A path to TRUE FREEDOM

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Hello Everyone.

Studying Capoeira Angola has sent me down many paths. But this particular question is, what I think got me into  Capoeira Angola. And on my path in this amazing art form, this subject, this question always comes up. And that question is…

 

WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM?

Well, I think to best answer that question, you have to ask yourself these 3 questions…

Are you able to stop someone from dominating you without recourse to police protection?

Are you able to provide for your basic needs (food, shelter, water, etc.) without recourse to an externally controlled infrastructure?

How effectively can you spot dangerous situations and avoid them?

The degree to which you can answer each of these questions is the degree that you have real freedom.

Last Year (2017) I got to meet in person, a man I’ve been wanting to meet in a long time.

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His name is Ahmses Maat, and his school is called the MONTU UNIVERSITY FOR AFRIKAN DEFENSE. (Click HERE if you want to know more)

In September 2017,  my teacher Charles, my senior  Ian, and I did a Capoeira Angola Demo and small class at an event in Riverside, and afterwards, Ahmses did a presentation and taught a Self Defense lesson after us.

During his presentation, he asked how many people there had a survival bag. Of course, Me and Charles raised our hands, but almost no one else did. He then talked about how important it is to know about Survival and Self Reliance, among other things.

And yes, it is a very important subject.

Most people are totally dependent on the societies in which we live. Many of us can’t protect ourselves without calling the police, who can only come and help you AFTER something has happened to you (In other words, way too late).

Most of us live our lives with blinders on, and don’t know what’s going on around us.

Most of us can’t provide for our basic needs without our running water, our toasters, our microwaves and our supermarkets,  cars, and let’s not forget one of our greatest inventions, AIR CONDITIONING.

I SHIT YOU NOT, There are actually schools out there now teaching college age people basic life skills that any and everyone of us in our generation and before learned as CHILDREN.

You don’t believe me? Well, I didn’t either…

Now I’m not sure why this is the case, but I do have a couple of IDEAS

Well anyway,  this web page  will be a small help in reversing this process.

Well, I hope so…

We’ll be  covering survival topics here, mostly URBAN survival, but also WILDERNESS survival, Living off the grid, and ultimately, Self – Reliance.

Now before I begin, I want to stress to you that this is just a bit of information on a web page. It is YOUR responsibility to go out, research, study on this, find a survival school where they can teach you these things in great detail, so you can learn to APPLY this information, and get the most benefit from it. Please understand,

EVERYTHING I’M SHARING WITH YOU BELOW IS BULL%*&T… UNTIL YOU APPLY IT!

O.K. Then, let’s get right to it.

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Now, when we are talking about SURVIVAL SKILLS, we are talking about certain techniques that a person may use in order to sustain life in any type of natural or built environment. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life which include water, food, and shelter. These basic skills also support proper knowledge and interactions with animals and plants to promote the sustaining of life over a period of time. Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation, which will be the main subject of this page.

Now, let’s begin.

YOUR MENTAL ATTITUDE

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The mind is critical to survival. The will to live in a life-and-death situation often separates those that survive, and those that don’t. Stories of heroic feats of survival by regular people with little or no training but a strong will to live are not uncommon. Situations can be stressful to the level that even trained experts may be mentally affected. One should be mentally and physically tough during a disaster.

The benefits of learning to function under extreme stress and determining those limits may outweigh the downside of stress.

There are certain strategies and mental tools that can help people cope better in a survival situation, such as focusing on manageable tasks, always having a Plan B available, and recognizing denial.

 

 

 

URBAN SURVIVAL

So, what is Urban Survival?

Urban Survival are the skills, tactics and ability to survive a widespread prolonged disaster while remaining in a densely populated urban environment. If a disaster happens and you live in a city or are just there for a short visit,  you will need to have the survival skills and knowledge to hunker down and survive. If you’re forced to stay for a couple of days or weeks, you will need to know how to successfully transverse such an environment.

So today we are going to cover a few basic things you need to know about how to survive in this kind of an environment.

