Libertarians And The Poor: A Missed Opportunity?

Making Voluntaryism More Appealing to Your Neighbors

I ended a recent post, “Government Appeals to Your Better Instincts“, with this suggestion for improving our success in spreading Voluntaryism:

If attacking the logic or morality of Government makes people unconsciously uncomfortable with our message, perhaps we would accomplish more by simply sowing seeds of doubt – illustrating Government’s actual record of failure relative to achieving the goals of our common drives.

And, finally, to affect real change, we must begin to consistently tie Voluntaryism into people’s visions of satisfying their core drives. Rather than discussing the mechanics of providing roads, we need to convince them that in a voluntary society they will have better food, and safer communities, and more opportunities for their children.

I really like this new blog by Shawn Gregory. I think it is an excellent example of employing this approach…

Libertarians And The Poor: A Missed Opportunity?

When the general public pictures a typical libertarian, they might imagine that person to be intelligent, analytical, but they generally don’t think of libertarians as particularly compassionate. In fact, from the perspective those who are most needy, (i.e. the poor), libertarians tend to seem indifferent, if not outright hostile. After all, libertarians challenge things like safety nets and minimum wage laws as an overreach of the government – an immoral use of force on otherwise peaceful people. Based on these notions, a poor person may get the idea that libertarians are against everything that governments do to help them. From this point of view, the general anti-government sentiments that libertarians espouse become synonymous with anti-poor sentiments, and if libertarianism is to gain any traction going forward, it must be adopted by a larger segment of the poor and working class.

Unfortunately, for the many who do not dig very deeply beyond this superficial perception, this anti-poor stigma will remain firmly attached to libertarianism, but for the few who are willing to listen, we libertarians often miss an opportunity to explain our ideas in a way that would better resonate with the average poor or working class individual. Rather than painting a positive vision of how libertarian ideals benefit everyone, including the poor, we tend to focus on the equally important anti-State case that condemns much (if not all) of what governments do. Even while making the anti-State argument, we could do a better job of explaining how governments are not the friends of the people that they claim to be.

For example, consider security – the one function that most people across the political spectrum agree that government should provide, (this author not included). As most people recognize, the security that the State provides comes with a whole host of other laws and regulations that have nothing to do with security at all. From the war on drugs to prostitution to crackdowns on “illegal” lemonade stands, the standard and correct libertarian line is that it’s not the State’s business to interfere with what consenting individuals do, and that it is the State that commits a crime when it bars individuals from participating in consensual activities.

While this is true – I’ve made this exact point many times – it should also be noted that these policies actually hurt the poorest among us the most. The war on drugs is largely waged on people who live in low income neighborhoods, turning these areas into virtual war zones. Between SWAT teams raiding homes to street gangs fighting for drug turf, the effect of this government policy is to make the poor people who are affected by it far less secure than they would otherwise be. Ending the drug war would dramatically decrease the number of poor people in prison due to the disproportionate enforcement of drug possession laws, and would significantly reduce the prevalence of violent gangs due to the inability of those gangs to fund their activities via drug sales.

Similarly, allowing consenting adults to engage in activities like prostitution or unlicensed cosmetology would keep those activities above ground, making the circumstances under which those services are performed more open to public scrutiny and therefore more secure. It is no coincidence that organized crime thrives on these kinds of banned activities. Government prohibitions make such activities more profitable and far more dangerous for everyone involved.

Clearly, there is a case to be made for drastically reducing government provided security. Yet, it is also true that criminals will always exist and that they are far more likely to congregate in poor neighborhoods. So, when libertarians take their anti-State philosophy to it’s logical conclusion and suggest that security need not be provided by government at all, are we simply suggesting that the poor should fend for themselves against the very real threats that the face on a daily basis? Absolutely not. In fact, I believe strongly that the poor would be much better off without government provided security.

