FREE I GOT
What one person did to make his life less frustrating, with less
tension and a whole lot more fun.
There may be some ideas here that will give you some hope that our
world will survive. It points out some things an individual can do to
ANOTHER BOOK by Ernest Mann
I WAS ROBOT (Utopia Now Possible).
Published by Little Free Press, 1990.
ISBN 0-9620301-0-4, is a 319 page paperback book. It contains the best
of Little Free Press newsletters over the first 20 years. It tells how
he retired at age 42 in 1969. With 24 hours of free time each day he
learned some amazing things about the System and how to change it. It
gives examples on how he learned to live cheaper and better. Also
available on computer disks with reprinting permissible.
About the Author:
The author was in business in Minneapolis for 20 years. He gained
enough knowledge in Economics from Business College and from practice
to retire at the age of 42 in 1969.
Since then he has had the time and space to observe economics from
a different perspective and has had 21 years to travel to many
countries; read, observe, discuss, think, evaluate and form his own
conclusions about the economic situation, politics, religion, life and
Now his belief systems are far different than they were when he
was busily engaged in trying to keep his bills paid.
FREE I GOT
by Ernest Mann
Little Free Press
The character in this book is the same one who was in I WAS ROBOT and
any resemblance to anyone else, living or dead, is a real strain on the
Copyright, 1993, Ernest Mann
Except: Permission is hereby granted by the above author, to anyone
and everyone, free of charge, to reprint and/or reproduce this book in
part or in whole, by any method, if this copyright notice and exception
Little Free Press
1011 6th Avenue NE apt 21
Little Falls, MN 56345 USA
To all people who prefer to be their own master.
67 FOOT LOOSE:
Lived in a van. Parked in woods. Drove to Miami. Engine trouble.
What to do? Diary of trip to La Paz, Mexico.
Finding usable treasures in rubbish boxes. Comments on Regan. Free
Skills Pool. Surplus money is independence. Learning freedom. No phone
for 10 years. Ownership. No free lunch. 98.6% made less than $50,000 in
1980. Listening to music or living? Started a rooming house. Prospects
of a publisher for my first book. Advertisement for a mate.
69 CREATING MY OWN UTOPIA:
Taking my own Freedom. Trailer in woods. Trip to Miami. Happiness.
What is fun? Pivot point in life. How I’m becoming a free person. New
meaning of Utopia?
70 MATING PROBLEMS:
Many profit from divorce. A divorce conspiracy? 13 reasons why
there is profit in causing trouble. A letter from Dave Hyde. Another
trip to Miami. Back in Minneapolis paying rent. Problems publishing my
71 AN INDIVIDUAL’S FREEDOM:
Teach it or do it? Wild and free. The System — a Game. A better
Game. Bucky Fuller’s World Game. What to do. Absorb the mass media? 95%
of super-market is unnecessary for me. Laugh at latest scams of
politicians. Music a mood conditioner. Drop-out in 1969. Holes in our
hull. World is now set-up for an easy “Evolution.” Solo organizations.
People kept ignorant.
72 WHERE TO FOCUS:
Getting people to talk about the Priceless Economic System(PES).
Sharing Utopian ideas. Greenhouse Effect — adjust to these changes or
73 PRICELESS ECONOMIC SYSTEM:
Reveals the primary “cause” of our major problems. A solution.
Unnecessary jobs eleminated. Why greed? What to do.
Start a business with all volunteers. Undersell all competitors.
14 ways to entice volunteers. Catch 22. What to do? 14 things I want. 5
things I like. How I achieved it. 4 ways to get funds. Buying causes
75 WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHO, WHERE & WHEN:
13 what, why and hows. Changed some of my beliefs. How to live on
less and gain more free time. You don’t have to join or pay to become
76 WHAT TO DO TODAY:
12 things I should do. 8 things I want to do. 13 things I like to
do. 5 freedoms. 7 things that make me feel happy. Our planet is a space-
ship. A hermit? Space program could accelerate in PES. Back in the
People are drilling holes in our space-ship’s hull. Money is not
evil. Value. Pure givers. Why people give. Sold everything in 1969.
Toured the U.S. My biggest expense. Forethought. No profit in war or
waste in PES. The natural meaning of the “Law of Supply and Demand.”
How to start the PES. Quit relying on the “Experts.” Sneaky trick. An
insight into pain. Some short, I WAS ROBOT, reviews.
Who profits most? No man an island? Selfish is good. 4 things I
ask myself. S.O.S. Inventors with unlimited resources in the PES.
Tesla. Vague computer books. Computer-teachers. Home schooling. Profit-
way or the people-way? Notes from readers. I WAS ROBOT, book review by
Ed Stamm. My response. Work only one day per week. No need for
government. Some already giving all or part of their work free of
charge. No need to struggle.
79 MIKE FREEDOM:
A video now out on Mike, who used to work with me. Cheap land in
northern Minnesota. Cheap trailers. Another “woman wanted” ad.
Winterize trailer. Slave labor gang. Self-liberated. I also enslave me.
Burn-out. I rationalize. Utopia. Community? Readers write. Some zine
80 NEW INSIGHT:
Are daydreams and thoughts effected by media? On keeping busy.
Money is independence. How to make some money. Why. Your heart’s
desire. A positive dependency in PES. My independent survival system.
Will there be Progress in the PES? Still looking for a mate. Cheap
cabin blueprints info. Some zine reviews. “Kings of the Jungle” booklet
81 FOREST CLEARCUTTING:
How to stop it. 4 legged garbage collectors. Loggers and forest
rangers — the new forest caretakers. Gift society. Another ordeal to
Florida. Save the world or save ones self? Survivors lifestyle? Tampa
traffic. Van troubles. New gas heater for trailer. Quiet and peaceful
here. My 3,300 mile Odyssey. Answer to letter from Frank Lee Sedd,
Mpls., MN. Who gets the gold in the PES. Golden Rule. Who would work?
Work a duty or privilege? Will Elite rule? I WAS ROBOT, book review by
82 HOW TO STOP WAR:
A theatrical extravaganza. Realize the cause of this war. What
individuals can do to make them quit. A “Crash Project.” How I
simplify my lifestyle.
83 POSTERS (mini size)
BOYCOTT THE B.C.’S: A sample sticker sheet one can make with six
84 Desert Storm Scam:
Impeach Bush? Propaganda. How to build Utopia. Mortgage =
Indentured Slavery? Is the End, the Means? Book review by Neal Keating.
85 BOYCOTT FOR AMNESTY:
Amnesty for demonstrators and deserters. $1,000,000,000 bio-
computers. What it can do. Media mind games. Who creates public
opinion? Explore your mind. Earning money. Surplus money + no debts =
86 PRICELESS ECONOMIC SYSTEM:
Points out 4 major problems with the Profit/Wage System. Dwells
mostly on PES and explains in some detail how it will work.
87 CHANNELLED BY MONEY:
Ways poor people can help change the System. Ways to save money.
What’s happening in my life. Car living.
88 INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM:
Rewards. An Incite into vegetarianism from Oliver Twist. Cause of
sore throats. Bumper stickers. Another trip to Miami. Cheap rental.
Emotions. Adventure in warehouse. Happiness. Menochew. Be selfish.
90 CONFORMITY IS SURVIVAL:
School of fish. My heater score. Boycott preparation. Computer
crash. Dental trip to Mexico. Buy American? Reviews. Escape. Multiple
progression of numbers. Good space.
I wrote, published and distributed the Little Free Press
newsletter from 1969 until March 3, 1992 when I terminated it. There
were subscribers from nearly every state in the U.S. and requests from
people in many other countries.
The main theme was the Priceless Economic System (PES), a system
where there would be no Profit in starting a war, in polluting our
environment, in causing people to starve or in stealing, i.e., a system
where everyone would have much more individual Freedom. It also
pointed out how I was learning to live cheaper and better and how I was
taking my Freedom and how the whole world’s population could all switch-
over to this nearly Utopian system, simultaneously within a year, if
more people would help with this work.
The work is simply to help spread the idea that there is a
workable Utopian system and that individuals can start living part of
it right now while they are helping to promote it. No struggling,
demonstrating or fighting is needed. No begging for money. Just being
an example having fun in life with little tension and anxiety, i.e.,
being someone who understands Freedom and is taking Freedom right now.
Creating this near-Utopia is a challenge for each person who
undertakes it. It gives exercise to ones creativity in both designing
ones own Freedom and in figuring out ways to show it to others. There
is a by-product of this activity; one learns more about ones self. I
seem to feel the happiest when I’m busy working creatively on a project
that I think is important.
This is going about the business of saving our world in a positive
way, by taking the offensive and being a builder of better ways instead
of wasting our energy attempting to make corrections in a system that
has never worked for the average person. It has always worked for the
Since I stopped writing the LFP newsletter I have been trying to
figure out better ways to promote the PES.
These back issues of the Little Free Press are as current as
todays paper! They deal with your own individual freedom. That is
January 13, 1993
Little Free Press #67
Let me tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be foot loose
and fancy free, with 24 hours a day of free time and a little extra
cash in your pocket.
I decided some months ago to live where I didn’t need to pay rent.
I was paying $235 per month for a furnished efficiency in a poor area.
I found a person to take over my apartment so I didn’t have to give a
30 day notice to move. I then moved into my 1979 Dodge middle-length
van and parked it behind a friends store in his parking lot. I used
restaurant and University rest rooms and showered once in a great while
at my friend’s apartment.
I cooked my main meal on my one burner propane Primus stove at
noon time in my van. I had built a queen sized bed across the rear of
the van that rested on the rear wheel fenders because that is the size
of an old water stained Futon mattress that some friends laid on me in
Tucson in 1985. I have just enough room under the bed to put several
boxes to store much of my gear.
I got bored with this life and drove up to Cushing and parked in
my old woods spot and used an old (motorless) school bus for my
kitchen. This was very peaceful and relaxing. It was nice to sit
outdoors with a dying camp fire and look at the sky full of stars.
It was starting to get cold so I figured it was time to head for
Florida. I drove down through the bottom part of Michigan on my way
and passed the old farm house I grew up in. I could hardly recognize
it. It had been remodeled. My high school had been toren down. The
crop land looked very ragged and unkept (unused). I would not care to
live there again.
My first night on the road I found a KOA camp area just outside of
Chicago. They charged me about $10 to just park my van and use their
toilet. My first and last KOA. From then on I stayed on the freeways
and stopped late at night at Highway Rest Areas and slept without
interruptions. Most of them had very clean toilet facilities and
water. I never buy bottled water. Tap water seems to keep me healthy.
Of course that doesn’t put me in the “in” group.
I started early and drove late, nothing else to do. By the time I
got to the by-pass around Atlanta, Georgia, I had started smoking
cigarettes and playing the radio to stay awake, besides stopping for
coffee and gas often. It happened to be a rush hour and the cars were
doing about 70 mph and they were bumper to bumper (well maybe a car
length apart). It seemed like a 100 miles around that city. It was
hectic! I was never so close to freaking out in my life. I had to
begin stomping my foot to the music and slapping my leg to hold my wits
Some people must drive that twice a day, 5 days a week. No wonder
so many people flip out and are in treatment.
I was so caught-up in driving that it didn’t occur to me to take
an exit ramp, park and take a nap ’til the rush hour was over. Somehow
when I get behind the wheel it is hard to stop unless I really have to.
Why is this?
Well, I made it. Smoked most of my cigarettes. But I made it! I
determined not to take that by-pass again at rush hour. I guess I’m
spoiled because I have never had a job that required me to do much rush-
hour driving. On my return I went directly through Atlanta on a
freeway (not in a rush hour) and that was not so bad.
When I got into northern Florida my radiator started to boil so I
turned my heater on and that cooled the water down. But it was a
little too warm in the van so I opened all the windows. So I was too
warm in Florida except at night. It was really hot in Miami. I think
this was early November. I found a shady place to park my dark brown
van in Coconut Grove at the Dinner Key Marina. I talked to an old
street acquaintance, a sort of beach comber. He gave me the low-down
on how to live in my van rent fee. He was living in his car. I think
I could have done it too.
I also found a roadside park about 30 miles west of Miami along a
cannel where a few people were squatting already. I bought some gas at
a truck stop near there and they said it was ok to park behind their
place for the night.
Florida City, the last town before the keys start, had a trailer
park that one could park in for about $100 per month. I almost went
Well, I figured I may as well drive the 130 miles more to Key
West. It might be a better place to spend the winter. I had been
reading an Ernest Hemingway book and he used to hang out in Key West so
why not I?
I got out there and the old town sure was dolled up since I was
there 20 years ago. Now its Old Town is several blocks long and is
elbow to elbow with fancy dressed tourist. Disgusting! I drove on out
and found a trailer park and gladly paid the $14 to park, toilet and
shower. I was very tired of driving by then. There seemed to be no
cheap way to live in Key West.
I sat around in the sun and looked at the sea and decided it was
too hot yet in Florida for me. I would go home to Minneapolis and buy
2 extra pairs of long warm underwear and stay there for the winter. So
I started my long trip home next morning.
Everything went fine until I got into southern Illinois and there
my radiator started to boil and send steam up. I stopped and it looked
like steam was coming from my water pump so I thought it had burned out
a bearing. I was on a freeway a long way from a town. I tried
hitching a ride but no one would stop. Behind me a bridge went over
the freeway with a little country road. I couldn’t see any houses but
a woman walked across it and waved at me. I ran back there and she
said I could use her phone. She even gave me a cup of coffee and the
name of her mechanic and a tow truck.
It cost me $30 for the tow and it turned out that I had just blown
a little 3″ long engine by-pass hose. With new antifreeze and the
labor it was only about $28. I figured I got off easy.
About 10 miles down the road it started steaming again. What now?
Now it looked like the connection for the thermostat was leaking. I
put about a gallon of water in and headed for the closest town.
Stopped at an auto parts store and bought a new thermostat and gasket.
I put this on myself and went on down the road. Again it started
steaming. Stopped and added more water and limped into the next
closest town to their auto parts store. This time I saw the real
trouble. The three inch hose the mechanic installed was too large in
diameter so the hose clamp couldn’t prevent leakage under pressure.
This parts man looked it up in his manual and gave me the proper hose.
I noticed it was leaking around the thermostat fitting too, so I bought
another gasket and some gasket cement.
That was the end of my car trouble. It was all a big hassle, but
I actually felt good about it when it was finally fixed, because I had
been able to make the final corrections myself.
I should back way up here and explain some of the frustration I
went through with my freedom of trying to decide if I should go to
Florida, rent an apartment in Minneapolis, repair my sailboat in the
Bahamas, fly to Mexico to get my teeth fixed, buy a house trailer and
park it in the Cushing woods or what I should do. I could have done
any of the above. It finally felt good after I chose Miami and got
under way. Freedom has its cost. One must make decisions and when you
have so many options it is sometimes difficult to decide which would be
the best one to choose. I may yet learn a method that is not quite so
painful, to get through these major decisions points in my life.
When I got back to Minnesota I went right up to Cushing. I guess
that was when my drinking water froze in my van. So I decided even if
I bought the two pair of underwear I still didn’t want to stay in the
woods for the winter. I thought I might find a place in the Arizona
desert that I might park for free for the winter. So I took off for
Tucson. On the drive down I stopped in Boulder, Colorado, for a few
days and visited a friend. I liked Boulder and half thought of finding
a place to park there for the winter until I was told it snows there.
I had been urged to try Taos and Sante Fe, New Mexico. I just
drove through very slowly and could see they were not my kind of towns.
In Tucson I stopped at some friends and had a nice chat. They let
me use their bath and park in their back yard. I drove around the town
the next morning and it just didn’t feel like home. The winter of 1985
I spent a couple of months there and liked it. But this time I headed
up for northern California to visit some friends, in the Mendocino
area. After about four or five days, I decided again that Minneapolis
was where I wanted to be so I drove home. I was lucky and got back
ahead of the snow storms, though they had 6 or 8 inches of snow in the
woods near Cushing, so I headed for Minneapolis to my parking lot spot.
I had driven 10,800 miles in three weeks.
Then the indecision began all over again. What should I do now?
When I returned from Miami my book manuscript had been returned
from Signet Books saying they don’t read unsolicited manuscripts. So I
sent it off to Bantam books. That finally came back, rejected again
when I returned from California.
Then I sent just a query letter to a publisher/distributor in
Washington state. Still haven’t heard from him. Then I composed a two
paged letter to 34 of the 49 US billionaires. I could only find 34 of
their addresses. As you might suspect, I received no replies. Then I
composed a letter and sent it to 21 of the world’s largest advertising
agencies, soliciting their expertise. As you might guess again, not
one offered to help change the system.
I also tried writing letters to 24 women about my age who had ads
in the local singles classifieds. I got only two answers. One sounded
like she was sorry that I wasn’t looking for a religious woman because
she confessed that she was one. The other one didn’t seem to mind.
She and I went on a drive to Cushing. She is a very nice person, but
too straight for me, I think.
It was getting colder and colder in Minneapolis. I had a very old
sleeping bag around a newer one (I found in a dumpster years ago) and a
polly blanket and a wool navy blanket on top of a closed cell 3/4 inch
foam pad on top of my Futon. I was starting to get cold even with wool
socks, wool pants, wool sweater, vest and wool suit coat and wool
stocking cap. So I bought a better sleeping bag and put that one on
the inside. Then I was cozy until it got down to 0o Fahrenheit. Then
I purchased an electric 1,500 watt heater with a fan and a safety
switch that rang a bell and turned the heater off if it fell over. My
friend allowed me to plug it into his outlet behind his store in his
parking lot. Now I was cozy as a bug in a rug. I even took off some
of my wool.
Living in my van was an interesting adventure. I could have
survived nicely all winter. I was getting a pleasant routine down that
I could live with and no doubt perfect even more as I discovered more
places to hang-out where I didn’t have to spend money. The public
library was one good place. The University had some good places too,
where I wasn’t hassled. I started to dress more like the older
students or teachers and even carried a brief case.
But now that I knew I could do it, I didn’t need to. I would go
on to something else.
So what to do now? I decided to try to get a cheap ticket to
Cancun, Mexico, then I would bus to Merida and get my teeth fixed and
spend the winter there. I like the Yucatan and the Caribbean shore.
There were no charter flights to Cancun until Jan 24. But there
was a charter in one day to Mazatlan, Mexico, for $169, round trip for
a one week stay. I had my travel agent call to book my ticket and she
found she could get me a seat for $99 round trip. I guess on the last
days before a charter departure they want to fill all the empty seats.
Hurrah! She did it. It was 2:00 p.m. on Monday. I was to leave on
Tuesday. I drove my van the 120 miles to the Cushing woods to my
neighbors. I hastily packed a small back pack for warm weather and my
neighbor drove me the 20 miles to town where I could catch a Greyhound
bus for Minneapolis. I arrived about 11:00 p.m. and caught a bus for
my friend’s apartment and slept there and got all my loose ends tied up
the next morning in time for my 3:00 o’clock departure on December 20,
1988, bound for Mazatlan, Mexico.
I figured I’d get my teeth fixed in Mazatlan or the city of La Paz
in Baja California, which a friend told me good stories about. I had
had extensive dental work done in Merida about 8 years ago and it then
only cost me about 10% of what it would have in the US. I had figured
I would stay all winter and forfeit my return ticket and maybe bus home
or luck out again on a cheap fare.
12-20-88 Mazatlan, Mexico 6:45 p.m.
So here I am in Mexico. I sure lucked out on the $99 ticket and here
I am sitting in a hotel. I had a good fish supper with a beer and
coffee for 9,000 pesos and a 1,900 tip. The peso is now 2,240 pesos
for one US dollar. So supper was $5.18 and the hotel about $8.00. I
choose hotels in which only Mexicans stay. They are much cheaper than
the tourist hotels. But the food was too expensive.
I should try to find a place when I get to La Paz that, I can cook
my own dinner and just have coffee and desert out.
It was 78o here this afternoon. It is a little cool this evening.
I’ll sleep with a blanket. I must get one from the clerk.
I feel a little lethargic. I missed my ferry boat this afternoon
for La Paz, but everything else slid-in together, like on a greased
slide, to get my ticket, get ready, run my van to Cushing, get back to
Mpls., sleep at my friend’s and finish all the odds and ends in time to
catch my plane. So I can’t complain about missing the ferry. I’ll
catch it tomorrow and won’t have to hurry.
I feel a little better now after writing. It is something to do.
I didn’t bring a book. I’ll try not to spend my time reading on this
trip. Instead I’ll observe, talk to people, think and write and loaf.
And go to bed early tonight. I’m tired. Flying is hard on one I
think, so I won’t expect too much of myself.
Traveling alone takes lots of extra energy too, I think because
one must be ever alert to make all the right decisions. But it
certainly is not as tiring as driving and worrying about traffic and
Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. I will find out what time the two ferries
arrive in La Paz (there was only one ferry a day this year) and decide
which one to take. I think I’ll take a cabin.
I’m really sleepy. It is really 8:39 for me. I don’t have to sleep in
my van tonight. I’m glad. I have a clean room with a toilet and
shower. What more could I ask for?
12-21-88 7:26 p.m.
I waited in line this morning for about 3 hours to get a ticket to La
Paz. I met a fella from Wisconsin and we talked during the wait. Then
I met a fella from Los Angeles and he said he waited yesterday and
didn’t get a ticket and the office closed at 1:00 p.m. So I gave up.
Bob from Wisc. gave me a ride in his Nisson car (he gets 30 or 40 miles
to the gallon, he said) to the tourist office and they gave me a travel
agent’s address. I went to see them and got a ticket for La Paz
without waiting in line for the next day. They charged a fee of about
80% so it cost me all together about $18 for Cabina Class (26,000 pesos
or $11.81) which is one bunk in a two person cabin equipped with toilet
and shower for the ferry to La Paz. It is an overnight trip. One can
go much cheaper if you want to go Salon Class and sleep in a lounge
chair all night and many did for 6,000 pesos or $2.72. Tourista Class
which I think was a cabin with several bunks is 12,000 pesos or $5.45.
I took the same hotel tonight, next to the
ferry dock. I think I’m feeling a little bit better about being here
in Mexico. I guess I can’t expect to feel at home here and settled in
until I get to La Paz and find the right place to live. I think I
should find a place that I can cook in. Restaurant are too costly,
even the poor people’s in the market place. I’ll try to get one with a
stove and refrigerator. Then I think I can feel more settled.
If I don’t like La Paz I think I can make it back here in time for
the return flight to Minneapolis. So I have some options. I have
plenty of other options too, if I want to list them. I don’t have to
do what seems logical, just do what feels best!
I think I need this winter time to spend doing nothing. Then I
may get some inspiration, i.e., solutions to the world problem. And I
can have my teeth extracted and false teeth made at my leisure.
I bought a straw hat, plastic shopping bag, Spanish-English
dictionary, two tee shirts, socks and shoe strings at the market today.
That was fun. Walked a lot and rode cabs too. They have little open
air jeeps made into fancy little cabs with roofs but no sides or doors.
They are quite cheap but the city buses are only 300 pesos or 13 cents.
Tomorrow I had better find out if they provide blankets on the
ferry and if they serve food. (They do.) I think I’ll exchange some
dollars for pesos too, although they seem just as happy to take
I think talking to myself here on paper helps me to feel better
about being here. Also if I remind myself that it would cost me over a
thousand dollars to get my teeth fixed at home it will help me to see
the added advantage in remaining in Mexico for the winter.
12-22-88 2:14 p.m.
One and 3/4 hours more before I’m supposed to board the ferry “Aztech”
for La Paz. Had a really long walk from the ferry boat hotel to the
north beach where they have the parachute rides. They tow it behind a
speeding motor boat on the end of a long rope. It was interesting to
see the people take-off and land. They look safe enough but I didn’t
have the urge to try it. Had a good breakfast for $1.50 in a tourist
hotel restaurant that had a big banner advertising it. Their coffee
was good. It was real brewed coffee. Most Mexican coffee is Nescafe,
ugh! The $1.50 was a leader to get people in. But their food was good
and so was the service and the waiters spoke pretty good English.
Later I had a hamburger and coffee there for 8,500 pesos ($3.86), very
high. Food in this restaurant costs too much. But then it was a
tourist restaurant. If I looked around I think I could find a local
cafe much cheaper.
When I get home in the spring, I think I should try to buy an old store
building I saw on my journey this fall. Then move into it and invite
my readers to join-in a sort of co-operative with one share each, one
share only, per person. One share, one vote. We could somehow share
in the ownership of the property and fix it up and start a “chicken
dinner only” restaurant to bring people in and to create income. We
would all live there and share the work and profits equally. Each
working at what they like doing. Attempt to underprice our competitors
and give better service, quanity and quality. Attempt to get someone
out there who has printing presses. Start a publishing business too.
Also, try to get a ham radio operator. Maybe buy a farm nearby and
raise our own food by the Japanese farmer’s method (in “One Straw
Revolution”). A lawyer to help with the tax free non-profit corp.
papers and a fool proof corporate charter that couldn’t be taken-over,
and yet one person couldn’t rule. We’ll need a plumber, bricklayer and
We’ll need a way to expel laggards and discontents. For people
who wish to leave, we could buy back their share at market price. Or
if we are short of money, we could pay them back in installments. So
that no one would be trapped. And no one should have to give their
money to the cooperative. But they could loan it, if they wished.
I’ll need to contact all my readers to see if they would be
interested in brainstorming this project.
(Time is passing. Only 52 minutes before I should go to the loading
ramp.) We will need an electrician too. It would be nice to have
people of all ages. We could use a mechanic.
We are at sea now and moving across the Gulf of California toward the
long peninsula of Baja California and the city of La Paz. This
peninsula is almost half as long as mainland Mexico. I am sitting in
the 1st class lounge drinking a rum and coke (3,500 pesos or $1.59,
really not bad for first class on a ferry boat), in the bow of the ship
and watching the swells ahead, red skies on the horizon. (Red skies
at night, a sailors delight. Red skies in the morning, sailors take
warning.) Looks like a full moon. Siting here not fighting the sails
and rudder, with no worries is very nice. I like this style of travel.
I think I will not sail around the world in a sail boat. Too much
work, I have no need to prove I can. I must remember that
transportation is just a means to get from point to point. I had
figured sailing was cheaper. But walking is cheaper yet. Sailing my
own boat costs plenty of money besides the total occupation of my mind.
I can fly, bus, train or steam ship cheaper in the long run. I must
never forget that a sail boat is like a “hole in the water, into which
one constantly pours money.”
My time and mind is too valuable to use (waste) on operating and
maintaining my method of transportation.
If I wish to travel more I will find a way to make the money. I
must not be too stingy with my living conditions. I will try to find
what feels like a comfortable place in La Paz so that I’ll be happy
with my stay.
If I can make happy arrangements for my stay, I may wish to return
here every winter. If I do the store front trip, I can still return
here each winter and would then have people to take care of things
while I’m gone. Might even be able to communicate by short wave and
computer. Might even bring a computer with me next winter.
My Mexican room mate seems like a nice chap. He speaks no English
so our communication is very limited, it was a bit awkward at first but
I managed to communicate a little. He looks like a professional person
of about 35. They didn’t give us keys so our stateroom is unlocked
when we are out, but they must have good security in first class. I am
not going to worry. I didn’t bring anything of value.
There were two Mexican fellows in their early thirties who wanted
to practice their English on me while they were drinking and waiting
for boarding. They went to the Solon Class so I got away from them by
staying in the first class area.
I think I brought along only “one” extra sock. I must have forgot
my telescope too. But that is just as well. I won’t have to worry
about someone stealing it.
We have good weather. The ship is so smooth, one hardly knows one
is at sea. This is a large ship. Cars, campers and semi-trucks are
loaded on one deck.
I have just finished my pack of “Delicados” cigarettes. They have
no filters and are a bit harsh. They were cheap, about a quarter. The
“Fiesta” brand has filters and are milder but they cost 1,000 pesos
The 1st class bar area is almost empty. And the dining area has only 6
tables with dinners. The area is about 1/5 occupied. Plenty of
privacy. I don’t think they could have sold all their 1st class
The Solon Class has a noisy bar and cafeteria. They were serving
chicken for 6,000 pesos ($2.72). They also had cake and coffee. I
decided I would try 1st class. I’m glad I did. It is quiet and
peaceful here. There is recorded music but it is not offensive.
I might like the exhilaration of sailing occasionally. I may be
able to sail once in a while with Rod or someone else.
I just moved into the dining area and paid off my waiter for my 3 rum &
cokes. Now to see what the prices are on food. This should be
I just read the menu. No surprise. I ordered the best. Mexican
beef, etc. for 12,000 pesos ($5.45). I can afford that! The dining
area is about 1/3 full now. I suppose later is when the Mexican people
eat their dinner. I bet it will fill up at 9:00. (It closed at 9:00)
The drinks are starting to take effect. I bet I will sleep well
We will arrive at around 8:00 a.m. tomorrow in La Paz. That
should give me plenty of time to find a hotel or whatever.
Well, it wasn’t bad. But, because I ate everything before my beef, the
beef was cold. But it was tender enough for my one molar up and one
molar down to handle. It tasted like fish. After I put salt and
pepper on, it didn’t. I bet they fried it after fish on the grill. I
don’t feel my drinks any more. I think I will stroll the deck a bit
and then go to bed. This writing makes me feel at ease. I wish I had
done more of it on my previous trips since 1969. I probably would have
enjoyed them much more and they would have lasted longer. As it was,
until only a few years ago, I was only able to stay away from
Minneapolis for 3 weeks or less. I stayed away, for two months once on
my boat in the Bahamas, and in ’85 I stayed in Tucson and Mexico for
three months. But this year may be different.
12-23-88 La Paz 5:02 p.m.
Arrived about 9:30 a.m.. Was a good trip over. Woke up often but felt
rested. Was a 1/2 hour bus ride from the ferry landing to La Paz.
Cost 800 pesos. Found the Tourist Office and got cheap hotel names.
Rented one for 14,000 pesoes. But they were supposed to have some for
only 7,800 pesos. They were almost full. I got a room with two double
beds so maybe that is more. Maybe tomorrow they will have a single.
It’s a clean room with toilet, sink & shower. Old.
Had good coffee con letche and pastry when I found the Market. I
bought socks and a tablet. Friendly people there. It is fun to shop
there. I feel much better now. In the “tourist row” scene, I made
Had a very long walk. Found where the sail boats are anchored. Many
many. Went wrong direction to find the church and central plaza.
Found a restaurant near the hostel. The market is only a block away.
Am quite tired tonight so I’ll turn in now. I think it is important
for me to remember to keep up my protein intake so that I don’t feel
depressed. I always feel better after a tasty meal.
12-24-88 4:56 p.m.
This vacationing is very hard work. I’m all tired out. I finally
found two book stores. They must have a high import duty on US books.
One store had a few but the $4.95 books were about $8.00. Too much and
I didn’t recognize any of the authors. I found Ruth’s friend and told
him to tell Ruth’s boy friend to call her. He told me of apartments
all furnished and with kitchen for $100 per month. He also said
extracting and false teeth would be between $500 and $1,000 US dollars.
I think I’ll just get a repair job in Minneapolis.
I went to a travel agent and bought a cabin ticket on the ferry to
Mazatlan for tomorrow. I had arrived at the ferry office here in La
Paz at 7:30 a.m. and there was already a very very long line. I waited
in the cabin line which was very short ’til 9:00 a.m. and they told me
it was sold out. That’s when I went to the agent. Perhaps it is this
Xmas holiday that is jamming things up.?
A young man from Australia went out to the ferry dock and got a
ticket quite soon, I learned later.
I counted 60 sail boats anchored here and there were at least
another 40 farther down behind the restaurant that I had baked oysters
I’m going to shop for a data base when I get home and get a good
one for my computer.
And maybe sign up for the YMCA swimming. And bring my birth
certificate to the social security office. And see if I can rent the
1st Ave. apt. Maybe I should apply for a senior citizen high rise
Stop in St. Cloud and see if there is any more tax forfeited land
for sale when I get home.
Instead of reading in my spare time, I should attempt to write a
very non-threatening paper on the PES. With no fear mongering. Just a
simple description of the Priceless Economic System. Not condemning
the present system–but perhaps pointing out how the present system
“rewards” the people who do the destructive acts to people and to the
It will be a book on Economics, pure and simple. A text book. It
will not attempt to sell the PES or even tell how to start it. I’ll
get a text book on economics from the library and try to copy its
format to some extent.
This is beginning to sound like a lot of work and is making me
tired already. Or maybe I’m getting hungry, it is 5:45 already. Those
oysters were really very small and not much protein. I think I’ll go
I feel much better now. My engine was low on fuel. I had about 3 oz.
of Tequila first, could feel it a little, then the soup came. A
delicious thick broth, then the fish fillet. I couldn’t finish the
third fillet. It was slightly greasy so I decided not to hog it down.
I ate at “Los Amego’s” that Ruth’s friend runs. He gave me a card
(Xmas I think) to give to her.
I sat by the sea for a while and strolled and whistled back to the
I always have great plans when I return from a vacation but when I
get home, I nearly always do something entirely different. I wonder if
it will be the same this time. In any event it gives me something
creative to do now — planning.
I wonder if any more women wrote?
I wonder if the publisher wrote?
I wonder if there are any requests for the LFP?
I wonder if 1st Avenue is rented?
I think I will continue trying to get my book published, while I’m
starting my economics text book. I’ll try to get a hold of a friend
who is a ham radio operator to see if he would like to live in a
community. I’ll also try to find those two letters from people who
wanted to do a cable TV interview with me.
It is just another evening to me, but I could see the last minute Xmas
shoppers hurrying to get their shopping done, i.e., spend the rest of
their savings. And the kids are probably excited as it is Xmas eve.
It surely is nice not to go through that any more. I don’t need to get
drunk either, no hang-over in the morning and a good nights sleep (I
hope) if it doesn’t get noisy here. It is quiet right now.
The oysters had lots of garlic. I can still taste it once in a
It has been nice and warm (shirt sleeve weather) and sun shinny
here all the time so far. Except at night. I have not touched my foot
into the ocean yet and probably won’t, even though I brought my trunks
I see I’ve written 20 pages so far. Now I’ll hit the sack.
12-25-88 7:31 p.m.
I’m on the ferry in a stateroom, so far, without a cabin mate. However
I’m on the wrong ferry boat. I did not discover I was given the wrong
ticket ’til it was too late. I’m bound for Topolobampo and Los Mochis.
I should get there about 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. Then I’ll have to take a
bus about 300 miles south to Mazatlan. “Should” get there in early
afternoon. If I can catch a bus early, I’ll still be able to catch my
charter flight back to Mpls., if all goes well.
I was over charged about $5.00 plus the extra agency fee for this
ride. It should all work out anyway. It tested my patience. I won
because I did not get angry and raise a scene, and I feel fine. If I
would have got angry, I would be all upset emotionally. I guess I’m
learning to be a good traveler.
It smells a little from the head (toilet) because the door has a
hole in it about 6″ in diameter. If I can get some tape, I can patch
it shut. That, I hope, won’t be hard to come by.
The carpeting is wet near the shower so maybe that was leaking
It doesn’t smell bad in the head and it’s ok now in the cabin, so
maybe someone just used their toilet somewhere up the line of the air
There is a window facing the bow in this cabin #9. I had #3
before and that was without a window. This cabin is farther forward I
think, so it may have a little more up and down motion. So what! I
We have left the dock and I didn’t get a roommate. Looks like I’ve got
it all to myself. And now I’m in the dinning room with a Tequila with
salt and lime and some water if I need it.
I do like this 1st class style. I suppose I may have to make some
more money so that I can go 1st class from now on. Why not? I deserve
it with the important work I’m doing.
Mazatlan 12-26-88 8:24 p.m.
I made it to Mazatlan in time. I had my return ticket to Mpls.
confirmed by the local tourist office because I don’t speak enough
Spanish to talk on the phone very well. So I should be set to return
tomorrow to Mpls. I took the “Hotel Economical” next to the bus
terminal. It is nicer than the last time I was here 3 years ago. Only
12,000 pesos, about $5.45
Took a long long walk that ended up by the beach. And walked home
after a leisurely eaten supper at the nice $1.50 breakfast restaurant.
I’m getting much better understanding the prices they quote me.
Quite tired tonight. I didn’t sleep so well last night on the ferry
even though it was a very smooth crossing, because of the three tequila
drinks I had last night while talking to the German tourist Maria. We
discussed the Priceless Economic System. She took my address and gave
me the address of a German paper that she thought would be interested.
I think I’ll hit the hay at 9:00 tonight. I think I’ll leave my
cigarettes in Mexico or at the air port and quit smoking cold-turkey.
I don’t smoke at home. It’s too expensive and I eventually can’t stand
the taste of the tabacco. Fortunately, for me I have never been hooked
on them or I suppose it would be very hard to quit.
12-27-88 Minneapolis 10:00 p.m.
Just arrived in Mpls. and went to the rest room and put on all the wool
that I had and my jacket. Went right out to catch a city bus and
remembered I needed exact change. I was spoiled in Mexico. They made
change on their buses. Lucked out with someone in the airport who
could change a five and managed to catch the city bus to Mpls. Got
down town by about 11:30 p.m. and I just missed my transfer bus which
must have been the last one for the night, because I waited ’til about
12:00 before I gave up and looked for a cab to take me to my friend’s
The cabbie grumbled because he would rather have a bar patron, he
said they pay more, I gave him my friend’s address but forgot to say
“south”. He started taking me north. We got about 5 blocks out of my
way and I thought he was new in town (which he was), then I remembered
I should have told him south. The meter already said $4.95. I told
him he should have asked me which, “N or S?” But he claimed he didn’t
know there was a south. So by the time I got to my friend’s it cost me
$14.50, but he was a good cabbie and gave me $2.00 back. I got my
friend out of bed and he put me up for the night.
Next morning I took the bus to Little Falls. My Cushing neighbor
met me and gave me a ride home. I got my van and my mail. No, the
publisher in WA. hadn’t answered yet and neither had any more women.
But there were several requests for LFP’s and a couple of plugs for LFP
in some publications that had arrived.
Drove back to Mpls. on the 28th. Parked in my old spot during the
night. During most days I found street parking without meters so that
I wasn’t using my friends parking space during his business hours.
I called my old landlord on 1st Avenue to see if they had any
vacancies. They had one. But it was their 6 room and bath apartment
for $500 heated. I took it with the intention of finding room mates to
cut the rent a little. First I’ll try my mailing list to see if any
LFP readers would like to share space. If not then I’ll check
elsewhere. It would be really nice to live with some people who were
interested in helping with the LFP work. I think we could accomplish
much more. But we shall see.
So I’m living here at 2714 1st Avenue S., in Mpls again. I lucked
out again and got my same phone number.
Now I’m in the process of sending 11 query letters to writer’s
Agents in NY to see if that will get my book published. Oh, yes! I
signed up for my Social Security pension. I’ll be 62 on Jan 30th, so
I’ll soon start getting some of the money back that I paid in for 22
years. I’m rather anxious to see how much it will be. A year ago they
told me it would be $305 per month. It won’t be too long before I’ll
need to make another decision — go back to work for money or live a
cheaper lifestyle. I can manage either way but I don’t have to decide
If you are still reading this, all I got to say is, you sure are a
persistent cuss, or you may just have figured the good stuff is got to
start pretty soon. I’m sorry if I dissapointed you, cause that’s all
there is this time folks.
1-10-89 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #68
I came home by way of the alley right after the first of January and
discovered my neighbor’s rubbish carts piled with boxes of things which
looked useable. So I stopped and explored. Around the first of each
month one finds the best diggings. Anyway, after about 15 a minute
exploratory, I made two or three trips home with the following: four
pairs of clean and almost new jeans, (too small for me) three shirts, a
nightie and a real naughty nightie that I was too shy to bring home to
my Free Box, a table lamp without a shade, an electric toaster-oven,
three stocking hats, 2 women’s halters, a maternity blouse, a closet
pole, some yard goods, a pretty pot holder and maybe a couple of other
things. There was at least a bushel basket full of stuff left that I
didn’t think would move in my Free Box. The clothes looked clean, but
on general principal I took them to the laundromat. I was able to set
up a FREE BOX (FB) almost as soon as I moved in here. (Authors note:
1991. Many dumpsters now have locks, but a friend of mine told me he
has found a way to cure this. He said after he uses his bolt cutter on
their locks or chains a few times, they give up.)
Two of my friends have already found things they wanted in my FB.
It is a good feeling to recycle to my friends. One of them came up with
a wool sweater for me last fall from their “extras.” But I have yet to
see an actual Free Box at anyone else’s home. They have a huge
wonderful FB outside the Corners of the Mouth, food collective in
Mendocino, CA. Most people don’t seem to realize how valuable or how
much fun a FB is.
I was sure that the toaster-oven would be shorted out and that I
might be able to fix it. But after some shaking out of crumbs, it
worked like new. The closet pole is already in use as a chinning bar. I
put it in a hallway on top of two door frames and hang from my hands
and lift my feet off the floor. This uses my own body weight to
straighten out my spine. I hear a vertebra or two snap back into place
and I feel soooo relaxed. Sitting at my computer for a few hours often
makes kinks in this old back of mine. This is a perfect therapy and
takes less than five minutes and the cost is right.
The lamp I use every night, as there is no overhead light in the
living room, where at present, I’ve set up my office.
I decided to be good to myself the other day and bought a couple
of large pizzas and put them in the freezer compartment. Once in a
while I slice off a piece and pop it into the toaster-oven and have a
treat. I seldom buy any processed food, so it is a mini trip to have a
pizza. They cost too much to suit me, for the very small amount of
protein they offer. But they taste good. So many people eat pizza that
I wonder if there isn’t something addictive in them. Would it be one of
the spices, the catsup or what?
Regan’s Last Attempt
How did you like Regan’s last attempt to get WWIII started, when
he had his (certainly not our) air force shoot down two Iranian (or was
it Libyan) planes? Say, but won’t the world bankers and industrialists
make money when they get that going? But, then again, maybe Bush will
get the Big Depression started first. After a few years of the “Big D”
the people may be hungry and jobless enough to “welcome” a big hot war.
That time may not be so far off either, judging from the prices I
encountered in the super markets today. Seems like prices just made
another jump up. Every once in a while I encounter a shock like that in
the stores where I shop. It makes me angry all over, and perhaps a
little fearful too. Will I still be able to make it on the fixed income
I’ve been on for the past 20 years? So far I have survived the
increases. But I sure am astounded when someone ahead of me in the
line, with not even a cartfull, pays $70 or often over a hundred just
for groceries. I usually pay up to $14 or so for mostly meat and a few
other stables. Almost no processed food. I can’t believe how cheaply I
I noticed a new “fear mongering” in the headlines the other day
about Iran secretly buying germ warfare stuff. But how could it be
secret if it is in the headlines. And who are they buying it from? I
suppose a third party who bought it from some big corporation, who got
it from our government’s germ warfare department, who got it from our
universities, free of charge.
This “leak”, I imagine is supposed to make the public fearful of
Iran, so that Bush can harass them some more to make another Vietnam
type war seem justifiable or even get a Biggie going. I tell you —
these politicians are costing us a good deal more than the wages they
take. By the by, how do you feel about the raise in pay that they just
These destructive actions of politicians stimulate my motivation
to work even harder to get the Priceless Economic System so well known
that people will all begin to use it, if only in small ways at first in
their own immediate lives. Just to make copies of this chapter and
sharing them with others and starting ones own Free Box are starters.
Even those two little things are too scary for most people. Some people
think that their friends will laugh at them. Well, idiots do laugh a
lot at almost everything. But after they understand and see the value
in these acts, they may stop laughing and do the same.