Escaping a Riot

The larger the city, the bigger the odds of a riot. Sometimes you’re not aware of what’s happening until it’s too late (even the peaceful protest can take a turn for the worst). Sometimes there could be a social unrest that sprouts up between you and your home.

So, how do you escape one? First, you  move with it, not against it. Better yet, move at an angle until you get the chance to get out and disappear in one of the streets. Second, don’t respond to challenges. Don’t run, don’t shout, and if someone wants your valuables, it’s best to comply.

 

Finding and Purifying Water

Of course, this is also an invaluable wilderness survival skill. But in the city, the water is more likely to be contaminated. Make sure you know more than 1 way to purify it. And depending on where you live, water may be harder to find than it is in the wilderness.

Even if you live near a stream or a lake, getting to and from it could be dangerous due to other thirsty people with the same idea. To get around this, you could harvest rain water or even dig your own well.

and remember: with rain water and snow, you may have to find ways of collecting it, but you do have to purify it.

 

Finding Food 

Since your food stockpile is limited by the size of your apartment or house, you’re gonna have to procure your own food.

Assuming the classic scenario of empty store shelves, finding food in a crisis is going to be tough. The most likely places you can find food are going to be the various body of waters such as lakes and ponds. There may be fish, there may be ducks, and you will need to know how to catch, kill and then cook them.

Oh, and let’s not forget pigeons.  Pigeons are abundant in cities and hunting them isn’t that hard as long as you have something like a slingshot or an air rifle. Of course, a bird trap will always be the most effective.

And no, I didn’t forget mice and rats either, I just think it’s disgusting to eat them.

Most people have no idea that cities are full of delicious, healthy plants that are going to make very good salads. Heck, if you want, you can just pick them, wash, and eat them! Green dandelion, ground ivy, and clovers are just a few examples of edible plants you can find in and around cities. Click HERE to learn more.

If you’re looking for cooked food, you’re are probably going to have to search all the trash cans and dumpsters you can find. Of course, keep in mind that everyone else will also be doing that.

 

Getting Home 

When a disaster strikes, Probably the first thing you’ll want to do is to get home (unless your home was destroyed), since You’ll want to make sure that your family is safe, and because that’s where you’ll be keeping most of your survival gear and resources.

Well, if you’ve been prepping, that is.

This is a big problem for most of us urban preppers. How are you going to go home if you’re stuck on the other side of the city and all the main roads are flooded?

Well, if you’ve been prepping, you’d have figured out ways to get home from just about any other point in the city beforehand. You do that by actually walking or driving (or using public transportation) through those roads so you familiarize yourself with them.

 

Security, Awareness and Self Defense

Now much of this I covered on the SELF-DEFENSE page, but I will say a couple of more things here.

After any disaster, police will be stretched to the limit so you can expect crime to skyrocket, especially if the city is running low on food. There are many ways to make your home secure and deter burglars, but you also need to practice general awareness skills.

 

Be on alert at all times. Take note of the people around you (such as someone watching/following you), look for things out of the ordinary (like a suspicious vehicle parked near your home), listen for unusual sounds (shouting, running, other noises), notice smells in the air (smoke, gasoline, etc.), know your exits in case you have to escape.

Achieving a heightened level of awareness takes practice. It may be paranoid, but sometimes, paranoia could save your life.

Cities can be dangerous. There are eyes watching you at every street corner. It’s critical that you know how to BLEND IN if you want to avoid getting mugged, beaten to death, or worse.

Even with great home security and awareness, you still might find yourself face to face with a mugger or worse. While it’s a good idea to have a gun, or some other weapon for self-defense, there’s always the chance you’ll get caught off guard. This is when you’ll need some hand-to-hand combat skills.

Even professional fighters never stop learning.  Of course you know what martial art I RECOMMEND, or else I wouldn’t have made a whole WEBSITE about it. But even if Capoeira Angola is not your cup of tea,  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you  learn SOME martial art.

 

Weapons Training and Safety

If you have a firearm, you need to know how to handle it safely, how to clean it, and how to shoot it. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use one in self-defense, but you have to be ready for the possibility, and that means practice. It is easier to miss an attacker than you think.

