  "The standards of society are secondhand standards."  

Contract Drama
An Expedient Plan
"But, let it go. We are not here to find concord, but to establish a boundary of respect for our discord, if you will." [APR05]
Off-Site Essays
Exclusive Off-Site Essays by Richard Rieben

5 December 05 ~ Strike the Root
  I Was Not Born To Submit
"Not Even to Freedom."

13 September 05 ~ Strike the Root
  Respecting Authority
"Submitting to external authority has the same warm glow as being raped and sodomized."

9 September 05 ~ Strike the Root
  Katrina Cuts to the Core
"Much of the reaction is to the failure of the government to perform effectively prior to, during and after the disaster, instead of cutting through this to the essential ineffectiveness of government period, and to the destructiveness of usurping the authority of the individual to any degree or in any situation."

15 August 05 ~ Butterbach.Net
  Native Liberty
"Liberty is not native to the first-world, and an understanding of liberty is very difficult for Europeans (first-worlders) to come-by."

19 July 05 ~ Strike the Root
  Utopia vs. Liberty
"Liberty is the dullest, boringest, and most lackluster principle ever imagined by homo sapiens, which is probably why we repeatedly leave it in the dust. We would rather have utopia, as promised, and guaranteed by arms (even if it is always a bullshit delusion). We would rather have a shimmering Golden Calf to worship, than a dull Golden Rule to practice."

12 July 05 ~ Butterbach Discussion
  Comment on "Academic Freedom"
"'Academic freedom' is a concept derived from a statist/ecclesiastic context of education, denoting irresponsibility, tied-up in corruption and pettiness, befogged with manners, niceness, politeness and other hypocrisies, and belonging in a chamber of horrors museum from a dark, dank and vicious age."

7 May 05 ~ Strike the Root Forum
  Our Comfortable Chains
"Go back and find the movie Gremlins. You don't want to water those little suckers ... and as long as you don't, they're fantastic and sweet. But if you do, then they're hell on earth. That's the exact nature of social bodies."

3 May 05 ~ Strike the Root
  You Are Already Free
"The reciprocal respect of one another’s freedom is already a common, everyday experience for the species. We do this automatically in every voluntary engagement with one another throughout the world."

25 April 05 ~ Strike the Root
  Selling the Unknown
"The other side of the equation that the ends do not justify the means, is that the means determine the ends. If you want good results, you start with a good premise."

8 June 04 ~ Endervidualism
  The Muddle of Liberty
"...none of these complications are anything other than obfuscations. Muddying the water. It is not a matter of 'holding back the tide of tyranny.' It’s just plain muddying the water. Intentionally. While the tide comes on in."

24 March 04 ~ Strike the Root
  Looking Forward ... to What?
"In the context of our present fairy tales, from which we premise our beliefs, we cannot see any way out of this mess."

24 March 04 ~ The Price of Liberty
  Personal Meanings of Liberty
"No single individual is going to get it "right" for everyone else. Nor is one vision going to encompass the breadth of everyone else's wishes and visions."

18 March 04 ~ Strike the Root
  Leaving Liberty
"Liberty is not conservative. It is expansive. Liberty is not escape. It is immersion. Liberty is not a demand. It is a gift. An exchange. Of respect."

17 March 04 ~ The Price of Liberty
  Tips for Making Liberty
"The way to spread liberty is to practice it oneself and to encourage it in others."

15 March 04 ~ Doing Freedom!
  Political Addiction
"But, slowly, some of these isolated, individual "publishers" began to find one another in the medium of the "internet" and to build communications links and small networks."

15 March 04 ~ Doing Freedom!
  Shifting for Liberty
"Many of us are promoting libertarian ideas as though it were still the 1960s ... or even the 1980s. Do you have any idea how much things have changed since then?"

