Category Archives: Voluntary Social Organization

Join The LIBERTY.ME Community

As I described in early posts, such as Concurrent Voluntaryism – The Plan, my goal for this site was to encourage a greater sense of community among the growing, but still widely scattered, advocates for the freedom and dignity of voluntary social organization.

I am very encouraged by everything I have seen about Jeffrey Tucker’s new liberty.me community. It looks like it will encourage exactly the same goals – only amplified to 1000 times what I would be able to accomplish here.

I have joined liberty.me, and will soon have a veresapiens.liberty.me url to communicate from. And since Jeffrey will be more effectively leading the community initiative, I will most likely go back to exploring the spiritual aspects of voluntaryism, as I have in my veresapiens.org blog.

A Free Market in Doctors

The Future of (Price Conscious) Healthcare

by doctorcoin November 6th, 2013

Unlike many in the society believe, the true future of healthcare lies not in it being free to all, but rather in it becoming cheaper and more accessible to all. Governments, of course, are unable to do that, since they only redistribute money and don’t innovate. But also, this future in which healthcare is cheap and accessible is actually not so far away. In fact, it has become a reality anyone can experience right now and the only question that remains is how long does it take for people to catch up with this reality and how fast the changes are going to spread within the industry.

Continue reading here.

Misplaced Trust: Government And Our Security

From Shawn’s WeebulTree Blog:

…Instead of waiting for local crime historian, (i.e. cop), to come and write a report about the harm that has already been done to us – or worse, to decorate our house with the lovely yellow ‘Do Not Cross’ banner – we might actually start thinking about proactive ways to actually keep the criminal outliers among us from doing harm to us in the first place.  We might come to realize that centralized government bureaucracies are not suited to provide the vastly individualized array of services needed to truly protect people under various social conditions, (e.g. the security needed for urban living versus the security necessary for someone with a family farm).  We might understand that security is a really a very personal, private issue that is in dire need of multiple decentralized solutions and private market innovation.

Thankfully, this process has already started.

We need much more of the same.

Build a network of people who share your values…

One of the frequent contributors to the Truly Human Society Forum, Lady Agorist, has added a valuable Page to her blog to serve as a repository of ideas related to ‘opting out’. I really like that one of her main points is to “build a network of people who share your values” – exactly what we are focusing on here at A Truly Human Society. Her page starts this way:

My philosophy on opting out is simple – vote with your money. I try to keep three things in mind when I need or want to buy something.

  1. Avoid transactions that include paying sales & use taxes.
  2. Trade with others as much as possible.
  3. Build a network of people who share your values.

Please check out her specific ‘opting out‘ ideas here.

Libertarians And The Poor: A Missed Opportunity?

Making Voluntaryism More Appealing to Your Neighbors

I ended a recent post, “Government Appeals to Your Better Instincts“, with this suggestion for improving our success in spreading Voluntaryism:

If attacking the logic or morality of Government makes people unconsciously uncomfortable with our message, perhaps we would accomplish more by simply sowing seeds of doubt – illustrating Government’s actual record of failure relative to achieving the goals of our common drives.

And, finally, to affect real change, we must begin to consistently tie Voluntaryism into people’s visions of satisfying their core drives. Rather than discussing the mechanics of providing roads, we need to convince them that in a voluntary society they will have better food, and safer communities, and more opportunities for their children.

I really like this new blog by Shawn Gregory. I think it is an excellent example of employing this approach…

Libertarians And The Poor: A Missed Opportunity?

When the general public pictures a typical libertarian, they might imagine that person to be intelligent, analytical, but they generally don’t think of libertarians as particularly compassionate.  In fact, from the perspective those who are most needy, (i.e. the poor), libertarians tend to seem indifferent, if not outright hostile.  After all, libertarians challenge things like safety nets and minimum wage laws as an overreach of the government – an immoral use of force on otherwise peaceful people.  Based on these notions, a poor person may get the idea that libertarians are against everything that governments do to help them.  From this point of view, the general anti-government sentiments that libertarians espouse become synonymous with anti-poor sentiments, and if libertarianism is to gain any traction going forward, it must be adopted by a larger segment of the poor and working class.