Free Skills Pool
A very big step in the Priceless Economic System (PES) direction
will take energy, determination and stick-to-itiveness. That would be
to start a Free Skills Pool (FSP) among our friends or neighbors. With
a sharing of this sort, we will begin saving lots of money so that we
won’t be as dependent on money and credit as most are.
Surplus money is Independence. But it takes common sense to put a
little money aside each pay day to gain that independence. My old dad
used to say, “Any damned fool can make money, but it takes a mighty
smart person to save some.” I think he was right. He never made very
much money but he always had some extra money on hand. He knew that,
“It takes money to make money.” And because of that he was able to buy
an old duplex house once in a while at a bargain price. A big real
estate speculator friend of mine used to say, “You got’ta make your
profit when you buy your property.” He would only buy if he could get a
steal. He became rich because he also knew how to save.
What I’m attempting to say is, if we wish to beat the “system,”
the FB and the FSP would give us that little edge we need (unless we
are rich already). I was not able to have the time to sit down and
figure out the solution to the World problems until I created some
independence for myself. When I was busy with an almost “hand to mouth”
existence, I had not the time nor the energy to figure out how to make
my life better. Have you?
It is one step at a time. First — somehow, create some quiet
thinking space for yourself. Put your old “thinker” that sits upon your
neck, to work. Stop allowing the media (including the TV and
newspapers) to consume your time and lead your thoughts!!! It will not
teach you how to become FREE! It merely entraps you deeper, entertains
you and lulls you into believing you are not a slave, so why should you
even try to become FREE? But face it, “When you take pay, you must
obey!” Now if that ain’t slavery, what in Hell is? You say you have the
freedom to choose your own master? Is that Freedom? But you don’t even
have that. You can only take a job where they will hire you. Sometimes
a person has to, almost beg, to get even the shittiest of a job, and on
top of that, accept low wages. That even looks worse than slavery to
me. At least an old time slave worked against his/her will and would
escape if they saw the chance. But today people almost beg to get a
credit card, mortgage or loan. That used to be called indentured
A few of us have found ways to escape and are Free or nearly so.
We try to show the escape route. But to what good, when the slaves say,
“But we are not slaves. Why should we run away?” So we continue
learning our own Freedom and sharing our learning with as many as are
interested and with each other, to help us realize that we are not the
If we can get these ideas into the hands of a few more “thinking”
people we may soon reach the “critical mass” stage of the PES
Evolution. When we have that certain number (and I don’t know what that
number is) of “thinkers” working on promoting the PES — it may, all of
a sudden, explode into every ones attention (I hope). The masses will
then say — “Sure, I want it and I will work for free to have it, but I
didn’t think anyone else would. I thought they would laugh at me and
make fun of me if I talked about it.”
I just attempted to get some information from my long distance
carrier. They told me they couldn’t help me because they got a bad
credit report from U.S. West. I have paid all my phone bills and ahead
of time. So reluctantly I called U.S. West and they couldn’t talk to me
because their computer was down and estimated down until 3:00 p.m. and
it was 9:30 a.m. when I called. My what wondrous ways. Instantaneous
Electronics! AND MONOPOLIES!!! This was a wonderful reminder of the
world we are moving into . . . monopolies and government. Two
monopolies. We are at their mercy and must kiss their ass to keep our
phone. We must eat their shit or be without what they have to offer.
Sometimes I think they rub our noses in it too, just to show their
I am really getting sick of it ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I went without a phone for about 10 years and loved it. I am going to
do it again very soon (unless this anger wears off). Same with the oil
industry (Cartel). I went without a car for about the same length of
time and liked it. I saved a lot of money and had more time to L I V E.
I built rafts and rode the Mississippi. I converted a row boat into a
sailboat and rode the Miss. I drifted on the Miss. in a row boat for 6
days and camped at night on shore. I walked railroad tracks in
Minneapolis. I dug into rubbish dumpsters. I went to garage sales. I
sat around and talked to interesting people. I ground field corn and
oat groats in my Corona hand grinder and made my own gruel. I painted
signs directly on the cloth of the back of my suit coat and walked in
downtown Minneapolis and handed out my thoughts in my Little Free Press
newsletter. I lived in an unfinished basement, rent free, for a while.
I lived in the woods for a while. I was experiencing life and learning.
I started doing all of those wild things when I dropped out of the Rat
Race in 1969 when I was 42. When I was in business I had to conform in
order to survive. When I quit taking pay, I started getting my Freedom.
WORK WORK WORK, KISS ASS AND EAT SHIT!!! That is about all we have
left to do now-a-days. Practicing Humility! The church is connected to
the State. The state is connected to the Industrialist and the
industrialist is connected to the world Banker. The world banker is
GOD! And we are sheep as long as we use their tools of enslavement.
“MONEY and OWNERSHIP.” When we use these tools and obey their rules, we
are hopelessly trapped in slavery to whoever controls money.
SO THE LESS I USE MONEY AND OWNERSHIP — THE FREER I BECOME!
Usership (see my I WAS ROBOT book) seems like a more sensible
method. Ownership presents more problems than we realize. When we own
something and rent out rights to someone or when we sell it to someone,
we gain only a drop in the bucket. We are allowed a few drops in the
bucket. We get a few squirts of milk, sometimes enough to fill a
thimble. We get three thimblefuls and we think we are rich. This makes
us think that the Ownership idea is OK and we should uphold it, but
THEY take a whole blooming bucketful except for the few squirts they
allowed us to have!
Now just take a look where this Ownership/Money idea has gotten
us. THEY have created monopolies, trusts and cartels with which to rub
our noses in the shit. It’s our very own shit too because we play their
Game. Why do we play their game? Because we haven’t figured out a
better game to play. They keep us too busy to figure out a better game
with all of the spectator diversions (including drugs) they SELL us. So
we keep ourselves too busy to use our wonderful minds to figure out a
Well, “change” starts with the individual unit (me). Either I
figure out a better game for me to play or I remain enslaved to their
Game and remain their slave for life.
No Free Lunch
There is no “free lunch.” People have no “Rights!” We have only
the rights that we TAKE! Or the rights that someone “gives” us. People
only give us rights if they will profit in some way from it. It is true
that some people are benevolent, but they are the ones with foresight.
They are able to look down the road a ways and see what the “Golden
Rule” is all about. They can see fertile soil and know where to plant
their seeds. They know which crop to plant. These people are few and
Most of the Big Shots plant seeds which bring them short term
Profits and they feel rich, they don’t look ahead and wonder what will
be left for their children and their children’s children. There will
eventually be no more short term or long term profit if they continue
to destroy people and the environment. Their money will not buy their
children a habitable planet. It is not likely that they have the
intelligence to see this long term view. It has been said that they
have inbred for so long that there is little common sense left in their
strain, so if we wish to survive we must construct our own Survival
Game, so that we will no longer be forced to play their Profit/Wage
Squirt of Milk
If you think that you are a winner because you are making $50,000
per year, think about this. You have $961. per week to spend and
Disney’s, Michael Eisner, who made 40 million dollars in 1989, had
$769,230. per week to spend. And how many people do you know who are
making even fifty thousand? In 1980, 98.6% of the U.S. population made
less1. How many do you know who are making ten thousand? That is $192.
per week. Some difference eh? Like I said, we just get a few squirts
and they take the rest of the bucketful. And the only thing that holds
us in this Profit/Wage Game is a lack of knowledge that there is a
better Game to play. This book presents a better Game.
I have got tips from many people in the books I have read about
this SLAVERY. I then observed and saw that what they said was true. Now
I keep trying to free myself even more from these bonds that are
holding me from a more total freedom. I have taken a whole lot more
Freedom than I had 20 years ago when I was still in the Rat Race. But I
have a way to go yet.
I have now enslaved myself in telling others about how to become
Free, instead of progressing with my own freedom. Oh, when will I ever
learn? When will I ever learn? It seems like it takes a nose rubbing
once in a while to get me mad enough to make more radical changes in my
They try to lull us into complacency with the music they
constantly pour out on the air waves, records and tapes. They hold our
attention with hypnotic movements on TV. They hold our attention by
preying upon our curiosity. We wonder who will win. We wonder who the
murderer is. We keep watching or reading until we find out. All of this
time we could have been living our own lives, instead of living
vicariously, watching or reading about someone else. Let’s face it, we
have been very gullable. I am changing that in my life and spending
more time adventuring forth, and believe me, it is worth the effort.
Some day we are each going to terminate. Are you going to spend your
precious “NOW” watching some ones fantasy stories, sports or games
which probably have very little to do with truth and reality.
I have just decided to have my phone disconnected as soon as I end
my obligation to my room mates. I want to also dump my responsibilities
for my van and my computer. I enjoy them both. They make my present
work easier. But they are anchors which impede my progress in
individual freedom. It is a dilemma which I have not yet solved. But I
know that I will solve it when the time comes.
I started a rooming house in this 6 room apartment that I rented
on January 1, 1989. Three honest and intelligent people were attracted.
We got along fine. They paid part of the rent and I soon could have
found enough roomers to get our individual rents down to about $85. per
This room mate idea is a fine way to save on rent money. Except
for one thing! I am spoiled! I am too much of a perfectionist, I think.
I have gotten used to a clean empty sink, a clean stove, a cleared up
counter, closed cupboard doors, faucets turned off and the lights
turned off when not in use.
The only way I can have that here, is to be a nag or do it myself.
I don’t care for either option, so I gave my room mates and my landlord
notice. I found him a new tenant and we will move out on or before
Where will I move to? That is a big question for someone with
Freedom. I could live in my van again. I could get a high rise
apartment for senior citizens now that I’m 62 and am getting my $321
S.S. Retirement Pension. My rent would be about 30% of that, I guess.
But I don’t like even paying a hundred dollars for rent. Rent or
mortgage payments are the biggest nut we have to crack. To reduce that
or get it down to $0. is a big step in the direction of FREEDOM! I can
do quite a bit of printing and postage for that rent money.
I might move back to the Cushing woods and live rent free there,
A small publisher wrote to me from Boston wishing to read my, I
WAS ROBOT, manuscript a month ago. Haven’t heard from him since I sent
it. If he’s interested, I might throw everything into my Van and go
there. But it is very likely no one will wish to publish my book. I
have decided not to self-publish because I fear it may be just a vanity
trip for me.
The idea which appeals most to me at this moment in time, is to
take everything I own (about a 1/2 load in my little ’79 Dodge 1/2 ton
Van) and drive to Miami. I have a chance to boat-sit on a friend’s sail
boat and sell it for him, I could use that time to try to find and buy
a suitable sail boat for myself to live aboard and sail up the Eastern
Seaboard and on to Duluth this summer. I may try to find an old lady to
sail with me.
I may be asking for too much in asking an old lady to take such a
long cruise and probably won’t find one. I don’t need a mate, but I
think life might be more enjoyable with one again. But whatever . . .
because I happen to know that I’m a good person and I enjoy my own
company, so either way I’ll make myself an enjoyable trip.
I think I have written all that I can about the Priceless Economic
System (PES) and will attempt to write more in the line of my
adventures and what I learn about gaining more individual freedom.
I hope that in my future adventures I’ll meet some fellow
adventurers who are intelligent enough to understand the tremendous
potential of the PES and will have some ideas of their own on how to
get it really rolling. What the PES sorely needs is a mover, shaker and
I intend to enjoy my life a lot more from now on. I’m going to
focus more thought on creating my own fun! Always bearing in mind that
the less money I spend, the longer, what Little I have will last, so
that maybe I won’t have to get back into the old rat race. I have
managed to stay out of it for the last 20 years. I may be able to
stretch it out for a few more years.
But then again, “There is many a slip betwixt the cup and the
lip.” As people who know me will point out, I may think of some place
entirely different to go that will suit me much better.
4/6/89 Ernest Mann
1 World Almanac, 1983.
Little Free Press #69
CREATING MY OWN UTOPIA
I have lots of FREEDOM and am learning how to Take more!
Government didn’t give me Freedom and doesn’t preserve my present
Freedom. Governments only take away Freedom with each additional law
Governments govern. They do not hand out individual FREEDOM!
Group activities require conformity. Can they give us individual
Is FREEDOM something that each individual person must Take for
In order to Take my own FREEDOM I ignore the political systems
(government and other spectator entertainments) altogether (Oh, I obey
them when they are watching, to keep out of jail.) and spend my time
(life) learning how to take care of myself and how to be happy. In
this manor I discover the shape and form of our present slavery and
thereby can better see the path around it, which leads to independence
I couldn’t become FREE until I first discovered that I was a
Slave. “When I take pay, I must obey!”
Every since I was born, there were people who were giving me
1. parents, relatives
2. some playmates
3. police, teachers
5. bosses, preachers
6. a mate
7. and many others
As I discovered these “would-be” slave masters (dictators,
tyrants), I began to question the authority I had believed they had. I
asked myself if what they told me was for my best good or if it was
just an ego or power trip or profit trip for them.
I no longer trust anyone to make decisions for me, least of all
the government. The government does everything the wrong way, i.e.,
the most expensive and least efficient. There is no way I can trust
In the past 20 years that I have been evolving into my freer
lifestyle, there really has been no one trying to stop me (except my
parents have tried). I have progressed at my own speed.
Radicals did not create my freedom for me. They tried to ensnare
me into doing things “their” way. They wanted me to space out on drugs
and yell their slogans at demonstrations and pass out their literature
and donate money to their cause. They never took any of my advice.
They “knew” that only they were right. When anyone tells me what to
do, I don’t call that Freedom!
TRAILER IN WOODS
I recently purchased an old 22 ft. house trailer for $400 and had
it moved into some friend’s woods near Cushing. I did them a favor
many years ago and now they tell me I can live here free of charge.
Never forget that, “What goes around, comes around.”, i.e., doing a
favor for someone, often later turns out to be like putting money in
It took me about a month and a half and several trips back and
forth between Cushing and Minneapolis, before I finally got myself
convinced to drive my van to Miami and buy a sailboat and become a
Gypsy of the sea. Before I left I put a larger radiator in my van so
that this time my engine would run cool. I didn’t have to run with my
heater turned on like last fall.
When I got to Miami, and the part that used to be called Coconut
Grove, I was disappointed to see all the redevelopment. It looked like
the mall was being tripled in size and the empty spaces had
disappeared. The park was empty and the public toilets were removed.
They are making it harder for a poor sailor to enjoy that port.
I was finally faced with a fact that I think I have been
suppressing. The Dockmaster’s office had a high wind warning pennant
up because there was already a pretty stiff wind blowing. I sat there
in my van in a parking lot with a view of the harbor for a couple of
hours while I fried a steak and took a nap. It finally occurred to me
that I would definitely not like to be sitting out at anchor in a boat
at that moment.
I figured if I buy a boat to live on and sell my van, I would have
to ride out all the big winds as well as the calms. I began to realize
how much nicer it is in my little trailer in the woods, so I started
the van and headed back to Cushing. That trip took me exactly one week
and 30 minutes and a lot of damn hard work driving.
Because I worked hard, saved my money and invested it when I was
young, instead of spending it in bars, drugs and fancy things, I am now
able to act on some of my whims and spend my money as I please. Of
course, because I retired in 1969, I have now spent most of it, but now
I’m 62 and am getting my Social Security pension and have free rent, so
things ain’t so bad.
I don’t think any of the freedom organizations are worth a damn. I
think they serve the function of keeping us too busy to aspire for, or
even think about our own Freedom. I think Freedom is a very individual
thing that I must learn more about and take for myself.
One of the biggest moves I made toward getting my Freedom, I
think, was when I started using as little money, credit or barter as
possible. The more self sufficient I become the less money I need.
When I worked on commissions, I had to please my clients or I didn’t
make any money. That really isn’t any different than “When you take
pay, you must obey.” Either way you do it, it’s Slavery! The more
free time I create for myself, the less a Slave I am.
The more things I buy, the more industry pollutes to reproduce it.
The less I buy, the less need I will have to work for pay and the
longer my little savings will last.
The controllers of big industry will not be able to continue their
POWER, if we stop buying their products and stop working for them.
They will go broke! Ha.
“Individuals” enjoying life more, with additional free time, may
act as EXAMPLES of the new world of the happiness people that non-
The just plain giving “free of charge” of our surplus things and
products and services to like minded people will begin to turn the
wheel of fortune of “What goes around, comes around.”
As we gain more free time we become acutely aware of a new
question, “What should I do with all of this free time?” It didn’t
take me long to decide not to spend my free time watching the idiot
box, sports and staying high. I no longer enjoy watching someone else
having fun. I would rather do it myself.
I haven’t gone fishing for 20 years so yesterday I bought a
license and a little fishing gear. I always used to enjoy fishing. I
shall soon see if I still do. I know I still enjoy frying and eating
fish. I’ll save on my meat bill too, if I’m successful.
20 years ago I began to lower my income and finally got it down to
the point where I didn’t have to pay income taxes. Now I’m not
supporting government’s wars and other foolishness. But they still get
me with hidden taxes and sales taxes whenever I buy something. But I
don’t buy much any more. I don’t sell them my labor either. I give it
away, but not to them. Ha, ha. And it’s lots more fun! Now I can do
as I damn well please!
What do I really wish to do with my life now? Do I really wish to
go and help out one of my kids? They are all over 35 years old and
capable of taking care of themselves.
What could I do now that would pleasure this old man? I could buy
a laptop computer and travel. Where to? To Europe. What would I do
there? Walk and camp around the continent and the B. Isles. Observe,
write and send out the LFP from there. Attempt to learn how to be
happier than I am now. I don’t feel happy or sad or depressed. I just
sort of feel normal. Not good or not bad. Life is good but it must be
better than this? I’ll explore and find out!
But why bother to go to Europe and experience all the hassles that
entails and all the expenses? Why? Is happiness there and not here?
I think that I can only find happiness in the here and now! Not out
there some where and not tomorrow. Happiness can only be now and here!
How can I have fun right now? I could dig worms and go fishin.
7:00 p.m. GONE FISHIN! (three miles away)
8:42 p.m. BACK
Caught three 4″ Blue Gills and threw ’em back.
Well that wasn’t fun but it was an interesting discovery of where
not to fish.
What is fun? I chopped down a lot of brush this morning along my
driveway. Was that fun? It was very strenuous work. But it was
satisfying to see the job get done and it was good to know that I was
rebuilding some of my muscles and burning up a little excess fat.
No, I can’t say it was fun. Nor can I say that fishing last night
was fun. Perhaps if I had caught some big fish, it may have seemed
What is fun for me?
1. I think I had fun when I was learning the computer, when I was
succeeding and agony when not. But was that fun or was it
satisfaction with myself?
2. Was it fun traveling to Miami? Not really. It was work.
3. Is sex fun? Yes! (If I remember right.)
4. Is eating fun? Yes, if I remain in the now and taste my food.
5. Lying down into a bath tub of warm water is fun.
6. Is a thrill what I call fun?
7. When I get a strike while fishing, it is fun.
8. To sit here and think and write is fun.
9. Solving a problem or fixing something is fun.
10 An invigorating thing like sailing in a stiff breeze is fun.
11 Pouring a drink is fun.
12 Helping is fun.
13 Teaching is fun.
14 Giving is fun.
15 Finding something is fun.
16 Exploring is fun.
17. So what should I do now? Have fun! How? Take an outdoor shower.
I did. It was fun. What else? Read Science Fiction. I did. It
Should I go to California? I am comfortable here. I could put in
electricity and use my computer and buy a short wave set and a copy
machine and publish my book. Can do more fishing. Can look around for
a local woman. I could travel and have fun. I could stop thinking
about writing — leave writing to the experts. Take more time to
observe and think. Try to figure out what makes me happy and do that.
How would I travel? And where? Traveling with the van has not
been fun. Why not? Because I don’t stop often enough to rest and
explore. It has saved money for rent but it cost plenty for gas and
keeps me too busy driving to just hang out and let my mind wander.
I must learn to recognize what a wonderful time I am in, when I am
making a big change in my life!!!
I must learn to enjoy each “pivot point” in my life!
One problem with a sea Gypsy life may be in finding a free place
to anchor or tie up. A boat is an expense, but so is a van. They both
offer a place to sleep, keep ones junk and a place to cook. Walking
(with stuff on back) and sleeping in parks may be cheaper, but much
more scary. Not very exhilarating, like sailing.
Why am I dissatisfied with where I am? This is often my problem.
My Cushing woods Utopia is a lovely peaceful place to think and write.
I can drive into any town or city whenever I wish to see people or buy
things. I can store my extra things here. I can get and receive mail.
What has worked in the past when I couldn’t solve a problem was to
think and write all I’m able and then do something else (that is fun)
for a while, then come back to the question again later. I’ll do that!
What should a Free man be doing? Anything that he wants to do that he
can afford. What would make me happy today, now? (To solve this
problem. Ha ha.) Getting some exercise by hauling all the old lumber
away from the trailer. Replacing my van roof window. Getting all my
little jobs caught up. Figuring out how to end this LFP #69.
HOW I AM BECOMING A FREE PERSON
1. Stopped believing anyone had a right to order me around.
2. Extracted myself from the mob and began making my own decisions
and stopped conforming.
3. Stopped absorbing the mass media. Then my fears began to fade
away and courage and self reliance began to grow.
4. Destroyed all of my credit cards!
5. Cut my expenses down as low as was comfortable.
6. Built up a reserve supply of money to enable #7.
7. Stopped working for money as soon as was possible.
8. Then I traveled and read a lot and learned more about myself and
9. I wrote in a journal what I learned and thought and reviewed it
occasionally and even published it as the LFP.
10. I continue to learn and experiment with my freedom.
11. I have found a work that I think needs to be done and I do this
work for free. I give my product (my newsletter) to anyone free
12. I use my savings to pay for the printing and to supply my meager
13. Should everyone else seek their own freedom we would soon have a
happy sane world and things would be free for me too.
AROUND THE WORLD
I have this fantasy of myself making a trip around the world with
a typewriter or computer and staying in hotels or apartments doing some
cooking and lots of hanging out and observing and writing and
publishing my LFP from where I am or getting someone back home to do
it. Even trying to write for pay for some publications to help finance
This might not cost as much as my sea Gypsy fantasy in both work
and money. There would be no initial boat cost or continuous
maintenance expenses. If I stayed at least a month in each place I
could get a small apartment instead of a hotel which would be cheaper
and I could cook. Staying for a while in each place would also give me
much time to wander and explore a city and get acquainted with some of
its people. And just sit, watch and cogitate.
I must also consider the idea that I should not base all of my
decisions on money because I do have a little left that I am willing to
I should also remember how much fun it was to sail on my 22′
Adventurer in the Bahamas, even in high winds. And the fun of
exploring new waters. The fun of repairing her and devising better
tackle. The fun of buying a new anchor and line. The fun of getting a
bargain at a boat flea market.
It must be the Viking blood in me that draws me to the sea. I
like being on, in or near the sea.
I have not found a publisher for my book, “I Was Robot”. It is an
anthology of the best of LFP from the last 20 years. I have tried to
edit out the duplications and add some continuity. My present plan is
to let anyone publish it who will do it with “No Copyright”, i.e.,
“Reprinting Permissible”. I will ask no pay or royalties from it. And
ask that no changes be made without my approval. I will even furnish
the typesetting which is finished. It is also on floppy disks in both
manuscript and typset formats, done on an IBM clone with Microsoft
Word. It is presently set in 12 pt PS san serif type to be reduced to
78% which will make it about 9 or 10 pt. It is set with a 24 pin Epson
LQ 850 printer. I had planned to print 4 up on 8.5″ x 14″ paper, making
a trim size book of about 7″ X 4″ with 320 pages.
If you are interested in publishing this book, drop me a line.
It seems that in my 20 years efforts to convince people to help
save our world (our species), I have failed.
Now I try a different tack. I am now living my own life to find
my most happiness. I shall attempt to not attempt to teach anyone
anything. I may continue to publish this journal (the LFP) of my
adventures and thoughts “if” I get feedback from people saying they
would like it to continue. Subscribers who don’t respond will get
their money back and will be removed from the mailing list.
I think that in the coming years, many who are dependent on
government and on corporations will be destroyed by the wars and famine
that these entities are even now creating.
Surely some of us, who have learned to be independent and take
care of ourselves, may well survive the destruction to our environment
and the wars that the corporations and governments are responsible for.
By not working or fighting for them and buying little from them I
personally help to stop them. Ben Franklin said, “Moderation in all
things.” I like that, but I like even better, “Simplicity”. I strive
to attain simplicity in my life. It is much cheaper and leaves me more
I am going to try again to get myself to buy a simple little sail
boat to live on. I plan to leave again soon for Miami. I’ll try
again. Maybe this time I’ll succeed. I once had a Norwegian uncle who
said, “If at first you don’t succeed, suck eggs.” Ha ha.
I am a being with lots of energy and ideas. I have created an
Utopia here in the Cushing woods for myself. But the reason why I feel
so restless, I think, is that I may need to have more than one Utopia
going for me at the same time. My mind gets bored easily if I am not
busy, i.e., occupied with a project. That project can even be just
sitting around and people watching which may seem like loafing or doing
nothing to others. During times like that I daydream and often some
very profound ideas pop into my head. I am more aware of hunches then
So maybe what I’m trying to con myself into is the idea that I can
alternate between the Cushing woods Utopia and the sea Gypsy utopia and
what ever. If I can figure out a way to alternate from one of my
Utopias to the other when I get bored, it may make life a lot more fun.
I have just now discovered a new meaning for Utopia. I always
thought of it as a whole society of people living the “perfect life”
together. Now I have created for myself a little personal Utopia in
this woods near Cushing, Minnesota. But now it is getting boring for
me. I know that there are several things I could do here to get myself
busy so that I wouldn’t feel bored. But it feels like it would be much
more to my liking to create another little Utopia for myself and maybe
even more. I wonder if this isn’t what the rich people do — move from
one of their estates in one country to another estate in another
country when they get bored? Now I can see how us poor people can do
something similar once we understand the game and get ahead of it a
Of course those people who watch, read and listen to the mass
media will be too fearful to leave their jobs which promise seniority
and pensions, even though many are being screwed royally by
corporations which merge, move or otherwise dishonor employees’ rights.
As more individuals stop being mind conditioned by the mass media
and venture forth to create their own individual Utopias, it seems
logical that whenever two or more of them find each other, there will
be an exercise of the old “Golden Rule” and the phenomena of “What goes
around, comes around.”, which will then begin to create a world Utopia.
I doubt very much that an Utopia can be created on the entire Earth all
at once. It has been tried by leaders since the beginning of written
So to create world wide Utopia by starting with individual Utopias
may be a method yet untried. If those of us who create our own Utopias
do not ignite world change to a world Utopia, it does not matter
because we are no longer part of the problem, but are the solution, in
example form, and we have found happiness. What more can a person ask
for from life?
What a strange thing life is. I have to give myself permission to go
out and have fun?
My next question is will I really go back to Miami and will I buy
a boat this time?
6/23/89 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #70
Judging from the lives of people that I know and the increasing
number of match-making publications and dating clubs, I see that an
increasing number of people are having very hard times with their love
Forty years ago we had very few divorces. Most people accepted
one marriage as “the way of life” and they made their marriages work
and most were happy with the arrangement.
Why have people all of a sudden started mate swapping? There is a
reason for change. What is the reason for this one?
At present there are many who Profit from divorce. Not just the
lawyers. The landlords can then rent an apartment to each ex-partner.
The contractors can build more apartments and condos. The bankers can
lend more money. The appliance manufacturers and dealers can then sell
two sets of appliances. Same with furniture and other household goods.
Day care centers are springing up all over, so they Profit too.
Divorce produces unhappy people. Doctors, shrinks and counselors
make more Profit. The entertainment industry, alcohol and drug
producers and distributors make more Profit when unhappy single people
are seeking new mates and fulfillment.
Do you suppose that some of these Big Time Profiteers got their
heads together fifty years or so ago and hired sneaky behavioral
modification experts to find ways to instill unrest and dissatisfaction
in stable marriages? And to encourage lust outside of marriage? Did
they paint a rosy picture of how green the pasture was on the other
side of the fence?
Monkey see — monkey do? Is that why they used to give rich men’s
numerous divorces plenty of publicity? Did they also give the rich
playboys plenty of coverage? So did the middle class then try to
emulate the rich in this fashion too? Finally, they added AFDC to the
welfare program to encourage poor people to get in on the divorce
scene. This created greater profits and unrest because there are many
more poor than rich.
Did the novels, movies and the news portray lots of men with
mistresses and other extra marital love affairs? Even the reports
about the divorce courts added spice to the mystique to help create the
role models of people with loose sexual morals who were soon recognized
as OK and normal. Did people then start thinking, “If they can do it –
– so can I!”?
So here we are with a record number of single parent families. Do
the children suffer from the instability and constant flow of new step
dads and moms? Are they also more unhappy and must therefor have
larger sums of money spent on their toys, games and doctors?
I had an almost perfect marriage for 25 year until I bit on their
enticements, then I allowed those sons of bitches to manipulate me. I
kept myself too distracted; earning, spending and being entertained, to
see through their Game. Had I known, I would have stayed with my
marriage and stopped taking in their damn propaganda.
I wonder if we can separate our “real” feelings from our
“programmed for Profit” feelings?
Now I ask you — would people be happier if they switched over to
the Priceless Economic System? For example:
1. There would be no more money worries for couples to fight about.
2. Parents could then find jobs that they could each find
satisfaction and joy in and with less working hours, so that they
could each then work different shifts or different days so that
one could always be with the children.
3. There would no longer be a Profit in:
d. drugs, tobacco and alcohol
e. unhealthy working conditions
f. slum housing
g. inferior products
h. causing stress
i. causing fear
j. auto accidents
k. product obsolescence and deterioration
l. specialized odd sized parts
m. withholding energy saving devices
n. industries’ production for governments
o. wars and revolutions
q. destroying ecology with over-logging
s. causing scarcities and starvation
t. advertising (encouraging people to consume)
u. subliminal mind conditioning
v. withholding higher education from the poor
w. speculation in large land holdings
x. stock and commodity markets
z. stimulating our sex urge and encouraging larger families
Can you now see how the Profit Game is the root or prime cause of
most of our problems? Don’t give me that old cliche’ about “human
nature” and “greed” being the basic cause! Scarcity creates Greed! It
is part of survival. But with abundance one has no reason to grab and
hoard. Who hoards sand — who lives on the desert? Who hoards salt
water — who sails the seven seas? Do you know anyone who hoards ice
— who lives in Minnesota?
Bucky Fuller proved with his “World Game” that the Earth has an
abundance of resources for an even larger population than we have. So
those who control the “so called” scarce resources deliberately under
produce to keep the prices jacked-up.
In the present world-wide Pay Game there is Profit in causing
trouble. There is more Profit in:
1. sickness than in health
2. accidents than in safety
3. divorce than in happy marriages
4. schools than home or self-schooling
5. prisons than in rehabilitation
6. war than in peace
7. crime than honesty
8. dependency than in self-sufficiency
9. government than in self-governing
10. school busing than in walking
11. confusion than in clarity
12. more babies than in less
13. clothing than in nudity
Is it easier to maintain the “status quo” by pitting race against
race and female against male than by letting them cooperate??? Can you
see how the Priceless Economic System will make happy marriages easier
BUT, is the “prime” reason for causing love problems — to keep us
too busy and too depressed to think up and set up our own Utopia?
If you can relate to these ideas — what will you do or what are
you doing to help get the Priceless Economic System started?
If you will respond to this question, I’ll attempt to publish your
answers and comments in the next issue of LFP.
Look at what I Just found in my correspondence file. Can you see
how sloppy a one person office gets. I didn’t even answer this
wonderful letter until today.
I’ve just finished reading LFP # 62, 63, 64. Thanks for sending
In #62 you made me realize something: that things like the waste
burner are just “Strawmen” so the people won’t face the real problem.
And then I wonder, maybe all these damn “causes” are just strawmen!?
Even the big ones. Thinking about it I feel sure that the AIDS crisis
is one such, as are also the Demo/Repub campains and illegal drugs.
Campaigns, probably everything is a con by the elite.
So…I agree with your point of view; enough that I quit my
$40,000 job and am searching for alternatives. What is the real
problem? Abbe Hoffman says its the money — the stock market. Yeah,
right, but what can you do to undermine money? You can drop out, as
we’ve done and publish that idea and…what?
I can’t think, offhand, of anything else we can do with the money
angle. So, what’s behind that? This “game” you write about; this
competitiveness; the whole structure of status. And, to my mind,
there’s one good way of undermining that: refuse to be “professional”
and cough, scoff & jeer at “professionalism” in every way. Refuse to
accept the notion that you can’t do anything unless you’ve been
“trained” or “educated”. That’s all status bullshit. Isn’t every man
and woman a star? Aren’t we all born equal?
And that’s what we’re doing with “Ganymedean Slime Mold”. We like
to consider ourselves “artists” and the only way we can maintain our
integrity (we’re ready to sell out any time) is to make our “art” so
fucking bad that if anyone was to see it on their TV presented as “art”
or even simply on their TV, their perception would move a notch towards
our position that, hey, if this is on our TV then why can’t we put our
stuff out, too! And then the stranglehold of TV is weakened. The
professionals lose their grip. TV becomes truly decentralized like the
Too bad you got hassled and thrown in jail. We (SSM) just had a
similar experience. On the July 4th weekend we drove up to Canada for
the Toronto Anarchist gathering. But we only made the border at Port
Huron where we walked into a trap. The Canadians wouldn’t let us in
because “our papers weren’t in order” and X.E. Sten acted very guilty
when they asked him if he had a criminal record.
Then when we turned around to head back across the bridge to the
“land of the free” we got stopped by U.S. Customs, who were waiting on
us. They tore our van and trailer apart and found some pot X.E. had
insisted on taking cause he had to have some handy at all times. They
then seized our car under the new Zero Tolerance Plan and had X.E.
hauled off to the local jail where he spent the 4th and 2 other days
(they–US Customs–took all his money ($48) and he owes them an added
$104 and the Michigan pigs wanted $200 to bail him out, but we didn’t
have it). Anyway, after hassling me cause I didn’t have my green card
(legal alien) they gave us our car back, though it’s still the U.S.
government’s until we pay $104, because we were so far from home. And,
finally, the city pigs, after a hilarious court-room scene when X.E.
went before the judge, decided they would accept a $200 check. So…we
escaped and cancelled the check the day we got back to Kokomo. Fuck
Not a pleasant experience for us or our 2 little girls who
experienced the degradation along with us in the US Customs. I think
now that the whole Toronto bit was just a lure to concentrate the
anarchists and dissidents at a few key bottleneck points–strawmen.
As to your idea of a Free Sharing Club, a friend of mine started
something similar a few years back called the Creator’s Club, but he’s
not been pushing it. He has some great ideas, though, and is working
with the idea of cheap energy through solar generated steam power. He
also built us this real nice “bubble couch” from a half dome from one
of those Philips 76 gas station towers. The base is made of wood
(scavenged) and, under the dome, there is seating for 8 on handmade
Styrofoam cushions, the Styrofoam coming from old mattresses. And in
the middle is a detachable octagonal table so you can sleep 2 people in
it too! It’s real nice, you can lay outside and look at the stars
through the bubble or you can take the bubble off (2 clamps) and sit
out in the air. If Charlie could find the mother lode of 76 Bubbles
I’m sure he could effect a revolution in housing!
You know, I was thinking about the skills pool talents all the
people have — we could fix cars, build houses, learn music — all
that, if we just ask one another. But something like what Charlie’s
doing with his cheap housing plans needs something that none of us
seems to have: the bizness help to make it a success; to grab the
attention of the “mass market”. In other words, we have no money.
I guess what I’m looking for is the key to effecting massive
social change. And with no money, all we have got is our music, art,
Regarding computers, we need a good $10 computer. That’s
something I’d be interested in pursuing: computers cheap as digital
watches that you could plug into any TV set. Do you know anyone who’s
working on those lines?
Computers are on my mind lately cause we’re gonna buy one.
Probably an Amiga 500 for our video work. We need it, but I distrust
computers because they operate hierarchically: they don’t really free
us artistically, they seduce us into their limited structure.
Let us know if you get much interest in the Sharing Club and I’ll
work up a list of all the things we’re capable of here at SSM HQ. (we
admit no limitations, so…) Please send me more LFP ‘s.
8/2/88 Dave Hyde, Ganymedean Slime Mold HQ, Box 1095, Kokomo,
Just after the 4th of July I drove back to Miami intending to buy
a sail boat, become a Sea Gypsy and sell my van. I lived aboard a
friend’s sailboat for a month. It was hot and humid. In the Florida
Boat Trader’s magazine I found several boats I wanted to check out but
decided to wait ’til I was done boat sitting. It was very hot and
boring just waiting for buyers for his boat. I read a dozen Science
Fiction books and filtered a lot of cold beer and made more room on
board by displacing most of the rum.
By the end of the month I decided I didn’t want all the expenses
of a boat. I was watching the other boaters pour money into their
expensive holes in the water. So I popped into my van and drove home.
It took me two days and two nights. I only stopped for gas, coffee,
food, toilet and to sleep for an hour or so in the rest areas. The
Freeways seem to be the only roads with rest areas.
So much for that dream (for now anyway). Now it’s back to the old
pivot point in trying to figure out what to do next and where to do it.
I was frustrated all morning up here in the woods in my Utopiaÿ#I in
Cushing, with these questions until I finally decided I can’t take-off
for where ever for another two weeks anyway, (Until I get my computer
back from its 3 month lease.) so I’ll do some thing else around here
and maybe the answers will come to me by then. Or maybe I’ll just take
off for the Texas Gulf area and try to find a quiet pleasant cheap
place with electricity to winter.
Or should I go to Merida, Mexico, first, to have the rest of my
teeth pulled and false teeth made? But cheap flights to Cancun don’t
start ’til December.
During the interim I could be building a green house around this
trailer to insulate it better for winter. I could go ahead with
putting in electricity and install a gas heater. Then I would have
another option — to winter here if I choose.
But for some reason, I don’t want to do all that work. Does my
subconscious see a better way to go? My old self would have just
plowed ahead and done the carpenter work. Am I getting lazy? Or
smarter? Or could it be that there is some kind of telepathy that is
informing me that the big shots are planning on springing their WWÿIII
on us very soon? Perhaps there is a part of me that knows we don’t
have much time left to get the PES show on the road and I had better
not waste my time on carpentering — but get back to my computer and
start communicating to find the good people who are probably just
waiting to be asked to help and may have the answers I’m looking for.
As you can see I’m back at my old Minneapolis address paying rent
again. It took me just about the whole month of August to arrive at
Being a nearly Free Man is much more difficult than when I was a
Slave in the Rat Race. My major decisions were all made for me there.
Maybe you shouldn’t try to be a free and undomesticated being? It is
much harder work on the old thinker. But after giving birth to a
decision, it DOES feel great! The labor pains are sometimes Hell, but
the Individual Freedom that is born is worth it. I don’t think I have
all the stress that most people carry.
After I get this issue printed, folded, stuffed, stamped and
hauled to the PO, I can get back to the “grunt work” of entering data
from my correspondence file into my data base to make it much quicker
to handle my mail. Hopefully I’ll start getting more “personal
letters” out to people who inquire about PES.
I had one publisher in the East who wanted to publish my book, but
he couldn’t get to it for a year. I just corresponded with one in Ohio
who could do it immediately but he was without much experience and had
a printer who was too expensive, so the book price would be too high.
So then I decided again to publish it myself. I found a place to rent
time on a Laser Printer and then I reformatted Chapter One and ran it
off on the Laser. Boy! Did it ever look good. Then I went over the
numbers again and the different jobs that would lie up ahead for me to
distribute it and the money I would have to lay out, and it scared me.
I thought I will never get time to think and write again. I will just
be back in the old rat race trying to peddle books. I don’t even like
peddling a bicycle.
So I took yet another look into the Bible (Writer’s Market) and
sent my manuscript off to a large publisher in the East who is asking
for manuscripts on economics, business, finance, and international
relations. Well, I guess my book covers all of those topics and from a
far different and more interesting point of view.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Little Free Press is dedicated to the idea that we solve
problems by first finding the primary cause of the problem and then
focus on making changes in the area of “cause”, instead of fiddling
with layer upon layer of laws aimed at slowing down the destruction
(symptoms) i.e., finding and replacing the destructive motive with a
life supportive motive.
To encourage the discovery and use of ones individual POWER rather
than giving it to a leader.
Perhaps the essence of the LFP focus is on total freedom and
access to abundance for each individual. We might call this UTOPIA.
“Whatever the mind can conceive, it can create.”
9/23/89 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #71
Sometimes I wonder if some of us radicals don’t waste much of our
time (lives) trying to teach others about this Freedom that we seek,
instead of seeking out the very essence of it for ourselves. However,
the urge to share these ideas is very strong in some of us.
There are campaigns telling us to be “anti”, just about everything
from sugar to abortion to government and corporations. Some groups tell
us to “Smash the State!” and that we should steal, vandalize and
sabotage the big corporations. But, attempting to “destroy” the present
System wastes our energy and creativity. It is what the Monster
provokes us to do and then feeds on our energy. If we participate in
acts of theft, vandalism and sabotage — we are playing its game. Then
prices must rise and more police and their backup are hired. More $400
toilet seats are sold to government departments. Taxes and politicians
salaries are raised and they also get more boondoggle (payola/bribe)
money. Our energy is used to pay the ever increasing taxes and
exhausted in confronting and attempting to destroy the various monsters
and straw men they set up.
If I could just get myself to focus most of my attention on
creating my own Freedom, I would probably evolve much faster. I would
probably be so unique that I would not have to advertise and promote
Individual Freedom. Instead, people might seek me out, to learn about
it. Just seeing me being that independent wild free joyful being, would
perhaps be enough to whet their apatites. They might start thinking,
“If that old fart can do it, I can do it even better!” However, I
doubt if I’ll ever get it together well enough for that.
As others see the virtue in the selfishness of seeking ones own
individual freedom and happiness, and discover that, the best freedom
is the one which doesn’t conflict with other individuals’ freedom, we
then begin to build a stable world composed of happy individuals. So by
making ourselves happy (at no one else’s expense) we are actually doing
our share to build a happy world. We can’t really change other people.
(However I don’t suppose we will ever quit trying.) It is damn hard
just to change oneself.
Wild and Free
Maybe I can learn to be that wild free being and still attempt to
point out to my fellow shipmates here on Spaceship Earth, how they are
drilling holes in the hull and that they are sinking our ship.
Hopefully I can show them a better Game to play than the, “See who can
drill the most holes”, game.
If I am stealing, vandalizing or sabotaging — people may not
desire to emulate me, but may fear or hate me instead. That may not
sell Freedom very well. Besides that, the time I used in those
destruction activities would be TIME I wouldn’t be able to use to
discover my own freedom. One might say that instead of “reacting” to
the System, I could be spending that TIME (that space in my life
between now and when I terminate) “acting” to enhance my life.
It may be necessary for some people to go through this
“Destruction” period to get rid of the anger they developed when they
first discovered the astounding fact, that they were and had been
SLAVES all their lives. “When you take Pay — you must Obey.”
When I dropped out in 1969, I was very angry with the Government.
In the last 20 years I have been gradually learning that it is more
efficient and enjoyable to attempt to be a builder instead of a
destroyer. I suppose I still get in a few licks against the Government
even though I try not to be negative.
Just a Game
Actually, “The System”, is just a Game. We take Pay or Profit for
our work and Pay for the products and services. It’s the only game
going in the world today, so we all play it. By calling the System,
Establishment or Powers That Be — a GAME, it is a little easier to
understand and deal with. Then there is no one to hate. It is just a
simple fact — the people who are the most skilled in that Game, get to
the top and have to keep the rest of us down, if they are to stay on
top. (The old “King on the Hill” game.) That is simply the way the
Pay/Profit (PP) Game must be played! Things just can’t be any different
in this Game, no matter how many patches or masks we put on it.
