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Imaginary voluntarist society: is it statist or voluntarist?

One hundred persons voluntarily form a village under a written contract with the following stipulations:

1. All members agree to pay 10% of the value of their property, income or purchases as they choose annually
2. All members agree to be subject to sit on jury in judgement of those who violate the contract
3. The penalties for violations are laid out in the original contract
4. Anyone who violates the contract and refuses the penalty has to leave the village
5. The signatories to the contract agree to submit to a draft in case of attack
6. The signatories agree to modifications to the contract by popular vote according to some described procedure

After everyone signs and the land is acquired and divided between the signatories, inexplicable natural disasters occur which make this village the only habitable area on the Earth surrounded by mutant shark infested radioactive waters.

As the oldest members die and children are born, the children must sign the contract upon majority or else leave the village. To leave the village of course implies facing the danger of mutant sharks and radioactive waves.

Therefore, the only means of changing the laws is by participating in the contractually defined procedures of changing the terms of the contract.

Does this private village conform to the conditions of NAP and not violate any libertarian ethics?

If so, how does this differ from a modern constitutional state?

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Bill3 is a troll, don't feed

Bill3 is a troll, don't feed the trolls.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed


This weekend he temporarily changed his screen name from BILL3 to AncapActuary and put up many posts pretending to be an anarcho-capitalist. Then changed it back to BILL3.

Did he violate the forum terms?

Chris changes his name almost


Should have figured that.

STATIST, and here's why:

The RELATIONSHIP between the state and the individual determines whether or not a legal system is statist.(not the intention or arrangement of the state's founders)

In Bill's example the state has primacy over the individual:
-The state can compel the individual as the state pleases.
This aspect makes the legal system STATIST...by definition.


Bill has argued that the initial founding of the state was done voluntarily and therefor the legal system could not be catagorized as statist.

However it is not the intentions of the founders which determine whether a legal system is or becomes statist, but the relationship between the state and the individual.
If the state has primacy over the individual then it is statist. If it doesn't, then it's not.

It appears that bill described a constitutional direct democracy where the lawmakers are able to compel the individual as the they please, and any constitutional provisions are able to be amended with a simple majority vote.

On your definition

you would need someone to use force, to prevent people from contracting, in order to avoid statism. So you'd need a state to prevent statism. Weird, no? Unless you think statism is fine as long as its voluntary. But, if its voluntary, why is it wrong? Derp.

I think I see what you are getting at and I'll clear it up

"you would need someone to use force, to prevent people from contracting, in order to avoid statism."
1) Force could be used to prevent a state from dominating you.
-That does not make you a state (therefor no statism)
2) Force could not be used to stop a state from dominating you.
-Still not a state (therefor no statism)
3) Your scenario describes participants who establish a state,and then the state uses its power to compel individuals against their will.
-The initial establishment of the state is voluntary.
-The ongoing relationship is not.

"Unless you think statism is fine as long as its voluntary"
1) That's a value judgement I leave up to you to make for yourself.

"But, if its voluntary, why is it wrong?"
1) As long as your vice doesn't harm me...

Adhesion contracts

A Twitter friend facetiously raised the question today of whether the Constitution is America’s “Terms of Service,” following up with “[Expletive]. I knew I should have read the fine print instead of quick scrolling down to the bottom and hitting ‘Agree.’”

Soon after, I read an account of a lecture in which Doc Searles referred to the rules govering most online experiences — EULA agreements, placement of cookies, and other one-sided relationships — as “contracts of adhesion.” In legal terminology, a contract of adhesion is any contract drafted entirely by one party in an unequal power relationship, which the other party is “free” to take or leave — but in practice really can’t afford to leave. Pretty much any “standard contract” or boilerplate used by an entire industry is a contract of adhesion.

Our relations with the powerful institutions that control our lives are largely governed by contracts of adhesion. Instead of individually negotiated contracts, whose terms we play a role in defining, we’re faced — in Searles’s words — with “contracts we never made,” that “one side built and the other side was required to accept.”

