Tag: voluntary

The Importance of Voluntary Hierarchies

By Jack Parkos | United States

The basis of leftist movement has been an anti-hierarchy mentality. That all hierarchies are evil and should be abolished to obtain a state of egalitarianism. Far leftists use words like “patriarchy” or “class struggle” to get their point across. The leftist view is that all hierarchies are authoritarian. These include capitalism, the nuclear family, and sometimes the government.

While it is true, that hierarchies can be tyrannical, this certainly does not mean all hierarchies are such the case. Hierarchies are, in fact, natural and do much good.

The wolf pack is a great example of why the hierarchy is naturally occurring. Wolves are very social creatures and form packs to work together to survive. Every wolf plays its role in the pack. In the wolf pack, the leader is the Alpha. The Alpha is in charge of the hunts and makes group decisions to benefit the pack. Below him is the Beta, and at the end is the Omega, the last in line. Such a system allows wolves to survive and work together. Many other social creatures use similar systems.

Humans too are social creatures, and thus require interaction with people. Groups can form from people with common goals and belief not only just to survive, but to thrive. Humans also maintain the idea of rights that can prevent a hierarchy from being tyrannical.  Let’s take a farming community for example.

The community needs to plan what crops and livestock will grow and where it will grow. Amongst all the debate, a natural leader will rise and take charge, allowing groups to compromise and figure out a plan as to what to do. He leads the community through the harsh winter with his leadership ability. As the work expands, he must have people below him, but above the average man. This new group may manage certain areas of the land.

This is the common business model. There’s the CEO of the business. Below him may be managers, and below them is the average worker. This works best for business. Without such a leader, the average workers would all have to run the business equally. This could not be done. Suppose there are disputes, which are common in the workplace. How would they be solved? One may say a vote would be a good resolution. But democracy (voting) creates a hierarchy of the majority over the minority, which can be dangerous.

Thus, natural rulers must take charge and run things. They should not be tyrannical as no one would follow them. Such hierarchies, like in the business world, should be voluntary. The leader should not disregard the rights of people. If so, the people can leave. Each man should be in charge of his own property. But, if they choose to form a group based on common defense and beliefs and have a leader, then this is not authoritarianism.

Natural and Unnatural Hierarchies

One may observe the wolf packs can be vicious, the Omega being “bullied” by the higher ranking groups. Such is a tragedy. But in human hierarchies, this can be protected. Humans, again, have greater thinking abilities. Only humans truly grasp the idea of property.  As long as a leader respects the people’s property, they cannot be tyrannical. The modern state does not respect private property.

The unnatural hierarchy rises from elites attempting to rule over the people.  Through force and violation of rights. The natural hierarchy rises by the will of people to have order and protect property. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe puts it:

Natural order defends these basic property principles. Locations were selected by defensibility. Leaders of small communities were able to act as courts by shunning wrong-doers and directing compensation to the victim. Law was discovered, not created. Taxes in the modern sense did not exist. The king, lords and nobles established protection villages against invaders.

People, having property rights, will need a defense for their property. If they agree to join a group of property owners and establish law, is it authoritarian? Certainly not. Law is necessary for any society, and law can create hierarchies (Reminder: these laws are not forced on the people).  Law should be local, decentralized, and non-tyrannical. Law should serve to protect life, liberty, and property. These rules could be established via a contract, perhaps a constitution of sorts. If laws go beyond these intended uses, property owners should have the right to leave such a contract.

A Non-Hierarchal Society

The common myth that hierarchy is anti-libertarian or anti-freedom is a lie from Marxists. Not only is it ineffective, but it’s also a lie about libertarianism. Libertarianism is not about chaos. Libertarianism is about peace and voluntarism. Libertarians aren’t against rules, but rather cohesive violent rules.

Assume all hierarchies were abolished. Unless we ignore human nature, humans will still require interaction. With interaction comes disputes. If two people cannot agree on something, how can it be solved? Removal of the hierarchy is the removal of the law. Without any sort of law, there is no way to solve disputes without violence.

Moreover, without hierarchies, there is no private property. If people cannot keep what they own, there is no incentive to work. Without an incentive to work, there can be no production. Without production, no food, technology, etc.

Assuming people would work for the betterment of the group, how is it decided what gets done? Who decides what is done? Suppose we use the farming example again. Say there is a dispute over whether land should be used for crops or livestock. How would this be solved? Again, the only way would be through either violence or democracy. However, as stated above, democracy is a hierarchy of the majority. This hierarchy gains its power simply from the majority, not from any natural leading ability.