If we wish to have change, we merely need to design a new GAME and
start playing it. How very simple and safe! One plays it alone at
first. Eventually one finds another who is playing the new Game too and
then the Game becomes more fun. We don’t have to destroy the old Game.
People may be ignorant of the better game, but they are not dumb. If we
have designed a better Game, people will gradually change over to the
better Game, if they hear about it.
So what is a better Game? My present theory, that I have designed
and redesigned for the last 20 years, only changes two little things in
the present world-wide PP Game. (In all countries, even Communist,
people take “Pay” for their work and must “Pay” for the products.) One
would continue living as one does now, but would decline to take Pay or
Profit (PP) from one’s work and would then give the product or service,
free of charge. These two simple little changes would make gigantic
changes in the world. There would then be no PROFIT in destroying our
environment or its people, i.e., no longer a reason to start wars,
pollute, starve, steal or need a government, taxes, credit, barter or
We would then all be Volunteers at our place of work. We would
then have to be treated really well or we would quit. We would have
everything that we needed free of charge so we wouldn’t have to work.
Other workers and the coordinators would treat us really well because
the more help they had, the shorter the shifts could be. This would
enable them to create more shifts to accommodate the extra help they
would get when people quit junk, make-work and planned deterioration
production. We would also get an extra 15 million or more workers when
there was no more tax money to pay government employees.
With a happier environment at work we could use more of our
creativity to produce a better product or service and find more
enjoyable ways to do it. We could then insist on safer machines and
healthier work environments. We would no longer feel exploited because
we would all have total access to all new products and services, and
all (including coordinators) would get the same Pay or Profit = $0.00.
When we start using technology (and common sense) to clean up the
damage the Profit Game is making, then we can begin to use technology
to produce non-polluting, non-destructive to environment things of
beauty that will last a very long time, be easy to repair and update
and cut down the working hours for everyone, except the robots.
There would be no point in taking too much because there would be
no resale value, nor any status symbol value in free items.
One of Buckminister Fuller’s groups, some time ago, with his
“World Game”, inventoried the world’s unused and reusable resources and
showed us that there is an abundance of resources for an even larger
population. The problem has been that the cartels, monopolies and
trusts have under-produced to create the scarcities which keep prices
up. So, as we often see, as we travel across this vast world, “There is
great abundance here, but it is not being used.” Instead it is being
withheld to create higher PROFITS. There is no point in taking too much
when there is abundance. Who hoards sand — who lives on the desert?
In a priceless economy, work may become a privilege instead of a
duty. In the R. Buckminister Fuller book, “Critical Path”, he said:
“About 90 percent of all U.S.A. employment is engaged in tasks
producing no life-support wealth.” If this is the case, then with more
intensive use of automation, computers and robots we could produce
abundance with less than 10 percent of the work force that we use
today. Even today it takes only 2.9% of our population to produce our
What to Do?
But what is an individual to do until the world makes a total
change-over to a priceless Game? If one has some resources saved up and
can live without additional income for a while, one can start right
now, to live half of the new Game, by giving all or part of one’s labor
or product away, free of charge, to whomever one chooses. By working as
a Volunteer one immediately has more Freedom. One can then do ones work
as one pleases. One then has control over the how, when, where, what,
why and who of ones work. Besides that, giving is more fun than selling
and at the same time as we are enjoying our life more we are a
demonstration for those who see us that the PES would work and that
obviously “giving” must be more fun than “selling”.
If one has no surplus, perhaps one would then focus on gaining
some. I really don’t know, from experience, what one without reserves
would or should do, but they will surely think of some way to begin to
share in the fun of the priceless Game, if they so choose.
Absorbing the Media
I do know this — since I stopped absorbing the media, i.e.,
watching TV (I had to get rid of my TV, because I was addicted to it.),
listening to the radio, reading magazines, newspapers, billboards and
novels, listening to music and going to movies — I am not fearful any
more and I feel more at ease. (Sometimes I do scan the newspaper
headlines and even fall victim to a movie occasionally. But then, no-
body’s perfect.) I have more free time. I am more realistic.
I am no longer motivated to buy, buy, buy. I stopped acknowledging
government or church designated holidays 20 years ago. I don’t
celebrate any holidays unless I or one of my friends declare a day of
our own choosing to be a holiday. I don’t give gifts or cards on a
holidays, not even on a birthday or Mother’s Day. Sometimes I may give
a gift but never on a holiday. I rarely even give gifts any more. I
seem to get enough of the good feelings of giving from my Free Box and
giving my work. So for many years now I have been able to walk through
the biggest most imposing stores and look through the most colorful
advertisements and not feel a desire for any of the stuff.
The big super-market grocery stores are almost the same for me.
95% of what they display, I do not want. I buy only a fresh vegetable
or fruit or two, fresh red and white meat, some dairy, eggs, whole
wheat flour and bread, salt, pepper, corn oil, jam, peanut butter,
nuts, oat groats, baking soda & power, sugar, ice cream, coffee and
that is about all. I buy almost no canned or frozen or prepared foods.
My food bill is very small and I seldom eat in restaurants. I could get
by just fine on very few and very small stores. Because of my simple
diet, my walking and my ease of mind, I am healthier and more energetic
than anyone I know.
I laugh when I hear of the latest “scam” the politicians pull. I
laugh at the taxpayers who support all the crooks in office. Long ago I
reduced my taxable income to the point where I’m not required to pay
income taxes. I laugh at election circuses. I’ve checked out the
definition of “democracy” in the dictionary and laugh to think how I
was fooled all those years by my misunderstanding of that word. I laugh
at how I used to think that I needed someone to Rule me. I can only
laugh when the politicians raise their own salaries by $30,000. It is
really funny to see how the sheep put up with one insult after another
and then vote another slave driver in at the next election. I used to
be one of those dumb sheep.
If I allow a group, a faith or a government to steer me, I become
dependent on it and never grow into the adulthood of a whole free
being. I have then allowed them to retard my growth. But it is never
too late to take hold of my own steering wheel and begin learning to
drive my own life toward any destiny I choose.
To be able to see the humor of it all, does me far more good than
the anger that it used to invoke, when I was hypnotized by the media
and its subliminals. On the other hand, there is a certain amount of
empathy and even sorrow, that I feel for the many I see who carry their
mind-leader and mood-setter with them whenever they leave home, plugged
into both ears. Wow! What a waste of potential thinking Power.
If one does a little research, experimenting and thinking about
music they soon realize how music is used to set people’s moods. It can
make one happy and wish to dance, it can lead one to march, make one
sad, make one feel fearful, feel like a loser, feel hopeless, etc. Just
do a scan on all the radio channels and see what mood-set predominates.
See if that would be your mood preference, if you had a choice.
I can relate to music if I am making it. If I am whistling,
humming or playing one of my own compositions on my harmonica, I
usually discover what mood I’m in, by the mood of what I’m whistling or
playing. I also notice that making my own music is therapeutic. The
longer I’m at it, the better my mood and my music’s mood gets. When I’m
making the music, I, become the mood manipulator. I like that better.
Besides all this, I can think better without background music.
If we can create our own little islands of sanity and stability,
even within a big city, we become symbols of what others can attain,
when they become aware enough to see.
I worked hard and saved for 22 years, so that I was able to drop-
out in 1969. I’ve managed to live very cheaply since then, so that I
could travel extensively and learn as much as I could from observation,
conversing and attempting to learn to think for myself. Now that I am
62, I get a Social Security pension of $321 per month and still have a
small amount of savings. So I can afford to give my newsletter, free of
charge, for a while yet. I often (as most people do) work for my
friends for free. I try to maintain a Free Box which contains some of
my surplus things. Surplus things are but burdens to be gotten rid of.
But to someone who needs an item, it is a savings to get it for free.
A group in Monterey, California, that I met about ten years ago,
called themselves the Free Skills Pool. The contacts I had there were
Joan and Roger Lorenz, but I think they have since moved. At that time
they were part of a group of about 125 people with outside jobs, who
were giving their skills to anyone else in the group, free of charge.
They kept no accounting of how much anyone gave or took. If someone
fixed your TV or auto they only charged for the parts, at cost. They
said it worked well, except people seemed a little hesitant to ask for
I feel like I still have an endless amount to learn, if I’m ever
to be as free, wild and undomesticated as I would like to be. I hope to
get myself to stop bragging about what little I have learned and set
myself down to the ecstasy of being that which I envision. I don’t
really envision it very clearly yet. Perhaps that is where I need to
spend more time, and then take my little steps towards living it.
Whenever anyone buys something new, industry hires one of us to
drill another hole in the bottom of our ship. Volunteers run around
like mad, trying to plug up the holes. People complain to the
Government about the holes. Government then hires industry to hire some
of us, to drill holes in the bow of the ship to get plugs to plug the
holes in the stern of the ship.
Do We Need the Holes?
A ship with too many holes will sink. When you stop buying things,
industry stops hiring us to drill holes in the bottom of our ship.
Would you rather be without a job or be on the ocean bottom in a
lifeless holed boat? Being jobless, one at least has life and hope to
design a better System (Game).
Many of us drop-outs are buying almost nothing that is new.
Occasionally we find discards in dumpsters or buy “used” things at
garage, yard, basement, rummage or moving sales. Sometimes we get a
free item from a friend’s Free Box. This saves us money so that either
our savings last longer or we don’t have to work for money as much.
This is nothing new. People in the 30’s Depression did it just to
survive. We do it for additional reasons. First, we create more free
time for ourselves. Second, when we don’t buy a new item, the store
doesn’t order a replacement. The factory doesn’t manufacture that
replacement. Then there is less pollution and less resources used. So,
by each item that we don’t buy new, we preserve our environment by a
measurable amount. This also has a measurable effect on the Profit of
the Polluters and Destroyers (P & D’s). As more people catch-on to the
personal advantages of not spending much, we may eventually bankrupt
the P & D’s, which really won’t matter to them, because they won’t need
any money in the priceless Game either.
The P & D’s also need our labor and inventions to continue to
prosper. As we buy less, we have less need to sell them our labor and
As we buy less things, and get rid of excess things, we need less
space to house our accumulations — so we can rent or buy a smaller
cheaper place, if that pleases us.
A Short Step
When you stop to think about it — these super-cheap rummage sales
are just a step short from the Priceless Economic System (PES). Prices
are almost nil compared to Second Hand Store prices. Sometimes I get
the feeling that we are being enabled to survive very cheaply so that
people will have lots of free time to think and learn and perhaps
evolve into Independent Beings who no longer need a Slavemaster to tell
them what to do. My thoughts sometimes are, that the Slavemasters think
we may be ready and able to take control of our own lives and planet.
This implies that the Masters may be from another planet and are
helping Earthlings evolve as best they can guide us. If this should be
true, I don’t think they are too good at their work. But, nobody’s
perfect! The Aliens may be good at starcraft but not quite so hot at
peoplecraft. If this theory is inoperative, perhaps there are a couple
of Earthlings or so, who have enough smarts to be guiding the whole
show here on planet Earth. Maybe they think by making us angry enough
at Government, we will get up on our hind legs and start creating
something better for ourselves.
We now have a lot more tools to work with than humankind has ever
had. Now we have world-wide instantaneous audio and video communication
systems. We have people right here in the USA, from most all countries
of the world, who can speak their native language, so now ideas can be
spread quickly, accurately and world-wide. We can now travel to the
other side of the earth in just a few hours. All through past history
transportation and communication took months and even years, so broad
changes were slow and difficult, if not impossible.
Take a look at the big discount stores — they are set-up almost
perfect for the PES. The workers (that means us) are running them. The
owners are not there to protect their ownership. When we change-over to
the PES, we merely need to remove the cash registers and let the check-
out clerks find some other kind of work. From then on, shoppers can run
the bar codes past the scanners themselves as they leave the store.
This will make it easier to keep track of the inventory and automate
Because the big discount stores replace dozens of small shop
owners, there won’t be all those small shop owners grumbling about
losing their businesses. That is already taking place.
So the Discount Stores may be just a stepping stone to the PES.
After we arrive there, we will surely design even better distribution
Anyone Can Publish
Cheap copy shops are now making it very simple and cheap for
anyone to publish their ideas and exchange them with many others.
Thousands of people are already doing it. Computers are making it even
easier (and fun) for us to exchange information.
(That’s what the LFP is.)
1. Can’t be infiltrated.
2. No boring committee meetings
3. No membership problems.
4. No corporation papers.
5. No meetings.
6. No bosses.
7. No power plays.
8. No backsliders.
9. No one to purge.
10. No dues.
11. No meeting hall to rent.
12. Make own rules.
13. OK to break rules.
14. No embezzling of funds.
15. No funds arguments.
For thousands of years people have been kept ignorant of how they
are enslaved and of how much potential Power and control each
individual could be exerting over his/her own life. As more people
become aware of this fact and share this information, the faster change
PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID AND DUMB — THEY ARE JUST IGNORANT OF BETTER
“Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is
impossible to reestablish it. It is not originally a thing in itself,
but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept
ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.”
Thomas Paine (1791)
Today we are living in a wondrous NEW ERA, but not many are yet
aware of it or of the part that they can play in helping to give birth
to a near Utopian world for us all, where people will no longer need to
be slaves — where machines can be our slaves (instead of us being
slaves to the machines).
Aware people who are rich or semi-rich know that in the Pay/Profit
(PP) Game, “Money is Independence”. People who have a large excess of
money and are able to see the long term picture, don’t need to waste
their time on frugality and survival economy. They can focus on using
their surplus money to promote the priceless Game in ways that money
can buy expertise in promotion and people motivation.
In the past 20 years that I have spent publishing the Little Free
Press newsletter, promoting individual freedom, I have never been
harassed for that effort and I have always kept a very high profile and
usually used my home address and of late even my phone number, on my
newsletters. Oh, yes, I have gotten myself into trouble a few times for
other things, but it was always, because I asked for trouble, and I got
it. Because I am promoting something (a near Utopia) that everyone
secretly desires, no one hassles me.
Sometimes, it seems like I get myself all set up in a perfect
little Utopia of my own. I get myself all smug and cozy and everything
really handy and working well. Little routines fall into place which
are satisfying and efficient ways to take care of my daily chores. I
find all the cheapest places to get the things I need. I acquaint
myself with the new area and make a few friends.
Old Soon — Smart Late
As I look back on those times, I notice that it wasn’t long after
I made such an observation, that I made a drastic new change in my
life. I think, “Yah, and just the other day I thought I really had it
made, but now I’m starting all over to get everything ship shape in a
different place.” This doesn’t seem very logical or intelligent. Do
others ever experience such thoughts and changes? Could I learn to
settle down and enjoy what I’ve created or must I wait until I grow old
before this is possible? (Ohooo…”We get old so soon, and smart so
late.”) Do some thrive on innovation and improvements and others thrive
on being part of what is? Are we all alike in this area or are we
When I put all of these thoughts down on paper, it helps me to
clarify them and leads me to some conclusions that I don’t seem able to
make, when the thoughts are just bouncing around in my head.
What to Do
So, what is the best thing to do? The very best is, I think, to
believe that no one has all the answers. If we read and observe what
others are doing, and try to reason out which seem sensible; if we take
quiet space often, to think and day dream and attempt to communicate
with our own subconscious data base to discover some of our own ideas;
if we then try out some of these ideas to see how they actually work,
we will gradually make changes in our own lives which work for us. As
we grow closer to our own envisioned personal Utopia — so does the
Because we are one unit of the world population that is starting
to think for itself and create its own destiny, there is one unit less
that is conforming blindly to the will of the manipulators. Thus HOPE,
is born for the individual and for our future.
12-3-89 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #72
WHERE TO FOCUS
Chapter Five suggested buying only “used” products, to cut down
personal expenses and reduce pollution. But, focusing our efforts on
persuading everyone to stop buying, to halt pollution, might take too
long. It might also have an adverse effect on everyone. If it were
successful, there might be mass layoffs which would cause a breakdown
in the flow of necessities. The unemployed might starve or become a big
The system can tolerate drop-outs who take care of themselves. Not
buying “new” is still valid for poor radicals like myself. We would
rather have more Free Time to build a better system, than more fancy
stuff to play with in a destroyed environment.
A more important strategy may be to focus our efforts on getting
as many people as possible to start talking about the Priceless
Economic System (PES). As people argue the PES, it becomes more clear
and logical. It is so simple that it should not take long for people to
talk themselves into it. All we may need to do, is just let people know
about it. This method would not cause lay-offs. The flow of necessities
could continue with no reason for chaos or fighting during the change-
What to Do
First, one can get their lifestyle set up so that it is
comfortable and harms the environment as little as possible. It is easy
to learn to live on less. This is a talent we inherited from thousands
of years of domesticated ancestors.
Second, one can figure out ways to inform people about the near
Utopia that we will create when we all switch-over to the PES. Most
people are unaware of any other economic system. They believe that the
only choices are to get paid for work and pay for products or to
barter. The pay system is more convenient than barter, so that’s what
most people use.
We can’t expect to change to a nearly Utopian world if people
don’t know about it. Most have discovered that “there is no free
lunch.” We need to show people that in the PES there will be no free
lunch either. The PES is much like an indirect invisible barter system
with no accounting on the amount that people take or give.
We need to describe the priceless system so clearly that people
will see how they will be better off with the PES. Just take yourself
for an example. Would you gladly work without pay if that would create
a nearly Utopian world? Would you like it, if everything you wanted was
free? Would you like it, if there was no reason for some people to
start wars, pollute, steal or cause people to starve?
With the PES, each person would have much more control over
his/her life and could choose a job that could be made joyful and
challenging. We would also save over a trillion dollars per year by not
needing government and taxes.
Can you visualize anyone who wouldn’t happily agree to work
without pay to create this near Utopia? We have no enemy to fight, just
ignorance. Thomas Paine told us that ignorance can be easily cured by
A Place to Start
Here’s something that you can do, if you’re so inclined — you can
write a review of this book. Send your review to some paper or
magazine. Some even pay for reviews. A reader in Florida, told Miami’s
“Jeff Charles Radio Talk Show” on 790 AM WNWS, about the LFP. Jeff
Charles called me and had me on his talk show by long distance for 3
1/2 hours on April 13, 1988. That was a fun experience and it
introduced the PES ideas to thousands of listeners.
One person told me he had several copies made of a few pages of my
last book along with the address and leaves them in library books and
magazines and at laundromats. Some people who found them have inquired
about the book.
Our warming trend should be telling us that we had better get
right to work promoting the PES before industry (with the protection of
GOVERNMENT) pollutes our environment beyond the point of no return. We
should certainly have seen by now that the government is NOT protecting
people or the environment. No, just the opposite! It allows the logging
industry to destroy our forests with clearcutting. It encourages
revolutions (which kill people) by creating unrest and supplying guns
and bullets. It enables drug traffic (huge PROFITS) by having laws
against drugs. Government is not a lover to fondle unless you happen to
be a Profiteer.
So, if we wish to have a safe and healthy planet to live on, each
of us had better start taking some independent action to learn, live
and present a better Game to people. If you know of a better Game than
the PES, please tell me about it. I wish to promote the BEST Game we
can find or design! But so far as I can see, we must have a Game where
there can be no Profit in destroying people and the environment.
Adjust or Stop?
Already the media are reporting ideas of how we can “adjust” to
the changes that continued polluting will cause. They tell us that
millions of dollars are being spent to find other crops to grow. Cities
are spending millions trying to figure out how they are going to hold
back the rising seafront. This is par for the course in the Profit/Wage
System. Instead of getting rid of the “cause” of pollution, (i.e.,
Profit) they spend millions of dollars putting patches on the problems
(or in their pockets.) They refer to this as “containing” the problem.
That is far more Profitable than curing it. You think they are going to
kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
As we begin to do our own thinking, we naturally stop giving
representatives our Power and money. We start making our own decisions
that are best for us and our planet. We find ways to stop giving them
taxes, which feed the monster, i.e., the protector of the big polluters
and wasters of lives and resources.
I don’t think we need to be clever or cunning to notify people
about the alternative (PES). Just tell them the simple truth. It should
be a very refreshing change from the hype they are getting from the
The propaganda machine needs lots of advertising to keep going.
When they get few ads, they dry up. Same with big industry, they make
massive sales or they fall apart. Little producers can often survive
because they don’t have the expensive executives or stockholders to
“Every little bit helps.” Said the mouse, as he peed in the ocean.
Our personal work, attempting to make change, may sometimes seem
But remember, “There could never be a snow storm,
if it weren’t for the first few little snow flakes.”
12/11/89 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #73
PRICELESS ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Solving OUR Problems
If we take another look at our most serious problems, we may
discover they have something in common. If so, we may be able to focus
on a solution that will cure all the problems with one remedy.
Our life-support system is being damaged and destroyed. Industry
pollutes the air, rivers, seas and land with its wastes. The resulting
destruction and Greenhouse Effect may be harmful to little children and
other living things. Both the production processes and the end products
often pollute. More profit is made by polluting than by reclaiming and
Profit is made from disposable containers and the planned
deterioration of products. These products have created the need for
landfills and waste burner plants. Landfills create profits. Both
incinerator construction and maintenance, contribute profit to builders
and suppliers. The trucking industry also gets in on the profits.
Disposable containers are costing us far more than their original
Farmers are polluting the soil and water with poison chemicals to
make more profit.
The threat of a Nuclear War makes people fearful and dependent on
government to protect them. Scared people allow their government to buy
more “defense” material and continually raise taxes. Large profits are
made by defense contractors.
Wars and Revolutions
Wars and revolutions are killing and hurting men, women and
children. War destroys property and crops. They don’t start by
themselves. Someone starts deprivation and unrest and then wars. Huge
profits are made when war materials are sold to governments and
When the international people, who control the Multi-National
Conglomerates, wish to get commercial control or more control in a
small country, they have the U.S. Government buy arms from their
Conglomerates at high prices and give the arms to revolutionary groups
in the target country. U.S. taxpayers foot the bill. Sometimes they
have the U.S. Government send advisors and/or troops into the target
country to help their puppets win. This gives the conglomerate agents a
chance to grab control of the resources and establish their own tax-
free subsidiaries. After the conglomerate gets control of the
properties, industries and people it wants, the citizens are allowed to
vote and elect one of the conglomerate’s local puppets to rule them.
98.6% of the U.S. population in 1980, made less than $50,000
adjusted gross income. .0018% (4,112 individuals) made over a million
dollars adjusted gross income1. Which group had the expertise, time,
money and motivation to get revolutions and wars started?
Malnutrition & Starvation
Because much of the world’s best land is being used for cash crops
to make profit, the local people can’t use it to grow their own food.
Much land is being held, unused and off the market, for speculators to
eventually obtain enormous profits.
Stealing and Murder
Products are sold to make a profit. People without jobs or money,
often steal and must sometimes murder to get money to live. 94% of the
people in prisons and jails are in for stealing2.
Contractors make extra large profits when they build or remodel
prisons for governments. Suppliers make immense profits when they sell
governments the supplies and equipment to keep prisons, staff and
Governments Are Corrupt
The more inefficient, wasteful, corrupt and costly government is,
the more money it spends. The more it spends, the more profit business
and industry make from it. Governments are not cost effective but are
obsolete and expendable.
Governments Are Abusive
Governments cause fear by abusing, victimizing and humiliating
people. Frightening rumors are spread through the mass media.
Government agents may be roaming among the street people and the
underground. Look twice at the people who are telling you about all the
bad new weapons the government is using against us. Who do you suppose
is giving them all that secret information? Scared people are easier to
manipulate and tax.
Not as much profit would be made if employers gave their workers
good working conditions, let them work at a reasonable pace and paid
them a fair share of their productivity. The champion exploiter of the
U.S. workers’ productivity in 1984 was Mesa Petroleum Corporation. They
made a Net Profit of $398,400 from each of their 700 employees3.
Tremendous profits are made on the buildings, equipment, office
machines, fuel, power, furnishings and maintenance supplies that are
sold to the government for schools and universities. There is also
profit on all related items, like; buses, gasoline, tires, lawn mowers,
floor cleaners, etc. Profit is also made from the school supplies,
school clothes and transportation sold to students and teachers.
Higher education costs more than the majority can afford. Higher
education is limited to the children of the affluent and to a small
number who are willing to expend the extra energy to earn the tuition
fees. With high tuition fees (tuition fees are taxes), the government
gains more money to give to profiteers. Expensive tuition excludes most
poor people, thus assuring an endless supply of cheap labor. People
with more education are not as easy to tyrannize and over tax and are
more likely to rebel against low wages.
Government jobs of this kind consume time, labor and resources.
They are another way that government squanders money. That money is
spent by the “make-work” employees and ends up as profits.
Planned obsolescence and planned deterioration waste labor and
resources. They also create more profit.
Monopolies, trusts and cartels create scarcities by under-
producing. This invites higher prices which yield more profit.
Even though the Elites’ decisions are closely related to our world
problems, they are just the scapegoats. We put the blame on them. But,
they are just the lucky winners in the Profit/Wage (PW) Game that we
Five Billion are playing. The Elite are more talented in the PW Game
than the rest of us, so they are naturally the winners. The Elite
couldn’t play the Game without us. We are not very smart, if we
continue playing the Game with them — that we can’t win. Bucky Fuller
once said that we should be playing a Game where everyone is a winner.
The “common” prime cause of the world’s leading problems is
PROFIT. Profit is a vital part of the present economic system. Random
House Dictionary (1980) defines “economics” as: “The science treating
of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.” The
cause of our major world problems resides in economics (the “Big Game”
we’re all playing), not in politics, religion, lack of love or an
inability to meditate. We have been working for change in the wrong
areas; that is why we haven’t succeeded in the past two thousand years.
We need an economic system (a Game) that does not require a
Profit. In all existing economies people take wages or profit for their
work and must pay for the products. “When people take pay — they must
Priceless Economic System
People’s labor and ideas produce all products and services. Money
produces no goods or services. People discovered the minerals; invented
and built the tools and machines. People built the buildings and
factories. People run the machines. People invented automatic and
robotic machines and computers. People supervise them.
If everyone stops taking pay for their work, there will be no
monetary cost of production. All goods and services can then be free of
charge. Thus; people will have no need for money, so they can work
without pay. That makes a completed circle.
The people who now claim they own the raw materials will then have
no need for money, because everything will be free for everyone.
Regardless of their claimed “ownership” of the Earth’s resources, their
employees will be distributing the raw materials free of charge, as
will all employees in all industry and on farms. Stockholders will have
no need for money, nor any more worries about inflation, depression or
stock market ulcers.
To prevent the possibility of takeover by individuals or a group,
it is vital in a new system to implant preventatives in its basic
foundation. The following list may be a beginning:
1. No money, credit cards, barter or work credits.
a. These items can be accumulated and then enable
monopolies, trusts and cartels to form, which create
Power and raises prices and profits.
b. With accumulated wealth, people can buy, hire or enslave
people to carry guns for them and enforce their will on
2. No representatives.
a. A representative is given some power. Power corrupts.
Why ask for trouble?
b. Make your own decisions based on the best facts
3. No government. (Government is the King’s henchmen/women)
a. They have always been corrupt.
b. Everything they do, we can do cheaper and better.
c. Never efficient.
4. No army.
a. Set up a world wide system that all people enjoy and
there will be no need for an army.
5. No laws, except the Golden Rule. (Do to others as you want
them to do to you.)
a. In a free society people will soon learn how to behave,
in order to get the good response they desire.
b. Man made laws tempt people to disobey.
c. Eliminates the need for lawyers.
6. No pay.
a. Giving is more fun than selling.
b. Volunteers have control of the; how, when, who, where,
why and what of their work.
7. All products and services, free of charge.
a. Eliminates resale value.
b. Removes status value.
c. Discards the incentive to create a demand for products.
d. Clarifies intrinsic value and utility.
This economic system could be called the “Priceless Economic
System” (PES). Not dealing with money, credit or barter; will liberate
human kind from a tremendous amount of non life-supportive work. The
following fields will then become,
5. legal & tax
6. much accounting
7. much administration
After these unnecessary departments are abolished, we can stop
producing the supplies they had been consuming, e.g., this will
Reduce the demand for:
7. office buildings
8. office machines
This will save billions of human work hours and billions of tons
of raw materials. The savings in checkout clerks, cashiers and cash
registers alone, will be fantastic.
Everything will be free, so there will be no reason to steal. This
will almost empty the prisons and jails. 94% of the inmates are in for
stealing. In this area the PES will free over two million people
(counting the guards and others associated with law enforcement) to
assist with needed work.
There will no longer be a profit in war, so the 4 million or more
active military personnel, direct hire civilians and defense related
workers can quit and begin to benefit humankind by attending to
When the other unnecessary departments of government are
terminated we will have another 15 million or more people to serve in
life-supportive work. Working hours will then be shortened and more
shifts created. More people will then have a chance to secure work in
When the 38 million people now engaged in all the above mentioned
non-essential jobs enter useful employment, they will greatly reduce
the working hours for everyone. They may expand certain fields, such
as; research and development, reclamation of factory waste products,
cleaning up the environment, working on organic farms and the space
program. People may decide to slow down the pace of all work to have
more time to enjoy the journey through life.
With no monetary cost for labor, materials, rent, energy and
machines, the space program can be expanded and accelerated. It will
then become feasible to reclaim and reprocess all factory waste
materials and use them to restock supplies for production — instead of
polluting the environment.
In the priceless system everyone will have equal access to all
goods and services. It will not profit anyone to take too much, because
when we produce abundance and everything is free, there is no resale
value and no status value in free products. Having too much of anything
then becomes a burden.
Greed is a natural human trait. People hoard extra goods if they
are fearful of future shortages, as they were in WWII. When there is
abundance most people don’t hoard. Why hoard sand, if you live in the
We will be like volunteers. People must like volunteering. In 1980
there were 84 million volunteers5. Everything that we want will be
free, so we won’t be forced to work. Coordinators and employees will
treat each other with respect and friendship. Jobs will have to be made
interesting and enjoyable to attract new recruits. Boring and dangerous
functions can be programmed to automatics and robots. This itself will
be interesting and challenging work for inventive people. With good
tools, machines and computers to work with, (and shorter hours) we will
be able to create enjoyment, challenge and satisfaction in our work.
Work will be more interesting and efficient for everyone when
inventors are cooperating to invent the most efficient and beautiful
products. Then people can be proud of the products they make. It will
then be logical to; “Do the most — with the least.” Progress will be
faster when companies cooperate to design and produce only the best of
goods. When they compete there is much waste in duplication of efforts.
There will be tremendous savings in material, labor and time when
industry produces to “fill the demand” instead of attempting to “create
Free access to vocational guidance testing will help people
recognize their abilities, aptitudes, attitudes and potentials. These
findings will make it easier to choose an occupation that is pleasing.
People will no longer select their job by how much it pays.
Instead of “forced” schooling for 12 to 20 years, we may choose
free on-the-job training from experts, and produce while we learn. The
old apprenticeship training worked well for thousands of years.
Schooling may evolve to “home-schooling” with computers. They can have
hook ups with world wide data banks and live teachers, to use when more
information or human help is needed. This technology is already
available but it is not free. Computers allow people to learn what
interests them and at their own pace, if they can afford them.
The above thirteen world problems will dissolve when there is no
longer a Profit in their continuance. But to build a better Game to get
rid of Profit is going to require a lot of work. If you would like to
have the courage to help, you may need to stop absorbing the
Profit/Wage Game’s fear and anger conditioning machine . . . the mass
media. TVs and VCRs are eating up your time (your Life); get rid of
them. Don’t waste your precious time on newspapers either. You can keep
up on the “System’s” latest bungling by occasionally glancing at the
headlines. You can endure a spike of fear or anger once in a while;
like the headline: “U.S. Invades Panama!” But to get hit with those
adrenalin spikes every day incapacitates bravery.
J. Krishnamurti, tells us that we are living in a corrupt and
stupid society. He says that our competitive education system teaches
us to fear and that fear warps, twists and dulls our days6.
Time is all that we really have. “We use it — or lose it!”
1. We can use our time (our lives) to suck up their subtle and
subliminal7 fear/anger programing and be paralyzed and afraid
2. We can waste our free time living vicariously, while we read
novels or watch TV or movies.
3. We can focus our free time on helping to build an Utopia.
We each make our own choice. Why not establish a wonderful place
for us, our children and our grandchildren to live and grow — here and
After you break away from the mass media-hypnosis trance . . . in
a little while you will start recovering your natural courage. You will
be spurred on by your stronger feelings of integrity after learning
that you don’t have to be a slave any longer. Of course you must have
first, become aware of the fact that you are a slave. “When you take
pay — you must obey.” If you don’t believe you are a slave, try
telling your boss “Go to Hell!” the next time you are given an order at
work. Chances are high, that you’ll be looking for another job the next
week. “Slavery” is and always was – “being forced to obey.”
If the PES is a valid volunteer system, there must be a means to
convert to it; in a friendly and peaceable way. To use force to make
the conversion would be contradictory to the basic principles of
volunteerism and freedom for the individual. Force thus exerted — by
its very nature and presence, would give Power to the few.
The way to implement this Priceless Economic System (PES), I
think, is to first; publicize it. Now, for the first time in history,
we have the means to publicize good ideas locally by using copy shops,
instant printers, etc. and on a worldwide scale by both audio and video
communication systems. By way of satellites this is nearly
instantaneous. We have people in the U.S. from almost all the world’s
countries who still speak their native tongue. We are living in a
unique country which has a mixture of people from all countries, many
who have interbred, producing hybrids. It is a unique era, that has the
means to create an Utopian World for us all, if we “go for it” before
the Conglomerate Dictatorship matures and courage totally vanishes.
After sufficient publication and time for people to argue the PES
thoroughly; we can call for a world-wide vote. If it passes, we can all
agree to stop taking pay, the next day, and begin giving all products
and services, free of charge. Then — there it will be! The Priceless
Economic System (or whatever we choose to call it) will be our new
frontier, with plenty of experiments in creativity needed to perfect
To prevent chaos and assure a continuous flow of goods and
services, we need to agree at the time of the change-over to remain
with the job we have at that time. We can improve our job and/or train
a replacement, if we wish to take a different job. If the demand for
our product or service ends with the ending of advertising, we can take
a job we like better and get on-the-job training, if we need it.
It will not be necessary to hire a government committee to “study”
this idea for two years and 2 million dollars. There will be no sense
in delaying the changeover. We may as well stop polluting and fighting
and start enjoying Utopia right away.
There will be no need to have a revolution. Just an agreement of
the world’s workers (who compose about 99% of the world’s population)
to stop taking pay and begin giving all products and services free of
charge. It is the very essence of simplicity. All people will be far
better off with the priceless system.
No one can prevent the change-over to the priceless system, once
people see that they will all be better off with it. The security
guards, police, soldiers and other types of henchmen are all part of
the 99%, who will be better off with the priceless system. Even the 1%
will actually be better off, because: “A slave chain has two ends.”
Some people are already giving their work for free and are
realizing how much more fun it is, than when they sold their time.
There is something about “giving” that produces good feelings in both
the “giver” and the “receiver.” Givers discover what freedom is all
about. Freedom starts at ones work place. “When you take pay — you
I hope that people who are better at writing than I am, will
rewrite these ideas under their own name or pen name and distribute
many copies. I do not pretend to own these ideas. The American Indians,
the South Sea Islanders and the Eskimos and many other peoples lived
these ideas long ago, until they were invaded and their Utopias
destroyed. Most of the histories about these ancient Utopias were
written and distorted by the conquerors to justify their barbarianism.
As more writers express their views on the PES it will gain more
My mailing list is really small. This Utopia is not going to get
started unless you publicize this idea too. At the rate our President
is going, he may soon provoke WWIII. Do you want that? We’ve all got to
take a hand in the promotion, if the priceless system is to become
known. You can do it your own way or you can make copies of this
chapter and give or mail them to people you know and/or respect.
Just imagine how many people we will contact, if each reader makes
several copies and distributes them — and these people also make
copies, etc. Then the Multiple Progression of Numbers begins to help us
in fantastic leaps and it won’t cost any one of us very much money.
12/29/89 Ernest Mann
1 World Almanac, 1983.
2 Statistical Abstract of the U.S., 1985; American Prisons & Jails,
1980, Vol. 3.
3 Forbes Magazine, April 29, 1985. Fortune also has interesting info.
5 Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1982.
6 Freedom from the Known, Harper & Row, Publishers. (This man certainly
shares valuable incites into life, but is he purposefully vague and
mystifying about his “ultimate truth” — like computer software manuals
— to entice us to take classes and/or buy more of his books?)
7 Subliminal Seduction, Wilson Bryan Key, Signet.(and Media
Little Free Press #74
Could you or I start a business, industry or service with mostly
volunteer help? We would then have such a low payroll expense that we
could undersell all our competitors and soon get all their business and
perhaps assimilate some of their workers. Of course, we also would have
to be very efficient in our operation and offer top quality service and
products. Could we then continuously add new lines of production and
gain monopolies in them also? Could we finally control all commerce
and then all stop using money simultaneously?
If the above were true, how could we get people to work for us as
1. We could offer them free rent by letting them live with us. Of
course we would soon have to get a larger house, a mansion and/or
finally an apartment building or hotel.
2. We could offer them free meals. It is cheaper, per person, to buy
and cook food in larger quantities.
3. We could offer them free used, cleaned and mended clothing.
4. We could share the use of our furniture with them.
5. We could share the use of our vehicle and bus pass with them.
6. We could share the use of our recreational stuff with them.
7. We could pay them enough wages to buy the things that we couldn’t
8. We could share the management responsibilities with them and allow
them to help make the decisions.
9. If they loaned our company money, we could pay them the going bank
10. We could share with them the DREAM . . . that we are creating a
NEW ERA in which there will be no need for Profit or money and no
reason to war, pollute, steal or starve.
11. We could share the ownership of the company with them. One share
of stock and one vote, per person.
12. The value of business property, equipment, house and/or furniture
that anyone brought into the company could be considered as leased
equipment. It would then be a business expense for the company and
an extra income to the one who brought it.
13. Our company could buy just about everything cheaper, in large
quantities, than the individuals could.
14. Volunteers will be relieved of most money worries.
[We wouldn’t be living together because it was “cute” or a fad. It
would just be a means to the end that we were all striving for, i.e., a
more Utopian society with more freedom and happiness for each
individual. “The means . . . is the end.” We would be living our
proposed Utopia as much as possible.]
Could we allow the person among us, who seemed the most capable,
to run (coordinate) the company? And at the same pay that the rest of
us received? With everyone getting the same pay, would we each
gravitate to the job that we were the best and happiest at? Would it
then be easier to cooperate, than to compete? Would we feel more
equal? Would we then soon have happy experts in each field? These
experts could train more help when it was needed.
As other similar groups start, who have the same principles . . .
we could sell to them at our “cost” price and buy from them under the
same terms. This would give both groups an extra advantage over
competitors. These transactions could be handled as credits and debits
in each companies ledger without using money, banks or checks, except
occasionally balancing the accounts.
But wouldn’t this be like fighting fire with fire? Like playing
the Competition Game (that we hate) to end competition? We are foolish
to think that we can beat them at their own game. They made the rules
but they sometimes play by a different set of rules.
On the Other Hand . . . She Had Warts
If this scheme worked, would Corporations soon adopt some of our
volunteer methods and compete with us with lower prices? Would the
volunteers on both sides, then be squeezed and their living standards
continuously lowered to compete and not go under? Would the bad guys,
then win, as always . . . and the workers lose, another time?
Or would the Corporations merely undersell us and make up for the
loss by raising prices on other products and services that they
control? We could prevent this by becoming so large that we could be
competing in all lines and undersell them where ever they raised
prices. But they could just print more money and maintain their losses.
We couldn’t print money because they control government. Corporations
would pass new laws and use the army to stop us, as they always have.
On the other hand, am I overlooking some factors that would assure
the volunteer cooperative company of success?
What Can We Do?
We can tell everyone about the Priceless Economic System and keep
on explaining it until everyone understands and desires it. This may be
our first big job.
Then when the majority want it, it will seem natural to take a
vote. If the vote carries, we merely all stop accepting pay on an
agreed upon date and thenceforth, give all products and services free
It Sounds too Simple!
1. But the GIGANTIC TASK . . . is to get ones self . . . to ge
started telling others about the Priceless Economic System (PES),
2. Another big task is to wean oneself from the trivial diversions we
have allowed ourselves to make into routines. List your
diversions, i.e., the things which occupy your time and thoughts
that are not really helping you to become more free, self-reliant
and happy. Do you have a dream of what you would like to be and
have? Is your present list of diversions helping you to realize
your dream? For example, fighting with your mate, parents,
children, neighbors, employer, police, bureaucrats or polluters .
. . are diversions that occupy much time. Booze and pot are also
used to escape boredom. “Divide and conquer” and “Give them bread
and circus” have long been used to distract us. We keep ourselves
so busy in these areas that we don’t have the time or energy to
tell our friends about PES. If we are busy fighting and struggling
against something . . . that doesn’t leave us the time, energy or
money to build our Utopian lives.
3. Probably the biggest enemy that we have, which prevents us from
gaining our personal freedom, is our habit of absorbing the fear
creating mass media. They present stories about how bad people are
and how some country is our “enemy”. They imply how bad the
situation is and about how government agents, corporations and
other criminals are harming people and our environment. This
causes people to be afraid to take any action. We can outgrow
these fears, if we stop believing the mass media and stop
watching, reading and listening to it.
Gradually, as we take our first little steps toward sharing our
ideas about the kind of LIFE we want and begin to live it (a little at
a time), we start getting more courage. Soon we can express ourselves
openly to anyone about our belief, that all people can have happiness
and abundance. First we focus our thoughts in describing to our self,
what we want. The next step is to choose a course of action and take
it. If it fails . . . rethink it . . . and try another method.
What I Want
I like to have:
1. quiet time for myself
2. enough to eat
3. a safe place to sleep
4. the use of tools occasionally
5. a little used clothing
6. a little surplus money
7. a place to stash my things when I travel
8. some friends
9. access to books
10. some work that I think is important to do
11. a mature woman to love
12. low expenses, to conserve my money
I like to:
1. travel once in a while
2. be free of debts
3. give of my skills
4. commune with wild free critters
5. sail the coastal waters
How I Achieved It
I began to create my Utopia by first working my ass off in the Rat
Race for 22 years and by investing my surplus money in that which I had
some skill and knowledge. I created my pension plan with contract for
deeds and retired when I was 42 years old, 21 years ago. That has given
me 24 hours of free time each day for 21 years to do as I please, i.e.,
within my limited budget. I have traveled extensively and read what
interested me and spent much time just observing and talking with
I made my money selling and investing in real estate during a long-
term rising market. I guess I was lucky to do it then, because I’m told
we are now in a falling real estate market, so this method would be
much more difficult today.
I hope my readers don’t have to do such a dumb thing as I did to
get freedom. I went through much agony to gain a little pile of money.
Now I realize it doesn’t take much money to create free time. With what
I’ve learned, if I had it all to do over, I wouldn’t give the
Pay/Profit Game 22 years of my life. I would do the following instead.
Today, people who have accumulated many saleable “things” could
sell them to gain the money to live without working in the Rat Race for
a while. This would create a stress-free time-space to unwind and make
some important discoveries about ones life and the system. You may
begin to see that it is more natural to be ones own leader. One has the
potential ability to do this for ones self if one starts practicing it.
Even wise leaders (or self-leaders) often seek advice from experts.
Plato said long ago that an unexamined life is not worth living.