If someone is charging toward you, you’ll only have a couple seconds to raise your gun and fire. Keep that in mind at the gun range. The more experience you have, the better. If you like knives, sticks, etc., you also NEED to learn how to use them.

First Aid and Medical

You probably have a FIRST AID KIT, (If you don’t, then you should) but do you actually know what to do with it? Remember, hospitals could be overrun during the next disaster, which means the life of a friend or family member could be in your hands.

 And if you’re the one who has been hurt, you could at least give instructions to others (assuming you’re still conscious). So, TAKE A CLASS in first aid and make sure your medical supplies don’t go to waste.

 

Handyman Skills

Knowing how to fix things around the house could be crucial after the SHTF. Keep in mind that there are several types of disasters that could damage your home. If that happens, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry skills could mean the difference between having a place to stay and a place you’re forced to leave.

 

Most people out there DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX THINGS. This is unfortunate,  but this is what happens when you’re part of a society where it’s so easy to charge replacement items to the credit card and have them on the doorstep in a matter of days. But there may come a time when people can’t get replacements and have to fix the things they have: generators, radios, flashlights, camp stoves, filtration systems, appliances, etc. with things found LOCALLY.

And also, less and less people know to to fix their vehicles. You may want to learn how to hot wire a car in case you find yourself stranded somewhere and need to start an abandoned vehicle.

Find and organize all your REPAIR MANUALS, and learn how to fix your survival gear because you may not be able to order replacements.

If you have an Automobile, Get plenty of spare parts for it and learn how to INSTALL THEM.

Check out THE FAMILY HANDYMAN. The skills you learn here, you may be able to use to build alliances with neighbors.

Haggling and Negotiating

After an economic collapse, mini flea markets will spring up all over the place. Day to day life may go on, but many people won’t be able to afford new things. They’ll have to buy used items and possibly create and barter their own items.

If you find yourself in that situation, knowing HOW TO HAGGLE could get you the things you need to survive. But like any other skill, it takes practice.

I’ve provided a video playlist I created to help you see these things in greater detail:

And, here are a few online resources that you can use to help in your research.

HOW TO REGROW FRUIT FROM YOUR KITCHEN SCRAPS

URBAN PREPPING/CITY PREPPING

THE BUG OUT BAG GUIDE

WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Now, because I live in a city, Urban Survival is obviously my priority. However, I believe that everyone must in addition to urban survival skills, should also have some knowledge and skills in wilderness survival.

Wilderness Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancient people invented and used themselves for thousands of years. Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, and hunting all require basic wilderness survival skills, especially in handling emergency situations. Bush-craft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.

There is so much information on basic survival skills that you might be asking “Where to start?” Here are 6 primary components of wilderness survival to help you thrive in any situation.

FIRST AID 

You may need to have a first aid kit (Yes, I mentioned this in the URBAN SURVIVAL section, because this is VERY IMPORTANT. However, for the purposes of this section, I’m talking about WILDERNESS FIRST AID) or, if you have the required knowledge, naturally occurring medicinal plants, immobilize injured limbs, or even transport incapacitated comrades.

SHELTER 

Many people who are forced into survival situations often get into serious trouble because of direct exposure to the elements. Most people in survival situations die of hypothermia, which can be easily avoided with basic survival skills. Being able to build a shelter is of paramount importance in a survival situation. It is extremely important to prevent or minimize heat loss, or if in a desert environment, to minimize water loss.

Here are some things to think about when planning to build a shelter:

– Location (away from hazards, near materials)

– Insulation (from ground, rain, wind, air)

– Heat Source (body heat or fire-heated)

– Personal or Group Shelter

A shelter can range from a natural shelter, such as a cave, overhanging rock outcrop, or fallen-down tree, to an intermediate form of man-made shelter such as a debris hut, tree pit shelter, or snow cave, to completely man-made structures such as a tarp, tent, or longhouse.

