Do We Really Have To Prepare For The Fourth Box?

As I watch the legislative abominations named SOPA, PIPA, and NDAA follow the lead of the DMCA and the Patriot Act in the United States, I realize that the worst possible scenario for civil liberties appears to actually be materializing.

The internal talk within the Swedish Pirate Party has long been that it’s our job to prevent Europe from descending into totalitarian fascism. The United States is lost; it is beyond help and repair and will descend. Our job is to prevent Europe from happily following suit, but instead break off the leash in time. This was apparent five years ago, and is screamingly obvious today.

This article took me well over 24 hours to write, after a week of procrastination. The typical article takes 30 to 45 minutes, once I know what I want to say. The problem here wasn’t that I didn’t know what to say, but that I wanted to say so much of it, and didn’t know just how far I dared go. In the end, I decided to not hold back but just lay my thoughts open on the table.

There is a good meme on this topic, quoted by many. Liberty is defended with four boxes: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Use in that order.

As this is a global blog, I need and want to explain the American wordplay here. These “four boxes” are not at all apparent for a non-native English speaker who is also outside of American culture —

  • Soap box: A box you stand on in the street trying to explain your views to the public. Figuratively, building public opinion for your case.
  • Ballot box: Public, free, democratic elections. If the laws don’t work, and the elected representatives don’t get it, replace them.
  • Jury box: If no public representatives get it, neither the elected nor those available to elect, the second to last line of defense is the judicial system, which can overturn laws that go against the most fundamental rights.
  • Ammo box: If the system has been so thoroughly corrupted that the entire establishment is acting as one, and it is not possible to change the laws to safeguard fundamental liberties, then only one option remains.

We are currently down to the third box, and it is starting to fail. I am trying to get the second working again, to push back, at least in Europe. But it is tremendous work, even though the math says it can be done. Worse, the people in charge are creating an atmosphere where facts and education are viewed as childish distractions.

Policymaking has become anti-science, driven by primarily four interest groups who each don’t want facts to interfere with their flavor of ideology-religion. The lessons learned from the Enlightenment are increasingly becoming an obstacle. Information has become something dangerous, and yet, it is disseminated at a pace never seen before. Perhaps it is even therefore that it is seen as dangerous.

“Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master.” — Commissioner Pravin Lal

There are four key groups driving this development. Each contribute in their own way, but together, they make a perfect storm for closing down society.

  • Technically apathetic politicians: Decisionmakers and policymakers who not just don’t understand the technical implications of their decisions and regulations, but who take pride in not understanding the infrastructure of society: as if that kind of effort was somehow beneath them. They also try to score points by serving the other three groups, and by taking cheap shots at ridiculing the few of their colleagues who understand the technical repercussions of the proposals on the table.
  • The Copyright Industry: An industry threatened with obsoletion by the very concept of civil liberties combined with today’s information technology. As advances of technology can’t be rolled back, that other thing is targeted for demolition.
  • Security Profiteers: A very few select people are making a killing off of striking out our civil liberties, one after another. Look at the nude scanners at airports, for example. The same type of people who create wars to make a profit; “who cares if some hundred thousand die”. Why not mention the names “Halliburton” and “Blackwater Security”?
  • Assorted Anti-Liberty Fundamentalists: There is no shortage of people who would aspire on telling you how to live your life. Whether they want to cut your liberties to preserve the values of Christianity or Islam or Socialism or some other external instruction manual that pretends to hold all the answers, they’re basically one and the same. The absolutely worst kind here is those who pretend to do it “for the children”, like ECPAT.

As these come together, they create a perfect storm for creating policies that are not for the public, but against the public on behalf of very special interests. The laws thus enacted have no problems at all taking away all of our liberties, from the right to privacy and freedom of expression/opinion (copyright industry) to our right to walk freely in the street and even the very right to life (security profiteers). In this, it is necessary to create an environment that is downright hostile to facts and independent studies. This has already been done (again: copyright industry, “terrorism”).

Let’s just take the semi-political science of criminology as an example here. The evidence-based science of what happens when you arrange your laws, law enforcement, and sentencing in certain ways. There is a key concept called marginal deterrence saying that when somebody commits a crime, you want to make sure that they don’t escalate violence, and so, there is always a next step of harsher punishments to avoid.

For example, if you have the same penalties for robbery and murder, it is logical for a robber to kill every one of his victims, as it won’t make a difference if the robber is caught. Quite the opposite — you’d have one less witness and reduce your risk of getting caught. Therefore, you want a significantly higher penalty for murder than for robbery. This is an example of marginal deterrence.

Last night, the United States Senate ignored all such science and voted 86 to 13 that anybody could be imprisoned indefinitely, or even executed, without a trial or charges. 86 to 13! This is what I mean by the United States being already lost. For what happens when it doesn’t matter how much people try to adhere to laws, but can be thrown in jail and even executed anyway? When there’s not even a pretense of a rigged mock trial? I tweeted about that yesterday. I even referenced the Fourth Box.

Also, the wordspin has already started to apply this to ordinary dissenters. People who don’t agree with The Man. The indefinite detention and execution thing in the United States will only apply to “terrorists”, but at the same time, ordinary protesters in a rally were just labeled “low-level terrorists”. There’s no rocket science needed to see where this is going, even though a lot of people are understandably afflicted by normalcy bias — plain refusal to see the events right before their eyes. Like I said, the US is going to take a couple of very dark decades.

Let me illustrate the gravity of this situation. When these kinds of laws have been passed and a couple of people have been disappeared, if you see a couple of police coming for you, the logical thing to do is to simply kill them from a distance. There’s nothing worse coming for you from doing that, anyway, and it improves your chances of survival and liberty. And people will band up to help each other in doing exactly that — quickly. At that point, laws are irrelevant (even if there were rigged mock trials); street smartness determines if you literally live or die.

In Sweden, there was a similar example of normalcy bias a couple of years back, as privacy was being abolished in favor of general wiretapping. Everybody could and would be wiretapped in bulk without warrant, notice, suspicion of a crime, anything like that. As we were staging protest rallies and read the proposed law to passersby, word by word of the actual bill, they would not believe us. Just plain refused to believe that this was happening, they thought we were making it up and it was too unreal to actually verify. That was one of the most frustrating times of my political life so far. I’ll be returning to this in a later post.

But it illustrates another point. The key weapons here are ironically not those that propel lead, copper, or steel at high velocities, but cell phones. If you observe the younger generation — meaning the younger half of the population, generally — seeing a crime being committed, they all take out their cell phones, but not to call the police. They take out their cell phones to start recording, preferably with the actual recording happening somewhere else than in their phone (which is in danger of being destroyed due to the proximity of the event taking place).

Slim Amamou, the Pirate Party activist from Tunisia who served on the Tunisian Cabinet as Secretary of State, observed that all the activist photos from the Arab Spring always included other people photoing the same scene with their cellphones. So the fuel for that revolution did not just contain the fuel itself — each part of it also contained visible instructions on how to help spread documentation of other abuses.

There is a reason the nobility desperately wants control of the net. The same reason we need to fight for it.

I believe democracy must unconditionally be the path chosen as long as there is hope of liberty through democracy. But, alas, that path is closing — it is being closed by our elected officials, on behalf of special interest groups. Profits and fundamentalism. It is not closed yet, but many actors are working ferverently to shut it.

I am a white middle-aged male in Europe. A highly educated entrepreneur. Decorated as one of the world’s best thinkers, even. Shaking hands with presidents, members of cabinets, and secretaries of state internationally. I have absolutely nothing to fear from government as long as I just go about my way. Logically, I should be one of the last to realize that it may come to this.

This thought is not as chilling if it is wrong, as if it is right: maybe I am. Maybe many others have been thinking it, but not saying it. If so, a very large portion of the general population of the West have been watching the Arab Spring and mentally preparing for possibly having to do the same thing in their lifetimes.

Some people think that Europe in general (and Nordic countries in particular) is a shining beacon of hope here. I will illustrate in follow-up articles how there are politicians who appear to want nothing more than to follow the United States into darkness. But — importantly — Europe can still be saved. Activism here can still make an impact, as can political work, hard work on the streets. We can reverse this. Can. Can and must.

I do not want to go to the situation I describe in this article. Do Not. I want to throw all the world’s curses on the people who create this and force me to think in these ways. But if dragged into that situation after years of protest and hard work to go elsewhere, I will adapt to it, fight for liberty in the ways that I can, and help others organize to do so too. I have gone from preparing mentally to preparing in deed for the scaring and scarring possibility that things may get ugly, real ugly.

The gun and that target in the photo above, illustrating this article, is not a stock photo like 99% of the photos on this blog. That particular photo was taken on my desk, half a meter from where I’m sitting.

TL;DR as worded by Anonymous: “An appeal to Europe — don’t go in the direction of the United States. Totalitarian fascism is no fun.”

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. SplendidSpoon

    Me and many other of my fellow Americans have come to the same disturbing conclusion. Applying for political asylum in European countries has even come up in conversation. I trust there are Europeans who will continue to work to avoid going down Americas path, otherwise we might have nowhere to go. For now, I will continue working with my fellow Pirates to do whatever we can to salvage what liberty we have left, and hopefully influence the next election cycle enough to make real change. It has begun to feel hopeless to me though, but I can’t give up yet. Shit just got real.

    1. bandidita

      Only in very rare cases (domestic violence) an EU country has granted asylum to an American in order not to harm relations with the USA. To grant asylum would therefore mean a direct confrontation with the imperial power, an open and evident criticism of the USA as a state without proper protection for its citizens. There are some applicants, though, most of them AWOL from the US military. Their applications are all pending or have even been denied.

