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Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More

Ripple vs SWIFT: The War Begins
While most criticisms of XRP do nothing to curb my bullish Ripple price forecast, there is one obstacle that nags at my conscience. Its name is SWIFT.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the king of international payments.

It coordinates wire transfers across 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries and territories, meaning that in order for XRP prices to ascend to $10.00, Ripple needs to launch a successful coup. That is, and always has been, an unwritten part of Ripple’s story.

We’ve seen a lot of progress on that score. In the last three years, Ripple wooed more than 100 financial firms onto its.

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Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More

Cryptocurrency Price Forecast: Trust Is Growing, But Prices Are Falling

Trust Is Growing…
Before we get to this week’s cryptocurrency news, analysis, and our cryptocurrency price forecast, I want to share an experience from this past week. I was at home watching the NBA playoffs, trying to ignore the commercials, when a strange advertisement caught my eye.

It followed a tomato from its birth on the vine to its end on the dinner table (where it was served as a bolognese sauce), and a diamond from its dusty beginnings to when it sparkled atop an engagement ring.

The voiceover said: “This is a shipment passed 200 times, transparently tracked from port to port. This is the IBM blockchain.”

Let that sink in—IBM.

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Cryptocurrency Price Forecast: Trust Is Growing, But Prices Are Falling

Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week

Cryptocurrency News
Cryptocurrencies traded sideways since our last report on cryptos. However, I noticed something interesting when playing around with Yahoo! Finance’s cryptocurrency screener: There are profitable pockets in this market.

Incidentally, Yahoo’s screener is far superior to the one on CoinMarketCap, so if you’re looking to compare digital assets, I highly recommend it.

But let’s get back to my epiphany.

In the last month, at one point or another, most crypto assets on our favorites list saw double-digit increases. It’s true that each upswing was followed by a hard crash, but investors who rode the trend would have made a.

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Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week

Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens

Cryptocurrency News & Market Summary
Investors finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel last week, with cryptos soaring across the board. No one quite knows what kicked off the rally—as it could have been any of the stories we discuss below—but the net result was positive.

Of course, prices won’t stay on this rocket ride forever. I expect to see a resurgence of volatility in short order, because the market is moving as a single unit. Everything is rising in tandem.

This tells me that investors are simply “buying the dip” rather than identifying which cryptos have enough real-world value to outlive the crash.

So if you want to know when.

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Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens

Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News
This was a bloody week for cryptocurrencies. Everything was covered in red, from Ethereum (ETH) on down to the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Some investors claim it was inevitable. Others say that price manipulation is to blame.

We think the answers are more complicated than either side has to offer, because our research reveals deep contradictions between the price of cryptos and the underlying development of blockchain projects.

For instance, a leading venture capital (VC) firm launched a $300.0-million crypto investment fund, yet liquidity continues to dry up in crypto markets.

Another example is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack

Another Crypto Hack Derails Recovery
Since our last report, hackers broke into yet another cryptocurrency exchange. This time the target was Bithumb, a Korean exchange known for high-flying prices and ultra-active traders.

While the hackers made off with approximately $31.5 million in funds, the exchange is working with relevant authorities to return the stolen tokens to their respective owners. In the event that some is still missing, the exchange will cover the losses. (Source: “Bithumb Working With Other Crypto Exchanges to Recover Hacked Funds,”.

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Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack

Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More

Cryptocurrency News
On the whole, cryptocurrency prices are down from our previous report on cryptos, with the market slipping on news of an exchange being hacked and a report about Bitcoin manipulation.

However, there have been two bright spots: 1) an official from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Ethereum is not a security, and 2) Coinbase is expanding its selection of tokens.

Let’s start with the good news.
SEC Says ETH Is Not a Security
Investors have some reason to cheer this week. A high-ranking SEC official told attendees of the Yahoo! All Markets Summit: Crypto that Ethereum and Bitcoin are not.

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Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More

Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity

Cryptocurrency News
Even though the cryptocurrency news was upbeat in recent days, the market tumbled after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected calls for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

That news came as a blow to investors, many of whom believe the ETF would open the cryptocurrency industry up to pension funds and other institutional investors. This would create a massive tailwind for cryptos, they say.

So it only follows that a rejection of the Bitcoin ETF should send cryptos tumbling, correct? Well, maybe you can follow that logic. To me, it seems like a dramatic overreaction.

I understand that legitimizing cryptos is important. But.

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Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity

Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds

Cryptocurrency News
Although cryptocurrency prices were heating up last week (Bitcoin, especially), regulators poured cold water on the rally by rejecting calls for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This is the second time that the proposal fell on deaf ears. (More on that below.)

Crypto mining ran into similar trouble, as you can see from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.‘s (NASDAQ:AMD) most recent quarterly earnings. However, it wasn’t all bad news. Investors should, for instance, be cheering the fact that hedge funds are ramping up their involvement in cryptocurrency markets.

Without further ado, here are those stories in greater detail.
ETF Rejection.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds

Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs

Cryptocurrency News
While headline numbers look devastating this week, investors might take some solace in knowing that cryptocurrencies found their bottom at roughly $189.8 billion in market cap—that was the low point. Since then, investors put more than $20.0 billion back into the market.

During the rout, Ethereum broke below $300.00 and XRP fell below $0.30, marking yearly lows for both tokens. The same was true down the list of the top 100 biggest cryptos.

Altcoins took the brunt of the hit. BTC Dominance, which reveals how tightly investment is concentrated in Bitcoin, rose from 42.62% to 53.27% in just one month, showing that investors either fled altcoins at higher.

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Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs

The Voluntaryist

If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself. -GandhiStatement of Purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society.We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy.

Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.

Quote of the DayThe twentieth century was one in which limits on state power were removed in order to let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abattoir. We Americans are the only ones who didnt get creamed at some point during all of this. We are free and prosperous because we have inherited political and value systems fabricated by a particular set of eighteenth-century intellectuals who happened to get it right. But we have lost touch with those intellectuals. Notable and Quotable, The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2011, p. A 17 [from Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning Was the Command Line (1999), p. 53.]

Has someone ever asked you why you are the way you are? Wouldnt it be great to have an explanation at the ready the next time family, friends, or co-workers asked? Is it nature or nurture or both? Were you born of parents that had a dislike of government? Did government agents step on your toes? Was it a teacher that presented you with tough questions that the rote answers of political science couldnt answer?

Is it possible that, with the way the world is going, one day voluntaryists will be an endangered species? Actually, we already are! It is entirely possible to imagine that one day in the dark future government propagandists will try to make out that voluntaryists never existed.

We have to prove them wrong! Our stories and histories must be told and preserved.

To this purpose, we have created a section on our voluntaryist.com website titled How I Became A Voluntaryist. Already a number of autobiographies have been posted, but we would like more.

Please submit your articles in any format you wish (preferably in an email or as an email attachment). Essays will be screened for editorial purposes, and the most interesting of them will be published, as well, in our newsletter.

Commit your history to paper and the web. Please send your story now to editor@voluntaryist.com or snail to Box 275, Gramling, SC 29348.

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The Voluntaryist

voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism

Introduction

Voluntaryism is the doctrine that relations among people should be by mutual consent, or not at all. It represents a means, an end, and an insight. Voluntaryism does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take; only that force be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. As it is the means which determine the end, the goal of an all voluntary society must be sought voluntarily. People cannot be coerced into freedom. Hence, the use of the free market, education, persuasion, and non-violent resistance as the primary ways to change people’s ideas about the State. The voluntaryist insight, that all tyranny and government are grounded upon popular acceptance, explains why voluntary means are sufficient to attain that end.

Violence is never a means to knowledge. As Isabel Paterson, explained in her book, The God of the Machine, “No edict of law can impart to an individual a faculty denied him by nature. A government order cannot mend a broken leg, but it can command the mutilation of a sound body. It cannot bestow intelligence, but it can forbid the use of intelligence.” Or, as Baldy Harper used to put it, “You cannot shoot a truth!” The advocate of any form of invasive violence is in a logically precarious situation. Coercion does not convince, nor is it any kind of argument. William Godwin pointed out that force “is contrary to the nature of the intellect, which cannot but be improved by conviction and persuasion,” and “if he who employs coercion against me could mold me to his purposes by argument, no doubt, he would.. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because he is weak.” Violence contains none of the energies that enhance a civilized human society. At best, it is only capable of expanding the material existence of a few individuals, while narrowing the opportunities of most others.

