Stem Number 3: Fight Back

     So what can you do?  The most important thing you can do is rebel against them in the way you think!  If you still think the way They want you to think and believe in the “system” and that politicians are basically good people who care about what’s best for you or your country, and that you can change things through “voting” and “elections,” you’re still playing Their game.  And if you’re playing Their game, you’re going to lose because they’ve set it up so that the house wins every time.

     No, the real voting is how you spend your time and money—how you direct your dollars and thoughts.  Every time you buy one of their gadgets—gadgets invented to make them money and you stupid—They win.  Every time you watch Big Brother, The Real World, or other “reality” TV shows, the only thing you’ve done is shown that you don’t understand reality.

     They’ve turned us into TV junkies, addicted to sports, soap operas, dancing shows, Pawn Stars, and other mind-numbing “programming.”

     I’m not saying a person can’t have any fun, but according to statistics, the average American spends five hours a day watching TV, an hour a day on Facebook, and another hour or two randomly surfing the internet.  They’re filling your head with useless drivel, and you’re letting Them!

     Fight back!  Don’t let them turn your brains into marshmallows!  Don’t be a programmed consumer.  Don’t be like those who have to go out and get the latest “smart” phone or gaming system the day it comes out, even though the ones they have work just fine.  Don’t be like those who as soon as they see a commercial for chicken nuggets at Burger King for $1.49, they go ten times in two weeks and eat chicken nuggets like well programmed consumer robots.

     Corporations put all kinds of time and effort into programming you, even funding psychological studies to find the best ways to sell you their products.  A certain combination of colors or the image of a laughing baby may trigger a deep-seated subconscious emotion that makes you want this or that item.  They’ll give you something for free (something usually worth pennies) if you only spend $35 or $50 first.  Believe it or not, this stuff works!  Quite well, actually—on the uneducated sucker!

     Be responsible.  Save your hard earned money.  Here’s a simple rule or guideline to live by: If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it!  Save up for it instead.  Look at the people you know who don’t have any money or are in debt—they spend more than they earn, right?  They buy everything they want, whether they can afford it or not.

     Sometimes you need things, I understand.  Your microwave blows up or you get a flat tire; try to have some money put away for such occasions.  That’s part of being responsible and being an adult.

     How about the sports package on your TV or numerous subscriptions to magazine or internet sites … these are nice, but do you need them?  Can you afford them?

     Pets are expensive, and so are children, smoking, drinking, and gambling.  Get your priorities straight.  Figure out what you can and can’t afford, and live accordingly.

     Use things until they’re ready to be replaced.  For instance, according to data online, the average vehicle payment for even a used vehicle is $355 per month.  That’s $4,260 a year.  Now, if you can run and upkeep your current vehicle (especially if it’s paid off) for less than that, keep it for as long as you can.  It’s money in the bank.  They’ll have you get a new vehicle every three or four years.  Guess what—that benefits Them, not you.  Do the math—it’s that simple.

     There are other little things you can do.  If you already have enough shoes, clothes, or purses, don’t buy more.  Borrow books and movies from the library.  Walk, take a bus, ride a bike, cook at home, make enough food for leftovers, freeze homemade food, buy in bulk.  Make coffee at home and take it to work instead of stopping at the convenience store every day.  These may seem like little things, but add them all together and they can go a long way in making you more financially independent.

     If you’re like most people you already have the internet on your phone—why pay for it at home, too?  You’re paying twice!  Every dollar adds up.

     Say you decide not to spend an extra $80 a month for internet at home—that’s $960 a year!  $9,600 in ten years that’s still in your pocket, not Theirs!

     Or, what if you go out to eat four times a month and on average you spend $12 each time.  That’s $48 a month—$576 per year!  (I know many people who got out to eat much more than that; more like four times a week!)

     Be as free as you can be!  Explore as many ways as you can think of to fight back!

     If you’re a college student, look for or create opportunities to cut costs.  Get a roommate or two, learn the art of cooking, pack a lunch rather than buying the overpriced food sold on campus.  Have a plan.  Take summer classes; if not, get a job and earn a little money.  Any little thing you can do to be that much more free—do it!  That’s one less way that They control you.

     If you can, organize with those around you.  Rather than Them using technology on you, use it against Them!  There are ways to fight back without being violent or causing bloodshed.  Don’t participate in your own enslavement by going along with what They want you to do and being who They want you to be.  As the quote by Howard Zinn earlier in this book illustrates, the problem is not civil disobedience, it’s civil obedience.  Non-cooperation is one of the greatest tools at your disposal.  There are other tools as well.

     You can protest to help raise awareness for a specific cause or objective, but protesting alone won’t make much of an impact; you must protest and have plans for boycotts if you really want to make a difference.  (You need to hit Them where it hurts—Their wallets!)

     The people of the past knew so much more about the power of a boycott, civil disobedience, and non-cooperation than we do today.  They were pissed off.  They had slogans like, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”  They were suspicious of government and big business.  They fought, and they fought hard, for their rights and liberties.  That’s somehow been bred out of us today.  We need to get it back.

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto