Civil Obedience

     “If those in charge of our society—politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television—can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.”

—Howard Zinn

     “Civil disobedience, that’s not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.  Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders … and millions have been killed because of this obedience.  Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”

—Howard Zinn

     “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

—Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

     “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

—The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863

     “He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation.”

—James Garfield

     “I am afraid the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can and do create money. And they who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hand the destiny of the people.”

—Reginald McKenna, as Chairman of the Midland Bank, addressing stockholders in 1924

     “States, most especially the large hegemonic ones, such as the United States and Great Britain, are controlled by the international central banking system, working through secret agreements at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and operating through national central banks (such as the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve)… The same international banking cartel that controls the United States today previously controlled Great Britain and held it up as the international hegemon. When the British order faded, and was replaced by the United States, the U.S. ran the global economy. However, the same interests are served. States will be used and discarded at will by the international banking cartel; they are simply tools.”

—Andrew Gavin Marshall

Control Systems

     “The revolutionist believes not that what ought to be, is, but what is, is, and that it may not be what it ought to be at all.”

—Jack London

     “What would have happened if millions of American and British people, struggling with coupons and lines at the gas stations, had learned that in 1942 Standard Oil of New Jersey [part of the Rockefeller empire] managers shipped the enemy’s fuel through neutral Switzerland and that the enemy was shipping Allied fuel? Suppose the public had discovered that the Chase Bank in Nazi-occupied Paris after Pearl Harbor was doing millions of dollars’ worth of business with the enemy with the full knowledge of the head office in Manhattan [the Rockefeller family among others?] Or that Ford trucks were being built for the German occupation troops in France with authorization from Dearborn, Michigan? Or that Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of the international American telephone conglomerate ITT, flew from New York to Madrid to Berne during the war to help improve Hitler’s communications systems and improve the robot bombs that devastated London? Or that ITT built the FockeWulfs that dropped bombs on British and American troops? Or that crucial ball bearings were shipped to Nazi-associated customers in Latin America with the collusion of the vice-chairman of the U.S. War Production Board in partnership with Goering’s cousin in Philadelphia when American forces were desperately short of them? Or that such arrangements were known about in Washington and either sanctioned or deliberately ignored?”

—Charles Higham, researcher, about U.S.-Nazi collaboration during WWII

     “… the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

—Alex Carey

     “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? — Stupid!”

—Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 1965

     “It’s imperative that we alter the way we view the world’s control systems … if we don’t break free of the multi-faceted conditioning that begins as soon as we make contact with the external world (school, news, prevailing myths, etc.) then nothing will ever improve.  Nothing!”

—Victor Thorn, The New World Order Exposed

     “Rebellion is only an occasional reaction to suffering in human history; we have infinitely more instances of submission to authority than we have examples of revolt. What we should be most concerned about is not some natural tendency toward violent uprising, but rather the inclination of people faced with an overwhelming environment of injustice to submit to it. Historically, the most terrible things—war, genocide, and slavery—have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.”

—Howard Zinn

Part II: Quotes

     “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

—Albert Einstein

     “There are two things over which you have complete dominion, authority and control—your mind and your mouth.”

—African Proverb

     “Think for yourself and question authority.”

—Timothy Leary

     “The current state of the news media is partially to blame for the public’s general lack of information vital for responsible citizenship in a democracy. The news media has become an aspect of show business, offering merely infotainment. It has evolved into an entity that tends to function as a public relations agency for wealthy and powerful multinational corporations, members of Congress, and the current Presidential Administration, including the administrations that preceded it. The news media is being utilized as a political tool of suppression and propaganda by those in power, and propaganda is psychological in nature. Full of half-truths and utter misinformation, it’s an arrogant and very commercial strategy that is implemented because it appeals to emotions—fear being the main one—relentless talk of national security, personal and community safety, meant to trigger childhood insecurities and indoctrinated views of authority.