People engage in voluntary exchanges because they anticipate improving their lot; the only individuals capable of judging the merits of an exchange are the parties to it. Voluntaryism follows naturally if no one does anything to stop it. The interplay of natural property and exchanges results in a free market price system, which conveys the necessary information needed to make intelligent economic decisions. Interventionism and collectivism make economic calculation impossible because they disrupt the free market price system. Even the smallest government intervention leads to problems which justify the call for more and more intervention. Also, “controlled” economies leave no room for new inventions, new ways of doing things, or for the “unforeseeable and unpredictable.” Free market competition is a learning process which brings about results which no one can know in advance. There is no way to tell how much harm has been done and will continue to be done by political restrictions.

The voluntary principle assures us that while we may have the possibility of choosing the worst, we also have the possibility of choosing the best. It provides us the opportunity to make things better, though it doesn’t guarantee results. While it dictates that we do not force our idea of “better” on someone else, it protects us from having someone else’s idea of “better” imposed on us by force. The use of coercion to compel virtue eliminates its possibility, for to be moral, an act must be uncoerced. If a person is compelled to act in a certain way (or threatened with government sanctions), there is nothing virtuous about his or her behavior. Freedom of choice is a necessary ingredient for the achievement of virtue. Whenever there is a chance for the good life, the risk of a bad one must also be accepted.

Common sense and reason tell us that nothing can be right by legislative enactment if it is not already right by nature. Epictetus, the Stoic, urged men to defy tyrants in such a way as to cast doubt on the necessity of government itself. “If the government directed them to do something that their reason opposed, they were to defy the government. If it told them to do what their reason would have told them to do anyway, they did not need a government.” Just as we do not require a State to dictate what is right or wrong in growing food, manufacturing textiles, or in steel-making, we do not need a government to dictate standards and procedures in any field of endeavor. “In spite of the legislature, the snow will fall when the sun is in Capricorn, and the flowers will bloom when it is in Cancer.”

Although certain services and goods are necessary to our survival, it is not essential that they be provided by the government. Voluntaryists oppose the State because it uses coercive means. The means are the seeds which bud into flower and come into fruition. It is impossible to plant the seed of coercion and then reap the flower of voluntaryism. The coercionist always proposes to compel people to do some-thing, usually by passing laws or electing politicians to office. These laws and officials depend upon physical violence to enforce their wills. Voluntary means, such as non-violent resistance, for example, violate no one’s rights. They only serve to nullify laws and politicians by ignoring them. Voluntaryism does not require of people that they violently overthrow their government, or use the electoral process to change it; merely that they shall cease to support their government, whereupon it will fall of its own dead weight. If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.

It is a commonplace observation that the means one uses must be consistent with the goal one seeks. It is impossible to “wage a war for peace” or “fight politics by becoming political.” Freedom and private property are total, indivisible concepts that are compromised wherever and whenever the State exists. Since all things are related to one another in our complicated social world, if one man’s freedom or private property may be violated (regardless of the justification), then every man’s freedom and property are insecure. The superior man can only be sure of his freedom if the inferior man is secure in his rights. We often forget that we can secure our liberty only by preserving it for the most despicable and obnoxious among us, lest we set precedents that can reach us.

It is a fact of human nature that the only person who can think with your brain is you. Neither can a person be compelled to do anything against his or her will, for each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own actions. Governments try to terrorize individuals into submitting to tyranny by grabbing their bodies as hostages and trying to destroy their spirits. This strategy is not successful against the person who harbors the Stoic attitude toward life, and who refuses to allow pain to disturb the equanimity of his or her mind, and the exercise of reason. A government might destroy one’s body or property, but it cannot injure one’s philosophy of life. – Furthermore, the voluntaryist rejects the use of political power because it can only be exercised by implicitly endorsing or using violence to accomplish one’s ends. The power to do good to others is also the power to do them harm. Power to compel people, to control other people’s lives, is what political power is all about. It violates all the basic principles of voluntaryism: might does not make right; the end never justifies the means; nor may one person coercively interfere in the life of another. Even the smallest amount of political power is dangerous. First, it reduces the capacity of at least some people to lead their own lives in their own way. Second, and more important from the voluntaryist point of view, is what it does to the person wielding the power: it corrupts that person’s character.

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voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism

Do it yourself – Wikipedia

“Do it yourself” (“DIY”) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g., landscaping)”.[1] DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness).[2]

The term “do-it-yourself” has been associated with consumers since at least 1912 primarily in the domain of home improvement and maintenance activities.[3] The phrase “do it yourself” had come into common usage (in standard English) by the 1950s,[4] in reference to the emergence of a trend of people undertaking home improvement and various other small craft and construction projects as both a creative-recreational and cost-saving activity.

Subsequently, the term DIY has taken on a broader meaning that covers a wide range of skill sets. DIY is associated with the international alternative rock, punk rock, and indie rock music scenes; indymedia networks, pirate radio stations, and the zine community. In this context, DIY is related to the Arts and Crafts movement, in that it offers an alternative to modern consumer culture’s emphasis on relying on others to satisfy needs. It has also become prevalent in the personal finance. When investing in the stock one can utilize a professional advisor or partake in do-it-yourself investing.

Italian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a 6th-century BC Greek structure in southern Italy that came with detailed assembly instructions and is being called an “ancient IKEA building”. The structure was a temple-like building discovered at Torre Satriano, near the southern city of Potenza, in Basilicata, a region where local people mingled with Greeks who settled along the southern coast known as Magna Graecia and in Sicily from the 8th century BC onwards. Professor Christopher Smith, director of the British School at Rome, said that the discovery was “the clearest example yet found of mason’s marks of the time. It looks as if someone was instructing others how to mass-produce components and put them together in this way”. Much like the instruction booklets, various sections of the luxury building were inscribed with coded symbols showing how the pieces slotted together. The characteristics of these inscriptions indicate they date back to around the 6th century BC, which tallies with the architectural evidence suggested by the decoration. The building was built by Greek artisans coming from the Spartan colony of Taranto in Apulia.[5][6][7]

In North America, there was a DIY magazine publishing niche in the first half of the twentieth century. Magazines such as Popular Mechanics (founded in 1902) and Mechanix Illustrated (founded in 1928) offered a way for readers to keep current on useful practical skills, techniques, tools, and materials. As many readers lived in rural or semi-rural regions, initially much of the material related to their needs on the farm or in a small town.

The DIY movement is a re-introduction (often to urban and suburban dwellers) of the old pattern of personal involvement and use of skills in the upkeep of a house or apartment, making clothes; maintenance of cars, computers, websites; or any material aspect of living. The philosopher Alan Watts (from the “Houseboat Summit” panel discussion in a 1967 edition of the San Francisco Oracle) reflected a growing sentiment:

Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don’t learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses, how to make love, or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character.[8]

In the 1970s, DIY spread through the North American population of college- and recent-college-graduate age groups. In part, this movement involved the renovation of affordable, rundown older homes. But it also related to various projects expressing the social and environmental vision of the 1960s and early 1970s. The young visionary Stewart Brand, working with friends and family, and initially using the most basic of typesetting and page-layout tools, published the first edition of The Whole Earth Catalog (subtitled Access to Tools) in late 1968.

The first Catalog, and its successors, used a broad definition of the term “tools”. There were informational tools, such as books (often technical in nature), professional journals, courses, classes, and the like. There were specialized, designed items, such as carpenters’ and masons’ tools, garden tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials and so on; even early personal computers. The designer J. Baldwin acted as editor to include such items, writing many of the reviews. The Catalog’s publication both emerged from and spurred the great wave of experimentalism, convention-breaking, and do-it-yourself attitude of the late 1960s. Often copied, the Catalog appealed to a wide cross-section of people in North America and had a broad influence.

DIY home improvement books burgeoned in the 1970s, first created as collections of magazine articles. An early, extensive line of DIY how-to books was created by Sunset Books, based upon previously published articles from their magazine, Sunset, based in California. Time-Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Balcony Garden Web and other publishers soon followed suit.