It may be valuable to reexamine our religious beliefs too. Do they
really work for us? If so how and why? What is its purpose? Does it
divide people? Who gets rich from religion, the leaders or the
Fear of death is constantly pounded into us with the hammer of the
media and religion. This keeps one so afraid and tense that one cannot
enjoy life in the here and now. Once people can look at death as a
natural process, they need not fear it any more. People may realize
that when they get very old and worn out in both body and mind, they
will welcome death as a finish of it all. Meanwhile, one doesn’t need
to fear death, but just use logic, alertness and common sense to avoid
it. Fearless living enables one to enjoy Life.
People without many assets can attain more freedom too. However,
they won’t have the 22 years I had to pile up some money. The Pay/Wage
Game may have destroyed our environment by then or got us into a
So if I were without funds right now:
1. I would take an inventory of my skills and aptitudes. Then I would
figure out how to use them to make the most money I could, as
quickly as possible.
2. I would quit horsing around with all my diversions and concentrate
all my energy and creativity on accumulating a little surplus
money. Sex is a diversion that the media is constantly tempting us
with . . . attempting to stimulate us. This artificial sex
stimulation keeps sex on our minds an unnatural amount of time. It
is a Time Robber. It robs us of the time we could have been using
our minds to grow more mature, increasing our skills, incomes,
assets and discovering the very carefully hidden secret that we
are all slaves. “When we take pay . . . we must obey!” But it may
be necessary to be a slave at least until we get a little stash of
money saved up, i.e., some independence. To be turned-on sexually
by ones lover is a horse of another color.
3. I would focus some of my time on cutting my expenses down to the
rock bottom. When I saved up enough to get out of the Rat Race for
some months, I would quit and find a quiet cheap place to just
“be” for a while. I would use that Free Time to learn more about
“me.” About what makes me tick. I would try to understand my
thinking process better and attempt to become more able in
controlling and choosing, what I think about. Instead of allowing
the media, other people and things around me, to guide my
thinking, I would pay closer attention and watch how I mostly just
allow my thoughts to wander around by themselves. That is not a
very efficient way to use my wonderful bio-computer that is
stuffed in my hat. I would try to discipline my mind to stay with
a thought-line until I arrived at a suitable conclusion. (Writing
my thoughts in a notebook has helped me in this area,
immeasurable.) I would learn to direct my own life. I would
attempt to become as self-sufficient as I could.
4. I would learn to be a people-watcher. I learn about myself by
watching others. I see them making mistakes that I will try to
avoid. And I often pick up good ideas on things to try out. Just
sitting around in people populated places . . . thoughts often pop
into my mind about how the “System” works and what it does to
people. Sometimes I even strike-up an interesting conversation
with someone. There is more important Truth to be learned by
people watching, I think, than there is in competing at the
When I had used up my money, I would have to get back into the Rat
Race to earn and set aside money for my next drop-out period. I would
try to come up with better and faster ways to earn my money.
With all this Free Time you create for yourself, you may design an
even better system than the Priceless Economic System. If you do,
convince me and I’ll drop the PES and help you promote your system. Or
you may more completely recognize the validity in the PES and help full-
time to promote it. The more full time people that are promoting and
living (as much as possible) the PES, the better chance we have and the
quicker the change-over date can come.
So stop fooling yourself by thinking that you are doing your part
by saving cans and paper and by giving money to organizations (which
may slip into some leader’s pocket) and spend that money yourself,
i.e., keep its use under your control. Use your judgement and common
sense to help create a better system. Organizations tell us to join
them and contribute money so that they can tell others to stop doing
these bad things. This lets us off the hook and we can go back to
“business as usual.” This doesn’t solve the problems. You and I cause
1. Every time we buy something new, industry pollutes some more to
2. Every day that we go to work we aid the Profit/Wage Game in its
3. Every time we use our car and many other machines, we are
destroying our environment just a wee bit more.
So you see, “Saving Our Earth” is a very personal act. I can’t
very well tell you to stop polluting if I am still doing it. I must
learn how to live without polluting before I can be of any help to you.
You are not going to stop until you can see a safe and sensible way to
live that doesn’t pollute. I expect the best that either of us can do,
is to stop our own polluting in little ways, here and there . . . where
ever we can find an alternative way that doesn’t pollute. Industry will
either have to shut-down or stop its polluting . . . if we quit buying
We have the POWER to stop pollution . . . if we have the will-
power to use it. STOP BUYING . . . AND STOP SELLING THEM MUCH OF YOUR
LABOR . . . until they reclaim and recycle ALL of their waste and stop
producing products that pollute. Perhaps after that, we can go back to
“business as usual.”
Garden of Eden Story
Larry Niven has a thought provoking short story called, “What can
you say about chocolate covered manhole covers?” about human origin in
“All the Myriad Ways,” Ballantine Books, 1971.
Back to Cushing
It feels good to be back in the country. My friend moved and now
my 22′ house trailer is parked in a little clump of trees under a pine
and near his implement shed. I can plug into electricity here and have
water not far away. I like it.
I WAS ROBOT (Utopia Now Possible) is a collection of the best of
LFP since 1972. It is somewhat an autobiography on how I managed to
retire in 1969 when I was 42 and on my progress since. It attempts to
point out the basic fault of the present world-wide economic system and
proposes a system without this fault. It suggests things that an
individual can do to not only help save our environment but to help
create a near Utopia. It also attempts to show how one can know oneself
a little better and take control of ones own life and be happier. It is
also available in this BBS.
4/1/90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #75
Very little freedom, growth or progress:
1. If I work too many hours to survive.
2. If I am too busy with distractions.
3. If I am afraid.
4. If I am ignorant of the Prime Cause of my problems.
5. If I am unaware of a solution.
6. If I believe only a doctor and drugs can cure sickness.
7. If I feel powerless and insignificant.
8. If I believe I need a leader.
9. If I don’t make plans for my future.
10. If I conform.
11. If I acknowledge a right to Government to make Laws against me.
12. If I believe I am only a “part of the whole,” “a cog in the wheel”
or “a drop in the bucket.”
13. If I feel “dependent” on a person, group or government.
MORE PROFIT (for others):
1. If I must work too many hours to survive.
2. If I am engaged in costly diversions.
3. If I buy entertainment, booze or/and drugs to forget my fears.
4. If I continue to use the Profit/Pay system.
5. If I am too busy to look for a better system.
6. If I don’t learn to cure myself.
7. If I feel too insignificant and powerless to help change systems.
8. If I believe I need a leader.
9. If I don’t think about the long term consequences of my actions.
10. If I behave like everyone else.
11. If I obey the Laws that limit me.
12. If I go along with the rest of the cogs.
13. If I must serve others to get what I want.
1. I don’t work for money, because have I greatly reduced my
2. I spend less time with distractions.
3. I absorb very little of the mass media, and am less afraid.
4. I use my free time to figure out the “prime cause” of each
5. I think up a list of solutions and try one.
6. I have studied alternative health ideas and now listen to my
7. I make changes in my lifestyle.
8. I make my own common sense decisions.
9. I try to make decisions based on the long term view of the
10. I discover more satisfying ways to live.
11. I decide for myself which Laws don’t make sense.
12. I know that I am a “whole” self-sufficient being, and have learned
to survive and be happy.
13. I survive and am more contented because I’m less dependent on
money, people and things.
ALL this boils down to:
I changed some of my beliefs, and my entire life. I’m learning to
take care of my needs. The only law I need is, “Do to others as I would
have them do to me.” I’m learning to settle my grievances with people.
I’m learning to phase government out of my life and not support the
cruelty, pain and death that governments cause people. I attempt to
ignore all levels of government and try not to be dependent on it.
I am learning that I can survive happily as a hermit. I think I
could now be a better partner in a “non-dependency” relationship.
I shall attempt to stop worrying about the world-wide evils and
stop trying to change them and stop supporting those who still worry. I
am trying not to be a “cause” of the polluting of the environment or
the “cause” of pain to people. I realize that every time I buy a
product, the factories produce another, to refill the inventory. Thus,
industry and big farmers pollute our environment in direct proportion
to what I buy. I also focus on eliminating the need for money and
barter from my life. I try to learn how to “take” from nature, what I
need. I try not to sell my time, but give it “for free” if I choose to.
I attempt to find like-minded friends to share surpluses.
If other people can see that my lifestyle is better than theirs,
they may stop buying (causing pollution) too. They may stop supporting
governments and their wars. They may stop supporting the big
corporations and help each other, instead. Then sooner or later
everyone may jump on the Priceless Economic System bandwagon.
Meanwhile, life will be better and happier for those of us who are
using the PES’s lifestyle.
I have already figured out a way to live without owning land or
paying rent. $0. rent is my largest money saver each month. A friend
allows me to park my old 22′ $400 travel trailer on his sheep pasture
in a little clump of trees behind his machine shed in return for favors
I did for him 15 years ago.
I have been, for some years now, reducing my food expense. I now
spend about $50. per month for food (and I have meat every day). I have
My clothing expense is only about $10 per year because I shop at
dumpsters and rummage sales.
My doctor, drug and health insurance expense is zero. There is
nothing I want in drug stores. I don’t seem to get sick any more.
I still need dental work and I usually have that done in the
Yucatan, Mexico, for about 10% of the USA cost.
After I get rid of my van, I’ll be using even less money and
reduce my polluting even more.
At the present time, I look at my government Social Security
retirement pension ($336/mo.) as a return of my money, that they took
from me for so many years. Perhaps later I may learn to do without
There are many places I can live rent-free. Some people are living
rent-free in boats; on oceans, lakes and rivers. Some are doing so on
mountains, swamps, deserts, forests, woods and on other land not being
used. Some are nomads and travel from free place to free place. I plan
to try to get myself to start traveling on foot with a very light pack.
I have thought of mounting small bicycle wheels on my backpack or maybe
make a jinrikisha that I can pull and also sleep in.
Fighting the government and big corporations and demanding change
is NOT working. The army is being used more aggressively and
corporations are reducing our spendable income by raising prices more
The beauty of the PES lifestyle approach is that each individual
that tries it, is immediately effective in reducing pollution, if they
stop buying. Each individual who participates, slows down the army’s
aggressive uses by not being part of it, by not fighting it, by not
financing it and not supporting government in any way.
Government and big corporations can not continue to exist if we
individuals (one by one) stop supporting them.
We don’t have to join a party, go to committee meetings, wait for
someone to tell us what to do, go to a demonstration, get thrown in
jail, pay dues, or make donations. No! We just sit down and start
making our own life better and happier. We figure out ways we can stop
our personal polluting and think of how we can withdraw our support,
energy and money from government. We are our own boss in this area. We
are free to be creative and try new ways to accomplish our more natural
The more independent one gets — the more control one has over
When I started getting more spare time on my hands I started
taking trips to places I’d never been. I took more time to observe and
think. I began to understand the world and life much better. I began to
see that a lot of what we were taught and took for granted — was not
true. I realized that most people (regardless of nationality) were good
people, if they were given half a chance. They all wanted happiness but
didn’t know how to find it. We had been taught that it could be bought.
That lie is costing us our happiness and our freedom — if we believe
My ideas of a happy lifestyle keep evolving. Your ideal lifestyle
will no doubt be different because we are all different.
If you don’t start changing NOW, you never will!
6-1-90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #76
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I started with zero
$’s. I worked long and hard. I read every book I could find on how to
succeed in my work. I had at least two jobs going all the time. I
earned the money to support my family. My wife stayed home and took
care of our home and 3 kids. I did not have time to waste in cocktail
or dope parties, bars or watching sports. But, I did manage to earn and
save up enough ($100,000) to retire by the time I was 42 years old, in
1969. I have not worked for money since. I gave my newsletter free of
charge. As you will see, I now have far more choices for the use of my
time, than when I worked for money. Then it was an endless struggle to
keep my bills paid.]
WHAT TO DO TODAY?
(Rethink my lifestyle, again)
A. What should I do with the 24 hours of free time I have created for
B. Try to figure out what I really want, deep in my being, to be
doing right now.
C. What do I like to do?
What Should I Do?
1. See the printer and stay with him until he finishes my “I Was
2. Try my three new software bargains.
3. Get my teeth fixed.
4. Glue down torn carpeting.
5. Patch pants and shirts.
6. Bleed brakes.
7. Grease van and change oil.
8. Make bread.
9. Build a couch/bed.
10. Work on a form letter.
11. Try to write another issue.
12. Go to some yard/garage sales.
What I Want
1. More traveling and talking with people.
2. My teeth fixed.
3. More sailing.
4. Walk around Europe.
5. Sit and people watch and do more thinking.
6. More fully live the “free time” life instead of writing about it.
7. Send out my book.
8. Put together Robot #2 book.
What I Like
2. Fixing things.
4. Siting, people watching and thinking.
5. Drinking a little.
6. Talking about interesting topics.
7. Listening to intelligent people.
8. Taking a long air flight.
9. Writing my thoughts.
10. Using a computer.
11. Trying to figure out what makes us do what we do.
12. Reading science fiction.
13. Finishing what I start.
What Is Freedom to Me?
1. Not feeling a duty to people or country unless I promise it.
2. Trying to figure out my needs and desires and fill them.
3. Knowing I’m 63 years old and counting. Even though I’m trying for
165 years, time is still precious. Realizing I have only “X”
number of years left and starting right now to use them (this
moments) for my own pleasure and happiness.
4. Being aware of the traps I put myself into. For instance, self
publishing and distributing tie me down to my mail box.
5. Being aware that people are drilling holes in the hull of my boat
(Spaceship Earth), and attempting to show them how to stop, by
reducing my own drilling.
What Makes Me Feel Happy?
1. Exchanging smiles and jokes and laughing.
2. Exchanging thoughts.
3. Seeing new sights.
4. Working on a problem and solving it.
5. Finding something lost or discovering something I didn’t know.
6. Helping someone.
7. Organizing my time, life and space and having them run smoothly
Note: Are these “natural feelings” or are some of them conditioned
by parents, schools, jobs and culture? I think most of my shoulds are
conditioned feelings whose priorities need reevaluating.
Result: After all of the above talking-to-myself on paper, I
decided to do the first of my shoulds, which also turned into writing
Feeling, seeing and paying for oppressive government does not give
me good feelings. Governments are only necessary if power is to be
centralized into a small dishonest group. Honest leadership does not
require a government to protect it. Honest leadership gives advice free
of charge and cares not if it is followed. Good guidance given freely,
in the long run, often helps even the giver.
An intelligent being knows that “Power” is a heavy burden, not to
be picked up, just as a slave chain, has two ends. So, what kind of
beings have we allowed to pick up “Power?”
People who believe they are capable of self-government, but that
others are not, have allowed governments to form and endlessly grow
stronger, more cruel and more oppressive.
After we have discovered or acknowledged these truths about
government we can proceed to learn ways to thrive much better without
If the boat you are riding in is spherical in shape and is making
yearly cruses around the sun and is having holes drilled into its hull
by its passengers and the person you have chosen to be captain, is
allowing this to happen and you can now see that your boat is sinking –
– what are you going to do?
Do you really need a captain if your spaceship is on automatic
pilot? Does it make good sense to drill holes yourself? Can you afford
to pay a captain wages who is allowing people to profit by drilling
holes in your ship?
We are passengers on a ship that has traveled its orbit without a
captain for billions of years. In the last few thousand years most
humans have been convinced that they must have a captain and obey
orders, just like the other domesticated animals. The idea that humans
are free beings on this planet has been crowded out of their memories
by the desire to take pay and obey. Shall we continue to perpetuate
this old myth? Or should we ignore the person who thinks that he is
captain and start steering our own course?
A hermit or semi-hermit life was OK for a while but now I’m
wishing there were more people (especially an active, intelligent and
independent old woman who liked traveling and sailing) nearby to talk
with who were devoting their time to the same work I’m doing, i.e.,
promoting the Priceless Economic System. I expect we would be able to
combine ideas sometimes and create a synergy which would produce more
than we could accomplish working singly.
I visit other people through my newsletter and the correspondence
I receive. But I could take it a step farther and visit them in person
if they would invite me and/or I could invite them to call and come to
visit me. I’m inviting you!
But, if my whole idea is to learn to think and act for myself,
then this group idea may not be good. Would it soon become another
leader/follower group, e.g., “Do this!” or “What should I do next?” Or,
perhaps I could use group experience as a challenge to learn to retain
my autonomy and to learn to refrain from attempting to control or nag.
If anyone has similar desires, to live in a Priceless Economic
System (PES) community where everyone is contributing his/her talents
(for free) to make the community succeed, whose overall goal is to
practice and promote the PES, please write to me. We would not give our
possessions and money to the group or to me. We would be independent
self governing individuals. If there is sufficient response, I’ll
compile a list of applicants and we will communicate about the how,
when and where of it.
There are times that I would like to get advice from someone who
is more expert in a particular field. There will probably never be a
time when we all have equal knowledge, wisdom and abilities. Some
people are more apt at guiding and teaching. Some have more aptitude in
using mathematics, science, nature, carpentry or some other skill.
Fortunately, we are not all the same.
Someday perhaps, people may evolve to a new discovery. They may
decide that they are ultimately the best off if they give their
inventions, discoveries and guidance, “free of charge” to whoever seeks
Remember this; there are a lot more people out there — about 5
billion. Which way will I be better off:
1. If I am trying to get “all the traffic will bear” out of each one
I contact and they are all trying to get all they can out of me.
2. Or, if I give freely to others and they each give freely to me?
Which is easier? It surely doesn’t take a genius to see.
To get a “Giving” (instead of a “Selling”) system started, it is
obvious that one must start “giving” some of ones products or services,
free of charge. Then, there is a possibility that some others may get
the idea and do likewise. One must put some grain into the mill, and
then turn the crank a little, before any flour comes out. One cannot
just stand in front of the mill holding an empty bag open and expect to
When we get a priceless system going, we will no longer have a
need for money or our trillion dollar per year (and growing) burden,
called Government. People will then be able to spend their time
cooperating to produce the best from the least and abundance for
With the PES we will have no monetary budget or political
interference for the Space Program. Then as many people who wish to,
may work in this field. Research and inventions should advance much
swifter with inventors cooperating instead of patenting. Then the Oil
Cartel will no longer profit from hiding cheaper and more efficient
It will be an exciting time with everyone having equal access to
their needs, learn-at-your-own-pace free education and jobs that are
interesting, beneficial and satisfying. Then, when we help others
enhance their knowledge and skills, it will provide better products and
services for us. There will be no reason for people to be criminals
when everything is free.
OK, so where does one start? Right here and now, in ones own life.
Reevaluate your own lifestyle. Study other lifestyles. Make changes in
your own — right NOW! NOW is where it is all at! We either start NOW
or we put it off and are soon caught up in our day-to-day problems and
are too busy to remember. NOW, is the magic word!
Living the Priceless Economic System will show clearly how
cooperation is far more beneficial to us individually than competition
has been. With competition there has to be losers. With cooperation all
PES will make it a lot easier to get along with people who are
different from us. It will no longer be profitable to mind condition
the public with race, sex and religious hatreds, i.e., the “divide and
Expand and Accelerate
With no budget or personnel limits the space program can expand
and accelerate and we may soon be traveling to the stars and exploring
and colonizing habitable planets, discovering intelligent beings and
mining minerals and resources on unoccupied planets and asteroids.
PES will open the door to the largest frontier yet discovered by
humans. In the meantime we will be learning how to associate with
others in harmony instead of with fighting and wars. Our fighting
(competing) with each other in court, in games, in person and with wars
is wasting tremendous amounts of time, resources, energy and lives.
History tells us that nations have conquered weaker nations and
slaughtered most of its people in order to steal its land and
resources. It often put the remainder of the population into slavery.
Things are really not much different today. The Pay/Profit System
encourages the most competitive people to do these wasteful things.
Can’t you imagine these same competitive people landing on other
inhabited planets and continuing to “rape, kill, pillage and plunder?”
Spread It Thick
As the PES concept grows and people begin using it in their own
daily lives, it is bound to spread. When we are seen enjoying life more
— people will begin to copy us. (When I see a good idea, I copy it and
try to improve it even more.) We won’t need to force anyone.
By the time we develop PES and space travel we will have also
developed enough skill in peacemaking to travel without a need for
weapons — if we want this to happen we had better get busy now and
put more effort into practicing PES.
It sure feels good to be back in the country again, after a week
and a half living in the city, sleeping in my van and helping my
printer with the collating of my book.
I can really appreciate how fresh the air is out here now. The
quietness is wonderful too. Of course the sheep and lambs are always
calling to each other with their baa’s and maa’s. The wind whistles
through the trees. The birds are often singing, but these sounds are
soothing and soon fade into a natural background. I like it much better
than Musak. I’m at least quite certain that there is no hidden
subliminal mind conditioning here.
Either Minneapolis has changed a whole lot in the last couple of
months or I had grown used to the easier pace of people and traffic in
the country. The city seemed like a mad rush. It seemed to have
imported an abundance of poor people from down south and many criminal
types. It offered them more and easier welfare money. Why did the city
do this? I can’t figure it out.
The printing, cutting and collating of ” I Was Robot” is now done.
I brought it to a bindery and it is supposed to be ready in a week. We
shall see. When I get it back I can send out LFP #74 which I had
printed almost two months ago. I couldn’t mail it then because I had a
plug in it for my book, which was not printed yet. Issue #75 evolved
and was sent out. I suppose it may have confused a few readers. So far
no one has complained. Perhaps they aren’t as aware of issue numbers as
The Christian Science Monitor had an article on the Little Free
Press entitled, “A Thoreau of the City,” by Jonathan Rowe, in their May
16, 1990, issue. This was the best and most honest article I have ever
seen on the LFP. Most articles that have been published in other
papers, in the last fifteen years about the LFP, have been about the
quaint and funky lifestyle of this drop-out business man, but they have
always had a couple of hookers in them which attempted to destroy my
I have really been busy sending out LFP’s to the (at least) two
hundred inquiries and more are still coming in. It is a wonderful
feeling to learn that there are more intelligent aware people out there
who are open to reading about new solutions.
Shot of Enthusiasm
Sometimes one gets discouraged in this work and begins to think
that everyone is already so brainflushed that they are now unable to
think for themselves and would be unable to recognize a good idea even
if it were dropped in their lap. But this article by Jonathan Rowe has
given me a new shot of enthusiasm. The response has taught me that
there are plenty of thinkers out there. The problem was that I just
hadn’t found the way to reach them.
I hope that you will make copies of this paper and send them out
to people you believe to be “thinkers and doers.” “Thinkers” really
aren’t much good to anyone unless they are also doers — at least doers
enough to share their ideas with others.
6-25-90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #77
I can see that most of us are drilling holes into the hull of our
ship and that it is beginning to sink.
I’m not drilling as many holes now and am trying to tell others to
look and see what they are doing.
I point out the reason why we do this.
It may not be enough just to stop drilling. We may need to
eliminate the reason why we drill, otherwise we’ll soon start drilling
in some other part of the hull.
As long as people can make a PROFIT (or wages) by encouraging us
to drill holes in our hull, they will continuously come up with new
ways to motivate us. And we’ll fall for some of them.
We may never win, i.e., save our space-ship Earth, if we continue
playing the Profit/Wage Game. A few people think they are winners, but
what good will their millions or billions of dollars and Power do them
after the ship sinks?
We are dealing with a shipload of potentially intelligent
beautiful people, who aren’t aware of the “prime cause” of why their
ship is sinking. So they continue to drill holes in the hull.
It is obvious that as long as people take pay, profit or barter
for their work, they must charge for the products produced. This
necessitates the continuation of the world-wide Profit/Wage Economic
As more of us get ourselves into a financial position where we can
afford to give part of all of our work or product away, free of charge,
we will find we have created new freedom for ourselves. We then have
control over the how, when, where, why, what and who of our work. That
is what freedom is all about. The definition of slavery is; “being
forced to work.” Today people are forced to work, in order to get some
slips of paper with dried ink on them and/or some little metal disks.
They must have these tokens, to barter for the things that they need,
to live. [Robert A. Heinlein, in his paperback book, “Time Enough for
Love” (Berkley Medallion Books, 1973) on page 171, gave an interesting,
easy to understand, definition of the money system.]
These slips and disks are not evil. They are a more convenient way
to barter. Barter is not evil. The Profit/Wage Game is a version of the
Barter Game. Only more convenient. With either of these two Games a
measurable Value is placed on all things, even on people’s labor. This
“Value,” motivates most people to accumulate as many of the “things”
with the highest value, as they can. Because of their accumulation of
high value things (or those slips and disks) they can hire people to be
their slaves; to work at production and service jobs or as henchmen,
e.g., police persons, soldiers and government officials. So which is
If people are pure givers, they give because they have produced a
surplus. A shoe maker doesn’t give away his only pair of shoes. But,
too many shoes get in his way. This tells him he has produced enough.
But if people ask for his surplus shoes and are delighted to get them,
he gets very satisfying feelings from giving his surplus, free of
charge . . . placing no measurable value on them. That would be
positive reinforcement that there was a demand for his skill and that
he was important to his community. Actually his surplus had a negative
value to him. It was surplus and was in his way. It also stopped him
from proceeding with the work he chose and enjoyed doing. He would feel
the best working at that job, when his surplus inventory was low,
meaning there was a demand for his shoes. There is satisfaction in
We all know it’s more fun to be our own boss, than to be a slave.
I had to get out of the rat race and relax and observe it form a
distance before I discovered the slavery I had been in. Then I soon saw
the obvious solution.
I also discovered that the seven room house, basement, attic and
double garage full of “things” that I had accumulated, were all burdens
to me. They tied me down like an anchor. They keep me busy, broke and
stres-sed; attempting to maintain, protect, store and pay for them.
I sold them all in 1969, (I was 42 years old then) and bought an
old pickup truck with a used camper on it. I and my wife traveled the
U.S. for a year; unwinding, observing, reading, talking and thinking.
About a year later we agreed to split our savings 50/50, divorce and
each go our own separate ways. Our youngest child was 17 years old at
I got so excited about what I was discovering that I started
writing and sending my new thoughts to my friends. That was the birth
of this free newsletter, the Little Free Press.
As more people discover this new freedom, there will be more free
things available. The good feeling of being ones own boss and the good
feeling one gets from Giving ones product away, free of charge, makes
life more worthwhile. Not being forced to work, but doing a job because
one thinks it’s important and doing it in such a way that it is fun and
gives one satisfaction — sure makes life more fun (and the product
Recently I talked with a popular local band leader and asked him
why his audiences loved his music. His answer was that he and his
musicians loved to play music. He said that they would be happy to play
free of charge, if they got everything they needed for free.
Use Less — Do More
The biggest drain on my little stash of savings and my SS
Retirement Pension is my printing expenses. I spend only about $50 per
month on food. I presently have free rent, i.e., I park my old 22′
travel trailer (that I paid $400 for) in a friend’s sheep pasture
behind his machine shed. I pay him for the electricity I use and once
in a while I help him a little, just for exercise. I think he
appreciates the work I’m attempting to do with the Little Free Press.
The free parking space may be part of his contribution to the New Era.
It doesn’t cost him anything, but it saves me a lot of money to use in
printing. I don’t accept money donations. I am an independent old cuss.
I like to think that I have paid my own way in this world. A survivor
is what I feel like. I like to give, but I have a hard time, taking.
Anyone who sees that his/her ship is starting to fill up with
water, will start bailing. The few intelligent people with more
forethought will also try to discover why this is happening. Then they
will try to figure out how to prevent the water from coming in. An
ounce of prevention…
This is what the Little Free Press is all about. It is trying to
show intelligent people how and why we are drilling holes in the hull
of our ship.
Once people understand that the motivator in their economic system
is the culprit, I believe intelligent people will look for a motivator
that will not urge them to sink their own ship.
Q. Work without pay?
A. People work as Volunteers if they think an important job needs to
get done. For instance, sand bagging a flooding river, helping out
in a hospital, church, political party, youth group, etc.
Sometimes they do very hard, dirty and tedious work.
A. People work very hard at hobbies (doing work that some people get
paid to do), because they enjoy doing it.
A. (See a more detailed list in the “I WAS ROBOT” book under “Why
volunteer?” page 168.)
No More Profit in Waste
Once we all work as volunteers and give all products and services
free of charge (not barter either), there will no longer be a PROFIT
for anyone to start a war or revolution. There will be no need for
sales people or advertising. Think of all the trees we will save. We
may only put thoughts in print if we think they are important enough to
preserve. When everything is free there will be no PROFIT in stealing.
94% of the people in jails and prisons are in for stealing. There will
be no PROFIT in causing people to starve, as there is today, because of
land speculation, cash crops and soil bank. It will then make more
sense to reclaim all factory wastes and combine them into materials
that can be used in production, i.e., add to our resources instead of
polluting, to make more PROFIT. It will also then make more sense to
design products to last a long time, instead of using planned
obsolescence and planned deterioration.
Industry attempts to create an artificial demand for their
products and services to make more PROFIT. When we change over to the
Priceless Economic System, The LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND can then return
to its natural meaning of supplying enough to fill the demand.
Now, the term VALUE is distorted to mean what a product costs in
dollars. Cost is determined by how much the traffic will bear. Using
the Priceless Economic System (PES), value can go back to its earlier
meaning of how important an item is to us. Like which has higher value:
A sweetheart or a dog? A car or shoes? A suit case or back pack? Books
or TV? A truck or a wheel barrel? We will value things by their use,
beauty, size, etc., instead of by their monetary cost. This may place
things differently on our priority scale.
We’ll then have such a wonderful world of happy people that we
won’t use governments any more. We might need volunteer police persons
for a little while, until people get the knack of being happy.
Of course, there won’t be any use for money, barter, credit cards
or work credits, when people work for the fun of it.
There will be no reason to take more than one needs, because we
have the ability and resources (See Bucky Fuller’s “World Game”) to
produce abundance. There will be no resale value for and no status in,
accumulating large quantities of free goods. “Too much” then, is only a
burden to be avoided.
How to Start a Priceless Game
The first step, I think, is to present the idea to everyone. I use
this newsletter as my way of sowing the seeds of the Priceless Era.
Hopefully people will figure out a way to use their own best talents to
sow their seeds.
The second step is to live that free system, as much as one can,
in the here and now. I give my product, the Little Free Press
newsletter, free of charge. I seldom charge for my labor if I help
someone. I can do this because I laid away a little savings to take
care of my small needs.
I am cutting way back on my spending. Because I don’t suck-in much
of the mass media’s advertising, I don’t have the desire to buy their
junk and processed food. I try to start with basic food. Like oatmeal
and corn; I buy oat groats in the bulk from a co-op grocery and whole
corn from a farmer. I grind it in my Corona hand mill the morning I
cook it. You can’t get food much fresher than that. It’s taste and
nutrition is far superior to the oatmeal or corn grits you buy in the
super market. Once a food’s skin is broken, its nutrients and flavor
begin to leach out. Take the peeling off an orange or an apple and see
what happens. My garbage bag hardly ever gets full. I throw my waste
food into the sheep pasture for the sheep, rabbits, birds, ants, dog,
The more food is processed, the more it costs and the more
advertising wrappers go into your garbage, i.e., the more it pollutes.
If you buy processed food — you are drilling holes in our ship’s hull.
Because anything you buy, the store must reorder and then the food
processor factory produces a replacement and pollutes again, on your
And third, to spend lots of time trying to figure out more ways to
improve on number one and two.
I guess you can’t say it is going to be easy to get the PES going
world-wide. It has not been done before, we have no precedent to
follow, but that doesn’t mean that the time isn’t ripe for such a
drastic change. Now, even working people can do a tremendous amount of
“exchanging of ideas” in their free time. If they drop a few of their
diversions (and quit hassling one another), they can create free time;
to use copy machines, quick print shops, computers, telephones, audio
and video tapes, etc. to com-municate their ideas. We may have arrived
at a period in time in which, this change can happen. Just in time to
save our space-ship Earth from our own foolishness. And save our own
species (this of course, includes our own skins and our kids’ as well)
as a by-product.
If we focus some of our thoughts and actions each day in this
area, we may be surprised at how much each of us will accomplish.
Working like this, one becomes ones own boss in this area of ones life.
One gets to give ones creative section of their brain some exercise. It
gets stronger. One becomes ones own motivator. Everyone gets some good
ideas, if they just put their mind to it, often enough. We little
people, with some common sense, may be the ones who will come up with
creative fresh new ideas that will save our ship. The “experts” have
failed. The “experts” have almost succeeded in destroying our life-
support system on space-ship Earth. They have annihilated several
species of life already and may eventually succeed in causing homo
sapiens to become extinct.
So we had better quit relying on the “experts” and take matters in
our own individual hands and save our own skins before the “experts”
have pushed us beyond the point of no return, on the road to
I found a way to get myself out of the rat race 21 years ago and I
keep hearing of more people who have also.
Remember this, “No one is going to GIVE you freedom!” You have to
You can’t wait for other people to fix you, because most of them
don’t have their own head screwed on straight.
You have no “rights” on this earth. Only the “rights” you TAKE!
The “rights” anyone gives you, always have an “if” attached.
Some fella from NY wrote a book called, “The Brilliant Function of
Pain.” I read it about 15 years ago. In it he told us that if we were
in physical or mental pain, to focus our minds on where our pain is and
the area around it and describe the pain clearly to our self and think
of nothing else for an intense period. He said that the pain would tell
us what we were doing wrong and what we needed to do next. I use it
(when I remember). It very often works, and the discovery doesn’t cost
a cent. It has sometimes told me that I had better go to a doctor or
dentist. Usually it tells me things I can do myself to cure it.
I WAS ROBOT (Utopia Now Possible) by Ernest Mann
“. . . is part picaresque autobiography, part intellectual quest for
freedom and justice, and part radical (and quixotic) economic theory. A
Minnesota Library Assoc., MSRRT Newsletter.
“Mann has for many years disseminated his thoughts on personal and
economic emancipation, simpler living, and a price-less economic system
via his Little Free Press . . . the book is a compilation of may of his
writings and an autobiography, describing how, after 20 years in
business in Minneapolis, one Robot transformed himself into an almost
free individual human being.”
New Environment Bulletin, Syracuse, NY.
“ONLY YOU CAN MAKE YOU FREE says Ernest Mann in his new book . . . I
WAS ROBOT takes on the military, government, corporations and all the
people who let these powers control their lives.”
Tranet, Rangeley, ME.
“The book is just great! The white is so white — it’s like a tablet —
ingest its contents and feel better fast. He is a nonviolent
revolutionary at work.”
Karen Moore, Duluth, MN.
” . . . book is one of a kind. #1. All success in the process. Hat off
to you. I will offer I WAS ROBOT, to neighbors, minister, across
backyard and around the street, at least put it in their hand, see,
Marvine Honea, Marion, IL.
“Finally got around to writing and sharing with you the pleasure I had
with I WAS ROBOT. Every now and then I get the book out and re-read
sections that I have noted with a magic marker.”
T. Kilgore Splake, Munsing,MI
9-5-90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #78
Wars make a lot of Profit for the bankers and industrialists who
order the politicians to start them. Wars are soldiered and paid for by
people who don’t know this.
This might be a super good time to try to inform as many people as
possible about how this Game works. The Profiteers need to know that we
won’t do their fighting for them. We should tell the mercenaries (our
paid soldiers) that we won’t back them up with labor or taxes to
produce their weapons and supplies.
Perhaps then the puppets (politicians) will be told to back off
and try again later, after we forget.
“No man is an island unto himself.” Is this more mind-
conditioning to make us more dependent on a group? If we are dependent,
we must conform and obey! Is that what slaves have to do?
Hermits have proved that humans have the potential to be self-
sufficient independent units. I don’t say that a hermitage is the ideal
life, but just to know I can do it, gives me more confidence. I can’t
change other units. I don’t know what their needs, desires and dreams
are. I have my hands full trying to figure out what my own are.
The more I focus my thoughts on discovering what makes me happy —
the less time I have to serve others. Have we been conditioned to think
that serving others is the right thing to do? Isn’t that what servants
(slaves) are for? I wonder who these “others” are?
“They” call us selfish if we take care of our own needs first. If
everyone took care of their own needs first, everyone would be taken
care of. There would be no one left to serve. Are the people who choose
not to serve their own needs, the ones who have been conditioning us to
wish to serve others? I’m not speaking here of our young children. Of
course we serve them and teach them to serve themselves. And our
invalids — we try to help get them well.
When I quit focusing my mind on my friend’s or neighbors “faults”
or problems and quit fantasying on what they should do, then I have
some available space in my bio-computer to ask myself important
1. What makes me happy?
2. How could I accomplish this?
3. What could I do this minute to begin this?
4. What could I do tomorrow to further this plan?
If I don’t take the time to ask questions like these and follow
them up, I can’t expect my dreams and hopes to ever come true, can I?
S. O. S. S. E.
I am anxious to get people helping with saving our space-ship
Earth, because I have very selfish hopes of living a very long life and
having a lot more fun. Who knows, they may even discover a youth pill.
Besides that, I want to be around when we get star travel. Space will
be an exciting endless place to explore. Our new frontier.
I would like to see our good old Earth remain habitable. Otherwise
I expect, I’ll have some difficulty realizing this dream.
Think of how much faster inventors can progress, when there are no
patents, so that they can share their ideas with each other and with
Once in a while we all get some good ideas, but don’t know what to
do with them. In the Priceless Economic System (PES), we could type our
ideas into the central computer and it could distribute them to
inventors that they would be applicable to. Most people don’t send
their “good ideas” to anyone, because they think they would just be
cheated out of any monetary reward anyway. Many good ideas are lost
In the PES, where there would be no profit in forming monopolies –
– people who produce oil and some other energy sources, would have no
incentive to hide or sabotage cheaper and better alternative energy
Someone once sent me a xerox copy of a scientific journal from
1926 or ’27. It was an article by Nikola Tesla (an electrical inventor
in Edison’s time). In the article, Tesla wrote about the method he had
invented to send energy through the air to airplanes, so that they
would not need to carry fuel.
I have read that he also invented a way to send energy through the
earth and not need to use wires.
I also heard that the reason these energy transfer methods were
suppressed was because the corporations would have been unable to use
meters for the consumers in order to charge for it. Anyone could have
tapped into it. Think of all the wire and poles, profiteering has
wasted all these years.
Think of how much more inventors can do when they have unlimited
resources to draw from. Think of how apprentices would flock to a busy
inventor to learn from him/her and add their labor, skills and
creativity to the project. People would flow to the work they enjoyed.
It is mind boggling to think how this would accelerate PROGRESS!!!
Take the NASA space project for instance. You know how government
always drags its heels. At NASA, I’ll bet their shoes are worn down to
the bare skin at the heels. NASA has political obstacles, both national
and international. Most of all it has budget limitations which not only
retards progress but limits the quality of materials and expertise it
can get. You know how slow, wasteful and inefficient government is.
It is astounding, amazing and totally unbelievable that the
government puts the nose-cone on the right end of the rockets and is
even able to get them off the ground!
But think of the Progress we’ll make once the inventors get free
of government red tape and money worries.
Have you ever wanted to learn something new? Like a new trade or
profession? Then looked into the cost and time it would take to go to
college? One can learn at the library through books, but most books are
so vague that one must get more books to understand the first book.
This way they make more money from books and classes.
When I bought my computer in about 1987, I also bought “Microsoft
Word” one of the best word processor software packages. The 3″ thick
manuals that explained how to use the word processor, sometimes had
such vague explanations that it was nearly impossible for a beginner
to understand. Of course they had classes one could buy. Microsoft also
sold a book that they wrote, explaining their manuals. No! They didn’t
include that book with the software! How do you suppose the Microsoft
owner (Gates) got to be a billionaire in his thirties. Not by helping
people, but by charging all the traffic would bear! This is just one of
the tricks that people must play to get ahead in the Profit/Wage
Economics Game. It is not bad people, just a bad Game.
I didn’t buy their “extra” book and I didn’t take their classes. I
asked my software dealer and called long distance to Microsoft in
Seattle a few times and I learned how to run it. The self teaching was
really fun. It felt so good to re-discover the thrill of learning.
There was agony too, but the thrills out-weighed them, so I succeeded.
What I’m trying to get at is, — now we have a great new
technology with computers for self-teaching. There is self-teaching
software already, but the good stuff is very expensive.
When we start using the Priceless Economic System, my guess is
that children and adults will prefer to learn at their own speeds and
will mostly do it with computers at home.
I bet it won’t be too long before we have networks within our
homes. Like each family member will have his/her own keyboard and
monitor in their room and the power unit and printer will be in a
central location in the home. I suppose the more affluent families
already have this.
We won’t even have to go to the library to get the software. We
already have modems that can copy the software from the library over
the phone in minutes on to our own hard disks or floppy disks to keep
in our home libraries. This sharing wouldn’t cost the libraries
But you can see how the Profit/Wage Economic System(PWES) would object.
(pronounced, pee wee’s)
The only thing that is keeping this from happening is the PWES.
Think of the Profit land speculators and industrialists make selling
land and construction materials to the government to build school and
college buildings, to fill them with furniture and fixtures, to sell
them heat, air conditioning and light and to supply them with
maintenance items. Think of the Profit the publishing industry makes on
all the books. Student housing, clothing and busing industries get in
on the bonanza too.
Even now, without the use of computers, parents who home-school
their children, side-step the above expenses and some do it in less
than two hours per day. Their children are able to pass the same tests
as the kids who must spend their whole day in school plus have 2 hours
Tell me, which looks like the most sensible route to Progress? The
Profit way or the People way? Would this reward of having free
computers and free software for learning anything that intrigued you,
be motivation enough to get you to help us change-over to PES???
Just what does it take to get you to drop all of your diversions
and get your ass into gear and start helping with the change-over???
Notes from Readers
“I really enjoyed your book, I WAS ROBOT. I immediately took
myself off the `overtime desired’ list where I work. It’s a small step
in the usual scheme of things, but it was a big step for me. I’m really
enjoying the extra time to myself — it’s great.
I’ve also started using your idea/rule of asking myself if I
really want to work the extra hours required to purchase some `thing’.
More & more, I say `no!’
You don’t know how often I’ve thought of you and your book and
your ideas over the past month as we endure the madness of the IRAQI
`crisis.’ Having read your book, I immediately understood the dynamics
behind it all. So simple, really.”
“I don’t know why you sent me the free and unrequested Little Free
Press newsletter, but you picked the right guy. I’m enclosing some
postage. Keep it up.”
I attend college. Between classes, I read a copy of two pages from I
WAS ROBOT. With it was an order form which I left for others. Please
send me more info. on the book and a copy of LFP.
“I was actually pleasantly surprised to receive LFP #77 yesterday.
I haven’t sent for or gotten LFP for quite some time, so I must be
recipient to some ones gift-giving whimsy; perhaps yours, perhaps a
“For some reason I am enjoying your publications more. Perhaps
they fit in more with where I am going than they did in ’88. I had a
computer job then and I was much more conventional.”
“OK, so you are getting to me, slowly. I have taken a vow not to
buy any more residential real estate and have listed two of my duplexes
recently. I need to cut back.
I am reading your book, and have religiously read the LFP.
I can carry stuff on my head as well as you can!
They are locking the dumpsters these days. We are not recycling
very much. We are a pig headed, stubborn species, flying in the face of
our special gift of Knowing.”
Response to a book review of I WAS ROBOT:ÿ
I can understand Ed’s remarks about what his experience has been
with human nature. He said, “I think there are many more people who
want unlimited free access to what is produced than people who are
willing to put in volunteer labor.” Many people have expressed this
But, the Free Skills Pool, which I visited about ten years ago in
Monterey, CA, told me that it was their experience that in their group
of about 135 — people were very willing to give, but they were more
reluctant to ask for a service. They did not keep accounts on how much
people gave or took.
I find that this is true for myself also. I find it much easier to
give of my surplus, than to take a gift from someone. When I have
traveled in this country and abroad, I have found people extremely
willing to give me free directions, if I asked.