 

FINDING WATER 

Since the human body is composed of up to 78% water, it should be no surprise that water is higher on the list than fire or food. A human being can survive an average of three to five days without the intake of water. The issues presented by the need for water dictate that unnecessary water loss by perspiration be avoided in survival situations. The need for water increases with exercise. Ideally, a person should drink about a gallon of water per day. Many lost persons perish due to dehydration, and/or the debilitating effects of water-born pathogens from untreated water. In addition to water-borne pathogens, minerals and metals can be found in waters downstream from industrial and agricultural operations. The best sources for clean drinking water in a wilderness setting are springs, head-water streams, and collecting morning dew.

Popular modern methods for purifying/treating water include filtering pumps and chemical treatments, such as iodine. These can be efficient and effective solutions if you have access to these items in a survival situation. An herbal treatment is another method in which water may be purified from viruses and bacteria. Grapefruit seed extract is sold as a water purifier, although there is some debate on whether or not it is one hundred percent effective. The most widely used and proven method for safely purifying water is boiling. Bringing water to a boil and allowing it to continue to boil for 2-3 minutes will kill bacteria and viruses.

By maintaining a level attitude, creating a shelter, and obtaining clean water, a person can successfully survive for many weeks.

 

MAKING FIRE 

Making fire is recognized in the sources as significantly increasing the ability to survive physically and mentally. It can help warm your body or your shelter, dry your clothes, boil your water, and cook your food. Lighting a fire without a lighter or matches, e.g. by using natural flint and steel with tinder, is a frequent subject of both books on survival and in survival courses. There is an emphasis placed on practicing fire-making skills before venturing into the wilderness. Producing fire under adverse conditions has been made much easier by the introduction of tools such as the solar spark lighter and the fire piston.

Ideally, when traveling in the wilderness, it is best to carry multiple fire-starting tools, such as a lighter, matches, flint and steel, etc… Even with these implements starting a fire can be challenging in inclement weather.  Good fire-making skills are invaluable. If you were to find yourself in a situation without a modern fire-making implement, fire by friction is the most effective primitive technique. Popular friction fire-making methods include bow drill, hand drill, fire plow, and fire saw.

Fire is presented as a tool meeting many survival needs.  Not to be overlooked is the psychological boost and the sense of safety and protection it gives. In the wild, fire can provide a sensation of home, a focal point, in addition to being an essential energy source. Fire may deter wild animals from interfering with a survivor, however wild animals may be attracted to the light and heat of a fire.

FINDING AND/OR PREPARING FOOD 

You might be surprised to see food so low on the basic survival skills priorities list, though we can survive for much longer without it as compared with shelter and water. Remember “The Rule of Threes”: humans can survive without food for roughly 3 weeks (though I’m sure you would not want to go that long without food!). Thankfully, most natural environments are filled with a variety of items that can meet our nutritional needs. Wild plants often provide the most readily available foods, though insects and small wild game can also support our dietary needs in a survival situation.

Culinary root tubers, fruit, edible mushrooms, edible nuts, edible beans, edible cereals or edible leaves, edible moss, edible cacti, cattail, Conifers, grasses, Oaks(acorns),  and algae can be gathered and if needed, prepared (mostly by boiling). With the exception of leaves, these foods are relatively high in calories, providing some energy to the body. Plants are some of the easiest food sources to find in the jungle, forest or desert because they are stationary and can thus be had without exerting much effort. Skills and equipment (such as bows, snares and nets) are necessary to gather animal food in the wild include animal trapping, hunting, and fishing.

Food, when cooked in canned packaging (e.g. baked beans) may leach chemicals from their linings. Cockroaches, flies and ants can contaminate food, making it unsafe for consumption.

Be sure that you properly identify any plant you plan on consuming (using field guides and/or the guidance of an experienced expert). Many plants can be difficult to identify and some edible plants have poisonous look-a-likes. If you cannot identify the plant, do not eat it.

BUSHCRAFT 

The more you know about nature, the better you will be able to survive in the outdoors. To be great at wilderness survival, beyond the basic survival skills, requires an in-depth understanding of a variety of nature skills. For example, wildlife tracking skills allow one to effectively locate wild game for food, and knowledge of herbal medicine allows one to heal illnesses with wild plants. Especially for the situation where you may choose to purposefully practice survival living for a lengthened period of time, naturalist knowledge is absolutely invaluable.