In the mid-1990s, DIY home-improvement content began to find its way onto the World Wide Web. HouseNet was the earliest bulletin-board style site where users could share information. HomeTips.com, established in early 1995, was among the first Web-based sites to deliver free extensive DIY home-improvement content created by expert authors.[citation needed] Since the late 1990s, DIY has exploded on the Web through thousands of sites.

In the 1970s, when home video (VCRs) came along, DIY instructors quickly grasped its potential for demonstrating processes by audio-visual means. In 1979, the PBS television series This Old House, starring Bob Vila, premiered and this spurred a DIY television revolution. The show was immensely popular, educating people on how to improve their living conditions (and the value of their house) without the expense of paying someone else to do (as much of) the work. In 1994, the HGTV Network cable television channel was launched in the United States and Canada, followed in 1999 by the DIY Network cable television channel. Both were launched to appeal to the growing percentage of North Americans interested in DIY topics, from home improvement to knitting. Such channels have multiple shows showing how to stretch one’s budget to achieve professional-looking results (Design Cents, Design on a Dime, etc.) while doing the work yourself. Toolbelt Diva specifically caters to female DIYers.

Beyond magazines and television, the scope of home improvement DIY continues to grow online where most mainstream media outlets now have extensive DIY-focused informational websites such as This Old House, Martha Stewart, Hometalk, and the DIY Network. These are often extensions of their magazine or television brand. The growth of independent online DIY resources is also spiking.[9] The number of homeowners who blog about their experiences continues to grow, along with DIY websites from smaller organizations.

DIY amongst the fashion community is popular, with ideas being shared on social media such as YouTube about clothing, jewellery, makeup and hair styles. Techniques include distressing jeans, bleaching jeans, redesigning an old shirt, and studding denim. This trend is becoming popular.

The terms “DIY” and “do-it-yourself” are also used to describe:

DIY as a subculture could be said to have begun with the punk movement of the 1970s.[13] Instead of traditional means of bands reaching their audiences through large music labels, bands began recording, manufacturing albums and merchandise, booking their own tours, and creating opportunities for smaller bands to get wider recognition and gain cult status through repetitive low-cost DIY touring. The burgeoning zine movement took up coverage of and promotion of the underground punk scenes, and significantly altered the way fans interacted with musicians. Zines quickly branched off from being hand-made music magazines to become more personal; they quickly became one of the youth culture’s gateways to DIY culture. This led to tutorial zines showing others how to make their own shirts, posters, zines, books, food, etc.

Originally posted here:

Do it yourself – Wikipedia

The Voluntaryist

If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself. -GandhiStatement of Purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society.We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy.

Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.

Quote of the DayThe evil of church-and state-coerced speech, whether in the form of forced recanting, repentance, naming names, flag statutes, or loyalty oaths, lies in the coercion itself … . -Haig Bosmajian, THE FREEDOM NOT TO SPEAK (1999), p. 198.

Recent Changes and Additions

Has someone ever asked you why you are the way you are? Wouldnt it be great to have an explanation at the ready the next time family, friends, or co-workers asked? Is it nature or nurture or both? Were you born of parents that had a dislike of government? Did government agents step on your toes? Was it a teacher that presented you with tough questions that the rote answers of political science couldnt answer?

Is it possible that, with the way the world is going, one day voluntaryists will be an endangered species? Actually, we already are! It is entirely possible to imagine that one day in the dark future government propagandists will try to make out that voluntaryists never existed.

We have to prove them wrong! Our stories and histories must be told and preserved.

To this purpose, we have created a section on our voluntaryist.com website titled How I Became A Voluntaryist. Already a number of autobiographies have been posted, but we would like more.

Please submit your articles in any format you wish (preferably in an email or as an email attachment). Essays will be screened for editorial purposes, and the most interesting of them will be published, as well, in our newsletter.

Commit your history to paper and the web. Please send your story now to editor@voluntaryist.com or snail to Box 275, Gramling, SC 29348.

Read the original post:

The Voluntaryist

voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism

Introduction

Voluntaryism is the doctrine that relations among people should be by mutual consent, or not at all. It represents a means, an end, and an insight. Voluntaryism does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take; only that force be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. As it is the means which determine the end, the goal of an all voluntary society must be sought voluntarily. People cannot be coerced into freedom. Hence, the use of the free market, education, persuasion, and non-violent resistance as the primary ways to change people’s ideas about the State. The voluntaryist insight, that all tyranny and government are grounded upon popular acceptance, explains why voluntary means are sufficient to attain that end.

Violence is never a means to knowledge. As Isabel Paterson, explained in her book, The God of the Machine, “No edict of law can impart to an individual a faculty denied him by nature. A government order cannot mend a broken leg, but it can command the mutilation of a sound body. It cannot bestow intelligence, but it can forbid the use of intelligence.” Or, as Baldy Harper used to put it, “You cannot shoot a truth!” The advocate of any form of invasive violence is in a logically precarious situation. Coercion does not convince, nor is it any kind of argument. William Godwin pointed out that force “is contrary to the nature of the intellect, which cannot but be improved by conviction and persuasion,” and “if he who employs coercion against me could mold me to his purposes by argument, no doubt, he would.. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because he is weak.” Violence contains none of the energies that enhance a civilized human society. At best, it is only capable of expanding the material existence of a few individuals, while narrowing the opportunities of most others.

People engage in voluntary exchanges because they anticipate improving their lot; the only individuals capable of judging the merits of an exchange are the parties to it. Voluntaryism follows naturally if no one does anything to stop it. The interplay of natural property and exchanges results in a free market price system, which conveys the necessary information needed to make intelligent economic decisions. Interventionism and collectivism make economic calculation impossible because they disrupt the free market price system. Even the smallest government intervention leads to problems which justify the call for more and more intervention. Also, “controlled” economies leave no room for new inventions, new ways of doing things, or for the “unforeseeable and unpredictable.” Free market competition is a learning process which brings about results which no one can know in advance. There is no way to tell how much harm has been done and will continue to be done by political restrictions.

The voluntary principle assures us that while we may have the possibility of choosing the worst, we also have the possibility of choosing the best. It provides us the opportunity to make things better, though it doesn’t guarantee results. While it dictates that we do not force our idea of “better” on someone else, it protects us from having someone else’s idea of “better” imposed on us by force. The use of coercion to compel virtue eliminates its possibility, for to be moral, an act must be uncoerced. If a person is compelled to act in a certain way (or threatened with government sanctions), there is nothing virtuous about his or her behavior. Freedom of choice is a necessary ingredient for the achievement of virtue. Whenever there is a chance for the good life, the risk of a bad one must also be accepted.

Common sense and reason tell us that nothing can be right by legislative enactment if it is not already right by nature. Epictetus, the Stoic, urged men to defy tyrants in such a way as to cast doubt on the necessity of government itself. “If the government directed them to do something that their reason opposed, they were to defy the government. If it told them to do what their reason would have told them to do anyway, they did not need a government.” Just as we do not require a State to dictate what is right or wrong in growing food, manufacturing textiles, or in steel-making, we do not need a government to dictate standards and procedures in any field of endeavor. “In spite of the legislature, the snow will fall when the sun is in Capricorn, and the flowers will bloom when it is in Cancer.”

Although certain services and goods are necessary to our survival, it is not essential that they be provided by the government. Voluntaryists oppose the State because it uses coercive means. The means are the seeds which bud into flower and come into fruition. It is impossible to plant the seed of coercion and then reap the flower of voluntaryism. The coercionist always proposes to compel people to do some-thing, usually by passing laws or electing politicians to office. These laws and officials depend upon physical violence to enforce their wills. Voluntary means, such as non-violent resistance, for example, violate no one’s rights. They only serve to nullify laws and politicians by ignoring them. Voluntaryism does not require of people that they violently overthrow their government, or use the electoral process to change it; merely that they shall cease to support their government, whereupon it will fall of its own dead weight. If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.

It is a commonplace observation that the means one uses must be consistent with the goal one seeks. It is impossible to “wage a war for peace” or “fight politics by becoming political.” Freedom and private property are total, indivisible concepts that are compromised wherever and whenever the State exists. Since all things are related to one another in our complicated social world, if one man’s freedom or private property may be violated (regardless of the justification), then every man’s freedom and property are insecure. The superior man can only be sure of his freedom if the inferior man is secure in his rights. We often forget that we can secure our liberty only by preserving it for the most despicable and obnoxious among us, lest we set precedents that can reach us.

