John Zube always firmly and consistently supports real freedom. His is one of the strongest libertarian-anarchist-panarchist voices on the planet, and yet only a handful of people have heard what he has to say. Let’s start to remedy that right now.
I will give LRC readers a taste of John’s thinking. I will provide some of John’s responses to a recent speech by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
The 17-minute speech of the king is in Dutch. It was written by the Prime Minister of the government, Mark Rutte.
There is no complete translation yet, but we know of one important theme. The government can no longer support the welfare state:
“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care. The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”
For anyone who cares to read the entire speech, “google translate” provides an excellent approximation. The national government has been cutting back on the welfare state for some time, and now it’s going to decentralize it to municipalities.
The details are of no great interest, because there is and can be no recognition of the failure of the domestically hegemonic state in a speech written by a government official who proposes only to alter the form of the state. There can be no philosophical recognition in such a speech of the inherent opposition of the state to the natural right of freedom.
A correspondent of John’s informed him of this speech by sending him an e-mail with the news article linked above. Here is John’s e-mail response.
I’ve corresponded with John for 8 years, and I can say that what you will read is typical of his unwavering spirit and clarity of purpose.
Thanks for pointing out that declaration but there seems to be no sense behind it but merely ignorance and despair and a condition close to bankruptcy.
Neither the king nor his advisors or the ministry under him and the parliament know what they ought to do.
They only know that they cannot endlessly raise and increase taxes, borrow money and inflate the currency and then spend, spend, spend.
But they do not have to know and act rightfully and sensibly themselves and immediately.
It would suffice if they simply got out of the way of those, relatively few, who do know what needs to be done or believe that they do.
Leonard E. Read said it in all too general and few words, without setting out all the practical implications: “Release all creative energies!”
That would mean allowing all kinds of dissenters to secede and do their own things, under full exterritorial autonomy or personal law, ignoring especially all interventionist and anti-economic laws.
Conceding their former subjects full freedom of contract, association and experimentation.
Including e.g. full monetary and financial freedom and free trade.
No more central banking monopoly and regulations.
No more taxation, not for any of the secessionists.
Full laissez faire options for them in economics, politics and social arrangements.
Then at least some of the Dutch people would know what to do and would do it fast, honestly and profitably.
Tax abolition alone would do a lot for them.
So would an end of inflation, through full monetary freedom.
So would fully free trade for those, who desire it.
Sure, some flawed and even crackpot experiments would also be tried – by their believers and at their expense and risk.
But they would tend to fail, mostly rather fast.
The few, who would immediately do the right things among themselves, would be rapidly successful and then their successful methods would be widely copied by more and more people, until almost all have adopted them.
The only thing to remain forbidden are interferences with the voluntary and self-responsible actions of any group, under any pretence.
The right to succeed through one’s own honest and productive efforts should be completely unrestricted.
So should be the right to fail through flawed actions, always at one’s own expense and risk.
Thus not only would the members of the first kind of groups become better off but the members of the second group would become even poorer.
That should start them to rethink their actions and choices, their ideas, beliefs and convictions rather fast.
That thinking would be greatly helped by merely observing how the successful groups managed to become successful.
I believe that under these conditions most Dutch people would change over to better and even the best systems on offer and also already practically demonstrated – rather fast.
Even now, most Australians and working people in other countries do frequently change their suppliers, if they see better offers and also their jobs, if they see better jobs or better paid once.
No great intelligence and knowledge is required to make these changes. They are done daily, by many.
The “lawless” and suddenly legalised and self-chosen changes can come rather fast, as they did e.g with the end of the Berlin Wall and also, before that, with the ending of price controls, delivery quotas and rationing and a new and better currency in Germany back in 1948.
Money was still a governmental monopoly but for at least for a few years it was no longer fast inflated and for some years not at all.
Before that change the shop windows were rather empty. After it, they were suddenly full with displays of goods offered at market prices.
The improvement would have been as fast but would have gone further with the ending of compulsory taxation and of monetary despotism and of xyz other wrongful economic restrictions, which did remain.
Yes, those who wished to drop out of the constitutional monarchy should also be free to do so.
The various state socialist and communist sects should also have been allowed to do their things – to themselves, at their own expense and risk. They would thus make themselves rapidly ridiculous.
The only “sacrifices” required would be wrongful and irrational laws and institutions and flawed opinions on economic, political and social matters.
All would get their maximum chance under optimal conditions, with unanimous voluntary support in the beginning.
But with secession from these experiments also being quite free, the number of volunteers for the flawed systems would tend to shrink fast.
What works well or well enough would be rapidly demonstrated.
So would everything that does not work well enough or even badly.
Even dumb people can recognise bargains and can copy successful systems which they have under close observation, almost next door.
“Spying” on the successful neighbours would be helpful to all. It would even be invited.
The volunteers in the xyz experiments would wish maximum publicity for their efforts, at least as long as they still believe that they will be successful.
Productivity, employment and exchange would rapidly rise.
My younger granddaughter understood at least one of the libertarian slogans from my collection, printed it out in large fat letters and encased it in plastic and made a present of it to me:
“Can a people tax themselves into prosperity? Can a man standing in a bucket lift himself up by the handle?”
She has certainly not yet studied economics but has common sense and is a good observer.
All that is needed is setting people free to do their things for or to themselves.
That will force them to make quickly many choices and among them more and more correct ones, those, which do pay them sufficiently or much for their offers – and this untaxed and in competing sound currencies or clearing certificates or clearing account credits.
Let all of them be set free to practise sound freedom principles immediately or to learn about them by their own experiences and by observing the free and successful actions of the first freedom pioneers.
The whole could be advanced as “fools’ liberty” or as a new game, adventure or competition for volunteers freely acting out their own notions and ideas, together with likeminded people and without any compulsory participation, subjugation or tribute levies or subsidies.
This new “game” could be played in good humour, tolerantly, pleasantly and without any heated arguments.
But it could also lead to extensive betting on which system would be most successful and this soonest.
Until the successes are understood, widely copied and finally taken for granted, it would be a new and adventurous as well as challenging game, perhaps more attractive for a while than soccer, tennis or cricket games.
For the failures there would still be some charitable actions required and, most likely also offered.
That would be more assured if all these aids were given only as personal loans, to be repaid, gradually, with interest, once the failures have adopted one of the successful systems.
Any continued failures should certainly not be subsidised by anyone but the remaining believers in the failing systems.
A whole population will not learn a new lesson or be ready to undertake a new experiment. But individuals and small groups can and will, especially if it merely means applying what they do already believe in. Let them act as scouts for the masses to follow, sooner or later, at their own speed.
How does nature gradually change whole species? By single mutations being given their chance.
That ends this particular e-mail of John’s. PIOT means panarchy in our time. That is what John calls for when he writes “That would mean allowing all kinds of dissenters to secede and do their own things, under full exterritorial autonomy or personal law, ignoring especially all interventionist and anti-economic laws.”