More: http://c4ss.org/content/10713


Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Governance is NOT an adhesion contract :)

Rulership and Governance is not contractual in nature AT ALL. The government gets its power to rule from its achieving military dominance over a society and then granting itself the ability to harm with legal impunity.

The governing body can dictate what you can be, do, and have whether or not you agree, whether or not you have some implied adhesion contract, simply because you live on soil they claim or are a part of the society they govern.
If you disobey, they can put you in a cage, if you resist, they can put you in the ground, all with impunity. (you cannot sue a lawmaker for passing a law that harms you, you cannot sue a policeman for enforcing the law, or a judge for ruling against you.)
In the late 80's and early 90's the adhesion contract theory of governance swept through the PAYtriot scene and a lot of good people went to jail testing the theory.

These and other PAYtriot theories stem from a guru being unable to reconcile the lies taught to children as civics with the reality of civics.

In other words,I was taught as a child that American is the land of the free and that I am free, so there must be some sneaky legal reason that I am not free.

Just noticed this post is at

Just noticed this post is at zero and about to go negative, which is unfortunate 'cause it's a good discussion.

Why don't folks here appreciate being challenged? That's how you grow.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

I appreciate the challenge

but down voted the premise

Sounds like BILL3 would be

Sounds like BILL3 would be happy in North Korea, the ultimate statist paradise.


...the question here really: would a 'private' North Korea really be any different or better than a 'public/state' North Korea?

Is a 'private' constitutional system any different or better than a 'public/state' constitutional system?

Is it a distinction without a difference?

Seems like it's...

...a society that was originally in conformance with the principle of people giving their consent to it, but that it is becoming less so, as there is an accumulation of new people who never gave their consent, or who gave it under duress when they might not have given it otherwise, which really is not consent. So it began as a voluntarist society, but it no longer really is. When the new people (who come of age) are having a gun held to their head, with the threat of banishment if they don't sign, their rights as human beings are being violated. That person could just as well say to the aggressive villagers, I and the village disagree; let the village move away if it wants to. It doesn't really have any political legitimacy over the non-consenting individual.

Furthermore, it violates the higher principle of loving your neighbor as yourself, which would see to it that new people in the community actually had a true choice of giving their consent -- after all the original members had that choice for themselves and they should want all of their neighbors to have that choice, if they are to love them as themselves.

Love would find an alternate solution that respects the original people who did give consent but allows the bubbling up of alternate structures on the island for those who do not consent. If there was room for people to move away, or for the village to move away or expand, these alternate solutions would be easier to implement perhaps; but without that option available, they would just have to make do the best they could.

Parents make decisions on behalf of their children

And often those decisions aren't revokable if the kid doesn't agree once they are old enough to make their own decisions. Emigrating to another country, for example, or buying a house that is encumbered with covenants, homeowners association agreement, etc.

Here's an example. Economic collapse, zombie invasion, whatever. A group of survivors band together to buy / homestead an area. Each family owns their own land, under their agreement, and they reach a mutually-agreeable contract under which each will work a certain amount of time each week proportional to how much land they own (or make some payment if they can't) on maintaining and defending the wall around the town. If the defense fails the value of the whole town goes to zero because they'll all be overrun.

Parents who own land in that town have the right to leave their property to their kids in their will. And certainly a kid who inherits land and doesn't want to contribute to the common defense can offer to sell the property to someone who does. But nobody is obligated to be the buyer. The kid can leave, of course, and take their chances with the zombies/banksters/whatever is outside the wall. But they don't have the option of saying that they want to own the land they've inherited and not contribute their time/money to the defense of the town, and the townspeople are under no obligation to give the kid the option of being a free rider.

