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“Stay and fight”: Is this realistic?

June 17, 2011

Before leaving New York, I was enjoying a perfectly nice afternoon yesterday walking around the Upper West side. When I got to Lincoln center, roughly at the corner of Broadway and W 62nd Street, reality set in.

No fewer than ten NYPD storm troopers were ‘patrolling’ the sidewalk outside in full combat gear: Kevlar helmet, flak vest, semi-automatic 9mm sidearm, and Colt model 933 with M900 foregrip and M68 aimpoint. A few of them had M203 variety grenade launchers fitting snugly underneath the barrel.

And to what did we owe the deployment of such unnecessary firepower? An invasion of the Canadian hordes? Terrorists on the loose? No. Some visiting politician… clearly an individual who feels important enough to merit an intimidating death squad in his vicinity.

This is the nature of the system. Police are armed to the teeth… and while their official marketing slogan may be to ‘keep people safe’, their real function is to be the protectors and enforcers for the political class, all while keeping the people in check so that the know who’s boss.

On this note, we received a lot of comments this week from readers who reject the idea of considering greener pastures overseas and instead choose to “stay and fight.”

Reader Jay K, for instance, wrote that “sooner or later you’re going to have to fight. It might as well be in your own home, city, neighborhood, and country.”

This ‘stay and fight’ mentality does seem incredibly noble. It invokes images of Paul Revere and the original patriots standing their ground in battle against the red coat British forces. Unfortunately, the world just doesn’t work that way anymore.

There is no real enemy to fight… no clearly defined opposing force conveniently dressed in a different color like the rival baseball team. The battle is one of ideas.

At its simplest, the conflict comes down between those who believe that government is the problem, and those who believe that government is the solution. Most people are brainwashed statists who unquestioningly hold the latter as their ethos.

And then there is the big faceless void of government itself… politicians, bureaucrats, low-level workers, regulatory agencies, etc. We’re not talking about a single individual here, but an entire institution.

It begs the question– for all the ‘stay and fight’ people, who exactly are you fighting? And more importantly, how?

Of all the hundreds of similar notes we’ve received from people who claim they are going to ‘stay and fight’, I am still waiting for one… just one single email… from someone telling me exactly how they plan on doing that.

Are you going to go to the polls and kick the bums out? Go right ahead. If you can convince the majority of other voters (most of whom probably don’t share your ideology), then you’re just going to vote in another set of bums.

Politicians are politicians because they either (a) are attracted to power, and/or (b) think that government is the solution, not the problem. Replacing one set with another is hardly a credible course of action.

What else is the plan– armed conflict in the streets? I don’t understand this fantasy. The people are going to arm themselves and join together for an Old West style shootout against the police, the people will win, and then a new nation will be rebuilt espousing limited government principles?

It sounds like a great movie… but pinning your hopes on being able to win a revolutionary style victory against a military police state that has superior tactics, firepower, and combat experience is simply unrealistic.

Besides, real turmoil in the west is just getting started. Right now the conflict is in Greece and Spain. It will spread to Italy, Belgium, UK, etc., and then finally to the US.

When it does, people will find out first hand that the police have absolutely no problems turning into violent thugs… and this police state grows stronger every day.

Truthfully, there is no way to fight a faceless enemy. The government is essentially the same as your credit card company– no single individual or front, just a collection of various departments and bureaucracies.

What do you do when your credit card company raises your fees, takes your money, provides you with poor service? Do you petition for change? Do you try and convince fellow credit card holders to demand new management? Do you stalk the customer service center in Sioux City, Iowa? No, of course not. You simply get a new card.

This is ultimately the solution that I’m advocating, and I’m here to tell you that there are a lot of great cards out there in the world.

If you recognize that the trend is bad, at least have a plan to safeguard yourself, your family, your livelihood, and your assets… something that extends beyond the unrealistic (voting the bums out) and the mythical (doing battle in the streets).

It’s time to reject bombastic fantasies and check in to reality. Make a grounded appraisal of the situation, and if you decide to stick around, great. Just make sure you have strong safeguards in place, a plan to execute if you ever deem it necessary, and most of all, a clear idea of your breaking point.

After all, the boiling frog only survives when it senses danger and jumps out.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jvanne

    As always, great article. However, this time methinks you have it wrong. The battle is, indeed, one of **ideas, communication, and education.*** So, simply, put your efforts ***there*** folks.  Storm troopers you say? Well, if no one believes in the IDEALS of the storm troopers, there won’t be any storm troopers to, uh, “storm.”

