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How a Voluntary society could form

Although, I do believe that an anarcho-capitalist society would function perfectly and create the most prosperous society, I don' like to be labeled as an anarchist or anarcho-capitalist. I'd prefer the term Voluntarist. The reason is because "anarchy" is simply the result of applying the principles of Voluntarism. If we believe that all human interactions should be voluntary, then it logically follows that that taxation (whether it be direct taxation or excise taxes) is illegitimate as it is identical to theft and therefore coercion. So the inevitable result of Voluntarism would be statelessness. So Voluntarism is a much more accurate description as it is the underlining principle that leads to anarchy.

But this got me thinking the other day, "what if there is a way to have voluntary government that does not violate the non-aggression principle?"

In order for this to happen, a government must not be able to pass laws that initiate force against people acting peacefully (victim less crimes), it must not be able to force anyone to do ANYTHING unless they have first aggressed against someone else, and there must be absolutely no taxation. At least, no forced taxation.

But the genius of this type of government is that it is not truly a government. The only thing that separates the State from a private business is that the government steals money from people to generate its revenue while a business offers products to people who are willing to buy it while competing with other companies, thus giving the company incentive to provide quality service to its customers or else it will go out of business. The government has no competition. So they cannot go out of business no matter how much they dissatisfy their customers, they will not go out of business. The type of government described above will retain the structure of government (House, Senate, Military, etc.) but it would provided funds voluntarily by the people it is supposed to govern.

I am not naive enough that we can create this voluntary government within the U.S. the only way it can happen is if we start from scratch just as we did in the American revolution. It could possibly happen through the free-state project. Enough Libertarians could move to New Hampshire and create a secession movement. there are many other ways it could happen but however this is achieved, the Constitution for such a government would be something like this:

1. The preamble would clearly State the philosophy behind the Constitution. Stating that the purpose behind all government is to protect people from aggression. Nothing else.

2. It would be divided into a federalist system just like we are now. And the States would have all powers not given to Congress. However, the Constitution would specifically state that NO State or Congress shall pass any law that violates the non-aggression principle. And specific examples would be cited such as sex laws, drug laws, taxation, prostitution, etc. In other words it would be states so clearly that there would be not way for any one to misinterpret it.

3. Congress will be required to meet at least once a year. But there is also a limit to how many times they may meet in a year. I think ten is a good number. This will be a very good restriction on government power.

4. For all bills passed by Congress, there is a five page limit. Each paragraph must cite the clause in the Constitution that justifies it.

5. Just like the articles of confederation, there will be no standing army or navy. When congress has determined that there is a threat from another country, they will declare war and then have the power to raise an army and navy for that purpose. In the face of a serous threat the people will be motivated to defend their country.

6. Congress is prohibited at all times from borrowing money except after war has been declared.

7. Congress is prohibited from laying any taxes. The people shall voluntarily donate money to their State governments and the States will decide on a certain percentage that they will send to the federal government.

6. Congress will be clearly prohibited from creating coining money or creating currency and will be prohibited from granting this power to a central bank. The constitution will endorse a free-market monetary system.

7. Other States will be admitted into the union but there is a strict limit on the total land area that the country can encompass. There is more accountability with a smaller population.

7. A president will only be elected once war is declared and shall step down once the war is over.

8. The Supreme Court may interpret laws but it is not the sole authority. Each bill will also go through the States for interpretation. Any State that decides that it is unconstitutional shall not be required to enforce that laws.

9. Whoever the drafters of this Constitution may be will write a book accompanying the Constitution. The book will clarify every single thing in the Constitution and this book will be required to cite while interpreting the Constitution by the Supreme Court and by the States.

10. One of the things that have destroyed our Constitution is the amendment process. The excuse of 'keeping up with the times' does not justify most of the amendments in the american constitution. Amendments will be allowed but only after 100 years of the drafting of the Constitution. Certain things will be exempt from amending and each amendment is only allowed if it places further limits on government.

11. Competition to the government shall not be prohibited. Anyone else may choose to turn to different organizations for their defense.

There are many other things that I may be forgetting, but you get the point. It is often argued that limited government doesn't work because it will always grow into big government. But I don't thing that limited government has ever truly existed. Granted, America had the smallest government in history. But it is still by no means limited if the government is given the power to interpret the very document that is supposed to limit it. However, the beauty of the Constitution described above is that the government described is nothing more than a private agency that is disguised as a government. People having the choice whether or not to fund the government will make the government accountable to the people. If the people don't like what their representatives are doing all they have to do is stop funding the government. This at least gives SOME credibility to the 'social contract' since people are willingly contributing to their government.

