As one who has dedicated his life to media and activism for over a decade, I am not infrequently asked, in a variety of contexts “How can I do more?” for whatever cause it is the questioner may find him or herself involved in.
There is of course no singular answer to such a question. To begin, “more” is a relative term, and so, what counts as “more” depends very much on what one is doing in the moment. Then there are the specifics of the cause at issue, the circumstances of the moment, questions of geography, the choices one has made to date, and ultimately, one’s innate capacity.
But I will today give you the briefest of crash courses in how one goes about giving the maximum they can. To streamline one’s life in such a way that as little as possible may interfere with the passions. I am calling this Part 1 because we cannot possibly attempt to cover it all in a single two hour recording, and will need to revisit this again, but I hope to give you some information that you may find useful in other aspects of your life as well.
Before I do, prudence demands I say the following. You should almost certainly not take this advice, at least not in whole. You do not want to give your all to your cause, whatever your cause may be. No matter how noble, no matter how just, full time activism is, above all, pathological behavior. Near everyone who attempts this is less excited about their cause than they are unhappy with their own life. In the likely event this is the case for you, then you should first and foremost understand that activism will not solve your problem. It will surely make it worse.
The primary reason our politics are so damaged today is far simpler and less controversial than most would like to believe. It is because unhappy people are trying to make the world conform to their vision, and this is because they are psychologically incapable of coping with the realities which they themselves are met with. They are miserable, and they think to themselves that they can be happy if other people do as they wish, and so they seek control of the government to bring this about through its coercive powers.
You see the results of this every day, and they are not admirable. This pathology figures most prominently in the LGBTP phenomenon, wherein sick men dress up like women and pervert children as their only means of reproduction. They meet the appropriate disapproval of the parents, and others, and they seek to wield the force of the State against those who would stop their predatory conduct. You see it also in various ethnocentric movements, wherein a given ethnic group is blamed for the problems of another, and it almost goes without saying that violence is the terminus of this pathology. They seek to wield the force of the State as the ultimate weapon against the targets of their ethnic animus, almost invariably with genocidal aims. You see it emerge in what is called class warfare, wherein elites fend off competition from the middle class, crushing them, growing the ranks of the poor, and the poor, now in such numbers and endowed with the capacities of the former middle classes, see the elites, with some merit, as the barrier to their upward mobility. By ballot or bullets, they grab the reigns of the State, liquidate the class enemy, and find themselves as a body without a brain.
All of the above are examples of people blaming others for their problems, their failures, and their pathologies. And you will be no better if you do this than they.
So the first thing you absolutely must do before you even consider devoting your life to your cause, is get your own damn house in order. If you cannot be responsible for your own life, then you have no business commanding the lives of others through politics. Moreover, you will make no allies of any quality if you are a mess, and anyone who helps a person in this state to ascend in politics, will be the most nefarious sort of benefactor. You may very well find yourself paid handsomely, by someone who seeks the destruction of all that you value, because they understand that you are the perfect instrument to destroy your own cause. You could be the fire they pour the gasoline on, and you will have a grand old time as you help to discredit and destroy all that is decent.
Let’s ask ourselves this question: Are you ready to die for your cause? Do you take it that seriously?
If not, then you may continue listening for entertainment purposes, and you may find some helpful information about life in general, but this is not the set of instructions that you need to follow. If you are really going to give your all to your cause, you are in a very real sense giving up your life. The bible says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.
Hath you this great love for your cause?
You ought not rush to answer. Moreover, you being suicidal is actually not an affirmative answer to the question. Many miserable people want to die, and you would not be at all unique, if you were one such person. One who merely wished to assign some meaning to your death. There’s nothing special about this at all, and your death would be quite worse than meaningless in all likelihood.
The phenomenon emerges most often in murder suicides, whether they scream Allahu Akbar, White Power, or Die Cis Scum, as the blaze of glory takes its toll, the pathology, and the outcome, have tragically little to separate them. These are unhappy people who would have ended their lives for this alone, and the cause for which they fancy themselves martyrs is a mere costume. They make a mess, which invariably increases the burdens on those who remain earthbound to fight another day. Hath you so great a love for your friends that you increase their burdens, as yours, stain the carpet, and paint the walls?
Speak not to the living of your sacrifice, ghost. They toil here, while you rest.
Or perhaps you are so devoted to your beliefs that you would gladly spend the rest of your life in prison, in their name.
In my experience, men tend to reconsider this plan around the time law enforcement arrives. The remainder tend to do so some time before they die of old age. Many who are not Muslim when they get there, convert to Islam in prison, abandoning entirely whatever they purported to have martyred themselves for.
