Pick your battles

September 16, 2010
Dallas, Texas, USA

I was reading an article online a few days ago that one of our members was kind enough to send along. The article described how public transit commuters in Philadelphia are now being randomly subjected to forced pat downs and baggage searches with explosives-sniffing dogs.

Another subscriber followed that up with an article about the US Department of Homeland Security implementing a new technology that can scan irises at a distance of six feet, then store the information in a government database.

According to one of the department’s program managers, Homeland Security is testing the technology to take iris scans of people who are walking by a specially outfitted camera.

I’m willing to make a huge bet that these sorts of things make your skin crawl. Mine too. Unfortunately, reading the comments under these articles on Reuters and USAToday, it’s clear too many people are in total support of these outrageous acts…

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with it at all!!!! Wouldn’t rather be safe than sorry? I think it’s a great idea and I appriciate it! [sic]”


“I have no problem with submitting to any kind of scan… The government’s first job is security.”

This real life illustration of the mental state of our fellow human beings is indicative of a very clear, powerful point: some people just don’t get it.

For the last several days, we have been engaging in probably our most significant conversations to date about what I call the Age of Turmoil– a time marked by rapid change and fluctuatating crises.

Undoubtedly, as conditions deteriorate in certain parts of the world, you can count on governments delivering the solutions that people will demand… and like it or not, voters will demand more intervention, more security, greater erosion of their liberties, and more Draconian economic measures.

Now, there are significant steps that we can take to protect ourselves in order to survive and thrive in the Age of Turmoil: planting multiple flags to preserve our capital and hedge our risks, acquiring valuable skills, achieving economic independence, etc.

But these steps take time, they take energy, they take focus, and sometimes money. Unfortunately, we are all constrained by finite amounts of those resources.

As such, we must wisely allocate these resources and choose to affect the things that we can control. It’s nice to hope for change, but in the greater system that is collapsing all around us, there are simply too many things that we cannot control.

Rising taxes, faltering currencies, bailouts, stimulus spending, etc… these sorts of things will either happen, or they won’t. No policymaker is going to ask our permission first.

In other words, we have no control whether or not our central bankers will continue inflating the currency, whether or not our politicians will engage in further fiscal or military folly, whether or not bureaucrats will implement iris scanning technology or random pat downs.

And, it’s seems quite clear that too many citizens are quite happy with these new “security” measures.

You and I have no say in the matter, and it would be a waste of our precious resources to get caught up in the fight. These decisions are all being made by a small group of men, not by us.

We have been talking all week about the pillars of self-reliance, ways to become independent and succeed in the Age of Turmoil. I believe that the final pillar is being able to pick your battles– wisely allocating finite resources to affect that which we can change, and which is most important.

Grassroots campaigns to affect political change are wonderful ideas, and they have admirable goals. There’s clearly right and wrong in the world, and it’s morally nice to be on the side of right. But given our limited resources, realism must prevail.

Sure, you could spend your life working for these goals and trying to change the perspectives of people who don’t want their perspectives changed. Or you could use that time getting prepared to ensure that you and your family survive and thrive in the Age of Turmoil.

When you look at how much the world has changed over the last several years, and you consider how fast things are changing now, I think we only have a few years remaining before much of what we know today changes dramatically.

How do you want to spend that time?

This, ultimately, is what our premium service, Sovereign Man: Confidential is all about. My primary mission is to provide the most actionable information possible based on my own contacts and experiences– information you won’t find anywhere else– to help you and your family survive and thrive in the Age of Turmoil.

We’re launching this service imminently, and I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of an endeavor that I’ve been involved in.

As indicated in yesterday’s email, the first 500 members will receive special pricing of $277 annually; if you want to be on the list to receive a special alert when the offer becomes available, I encourage you to sign up for our early-notification list if you haven’t done so already.

About the Author

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.