Updated. Originally written in 2014.
You probably see the inequities and corruption in our system. Do you also see the growing distance between you and other humans, in your beliefs, amount of time spent with others, and level of compassion you feel? Maybe you even see the many ways it is possible that human beings can work together to create voluntary systems and even effective rules without the need for a ruling class. Heck, humans created computers, pizza, WiFi, and rocket ships!
So yay, I’m glad you are “with it”, philosophically and you may even see how Voluntaryism* can work, practically (law without government). So, it is reasonable for you to ask, “How can we get there from here?” and/or “What can I do to help?”
*I’m using “Voluntaryism” and “Voluntaryist” to include small “l” libertarians, big “L” Libertarians, Minarchists, Agorists, and [peaceful] Anarchists here because they all share the Non Aggression Principle (NAP).
You get it but what can you do?
It’s a misconception that Libertarians, Minarchists, Agorists, and Anarchists favor immediate and/or violent revolution or don’t care about anyone but ourselves. Usually, the reality of the Voluntaryist mindset is the opposite of those assumptions. Most every Voluntaryist I’ve met realizes the path to a peaceful world absent involuntary government, is most likely obtainable via peaceful methods. Why build a peaceful world on a foundation of violence? And many of us realize a necessary prerequisite to peace is an ability to empathize.
I look around at what my fellow Voluntaryists – and even people who don’t label themselves that – are doing and I see us coming at the solution from many directions. I see each of these “ways” as intersections in a “safety net”. As this net gets more dense, the need for coercive government (as opposed to consentual governance) is reduced and the more ways people can transition more peacefully from involuntary government to systems of voluntary governance. Here are some ways I see:
Peer-to-Peer sharing & trading
OceanMedia.net and ClearSay.net are working now on finding and creating more ways to get people together because there is strength in numbers. For example, mobile app and free web versions of the “Play to Evolve” card game you see on the right.
And/or you can try the free online version and talk to EmpathyBot, an a.i. I created to demonstrate and teach Practical Empathy (PEQ).
Disruptive technologies can reduce costs, increase efficiency, forge/strengthen valuable relationships, and create wealth.
Privacy & security
- Brave browser uses the same engine as Chrome but does not harvest your data.
- Telegram, Wire, and Signal are more secure alternatives to texting through your mobile provider, WhatsApp, and Fakebook Messenger.
- Express VPN secures your Internet browsing, torrenting, and online shopping. Get 30 days free.
- ProtonMail is a free secure email service based in Switzerland.
- Jitsi.org for free online meetings to avoid Zoom’s snooping. You can even set up your own Jitsi server for maximum security.
Read books or watch videos. Whatever it takes. Books have some advantages, including: (a) being a form of meditation; (b) increasing your patience; (c) exercising your brain; (d) increasing your reading comprehension; and (e) making you a better writer so your words have more impact and the ideas you wish to spread will spread further. Unless you don’t care that people ignore what you write.
Another benefit of reading – specifically fiction, actually – is that it increases empathy.
Some books and authors I recommend: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; and The Conscious Resistance by Derrick Broze. The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose and Freedom by Adam Kokesh are thin and packed with bang for the buck. And if you really want to understand Voluntaryism on a deep philosophical level, read Mises.org, Bastiat, Hayek, Ayn Rand, and Rothbard. Finally, can you garden? Cook? Defend yourself? There are many free online resources available for learning. More on that later.
Empathy can undermine coercion
Spread empathy using methods like Practical Empathy (PEQ) and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) (https://clearsayarchive.com), and Circling (https://www.clearsayarchive.net/circling.asp). Whether you do or don’t see the value in more people being more empathetic, most agree that having strong communication skills is helpful for all interaction, including getting ahead in your job. Also, consider that there is strength in numbers and Voluntaryists are a minority. What if part of the reason for that is we need better relating and communication skills? For more on how empathy supports Voluntaryism: https://hive.blog/voluntaryism/@scottermonkey/practicing-empathy-supports-voluntaryism-part-1
Educate your children
State Education is a huge factor in indoctrinating people to support authoritarianism and involuntary government. Solution: Private schools, homeschooling & unschooling (https://clearsayarchive.com/unschooling.asp). Bonus: The Internet allows most people to affordably teach themselves.
Peaceful parenting (not permissive parenting)
Includes use of natural consequences. The goal is to grow peaceful, intrinsically motivated, responsible, free-thinking, and empathetic adults. Peaceful parenting resource (https://clearsayarchive.com/parenting.asp).
Spread the word
Media & propaganda are powerful. It’s certainly been used to keep the “tax farm” running at a profit! Spreading the word via films, animations, articles, conversations, and debates. There are many myths out there to be dispelled! Here is one: Myth: America has free market capitalism (https://clearsayarchive.com/myth-america-has-free-market.asp).
Replace the “need” for government watchdogs. Peer-to-Peer review/reputation apps like Yelp and ConsumerReports.com. Here we can even change the “punishment paradigm” toward restitution, rehabilitation, and in the worst cases, ostracization. I’m sure other, possibly better, watchdog apps and sites have sprung up. Let me know what you like!
Private Security Organizations (PSOs) and Dispute Resolution Organizations (DROs) like you see detailed in the Law Without Government videos – many forms of these exist already and new ones are being built right now. Detroit’s Threat Management (see video below) is a great example of private security stepping up to protect people both poor and rich.
Another common misconception about Voluntaryism is that everyone must be 100% self sufficient. Most of us know that certain basic needs like security, connection, efficiency, variety, sustainability, etc., are often best met by interacting with, trading with, and getting along with our fellow humans because no one has the time to learn every craft/skill. That said, we all benefit when more of us can survive on our own (and teach others to do so), or at least feed and defend ourselves and our families if and when necessary. Examples:
- Learn to garden.
- Rainwater collection.
- Solar and wind.
- Study nutrition and cooking.
- Martial arts.
- Firearm safety and use.
- Meet your neighbors and build relationships.
Access to information
Via the Internet, more people have access to see the many ways involuntary government is inefficient, corrupt, abusive, and the many other ways it is failing us. Exposure to other kinds of thought/culture can also create more acceptance and humility, which are key to letting go of wanting to control others by proxy of involuntary government. Support open source projects.
Finally: I see some fun dystopian films that serve as warnings. V for Vendetta, 1984, and Brave New World come to mind. The short satire on the left is a “fun” example.
What I’d like to see is a film showing a person from this world somehow transported into a Voluntaryist region. We could go sci-fi with it where “transported” means dimensional or time travel OR we could go more realistic where some people form a State-less region. We’d get to see that world through the eyes of a Statist asking questions like, “Wow! How is it so many people are so prosperous and healthy?”
There is now (new for 2020) a high quality, entertaining, and intense mini-series called Brave New World that I highly recommend! It’s very much pro-liberty, sexy, and smart.
Finally, below is a short video – from back in the days when I had hair – that talks about the easiest way you can contribute via a shift in your own perception and communication, that, at the same time, benefits you: