Tag Archives: Veresapiens Philosophy

The Involuntary Citizenship Amendment

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Many of us believe that for ethical and practical reasons societies would be better off without a centralized ruling government.

The major unresolved challenge has been how could we get from here to there without chaos?

Not having an answer to that question, I’ve been writing about Concurrent Voluntaryism,  building up voluntaryist social structures in parallel with the existing State complex.

But what if, with a few simple words, you could simultaneously…

  • eliminate the one feature of Government that is the source of its coercive power
  • maintain and enhance the Government’s incentive to provide services to those who still desire them
  • allow immediate freedom from centralized Government for everyone who desires that option

That would get us a long way from here to there without creating chaos.

Therefore, I hereby propose the following Constitutional Amendment, which would accomplish all of those goals:

“Whereas all Men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Section 1. Involuntary Citizenship shall no longer exist within the United States or in any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. The Benefits and Protections of Citizenship shall apply only to those who voluntarily agree to and accept the Responsibilities of Citizenship.

Section 3. The Jurisdiction of the United States, and of the individual States, shall hereafter extend only to the property of voluntary Citizens and to any property acquired by Government through voluntary exchange.

Section 4. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Appropriately, the wording of Section 1 of the proposed Amendment echoes the wording of the 13th Amendment, which ended Involuntary Servitude in the United States.

Below is a brief discussion of how this Involuntary Citizenship Amendment fulfills the goals listed above.

“eliminate the one feature of Government that is the source of its coercive power”

Many of the services provided by Government are important and would need to be provided, one way or another, in any modern society. The two major problems with having them provided by the State are that they are monopolies and that they are funded by theft, both features maintained by violence and threats. Eliminating its territorial monopoly eliminates the Government’s ability to enforce all of its other monopolies, except among those voluntary citizens who willingly pay for them. This is essentially the definition of ‘panarchy‘.

“maintain and enhance the Government’s incentive to provide services to those who still desire them”

Without a territorial monopoly on theft the Government will have to provide services that people willingly pay for. And they will face competition from independent service providers and from competing governments. If the current Government’s services didn’t continue, and even improve, they would risk losing all subscribers and going out of business entirely.

“allow immediate freedom from centralized Government for everyone who desires that option”

With citizenship becoming voluntary, anyone could walk away at any time. Renouncing citizenship might entail having to forfeit some future entitlement benefit or having to pay some sort of early termination fee. One might fear that such terms could be drastic and punitive, but again, because they would be competing for current and future members (citizens), there is a built-in incentive to discourage the Government from setting up terms that are overly punitive.

No way to get from here to there without total chaos?

I am not suggesting that we could successfully pass this Constitutional amendment. But I do think it eliminates the argument that a voluntary society is impossible simply because there is no way to transition from here to there without creating immediate chaos.

What do you think?

 

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

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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.

 

Today Is The Start Of A Truly Human Society

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Today is the start of a new, worldwide, Truly Human Society.

Many of you have already developed your own smaller, more individual Truly Human societies. Now we can go ahead and take the idea global.

As you may recall, what makes us Truly Human is to follow one simple rule, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

We often think of ‘ownership‘ as a legal or financial concept, but in practical terms, to own means to control. What you own, you control.

So, to take control of something is, in effect, to take ownership. To take control of anything without the current owner’s consent is to steal.

What makes “Thou Shalt Not Steal” the key to defining a Truly Human Society is that for anyone to take control of another person’s life without their consent is to steal from, and to take ownership of, that other person.

Our Truly Human Society, then, is based on the belief that no people should be owned by other people. In practical terms, that means no people should have control over other people. All Truly Human interactions should be voluntary.

Most of us already live our everyday lives as ‘voluntaryists’. Do you use force or threats against others as you go through your day? Probably not. For most of us, being controlled and forced to do this, or not do that, generally only occurs in our relationships with government.

And that brings us to the 800 pound gorilla – involuntary government – that has continually blocked our path to a voluntary, Truly Human Society.

Today we realize – we’ve been on the wrong path!

We have been stopped by the gorilla only because we believed we had to retake the path he sits astride.

We have assumed that we can only have a voluntary society in the absence of an existing government.