Imagine a security team in your neighborhood that you don’t fear when they approach you. Imagine a security team that believes their job is to make sure that you go home to your family, whether or not they make it home to theirs. (Contrary to the popular notion that government police are there to “protect and serve” the public, the reality is that “officer safety” trumps your safety legally and by policy.) Imagine a security team that is trained to defuse a potentially violent situation in hundred different ways. Now, imagine this service being provided largely for free to people in poor neighborhoods. Sound to good to be true? It’s already happening on a small scale:

What we emphasize is one hundred ways – in a situation that would normally be fatal force oriented – a hundred ways to not have a violent or fatal incident take place. We perform twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We protect communities here in Detroit – upscale communities, like Palmerwood, Sherwood Forest, and The Golf Course. We have approximately a thousand homes that depend on us for safety, responding to them and their family and emergencies, and we have approximately five hundred businesses that are our clients as well. And then, the people who can not afford our services, we help them for free, and the reason we can do that is because there is a healthy profit margin left over from excellence from providing for our major corporations.

It should be noted that this particular organization works with like-minded law enforcement. However, as a rule, they try to avoid using the legal system as much as possible. As Dale Brown, the founder of the Threat Management Center, explains, his whole service is based on a true desire to protect the people that they serve and not on the kind of bully mentality that often pervades government security forces. Dale Brown and his team get paid to actually protect people not just to drive around menacingly in rough neighborhoods. That, I believe, would be the fundamental difference between what we have now and what we could have with privately provided security.

Take note also that poor folks in these neighborhoods are getting the benefits for free which I also believe would be fairly commonplace as building owners, landlords, and local businesses would cover the costs of these kinds of services. After all, if they want people to live in their neighborhoods and shop at their stores, it will benefit them to make sure that their customers can do so in a safe environment.

This is the vision that poor people should have in their minds when they think of libertarianism – not just a philosophy that’s anti-State, but a philosophy that envisions all of humanity thriving in a much freer future. And, the people who will see the most dramatic change for the better are the people are likely the ones who are the poorest among us today.

Read this post and more of Shawn’s writing at his WeebulTree Blog.

Government Appeals to Your Better Instincts

Sometimes you have to resist your better instincts.

The continuing revelations of pervasive spying by the US Government have led to a spike in sales of George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel, ’1984′. In ’1984′ Big Brother was always watching.

Another insightful aspect of Orwell’s prescient novel was the concept of ‘doublethink’. Doublethink is defined as simultaneously holding two mutually contradictory ideas in your mind and believing both of them.

One very common real-world example of doublethink has puzzled me for some time:

You can get almost unanimous agreement that ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ is a basic moral value that should apply to all people. Yet when Government, which is an organization made up of people, involuntarily takes people’s money (i.e. steals), almost no one declares it immoral.

People taking your money is immoral, but people from the Government taking your money is not immoral? Doublethink.

Creating and maintaining such a pervasive case of doublethink is an amazing accomplishment for the Government.

And even more amazing, they do it by appealing to your better instincts.

By appealing to your better instincts, they get you to accept immoral actions? Sounds like more doublethink, doesn’t it?

Here’s how it works…

Recent psychological research has identified sixteen core instinctive drives shared by most people.

‘Drives’ refers to non-conscious desires that cannot be permanently satisfied. Any time they are satiated they soon reassert themselves. These common drives range from basic survival goals like food, safety, and ‘amorousness’ to more civilized goals like social interaction, honor, and idealism.

It is important to distinguish that these drives are not the same as emotions. Drives are more like routines hardwired into the brain to ensure that you are constantly driven to attain these goals.

Even though we all share the same drives, we don’t all act the same because for each person the strength and priority of each drive is different.

And here’s an interesting twist…

Because we directly experience only the conscious part of our minds, we believe that we make all of our decisions consciously . But, it turns out that these non-conscious ‘drives’ drive our behavior much more powerfully than whatever we’re thinking consciously. And once any of the sixteen drives gets activated, it tends to stay active, non-consciously driving our behavior, until it reaches its immediate goal.