It is a fact of human nature that the only person who can think with your brain is you. Neither can a person be compelled to do anything against his or her will, for each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own actions. Governments try to terrorize individuals into submitting to tyranny by grabbing their bodies as hostages and trying to destroy their spirits. This strategy is not successful against the person who harbors the Stoic attitude toward life, and who refuses to allow pain to disturb the equanimity of his or her mind, and the exercise of reason. A government might destroy one’s body or property, but it cannot injure one’s philosophy of life. – Furthermore, the voluntaryist rejects the use of political power because it can only be exercised by implicitly endorsing or using violence to accomplish one’s ends. The power to do good to others is also the power to do them harm. Power to compel people, to control other people’s lives, is what political power is all about. It violates all the basic principles of voluntaryism: might does not make right; the end never justifies the means; nor may one person coercively interfere in the life of another. Even the smallest amount of political power is dangerous. First, it reduces the capacity of at least some people to lead their own lives in their own way. Second, and more important from the voluntaryist point of view, is what it does to the person wielding the power: it corrupts that person’s character.

See the original post:

voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism

Hatzalah – Wikipedia

This article is about the Emergency Medical Services organization. For the holocaust rescue organization, see Vaad Hatzalah.

Hatzalah (“rescue” or “relief” in Hebrew: ) is a volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) organization serving mostly Jewish communities around the world. Most local branches operate independently of each other, but use the common name. The Hebrew spelling of the name is always the same, but there are many variations in transliteration, such as Hatzolah, Hatzoloh and Hatzola.[1] It is also often called Chevra Hatzalah, which loosely translates as “Company of Rescuers” or “Group of Rescuers.”

The original Hatzalah EMS was founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, USA by Rabbi Hershel Weber in the late 1960s,[2] to improve rapid emergency medical response in the community, and to mitigate cultural concerns of a Yiddish-speaking, religious Hasidic community. The idea spread to other Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in the New York City area, and eventually to other regions, countries, and continents. Hatzalah is believed to be the largest volunteer ambulance service in the world.[3][4] Chevra Hatzalah in New York has more than a thousand volunteer EMTs and paramedics who answer more than 70,000 calls each year with private vehicles and a fleet of more than 90 ambulances.[5]

Hatzalah organizations now function in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Panama,[6] Russia,[7] South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom,[8] Ukraine, and in 10 states in the US: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Hatzalah branches are currently being organized in other states as well.

In Israel, there are two Hatzalah organizations operating on the national level, Ichud Hatzalah (Hebrew: ), Hebrew for, “United Hatzalah”, and Tzevet Hatzalah (Hebrew: ). While United Hatzalah is unarguably the larger of the two organizations, their volunteers are limited to direct response on scene care, versus Tzevet Hatzalah volunteers which are additionally licensed and authorized to provide emergency transport utilizing Magen David Adom ambulances.

Hatzalah uses a fly-car system, where members are assigned ad-hoc to respond to the emergency. The dispatcher requests any units for a particular emergency location. Members who think they will have best response times respond via handheld radios, and the dispatcher confirms the appropriate members. Two members will typically respond directly to the call in their private vehicles. A third member retrieves an ambulance from a base location.[9]

Each directly dispatched Hatzolah volunteer has a full medical technician “jump kit,” in their car, with oxygen, trauma, and appropriate pharmaceutical supplies. Paramedic (EMT-P) members carry more extensive equipment and supplies, including EKG, IV, injection, intubation, and more pharmaceuticals. Each volunteer is called a unit (as in, a crew of one), and is assigned a unit number that starts with a neighborhood code, followed by a serial number for that neighborhood (e.g., “Q-381” means “Queens unit number 381″[10]). Ambulances also have unit numbers in the same format, with the first few numbers for each neighborhood reserved for the ambulance numbers.[9] Some neighborhoods have begun to assign 3-digit unit numbers to their ambulances, using numbers out of the range assigned to human member units (e.g. 900-numbers).

In some areas there may be periods where coverage is not strong enough, for example on a summer weekend. When this happens, coordinators may assign an on-call rotation. The rotation may still respond from their houses, or they may stay at the garage through their shift. In such periods, Hatzalah functions closer to a typical EMS crew setup, though the dispatchers may still seek non-on-call members to respond, and there will still often be a non-ambulance responder as first dispatched, even if that responder starts from the base.[10]

In Israel, United Hatzalah relies upon mobile phone technologies which include an SOS app and a special emergency phone number, 1221, with messages to news organizations distributed by WhatsApp.[11]

Hatzalah’s model provides for speedy first responder response times. Each Hatzalah neighborhood’s response time varies. For example, in Borough Park, Brooklyn daytime response in life threatening emergency are between 1-2 minutes and nighttime response times are 5-6 minutes.[12] In the Beverly-La Brea neighborhood of Los Angeles response times average at sixty to ninety seconds.[13]

Hatzalah is not a single organization. Each chapter operates autonomously, or in some cases, with varying levels of affiliation with neighboring Hatzalah chapters.[1][14]

In New York City’s Hatzalah, there is a very simple operational hierarchy. Usually, there are two or three members who are “coordinators,”[15] managing all operations aspects of the chapter.

As Orthodox Jews, many volunteers see each other daily during prayers, and especially on Shabbat. This allows them to remain organized despite the lack of an extensive formal hierarchy.

The coordinators are responsible for recruitment, interaction with municipal agency operations (police, fire, and EMS), first-line discipline, and day-to-day operations. The coordinators often are responsible, directly or via delegation, for arranging maintenance crews, who are often called service members or service units, and for purchasing supplies, ambulances, and other equipment. There is also an administrative function, often separate from the coordinator function. The chief administrator is often called a director or executive director, and this is sometimes a paid position. All other positions in Hatzalah, including coordinators, are held by unpaid volunteers.

Most of the New York State branches have some centralized administration and dispatch functions, known as “Central Hatzalah,” or simply, “Central.” The neighborhood organizations under Central are nevertheless independent. Most Hatzalah organizations pattern themselves after the Williamsburg and Central models (see operational descriptions below).

Formally, the New York City-area “Central Hatzalah” is called Chevra Hatzalah of New York. It combines dispatch and some other functions for over a dozen neighborhood organizations, including[14] Williamsburg,[2] Flatbush, Borough Park, Canarsie, Lower East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown, Washington Heights, Queens, Rockaways & Nassau County, Seagate, Catskills, Staten Island, Riverdale, and others. As each of these areas is otherwise independent, each has its own fundraising, management, garages, ambulances, and assigned members. Rockland County, NY branches have a centralized dispatch system as well, but their central organization is separate from the other New York State centralized functions, and they have a looser relationship with their New York State brethren, though there is a great deal of cooperation among them. Together, the combined New York State branches have grown to become the largest all-volunteer ambulance system in the United States.[12]

Within Israel the largest local organization is Magen David Adom.[citation needed]

Outside of New York and Israel, there are many smaller Hatzalah organizations. Each of these operates as a self-contained unit, with no centralized organization or coordination. However, where there are other Hatzalahs nearby, there is often a great deal of cooperation.

In the United Kingdom, Hatzalah use blue lights and sirens on their ambulances,[16] but cannot legally do so on private vehicles.[17]

Hatzalah organizations are often involved in other community activities, on top of their primary mission of emergency medical work. Many neighborhood chapters sponsor and participate in community events, both within the local Jewish community, and in the broader community.

Flatbush Hatzalah frequently plays softball against teams from local police precincts, firehouses, and hospitals.[18]

Hatzalah of Passaic/Clifton works with the local Bikur Cholim[19] to put on a yearly Health & Safety Fair at no charge to the community, with participation from both Jewish and non-Jewish presenters, said to get a turnout possibly exceeding 25% of the local community.[20]

Many Hatzalahs worldwide[21][22][23] run public relations campaigns related to safe drinking on Purim and fire safety on Chanukah and during Passover preparations. Chevra Hatzolah in New York works closely with the FDNY on this matter.