But a government isn’t a society. A government is a parasite living off of a society. A government is simply a “bandit gang writ large“.

Libertarians have developed and documented all kinds of practical strategies for how a voluntary society could be effectively organized without coercive government. But we never seem to get beyond the idea stage because we see no practical way to be rid of government.

The gorilla owns that path.

Let us travel another path.

To counter claims of being utopian, libertarians have always insisted that a voluntary society would be able to deal with the reality of criminal gangs – small and large.

So, if libertarians think that the presence of criminal gangs is not a showstopper, and that government is simply a criminal gang writ large…

…then now is a great time to start a libertarian society.

My New Blog: A Truly Human Society

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My original vision for A Veresapiens Blog was to explore the moral/ethical implications of sincerely attempting to follow the basic foundations of libertarianism – Property Rights (Thou Shalt Not Steal) and Non-Aggression. Clearly, a lot of the those implications apply to the political questions of the day, but I really didn’t want A Veresapiens Blog to take on too much of a political orientation, diffusing its primary focus.

And so, a new blog was born. The first two posts on A Truly Human Society were actually adapted from A Veresapiens Blog since both blogs build upon a common philosophical framework. Could There Be A Truly Human Society? sets out the premise that a consistent application of Thou Shalt Not Steal leads to Voluntaryism. Your Truly Human Society shows how Voluntaryism is the normal mode of operation for most people, absent intrusion by Government.

Then, the next three posts use that foundation to lay out a ‘political’ philosophy that I call Concurrent Voluntaryism. In essence, it is a call to action for all Veresapiens and other Voluntaryists. It says that the best way to form a Voluntaryist Society is for Voluntaryists to shun the coercion that emanates from the State and its Cronies today, not someday. To see what ‘the plan’ is for A Truly Human Society, check out Concurrent Voluntaryism – The Plan.

Gun Control – A Truly Human Approach

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Do the Gun Grabbers want everyone to be defenseless?

Do the Gun Lovers care more about their Rights than they do about innocent victims of gun massacres?

That may be how the Gun Control issue is being framed by Politicians and the Mainstream Media, but seriously, do those sound like real motives of real everyday people?

Now Government has certain motivations – and we could speculate as to what those might be – but let’s set those motives aside for a moment so that we’re not left right in the middle of the fog of politics. Let’s take a truly Human approach to this issue, instead.

First let’s consider a pro-gun-control Mom. Is her primary goal likely to be to leave as many people as possible defenseless? No. Her goals are much more likely to be things like:

  • preventing more massacres
  • preventing crazies from killing
  • preventing easy gun access from leading to crimes of opportunity
  • preventing gun accidents

Consider an anti-gun-control Mom. Is she really all about Constitutional Rights? She’s likely more interested in:

  • defending children and others from massacres and attacks by crazies
  • enabling people to deter and defend against armed criminal attacks
  • enabling women and others to defend themselves against physically more powerful attackers
  • not being dependent on police response for protection from attacks

The two lists aren’t that dissimilar, and both are composed of reasonable goals.

So with similar end Goals we really have a dispute over the best Means to get there.

What options do we have for deciding between very Different Means of reaching Common Goals?

Emotions are the key to the Political Approach. As we have seen many times, by instigating and fanning emotional conflict, any issue can be hijacked for Political Purposes. So the first step is to avoid being drawn into the political false-conflict trap.

Setting emotion aside, it would seem then that the issue could best be resolved based on Practical considerations. But logical arguments can be constructed to support any proposal, and statistics, it is said, can be made to say anything if you torture them long enough.

And even if one side could show that its proposed means would lead to indisputably superior results, does that settle the issue? Remember, the saying that the ends don’t justify the means means means must be moral.

So that brings us around to the moral approach, and that’s where the Veresapiens moral philosophy has proven to be so useful. It provides the simplest way to see past the Political and Practical arguments of any issue and clearly distinguish Right from Wrong.

In fact, the approach is so simple it’s not even based on a whole list of morals like The Ten Commandments. It’s more like The One Commandment. And yet it clearly lights the way because it is directly related to the most basic thing that makes us truly Human.

If you think about it, only Humans can choose to Trade for things they want, rather than Take. Only Humans can choose to live by the moral rule Thou Shalt Not Steal.

