Don’t Sink with the Ship: Live Unconventionally

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tuvia Bielski was intelligent, handsome, tall…and unconventional. He was a Jew in the forest with a gun. He was a man on the run. It was 1941 in Belorussia, and Tuvia warned his brother-in-law Alter Ticktin about the need to plan for the future, but Alter would not listen. “There is no alternative,” Alter said, “We’ll have to go into the ghetto. It’s not too bad, somehow we’ll survive. Let’s not be smarter than the others. We will live just like the rest will.” “Don’t you see it may mean death?” Tuvia demanded. “They cannot kill all of us. What will be with the majority of the Jews will be with us,” Alter replied. Alter and his family packed their bags and moved into the ghetto. Tuvia Bielski could not talk his brother-in-law into escaping the ghetto until 5670 ghetto residents, including two of Ticktin’s family members, were killed. Tickten was sure that the course everyone else was following must be the right course. He didn’t realize he should take the unconventional way until it was almost too late. The Bielski brothers, whose story is told in Defiance, were unconventional. They not only survived the war, but they saved the lives of perhaps a thousand Jews. For them, freedom began with an act of defiance.

Today, freedom for you should also begin with an act of defiancedefiance against the conventional way of thinking. The Bible says that broad is the road that leads to destruction and many people choose it, but strait is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and few find it. The conventional view leads to an easy, slow decline. On that path essential liberty is exchanged for temporary safety. We must be strong enough to live and think for ourselves and brave enough to bear the consequences of our decisions. Eternal vigilance is the only way to preserve our freedom. Chains of debt are being forged and oppressive laws are being written for my people, the young people of America, who deserve liberty and justiceand many don’t even care or notice. Our minds must be liberated from conventional indifference and ignorance. Indifference is slumber! Ignorance is slavery! The conventional course is evil. And, as Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

While it is our duty to speak for what we believe is right and to try to awaken others from their sleep-walk to destruction, we must remember that chances are we won’t be listened to. If we are on a ship and realize it’s sinking, we tell everyone else on the ship “Hey! The ship is sinking! We should patch the hole in the ship!” If they tell us we are crazy and we should forget it, it would be wise for us to start making our own plans, so we don’t sink with the ship. Many people will tell us we should just blend in and do what everyone else does. Alter Ticktin found out differently.

If you think a country should have sound money, and should not spend prodigally and grow a multi-trillion dollar debt, you’re right. But if your country doesn’t happen to want your wise advice, what do you think will happen to the country? The economic system may collapse, many people will lose their savings, and there will be social unrest. But what will happen to you?

If you believe in individual liberty and value freedom more than life, if you hate the idea of naked body scans and pat-downs performed by the TSA; Big Brother watching you, monitoring your phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts; and the President having the authority to label you an enemy combatant, hold you indefinitely, and torture you (an American citizen) without trial; if you dislike the thought of having to have an identification number to basically buy or sell or do anythingwhat would you do if all this came true? Where would you be if “thought police” suddenly appeared? Or, per chance, are they already here, trying out their telepathic powers on those who commit “hate crimes” today? (Tomorrow will they become the characters from Orwell’s novel?)

If you think a country should not engage in needless, unjust, and unconstitutional wars, if you think unwise foreign policy could lead to blowback and perhaps eventually World War 3, and if your government continues to pursue an unwise foreign policy, where will you be if/when worse comes to worst?

I know where I don’t want to be…and that is complacently marching in line with everyone else toward an inevitable fate. That’s why I am researching the following ideas:

1. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs set their own hours, make their own decisions, and are responsible for the results. If they make good decisions and work hard they will succeed; if not, they will fail. Being an entrepreneur is not as “safe and secure” as being an employee, but what am I looking for? A secure life, complacently climbing the ladder one rung at a timeand letting someone else make the decisions? Or am I looking for a life of liberty, free-thinking, and opportunity?

2. Diversification of assets. It may not be a good idea to have all one’s eggs in the same basket. Once a person has enough money to worry about, it may be wise to consider holding some in gold and silver (sound money!), and various other forms.

3. Internationalization. A second citizenship/passport is not a bad idea. This is the “don’t have all your eggs in one basket” idea again. If one country gets in trouble, you have a second country to turn to. Perhaps your second country would be in the southern hemisphere. As a recent International Man newsletter notes, the US, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and China all fall entirely within the northern hemisphere. If a nuclear war were to occur, the northern hemisphere would be affected heavily, as weather patterns would move fallout throughout the system. By contrast, the southern hemisphere is likely to be minimally affected, as the countries in that hemisphere are unlikely to be targeted. Additionally, if you live/work internationally, who cares if you have a Social Security Number?

Step out of line! And remember, you are not alone. Record numbers of Americans are going even farther and are expatriating because the United States is one of the few countries that impose tough taxes even on citizens living overseas. You can always ask others for advice. is a great reference source if you want to learn more. But remember, you are solely responsible for your own decisions. Carefully do your own research and decide what is best for you. Liberty itself teaches us that there are many ways of living a free life. And living a life of liberty may not be for everyone; for some, living an unconventional life would…um, well... run against the grain. But remember, there are all sorts of things (education, banking, reading the news, etc.) that can be done in an unconventional, legal, and better way. There is so much more to learn. I am working on my foreign language skills though Im not learning one of the languages which many young people, as slaves shackled by a huge national debt, may soon need to learn to communicate better with their future masters.

We don’t need to be slaves. It’s time to plan for the future. You are young, strong, and intelligent, and if God is with you, you will defy all expectations. It’s time to live free and survive whatever comes. 


  1. Great post! What other country tops your list for citizenship?

  2. Tough question, really. There is no "perfect" country here on earth. Every country has its good points and bad points, and I'm still researching. ;)

  3. I realize it takes in a lot of country, but for some reason I'm drawn to the Andes.