Free-man on the Land: Ideas

Jan 17, 2013

The Freeman On The Land (FMOTL) philosophy has been bubbling to the surface of our consciousness recently in large part due to the advent of The Internet. A simple Google query will reveal the FMOTL gurus. However, as often happens in user-generated content forums, the lines get fuzzy between fact and fiction, between reasonable doubt and unreasonable paranoia, between opinion and fact. It becomes even hazier when the FMOTL ideas get bundled together with conspiracy visions (chem.-trails, the Federal Reserve, secret societies, 911 Truthers, etc.) Furthermore, when certain personalities get celebrated as visionaries for the cause, sometimes it seems that egos get in the way of the ideals… that adherents are following people rather than principles.
And the mainstream media has started to pay attention recently, but they seem predetermined to cast a negative sheen. FMOTL has been dubbed a “movement” that is “extremist” and “anti-government”. Newspaper articles cite a report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that calls its “members” a “major policing problem”. CBC’s The National presented a featured investigation entitled Finding The Freemen, which warns viewers of violence, and the piece is heavily edited with ominous music to underline that point. Most all examples of mainstream journalism that focus on The Freeman On The Land phenomenon tend towards mockery at best and at worst sensationalist fear mongering. Which is a shame because they avoid discussing the important queries that inform the FMOTL philosophy: the ethical basis of government’s power, civil rights, law, consent, personal responsibility, and FREEDOM.
Azimuth Theatre’s show Free-man On The Land by SPIROT strives for a more balanced approach. It is first and foremost a theatrical entertainment that seeks to engage the audience with humour, spectacle, music, and narrative…while engaging with ideas found in the FMOTL worldview. A major theme in the show is to acknowledge its own theatricality. Why? Because a persistent idea in FMOTL language is that, a human being is not synonymous with a ‘person’ (a ‘person’ being a legal fiction). So the show overtly acknowledges itself as a piece of theatre so that the idea of a legal fiction is paralleled against the idea of a theatrical fiction.