I’m A Free, Independent Human Being. What Are You?

by | Mar 15, 2017 | Videos | 14 comments

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Let’s stop limiting our potential with -isms and pigeonholes. Let’s stop judging our neighbours by the labels we slap on them instead of the conversations we have with them. Let’s rediscover what it is to live in community with real people in the real world. Are you with me?


  1. So true James – this labeling of people, putting them into little boxes. The boxes always seem to be either Left or Right… the paradigm is alive and well. And as long as we remain in our ‘side’ of the paradigm, we’ll never be free and independent human beings. And it’s very difficult to make people aware of this – because the instant they realize you’re not on their ‘side’, they label you as the enemy. Even if you explain that you’re not on the other side; they’ve shut down, and won’t listen… what an effective job the propagandists have done!

    • Whenever I make a comment and can squeeze in something about acceptance, I do it. I believe acceptance is the right word because we’ll never understand each other (I haven’t had your life experiences and vice versa), but we can accept that we can have different ideas and still be civil, friendly, polite, etc. We don’t have to see others as bad or good, just that they have different ideas.

      To me, that’s, meh–have all the ideas you want. I do have to add have your ideas as long as nobody is getting physically or emotionally hurt on purpose; if people are getting hurt, I don’t feel a need to be polite, just a need to stop you.

  2. I tried on “I am a free and independent human being” and I believe it…but my mind added on: But, I’m afraid of the military/law enforcement (military-industrial complex, thanks Ike!). And, I’m this boring, 65 year old skinny short lady who’s last on everybody’s list! But I am afraid because I no longer have many rights.

    Also, I’d say the most common misunderstanding of anarchism that I run into is the assumption that our worst psycho/sociopathic selves would take over immediately. Like helping others, pitching in, being civil would just disappear and we would change from 1% sociopaths to 99% overnight.

  3. Corbett’s walks or videos at places around town.
    I really, really enjoy these. I watched this video twice just to take in the backdrop. I get so very curious as to the surroundings and the culture that goes with it.
    ha! I can’t read the signs. Did James pass a baseball field? …a political sign? …a free news rack? …on a path with a big yellow line down the middle – for bikes? or so runners don’t collide?
    It must be a dry climate with poor soil judging by some of the trees and landscape.

  4. I am guilty also. I understand and like Corbett states: he understands.
    When targeting a new audience, a new public, the phrase “Free, Independent Human Being” relays a concept well.

    Understanding is the key.
    A lot depends upon who the recipient of the communication is when designing the communication.

    Unfortunately, many times a person’s understanding is limited to their grasp of word definitions or grammar.

    My brother always would tell me: “Ain’t you got no learnin?”

    When I take up a new thorough study (such as Biology when in college), I often look up gillions of terms…and ha! There are often many new terms within the definition of a term. Sometimes it is grueling.

  5. James, I think it’s an underlying issue that runs deeper than just mere labels. As of late I have come to realize that language is used against us. TPTSB is good at many things and manipulating language is one of them. By using certain words or phrase, twisting the meanings, repeating it enough times with “their ” controlled outcome and voila: new perceived reality! It’s semiotics manipulation out of our control.

    Talk about legal wordings, in America the way contractual and public laws are written is purposefully convoluted, unintelligible to the average person. One usually needs a lawyer just to translate the legalese.

    Side note: you mentioned the word “strawman”, isn’t that a term they used in contractual parlance? Isn’t the U.S. mostly if not all incorporated, hence, are all under contracts? What about the rest of the world? Perhaps you could do a Q4C to explain a bit about “law of the sea”, contractual laws?

  6. Well I don’t think it is such a bad thing to tell people you an Anarchist, especially if you don’t look like the kind of person they would perceive as being an Anarchist (IE an angry person who caries a flamethrower around with them to torch cars)…it could make them question you and therefore give you an opportunity to enlighten them or at least make them think for a bit.

    It’s a bit like when I tell people that I don’t own a television, they often seem confused at first…how is it possible for me to not own a television? do I mean that my house burnt down this morning and I haven’t got around to buying a new one yet?….Well once I explain it is all by choice – it leads on to explaining other things like my dislike of the mainstream media.

    You can always play it safe and tell people you are into Voluntarism, however unless they just happen to know what that means (most people don’t) they will assume you are a volunteer at the local Lions Club or fire brigade. Harmless I suppose but a complete wasted opportunity for a conversation.

  7. Language manipulation has been going on for a long time now. For example, George Carlin had been talking about it for decades.

    George Carlin – Euphemisms

    Shell shock -> battle fatigue -> operational exhaustion -> post-traumatic stress disorder

    This is one of the first battles which we lost without anyone even noticing. By changing the meaning of words we are programmed to have a new/different emotional reaction to it. I believe that this is a direct consequence of the loosening generational fiber (if any at all is still present) where less and less information is handed down to posterity. Instead, people wait for the state (the omnipresent ma and pa) to do it, so the state does at its own convenience.

    • Heh, I wonder if we (meaning James) could do an open source investigation on what we can refer to ourselves as. I was trying to remember what we called good folks in the 60s-70s, but they were just ‘cool’ or ‘safe’ and it doesn’t carry much weight to say “I’m a coolist” or “I’m a safeist.” Plus, the ‘ist’ part is like labeling. There’s also not a term in my Newspeak Dictionary that seems to fit.

      Or, is our job just to explain to everybody at every opportunity what anarchism is, and what voluntaryism is, but…wow, hard to spell, multiple syllables, hard to say a little bit. I think we’d lose the younger whippersnappers in droves. So….Open Source?

      • I think there is only one way to fight this fight: give our language and words its proper meaning back. Some tears will be shed and on some people this meaning will be lost, but there is no point in catering to the lowest common denominator.

  8. Labeling and stereotyping is oligarchy’s agenda using its media to prevent unsophisticated or nonintellectual people from forming own opinions. There will be very few of us who would understand ‘Chomsky on Anarchism’ or even care to read about his hope for the world without rulers. There are many UN programs for young people and environmental organizations to “energize and implement” Agenda 2030 and they are happily doing it.

  9. When we define our identity by choosing fallible human “isms” to subscribe to, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. The isms seemingly change every day. That means a fluid identity is required, right? Wouldn’t logic then say that the push for fluid identity (particularly gender identity, currently) be a symptom of the culture? But logic also says that a fluid identity leads to a lack of ability to ever define who we are in solid terms. This means we have a glaring paradox where individuals need to address who they are for themselves in a world of various groups trying to address this for all individuals. If you give someone an easy way out of a complicated question, how likely is it they’ll sign up without really thinking about it? I believe history has shown that our answer is far too many.

    We are all uniquely placed in other people’s lives where we have their trust to speak truth to them and have them genuinely listen. Keeping our focus on the people we have close relationships with will arguably be more effective than attempting to tell a stranger that they’re not who they think they are. The challenge we all have is to be bold enough to speak truth in to our family and friends’ lives at the risk of them pushing us away. Just remember that if you can put a pebble in someone’s shoe, they might come back later asking questions.

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