Abolishing someone else’s chosen and willingly-tolerated government is coercive. Abolishing someone else’s chosen and willingly-tolerated sub-government or program is coercive. If some other people agree to be coerced or to stay with some government, who are you or I to say otherwise?
Your proper sphere of decision-making is your own participation. Only you know whether you are being coerced or not. Optionality allows you to exercise that right. This is like saying you are free when you are free to decide yourself. It’s virtually a definition of freedom. Optionality is freedom. But this implies that some people may choose differently than you and give up freedom in certain respects.
Government needs to be unbundled, both conceptually and actually. Each activity needs to be tied to its financing cost. At present, it’s one big commons handled by only a few gross votes. The optionality is extremely limited. Clearly we move toward greater freedom as we are able to opt in or out of government programs and laws. The conception of unbundling and optionality here is what’s important. Those who support government or some program have no viable rejoinder. If they want coercion and taxes, they can have it. But what right do they have to make you part of their game? None. By the same token, you have no right to make them part of your zero-government game.
If you have the option to take or leave some government activity, you have your freedom of choice regarding that activity. That’s clear, but is it proper or moral or your right to end it for those people who want it? I say it is not.
If a Mafia Don is coercing you into supporting his family, that’s wrong. You have a right to stop him from coercing you. Suppose he takes protection money from you in the name of protecting you. All you need for your freedom is being able to get out of paying him. You don’t need or have a right to end his protection of others IF they themselves choose to stay with that Don.
I don’t think those who run government have a heart, i.e., any incentive to make government programs optional. The voters don’t think this way and neither do elected officials and bureaucrats. Most everyone accepts coercion apart from a few diehard libertarians.
I don’t expect them to change out of the goodness of their hearts. No one will change without a different conception of what is right, morally and pragmatically for their self-interest.
I am offering a conception, not a roadmap for the government to alter its current nature.
The alternative conception to optional libertarianism is to take over government once enough people want this or that freedom and proceed to abolish what are said by this newly-educated freedom-loving majority to be immoral or coercive activities of government. But what then happens to the minorities who like certain programs and would be or might be willing to pay taxes to support them? Aren’t they then being squeezed out of power and coerced?
The conceptual and moral solution is obvious. Let us opt out and let those who want otherwise to opt in. Let them pay but not us. Let them follow their own imposed laws but not us.
We should not be in the business of removing Dons for ALL of us. Under that concept, the government will find reason to remove Saddam Hussein or Putin or some other ruler. The goal is to remove the Don’s power over those of us who do not favor it.
Making things optional? Must it be a government action? This is where I feel we have to have a notion of how to get there. I do not think we get there from a government action. We get there from altering our society and that results in a change in government itself, its structure and concept.
At the moment, we are forced into a single society by having a single federal government with its array of powers. We are effectively collectivized. One of the effects of thinking about optionality is to break down this collective mentality and implicit assumption. Many people might want a collective defense and be willing to pay for it if it were offered separately. Break that down further. Some might pay for an air force but not a navy. Break it down further. Some might pay for NSA surveillance but others not.
People resist abolishing government because there are certain activities they want and think that government is good for. That’s their present mentality. That can change with education but we shouldn’t try to change it with abolition. It will not work. What those who support programs X or Y or Z do is to accept that it’s right to make us all participate. They endorse the single society idea and all that it implies. However, it’s only maintained by force of arms or extortion or terror, if you will. Government supporters are basically terrorists of a certain type, extortionists. Pay or else. They are collectivists.
Optionality is a concept designed to make people realize that they are acting immorally in support of a single society and government. One nation, indivisible, is wrong, not when it’s gotten by coercion. We do not put it right by going to the other extreme, ourselves gaining control of government and then abolishing this government altogether or certain of its programs. It hasn’t worked anyway, and it won’t.10:47 am on June 16, 2015 Email Michael S. Rozeff