     “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…”

—H.L. Mencken

       “A slave is not he who works without wages, it is he tries to stop working and discovers he is not allowed.”


     “I divide men into two lots. They are freethinkers, or they are not freethinkers. Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless. A man may be a Catholic, a Frenchman, or a capitalist, and yet be a freethinker; but if he puts his Catholicism, his patriotism, or his interest above his reason, and will not give the latter free play where those subjects are touched, he is not a freethinker. His mind is in bondage.”

—Leo Tolstoy

A Secular Religion

     Politics has become its own kind of secular religion.  Political leaders are seen by many as saviors who will fix all of the world’s problems and will legislate peace and prosperity to all who follow.  Each party has a set of beliefs that must be followed or you become outcast.

     In the religion of politics, anyone who is not part of your party is to be hated, and if possible, their voices and freedoms eliminated through voting.

     In reality, it’s all a big show designed to perpetuate the illusion that we are “free people” who use our “freedom” to “vote” and “elect” our true “representatives.”  No free and educated person should ever fall for this, yet most do, and those who try to expose this charade for what it is are labeled “conspiracy theorists,” “traitors,” or “enemies of democracy.”

     Yes, unless people wake up―and wake up soon―the people in power will use technology to make it very, very difficult to ever resist them again (through government surveillance and the police state).

     Don’t get me wrong, I love the benefits of technology as much as the next person, but ultimately, our technological advances (namely, any technology that can or will give the people in power the ability to control and monitor us) will be the eventual instruments of our enslavement (enslaving us even more than they already do, that is.)

     That’s why people need to be as free as they can be.  We cannot continue to rely so much on letting other people do our thinking for us.  We cannot leave it to corporate leaders and politicians to figure out and solve everything for us instead of figuring out and solving things for ourselves.

     Everything―everything―begins in the mind.  We must actively investigate and educate ourselves and our children and encourage all people everywhere to think for themselves and not just swallow everything that government, religion, and society feeds them. 

     The future freedom of the world depends on discarding all of the things that bind us.  To progress as human beings and feel happy and fulfilled, we must be as free as we can be, spiritually, materially, philosophically, economically, and in any and every way that we can think of.

     When the ideals of freedom inform every aspect of our existence, life itself―the journey, the experiences, our relationships―are filled with joy … beautiful, abundant joy, and we can continue to grow and evolve and become all that we are capable of being.

     I will now present you with numerous quotes on the topics of freedom and government.  These are intended to help open your eyes and mind to the reality that very rich and powerful people really do “conspire” to gain power and control and to take away your rights and freedoms.

     What is presented here is just the tip of the iceberg.  Hopefully it will ignite in you a desire to continue to investigate more on your own, because ultimately, how much truth you know us entirely up to you.

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

Ruling Class

     Understand this: anyone involved in government automatically believes that there should be a “ruling class” of people called “congressmen” and “senators” whose primary job is to make rules for everyone else to follow (because if they didn’t believe that, they wouldn’t be there).  They are not concerned with your freedom.

     Anyone who believes that they have the right to rule you should always be viewed with suspicion.  They are already starting from a place whose roots are based not in freedom for each person to rule themselves, but government ruling over them.  If they already don’t believe in self-rule, who knows what their real motives are or how far they will go to satisfy their own desires and ambitions?[1]

     I realize that it isn’t every day that you hear someone questioning the morality and legitimacy of government, and it may be a little uncomfortable to do so at first, but remember, we said that we were going to question everything, so why not question government?  This is a completely valid question.  With enough questioning, perhaps people can find even better ways to construct society, just as people all throughout history have done.  We should never stop looking for ways to improve how we live together as societies.

     Again, to see the world you live in clearly, you must take into consideration the very real possibility that the people in power, the government officials, and the ultra rich people who get them elected and pay them off to shape the laws in their favor have an actual agenda of things that they want to happen.  Never underestimate the possibility that they could very well have intentions that are designed not only to benefit themselves, but are also designed intentionally to take away your freedoms and to control your mind and actions.

