In 43 BC, over 2,000 years ago, warring consuls Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian were duking it out with each other over control of Rome following Julius Caesar’s assassination the prior March.
Each had legions at his disposal, and Rome’s terrified Senate sat on its hands waiting for the outcome.
Ultimately, the three men chose to unite their powers and rule Rome together in what became known as the Second Triumvirate. This body was established by a law named Lex Titia on this date (give or take depending on how you convert the Roman calendar) in 43 BC.
The foundation of the Second Triumvirate is of tremendous historical importance: As the group wielded dictatorial powers, it represents the final nail in the coffin in Rome’s transition from republic to malignant autocracy.
The Second Triumvirate expired after 10 years, upon which Octavian waged war on his partners once again, resulting in Mark Antony’s famed suicide with Cleopatra in 31 BC. Octavian was eventually rewarded with rich title and nearly supreme power, and he is generally regarded as Rome’s first emperor.
Things only got worse from there. Tiberius, Octavian’s successor, was a paranoid deviant with a lust for executions. He spent the last decade of his reign completely detached from Rome, living in Capri.
Following Tiberius was Caligula, infamous for his moral depravity and insanity. According to Roman historians Suetonius and Cassius Dio, Caligula would send his legions on pointless marches and turned his palace into a bordello of such repute that it inspired the 1979 porno film named for him.
Caligula was followed by Claudius, a stammering, slobbering, confused man as described by his contemporaries. Then there was Nero, who not only managed to burn down his city but was also the first emperor to debase the value of Rome’s currency.
You know the rest of the story — Romans watched their leadership and country get worse and worse.
All along the way, there were two types of people: The first group was folks that figured, “This has GOT to be the bottom; it can only get better from here.” Their patriotism was rewarded with reduced civil liberties, higher taxes, insane despots, and a polluted currency.
The other group consisted of people who looked at the warning signs and thought, “I have to get out of here.” They followed their instincts and moved on to other places where they could build their lives, survive, and prosper.
I’m raising this point because I’d like to open a debate. Some consider the latter idea of expatriating to be akin to ‘running away.’ I recall a rather impassioned comment from a reader who suggested, “leaving, i.e. running away, is certainly not the proper response.”
I find this logic to be flawed.
While the notion of staying and ‘fighting’ is a noble idea, bear in mind that there is no real enemy or force to fight. The government is a faceless bureaucracy that’s impossible attack. People who try only discredit their argument because they become marginalized as fringe lunatics.
Remember John Stack? He’s the guy who flew his airplane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas earlier this year because he had a serious philosophical disagreement over tax issues.
While his ideas may have had intellectual merit, they were immediately dismissed due to his murderous tactics. Violence is rarely the answer, and it often has the opposite effect as intended, frequently serving to bolster support for the government instead of raising awareness of its shortcomings.
Unless/until government paramilitaries start duking it out with citizen militia groups in the streets, this is an ideological battle… and it’s an uphill battle at best.
Government controlled educational systems institutionalize us from childhood that governments are just, and that we should all subordinate ourselves to authority and to the greater good that they dictate in their sole discretion.
You’re dealing with a mob mentality, plain and simple. Do you want to waste limited resources (time, money, energy) trying to convince your neighbor that s/he should no not expect free money from the government?
You could spend a lifetime trying to change ideology and not make a dent; people have to choose for themselves to wake up, it cannot be forced upon them. And until that happens, they’re going to keep asking for more security and more control because it’s the way their values have been programmed.
When you think about it, what we call a ‘country’ is nothing more than a large concentration of people who share common values. Over time, those values adjust and evolve. Today, cultures in many countries value things like fake security, subordination, and ignorance over freedom, independence, and awareness.
When it appears more and more each day that those common values diverge from your own, all that’s left of a country are irrelevant, invisible lines on a map. I don’t find these worth fighting for.
Nobody is born with a mandatory obligation to invisible lines on a map. Our fundamental obligation is to ourselves, our families, and the people that we choose to let into our circles… not to a piece of dirt that’s controlled by mob-installed bureaucrats.
Moving away, i.e. making a calculated decision to seek greener pastures elsewhere, is not the same as ‘running away’… and I would argue that if you really want to affect change in your home country, moving away is the most effective course of action.
The government beast in your home country feeds on debt and taxes, and the best way to win is for bright, productive people to move away with their ideas, labor, and assets. This effectively starves the beast and accelerates its collapse. Then, when the smoke clears, you can move back and help rebuild a free society.
Simon Black 
Whiskey & Gunpowder 
December 1, 2010
Being a serial expatriate, I have come to another conclusion: there is nowhere to “run” to anymore. In our global village, the ills of one are the ills of all. We must simply find a place we appreciate on this globe and use that as a strong base for inspiration, comfort and action. But you can bet that place will have the same problems as elsewhere: insecurity, instability, submissivity, etc. In my adopted land, the saying is “poc a poc” as applied to all endeavours, meaning “little by little”, and this is how the world changes. In giant leaps and huge shake-ups, yes, but in between little by little as people readjust their reality lenses. I have seen it happen with environmental consciousness, food awareness, education approaches- all are changing slowly but surely, which is a way to change while maintaining a solid foundation.
Moving around all my life, searching for the “promised land”, I found nothing but the same globalized fears and hopes. Now I understand better Gandhi’s words: be the change you want to see.
I agree with the basic sentiments in the essay, but see the faceless enemy to be those who manipulate the strings from afar. The strings run deeply into our government, military, corporations, finance, and places of higher learning.
The crux of the matter is money… the corrupt, evil pursuit of more, more, more. And that problem goes BEYOND those printed lines (borders) on the map of the USA.
The problem is not confined to the US. It goes all over the planet. Monsanto has its evil practices going in every country where there is sunlight and there are plants growing.
There is NO place left to hide while the evil ones implode. There are only places of relative safety. It might be “safer” to hide in the woods in a Unibomber Cabin, miles from the closest road. It might be less safe to run to Peru and hang with the ex-pats in one of the smaller, more trendy towns. And it might be the least safe to stay in one of the major cities in the US.
Regardless of what you decide, there will be challenges that relate directly back to those who are pulling the strings… directly back to those who own our country and our government and our corporations and our banks and our institutions.