All of our hunter–gatherer ANCESTORS had classification systems for living organisms, knew their names, understood their uses, recognized how they inter-related to each other, and were aware of exactly how to utilize those resources in a sustainable fashion. This knowledge was at the foundation of their ability to thrive within the natural environment.

O.K., now for those of you who are wondering what all this has to do with Capoeira Angola, I’ll tell you…

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

Not now in this present day, Anyway.

However, these kind of skills were integral to the training of the African Warriors who created Capoeira, and yes, I ABSOLUTELY believe that the early Capoeiristas used a modified form of these skills (Maybe learned through interaction with the Native Tribes), although it’s not part of modern Capoeira training.

But hey, don’t take my word for it…

Click HERE to go to a post from the Mukhanda International Facebook Page. If anyone of you out there wants to learn about authentic martial sciences from Africa or the African diaspora, you need to check this page out.

In many indigenous African cultures, the warrior traditions were part of every day life and permeated all aspects of African societies, both men, women and children from age 10 were taught SURVIVAL SKILLS, as well as methods of combat with weapons and empty hands. During initiation proceedings of male and female members they were taught traditional history, hunting methods, food preparation, mathematics, indigenous sciences, spirituality, dances, physical fitness, indigenous writing scripts and finally combat systems armed/unarmed; hence all our previous posts reflect these aspects of African culture related to the warrior cultures.

And yes, many of these Africans, when enslaved,  WOULD have brought these skills to the new world, and modified them to fit in to their new environment.

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Such skills would have been invaluable to runaway slaves from all over the AFRICAN DIASPORA, to escape to freedom, and to help build communities and FIGHT BACK against their oppressors.

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A MAROON FROM SURINAME

 

For example, In Brazil, as I posted on Part 1 of the HISTORY PAGE, the escaping slaves would use these skills to hide from, and fight the bounty hunters trying to recapture them, and across south america, the african hairstyle known as “cornrolls”, were used as an ESCAPE MAP for runaway slaves.

In Jamaica, when some of the slaves escaped and hid in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and became known as MAROONS, they had to keep watch closely to evade the British army, and fight them.

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A MAROON FROM JAMAICA

With food in short supply they used these old skills to learn to catch wild boars in the forest. Using salt , peppers and spices they learned to preserve the meat. This evolved with the use of different spices to the cooking style that we know today as JERK. (yes, I love to eat jerk chicken, pork, etc., which is partially why I mentioned it here).

In the french colony of Saint Dominique, the maroons there used these skills, along with their Martial SKILLS and SPIRITUALITY, to actually overthrow their masters, and even create a NEW NATION

 
 

And in the United States where I’m from, the slaves would sing map songs like “FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD,” using skills that our warrior ancestors developed to escape to freedom, and in many cases, FIGHT BACK. Click HERE and HERE to listen to 2 versions of this song.

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Now, I would like to give a shout – out to one of our greatest warriors, HARRIET TUBMAN.

 

There are many more examples of how the slaves used the survival skills of their african ancestors, modified for use in the Americas, to create new lives, and in some cases, even HELP the European settlers settle this land.

 
 
 

And to fight against slavery as much as they could, AT EVERY TURN…

O.K., now back to the main subject.

Even for the recreational wilderness skills practitioner, a basic knowledge of the natural sciences (such as botany, ecology, geology, etc…) can be very useful and enriching. A great place to start is by purchasing the relevant plant and animal FIELD GUIDES for your region. These resources can help you begin to identify species and understand how they relate.

I’ve provided a video playlist showing these things in greater detail:

And, here’s a few online resources which will help you in your research:

WILDERNESS SURVIVAL A handbook for Wilderness Survival. Diagrams, Pictures, Tips, Tricks, Explanations, and Information.

SURVIVAL CACHE – The gear site for survivalists

SKILLED SURVIVAL – Prepare, adapt, and Overcome

 

LIVING OFF THE GRID

This is one of my main dreams in life.

You may or may not know that we all live on the electric grid, but we do. If you have power running to your home from the city you live in, then you are considered ‘on the grid.’

So this means that every time something goes wrong at the electric company, and they suffer a power outage so do you.

