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What is Sovereignty?

Words can change their meanings over time, so I'll start this essay by stating that I use the term "sovereignty" as it is now understood - both in terms of national sovereignty and individual sovereignty.

In essence it means - self determination or self government.

When a nation talks about "sovereignty", it means its right to determine what goes on inside its borders. Its right to exist as a self-determining, self-governing geographic area.

When an individual talks about "sovereignty", he means his right to determine what goes on in his own life.

The word has taken on more significance in recent years - especially since the publication of that groundbreaking book, "The Sovereign Individual" by Rees-Mogg and Davidson.

To understand what is meant by sovereignty, let's go back a little, and see how it arises.

In the world as it now stands, all "terra firma" is the sovereign territory of one nation or another, except the arctic regions which are controlled by international treaty. The oceans of the world, apart from territorial waters, are also covered by various treaties.

If you wanted to have your own sovereign piece of real estate - I'm afraid you'd be out of luck.

At different times and places people have said to me, "Wouldn't it be great if we could just buy an island - and run it according to our own freedom ideas!"

However, the problem with this idea is that it misunderstands sovereignty. Sure, you can purchase an island - there are many around the world for sale. However, when you part with the cash, you are NOT buying sovereignty, that still resides with the country whose jurisdiction extends over the island.

Put it this way, you'd soon find out WHO was sovereign if you tried to eliminate income tax on your own island!

If you REALLY wanted to claim your own sovereign territory, you'd need to keep a watchful eye out for the emergence of completely NEW land - say an undersea volcano erupting into a new land mass.

Now, such a new land mass (provided it was outside existing territorial waters) would indeed be "unclaimed" land. And this is where we get to the nub of what sovereignty really is.

Suppose such a new island appears, in the middle of an ocean somewhere, and you rush by helicopter and land on it. All you would need to do is put up your "flag" - and you would have claimed sovereignty over it.

Unfortunately, you may not be alone. While you are rushing all by yourself to the new land mass, it is highly likely that some nearby nation is dispatching a landing party - claiming some "special case" as to why it should be theirs. And if push comes to shove, they may simply remove you by force of arms!

And the ensuing potential "conflict of interest" encapsulates the entire history of the world - the battle for territory.

So, to recap, you can certainly claim sovereignty over such a "new" piece of real estate - but you also need to be able to DEFEND such sovereignty.

In these "enlightened" times of course, one may expect that "might is not always right", and that some international court may arbitrate on such an issue. But it doesn't change the basic fact that sovereignty must first be claimed - then it must be defended.

If sovereignty over territory didn't need defending, then no country would be in need of armed forces.

So what does all this mean for individual sovereignty?

The first step is to realise you need to stake your claim to it. You have to be prepared to assert it - not simply act like someone else's slave. But having asserted it, you need to take steps to defend it also. For without defence, your sovereignty is at the mercy of anyone or any organisation who disputes it!

The very reason an "offshore world" exists, is as a tool of such defence. It's a way of protecting your sovereignty. It's really not enough to simply stand up and declare it - because those who oppose you may not play the game by your rules and use force to deprive you of it.

Of course, this offshore "tool of defence" is constantly coming under attack - from other states. But that just creates an incentive to make better defence tools.

Ultimately, your sovereignty is your own responsibility. And you must take it seriously. Ask yourself, is your life your own? Is it worth defending? If you answered "yes" to both, then you are a prospect for offshore defence technology.

And the good news is that such methods of "defence" will rapidly become more effective as the technology improves.

This has a parallel in military defence. Right now, a terrorist can cause mayhem - using highly sophisticated weapons. It is no longer necessary to raise a standing army or be a "country" to assert oneself militarily.

The same applies to asserting and defending one's sovereignty. The "tools" are downsizing, and the "weapons" are becoming more high-tech and sophisticated.

In the coming years, we will witness new forms of sovereignty defence systems - to replace those under attack, or those that are no longer effective.

Your task, if you take your sovereignty seriously, is to keep abreast of developments, and to make use of whatever defence tools you can lay your hands on.

It's YOUR life - so protect it!

However, I cannot discuss the issue of "sovereignty" without addressing another related issue, which is peculiar to the USA.

Each week I get letters from readers and members asking about my opinion of the so-called "sovereignty" movement in that country.

Basically, the essence of this interpretation of sovereignty is that it's granted by law, and protected by the constitution or some other legal apparatus.

Therefore to "defend" it, one is supposed to face-off the nation state and take your case to court.

Now, I know there are people who say this can be done - that you can file certain papers, make certain arguments, and that you can reclaim your "sovereignty" by such means.

I'm afraid I must disagree.

When you put yourself at the mercy of a legal system which has been established by a sovereign nation - in order to defend your own sovereignty - you are in fact giving up such sovereignty.

You are recognising that the state has ultimate sovereignty and that your task is to assert your "rights" as you assume are guaranteed by such a state.

This argument puts you at great risk. If you use it, you are putting your life on the line and saying, in effect, that your sovereignty is guaranteed by some law, and that all you have to do is to refer to that law and have your day in court.

My concern here is that all law is written with the "victors" in mind, those who wield the power. To assume you have rights under some constitution is to assume that sovereignty is handed out by the state.

However, you are not granted sovereignty by virtue of being born in the USA (or the UK, or any other country for that matter). You are sovereign because of your status as a human being - by virtue of you having an independent mind. And because without the full and free use of that mind you cannot live your life as a human.

You are already sovereign - but a "prisoner" of a larger, more powerful sovereignty - the state.

So, trying to defend your sovereignty by referring to such a state is a fundamental mistake in my opinion. A mistake that could cost you dearly. You see, even though you may perceive that some law, some constitutional article, can "save" you - you are ignoring the fact that the state can simply rewrite laws and constitutions for its own benefit.

Let me give you just one example.

Let's take the assertion that income tax is "unconstitutional". I'm not saying it is. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But that isn't the point.

If enough people were to assert this and refuse to pay their income tax on these grounds, how long do you think it would take politicians to find a way to change the law?

Do you think they'd sit by and watch their entire revenue base disappear up some constitutional argument's "backside"?

Of course not. The tax base is sacrosanct to the nation state. It cannot exist without it. So any serious challenge to such funding would simply be cut off at the knees.

So much for the "protection" of the law or constitution.

No, your sovereignty does not depend on the state. You would have it in the state's absence. Your task is to learn how to defend it APART from the laws of your nation state.

Of course, in the present world, there is no free nation. No place where you can fully assert your sovereignty - unless you had your own physical territory of course.

However, you can reclaim a high degree of it, if you choose, by learning how to practise self-defence. Not defence based on the laws of your nation state, but based on your own capacity to outwit it and out-manoeuvre it.

You can play off one nation state against another - by using various "international" strategies known as "offshore" - and thereby use the laws of a country that doesn't have the capacity to fully control you, to mitigate the laws of the country that does.

As awareness of true human sovereignty spreads around the globe, and disillusionment with the nation state grows, there will arise more and more means of increasing one's practical freedom, one's sovereignty.

Until then, you can become a "freedom fighter" - one who grabs whatever freedom is currently available, and is on the constant lookout for further means to enhance it.

Yours in freedom

David MacGregor

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