To be truly Human, then, we must refrain from stealing what others own. So what does it really mean to ‘own’ something?

By definition, you can do whatever you want with something you own. You can use it, give it away, or even destroy it. That’s totally up to you. If you need Permission to do something with it, You Don’t Own It… at least not fully.

So, if someone Takes some or all of your Control over your possession, against your will, they are Stealing from you.

That means that if someone Takes any Control over your Life, they are Taking some Ownership of your Life. Taking ownership without permission is Stealing.

Veresapiens, then, would not make laws to Control Others’ Lives. That would be Stealing. That would be Taking Lives.

Also, if it is wrong for someone to steal your stuff, then it cannot be wrong for you to resist someone stealing your stuff. So, morally, you can Defend your life and all the other things you own.

So, as Veresapiens, we would not take what others own. And since we wouldn’t make laws limiting what others can do with what they own, we certainly wouldn’t make laws diminishing their ability to defend what they own (their life and possessions).

The gun-control Mom does want to make laws limiting what you can own, which at the same time would limit your ability to defend yourself and your possessions. The resulting laws may even authorize people with guns to come and take from you the guns you already own. Gun-control Mom’s goals are valid, but her Means are Immoral and unHuman.

Anti-gun-control Mom doesn’t want to steal your guns or impose controls on your ownership of your life or possessions. Her goals are valid and she has not advocated any immoral means.

Can the Veresapiens philosophy go beyond the question of the morality of means and ultimately propose the Ideal Solution to the problem?

The Veresapiens approach doesn’t require any one particular solution, or even that there be a single solution. Only that there is No Theft of liberty or possessions. Any and all means used to pursue our ends simply must be moral.

Once you accept that attempting to prevent a problem with laws Controlling People’s Behavior is Immoral, you will also begin to see that such laws typically make the original problem worse, and often cause additional problems.

The drug laws are an obvious example. Drug laws haven’t eliminated drug use. They’ve only managed to make drug use more dangerous, violent, and destructive.

Laws against possessing guns wouldn’t work any better than the laws against possessing drugs have worked.

So one effective means to solve many social problems may be to Eliminate already-existing Laws. For instance, instead of maintaining laws that declare schools ‘gun-free zones’, wouldn’t it make more sense to ensure that your child goes to school in a ‘well-defended zone’?

The Veresapiens philosophy not only guides you to more moral, and Truly Human, solutions, but also helps lead you to more effective solutions, as well.

 

You Can Be A Veresapien Now

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Which of these statements is true?

Republicans are Outraged at Democrats!

Democrats are Outraged at Republicans!

Yes, both, of course.

Republicans accuse Democrats of using the Power of Government to Steal from working people to give Free Stuff to Lazy People.

Democrats accuse Republicans of using the Power of Government to Steal from poor and working class people through Preferential Treatment for Big Business.

Is it possible that Half the Country is Evil and the other half of the country is – Evil?

But Republicans don’t think they’re Evil. They believe they are Good.

Democrats? Same thing.

Maybe Politics creates this Confusion over basic issues like Good and Evil. With politics, what each side sees as Good looks like Evil to the other.

Maybe this is Done On Purpose.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple way to See Past the Politics of any issue and clearly Distinguish Right and Wrong?

If you could Discover a simple way to tell right from wrong that would also Light the Path to Freedom, wouldn’t that be worthwhile?

In fact, the answer is so simple it’s not even based on a list like The Ten Commandments. It’s more like The One Commandment.

And yet it clearly lights the way because it is directly related to the most Basic Thing That Makes Us Human.

We know that Man is not the only Animal that makes tools, or communicates, or lives in social groups, or builds homes.

What is it, then, that is Uniquely Human?

All living things need space to live in and things to consume. Non-Human living things simply Take what they need.

What truly differentiates Human from Animal is that a Human is able make the conscious decision to Refrain From Taking. A Human is capable of consciously Choosing Voluntary interaction, in Cooperation with others, to satisfy needs.

Humans choose to Trade, Not Take.