Potpourri - Recent Articles
  • Misfits: For or Against Liberty?
    "If your natural integrity makes you inept, but you wanna fit in, be one of the gang, and belong, take your rightful place on the side of the Borg - your resentment of those who value their integrity makes you the most vicious enemy liberty will ever have." [APR05]

  • What is This Thing Called Law?
    "The only kind of law which is appropriate to the species in general is mutual respect for divergence in all matters at the level of the individual, regardless of social or religious moral codes of various groups." [APR05]

  • The Territory of Freedom
    "Saying that, within this territory everyone "must" be a signatory to the contract, is very much like saying that everyone within "this" territory must be free and secure in their rights." [APR05]

  • No Liberty, No Return
    "The natural, logical consequences of this condition must be thoroughly played out and an end-game condition be reached, before entities capable of utilizing liberty will arrive on the scene." [APR05]

  • Culture Busting
    A four-minute introductory speech that was not given at a liberty conference during 2003. "The philosophy of individualism has only been minimally developed by any philosopher, and it remains a sketchy reality." [FEB04]

  • Stop Being Rational
    "At some point in this bizarre evolution of rational insanity (Western empiricism), I urge people to stop being rational, and start using common sense and reason - instead." [JAN04]

  • The Libertarian Blank Check
    "It used to be deluded 'Christians' who were trying to do what they thought was a Christian-thing of 'toleration'; now it is deluded liberty lovers." [JAN04]

  • Do We Need Nature?
    "Nature is seen as something external to us, independent of our existence, and changeable by our will and ingenuity. This is also the perspective of superstition, magic, and modern technology. It is not entirely incorrect, but its implications are mostly misunderstood." [JAN04]

Pamphlet Series

  • The Axis of Philosophy
    "The 'axis of evil' is composed of philosophy, that is, of ideas. These ideas, as philosophical principles, reinforce one another. In line with the primary definition of the word 'axis,' they are the 'parts of a body or thing' which 'may be supposed to rotate' around a central line." [APR03]

  • The Basics of Liberty
    "If some of us still want to defend democracy, capitalism, freedom and liberty, we had better figure out what we are defending. A few vague notions of 'the American Way' isn't going to cut it when we're up against a wall." [NOV01]

  • Liberty Without Corporations - "From their inception in this country, corporations have stood adamantly against competition, free enterprise and free markets." [MAR03]

  • Why Economics Don't Matter - "Liberty does provide economic and material prosperity, but that's not the focus or justification of it." [JUL02]

  • The Dangers of Responsibility
    "Health and liberty – I suppose it's the same issue: responsibility. Disease and tyranny have much the same cause: evasion of responsibility. It is both: that simple and: a bit more complicated than that." [JAN03]

  • Liberty: A Nation of Aliens
    "Liberty is specifically liberation from the group. From all groups. From any group. From group values. From conformation to the group. From the warm fuzzies of shared values. From culture. From childhood." [DEC02]

  • The Real Freedom-Fighters
    "Real fighters for liberty do not cluster, do not congregate, do not organize, do not form groups, do not muster their numbers, do not fight against the collective, and do not rally to make themselves count." [JUL03]

  • Breaking the Reality Barrier
    "For most Americans, reality is not real. Everything that they see and experience is filtered by them, according to their culture. It is mediated by others. The actual real world is selectively interpreted to fit cultural beliefs, political myths, economic dreams, and technological fantasies." [JUL03]


The Philosophical Axis of Liberty
Morality:Respect (Do No Harm)
Politics:Individual rights
Metaphysics:Objective Reality
The Philosophical Axis of Domination
From the pamphlet The Axis of Philosophy.

Liberty is the right of absolute control over one's life in all matters.
from Handbook for Liberty

"Laws to the Contrary Notwithstanding ..."
"This Constitution...shall be the supreme Law of the Land; ...Laws...to the Contrary notwithstanding... Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers...shall be bound by Oath...to support this Constitution…" - U.S. Constitution.

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States..." - Amendment XIV

"An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." - Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425

*Maverick: one who refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; independent in behavior or thought.
*Zetetic: finding the value of unknown quantities by direct search, in investigation, or in the solution of problems; a seeker.

Thomas Jefferson: "Let Them Take Arms."

"Most codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one's country. They do not distinguish between acts against the government, and acts against the oppressions of the government. The latter are virtues, yet have furnished more victims to the executioner than the former, because real treasons are rare; oppressions frequent. The unsuccessful strugglers against tyranny have been the chief martyrs of treason laws in all countries." - Thomas Jefferson

"Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them." - Thomas Jefferson

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." - Thomas Jefferson

"We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed." - Thomas Jefferson

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