Divide & Rule
Could the mass media have planted the thought in our heads that
everyone is greedy and out to get us? Do they try to make us think that
most people are mean and would kill us, if it wasn’t for government? I
don’t know any people like that. Since I stopped absorbing the mass
media, I don’t feel those fears any more. I wonder why? Would this be
in line with their “divide and rule” policy? Would it tend to make us
afraid to try large cooperative efforts?
Has it conditioned us to believe that we can’t trust our self to rule
our self? Would it then follow, that we couldn’t trust others to rule
Once we discover how to rule our self, we may realize why others can
and will too.
Ed said he didn’t think people would be willing to put in
volunteer labor. But according to the Christian Science Monitor of
March 30, 1982, there were 84 million Americans who donated volunteer
labor. They were able to do this, because they had other means of
support, which would be like the Priceless Economic System. With the
PES everyone would have everything free of charge.
Perhaps Ed meant there would be no volunteers for jobs he
considers “not interesting jobs.” If you will examine some of those 84
million volunteer’s jobs, you will find many you would not choose to
Don’t volunteers often do work that is distasteful, merely because they
think it should be done.
They may have preferred to lounge on the beach in the sun, but instead
they did what they thought needed doing.
Writing, publishing and distributing the Little Free Press for the
past 21 years is certainly not the most fun thing that I could have
been doing. And it costs me a tidy sum to do it. But darn it, when you
see your boat is leaking, you start bailing. Even look to find where
the water is coming in and try to stop it. Even though I would prefer
to lie on the beach in the sun — I can weigh the priorities, and know
which is more important, if I see my boat filling up with water.
One Day On – 6 Off
Buckminister Fuller, in his book, CRITICAL PATH, stated, “About
90% of all U.S.A. employment is engaged in tasks producing no life-
support wealth.” In 1981 there were 100,397,000 people in the U.S. in
paid jobs. (READER’S DIGEST 1985 ALMANAC) 10% of these would be
10,039,700 life-supportive jobs. With 84,000,000 volunteers we would
have 8.36 volunteers per job. If the jobs averaged 45 hours per week,
that would amount to 5.38 hours of work, per volunteer, per week to
keep our life support system going. That would be about like — work
one day per week and have six days off.
Not many people would object to working just a little to carry
their share of the load, do you think? Especially when they learn how
it will end wars, taxes, pollution, stealing and starving. If no one
volunteered for the 90% of non life-supportive jobs, we might be better
With the world-wide Profit/Wage Economic System, they attempt to
create a demand for products and services that we don’t want. With the
Priceless Economic System, we would produce enough to fill the demand.
Probably a bit more, to create a little inventory so there would always
be an abundance available.
Then industry could cooperate in designing only the best, most
efficient and most beautiful products for everyone.
We have the technology to make products last a long time and be trouble
free, but in the Profit/Wage Economic System there is more incentive to
do just the opposite. So when we make products last a longer time and
be more trouble free, we won’t have to reproduce them so often. This
will not only conserve our resources but will also cut down our working
hours even more.
Pay for Work
Ed and most people seem to think that we should go on using pay
for work. But don’t they realize that as long as people are paid, they
can be told what they must do? They can be told to fight in a war,
harass civilians, pollute our environment, guard investment property to
keep people from using it to grow their own food and have a place to
lay their head at night. When you take pay, you must obey! They used to
call that “slavery.” Slaves were force to work!
People are all forced to work today! Work or you don’t get any of
those green slips (with a dead slavemasters picture), to use to barter
for food and rent. Work or starve! Anyone who accumulates enough of
those green slips of paper (or like banks who print their own) can hire
people as slaves. People will do almost anything if you give them
enough of those green trading slips. People will even sell their
dignity and go on welfare for those green slips of paper.
Work as Volunteers
When we all work as volunteers we will no longer have a need for a
government. We will save over a trillion dollars per year. Think of the
resources that government wastes each year! I don’t know about you, but
I can’t see that government does anything beneficial for me. If I need
leadership on any project, after we change over to the PES, I’ll just
ask someone with more expertise than I have. Government has never
offered me any leadership that was to my benefit. Ed, could be right
and I could be wrong, but these are some of the reasons why I think the
Priceless Economic System would work.
The PES is already working in my own life. I have more freedom in
my work, writing and distributing the Little Free Press newsletter.
I write what I believe to be true. I don’t have to please an editor,
publisher or my readers, because I give it free of charge.
I’m merely trying to point out to my fellow shipmates, the holes
we are drilling into our space-ship Earth’s hull. Every time we buy
something new, the store orders another one and the factory pollutes a
little more as they produce another one. Industry hires us, to drill
the holes, and pays us those green slips, so that we can buy another
“thing.” Then they hire us to drill another hole which lets in more
By the increase in sickness and deaths, we can see what this
pollution is leading us to — extinction, either on a personal level or
on a species level. This accelerating result cannot stop unless, we
take a hold of the bull by the tail and look him straight in the eye.
We must accept the fact that our “buying” causes industry to pollute.
So there really is no struggle. We just need to learn to get along
on less “things” to gain more free time to figure out, for our self,
how we can live the priceless way. This will make our own life better
and happier right away. A world of happy individuals, might be called a
happy society. If the units are OK, the whole is OK. I can work with my
own unit (me) and I don’t need to attend a committee meeting to do it
and I don’t need anyones permission. I am becoming more free!
WITH OUR BELIEF SYSTEMS AND OUR FEARS, WE EACH IMPRISON OUR SELF TO THE
SPOT WE ARE IN.
The people who are giving part of their surplus products or
services free of charge are the pioneers who are laying the foundation
for the Priceless Economic System. This will give people hope that it
could happen. That it is happening! “Seeing is believing.”
People may see that we have more control over our lives and are
making our work into an interesting enjoyable experience. The shock of
getting our product or service free of charge will get their attention
and cause them to wonder why we do it. This may give us the chance to
explain or at least share our literature with them.
No matter who we are. No matter how poor we are. No matter how
unprofessional or unskilled we are. There is something we each have.
That is 24 hours of time each day. If we each use our brain a little,
we can set aside some of that time to give something free of charge.
Depending on the level of our education, skill, training, natural
common sense, etc., we can figure out some product or service that we
can give, free of charge.
Our next step will be to think of how we will let people know of
our free product or service. We may wish to decide who we will give it
to. And then the when, where, why and what. This will give our old
brain something creative to chew on, instead of allowing the media to
lead it around in fear and trivia.
Who’s Doing It?
Patch Adams, a medical doctor in Virginia has been giving his
doctoring time, free of charge for over 15 years. He makes his money to
live on by using part of his time presenting lectures on keeping
The FREE SKILLS POOL of Monterey, CA, is a group who were sharing
their skills 10 years ago.
I have been giving food for thought (the LFP) free for most of 21
years. Obviously the free way is the better way, or we would have quit
Of course, 84 million volunteers have been doing it every year and
we just take it for granted. They have been doing it for the fun of it
or the satisfaction they get from doing what needs doing. Priceless
Economic System volunteers have an additional reason and that is
because we see that a total volunteer world, would produce a near
Utopia for our self and everyone.
If you know of anyone else who gives part or all of their product
or service free of charge, please let me know and I’ll share that
information with LFP readers.
Maybe what we are doing — is getting the ball rolling. We each
give it little pushes, here and there. There really isn’t any
resistance. Everyone desires Utopia. So the ball gathers momentum with
each little push. It will be a piece of cake, if we all add our little
If you think these ideas have any value and want to help, please have
copies made and pass them on to thinking people. Or, you could be a
distributor (your own boss) and get all the feedback by having your
local printer print as many copies as you wish with your name and
address on them. Then you could use your own creativity in distributing
them and answering the mail. You could even doll them up by adding
graphics or photos to make the papers more effective. Think of the fun
you could have and the good you could do!
10-1-90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #79
There was a man called, Mike Take Freedom Belchak, who worked with
me for 5 years, about 10 years ago. He must have handed out about
100,000 copies of the Little Free Press. He used to design, create
(from rummage sales and rubbish boxes) and wear special costumes with
strange gimmicks to attract people’s attention in downtown Minneapolis.
He once or twice did cross-country walks alone. He spent a few months
in Carbondale, IL.
Mediamike, from St. Paul, made a video interview years ago with
Mike Freedom and recently sent me a copy. It shows Mike discussing
freedom, in the funky peddle car (with a sail), he built from scraps.
It sure brought back old memories. I called Mediamike and asked if he
could make copies of his VHS cassette for LFP readers who knew Mike
Take Freedom. He said he would be glad to. They will cost $20 postpaid.
Write to: Mediamike, Cats Pajamas, 344 Ramsey Street, St. Paul, MN
Wooded rolling land can be bought around this northern fresh air
country (120 mi. NW of Mpls.) for less than $350 per acre in 40 acre or
larger pieces. Very little intensive farming is done around here so the
highways to nearby towns are bordered by beautiful woodsy peaceful
scenes and often by a lake or a marsh.
I think land can be divided into 5 acre plots without having it
surveyed (which is expensive). That would be $1,750 for 5 acres to
build on (many plots might have enough trees for a small cabin) or park
a house trailer. This week there was a 1964 12’x55′ 2 bedroom mobile
home advertised in a local paper for $2,000. And a month ago, there was
an ad for an older 8’x35′ travel trailer for $500. That would be a very
cheap way to have your own place, with no mortgage or rent payments. On
a 5 acre homestead, one could have a garden, chickens, a pig, and even
a cow. Then one wouldn’t need a very big income to live really well.
If someone (who isn’t a money-grubber) wanted to come up here and
buy some land and divide it into 5 acre plots I would buy one and
encourage Little Free Press readers to join us. We could then attempt
to practice the PES as much as we could. We would all be independent
and take care of our own needs first. With our surplus time, those who
wished to, might set up a Free Skills Pool and “give” products or
services, as much as we felt like, to who ever we wished. This could be
lots of fun and save us all a good deal of money.
Or, I might even be persuaded to move to a different part of the
country, to be part of this kind of community, where people were
content to live with only one law — the Golden Rule, i.e., “Do to
others as you would have them do to you.” I don’t believe in loving my
neighbors, unless they deserve it, and incidentally, are not married.
I put the following ad in a Minneapolis singles paper a month and
a half ago and got zero response:
“63, active, healthy divorced white grandpa. 5’7″, 160 lbs. with
full beard and long hair. I am a writer, traveler, self publisher, a
self appointed Mr. Fixit for the operating system of Spaceship Earth,
sailor, science fiction reader, an atheist and am secure but not rich.
Desire an active, healthy and not over-weight divorced white
female about my age, who doesn’t absorb or believe the mass media, who
doesn’t get seasick, who likes and can afford economical world wide
travel and who enjoys the quiet country life.” Is my problem, a rare
breed of woman or an undesirable old goat?
How the heck do we navigate in this new society? Do we settle for
less or do we remain single? How do we let other good humans know that
we desire their happiness as well as our own. That we know that we can
not be happy if our mate is not happy. And expect as much understanding
from our mate. There surely must be a counter-part out there somewhere,
but how does a man find her?
Beat the Game
I am winterizing my trailer now. I’ve made some storm windows with
clear vinyl plastic ($14) and have stuffed some insulation material
(free) here and there. I built a plywood (salvaged from dumpsters)
skirt around it. My next project is to spread a few bales of hay ($1
per bale) about 10″ deep on the roof. I bought 3 mill black poly
plastic ($7.50) to cover it. I don’t have a chimney, so there is no
fire hazard. The highest heat loss is in the roof, so this hay should
keep me as cozy, as a bug in a rug. When the snow falls, it will be
added insulation. If it melts, the black surface will attract heat from
the sun, when it is shinning. I may be able to get by all winter with
my two 1,500 watt electric heaters. Hair driers and toasters use about
1,500 watts. I can’t use wood or oil heat because I think the smoke or
fumes could clog up my computer.
I’ve been watching the local free papers’ (there are several in
the country) classified ads for a bottle gas wall heater. I missed two
a month ago, by not calling quick enough. But with all my added
insulation, my electric heaters may do the trick. Oh, to be able to out-
smart the Rat Race! It takes some innovativeness and some quick action,
some times. It is fun to beat the Game, if you can.
At this very moment I have a thick pork steak, thawing-out on the
pilot light, that I’ll fry for my noon meal. I forgot to buy eggs so I
missed out on my usual Sunday morning thin Swedish pancakes, with home-
made syrup. You vegetarians out there must think I’m sick. But I’ll bet
I’m healthier and less moody than you are, and I’m not ashamed of my
place in the food chain.
The purpose of The Game, I think, is to continue to have a world
of slave laborers to care for the needs of a few smart asses, and their
subordinates. Oh, they give us some green chits at the end of the week
to barter for our sustenance, but we still must “obey.” What is it
called when you must obey? I am trying not to be part of that slave
labor gang. I am not part of the Master Group either. I am one of the
rising number of self-liberated slaves. I’m trying to learn to be a
natural free wild independent human being, i.e., I’m attempting to
escape from my domestication. I started quite late — at the age of 42
years. I’m 63 now and still learning.
I Enslave Me
I have an amazing amount of freedom, but I can see that I have
created an enslavement for myself. I try to show people their slavery
and a way out of it. This enslaves me. Why can’t I escape and just say,
“To Hell, with the rest!” Maybe, I’ll learn how to do this. If only I
could gain enough faith in humans to think that some day they will also
figure this out. Then maybe I could drop all this crusading and learn
how to be happier — a free being and not feel guilt for not helping
These ideas, that I have discovered for myself about my freedom,
are ideas that slaves, as stupid as me, will probably discover too. Why
should I be so arrogant, to think that they need my help?
Am I just a damn old fool trying to convince others of what I
think I am seeing? Am I depriving myself of my own free life? Am I
enslaving myself to this role I chose for myself? Am I retarding my own
progress in my own evolution toward that “natural free human” I wish to
The above, is called “burn-out.” I suffer from it, from time to
time. I have quit this work several times in the past 21 years and went
off to play, intending to never come back to it. I would take off to
one of the costal ports and look for a sail boat to buy and become a
Gypsy of the sea. I would usually find a suitable boat within a couple
of weeks. Then I would chicken-out, not buy the boat and return home to
my PES work. Soon thereafter a new issue of LFP would be born.
I think I’m trying to drop-out of this work I’ve designed for
myself. As long as this work keeps me very busy — I don’t have time to
day-dream about finding my freer happier life and perusing it. Am I
doing to myself, what the system used to do to me?
I have no desire to be a bee in a bee hive, conforming to what the
Queen bee commands. I have no desire to be a stingerless drone. I have
no desire to be a King. I have a strong desire to learn to be an
undomesticated free being. Continued slavery does not excite me. (Some
I have rationalized that I was one of the blind rats racing after
the cheese for 42 years. I jumped out of the race and then I began to
realize how I had been helping to destroy our environment and how I had
been allowing and paying for Wars. When I was an ignorant farm boy I
even enlisted in WWll.
I came to the conclusion that, even though I had cut way back on
my environmental destruction and war support, the destruction was
accelerating and the rest of the pack would soon have the environment
in such a bad way that it would make my remaining years very difficult,
if not impossible. So I concluded that I should alert them to what they
were doing to our future.
I have also thought of how nice it would be for me to live in a
nearly Utopian society. I can see that a Priceless Economic System
would lead to that. So Utopia is the big piece of cheese I hold up for
myself to keep going in my solo crusade for the Priceless Economic
I sure wish that someone would join with me here (or at some other
spot on this old Earth) and help with the mail, etc. Also to have
someone to talk the PES idea with and hopefully improve it and the
methods of sharing it.
That person or persons would need to be financially secure as I
am. That person might be permitted free parking for a small trailer or
camper nearby in this sheep pasture. Or, my landlord might allow that
person to convert a small barn or shed into living quarters.
In the past I have read books on Utopias — from Moore’s Utopia to
B.F. Skinner’s “Walden Two” and although leery of our present system, I
long thought that Utopias were not feasible — no one seemed
interested, around me, at least. To write a book is one thing, but to
take action — well, I thought that no one had. Thank goodness for you!
One thing strikes me, however, on all of this: Will the masses
give up the conditioned air, Nintendo video, mass production world of
convenience and unaccountability they’ve know for so long? I doubt they
would consider living as a hermit for a moment. It would be “beneath
them.” And besides, remember the motto I deem theirs, “If I’m not
hurtin’, why go to a doctor?” (It’s a line from a story I wrote trying
to symbolize this type of complacency.)
Do you have a list of people who have Free Boxes and Free Skills
Victor F., AL
Perhaps now would be the right time to start our own crash
program, “Utopia or Bust.” And that is probably the only alternative
the human race has. Couldn’t we have busy exciting times on such a
crash project? Several of us volunteers could get together and figure
out the; how, who, when, where, why and what — to get the project
started. Then we could brainstorm, have think-tanks and do all the
marvelous things that crash projecters do. Our motive might be, “to
find a way to get the general public, to desire and change-over to, a
more Utopian system.”
We could also have a research and development team trying to prove
or disprove the workability of the Priceless Economic System.
I see no reason why the masses should give up anything. The reason
some of us pioneers are giving up some technology is to save money, so
we will not have to work in the rat race as much. We’ll then have more
free time to convince the masses to all switch-over, all at once, to
the Priceless Economic System. They won’t have to give up anything
except the hassles of never having enough money. They will have no
further need for money — if they agree to work without getting paid.
Then all products can be free.
When we are using the PES, we can begin to use technology to make
technology clean, unpolluting and unwasteful. We will have things so
garsh darn convenient that many, may quit cooking and eat at
restaurants all the time, instead of bothering with kitchens and all
the stuff necessary therein. Many may move to hotels and get away from
the time and resource consuming maintenance of houses and yards.
If we can lure the masses with the carrot of Utopia, we may get
more converts than constantly reminding them of how bad they are. I
wish I could remember this more often when I write.
Why don’t you start your own Free Box and see how it goes? Start
your own Free Skills Pool with just one of your friends (you probably
already do help your friends) and add more people, as you get the hang
of it. They are in existence and they do work. I visited a Free Skills
Pool in Monterey, CA. I saw a Free Box at the collective grocery in
Mendoceno, CA. I have had a Free Box at my place for at least 4 years.
If we wait for groups to do it — it seldom gets done. Individuals
accomplish everything that is accomplished, whether in a group or out
of one. Just do it, man!
Your book I WAS ROBOT is one of the best books I have ever read.
It’s brilliant. Your idea of a Priceless Economic System is perfect. I
carefully read the steps toward such a system, and believe me I am
doing my part the best I can. Your book, at times, made me laugh, it
made me cry, it made me question things, it has just done so much for
A friend of mine loaned me the book and I devoured it in about 6
or 7 days. He’s told me all he knows about you.
I am 16 years old, I’ll be seventeen soon. I really don’t know
what I want to do with my life, for I am a senior now and I’ll be
graduating early (January). After reading your book, wanting to get a
job in such a system — well, I really don’t want to. Have you any
Billy H., IL
. . . you asked about getting a job. Well, being a bum isn’t much
of a challenge. Anyone can do that. And it does limit one from the
freedom that a little extra money gives one on this planet. I think I
would find a way to (legally) make some money at a job that wasn’t too
distasteful, in fact try to find one that would be interesting to you,
that paid well. Save every cent you can and in the meantime, after you
get home from work, research all the vocational guidance books
available. Take any vocational and aptitude, etc. tests you can, to
help you see what you could be the best at — that you would find
interesting — and therefore fun. Then start intensive learning from
books and if possible computers and better still as sort of an
apprentice in that field. Get good in that field and you’ll find a job
I just can’t recommend college, where you would spend 4 to 8 years
and owe your parents or the government $50,000 just to learn to work.
Crazy man! I’ve heard that some people sneak into the University
classes and learn for free. They call that “auditing classes” I think.
In this old world, I think one feels better if he/she knows how to
support oneself and therefore survive without begging.
Of course I also recommend that one try to live as much as
possible in harmony with nature. Destroy her as little as possible.
Attempt to encourage and teach the Priceless Economic System whenever
possible. But first learn to survive yourself, before you help others.
The Monthly Meander, Box 32631, Kansas City, MO 64111, is an
interesting discussion bulletin which is composed mostly of letters
from its readers. Send them a stamp to get a copy. They reprinted Ed’s
book review of I WAS ROBOT. You might like to respond to it, if you’ve
Northshield, Box 385, Ely, MN 55731. The most down to earth and
understandable and most persuasive environmental publication I’ve have
seen yet. They don’t give you the impression that they are money
grubbers or that they are trying to get you to boycott their
competitor, like so many environmental movements. If you know people
who still don’t think that there is a serious environmental problem,
this is a magazine to get facts from. It’s $12. per year. However, they
don’t point out the “prime cause” of the problems nor the logical long
term solution. I wrote to them, pointing this out. I hope you will too.
If you desire honesty, remove the reason for dishonesty, by installing
“I’m not radical because I’m against war, pollution, starvation
and stealing — I’m radical because I have a solution!”
10-19-90 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #80
Have you ever wondered about the thoughts that occupy you, while
driving, walking alone, doing boring tasks or during other free time
Has the mass media figured out how to enter these thoughts? Are
these private little fantasies that we argue in, fight in, struggle in
or what ever we do in them; are they somehow influenced and altered by
the mass media experts? In these awake fantasies are we re-living and
re-acting, like Pavlovian dogs, to what we have previously absorbed
from the mass media? Do they invade our dreams, and effect them too?
What we see, read or hear (including music) may stay with us longer
than we suspect.
Do these little performances rob us of free time that we could
have used to think up ways to make our life more fun and more
meaningful? Do these little episodes keep us too distracted to realize
the slavery we keep ourselves in?
Because I recognized my TV, radio and newspaper addictions 20
years ago, I have not watched, listened to or read them since. Except
to occasionally see what they are currently feeding the masses. This
defiance has given me much free time to see for myself what the fuck is
One reason why I’ve been attempting to warn people of what I think
I see, is that if they stay in their present role (of obedient
spectators), we are headed for continuous War (= Wasting of resources)
and the ruination of our environment (= not enough food). Then things
will be very bad for all of us. People with a little foresight can see
this, so we are trying to make some basic adjustments in the economic
system so that there won’t be a reason to continue wars and polluting.
There is a reason for everything. The trick is to find the basic reason
for the problem and remove it, not contain it.
Does music lead our emotions into the mood it was composed for?
What mood does most radio music set today? Do you like to be in that
When I keep myself busy reading SF in my spare time (one or two
hours each evening), I don’t get restless. I’ve thought of not reading
for a while. See what happens. Who knows, if I keep my bio-computer
unoccupied it might come up with some new ideas.
Maybe go fishing. See how I like that. Maybe while being intensely
busy fishing I may produce some good ideas. Should be fun too. Might
even catch some delicious fish.
With my work all done in preparation for winter, will I use my
free time wisely to do more serious thinking on how to create my
personal Utopia? Is it possible, that sitting up here in the sheep
pasture in my little trailer, I’ll start to do some more good thinking?
Will I have fewer distractions here, than I would on a sail boat
or on an around the world trip? Will I also have my newsletter, book
and correspondence situation at its optimum position? Would the most
sensible thing then, be to live here all winter (except for my dental
trips to Mexico)?
I’ve got to recognize the fact that I’m starting to be aware of my
enjoyment of my present efficient set-up and routines here in the
But is the most sensible thing always the best? My old plan of
“running-away” still feels good. Of dropping LFP, book and
correspondence. Of becoming a Gypsy of the Sea. Of fine tuning my life
and Freedom and understanding it better.
I have only X more years to live. How can I make the best use of
It seems like I’m attempting to achieve total independence from
people and government. This means from money too. I can live with being
dependent on nature. Why and how should I proceed?
What is wrong with being dependent on money and the things it can
buy? I enjoy the things I buy with it. Money is merely stored up labor.
It is easier to store than a truck load of firewood or thirteen houses.
When one trades work for money, one tries to get as much money as
possible for ones labor. If one saves some of the money, the next
question is, where to save it or what to invest it in.
People have lost their savings in banks in bad times and have lost
or gained in investments. My dad used to say,
“Any damn fool can make money, but it takes a mighty smart person to
save some.” He never got rich, but he always had a little extra money
I’ll admit that the “controllers” devalue money whenever it suits
their purposes, so the Profit/Wage Game is a very difficult game to
stay ahead of, but it can be done.
When you get some savings, invest it in something that you
understand, that is rising in price along with the inflation. I never
touched stocks or bonds because I didn’t understand them. I had heard
of too many people losing their life’s savings in them.
Learn a lot about whatever you are thinking of investing in. Learn
what would happen to it, if there comes a big bad depression. What
could you do with it then? Remember when they had to carry wheelbarrows
full of money in Germany just to buy a few loaves of bread!
If a person takes the best job that is available and wisely uses
the other 16 hours of each day and the 48 hours of the week end, then
s/he will have lots of free time to train ones self for a better job
and still have time to lay plans for ones future. One could also set
aside time to discover more about ones self and life and learn to get
the most out of the time one has remaining. One might also learn to be
aware of “this moment” and practice getting the most out of it.
Q. Why do I write like this?
A. It seems, I must repeat and repeat and repeat these ideas into my
old head to get even a few of them to become habits. I don’t need
to publish them. But I guess it is fun to publish, with hopes that
someone as dumb as me, may be able to use them. It’s the good
feeling of thinking I have something to give that others may want.
Why Become Independent?
1. I don’t like being manipulated. They say they will raise the gas
and heating oil prices about double this winter. I could react —
turn to wood heat, if I didn’t have a computer or go south. [Being
channeled or bled] If I were independent, I could ignore the
threat and just pay the extra green slips and continue my plan.
2. Social Security and Vet’s pension could fold-up. Banks and money
could become worthless. I would then be totally dependent on
government welfare or starve, if I were not totally independent —
which I’m not.
I’m dependent on money. I’m dependent on shoe factories, clothing,
food production, fuel, shelter, post office, electronics, ball
point pens, paper, reading glasses, false teeth, dentists and
rarely doctors. My present lifestyle requires all of these, even
if I get some second-hand. They still had to be produced at one
To gain some independence, I could buy some cheap land far from
the big cities and build myself a retreat in case it becomes
necessary to grow my own food. It could be used in the meantime
for a temporary place to get away from it all and think, relax and
3. If there is a depression, and I had some independence, I would
survive without stooping to welfare. Being dependent on government
welfare prompts one to “not bite the hand that feeds you.” [more
fear-mongering] The solution to #2 would apply here.
Becoming more independent shows others it can be done. It blazes a
trail for them. Getting people out from under the yoke, might bring
them into Utopia. In our individual little Utopias we can help each
other and both benefit.
Do I mean independence from everything made by someone else’s
machine? But I wish to use some of these products! Like axes, knives,
computers, gas and electric heaters and warm clothes.
I could cut some wool with a sharp stone, make yarn and weave
clothes after I raised the sheep. Or I could use the sharp stone to
skin the sheep and tan the hide and wear it (in winter). How pure do I
wish to get? It would take for ever. Just too much to learn to go
backwards, i.e., primitive. I would hate to give up the use of
computers, cars and airplanes.
How far back does one go to get independence? Back to the stone
age? Or how far back? Does one go back at all? Or does one go ahead? In
the present world-wide Profit/Wage System, surplus money is
After we change over to the Priceless Economic System, people will
have more control over their lives. Then we can choose to work only at
what we think is suitable production and only if the other workers
treat us well. We will have shorter working shifts because there will
be no more “make-work” jobs and no more “junk made for profit” jobs.
In the present Game, one can have independence if one has some
surplus money or things that can be converted to money. That is the
kind of independence I have had the past 21 years. It has been good.
We all have 24 hours each day. But most people don’t manage to set
aside free time each day for thinking and planning. As long as people
allow diversions to steal their free time they are not likely to
achieve their hearty’s desire. Most people have not even taken the free
time to discover or create their heart’s desire and clearly define it,
let alone plan how to achieve it.
If a person plays the Rat Race Game, as best one can learn it,
saves some money, then quits — then one can create a few months or
years of 24 hours per day of free time to do his/her heart’s desire.
Because I like and want things and services that others provide, I
guess I must admit dependence on them. But if I have some surplus
money, it doesn’t really matter.
Dependence would be a positive phenomena in the Priceless Economic
System (PES). If it were not for people who wanted and needed products
and services, the workers would have no motivation to continue
performing the skill that they had chosen and enjoyed doing. So the
givers and takers would be dependent on each other in a very positive
way. They would give each other and themselves, satisfaction and joy by
their giving and their taking.
Q. What is the meaning or purpose of my life?
A. To survive and make myself happy. (Certainly not to serve, i.e.,
be a slave!)
Q. Why am I here?
A. Because my mother’s egg accepted the sperm my father provided.
Q. Why was I born in Chicago?
A. Because I wanted to be near my mother.
Q. How can I make myself happy?
A. Set up a good survival system for myself and then use my free time
to think of and make a list of all that causes me to be happy. And
then create those situations.
I have already created a nearly independent temporary survival
system for myself.
Now to make a list of what makes me happy:
2. Fixing something.
3. Finding something free that is useful.
4. I was happier when I had a woman to love, talk, play and live
5. Writing and producing an issue of the LFP newsletter.
6. Doing something I like to do.
Q. What do I like to do?
A. Fix, invent, shop, cook, clean house, wash clothes, i.e., all
the things I need to do! I also like to write, travel, sail and have
I seem to be happy doing the things that I need to do and other
I don’t expect to be happy every minute of my remaining life. But
I would like to understand happiness to the point of being able to
experience it whenever I wished.
Happiness is an emotion or feeling. Emotions are thoughts. I have
learned a simple method* to control my thoughts. Therefore, I should be
able to cause myself to think I’m happy at any time and any place.
Happiness is a thought which makes my whole being feel good,
relaxed and worthwhile. It is how I think about something that makes
me feel happy or not. Perhaps happiness is feeling satisfied and
content with what I am doing. This seems logical to me. Now I must try
it out, to see if I can turn it on and off. The hardest part is to
remember to do this, when I’m not feeling happy.
Q. If we had a world of independent humans, would we have any
cooperative inventive or production progress?
A. If I had my survival taken care of for the day and someone came up
to me and said, “I think we can build an energy catcher and
storage device that will keep us warm this winter without the need
for cutting wood or digging coal. Will you help me build it?” I
would, if s/he was a decent sort to work with.
If I was asked, if I would help build a bridge over a river that I
liked to cross often, I would agree. However, if I was asked to help
manufacture disposable aluminum cans, I would say, “No!”
Let’s say a bridge builder wasn’t busy and he asked me if I would
help him build another bridge, right next to the last one he built. His
excuse was that there should be another bridge just for women.
Because the present bridge was never crowded and women were not
bothered, I would refuse to help. If others felt the same way, he would
get no help with his non-productive bridge.
Conclusion: I think worthwhile projects would get done. There would be
no Profit for anyone in worthless projects, thus no motivation to do
them. I think a project would need to be useful, to attract workers.
Q. Must I make myself totally independent?
A. I don’t care to pay the price.
Q. Does all this blabbering mean I should buy a boat and become my
Gypsy of the Sea fantasy, stay here, do an around-the-world trip
or what does it all mean? Has it clarified my thinking?
A. The boat trip would put me out-of-touch with my readers, unless I
headquartered in a southern port and just made excursions out from
there. Use of a computer might be either expensive and/or
difficult on a boat.
Back to Happiness
Describe desired mate:
I made a list (similar to the ad. in #79) of the attributes I
hoped for in a mate.
Where to find her:
Next I made a list of all the places I thought a person like that
The idea has finally dawned on me, that love is what my life is
missing. That having a mate even in old age, is the way to paint
brilliance and sparkle on ordinary happiness.
I have wished for a mate. I have looked in bars for one. I have
advertised for one. I have kept myself too busy to think much about it.
But now I’m going to try more systematically to find her. I think I’ll
use the above lists to start with and look for her, after I get a set
of new false teeth. First things first!
If I find her it will be a challenge to show all these unfulfilled
couples that two people can learn to enjoy each other. And that it is
not necessary to keep changing mates or swapping mates to find
happiness. I got along fine with one mate for 25 years. I think I can
do even better now.
LUNO (Learning Unlimited Network of OR), Gene Lehman, 31960 SE Chin
St., Boring, OR 97009, a very informative newsletter on teaching
children. Has some word games. Free, I think, but send stamp.
GOTHIC ARCH CABIN, Jim Hartley, Box 656, Chiloquin, OR 97624. Jim has
joined the free system. He will now give his blue prints at cost,
$2.50, for his great little house anyone can build from scraps for a
couple of hundred $ or less. Also ask him for a copy of his fable,
THE KINGS OF THE JUNGLE (The Sustainable Lifestyle of the Warlis) by
Winin Pereira. 44 page 5.5″x8.5″ booklet. An interesting and
informative look at an ancient native self-sufficient lifestyle rich in
culture, wisdom and knowledge that is rapidly being destroyed by
Profiteers with government’s help. It records the age old process of
making wage slaves from free self-sufficient human beings. It may give
you a hint of what our own ancient ancestors enjoyed before they got
suckered into wage slavery.
The booklet is free but must cost them a couple of dollars to
copy. They accept donations. Send to: Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva
Mandal, 79 Carter Road, Bandra, Bombay 400 050 India.
To get people thinking, talking and arguing about the pros and
cons of the Priceless Economic System.
11-6-90 Ernest Mann
* I WAS ROBOT, Ernest Mann, page 120.
Little Free Press #81
It is important that some underground papers are informing people
about the damage clearcutting is doing to our ecology.
People have been trying to force loggers to stop this practice.
This often gets press coverage, but clearcutting still goes on.
Perhaps we should think for a couple of minutes and discover the
“prime cause” of clearcutting.
It’s like trying to stop a tub from running over. You can’t stop
it with bumper stickers or by holding it back with your hands.
Find the “prime cause” of the problem and deal with that. Then all
you need to do is shut off the faucet.
Take clearcutting. Loggers are motivated by wages. Logging
corporation are motivated by profit. Government does not take the
profit or wages out of clearcutting. No, it only attempts to “contain
the problem,” i.e., it pretends to keep it from getting worse. For some
strange reason it isn’t successful.
What would happen if we took the profit and wages out of
clearcutting and removed the profit and wages from all of the other bad
things we are doing to our environment and to people?
If there was not a profit in advertising, people would stop
advertising. Advertising is used to “create a demand” for a product or
service. We might all be better off if they would stop producing
products and services that we don’t want.
Think of how thin newspapers and magazines would be without
advertising in them. Think of all of the trees we would save without
advertising. Without profit-wages we could again build sturdy houses
from mostly stones, bricks or glass to last for hundreds of years. This
alone would save millions of trees each year. Think of all of the paper
and cardboard disposable containers that are in your garbage — they
were produced for profit. Think of all the trees that would be saved,
if we took the profit out of disposable containers! There wouldn’t be a
need for waste burners, nor for landfills if there wasn’t a profit in
advertising, in disposable containers, in planned obsolescence and in
4 Legged Garbage Collectors
If cities had no law against the possession of chickens, pigs and
goats, there wouldn’t be a need for garbage trucks. It has also been
known for some time that manure makes excellent fertilizer and doesn’t
even need to be processed. Or it could be put into household methane
generators to make fuel and the residue could be used for fertilizer.
The only containers that should be disposed of are the ones that
Government uses to “contain the problems.”
How can profit/wages be taken out of the logging industry? What
would then motivate anyone to cut down the trees necessary to fill the
remaining demand? Nationalizing industry never solves the problem.
Isn’t profit/wages the same culprit that causes other industries to
pollute instead of reclaim and recycle its waste?
Isn’t profit the culprit that induces certain people to start
wars? And isn’t wages the culprit that nullifies people into letting it
Take a drive across the U.S. and see the millions of acres of food
growable land that is not being used to grow food.
Isn’t profit-wages the culprit that causes cash crops, soil banks
and land speculation, which keeps people from using the land to grow
their own food, thus causing much starvation on our lush planet? And
doesn’t that in turn cause people to steal? 94% of the people in
prisons and jails in 1980, were in for stealing1.
So if we can visualize and set up an economic system which does
not require a profit or wages to motivate people to work, we would shut
off the faucet on the clearcutting of forests and on most other major
Buckminister Fuller2 has showed us that “About 90 per cent of all
U.S.A. employment is engaged in tasks producing no life-support
wealth.” So when we take the profit out of advertising we will stop
doing most of those jobs. That will give us a lot more people to help
with the necessary work. In 1981 there were 80 million volunteers3 in
the U.S.A., i.e., people who were willing to work without wages or
So we have more than enough people who are willing to work without
Logging Can Be Fun
The people who enjoyed logging could then make their work into a
real fun profession. Perhaps logging would evolve into something like –
– enough logging families would settle in the center of each forest or
nearby, to take care of the logging. Between them and the forest
rangers (who would no longer be under Government’s or industry’s
direction), they might inventory their forest and put this information
into their computer data base.
With computers, videos and channel TV; forest caretakers might
share their learning with other forest caretakers the world over, with
no wasteful bureaucratic intervention. The experts in the forests would
be making the forest decisions — not the politicians or the
The loggers and rangers would probably develop many specialists in
their settlements. Like; people who enjoyed roaming the forests and
observing and recording where all the trees were, their size, etc.
Others might observe the health of the trees. Some who liked working
with numbers might like recording this information into computers. The
people who liked to do the actual falling of the trees and the hauling
to the mill might prefer to live there too. The saw mills might be part
of their community.
When a lumber yard’s inventory got down to a certain point they
could put their order into the Forest Computer Network, listing the
kinds and sizes of lumber they needed. Then the forest caretakers
nearest who could supply the necessary logs could respond. These ideas
might be how the new logging industry will evolve, but then again I
suspect, real lumberjacks will have much more logical ideas on how they
will like to work and live.
We would nearly have an Utopia or Paradise on this old Earth, if
we would all agree to work as volunteers and give all products and
services free of charge.
With everything “free,” there would be no need for money, credit,
barter or government. No reason to steal or starve. All education would
be free for everyone. We might all get too smart to allow anyone to con
us into wage slavery again.
This idea of a volunteer or gift society has been invented by at
least six other people (who contacted me) since 1971. The Eskimos, the
South Sea Islanders, the American Indians and probably many others
lived a very similar society for thousands of years. Then along came
some barbarians who captured them and either killed them or made slaves
of them and stole their land.
With our instantaneous communication systems, we now have the
capability to transform the whole world into this near Utopian system.
Then we would have the people, ideas and resources to fine tune this
volunteer system, to keep it evolving always into something better.
Volunteers have control over the how, when, where, why, what and
who of their work. Paid workers must obey. Slaves had to obey.
Volunteers can say, “Fuck Off!”
I am not getting any younger. Nor spryer. Nor more alert. I have
noticed these things.
If I wish to live on a sail boat and travel extensively for a few
years or for ever, I had better start NOW!!! That is the only time I
Is the timing right for it now? It has not been right up until
now. Perhaps the time is right now. I have the urge now. And I’m not
discouraged or burned out with my work. I feel very good and optimistic
about the Priceless Economic System at this point.
If I plan to make a break from this past (21 years of) method of
publicizing PES, I should “piss or get off the pot.” Soon I’ll be too
entrenched in habit to be able to evolve to better ways of promoting
I have told myself for years, that I should try the total living
of the PES, instead of preaching about it.
That good writers would seek me out and write about it much more
effectively than I am capable of doing. I was capable of discovering it
and developing it and evolving with it. I just need to let, the dead
bury the dead, and get on with the living of Freedom and Happiness. I
had got the freedom down pat, but then enslaved myself in trying to be
a teacher of the idea. I’ve found contentment, but I haven’t discovered
the happiness part.
Almost 64 Years Old
What is my highest priority now?
1. To save the world for the people who are too dumb, busy or lazy
to save it for themselves?
2. I have only one life to live — should I use it to awaken the
others so that they can have a good life — or should I start
having a good life and find some happiness for myself before I
kick the bucket?
Even a damn fool should be able to choose between the above two
alternatives! But will I?
As I have written before — if everyone were busy pursuing their
own happiness — everyone would be happy and I wouldn’t have to wake up
They may awaken better by just seeing more of us (including me)
taking our freedom and happiness — than by all my preaching about how
others should do it. Yes! Yes! Yes!
I have finally come to the feeling that I don’t care if the LFP
quits today and my books never get sold. It’s OK with me because I
think I’m about to start another way to make change. To change myself
to the point that I become HAPPY!
Being a martyr is not an attraction. But being a happy person, may
be. We shall see. They say one can not find happiness by seeking it,
but that does not seem logical.
My first job then is to make myself happy. My Sea Gypsy Life may
do it for me. I’ll also keep on the sharp lookout for a female mate.
If they do have the big war or the big destruction of our
environment — in my new lifestyle I will be learning how to evolve and
adapt and survive to the new situation.
I got to get out of the old “servant” mode, of feeling, “I must
help,” those who won’t help themselves. I must acknowledge the
“survival of the fittest” as a very old and valid law of nature. If
most are too dumb or lazy to learn to survive, that is their cup of
tea. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
I must discover the virtue and the art of selfishness. Of taking
the best for myself. I don’t need to live a martyr’s life anymore. I
don’t need to sacrifice, just to save money, for printing to save the
lazy and the people who refuse to even lift a finger to help.
I can write a journal and write its index as I write it to make it
easier for me to review. I’ll continue to write — but write for
myself. Teach myself. Pick myself up by my own bootstraps.
Bring my best stuff with me. Consider this trailer as only a place
to stay when I visit my Cushing friends.
This will also help me learn where my best interest lays. Where my
highest priorities are.
On December 12th I started driving my van to Florida with my boat
repairing tools, favorite kitchen ware, bedding and clothes. I arrived
in Dunedin, Florida at a marina and looked over the boats and found
three sail boats with For Sale signs. The Florida Sailboat Trader
weekly magazine had hundreds of used sail boats (complete with photos)
with a couple dozen in my price range which looked good. I rummaged
intensively through the magazine and made several phone calls and
finally decided I didn’t wish to sail all the way around Florida at
this time to get to the Keys area. Figured I may as well buy a boat in
the Miami area because of the abundance of boats for sale.
So I took off, going through Tampa. I recall that city as being
full of old retired people 20 years ago. But now the traffic was a
bunch of youngsters weaving swiftly in and out.
That was a pain in the neck or the straw that broke the camel’s
I took a motel that night because the traffic at night going in or
out of Miami would also be BAD.
I didn’t mind the Atlanta, Ga., freeway traffic as much this time.
They have seven lanes leaving the city on both the north and south
exits. But I still wondered what would happen if some little thing
“went wrong” on my van or some car ahead of me on the Atlanta freeway.
It was impressed on me even more when a few little things did go wrong
on my van, but not in heavy traffic. My problems all happened as I got
off a freeway and safely parked. I’m starting to wonder if there is
such a thing as luck. I had thought that we made our own luck.
During this trip I stayed in motels three or four times. This trip
cost me quite a bit. About $150 for van parts and I supplied the labor.
Going down, a bolt broke which held the power steering pump and another
had fallen out. A fan belt had worn thin. After replacing them I had
some problems getting the belt to stay tight. Coming home, the battery
went out when I pulled off the freeway into a gas station in Rockford,
IL. I took a cab the three miles to a K Mart and got a battery just
before they closed. One lead battery cable fitting disintegrated when I
took it off. I ended up putting a C-clamp on to hold the wire to the
battery post. That stayed on all the way home.
As I pulled off the freeway in Minneapolis into a parking spot my
alternator went out. The two tiny bolts, about the thickness of a match
stick, that hold it together broke.
I couldn’t get C-clamps on it so I tied it together with some
twine and drove two miles to an auto parts store and got a rebuilt and
installed it in their parking lot.
There was about 6 inches of snow and it was around 0o. That wasn’t
a lot of fun getting down under the van, but I guess it was satisfying
to discover I could cope with the problems and fix them myself.