The hierarchy is a natural part of human nature. Capitalism is not tyranny. The tyrannical hierarchy is not part of this. While the tyrants who use the law for personal gain should be overthrown, there must be a replacement with leaders. These leaders must only have authority based on consent from individuals. These leaders must be decentralized and have their only purpose to protect their property, as well as the people who they have engaged in a contract with.


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Does Capitalism Unite or Divide People?

Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Capitalism is an economic system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. More specifically, capitalism is the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services.

Before the implementation of money, the differences between people was a matter of Nature or God. Some, by their own free will or by location, had more than others and created more than others. Some are stronger, some are smarter, some are more intelligent, some are better looking, some need less, some utilize what they have better, etc. It is the very nature of being human that we have differences between us before ever even initiating money or property, i.e. capital, into the equation. This is most likely why Marx and Engles do not provide an origin of ‘property’ or ‘property rights’ because to take away what is someone else’s is unjust and immoral, as well as least pragmatic or least utilitarian.

Prior to the introduction of capitalism in the world, much fewer people had wealth, and all struggled to get by aside from those wealthy few. A world GINI coefficient would clearly show a lopsided distribution of wealth, in the words of Communists and Socialists, and provide evidence of the daily struggles once suffered while unknown in most parts of the world today.

We live far better lives today thanks to capitalism. Abject poverty since the implementation of capitalism in the world, especially after 1980, is nearing its very end. Prior to capitalism, people had to work longer hours, work harder, children worked more, and people married for practical reasons more than for love. It can be easily and confidently declared that capitalism made way for more love and individualism, simultaneously, more than any other approach prior.

Actual Capitalism does not infringe on the rights of others, because the philosophy of it is based on free and voluntary exchange. Typically, this also implies that there is a legal system that ensures the negative Liberties, Natural Rights, of everyone. Some economists and philosophers differ on the need of a State in order for capitalism to exist.

What most people criticize as being ‘capitalism’ today, as many Communists and Socialists have espoused, is in fact NOT CAPITALISM. A State that allows the infringement of rights while protecting a company that wishes to exploit is CRONYISM, or CRONY CAPITALISM, not capitalism itself.

Remember, government, by its definition, has the sole monopoly on coercion and initiation of force. A coercive monopoly, crony capitalism, coercion through labor unions, involuntary redistribution, taxes, etc. are only continually possible through a government, not a free and voluntary market.

Envy, jealousy, theft, coerced redistribution schemes through government, etc. are what keep people apart by force. Capitalism betters the lives of everyone in the end, generally speaking. In fact, this principle of capitalism that encourages free trade, as in laissez-faire capitalism, is one point that more economists agree on than anything else, no matter the economist’s political affiliation.

  • Isn’t it ironic that Communists and Socialists always complain about so-called “bourgeoisie” living easy lives while exploiting the “proletariat,” but Communists and Socialists want everyone to live like the “bourgeoisie” by forcefully stealing with threat of murdering the “bourgeoisie?”

Capitalism has done more to unite people than divide them. The fact that we can sit here reading and writing on the internet in the middle of the day rather than hunting, farming, collecting water, or making things to live day-to-day, etc. attests to the benefits brought by capitalism. The fact that a writer such as Marx could have existed while freely and voluntarily living off the dime of Engels, a “bourgeoisie,” is further proof that capitalism has done more to unite us than divide us. Without capitalism, our focus and worry is more on the immediate rather than the philosophy brought on by leisure for the masses which is only a result of capitalism.

When people begin making copious amounts of money more than others, sure their status and quality of life differs than the layman, but the wealthy must still spend or store their money somewhere that benefits those in lesser positions. This is a key principle, as living in a wealthier society is far superior to that of living in one where only a few are wealthy. But if everyone is forced to be the same, nothing has the same worth as it does now. When everyone has the same wealth, the cost of things becomes more expensive, subjectively and comparably speaking. If all we looked at was the GINI of two countries in order to compare wealth distribution, we could compare Morocco and the US. I am confident that more people would rather live in the US than in Morocco, aside from political and social differences, and simply based on economic reasons for equality and unity. Nevertheless, the two countries have pretty similar distributions of income as seen below:

Or we can compare the US with the Czech Republic, where the average person makes more like that of their neighbor than in the US.

I can still confidently say that more people would rather live in the US than in the Czech Republic. Not only does this suggest that there is more to living a good life than the balanced distribution of wealth, but also that when we get closer to actual capitalism we live better lives.

I will admit that Socialism and Communism in their truest forms have never been successfully attempted. Likewise, Capitalism in its purest form has never been successfully attempted. However, the near-Capitalism has done more to help unify and better humankind more than near-Socialism or near-Communism. While, near-Communism and near-Socialism have done more to destroy and divide people than any other system, records that suggest close to 100,000,000 (one hundred million) deaths from the two.