    Here’s what I am doing, and it is simple. I email **short**, documented emails to folks with ***information.*** No jokes, no 20 point font in red, blue and green, no telling people they aren’t Americans if they don’t forward on. Just short, descriptive subject,  with LINKS TELLING WHERE I GOT THE INFO FROM (folks, always CHECK things before you pass on, even if you have to go to leftist Snopes).

    Another thing. Folks, get out there and pass out flyers. I’ll put a sample below. I have put out perhaps 5,000 of these on (never in) mailboxes, windshields, leave in doctors/dentist offices (just did that today!), coffeeshops, etc. Stupid you say? Well, it’s a LOT better than envisaging a shootout at OK Corral, or something else. The reason we have lost – so far – is that the fascists took over the media and the education system. We need to EDUCATE people back. And that has to happen outside the system that has been taken over. 


    #1  In Jan. 2009, the
    unemployment rate was 7.6 per%  when Obama took office.  Today it is 9.1 %.
    True unemployment rate, the U-6, is
    2 million Americans had jobs when Obama signed his $800 billion stimulus into
    law, but don’t have jobs today —along with 12 million other unemployed

    #2 When Obama took
    office,  “long-term unemployment”
    in the United States was approximately 2.6
    million.  Today, that number is up to 6.2 million.

    #3 When Barack Obama
    first became president, the ave. gallon of gasoline in the United States was $1.83.  Today it is $3.79.  This affects
    the price of everything else. In April 2009, the average U.S. household spent
    approx $201 on gasoline.  In April 2011, the ave U.S. household spent approximately $369 on

    #4 When Obama was sworn
    in, there were 32 million Americans
    on food stamps.  Today, there are 44 million on food stamps.

    #5 According to the
    U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in
    just the past 2 years. /
    These are human lives being destroyed
    because Obama is an ideologue.

    #6 When Barack Obama
    took office, the national debt was 10.6 trillion dollars. Today it is $14.3
    trillion, and USA Today says total obligations are $62 trillion!
     During Barack Obama’s first two years in
    office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the
    first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.

    #7 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last
    year,  the lowest level ever recorded in all of U.S. history.
    Since August, 2 million more Americans
    have left the labor force.

    #8  In 2010, more than a
    million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure for the first
    time ever, – tat  number is expected to
    go even higher in 2011.
    Homeowners’ equity has collapsed from $14.7 trillion to $6.9 trillion – a massive
    loss of wealth equal to more than half of US GDP. Homeowners’ equity is lower
    today than at the end of 1999!

    #9 The U.S. real estate crisis just
    continues to get worse, and Case-Shiller now state we are officially in a
    double dip housing recession. .  During the first three months of this
    year, less new homes were sold in the
    U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded. /

    #10 When Barack Obama
    first took office, an ounce of gold was going for about $850.  Today an
    ounce of gold costs about $1500.


    you are sick and tired of the Obama administration destroying the economy like
    Jimmy Carter did, please photocopy & pass this on!

    • pby

      I appreciate rational discourse. Thank you. I would point out that when Bush was in office, he kept the cost of the Iraq war “off budget” making it more difficult to see the costs driving us into debt. And that under Bill Clinton, the Glass Stiegel Act was repealed ( a law separating regular banking operations from investment banking functions that had been put into place since the Great Depression) and this fact allowed big banks to  bundle mortgages together that they sold as investments. Naughty George and Naughty Billy. And the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates lower than normal (to say the least!) trying to lessen the impact of too much borrowing by government, corporation, and individuals. As a society for the last 25 to 30 years we have been sold debt as an ok thing. I have watched the marketing of debt, a sometime useful or necessary thing that one should avoid in general.  Both parties have created situations that have led to this historically difficult economic situation. Both parties want power and both are to some large degree run by the corporations and the very wealthy who own them. I could go on, but I imagine you understand. Thank you for reading this far.  

      • Leonidcat

        Most all of the Democratic party and some of the Republicans have been bought by George Soros and his many organizations. Then add in all the participants in the Bilderberg group and you have the perfect storm to bring this country down.

    • Gloomy

      One question -
      What happened to the President Clinton Budget Surplus???
      Don’t blame President Obama.  He took the helm of as sinking ship.  The deficits you attribute to him are the consequences of the economy when he took office.

      • clark

        Gloomy asked, 
        “One question -
        What happened to the President Clinton Budget Surplus??? ”

        The answer: The “budget surplus” was an illusion, the ship was sinking a long time before Clinton came along.