     For those willing to investigate this, they will find that there is a great amount of evidence that this is exactly the case, and that these people truly seek world domination and will do whatever it takes to achieve these goals.

     Like I said before, do your own investigations and decide for yourself.  I, for one, am completely convinced of the immoral and dictatorial intentions of those in power, and I believe that if current trends continue, they will ultimately achieve their goals.

     Unfortunately, the people of the world just aren’t paying much attention to what’s happening.  The people in power are using and have been using all kinds of psychological manipulation to draw us away from being as free as we can be and to control our hearts, minds, and actions.  (I’ll talk more about this later.)  These people study psychology and human behavior and use ever trick known to man (while developing new devices) to bend us to their will.

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

An Intelligent Way to Live

     Now let’s talk again about politicians and the ideas of government.

     So much of our lives are devoted to politics, to electing other people to run our lives and/or the lives of our neighbors.  This is not an intelligent way to live.  We should run our own lives.

     Think about it: a small group of people get together and call themselves “government” and then they somehow have the right to take your money and property and tell you what to do and punish you if you disobey.  How does that make any sense?  How did we let this happen?  How will we ever get away from it?

     In truth, it’s questionable whether or not we ever will.  But the ideas of freedom, especially in relation to the ideology of “government” and all that it entails is a necessary ingredient if we are ever going to begin the process of finding better ways to live.

     The only truly free way to live would be to live in a voluntary community (or society) where no one had the right to “tax” or extort money or property from anyone else; where no one could make “laws” or rules for other people to follow; where the only interactions that people had with each other were voluntary.  (For a better understanding of how this would work, look into voluntary and intentional communities.)

     Human beings were never meant to give away the right to rule themselves to someone else; to any government, king, gang, or otherwise.

     Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, it’s what we have right now, and unless enough people really want it to change, and take actions in that direction, it is what we will continue to have, and it will more than likely continue to get worse.  What each individual can do is fight to shape their own lives to be as free as they can be.

     The truth of the matter is that most people are not even free in their own minds.  Most people don’t even view the idea of government as a problem, and don’t think of themselves as slaves or servants of government.  Therefore, the first and most important thing that people can and should do is question for themselves the ideas of government, if it is moral, if having government is the best way for humans to live and interact with each other, and so on…

     Do you really believe that someone else has the right to tell you what to do, what to think, what to say, what you’re allowed to buy and sell, what currency you can use to buy and sell, that they should get a piece or share of everything you buy or sell, that they should get a share of all of your earnings, and so on, etc, etc … just because they call themselves government?  And it is not voluntary.  In fact, as political activist and author Larken Rose says, they’ll put you in a cage if you refuse.  Does that sound like freedom?

     In your experience, do you find that the people elected to represent us are normally morally good, outstanding, exemplary citizens who fight to carry out the will of the people (whatever that is; what exactly is the will of millions of individual people?), or do they usually seem to be consumed in self-interest, with their number one priority being to get elected and their number two priority to get reelected?  And once they have reached their term limits, don’t they usually seem to be interested primarily in doing favors for millionaire and billionaire companies who will reward them if they shape the “laws” to benefit them?

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


     Now I would like to get back to the influence of any organization, whether it be government, religious, or any other group of people who claim to hold a set of beliefs in common.  Always bear in mind that the purpose of any organization is to perpetuate and expand their own power and influence.  That in and of itself is not necessarily evil.  An organization that tries to perpetuate and spread noble and mutually beneficial principles such as morality and freedom could be viewed as a benefit to society.  I would say that it is only beneficial if it can be certain (or as close to certain as possible) that all of their intentions and teachings really are noble and beneficial, and that the organization doesn’t become more important than the message they claim to represent or the goals they are trying to achieve.

