A recent post of mine sparked a discussion about what the word “independent” really means. What exactly does it look like if you’re independent? Are there “degrees” of independence or is it a black-and-white, yes-or-no thing?
I’ve discussed this topic in-depth before and even wrote a book about it. First I’ll start with some of the objections I know I’ll get when I describe the concept of independence.
In our modern age, it is true that no one can be truly, absolutely, 100% independent. Yes, yes, yes, no matter how self-sufficient you are, you still require things like your local power plant to function property to provide electricity and your local roads to be drivable. The only exception to this rule is if you went out into the woods by yourself and literally became an off-the-grid, live-off-the-land, hermit-loner for the rest of your life, but I don’t think anyone reading this is ever going to do that.
Therefore, if any one says “Well it’s not possible to be 100% independent, BD!” I’m going to ignore your comment, because I already agree with you. What I’m talking about today is to being as independent as possible.
This is exactly what the Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle is all about: being as independent as possible within reasonable parameters. I live a life like this. It’s very good. For a man, it involves three types of independence:
1. Independence from government interference.
2. Financial independence.
3. Sexual independence.
If you get those three areas nailed, then congratulations, you’re “independent.” I will describe all three, using myself as an example.
Independence from Government
Over the last 15 years or so, I have slowly detached myself from the governmental system that most people in the Western world are helplessly intertwined with. If you want to be truly independent, you’ll need to do the same. Otherwise, the big government that most countries in the Western world have sadly embraced can and will stick its big fat nose into your business and force you, yes force you (since government is force) to do or don’t do certain things in your personal life and financial life.
Here’s the ten reasons I am independent from governmental interference (again, as much as possible):
1. I am not legally married. Thus I’m not subject to government’s many laws regarding marriage and divorce. (I used to pay alimony but that ended a while ago.)
2. I do not live with anyone full-time. Thus I’m not subject to government’s many co-habitation laws.
3. I am self-employed AND I have zero employees, by choice. Thus I’m not subject to most of government’s many laws regarding employment, employee taxes, hiring, and firing.
4. I do not vote. Thus I’m not subject to most of government’s many laws regarding voting, registration, and jury duty. More importantly, since I’ve detached from the system I literally do not care who wins or loses elections. Under Bush/Obamaism the person who happens to win a corporatist election doesn’t really matter anyway.
5. I have kids, but one of them is already a legal adult and in a year the other one will be also, freeing me from government’s many laws regarding children, child protective services, parenting, and child custody.
6. I only work in unregulated industries. In my case, that’s business consulting, technology marketing, and dating/relationship advice. Thus I’m not subject to government’s many laws regarding how people in regulated industries work and do business.
7. I have no money invested in any government instruments, such as IRAs and 401Ks. Thus I’m not subject to government’s many laws regarding how and when these moneys are invested, managed, allocated, taxed, liquidated, or moved. Moreover, I’m protected from any future possible government confiscation of assets, like what happened recently in Cyprus.
8. I live in one of the lowest-taxed areas, perhaps the lowest-taxed area, in the United States, by choice. I live in Washington State, way out in near-rural suburbia, where there is no income tax, yet I’m within easy driving distance of the Oregon border where there is no sales tax. This means I pay NO sales tax, NO state income tax, NO county taxes, NO municipal taxes, NO VAT taxes, extremely low property taxes and extremely low gas taxes. Unlike most Americans, I only need to file one tax return for my personal taxes (federal only). Most other Americans need to file a federal return and a state return. Business taxes in Washington State are also very favorable. Granted, the United States is still one of the highest-taxed countries on the planet no matter what state you live in, but I’ll be fixing that problem a little later.
9. Without getting into specifics, I have a high income, decent investments, and a very solid and conservative financial structure. I have my basic living expenses covered for the rest of my life even if there’s a massive economic downturn and even if I never get any social security, which frankly I’m not planning on getting anyway. (And even if I do get it for some bizarre reason, I’m donating it all to charity.) Thus I don’t need to ever rely on any government largess to pay my bills, now or in my old age.
10. I am very careful to never break the law, even if I completely and utterly disagree with most laws, which I do. I never do illegal drugs, I don’t cheat on my taxes, I don’t have sex with underage women, I don’t rip off my customers, etc, and a know a hell of a lot of Alpha Males who do some or all of these things on a regular basis. No one is perfect of course; I drive past the speed limit sometimes just like everyone else, but you know what I mean.
Therefore, as you can see, government has near-zero influence over my life because of the conscious lifestyle choices I’ve made. Compare me to the typical guy who is married, has an 8-5 corporate job in a likely regulated industry, pays all kinds of taxes, has a 401K (assuming he has any investments at all), regularly smokes weed where it’s not legal, is relying on future social security to retire, and is politically active and votes in most elections.
Any time the stock market goes down, any time a politician gets elected he doesn’t like, any time a new law passes he doesn’t like, any time he has big trouble in his marriage, this guy’s head explodes. Yet I barely notice. I’m detached from the system. He’s plugged into the governmental system so much that he’s like that baby in The Matrix with all those tubes in his spine.
Therefore, the first aspect of being truly independent is detaching from your government as much as humanly possible. You’ll live a much happier, freer, and less stressful life all around.
In the next part of this post I’ll discuss financial independence and sexual independence.