You could have less-extreme examples of restrictions associated with property of course, but the principle would be the same. Sometimes it makes sense to have property with some sort of contractual obligation attached, with the restriction that you can't transfer ownership to anyone who doesn't agree to the same contract, because the value of the land to the other owners is conditional on that mutual contract. Breaking the contract = taking value away from the neighbors.

A kid who inherits the land doesn't have the right to hurt the property values of the neighbors by breaking the contract. The neighbors don't have the obligation to sacrifice their property values to give the kid that option. They may voluntarily reach an agreement with the kid, and they will probably be motivated to try, but if it's not in the best interest of the neighbors to do then so they aren't obligated to do so.

Unless you're living in isolation the value of land is often conditional on things you don't own. You don't want to have to worry that kids who inherit land you have to cross to get to work or the property upstream that controls your water source will decide they don't like the contracts for right-of-way and water rights that you negotiated with their parents when the parents owned the land, and cause the value of your land to go to zero. You need to be able attach those restrictions to the title, so that future owners are obligated no matter who they turn out to be.

What if...

...on this island scenario it had been voluntarily agreed to by all the initial covenant signers that once every day, they would all be required to attend a chapel service (unless ill, etc.), or face banishment. Someone's child grows up but decides that his conscience will not allow him to attend the service as it promotes things that violate his own faith. Should this person be forced to give up his land if he won't attend chapel? Forced to 'walk the plank' into the sharks?

What you left out is that

What you left out is that this child agreed to the terms at majority age. So yes, he would be bound by the rules, and this doesn't violate NAP. If you think he should always, regardless of previous agreements, be able to change his mind without consequences, then you would need some other agency to force people not to contract this way. Only outside force could prevent people from entering into such contracts or other agencies from enforcing them. In the first example, its voluntary. Preventing them is violation, involuntary and aggressive. If you don't like this, all it means is NAP is not morally correct on your view, which I feel is obviously true as well.

Well, I wasn't...

...necessarily assuming the of-age person actually did consent to the terms at that transition time. He may have not consented but, with no other option, is just staying on the land, or trying to hide along the shoreline somewhere in a cave (which is still someone's land). He may have consented at such time under duress, which is not really consent. Or he may later change his mind and no longer consent, because he acknowledges and consents (in his view) to a higher law which trumps it.

I would say the villagers are in violation of the NAP, because they are aggressing against individual liberty inherent to a human being, which trumps their particular property right claims. I would view this similar to the right of life inherent in an unborn human being as trumping the property right of the mother who wishes to evict it. The NAP just moves to a higher level, beyond mere land rights.

Also there is actually something else besides an outside force that can prevent these kinds of scenarios: an internal force. Love. The Kingdom of God is within you. That internal force, through self-regulation, restricts what kinds of contracts you would willingly engage in or would drive you to continually revisit and alter them if needed to obey the higher law of Love your neighbor as yourself. If property rights are in violation of this higher law, they should yield to the higher law, and this internal force of Love will constrain the self into such channels.

This is why for a truly voluntary society to succeed you need more than just some abstract NAP -- you need a r3VOLution within people to Love, for that self-regulation to be driven by a higher source. We shouldn't subjugate Love underneath property rights, but should willingly shape our property rights as tools in service of Love.

Which just goes to show

That NAP means whatever anyone wants it to mean, they just plug in their own idea of what is just, and NAP is basically meaningless. It just means not doing what's unjust, of which everyone has their own theory.


but when a group of people does get on the same page in connecting the dots and understands that Love is what drives true justice and mercy -- that is when you will see a revival of the heart which will make a voluntarist society more likely to form and flourish.

And the good news is that as dark as the fallen world may be, the Creation's brightest days are ahead, when the King returns unto His own. Then the days of Jupiter are upon us; the eternal winter will melt into spring; the heart of the child, of the Servant which is the hallmark of the Kingdom will be enthroned and govern all the land through willing participants.