      1. SmokingKills

        Speaking only unofficially on no one else’s behalf but my own, if you need asylum you will always be welcomed with open arms in India. We will have you. But, the question is, will you have us?

        As for America, Europe and “totalitarian fascism”, the diagnosis might be correct but the proposed cure seems worse than the disease. The four boxes can be whatever we like, right? It is not a law of Nature that the fourth box must necessarily be the “ammo box”, right?

        No matter how severe the torments of the oppressed and no matter what inhuman form they might take, if history has shown anything to be true it is that if you take an eye you will have to give one in return. Violence only breeds more violence. And what use is freedom which is founded on bloodshed? Can you be free if you’re surrounded by rivers of blood? The only successful movements have been those based on non-violent civil disobedience. And no matter what technologies may be employed to control and manage any society, this (nvcd) will always (imho) remain the hardest – in that it requires greater effort to go on a fast than it does to light a match – and also the best option for the peaceful restoration of democracy and civil liberty. Call me naive if you like.

        1. whonoes

          “Democracy” got everyone in this mess, why try to “restore” it?

          Go tell that pussy pacifistic ideology crap to those that faced a gun in the Holocaust, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Lybia, and thousands of other times.

          The gun is the equalizer between those that are weak and strong. All of America’s wars were lost once small arms and guerilla warfare tactics were established.

          But I find it ironic that the author posts in Sweden. In a country where if a person has a traffic violation in the last 5 years, then that person cannot purchase a firearm. That person also has to be a member of a gun club and show yearly proof that they participate in shooting tournaments. This compared to many states in America where I can buy almost any kind of gun I want and have a license to carry it around with me.

          With American’s owning more than 300 million firearms, wouldn’t that make America the greatest potential for the 4th option?

        2. Anonymous

          it is sad here. I am a Seer. In December of 2006, I had foreseen all of these events. It is amazing to now see them being fulfilled with my physical eyes! We call the people in this country who ignore what is going on, “Sheeple”. I knew when the earthquakes would start, and many other things. I would not worry about needing to go to another country. Because I am preparing. Food, garden, and I will get ammunition soon only because it WILL be needed. If you walk up to my home with a gun demanding MY food, a gun is needed for mine and my children’s protection and to shoot you to prevent YOU from taking away MY supplies that I have prepared for me and my children to survive. Global wars are already happening. We were once a self sustaining society. I am a single mother of four kids. I see it coming to “kill or be killed”.

  2. Linda

    Du förmedlar både förtvivlan, sorg och samtidigt hopp, och det behövs, tack.
    Sprider länken hej vilt och “lånar” citatet, hoppas det är ok 😉

  3. Pat Mächler

    I agree on most that has been written here.
    However I have doubts that the “fourth box” will ever lead us to more liberty; I think it will rather lead to the point where we are getting rid of the last part of liberty as we are becoming ourselves slaves of the fears that others have brought time and time again; and no, I’m not talking about foreign terrorists, but about politicians that have forgotten why they should always prefer a free society.
    I think if we ever come to that point there’s only one type of resistance that bears a minimal amount of hope for a better tomorrow which we should be striving for: the nonviolent one. Gandhi showed us that possibility. We should consider it, before thinking in short circuits.

    1. Børge / forteller

      I totally agree! Another reason to choose non violence is the enormous military power of any country, but the US especially. How are normal citizens supposed to fight that with guns and ammo? I don’t think that can be done. We must choose the non-violent path.

      1. steelneck

        The amount of military might is almosst irrelevant, the most important aspect is how it is organized. Mercenarys doing it as their job, or a draft army. The latter is almost impossible to turn inward on the population of the coutry. Look at Tunisia and compare that to Libya, as son as the army took their guns and turned over to the side of people, the tyrant regime had to go, almost no blood where spilled in Tunisia. Or think of 1991 when the soviet union collapsed, strong forces tried to point the military guns at the uprising, it did not work. The military stayed passive and even let ordinary citizens climb on the tanks. The soviets also had a draft army. The USA do not. Niether has sweden anymore, but that is a quite recent change and i think we still have the mindset of a draft army, but not for long.

        The Ghandi path is an alternative to the fouth box, it is a path sort of “out of the box” when speaking of boxes. But the Gahandi path requires a lot of spine in combination with ability to make headlines. I will take a simple example. In sweden our biggest railroad company (the old state monopoly) got the terrible idea some years ago to demand identification papers on every traveller, meaning that most swedes can no longer travel, even to the next city, by train without id-papers. But how many do protest the Ghandi-way and thus simply refuse to show papers, and thus get thrown off the train at next station? This has not happened one single time in a way that it hit the newsstand, not a single time! Imagine if a politician got thrown of the train in middle of the night, freezing cold winter and all, that _would_ create headlines. But they do not, they just show their papers because they think it will hurt them politically by not getting to the place they where about to go. Sadly i do not think Rick here is any different.

        Rick recently visited the USA, lets speculate on how he did act at some insulting security check? I bet he walked though any body-scanner woithout even the slightest protest instead of simply refusing. A missed chance to both make headlines and have the repressive side look bad, and thus creating public support by making an example. This is the Ghandi way. But most people, and especially politicians, pervert their will to have influence to become both puppets and victims to the very thing they are against.

        1. Rick Falkvinge

          Hmm. I’m not sure if this calms you, but I categorically refuse to show ID on trains in Sweden. I refer to the järnvägsförordning — I think that’s what it’s called — that says categorically that no person who has paid the fare can be denied travel, i.e. you may not put additional requirements (as long as capacity is there).

          And yes, they tried to have me go through body scanners at all American airports, and I refused at all of them. It took so long to handle that if just a fraction did this like I did, the system would collapse on itself.

          The next question, of course, is how to turn it into headlines. For that, a serious abuse must happen, and it hasn’t to me – not in the media sense.

          1. Børge / forteller

            You might be happy to hear that the largest public transport company in Norway, Ruter, recently created an anonymous e-ticket system. They plan to expand it to work in every part of the country. I was sure happy to hear this, because the tracking of every trip you take has been my main concern with the new e-ticket system so far.


          2. Nicholas Miles

            How large a fraction, do you think, Rick? Do you think it is something that could be organised?

          3. Putte

            Rick, pls write a Swedish blog post about the Järnvägsförordning and exactly what paragraphs to refer to.

          4. Bob

            [All links are in Swedish]

            Hittade tyvärr inget i lagen du nämner Rick, kanske är en annan?

            Järnvägsförordning (2004:526)

            Hos SJ står det:
            “En biljett som har ställts ut på viss namngiven resande är personlig
            och gäller endast, mot uppvisande av identitetshandling godtagen
            av SJ, för denna resande. Om den resande inte kan uppvisa sådan
            identitetshandling, kan den resande anses sakna giltig biljett.”

            Allmänna villkor i sin helhet, gäller från 30 oktober 2010 (pdf):

            “Vilka biljetter är ännu inte personliga?
            Utöver ”Resa som kan återbetalas” är bland annat följande biljettyper opersonliga: Sista minuten,
            Tradera-biljett, biljetter köpta i LOKA samt mängdköps-biljetter (t ex 10-biljett, Buntbiljett och
            gruppbiljett). Månadsbiljetten är sedan tidigare personlig men platsreservationen är fortfarande inte personlig.”

            Frågor och svar om personliga biljetter:

            Så jag antar att vi får välja dessa biljettsorter istället för de vanliga, ibland billigare alternativen.

            Hittade även ett beslut från Datainspektionen:

            A huge thank you to you Rick for this remarkable text. I hope you replace that shooting target and ammo box for a picture of the free people of the future and a box pirate fliers. We are doing a great job that seems still needs doing. 🙂

        2. Børge / forteller

          I’m not so sure that the US military would be as willing to give over power to the people, though, especially if that people are shooting and killing them. Just look at the enormous amount of police brutality happening right now, and has for a long time.

          And that’s just the police handling non violent protesters, and even people who aren’t protesting anything at all. Now think about the kidnapping, torturing and war crimes done by the US military. And done by the private contractors Rick mentions (I think one of them changed their name to Xe recently). Of course, in the EU things might be different. And of course it might even be different in the US if shit really hits the fan. But I’m not so sure.

          >This is the Ghandi way. But most people, and especially politicians, pervert their will to have influence to become both puppets and victims to the very thing they are against.

          Yeah, but it feels so pointless to resist on your own. You will lose all kinds of important meetings and a lot of time, while no one else cares or even knows about it. I think that if things get really bad, people will start organizing to do this. If we do it together, then it will more likely have an impact. I would not be surprised to see such an organized movement of civil disobedience in the US soon, but the public there are extraordinarily slow when it comes to acting in defense of their rights.

          1. steelneck

            The US military is not a draft army, they are basically hired guns doing at their job, just as the police. What makes all the difference is that most of those drafted are holding the gun against their will, that is not the case with the police or an army of “hired guns” so to speak. It takes a lot of effort to have drafted people to do anything and if they are ordered to point their guns at people at home, they will refuse, join the fellow citizens or even simply go home. A draft army can be seen as a safety valve for the citizens when the politics has gone terribly wrong, and we do not lack examples of it.

      2. zumba

        That’s in the US. In Europe, no normal citizens have access to guns and ammo, except for goverment regulated wildlife hunters. Insurgents will have to fight with their hands, and common household appilances.

      3. janey

        Especially when we have so many anti-gun laws in the US.. problem is the anti-gun zealots don’t see that as a stripping of civil liberties. They scream and yell about the Fourth Amendment and the First Amendment when they want to camp out in a park, but are very quiet about the Second Amendment. It’s disgraceful!