I used a credit card for the first time in 21 years. That was fun
not to have to carry so much money, but it won’t be so much fun when
the bill comes in January.
A ways east of Tampa in a cheap ($20) motel, I decided to go home.
When I got back up here to Cushing — I was sure glad to be home,
even though it soon snowed another 6″ and got down to a -38o.
My new gas wall heater is a little darling. It is only a 20,000
BTU size, but it heats up my little 20′ trailer in a hurry. It takes in
it’s oxygen from the outside and it’s chimney goes out the wall. The
walls on this travel trailer are only 2″ thick with a one inch
fiberglass insulation with one reflector side. One inch air space and
aluminum siding. The inside is 1/4″ plywood. If I plan to live in this
trailer next winter, I think I’ll take the siding off next summer and
add another 2″x2″ strip on the frame and put in adequate insulation,
and make better storm windows.
This trailer had the bathroom removed to increase the size of the
bedroom (which I use for my computer room and office). So my toilet is
an old farm style pot (bucket). I found a wooden toilet seat that I set
on top. I have a stash of leaves that I put in the bottom to keep the
poop from sticking and I do my water in a tin can.
So I dump my pot on the manure pile, after I use it and store the
pot in my closet. I just throw the water on the field and my sink slop
water goes into a bucket under the sink and that I empty on the field
too. I get my drinking water from my landlord’s outside faucet every
few days in a jug and a 2 1/2 gal. plastic camping bag with a faucet.
I guess you can’t call this very fancy living, but it is peaceful
I can’t hear the neighbors’ TV. I can’t hear them fighting. I
don’t worry about getting mugged. I don’t hear the constant hum of
traffic nor frequent sirens shaking the air.
The air is fresh. The sky is clear and the stars are plentiful. I
can do as I please. The rent is cheap (free). I have only heat and
light to pay for.
A Big Score
My landlord asked me to haul a load of used carpeting he was
getting for free from a friend in Minneapolis who was putting in all
new carpeting. So we drove in to this fancy condo’s basement and loaded
the carpeting. The condo was doing some remodeling and there was lots
of 4’x8′ sheets of 1/8″ plexiglas, rolls of clear bubble plastic
packing, boards, a dozen 2’x2′ mirrors.
We asked the manager if we could have that stuff.
They were happy we took it — it saved them a hauling bill.
The plexiglas sheets I leaned up against my trailer at about a 45o
angle on the east and south sides. I capped it off on the ends and
sealed the corner. I removed some of the plywood skirt on that side of
the trailer. I covered that plastic sheeting with those rolls of bubble
wrapping for insulation. I scooped the leaves and grass off the ground
under that lean-to so that a black surface is exposed to absorb the
warm sun rays when it is out. The bubble insulation helps to hold in
the heat that is absorbed and it circulates under my trailer and keeps
my floors a little warmer.
I left a little door-way covered with an old shirt that the
landlord’s dog uses. He has a wooden box with my old wool top coat
under my trailer. He seems to like his solar heated home. He goes to
visit his master occasionally and comes out to bark at any cars that
pull in the driveway. The funny dog. He howled almost like a tom cat
when his neighborhood girl friend was in the heat. He would also go
over there but was always chased away. Her master didn’t want puppies,
What did I learn from my 3,300 mile one week odyssey?
1. Cars are costly to own and drive.
2. Cars could cause fatal accidents by malfunction, parts
breaking or driver fatigue.
3. Driving long trips is very hard and tiresome work.
4. When I get discouraged, tired, bored or ahead of my LFP work,
I talk myself into quitting it. Then I go boat hunting. Find
some boats and quit. Then I go home — to work again.
5. Just getting away from my work for a while and focusing my
thoughts intently elsewhere, seems to be what I need,
I think I just need to remember to take a vacation when ever I’m
feeling restless or discouraging feelings. A very important thing I
learned on this trip was when I saw myself nude in a full length mirror
in a motel. I was astounded, dumbfounded and ashamed of how I have let
my body gain 20 pounds more than I need. I looked horrible. It was a
wonderful discovery before my computer-tummy and flab get beyond the
point of no return. So now I am beginning to cut down on my computer-
time snacks and pushing away from the table a little sooner and
beginning some exercises. The trip was worth it all, just to make this
My Next Vacations Do’s:
1. Don’t take a car or van. (too costly, too much work and too
2. Travel light; by plane, train, bus or walk.
3. Rent a room.
4. Go to an interesting place.
5. Write but don’t waste my life reading (vicarious living).
6. Use a credit card.
The following is an answer to a four page typed letter from Frank
Lee Sedd, Minneapolis, Mn.
Thank you for your letter. It is the kind I like to get, although
it makes me really rack this old brain of mine to attempt to answer
your doubts in a logical manner. Or who knows, perhaps some ones letter
may show me that I am wrong in my evaluation of the situation and of
people, and may guide me to a more logical path.
You said, “Actually I firmly believe humankind is inevitably
working toward some kind of Utopia.”
Well, Frank, I am one of humankind and am pointing out a path to
You said, “Major obstacles like war and environmental
deterioration will not end the striving.” Some people think that wars
are started to divert people’s attention from their striving toward
their freedom. It gets them too busy and worried to think about it.
You can read more about the Soviet Union’s withholding of gold
from the market by reading Farley Mowatt’s book, “The Siberians.”
Mowatt’s books are much more than informative — they are very
entertaining. He makes me laugh and cry. (Also read his “The Dog Who
Wouldn’t Be” and “The People of the Deer.”) “The Siberians” may help
you see how the world leaders are actually just one big family working
together to keep the sheep in line.
Now about how we would handle gold and other presently scarce
materials. I rather think you are right on this point that we “. . .
will build upon the distribution networks already in place.” My guess
is that in a logical Utopian system we would rather have the people who
produce the products, and are the experts in that area, decide on who
to give them to.
Not the government, the stock market, commodities exchange
gambling hall or any others who don’t know anything about the product,
as is done today.
I can’t foresee what we will do, but what seems like the most
logical way to handle the distribution of a person’s work is; the
person who does the work should be in control of the product, I think,
or he/she can quit and give their work elsewhere.
Just as I now have control of who I give my newsletter to, because
it is free. If there was more demand for my newsletter, I would
probably write more often, because I enjoy writing them, when I think
they are appreciated. When there is little demand for my newsletter, I
slow down my production. I am happy to allow the market (the demand)
determine my production, but I’ll be damned if I will let anyone
determine who I give my product to. I don’t give them to one of my ex-
brother-in-laws anymore, who said it was only good for wiping his ass
on. And if I discover any of my subscribers who are not reading them, I
refund their postage and take them off my list. I think that individual
freedom means this kind of power over ones work. At least it does to
me. Otherwise you don’t have freedom — you have just another ant
My guess is that if you wanted gold to use for ballast in your
sail boat and the gold miners thought that it would be a waste of their
energy, they would tell you to go and find and mine your own gold. They
wouldn’t care if you used gold, but not their efforts for foolishness.
Perhaps the users of precious metals will work closely with the
producers of the metals. They will be on the same team (we will all be
on the same team), so there will be no conflict of interest. If a new
user of the metal comes along and shows the producers that his new
product will be beneficial to everyone, I don’t see why they would not
let him have metal also. These miners would certainly have people who
could evaluate the merits of all products and assign a priority rating
to them. Because there would be no Profit from any product, I can
foresee no reason why they would wish to hog more than they needed. Can
You ask about licenses. When cars and airplanes first came out,
there were no licenses. And things went OK. When I was in real estate,
at first, there were no RE licenses in Minneapolis. The real estate
Union, (Board of Realtors) thought they could get rid of some of the
part time competition, like housewives and retired men, so they got the
city to put in a license law. They told people it would make the
profession more honest. But the real reason was to cut down the
competition. I know. I was there.
I don’t know if we will insist on people having a piece of paper
called a license to drive or fly. It may be that the mechanics at the
air port will not let their planes out to anyone unless they trust them
to be able flyers. Perhaps the master pilots will give a certificate to
a trainee who has mastered the skill. In any event I don’t see any need
for any laws except the Golden Rule, i.e., “Do to others as you would
have them do to you.” This simplifies things to the point that we can
live better without lawyers and politicians.
You may be right that we may desire to continue some of our
But I rather think we will discover it more fun, to do it
That would certainly be up to each individual.
You asked about what would happen to the domed stadium if sports
petered out in the Priceless Economic System. Because there would be no
monetary profit for anyone, either in using it or in salvaging the
materials in it, I suppose the people who were interested in it would
talk it over and try to decide what would be best for each individual
over the long run, and take the most logical course. Most people who
didn’t use it, could care less what happened to it.
You spoke about the zoning laws. I think that here again we can
refer to the Golden Rule. If you planned to build something that would
irritate your neighbors, you would reconsider, because you probably
like your neighbors and want them to continue to like you. Intelligent
people tend to live near people of their own intelligence level, if
they can. Most people don’t go around trying to lose their friends.
Most people will find in a free system that it is more advantageous to
have friends than enemies. Quite a few people already realize this. In
our present day to day relationships, most of us practice the Golden
Rule all the time, or as much as we can.
Regardless of what some people say, I think that Ayn Rand was an
anarco-capitalist, who believed in charging all the traffic would bear
without government interference. Although I did enjoy reading her
Yes, I agree. The Socialist countries are not better off than the
capitalist ones. The workers have it bad in both. The leaders do pretty
well in both.
I use “Random House Dictionary’s” first definition of profit when
I speak of it: “Financial gain resulting from the use of capital in a
transaction after all expenses are paid.” You are right, we will use
the word profit in a different sense in the PES.
You are right again that people are becoming more aware of all of
the bad things that Profit is causing.
It has even caused some farmers to begin organic farming and 99%
of them charge all that the traffic will bear. First they created a
demand and then they filled it. They make a much bigger profit on it
because the traffic bears it. I grew up on an organic farm, it was
cheaper to produce food organically. We had less expenses until we
started using artificial fertilizers, hybrid seed and poison sprays.
I see no signs of hope when people preach about how bad the
environment, government and wars are, when they don’t mention the
“prime cause” of them or a logical solution. No, they just instill fear
and attempt to “contain” the problem, not eliminate the cause.
You said that it is a long hard climb to the summit of the
mountain we are attempting to climb to Utopia. We may not make it. But
some of us have started to practice the PES in our own lives in the
here and now. It is like, “the end is the means.”
Leaders have been trying to gain total control of all the world.
Then they say we will have peace, when they control it all. And any
means to that end is OK. Like killing the people in the Mid-East and
the Far-East to save them. No. I think if our end expectation is valid,
we must start using it here and now, on our climb.
How do we do that? If the essence of what we desire, is to be able
to work for free and receive what we need for free (and thereby be our
own boss), we may wish to start at least part of that scenario right
now. Many of us are. We are giving some of our surplus things, products
or services away free of charge as we see fit, here and now. It is the
old priming the pump trick. Or putting something into the mill before
you expect to get something out. So every so often, we are even now
experiencing some of the getting, free of charge. So those of us who
are already playing the new Game, are finding our climb to the top of
Mt. Utopia, much easier, more fun and it no longer seems impossible.
We have stopped giving our energy to the mass media and stopped
worrying about, nor are hardly even aware of, the fear mongering being
fed to the masses. We now use that energy to make our own lives more
secure and try to pass on our ideas to whoever is awake enough to
In the PES, when there is no longer a Profit in sickness and as
people become more adjusted to abundance and happiness, I would expect
them to become much healthier. This would determine the demand for
hospitals. The hospitals could be dismantled at about the same rate the
demand declined. So that the flow of goods and services would always be
You said that dispensing with money will not eliminate greed. That
is correct. But there is no need for greed when there is abundance.
Then to take too much, becomes a burden not an asset.
Work: Privilege or Duty?
In the PES I don’t see a need for you to work at all, Frank. There
are already enough Volunteers to do the necessary work, working just
one day per week. You might have to be a really good guy, to even get
them to allow you help at all. People will be having fun at work or
they won’t do it. They will invent machines or automatics to do the
undesirable and dangerous jobs. The fun and creative jobs will be a
privilege instead of a duty, I think. I see no need for peer
ostracizing. Consumers will be just as valuable as producers.
What fun would it be to produce if no one desired your product? I
know! I know!
As to decision making bodies. Would they be elected? Let’s see,
what is an example of a decision making body? How about the kind of car
that a factory is going to produce? The designers and engineers and
whoever, might have a meeting and perhaps come to an agreement about
the car they will build. The meeting would be open to anyone who had
ideas on the matter.
The logical motivation in the PES would be as you said, to make
the best for the most with the least. This would be to each persons
advantage. To have the best. To only produce the best and search
together to discover what car would be the best. No one getting more
out of the process than the next as the product will be free and no
wages or monetary profit paid. There would be no conflict of interest
as there is today.
Today the workers, management, stockholders and customers all have
different interests in the Profit/Wage System, so there is conflict.
Was there a need for a decision making body here in this example or did
the people concerned make the decision? It is hard to get out of the
“Old Think,” about how things will be done. I am only trying to figure
out what will be the logical way we will behave in the PES.
In the PES, will we still be ruled by the Elites? The present day
Elite are superior in ability to rule, using the Profit/Wage System or
they wouldn’t be on top. Whether they will be intelligent enough to
rule in the PES remains to be seen. But no doubt, people will rise to
the top who have the abilities to be the coordinators in each
production area. I would think they will only be respected and listened
to if they have answers that work. That is, the workers will ask advice
from the people who have the best advice to give. I wouldn’t think that
anyone would seek leadership in the PES, because it is a burden. But
would give their advice freely — because it is fun to give advice,
when there is no need to enforce it. People could take it or leave it.
I don’t see a need for arbiters when there is no conflict of
interest, because everyone will be better off if truth or the best
possible solution is found.
Frank, I hope this gives you a clearer picture of what I think the
Priceless Economic System would be like. Answering your questions has
given me more incite into the PES. Your questions were very logical and
I do appreciate them. Thank you.
P.S. Frank, if we are ever to achieve the PES Utopia, the world
will need more good careful thinkers like yourself to critique it and
BOOK REVIEW by Lynn Olson
(Reprinted from “Discussion Bulletin” #44, Box 1564, Grand Rapids,
I WAS ROBOT
Mann summarizes his thoughts on page 291: “. . . if we would quit
using money, barter and property ownership . . . work at our jobs for
free . . . make all products and services free for everyone . . .
control our own jobs and keep people informed of all the ways that
anyone could make slaves out of us, government would then be
unnecessary. Wars and pollution would stop when there was no profit
motive.” The book discusses Mann’s Priceless Economic System (PES) and
details its advantages. In the PES there is no price tag on anything.
Everything produced is given away to whoever needs or wants it.
Mann finds that profits cause War and other evils and that we
waste our lives as wage slaves (“You work for pay, you must obey.”)
storing up profits for the few who control the government, the
military, the media, the corporations, the schools and the legal
Mann exposes the system of private property: “Because the Elite
group (with their hired soldiers) convinced the earlier passengers that
the Elite owned all the staterooms and seats on Spaceship Earth; they
made the passengers work, to make Money, to buy tickets, for space on
Own Small Specks
“They allow some of the passengers to own small specks of it.
Thus we think that Ownership is a good idea. But the Elite claim
ownership to the most and the best of it.”—page 99.
“The Elite claim they own most of the best land, buildings and
factories. But how can they own them—WE built them! And the land was
here before they were. They can only own them—IF we work for them as
soldiers and force this ownership idea of theirs on ourselves.
“The free game will use a different idea about land. It will be an
idea of `Usership.'”—111.
He exposes the voting game: “We are given a few of `their’ stooges
to vote for . . . and no matter who wins—we lose . . . the . . .
elected ALWAYS serve . . . the Elite . . . “—page 113.
He offers a solution: “If everyone works as a volunteer, there
will not be a monetary cost of goods, so all goods and services can be
free of charge. When everything is free there will no longer be a
profit in the seven major problems.”—page 207.
On how to implement the solution he admits: “I honestly don’t
know. But perhaps we can each start living FREE as much as we can in
our own lives. I give my newsletter away for free.”—page 207.
The idea that people will work without being paid has been
dismissed by some as impractical.
Argued is that “human nature” will not allow people to give away
what they produce.
But the human species lived for at least a million years before
anyone ever received payment for his/her efforts. In the few remaining
hunter-gathering societies people still give to others what they hunt,
gather or produce without expecting payment. It would seem that Mann’s
PES has been the prevailing economic system for most of the period of
Mann attaches himself to no movement and adopts no label but his
arguments can be found in anarchist, socialist, communist and
libertarian ideas of other writers before him. Even the idea of giving
away can be found in the New Testament: “Give what you have to the poor
. . .” If others have said what he says—what is the value of his
book? Man has the gift of writing what is readable.
What he writes can be easily read and easily understood.
He uses none of the long, involved sentences, erudite terms and
academic jargon that plagues so much of the more scholarly works. Man
will be read by ordinary working people who would never attempt the
scholarly books if only because he is easy to read and even fun to
read. And he should be read by the professors, the scholars and other
serious writers who need to learn what readable writing looks like.
Many writers could benefit by his example of how to put important ideas
into simple, direct, effective and strong statements.
Review by Lynn Olson
12-27-90 Ernest Mann
1 Statistical Abstract of the U.S., 1985; American Prisons & Jails,
1980, Vol. 3.
2 Critical Path, Buckminister Fuller.
3 Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1982.
Little Free Press #82
HOW TO STOP WAR!
1. Relax. Turn off your radio and TV. Hide your newspaper. Stop
thinking fear and anger thoughts. Come out of shock.
2. Start thinking about why they want to make us fearful and
angry. Why are they making such a theatrical extravaganza out
this war? Are they using some kind of mass hypnosis that
keeps us tuned in all day to the radio or TV? Are they making
it seem like a harmless football game with the same kind of
commentators talking from the sidelines or observation box?
Are they using the same tone of voice as in the ball games?
Do they talk about the mothers’ sons that are being killed?
Or do they just talk in doublethink, like “sustain losses,”
etc. Is that really telling the truth?
Why do they want to focus the entire world population’s
thoughts on fear, anger and just plain curiosity about who is
going to win and what is the next game plan? They are talking
continuously on the mass media about this war. They don’t
give us a chance to catch our breaths and wonder, “Why are
they wasting our money over there and exposing our sons to
death and forcing them to kill other sons and destroy other
people’s property?” Is this the best way to use the Earth’s
Everyone is watching this War. Is this, not only a money
making venture, but also a diversionary action? What kind of
tricks are they pulling behind our backs, now, while they
hold our attention over there?
3. Realize the Government is only a puppet (scapegoat, fall guy,
front man) doing what it is told, “Kill people” by the people
who own or control the Big Corporations. You surely realize
that government doesn’t do what the poor people tell it to
do. Is it “right” to kill people for land disagreements?
4. Try to realize that the human beings who own and control the
Big Corporations (BC’s) must continue to make a Profit in
their corporations in order to hold their great POWER. Have
you forgotten that the customer is always right? Because if
the customer gets mad, s/he may take their business
elsewhere. Are you angry?
Customers can make or break corporations of any size. It is so
simple and non violent. We simply change our habits and stop buying
their stuff. We learn new ways to fill our needs. In changing our
habits we may even find better ways to find happiness. As we start
using this consumer or non-consumer POWER, that we have, it may be the
first step in creating an Utopia, where all people become free.
Because I don’t like to see the big corporations directing
government to use the armed forces, I am boycotting the BC’s. I am also
reducing the amount of taxes I pay because that tax money eventually is
paid to corporations which sell arms and supplies to the government, to
I try not to buy anything but my basic necessities and attempt to
buy either used things at rummage sales or new ones produced by small
With a lot of people in this boycott, we can let it be know to the
BC’s, that the boycott will continue until they tell their government
flunkies to bring our troops home.
A boycott aimed at all BC’s will very soon turn their bottom line
red. They will lose money fast. This is their Achilles heel. This is
language they understand.
If people who had money invested in stocks, sold them and invested
elsewhere (or threatened to), would that be a leverage?
People who worked for the BC’s (who didn’t like what is being done
and who could see a way to exist without their job in the BC) could
quit or threaten to quit their jobs. Finding and training suitable
replacements is a costly and time consuming process. So this threat
might also help to persuade the BC’s to order the war machine turned
Workers might decide to end the withholding of their taxes by
their employer. They could threaten a walk-out or a strike if their
employer refused to let them pay their own taxes. Then workers would
have a tax leverage to use against the government — to stop the war by
refusing to pay taxes. Employers could stop withholding, even though it
may now be against the law, if they were forced to, by their employees.
The big employers make the laws, so they won’t go to jail.
It has done little good in the past to demonstrate and beg the
puppet (government) to quit war. We wore ourselves out for over 8 years
with the Vietnam demonstrations. We wrote letters to congress persons.
Hundreds of garbage trucks full of mail was not read or paid attention
to. The war went on and on and on. It kept us too busy to see the
“prime cause” of war and too busy to set up a better economic system.
They probably stopped the Vietnam War, not because of our
demonstrations, but because it was part of their game plan to stop it
when they did.
If we wish to make quick changes in the Profit/Wage System we must
hit them in their pocket-book, i.e., the bottom line of their profit
and loss statement. This is a job each individual can work on, in
his/her own lifestyle. This is where the individual makes all the
difference. All the straws added together, break the camels back.
Without the individual straws doing their part, this will not happen.
A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous
But if people gain a lot of knowledge about Government’s “behind
the scene” activities, it could mean the end for government and it’s
manipulators — the Profiteers.
Intelligent people can see that the Profiteers may be using
government to attempt to start WWIII. None of the government’s
arguments, attempting to justify their actions, make any sense.
“Here & Now” magazine, in their issue #10*, revealed a very eye-
opening bulletin entitled, “Managing to Deceive.” It was found posted
on a government bulletin board. It clearly outlines, various devious
ways for bureaucrats to deceive. It reminded me of how our President
and other spokesmen don’t mention withdrawing our soldiers to protect
them. No, they don’t discuss that alternative, they make the jump to
“how we must protect our soldiers, over there.” They spent much time
arguing on how they should do that. They treat the Greenhouse Effect in
a similar manner. They jump-over the idea of discontinuing pollution
and argue about how much money to spend on sandbagging Miami for the
predicted rise in sea level and on discovering new crop varieties to
use after they have disrupted our weather cycles.
If we will open our eyes and look objectively at what the media
are telling us, we will awaken to the hard fact that we are now living
in the predicted “Brave New World” and the “1984” world of
“doublethink” and “war is peace.”
If this is the fruit of the tree of Democracy, it is a bitter
fruit. How do you like being ruled by the majority? Would it be any
better to be ruled by a minority? Do you like being ruled at all? Are
you a cow that must be ruled and fenced in, because otherwise you might
run off and become wild and free again?
We are now poking our heads up out of the mud of ignorance. The
new era of mass communication for the poor person is now here. We are
starting to share knowledge about our slavery and who the Masters are.
We are sharing education that has not been taught in schools. We are
learning that, part of our education has been lies, to keep us from
jumping the fence and regaining the freedom we once had.
We don’t have to trade freedom for technology. Technology can
enhance freedom. Some of us are even now using it. Now anyone can
communicate good ideas with handbills which can be produced cheaply,
quickly and abundantly with copy shops, mimeographs, ditto machines
(spirit duplicators), etc. Telephones, computers, video cameras and ham
radios are becoming available to almost anyone.
Now all we need to do is figure out a better way to produce and
distribute the things we need. We need to find a way to do it, in
which, there will be no Profit in starting wars, polluting our
environment, stealing or causing people to starve.
I know of no better system to do this, than the Priceless Economic
System (PES). If you know of a better system, please let me know. The
PES could change the whole world into an UTOPIA within one year. It
would take the concentrated and dedicated work and ideas of a few more
people to do it.
Wouldn’t this be a very worthwhile cause to put energy into? I do
NOT mean you should send me money! It is your ideas and personal energy
that will make this Utopia really happen. Your ideas and energy —
withheld — could even cause it not to happen. And in that case,
Governments will continue to escalate taxes and their stupidity-
spending, which always increases the Profiteers’ power and wealth. And
with that increase*, must come a decrease in the power and wealth of
98.6% of us.**
With the crash program called the “Manhattan Project” they focused
a lot of people’s concentrated energy into inventing the Atomic Bomb
and they did it. Would it be a good idea for some dedicated people to
form a “crash project” to set up a new economic system which would save
our earth — instead of destroy it??? I am willing to work on such a
team, free of charge. Would you?
I would think that members of this team would have to have enough
expertise in economics to be able to feed, house and otherwise provide
for their own needs. They would need to work on this project without
pay — to show that their heart was in it.
It would not be wise to accept government funding or any
bureaucrats for this project. They have the expertise to bog it down
for years and waste billions of dollars.
(Farley Mowat’s biography of Dian Fossey, “Woman in the Mists”
gives documented details of how bureaucrats and funding organization
officials, direct funds into their own pockets. It made me lose what
little trust I had in government and in organizations. However it was a
wonderful story of a woman’s dedication and love for the gorillas.)
The members of this team, I should think, could either work full
time on this project, or work part time, if they still needed to have
one foot in the Rat Race to survive.
There could be several such teams working in different areas, thus
people wouldn’t need to move. There could be a networking and
exchanging of ideas between the teams.
If we succeed in creating a world-wide Utopia, each person on
earth will profit greatly. It will insure the safety of Space-ship
Earth, on which we are all passengers. It will insure access to the
abundance that already exists on this planet for everyone. Surely this
would be worthwhile.
Instead of allowing the mass media to suck the energy out of us
with their war-fear propaganda, we could be focusing our energy to
create our Utopia. Not much positive creativity flows from our minds
when we are being fear-conditioned to feel angry, hopeless and curious
about what “they” are going to do next. Who needs it?
Let’s not give them our attention. Let’s be builders of Utopia,
instead of being distracted by their Orwellian double-talk.
They want us to demonstrate and fight them. It makes fine
headlines, i.e., another of Caesar’s Circuses. This distraction may
cause some people to think that demonstrators are causing change for
the better. How disillusioned they are. It keeps us too busy to get
ourselves out of slavery. It keeps us from realizing that we can each
learn to govern our self. You don’t need to pay taxes, to be your own
Who needs Presidents, Kings and Dictators, except the Profiteers?
Let’s back-off a little and see if we could produce and distribute what
we need without being slaves to the Profiteers.
By working alone I share my ideas with a few people. That surely
is better than just grumbling. But could we help to make change faster
if we would figure out some way to team-up and work together? Perhaps
we will stop falling for their “Divide and Rule” tricks and realize
we’ll have more to gain by working together. Could synergy then develop
that would be more effective than each of us working separately?
If there was even one person who would like to be part of this
“Crash Project — `Utopia Now’,” I would be willing to move closer to
them or help arrange for that person or persons to find a place around
here to live. Or perhaps there would be a way to work as a team by
using the mail or telephone to exchange ideas.?
A group of two or more, might be more creative if we work without
a leader and give no one power over others, i.e., a totally voluntary
association. Kate Wilhelm in her book, “Juniper Time” tells how some
American Indian tribes existed peacefully with no Chief or leaders.
When advice was needed they asked the tribe member with the most
expertise in that problem. These experts had no power to back up the
advice they offered. Those members who had the sense to recognize good
advice, survived. Those who didn’t often perished. This kept the tribe
The first brain storming session, might be used to figure out the
freest and least constraining agreement for working together on this
We need to set up our project so that there would be no motive for
joining it to gain power, money or subsistence. Motivation should be a
desire to help create and live in an Utopia. We may be able to live
somewhat, our Utopian ideals, as we are figuring out ways to share our
ideas with the world’s people.
Perhaps now with the increased War activity, more people will be
receptive to creating a new system which won’t have any need for a
Government. Eliminating Government would save us over a trillion
dollars per year.
Can you think of anything to do, that would be more valuable to
you, than helping to create a new and better system? If you could help
to create a nearly Utopian world to live in for yourself and your
children and your grandchildren — wouldn’t that be better than the
current world conflicts?
You can’t hardly expect that the present world controllers are
going to give you (i.e., us 5 billion wage slaves) a fair share of the
Utopia that they have created for themselves, can you? They have
allowed the wage slave’s life to get a little better over the past few
hundred years. But now they seem to be cutting us back. Raising prices
more than they raise wages. This has forced us to work more hours or to
live with less. They are also causing more unemployment and
homelessness. Are they in the process of lowering the U.S.A. wage
slave’s lifestyle to the level of their Asian and African wage slave’s
So, if we want things to get better for the 98.6% of us, we may
have to roll up our sleeves and start working together to create our
If you already have some independence, let’s get together and
start our crash program, “Utopia Now!” Write to me and we’ll begin
discussing how we can find a way to create a joint effort to create a
nearly Utopian life. We can’t expect to create a perfect world, but can
certainly figure out something better than what we have now.
I lost my desire for most products by not watching, listening to
or reading the mass media. Instead of being constantly reminded to buy,
buy, buy, keep up with the Joneses and have constant sex, I now direct
my own thinking. I no longer worry about what other people think of me.
I now do as I please. I can walk through the biggest and best stores
and not desire any thing.
I have simplified my life. I don’t spend much money. I have 24
hours/day of free time to do what I please. I please to spend a lot of
that time attempting to save the space-ship I’m riding on. I don’t like
the way people are damaging it and it is the only ship is sight.
I have a $354/mo. S.S. Pension and some savings, so I don’t have
to work for money.
My diet consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, whole
grains, nuts, beans, coffee, sweets and dairy products. I save by not
buying processed food and eat better and cheaper.
For the last ten years or more, I have eaten only meat for my main
meal at noon. Oat, corn meal or eggs for breakfast. Supper is only one
cooked vegetable or a raw fruit. Between meals, sweets. No salads. No
pills, medicine, drugs or vitamins. No herbs except salt and pepper.
I’m healthier than anyone I know. For antiseptic I use spit. I don’t
shave or haircut.
I paid $400 for the used 22′ travel trailer I live in. It is
parked in a friend’s sheep pasture, rent free. I have fresh air, pure
water, peace and quiet. I love it. I pay for electricity and bottle
Most of my money goes for printing, postage and travel. I
simplified to get more free time (be more free), but it is now also a
If you can relate to this issue — please make thousands of copies
of it or as many as you can afford. Or write these ideas in your own
words. You are probably a much better writer than I. (Large quantities
of copies can be made cheaper with offset printing from quick-print
shops. They usually have one day service.)
1-22-91 Ernest Mann
* Box 109, Leeds, England LS5 3AA.
* In 1989, Disney’s Michael Eisner made $40,000,000.
** World Almanac, 1983. (98.6% of the taxpayers in the U.S.A. in 1980,
made an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000. 4,112 individuals
had adjusted gross incomes of over a million dollars each, that year.)
Little Free Press #83
— Make copies of this page on peel-off paper, on regular paper (and
use paste) or on card stock and post in bus stops, laundromats, etc.
Make extra copies of this page and send or give to friends.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
BOYCOTT THE B.C.’s
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
BOYCOTT THE B.C.’s
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
BOYCOTT THE B.C.’s
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
1. Big money people control all Governments!
2. Stop buying from ALL Big Corporations (BC’s) — until — they tell
the Government to bring all our troops home.
3. Remember “The customer is always right!” We had forgotten our
ultimate POWER! We can break all the multi-national conglomerates
by just holding on to our money or by buying only from small
companies, not owned by the giants.
4. Easy to stop War! No Revolution needed!
5. Write to the B. C.’s – tell them they will go broke, if they don’t
heed our warning.
PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE POWER!!!
Little Free Press #84
DESERT STORM SCAM
Was the Desert Storm War a big scam, by the rich people of Kuwait?
Did they hire the U.S. and a few other nation’s people as mercenaries?
Did they again steal the land that was originally Iraq territory. Look
at the big contracts they are now giving big corporations (B.C.’s) as
Should the President of the United States, George Bush, be
impeached? This would show the world that the American people are not
war mongers and were not in favor of the invasion and destruction of
Iraqi property and the killing of Iraqi people.
Should the public opinion polls be exposed as the farce and
propaganda tool they are? They reflected whatever figures fitted the
manipulators’ pre-written war scenario.
If this impeachment is carried out, the B.C.’s could be exposed as
the power behind the scene that started the war and PROFITED from it.
Bush’s role as front man and scapegoat could also be made clear. We
can’t really condemn the actor, George Bush. He just played his role of
leader, just as the majority of American people played their roles, of
helpless bystanders. This allowed the War Show to go on and allowed the
B.C.’s to collect BIG PROFITS before and during the war. They will
collect Profits for a long time on reconstruction, repair and
The basic reason for war should be publicized.
1. Wars keep the more competitive slaves, who are engaged in
business and industry, too busy increasing their Profits, to
design an Utopian system.
2. Wars keep the consumers and consumer-workers fearful, angry
and busy. When in these states, people are too preoccupied to
think about freedom and they forget the Utopian dream, that
they all have deep in their beings. i.e. In plain and
simple words — wars keep people too scared, angry and busy
to realize they are slaves and think about setting themselves
These facts have been known for a long time by a few people. As
more people become aware, they pass the ideas on to more people. These
revelations are now getting farther down the information sharing
“Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is
impossible to reestablish it. It is not originally a thing in itself,
but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept
ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.”
Thomas Paine (1791)
As in the “geometric progression of numbers,” the farther an idea
progresses down the information pyramid, the more the doubling effect
is noticeable. That is, if I tell 2 people a secret and they each tell
2 more people, and these 4 each tell 2 more, and the 8 each do, and the
16 each do, the doubling process speeds up. As the idea of our slavery
gets farther down the pyramid, informed people increase in numbers much
Sharing these freedom ideas with my small mailing list sometimes
seems like “grunt work,” like it is ineffective and useless, but I must
remember that the first stages of the information sharing pyramid are
very slow. It is occasionally given a good shove by sharing these ideas
with a real “shaker, mover and doer” because that person comes up with
some better and faster ways of sharing ideas.
What we aim for is that point in numbers when we reach the
critical mass state, where the secret explodes into common knowledge.
At that point people take the quantum leap and jump on the band wagon.
When large numbers of people publicly promote Utopia, people will lose
their fear of ridicule and gain hope, that they can have Utopia if they
go for it.
Since this war started, I turned on the radio a few times a day to
note the war’s progress and observe how the mass media handled it.
About a day or so after the fighting stopped a radio commentator
reported that, consumer spending had been at an all time low for the
last couple of weeks. It may be possible that the 3,000 copies of LFP
#82 (the Boycott issue) that I sent out, (all over the U.S.) about a
week after the war started, had some effect. Some people wrote and said
that they were boycotting the B.C.’s and had copies made and
distributed. I sent copies to some of the big international media, so
news of our boycott action did reach top people. They did know why we
were boycotting them. They did notice their loss in sales as reported
on their mass media.
We may never know how many months or years their original War Game
Plan called for. They will never tell us if our boycott was effective
in getting them to shorten the war to its 42 days. We must remember
that, at some point, it takes only one more straw to break the camel’s
back. We may have been that straw.
Each of us can decide if it would be more productive to use our
time to impeach the President and expose the Profiteers or use our time
to begin creating Utopia.
A big impeachment movement against Bush would transfer the guilt
of this war from the shoulders of the Profiteers to Bush. It would also
allow the citizens of the U.S., England and other U.N. nations to
transfer their guilt (for allowing the war) to the scapegoat.
An impeachment could be dragged out for years (like the Nixon
impeachment) and be used as a smoke screen to cover up the preparations
for their next target War, which is no doubt, already on their drawing
The Trimtab newsletter* displayed Fuller’s “Grand Strategy of
World Problem Solving.” This chart showed the continuous overlapping
of wars since the beginning of the Korean War. Think of all the money
the Profiteers have made supplying governments for all those wars! But
the war against Iraq takes the cake. It was reported that they dropped
more tons of bombs on Iraq in those 42 days than both sides dropped in
the entire WWII. With today’s prices of bombs, compared to bomb prices
in the 1940’s — the Profiteers must have done quite well for
themselves in this short war. And in addition, think how much more
Profit they will make when they replenish the now diminished bomb
The quick activation and mobilization of anti-war demonstrations
no doubt had some halting effect on the war plans. The almost immediate
appearance of pro-war demonstrations was a new twist in the war
planners strategy. To have so many pro-war demonstrators ready so soon
was unreal. It took a lot of pre-planning by the government.
The propaganda methods used in the mass media were alarmingly
different. The more wars they stage, the more they learn how to
manipulate the public. It’s almost like a war within a war. The people
fighting their own government trying to get it to behave (to quit war).
The government fighting its citizens so that it can continue the
Fighting our government, fighting with our mates or fighting with
lawyers keeps us too busy, frustrated, fearful and angry to do any
creative thinking, learning and to make progress toward building
They squelched our Utopian dream years ago by telling us that
Utopia meant perfection and that perfection was impossible — therefor
Utopia was impossible. Clever bastards, weren’t they. If we look at
Utopia as, not a perfect society, but as one that is as near to perfect
as we can make it — then we can start working on it.
We can’t expect to fulfill our age old dream of Utopia unless we
put some energy and time into attempting to build it. We each have only
“X” number of hours of “free time” each day. If we use that time
fighting, we won’t have the “free time” nor the energy left to help
build the Utopia of our dreams.
How to Build Utopia
People who have enough surplus money (or income from investments,
pensions or whatever), to live without working for money, can quit
their jobs (if they are still working) and spend full time helping
create Utopia. (This is what I do.) They can start from scratch and
figure out what is wrong with the present world system. They can read
what others think is wrong and form their own conclusions. They can
read about the systems that others have written about. They can read
about the Priceless Economic System that I came up with. They may come
up with a much better system. They can decide which system seems the
best to them and then figure out ways to both live it and promote it.
We have been relying on “experts” too long. Look at the mess it has
gotten us into. We can probably do better by figuring things out for
ourselves, because it’s our freedom we’re talking about.
People who still have kids to rear and need to work for money to
support them, can do just as they are doing now. But they can set aside
some “free time” each day to study the situation as mentioned above and
spend whatever “free time” they have, attempting to live their Utopia
and promote it. Using “free time” in this manner may prove to be more
profitable, more pleasurable and more satisfying in the long run, than
allowing their minds to be led astray by TV, movies, videos, sports or
the other mass media trivia.
There are single people and couples without children, who want a
better system but still need to work for money to survive. They can
create “free time” for themselves by disengaging their minds from the
entertainments of the mass media. They can begin to fill that space
with the above methods of figuring out the present system and finding a
better one and spending time promoting it.
The Profit/Wage System, through the use of mass media trivia, has
retarded the growth of peoples minds. It continuously entices people to
go into debt. It is directing the evolution of our social structure to
the acceptance of violence, wars, suppressive government and a lower
living standard. Slaves love this mind conditioning. It makes them
forget their misery. It tells them what to do. They don’t need to make
decisions. They only need to decide which mind leader to watch. I know!
I love it too. I had to give my TV set away 20 years ago because I
couldn’t resist it. I still have to watch myself if I get near a TV
People can create more independence (more money) for themselves by
cutting back on their spending and by re-evaluating what they now
consider necessities. Getting rid of credit cards and buying only with
cash helps too. This also applies to large purchases like land or a
car. Save up your money and buy just a small place or an old car for
cash. Then you have no interest to pay. Make a list of all the interest
you pay out each month. The total may amaze you. Look how much more
money you will have when you get rid of your debts. Buy more acreage
later when you get the cash. Or sell your little, all-paid-for estate
after you get it set up, and then buy more acreage for cash. Build just
a garage to live in at first or buy an old house trailer or school bus,
until you get more cash. I know of people who did this in the big
depression of the 30’s and it worked fine. They were much more
independent and secure than the others. This way you won’t have a
Some people have already escaped to the country and bought a few
acres of land and built little homesteads. Some took most of their
building materials from their land. Some used logs, stones, bricks,
sod, rammed earth, thatched huts, etc., just as the Indians or the
Soon they had gardens and a few animals so they didn’t need much
outside income. Some discovered they had skills that were salable in
their area. When many got ahead of the game they got bored and turned
to dope and/or became “Yuppies,” and got high paying jobs and increased
their consuming. Some used their free time to fight the system. Some
wasted it. Some used that free time to build a better system. We each
makes our choice.
The word, “mortgage,” is an euphemism for Indentured Slavery. I
don’t think many people realize the leverage that debts (mortgages,
loans, unpaid bills and high rent) have on people. The more debts one
has, the less freedom one has. One must take shit from the boss if s/he
has debts. The person without debts and a little stash of cash, can
tell the boss to “Fuck off!” The boss knows this and thus treats that
employee with respect. Usually that independent worker has chosen a job
s/he enjoys and is a better worker and besides that, it takes time and
money to train a new worker. A good and independent worker has a lot
more power over the job than vice versa.
Reducing expenses, proportionately reduces the need to work for
money, thereby one creates more free time. Refusing to go into debt and
focusing on getting out of debt (one way or another), might even reduce
stress and thereby reduce ones drinking and medical bills, which in
turn would save more money and time. There has been many a lost week-
end from drinking. Smoking pot may be even worse, because then one just
gives up and says, “Why bother?” They lay back, spread their legs, and
let the world fuck them over. The government encourages this by having
a law against pot, knowing that radicals will defy the law and smoke
themselves out of effective action. In the book, “Brave New World,”
workers were given dope called “soma” to keep them from rebelling. Are
we now in that predicted world?
Even if one uses only one hour per day on their Utopia Project —
it is progress. Much more beneficial than using that hour fighting the
present system or soaking up TV, sports or video movies.
One way we might proceed is to try to envision what Utopia would
be like. Then try to figure out what work we would like to do and how
we would live in that Utopian society. The more we can picture that
world and our place in it, the better we can plan our present life. It
is said that,
“The end that we desire is the means to that end.”
In other words, we should start living as much as we can, right
now, the way we wish to live in Utopia. In Utopia I wish to be an
observer, a Mr. Fixit, a writer and publisher, i.e., a person who
watches and if he sees ways that the Utopia can be improved, he
publishes his findings and leaves it to the people to do as they please
with his suggestions. I can see myself doing this work in Utopia as a
volunteer as I do now.
Because of my Social Security (SS) retirement pension and my small
savings, I can and do devote full-time to this work right now as a self-
guided volunteer. I have already experienced 22 years of this volunteer
work without pay. I have discovered how much more fun it is to
volunteer than when I worked for pay or profit. I now have much more
freedom and control over the how, when, where, what, why and who of my
work and that is saying much more than you can realize — until you try
Our job, is the main place where our freedom or our slavery
With everyone working as a volunteer and giving his/her product or
service free of charge — everything will be free for everyone. Then
there will be no Profit in war, polluting, stealing or in causing
people to starve. Then there will be no need for governments. You can’t
possibly imagine how many billions of tons of our earth’s resources
that governments waste, nor can you imagine the billions of person-
hours of labor that governments waste. Our Utopia will be very nearly a
Paradise. And the beauty of it is that we can have it, if we set aside
our many diversions and roll up our sleeves and put our “free time” to
use, creating it in our own lifestyles right now.
We fight our biggest and most important war with our self. At
least I do. I have such a hard time getting my self to do some of the
things that I think would make me happy. And getting my self up off my
dead ass, out of some of my old habits — it is very difficult
sometimes. Learning to make changes in my life is fun, but it ain’t
easy, baby, but it is worth the effort and the agony.
I have been trying to get my self to change my lifestyle to that
of a Sea Gypsy for several years. I think I have now convinced my self
that I could do my Utopian work even more effectively from a sail boat.
So I’m going to attempt to leave soon for Miami to buy a small used
sail boat. Many times I have talked my self out of this dream. We shall
The Desert Storm War has helped some of us see the need for the
people to have their own news media. We couldn’t believe hardly any of
the war reports we got from TV, radio and the major papers and
magazines. This helps us to see how very important it is for us to
publish our own little paper, videos or whatever is within our means
and talents. We need to share truth and expose what “they” are doing.
