The presence or absence of choice changes every outcome. I have personal experience of this, but also believe it to be a universal, that’s why ideologically there is no other solution to social organization than Voluntaryism.
My personal experience as to how the absence of choice changes everything in one’s state of mind I realized while evacuating from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We were forbidden from returning to our undamaged home for two months. Whatever excuses there might be for why this extended exile was necessary according to the authorities did not change the fact that I did not choose this course. It was forced. We were, in effect, homeless vagabonds for two months.
Those who know me thought it little different from the life I’d lived for about 10 years, moving sometimes multiple times a year or traveling for months at a time. What’s the difference really? I asked myself that question constantly, even after returning to New Orleans, then realizing it was no longer for me, and moving again, and again, until landing in Galveston six months before Hurricane Ike in 2008.
When I initiated, made the plans and the efforts and free-will choice to be a “homeless nomad” it was like my greatest dream come true. When those decisions were forced on me by State or circumstance, it was a real nightmare.
Many people have similar stories, because we intrinsically understand that rape is not the same as love-making, prison is not the same as home, taxes are not the same as charity, and so on.
Voluntaryism is Choice
We choose among scores of brands of cereal in the grocery store and call this progress. If this kind of choice is progress, let’s extend that to the society at large: We can choose any sort of government, or lack thereof, that we want, among a vast assortment.
If you find funding invasive foreign policy to be beneath your moral integrity, then you opt-out of those governments which require this of its citizens. You don’t like to fund abortion, or the Welfare state, or farm subsidies of GMO corn, not a problem! You can stay right where you are at, and they cannot force you to participate.
It’s a common misconception that libertarians and anarchists and voluntaryists are about lawlessness. While there’s always going to be a ‘bad element’ who works to mold the agenda to suit their own self-interest, Voluntaryism is based on ethical principles intended to create peace and leave the pursuit of happiness and prosperity unhindered by an imposed hierarchy or a fake social contract.
Jeffrey Tucker explains so eloquently what many are missing when they consider libertarian philosophy.
“. . .the story of liberty and its future is not only about the raw assertion of rights but also about grace, aesthetics, beauty, complexity, service to others, community, the gradual emergence of cultural norms, and the spontaneous development of extended orders of commercial and private relationships. Freedom is what gives life to the human imagination and enables the working out of love as it extends from our most benevolent and highest longings.”
I believe every government that’s ever been has proclaimed they are about creating peace, safety and stability. But in all this history can we name one that has ever achieved it?
We are no different in America, we are not an exception to the rule that power corrupts. A world government will be no different either, unless it is voluntary.
“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you… you may know that your society is doomed.” -Ayn Rand, novelist & philosopher, author of Atlas Shrugged