      • Solidground77

        That line is worn out…Obama is a Socialist trying to control every part of your life. Why are you defending the people that are systematically ruining this country. You are truly ignorant.

      • Leonidcat

        Sigh…. Clinton did not leave a surplus. He claimed a surplus by counting income from the Social Security Trust Fund, something no other President has done. The first day Bush took office the deficit was $17.9 BILLION (without SS funds counted). The first full year of Bush’s term he was also under a Clinton signed budget which left the deficit at $133 BILLION. Even with the two wars, the deficit was coming down until that last two years of Bush’s term when the Democrats took over and started spending spending spending. Of course, I do blame Bush for not vetoing all these budgets so he’s not entirely faultless.

        The above can be verified on the US Treasury’s own website, but hey, you can’t possibly do much research into the truth of thing judging by your post.

        I do blame Obama for a lot of things. The stimulus is not working and went to companies that were poorly run in the first place. GM still owes us a few BILLION and they just dedicated a new $135 MILLION engine plant in Mexico. The banks are still being bailed out and of the top 20 banks that the Feds were bailing out, 12 were foreign owned banks that immediately transferred the money to their home banks. REAL unemployment is about 22% and inflation is around 9.8% right now. I could go on, but heck you won’t believe anyway.

    • Ronald J. Owens

      thanks for the info, I will check out the links myself and once I understand their respective contents talk with people about it. Also Obama and his administration are just a ‘tool’ for ultra rich people who have tangible wealth. Presently Warren Buffet is the world’s overlord. Watch what happens world wide whenever his ‘expiration date’ comes. Second people always talk about Wall Street, but never give info about who started it,etc and what their descendents have to do with it today. Life is about lineage.

    • Gcbrown

      do you really think that bush/cheney could start 2-wars, add a drug benefit to medicare and then inact 3 tax-cuts – income, capital-gains, dividends – and this would not create the problems we are having now??? Also bush did not veto anything until the democrats got some control during the last 2=years of his cheney controlled regime. It was Cheney who said that deficits don’t matter and that the constitution is just a piece of paper. Typical republicans deny deny, narrow-minded, self-centered hypocrites!!!   

  • Mark

    I may just be a simple country boy but I believe the police are funded by the taxpayer, if we are shooting at each other my assumption is I for one will stop paying taxes, ie taking away their armor. Our police and military are great only because the US taxpayer has been great. All the fancy toys in the world want matter without funding. 

    Also just another note, were we not out gunned my the British?

    • Paul

      Boo-hoo. WHO CARES if you stop paying your taxes? That tactic could only work if your government operated within a constricted & pre-defined BUDGET. YOU on the other hand live in a country that PRINTS money out of nowhere, raises its own debt ceiling as needed and even buys up its OWN DEBT!

    • Mailforart

      I stopped paying taxes for 16 years and guess who chased me not the cops or the military.  The IRS  they are relentless
      in their pursuit. stop paying your property taxes and see what happens. don’t pay your car license see what happens You are living in the US only by renting a space from the GOVT and the game they play. the only way you get away from their game is go some where you have true freedom.  There are only a few nations on this planet where you can obtain that freedom. everywhere Big Brother is following You. the US is the only nation which tries to collect taxes from you no matter where you live.

  • Mark

    Simon love your articles, think this one falls short. See my comment

  • Karens287

    If you have money, you always have options.  For the rest of us:  hoard food, silver and pray to God every second of you life!  

    • Paul

      God (IF He exists) is NOT in the business of helping WAR CRIMINALS, TORTURERS & FRAUDSTERS. As an American, YOU need to pray to the OTHER guy (also, IF he exists) who dwells in a bottomless pit of brimstone & ashes.

  • Paidsub

    There are ways to stay and survive and they are not difficult to find or to do.  You obviously have not looked in the right places.  Plus when I searched the world over, I simply could not find a place that in reality could become the place that could be said of:  there is no place like home. 

    Never do I want to be the stranger in any land.  My home is here and I will keep it here.  I have done the research. 

  • Jack

    How did the British control millions of people around the globe inside their Empire? It was easy. It was in those people’s interests to belong to the Empire, so they did so willingly. Occasionally some gobby little self important troublemaker would kick up a fuss and need to be slapped down into his place, but by and large there was compliance with the established order. Why did the British Empire disintegrate? Because at the end of WWII the UK was bankrupt. Who wants to belong to an economic system with a bankrupt in control? It’s no longer in the people’s interest to do so, so they stop doing so. When the US goes bankrupt, it will stop being in the populations interest to work with the existing power structure and then the people will back and  follow the gobby little self important troublemakers who will take over power and change things.

