Dan Kennedy on the 4th of July

By: Dan Kennedy on: July 4th, 2014 23 Comments

I have a few thoughts, germane to what we are supposed to be celebrating on July 4th.

Judge Napolitano: “The reverence we once held for privacy – and private rights with it – is virtually gone.”

This is the sea change in America that will, at some point, be most regretted. We once closed our drapes. On Memorial Day, some nitwit actress, famous but not known to me, tweeted that, at 10 A.M., she had already peed in two different Starbucks’ bathrooms. Apparently quite an accomplishment for the young lady. And this was reported by TV news media. Generations younger than mine, plus people of my age who should have better sense, are trading privacy for living their own little reality TV shows, plastering everything all over social media, tweeting about their eating and peeing and screwing. Police security cameras in the streets are welcomed. The ownership of unmanned drones by local police departments has not sparked outcry. The daily demonstrations that information transmitted online is easily hacked and stolen – whether our most important military secrets or Bobby’s online banking – is not discouraging people, companies or the government from this foolishness. The IRS used as a political intimidation and hit squad against conservative groups, their organizers, and their donors would have led to immediate resignations and firings, a special prosecutor, a presidential impeachment a decade ago; now it gets a shrug. Large numbers of college students actually signed a giant thank-you card for the IRS, thanking them for cracking down on the Tea Party. They do not know the chief lesson of history: anytime you let Them come for others, it is only a matter of time before They come for you.  Back to social media: the collective narcissism of this knows no bounds. It is possible only because shame is a thing of the past. But worse, because, as the good judge said, our reverence for privacy is lost.

It is a denigration of what it means to have friends and to be a friend. It is an illusion. And it is a giant time suck. It is even, actually dangerous: burglars, kidnappers, child predators, identity thieves, etc. love social media. It is one thing to do some of this in a calculated and controlled way, to a target audience, for profit, or if a mainstream celebrity paid for your celebrity, by necessity. It is another thing altogether for an entire society, an entire population to trade privacy for fake fame, for a delusion of self-importance. Respect and prominence by achievement is, for many, an unknown path. Instead, they know both casual and extreme self-promotion despite having no accomplishment and no worthy activity to promote. Peeing in two different restrooms before noon should suffice.

All sacrifice of the individual is inter-woven. The home as castle. What is earned, saved, accumulated, wisely stewarded yours, and yours to do with as you see fit. Your business run by your rules.  Your health a matter only for you and your chosen doctor. Decisions about parenting, yours. Every one of these fundamental rights is now being challenged, assaulted, criticized, ridiculed, ripped asunder and worst of all, voluntarily, even eagerly abdicated. Obama has said that individual rights “must be balanced with the collective needs of society” – a kissing cousin to the statement “from each man, according to his ability, to each man, according to his need.” In a poll, college students attributed that to Thomas Jefferson. It belongs to Karl Marx.  No, Mr. President, the American idea has always been that individual rights are sacrosanct.  Make no mistake: he has enunciated, with carefully chosen words, a position he believes and that a growing number are willing to accept. The hairs on the back of their neck do not rise the instant they hear such a thing said.  He isn’t alone. His re-making of what it means to be an American is a chorus, not a solo performance. And ignorant, foolish, lazy masses are applauding.

Home as castle. Contrast this with warrant-less, no-knock searches, warrant-less wire taps, expansion of eminent domain confiscations, unmanned drone surveillance. Your business run by your rules. Bloomberg telling you the maximum number of ounces of Coca-Cola you may sell in one cup – although not capping the maximum size of a beer or milkshake. Obamacare dictating what employee perks you must provide. Your health – Obamacare inserts federal boards and panels, even the IRS. Parenting: at a major city’s public school system, e-mail accounts were established for students as young as 8, with no parental notification, and when a parent strenuously objected, he was told he has no say in the matter. Morning-after abortion pill sold over the counter, no prescription, no parental rights.  Hillary’s “it takes a village” morphed into “the village NOT the parent”, a Communist and Fascist approach. On MSNBC, the socialist network, Mellissa Harris-Perry, their Saturday propagandist, stated that it was time we force parents to give up the out-dated notion that ‘Father knows best’ or that they own their children, and recognize that other wiser, more educated, more qualified people, as a collective group, need to control the development of America’s children. They are not yours. They are America’s. They belong to the collective.  She said it. The backlash was infinitesimal.