I don't think it's anyone's business telling adults what covenants they may or may not agree to, and encumber the title of their property with. Some things may make sense to me (agreements about rights-of-way, water rights, etc.), some may be things I understand but would personally rather avoid (HOA restrictions of many kinds), and some may seem outright stupid to me. But what may seem stupid to me might be the very thing that is an important part of the perceived value of the property to them and their neighbors.

If they encumber the property that way, and their minor child grows up to inherit the property and become the new owner, the child inherits the encumbered property. If the parents sold off the mineral rights, the kid doesn't get them back automatically, for example. Or a right-of-way granted to a neighbor, etc.

The value of the neighbors' properties to those neighbors may have been contingent on those mutually-agreeable encumbrances. The neighbors are under no obligation to sacrifice the value of their property just because someone new doesn't agree.

The kid didn't inherit unencumbered property because the parents didn't own unencumbered property. The kid inherited exactly what the parents owned, namely property with some encumbrances attached to the title.

Should this person be forced to give up his land if he won't attend chapel?

It's an odd hypothetical but what the kid inherited was property with an onerous restriction attached. That's all the parents owned, that's all the kid got. Nobody else is obligated to sacrifice the perceived value of their own property (which in this religion apparently has to do with uniformity of chapel attendance, but that's hardly the strangest idea to come out of a religion) just because the kid doesn't like the thing he inherited and wishes it were something other than what it is. The kid might wish it was a pony, but nobody is obligated to give him a pony.

You're doing a much better

You're doing a much better job explaining this than me. Thanks. Where did you learn all about these property systems? You seem to be expert in the terminology and theory.

Making it up as I go

But I have owned a fair number of houses over the years so I've seen various things on titles. One place we lived there was a covenant on the title saying that you couldn't sell to anyone who wasn't white -- the courts have ruled that those are nullified but I was pretty shocked when I saw it. The first place I bought had an HOA, and the access for all of them was via shared property so it would have been hard to do without an HOA I guess. I think there were some aesthetic restrictions too though, like the kind of roofing allowed.

A few months ago I saw a real estate listing for some undeveloped land with a note explaining that it was currently inaccessible, and it would be up to the buyers to negotiate right-of-way access. Very cheap land.

Good response!

Which shows that the basic nature of life, i.e., having children that might not share our will and values, makes this purely voluntary society a seemingly silly goal. Some people don't always want to play by the rules, and they just have to do so or they have to leave. It's coercive, but that's reality.

WTF rules are you talking

WTF rules are you talking about? Society has no right to impose its will on me just because I was born. Stuff like taxes, telling me how fast I may drive, and how I may not discriminate by rage, age, etc. at my private business, are not things society has the right to impose on me. The only purpose law should have is to punish those who harm others and determine the intent of such actions (don't punish for pure accidents). Everyone has a basic sense of right and wrong. Aggression is taught, or in rare cases, stem from being sick in the head, and in that case, in a free society, you would have acted up, started a duel, and lost at some point. Really, it's not that complicated. Your scenarios like shark-infested radioactive waters and privatized killer robocops do, however, scream of utter stupidity.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

In your opinion

Society has no such right. Society disagrees. How do you arbitrate that dispute?

Since it is society which itself currently safeguards and enforces any rights you have, you are at their mercy.

If you could find some way on your own or with a voluntary, or for-hire, agency to protect your claims to certain rights, you would then have such rights.


Society cannot have an opinion. Only individuals can have an opinion.

That's a silly truism

A group can express a unified opinion which only holds in the group, and would not hold by each individual detached from the group. "We will conquer Japan" is a group opinion. "I will conquer Japan" has no meaning. Group opinion is the joint statement of more than one person dependent on conditions that bind the group.

That's like saying there are no individuals, only atoms.

So if one person says "I will

So if one person says "I will conquer Japan," and actually do it, that statement still has no meaning? What a joke. Keep going along with the herd, pal.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

I suppose

that if one person could conquer Japan, than my example would be faulty. In such a contingency, I would have to find another example. Luckily for me, the example is fully sound.