Unfortunately, for the many who do not dig very deeply beyond this superficial perception, this anti-poor stigma will remain firmly attached to libertarianism, but for the few who are willing to listen, we libertarians often miss an opportunity to explain our ideas in a way that would better resonate with the average poor or working class individual.  Rather than painting a positive vision of how libertarian ideals benefit everyone, including the poor, we tend to focus on the equally important anti-State case that condemns much (if not all) of what governments do.  Even while making the anti-State argument, we could do a better job of explaining how governments are not the friends of the people that they claim to be.

For example, consider security – the one function that most people across the political spectrum agree that government should provide, (this author not included).  As most people recognize, the security that the State provides comes with a whole host of other laws and regulations that have nothing to do with security at all.  From the war on drugs to prostitution to crackdowns on “illegal” lemonade stands, the standard and correct libertarian line is that it’s not the State’s business to interfere with what consenting individuals do, and that it is the State that commits a crime when it bars individuals from participating in consensual activities.

While this is true – I’ve made this exact point many times – it should also be noted that these policies actually hurt the poorest among us the most.  The war on drugs is largely waged on people who live in low income neighborhoods, turning these areas into virtual war zones.  Between SWAT teams raiding homes to street gangs fighting for drug turf, the effect of this government policy is to make the poor people who are affected by it far less secure than they would otherwise be.  Ending the drug war would dramatically decrease the number of poor people in prison due to the disproportionate enforcement of drug possession laws, and would significantly reduce the prevalence of violent gangs due to the inability of those gangs to fund their activities via drug sales.

Similarly, allowing consenting adults to engage in activities like prostitution or unlicensed cosmetology would keep those activities above ground, making the circumstances under which those services are performed more open to public scrutiny and therefore more secure.  It is no coincidence that organized crime thrives on these kinds of banned activities.  Government prohibitions make such activities more profitable and far more dangerous for everyone involved.

Clearly, there is a case to be made for drastically reducing government provided security.  Yet, it is also true that criminals will always exist and that they are far more likely to congregate in poor neighborhoods.  So, when libertarians take their anti-State philosophy to it’s logical conclusion and suggest that security need not be provided by government at all, are we simply suggesting that the poor should fend for themselves against the very real threats that the face on a daily basis?  Absolutely not.  In fact, I believe strongly that the poor would be much better off without government provided security.

Imagine a security team in your neighborhood that you don’t fear when they approach you.  Imagine a security team that believes their job is to make sure that you go home to your family, whether or not they make it home to theirs.  (Contrary to the popular notion that government police are there to “protect and serve” the public, the reality is that “officer safety” trumps your safety legally and by policy.)  Imagine a security team that is trained to defuse a potentially violent situation in hundred different ways.  Now, imagine this service being provided largely for free to people in poor neighborhoods.  Sound to good to be true?  It’s already happening on a small scale:

What we emphasize is one hundred ways – in a situation that would normally be fatal force oriented – a hundred ways to not have a violent or fatal incident take place.  We perform twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  We protect communities here in Detroit – upscale communities, like Palmerwood, Sherwood Forest, and The Golf Course.  We have approximately a thousand homes that depend on us for safety, responding to them and their family and emergencies, and we have approximately five hundred businesses that are our clients as well.  And then, the people who can not afford our services, we help them for free, and the reason we can do that is because there is a healthy profit margin left over from excellence from providing for our major corporations.

It should be noted that this particular organization works with like-minded law enforcement.  However, as a rule, they try to avoid using the legal system as much as possible.  As Dale Brown, the founder of the Threat Management Center, explains, his whole service is based on a true desire to protect the people that they serve and not on the kind of bully mentality that often pervades government security forces.  Dale Brown and his team get paid to actually protect people not just to drive around menacingly in rough neighborhoods.  That, I believe, would be the fundamental difference between what we have now and what we could have with privately provided security.

Take note also that poor folks in these neighborhoods are getting the benefits for free which I also believe would be fairly commonplace as building owners, landlords, and local businesses would cover the costs of these kinds of services.  After all, if they want people to live in their neighborhoods and shop at their stores, it will benefit them to make sure that their customers can do so in a safe environment.

