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Ron Manners’ ideas
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One major problem confronting the world is that almost everyone now relies on the government to ‘take care of things’. After 70 years of governments drowning the world in paper money and all sorts of economic distortions and regulations, anyone looking back at government’s track record could become defeatist and say: “I’m doomed and am destined to follow governments in a race to the bottom.”

I say: “not so!”

You must firstly set yourself the task of insulating yourself from destructive government policies such as excess taxation (stealing money from your income in excess of what is deemed to be fair) and various restriction and limits on your self-ownership and self-responsibility. I often say that there are four ways to change things, namely:

  • Education
  • Peaceful civil disobedience
  • Politics
  • Violence and war

Learning about business survival from Ukraine

I expanded on this last year in a presentation in Ukraine. From years of experience I have decided to focus only on the first two possibilities — the education aspect through the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation and the peaceful civil disobedience (by pursuing this line of reasoning in my business career), as I see little possibility for business survival if you obediently fill in all the forms and pay all the taxes.

In business the impositions to be avoided are accepting any offers of ‘government protection rackets’ in the form of ‘occupational licensing’ or ‘tariff protection and subsidies’. Yes, looking back from discussions with many successful business gurus, I agree that the prime thing to focus on is to insulate yourself, in every way possible, from government actions and policies. In particular, when they tell you that it’s for your own good, or that they are here to ‘help you’, that is when you should run for your life. As President Ronald Reagan once said: “The most terrifying words in the English language are I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Harry Browne, the joyous libertarian

Reflecting on this subject, in our office recently, I mentioned Harry Browne’s great book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World and how fortunate it is that Harry Browne’s widow (Pamela) has continued to make his book available as an e-book. I reflected on my last discussion with Harry Browne (1933-2006), in Zurich in 1982 and his ability, by following his own advice, to live a very productive and balanced life as a ‘joyous libertarian’. Yes, this book is one I strongly recommend to anyone starting out and deciding on appropriate life priorities.

Harry Browne Mannwest
Harry Browne at his home (with Ron) in Zurich, August 1992.

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