A number of items that are either unique to Hatzalah, or that are relatively unusual for an EMS include: Thumper

Most EMS rely on crews with scheduled shifts operating from a known location. Due to its members and the communities they serve usually living in proximity, Hatzolah relies little on scheduled crews and stations and rather has all service members on call 24/7 and members responding from wherever they are.[24]

Language, religion, and culture barriers create challenges for an emergency medical service. Hatzalah is built to consider these challenges, especially with regard to halacha (Jewish law) and communities that only speak Yiddish or Hebrew.

A Jew reluctant to violate Sabbath rules when receiving medical attention may be more at ease and easily convinced of the medical urgency, when the EMT or paramedic is a fellow Orthodox Jew. A female worried about physical modesty and contact is helped by knowing that a Jewish provider is aware of the details of her concerns, and will act to reduce the problem as much as possible.

Hatzalah was the subject of controversy as articles in the New York Post[25] and JEMS Magazine[26] criticize the organization for its discriminatory practice of not allowing women to join. The group of Orthodox women founded an organization called Ezras Nashim an all-female Orthodox Jewish volunteer EMT ambulance service,[27] they cited the need for modesty and sensitivity to the needs of fellow Orthodox women, with the goal of preserving womens modesty in emergency medical situations, especially childbirth. “This is a woman’s job. Historically, women have always delivered babies in traditional Jewish values, pointing to the Hebrew Bible Book of Exodus where the first midwives were women Shiphrah and Puah.[28] In our community, women also have a very strong motivation to seek female doctors,” said their lawyer, Rachel Freier, a Brooklyn Civil Court Judge and Orthodox Jewish mother of six.[29]

New York State Assembly member Dov Hikind announced on his radio show his support for Ezras Nashim [30] and he was criticized by Hatzalah.[31] The group received approval from their community’s leading rabbis, including prominent Rabbi Yechezkel Roth of Karlsburg.[32] Until now, Hatzolah has operated under this controversial policy, despite receiving public funding, such as the nearly half a million dollars in funding to overhaul the communication system at Hatzolahs new command center in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.[33]

In areas where the EMS charges a fee, lower income clientele lacking health insurance may have a reluctance to call for an ambulance unless the evidence of urgency is overwhelming. A volunteer service, with less overhead costs, tends to reduce that reluctance. Hatzolah will often handle “check-out” cases, without charge. In this way, the true emergencies among those check-outs may be recognized and treated quickly, where the caller might have otherwise not sought treatment.[34]

In contrast with most other EMS agencies, many Hatzalah volunteers will remain at the hospital with the patient long after bringing them to the emergency department. This is especially true during serious cases in order to help the patient and/or their families navigate the sometimes confusing series of events that occur during an emergency. Members will stay to explain, advocate and sometimes help make arrangements to bring in other specialists or arrange transfer to higher care facilities.

At times there have been difficulties in dealing with outside organizations, including other first-responders.[35][36]

In general, branches have excellent relations with state and local police and EMS.[37]

An example of those operating in uneven[38] or otherwise especially challenging situations[39] is Catskills Hatzolah, handling the swelling summer crowd.[40][41]

Israel’s United Hatzalah has shared its expertise with a group of Arab volunteers from East Jerusalem to form an emergency first response unit called Nuran. The group since has been dismantled and the volunteers were incorporated in United Hatzalah.

United Hatzalah’s relationship with Magen David Adom, however, is strained, and MDA has banned its members and volunteers from also volunteering in other rescue organizations, including Hatzalah.[42]

The Chevra NYC Central affiliates boast an excellent relationship with New York City and New York State agencies.[9]

On February 20, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission granted Chevrah Hatzalah’s request for a waiver to obtain calling party numbers (CPN) even when callers have caller ID blocking.[43] Calls to 911 are exempt from CPN blocking but calls to Chevrah Hatzalah do not go through 911. Other Hatzalah dispatch numbers, including other New York State Hatzalah groups, do not have this waiver, but some are working on it.

Hatzalah members were among the first responders to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.[44] Alongside other rescue workers, Hatzalah volunteers rescued, treated, and transported countless victims of the terrorist attack.[44] In the process they earned great respect from their peers in the emergency service community.[45]

Hatzalah was not dispatched by the city’s 911 system, and a printout of the 911 job from FDNY EMS does not list them as responding units.[46] However, audio recordings exist of Hatzalah’s own dispatch, including members calling for help during the collapse of the first tower.[47] There are also well-known photos of destroyed Hatzalah ambulances[48][49] and the destroyed cars of Hatzalah members, in the aftermath of the attack.[50]The Hatzalah units were also referred to in a memoir of 9/11 by responding NYC fireman Dennis Smith in his book Report From Ground Zero. On page 231 of the first edition he wrote: “I met two guys from Engine 39. They brought me to EMS, the Hezbollah [sic] ambulance.” This was corrected in later editions.

Chapters of the organization exist in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Israel, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, and in the United States. The chapters in each neighborhood or city operate independently though in many cases affiliations and levels of cooperation do exist between neighboring chapters.[1][51]

The rest is here:

Hatzalah – Wikipedia

Introduction to Voluntaryism – The Art of Not Being Governed

The following is a post by guest-author Peter Miller.

In this essay I will discuss the philosophy of Voluntaryism. In Section 1, I will explain the basic principles of this philosophy, then in Section 2, I will discuss some of the more controversial logical conclusions of the philosophy. In Section 3, I will provide some responses to common objections that people raise to Voluntaryism, and I will wrap it all up in Section 4 with some general comments on the future of Voluntaryism.

1. What is Voluntaryism?

Conceptually, Voluntaryism is a very simple moral philosophy it is the basic proposition that all human interaction should be directly consensual. Voluntaryism rejects the initiation of force in all its various forms including physical violence, threats of violence, theft, bullying, slavery, rape, murder, etc. However, unlike Pacifism, Voluntaryism does not bar the victim of coercion from responding in a strictly self-defensive manner. And voluntaryism completely rejects any attempts to construe offense as defense, such as the phrase the best defense is a good offence. Finally (and this barely needs mentioning, but for the sake of providing a complete definition I will include it) voluntaryism does not discriminate on race, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical or mental ability.

Hopefully, up to this point readers will not think that anything remarkable has been said. The above definitions really should sound less like a novel philosophy and more like how I already live and experience my life. Indeed 90% of human interactions are already conducted in the voluntary manner described above. In the next section I will discuss the remaining 10% of interactions which contradict the voluntary philosophy. (note that 90% and 10% are just numbers I made up to signify most and a small amount respectively).

2. Some Controversial Conclusions of Voluntaryism

Based on the above definitions, most people would agree that voluntaryism is a moral philosophy worth upholding. However, in my experience almost all these people will alter their stance and completely reject Voluntaryism when they discover what the logical conclusions of Voluntaryism entail. Here I will list and briefly discuss some of the logical conclusions which people typically find controversial:

Voluntaryism rejects trade restrictions (such as prohibition of substances or weapons)

The uncoerced passage of goods between seller and buyer is one of the most important consequences of the Voluntaryist philosophy. For the exchange to be voluntary, both parties must be free to set their own terms for the exchange. The seller must be free to charge any price and the buyer must be free to request any price. Both parties must be free to reject the other partys price and indeed the whole trade if desired. Obviously theft is the polar opposite of this voluntary arrangement and therefore is completely rejected under Voluntaryism.

If the seller fears that the buyer may use the exchanged goods for a purpose which he (the seller) does not personally agree with then, according to the Voluntaryist philosophy, the seller is completely justified in refusing to trade. For example, the seller might fear that the buyer would use the weapons he sells to attack innocent people, in which case he would be free to boycott the deal. Likewise, someone may buy a house then discover that there are marijuana plants growing in the garden. If this person does not approve of the use of marijuana then, according to the voluntaryist philosophy, there is no requirement to sell the plants even if doing so would be profitable.

Voluntaryism supports the acquisition of any weapon for defensive purposes, and denies the legitimacy of a third party to interfere in a trade of such goods. Ownership and use of drugs (e.g. alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, heroin) are unrelated to coercion and is therefore fully permissible under the Voluntaryist philosophy. Therefore Voluntaryism does not permit a third party to interfere against the wishes of the buyer and seller in drug trades.

Voluntaryism rejects taxation (regardless of the purpose of this tax)

Taxes are a form of involuntary exchange, and are synonymous with theft. Without the initiation of force, taxes would cease to exist. Taxes are not subject to voluntary negotiation between buyer and seller, but rather they consist of a third party forcefully intervening in a transaction to extract an arbitrary amount.