Here’s a problem: The list of powerful non-conscious drives does not include ‘not stealing’.

Mothers do teach us not to take the other kids’ toys. And pretty much all religions teach some version of Thou Shalt Not Steal. But it’s not hardwired in. We learn it and may fully accept it as valid, but only consciously, and that is what leaves it open to doublethink.

The hardwired non-conscious drives are focused on goals (ends).

Our consciously learned moral philosophy is focused on behavior (means).

When a drive is active, the desired end is what is important to the drive, not the means.

This sets you up for a battle between powerful, instinctive non-conscious drives focused only on ends, and consciously learned moral philosophies vainly attempting to control the means.

So, even though Mom also taught us that ‘the ends don’t justify the means’, meaning moral behavior should not be abandoned even for good goals, again, that’s a learned conscious concept. And from a practical standpoint, if the ends are tied to instinctive drives and the means are tied to learned philosophy, the ends may simply overpower and drive the means.

So, here’s the secret. Government triggers, and ties itself to, as many of the core drives as possible. Once a Government program is embraced as important to a core non-conscious goal, people become suddenly much more flexible on allowable behaviors.

(At this point, I was going to give examples for a couple of drives, but obvious examples leaped out for so many, that I ended up including 12 of the 16 drives without much effort.)

Let’s take a quick look at some of the common drives the US Government attaches itself to. You can start with our most basic drives like eating, and work your way all the way up to the our higher instincts like idealism.

Note: The statements below don’t reflect what Government actually does. These are just illustrations of how Government instills in you that it is critical to your drives.

Eating (goal: acquiring food)

  • Without Government Subsidies basic foods would be unaffordable
  • Without Government Regulations and Inspectors foods would be unsafe

Tranquility (goal: avoiding fear, anxiety, pain)

  • Without the Police the criminals will get you
  • Without the Military foreign powers will invade and take over
  • Without the NSA you will be in constant danger from terrorists

Family (goal: good parenting)

  • Without the Department of Education and Public School Systems, only the rich would be able to afford good schools for their children
  • Federal Student Loan Programs ensure that every child can have a college education

Saving (goal: preparing for future needs)

  • Without Social Security old people, and eventually you, too, will starve
  • Without Medicare, medical care will bankrupt you as you age

Acceptance (goal: avoiding criticism or rejection)

  • (Think about what would happen to any child that didn’t stand and recite The Pledge of Allegiance)
  • (Think about the reaction you’d get if you remained seated during the National Anthem at any large event)

Independence (goal: personal freedom)

  • The Constitution makes us free
  • Voting controls the Government

Power (goal: control over others)

  • As an American, you can claim you saved Europe from the Nazis and then saved the whole world from the Soviet Union
  • As an American, you are now the Hegemon, the greatest power the world has ever known

Status (goal: social standing, superiority)

  • America has the greatest form of Government in all of history, making Americans the best people ever

Vengeance (goal: revenge)

  • The Government has avenged 9/11 by killing the evil-doers in Afghanistan and Iraq

Order (goal: structure, rules)

  • The Congress represents the will of the people in creating Law and Order
  • The Justice Department and the State and Federal Courts ensure that all Americans are treated equally under The Law

Honor (goal: loyalty, tradition)

  • It is important to be a loyal American to honor all Those Who’ve Sacrificed to preserve the Freedom we enjoy today

Idealism (goal: improve social conditions)

  • The Government takes care of all those in need in America with Entitlement Programs so that none will go hungry or be excluded from all the benefits of being an American
  • American Foreign Aid prevents mass starvation around the world

So, even if you walk someone through an irrefutable logical argument proving that taxes amount to theft, they still won’t condemn taxes as immoral, because that would logically mean that Government, as the thief, is immoral. And that logical conclusion would be too emotionally unsettling, as it threatens the ‘government-linked’ attainment of so many of their core drive goals.

Thus, doublethink must be maintained.