      4. Unimpressed

        You forget how America began.

        1. SmokingKills

          That *would* be a good response to promoters of non-violent civil disobedience (nvcd). I thought of it myself, because if the implied reasoning – that the creation of a democratic America **required** the used of force – is correct then it would also erode my own stand in favor of nvcd.

          There are people who know FAR more history than I do and who can better respond to this comment. I just want to mention that one obvious flaw is in the words “America” and “began”. If by “America” mean present, modern-day America with its 50 states, civil liberties, black president and all that good stuff, then keep in mind that it “began” sometime in the 20th century and required successful nvcd movements in order to secure voting rights for women and civil rights for **all** citizens regardless of their race or color. The “America” that was born with the War of Independence, 1776, the Bill of Rights and all that good stuff was very very different from the America that exists today. There were thirteen “colonies” or “states” then. Slavery was not just acceptable. It was an expected feature of civil society. Only men could own property and vote, etc. etc. etc.

          Did violent struggle in the form of the war of independence and the civil war yield a better “America” than the “America” which resulted from the many non-violent struggles witnessed by that nation since much before 1776? I would argue that it did not.

          Violent struggle may yield a “freedom” but it also results in the accumulation of power and wealth in the hands of a few as happened in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, the Reichstag fire or after the war of 1776. And any “freedom” obtained this way is also generally short-lived and illusory. “Freedom” born of non-violent struggle, however, is the only true foundation of liberty and prosperity for not just a few but for all.

          The historical argument is intended to convince those who might lean in favor of nvcd but are not convinced. Those who favor violence are, in any case, unlikely to be moved. But feel free anyways to find all the gaps you can in my reasoning and my (very incomplete) knowledge of history. What doesn’t kill my argument makes it stronger? 🙂

    2. Rick Falkvinge

      Gandhi did use nonviolence, but not because of morality. He was a brilliant strategist who knew never to fight on his enemy’s terms.

      This is why guerilla tactics are so effective against a standing army occupying a territory, just as nonviolent protest is effective against nonmilitarized police. You must decide the strengths and weaknesses of your adversary and pick your doctrine to maximize your chance of success — indeed, survival.

      1. steelneck

        No Rick, do not compare guerilla attacks with Ghandi non-violence. The Ghandi way is to simply refuse and never use violence. Guerilla attacks is violence. The basis of the effectiveness of guerilla warfare lies in the simple truth that you cannot make war against a population without commit genocide. The “winner” of a war must still be able to live together with the loosing people, unless a complete genocide has been done. When going into guerilla-mode, you welcome your enemy and play friendly, but stab him in the back if you get the chance, poison his food or whatever possibility you have. Your enemy will call you a terrorist, your friends will call you a freedom fighter. Terrorism and guerilla attacks are very close, both stem from desperation and it is only the situation that differs, where guerilla attacks is war. Neither the guerilla or the terrorist would act as they do if they had access to a complete war machine with tanks, airforce, carriers and what not.

        1. Rick Falkvinge

          It was intended as a juxtaposition as two different doctrines, not a comparison of equals.

        2. Autolykos

          What Gandhi did could easily have failed if British colonialism wasn’t on the decline already. Look at the Czechs in ’68 and see how much the peaceful approach helped them. Only got them crushed by Russian tanks.
          I don’t want to speculate whether Gandhi would have chosen other means if he had to, or if he was just lucky that his “only” option worked that time (since I have great respect for him) – but pacifism is a very situational thing, and won’t do you much good against a sufficiently ruthless enemy.
          I have to agree with Rick here – the peaceful approach may fail soon (it starts to fail already), and we should prepare to fight for our rights or die trying (unless you value comfort over liberty – that’s a decision everyone has to make on his own). We shouldn’t do this prematurely, without good reason or with other options still available – but we should prepare now, while we still can.

    3. Portlandia Projectile Services

      Ghandi was an aberration. Violence makes change happen, more than any other human behavior. All that is required for you to go down in history as a hero of your people is to be victorious over the foreign or domestic other bastards.

      I love peace, fresh vegetables, refrigeration, v-8 full-size sedans, and rule-of-law. Just because I appreciate these things does not mean I have a “right” to them, even if I currently have them. I must insist and work for these objectives, up to and including the use of violence, delegated to my local policeman, delegated to the State National Guard, delegated to the US Military, or retained for personal use via blade/impact/projectiles/EFP’s. Violence is an individual right, and if you don’t have the capability to use violence, you are on the path to serfdom.

      Let’s do what’s needed to WIN swiftly, so I can get back to gardening and installing a crate LS-2 in the B-body.


      1. SmokingKills

        > Ghandi was an aberration.

        Its “Gandhi” btw. And what??!! An “aberration”??!! If I LOL will you think I’m being arrogant? 🙂

        > Violence makes change happen, more than any other human behavior.

        Despite all evidence that points to the contrary? Perhaps you have found or have witnessed violence to be a particularly effective means of “change” in your own experience. But was the “change” you experienced – either in yourself or your environment – for the better?

        > All that is required for you to go down in history as a hero of your people is to be victorious over the foreign or domestic other bastards.

        Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, MLK, Anna Hazare. ‘Nuff said.

  4. Beelzebjörn

    Hello there Rick.

    I’m waiting for the headlines in the Swedish papers now where Pirates get compared to Counterjihad for suggesting violence to change the system.

    Still though, I can’t say I haven’t had similar worries.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I hope I was completely crystal clear that the choice of avenue is through replacing politicians using on-street activism and public education, and that I am writing this because it is where I do not want to go.

      How could you tell that it’s a CO2 gun, by the way? The size of the target or that of the holes? In any case, target practice is target practice — and with today’s CO2 guns, the recoil, feeling and sound is practically identical to the originals.

      Plus, of course, they’re license free, registration free. No hassle at all getting one, no getting on any list. Besides, squeezing off a few rounds is a very nice break of the mind from coding and writing.

      In any case, the photo (like all photos here) is primarily intended as a visual company to the article and not as a literal part of it.

      1. Valtteri Kokkoniemi

        You were completely crystal clear on that. But surely, you don’t think for a second that it would stop the tabloids from making juicy headlines out of this?

        As to the practical matters, airgun target and bullet holes are both very identifiable. Recoil, feeling and sound are nowhere near guns you could count on to stop bad things from happening, though. Nevertheless, you’re correct that target practice is target practice. More is better and the skill you acquire with any weapon carries over to other similar weapons very quickly. Therefore, airguns and .22lr caliber guns are exactly what you need, precisely because the most important single thing is the number of shots fired on the range and those are cheap enough that price won’t prevent anyone from training.

        Drop me a line when you’re visiting Finland next time and we’ll arrange for some fun at the range? 🙂

        1. Rick Falkvinge

          Hmm, I seem to recall that the feelings (kick of the recoil etc) are at least similar to the Glock 17 I used to shoot in the US when I worked there. But that was a decade ago, and my memory may fail me on that point.

          And as you say — the key thing is getting the feel of the sights back. It’s been 20 yars since I did my military duty, and being 40, my eyesight is showing the first signs of weakening.

          Would love to do a couple series next time I’m in FI! Where do you live? Helsinki, Tampere, somewhere else?

          Also, your main point — tabloids will tabloid whatever they like. They’re basically the bullies of the grown-up world. You can’t protect yourself from bullying by doing what they like, it doesn’t work that way.

          1. Valtteri Kokkoniemi

            I live near Helsinki, so the place to go during winter is Helsinki Shooting Club. Most of the time they need booking well in advance, though.

            In summer time, HyMAS outdoor range at Hyvinkää would be an excellent choice also, and doesn’t require booking in advance.

            Just drop me a line when you know when you’d be around the capital area, and I’ll try to figure something out 🙂

      2. Beelzebjörn

        Well, the holes are an indicator, and so is the general plastic look to it – normally, in a real gun, there are at least some difference in hue between diferent parts… Things like that.

        Most importantly though, I know you’re not a complete nutter 😉

        … And yeah, you were absolutely, positively crystal clear, but that’s never been a guarantee for avoiding media spinning the living Hell outta things in the past, has it?

  5. Beelzebjörn

    Oh and one more thing…

    I’m relieved to see your choice of ammo-box is for an air gun. Good shooting 😉

    1. Valtteri Kokkoniemi

      You’re relieved…why?

      No, this is not a rhetorical question.

      1. Beelzebjörn

        Because it would be very much unlike the Rick I know to slam a Glock on the table and take a picture of it for his blog.

        That would be more of a Breivik-thing.

        1. Valtteri Kokkoniemi

          So in essence, you’re relieved because that mental association to specific known sick person is now somewhat harder to make?

          I can understand that, but I still find it abhorrent.

          I find that association _hard_ _enough_ to make regardless of the type of gun in the picture, as handling firearms (or photographing them) or even being mentally prepared to use them in defense of liberty and innocent victims of crime is is my experience very far removed from mass murdering children. And I feel a bit sorry for you, if you’re scared enough of your fellow man as not to feel the same.

          1. Beelzebjörn

            I think Rick’s post is excellent in many ways, as it describes a vicious circle where paranoia from the state leads to a corresponding paranoia among the citizens, causing tensions to rise until the pressure becomes unsustainable.

            Rick crosses a treshold here, I’m assuming deliberately, as it is taboo to talk of these well-known mechanisms. You immediately are seen as one suggesting the violent solution.

            That being said, there’s a looooong way to go until the Dreamhack Freedom Corps need to break out their guns and rise in the name of… well liberty and defending innocents and all that other Batman-stuff you talked about being your experience.

            Good for you.

