by Jeff Berwick: From
Free to Unfree
an inordinate amount of emails lately from people who sound absolutely
defeated. They often state something along the lines of: "We
know the Western world is in collapse but we have no real assets
and we are stuck." They also usually go on to state that
TDV’s advice is only for "rich people".
While a large
part of our advice and info is obviously to help people who have
some assets protect them and our advice on how to protect yourself,
through expatriation or second passports, has the ability to sound
as if it takes some significant wealth to enact, that is simply
not the case.
we get into that, let’s get some perspective.
QUICKLY WE FORGET
It was only
119 years ago, in 1883, that The New Colossus, now inextricably
linked with the Statue of Liberty was written:
me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
I knew someone
born in the 1800s. My great-grandmother, born in 1896.
And while she died about twenty years ago, I knew her very well.
She was around in the era when those words were written. How
things have changed. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in
1886 but by 1901 it had already began to lose its luster when its
administration fell under the jurisdiction of The Department of
A short while
image was captured (image below). While there is no exact
date on the photo it is thought to have been taken between 1908-1912.
In other words, it is only about one hundred years old.
shown to Americans today would result in a chorus of anger.
"We must stop this!" they’d say. "That’s child
labor, we must attack the country that allows this!" other
sympathetic people would say.
for the moment the question of whether a child would be better off
working in a coal mine rather than having their soul sucked out
of them as they get regularly hazed by their fellow inmates. And
forgetting that any inkling of independence and critical thinking
they have is destroyed eight hours per day, over a twelve year prison
sentence (unless you are a direct descendant of a royal family)
chances are that your ancestors throughout history and as recently
as a few decades ago lived short, difficult lives replete with hard
labor and devoid of any modern luxuries.
In 1903, 857,000
immigrants passed through Ellis Island in a single year. 60% were
Italians, Jews, or Slavs. They were mostly male, unskilled, and
nearly half were illiterate. One report claimed that 68% of the
Italians couldn’t read in any language. They had, on average,
$9 ($150 today) in total liquid assets upon arrival and no job waiting.
There were no telephones or Internet to keep in contact with friends
and family back home. Many would never see their loved ones
CODDLED, COMFORTABLE AND UNADVENTUROUS
to some of the emails and comments we receive on our public blog
from 20-somethings complaining that they don’t have enough money
to go somewhere else, or that it is just too difficult to do.
trip length from Italy to Ellis Island a century ago was 14-16 days.
Today it is no more than 10. Upon arrival today you can check
your email, go to a bank machine to get some cash, make some calls
on your cellphone, and you could have already had a massive amount
of discourse with people in the discipline you plan on going into.
You could research endlessly on the region, where to stay,
what to eat, where to go. Everything is accessible.
But, it’s hard
to get a residency visa or a work permit, some might say.
Stop asking for permission! The state is just a large criminal
organization, you do not need its permission to do anything.
Of course, you will have to avoid their henchman from time to time
but it is mostly in the west where the state really has much power
and people actually adhere to their extortion and
But, I don’t
speak the language, many will say. So? Learn it.
Having travelled the world extensively, I know there is one thing
you can find in almost any town, in any country, no matter how far
from civilization. A Chinese restaurant. They rarely
speak more than enough of the local language except to tell you
how much it is going to cost for your Kung Pao chicken, but they
are there, and usually doing quite well too.
Read one of
my favorite books A
Sense of the World: How A Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler
about James Holman if you think you are just too disadvantaged to
be able to travel and make a life for yourself somewhere else.
Born in 1786, Holman was completely blind and suffering from debilitating
pain and limited mobility, he undertook a series of solo journeys
that were unprecedented both in their extent of geography and method
of “human echolocation”. In 1866, the journalist William Jerdan
wrote that “From Marco Polo to Mungo Park, no three of the most
famous travelers, grouped together, would exceed the extent and
variety of countries traversed by our blind countryman.”
through most of Europe, across Siberia in Russia, through Australia,
China, India, Africa and to Brazil, just to name a few places.
Blind. With no money. In debilitating pain with limited
mobility. Before the advent of the airplane, automobile, or
Any more excuses?
GO, LIVE FREE
be from schools that indoctrinate us into believing we can’t really
do anything, that we need the government to take care of us, or
media constantly portraying the outside world as being destitute
or dangerous. Many people today just can’t imagine picking
up and going without any substantive amount of cash or resources.
But, if you
are young and live in the West and have crippling student loan debt
and no decent prospects for employment or to even start a business
as the fascist system has made it too costly to even start a lemonade
Stossel figured out the time, licenses, inspections and steps needed
to open a lemonade stand to be 65 days in the USSA today) then
you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
of the rest of the world is much more free and amenable to entrepreneurs
than anywhere in the West. Only have $300 in your pocket and
are young and want to live free and do something with your life?
Go to Cambodia. Talk a tanker or commercial ship into taking
you across to Asia in return for labor work aboard. Get to
Phnom Penh. Stay at a $5/day (or less) hostel. Ask
them if you can do work in return for your accommodations. Talk
to some of TDV’s on-the-ground people in Cambodia, not least of
which is Col McLaurin, who wrote up Cambodia in the January issue
of TDV. He can give you the lay of the land so you can see
some of the opportunities. Then start hustling. Practically
everything is legal there. It is almost completely free.
You can even stay as long as you want for next-to-nothing by just
renewing your visa every year for a small fee, or just don’t bother.
No one checks those sorts of things. There is no SWAT team-like
Department of Homeland Security or Immigration spying on you and
threatening to kidnap you for the crime of not asking for their
permission to work or live there.
There are numerous
other places like Cambodia too. Nicaragua is very similar.
El Salvador. Colombia. Paraguay. Myanmar.
Mexico. (Most of these countries have been featured in prior
issues of TDV and the ones that haven’t will soon be including local
TDV contacts who can help you make a move.) Learn the local
language and make yourself useful to somebody – even as an
Will it be
easy? Of course not! You will have days where you will
ask yourself why you were so crazy/stupid to do such a thing.
But, if you are resilient and smart those days will pass and you
will also have days where you wondered why you waited so long.
worst case scenario is you get an education that no school could
ever offer you at a fraction of the cost. The best case?
The sky is the limit. Most places in the world still do not
understand business and capitalism the way that comes easily to
many of us in the West. If you can integrate yourself into
the community, learn the language, make the right connections (which
is always much easier as the interesting foreigner than it is in
your own country) and do the right deals you can make a fortune
in any of the places listed above and many more.
And, best of
all, you can live very free, something that is just not possible
at all in the west anymore. That, as MasterCard says, is priceless.
Your Gold Out of Dodge” is available here. It is free
to TDV and TDV
Golden Trader subscribers or for a one-time price of $44.95
USD. It may be the best use of your fiat Federal Reserve Notes
you’ve ever spent. Reprinted
with permission from The
Berwick [send him mail]
is an anarcho-capitalist freedom fighter and Chief Editor of the
libertarian, Austrian economics grounded newsletter, The
Dollar Vigilante. The Dollar Vigilante focuses on strategies,
investments and expatriation opportunities to survive & prosper
during and after the US dollar collapse.