Now, you would think that maintaining doublethink would lead to ‘cognitive dissonance’…

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions.

But perhaps another keen insight from ’1984′ – Newspeak – helps explain how the Government prevents cognitive dissonance from interfering with its achievement of pervasive doublethink.

According to George Orwell,

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc [The State], but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

So taxation is never referred to with any words related to confiscation or theft. In fact, the word ‘tax’ is even avoided as much as possible. Instead we get Newspeak words like ‘revenues’ (hence IRS), ‘fees’, ‘assessments’, ‘withholding’, etc., etc.

Taken all together, this explains why, and how, people can so obstinately hold on to the doublethink necessary to believe in ‘good Government’.

This also helps us to see why we struggle to gain traction for our Voluntaryist message.

Perhaps our most brilliant arguments against the State have minimal impact because we’re aiming at the wrong targets. We’ve been blasting away at consciously held constructs like logic and morality, but that isn’t where the love of Government lies.

Government has burrowed deep into people’s unconscious and entwined itself within their most basic instinctive drives.

So to overcome people’s attachment to Government, I believe we need to re-target our efforts.

If attacking the logic or morality of Government makes people unconsciously uncomfortable with our message, perhaps we would accomplish more by simply sowing seeds of doubt – illustrating Government’s actual record of failure relative to achieving the goals of our common drives.

And, finally, to affect real change, we must begin to consistently tie Voluntaryism into people’s visions of satisfying their core drives. Rather than discussing the mechanics of providing roads, we need to convince them that in a voluntary society they will have better food, and safer communities, and more opportunities for their children.

 

Concurrent Voluntaryism via Direct Citizen Action

A primary goal of Concurrent Voluntaryism is to explore and share opportunities to create a voluntary society now, without waiting for the demise of the State. Four years ago, libertarian writer and activist Jim Ostrowski wrote an excellent book providing ideas and resources for individuals and communities to increase the freedom in their lives without having to ‘use government’ to accomplish their goals.

Here is a segment of Mark Stoval’s review of Direct Citizen Action:

Ostrowski starts his book with a review of the sorry state of the nation at this time and then gives a good common sense platform to pursue and then he gives an excellent set of tactics on how to achieve it. Instead of trying to get certain politicians elected, Ostrowski argues for what he calls “Direct Citizen Action”. In Direct Citizen Action Ostrowski offers tactics which consist of influencing the State and its politicians without having to use government to do it. Instead of direct political participation, which has failed us time and time again, he argues you can help create a freer society by becoming self-sufficient and minimizing your contacts with government. Very rarely should we resort to voting or campaigning as this is a losing proposition.

Read the complete book review at On The Mark.

Competition for Liberty

Last summer’s calls by libertarian activist Adam Kokesh for armed marches on Washington and on the fifty State Capitals elicited multiple responses from Shawn Gregory on his WeebulTree Blog.

I was particularly struck by the closing words of one post. He essentially wrote the best description yet of what Concurrent Voluntaryism all about:

In other words, what the liberty movement needs right now are practical solutions that the average person can immediately use and understand. We are living at a time when the technology is available for us to create a complete set of alternatives to what the State provides people now. It’s up to us to build it, and to invite our neighbors and friends to join us in using it. That’s something that we must do regardless of how the State eventually falls, so we might as well use it as our primary means for challenging the State. In this way, the State will eventually seem like a useless dinosaur, and no one will have to fire a shot to destroy it. It will simply fade away into history. That doesn’t mean that the State won’t put up a fight, but unlike a shooting match for which the State is well prepared, the free market is far too nimble for the State to outrun the death by a thousand cuts that it is on the brink of facing.

Get on the front lines and create or support a market alternative to the State today.

Read the full version of The Revolution For Liberty: Will It Be A Violent One?