Humans choose to live by the rule “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

Though all are capable, not every Man makes that choice. But, to actually make and live by that choice, is what it takes for Man to be Truly Wise, Truly Human. (The name Veresapiens comes from the Latin for ‘truly wise’.)

Thou Shalt Not Steal – simple, yet so important that it is considered The One Commandment of Veresapiens.

Humans have always considered Thou Shalt Not Steal so significant that it is a basic tenet of Every Major Religion.

What causes the morality of Thou Shalt Not Steal to be so universally recognized, right along with Thou Shalt Not Kill?

Is it possible that they are essentially two ways of saying the Same Thing?

Yes.

Your earthly lifetime is not infinite. You have one body and a Limited amount of Time to spend in it.

You may choose to Spend some of your brief Time creating something. In other words, you may Trade some of your precious Time for something else of value to you.

If a Thief Takes what you created, is he taking Your Life?

Yes.

It took your time to create your new possession. You Spent Time. That time is gone.

You Gave Up (some of) Your Life for that possession, so the Thief Took (some of) Your Life when he stole it.

And that is why Thou Shalt Not Steal is held Sacred, right along with Thou Shalt Not Kill, in all the major world religions.

Thou Shalt Not Steal is clearly an important commandment, but is it comprehensive enough to be The One Commandment?

Yes.

Let’s explore the meaning of Thou Shalt Not Steal a little further, and see how it manages to cover behavior from petty Theft to Slavery and Murder.

To define what it means ‘To Steal’, let’s first define what it means ‘To Own’.

At the most basic level, Ownership is not a financial term. To Own is to Control.

If you Own something, You can Make All of the Decisions about it, yourself. You can do whatever you wish with something you own. You can use it, give it away, destroy it, whatever. It’s totally up to you.

If you Need Permission to do something with it, You Don’t Own it… at least not fully.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean by Partial Ownership:

Suppose you ‘own’ a house. And suppose you bought the house with a home loan. And, finally, suppose that you rent out the house to tenants.

Financially, you own the house. You are the homeowner. However, your ownership rights have been voluntarily limited, as detailed in your mortgage loan agreement with the bank and your lease agreement with the renters.

For example, you own the house, but you cannot use the house as your home. You have agreed to give all of the normal residential usage rights (control) to your renters for the duration of their lease.

Also, you own the house, but you cannot tear it down and turn your property into a wildlife sanctuary. You have agreed to give up some rights (control), relative to the physical building, to the bank for the duration of the mortgage loan.

The important point here is that Control is Not All-Or-Nothing. And therefore, Ownership is Not All-Or-Nothing. Some portion of your ownership can be given or traded away.

And some Portion of Your Ownership can be Taken away. (And we have thereby arrived at the broader Meaning of ‘Stealing’.)

If someone Takes Away some or all of your Control over your possession, against your will, they are Stealing from you.

Even if, rather than physically taking, they simply Prevent you from exercising Your Full Control over your possession through threats or force, they are still Stealing from you. Because, even if they are not physically taking your possession, they are Taking away your Ownership (control).

Now, here’s a Critical Question.

Do you believe your life belongs to you? If you really Own Your Life, you must fully Control Your Life.

Anyone who Prevents you from exercising full Control over your own life is Taking Your Life.

At a minimum, they are Stealing your Freedom. In the extreme, this can rise to the level of Slavery or Murder.

OK, now that we have fleshed out the broader meaning of To Steal, we can begin to explore how Thou Shalt Not Steal can be applied to political questions.

If the Primary Guiding Principle shaping society was Thou Shalt Not Steal, what kind of government, legal, and social systems would such a Veresapiens society have?

The answer to that question goes back to our earlier discussion of Ownership. If you ‘own’ something, it means that you have total Control over it. If someone Takes away some or all of your Control, then, because they are Taking away your Ownership, they are Stealing from you.

That means that if someone Takes any Control Over Your Life, they are Taking Ownership of Your Life. Taking ownership without permission is Stealing.

Veresapiens, then, would Not Make Rules, or laws, to Control Others’ behavior. That would be Stealing.

Individual Veresapiens would make Rules as to the acceptable use of Their Own Property and the acceptable behavior of visitors to their property. And Veresapiens may rightfully choose to Defend Their Property from unacceptable aggression by others. Such ‘individual property rules’ do not take away any others’ full ownership of their own lives and property.