Well, off-the-grid living means the opposite. It means that you would live with either no electricity or a self-sustained source of electricity. You would also either use an outhouse or a septic tank, and you would have a water well or another water source nearby to collect water from.

Also, a lot of those that are off-the-grid continue the thought process into other areas of their lives, including being totally self-sustained by raising their own food.

It goes much deeper than that. For many, going off the grid also means  living a debt-free lifestyle. No mortgage, no car payments, and no student loans, etc, etc…

Now you can go off and live like that if you want to. Me,  I like my life in the big city right now, although in the not too distant future, I WILL fulfill my dream and go off-the-grid.

But that’s in the future for me. However, if this lifestyle appeals to you, I posted some rescources below to help put you on the right track.

REGENERATIVE.COM SUSTAINABLE LIVING AND PERSONAL GROWTH

RETURN TO NOW – From their website: Return to Now is dedicated to helping humans live fully in the present, while gleaning tips on how to do so from our distant past. It’s a new kind of “news” website, whose contributors are not as concerned with current events as we are with the whole of the human experience.

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL – From their website: Survival INTERNATIONAL is the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. This is the only organization that champions tribal peoples around the world. They help them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.

PERMIES.COMPermaculture and homesteading community with forums, videos, podcasts, articles, and other resources. Come and join the discussion!

SCHOOL OF PERMACULTURE – From their website: School of Permaculture is a non profit educational organization which focuses on the education of individuals and groups to re-learn how to work and harmonize with natural systems for every day living needs (housing, food, clean water, community, etc…). We achieve this through combining sustainable ancient wisdom, appropriate technology, and by providing training through courses, consultations, and aid work.

And also, I’m posting a playlist that I made of people who are living off the grid…

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AND FOR YOU “REVOLUTIONARIES” OUT THERE…

You think you’re ready to start a revolution? To topple your oppressors? To start your new utopian society?

Well, if you think you’re ready, then this video’s for you.

Now, this is not to try and discourage you. If you wanna blow up the govt. or whatever, DO YOU. But understand, you need a lot more than rhetoric, ideology, and some guns. JUSSAYIN’.

Anyway, There are many more practical reasons for everyone reading this web page to learn these skills.

As I said before, most people alive today are, by and large, survival incompetent. We cannot manufacture the tools we need for survival, or produce/hunt/gather enough food to keep ourselves and our families alive.

This makes us dependent clients of others who provide these things for us.
The problem is, if you are  dependent, it is virtually impossible to become a truly independent human being.

Over the last century or so, this tendency toward dependency has become more and more normal. If we keep going in this direction, then this will lead,  to either societal collapse, or We’ll go back  to a feudal society that consists of a master class that controls everything the populace needs for survival and a  underclass that is virtually enslaved to the former.

Of course, one can argue that we’re already living in this feudal society, but I believe there are still glimmers of hope out there.

Take the natural disasters like HURRICANE KATRINA, or the recent (As of this writing) hurricane IN PUERTO RICO  for example:

This is indeed tragic, and my heart goes out to all the people who lost their loved ones over there, and those on the island who are STILL struggling every day.

Well, here’s a story about how a Puerto Rican family who had some of these skills survived intact, while most of their fellow islanders waited, begged, and complained about a govt., who for whatever reasons, either wouldn’t, or couldn’t help them.

Now if THAT alone is not a reason to learn these skills, then I don’t know what is.

Look, A revolution is imminent. Oh yes, a new world is coming. And it will be

A BRAVE NEW WORLD

And now is the time to prepare for it. We must start taking care of ourselves, our people, and our planet. And the 1st step in my opinion, is to reclaim the skills our ancestors gained, the ability to thrive in our natural environment, and to use our planet’s resources in a natural and sustainable way.

And this, I believe, is the first step to TRUE FREEDOM.

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Are you able to stop someone from dominating you without recourse to police protection?

Are you able to provide for your basic needs (food, shelter, water, etc.) without recourse to an externally controlled infrastructure?

How effectively can you spot dangerous situations and avoid them?

The degree to which you can answer each of these questions is the degree that you have real freedom.

At least, I think so.

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