Practicing Political Pacifism

To vote or not to vote, that is the question – that brought Will Shanahan to a conclusion very similar to our ongoing discussion here about ‘Concurrent Voluntaryism’:

This just leaves one question to answer; how should one go about changing the current state of affairs if not through voting? The answer is through voluntary interactions among those whom are needed to change the world in the way that you see fit. Don’t attempt to change the world through voting or through the use of government. After all, government is force and brute force is the lazy way to solve any problem. Regardless of the immorality involved, an idea that requires forced cooperation of the people involved is probably not that great of an idea. What would you prefer? A world you changed dramatically through the instruments of coercion or a world you changed minutely through voluntary interactions?

Read Will’s original post from the Humane Condition.

Concurrent Voluntaryism Hits The Blogosphere

Even though Voluntaryism theory starts with the sovereignty of the individual, from there it builds into social philosophy. Voluntaryists tend to be independent, but not anti-social. So, the (current) small number of voluntaryists may lead them to feel somewhat isolated. A major goal of the Veresapiens blog is to help create a greater sense of community.

The Veresapiens concept of Concurrent Voluntaryism, voluntary society in parallel with the existing State, is spreading via social media like twitter. And, some of my favorite freedom writers have blogged about it. One of the earliest blogs to mention Concurrent Voluntaryism was WeebulTree Blog. In this post, Shawn used a long quote from the Veresapiens blog in his concluding paragraphs…

To put it bluntly, we need to stop wasting time trying to engage the State in some kind of liberty death match. James Howe put it this way:

But what hope is there for ever achieving a voluntary society if it can’t operate in the presence of bad things or bad people?

Under the best of conditions, there will still be criminal gangs, demagogic and violent dictator wannabes, and lots of people who just don’t have the self-discipline to be voluntaryists. Under any realistic conditions, a voluntaryist society will be composed of only those who voluntarily participate, and a voluntaryist community will be faced with many external challenges.

We have those conditions today.

Now, the Government will violently interfere with voluntary interactions within our society. And, the Government will require, at gunpoint, that people in our voluntary society do things that they do not want to do. But why should that stop us from conducting ourselves, in all other ways, in a completely voluntary manner?

If those of us who have the desire and will to form a voluntary society begin to build up the basic structures and mechanisms of a voluntary, free-market society today, we will be, at the same time, creating a better world for ourselves and demonstrating to the non-believing masses that our ‘utopian’ ideas actually do have real-world value.

As Gary North likes to say, you can’t beat something with nothing. It is true that we can’t sit around and theorize about what a voluntary society might look like forever. At some point, we need to put it in practice. To that end, the greatest need right now in the liberty movement is for people to start building alternatives to the State. To some degree, this has already started with services like Bitcoin, Silk Road, and even a private police company, but we need lots more of it. We need liberty-minded entrepreneurs, inventors, developers, investors, consumers in a wide variety of areas, and we need to build up these products and services to the point where they are robust enough to withstand attacks from the State. If we are able to do that, then defeating the State won’t be a matter of trying to convince people intellectually. The benefits of voluntaryism will be evident, and the State will become more and more irrelevant.

You can read the rest of Shawn’s post here.

Truly Human Police

Imagine a police force focused on prevention of crime rather than on ‘law enforcement’. Imagine a police force dedicated to protecting people rather than on feeding the justice system and prison/industrial complex. Imagine a police force intent on preventing violence rather than monopolizing it.

I would really like to find a private security service like Threat Management Center near my home. That’s who I would want to call in case of trouble.

(But what about the poor? See the not-so-surprising answer in the video.)

 

What You Focus On, You Empower

Where attention goes, energy flows…

The State As Chinese Handcuffs
by Shawn Gregory (@WeebulTreeShawn)

There’s a lot of talk in the liberty movement about revolution – about taking on the State and defeating it.

There is talk of active resistance – armed resistance. There’s talk of 1776!

This talk – these notions, these ideas – do not, however, serve the cause of liberty as much as they strengthen the State.


The liberty movement is, at its heart, a peace movement, and peace is not the byproduct of violence or aggression.