     When investigating the claims made by any person, group, or organization (no matter what walk of life they are from or whatever kind of truth they claim to represent), an intelligent person should always question whether their claims are true, beneficial, and/or necessary, or whether their claims are really just authoritarian control mechanisms designed to control and exploit people.

     As I said earlier, there do exist very evil and manipulative people in the world, and you’ll find them in all walks of life.  To think that there wouldn’t be those out there who are in it just for themselves and their own power and greed would be naïve.  A free person must always be on guard for these people.

     Here is another extremely important lesson for you―it’s significance cannot be stressed enough: evil, controlling, exploitative, manipulative people are well aware of the good natures of those that they are trying to control and deceive.  They know that most people believe in the inherent goodness of those around them.  They also know that most good people never truly understand the depths unmoral people are willing to go to achieve their objectives.  They are counting on the people who are good to give them the benefit of the doubt, to believe that no one could really be that evil―that cunning and ruthless―to hurt or destroy their enemies or even innocent people to get what they want.  As long as people continue to give them the benefit of the doubt, they will continue to exploit and take advantage of them.

     One aspect that I think most people just don’t want to admit to themselves is that the world is or ever could be such an ugly place.  They want to have hope, to believe that everyone around them is essentially good, and that they’re not being lied to and manipulated.  A free person faces all of the facts regardless of how uncomfortable they may be.  It is part of maturing along the path of truth.

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

Recognizing Truth

     Let’s break it down a little more.  Whatever nation you’re from you were first taught the customs and beliefs of your particular family.  Take a moment to think about the beliefs and customs your family taught you.  Are they true?  Have you ever investigated them?  Did they accurately describe the nature of the world?  Did they teach you good morals?  Where did any of the things they taught you come from?

     The truth is, if your family was like most they were simply teaching you what they had been taught by their parents, family, religion, and society.  Did they ever question any of their beliefs?  If not, how did they know that what they taught you was true?

     Perhaps your family wasn’t religious or spiritual; where did they acquire their understanding of the world and our purpose here?  Where did they acquire their sense of morals?  What was their method for recognizing truth or untruth?  Did they simply believe whatever any authority figure told them to believe, whether it be president, politician, scientist, reporter, or professor?

     Or maybe you were brought up in a religious or spiritual background.  What was your family’s method for recognizing truth or untruth?  Were they free-thinkers?  Did they investigate and analyze spiritual matters for themselves, or did they simply accept whatever was taught to them by some religious authority figure?  Maybe the Bible was their religious authority; did they ever question the Bible?

     These are all things which each person must explore, investigate, deduce, assess and reassess for themselves.  Only then will it really make any sense to them.

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

Fundamental Truth

     The world we live in is run by power junkies who will do anything to gain and keep their wealth and power.  People of moral integrity will never do what these people are willing to do, and therefore, will never be on top.

     Until you accept this as a fundamental truth, you will forever misunderstand the world you live in.  And until the majority of people in the world understand this, we will continue to be dominated by these people.  If people continue to live in ignorance to the ploys and schemes perpetrated against them on a daily basis, nothing will change, but if people were to wake up and stand together, the people in power simply could not dominate millions of people who refuse to be dominated.

     Like I said, don’t just take my word for it.  At the same time, another important practice in the quest for truth is to form a habit of not brushing things off without investigating them.  Everything deserves investigation.

     The ruthless kind of people that I’m talking about are the ones who really run the world; international world bank owners, corporate owners, billionaires and soon-to-be-trillionaires who have the power and influence to control nations, governments, and politicians.  They do not want you to be free, but rather want to control every aspect of your life.  (When I say “they,” I’m not including every single ultra rich person in the world; there may be some who are less evil than others or who inherited their wealth.  I’m just generalizing for simplicity’s sake.)

     Below the ultra rich are the government leaders and “representatives” who have figured out that they would rather be “takers” than “makers,” who are also addicted to the power of being able to take people’s money and run their lives, who have the power to make laws that you and I must now obey.

