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In the year 711 AD, the forces of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate invaded the kingdom of the Visigoths, which lay at the far western reaches of its empire.
Within four years, the Visigoths had been completely conquered. With their downfall, the Muslim world claimed more of the Earth’s surface than ever before in human history. At the time, the empire spanned from the sapphire shores of Hispania on the Iberian peninsula, all the way to the city of Multan in India, nearly a quarter of the planet away.
Money was an important means of ensuring control across such a vast swathe of territory. Implemented by caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān in 693, the Islamic dinar, dirham, and fals—respectively coins of gold, silver, and copper—could be traded the entire span of the empire, were universally recognised, and provided citizens with a trusted level of economic stability.
But possibly even more important than a homogenous means of trade was the collection of funds for the empire’s spiritual undertakings. And in the Muslim world, this was prosecuted via the holy act of zakāt.
Second only to prayer in the hierarchy of Quranic importance, the zakāt was a religious obligation to tithe a percentage of one’s wealth to the faith. And like all taxes, the Caliphate saw the zakāt as an obligation, rather than something up to individual discretion.
When an Islamic citizen paid the zakāt, they would be issued a document that acted as a receipt of payment. However, this simple piece of paper—called the bara’a—meant much more than just a confirmation that the bearer had dutifully paid their divine taxes. The bara’a also acted as one of the first passports in human existence; without one, a person would be denied the ability to freely cross internal borders within the Caliphate, or enter and leave the realm at will.
In short, failure to pay one’s taxes in the ancient Muslim world came with severely restrictive consequences. As it also does in our world today, some 1300 years later.
In my birth country of Australia, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) can issue something called a Departure Prohibition Order to block a citizen with unpaid tax debt from ever leaving the country. Something that happened to Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan in 2010, after he was accused of owing the state money.
In the U.S. it’s a similar story. The IRS can give notice to the State Department to cancel a person’s existing passport, or to block someone from ever being issued one again, if there is an individual outstanding tax debt of more than $52,000. “Land of the free” indeed.
Even though the United Nations considers it a human right for someone to be able to freely enter and leave their own country, it’s a right that becomes null and void if “Big Brother” believes you owe it a debt. In short, we’re all compelled to pay something resembling a political zakāt today, and the failure to comply with it carries similar consequences as it did during the days of the Umayyad Caliphate.
Of course, there are an almost innumerable number of other scenarios wherein a person can be tethered from their right to travel freely throughout our modern world—many having little to do with taxation.
For example, Iranians are some of the most limited people on Earth when it comes to freedom of movement, simply due to being born in a nation much of the world has enmity towards. Australians without a second citizenship were banned from freely entering or leaving their own country during the ‘VID-demic as recently as last year. And Russians are currently heavily restricted in where they can or can’t freely travel, due to the ongoing economic, political, and military strife their nation is embroiled in.
I won’t labour on this point any longer. Suffice it to say, I’m simply trying to impress upon you the myriad of ways your freedom of movement can be hampered by bureaucracy, politics, economics, conflict, or diplomacy.
However, it’s a much harder prospect to confine a person geographically, if that person has a backup plan. Or other options apart from simply relying on the nation in which they were born.
As I write this, and assuming all goes to plan, I’ll likely be on my way to a fifth citizenship by the time I turn forty; only a little over two years away. Obviously, this will come with significant freedom of movement, increased economic opportunity, as well as an incredible amount of peace of mind that would allow me to relocate elsewhere if the current region of the world in which I live declines to a level I no longer find suitable to my tastes.
Acquiring a new citizenship—or at the very least a second residency—is one of the four main keys that Sorelle and I believe are essential to becoming a truly independent sovereign individual. It’s something we’ve taught via tens of millions of views on our free content on YouTube and here on Substack, as well as in more detail in our private course and membership The Codex and The Order.
(As a sidenote, if you’d like to join the 3,000+ students in our private membership, you can do that here. And because we’re celebrating one year of our course/membership being open, use the code ONE to permanently get 25% off a quarterly or yearly membership… but the discount code will expire very soon).
Since launching Abundantia, we’ve been trying to come up with a catchy label for the kind of borderless human we’re trying to create. Someone who doesn’t live within the same boundaries, limits, or restrictions that the world puts on most of us due to having only one citizenship or residency.
We’ve called these individuals freedom seekers, or free humans. And others have dubbed them global citizens, sovereign beings, and many other titles.
But recently, I came up with what I believe is a much better moniker: Anticitizen.
Becoming an Anticitizen has nothing to do with only preparing for the worst possible outcome, or having a backup plan in the event that your nation or region of the world collapses, devolves into war, or your government becomes more authoritarian. However, I will admit those are welcome side effects to setting yourself up to have a more global life.
Instead to me, it’s always been about having options. To not restrict myself in being tied to a single national identity, set of laws, or the risks that come with my quality of life being determined by the economic rulers of just the country I was born in. It’s about ensuring the future security of myself and my family, and maintaining a truly sovereign existence.
And sure, I’ll admit that the spirit of the teenage kid that lives within me loves the fact that living this kind of life is a little like emulating James Bond, by owning multiple passports, living a globetrotting life, and having access to opportunities that aren’t open to most of the world’s population.
Setting up this kind of life may sound complicated. But the truth is, to be truly free on our current world stage, you don’t need five passports, a stack of gold, or a few million dollars in investments.
To give you some perspective, these are the three moments in my life when I felt the most globally free, or when I felt I levelled up in this area the most. First, was when I started making $2000 a month in independent income online at the age of 23. Second, was my initial experience of moving to a new country at 24. And finally, when I officially acquired a second residency at the age of 30. Sure, I’ve since gone well over and above these markers for increasing my global freedom. However, it’s those first steps that completely changed my view about what being a free human is.
Becoming an Anticitizen is to refuse to be tied to one location, one system of rules, or one nation. To become someone who knows the world is laden with more opportunities than their birthplace can solely provide. Someone with the spirit of rebellion boiling in their blood—someone who won’t blindly obey.
Is that you? I hope so.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: whatever you do, just don’t leave it until it’s too late to create your own backup plan, or to start taking the steps to become an Anticitizen yourself. And take action now.
Whether it’s tracing your ancestry to uncover whether you have claim to a second citizenship, setting up a business to become less financially dependent on someone else for your income, offshoring or diversifying your investments across multiple nations, or moving abroad to begin living a higher quality of life. Do something. Anything. And do it today.
You will likely have to put in some kind of effort to make this happen. But trust me when I say that sooner or later, you’ll thank a past version of yourself for helping to create a life of freedom for the future human you will eventually become.