It’s the State that feeds on violence. It’s the State that thrives on aggression. It gains its power from these things. It gains legitimacy from exercising its monopoly on violence.

There’s a lot of talk in the liberty movement about revolution – about taking on the State and defeating it.

There is talk of active resistance – armed resistance. There’s talk of 1776!

This talk – these notions, these ideas – do not, however, serve the cause of liberty as much as they strengthen the State.

The liberty movement is, at its heart, a peace movement, and peace is not the byproduct of violence or aggression.

It’s the State that feeds on violence. It’s the State that thrives on aggression. It gains its power from these things. It gains legitimacy from exercising its monopoly on violence.

Recent history has shown that as various elements of society lash out at the State, the power of the State is not diminished. It grows.

Like Chinese handcuffs, the State uses our own efforts to resist it to its advantage. The struggle against it becomes endlessly futile as we direct our energy toward the State instead of directing our creative energy toward building up new ways to peacefully cooperate without the State. But, once it’s realized that the State is not legitimate – that the State is not necessary – the State’s power to restrain completely disappears.

Diminishing the power of the State is not about taking it on and defeating it. It’s about ignoring it into oblivion.

As people create and use alternatives to the State, the State becomes irrelevant, powerless, and liberty wins – one idea at a time, little by little, until the State disappears.

~ Read the original post and more Liberty Movement commentary at the WeebulTree Blog!

Concurrent Voluntaryism – The Plan

Wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the level of government coercion in your own life right now, without having to wait for the whole country to wake up?

We have lots of interesting theoretical discussions about how we could better organize our society if we could just get rid of, or at least minimize, government, but no one seems to have a working plan to deal with that 800 pound gorilla blocking our path to a better society.

Maybe we’ve just been going down the wrong path.

Instead of spending all of our time and energy fighting the gorilla, perhaps we should simply follow a different path…

Earlier, I announced The Start Of A Truly Human Society and explained How We Can Have A Voluntary Society And The State.

In short, a voluntary society does not want to govern, so it is not competing for the right to govern. It considers those who govern to be ‘a criminal gang writ large’. The presence of a large, well-armed criminal gang is unfortunate, but does not preclude non-coercive people from conducting their affairs in voluntary ways, in every way possible.

Some of the big goals I have for our concurrent, voluntary, Truly Human Society are:

  1. To enable individual voluntaryists to gain the benefits of a community of like-minded people and organizations.
  2. To expand the range of voluntary options available to those who prefer to avoid coercively funded or operated organizations.
  3. To allow us to demonstrate that voluntaryism is not utopian.
  4. To instantiate voluntaryist structures and mechanisms ahead of time so as not to be caught unprepared in case any fortuitous changes lead to a period of anarchy or minarchy.

So here’s the plan…

The path to our voluntary Truly Human Society is actually simplified in some ways by the fact that the State is still present. Because we are not talking about ending the State as part of our plan, it means that we do not have to include in the plan such things as how to manage the transition of everyone who is currently dependent on the State.

This concurrent approach also simplifies our task in that we are not trying to satisfy everyone. Our Truly Human Society, being voluntary, will be comprised of only those who want to participate. We can implement just those things that we voluntaryists are interested in implementing.

In the plan itself, there is a primary piece and an optional piece. (The optional piece is actually aimed at the gorilla, because I can’t resist the urge to give him a poke.)

The primary part of the plan is aimed at reducing our day-to-day exposure to coercion.

Everything involved with government and its cronies entails coercion.

Government uses coercion to give itself monopolies in many areas, such as postal service, police, etc. And, government uses coercive regulations to support cartels for cronies in almost every area where big business has an interest.

Beyond the open coercion of enforcing monopolies for its ‘services’, there is also the method in which those services are funded. Voluntaryists well understand that government can’t offer them anything that wasn’t originally taken via coercion from someone else. Usage of government services, then, involves us in the coercion of others.

So, the primary part of the plan is to find ways to shun the monopolies and cartels that government attempts to force us to patronize.

