Valoric FireSubmitted by jabowery on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 13:01
Genuine libertarian thought is founded on individual sovereignty. Individual sovereignty has a particular meaning that, if confused as it is by pseudo-libertarians, corrupts the foundation of libertarianism.
We can construct a good foundation from the components of the phrase “individual sovereignty”, starting with “sovereignty”. Amazingly, Wikipedia gets the definition of “sovereignty” more or less correct:
"Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory."
When qualified by “individual”, we can say simply that:
"Individual sovereignty is the quality of individuals having supreme, independent authority over their own territory."
To our civilized minds this is an absurdity but it is easy to demonstrate that, except for eusocial animals, sexually reproducing species are naturally in a state of individual sovereignty. Clearly, “independent authority” cannot mean that an individual calls forth his own mass-energy-space-time from the void. These things are given.
What, then, does “independent authority” mean?
It is necessarily Malthusian:
In competition for reproduction, it is individuals, rather than groups, that battle for limited resources—the primary resource being “territory”, or an ecological domain over which bio-available energy is concentrated.
Humans, unlike other animals, are capable of entering into agreements with others. Until such agreements are reached, the pseudo-libertarian’s concept of “ownership” simply does not exist. They say that you own yourself by virtue of exercising control over your own body and that “non-aggression” is “axiomatic”.
No its not.
Aggression is axiomatic because aggression is part of nature. You own your body only to the extent that you can defend your body from aggression in single combat—individual sovereign vs individual sovereign conflict over reproductive resources.
So, right off the bat, they deny individual sovereignty by denying individual aggression in their axioms.
Intellectual death before they start.
Get individual sovereignty correct and you can start to understand how genuine legitimacy arises from true individual sovereignty. This culture of genuine individual sovereignty is, in fact, something that guided the evolution of Europeans—impeding the civilization of northern Europe until Christianization—and kept single combat to the death a part of that culture even as recently as the 1800s among the aristocracy and even more so on the American frontier.
The world is so hostile to that culture now that there is little real intellectual defense of it. The closest I’ve found is in the writings of some quite peculiar folks that were in the Pacific Northwest who variously called themselves “The Valorian Society” and “The Society for Individual Sovereignty”. They attempted to codify the culture upholding individual sovereignty in something they call the ”Seven Points of Agreement Between Individuals”. These agreements are published in p90-93, "Valoric Fire And a Working Plan for Individual Sovereignty" From the Valorian Society ISBN 0-914752-18-9.
It is from the notion of a natural territory over which an individual, not a gang, is sovereign that is formed the “founders stock” of any society that claims to uphold “property rights” and collect fees to pay for the costs of upholding those “property rights”.