     Below them are people in non-profit/for profit organizations, religious organizations―any kind of organization that you can think of that doesn’t have the power that government has to force you to give them money and follow their rules, but can convince you to do so voluntarily.  I’m not necessarily saying that all of these organizations are bad or immoral, but all of them do run the risk of creating agendas simply to promote their own continued growth and existence, and therefore, it is in their interest to possibly manipulate their followers/donors emotionally and psychologically to ensure that they continue to support the organization financially.

     In the case of churches, for example, it would be like a church saying that there is only one way to God (and it just happens to be through them), and if you don’t support them and believe exactly what they believe, God will be mad at you and you will spend eternity in hell.  (Sound familiar?)

     Below them are people of influence; entertainers, athletes, specialists, gurus, and so forth, who may make alliances with certain corporations or ultra rich people, and therefore, do and say things with the agenda of promoting themselves or a cause or benefactor that they support, and whose intention is to sway people one way or another, and who may or may not have moral or noble goals.

     Influencing us at various points in our lives are educational schools and programs, ranging from preschool all the way to the end of college.  Considering how much influence government has in these areas, the potential for brainwashing and manipulation should clearly be a concern, especially when we consider what education must be like in countries where state propaganda is a way of life.  What about the country you live in?  What are the agendas of those who control your education system?

     And finally below them we have the family unit.  Now I’m certainly not saying that all family influence is bad; I’m sure most of it is quite well intentioned, but nonetheless, nothing that a family member says should be taken as truth just because you’re related to them.  Everything should be questioned and investigated.

     So now that I’ve covered that, hopefully you have a better idea of what I mean when I say that part of the journey for truth and freedom is to free ourselves from any outside control or influences that may exist and to question everything for ourselves.

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

Bite-sized Questions

     Let’s break the question down into smaller bite-sized questions so that it’s easier to digest.  Are you free to live as you please?  Can you say what you want to say?  Are there any forces in your life that impede your freedom?  Are you free mentally?  Do you think for yourself?  What beliefs do you hold? 

     Take your beliefs about government, for example: Have you completely questioned all of them?  Any of them?  Or were you taught certain things about government by others and then accepted them as truth?  Are they true?  How does one know whether they are true or not?

     The answer is simple―you must investigate!  You must take the time to do research, look under every rock, behind every curtain, and around every corner until you gather enough information to make a sound conclusion.  You must investigate, and investigate deeply, to uncover truth for yourself.  If you’ve never investigated philosophical matters for yourself but only accepted what others have told you (others being your parents, teachers, and/or leaders), how could you possibly know that it is true?

     Actually, let’s press the pause button for a moment, okay?  Before we go any further, we must acknowledge a very important ingredient that is essential to helping us investigate and understand the people and world around us.  If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’m going to make some statements that I have investigated (and believe to be true), but that you should also investigate for yourself.  Here we go.

     There exist in this world extremely selfish and evil people.

     When I say evil, I mean morally bankrupt, without conscience, power hungry egomaniacs whose ultimate goal in life is to accumulate as much money, power, and possessions as they possibly can, and they don’t care who they hurt or kill in the process.  Although money is beneficial to them in and of itself, and they always seek more of it, it is really only a means to an end.  The more money they get, the more they can use it to buy power and influence … power and influence over nations, over corporations, and over people―to control people’s minds and behavior.  This kind of power is the ultimate rush for them, like a 24 hour drug, and like any drug, they need ever more power and influence to achieve their high―to get their fix. 

     Think about it logically for a minute; which kind of person do you think rises to the top in this world: the good person who really cares about people and doing the right thing, who has limits to what they will do and lines they won’t cross out of a feeling of moral obligation to themselves, God, or their fellow man?  Or is it the person who is without a moral code, who is ruthless, has no lines that they won’t cross, who will do anything―and I mean anything―to achieve their goals and dominate those around them?  I think the answer is quite obvious.

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