I lucked out on a $99 round trip flight to Mexico. I got my teeth
fixed in Merida and a week’s vacation from winter.
Book Review by Neal Keating
I WAS ROBOT (Utopia Now Possible) by Ernest Mann from Little Free
At the core of Ernest Mann’s liberatory project is the theory (and
propagation thereof) of what he calls, “The Priceless Economic System
(PES).” No theory of reform, the PES is calculated to replace entirely
the Wages/profit economy currently dominating the planet, through the
basic act of removing the price tags from everything, including labor,
sex, food, drugs and rock n roll. Whatever work we do, we do for free,
and whatever needs we have, we fulfill for free. What is lost in the
PES is the profit motive and the need for money. What is gained is a
When the PES is put into effect, about 75% of the current labor
force will be freed up (Paul Goodman would argue more like 95%) from
work, these jobs becoming obsolete. Thus, there would be little work
left, and owing to the absence of the relentless need to create a
profit, what work remains will probably cease to be like work at all,
but more like play. Gone would be the endless humiliation of selling
yourself, timeclocks and general alienation and misery brought on by
spending most of your life doing something you don’t really care about
in the least.
Central to the PES is the idea of abundance in our midst. Here
Mann quotes heavily from Bucky Fuller in suggesting that there are more
than enough raw materials to provide for a sensual, even aristocratic
lifestyle for everybody on Earth, but that through a wages/profit
economy, this abundance has been funnelled into a model of scarcity,
for the main reason of maximizing profits. The flesh that disappears
off a starving body reappears as an increase in a bank account in
What stands out in this particular refusal of the totality of this
society is that it comes with a blueprint attached, flawed though it
be, for a kind of new amorous world that can be built on the ashes of
the horror that is today. Maybe the bad days will end.
Someone sent me the tape, “On Subliminals” by Dan Junker, put out
by Scriptures for America, Box 766, Laporte, CO 80535, warning people
about the subliminal messages that are in music tapes, records, church
bulletins, magazine and newspaper pictures and drawings. They said that
all the top 10 songs are loaded with hidden messages. It was a good
Years ago I read “Subliminal Seduction” and “Media Sexploytation”
by Wilson Bryan Key. He explained subliminals in great detail. I rarely
listen to music any more unless it’s played by a friend on his/her
3-7-91 Ernest Mann
* Buckminister Fuller Institute newsletter, Winter 1990.
Little Free Press #85
BOYCOTT FOR AMNESTY
STORM WATCH #18 (a Vietnam veterans’ paper), just arrived with
some informative articles in it. It brought my attention to an
aftermath of the Iraq War that is now happening. Demonstrators and
other Iraq War resistors are now being tried and sent to prison. These
people were merely exercising their rights as citizens in a democracy
to express their beliefs against starting/waging a war against Iraq.
They attempted to share their beliefs with the rest of our Democracy’s
citizens, just as the mass media shares the beliefs of those who
control it (i.e., the people who PROFIT from wars). If our citizens are
not allowed to see both sides of the argument, they are unable to form
an intelligent public opinion.
Is the establishment; by these trials, harassments and prison
sentences, attempting to intimidate the rest of us? Would they like to
make us afraid to speak-out against their next planned war?
So here again it behooves us to exercise our POWER immediately, by
jerking where the hair is short, on the people who control Government,
i.e., the big corporations (the B.C.’s).
Boycotts in the past have been directed at particular
corporations, like: Gulf Oil, G.E., McDonalds, etc. These boycotts
smelled like they may have been backed by those company’s competitors.
Like, just trying to weaken a competitor for a possible takeover. I
wouldn’t put it past those BC’s.
Our POWER lies in our purse and credit cards. Our boycotting of
the BC’s to stop the Iraq War may have helped to shorten that war. We
helped create a big drop in consumer spending. It stands to reason that
if the BC’s do control Government and do Profit from war, they also
profit from peace (but not nearly as much, of course). BC’s can not
maintain their power, if they go broke. They are very aware of this. We
are just becoming aware of this Achilles Heel of theirs.
So, if we want them to immediately release all demonstrators and
radicals from harassment and jail, maybe we should inform people of the
value of an overall boycott of all big corporations.
Regardless of how much we cut back on our consumption, there may
still be some things we will be forced to buy from the BC’s. But we can
temporarily assume very Spartan lifestyles and attempt to buy mostly
from small companies who are not subsidiaries of the BC’s. It shouldn’t
take a very long boycott to convince them to knuckle-in. They may
expedite their decision to grant amnesty for all the Iraq War radicals,
soonest. Then we can get back to consumption-as-usual.
The consumers/workers have all the power, but are kept unaware of
this fact, by all the diversions offered by the mass media. We are also
kept distracted by war. The BC’s can not continue to exist without
people buying their products and services. They can not continue to
produce if we threatened to (or actually) stop working for them. We can
totally destroy the BC’s by either or both methods.
We really don’t want to destroy the BC’s, we need production and
distribution. We merely desire to take-back control of our own lives
and the control of our government. If we are to keep a government, it
should be used to benefit the majority of people instead of protecting
and benefiting the BC’s.
As each individual person learns how the system really works and
takes her/his own action against the BC’s, each person begins to feel
their own POWER. If we each, also attempt to share our ideas with
others, we are not only taking control and changing our own lives, but
are helping to change the world.
This POWER we have is so great that we don’t even need to take to
the streets anymore and listen to the bull horns. Instead of struggling
against the system and fighting it, we can gain more and quicker, by
not doing something. That is by simply not buying from the BC’s. And by
not working for them, or threaten to quit (if we have our lifestyle set
up without debts and some surplus money and have a good skill we can
sell to others).
If we have stopped assimilating the mass media (including their
music, which is loaded with subtle and subliminal mind conditioning) we
don’t need to be fearful or even angry any more. We can just sit back
and enjoy each other (and our Power) and not buy from the BC’s. How
easy! A piece of cake!
So let’s (each person) begin boycotting the BC’s and let them know
we want an immediate amnesty for all Iraq War radicals and deserters.
Let’s also publicize this BC boycott plenty. Let the BC’s experience
some fear for a change — we get more than our share of fear
conditioning from their mass media. Let’s teeter their toter up into
fear, for a change!
Do you know that you own and are carrying around, a billion dollar
tool? Are you getting your moneys worth out of it? The human mind is
a fantastic bio-computer! They can not design and build a computer as
small and with as much capability as our mind has, even for a billion
Would you carry even a thousand dollar fantastic tool in your
pocket and not try to get plenty of work out of it? If humans could
ever pull their minds out of the idiot box and their other diversions
and take a good long look at that thing they plop their hats on, they
might discover how marvelous their mind is.
We might stop and do an inventory of things the mind can do:
1. It can be taught to move our bodies, arms, legs and wiggle
2. It can be taught to speak words and communicate ideas.
3. It can be taught to read, write and arithmetic.
4. It can be taught to gather and store information and hold it
in our memory.
5. It can use our arms, legs and fingers to build.
6. It can use its memory and its logic to invent, create and
design new things.
7. It can use its logic and memory to repair itself, if it gets
8. It can make itself feel happy any time.
9. It can create any feeling or emotion on demand.
10. It can even watch itself think.
11. It can often make its body well by deciding what should be
done to it or what kind of food would be best.
12. It can retrieve information from its memory. This may save a
trip to the library.
Once we stop worrying and wasting our time speculating about what
other people think about us, we gain more free time that we can use to
observe our own mind. As we start to understand its capabilities we can
get more use from it.
By allowing authority figures (e.g., parents, teachers, preachers,
bosses, government officials, laws, codes, tradition, the media, etc.)
to govern and make decisions for us, we retard our mind’s ability to
figure things out for itself. All it needs is a little practice.
Conforming and allowing the mass media to lead our minds, is like
standing still and allowing a slave collar to be locked around our
Media Mind Games
It is not a good idea to continue to take your mind for granted.
It is more beneficial to look at it with awe, explore it and figure out
more things you can do with it, to make your life happier, more
satisfying and your relationships better. This will liberate you from
the clutches of the behavioral modification experts. It will help you
see how the mass media recently made many people believe the fallacious
argument — “To be against the war is to be unpatriotic and therefore
against our troops.” What bull shit. People swallowed it because they
didn’t take the time to think it over and question authority.
During a conversation between two people, each person has the
opportunity to stop the other person and make them prove their basic
premises. We can’t do this with radio and TV. But some of us are
getting wise to the mass media. We are observing how they tell us
something and they don’t linger on each point. They don’t attempt to
prove their basic premises as they progress with their statement
(argument). No, they say something, as if it were a fact and then jump
to the next rung of the ladder, as they build up a belief they wish us
to hold. They progress too quickly for us to notice that they are
building their argument from a foundation containing a falsehood or
You can’t build a truthful statement if it contains even one
little white lie. The mass media didn’t take the time to prove the
authenticity of their public opinion polls. Which some of us wouldn’t
have believed anyway.
What authority or what right has the majority got to do evil, to a
nation and its people and property, with a war? If you favor a
democracy, then you give the majority this right, even if they are
misinformed and wrong. The majority are seldom right, else we would be
living in an Utopia right now.
Then again, who is it that creates the public opinion?
There you have it! The mass media provides most of the
information from which people form their opinions. The biggest mass
media are controlled by big money. Can you imagine how they slant,
omit, withhold and otherwise manipulate the news that the majority get?
Knowing this, it is not surprising to see many good people favoring
The best place to find truth may be in some of the small
underground media which don’t make a profit from their efforts. Some of
the large underground papers which cost a lot to have typeset, laid-
out, written, printed and distributed may be backed by the
establishment or the printer. Some printing companies must make a nice
chunk of money printing some of the bigger underground papers.
Underground papers, that are secretly financed by the
establishment, often come out with lots of bad stuff about the
establishment. This is the camouflage they use to hide whatever they
are pushing. Of course it is mostly information we already know. They
often overflow with fear and hate mongering, attempting to nullify
radicals or incite them into foolish violence. They seldom print any
workable alternatives or things individuals can do to free themselves.
When I read either the mass media or underground papers, I try to
see if they are telling how bad things are and see if they present no
valid solution. This kind of reporting looks like fear mongering to me.
If they suggest trivial little busy work diversions like; recycling
paper, aluminum and glass, using smaller light bulbs, driving slower,
writing congress persons, etc., then I think they are backed by the
establishment, suggesting busy work to make us feel we are helping and
to keep us from discovering the “prime cause” of our problems. If they
show me things I can do that would weaken the big corporations to the
point where they will take notice and shape up — then I’ve found a
paper I wish to study with rapt attention and probably try their
suggestions or/and enter into dialogue with them.
Maybe we should back-off and question the government’s statements.
See if they hold water, before we accept any of their conclusions.
However, it is easier to just assume that almost everything that the
government says and does is not for the good of anyone, except the big
money people. You can see how they are lowering taxes for the rich and
increasing them for working people. The big money people ultimately
tell government what to do — regardless of who we vote into office.
Voting and the whole election scene is just more “make them think they
control government” diversion.
Explore Your Mind
The more we take free time to observe and explore our mind, the
more we learn how to control it. Instead of being led around by the
media or by the whims of our mind, we can learn to lead our mind into
whatever job or thought line we assign it. Then we start to accomplish
things. This is perhaps the true core, where freedom lies. Right under
our hat! And we can learn to control* it, just as simply as we can
change from one channel on a TV to another. Or, if we don’t care to
take the time to learn to switch channels in our thinking, we can
easily continue to aimlessly drift through whatever thoughts our mind
happens to wander in.
If we allow our minds to just daydream and think about whatever we
happen to look at, hear, smell, touch or taste — then we are allowing
that which is outside our self to lead our thinking. (A limited amount
of daydreaming is undoubtedly beneficial.) We automatically eliminate
most of that outside input, when we focus our thoughts on doing a
particular task. We draw the skills and information that we need, from
our memory and from outside input, then we start getting things done.
We can make exploratory trips into our minds and see what we can
learn about its potentials. We don’t need to use drugs to accomplish
this. We are led to believe that drugs enhance this exploration. I will
certainly agree (from experience) that drugs do give one an enriched
colorful trip. The drug trips I have taken were all good trips. But, I
didn’t find them to be really beneficial to me. They looked wondrous
and fantastic while I was high, but when I came down and read what I
had written, it turned out to be garbage.
What I’m writing at this moment feels like some of my best work
and I haven’t bothered with drugs (even pot) for a number of years.
Drugs not only steal our time (life) but also our efficiency.
There was a time that I focused my mind in the area of earning
money to support a wife and three kids. I worked my mind hard in that
area and it delivered. I retired when I was 42 years old in 1969.
Since then, with the 24 hours of free time I have had each day, I
have just cracked the ice and gotten a little below the surface of my
thinking process. When I first retired I didn’t begin a systematic
exploration of my mind. It didn’t occur to me. I did a lot of
daydreaming, traveling, reading, observing and discussing. When I had
the free time, it seemed like my mind began the exploration for me. I
just, sort of, every once in a while, happened to notice something new
about life and my thinking process. Now I can see many deep tunnels in
my mind that are there for exploring when and if I choose to explore
I would guess that my understanding of my mind would grow much
faster if I chose to focus in that area of exploration. But for the
past 22 years I have chosen to focus much of my life on designing and
implementing Utopia. But most of that time was actually used for just
plain day to day living, talking trivia, building rafts, floating the
Mississippi and attempting to enjoy just being alive. I observed what
was going on around me and occasionally what was happening around the
world. Sharing ideas with friends has also been a pleasant part of that
Most of the time I feel pretty good about myself and what I’m
doing. I suppose that is partly because I have made myself financially
independent. I did this mostly by reducing all of my expenses to a very
small sum. This way my small savings account takes care of me. In our
present economic system,
“””””””Surplus Money + No Debts = Independence.”””””””
When I was younger, I focused my thoughts on learning some skills
that people were willing to pay for, and getting as good as I could get
at them. Knowing I have those skills now gives me additional good
feelings of independence and security.
I now use many of those skills to save money, e.g., to fix up my
living quarters, repair my van, keep myself healthy, cook my meals, do
my own typesetting, etc. Recently I got a book from the library and
learned more about electrical wiring for houses and made some changes
in my wiring. I saved considerable money plus had the fun of acquiring
When my savings run out, I know that I can go out and earn money
to replace them. Because I keep my expenses low, I don’t need as big a
reserve as most people do and won’t need to go back into the Rat Race
As I gained more confidence in my ability to survive and control
my thinking I stopped allowing public opinion and government to control
my life. This is called taking my own individual freedom.
We don’t actually need to take freedom. There is no need to
struggle or fight. We merely need to stop giving it away.
We give some of our freedom away every time we vote for a
representative, every time we take pay for our work, every time we pay
taxes, enlist or allow our self to be drafted into an army.
Every time we buy from a big corporation, we give them more power.
Money is power! Stop giving away your power! Hold on to your money!
I give my newsletter for free. This gives me much more freedom in
my work. I can do this because I have earned and saved up some surplus
money. If I sold it, I would have to please my readers and perhaps an
editor and publisher. As others discover this free system secret, I’ll
get more things for free too.
Boycott the BC’s, demanding amnesty for all protesters.
Explore your mind’s abilities — for more freedom.
4-16-91 Ernest Mann
* I WAS ROBOT, page 121.
Little Free Press #86
Priceless Economics System Summary
“Economics,” according to Random House, “is the science treating
of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.”
In the present world-wide economic system, people take profit or
wages for their labor and must pay for products and services. Let’s
call this the Profit/Wage Economic System.
Four major problems exist in the Profit/Wage Economic System:
What is the “prime cause” of these four major problems?
1. Wars are started by people who profit from the sale of arms,
missiles, military bases and all the supplies and equipment
to maintain them, that is sold to governments and rebels.
These profiteers may be the same people who enter the
conquered nations and grab control of the natural resources
and industries and put their puppets in control of the new
Wars are not started by most of the citizens in the U.S. In
1980, 98.6% of the taxpayers, each earned less than $50,000
adjusted gross income*. They had neither the power, money,
expertise nor the time to start wars. But, there were 4,112
individuals that year, who each made over one million dollars
adjusted gross income. Some of them, had the expertise and
Wars are for PROFIT!
2. Industry does the major portion of the polluting and
destroying of our environment with its production methods. It
extends that destruction by making products that also
Industry doesn’t reclaim and recycle all its wastes and it
doesn’t produce non-polluting machines, because
industrialists make more profit by polluting than by
reclaiming and recycling.
Industry pollutes for PROFIT!
3. People are malnourished and even starved because there is
more profit if products are kept scarce and priced high. The
price of land is high and wages are getting lower and jobs
are scarcer. Many people are therefor unable to own land and
raise their own food. Millions of acres are used for cash
crops that are not essential foods. Millions of acres of land
is held off the market by investors and government. This land
can’t be used by starving people. (Drive across the U.S. and
see for yourself, all the unused land.)
Starvation is caused by PROFIT!
4. People steal to get things they want, or to get things to
sell, to get money to buy the things they want. What people
steal, is the profit they gain from their thievery,
embezzling or mugging efforts.
94% of the people in prisons and jails in the U.S. in 1980,
were in for one form of stealing or another, that sometimes
included murder because their victim was reluctant to give up
his/her money or property**.
Stealing is done for PROFIT!
People will do almost anything if you offer them enough profit or
wages, e.g., assassins, mercenary soldiers and politicians. If you can
see that PROFIT and WAGES are the “prime cause” of the four major
problems in the Profit/Wage Economic System, you may be ready to think
about an economic system that will not use Profit or Wages as the
What (other than profit or wages) motivates people to work? Ask
the 84 million volunteers that the U.S. had in 1980***. That is more
than enough workers to do the essential work in the U.S.
Alternative to Profit
You want to end wars, pollution, starvation and stealing? Then get
everyone to realize the fact that if we all agreed to quit taking pay
or profit for work — there would be no monetary cost of production —
thereafter all products and services could be free of charge. Think of
all the useless jobs that will be eliminated when we stop using money,
credit and barter.
People’s labor produced everything. It caught and tamed the wild
horses. It discovered and mined the ores. It refined them. It invented
and made the tools, machines and built all the buildings. It operates
the machines. Labor (with the help of nature) produces all the food. It
distributes products. Money produces nothing!
Labor did not produce the natural resources. Neither did
capitalists or government. They were here before people. No one can own
them if they didn’t create them! Not unless we let certain con artists
lead us into thinking they “own” the resources. They fooled us into
taking jobs as soldiers and police persons, to enforce that “ownership
of natural resources and factories idea” on ourselves. With this scam
they force us to pay them for the natural resources that our planet has
provided, free for taking.
We will need to see through their ownership of resources game and
stop enforcing that con-game against ourselves. Then there can be a
smooth and easy change-over to a priceless society.
This would be a Priceless Economic System (PES) that would end the
need for money, credit and barter. The PES would end the reason for the
four major problems on our planet. The PES would end the need for
governments and taxes.
Think about the trillion dollars per year government costs us.
Also think about all the troubles it gives us. Private enterprise can
do all the essential work far more efficiently.
The PES would end the reason for unproductive and wasteful make-
work jobs. The PES would decrease the number of working hours for
everyone. The PES would change competitive motivation to a cooperative
one, which is far more efficient and more fun. (Even copulation is more
fun with cooperation than with competition.)
Can you possibly imagine how things will change on this earth when
we get smart enough to switch-over to the Priceless Economic System on
a world-wide basis?
First of all, the PES will give people control over their own
lives. We will then have the time and opportunity to get free
vocational testing and counseling. Everyone will have free access to
education and on-the-job training. People can then gain employment at a
job they can enjoy and get satisfaction from. They will have freedom at
work to do their job as they see is best. If they are not treated well
at work they can quit because they will get everything, free of charge,
just as everyone else will. Then people will work because they desire
to — not because they have to. How much more fun work will be!
Because resources and labor will be free in the PES, automation
and robotry can be produced to do the dangerous and boring jobs. This
will leave only the creative and interesting jobs for people.
With everything free of charge and available to everyone — there
will be no status or resale possibilities in products. There will be no
reason to take more than one needs.
Think how space travel research can accelerate when resources and
scientists can be diverted from war production to peaceful cooperative
space research. Then an endless frontier will be opened to people who
like to invent (with no budget limits and plenty of free help) and to
others who like to explore and then a bonanza for sight-seers.
So how do we inform everyone about the Priceless Economic System?
How do we motivate them to help make the change-over? I don’t know. I’m
doing my little bit by publishing this small free newsletter and a
book, I WAS ROBOT (Utopia Now Possible), that describe the Priceless
Economic System. It is not enough, but it is the best I can do at this
time, with my limited talents.
Striving for Utopia
If no one spends time and thought attempting to create Utopia —
things can only get worse. If a few people try — we might succeed. If
many try — we can not fail. “Whatever the mind can conceive — it can
create.” Minds have conceived Utopia . . . now let’s create it! Why
should we strive for anything but the best? Forget all the stepping
stones. They have just tripped us up. Let’s take the quantum leap for
Hopefully, you who read this, will have better ideas on how to
share the Priceless Economic System ideas with people.
4-1-91 Ernest Mann
* World Almanac, 1983.
** Statistical Abstract of the U.S., 1985; American Prisons & Jails,
1980, Vol. 3.
*** Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1982.
Little Free Press #87
Channelled by Money?
They channel our lives with money. Prices we can’t afford keep us
out of certain channels, i.e., restrict us from having and doing
certain things. Very cheap prices attract people with little money to
certain channels . . . with many channels in between.
What about the channels that are still free? Have they as yet been
unable to put a price on them or are they the bottom of the heap? Are
they the cheapest of the cheap channels, where they store people until
they wish to use them and then entice them out with higher wages? Do
they even give them welfare money to keep them from rebelling?
Are there any free channels a rebel can take and not be
controlled? Some of us live in the cheaper channels and use our surplus
time and money to do something that we think will help make change in
the system. Some just linger in the cheapest place; drinking, doping,
listening to music and TV until s/he is needed in the labor market.
This, of course, is the channel that the system entices non-workers
into. It is a safe place to store rebels . . . they don’t rock the
Would it be a good idea to try to inspire these “sleeping rebels”
with some ideas about things they can do with all their leisure time to
speed-up our Evolution . . . instead of day dreaming about “Wait ’til
we get the Big Depression” and “Come the Revolution?” With their
security of a welfare check and their 24 hours per day of free time,
they could be the “leading force” that changes the System.
What could they do?
1. Form “Free Skills Pools” with their friends and share their
skills free of charge. Street People are already doing this.
They share their information freely with each other about
where to find free food, places to sleep, food stamp office,
welfare office, where to catch freight trains, etc.
2. Have “Free Boxes” of their surplus stuff for their friends to
choose from. Rummage sales are a form of (almost) Free Box,
because prices are almost nothing (compared to new or second
These two ideas would save some of their welfare money (or/and
their savings), which would then enable them to spend money on
promoting the “Evolution” to a more Utopian world. These ideas can be
practiced on any level of income.
How could they promote?
1. They could use their best talents (acting, speaking, writing,
singing, etc.) to tell people about the Priceless Economic
System (PES) (where everyone works as a volunteer and all
products and services are free) that we can create and can
tell (or show) them how we are even now creating it in our
How we are doing it.
1. By realizing the mass media is mostly distorted facts and
that its main purpose is “mind conditioning” and by
discontinuing to absorb it.
2. By not wasting our time with the many diversions the Profit
System has set up to steal our time and money.
3. By not falling for the many “straw men” that are set up for
us to knock down.
4. By getting rid of our surplus “things.” They all take storage
space and some require expense and time to maintain.
5. Some now use smaller cheaper living quarters which take less
time and money to maintain.
6. By not “upgrading” as each new model and style come out.
7. By not trying to keep up with the Joneses.
8. By keeping our things in repair instead of buying new.
9. By buying at rummage sales instead of stores.
10. By buying from small merchants instead of Big Corporations.
Their tradition has been to start out with lower prices until
they drive the small stores out of business — then they
raise their prices very high.
11. By looking in dumpsters for useables and repairables for
ourselves and our free box.
12. By living close to where we “do our thing” so that we don’t
need a car.
13. Walking instead of riding.
14. Paying as little rent as possible.
15. Staying out of debt.
16. Not using a credit card.
17. Getting rid of our phone.
18. Eating basic foods instead of processed foods.
19. Some have bicycles instead of cars.
20. Give our love to people instead of to pets.
21. Some have stopped drinking, smoking and gambling to save
22. We share these ideas of freedom for the individual with our
friends and whoever will listen.
23. We disregard government when we can and don’t give it
validity by voting and seldom support it with taxes.
We are doing these things to the degree that fits our need at the
present time. We try to learn more about the PES and figure out more
ways to share this information about the near Utopia that we are
beginning to experience in our life. Just by being an example of a
person who is more “Free” and enjoying life more . . . we are teaching.
In late March I got a distress call from one of my kids in
California. So I drove out there and helped a little for five weeks.
Shortly after returning to my rent-free Utopia-in-a-sheep-pasture,
I had a misunderstanding and disagreement with my rent-free landlord.
It was not mentioned, but I suspect that because I had been giving
“advice” to him and his wife (who are separated) I may have jeopardized
my position there. I hope I have learned not to do that any more.
I then sold my trailer and divested myself of a storeroom full of
my junk at a flea market. I sold cheap and got rid of all my surplus
stuff. I still had half a van load of stuff, which included my
At the end of June, with everything I owned, I took off in my van
for Miami, to buy a sailboat and become a Gypsy of the Sea. $200 worth
of gas and a case of oil later, I arrived in Miami about July 4th. It
was so damned hot, I didn’t even get out of my van to kick any boat
hulls. I turned around and drove to Minneapolis.
Next I decided to go up to the cool north shore and find a cheap
place to rent and spend the summer writing. Grand Marais, MN, near
Canada and on the shore of Lake Superior is a super clean little town
with sparking tourist shops and streets almost clean enough to eat
from. With all the clean and colorfully dressed tourist, it looked like
a fine place to people watch and perhaps hand out LFP’s. But alas, I
could find nothing cheap to rent, so I spent the night parked at a
wayside rest that had a sign that read, “No Camping. 4 hour maximum
stay.” But no one hassled me. I suppose I could have moved on to
another one if they had. Next day I drove back to Minneapolis.
My dear old ’79 Dodge van was now learning to chain-smoke and was
drinking too much (one quart of oil per 100 miles). I took it to a
treatment center (a junk yard) and collected $75.
At a repairable wreck yard, I had already lined up a wrecked ’87
Toyota Tercel with only 38,000 miles on it for $1,675. I bought that
and searched and found a used door for $200 and replaced the muffler.
It still has a cracked windshield and dented front bumper and hood. But
it sure is a honey of a car. I drove it back to California and got
between 42 and 47 miles per gallon and used no oil. I’ve had it only
about a month and have put on 9,000 miles.
I removed the passenger seat (4 bolts) and half of the split rear
seat and laid in a piece of 5/8″ plywood 6 1/2′ x 2′ for a bed. This
has been my home for the past month or so. I have a one burner Primus
propane stove for cooking.
I searched for about two months for a lake cottage that I could
afford. I made many long trips, some as far as Calumet, Michigan (Upper
Peninsula). I found two cottages in Minnesota that I may have been able
to afford but I didn’t like them. To get the kind of lake shore I
wanted, it seemed obvious that I would have to re-enter the rat race to
earn some more money. Then I asked myself if I wanted a lake cottage
bad enough to get back into the rat race, after being free for 23
years. Then the answer was very easy. No! Definitely, no!
So then I focused my search for acreage, in Todd County and in the
Cushing postal delivery area. I could find nothing I liked. So here I
am, at another pivot point in my life. I had made a list of options
that I liked. Two of them didn’t work. So which one will I try next?
A successful business man once told me that about 80% of the ideas
he tries, fail. But the 20% that succeeded have made him comfortably
rich. People who are afraid to fail, never get much out of life. But,
if we learn from our failures we eventually get what we want. This may
be true with love too.
My extra stuff is stored in a friend’s warehouse and I go there
and use my computer. I finally got all my data-entry caught up, so I
can get at my mailing list for this issue’s address labels. I hope I
have everyone on it, who asked to be (and sent in their postage).
When I first dropped out in 1969, it took me a while to get used
to sleeping with all my clothes on, whenever I camped in a car. After a
lifetime of undressing before going to bed, it was hard to change. But
it is more convenient living in a car, to just leave all my clothes on
when I sleep. I adjusted and now sleep fine.
If I was not at a motel, there was another thing that was
difficult for me at first, and that was, “Where to toilet?” At present
I use library, city park and cafe toilets. The 24 hour cafes and gas
stations come in handy too. On the road I use free rest area, cafe, and
gas station toilets. Woodsy and bushy areas work too. When I lived in
my trailer I used a bucket with sand in the bottom in summer (leaves in
the winter). I set an old wooden toilet seat on top of the bucket for a
little more comfort. I either emptied the waste on the farmer’s manure
pile or buried it.
Finding a free parking place to sleep was not so hard. KOA wanted
about $12. per night, so I did that only once. I use rest areas and
truck stops, when traveling.
Sometimes I treat myself to a cheap motel and take a shower and
shampoo. I often wash my armpits in a rest room and put on a clean
shirt. I try not to dress in dark clothes because they tend to make one
look mean and scary. Even with my long hair and beard most people are
friendly toward me. Once I took a swim in Lake Superior, soaped up and
washed my hair. It was very cold but it did the job.
Some cities charge about a hundred dollar fine, if they catch you
sleeping in your vehicle parked on the street. During the days, I park
on a side street where all-day parking is allowed for free. At night,
when I sleep, I park in a friend’s small parking space behind his
store, after he goes home.
When I first started sleeping in my van I was very scared. I
worried about a brake in, and being robbed and killed. I still had a
lot of fear programming from the mass media. I finally figured that if
I was killed that would be the end of all my worries, so what the Hell
should I care. Anyway, I couldn’t think of a reason anyone would want
to kill me. I faced my fear and it disappeared. I don’t believe there
is a Heaven or a Hell (except the one we each create for our self, here
and now) and I can tolerate pain, so I have no fear of death. But I
don’t look for it. I’m not ready to terminate . . . too many things to
do and see yet.
I don’t ask for trouble. I don’t own anything that I can’t afford
to lose. Most of my stuff I got very cheap at yard sales or from
dumpsters. Except for my computer. I do worry about that, if I have it
stored in my car. It is about four years old and is slow, so it is not
hardly worth stealing anymore, nor is any of my other stuff. My car is
banged up, has a cracked windshield and has an odd colored door. So no
one bothers me.
Being raped by the opposite sex has never worried me. I would
probably enjoy it (it has been so long). When life gives you a lemon .
. . make lemon aid. Women don’t seem to feel this way about rape. I
suppose they worry about getting pregnant. But rather than get killed
or battered, they could carry a diaphragm or rubbers or stay home those
three or four days they are fertile. Some women allow the “rape fear”
to limit where they can go and what they can do. Of course everyone
feels angry about being “forced” to do something. Some women learn
combat and/or carry wepons when they want to do scarry things.
Living in a car is not something I wish to do all my life. It is
just a temporary lifeboat, until I find a place that feels right to
settle. A sailboat may be only a temporary mode too. Perhaps a dream I
need to try, to get it out of my system.
The eating habits I have used for the past ten years or more are
very convenient and economical for me. For breakfast I have coffee and
a roll or coffee and freshly ground cooked cereal or coffee, eggs and
whole wheat toast and jelly. For my big meal at noon, I usually have
only meat (red or white). Sometimes a beer or a drink while I’m frying
the meat. About 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound seems to be plenty for my old
body and mind. For supper I usually have a single vegetable or fruit.
The only spices I use are salt and pepper. Sometimes between meals I
have some sweets or whatever.
This simple diet makes my shopping simple and cheap. It makes the
cooking easy and the clean up very simple and quick. However I
sometimes eat an old fashioned mixed meal. It doesn’t seem to hurt me.
Years ago, I read in some health food-fad books that eating one
kind of food at a time (and giving it time to digest) makes it easier
for the digestive system to know which enzyme to secrete and thus be
more efficient. All I can say is it seems to work because, I’m a very
healthy old fart who eats little but who is getting fat. My cooking is
easy and cheap.
At first in my travels I bought ice for my food cooler. Now I buy
my meat fresh every day and buy small quantities of other perishables,
so I save the ice expense and bother.
The coffee grinder I hold between my legs and the grain mill gets
clamped to the bed, when I grind oat groats, field corn or wheat for
When I was busy in the rat race trying to get ahead, I didn’t take
the time and waste money on drinking and smoking. After I made a little
money and retired in 1969, I began to practice drinking. I practiced a
lot and have finally learned when I’ve had enough to keep from getting
silly or sick. Smoking, I took up about two years ago. I just have an
occasional cigarette and a few more when I’m bored driving across
country. My body seems able to handle this little poison.
I’m trying to learn how to be free. I’ve learned lots of ways that
I use. But I know I have lots more to learn. One of my theories is,
that if we would each liberate our self (as much as we can), we would
soon all be free and there would be no one who could control us. When
you take pay, you must obey. So the less we work for money the more
free we are.
This theory would liberate each of us from the compulsion to
liberate the “others.” We can’t change other people anyway. If I could
only really convince myself of this! Then I could focus all my energy
on learning how to play and enjoy my life. I have already learned and
have put into practice ways of living very cheaply and with little
hassle. [People with plenty of money have a different problem, I think.
They don’t have to spend less, but need to create more free time and
learn ways to find happiness in that time. Some people with a lot of
money allow this money to addict them to “winning the game” of making
still more money. This can take up all their free time. This is sad,
because free time is the space in which one may discover ones self and
the true meaning of life, which at this point in time, I think, is just
to be happy (without hurting anyone else)].
I hope to change my writing style to one of just recording my
adventures and not try to sell people on doing it my way, I suppose I
won’t be able to refrain from dropping in a few of my thoughts.
Maybe my subconscious mind knows that if I bought a lake cottage
or acreage it would tie me down. Perhaps it then finds faults with what
I look at, trying to guide me to what will make my heart sing. Some
people call this inner guidance. Some call it God leading them. I don’t
know what it is, but is seems to work in strange ways sometimes.
I know this statement will bore the Hell out of some of you (I
have made it so many times), but I think I’ll take off for Miami again
soon and see if my subconscious, Providence or fate is ready to allow
me to become a Gypsy of the Sea.
9/18/91 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #88
Are our minds being lead by the mass media to think about all the
bad things that are coming down all over the world which make us feel
angry, scared and helpless? Do they ever tell us about the millions of
good things that happen daily? Do the media, movies and novels also
occupy our thought-time with trivia, such as sports, entertainments and
never ending stimulation to pursue love and sex? How much time does
this leave for discovering the slavery we are in? How much time do you
spend on finding your own personal freedom?
“Power to the People” is bullshit! Who really wants a dictatorship
of the people to rule them? Who really wants “Democracy” where the
majority rule them? It is easy to see that the majority believe and act
as the “Public Opinion Polls” tell them. People have been taught to
conform. Haven’t the controllers “fixed” the polls to reflect what they
wish the public to believe and how they should act? This was
dramatically demonstrated by the Gulf War propaganda, in the illogical
way people responded.
If this is true, we may each need to divorce our self from the
mass media and all their entertainments and spend that time learning to
think, evaluate and act for our self.
It is not easy to become a Free Person. It is much easier to
conform and do what everyone else does. But the good feelings derived
from Personal freedom are so great that they are almost indescribable.
Rewards of Personal Freedom
1. It is a very satisfying feeling to sit down and draw up a
plan to achieve ones own freedom and continually upgrade it.
2. Learning new ways to achieve personal freedom stimulates one
to learn more. Learning is fun.
3. By not taking in the entertainments, one has more time to
plan and pursue ones individual freedom.
4. By not absorbing the mass media one receives less artificial
sex stimulation and therefore spends less thought and time
pursuing love and sex. This leaves more time, money and less
frustration. Love and sex come naturally in their own good
time. If we are not thinking of them, we don’t miss ’em.
5. By not participating in the erection, no I mean, “election
circus” one creates more stress-free time to advance ones
6. One soon sees that buying things one doesn’t need costs
money. The less money one needs, the less one needs to work
for the Profiteers.
7. One soon sees that credit cards and other loans and
mortgages, chain one to the wheel of slavery and obedience to
8. The sooner one gets out of debt (by whatever means) the freer
one becomes. This also reduces stress. Actually, a bad credit
rating might be a good thing — to protect one from impulse
9. One soon sees that the more possessions one has, the bigger
the housing one has to buy or rent to store it all. A cheap
or free place is liberating.
10. Scaling down to a simpler lifestyle gives one more free time
to discover and do ones own freedom.
11. One begins to wonder what a “natural” free undomesticated
human being was like, and how to become one.
12. One has more time and money to travel. There is much learning
By focusing on our own freedom, we eliminate most of the
frustrating and depressing feelings of inadequacy, of not being able to
make change in the world. We have surely found by now that we can
rarely change others.
Some of us have discovered the wonderful fact that we can change
our self. This is a place we have tremendous POWER, if we care to exert
it! As we change our lifestyle and gain more free time and personal
freedom, we become an example. An example is the best teacher there is.
Just doing ones thing, the best one can (and ever evolving), there is
then no stress or discouragement in not changing others. In fact it is
just the opposite. One feels encouraged by even the smallest of changes
one makes in their own life. It is a full time job to create ones own
happiness and Utopia. Then there is no time-space left to worry about
There is no advantage to belong to a party or a group. No longer a
need for a leader. One becomes ones own leader. And proud of it! One
can then use their membership dues or donations as they see is best.
As others see our success they will try to copy us in many of our
ways. We may even be pleased to give them some guidance if they ask for
it. As more people seek their own freedom there will be an ever
reducing number who are still doing destruction to our planet.
I choose to publish my thoughts on my escalating personal freedom
and life style to help blaze the trail for those who may wish to gain
more freedom. The more free aware people we have, the longer our life-
support system will survive. We will also have more people we can
No one opposes me, because everyone truly wants personal freedom
and desires to learn how to achieve it. There is no opposition to
Utopia and happiness. People are just too busy with all of their
diversions and work to even think about a Utopia for themselves. The
slave masters have been very clever by creating all these diversions.
Most of them we even pay for.
No More Sore Throats
Here is an example of what free time did for me shortly after I
dropped-out of the Rat Race in 1969. I discovered that whenever I had a
sore throat, if I tried relaxing my neck in the area of the discomfort,
it would cure it. If I didn’t notice I had a sore throat until it got
bad, then it took a few hours to cure by relaxation. Gradually, I began
to notice the sore throat right at its beginning and would cure it in
In the Rat Race, I used to get them seasonally, like everyone
else. They often became “strep throats” and very inconvenient. I tried
all the patent drugs, but it still took days to cure. Drafts often
cause one to start. I close the window or whatever and relax and it is
gone in minutes.
Sometimes I hear something on TV, radio or read something in the
paper or some one says something that causes a tension in my throat
area. Very shortly after I notice a sore throat coming on. If I relax
it right away the sore throat goes away immediately. Because of my
little discovery, I have had no strep throat for 23 years. A free-time
I surely am not the first person in the world to discover this
phenomenon. I wonder why doctors and druggists don’t tell us about it?
“Come, you let me out!” replied Oliver from the inside.
“Do you know this here voice, Oliver?” said Mr. Bumble.
“Yes,” replied Oliver.
“Ain’t you afraid of it, sir? Ain’t you a-trembling while I speak,
sir?” said Mr. Bumble.
“No!” replied Oliver boldly.
An answer so different from the one he had expected to elicit, and
was in the habit of receiving, staggered Mr. Bumble not a little. He
stepped back from the keyhole, drew himself up to his full height, and
looked from one to another of the three bystanders in mute
“Oh, you know, Mr. Bumble, he must be mad,” said Mrs. Sowerberry.
“No boy in half his senses could venture to speak so to you.”
“It’s not madness, ma’am,” replied Mr. Bumble, after a few moments
of deep meditation. “It’s meat.”
“What?” exclaimed Mrs. Sowerberry.
“Meat, ma’am, meat,” replied Bumble, with stern emphasis. “You’ve
overfed him, ma’am. You’ve raised an artificial soul and spirit in him,
ma’am, unbecoming a person of his condition, as the board, Mrs.
Sowerberry, who are practical philosophers, will tell you. What have
paupers to do with soul or spirit? It’s quite enough that we let ’em
have live bodies. If you had kept the boy on gruel, ma’am, this would
never have happened.”
“Dear, dear!” ejaculated Mrs. Sowerberry, piously raising her eyes
to the kitchen ceiling, “this comes of being liberal!”
The liberality of Mrs. Sowerberry to Oliver had consisted in a
profuse bestowal upon him of all the dirty odds and ends which nobody
else would eat, so there was a great deal of meekness and self-devotion
in her voluntarily remaining under Mr. Bumble’s heavy accusation. Of
which, to do her justice, she was wholly innocent in thought, word, or
“Ah! said Mr. Bumble, when the lady brought her eyes down to earth
again, “the only thing that can be done now, that I know of, is to
leave him in the cellar for a day or so till he’s a little starved down
and then to take him out and keep him on gruel all through his
apprenticeship. He comes of a bad family. Excitable natures, Mrs.
Sowerberry! Both the nurse and doctor said that that mother of his made
her way here against difficulties and pain that would have killed any
well-disposed woman weeks before.”
This is what Charles Dickens had to say way back in about 1880. It
comes from a great classic, OLIVER TWIST. There was a real aware writer
for you! He sure made me feel many emotions.
Another great writer is R. Buckminster Fuller. Try his, “Critical
Path.” Even his “Forward” inspires one to feel ones own crucial
importance to change.
I put over 30,000 miles on a great bumper sticker I had on my old
Dodge van. It read, “Question Authority.” I picked up another one for
my Toyota Tercel. Also added, “Let’s Give Our Children A World Without
War.” I’ve put over 11,000 miles on these two, from Minnesota to
California and back, then to California and Miami and back. At first I
thought cops and people might hassle me. They didn’t. I think they were
afraid I might hassle them. Or they may have respected them.
“Question…” is from Peace Resource Project, Box 1122, Arcata, CA
95521. “…Without War.” is from; Donnelly/Colt Custom Stickers, Box
188, Hampton, CT 06247.
I was on my way to Miami to buy a sail boat and become a Gypsy of
the Sea. But as I was about to depart, I got a distress call from a
friend in California. So I drove out there and stayed for a month and
tried to help. I doubt if I did much good.
Even though some people ask for help, I don’t think much can be
done for them. They resist help. They really have to solve their own
problems, I now think. So after a month of trying, I left and headed
In this town I was in, in northern California, there were a lot of
people of all ages with long hair and full beards. They didn’t seem to
be like the radicals who protested the Vietnam War. Many seemed like
bums, living on the edge. There are a lot of pot smokers there. Some
are in their 40’s and even older. It looks to me like pot stops ones
emotional growth at about the age they started. I’m glad I quit about
four years ago.
By the time I got to Arizona, it occurred to me that I didn’t wish
to be identified with bums. So, I stopped in a motel and cut off my 23
years accumulation of hair and beard. The next day I stopped at a
barber shop and finished the job with a short crew cut. It took me two
or three days to recognize myself in the mirror. I’m glad I made the
transition. I stopped in a Salvation Army thrift store and acquired a
whole new wardrobe for $25. I like it.
When I arrived in Miami, I stopped in Coconut Grove by the marina
and fried a steak in the parking lot and looked at the sail boats for a
while. Finally I thought it was still not the right time to buy a boat
and become a Gypsy of the Sea. So after a while I headed my Turcel back
I arrived in cold Minneapolis, in December, homeless. I took a
motel and began to write and plan what I would do next. After listing
many options, I chose what looked best and fell asleep.
