Tag Archives: Withdraw Consent

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?

 

Practicing Political Pacifism

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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

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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.

What You Focus On, You Empower

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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!

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.