As this is one of the hardest concepts for newcomers to Voluntaryism to understand, I will devote a large portion of the Section 3 to responding to common objections to the claim that taxation is theft.

Voluntaryism rejects both non-defensive wars and mandatory conscription for any war

As was briefly mentioned in the first (definitions) section, Voluntaryism can be distinguished from pacifism in that Voluntaryism permits self-defense while Pacifism does not. Therefore the Voluntaryist response to a threat of invasion is to fend off the attackers, using deadly force only as a last resort; whereas the pacifist response would be to stand by and observe (or be killed) as the attackers invade.

However, initiating an attack, regardless of the intended purpose of that attack, runs directly against the Voluntaryist philosophy. For example, if there is a strong suspicion that a neighboring regime is amassing for an attack, the Voluntaryist response would not be to preemptively attack the regime, but rather to ensure that all grievances are dealt with and restitution made for any wrongs. If the regime is unreasonable and still wishes to invade, then the Voluntaryist course of action might be to strengthen the defenses. It would probably also be wise to inform the regime that these defenses are not for the purpose of launching an attack, so as to minimize the chances of an arms race.

One other important issue relating to voluntary self-defense on a large scale is the procurement of mercenaries. According to Voluntaryism, mandatory conscription must be rejected as this involves forcing someone to do something (fight) against their own will. Rather, Voluntaryism requires that mercenaries freely choose to conduct any defensive activities. And of course those who wish for the mercenaries to defend them are free to provide incentives (e.g. money, land, etc.) in exchange.

In Section 3 I will respond to the objection that these mercenaries would turn on those whom they have agreed to defend.

Voluntaryism = Anarchy

As you will probably have noticed from the above conclusions, the main opponent of Voluntaryism is government. This may come as a shock to those who considered the definition of Voluntaryism given in the first section to be a good definition of morality. If voluntaryism is synonymous with morality then the opposite of Voluntaryism must also be the opposite of morality, which makes government inherently immoral.

This is not to say that all the things that government does are necessarily immoral, but rather that the manner in which these things are done is immoral. For example, providing welfare for the disabled would seem to be a very moral activity and this is indeed something which governments do. However, the manner by which the welfare money is obtained to give to the disabled is of vital importance. Governments obtain their money either through taxation or legal tender laws and the printing of money (inflation), both of which require the initiation of force, so the only moral action to take with this money is to return it to its victims. In Section 3 I will refute the objection that the poor and disabled would go without welfare in a voluntary society.

It also bears mentioning here that anarchy can mean different things to different people. Some people associate anarchy with chaos indeed this is a typical usage of the word, while others associate anarchy with a lack of private property (communism). However, when I say anarchy in this essay I simply mean no government. This does not mean no rules, but rather no involuntary rulers. Voluntaryism of course permits people to voluntarily subjugate themselves to rulers (for example, a personal trainer is a form of ruler, and so can be an employer), however it is the rulers who have not been appointed in a directly consensual manner who are illegitimate under Voluntaryism.

By this stage you may be feeling fairly shocked. My guess is that you had never considered things such as drug prohibition, taxation, or mandatory conscription to be immoral and, unless you are in a tiny minority, I am fairly certain that you have never considered anarchy to be moral. The sad fact is that the most powerful people in the world in which we live write laws which directly contravene the Voluntaryist philosophy. However, Voluntaryism is somewhat vindicated by the fact that the average person interacting with their friends, or buying things at the shops or just going about their everyday lives is already acting according to the Voluntaryist philosophy.

3. Responses to Common Objections to Voluntaryism

I will start this section with a brief discussion on a couple of the positive aspects of human nature namely human compassion for others who are less fortunate than ourselves, and the human tendency to work to improve our own lives both via individual creativity and via cooperation with others. I will be referring back to these points as I respond to some common objections to Voluntaryism later on in this section.

Just as almost all humans have two legs and two arms, so almost all humans feel compassion for each other. Researchers at Princeton university have found that the human brain seems wired up to respond to others suffering [1]. They found that helping others triggers activity in the caudate nucleus and anterior cingulate, portions of the brain that turn on when people receive rewards or experience pleasure. This is a rather remarkable finding helping others brings the same pleasure we get from the gratification of personal desire. While it may be rare for someone to devote their entire life solely to helping others, it is not rare for a large number of people to devote a much smaller amount of effort to helping their fellow man. 1000 people donating their time and effort for merely an hour each week have a far greater effect than a single mother Teresa diligently devoting every hour of her life to the same cause.

Another positive aspect of human nature is the human tendency to work to improve ones own life. In its most basic (microeconomic) form this trait is essential for human survival. Examples include working to feed oneself, clothe oneself, and shelter oneself from harsh environments. The more complex (macroeconomic) form of this trait is responsible for all the economic progress we enjoy in our modern high-tech world. Examples include the development of the a combine harvester which enables a single farmer to do the same amount of work previously requiring thousands of people, the development of medical equipment and techniques which have helped extend the human lifespan from less than 30 years to over 75 years, and supersonic air travel which can transport people from one side of the globe to the other in under a day (to name a small fraction of human accomplishments!). All of these accomplishments are due to individual and collaborative human creativity. It also bears mentioning that coercion has never been necessary for the development of inventions. People do not need a gun to their head to develop innovative things they will do so both because they find it fulfilling and because the rewards are great.

With these human traits in mind I will now answer some of the most common objections to the Voluntaryist philosophy:

Without taxation the poor and disabled would starve to death

The first thing to note here is that the objection does not dispute the fact that taxation is theft. Rather, it focuses on the consequences of eliminating tax. In other words, this objection presupposes that the initiation of force (theft in this case) is justifiable so long as the ends are sufficiently worthy. This notion is actually part of another common philosophy known as consequentialism. Voluntaryism on the other hand comes under the deontological ethics category of philosophy. Entire books have been devoted to debating the relative merits of these two philosophies, so obviously I will not go to such a deep level here. However I will counter this particular claim by simply altering the ends in question.

Consider the following scenario there is a need to provide clean water, clothing, medical equipment, etc. to the worlds poorest people many of whom are currently living hand-to-mouth in Africa. I will proceed under the assumption that the person raising the objection agrees that providing these ends is a very worthy goal. Therefore I might propose to the objector the following means to achieve this goal: tomorrow I will begin stealing cars, starting with yours, and I will then be selling them to donate the proceeds to the starving African people. My guess is that the objector would be outraged at this idea. So I might continue, but dont you care about those who are starving in Africa?. And I would expect that the objector to respond, of course I do, but this worthy cause does not warrant your stealing my property. Id be prepared to donate voluntarily to an African charity, but you cant just take my things to finance your operation!

Hopefully this scenario demonstrates that stealing someones property is immoral, even for the noble motive of helping the poor and disabled. As I discussed at the start of this section, people are naturally compassionate, and when faced with others who are down on their luck they are naturally willing to lend a hand or give money or goods to help out.

Finally, I must add that 100% of people who raise objections to Voluntaryism will give this as one of their main objections, which I take as further proof that people are very interested in the well-being of the poor and disabled. my expectation would be that if government compulsion were removed from the equation then there would still be a widespread desire to ensure that the poor and disabled are well taken care of. Furthermore, in the absence of tax and inflation, vast additional resources would become available for this purpose.

Without taxation there would be no roads, public hospitals, police, etc.

This is another very common objection to Voluntaryism, and as with the previous objection, it does not dispute the fact that taxation is theft, but rather focuses on the consequences of eliminating tax. The underlying theme of this question is that without taxation the average person would not be able to afford basic necessities which are currently paid for with taxation. Some people will also point to the USA when stating this objection and say that when healthcare is not run by government then it costs people a lot more.

The stated objection is actually derived from another political philosophy which is very popular in western democracies today state socialism [2]. This becomes clearer when the objection is rephrased in a broader manner: it is acceptable to act in an immoral manner because doing so will result in cheaper goods or services.

