Aug 07 2012

Independence Means Not Dependent

Independence means freedom from control or influence or needed support. It can be applied to an individual or a group of individuals. It usually implies self sovereignty, meaning self rule and self government with no outside higher authority.

We often tend to focus on independence as the lack of outside coercion through force and that is a correct focus. But there are many forms of force. Military force, or the force of arms and threat of bodily harm is the most obvious and presents the greatest need for defense. Clever adversaries do not automatically threaten military force as a first option. Economic force is just as effective as military force and sometimes more so.

Economic force also comes in different flavors. Economic pressures can be applied to groups or individuals solely through external financial means or by creating an internal dependency on external resources. Once a dependency has been created, control is established if the resource flow can be modulated on desire. Cutting off or slowing down the supply of important resources can produce behavior modification just as effectively as the threat of bodily harm.

Economic coercion has a long history of siege, embargo, sanctions and boycott. Often these tactics have been used in conjunction with some form of military force, under the strategy that they will amplify each other in effectiveness. Shipping control, border control, trade restrictions, tariffs, taxes, interest rates, exchange rates and money supply are all part of this.

“Dependency theory” explains how wealthy nations used their position of economic advantage to perpetuate itself by keeping poor nations in a subservient role, never enjoying free opportunity to raise themselves up into wealth. There is little difference between this and the constant war between big government and individuals. When government assumes the role of a large and powerful wealthy agent, the individual has less chance to raise or improve their position. Creating a dependency on government services is the primary tactic used to perpetuate this condition and the fuel used to drive the engine is taxation.

In order to maintain our independence and our freedom, we must strive to be self sufficient, free from all forms of dependence on government.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Thomas Jefferson