The war against the individual and individual rights is well underway.

You cannot pick and choose these things as if on a cafeteria line. You can’t be for heavy-handed gun control or smoking bans and against monitoring of your e-mails or Obamacare-dictated employee perks.  You are either for or against the individual. You are either for or against collectivism. If you stop drawing your drapes, you’ll soon have no door, then, soon, no walls to call your own. Each and every thing, whether you are personally, presently affected by it or not, must be viewed through the prism of: does this strengthen or weaken the individual, the concept of the individual, the rights of the individual?

We only have a Republic if we will keep it, and we are letting it be taken away at an accelerated pace.

So let’s get personal. You can at least make a decision to, yourself, be independent, self-sustaining, to be a guardian of yours and your family’s privacy to the greatest extent possible, to hold at-home classes and make your young ‘uns learn the differences between evil collectivism and the true American Way. Make them read and discuss Animal Farm. Atlas Shrugged.  You can resist a lot of the intrusiveness and surrendering of privacy. I am not even connected to the internet, thus no online banking, no social media, no distractions from productive work. If I had kids, they would have severely restricted and closely supervised computer use and internet access and they damn sure would not have I-pads or cell-phones: 2-way portals to sewage and hazard.

And you can busy yourself getting so rich you can make a lot of your own rules. It is damnably hard to defend yourself against the collectivism assault if you are poor or just barely making it. That is somewhat like my experiences with severe winter when young; my cars had bald tires, I lacked good winter clothing – one winter, my father and I shared one coat, I was ill-equipped to exercise any control. I don’t mind those same winters now at all. I have a lot of money. I have a proper 4-wheel drive, heavy, able vehicle with the right tires, good and even high-tech apparel and gloves, and if I choose not to leave my house for days on end, I have no need; I can make whatever of the world I need journey to me. You can buy some privacy. You can buy better security for your homes, property, family.  You can buy quite a bit of autonomy. You can buy better quality advice and assistance, deal with a private banker instead of clerks, a top-notch CPA instead of an ordinary accountant, a top-flight personal, concierge car mechanic instead of the dolts at the Goodyear store, a real clothier. You can travel by private jet and avoid the crowds sick with colds and flu, the maddening lines, the TSA groping, the delays, the lies, the wasted time. You can live where you choose. These are all things you can buy with sufficient money. You can also buy better, less toxic food. You can have special access to top-notch health care, as a donor to the right hospital. You can buy influence.

On Father’s Day, Carla gave me a card made to look like a little plaque, gold letters engraved on a black background, that reads: Awarded For Excellence In Avoiding Home Improvement Projects. I don’t even change light bulbs. I have a guy for that.

It is arguable that you should not be able to buy so much of this, when others are deprived of it simply because they lack money. How unfair! But even the luxury of such thinking is best bought. That’s why there are a lot of super-rich liberals; they got that way after “getting theirs”. They can now afford the luxury of liberalism, and can even dare advocate re-distribution and egalitarianism and even collectivism, knowing they are beyond its reach. This was Carnegie late in life; it is Gates and Buffet now. I have sometimes been labeled as ‘The Professor of Harsh Reality.’ This is harsh reality: living with autonomy, independence and imperfect but the best possible security is bought and paid for with money. It is unavailable otherwise.

Money changes much. My friend Joan Rivers extolled the wonderfulness of living in Manhattan to me. I said: you don’t live in Manhattan.  You live in your over-size, luxury penthouse, with a servant and an assistant, everything brought to you, your refrigerator stocked for you, your building secured, and when you leave, you walk only six steps outdoors, from door to limo, you don’t hunt for a parking spot or brave the subway, your limo lets you out at the door of restaurant or Bergdorf’s – where you have a private shopper waiting, your limo takes you to your waiting plane. You live in Joan Rivers’ World. Not in Manhattan. I also said: and I’m happy for you, that you do. You fought for it, you earned it, you earn it. Like the Republic is ours if we will keep it, this is hers, mine or yours if she, I or you will keep it for ourselves.