Capitalism provides solutions for people, as there is an incentive to provide these solutions in the market, and working with the marketplace. Such things as technology, medicine, art, transportation, architecture, clothing, food, etc. all help to better our lives and unify us, while more competition drives down costs of production and makes things better for most if not all, in the immediate. Capitalism does more to unify us rather than divide us, while other systems, such as Communism or Socialism, do more to divide us.


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Post-Scarcity is Utopian and Unattainable in Society

By Casey Ward | United States

In today’s world of identity politics, there are many views on how the world should be run. During this debate, however, scarcity is often ignored when calculating the opportunity cost of different policies.

Scarcity and Post-Scarcity in the Modern World

The best example of ignoring scarcity in our time is universal healthcare. Essentially, the supply of healthcare is less than the demand for it. While we all agree that everyone should have access to healthcare, the fact remains that we cannot provide such a system without violating someone else’s rights.

This means that the only way universal healthcare can actually work is if we lived in a post-scarcity society, which will likely never happen. Since the universe, as far as we know, is finite, we cannot have infinite resources.

Scarcity, Capitalism, and Communism

However, if we factor for scarcity, it becomes clear that communism vs capitalism is a fool’s choice. If you boil it down, the main desire of communism is that the workers collectively control the means of production. In a free market system, individuals privately own the means of production in search of a profit. Capitalism is naturally voluntary, and over time, lowers prices to all individuals. On the other hand, when universal healthcare forces the creation of price ceilings, the market is thrown out of equilibrium. This, as a result of scarcity, creates a shortage.

Take, for example, medishare or any other voluntary cooperative. It is jointly run by its members in order to reach a mutual goal. With a group incentive of paying off medical bills, each individual is able to thrive. Yet, they do so without giving up their rights.

On the other hand, coercive social programs offer no incentive for success. For instance, the state prohibits people on disability from having another income source. By providing a service, but requiring no contribution, government cannot cover the demand with enough supply. The same is true with all modern safety nets. Social security costs more than what is being put in, and thus, supply cannot cover demand.

Is Post-Scarcity Possible?

Anarchists often leave out this important factor of scarcity as well. This is why Elon Musk’s utopian post-scarcity anarchism will never work. Post-scarcity is not achievable since it neglects two very important and rather scarce items, time and energy. Both are vital to our life, but neither are infinite. 

We all seek a longer life and yet extending our life is painstakingly slow. The few results we do see are miniscule, compared to the age of the universe. Even if we did find the cure to our mortality, we would die. It would just come at the eventual day when the stars burn through their fuel, leaving us without energy.

“When I can build anything I want whenever I want it, there’s no real point in using force to maintain control over a surplus.” -Human Iterations

Post-scarcity solving the need for a surplus, (as Iain M. Banks describes in his series called “The Culture”) is Musk’s eventual utopian goal. However, this simply will never occur, even in an immortal world. If someone knows that the universe is dying, they would stockpile materials to prolong the inevitable a little longer.

At the end, that would nullify any post-scarcity attempts. Without a doubt, the two most important things to our survival are going to disappear. All ideologies must address scarcity, but how we do so could change the world. The choice comes down to the market. Do we allow nature to take its course and seek an equilibrium? Or, is it justifiable to allocate some resources to benefit a group of people at the expense of others? Only the former recognizes the equal rights of all.


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Government is Simply a Massive Scam

By Andrew Lepore | United States

Scam: noun. (informal)

1. a dishonest scheme; a fraud. “an insurance scam”

synonyms: fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, racket, trick;

If you inquired to the average person on the street if they believe the government should or could be funded voluntarily, or if participation could be voluntary, the answer would likely be no. They would say involuntary taxation is a necessary evil, and it is in fact to the benefit of every individual to pay into the state. They would likely say without coercive taxation, everybody would be looking after themselves, and nobody would pay into police, fire, defense, roads, and other services currently monopolized by state. They may even think society would undoubtedly collapse under such circumstances.

I understand why somebody would think like this, as any person alive today has forever lived under a strong centralized government, and may not be able to see through the smoke screens presented before them. This theory though, that government and taxation must be involuntary because it is to the benefit of the individual, flies in the face of praxeological reality and economic fact.

A contradiction to this idea, the Law of Utility Maximization through cost benefit analysis Is one of the underlying functions of human action in the market. Utility maximization simply means every individual wishes to maximize the benefit they receive in exchange for every dollar, and for every moment of their time. Every consumer wishes to maximize the value they receive for the lowest cost.