    • TRJ

      Yes Britain was bankrupt at the end of WWII but it was Roosevelt who forced Churchill into signing away the empire and all European colonial powers for their help in supplying Britain prior to Pearl Harbor. Exit the Empire enter the weaker Commonwealth.

  • Radoslaw Szymanek


    I fully agree. If you run then you deprive the bad guys and their worshipers of your tax money. They will sooner or later run out of tax payers cows to support their oppresive government. I did deprieve my national country of my taxes and I feel great.

    However, we can do even better. We can figure out what country we are running to to obtain the majority in this country and then take over the government so it can be dismantled. It will be a great thing to choose the best country around and make it even better with our hard work?

    I was already considering moving out to Iceland but the climate is too harsh for me. I choose Switzerland instead.

    There are some people who will learn only the hard way and nowadays it looks like it is the voting majority. Why would you loose time on unproductive efforts of education of government slaves? Run and enjoy your life.


    P.S. I am not an American for which I am grateful because I would be already in the process of giving up my citizenship to avoid being a tax slave even when living abroad.

  • mateus

    in answer to the first question – what to do about the shitty government? the key is for people with ethics and a strong philosophical understanding to influence people in positions in power. that needs to happen a lot and to lots of very powerful people.

    want a strong philosophical understanding? read ken wilber. or run away, and find police states everywhere you go. i’m in australia, trust me, this place is fucked. 

  • Diogenes

    If you’ve got the money to do an international relocation and the energy to learn news laws and languages (and don’t mind being the “foreigner”), then by all means, go for it. 

    But I’m retired and have both children and parents (too old to travel) in this country.  My solution was to leave a large, liberal coastal state for a little patch of land in a lightly populated county of a lightly populated inland border state that gave substantial support to Ron Paul and other libertarian candidates in recent elections. 

    Having lived in small towns before, I know that police are members of the community in small towns because there are not enough of them to get the “Blue Knight” mentality.  People are people, not caricatures.  Anyway, that’s my plan and it gives me an acceptable level of comfort.

  • jf

    The rural communities may not be as safe as previous comment suggests.  Please read Obama’s Executive Order 13575 dated 6/9/11

  • Talnik

    The only problem with “running and hiding” as opposed to “staying and fighting” is that when the U.S, collapses, every American expat will be dragged from his home and skinned alive.

    • john

      not at all true!

  • Mik

    Wow. First post here. I do like your article here Simon. And it seems to me your “point” was to point out that, as an “outsider”, you see a local police department dolled up like that, and things become clear in a different light than it used to when you were in the ‘soon-to-be boiling water’. My personal economy has been crashed for me, so I’m struggling to determine if it’s time to leave or not. Having relatively no money at this point, I’m inclined to “stay and fight”. and I don’t feel literally fighting in the streets will be the way it has to happen for most of us. Although, I’m not foolish enough to believe it can’t happen. In fact, the likelihood is rather high that exactly that will happen in quite a few places in this ‘United State’. Rather, are the struggles I’ll have to endure here worth the local battles of ideas I’ll have to fight?

    “Running and hiding” is quite attractive to me, and I would certainly have left by now if I still had the funds. However, I don’t consider leaving as cowardly as some folks seem to be implying. To the contrary, it would probably be an even tougher struggle to rebuild and resettle. It’s a personal (or individual) decision to better yourself and/or family if you have a better opportunity elsewhere. Just as most of us do on a regular basis, every day for little things. It’s an opportunity to help create a better, much free’er place than we now have in what some call the United State. It’s a very large geographical area. It seems kind of intrinsic that the general population (not the few of us that read SovereignMan) would destroy it by voting for what betters them at the expense of those who are capable, and indeed do, produce more than we consume.

    So while I sit here waiting for John Galt to find me and point me in the right direction, I’m looking for opportunities here as well as where I feel my son and his sons will be free and able to help build a new beacon of economic and personal freedom.


  • Abgasse

    Once all the paper currencies collapse, the welfare checks stop, the prisons are opened, and the shelves ransacked, all the obese, brain-dead Americans will BEG for a police state.  Political correctness will be the new “Nazi race law”.  But we are armed.  No fascist state in history has ever had to deal with well armed populace.  The thing to do is to network with like minded neighbors in order to survive and prosper.  