            Since Sweden isn’t Arizona, Rick making a punchline about the gun on his desk becomes a somewhat clumsy joke with the toy gun, ending an otherwise very worthwhile article. A real gun on the desk of a politician and opinionmaker though, would send another message to most, even though YOU might see an instrument of peace and justice.

            Hence, I would have made a point of stating the gun in the pic is a toy replica, but that’s me, and that’s not even the interesting thing about the article.

            MY experience is that people too keen on carrying guns usually simply has a hardon for guns, and come up with more or less reasonable arguments as to why guns are good later. So yes, a stranger approaching me with a gun on his hip will make me wary, regardless of TALK about protecting the innocent and whatnot.

            I feel kinda sorry for those people, as they tend to become pretty small without their guns, or when realizing that their gun isn’t a magic wand that makes people do their bidding.

            I say ‘kinda sorry’, since I rarely waste time feeling sorry for people I don’t know shit about 😉

          2. Rick Falkvinge


            I did indeed cross that threshold deliberately. You are astute to observe that I did.

            Just a very important point of safety, though: a CO2 gun is not a toy gun. While it is far from as damaging as other, license-requiring guns, it breaks skin and penetrates 10-14 centimeters of muscle tissue, according to the Statens Kriminaltekniska Laboratorium.

            (I actually tried this once, as it seemed a little over the top, and I wanted to know what I was dealing with. So, I tried firing at a package of meat which was past its expiry date and so would be thrown away anyway. It was wrapped in hard plastic, which somewhat resembled skin in toughness and elasticity — the type of plastic you absolutely need a knife to cut open, and then backed by hard food-grade carton. The bullets went straight through the entire package and out the other side. In other words, this is not something I’d like to have come in my direction.)

            Do not mistake that for a toy weapon, which could be safely fired at somebody without risk of injury.

            So I guess it becomes a matter of degree what is a “real gun”, in your words. This type of device is not very useful in many cases, but at the same time, should not be underestimated or taken for a toy either. In any case, like Valtteri said, this is the exact kind of device you want to use for learning how to use other types, for the reasons he said.

  6. Tobias

    I’d wish you were right about Europe Rick. That there is a chance to save our liberties here….
    I personally think we’re too close behind the US to reverse this process here in Europe.
    Take a look at the ESM treaty for example. An organization that can just order as much money from European countries as it wants to. At any time. Furthermore the institution and the whole staff have full immunity in court and the staff is relieved from paying national income tax (why? so we can’t see from whom they get “sponsored”/bribed?!).

    1. ForskarGurra

      Well, pirates gaining seats in Germany is a very good first counter-weight in the EU…

  7. Valtteri Kokkoniemi

    This was not what I expected. Not even from you personally, and certainly not from a Pirate Party spokesperson, in which role you are effectively acting. This is bravery beyond what should be possible for a politician of our time.

    You’re spot on in that you didn’t come up with anything new here, but most likely because you’re valuing liberty and have done your research of history, you’re not among the last ones to figure this out, as you think you ought to be. So the fight you’re looking into is very similar to the one you described about the wiretapping: many of the people who would even care, refuse to believe.

    I’m aware that liberty is presented as the core value of the Pirate Party. I’m also aware that one of it’s main focus areas is on proliferation of tools that decentralize power by their very existence. Now I’m even starting to believe that. What is this Pirate Party, really?

    History has shown us that the fourth box will be used from time to time. And the more prepared we are for it, the less likely we will find it to be our time.

    1. Børge / forteller

      > I’m also aware that one of it’s main focus areas is on proliferation of tools that decentralize power by their very existence.

      I’ve recently written about exactly this, in the context of social media. I don’t mean to spam, but I think you might find it interesting:

    2. Rick Falkvinge

      Thank you for the kind words, good sir!

  8. Ploum

    Hi Rick,

    As I said on Twitter, either you are wrong, and we will live in a better world soon, either this post will be an historical one. I hope for the former.

    There’s one thing pointed out in this post which is quite subtle: the facts that more and more people are rejecting facts and sciences. This is not only a creationists things. It’s the logical implication of a society which is placing a high value on faith.

    What is faith? It is the act to think that something is true because you believe it. It’s the stupidiest thing on earth a man could do: have faith. And this is the more important value of the majority of earth’s population so far.

    As soon as you consider faith as acceptable (not saying “a virtue”), everything, absolutely everything is possible.

    Making a shortcut here in my whole reflection, one way to sanitize the society would be to restore the trust in the democratic system. Currently, “they are all the same, they are all corrupts” (which is not far from the truth). Thus, people don’t believe in society anymore and what’s the easiest community to fold back on yourself : religion, pointless traditions.

    I discovered today an analysis about the upcoming presidential elections in France. They prove that, with the current voting system, the worst candidate for everyone could be elected and that the game is not to please citizen, the game is divide citizens by having more candidates. If you have 20% votes, instead of being convincing, try to ensure that the remaining 80% is split amongst at least 5 others similar candidates.

    They propose an alternative where the voter would have to rate the candidates on a scale. Using this as an experiment in a real elections, it showed surprising results. It adds a lot of stuffs to the democracy like:
    – You vote really like you think. There’s no strategy
    – Candidates have to convince you really, not just making you vote.
    – The elected person cannot assume that the majority agree 100% with them. There’s a “quality note” to their election.
    – Candidates can support other candidates.

    Really interesting stuffs that could bring back the democracy to the citizens without the need for the fourth box. I think the Pirate Party should strongly consider such stuffs in its program.

    Links, all in French, but I can translate in more details if needed:

    1. Cernael

      Sounds interesting.
      In the Pirate Party (SE), we’ve dabbled some with the Condorcet/Schulze voting system, which is aiming to solve the same problem. (Basically, each voter ranks the candidates, and a complicated algorithm weighs the ballots together in a way that supposedly selects the candidate that the most voters is the most OK with.)
      Problem with this particular algorithm is that it’s so complicated that the regular voter has no real hope of understanding how it works, or really trace the influence of his/her ballot in the weighing-together of the results – and I’d vager to say, if the regular voter can’t understand the system after a brief explanation, it’s not a democratic, but rather a technocratic, system.
      That said, I’m really intrigued by the notion of a “quality note” to the result, and its possible implications.

      1. Ploum

        Hi Cernael,

        Basically, the method described in the above paper is a way to make a Condorcet vote easy and understandable by the voters. The counting algorithm is also vastly simplified.

      2. Rick Falkvinge

        We did, indeed. Unfortunately, the people who didn’t want it used methods of belittling rather than objective comparison — the systems for election in Sweden is way more complicated than a straight Condorcet.

        I had expected PP crews to be less anti-science than what I saw back then. It wasn’t so much hat it was incompehensible as it was mere policits.

        1. Cernael

          Unless I remember wrong, we had about three people who felt qualified to write a Condorcet implementation on our votes then – you, MiNi (who now works for Google) and maybe one more, and you came to different results until Schulze himself appeared with helpful comments. That’s not my idea of a transparent voting system.

          And though you’re right that the Swedish system is somewhat dense, too, the denseness occurs at a later stage. First we have the straight-forward ballot enumeration step, and then the mandate distribution step that takes the ballot count as input – and I think that step can be quite easily visualized in a way that makes the principle understandable to most people. I’m not so sure the same can be done with Condorcet.

          But, regardless of that, I really don’t think Condorcet is designed to do what we want our internal party elections to do – Condorcet would be good at finding the one candidate, from a list of choices, that the most voters were the most favourable towards. It doesn’t have the capacity to find the group of candidates that the most voters are the most favourable towards, unless the voters agree to simplify competence to a one-dimensional value.

          1. steelneck

            The main problem with the Swedish voting system is that our right to hold specific individuals responsible on the voting slip, by just drawing a line over their name and rule them out. This change was made when it was made possible to vote for individuals. Now we can only vote on promises, that may be false, not on facts and rule out those who actually misbehaved. Over the the years since the change, this has lead to a fundamental change in who gets elected or not. The system of today promotes those who speak well but afterwards turn around to be puppets of those who decide their future once they are in, remember, we where deprived of the right to hold them responsible on the voting slip, so once in they stay there as long as their bosses are happy with them. The change has lead to a reichsdag of puppets.

          2. Cernael

            @steelneck – correction: “The main problem with the Swedish voting system is that our right to hold specific individuals responsible on the voting slip, by just drawing a line over their name and rule them out _has_been_removed_.”
            Just to make it clearer to those who happen to read these comments and not be familiar with our voting system.

    2. David Gerard

      This is preferential voting, or single transferable vote, the way it works in Australia. It’s settled down to a two-party system in practice, but occasional upsets are possible. And a minor party getting a senate seat (six seats per state) is a lot easier.

    3. DjebbZ

      Not talking about the voting system (even if I’m French), but about your words on faith. Someone wrote a letter in the late 1870’s, and he predicted what’s happening now. If the fourth box happens, I *truly* fear that those who would want to protect freedom and democracy will not only engage corrupted politicians in a fight, but also religious people. Please don’t do it.

      As you rightly said, most of the people in the world have some faith, and the world always worked like this. There was peace, warring periods. But faith always around. This is the human nature to believe in something. I’ve thought about people not believing in anything for quite some time, and a lot of scientists of all kind (philosopher, sociologists, historians, etc.) have too. You *really* don’t want to live in a world driven by unfaithful people, because ultimately they will believe in something else, and this unknown “else” is absolutely dangerous. At least with religion of any kind anyone can know the purpose of their faith, because the holy texts exist and don’t change. You have to think about what you will believe after that.

      Freedom is also freedom to believe, don’t forget that. Freedom should give us a way to live together peacefully.

      Sorry I can’t be more precise, the Internet is not a safe place anymore.

  9. Anonymous

    I would love to change my name and start over in Europe, but it’s (artificially and possibly intentionally) too much work from what I hear.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Moving within the European Union is easy. Coming here from somewhere else and aspiring to be a citizen requires all sorts of hoops and tricks.

      1. ANNM

        If you can get a job before you actually move here it should be easy. Still probably takes time though.

      2. Anonymous

        I’d be willing to go through the hoops and tricks, provided (as ANNM said below) I could get a job. From what I hear the economies in most European countries are bad.

        What do you think, does a college-bound high school graduate have a chance of getting over those two obstacles after a two or four year degree?

        I’m completely unfamiliar with EU immigration policies. All I know is that my lack of a criminal record can help when emigrating and traveling.

        1. BOOBOO

          I can’t even understand how one is supposed to have a job before landing in the country…
          By the way, one thing is for sure, once you’re inside the EU you can choose between many different countries, they have different rules and different economies… or lack of it (I’m in Rome, Italy)

  10. pop

    Speaking as a fellow European, I must say that I feel exactly the same way…

    The fact is that we need to look at the USA’s failure and learn from their mistakes… before it’s too late. I think you have done a pretty good job identifying the four elements pulling us into the void, but knowing those is not enough. We also need to pinpoint the exact systemic processes which allow those groups to do so, and we need to act quickly to rectify those weaknesses.

    What greatly concerns me is if that’s even possible any more, if it ever was. Perhaps watching the US reduce itself into a totalitarian state will be the kick up the arse that people need to start doing that — but even then decoupling ourselves economically and politically from the USA won’t be easy.

    1. Børge / forteller

      > Perhaps watching the US reduce itself into a totalitarian state will be the kick up the arse that people need to start doing that

      If only we where watching!

      Here in Norway not one single MSM has mentioned NDAA, and only IT/tech news sites have covered SOPA (both are as far as I can tell from two different news search engines. If anyone knows something I don’t then please let me know).

  11. jeffer

    Everyone loving freedom must join to push back the advancing tyranny.

    Read this by Étienne de La Boétie:

    The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary

    Part I—The fundamental political question is why do people
    obey a government. The answer is that they tend to
    enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by
    tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent
    action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall
    when the people withdraw their support. . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
    Part II—Liberty is the natural condition of the people.
    Servitude,however, is fostered when people are raised
    in subjection. People are trained to adore rulers. While
    freedom is forgotten by many there are always some
    who will never submit.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
    Part III—If things are to change, one must realize the extent
    to which the foundation of tyranny lies in the vast
    networks of corrupted people with an interest in
    maintaining tyranny. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

    1. BOOBOO

      That’s awesome, thank you for even providing a link for download!

  12. Erik Lönroth

    This is what it has always been about.

    Either we win this, or lose all.

  13. Jeff

    I live in the US, and I’ve been telling my friends: Get a passport, get a gun. Mentally prepare yourself to use both, figure out what your line in the sand is.

  14. AeliusBlythe

    The United States may have already slid into darkness, but there are still many who are ready to fight to get out of it.

    I have a comfortable, easy life where I am. I have a good job, financial security, and more luxuries than I could afford before. Back home, I have no meaningful education, no great job prospects and not much of a future. But I will go back because I need to, because fighting to get my country out of its darkness is more important than being comfortable.

    Seeing educated Europeans’ view of the United States dismal path is disturbing (because it’s true) but it is also a sharp reminder that we need to heal our home.

    You mention that you have nothing to fear as long as you go about your way. I think as a politically influential person, you have more reason to fear being skewered for breaking rank. Even more than some guy on the street, the powerful interests cannot allow a highly educated, decorated entrepreneur to say dangerous things.

    So well done for speaking up, and I hope you’ll be ok for it.

    Reblogging this.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Thank you twice — once for the kind words, and once for copying.

      And yes, there are many willing to fight to save the United States, but the arena is beyond when it could happen on the inside of the system. The fight will take other shapes.

  15. slob100

    Where were you when you bomb us (Serbia here) just because somebody told you to do so? Where are you when more than half of a Planet live restrained… they (we) don’t even have the right to see your “free” world, not to mention to travel, walk.. or, oh my godness how daring, to work!?
    You are concern about 25% percent of Earth population. Do you realize now how far from good are we? Even more than in your darkest thoughts 🙁

    1. Hammer

      No, slob100, we didn’t bomb/shoot you because somebody told us to. We bombed and shot you because you had gone on a genocidal rampage against your neighbors and you needed to be stopped. Since you didn’t listen when we told you to, we beat you to a pulp instead – that’s the only way to make some people listen.
      This is pretty typical of Serbia: they have conveniently forgotten that they were responsible for some of the worst massacres post-WWII and now they try to claim that Serbia in fact was the victim. Good luck with that – most of us remember Srebrenica.

  16. ForskarGurra

    At least american citizens have guns and ammo to protect themselves when the shit starts hitting their fans…

    Great Britain is terribly bad on it’s way to totalitarian tyranny too as I’ve concluded in some places.

    Both ironical and logical that maybe the country where the democratic values will be most feverly defended is probably going to be Germany (and maybe Spain?). Two countries who have been oppressed in ruthless dictatorships within the lifespan of the current population. They know the values of liberal democracy and mistrusting the government (respectively). Sweden is a fucking joke in comparison… Like a kindergarten full of spoiled ignorant kids who have no fucking idea what they are about to throw away. In this regard I am utterly ashamed of being swedish…

  17. Ahto

    Some commenter said: “History has shown us that the fourth box will be used from time to time. And the more prepared we are for it, the less likely we will find it to be our time.”

    As a history student, I agree very much. And that’s why I think this article from Rick was made just at the right time. Some would maybe say that it’s too early: things are not that bad yet. An average person in a Western European country probably hasn’t yet come face to face with grave administrational malpractice or breach of civil liberties. However, it’s part of normal life for all kinds of minorities.

    It is important to get the message out now: that some well-educated, smart and “privileged” people in our society think that things seem to be going into very, very, appalling direction indeed. This is the best possible way to ensure that things will stop going into that direction.

    I also agree with the comment by ForskarGurra and using “Finland” instead of “Sweden” is also appropriate. One hundred years of democracy and relatively good administration seems to be too much for your own good. 🙁 Especially if you don’t understand history / biology / psychology enough to see how people behave and to understand all the biases and fallacies that cloud people’s thinking.

    Also, US & UK probably are already lost. Coincidentally, they’re the countries with the longest uninterrupted history with democracy and most of the best liberty philosophers have come from those countries. Sad.

    Vice Chairman of the Finnish Pirate Party

    1. BOOBOO

      That’s not sad to me, it’s a confirmation of what you just said.

      Let me explain, here in Italy we got the problem of “exporting brains” which means we end up being excellent in many things (arts in general and research/science mostly) but we don’t have any serious economy, so we just leave the country to work somewhere else.
      Leaving Italy even more in need, making it sink even more.

      Let me observe and add that our school system is obsolete and not working at all, so why do we end up being masters?

      Answer is, as weird as it seems, in the lack or rules (to be punished for a crime is only a matter of bad luck) and lack of efficient services from the government.

      We need to heavily improvise to go on or we don’t survive as individual, because the country is in chaos and every citizen does as he please, without any authority checking on things.

      This lack of manuals and need to improvise makes us use our brains fully, that’s it.

      So, to end my point of view, I’d say the best liberty philosophers came from US & UK because they didn’t have freedom or because they felt it was going to be taken away, as it is today.

  18. Aika äänestää katoilta? | Lilja Tamminen

    […] tietoyhteiskunta-asioiden äänenkannattaja ja Ruotsin Piraattipuolueen perustajana tunnettu Rickard Falkvinge pari tuntia sitten, 17.12.2011. En voi väittää, etten olisi yllättynyt Falkvingen viestistä. Olen samaa mieltä […]

  19. Zacqary Adam Green

    I’m interested, Rick, in where you think is the safest place to be for the future. Who’s got a good prognosis for civil liberties going forward, at least with what we know now?

  20. Concerned

    At the moment the World is in a Financial War, hope to hell it doesn’t turn to modern weapons and that respective countries populaces can step in to prevent it going that path unlike the last 2 times.

    The perps of this financial warfare come from Anglo Finance with Wall Street leading one side and the “City” partnering up and leading the other side. Look at what was going on in Libya to understand what happens when you don’t play their game. Back to the Stone Age they went.

    Also scratch the surface of Germany’s early 20th Century history to get the real reason why Europe exploded, hint – follow the money and it was not the German Gov in the 20’s doing the money printing but a Privately Owned and operated Central Bank. Sound familier? E.C.B./Fed…Res….

    This is all about control and Money and it is getting ugly.

    1. PiratGurra

      Difference now being that Germany today is one of the few countries in the western world where the population really understands democratic values such as “burgerrecht” and that the US is the place where ugliness appers to form.

      Actually the US population owns guns to a much higher extent than most other countries, so if the 99% really turned on the army who would “win” would not be so certain – except that it would be a terrible blood-bath for sure…

  21. miha

    Hi Rick,
    I love reading your post and thank you for them. I do agree with most of the article, but would just like to point out few things: governments aren’t cheap. If you want to have an (orwellian) totalitarian controlled society, you need to either have a lot of money to run it or have many followers to do the job for you for free (like 20s italy/30s germany).

    the second alternative (i hope) is out of history for good. but for the first one, what is happening right now, that there is less and less taxpayer money as jobs are getting scarce. And, according to jeremy rifkin, in the future jobs will be even scarcer. so governments are being faced with a practical dillema – where to cut budget?

