Tag Archives: Concurrent Voluntaryism

Concurrent Voluntaryism

Path to Liberty: WE will build the roads! (Andy Bolton)

Is the State going to champion individual freedom and the evolution of a voluntary society? Does it makes sense for us to wait for the State to collapse, and in all that chaos try to establish a sophisticated, civilized voluntary society? Is there any reason why those of us who want to interact in a voluntary, non-coercive way can’t do so now, at least among ourselves? I have been calling that concept Concurrent Voluntaryism. The idea is very much along the lines of the Buckminster Fuller quote in the image below.

Concurrent VoluntaryismConcurrent Voluntaryism

The video, below, is a recent talk by Andy Bolton that hits on very similar concepts. In the third facet of his talk he states:

Let’s build the society that we want. Let’s do it ourselves.
Rather than try to change the state let’s make it obsolete.
WE need to identify private solutions and publicise these.
There are many existing services that replace the state systems that we complain about.
And those services that don’t exist we need to create.

You can watch the full video below, or check it out at Libertarian Home along with the rest of their great content.


What is a Veresapiens (and what does one sound like)?

Thanks to Marchella, who most of you probably know on Twitter, I had the opportunity to guest on the new Libertarian Nation podcast, hosted by Marchella and Alex Bradley. They were great fun to talk to, and a comfortable way for me to ‘come out from behind the keyboard’ and talk a little bit about Voluntaryism, Anarchy, and the history and concepts behind the Veresapiens philosophy.

You can enjoy my first podcast, now…


And then be sure to go listen to more good stuff on the Libertarian Nation podcast page.


The Truly Human Alternative to 911

Guest post by

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”—Buckminster Fuller.

This concept is at the heart of the Truly Human Society. We don’t need to abolish or even fight the State.  We don’t have to attack, either by voting or by violence, entities like the Post Office or 911.  All we have to do is build something better.  People will flock to it, rendering the government program it competes with obsolete.

We see this effect in action every day. Google didn’t have to wage war on Yahoo!.  They just built a better product, and consigned Yahoo!—once a virtual monopoly—to the dustbin of history.  FedEx didn’t have to abolish the Post Office.  All they had to do was build something better, faster, more fluid, more customer-centric than the 20th-century state bureaucracy, and render the Post Office obsolete.

The Peacekeeper AppThis philosophy is the market in action. It’s also at the heart of Peacekeeper. Peacekeeper is the world’s first market-based emergency response system.

911 is bureaucratic and inefficient. For every 100 people who call 911, 66 will wait more than 5 minutes for a response.  36.4 will wait more than 10 minutes. In poor neighborhoods, in minority neighborhoods, in neighborhoods with high crime, the wait times can be even longer. In an emergency, seconds count; yet we rely on the same bureaucratic system that gave us the DMV.

Peacekeeper’s not designed to fight 911. It’s not designed to reform or ‘fix’ the bureaucracy.  What we’re doing is much more revolutionary: we’re sidestepping the entire apparatus of government emergency response to offer an alternative.

Peacekeeper is to 911 as FedEx is to the Post Office. Faster, more fluid, more efficient, more elegant.  We’re giving people an alternative to government protection services.

Protection is at the heart of the State’s justification. Whenever anyone calls for ending the State, invariably the first response is, “We’ll all be defenseless!”  Without the State, many assume, we’ll be stuck in a post-apocalyptic Hell in which roving gangs of criminals prey on ordinary people.

That’s why Peacekeeper is essential to the Truly Human Society. Peacekeeper shows that community protection, and emergency response, can be handled by the market.

Peacekeeper.orgOur app lets you build a voluntary network of friends, family, and neighbors that can rely on each other in an emergency. The result can be faster and more humane than calling 911. If you don’t want to wait on a failed state-enforced system for protection, Peacekeeper is the world’s first alternative.

To get started, download the app and share it with interested friends and neighbors. Set up your Emergency Response Group (ERG). When one person has an emergency, they can send an alert in seconds. If you’re being burgled, you can tap the ‘Intruder’ alert and trust that your ERG will show up.  If you’ve broken your leg and need to go to the hospital, neighbors with medical training can respond. Because you’re relying on friends across the street instead of police across town, the results can be lightning fast.

Your ERG is voluntary and community-based. Everyone is on there because they want to be.  Members know and trust each other, which is crucial in an emergency.  Too many tragedies are caused by inserting armed badged strangers into crime scenes.

Peacekeeper is about giving you the tools to move beyond a failed, bureaucratic, and too often abusive system—and into something else. It’s about empowering you to handle emergencies on your own and with your network, instead of being dependent on the State.  It’s about creating a tiny island of a Truly Human Society.

Try Peacekeeper today. Introduce it to your friends and neighbors, and build an ERG that works to keep you safe.

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.

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?