There are two responses to this objection and I will give both. The first is that voluntaryism is a moral philosophy and so it is not directly concerned with economic efficiency. An example from history will serve well here. During the late 1700s in the USA, all cotton was grown and harvested by African-American slaves. The main fear of the day was that if slavery were abolished then cotton farmers profits would be lower as they would have to pay workers to do the work voluntarily. The voluntaryist response to this dilemma (which hopefully the objector will agree with) is that no amount of profit justifies enslaving someone. Likewise with roads, public hospitals and police no amount of cost reductions for some can justify stealing from others. If roads, hospitals and services which protect people can be provided via voluntary exchange (and I will explain in the next paragraph that they can), then this is completely in line with voluntaryism. But voluntaryism opposes these things both being funded by stolen money and being forcibly monopolized.

the previous paragraph may leave some readers feeling apprehensive that a voluntaryist society would be a very expensive one to live in. This leads to the second response to the objection government involvement is inherently expensive, and in fact societies in which all human interactions are directly consensual (i.e. a society of voluntary exchange) are the most economically efficient societies currently known to mankind. I wont delve too deeply into the topic of economics as it is large enough to fill many libraries, but suffice to say that:

This final point is the case for almost the entire American healthcare system, which people mistakenly cite as a model of voluntary exchange. An alternative healthcare system built on Voluntaryist principles would be the mutual-aid model which existed prior to the takeover of the healthcare market by government at the start of the twentieth century [6].

So to summarize, far from there being no roads, hospitals, and protective services in the absence of taxation, these services would actually be provided in an ethical manner and at much lower prices.

Without government warlords would take over

This objection comes up quite often. The first thing to note is the use of the word warlord to imply a coercive entity who is both legally and morally exempt. However, as discussed in Section 2, government is already the one coercive institution in almost all countries to be both legally and morally unaccountable. Governments write their own laws which govern their code of conduct, so if they wish to do something previously classified as illegal they can simply enact it into law. So the question really should be rephrased to, without a single morally exempt entity, other morally exempt entities might spring up. When put like this, the objection sounds rather strange. If the aim is to eliminate morally exempt entities then surely the first step should be to eliminate the existing one.

I suspect that when people raise this objection what they really mean is, what if, in a society run on voluntary principles, warlords were to enslave the entire population in a military style dictatorship?. The simple answer to this is that people in a voluntary society should always be prepared for such attempts and should set up mechanisms whereby this is not possible. I obviously cant predict the mechanisms that people may choose but here are some ideas:

Of course there are an infinite number of possible ways which the problem of security could be solved. In the absence of government, it would be in every persons immediate interest to seek out flaws in the security provision system and fix them. As mentioned at the start of Section 3 people are very creative when faced with challenges, and when large groups of people put their mind to a task they can be completely unstoppable. Viewed in this light, the protection offered by government defense forces no longer seems like the firewall it is commonly thought to be.

Without government the rich would take over and essentially run the country

As with the objection to voluntaryism on the grounds of warlords taking over, this objection already contains a loaded assumption. In this case the assumption is that so far the rich have not taken over and are not running the country. The reality though is that it is hard to find a country where this objection is not already the case. The average net worth of politicians is well in the millions and often in the billions of dollars in western democracies [8]. And likewise the consultants and business connections who influence these politicians are exceedingly wealthy (and in many cases are ex-politicians themselves) [9].

Voluntaryism has no objections to wealth, so long as it is earned through voluntary exchange. In fact wealth earned in this manner is a reward for providing a large number of people with the goods or services they desired. However wealth earned through legal privilege or by secretly granting political favors to business friends in exchange for a kickback is about as far from voluntary exchange as it gets.

The elimination of government, far from being beneficial to the rich, would actually close off a large source of their funding. Without the legal ability to tax or regulate money away from people, or even to print it for themselves [10] the rich would need to produce something of value to sell to willing customers.

Democratic government is already voluntary. We all agreed to be governed when we voted

While it may be true that casting ones own vote signifies ones willingness to be governed, it is certainly not true that this action signifies anybody elses willingness to be governed. If voting is synonymous with consent then those who do not vote have not given their consent, and this consent certainly cannot be given on that persons behalf. This fact is not altered by the ratio of voters to non-voters. Needless to say, voluntaryists refuse to vote.

If you dont like it here you can always leave

As with many of the previous objections, this objection contains a hidden agenda. This is best seen by rephrasing the objection: the system may well be immoral, but people like it this way. If you were to leave and stop bringing this issue up then we could all go back to pretending that things are fine.

As already discussed in Section 1, 90% of our lives in todays western democracies are already conducted according to the Voluntaryist philosophy. The remaining 10% involves peoples interactions with government. Personally I find government to be an annoyance, however not to such a point that it is unbearable. If the governments intrusion increased to a point where it did become unbearable I imagine I would seek out a new country which was more in line with voluntaryism (if one existed, if not then staying would still be the best option). However, until that happens I would prefer to attempt to open peoples minds to voluntaryism in the hope of bringing about a paradigm shift.

4. Conclusion

Now you have a fair understanding of Voluntaryism. No doubt you can think of a large number of further objections to this philosophy, maybe I will write more essays rebutting other objections. But in the meantime, rather than thinking, Voluntaryism is indeed a moral and admirable idea, but it would never work in practice, ask yourself why it would never work, and go one step further and think could it be made to work if enough people wanted it to?. Also consider whether Voluntaryism runs in line with or against human nature, and consider whether the deviations from Voluntaryism in our current world (mainly government and criminals) run in line with or against human nature. Every general objection that can be raised to Voluntaryism has been a problem at one stage of history or another, and has been solved in a voluntary manner previously. I think we have every reason to aim for such high standards again.

Finally, a quick discussion on the goals of Voluntaryism. Clearly the aim of this essay has been to try and convince the reader to join the Voluntaryist cause. But what is the Voluntaryist cause? Well really it is quite simple firstly to educate as many people as possible regarding the nature of morality. This is something that is not taught in schools, so, much as people in the 1300s took it for granted that the sun revolved around the earth, people today take it for granted that governments are capable of acting in a moral manner. If this educational enlightenment can be achieved then my guess is that the desire to eliminate forceful programs and (where applicable) replace these with voluntary alternatives will follow naturally from there.

If you agree with the Voluntaryist definition of morality I have given in the first section and if you can see how the consequences given in the second section are derived from the original definitions, and if you agree with the rebuttals in the third section then I have probably taught you all you need to know to begin your own journey of discovery. Here are some more resources for further investigation:

https://www.youtube.com/user/LarkenRose Larken Rose has some very good videos challenging common perceptions of government. In particular check out If You Were King and The Jones Plantation.

https://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot Stephan Molyneuxhosts a radio show discussing every aspect of the life of a Voluntaryist. For starters check out The Story of Your Enslavement and The Bomb in the Brain. A side note here Stefan may not be the most consistent advocate of the Non-Aggression Principle, so remember to always critically analyze everything he says. I personally have found that I disagree with him on a number of things. Nevertheless, 90% of the time he is spot on and very instructive..

https://www.youtube.com/user/StormCloudsGathering Storm Clouds Gathering is a news channel which gives updates on current events in a voluntaryist perspective. The Psychology of Authority is an excellent one.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AnCapChase Chase Rachels gives some really good lectures on practical Voluntaryist alternatives to currently state monopolized industries, such as the roads, welfare, etc.

Mises.org if you prefer reading to watching videos, the Ludwig von Mises institute publishes many articles which discuss the economics of voluntary vs. involuntary exchange. They have a daily mailing list which is always well researched and very topical.

NotBeingGoverned.com finally another one for those who prefer reading. This blog has many excellent articles on voluntaryism and economics. Check out the Anarchy Never Been Tried? articles for historical examples with aspects of voluntary societies.

[1]The Compassionate Instinct

[2] Benjamin Tucker State Socialism and Anarchism

[3]Monopoly

[4] Can Government Make Essential Choices?

[5]Inefficient Government Rules and Regulations

[6]How Government Solved the Healthcare Crisis

[7]The Stateless Society An Examination of Alternatives

[8]Top 50 Richest Politicians

[9]Revolving Door (Politics)

[10]What is Quantitative Easing?

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Introduction to Voluntaryism – The Art of Not Being Governed

Voluntaryism | Define Voluntaryism at Dictionary.com

[vol-uhn-ter-ee-iz-uhm]

ExamplesWord Origin

Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018

This movement, it must be remembered, had small sympathy with the Voluntaryism of dissent.

