A Voluntary Society
When you think about the future, what do you see?
When I played high school football, as an inside linebacker. I used to dream of seeing the guard in front of me stand up. It’s a pass! I’d drop to the outside looking for the tight end, then move to cover the flat if he wasn’t coming into my area. I always pictured the quarterback trying to dump the ball to the tight end on a quick slant. Except, I’d be there to steal the pass and have an open lane to run into the end zone with the opposing team nipping at my heels as I crossed the goal line.It didn’t happen like that. Palmyra was threatening to score from the 2 yard line. I called the defense, a blitz of both of the inside linebackers. The ball was snapped, I rushed into the back field with my best friend. He got to the quarterback first and was about to get the sack, when he swung the quarterback around an as I ran closer found the ball had fallen just in front of me tumbling across the field. Now,every coach I ever had told me that if you see the ball tumbling on the field you fall on it and get the ball. It had bounced ever so favorably and begged me to pick it up and run. So, I did. This was it. I had the ball and nobody else between me and the end zone, 95 yards across the field of green grass with white stripes.
I ran to the corner furthest away hoping to keep anyone behind me from having an angle and catching up. There was certainly someone coming after me. I didn’t have any idea how close they came to kicking my feet to trip me up until watching the news highlights from the game later at a friends house. That part was very much how I imagined it would be. I was out of breath but that didn’t stop me from doing the fake pass into the student section to celebrate. I had to tell my teammates that were gathering in a congratulatory circle around me to give me some room, though.
The power of positive thinking? There’s certainly a lot more that happened, but I had pictured something similar. I’ve been told this is a powerful tool for reaching your goals. Picture it, down to the smallest detail, just like the guy nipping at my heels.
I have a different vision these days. A Voluntary Society: Where every individual’s consent is respected. Where we owe each other, only non- aggression, and self-ownership is realized by everyone.
I imagine a time when everyone applies morality to each individual equally. There are no exceptions to the rule that nobody’s consent shall be violated. There are no exceptions to this rule. Whether one person wishes to violates another’s consent or majority of people in a geographic area vote to do so.
When consent is respected, free trade exists and every transaction is a net improvement for the parties involved. Otherwise, why would anyone consent to engage in an exchange? Perhaps, fraud. This is identified and rectified within a just society that realizes that “lies” or “withholding information” rob the individual of the ability to make the choice that is best for them.
There may be the objection that there will always be those that insist on violating others consent. These individuals will need to be met with resistance. It is important to understand that individuals that perform these violations of consent will still pose a far lesser threat to society than any group of people or special class of citizens granted special privileges or that are perceived as an authority. There are enough cases throughout history to demonstrate the horrors of central authorities and the atrocities committed by those, “just following orders.”
The future I wish to establish will refuse to obey the whims of any authoritarian or tyrant. The consent of each individual must be respected without exception.
The principle behind why should consent be respected, is that each person owns themselves or has property in themselves. Simply stated, nobody has a higher claim to your life and the product of your labor than yourself.
I have two beautiful young boys at home. I want to achieve a world where my posterity is free from the constant threat of tyranny. Where every individual is respected and the violation of anyone’s consent is viewed as the threat to humanity that it is.
I’ll admit I’m not real optimistic of seeing a day when the government lets me keep all of my earnings. The last time a king demanded as little as a few percent for the price of tea, it ignited a revolution in these parts. However, the next revolution must be peaceful and we must, like Atlas, simply shrug the burden that bureaucrats place on each individual. The only way to create peace is with peace.
I know I can only make changes in my life. I will communicate my vision peacefully, clearly and creatively. I will not remain silent. I will speak to posterity and they will know where I stand. I envision them proudly reminiscing that their ancestor was an abolitionist. I’ll just need to figure out how to make sure my website Voluntaryist.me is cached away by Google or some other information hoarding software. They will know that I tried to free the minds of those who still thought it was necessary to use force and violence to achieve peace and prosperity.
I can see and feel all of the resistance that there will be to get there. But I can see the three pillars – Self Ownership, Non-Aggression Principle (The idea that it is never justified to initiate violence on an innocent person) and, Consent: the standard to which all that is just is measured. I’ll keep envisioning it and I truly hope that something close to what I’ve dreamed about comes true.