    If you start cutting on social security (retirement found) you can expect prostests of underprivileged. If you cut it to much, you may expect riots. hungry mob is an angry mob, it can get even french/october revolution angry.

    So i thinks will have to be made also everywhere else, including repressive system. And if you cut it too much on policeman wages (or any other “guardians of the law”), will they still be willing to enforce the law?

    1. Ploum

      It doesn’t take a government to send a country to darkness. As long as people doesn’t follow the law anymore, everything is possible.

      It means that the few riches will make their own laws, paying private police and private guards to apply their own rules. Kind of a post-apocalyptic scenario, isn’t it ?

      The other alternative is that rich people just join their forces to pay a puppet government to make their own laws. It’s cheaper and it offers more moral justification (if they need it). Guess what, it is exactly the situation we are currently living in.

      1. PiratGurra

        Guess what, I think we are just as much in the first situation as the other. Private police / “security” forces are getting more and more common by the day in the US, is it not?

  22. Viktualiebrodern

    Devil’s right hand, Devil’s right hand
    my mama said the pistol is the devil’s right hand
    (Johnny Cash)

    1. Fredrik

      Credit where credit is due, Steve Earle wrote that one…:-)

  23. Alex Haig

    ironic that the scientific results of the enlightenment can be taken over by fascists and used to crush and repress it.

    btw, historically, the population cant fight the military but only hope that it switches sides. for whatever reasons. i’m sure the pentagon knows this and preparing soldiers to not switch over easily. we should find out what their methods are.

    1. PiratGurra

      Well.. the US population has more guns than any other population. They are more prepared to literally having to fight for their liberty than maybe most other countries’ population. There is also the question to which extent the military really would go against the people.

      1. Rev. Smith

        From what I’ve heard this is a factoid = that Canada and Sweden for instance have more civil firearms than what the US has per capita. However in Sweden and Canada the guns are for hunting and shooting sports mostly (only?) while in the US personal protection is more common. But I don’t have numbers I can validate this with. Anyone that does?

        1. Rev. Smith

          I just checked my facts and you seam to be right – that US has most civil firearms in the world 90 per 100 inhabitants.

        2. Rev. Smith

          It should be firearms per capita, since apparently military, police and other officials weapons are included in the figures above.

        3. Scary Devil Monastery

          The interesting bit in that is that hunting rifles are far bigger threats in the hands of an armed uprising than the handgun is. Canada and Sweden might actually be better prepared than the USA should an armed uprising take place in any of these countries.

      2. Portlandia Projectile Services

        Americans have the most civilian-owned militarily-useful rifles of anywhere. Everyone I know has a closet full of AR-15’s, self-loading shotguns, .50BMG bolt actions, self-loading pistols with 15+ rounds per magazine, FAL, CETME, and all manner of mil-surp self-loaders from the 20th century. Even relatively poor/broke people have guns like Mosin-Nagant rifles that sell for $79 each and used very cheap EasternBloc 7.62x54R ammo. Gun stores are everywhere and ammo is sold at every hardware store or variety store.

        Guns are much easier to lay hands on than a good job.

        It’s important to not over-spend on guns and ammo. Once you have an armload of guns and more ammo than you can carry, per person, start buying food and a water storage facility. Not kidding, over-buying of guns and ammo beyond need of a 12 year civil war is mis-allocation of resources.


  24. […] morning I woke to the chilling image of a weapon on one of my favorite blogs.  The post it headed was both a reminder and a warning from a Pirate […]

  25. Rev. Smith

    Personally I totally agree on where things are heading. However although I predict that there will be turmoil and people who fight with any means to get their (and everyone elses) liberty back, things must get alot worse before that group will get large enough to make any impact.
    The reason being that the “will of the people” is not to have liberty and democarcy per se, they want an easy life without to much risk of getting material and health-wise worse. Ipso ergo if the politicians offers “panem et circenses” the politicians will have a lot of time to make arrangements to cope with the increase of terrorists (read: protesters)

    However, there is another path that is less resource demanding with a larger success rate than the fourth box – the political coup (and I can’t understand why not greens when they where new, communists or national socialists have done this earlier since they have all many activists in comparison to voters). The plot is fairly simple, in Sweden what is done is that one meme tell activists to join BOTH the moderate party and the social democrats and tell them to elect an electorate by one of the newcomers to the party (one specific). Then suddenly there would be three pirate parties – the left pirate party, the right pirate party and just the pirate party. The good thing about this is that when put in action it will be easy to bribe some social democrats/moderats with political influence if they “help the cause”. Further, since far less of the old party members will attend the election than the activist group this could be an easy win. The fine thing is that this SHOULD not be illegal, only immoral.

  26. Rick Falkvinge: Kas tõesti neljandasse kasti? | Irve

    […] Rick Falkvinge postituse, sest see on Marslaste Pealetungi mõtteline järg, oluliselt vähem abstraktselt ja oluliselt […]

  27. Irve
    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Thanks! Linked in.

  28. Sassinak

    I live in Quebec with my two grade-school daughters. This really sucks. I know the saying : ” he who wants peace prepares for war”, but I can’t prepare my children for war. This may help though: (A pdf on wireless and ad-hoc networking). I’m also looking into ways to hack a household microwave oven into a mid-range tx-rx radio device. I’ll find it. If they take away our communications, we will re-route around them, like water.

    1. Sassinak

      here it is:

  29. Andrew Benage

    I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your analysis and understanding of the topic at hand. I was shown this article by a friend and colleague of mine, and have bookmarked the site.

    Myself and some close military friends of mine have already done a lot of preparing on the subject of worst case scenario. Call us nuts but we take our business seriously, and that means having food, clothing, arms, and munitions in safe keeping where only we can find it.

    A few years ago I thought such an idea was pretty nuts, so I don’t blame that same idea on others. The time is coming closer, unfortunately, where most of the populous will understand that it isn’t as crazy as it seems. I wish to touch upon the point of the US military as opposed to the recent police brutality, however.

    I’ve known many military personnel that have served formerly and currently in the US. I was one of them at a time (very briefly). I have come to understand them, and I know to my core that they are dedicated to the people of this country, even if at times the people are not dedicated to them. What pieces of ideology that built this country still remain in the hearts and minds of many of our armed servicemen and women, and I know that if it came down to it, they would stand a far greater chance of saying “No” to their commanders than the police have shown.

    Does this mean they will not fight normal US citizens at the command of their superiors? That’s impossible to say. But I do know that as revered as loyal obedience is in our military, our personnel are also emboldened with a strong moral compass, and I know that (atleast for those I’m familiar with) they would not continue an engagement against the very citizens they swore to protect. Foreign and Domestic does not only mean those posed to fight with arms, it also stands to reason that the ones calling the shots fall into this category as well; and I’m quite certain my friends would see it this way as well.

    Unfortunately I also know that politics is breed just as much as some of these other core values, and there will be those that fall off the cliff with the rest of those who would seek to destroy the liberties we hold in this country. There are numerous ways an eventual fallout could occur, I just hope other like-minded individuals are prepared to think on their feet if that time comes.

    1. Pascal

      You apparently have a perception of military that is too optimistic. Please read this article or any other, to learn how military behave on the combat field. They kill and lose all sense of empathy and pity. They become killing machines, this is the truth….

      1. Andrew Benage

        That’s completely unfair and unsympathetic to the real individuals and human beings in the military. I’m not saying all of them are great people, and they do what they’re told, but when push comes to shove they -are- real people just like you and me. Maybe not on a mass-scale effort but individually, most the ones I know are smart and know the difference between right and wrong. A lot of the ones I know are extremely libertarian if not anarchistic, and they would not compromise their values when pushed that far.

      2. Anonymous

        You are drawing an incorrect conclusion from that source material. The more reasonable and logical conclusion is that the combination of stress, the enemy hiding behind civilians and poor planning and leadership will lead to people acting irrational, make mistakes and become de-sensitized. Especially after being exposed to such terribly stressful conditions for a long time. Marines, being the object of the article are frequently sent into combat with poor resources, trained (and told by their superiors) to “make do”. Neither of these make for ideal conditions and I would not classify Iraq as a “combat field” as you would call it. Remember that the “Iraq War” ended just weeks from America entering Iraq. Verily, it makes one wonder whether this was not the idea to begin with. This is a remarkably simple way to make the conflict keep fueling itself. Especially since ideally there would be checks to make sure soldiers showing significant stress or difficulty coping be re-located at least for some time. And to make sure soldiers wanting to go back for consequent tours be properly reviewed for suitability.

        This whole situation feels very identical to what the Vietnam war ended up in. The premises are almost exactly the same, only the background has really changed.

        The prospect of having to kill people in your country, with similar background to yourself compared to killing people in a different country with a different background would require more effort to harmonize internally. Most people would “look twice” if for example their family went against what their superiors told them. In the end you can of course never completely guarantee what choices and individual would make, but the situations are very different.

        To Rick, a very well-written article, but doesn’t this feel a bit like “preaching to the choir” ? I also think that PP at least in Sweden is doomed to be stuck with the image of being a party only about file-sharing. At least unless something radical is changed or done. Still, all the best to you.

  30. Dave

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  33. mg

    Rick, you are my new hero.

    I just hope people resolve this without the fourth box. I’d rather follow nonviolent means, although much more courage is needed.

    Thanks for the post.

  34. Spitz

    Excellent article. Thank You, Rick!

  35. fawkes

    nice example of how free speech is dying in the usa

    1. BOOBOO

      Holy crap…

  36. BigAl

    You seem to imply that a popular armed uprising could actually result in political change. If you look at history, you will see that it can only succeed if those in power are weak or divided. A popular uprising against a politically strong ruler will usually result in pointless bloodshed.