Getting rich enough to buy and own autonomy, independence and a good measure of security rarely happens by accident. It is a decided upon purpose about how you want to live and how you want to live differently, by your own rules, and what it will cost to do so. I recommend, as a mini-course, reading the little book, The Narrow Road by Felix Dennis. It’s full of harsh reality about this.

This is the best advice I have. I am grateful it was hammered into my head. You cannot control your own life and live as you choose unless and until you have the money to buy that control, keep buying it, and be virtually unconcerned with and uncompromising about the cost. Money buys choices. The less money you have, the fewer choices you have, the less control you can assert, and the more vulnerable and in peril you are.  If you are poor, you must buy whatever soup is on sale and you’ve found a coupon for. You probably aren’t poor. But if you are not in a position of true financial autonomy, then the analogy applies. Flying your “Don’t Tread On Me” flag is actually an expensive proposition.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

23 Responses

  1. Thank you, Dan Kennedy!

    A harsh but thoroughly honest assessment of individuals’ WILLING relinquishment of our rights.

    I don’t think we’ve HAD a Republic for a long time, because it’s obvious that mob rule has taken the place of considered consensus. Too much willingness to embrace “the common good” and to sacrifice the only thing that protects every one of us: an unimpeachable dedication to preserving individual liberties.

    So thank you for taking the time to make this statement in recognition of the only nation founded on a person’s existence by RIGHT, not by PERMISSION.

  2. Steven LeBlanc says:

    Who wrote the book–The Narrow Path. There are several books by that title–need an author…Thanks

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Steven, the book is actually The Narrow Road by Felix Dennis. Sorry for any confusion.

  3. Mary G. says:


    Although some of what you say makes great sense, I can’t help thinking that you had a father who cared enough to share his coat with you. Some young people never knew their father or if they did, their father kept the coat for himself. Your father cared enough about you to share.

    To develop autonomy, you must first, feel, sense and experience yourself as a separate person. That is something you cannot do alone. There is no such thing as a self made child.

  4. Glen Reid says:

    Dan Kennedy is delightfully, alarmingly, perceptive. A poignant and brilliant dissertation. Well done, well written, well thought out and through. You do give us great hope. Thank you!
    Glen Reid

  5. Dom Cassone says:

    All I can say is EXACTLY!

  6. James says:

    Thank you Dan, for this post today! God bless you, Ron Legrand and all other true Americans. You and your circles are doing more for this republic than anything I know, by reminding us what it means to be Americans. I am so grateful to have finally discovered you late last year (via Ron’s use of your marketing techniques). Happy Independence Day!

  7. A patriot. Thank you Dan for reminding us what it means to be an American.

  8. Pete Primeau says:

    I couldn’t Agree More Dan! Thank you for telling the unvarnished truth! I appreciate it!

  9. In the 35 years I’ve been studying such topics, I have probably read & studied FAR more on the topics Dan brings up today than 99% (at least) of The People (and Sheeple) of this country. …

    I’ve even attempted to apply what I’ve learned on occasion. (Partially Joking, there.)

    But Dan’s article above is probably THE BEST thing I’ve ever read that covers, in such a short space, and amazingly complete but relevant detail, the Whole Gamut of what this country WAS all about, what it has tragically become, and what we should be thinking & doing about it.

    As usual, Dan Kennedy hones in on the Essentials, and brings it all down, even the philosophical stuff, to what anyone should be able to understand. For those who do NOT, they are probably the Collectivists whom will not allow us (primarily) Individualists to live in peace. Because they, the Collectivists, believe in their hearts that THEY cannot be free until they have a PIECE of US.

    (I say “primarily Individualist” because I know very few truly liberty minded people whom are so cold hearted as they would not extend a helping had to someone they know is in need. They just don’t believe their “heartfelt compassion” should be extracted at the point of a gun.)

    The only Real Question is: is this country so far gone that it cannot be restored to its authentic roots, the Principles upon which the most people in known history benefitted so greatly. … I wish I knew the answer to that one.

    Many Thanks for taking the time to pen your writings, Dan. … Much appreciated.

  10. Thank you Dan!

    You are real. This resonates with me so much.