It is not a beautiful chapter in the history of voluntaryism.

Besides, Mr. Hinton has written pamphlets in favour of Voluntaryism in religion and education, and published sermons innumerable.

Here most distorted views were held of the Voluntaryism which most of its ministers and members professed.

On grounds such as these, we repeat, Voluntaryism and the Establishment principle may meet and agree.

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Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Voluntaryism | Define Voluntaryism at Dictionary.com

Voluntaryism | Article about voluntaryism by The Free …

(a term introduced by F. Tonnies in 1883), an idealist movement in philosophy that believes will to be the highest principle of being. In giving will first place in spiritual being, voluntarism stands in opposition to intellectualism (or rationalism), that is, to idealist philosophical systems that consider intellect and reason to be the basis of that which exists.

Elements of voluntarism can be found as early as the philosophy of Augustine, who saw in will the basis of all other spiritual processes, and in the philosophy of Duns Scotus, with his emphasis on the primacy of will over intellect (voluntas est superior intellectu, will is higher than thought). A premise of the new voluntarism was I. Kants doctrine of the primacy of practical reason. According to Kant, although the existence of free will can be neither proved nor refuted theoretically, practical reason demands that we postulate freedom of will, for otherwise moral law would lose all meaning. Proceeding from this, J. G. Fichte saw in will the basis of personality and in the exercising of will by the ego the absolute creative principle of being, the source of the spiritual self-generation of the world. Moreover, in Fichte (as in Kant and the later exponents of German classical philosophy F. W. Schelling and G. Hegel) will is rational by its nature and the source of realization of the moral principle. In contrast A. Schopenhauer, in whose philosophy voluntarism first takes shape as an independent current, gives an irrationalist interpretation of will as the blind, nonrational, purposeless first principle of the world. Schopenhauer construes the Kantian thing-in-itself as will, appearing on various levels of objectification. Schopenhauer regarded consciousness and intellect as being one of the secondary manifestations of will. For Schopenhauer, as for E. Hartmann, voluntarism is closely connected with pessimism and the conception of the senselessness of the world process, whose source is unconscious and blind will. The voluntaristic ideas of Schopenhauer were one of the sources of the philosophy of F. Nietzsche.

The term voluntarism is also used to characterize social and political practices that do not take into consideration the objective laws of the historical process and are guided by the subjective desires and arbitrary decisions of those in control.

REFERENCESEngels, F.Anti-Dhing. Moscow, 1969. Pages 111-12.Knauer, R. Der Voluntarismus. Berlin, 1907.Marcus, J. Intellektualismus und Voluntarismus in der modernen Philosophic. Dsseldorf, 1918.

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Voluntaryism | Article about voluntaryism by The Free …

voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism

Introduction

Voluntaryism is the doctrine that relations among people should be by mutual consent, or not at all. It represents a means, an end, and an insight. Voluntaryism does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take; only that force be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. As it is the means which determine the end, the goal of an all voluntary society must be sought voluntarily. People cannot be coerced into freedom. Hence, the use of the free market, education, persuasion, and non-violent resistance as the primary ways to change people’s ideas about the State. The voluntaryist insight, that all tyranny and government are grounded upon popular acceptance, explains why voluntary means are sufficient to attain that end.

Violence is never a means to knowledge. As Isabel Paterson, explained in her book, The God of the Machine, “No edict of law can impart to an individual a faculty denied him by nature. A government order cannot mend a broken leg, but it can command the mutilation of a sound body. It cannot bestow intelligence, but it can forbid the use of intelligence.” Or, as Baldy Harper used to put it, “You cannot shoot a truth!” The advocate of any form of invasive violence is in a logically precarious situation. Coercion does not convince, nor is it any kind of argument. William Godwin pointed out that force “is contrary to the nature of the intellect, which cannot but be improved by conviction and persuasion,” and “if he who employs coercion against me could mold me to his purposes by argument, no doubt, he would.. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because he is weak.” Violence contains none of the energies that enhance a civilized human society. At best, it is only capable of expanding the material existence of a few individuals, while narrowing the opportunities of most others.

People engage in voluntary exchanges because they anticipate improving their lot; the only individuals capable of judging the merits of an exchange are the parties to it. Voluntaryism follows naturally if no one does anything to stop it. The interplay of natural property and exchanges results in a free market price system, which conveys the necessary information needed to make intelligent economic decisions. Interventionism and collectivism make economic calculation impossible because they disrupt the free market price system. Even the smallest government intervention leads to problems which justify the call for more and more intervention. Also, “controlled” economies leave no room for new inventions, new ways of doing things, or for the “unforeseeable and unpredictable.” Free market competition is a learning process which brings about results which no one can know in advance. There is no way to tell how much harm has been done and will continue to be done by political restrictions.

The voluntary principle assures us that while we may have the possibility of choosing the worst, we also have the possibility of choosing the best. It provides us the opportunity to make things better, though it doesn’t guarantee results. While it dictates that we do not force our idea of “better” on someone else, it protects us from having someone else’s idea of “better” imposed on us by force. The use of coercion to compel virtue eliminates its possibility, for to be moral, an act must be uncoerced. If a person is compelled to act in a certain way (or threatened with government sanctions), there is nothing virtuous about his or her behavior. Freedom of choice is a necessary ingredient for the achievement of virtue. Whenever there is a chance for the good life, the risk of a bad one must also be accepted.

Common sense and reason tell us that nothing can be right by legislative enactment if it is not already right by nature. Epictetus, the Stoic, urged men to defy tyrants in such a way as to cast doubt on the necessity of government itself. “If the government directed them to do something that their reason opposed, they were to defy the government. If it told them to do what their reason would have told them to do anyway, they did not need a government.” Just as we do not require a State to dictate what is right or wrong in growing food, manufacturing textiles, or in steel-making, we do not need a government to dictate standards and procedures in any field of endeavor. “In spite of the legislature, the snow will fall when the sun is in Capricorn, and the flowers will bloom when it is in Cancer.”

Although certain services and goods are necessary to our survival, it is not essential that they be provided by the government. Voluntaryists oppose the State because it uses coercive means. The means are the seeds which bud into flower and come into fruition. It is impossible to plant the seed of coercion and then reap the flower of voluntaryism. The coercionist always proposes to compel people to do some-thing, usually by passing laws or electing politicians to office. These laws and officials depend upon physical violence to enforce their wills. Voluntary means, such as non-violent resistance, for example, violate no one’s rights. They only serve to nullify laws and politicians by ignoring them. Voluntaryism does not require of people that they violently overthrow their government, or use the electoral process to change it; merely that they shall cease to support their government, whereupon it will fall of its own dead weight. If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.

It is a commonplace observation that the means one uses must be consistent with the goal one seeks. It is impossible to “wage a war for peace” or “fight politics by becoming political.” Freedom and private property are total, indivisible concepts that are compromised wherever and whenever the State exists. Since all things are related to one another in our complicated social world, if one man’s freedom or private property may be violated (regardless of the justification), then every man’s freedom and property are insecure. The superior man can only be sure of his freedom if the inferior man is secure in his rights. We often forget that we can secure our liberty only by preserving it for the most despicable and obnoxious among us, lest we set precedents that can reach us.

It is a fact of human nature that the only person who can think with your brain is you. Neither can a person be compelled to do anything against his or her will, for each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own actions. Governments try to terrorize individuals into submitting to tyranny by grabbing their bodies as hostages and trying to destroy their spirits. This strategy is not successful against the person who harbors the Stoic attitude toward life, and who refuses to allow pain to disturb the equanimity of his or her mind, and the exercise of reason. A government might destroy one’s body or property, but it cannot injure one’s philosophy of life. – Furthermore, the voluntaryist rejects the use of political power because it can only be exercised by implicitly endorsing or using violence to accomplish one’s ends. The power to do good to others is also the power to do them harm. Power to compel people, to control other people’s lives, is what political power is all about. It violates all the basic principles of voluntaryism: might does not make right; the end never justifies the means; nor may one person coercively interfere in the life of another. Even the smallest amount of political power is dangerous. First, it reduces the capacity of at least some people to lead their own lives in their own way. Second, and more important from the voluntaryist point of view, is what it does to the person wielding the power: it corrupts that person’s character.

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voluntaryist.com – Fundamentals of Voluntaryism


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