Much of this is born from a terrible misconception of what prison is. They think of it as “losing years” as if this was just a matter of numbers on a ledger, moving from revenues to expenditures, black to red, however costly. But it is not that. Years in prison are years of life. Waking up in the morning. Going to work. Navigating social situations. Needing money to buy things, budgeting, and in near all circumstances, asking those still in freedom to send money for you to do so.
Hath you so great a love for your cause that you would demand of it sustenance for the rest of your life, while you are removed from the struggle?
Then speak not to the working of your “sacrifice”.
Say you have the capacity to earn a mere $2,000 /month, and in service to your cause, you instead willingly live at the expense of others, eating ramen noodles in prison. If you do this, you are not a martyr, but a fool and a mooch. You would have done far more for your cause, by anonymously commenting on the Twitter timelines of politicians twice a week, or better still, by going to work each day, saying nothing about politics to anyone, and donating some portion of your income to those more capable than you. Better yet, you would do still more for your cause than that, by putting those same dollars into an index or mutual fund, and growing a source of capital for twenty years, and then investing that capital into a business, which generated yet more capital, and investing that capital into the businesses of others, who would then do the same, all the while increasing your wealth, as you showered your wife, and your many children, with gifts.
Do you mean to tell me that you would sooner die, or spend the rest of your life in prison, than to save 10% of your income? If you lack this much discipline, then what I am about to say will be of absolutely no use to you.
None of which is to say that a man may not make history, and for the better, through martyrdom or imprisonment. Many have. Many more surely will. But only a fool sets such a goal.
Everybody dies. Some sooner, and arguably, some more often, than others, but there is nothing special about death. Prisons are filled not with martyrs, but with criminals and degenerates. A man who aspires to be their most upstanding neighbor, sets a low bar for himself.
An ounce of perspective is worth a pound of regret. Being successful as an activist is not all that different from being successful in anything else. If you are not successful in whatever it is you are doing now, there is no reason to believe you would be more successful if you were to choose a different, and altogether more difficult, course. Your willingness to suffer may prove an asset, but only to the extent it contrasts with your capacity create the circumstances which warrant enjoyment.
So let us begin here. For the moment, forget all about politics. There is exceedingly little chance that you have fulfilled the prerequisites of giving your all to your cause. To give your all to your cause, and for this to be a meaningful contribution, you must first have something to give besides your time and ideological fervor.
So, on our path to becoming a full time activist, we have some steps to take;
A. Before You Become An Activist
Step 1: Calm Down
Professional activists and political media personalities have it as their job description to gin people up. If you want to be one of these people, you don’t submit to their manipulations of the general public. You do what they are doing, and activism is not a matter of practicing what you preach. Those are two very different things.
Activists are “on the front lines” and the necessary implication of that term is, there are people behind them. The activist and those behind him thus live very different lives, and activism would otherwise be a wholly unsustainable venture.
To be sure, most activists are fanatics. Ideological fervor is their driving passion, and it proves useful. One would not otherwise consider such a course when money and sex and other rewards flow so comparatively easy to other paths in life.
But, successful ones, activists who chart sustainable courses and stay in the game for decades, ones who make an impact as a consequence of this sustained effort, learn to compartmentalize. They exhibit the time management skills of the best trained professionals in the most demanding industries. However sharp their instincts may be, and however quickly they may need to react to circumstances which change rapidly, they plan meticulously. They make sure they have the things they need. They make sure they do no more time behind bars than they can make politically useful.
Above all, they stay alive. Typically, a man who lives for his cause, does far more good, than does the man who dies for it.
“No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.” ~ General George S. Patton
Step 2. Secure A Non-Political Stream Of Income
People who observe activists see that they solicit donations. From this they infer that activists are paid primarily in this way.
Activists who observe others, know differently.
If he is fighting for a righteous cause, then he is almost certainly an opponent of those in power. Consequently, those who support him will have rather well defined limits on their capacity for generosity. An activist who lives off donations is an activist with no future. Or at least, no bright future.
Politics is above all tumultuous. The activist’s trade is in risk. He makes bold moves and risks upsetting people, including those who finance his work. If he must defer to benefactors or find himself sleeping amidst the junkies in the park, then at some point, there shall he find himself, lest he forfeit his passions to material want.
Even in the case of crowdfunding, perhaps especially in this case, under some circumstances, he now finds himself subject to the whims of popular opinion. Subject thereto, he is in no position to mold this opinion, which is, after all, the whole entire point of the enterprise.
Properly understood, donations supplement, rather than constitute, an activist’s income. If applied appropriately, these being surplus revenues, they go not to routine expenses, but to capital investments in the activist’s trade. Donations do not buy a month’s rent. They buy better audio equipment, a vehicle with better gas mileage, or more seating, perhaps some advertisements or other promotional consideration. In short, they buy something the activist would not have bought, save for that donation. Rent, food, phone, car note, car insurance, health insurance, taxes, regular clothes, and Internet, do not count.