If a society based on Thou Shalt Not Steal would Make No Laws to Control, Mandate, or Prohibit anyone’s actions, then it would have No Need For a Government. In fact, any imposed form of government, including Democracy, would be Incompatible with a Thou Shalt Not Steal-based society.

Thus, for a whole society to live by Thou Shalt Not Steal as a guiding principle, a totally Voluntaryist social structure is required – one with No Government at all.

You may already live much of your life in a Truly Human, Thou Shalt Not Steal, Veresapiens mode. Think about the ‘Anarchy’ that already exists between You and your Friends and close Neighbors. Do you refrain from stealing from them because of the laws of the government? Do you make up rules that all of them must follow or be punished? Do all of your disagreements get resolved by courts and judges?

If not, you’re already creating your own personal Truly Human Society!

Many truly wise philosophers and authors have written about how an entire Society Without a Government might function, so rather than re-create that content here, let me just recommend a good, easy-to-read introduction, available as a free download at this link:

The Market for Liberty

Of course the most common criticism leveled against this kind of ‘Society Without a Government’ thought experiment is that it assumes the existence of a society somehow magically free of an existing central government.

I have to agree that this is an unlikely scenario for the foreseeable future. And When Governments do Fall, whether by revolution or by conquest, they are, unfortunately, Replaced By new Governments. There is never a shortage of ‘wannabe rulers’ just waiting for their big opportunity.

But, if you think about it, even if there was, magically, a land with No Government, and people had Total Freedom to organize new social structures, they would most likely not end up being one single homogenous society. Different groups of People would try out Different Approaches, many of which might take hold and thrive. There would also, no doubt, be violent organized gangs of criminals.

Those who wanted to organize around the concept of Thou Shalt Not Steal could do so, but they would still have to Coexist among people with different ideas, values, and social structures, just as your own personal Truly Human Society does today. They would also have to deal with individuals and organized groups intent on stealing their property or their freedom, just as your own personal Truly Human Society does today.

So, we have the same kind of Opportunity Now to organize a Truly Human Society as we would have in the mythical ungoverned land.

Now, at this point, you may still be wondering how the Veresapiens Philosophy Answers current Political Questions in the real world.

So let’s see how our philosophy scales up. As an example, let’s consider this politically hot question:

“What should the Government do about the Problem of Illegal Aliens?”

First let’s Question the Question.

Why are ‘illegal aliens’ a ‘problem’ to be solved?

A common answer would be: “They don’t pay taxes, and yet are served by government programs (paid for by American citizens).”

That answer hints at a new way to look at almost all ‘political’ questions. The answer to why illegal aliens are a problem is centered around Government Programs (taxes and services).

In other words, we need to solve this problem (illegal aliens) because of the impact it has on Government ‘Solutions’ to Previous ‘Problems’ (the collection of taxes and the provision of services).

What happens if we consider the problem of illegal aliens, Setting Government Aside?

OK, setting government aside, what is an illegal alien? Borders are Imaginary Lines drawn by governments to declare their Control over people and places. So, without government borders, there are no aliens, legal, illegal or otherwise. You Just have People. No problem there.

What about taxes and services? Setting government aside, people in Communities would work to Create Products to sell or trade, Provide Services to sell or trade, and would Provide goods or services as Charity for people in need. Taking from some people to give to other people is a government thing.

So, setting government aside, the ‘illegal alien’ problem simply starts to fade away.

You can follow this thought pattern on just about any Political Issue. Instead of answering the political question, as asked, try considering the question itself. And then, setting aside the political roots of the question, Consider the Issue in Human Terms. This approach will lead you to Truly Human Answers.

  • What is the Political Question?
  • What are the Left vs Right conventional Political Answers?
  • How do the conventional Political Answers relate to Government Laws, Activities, or Programs.
  • What Different Answers would arise from taking a Truly Human Approach to the issue?

And since we do not, at this time, live in a society that is Free of existing Government, the next question a Veresapiens will ask is…

  • To what extent Can You Implement a Truly Human Solution in a Government Dominated Society?

