If you and I started working right now – consciously and consistently – towards the goal of a voluntary world, how long would it take us to achieve it?
I’m talking about the transformation of every aggressive institution in the world – every government agency, military and police department – into one that respects people’s human rights and only acts by mutual and informed consent of the parties involved.
I mean a world in which every individual's liberty is respected. By liberty, I mean the right to live your own life as you see fit, as long as you don't interfere with others' equal rights to do the same.
In a fit of optimism last year, I decided it could take 50 years. So I started a project to achieve this goal to voluntarize the world by 2064 – a project with a plan, a method, a framework and a timeline to give structure to what is now at best a random flirtation absent any milestones with which to measure our progress.
After a lot of thinking and writing and a lot of doubt about whether anyone else stands ready to commit to such a venture, I’m coming out now and inviting you to be a part of it.
The world we inhabit today is only partially voluntary and that voluntary sphere is rapidly losing ground to the aggressive sphere.
Aggressive restrictions – such as government laws, regulations, taxes, fees, fiat currency, borders, human trafficking, wars, out-of-control police and corporate special privileges – interfere with our ability to live fully voluntary lives – to have control over our lives and live the lives we each actually want to live.
This is an unacceptable state of affairs that no one but us is going to fix. My goal is to nonviolently wipe out the aggressive sphere so that voluntary institutions can thrive. These institutions operate on mutual consent to provide security, dispute resolution, social safety net and other services that are currently monopolized by governments.
Nothing More Important
What goal could be of greater importance to libertarians than a voluntary world, where every human being, no matter their skin color, gender, creed or birthplace, is able to realize his or her potential free from the interference of aggressive institutions such as governments?
Everything we want, everything we do, is leading up to, is aimed at creating, a peaceful, libertarian world where people deal with each other through reason and trade instead of coercion and fraud.
This is it. So why aren’t we already actively working towards this goal in an organized fashion?
I’ve participated in and actively observed the libertarian communities for the last 7 years and I quite honestly don’t see much progress toward the goal of a voluntary world.
I see think tanks doing lots of thinking, much of it misguided. I’ve witnessed an overload of fraud and drama as attention whores spin their wheels playing king of the molehill. There are insightful and ironic memes, there is ridicule for cops and statists. People form cliques, get drunk on craft beer and high on homegrown marijuana, move to the isolated hills of New England, pamphlet, make media fusses, collect silver, buy bitcoin and bloody our heads against the walls of state courts.
What is it all adding up to? What if most of what we’re doing is not actually moving us closer to a voluntary world? What if we lose more libertarians every year to disgust and impatience than we gain by getting media attention? What if we have unconsciously perverted the mission to free the world into just another popularity contest? What if we are chewing up our own lives on activities that fail to definitively strike the root, just like generations of libertarians have before us?
Liberty is Possibilistic
Libertarianism is inherently possibilistic. The philosophy does not prescribe a clear and straight path through the thickets of life to an easily identifiable goal. It doesn't specify what you must do with your life or how you must treat other people, only what you must not do to other people; i.e., aggress against them.
Libertarianism is pregnant with what could be. It’s like quantum mechanics. Only you, the observer, can collapse the wave function into the concrete outcome you want, whether that be a family and a home deep in the Alaskan wilderness, a never-ending expat adventure through the megalopolises of Eurasia or another life plan that only you can imagine.
This possibilistic nature simultaneously confounds law and order statists who want an approved answer – in triplicate – for every question and leads us libertarians to focus almost exclusively on what can be instead of committing to what will be – what we want that to be, at least.
But with all of that, there is today no organized effort to end aggression worldwide and replace it with the voluntary order we envision.
I’d like to collapse a wave function right now and invite you to join me in this project to voluntarize the world by 2064.
Parallel, Collaborative Self-Evolution
A lot of strategies and methods have been attempted by libertarians over the past 50 years. Those people didn’t make much progress with their campaigns for office, their attempts at organized defensive violence or their pamphleting.
Libertarians aren’t among the most influential groups in the world today. We don’t hold corporate, governmental or cultural power over the masses. But we can exercise influence over ourselves. We can improve ourselves and our lives. We can become freer, more prosperous, more fulfilled and empowered.
Thus, our first steps in the plan to voluntarize the world by 2064 are to fully voluntarize ourselves and realize each of our respective potentials.
The idea is self-improvement – the expansion of individual liberty in the concrete sense of having options in the physical world and in the mental sense of building a mindset that prepares us to claim, exploit and defend our respective individual birthrights of liberty without artificial limit.
Many of us are already working on that. I, myself, am a committed autodidact. A history major, I taught myself systems, networking, programming, Unix and related tech in the late 90’s and formed several successful small companies as a result.
Today, my focus is on honing my communication skills, being frugal, enhancing my health and raising my son with love, autonomy and respect.
Whereas before many of us undertook self-improvement haphazardly in isolation or with small groups of friends and allies locally, now we can add some organization; specifically a network effect and a supportive community.
