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“Michael Wants to Be Free” by Tyler Olsson

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Pre-Boat Life

I’ve been thinking about this book for a long time. I came up with the title back in 2011, a few months before I bought my boat. It’s a play on “The Motorcycle Diaries”, the story of young Che Guevara’s journey around South America in the 1950’s. I decided I wanted to do something similar after I graduated from college. I wanted to go on a long, open-ended voyage of discovery and write a book about my travels, filled with a mix of philosophy and adventure, so I could come back a changed man with a new perspective to share with the world. And I knew exactly where I wanted to go first.

When I was a teenager, I fell in love with the idea of colonizing an island and building a community where none had existed before. I spent countless hours scanning satellite images of the Earth, searching for the perfect spot to build a new society. I made a short list of large uninhabited islands, and eventually chose Little Inagua in the southern Bahamas as my prime target.

I was enchanted by the dream of running a grand social experiment, starting from a “state of nature” and building up a population from zero to see what would happen. Unfortunately Little Inagua was already claimed by the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, but I figured after building a settlement we could declare independence from the government and form our own country.

I used the American Revolution as my framework for secession, since it was the example with which I was most familiar. I made my own versions of historical documents, following the timeline of the early United States as if it were a prescription for nation formation.

I wrote a constitution, a bill of rights, and a declaration of independence. I drew flag designs, brainstormed country names and mapped out the infrastructure for this 30 square mile deserted island. I laid out a timeline from 2006 through 2025, the year I thought we would officially declare independence.

In hindsight, the plan was rather optimistic. It relied heavily on convincing a bunch of rich people to move to an island and purchase land to fund infrastructure projects which we would physically construct ourselves.

My role in the scheme was to get good grades in school, go to a good college, get a high paying job and live on the mainland for 8 years after so I could save up a small fortune to personally finance a large part of the operation, while periodically traveling to the island to help with construction.

My plan also involved buying lots of weapons and training an army once we had a sizable population, because I understood clearly from the example of the American Revolution that declaring independence means declaring war, and we better be ready to defend ourselves if we want to start a new country.

The War of the WordsAug 3, 2010

What does it take to control a population? Do you have to beat them into submission; use chains to prevent escape? Can you intimidate them with threats of violence into following your commands? Unfortunately the answer is far worse: you just have to use the right words.

The war for your mind is fought with words. Words that evoke strong emotional responses meant to overcome logic and reason; to prevent us from questioning or fighting back. Our rulers understand human psychology and exploit it mercilessly to control us.

Our rulers use words like ‘terrorism’ to make you stop thinking. ‘Terrorists’ don’t have motives or reasons. They aren’t defending themselves or their loved ones. They are imaginary evil doers who “hate us for our freedom”. We must fear them and fight to eradicate them no matter how many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians we slay in the processes. If we begin to question the legitimacy of this war on terror, they say we must “support the troops”. Don’t question policy or leadership, just support the troops or you’re un-American. Support the troops or you will lose your friends, your in-group, and your social identity. Support them blindly while they kill the undesirables.

“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

The truth is, there are no terrorists. There are only people. People with hopes, dreams, concerns and fears, just like you. If they react with violence, it is not because they hate your freedom. It is because they are scared. They’re scared because a foreign military power has invaded and occupied their territory and has little concern for their well-being. Our government demands absolute submission, and unlike Americans, some people aren’t going to give up their freedom without a fight.

“… the Mujahideen saw the black gang of thugs in the White House hiding the Truth, and their stupid and foolish leader, who is elected and supported by his people, denying reality and proclaiming that we (the Mujahideen) were striking them because we were jealous of them (the Americans), whereas the reality is that we are striking them because of their evil and injustice in the whole of the Islamic World, especially in Iraq and Palestine and their occupation of [Saudi Arabia].” -Osama Bin Laden

But don’t worry, hope! Change! Yes we can! Don’t worry about specifics, just let the government spoon-feed you words with positive connotations. Then you can repeat them and feel good about yourself while you wave the flag and support the troops, knowing that you’re part of the group. All while the government uses the “Patriot” Act to spy on you, read your emails and photograph you naked at airports.

Of course, they’ll pay for all this through “taxes” and debt (future taxes on our children). Funny, when the mafia receives money in exchange for not acting out threats of violence, it’s called extortion. When you pay the government to avoid being kidnapped and locked in a cell, they get to use a nicer word for it.

If we want to fight back, we must first fight with words. Call things what they are, not what our rulers want us to call them. The war is in the words, so choose yours wisely.

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