This is the vision that poor people should have in their minds when they think of libertarianism – not just a philosophy that’s anti-State, but a philosophy that envisions all of humanity thriving in a much freer future.  And, the people who will see the most dramatic change for the better are the people are likely the ones who are the poorest among us today.

Read this post and more of Shawn’s writing at his WeebulTree Blog.

Why are Property and Ownership So Important?

“Thou Shalt Not Steal” is found almost universally at the core of religious commandments and secular legal systems. The implication of this is that property, and property ownership, are universally considered to be of central importance. And not just in legal systems, but also in religions.

Why is property ownership so important that respect for it is enshrined as a basic tenet of Human society?

Ownership only begins to take on importance when there is scarcity involved.

We typically don’t worry about who owns the air we breathe. Air is obviously important, but as long as there is plenty for everyone, and your breathing does not reduce the amount of air available for me to breathe, then we don’t have to worry about who owns what air.

The easiest way to illustrate how the issue of scarcity leads to the concept of property and ownership is to use a typical ‘Robinson Crusoe on a desert island’ scenario.

Shipwrecked and alone on a deserted island, Crusoe would have faced a severe scarcity of modern supplies and tools. But he still had no need to worry about whose property the remaining food supplies and tools were. Because there was no one else on the island, there was no one whose usage of the supplies would impact Crusoe’s usage.

It is only when another man, Friday, arrives on the island that the issue of property might arise. For then there might be a conflict over scarce resources. Property rights serve as a means to prevent conflict over scarce items.

The structure of the property rights in this case could take a variety of forms:

  • Crusoe could maintain full ownership rights to the scarce supplies and declare that they are for his use only.
  • Crusoe could maintain full ownership rights to the scarce supplies and make all of the decisions, himself, as to how much to share them with Friday.
  • Crusoe could give ownership of some portion of the supplies to Friday, giving Friday full control over those specific supplies.
  • Crusoe could agree to share ownership of the supplies with Friday, based on mutually agreed upon rules as to how supplies would be allocated by the two men.
  • Or, the scarce supplies could be considered the property of no one, and therefore under the control of neither man.

The final option, above, assigning communal rights to the supplies so that no one owns them sounds nice. It fits nicely with the sentiment in John Lennon’s beautiful song, “Imagine“…

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

Unfortunately, “no possessions”, meaning no person owns or controls the property, doesn’t mean no person makes decisions about the property.

If neither Crusoe or Friday owns the scarce supplies, it means that each of them can decide what to do with them.

Crusoe, who has found ways to survive on local foods, might want to continue to ration the modern supplies or keep them for emergencies.

Friday might be weak and starving from the mishap that landed him on the island, and decide that he needs to consume the supplies now to regain his strength.

If Friday does start to rapidly consume the remaining supplies, what would Crusoe do? If it starts to look like there may soon be no supplies for him to save or ration, he may decide he has to consume whatever he can before Friday finishes all of it.

This scenario, which often plays out when there is ‘community property’ (scarce resources with no owner) has been called ‘The Tragedy of the Commons‘ by ecologist Garrett Hardin…

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.

So,having clear ownership of resources is important, even when the plan is for them to be shared by everyone.

Other examples of the problem with ‘no possessions’ are pretty easy to come up with.

Suppose strangers off the street started living in your house? That would be okay, since there would really be no such thing as ‘your’ house. Or your car. Or your money.

It’s hard to imagine a functioning real-life society with no property rights, no possessions.

John Lennon’s goal is a good one…


No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

…but possessions are not the problem.

Respect for possessions, ownership, is a core requirement for a functioning society. And only a functioning society could become the kind of brotherhood of man that John Lennon envisioned.

(This article was originally posted at a Veresapiens blog.)

Stealing From You is One Way of Taking Your Life

Why is “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (TSNS) a primary commandment in so many religions, including…

  • Christianity
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Shinto
  • Sikhism
  • Jainism
  • Bahá’í Faith
  • Cao Dai
  • Veresapiens

What causes “Thou Shalt Not Steal” to be right up there with “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

Is it possible that they are two different ways of saying essentially the same thing?

(read more on a Veresapiens blog)