This last point is important to consider, since Truly Human Solutions, implemented fully, may well be Illegal in today’s society. (Think about the impact of Ignoring Government immigration regulations).

Political Discourse, framed in terms of Government Programs, Confuses the distinctions between Right and Wrong.

As you mentally break out of that political frame, you can simply re-frame the original question in terms of basic Morality. And the most basic Human morality is Thou Shalt Not Steal.

Because Thou Shalt Not Steal, when consistently applied, requires that all Human interactions be voluntary, it provides a simple way to determine what the Truly Human approach would be in any situation.

The Veresapiens philosophy helps you distinguish Right and Wrong and helps you find Moral approaches to Social Issues.

The Veresapiens philosophy seldom mandates one particular solution. There will almost always be a range of consistently moral approaches available to a Veresapiens.

All we need to do is ensure that our chosen approach Refrains from Taking property or freedom from others.

This is something we can do Now.

And today, by our example, we help others to also become Truly Human.

 

Find The Human Answer To Political Questions

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When you control the questions, you don’t really have to worry about the answers.

The quote, above, opened my last blog post about “the problem of illegal aliens”. Although technically about that specific issue, that post was also intended to introduce a more general point about how to consider political questions from a truly Human point of view.

I think most of my future posts may follow this approach:

  • What is the Political Question?
  • What Are the Left vs Right Conventional Political Answers?
  • How the Conventional Political Answers All Relate to Government Laws, Activities, or Programs.
  • What Different Answers Would Arise From Taking a Truly Human Approach to the Issue?
  • To What Extent Can You Implement a Truly Human Solution in a Government Dominated Society?

The last point will be interesting to discuss, since truly Human solutions, implemented fully, may well be illegal in today’s society.

 

Receiving Government Payments – A Voluntaryist Dilemma

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As a Veresapien and voluntaryist, I consider government to be unHuman. A government is, by definition, based on theft and coercion. I want to shun government in every way possible, just as I would any other criminal organization.

But, the government keeps taking my money, and I want it back.

For example, I’ve had Social Security taxes ‘deducted’ from my paychecks for over 40 years, now.

So, here’s my dilemma…

If I think Social Security is a typically immoral government program, should I participate in it anyway when I become eligible to receive payments, especially after having been forced to make payments into the program for all those years?

Walter Block has written that since all government funds are essentially stolen loot, “…it is a positive virtue to relieve the government of its ill-gotten gains“. In fact, he writes, “…the more money you take from the coffers of the state the better libertarian you are“.

Sounds good. But here’s the rub…

The money the government has taken from me in Social Security (and other) taxes over the years is long gone. That money was spent long, long ago. The government no longer has my stolen property.

So, when I ask for the Social Security money that the government ‘owes’ me, where will that money come from? Well, the government, having no money of its own, will simply go out and steal money from my neighbors and give it to me.

How would I feel, as a Veresapien and voluntaryist, about me using the force of government to take other people’s money?

I might try to make myself feel better by saying “The government is going to collect the tax money, anyway, and I might as well get my fair share”. But it’s still stolen money. Another person’s money.

And, as the US population ages, Social Security taxes will no longer cover Social Security payments. Beyond payroll taxes on current workers, the government will need to both borrow money, to be repaid by future taxpayers, and print money, a hidden tax on everyone.

I don’t think I’m really punishing the government when I “relieve it of its ill-gotten gains”. If anything, I’m doing it an invaluable service.

The government loves to dole out the cash. The government wants to give money to everyone. When everyone’s getting government money, no one wants to get rid of government, they just want to fight over who gets how much.

As Bastiat said in his essay Government,

“The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”

When you take money from the government, you serve to perpetuate government.

If you want to end government, I believe the best approach is that suggested by Boetie in The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude:

“For if tyranny really rests on mass consent, then the obvious means for its overthrow is simply by mass withdrawal of that consent.”

If more people declined, whenever possible, to receive stolen goods (tax money) from the government, it would go a long way toward delegitimizing those government programs and the government.

So, here is how I think I should approach my dilemma:

  • Do whatever I can to minimize (legally) the amount of money that the government takes from me in taxes.
  • Accept that any money that is taken from me by the government is unrecoverable without causing harm to others (theft of their money).
  • And therefore decline, whenever I can, to take any ‘entitlements’ payments (freshly stolen goods) from the government.