The next day a warehouse opportunity (quite outside my plans)
presented itself. So I grabbed this 8′ x 10′ office in an unheated
warehouse for $40. plus electricity. I’m heating the office with the
electric heater I used for a while in my trailer. So far it is working
I’m pretty busy selling a lot of my books that are being ordered
from all over the country. Even 15 to a distributor in Scotland.
However, not many are selling in my home town.
As soon as my mail catches up with me and I take care of it, I
plan to try to catch a cheap round-trip flight to Cancun, Mexico, and
get some false teeth made in Merida. Last winter I scored a ticket for
$99. I watch the Sunday Travel Section and the Wednesday papers for
charter flight bargains.
12-20-91 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #89
I don’t know what Freedom is. I’m trying to learn. At present I
think it is something like “not being restrained by others from doing
whatever I wish.” I restrict myself from doing harm to others because I
don’t see any advantage in it, as they would likely try to return it. I
see an advantage in trying to do something good for others, because
many times they will try to get even. I have read many good books over
the years. Perhaps I’m trying to get even by sharing ideas that I think
are good. But more than likely I’m just a selfish old fart who would
like to have a world-wide Utopian System to live in, so I try to sell
people on the idea that they should help build it.
In the present world-wide System, having little money or credit
restricts one from doing many things. It would seem to follow that in a
moneyless and creditless System, we would not have these restrictions
to Freedom. So that is why I promote the Priceless Economic System.
It occurred to me today that my emotional state at any given
moment is effected by how I think about things at that moment. If, as I
walk around, I think about the “bad guys” and fantasize how they could
effect me and what I would do to them, I have put my emotional state
into a stressed position — my heart even beats faster. I’m finally
getting pretty good at catching myself when I start one of these
fantasizes and change my topic of thought immediately. This transforms
me into a much less tense being. I can then focus on a beneficial
I got to thinking about my place in this huge almost empty
warehouse. When I walk through it to my little office space in the
dark, I can see how it would have scared me a few years ago. Now it
just seems deserted. A natural experience. Others might look at it as a
daring adventure to read about in novels. Much of my life is like that.
I’m going to have to try to look at it as an adventure, if I can. I
should think it will be more fun if I do, instead of feeling that it’s
just natural. Like when I’m sitting in the nearby punk and noisy Urban
Peasant 24 hour cafe, reading. Life may be more fun if I look at it as
an adventure. It is!
This kind of thinking helps me realize that every situation I get
into, is caused by me. This is true of both the bad and the good
situations. If I listen to leaders and do what they say — it’s still
my fault for following their suggestions or orders. No doubt they may
give out some good advice (or orders) from time to time, but it is up
to me to decide which is good enough to heed.
I have put myself into the position I’m in today. Some people
think it is good and some think it’s not. I have the choice to think of
my present position as a good one and that it’s a place to learn and
grow from. I could look at it as a very miserable one and feel
hopeless. I could just feel sorry for myself and occupy my time with
diversions and wait for SOMEONE, some political party, a depression, a
shrink or a savior to make changes in my life or in the System. I have
the choice on how I think about my present situation and that controls
my feelings. This gives me POWER to make change in my own life. Really,
what else is there? We can’t really change other people, unless we are
a dictator. I don’t think being a dictator would be any fun. Too much
responsibility! Actually a burden.
We can attempt to “guide” our own children until they reach the
age where they begin to seek their own independence. This is only
right. This is the way it is in nature. The adults teach their young
how to survive and then kick them out of the nest. If humans could only
learn to do this. Instead we have been “taught” to depend on the
schools to teach our kids survival. The “System” then milks money out
of the parents for up to 26 years or more and still the kids often
can’t get a job. That is slavery for the parents. Most parents and most
schools teach kids how to be good obedient slaves.
This whole process requires some re-thinking. Those of us who have
contrived ways to drop out of the Rat Race, fully or even partially,
have the time to do this re-thinking — and we are. At least those of
us who don’t waste all of our time on diversions such as, drugs, booze,
sex, sports and all the rest of the enticements the media promote.
What makes my life happier?
1. reading science fiction
3. absence of appointments or strict schedule
4. free time to do as I wish
5. cheap rent
6. a little money to spend
7. a desire to become a sea Gypsy
8. a good little car
9. good, cheap and easy food habits
10. no fear of drink or smoking
11. no fear of sickness or death
12. the desire and ability for adventure
13. awareness to begin to feel the “now” as I use it.
If I can remember to log all my problems on paper, I can focus on
solving them one at a time. I try to do this. This is a challenge. I
I know a person who has many problems. He works a little on each
one, every so often. He jumps from one to the other and rarely solves a
single one. When I can, I like to focus on a single problem until it is
solved. Then I get a good feeling from marking another obstacle off my
I still have one major problem on my list and that is my bad
teeth. I am responsible for them going bad. I believed some of the wild
and weird tales I read about “mind over matter” and how one could grow
a new set of teeth. So instead of diligently brushing and flossing my
teeth and instead of getting watchful care from a dentist, I allowed
them to decay and concentrated on mind control to start growing new
teeth. Meanwhile I suffered many severe tooth aches. Finally I gave up
and had the worst ones pulled, filled or capped. Now I have no molars
which match, so I must chew with my front teeth. I can do it, but it is
I made a choice and was wrong. I certainly learned something. I
don’t believe everything I read anymore. Now I must patch them up or
get ’em all pulled and get false teeth. I don’t feel too brave about so
many extractions all at once, even though I have only about half of my
teeth left. Dentists all tell me to fix the ones I have and get plates
to fill in the gaps. But that will still mean more tooth aches down the
road and cost even more. I’ll have to make a decision soon and I will.
I think I just about have my mind convinced that it won’t be so bad
(painful) to get them all pulled at once.
When I get this tooth problem solved I hope to focus on buying a
sail boat to live aboard.
My life has been an adventure since I dropped out in 1969. I have
traveled to many places in this country, abroad and within this city.
It got so it just seemed natural. I like my new idea . . . to attempt
to look at life as one continuous adventure. Then perhaps it will be
even more fun. Like an adventure novel, only it will not be vicarious,
Save our planet’s life-support systems so you (and I) will have a
habitable planet, i.e., a place to live. As we simplify our lives, we
buy less. The stores then order less and finally the factories pollute
less. A by-product of spending less is — less need for money. We can
then work less for money, thereby creating more free time to use as we
The great beauty of not attempting to make a profit from my work
is that I can write what I really believe. I don’t have to try to
please my readers, an editor or publisher. I often loose readers by
some of the things I write, but so be it. I write what “seems like”
truth to me at this point in my life and that feels good.
The sooner we achieve Utopia, the better life will be for me. You
might even be happier too. So you can see what my selfish motive is —
I would like to live in a world-wide Utopia. That might just be more
fun than war, pollution, taxes, starvation and crime.
“Don’t hold me responsible for the transgressions of the world.”
“Why not? To live within a system without trying to change it,
implies blanket acceptance of everything that system stands for, good
or ill. You prostitute yourself every day of your life when you embrace
that which is spiritually hateful to you.” replied Amalgamech (the
central computer). From “Lifekeeper,” a thought provoking and exciting
science fiction novel by Mike Mcquay, 1985, Bantam Books.
Michael Ziesing, 44 Gifford Avenue, Willimantic, CT 06226 (SASE) A
fine little informative zine that you can get your own thoughts
Erick Riese, Box 14037, Minneapolis, MN 55414-0073 (SASE) Another
excellent little zine which is written mostly by its readers. It often
deals with Freedom and Anarchy. This zine is unusual because it changes
editor/publisher every year and you have a good chance to take it over
next if you want to.
Cliff Kennedy, Box 96, Sydney, Cape Breton Isle, NS, Canada B1P
6G9 (SASE) Cliff has been publishing his zine for a long time. He sent
me a copy of his book review of I WAS ROBOT, that will appear in his
next issue. It is a work of art. He has just got to be someone very
MADWORLD SURVIVAL GUIDE
Shadowlamp, Box 791377, New Orleans, LA 70179-1377 ($1.50) #5. It
is getting to be a good Anarchist zine, in an easy to read well done
format. It presents activities that some anarchists are into. They also
print letters from readers.
Box 1564, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. (donation) This is a larger zine
also mostly written by its readers. These five zines deal mostly with
the System and people’s thoughts on how to create a better one.
STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE
by Peace Pilgrim, is a very inspiring little booklet given free by
Friends of Peace Pilgrim, 43480 Cedar Avenue, Hemet, CA 92544 She talks
about her experience with simplified cheap unencumbered living. The
first part about her 25,000 mile walk around the U.S. is without
mention of God and is inspiring even for an atheist. The last part is
sprinkled with religion.
FREEDOM ROAD, by Harold Hough, 1991, published by Loompanics
Unlimited, Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. This book is after my own
heart. It tells how to get most of the way out of the Rat Race, but
still have some of the goodies. It is not about changing the System.
It’s about individual Freedom on the road in an RV with more Free Time.
I’m planning on using some of these ideas on a sail boat. Excellent
ways to live with less money. Get it! You’ll like it, if you don’t feel
comfortable with what the present System is doing.
Value Free Time
After I created Free Time for myself I began to see what the Rat
Race was all about. Who profited from it and then the logical solution
became clear. I was then able to design a work for myself that may help
create a better System.
1-14-92 Ernest Mann
Little Free Press #90
CONFORMITY IS SURVIVAL
Have you ever watched a school of fish? Did you notice that when a
few dart off in a new direction the whole mass seems to shift into that
new direction? This looks like a survival instinct that worked, if the
leaders were smart. If they were dumb they probably got eaten first.
Either smarter leaders evolved or else the school didn’t survive.
This may be similar to the survival instinct that humans call
“conformity” in our species. People seem to unconsciously follow the
pack. Some human leaders seem to be aware of this phenomenon and hire a
few people to start a fad and then they sell a lot of hula hoops, brown
rice, houses in the suburbs, black shoes, flags or whatever.
Business tries to get people to conform to their ideas, to make
more profit. This is called creating the demand. Politicians do it for
power and money. Radicals do it for power and money or for freedom.
Maybe the masses unconsciously follow the leader that they think will
help them survive the best. Human masses are continuously lied to and
swindled — out of their labor, money and freedom.
Maybe what the masses need is more “real” examples (leaders who
are not trying to be leaders) of people who are finding their own
freedom and happiness. Examples who don’t lie, exploit or make a
Profit. As people learn of more examples of others getting free, they
may eventually get enough confidence to try it themselves. And
eventually the whole mass may shift direction just like the fish.
Finding these examples might be an interesting job for writers and
video people. It would take considerable imagination and skill to find
these low profile examples.
I wonder if the leaders, of the schools of fish, know that they
are leaders? Maybe they just do what they think is best for their self
and they survive. The aware fish may recognize this wisdom and follow
This kind of leader has no hassles; no power trip to maintain, no
front to keep up, no lies to remember, no boards or committees to
please and no need to beg for donations. This leader has no need for
enforcement. This leader has no Profit to reap, except its own selfish
motive of doing what is best for itself. This leader could care less,
if it has a following, it is going its own way and surviving.
Conformity is not a bad thing. It is a means to learn better ways.
A wise fish conforms to the best way it can see, whether that way has
followers or not. It is called — survival. An ignorant fish follows
the first school it comes to and stays. (I was a young ignorant fish in
1944, when I enlisted in the Navy in WWII. But I wised up by the time
the Korean War started.)
A couple of weeks ago, the burglar alarm went off in the warehouse
that my office is in. It was light out and 7:00 a.m. I figured it
couldn’t be burglars. I put on a jacket and went out into the warehouse
and saw my two Squirrel neighbors scurrying around. I figured they
tripped the alarm as there were no windows broken, nor doors open.
So then and there I decided to quit feeding the rascals and maybe
they would leave the way they got in. But after a couple of weeks they
just learned to knock jars off the shelves outside my office. Then they
could get into the food that spilled out. They found my one pound
plastic bear filled with honey (that I had misplaced) and they had
carried it off to the center of the warehouse and chewed into it and
ate it all up. I didn’t know they were so smart.
Then I put nuts near the door for a few days. They found them and
devoured them. Next I left the door open a few inches and put nuts
there again. I hid quietly and watched. They went and ate the nuts but
wouldn’t leave the building. I got the landlord down and we went on the
roof to look for a hole they could have come in through. We couldn’t
find any holes. So we figured they got in last fall, when canoes were
delivered to the warehouse.
I decided I’d better trap them so that they wouldn’t set off the
alarm when I wasn’t there to shut it off. I had found an old heavy suit
case in a dumpster a week or so before and decided to use that for a
trap. I propped it open and put nuts inside. In a day or so they found
the nuts and cleaned them out. The next day I put nuts around and in
the suitcase again. Only this time I propped the lid up with an eight
inch long wooden dowel and placed the dowel on top of an English
walnut. It worked. I heard a “clunk” from inside my office and ran out
and heard a squirrel inside the suitcase. I took him outside and
released him. Then reset the suitcase. Within an hour I had the other
squirrel caught and released.
That was a fun adventure. The squirrels have not returned. I saved
my landlord the cost and hassle of a trap or an exterminator. Gave two
squirrels their Freedom (which they didn’t seem to want). I utilized a
discarded suitcase and may yet find another use for it. It was more
fun than watching TV, going to a movie or even reading science fiction.
Something I’ll never forget and will get many good miles out of, by
just retelling my alarm tripping squirrel trapping story. It was real
life, not vicarious fiction BS.
A couple of months ago I found an electric heater that looked like
a steam radiator in a dumpster. I took it to my office and plugged it
in. It didn’t work, as I suspected. I had never tried this style of
heater and wondered if it would be better than the blower type I’m
using to heat my office. I took it apart and discovered the thermostat
to be burned out.
I called around to buy a new thermostat. One place wanted $16. It
is just a simple little piece of bimetal and my other heater cost me
only $34 new. So I called another repair store and they said that my
Delonghi heater had been “called in” because of a faulty thermostat
design. They told me to bring it in and they would replace the
thermostat free of charge. Wow! I brought it in! It took almost two
months to get the part from Italy, but maybe they didn’t have any
strong swimmers on hand at that time. The one who did deliver the part
complained that the Mississippi had some ice in it, so it had slowed
I picked it up today (Valentines Day, what a nice present the
world gave me. Actually, the world didn’t give it to me. I hardly ever
pass up the opportunity to peak in a dumpster. This time opportunity
knocked and I opened the door. I’ve found that if I open the door often
enough, something very nice often walks in.) and it works slick. The
Delonghi must be a very good company to stand behind their heaters like
that. No blower noise and no constant dust being circulated. I thought
I was going to have to buy a broom or vacuum cleaner. I really lucked
out on that dumpster.
Anyone who wants to prevent the next war might want to get a
boycott brigade organized now, to be ready when it begins to look like
“their” next war is getting close.
If we had lots of people already lined up for telephoning and
whatever, to get people to threaten all the Big Corporations (the BC’s)
and let them know that everyone was going to quit buying their
products; that some were going to sell their stock in the BC’s and
others were going to quit working for them. We could easily bankrupt
them if we tried. They know this.
I expect they would rather back-off from a war, than go broke.
This kind of preparatory action should prevent War, but it is not
likely to create Utopia. But it will save lives, property and a lot of
taxes, so it may be a worthwhile undertaking. “An ounce of
I would guess that most anti-war groups will not pay any attention
to the above suggestion because I think most of them are infiltrated by
the Profit Establishment and the infiltrators will discourage this
boycott action. But I could be wrong. I remember being wrong once
before, back in ’44, when I enlisted in WWII.
My computer hard disk “crashed” and I lost about 20 megabytes of
programs and data. I had been lucky for about three years, so I was lax
about my floppy back-ups. I messed around with it and couldn’t recover
much of it. Then I learned from my friend Jerry, who runs the WIENERY
CAFE on Cedar Av. & Riverside in Mpls., that my problem was probably in
my Dos. (Incidentally he has the finest Ruben sandwich I’ve ever
tasted, made the classic way.) A friend in Calif. installed a (free)
copy of version 5 of Dos on my hard disk. I somehow messed around in
such a way that I was trying to run Dos 5 in a Dos 3.20 version. That’s
what crashed it, I think. Then I couldn’t get back into operation
because I had neglected to make a floppy copy of Dos version 5. So I
had to buy it for $59. My Calif. friend had also installed a back-up
program called, Back-it4 and advised me to make a full back up of my
hard disk. It took 50 floppies, but I did it. I couldn’t get it to
restore that information even with the new Dos. I figured I’d now have
to buy Back-it4 for $195 to get my data back. But as luck would have
it, I had made a floppy copy of Back-it4 while still in Calif. I now
recall that he had advised that. After reinstalling Back-it4, I finally
got back all my backed up data.
I lost my most recent editing of my manuscript of my new book
because I had failed to back it up on floppies. So, I had to re-edit
the first third of it. Now it is finally finished and is ready to send
off to a publisher, if I can think of one who might be interested.
Now I’m ready to leave Minneapolis and head out for more
adventure. But now I find that it “scares” me, to think of leaving. I
have everything set up nicely in my little Utopia and running smoothly.
So now I’ve got to convince myself that I should go ahead with my plan
to buy a boat or go to Mexico for my dental work.
I finally did it! I got my teeth replaced.
Friday, Feb. 21, 1992, I left Minneapolis at about 7:00 a.m. in my
Toyota Tercel, with my squirrel trap suit case (with the squirrel pee
washed out) and started rolling on down Interstate 35 towards Laredo,
Texas. The roads were fine. I made good time. I stayed in cheap
motels at night and left at about 4:00 a.m. each morning.
I arrived in Laredo in the forenoon on Sunday. Stopped at the
Johnson Insurance Company and inquired about auto insurance that would
enable me to cross the border into Mexico. They told me there was a
new law that all Americans would have to have “full” coverage and all
their insurance papers with them. I only have liability insurance so I
figured I couldn’t go to Monterrey as I had planned. Then I had my
first vision of having to turn my car around and go home. Then I
thought of asking him if there was any way around this. He said yes.
I could use his phone and call my insurance agent and get full coverage
and have it “faxed” to me on their fax machine. Then I could cross the
50 Mile Limit
Then he told me that I couldn’t travel more than 50 miles from the
border with that American Insurance. (Then I had another vision of
having to turn around and go home.) I would have to buy Mexican
Insurance to go the 150 miles to Monterrey. So, I asked him how much
that would cost. He figured out three different policies for me. The
cheapest coverage which included a lawyer would have been $61.46 for
one week. For a month it would be $149.89. For two months it would be
$240.42. I then got a much more clear vision of turning my car around
and going home.
I told them I would have to think this over. Then an American
couple a little younger than me came in to buy insurance. They looked
very familiar. But I just couldn’t place them. They didn’t seem to
notice me as they were busy buying insurance. Finally, as I was about
to depart, they came over and said “Hello.” I asked them where we knew
each other. They used to run the cafe in Randall, Minn. where she used
to make the best pie in the state. We had a nice talk and I drove away
and found a cafe to have my late breakfast. I didn’t get much thinking
done in the cafe so I parked near the central plaza and laid back in my
reclined seat and covered my eyes and did some hard thinking. The
vision was by now getting very solid in my mind of giving up and
heading back home.
I tried to think of any alternatives there might be, so that I
could get my teeth replaced. One alternative which seemed quite
reasonable was to store my car here in Laredo, Texas and take a bus to
Monterrey. I recalled a gas station stop, south of San Antonio, where
I had asked the cashier if it would be cheaper to get my dental work
done in Monterrey or in Nuevo Laredo. She had said it would be cheaper
in Nuevo Laredo. I didn’t believe this could be.
Anyway, the thought popped into my mind that I should park my car
and walk across the bridge and just check things out as long as I’m
here and then re-think the whole thing. So I asked a parking lot
attendant how much he would charge if I left my car for a month. He
said a straight $5.00 per day. I decided to look for a lot nearer the
bridge. I found a huge free public parking lot next to the bridge.
Hundreds of cars. So I parked and walked across the bridge. No
guards. But on the Mexican side I had to pay 25 cents to get through
the turnstile. How marvelously easy. (I noticed I had a headache. I
never get headaches. So I tried relaxing it. That helped a little.)
In a few steps I was on the main drag of tourist haven. Within a
block a ragged sign said Dentist and pointed to the right. I followed
that street for three or four blocks and couldn’t find an office. So I
figured I didn’t read the sign carefully enough and I headed back to
it. I barely got there and a young man came up to me and asked in
excellent English if I wanted to find a doctor or what did I seek. I
said a Dentist. He said he knew an excellent one. This was Sunday,
mind you, so I didn’t expect to find one open until the next day. But
he took me to one that was open. He said the examination would be
free. The dentist did not have expensive equipment, but it looked like
it would do the job. He wanted $15 per tooth to pull all 15 of my
teeth. That is cheap per tooth but is a lot of money in total. He
said he could pull all the teeth and make false teeth for me and have
them in my mouth late that afternoon. That was amazing.
Then I asked what it would cost for partial plates for both upper
and lower to fill in all the gaps, 5 in upper and 8 in lower jaw. He
said that would be $300 total for both plates including teeth cleaning,
(which I needed) and he would put them in later that afternoon. SOLD!
I said. So he made the molds he needed and asked for half payment in
advance and sent me off for two hours. Jimmy, my guide, waited around
in the office with me for over an hour and helped me with my very
limited Spanish. He was a great help. When we left I tried to get him
to tell me what I owed him. He said it was up to me. So I said how
about $5.00. He said how about $20. I said how about $10. He said OK
and we parted friends. I don’t know if I overpaid, but I was happy
with the Dentist, so what the Hell. I was dressed very straight with a
three piece suit that was probably 20 years behind the style, so he
probably figured I wasn’t rich. Later I noticed all the other tourists
had only sport shirts and trousers.
I walked around the market area for a while and couldn’t see
anything I wanted to buy, except four packs of Delicados cigarettes
(that tobacco has the fragrance of a fine cigar) (30 cents/pack) and
four packs of their superior matches which almost explode when you
strike them. (I noticed I still had a headache, so I tried harder to
relax that part of my head. That helped a little.) I found an outside
table area in the market and ordered a beer and smoked a few cigarettes
and people-watched for a while and soon it was time to get my teeth.
I had to wait a little at the dentist’s for the teeth to arrive
and watched their TV. It had wrestling mostly and at first, it was
frightening, it was so cruel. But later I could see they were all
pulling their punches and no one was really getting hurt. They were
all expert stunt men. But the dentist thought it was all for real.
The teeth came and they had to re-adjust the little clamps that hold
the plates to the real teeth. They looked good and felt good. Now my
gums are quite tender. I expect it will take a while to get them
toughened up to stand the impact of chewing again.
The Old Grind
It feels so good to be able to grind my food with my back teeth
again and is much faster than trying to do it with only two front teeth
that matched. I’m sure glad I didn’t have them all pulled and have to
suffer while my gums healed, while I’m breaking in a new set of false
Crossing the bridge (border) back into USA, I had to pay 50 cents
and was asked what country I was born in. They didn’t even ask for my
driver’s licence this time.
With my new plates in my mouth I stopped at a fast chicken place
and ate two pieces of chicken. I could grind ok but my gums were
pretty tender. Then I got back into my car and headed home late Sunday
afternoon. I then took more time to work on relaxing my head in the
area of the pain. This reduced it to almost nothing. That night in a
motel I watched TV for an hour or so and I didn’t notice the headache
by the time I went to bed. And it didn’t come back the next day. I
figured all that frustrated thinking in the car is what caused it.
When I felt almost totally defeated, I think is when it must have
started. I must have shorted out something in that thinking process?
By the time I arrived in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 25th at
11:30 a.m. my gums were already getting toughened up so that my eating
was getting to be more pleasurable. It was a hard drive, but I stopped
each night at a motel so it wasn’t as bad as most of my trips. It was
1,420 miles each way. It cost me $78.48 for gas (round trip) and
$94.94 for motels. I lucked out on good weather both ways.
I finally have got over my last hurdle that has kept me from
becoming my Gypsy of the Sea fantasy. I have been trying to get this
tooth problem cleared away for three years, but things just never fit
together to make it happen until now. Wow! What a relief!
Back in 1957, I remember the “Buy American!” slogans. I wanted to
buy a German VW because they were getting 31 miles per gallon. I
allowed myself to be influenced and bought a Rambler. It got 20 mpg and
before it was paid for, the body had rust spots like measles and the
rear end went out.
They are crying it again, but this time I bought a Toyota.
A MATTER OF METALAW, A science fiction by Lee Correy, DAW Books,
Inc. “When in total ignorance, try anything and you’ll be less
ignorant.” (But, of course, be careful.)
SKIRMISH (The Great Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak) by
Clifford D. Simak, 1977, G. P. Putman’s Sons (in hard cover) The
forward gives some very logical reasons why we won’t be invaded by
aliens and why there will not be star wars with other planets or space
empires. He didn’t have star wars in his science fiction novels, but I
liked his work very much. I think I have read almost all of his books.
I have been disappointed by most of the other SF writers because
they usually have wars in their novels . . . as if they were
inevitable. It is almost like the “Establishment” wants us to believe
that wars are OK and unavoidable. But like Simak, I don’t think there
will be any reason to have wars . . . once we get a logical and sane
economic system implemented.
This book is well worth reading, especially the forward . . .
reassuring food for thought there.
THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, a SF novel by John Wydnham, 1951, Fawcett
Crest Books. “If you don’t fight to live your own life . . . there
won’t be any survival. . . . Only those who can make their minds tough
enough to stick (to) it are going to get through. . . .” This is about
an accidental release of some genetically developed seeds which were
carnivorous, some weapon that blinded people and plague germs that
mysteriously dropped out of orbit and blinded and killed about 99% of
the world’s population. This book was written in 1951, but it still
seems very vivid and plausible.
ALAS, BABYLON, by Pat Frank, 1959, Bantam Pathfinder, which had 29
printings by the 1974 edition, which I found. This book is about a
family that was caught in WWIII. This story also seems very plausible.
These last two books have mightily inspired me to increase my
efforts to prevent WWIII, while we still have the chance.
I have a pretty good Utopia set up here in my $40/mo. office in a
warehouse. I have survived the winter. These two books have reminded me
of the fact that we may not have the time to make world-change by our
examples of our personal Utopias in the woods, mountains or boats.
Maybe it is an ESCAPE. Is it telling the Establishment, “Go ahead with
your destruction of my life-support system and your species
annihilating war. I’ll build my own little Utopia.” Is this a short
sighted solution? Will our little Utopias be able to survive when the
cities and manufacturing centers are bombed out and the fall-out and
evacuees are rushing toward us?
I have decided to focus all my energy on informing as many people
as I can about the world-wide economic system that would transform the
world into an Utopia within a year, if enough people begin to help.
With the Priceless Economic System (PES) there would no longer be
a reason for armies, taxes, pollution, starvation, stealing or
government. Then there would be strong motivation for doing as
Buckminster Fuller has urged, “Make the most and the best with the
least.” And, “Let’s play a game where everyone is a winner.” The Profit
System has just the opposite motivation. Or as the Hippies said, “Let’s
do things for people instead of for profit.” Oh, where, oh where, have
all the Hippies gone? Gone to Yuppies or drugies every one?
I believe that if I can persuade just a few more people, like you,
to take up this work . . . the rest will soon follow, because everyone
wants Utopia, but they have been conditioned to believe it’s
impossible. We need to help them to see that it is possible and that we
will each be much better off if we each begin to rule our self. We need
to help them see that it is illogical to think that government, parties
or groups will ever liberate us. Following groups is like locking
oneself into jail.
If just a few “thinking people” will discontinue their diversions
they will have plenty of spare time (even if they have a 40 hour job)
to help promote the logical alternative — the PES.
My hope is that some of my readers will have some better ideas on
how to get the PES off the ground and get it really rolling. Everyone
has ideas. Yours, may be the one that will give the snow ball a real
shove. It is really an easy down hill roll because everyone wants
Utopia, they just think it’s unachievable, even as I did at first. As
people add their little pushes, the ball gets larger and travels
faster. Once one starts pushing, one gets more ideas and pushes again
and the idea spreads out even more.
We are working with the Multiple Progression of Numbers. The
farther the idea gets down the pyramid the faster it spreads out. The
PES (Utopia) is not impossible or hopeless . . . it’s an idea whose
time has come . . . it’s an opportunity knocking . . . open the door
Or we can just continue knocking down straw-men or wait for Jesus
or the Government. I think Jesus came to the conclusion (after 2,000
years of observation) that we got ourselves into this mess and God (or
evolution) gave us brains and thumbs, so it is up to us to find our way
out of it. Of course we know that Government (our jailers) have
absolutely no intention of giving us an Utopia. That would make
Government unnecessary. So that puts survival right back into our own
individual laps. If you want something, you must start some action
towards getting it! That’s life!
Many times over the last 23 years I have thought that my woods and
boat Utopias were just “Escape” trips, and not “helping to rebuild”
trips. Maybe they were. Or maybe we need to escape once in a while to
get a chance to get re-inspired and think things through a little
better. I just don’t know.
I speculate. I sure wish I knew the right answers.
We are in a really good space in time right now (March 9, 1992).
We don’t have a big war to anti-war. This is a time-space in which we
can devote our full attention to discovering and taking more of our own
freedom and creating more of our own independence.
Wars are major imminent fear mongering distractions. They keep us
far too scared to even think about individual freedom, let alone
If we can take our minds away from the thousands of other
distractions we are into, during this short breather space between
wars, we can make major progress toward our own individual freedom and
independence. Individual freedom and independence may be the foundation
blocks of World Utopia.
As individual people find more ways to get their personal freedom,
they will be followed by the more aware people. We can share our ideas
and progress with more people by producing a newsletter (just sending
it to friends at first) or in some other way show more people the short-
cuts we have discovered to gain more freedom.
Others have gone before us from the Rat Race to freedom. We can
learn from them. No need to re-invent the wheel. Same with those who
attempt to follow us. We can blaze a trail for them, i.e., leave them
some records of our short-cuts. The more people who leave the
environment-destroying Rat Race . . . the better chance our planet can
heal itself and the sooner we’ll have an Utopia.
3-10-92 Ernest Mann
I terminated publication of the Little Free Press newsletter with this
For three new chapters see file: 91.doc
I terminated publication of the Little Free Press newsletter with this
The following three chapters have never been published before,
eventhough I submitted #25 to at least two dozen leading publications,
including some large alternative magazines and papers.
VOTING; WAS A WASTE
It made you think you did your part to make things better. What
good has it ever done to put in a new bunch? They soon become crooks
and often worse than the last batch. It’s not the politicians that
need changing — it’s the whole economic system.
The economic system we are using is based on taking pay or profit
for our work and paying for products and services. All countries use
this system. The motivator is pay or profit. Certain people make
profit or wages from doing all the bad things that are done to people
and to the environment. Let’s face it, profit and wages are destroying
What we need is an economic system based on a better motivator!
What better motivators could we find than joy, happiness, satisfaction
and freedom for the individual? These feelings are easily attainable
if one has free choice of jobs, free on-the-job training and pleasant
working conditions. There is such a system. It was practiced by the
American Indians, the south sea islanders and the Eskimos before they
“Volunteers make better lovers!” And they make the best workers.
A volunteer has control over the how, when, where, why, what and who of
his/her job. People like to volunteer if they have spare time and some
security. In 1980 there were 84 million volunteers* in the U.S. That
same year there were 106 million jobs. R. Buckminster Fuller said that
90% of our jobs are unnecessary. So we had more than enough volunteers
to do the essential work in 1980. We just weren’t smart enough to put
the volunteers to work on the essential jobs.
If people all refused to take pay or profit for their work, there
would be no monetary cost of production, so all products and services
could be given free of charge. Then pay wouldn’t be needed.
Money produces no goods! People’s labor produces everything
including the machines and factories. People’s labor, with the help of
Mother Nature, produces all our food. People’s labor discovers and
refines the raw materials. People didn’t create the raw materials.
The earth (or God) did.
People will not desire to own the raw materials in a volunteer system
where there is no need for money. Ownership would then be a burden.
Bucky Fuller discovered with his “World Game” that there is an
abundance of resources on this planet, even for a much larger
population. He found that certain things are kept scarce to keep the
prices high. In 1980 there was 7.28 acres of food-growable land** for
each person on this planet. One acre will produce more food than one
person can eat.
There will be no motive for taking too much in a volunteer society
of abundance. There would be no resale value or status in having large
amounts of free goods. Then “too much” becomes a burden.
When all workers are volunteers and get everything free of charge,
they will have no use for money, credit and barter. Then people will
choose jobs they can enjoy. Actually almost any job can be enjoyed, if
one is not forced to do it.
With free on-the-job training people will be producing while
learning (instead of incurring a $50,000 debt for college). People
will be treated better at work because the more contented workers a
place has, the less hours each person will need to work. Then labor
will not resist automation. Instead of creating more jobs we will
create more free time. We will focus on transferring the dull and
dangerous jobs to automation and robots.
We can switch over to this volunteer system smoothly by first
making sure that everyone understands the volunteer system. Then a
change-over date can be set. Then everyone will simultaneously stop
accepting pay or profit and begin giving all products and services free
of charge. On that change-over date, the people who know they are
producing junk, will quit their jobs and select jobs that they see are
essential. We will still have a flow of goods and services that we
We’ll stop designing planned obsolescence and planned
deterioration in our products. We’ll build only Rolls Royce quality
goods for everyone. Products will be built to be efficient, beautiful,
long lasting, trouble free and easy to repair.
There will no longer be a “profit” in selling arms to governments
and rebels. There will then be no reason to start wars when everything
is free. Think of all the resources, labor, property and lives this
will save. “Progress” will then take a mighty leap forward when
inventors and designers focus on making things for people instead of
for Profit. They will have an unlimited budget, plenty of willing help
and all the world’s resources to work with.
There will be no reason to steal when everything is free. 94% of
the people in prisons and jails in 1980*** were in for some form of
stealing. Some had to also murder to get people to let loose of their
money. The volunteer system will nearly empty the jails and prisons.
Factories make more profit by polluting than by reclaiming and
recycling their waste. They make more profit by building products that
pollute than in producing products which wouldn’t pollute. In a free
voluntary economic system it will be more logical to stop polluting.
Today there is big profit in keeping land prices high and wages
low. This prevents millions of people from using land to grow their
own food, thus causing many to be malnourished and many to starve to
At the time of change-over the people in government will also stop
taking pay. This will save us over a trillion dollars per year in
taxes. I suspect that most government employees already know that
their jobs are unproductive and will quit. This will give us about 16
million more people to help with the essential work. This will cut-
down the working hours for everyone. Those in government, who do see
their work as essential, will then be able to do their work better
because they will not be hindered by politicians, red tape and budget
Isn’t it about time we illuminated the world’s people with the
facts about the free volunteer economic system?
Don’t vote for people, vote for a new system!
SLAVERY OR FREEDOM
Slavery means; being forced to work and obey.
In ancient times slavery was enforced with the whip and spear.
Now it is enforced by the threat of being fired, thus losing ones
income to buy food, shelter and clothing. “Lack of money” was the
invisible chain of enslavement that bound me until I started learning
ways to live without it.
I was a willing slave until I saved up enough money (to buy my way
out of bondage, i.e., indentured slavery) to drop-out of the Rat Race
in 1969. Now I’m living off my savings, while I’m perfecting my
understanding of freedom and learning more methods of living free.
Employer = A euphemism for slavemaster or Queen Bee.
Employee = A euphemism for slave or drone.
Are we living in a big bee hive? Are most of us drones who are
supporting a few queen bees (billionaires)?
Is most of our work (productivity) kept by the Queen Bees? In
1984, Mesa Petroleum Corporation was the Queen of all exploiters. She
made a net profit of $397,400 from each of her 700 drones.
I am held in slavery:
1. If I believe I need money.
2. If I believe I must obey the government.
3. If I believe I must obey anyone.
Freedom is doing whatever I wish.
I try not to harm others because I have no desire to lose friends
or gain enemies and their retribution.
Surplus money + no debts = Freedom
Knowing how to live with little or no money + no debts = Freedom
How I’m becoming free: I —
1. find ways to live which require less or no money.
2. use these cheaper or free ways.
3. paid up or terminated all my indebtedness.
4. built up my savings account and invested this surplus money in
something I had expertise in.
5. stopped absorbing the mass media because it tends to influence me
to think in ways that are not for my best good.
6. stopped supporting government with income taxes and votes.
7. stopped trying to keep up with styles and new models.
8. stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses.
9. started a Free Box at home for my friends.
10. may start a Free Skills Pool with my friends.
11. sold or gave away things I didn’t need.
12. plan to soon live on a sailboat with no rent or mortgage payments.
13. find ways to entertain myself that are free.
14. plan to make my own drinks.
15. eat mostly basic unprocessed food.
16. do my own cooking.
17. plan to get rid of my car.
18. plan to disconnect my phone.
19. hope to find some like-minded people to anchor near, occasionally.
Creating my own destiny: I —
1. try to decide what I want.
2. think and study ways to get it.
3. begin trying the most logical ways.
4. continue until I succeed or fail.
5. then decide what else I want and start again at #2.
I don’t need to give Freedom to the world. If everyone takes
his/her own Freedom — everyone will have it.
When I take pay, I must obey! I don’t think I wish to do that any
more. However, if there is something I want bad enough, I guess will.
COMPUTERS: GOOD OR BAD?
Working with the computer is fun. Learning to master it is a
challenge. Outsmarting its little idiosyncrasies is a satisfying
achievement. The amount of work it saves is incredible. Its speed is
It is a “machine” I use and attempt to master. Am I supposed to
feel superior if I master a mere machine? Have I been conditioned to
feel happy if I master even a shovel or a broom? Operating machines
keeps me too BUSY to live life fully. It keeps me too occupied to come
up with any new ideas to solve life’s real problems. A computer
requires my full concentration to keep from making errors.
The computer can only “repeat” what humans have programmed. It
teaches us nothing new. It can be a diversion of the highest order. For
me it is extremely addicting.
It requires time and concentration to remember or look up the
“rules.” It takes more time to keep up with new rules to run both the
latest versions of my software and any new programs that I buy.
Very often even a high powered program refuses to deliver or I
slip and push the wrong key and something totally unexpected and
baffling happens. Then I must use my creativity to find a way around
the problem. When I’ve solved it I get a good feeling. Does solving
software problems gratify my need to exercise my creativity in problem
solving? Do I fulfill my creativity or problem solving urges on these
insignificant software problems? Do I have any urge left-over to
explore and solve my personal problems and create my own freedom? I
don’t think I have an unlimited supply of creativity.
Eat You Up
About six years ago, just before I bought my computer, an ex-
computer programmer friend told me to be wary of computers. He said
they can “eat you up.” Now I’m beginning to see what he meant. (But he
has recently exposed himself again to computers, by buying one.)
Since I bought my computer, I’ve changed. I appear to be speeding.
I now react much faster. I even walk faster. I feel like I jerk around,
almost in tune with the blinking cursor on my monitor. I wonder if
speeded-up-me, is able to relax? Do I take the time to evaluate enough
now, before I speak and act? I can see how this “speed-up” may be fine
for an employer, but is it good for the person running the computer?
Does it make one even more vulnerable to the jerky TV commercials?
Computer users willingly impose “obedience training” on
themselves. One must follow the rules, letter perfect, to get correct
results from a computer. They also humble a user because they are so
much faster and more accurate than humans. At some level I’m almost in
awe of my computer. It has such awesome capacity, speed and ability
that we may even worship it before long.
Were people ever wild, free and self-determining individuals? Or
were only the leaders that far evolved? Have we yet to evolve to that
state of “individual” freedom? If this is our destiny, I think we had
better be very leery of the computer. If we can become aware of the
computer’s potential to make us dependent on it and to make us
subservient to it, maybe we can keep the computer “in its place” and
just use it as a convenient “tool.”
Are You Really Living?
We have taken for granted that the act of using tools is living.
We think that driving a vehicle or riding a plane is living. We think
running a machine is living. We have forgotten how to live and enjoy
each little “now.” Have we stopped talking to each other? If we do
talk, do we just repeat what we got from the mass media? Do we just
talk about the machines we use or the football that someone else uses?
I don’t know how to live in the present moment. I think about what
I’m going to do next or I think about what I did in the past. I’m
trying to become aware of it and I’m trying to learn to use each “this
moment” as it comes along. I think this is a major part of becoming a
wild, free, independent individual being, instead of remaining a slave
who takes pay and must obey.
Will we loose our inclination to “Question Authority!”? Or will we
just “do what we are told” by authority figures? Will we be able to
retain our ability to do original thinking? Or will the computer
completely humble us to machines? Do employers treat us as if we are of
less value than the machines they hire us to run?
A computer is costly. It is also a burden. It’s too big to carry
in my back pack unless I could afford a notebook size. I worry that it
might get damaged or stolen. I worry that parts might soon wear out. I
worry that a program might crash and loose my work. I worry that I
might not back-up my hard disk often enough.
There is an endless pleading by advertisers to convince me that I
need all their wonderful new programs, faster computers and countless
accessaries. I buy updated versions of my costly software. I must also
buy printer supplies.
A shovel; I don’t need to buy accessories for, except maybe a pair
of leather gloves. And when I’m through using it, it doesn’t keep
glaring and blinking at me to use it more. My computer keeps beaming,
winking and alluring me to fondle its keys. I think it may have a
The computer is a tool that makes writing a book much easier and
more fun. What am I to do? A car is a lot like that too. I like cars
(when they work) and I like computers.
Do we buy a machine, e.g., a car and then become a slave to it. We
must then drive it, maintain it and pay for it, just to get a ride to
the office or factory to earn the money to pay for it. We sell
ourselves as slaves to machines in a factory or office and the machines
are slaves to the boss and the boss is a slave to the people who
control money. That leaves us in a rather low status, I think.
Will I become so obsessed with these machines that I forget human
values? Am I already loosing-out on friendship and love?
Are cars and computers worth that relaxed, easy-going and
thoughtful old gentleman I once knew?
* Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1982.
** FAO Production Year book, 1981, Vol. 35, By Food and Agricultural
Organization of the United Nations. This includes the forests, which
shelter edible animals and is composed of land that when cleared would
grow fruit and nut trees and other food. The 7.28 acres does not
include rivers, lakes, oceans, mountains, swamps and deserts which also
contain food and some people are even now living on them.
*** Statistical Abstract of the U.S.; American Prisons & Jails, 1980,
WHY MAKE COPIES?
1. Give more people a chance to see what is really going on.
2. Give people some HOPE that we can EACH do something to help create
a more Utopian Life for ourselves, here and now.
3. Show people they don’t have to change all the rest of humanity.
4. Demonstrate good-will by giving copies of chapters of this book
(on disks, by modem, hard copy or Xerox copy) to at least two more
people. (See the pyramid of numbers idea on the last page of
chapter 11 in I WAS ROBOT.)
5. Get FREE computer disks of this entire book in ASCII text format,
by sending two 5 1/4″ DS/DD floppy disks together with a rigid
mailer and return postage to publisher. Or send $3.00. Then upload
them into computer bulletin boards.
6. Awaken that wild-free-being within yourself and begin finding and
using more ways to set yourself FREEEE and share these ideas with
The Book I Was Robot (Utopia Now Possible) By Ernest Mann Is A 319 Page
Paperback Book That Contains The Best Of The Little Free Press (1011
6th Avenue NE apt 21, Little Falls, MN 56345) Newsletters From 1970 Up
Until Free I Got, Which Covers The Last 2 1/2 Years. It is also
available on some BBS.
FREE I GOT is also published in perfect bound paperback book format on
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