  • GodfamilySouth

    The stormtroopers will choose sides, just as during the War Between the States.  Many pilots will leave with their Blackhawks etc….  It won’t be us against them, they are us and we will destroy those who are not “us”

  • TRJ

    So, their going to finally have a use for all those new prisons and confinement camps that they have been building all over north America.

  • Mike

    If you run and America fails why do you think your host country is not likely to treat you badly when they see so many defenseless ex-patriots so easy to exploit?

  • margaretpaddock

    Interesting article that seems to use scare tactics to promote an ideology.
    Financial planning is or should be a number 1 priority for all people.  Such is not the case.  That being said when you look at the problems the rest of the world is having why would anyone want to go to those countries especially when many people there do not like Americans.

    Yes, it is a difficult fight to change a country politically.  We have seen it fail numerous times in Europe, South America, Philipines – one dictator after another – all the same really. But America has something they never had.  People have had freedom and we do have for the most part fair elections and no dictator (unless the current administration gets away with annulling presidential term limits which they have already proposed once).

    To survive and hopefully create change one must know the true facts about people and subjects.  Speak out and become active within groups that believe in the same rights.  Plan well personally for financial survival and most of all pray that the will of God will preserve the great country He blessed us with to begin with. 

  • Dragos2112

    Not only not in a position to leave, but…
    Only problem with this is that it is my country and those who are or will do this need to leave.
    And yes, they can pry it from my cold dead fingers, etc.
    I do not believe all will stand with these dinks, cause just as soon as the goodies are shut off, here they will come! And they ain’t gonna be in a peaceful mood either…
    One part of the ‘patriot movement’ will be directing traffic right to those who did it…
    I think it will be fun to watch all of those ‘they’ and ‘them’ -s lose everything in a matter of a few days.
    Then too, many of ‘them’ will desert to go see to their own families, police and military.
    That police state and martial law only works if and when you got a lot of people to enforce it…so…
    Just a slightly apposing view or take on the situation. 

  • Jay Twila

    The “spirit” of America isn’t the problem. It is the collectivist nature of the government that is the problem. Sadly, U.S. citizenship has become “toxic.” Sure, it’s still the “gold standard” to many non-Americans. But increasingly, a Canadian or Swiss passport is a far safer bet. I long for the days when our country had a stellar and pristine reputation around the world.

  • Perseus Wong

    Well, good luck with Chile’s Michelle Bachelet and her Left-Wing Coalition taking power in March 2014.

    Where are you going to run to now? Gilligan’s Island?

    Collectivism/Statism is a recessive gene inherent in ALL human societies. It will ALWAYS be triggered by the activity and growth of private capital. You can’t outrun it. There is no such thing as a permanent economic safe haven. The economic booms of places like Chile, Singapore and Hong Kong are only as good as the pro-Free Market policy maker who manages to stay in power.

    We cannot have abiding prosperity ANYWHERE when every generation continues to be deceived by the Socialists to despise the sanctity and unalienable right of an individual to his property and capital.

  • Guest

    Right now, the fight is still in the realm of ideas. As long as there is free speech, there is hope” is Ayn Rand quote that is very appropo here. They take away the First Amendment, then we only have the Second. But, right now, it is still an intellectual battle–a philosophic battle.

    And, that is a nuclear war every time. There can be only one winner. Currently, Kant holds the belt and Rand is the challenger. I think logic and reason will win and most people will say about Objectivism “That sounds about right.” I don’t expect most people to say they are Objectivists, neither do I care if they do. As long as we have, say, 35% of the intellectuals (philosophers, professors, artists), we win.

    Anyway, feel free to keep stock piling guns and gold. But, when it comes down to it, this is still a war of ideas and I will stay here in the United States and fight it.

  • Golden Dollar

    Right now, the fight is still in the realm of ideas. As long as there is free speech, there is hope” is Ayn Rand quote that is very appropo here. They take away the First Amendment, then we only have the Second. But, right now, it is still an intellectual battle–a philosophic battle.

    And, that is a nuclear war every time. There can be only one winner. Currently, Kant holds the belt and Rand is the challenger. I think logic and reason will win and most people will say about Objectivism “That sounds about right.” I don’t expect most people to say they are Objectivists, neither do I care if they do. As long as we have, say, 35% of the intellectuals (philosophers, professors, artists), we win.

    Anyway, feel free to keep stock piling guns and gold. But, when it comes down to it, this is still a war of ideas and I will stay here in the United States and fight it.

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