Monday, April 21, 2014

Do we know Freedom?

Liberty.  Anarchy.  Freedom.

Which of these words feels out of place and wrong to utter aloud?  While an argument can be made that any of them, in our current police-state, have the potential to raise red flags....I'm going to guess that the word Anarchy struck a chord different from the other two.  But why?  Because we're taught that Anarchism is synonymous with chaos and violence.  If there were no governing bodies, the world would run afoul with hooligans and hoodlums and all civilization as we know it would crumble beneath our feet.

I'll admit, I was once guilty of this way of thinking.  Then I had a paradigm shift.  If the government suddenly vanished, would I immediately go out into the street and start shooting at pedestrians?  Or would I steal from my neighbors?  Rape and pillage?  No.  My moral center is against all those things and I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of people have similar codes to live by.  And who was it that taught me right from wrong?  School?  No.  School teaches you that if a bully pushes you down, you're going to get in trouble as well because you must have done something to provoke them.  Also, don't stand up for yourself or talk back EVER.  It just makes people more upset and gets you into bigger trouble.  School teaches you things contrary to the laws of nature.  "There are no winners or losers in this game.  We all win because we tried."  Where in nature do you win just for "trying"?  Life isn't fair.  Life is the bully in the schoolyard and you need to know how to handle him.  Be prepared to lose sometimes, but always aim to win because all life on earth is competition from plants competing for sunlight to deer competing for mating rights.  My FAMILY is where I learned right from wrong.  My interactions with individuals on a personal level taught me social etiquette.  The government didn't teach me that.  (disclaimer: I work with some wonderful teachers and believe that they, as people, are more capable than most of teaching these familial life-skills, but the state keeps their hands bound.)

Let's see what's more dangerous.

In today's highly regulated and monitored world with its plethora of written laws and mandates, if you are the victim of rape or armed robbery or any other crime, you call 9-1-1 and hope that the government agents can catch the SOB who came after you.  They show up after the fact, probe you for information, make you into a suspect, then begin the search for the perpetrator.  If, God forbid, you defend yourself and the criminal dies in the struggle, YOU are now the prime suspect and the crime is murder.  You can go to prison for protecting yourself.

In a world without these legal restrictions, if you're attacked and you harm or kill the attacker in the process of protecting yourself or your loved ones, all that happened is the world got one scumbag fewer.  There's no media hype about "hate crimes" or the tragic story of the criminal's life.  There's no "hidden motive" behind the event.

If the criminal gets away?  Privately owned and operated investigation services would be easily accessible without running the risk of self-incrimination.  And who's going to work harder on your case, someone who is going to get paid regardless of the job they do OR someone who gets paid based on the job they do?  Ask yourself, if I got paid strictly for the job I do, would I work harder?  But I digress.

Really, what we're looking at are small numbers of criminals killing small numbers of people instead of large governments killing mass amounts of people.  When you look back throughout history, who is responsible for the most deaths?  Governments.  Governments insight war, not people.  Governments commit mass genocide, not people.  People "follow orders" put in place by governments who threaten their lives if the orders are not fulfilled.  Remember, the Holocaust was perfectly legal when it happened.  Adolf Hitler was following his own laws that he'd passed for his country.  Josef Stalin is the same story.  He never once broke the law.  That might make us uncomfortable to wrap our heads around, but it's the truth.  In their countries, they were upholding the law just as our government is supposed to be upholding ours.  The laws were cruel and unjust by our standards, but that was fine by theirs.  But I wonder how many Germans, how many Russians would have followed those men and their orders if not at gun-point.  If the law didn't exist and they were living within a voluntary society where they could say "no" and leave with no action taken against them, how many people would have blindly accepted that all Jews needed to be eradicated?  Actually, in a voluntary society, the Jewish community could have armed themselves and formed their own militia against the Nazi uprising and fought them off themselves.  Instead, they had a government disarming them and herding them into ghettos and then into death camps.  Voluntary society would have given them the chance to say "no" without adverse effects.  Think on that for a minute.

On the topic of Voluntaryism:

Why is it that we are required to be a citizen of any country?  Why is it that if I denounce my citizenship to all countries, I'm deemed a potential terrorist threat?  Voluntaryism is the idea that no one can force you to be a part of their society and that you can choose what you want to do yourself.  If I own a lot of land and I build homes on it surrounding a farm, and then some of my friends, family, and acquaintances decide they want to live in my property and help me with the farm in exchange for their shelter and food, that would be considered a commune.  However, it would be a voluntary commune rather than forced communism for all citizens within specified arbitrary borderlines.  People could live on my property peacefully as long as they helped and adhered to guidelines put in place for all to follow, and if they didn't like those guidelines, they could leave at any time without consequence.  Communism doesn't sound quite as scary when met with Voluntaryism.  The problem is that not everyone wants to live on a commune.  Not everyone wants to live in a Capitalist society.  Not everyone wants to even interact with other people.  But what we have are governments forcing these ways of life on the masses simply because they live within those arbitrary borders.
Here are two phrases that kind of define voluntaryism for me:

  • You are a/an (insert arbitrary citizenship title, i.e. American, Canadian, Mexican, Communist, Fascist, Socialist...etc) and will live according to (again, insert arbitrary government title) law and if you don't like it you will be severely punished.