A rational individual will purchase a good or service if the benefit they receive from that service is equal to or outweighs the cost of purchasing it, as it is simply to their benefit to do so. The consumer wants to pay into a service if they value the benefit they would receive for paying into that service. And if there are many competing firms, the consumer will choose the firm which provides the best services at the lowest cost.

This of course is the action on the part of the consumer which drives competition, and the success of the business that provides the best deal to customers. When a group has a coercively enforced monopoly it is no longer subject to competition. It no longer has to fight to provide the best services at the lowest cost to consumers, as it is not required to convince people to use their services. It no longer has the incentive to be efficient as it can be, it can just involuntarily take money out of the taxpayers pocket.

This leads to what we now see as the horribly inefficient and wasteful services that the government provides. Since government services are not subject to the scrutiny of the market the people have no choice but to settle with the far below sub-par services it provides. If contribution to these programs were made voluntary, they would either need to seriously get their act together, or be severely outcompeted.

Now if the horrendous services which government provides at the outrageous cost were really to the benefit of the individual, their simply would be no need for it to be involuntary. If it was voluntary, the consumer would want to pay in so they could receive the benefits. This is just like how a consumer purchases a ticket to a football game voluntarily because to them the benefit of the experience of seeing the game in person outweighs the cost of the ticket. Or, it is like how they voluntarily purchase food because being full is worth more benefit than the cost of the purchase.

Are the most successful companies and service providers required to have a gun to the customers’ heads to get their money? Of course not, the consumer wants to give say, Apple, their money because they want to get the product. It’s the same logic for voluntarily funded emergency services for example. It is to the individuals benefit to pay a firm which provides emergency services as to most people, having emergency services at hand is worth the cost of not having it (the market would of course provide alternatives for those in dire circumstances who hasn’t already bought a service, like a 911 service which you call only to be billed after).

Not only do we not need involuntarily funded group with a monopoly on the initiation of force at the center of our society in order to not divulge into a Hobbesian nightmare; but such an institution is always corrupt, inefficient and a scam on society.

That’s not even to mention the complete immorality of the state. Nowhere else in our lives would such an idea be acceptable. Imagine If one day, the McDonald’s CEO announced that the company would be taking 20% to 50% of every dollar which every individual makes (depending on the bracket of course), and that those who failed to comply would be locked up in the McPrison for a few years. But hey you would get 3 meals a day. Would this be acceptable to you? Of course not. If that happened today their were surely be an unavoidable outcry, and the people wouldn’t stand for such a thing. Though If we were already indoctrinated into a system like that, maybe people would even say “Without McDonald’s, who would provide the food?”

In conclusion, the myth of the justification and necessity of the state is a scam on a grand and colossal scale. The fact that government must be an involuntarily funded institution proves that it is a scam. The state acknowledges people would not value their services enough to voluntarily hand over the fruits of their labor. An involuntarily funded group based on the initiation of force, which of course cannot exist in a truly free society, is never justifiable nor is it necessary.


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An Honest Plan for the Future of Our Liberty

Michael McFarland | United States

Libertarians must become leaders in business, in politics, in education, and in science. More importantly, we must become leaders in our community, for it is in taking up that responsibility that we demonstrate how the philosophy of peace and prosperity is vastly superior to the authoritarian alternatives. That is how we win.

From the pothole filling anarchists who take it upon themselves to repair damaged roads, to the volunteers at the rec centers, and community gardens, we can see everyday examples of liberty in action.

You don’t have to wait for the election of a candidate to public office, or the passing of particular legislation to make a real impact. These things aren’t what truly matter.

Instead, I’d like for you to take a look around your community, and look for ways you can help improve it. I want you to look for actions you can take to improve the quality of life in your immediate area.

Is there trash you could pick up?

In addition, could your neighbors use some help with their yard or their home?

Also, how are the schools? After school activities? Your local religious institutions?

These are just a few examples.

The more we show how well taking responsibility for your own community works, and the more responsibility the community has for itself, then the less likely it is that the community will want to relinquish that responsibility to government bureaucrats and their goons.

Let’s not wait for the government to relinquish control. Let’s take it back by taking back our communities one neighborhood at a time. It’s time to show that government action is not necessary.

That’s how we win. That’s how we ease the fears of accepting responsibility for one’s own life, and that’s how we see more libertarian ideas penetrate this authoritarian system of control and subjugation.

#Rise #TakeHumanAction #GoldRush2018

***Michael McFarland is a guest contributor and he is currently running for Arizona State House. For more information, please visit his website at https://mcfarlandforaz.com/