Alternatives may be hard to find, in many cases, thanks to the successful efforts of the criminal gang. But we can all look – and share with each other what we do find.

Sometimes alternatives are not hard to find, just expensive relative to the coercively funded monopolies and cartels. (Private schools, for instance.) But if we purposefully direct more business to these alternatives it will encourage more start-ups and help bring down prices through greater competition.

Even where the alternatives do come at a relatively higher cost, that may still be acceptable, given the added value to you and I of thwarting the monopoly.

For instance, I used to go to a shooting range at a state park, which charged just $3 per hour. It was a very nice facility, and clearly the $3 from users was not fully funding it. Now that a private range has opened near me, I quite willingly give them my business at $18 per hour.

One potential bonus effect of enough of us shunning the monopolies and directing all of our business to their competitors can be seen in the looming bankruptcy of the US Post Office. Maybe that will become a template.

It seems that most people think poorly of politicians and government bureaucracies. But they also hold to the belief that government, even though composed of only politicians and bureaucrats, somehow provides valuable, necessary, even critical, services.

When people complain to us about government, we say “So why don’t we just get rid of it?”. But they then simply fall back on their list of important things “only government” can do.

So, for the second (optional) piece of our plan, I envision us identifying and supporting, or even creating, private equivalents to government services, so that every time the doubter says “only government can do X” we can point to an existing private alternative.

And, the private alternatives will no doubt provide better, more useful, services.

Take consumer protection, for instance, which lots of people see as a critical function that justifies the existence of government. Do you remember when all electrical devices (in the US) used to have the little round UL tag on the cord? UL was (is) a private company that rigorously tested new products for safety, and awarded them its seal if they met the appropriate standards.

UL was basically incorruptible. They knew that if they ever gave undeserved certifications and lost their reputation, they were finished. Same thing with Consumer Reports.

Contrast that with government ‘watchdog’ agencies that have well-deserved reputations for being bought and paid for, or ‘captured’, by the big crony industries they are supposed to be protecting us from.

All we seem to get from the government consumer protection agencies are lots of ugly, moronic warning labels all over products, and then when products are proven, by others, to be unsafe, they simply blame their ‘limited’ budget and go right back to work protecting their crony bosses.

If you think back to the recent controversies over Bovine Growth Hormone (rbGH) in milk and BPA in plastic bottles, the FDA fought tooth and nail to support the use of both of them until private organizations like EWG were able to bring enough public visibility and outrage to force the industry to ‘voluntarily’ abandon them. As far as I can tell, the FDA continues to support the use of both chemicals.

So the second piece of the plan is about continually undermining the path the gorilla sits on.

But remember, the primary reason to start our own Truly Human Society is to rid our lives of as much coercion as possible right now by working together as a community to find and support all of the private alternatives that will enable us to shun coercive government monopolies and crony cartels.

I will be blogging my ideas for our Truly Human Society on this site, and will be re-blogging pertinent posts from other sites here as well. Please add your ideas and suggestions in the comments, or tweet to @veresapiens, or send emails to ths @ veresapiens.org.

Let’s get it started!BuckyFuture

 

One Of These Is Not Like The Others. Or Is It?

Quick thought experiment…
If one of these is not like the others, why is that?

1. Members of the local Church voted to collect money from every resident of the area the Church served in order to pay for Church programs. After a few of the local residents who refused to pay were harshly punished, most residents then paid the Church ‘voluntarily’.

Are the Church’s actions ethical?

2. Members of the local Charity voted to collect money from every resident of the area the Charity served in order to pay for Charity programs. After a few of the local residents who refused to pay were harshly punished, most residents then paid the Charity ‘voluntarily’.

Are the Charity’s actions ethical?

3. Members of the local Government voted to collect money from every resident of the area the Government served in order to pay for Government programs. After a few of the local residents who refused to pay were harshly punished, most residents then paid the Government ‘voluntarily’.Govt Ethics

Are the Government’s actions ethical?