A to Z: Voluntarism

Video

 

Today’s post for the A to Z challenge is: voluntarism.

vol·un·ta·rism
ˈvälən(t)əˌrizəm/
noun
 
  1. 1
    the principle of relying on voluntary action (used especially with reference to the involvement of voluntary organizations in social welfare).
     
  2. 2
    PHILOSOPHY
    the doctrine that the will is a fundamental or dominant factor in the individual or the universe.

I’ve always been extremely passionate about the ideas of freedom and individual liberty. Since the A to Z challenge is almost over, I’ll take this opportunity to post about it again. 😉

I consider myself to be a libertarian. I usually vote for the Libertarian Party (even tho I mostly think voting is useless since the system is so totally corrupt).

I believe in the non-aggression principle (NAP). I believe each person owns their own life. Think about it for a minute, if they/you don’t, then just exactly who does?

I believe each person has the absolute right to decide how they want to live their life. That each individual can do anything they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else (and they are responsible for their choices).

Since I believe all of that, I am also a proponent of voluntarism. I do not think it’s a good idea to force people into doing things they don’t want to do. I believe if you can’t make a good enough argument, if you can’t convince someone to do something with the use of reason, then whatever it is you’re trying to do probably is not a good idea in the first place.

You ought to be able to convince people to follow your suggestions voluntarily- through their own free choice. Otherwise, just exactly why should they do what you want? Simply because “might makes right”? Is that really the way things ought to be?

I say no! Hell no! That is not how things should be and I don’t like it that it mostly still is that way. I think it’s sad that in this day and age we’re still acting like brute force is the best ‘idea’ we can come up with as a way to manage human interactions.

People always come up with all kinds of arguments and excuses as to why these ideas won’t work. The exceptions to the rules. I answer, don’t we have exceptions to the rules we follow now? Don’t people break the ‘laws’ we have now?

I think we would all be much better off with more freedom and less force, with more liberty and less ‘law’. People need freedom to grow and to truly flourish. It’s a human right and a human need.

Look around the world and see where are the people most prosperous and well off (physically, emotionally, spiritually)? Places with the most freedom: Hong Kong, Singapore, parts of Western Europe, the USA (tho we are still benefitting from the freedoms we used to have here, most of which are being stripped away daily).

 

Walk the Line- Live and Let Live

 

Today’s prompt from the Daily Post…

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I don’t usually think too deep about that kind of thing. But after I thought about it again, in response to the prompt today, I realize that yes, I really DO have a code I live by.

That code is simple:

LIVE AND LET LIVE

I’ve always thought that philosophy would make the world a MUCH better place if more people would live that way.

I thought when I was growing up I was alone in my thought processes. For so long, it seemed that everyone else around always thought for some strange reason that someone else (god, family, state, etc.) had some sort of ‘right’ to dictate how others should live their lives.

It was very encouraging for me to learn a few years ago that there are actually a lot of other people who think the way I do. Who believe in the philosophy of liberty and value freedom for all (actually, Americas’ founding fathers thought the same way and tried hard to form a government that would protect our rights to live this way- too bad their vision has been totally destroyed in only 200 years).

I only found out about the libertarians when my local Texas congressman Ron Paul was running for President as a Libertarian. It was SO nice to find that there were other people I could talk to who actually agreed with me. 🙂

(On most things- or at least the basic principles. Of course, if you’ve ever been in a room full of libertarians, you’d never believe that since we can argue for hours over the minute details of some proposal.)

But, the BASIC principals are not really an issue.

Self ownership: YOU own your life! No one else!

Everything else comes out of that most basic principle. Things like personal responsibility, honesty and respect for others. Everything comes together in a very sensible, ethical way for people in society to live. Each person is free to chose how to live their own lives in the best way possible for them (live according to their own values), taking into consideration their personal circumstances, and remember that they’re free to do whatever they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else while doing it (and, that they’re responsible for their own choices/actions!). That brings up a biggie.

There is also the non-aggression principle. Here is a good explanation of that by Dr. Mary Ruwart…

QUESTION: What is the libertarian “non-aggression principle” (or “non-aggression axiom”)?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarianism is based on a single ideal, the non-aggression principle, so libertarian rhetoric tends to be remarkably consistent.

Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use force in self-defense. Those who violate this “non-aggression principle” are expected to make their victims whole as much as possible.

This “Good Neighbor Policy” is what most of us were taught as children. We were told not to lie, cheat, steal, not to strike our playmates unless they hit us first. If we broke a friend’s toy, we were expected to replace it.

Most of us still practice what we learned as children with other individuals, but we have grown accustomed to letting government aggress against others when we think we benefit. Consequently, our world is full of poverty and strife, instead of the harmony and abundance that freedom (i.e., freedom from aggression) brings.

Simply put, libertarians take the non-aggression principle that most people implicitly follow in their interactions with other individuals, and apply it to group actions, including government actions, as well.

You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the “Party of Principle.” This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.

Yeah, I really DO believe in these principles and yes, I do live by them.

If I haven’t gone too far off the deep end for you, and you’re interested in learning more, try taking the quiz (that’s why I keep it as a sticky first post on my blog). Check out the links in this post, or try the Advocates for Self-Government or the International Society for Individual Liberty, they’re both full of good information and more links to other resources for the liberty movement around the world.

Have you ever heard of libertarians before? Do you agree with these principles? If you don’t mind me asking, why or why not?

(Yes, I am hoping to start a discussion here). 🙂

 

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

I haven’t mentioned much about politics on here lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling outside of the country (I was in Korea for a month).

It’s nice that I can get out of the US occasionally. I would love to leave more often for longer periods of time. I’m even thinking I might want to leave permanently. It’s SO nice to get away where the politics isn’t constantly in my face.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something ‘wrong’ with me. Most of my friends don’t really care about what’s going on around them. They always tell me to ‘just chill out’, or ‘just ignore it’, or best of all ‘just do whatever you have to do to get around it’.

I wonder “WHY should I have to do any of that”? Why should I have to leave to find the freedom I was guaranteed at birth? I was born and raised here.

I was brought up to believe that THIS country was formed specifically to PROTECT our rights! WHY should I have to try to ignore it when I see our government doing the exact opposite more and more often?

People call me crazy (paranoid) because I’m always aware of how much freedom we have lost in this country, even just in my lifetime. They say I’m crazy to think the things that have happened in other countries (Germany, USSR, N Korea, China, etc) could ever happen here.

But I see that we are following the same footsteps that led those other countries down the path of socialism/communism/tyranny. Why COULDN’T  it happen here?

I wonder what’s wrong with everybody ELSE, that they DON’T care what’s happening in this country?

Why don’t THEY get upset that they have lost the same freedoms I have? Why do they clamor to give theirs away (and mine along with theirs)????

I feel more and more like an outsider in my own country. I feel like most of the people in this country have completely abandoned the ideas and ideals that our country was founded on. What made this country so unique in all of history…

The idea that “we the people”, (ALL people), have certain INALIENABLE rights. Rights inherent to us, that belong to us simply because of the fact that we are all human beings. We are all equal under the law (supposed to be here). That our government’s main job, (its’ only legitimate function), was to PROTECT those rights (it did NOT create or give us those rights).

Most people have been distracted and disoriented by the corruption of the language and twisting of the meanings of the words. Rights for example, there are those basic human rights that we are all born with, part of our nature as human beings. Then there are government created rights like voting rights for example. People treat them as interchangeable. They’re not.

People are busy arguing about media created hoopla over free speech (political correctness) and racism (freedom of association) and on and on and on. Too caught up in the small issues that tear us apart instead of fighting together for what’s really important. Our FREEDOM as individual human beings!

Yes, I realize that we are all very busy. I understand that most people have so many things taking up their time and energy now a days.

Most people are so exhausted by the time they get home at the end of a long day, all they want to do is chill out in front of a TV set. They don’t want to think, they want to vegetate til it’s time to go to bed.

Maybe as a sailor, I’ve had too much time to think in my life. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved to read. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been an explorer. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a skeptic.

But for whatever reason, I do think and I do care. What I see happening around me here flat ass scares the SHIT out of me.

OK, now before you all go running for the doors, please stick with me just a little longer.

