In my last blog I announced the start of a voluntary, Truly Human Society. Those of you who have noticed that the Government is still here and operating at full throttle may wonder how a central coercive government and a society that rejects the concept of a central coercive government could exist in the same place at the same time. And that excellent question is the topic of this blog.
To answer your question, let’s begin by comparing the definitions of ‘society’ and ‘government’.
: a voluntary association of individuals for common ends; especially : an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession
: an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another
: the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : RULE
: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it
Notice that the definition of ‘society’ uses words like ‘voluntary association’, ‘working together’, ‘cooperating’.
Compare that to the key words used to define ‘government’ – ‘authority’, ‘rule’, ‘power’.
A society is, by definition, a collection of voluntary ways that people organize. People can choose to participate according to agreed upon rules, or not.
A government, on the other hand, uses power to exercise authority over people’s activities and relationships, backed by force.
Our Truly Human Society, being a voluntary society, does not want to have, or be, a government. We are not competing for the right to govern.
Since government is not the space our Truly Human Society wants to occupy, it is not a prerequisite for that space to be vacant.
That is not to say that the existence of a government is a good thing, or even a neutral thing. It is, in fact, a bad thing.
But what hope is there for ever achieving a voluntary society if it can’t operate in the presence of bad things or bad people?
Under the best of conditions, there will still be criminal gangs, demagogic and violent dictator wannabes, and lots of people who just don’t have the self-discipline to be voluntaryists. Under any realistic conditions, a voluntaryist society will be composed of only those who voluntarily participate, and a voluntaryist community will be faced with many external challenges.
We have those conditions today.
Now, the Government will violently interfere with voluntary interactions within our society. And, the Government will require, at gunpoint, that people in our voluntary society do things that they do not want to do. But why should that stop us from conducting ourselves, in all other ways, in a completely voluntary manner?
If those of us who have the desire and will to form a voluntary society begin to build up the basic structures and mechanisms of a voluntary, free-market society today, we will be, at the same time, creating a better world for ourselves and demonstrating to the non-believing masses that our ‘utopian’ ideas actually do have real-world value.