If you cannot afford rent, food phone, car note, car insurance, health insurance, taxes, regular clothes, and Internet, without activism, then you cannot afford them with activism.
To be a full time activist, you must be able to afford all of these things, and still have the time and energy to devote to your cause. If you have any interest in being married and having a family, you must be able to afford all of these things, for you, your wife, and your children, and have the time to devote to them, and then, after all of this, still have the time and energy to devote to your cause.
If you are young, and you have grand enough designs, and you have a reasonable expectation of accomplishing them, perhaps you defer the family in pursuit of your passion. Perhaps you will hope to find your wife in the course of this pursuit. But given the pathologies described in our opening paragraphs, he ought deeply consider the wisdom of this prospect. More on this later.
This 2nd step in our guide obviously cannot become a treatise on making money. Many books and podcasts and seminars and college courses and entire lifestyles are devoted to this subject, and we’ll not cover all their wisdom and stupidity in a two hour audio recording. But we can quickly say a few things about it, as this pertains to the activist specifically.
An effective activist shows up in space, and becomes an unavoidable fact of political reality. He does not exist entirely online. Thus he requires the capacity to travel, and a job that requires him to be on scene 40+ hours a week will not suffice. As you are building yourself, there is nothing wrong with working such a job, but to devote your life to your cause, you will have to seek new income streams.
There are many ways to earn money absent a geographic tether. Almost all of them involve computers. You will need to make an assessment of your existing talents, and of your capacity to learn new skills. While doing so, you must keep in mind also your inclinations, because you are terribly unlikely to master a thing you dislike. Well paid, highly skilled professionals, love their jobs, and not only because of the money involved. There have been many surveys in which high earning people are asked what they would do differently if they won the lottery, or something to that effect. Consistently they would still be performing the professional skills they are performing at the time they are surveyed. They might do them somewhere else, they might buy new resources to do them more effectively, they might hire people to do them on a grander scale, but the highest earners would not quit their jobs if you handed them a winning lottery ticket.
It has become something of a troll phrase to say “learn to code”. But, if you have the capacity for this, whether you are already on this path or if you are young enough to learn a new skill, if you have a high IQ, this is an unrivaled capacity for one who wants freedom of movement and time.
Another great skill is sales. Particularly commissioned sales. If you can sell, you can write your own ticket anywhere. If you can sell over the phone, geography becomes completely irrelevant. In this trade, a high IQ obviously helps, since there is hardly anything where it hurts, but not all salespeople are geniuses. In sales, a certain level of organizational capacity, combined with social intuition, can take you wherever you need to go, once you learn the skills of the trade. We will talk more about those skills later.
There are countless differences between the highly paid and the lower paid people of our society, but the most notable one is specialization. It is a very good professional trait to be good at many things. Especially if you are starting your own business, you need to be able to do everything yourself so you can do all the jobs of the company as you build your team. But the master of one skill is paid much more highly than one who is pretty good at many skills. If your speciality is that you can do lots of things, you have lots of things to do. Your goal is to have as little work to do as possible while deriving the maximum possible benefit. So, the more narrow your specialization, so long as it is in sufficient demand, the greater the benefit to your activist lifestyle.
It might go without saying that the best way for an activist to make money is in his sleep. Whether this is through investment income, or through some kind of Software as a Service (SaaS) model, or by having built a company in which the operations are managed by a trusted team. There is no easy way to get to this point. To have money to make investments that earn investment income, one must have already been highly paid before. To build a SaaS business, one must have had the skills to do so. To build a business, one must have had many skills, a specialization, and money to invest therein.
Later in our guide we will talk at some length about reading and learning, and these will be very helpful resources to you in your non-activist financial pursuits as well.
Step 3. Cut Your Expenses
Do not fall victim to what is known as “Parkinson’s law”, which states “Expenses rise to meet income”. Successful people resist this temptation at every turn, and move in the opposite direction. Surplus revenue only accrues when one’s expenses are below one’s income.
There are countless resources online discussing subjects such as “extreme couponing”, fee avoidance, freebie hunting, and other innovative ways to cut expenses. Among them;
There are too many of these sites to list. When you go to these sites, you will notice themes emerge, you can search for those themes and find sites that specialize in those specific themes. You will find forums and social media groups where people exchange ideas about these themes. These will prove to be valuable resources as you work to cut expenses.
But the key theme to all of them is to keep it in mind at all times. Whenever you do anything, think to yourself “How can I do this at less expense” and, when you do, consider time among the expenses you must budget. It makes little sense for a capable person to spend two hours doing something to save two dollars.
Among these sites are two that I have extensive direct experience with and I can personally tell you are very valuable.