Yeah, I’m fishing for comments here. I’d really like to hear from a larger sample of people around the world than just my personal friends and friends of theirs I’ve been arguing with on Facebook. 🙂

OK, just one simple question to start off with…

What do you know about the principle of self-ownership? 

Have you heard of it before? Where? What do you think it means? Do you think it’s valid? How would you go about justifying it? Do you think principles like this one change with the times? Should they?

Here’s another one to go along with that, it’s really part of the same question… If you DON’T own yourself, who does?

OK, I’ll leave you all to think on that for a while. PLEASE comment with your thoughts here!

 

If you’re wondering why I put that video on the top of the post, here’s why. I love that band! I really like this song.

I also think it’s relevant to this conversation I’m trying to start. I do think there’s a war going on. It’s a war for our hearts and our heads. It’s a war for the principles we’ll stand and fight for. It’s a war between the great masses of “we the people”, the common people, (you and me), and the elites.

It’s a war between freedom and tyranny. YES, it really is. So far, it’s happening mostly in the background, behind the scenes. You can see it easily if you look around (don’t count on the mainstream media for your information).

“This is Why We Fight”:                                                                                    “When we die, we will die with our arms unbound.”                                               THAT says it all to me.

“This Is Why We Fight”

Come the war
Come the avarice
Come the war
Come hellCome attrition
Come the reek of bones
Come attrition
Come hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
And this is why
This is why we fight

When we die
We will die
With our arms unbound

And this is why
This is why
Why we fight
Come hell

Bride of quiet
Bride of all unquiet things
Bride of quiet
Bride of hell

Come the archers
Come the infantry
Come the archers
Of hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

And when we die
We will die
With our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight
Come hell
Come hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

When we die
We will die with our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight

So come to me
Come to me now
Lay your arms around me
And this is why
This is why
We fight
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell

 

Gov’t to gobble up your Thanksgiving

Liberator Online: Gov’t to gobble up your Thanksgiving.

This is an interesting take on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I suppose it is pretty much just an American holiday. Not sure if other countries have it, but I wouldn’t think so.

The report cited in the article reminds us that of $10 billion we spend on Thanksgiving weekend, almost 40% of that is taken by government. Taxes on wine and beer, plane tickets and gas, and the food you enjoy will give the government approximately $3.6 billion in revenues. Hard for me to enjoy my meal remembering those numbers.

What I DO have to be thankful for is, as mentioned in the article, the growing liberty movement, including the Advocates for Self Government (www.theadvocates.org) whose newsletter is where I saw this article.

PS- if you scroll down toward the end of the link, you’ll see a link where you can get a FREE ebook ‘After the Welfare State”. There’s also an article and link to the winners of the Reason Video Prize where you can see the videos.

Liberator Online: There ought to be a law…?

Liberator Online: There ought to be a law…?.

OK, I’m a little late getting this one out but here it is… the August issue of the Liberator Online, sent out by the Advocates for Self Government. As they say, it’s for “anyone who loves liberty”. 🙂

This one is pretty entertaining. I especially liked the articles on the “killer lurking in your kitchen”, and America’s nuttiest warning labels. There’s also a good video interview with Greg Glassman who founded CrossFit, along with the usual quotes, powerful pursuasion point, and libertarian response to corporate abuses by Dr Mary Ruwart. Enjoy…

It’s A Gray Area: Politics is sports by other means – Daily Pilot

It’s A Gray Area: Politics is sports by other means – Daily Pilot.

I was at the FreedomFest in LasVegas a while back and met both Judge Gray and Gary Johnson. They were running for President and Vice President of the Libertarian party. I really enjoyed their speeches (unlike those of most politicians) and only wish they had the same chance to get their message out as the other parties did. I think they would have SLAMMED them both if they were only able to get the word out to the general public.

Where do you stand? Go ahead and try the  World’s Smallest Political Quiz at the Advocates for Self Government website. While you’re there, take a look around. I’m definitely a Libertarian 😉 Here’s the definition from the Advocates website…

Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

Wondering how many of the people who check in here or follow me love liberty like I do? Please comment… 

World’s Smallest Political Quiz

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World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

Try the quiz and see where you wind up, you might be surprised!

Worlds Smallest Political Quiz

Worlds Smallest Political Quiz