    In Europe and especially the US, I see little disunity between Governments and Business.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      You seem to imply that a popular armed uprising could actually result in political change.

      Not really. My primary point is that we may be coming to a point where you can be punished for following or not following the laws alike, so your security becomes your own concern in that case. Also, that I really don’t want to get to that point.

      Fighting on somebody else’s terms — in cleartext, going head-to-head against a hugely better armed opponent in ways they have trained for — is just a recipe for disaster, both on a societal and personal level.

      1. Anders Troberg

        That’s why we should do it on a battlefield where we have the advantage, where we are better armed and where we are better trained. That’s what Anonymous does.

        1. Rick Falkvinge

          Any strategist and tactician who wants to minimize the risk to their own well-being will choose an asymmetrical way of meeting the adversary that skews the odds as much as possible.

          In other words, don’t follow the rules.

  37. Anders Troberg

    For me, it’s been clear since the attack on TPB that we need to keep the fourth box ready. Sequent events and legislation has only confirmed that conclusion. As far as I can see, the question is not “if?”, it’s “when?”, and I believe that the answer is “Soon!”.

  38. Aux armes citoyens du net et du monde ? | Les moutons enragés

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  39. Sokrates

    I think the fourth box must be replaced with Gandhis non-violence philosophy, by Gandhi himself named Satyagraha. China tries to call Dalai Lama a terrorist, but no one in West believes them. Probably very few in China too. How can a terrorist teach love and non-violence? If violence is used, then a person might rightfully appear as a terrorist. Satyagraha is about holding the truth, an refusing any kind of violence. This, I believe, is the only tactic that will ever work in the long run.

    1. ForskarGurra

      It would be the best of course… But that won’t happen in America. In America, liberty is obtained, as well as defended with weapons… Just look at gun legislation and guns per capita…

  40. Proutist American

    According to PROUT(Progressive Utilization Theory)’s theory of history, a transition from merchant class to laborer/warrior class is by necessity violent. However, the degree to which this is so is affected inversely by the number of intelligentsia working for the new order.

    I am part of a community working to not only sustain itself but to teach its neighbors how to do the same. We have no plans to utilize violence, ever. Our only hope is that we will have transformed ourselves and those around us so effectively by the time it is absolutely necessary that our usefulness to the surrounding area will require our survival. We are also working with city and county government to develop a balanced, self-sustaining local economy. Ultimately it is not about keeping the money circulating locally but about developing the means to produce basic needs locally. The more self-sufficient we are, the better off we can hope to be as our country deteriorates.

    I believe that we are only doing one half the work. The other side of this fight is to tear down what is old and stagnant and corrupt. The Occupy movement is encouraging because it involves such a large percentage of the American population and because it is waking some people from the normalcy bias. People who are inspired to be the necessary destructive force will hopefully find non-violent methods, and the readier the constructive new force– the solution– is, the sooner it can be implemented and any violence halted.

    So my recommendation to you who would avoid violence is to either help revive the first three boxes or to construct and ready a solution that can be implemented the moment we dump our current system.

  41. Gandhi

    There was no 4th box for Gandhi.

    1. ForskarGurra

      Well, the people of India couldn’t just bring out their sub-machine guns out of their closet, right? Because they didn’t have any… What other violent methods were available.. really? Sticks and stones?

  42. Casey Bowman

    In the American context there is another box, for which I can’t think of a clever matching “box” word. This box is federalism. When the states were dysfunctional in the mid 1800s, the federal government stepped in with the 14th amendment to extend the security of natural inalienable rights and due process, as some states proved egregiously negligent, to the point of no longer having a republican form of government where one could publish and debate freely.

    Now if the federal government were to be so negligent in its turn, then it could be time for the states to step forward, and we have civil paths for the states to take. Strategically state habeas relief is one avenue. State courts can issue writs of habeas corpus for federal prisoners. Such a writ may be “removed” to a federal court to be addressed there, but once there’s a writ the writ exists. If it’s not then addressed in the federal court as due, then it ought to be addressed in the state court. If the federal government is to ignore such a writ, then it must clearly claim that there is an insurrection or invasion, with multitudes, with swarms sufficient to preclude the writ, clearly argued in Congress. Let the common sense of everyone judge this claim. If the state, not seeing such a massive invasion or insurrection, disagrees on the claim of such an invasion or insurrection, let it insist on the writ in a manner consonant with people’s common sense on the matter.

    Moreover, it’s time for an Article-V convention. The states can call for a convention to propose an amendment on a subject defined by the states or a number of such amendments severally. If the states do call for an Article-V convention, Congress must arrange for such a convention in a timely fashion, following Article V. If they fail to respect Article V, then the people should organize such conventions in a civil manner, based on precedent as much as possible, with satyagraha in mind. The essential subjects that come to mind are 1) a larger, democratic House of Representatives, 2) a smaller, rights-minded, nomothetic Senate, 3) abolition of monopoly grants, 4) a better budget process (say, a presidential line-item veto on budgets beyond certain limits), 5) elimination of the spoiler barrier (say, for example, by using a liquid-democratic first round to choose three or four candidates for an instant-runoff second round), and 6) the “and we really mean it” amendment. Note that subjects (1) and (3) were explicitly parts of the original Bill of Rights as it wound its way through the first Congress on Wall Street. Subject (3) didn’t get past all the committees, though Jefferson advocated it. Subject (1) led to a flawed proposed amendment, flawed in the context of current technology, and was the only one of the twelve not passed (the eleventh being passed in 1992).

    1. Putte

      Yes, the US needs to trash its dysfunctional Constitution and get a new one. Read the excellent book Republic Lost by law prof Lessig for all the arguments.

      1. Autolykos

        I woudn’t trust anyone in power in the US today to write a constitution. Wouldn’t even trust them to park my car, tbh.

  43. Roopy

    It does seem that for most cases, resisting on your own will do little more than inconvenience you personally. We have the technology now to prepare this with people who are upset and are prepared to act. We could set up flashmob type stunts. ‘FlashResistance’, against the likes of scanners and ID’ing, etc.

    I’m starting to think the majority of people simply will not act till they are knee deep in it. In the meantime, what of people who see the writing on the wall? How do we forge greater connections?

  44. Sinder Roze

    A distressing and disturbing post. I hope you’re wrong, but I’m starting to dread that you’re not.

    Apart from that, it’s fun that you quote Commissioner Lal under a casual certainty that everybody knows who he is (or was, well, will be).

  45. Putte

    Rick, even though I hate and fear this scenario it is becoming more and more likely.

    In the US it is blatantly obvious that the so called “elite” is engaged in a naked power grab. Gone are all ideas of responsibility for the common good, balance, compromising, fair game, gentlemens agreement, respect for facts, rationality, self restraint and the maturity of understanding opposing POVs and manage conflicting values. The neo-Jacobins run the show (a term coined by the bright pol science professor Claes G Ryn).

    The US political process is driven by a totally amoral no holds barred, all out war mentality together with personal immaturity and ridiculous macho posturing. For these thugs in suits, there is no limit for how dirty, how mean, how evil, how petty, how unfair, how vulgar, how brutal they can be.

    There is only a small step for these establishment thugs to resort to armed violence to get what they want. One example is that most of the GOP presidential candidates publicly condone torture. All this is dressed up in massive hypocritical moralistic self-righteous posturing and supported by submissive status quo defending docile corporate media.

    Here is one scenario for how the last remaining façade of a democracy under the rule of law will go away.

    The police brutality against the peaceful OWS protesters will rile up an even larger part of the population and radicalize some of the protesters. New protests in the spring when the weather is better will be met by more violence. I think that some protesters will deliberately sacrifice their lives to produce death victims and draw attention to the police brutality.

    Add another trillion dollar bailout to Wall Street (which they will get) when the current depression dips into a new black hole in a year or so. This will really aggravate the general population. More victims in the general population will be produced when SOPA, PIPA, NDAA are in place.

    Some protesters will then turn to violence. (I have talked to people who jokingly(?) said that they were so appaled that they wanted to get a sniper rifle and start killing police officers at random after seeing YouTube clips of peaceful Berkeley female students being beaten with a steel baton in the liver and stomach area.) If and when this plays out the entire OWS/Tea party movement will be labeled terrorists and their demands completely ignored and activists oppressed and arrested. Perhaps by nightly “disappearances” by death squadrons.

    Then it will turn really nasty with brutal oppression and a divided population. Half the population will believe in the media lies about “patriotism” and the other will understand the truth. If the protesters are smart they will try to incite disobedience among low level police officers/military and turn them against the top one percent in power. Some state legislatures might be taken over by protesters and declare indepenced from the federal government in Washington and a refusal to pay any part of the federal debt. By then, the top one percent know that they have lost all moral legitimcay. They will desperately try to defend the broken system and their own power. These are the ingredients for a civil war and an armed revolution.

    Europe is also at risk when all power is centralized to the unelected bureaucrats in the EU and the only option for smaller countries is blind submission. But that’s another comment.

    1. ForskarGurra

      At least the citizens of the US have all the means necessary (firearms..) to really fight for their liberty. As you say, a new civil war is really not very far-fetched from the current situation.

      Whats the worlds most technically advanced army against the entire, well armed people? Then it’s also quite possible that parts of the army will defect and fight for the people.

      In the case of EU, I think that countries will leave the EU or simply disobey the EU “directives”. It has been done before in much less stressed situations. There is no such thing as a “federal” EU police, for instance. Probably will turn out to be really good that we don’t have one.