Another beauty is the competition. For people who argue against defense being provided privately. This system would allow us to find out if private defense can work in private hands since it allows competition to the government. If it does, then people will start to see that we don't need defense to be provided by the State. People will slowly start turning to private security firms for their defense and the State will slowly dissolve.

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Some good ideas but they are flawed

You can't have a government that you describe that makes bills "laws" that are voluntary to follow... how does that help anything?

A government that has a military? Who directs the military?

The whole thing is flawed from the get-go... read "The Most Dangerous Superstition" by Larken Rose.

The superstition is the belief in "authority".

I won't go into details here as you have all been brainwashed (including myself) our whole lives... but basically you can't grant rights to other individuals that you don't have yourself.. and you can't group together with others that don't have those rights to grant those rights which you don't have to some other person or group.

It seems like you are further along than most people though, in waking up from this coma that everyone is born into.

I think you must have

I think you must have misunderstood me. Or maybe I phrased something wrong. I didn't say that obeying laws would be voluntary. I said that paying taxes would be voluntary. And Congress is prohibited from making laws that violate the non-aggression principle. So basically, there are not many laws that congress could actually make except for cases where there is disagreement over whether or not the non-aggression principle is being violated (abortion, immigration). If Congress or the States break this rule, the people will have the option to stop funding them until they repeal the law.

What I have described is not an institution that has monopoly over things that citizens can't do. IT would really be nothing more than a private organization that still has the same structure as a traditional government. I believe that for people who fear anarchy, this would be a good way to make the transition into a stateless society because they would feel like they still have a government.


government does not have the right to interpret the constitution

At least they were not supposed to. For the first few years there was no judicial review, the supreme court claimed that role later, and congress has never put them in their place. The states were meant to be free to leave the union if the federal government overstepped their bounds. The problem seems to me that our represenatives have never been up to the task of defending our liberties from would be elected executive tyrants, and their appointed lapdog judges

Josh Brueggen
Jack of all Trades
Precinct Commiteeman Precinct 5 Rock Island Co Illinois

Two Fundamentalisms

Why go from statism to an extremism - voluntarism? I don't believe that is a good strategy to bring people along. A better goal might be to move in the direction of a more voluntary society but recognizing that pure voluntarism/anarchism can never happen nor would we want it to happen completely. Some taxation makes sense for the basic constitutional functions of government.

The Free State Project is missing an opportunity to grow more quickly because of the perception that it is an extremist group. Talk of secession is a non-starter among all but the most extremist factions in the liberty movement. It is impractical because the separatist lines are unclear. Who exactly would secede with whom? I can tell you as a resident of New Hampshire if the word got out that the FSP had secessionist goals there would be swift condemnation and many of the movemeny sympathizers would turn against them.

This idea splits the liberty movement. There are many liberty people that are also practical patriots. They support limited government not zero government. There are far more of them than there are pure voluntarists.

True liberty splits the liberty movement?

You are OK with a LITTLE theft from my paycheck, to fund things you consider worthy?
I do not consent to your plan. Are you going to threaten me with violence if I don't pay the taxes you approved?

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

No form of taxation is

No form of taxation is justified because taxation is theft. Only voluntary taxation, as I described, can be justified. But the whole point of what I just described is that if it is indeed true that anarcho-capitalism can't work, as you claim, then allowing competition to government will allow is to found out for sure. If it doesn't work then we will stick with a government that is so limited that it is almost no government.


Disagree that all taxation is theft

Id argue as the Founders did that a tax is the cost of citizenship. They should be as small and local as possible. Taxation provides the opportunity to pool resources for economies of scale. I must pay some tax because I benefit from basic community resources. User fees are fine but they are cumbersome and impractical for common spaces and community services. It a tax coercion? I suppose but so what? I say that if you are part of a team you have a responsibility to contribute to the team as long as you are able bodied and not indigent.

The other alternative is to move. But good luck finding any place in the world that does not levy taxes.

So are you saying that you

So are you saying that you have to pay taxes just because you happen to have been born? Nobody is a part of a team. We are all just individuals who interact with each other. I agree that if you want services that government provides such as defense then you have a responsibility to contribute. But this is exactly why taxes should be voluntary. If taxes are mandatory then that defeats the whole concept of "responsibility". If people really want the services that government provides than they will voluntarily donate their money. There is no need for coercion.


I always tell people

that governments can exist in anarchy, they just don't have the ability to force you to participate.

you may be interested in this

you may be interested in this video, it touches on many of the points you addressed.


Interesting. I was watching

Interesting. I was watching that video as you posted it. I saw it in the active forum topics. :)