NerdWallet.com is a great resource for comparing financial services. Avoiding ATM and overdraft fees are among the easiest and most important things you can do in terms of your regular financial dealings. I do not pay them, and neither should you.
As a brief hint, I’ll say that for ATM fees, even if you are using some kind of debit card whose financial institution doesn’t have branches near to you or to where you will be traveling, using your debit card with cash back at the supermarket can almost always avoid these fees and I do this all the time. This is especially helpful if you use something like the Cash App debit card or some kind of cryptocurrency associated debit card.
Another is CheapRVLiving.com. If you want to learn how to live cheaply, study the homeless. But not just any junky sleeping in the park. They are in that position because they cannot manage their lives. Cheap RV Living is a lifestyle choice, and while it is not one I suggest you make, you can learn a great deal from people who have made this choice. They decided that they would rather travel and have maximum leisure time than devote themselves to chasing money. Your goal is to travel, have maximum leisure time, and chase money. This will be a valuable resource in the first two of those three goals.
In addition to cost cutting, Cheap RV Living will provide very helpful information about traveling more generally, and, as we may discuss worst case scenarios before this guide is completed, very helpful information for one who needs to hide.
For reading and listening material, which will be discussed at greater length later, you should definitely have a library card, and using it with the Libby app for your smartphone or tablet, you can get e-books and audiobooks galore. You can also use more than one library card with the app, and it would be of tremendous utility if you were to share library cards between a group of trusted friends. You wouldn’t want to go passing them around on the Internet, because there are some limits on how many books you can borrow at a time, but usually these exceed what three people can do in any given moment.
Torrents are a tremendous resource for media as well. Not only audio, text, and video, but applications. This is something I will not go into great detail on here, but if you research the subject bit torrent, you will find all you need to know. This is a peer to peer file sharing protocol, and if you’re not careful you might break copyright laws, which we would certainly not here advise, although lots of people completely disregard all intellectual property and download movies and TV shows and very expensive software, all for free.
Step 4. Acquire, Master, and Protect, Diverse Financial Services and Tools
If your activism is worth its calories, you will become the enemy of financial institutions. This will cause you ceaseless trouble. To continue your activity you will need to be able to roll with the punches as your means of dealing with money are removed from you.
Among the most important tools in this toolbox will be cryptocurrency, and you should understand that this is not, as some literature would have you believe, some kind of anonymous bulletproof financial system. Cryptocurrency that is not specifically designed for anonymity to improve upon privacy flaws in systems like Bitcoin, are subject to said flaws, and they exist. Lots of people have been arrested after analysts have used the blockchain ledger to track financial dealings.
In most cases, you will have to change Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies into dollars before you can spend them, and this is the weakest link in the chain. Right now the SEC has lawsuits against several major cryptocurrency exchanges, to include Binance.US and Coinbase, and these lawsuits have had the effect of putting several cryptocurrency companies out of business, such as Bittrex, and restricting the freedom of movement for others, notably Skrill, and BitPay.
Privacy centered cryptocurrencies, like Monero, usually cannot be traded on American exchanges. You have to exchange them for something like Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash before you can change them for dollars.
If you are doing anything worthwhile, and your PayPal or Venmo accounts are linked to that activity, you will be banned from these services. My suggestion, have these services, and do not publicly list them anywhere. You are also likely to have trouble with Stripe, but Stripe can be very valuable, so you want to be very careful with how you use that service because being banned from it can have serious consequences and they are permanent.
Interestingly Square, though they have kicked people off, has not been so stubborn about allowing people back on. Square operates the Cash App, and Cash App has a debit card, which can be very useful. You should definitely have Cash App and the Cash App debit card. Cash App can also be used to buy and sell Bitcoin.
Strike Payments is a newer system. They do not have a debit card, but they can do bank deposits and withdrawals using the ACH system with your checking account. You should have this service.
Gab Pay is another system that can facilitate payments using the ACH system. You should have this service.
GiveSendGo is better than GoFundMe by leaps and bounds.
Step 5. Form an LLC
Among the most important things you can do is form a Limited Liability Company, or LLC. This is important for more reasons than I will be able to list today, but first among them is that you may run into situations where you have problems with a service, and you would far prefer your LLC to be banned from the service than you as an individual. Under that circumstance, you the individual may form a new LLC, and use the service again.
This is also relevant if you find yourself involved in litigation. The LLC may protect you the individual from liability, and there are forms of insurance to protect the LLC from liability.
You may also wish to form a 501(c) or Political Action Committee, but I am not familiar enough with those sorts of entities to say anything about them at this time.
Step 6. Read (as little as possible about your own ideology)
Activists make a persistent mistake in trying to be experts on the ideological bent they promote. They understandably want to be experts in their field, but mastering the jargon and literature of your own element is actually of profoundly little utility in the big picture.
We will elaborate on this in coming installments.
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