      1. SotarrTheWizard

        SOME of us do. Others often run, even scream, at the sight of a weapon or ammo: even an AirSoft gun. And it tends to run down the Left/Right line, although the real line is those who stand for Personal Liberty, and those who don’t.

        Sitting here on the ground in the States, it’s looking more and more like it’s going to come to a head this fall, just as the election comes around. We’re laying in supplies and even more guns and ammo, and hoping to ride out the worst, if our darkest fears turn out to be justified. . . and if we’re paranoid. . .we got some good buys on canned goods, and plenty of rounds for the range…

  46. Dan Waggoner

    Yeah, we’re a bunch of totalitarian fascists at the top. At the bottom, we still listen to punk rock and wutang clan, talk mad shit about our politicians, protest (relatively) openly. Don’t give up on us. We’re not done for. Just because the federal government passes legislation doesn’t mean it gets enforced. There’s years of training to do with the police force way before that. Thankfully, the cops prefer pepper spray and tear gas to heavy machine guns here.

    1. ForskarGurra

      Yeah, university students are allowed to protest peacefully – if they just are prepared to be cuffed, lined up and take some spray to the face afterward…

      If that’s not fascist, then what is? Does the “line” really go at using weapons that could kill?

  47. Putte

    Here is one more example of how BIG government is getting more and more intrusive, corrupt and oppressive.

    “Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water”

  48. Faut-il se préparer à prendre les armes ? | CentPapiers

    […] Do We Really Have To Prepare For The Fourth Box? […]

  49. Erin Winslow

    ‎”The United States is lost; it is beyond help and repair and will descend. . .”

    USCH!!! Syns att det råder absolut ingen brist på svensk självgodhet och nedlåtenhet mot andra länder/kulturer!!! Om mitt hemland är så fördärvad VARFÖR är det VI som är ut på gatorna och protesterar och får stryck av polisen?!!! 🙁

    1. PiratGurra

      Att få stryk av polisen när en demonstrerar är ju ett tecken på att något är seriöst fel i samhället. Jag tror Rick mest försöker varna och tipsa och inte raljera. Även om det säkert lätt miss-uppfattas som lite “von oben”.. 🙁

      Det är alltid en risk man får ta att se ut som en besserwisser om man sticker ut näsan och tror man kan hjälpa till med något. Men om ingen gjorde det så skulle det antagligen vara ännu sämre…

  50. toyotabedzrock

    You have watched to much Ron Paul.

    And that is very bad since his policies lead to Fascism, Libertarians are a different thing in the US.

    I can assure you that America Is more free than most European nations, we have some fundamental flaws but not like Europe.

  51. unblocktheplanet

    Thanks, Rick, for starting the new year on such a depressing note! It’s hard, somehow, to see this as evolution. I don’t think any of us can predict what changes will ensue but I can’t imagine them to be inside our comfort zone. Personally, I prefer satyagraha to “winning” any battle. If this means conflict goes on without me, so be it. No guns for this boy! The scenario projected will demand a great deal of personal resistance, both overt and covert. When Amerika sinks, it will suck down most of the world’s peoples with it. Hopefully, this will result in a completely new paradigm we have no way to envision. However, I don’t draw any hope whatever from the so-called jasmine “revolutions”. Switching political leaders just ain’t revolution. The dirty truth is likely that the old leaders were put in place with CIA support, the street demonstrations occurred because of CIA support and the new leaders will be CIA puppets. Although I am a founding member of the Pirate Party of Canada, at 61, I have never voted and have absolutely no faith in electoral politics. Emma Goldman was right: “If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.” Rather than “The Devil’s Right Hand”, I prefer The Sopranos theme song:
    You woke up this morning
    Got yourself a gun,
    Mama always said you’d be
    The Chosen One.
    (Full lyrics here: YouTube:
    CJ Hinke, Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

  52. Bonnie

    U.S. iretrivab ly lost, eh?

    Funny, I’m in the U.S. and I thought the same ab out you all.

    What with the invasion of the islamics, and you’re accepting them, and their outright harressment, lawlessness and raping of local women.

    There’s also the news that many Swedish are leaving their countgry to escape this. Whaat?! Leaving their territory to the enemy?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I live on a street with 72 nationalities (Malmvägen, Sollentuna, Sweden). Regrettably, you’re misinformed. Immigrants from other cultures are generally so polite and friendly that people in Sweden (and Stockholm in particular) don’t know how to relate to it.

      If there have been news that Swedish people are leaving the country because of this, it is completely fabricated.

  53. […] Source: Falkvinge […]

  54. […] this excellent post, Rick Falkvinge (Twitter) touched upon ‘the four boxes of liberty‘ concept, and uses […]

  55. Internet Censorship « The Last Report

    […] of the internet? Here is an interesting article from a European point of view by Falkvinge, The Fourth Box, in which he explains the slippery slope we are currently on. The first part of the blog is […]

  56. Internet Censorship « The Last report

    […] of the internet? Here is an interesting article from a European point of view by Falkvinge, The Fourth Box, in which he explains the slippery slope we are currently on. The first part of the blog is […]

  57. Internet Censorship « The Last Report

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  58. apotheon

    A bit off-topic . . .

    What make/model is that firearm? Some people in the community are curious.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Yes, I shopped that out on purpose. 🙂

      It’s a Steel-BB replica by Action Sport Games of an STI Duty One. This is the version with blowback (meaning that part of the gas is used to recycle the mechanism, no manual recocking required).

      If I hadn’t shopped it out, you would have read an engraved “STI DUTY ONE” on the slide, just by the fingerprint. Also, the slide is pulled back and locked in this photo.

      1. apotheon

        Thanks for the info. The idea that it might be an STI was floated in the discussion, but the trigger didn’t seem to match the 1911s STI offers, and the slide didn’t seem to match the DA/SA models.

        I appreciate you clearing this up.

  59. Honza

    I guess, Rick, that the hardest part of this article was not to put as many as possible of your important thoughts (i personally would call them “The Truth”) on this subject into it, but rather doing so without resembling as what they call “terrorist” to the wrong (by wrong i mean stupid/corrupted/evil) people, am i right? 🙂

  60. […] Rick Falkvinge, fundador del primer Partido Pirata en Suecia, ha escrito recientemente un gran artículo sobre “¿Realmente estamos preparados para la cuarta caja?” […]

  61. Bastiat's Ghost

    In 2011 Americans bought enough guns to arm the 14 largest standing armies in the world.

    Nobody talks about it openly, but the population of the United States is gearing up for Armageddon.

  62. a normalcy biased

    “When anybody can be locked indefinitely, there is no reason to follow any law anymore, ever”

    The written law, at least. It DOES give reason to follow the quickly recognized unwritten law of those that can get you locked up. So, to some extent, lawless behaviour will thrive, but most people will just try to keep their heads down and do as their told. The winners in this scenario are, on the lower levels of society, the sociopaths. Which, and that’s were the danger lies, happen to be the people that have kept their fourth box ready for all their life…

    Sorry for sounding downbeat, I’m just saying I’m with Rick Falkvinge when he says that liberty should be defended any other way as long as possible, because the alternative is not a happy place for the majority of people.

    Thank you, Mr. Falkvinge, for being straightforward and writing this article!

  63. J’raxis 270145

    Wow. Never thought I would see someone in Europe making reference to the “four boxes.”

    It’s interesting how you think the United States is “already lost,” but the countries of Europe aren’t yet. On this side of the Pond—especially with respect to the right to keep and bear arms—the perception is the other way around: We’re still free; Europe is a lost cause. I guess that, depending on what particular example of tyranny one is talking about, various countries earn the dubious distinction of being past the point of no return.

    And, as a result of the United States’ concept of quasi-sovereignty for the fifty individual states (“states rights”), things are highly variable here depending on where you live. Whereas the U.S. Government sets policy on the military and copyright for the whole country, the country is far from monolithic on other topics. I’m from New Hampshire, a state in the northeast, which is among the freest—there’s virtually no gun regulation here, no income or sales tax, we legalized same-sex marriage a few years ago, and we’re on the way toward legalizing marijuana.

    And, thanks to a lot of libertarian activists who have moved to New Hampshire over the past decade as part of the Free State Project, New Hampshire now has the distinction of being the first state to require that its government and agencies use open source software and open data formats.

  64. Vanish

    Hi, I just wrote a german translation of this article and published it here:

  65. Four boxes of liberty « StreetDogg

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  66. Poliisi on jokaisen kämppäkaveri | Mika Isomaa

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  67. Enoch Root

    If only we can move collectively faster to Bitcoin, perhaps we can downsize our government’s payroll a little by removing their capacity to effectively impose income taxes and create inflation for their own good.

    This is likely to buy us some time and talk some sense out of our officials. If to get income or governments have to ask nicely, and convince us that it’s worth it, perhaps they’ll do the right thing and behave. Of course they can always choose violence, in which case they’re the ones that are eventually going to finish up at the business end of the barrel.

  68. […] Tänään siihen sysäsi ensimmäisen Piraattipuolueen perustajana tunnettu Rick Falkvinge, joka blogauksessaan kertaa niitä samaisia pelkoja, joiden takia itsekin pohjimmiltani olen lähtenyt mukaan […]

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    […] It is to be hoped that the coming war on Bitcoin can be resisted within the legal and democratic processes of our societies, without resorting to what Falkvinge calls “The Fourth Box.” […]

  72. Altcoin Today | Rick Falkvinge: The Coming War on Bitcoin

    […] It is to be hoped that the coming war on Bitcoin can be resisted within the legal and democratic processes of our societies, without resorting to what Falkvinge calls “The Fourth Box.” […]

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