    Your message of independence is more true about life as it is personally, and as a business owner than so many other superficial and misleading messages I am daily exposed to.

    It is inspiring to secure my position in riches and wealth morecrapidly; for the freedom it can buy me is more favorable and sensible than to agree to be with less.

    I salute you.

    And again, thank you for you powerful statement. After reading this, it would be shameful to accept anything less than outstanding success, achievement, and Independence.

  11. We are having the ability to have the American Dream taken away.

    Thank you for speaking up!

  12. Wow. I all I can say is wow, I soak up every word like a dry sponge to water. Grateful for you. Happy 4th

  13. Matt Bradbury says:

    A lot of good points Dan.
    I watched the Lego movie after your email and the message is the same. Emmet was so good at fitting in, no one even knew he was there.
    However it is good we don’t have every body with their own individual doing what ever pleases their individual tastes.
    There is a place for herd mentality. Not every giant within needs to be woken.

  14. todd says:

    Is that life/world view in fact working for you? Relationships? Happiness? Health? I’m not questioning…just wondering the full effect…

  15. Yes that’s right.
    To all those of you out there who are scared: if you want, you can make money. From anything anywhere and in any political regime.
    I made money selling beaded hairpins to my classmates when I was 10 years old in then communist Hungary. Communism and collectivism is hateful, I’ve had my fair share of it.
    I’ve seen worse times as far as individuality is concerned than these ones we’re living now. And I’ve seen individuals thriving in those collectivist times.

    There is an 85 year old Hungarian serial enterpreneur who made great money even in stalinist Hungary in the 50’s. He says: money can be made anywhere. I agree.
    Dan provides heavenly amounts of info and he’s right.

  16. Musonda says:

    Thank you for this inspiring message Dan. At 27, I’m glad I’ve found your stuff. Your views expressed here remind me of the ideals earlier generations had, ideals that have made it possible for America to enjoy the rights and liberties it now enjoys. Though as you have mentioned, our young generation who got all this on a silver platter, who don’t aspire to prominence through achievement, who are glued to social media and the shallowness thereof, are completely oblivious to the massive incursions into these liberties. I’m not even American (maybe except in thought because all my books, movies, audios etc are American) but thanks for the reminder. The problems you have expressed apply on a global scale.

  17. David Swim says:

    Dan, are you sure that you aren’t Felix Dennis in disguise?

    thanks for all you do – God Bless the USA!

  18. Conazo says:


    Whoever said money cannot buy happiness was talking about you buddy. You’re a multi-millionaire but instead of celebrating the 4th of July with family & friends it seems you were at home alone with nothing to do but go off on a paranoid rant about how the ‘guvument’ is out to get you.

    And for those of you who think Dan is the man. Dan’s life is a caveat. Don’t think so? How do you want to spend your Holidays? With family & friends? Or blogging angry rants to people you will only ever communicate with after they pay you to and even then only by fax machine. Those aren’t friendships. Those are transactions.

    As for Carnegie, Gates and Buffett wanting to give away all of their money before they die, so what? You can’t take it with you so might as well spread some happiness before you die.


    P.s. Every now and then but especially on Holidays its OK to drink a little bit of the Kool-Aid. You will be a much happier person for it :)

    P.s.s. Another good read: The Death Of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (before it’s too late)

  19. Eduardo Lopez says:

    In addition to Dan’s great points, let’s not forget that the men and women who charted their course into this great land were people of faith. Each of the signers of the declaration of independence supported an allegiance to freely worship God. Our 1st amendment is now being done away in order to accommodate the collective interest and remove the faith for which many preserved with their own blood. History tends to repeat itself because of the neglect and ignorance of the many. Let’s chose to remain the few.

  20. Dom Cassone says:


    Again, I’ll say excellent post! I just read this article on Rompedas that reiterates the stages of great nations.

    While I tend tend to be optimistic about our country, I fear that we may have gone beyond the point of no return and are in the “from apathy to dependence” stage.

    So sad…..all we can do is do our best to stave off the slide.

  21. Bonnie Marie Benson says:

    Psst! Trump is the U.S. President now – has been since Jan 20, 2017. How do you like the changes under him?

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