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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 505, February 8, 2009

"I am not kidding."

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The Transition to Freedom
by Paul Bonneau
1.paulbx1 -+at+- dfgh.net

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An earlier article gave some ideas about what a free society would look like, particularly with respect to diversity in communities. I suggested many communities would be friendly to groups of people we don't often think in terms of being "free". But it's a good thing this is true, since it makes this free society that much more acceptable to all and thus that much more likely.

How would we get there from here?

Well, one thing that I mentioned earlier: the federal and state governments have to go. Counties too, maybe. The larger and more centralized the government, the more imperative it is that it must be eliminated in order for freedom to bloom. We may in fact see a federal government falling apart shortly, due to self-inflicted wounds and collective government behavior resembling that of a strung-out junkie. We should welcome this, and try to ignore any entity that proposes to replace it.

Humans are a tribal species, really. That's the way we lived in the long period before we got "syphilized", as Edward Abbey used to put it. The closest modern analog to a tribe is the community. Dispensing with (unnatural for humans) levels of government above the community level has the added advantage of making available more different kinds of places for people to live, the way they want to live.

"People are less than whole unless they gather themselves voluntarily into groups of souls in harmony. Gathering themselves to pursue individual, family, and community dreams consistent with their private humanity is what makes them whole; only slaves are gathered by others."—John Taylor Gatto

So let's assume for the moment that federal and state governments fade away, or are simply ignored. The legislatures are turned into bingo halls and whorehouses (uses quite similar to the current condition, in fact). How do communities diversify from their currently government-homogenized condition? Do they use something as crude as majority rule to do it?

That is one way, although perhaps not a very good one. Let's face it; majority (mob) rule sucks. And it's a very "averaging" kind of process. Hard to see how diverse communities could come from that.

There are alternative systems of voting which are a modest improvement over "winner takes all" elections (e.g. "Condorcet"). But we have to remember, there are in this scenario no state or federal governments imposing certain government forms and structures on communities. Inevitably some communities will try something different. Throw out the entire set of ordinances and start from scratch. Asymmetric voting, e.g. "imposition of a statute requires unanimity or at least supermajority; removal of a statute requires only simple majority". Communities will diverge, but it will take time. After a while, certain communities will become known as havens for this group or that, which will accelerate as other people of the same kind move there. That is, "voting with your feet" will become the most important factor in this "de-homogenization". Some groups of people far outside the mainstream will never find any existing community for which they could become a majority, or even simply tolerated; they may have to found their own communities from scratch. Many of these new communities will be "unanimous consent" communities.

Could it occur that for example, gays or "blacks" or even straight "whites" become a small minority in a community and are eventually driven out, in those towns that have become less tolerant? Yes. But why is this a problem? As long as there are plenty of places where they would be welcome, which certainly would be the case. Maybe just a couple miles down the road. Freedom of association mandates this result.

Of course, there are limits. Imagine a group of people formed a community of pedophiles, aiming to prey on children in the surrounding communities. I suspect such a place would not last long, and most of them would end up hanging from the local trees. Freedom does not imply lack of strife. It just means there will be a heck of a lot less of it.


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