  • You are a/an (insert arbitrary citizenship title, i.e. American, Canadian, Mexican, Communist, Fascist, Socialist...etc) and will live according to (again, insert arbitrary government title) law and if you don't like it you are free to leave our society to join another, form another, or be a loner as you see fit.

Wait a minute....that seems like it's too simple.

Another argument I hear is "If there are no laws, people can be allowed to just kill and steal and do whatever they want."  Not exactly true.  If there's no one else around except you and me, and I steal your lunch money, you're probably not going to just sit there and cry about it and accept that I stole from you.  I know I wouldn't.  I'd chase that person down and force them to give me my money back by whatever means necessary.  The rule is a common one: Do unto others as you'd have done to you.  If you're an asshole and you're going to go around raping and stealing and murdering, you'd better believe you're going to get yours and you WON'T be fed 3 meals a day in an air-conditioned cell.

Now let's get into a REALLY touchy subject: Religion!

There's a lot of controversy about topics like Gay Marriage and whether it should be legal or not.  In a Voluntaryist/Anarchist society, that's a non-issue.  With the state out of the picture, churches and religious groups can choose whether or not they will marry you.  There would be no state benefits to marriage (i.e. taxes) and it would simply be a private union between individuals based on their love and commitment to each other.  If one church says "no, we don't marry your kind here" you can move on to the next and the next until you find one that will.  Freedom of religion at work right there as well.  Your personal feelings about an issue like gay marriage become just that, YOUR feelings.  If you belong to a church that supports it, but you don't think they should, you have the free will to find another church.  The state doesn't exist and so can't force any group to allow or disallow anything.  It's all about your personal preference.  That's the beauty of it!  You don't have to wait until the next election to try changing things for EVERYONE, you can immediately make that change for yourself and your family without stepping on anyone else's toes.

But what about money?  The government backs the dollar and that's our standard for knowing what something costs.  The dollar is an artificial measurement of value.  It's backed by nothing more than your government's word and its written value means nothing.  How?

Let's say I have a bag of oranges with a written value of $5.  You have a bag of apples with a written value of $3.  I decide "Wow, I could really go for some apples right about now," and you say the same about my oranges.  If we were going to trade based on the dollar value, you'd owe me $2 even after we traded bags.  But if we get rid of those written values, it becomes about what something is worth to US.  I would say "Let's just trade!" and you'd probably agree and we'd feel satisfied with that trade and not worry about valueless paper bills.  That's a free market at work there.  I'll give another example.  If I'm a mechanic and I've rebuilt some cars as a hobby and you come along and you're in need of a vehicle, we'll sit down and talk and see what we can work out.  Maybe some labor is worth more to me than money and I tell you you can have one of the cars providing you worked for me for a set amount of time and doing these listed jobs.  All of the sudden, money isn't necessary.  You see, what's worth $5 to you may not be worth that to me.  On the flip side, what's worth $10 to me may not be with that to you.  So we've labeled and accepted things as being of a certain dollar-face value without looking at the actual value to us as individuals.

Finally, what about drug-use?  Prostitution?  Gambling?

What is it that the liberals like to body, my choice?  I like to say my LIFE, my choice.  I, personally, don't participate in the above listed recreations.  However, just because I choose not to doesn't mean I think they shouldn't be allowed.  If your recreations don't affect me, enjoy!  The consequences are known for these things and if you're alright with them, why should I get to say "no, you can't do that!"  No one should be able to tell you that they know better and therefore are more fit to run your life than you are.

So back to the first line of this blog...I'm thinking if instead of picking it apart and seeing which word doesn't belong, we could show it like this:



Thanks for reading and I hope I at least got you thinking.  I don't expect to change everyone's minds about all this, but I want people to understand that the topics that are so taboo don't have to be and that Anarchy as we've been taught isn't the Anarchy most Libertarians want.  Voluntaryism is something I really believe in and if it sounds like something you'd like to know more about, PLEASE research it!  Come and talk to me!  Life is about learning new things.  Have a blessed day :)

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