By working together through a conversation that can take place at More Liberty Now, we can find new ways to be freer now and support each other to remain on the path towards greater individual liberty and prosperity.
We can take advantage of new technology and culture that hyper-empowers the individual to achieve our goals in our own lives and thus build a strong libertarian community which can, in turn, take the process to the next level by inspiring and teaching others.
By massifying this process, by connecting our empowered selves, we can liberate the world, one person at a time under each person’s individual control, in parallel, in a global drive to a voluntary world using methods that leverage our strengths while implementing the libertarian philosophy in our own lives.
With that in mind, my immediate goal for More Liberty Now (MLN) is to identify the most efficient vectors for empowering individuals worldwide to reclaim our liberty – all of it, not just “civil liberties” or those rights currently approved by governments – through better ideas, tools, lifestyles and processes.
But, You Say
Some argue that the “invisible hand of the market” or “spontaneous order” will magically burst out and give us a libertarian world on a bitcoin-encrusted silver platter as an imprecise but inevitable outgrowth of trading teeth-whitening mud for Lysander-Spooner-themed hemp socks. But this fantastical notion is akin to praying to God to pay your rent for you.
The invisible hand and spontaneous order concepts, first off, are inherently elitist because they only appear to be valid when you are looking down on a large mass of people from a figurative perch above them. From that artificial perspective, things appear to happen effortlessly because you don’t see the individual interactions.
But when you are face to face with the individuals in that mass, when you are one of us, you see that order must be organized and hands must be visible and busy in order for anything useful to actually happen.
Others, including Ayn Rand, say the state will collapse on its own. That’s what the Soviet Bloc did in 1989, right? True. But then what? Without organization, without a plan for what to replace it with, without a nascent voluntary ecosystem already in place, people will replace the failed state with a new one. Just like what happened in the Soviet Bloc. And we’re back to square one, having exercised zero effective influence.
A stateless world is hundreds of years in the future, a distant goal we can’t strive for, I have been told. Or, that humanity requires further evolution before being ready for statelessness. This is utter nonsense. It’s cowardly defeatist claptrap that suffers from a distinct lack of agency, something we libertarians are supposed to advocate for. Either we fight for a better future right now, in alignment with our professed principles, or we’re hypocrites. It’s that simple.
A voluntary world is not enough, some left-libertarians say. We need a socially just world, too. I don’t entirely disagree with that notion, but the smart thing to do is not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. A voluntary world is a prerequisite for a just world. So let’s get a voluntary world first and then worry about making it perfectly just and reasonably fair.
Still others say we need only increase the number of people in the world who profess to be libertarians. It’s like a crusade and we’re converting people. We can do this via elections, letter-writing campaigns, media stunts, YouTube videos, Aristotelian-dialectic-on-the-street-corner or whatever marketing tactic comes to mind.
But what is the point of inviting people to a pool party if all you have is a cesspool? Many people claiming to be libertarians are enslaved by poverty, hatred, despair, passivity, racism and sexism, among other things. They’re not any freer, on balance, than anyone else. What does a community of such people have to offer?
What if everyone we brought into the libertarian communities was disgusted by the fundamentalists they found there and left further convinced against our ideas because they encountered disagreeable people? People who evinced a lack of human values?
In that case, all of your evangelism would actually just set the cause back.
Am I the right person to tackle this project? Am I qualified? I've been influencing hundreds of thousands with my blog posts, videos and podcasts since 2008. I've engaged in noted street activism as well digital activism that, among other things, forced a US president and cabinet member to defend themselves on network TV.
Whoopi Goldberg said I was a terrorist. A former TSA administrator called me irresponsible. CNN thinks I'm intriguing. A US Marshal said he'd like to put his foot up my ass. The Pennsylvania homeland security bulletins called me anti-authoritarian. I've been featured or quoted by dozens of libertarian and mainstream media outlets, from Bloomberg to Reason.
Let the more qualified and motivated person step forward and I will gladly work with you. In fact, that’s the whole idea: to assemble a group of peers so we can learn from and inspire each other. Committed people working together in an atmosphere of mutual respect is a powerful force.
This thing will be won by a small group of highly skilled and committed people, not hundreds of millions voting for tropes and a rearrange. That’s what I am building here at More Liberty Now.
I’m looking for patrons willing to back me with as little as $1 per month via my ongoing crowdfunding campaign at Patreon. There are milestone goals and perks for you. Every added dollar per month enables me to take time away from paying jobs to work on insightful, original media – blog posts, podcasts, videos and books – for this project. Your support is a market signal telling me I am on the right path.
I also need your ideas, feedback and participation but I can't do much without a budget other than continue my own personal libertarian evolution and write the occasional blog post. It’s the network effect of inspiring and encouraging others where the magic will happen with this project.
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The nation-state is not just obsolete. It's obstructing our path to a safer, more prosperous and just world with a smug sneer on its face and an automatic rifle jammed into our foreheads. We can do better. Together, we will.
New: Steem Tag. Let’s talk about this on Steem using the tag voluntaryworld2064. Follow me and let me know of your first post so I can promote and follow you.