I think perhaps those who take the least money from the coffers of the state are good libertarians, too.

 

Your Truly Human Society

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In a recent post, I described how following the central Veresapiens tenet of “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (TSNS) would shape the basic principles of a Truly Human Society. At the conclusion of the post, those principles were described this way…

A Veresapiens, then, would not make rules, or laws, to control others’ behavior. That would be stealing.

Veresapiens would make rules as to the acceptable use of their own property and the acceptable behavior of visitors on their property. And Veresapiens may defend their property from unacceptable aggression by others. None of those things would take away others’ full ownership of their own lives and property.

If a society based on TSNS would make no laws to control, mandate, or prohibit anyone’s actions, then it would have no need for a government. In fact, any form of government, including democracy, would be incompatible with a TSNS-based society.

For a whole society to live by “Thou Shalt Not Steal” as a guiding principle requires a totally voluntaryist social structure – one with no government at all.

A common, and legitimate, criticism levelled against this kind of ‘thought experiment’, however, is that it assumes the existence of a society somehow magically free of an existing central government. I have to agree that this is an unrealistic assumption. When governments fall, whether by revolution or by conquest, they are, unfortunately, replaced by new governments. There is never a shortage of wannabe rulers just waiting for their big opportunity.

But think about the ‘anarchy’ that already exists between you and your friends and close neighbors. Do you refrain from stealing from them because of the laws of the central government? Do you make up rules that all of them must follow or be punished? Do all of your disagreements get resolved by courts and judges?

No? Hmmm, perhaps you have already begun your own Truly Human Society. Congratulations! You’re off to a great start.

If you think about it, even if there was, magically, a land with no government, and people had total freedom to organize new social structures, there would likely not end up being one single homogenous society. Different groups of people would try out different approaches, many of which might take hold and thrive. There would also, no doubt, be violent organized gangs of criminals.

Those who wanted to organize around the concept of TSNS could do so, but they would still have to coexist among people with different ideas, values, and social structures, just as your own personal Truly Human Society does today. They would also have to deal with individuals and organized groups intent on stealing their property or their freedom, just as your own personal Truly Human Society does today.

So, we the same kind of opportunity now to organize a Truly Human Society as we would have in the mythical ungoverned land.

Beyond making TSNS the guiding principle in how you relate to all other people, future blog posts will focus on principles, strategies, and tactics for organizing and leading your own Truly Human Society within today’s government-dominated social structure.

 

Earthly Death – Eternal Life

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Death. I hated to put that word in the title of this post. Most of us are pretty good at not thinking about Death. We know it’s coming. We’d just rather not think about it.

In this post, I hope to give you one very good reason to keep Death in mind.

Man, as a living creature, has an earthly, physical existence. Every person is born, lives, and dies, like all other living creatures. But there are two things different about Man.

We have already discussed the main, and more important, difference…

What truly differentiates Man from Animal is that Man is capable of consciously making a decision to refrain from taking. Man is capable of consciously choosing voluntary interaction, in cooperation with others, to satisfy needs.

Man can choose to Trade, not Take.

Man can choose to live by the rule “Thou shalt Not Steal”.

Not everyone makes that choice. But, to actually make that choice, and live that choice, is what it takes to be fully, truly Human.

And to be truly Human is what it takes to attain an immortal soul.

The second unique thing about Man is that we have a conscious awareness of ourselves and of our mortality. We are aware that we are alive, and aware that we will die.

Awareness of our ever-looming mortality can provide powerful incentive to behave in ways that lead to the attainment of an immortal soul.

We cannot avoid physical death, but there is a simple, yet challenging path to immortality. TSNS.

“Thou Shalt Not Steal” (TSNS)

TSNS is a simple concept. Why would following it be such a challenging path to heavenly immortality?

TSNS, if fully embraced, covers much more than stealing someone else’s possessions:

  • Thou Shalt Not Steal Life (Murder)
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal Freedom (Slavery)
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal Property (Theft)

No Man can avoid physical death, but to become truly Human and to attain an immortal soul, a Man may simply choose to Trade, not Take; to live by one simple commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.