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Ungovernable is the working title of a new book I have worked on for the past couple of years.

It’s the story of my journey as a self-publisher, starting in the early days of DIY punk culture, through the birth of the internet and into the present.

It’s a pretty wild story, and friends tell me it reads more like a spy thriller.

I have crossed paths with various characters from alphabet soup organisations throughout my ‘career’.

I don’t think many writers can lay claim to being hunted by the US government and having their assets frozen by said government.

Nor had their titles brought up for discussion in the House of Commons for being an affront to common decency (whatever that is).

As well as being targeted by a British politician who had such a bee in their bonnet, they used every bit of their power to try and silence me.

Writers face cancellation and threats for expressing their ideas on paper in today’s climate.

Given this environment, where both the authoritarian left and the totalitarian right aggressively seek to suppress freedom of expression, it’s crucial to discuss ways to self-publish effectively.

If you are a writer and wish to self-publish, then I have 30 years of experience I can share with you.

But I will only bother if I get enough positive feedback on this post.

Here is a quickly written ‘preface’, if it can be called that, to give you the flavour of what to expect.

Part memoir, part masterclass, Ungovernable is a realistic look at the possibilities for writers to earn a decent living without becoming shackled to traditional publisher contracts and the vagaries of Kindle direct publishing.

Ready?

Hold on tight.

Here we go.

At the end of the last century, when the Internet was young, only the frontier people lived there.

Possibility Thinkers who saw the potential of this new digital land flocked to it in droves.

I was one of those who joined the migration to this new world. And just like my compatriots, we didn’t wait for any government to permit us to explore and prosper.

It was the new frontier, an off-world colony of unbridled freedom. It was very, very wild.

We traded in digital currencies such as eGold and Evocash. Created encryption and used it daily to communicate.

We built automated systems to market products and services: some benign, some a severe threat to nation-states.

We were lawless, unregulated, young and full of fun and vigour.

This was a whole other level of freedom. We could do whatever we wanted without anyone’s permission.

We were a motley crew of anarchists, libertarians, agorists, renegades, pirates, outlaws and badasses.

But one thing pulled us together. Our insatiable desire, call it fanaticism, to find freedom in this unfree world.

Of course, governments didn’t have a clue what was going on.

They, along with the rest of tick-tock, thought the internet would be a flash in the pan. Here today, gone tomorrow.

And while everyone else watched from the sidelines. Those of us in this new digital frontier were figuring out how best to create community and commerce in a way that served our needs and interests.

Government and government types were not welcome.

And that meant honing your street smarts, honing the skill that would keep you safe in this new land.

A land where citizens were invisible to each other, where you couldn’t read body language, couldn’t look a potential enemy in the eye.

So we mastered the art of virtual suss.

Bandied together in our little enclaves and pioneered making this internet thing work.

To all intent and purpose, we had built the equivalent of digital pirate utopias.

I was part of the migration to this new world, and the community I was a part of was called PT.

PT meant many things to many people. First and foremost, it meant Permanent Tourist.

Other derivatives included Perpetual Traveller. Parked Temporarily. Passing Through. Prior Taxpayer.

And that last definition was the one thing that pulled us together. Our total contempt for government thugs who stole our hard-earned cash. Government thugs who use the fraudulent claim – for the good of society.

The reality has always been that they steal the little people’s cash to fund their agenda.

Think of the banker’s bailout. Think of the Green New Deal.

They also have an insatiable desire to garner status and power off the backs of citizens. That’s you.

And so, as PTs, we weren’t having any of it.

To be continued…