The Freedom Manifesto

Hodgkinson makes it seem easy to simply quit your job, take up gardening and squat in an unused building foraging for free scraps thrown away by the mega-supermarkets. The less you want, the less money you need, the less of a need to work there is. He writes and produces The Idler magazine for kicks, and freelance writes magazine articles for actual cash.
This is an anarchist handbook, in the sense that getting rid of central government is good for us as it allows us to be more self-reliant. Who will do the shit work? We will do our own shit work, he proclaims, insisting that shoveling horse/chicken manure around your farm or garden is infinitely more pleasurable to shoveling shit for the man eight hours a day.
Real anarchists should avoid criminal acts at all cost since governments love crime, it gives them a reason to exist.
Hodgkinson rails against the same things over and over, the essays repeat some of the same ideas as you muddle through the middle and end. He hates Tesco, the large supermarket chain in the UK.
Further reading:
Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid
Fukuoka’s The One Straw Revolution
From the Intro:

How to be free? Well, like it or not, you are free. The real question is whether you choose to exercise that freedom: there is an essential nothingness at the heart of man. We have created our own universe. Life is absurd. God is love. We are free.

Reject Career and all its Empty Promises (p 46, 47 and 49):

To return self-sufficiency and creativity to our lives, we might operate some sort of business from home, a cottage industry, a creative production into which we can put as much or as little time and energy as we like, as much as suits us at a particular time in our lives. ‘Learn a craft’ is what I suggest to young writers who contact the Idler: carpentry or blacksmithing or gardening or upholstery; such pursuits sit alongside the life of the mind very well. It is wise to reject utterly as a piece of bourgeouis propaganda the oppressive aphorism ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. No: you can do lots of things.

How do you find your vocation, your gift? The answer is simply to do nothing for as long as you possibly can. In the same way that wise gardeners advise that the first step when taking over a new garden is to do nothing for a year, in order to see what grows there and only then to design your own unique, useful and beautiful garden, so I would advise taking a few months off, or even a year, if you can manage it. most of the time we are too busy to step back and find out what we would like to do. Create some time for yourself and things will gradually become clear. Above all, stop trying.

Get out of the City, p 54:

This is precisely my own hope for where I live: as the five houses in our hamlet gradually come up for sale, could I persuade friends to buy them and move down here? We could all have our own vegetable patches, some could have chickens, some pigs, some goats. you need friends and neighbors to do this sort of thing; to go it alone is too hard and too lonely. We could swap produce with each other and leave each other alone when we wanted to.

Cast off your watch, p 81:

Don’t demand too much of yourself. Do less. Add space. Cut down your scheduled visits and meetings to an absolute bare minimum to make way for the more enjoyable and life-affirming ‘things that just happen.’ When you let things happen to you, life starts happening too. So, allow giat gaps between appointments. Allow giant gaps in your life, because your life is in the gaps.

Death to shopping, or Fleeing the prison of Consumer Desire, p 123:

Watching telly can also make us feel useless: we watch the experts doing things instead of doing them ourselves. It is far better, said Bertrand Russell, to do something badly yourself than to watch someone else doing it well.

Disarm Pain, p 240:

In any case, the doctor’s art is the same as it always has been, which is to amuse the patient while the body heals itself.

Stop Worrying about your Pension and Get a Life, p 243:

Much better to ignore the empty promises of state and business and make your own provision or, better still, to create a life that you won’t want to retire from.

Sail Away from Rudeness, p 260:

A new horror, worse perhaps than mobile phones on trains, is TVs on trains. Train journeys used to provide an oasis of calm, a time for reading and gazing out the window. Now, they are installing TV screens on every seat back, so you are bombarded with news and advertising during your journey. Surely that is rude? It is like having a salesman sitting down next to you and trying to sell you stuff for the entire trip. There is a feeling of being shouted at wherever you go.


auth=Hodgkinson, Tom
pub=2006
sub=How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, Work, and Waste
isbn=0060823224