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L. Neil Smith's
Number 791, October 5, 2014

Bureaucracy is the form of government in which
everybody is deprived of political freedom, of
the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is
not no-rule, and where all are equally
powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant.

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What IS The Bare Minimum...?
by Dennis Lee Wilson

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Do YOU trust ANY of the multiple governments (parrish, precinct, school district, city, county, state, national and international) that TAX you and claim to rule YOUR ONE AND ONLY life? Do you really think ANY of those governments employees give a damn about YOUR life, liberty or property—other than making some pretense to confiscate all three of them?

During the 20th Century, governments murdered over 200 MILLION of their own citizens. The institution of Government is the largest terrorist organization known to mankind. The irrationality of Government has ALWAYS led to collapse of the societies and cultures build around them or conquered by them. I have seen many governments collapse even during my own lifetime. There is a massive historical example from which to draw some lessons. It occurred when the Imperial Roman Empire collapsed.

When central governments collapse (and they ALL do collapse!), what is the nature of the agreements that people will make to provide for the security of themselves and their family?

So you see the culture collapsing around you and you have your food and ammo stockpile, your secure location with power, water, garden and livestock, your gold and silver coins and your trade-able skills, but do you have an explicit political arrangement with your friends, neighbors and like-minded associates?

Have you given consideration to the following question? It is a question that Anarchists and Agorists and libertarians DO NOT ask and one that Statists WILL NOT ask.

What *IS* the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM that Voluntary Groups of any size—two people or more—need to agree upon, in order to live together peacefully and productively?

Or perhaps the question should simply be..:

What *IS* The Bare Minimum...?

"What is past is prologue"
William Shakespeare The Tempest.


The slow motion collapse of central governments, following the historical model of the Imperial Roman Empire, will lead has already led to conditions in which relationships between individuals need to be examined and redefined.

Politics is the branch of philosophy that studies the relationships between people. Politics does NOT presuppose government. It presupposes and is a subcategory of morality and ethics. Government is a subcategory under politics. Politics is MORE THAN government. All politics start with two people. The most well known example in English speaking cultures is found in fiction, the day that Robinson Crusoe discovers that he is not alone on his island. Until that day, he needed a rational moral code of personal conduct in order to cope with existence and to survive. But from that particular "Friday" onwards, he was also involved in politics—something that had been utterly useless and meaningless to him since his shipwreck.


What *IS* The Bare Minimum...?

Starting from the basics of politics (the relationship between two people) and working up to more complex relationships, one should eventually ask...:

What *IS* the bare minimum that two people need to agree upon, in order to live together peacefully and productively?

A master/slave relationship (one of many possible political arrangements) might easily answer with:

        "Do everything I say and we will get along just fine."  "Yes, Master."

For the rest of us who choose trading over slavery, something a little bit more is needed.

Any attempt to answer that question will find a lot of useful advice (such as "do not steal or murder") in various religions. But religions come with much more than the bare minimum requested in the opening question—far too much, actually, and much of it contradicts the useful advice. Therein lies part of the problem.

All systems of philosophy—including Ayn Rand's Objectivism—have some of the same characteristics. They encompass far more than the bare minimum that individuals need to agree upon, in order to live together peacefully and productively. It is NOT NECESSARY that everyone become an Objectivist or Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddist, etc in order to live together peacefully and productively. In fact, it is readily apparent that even groups of individuals who claim to adhere to Objectivism or some other philosophy or religion cannot agree on many essential core elements of their own philosophy or religion. Furthermore, all "Objectivists" are not at the same level of knowledge about Objectivism. The same is true of ANY philosophy or religion. There will always be newcomers, students and children coming into adulthood.

Yet evidence abounds that it actually *IS* possible for some Objectivists to live peacefully and productively with some non-Objectivists—even without an EXPLICIT bare minimum. And the United States is (or at least used to be) evidence that it is possible for people of differing religious views to live peacefully and productively together.

Here is the original question restated as a universal...:

Is there a bare minimum upon which *ALL* humans can agree?

Given what is know of psychopaths and people who gravitate to positions of power, the answer is "DEFINITELY, NO!".

And that answer leads to a more specific question...:

          Is there a bare minimum upon which *YOU AND I* can agree?

If the two of us[1] can agree upon something, perhaps there is one other person that you know, or that I know.

So what might an EXPLICIT bare minimum look like?

Keeping in mind all of the foregoing, I submit for your appraisal and evaluation The Covenant of Unanimous Consent.[2] It is rational, simple, easy to read and understand and even short enough to memorize if desired.

If you agree and become a Signatory, at the very least you will have a single piece of paper that you can copy, point to and proclaim:

  • "These are MY terms for dealing with other people. They are explicit and they are the bare minimum. Does any one other person agree with these terms? If so, let the two of us agree to treat each other according to these terms!"

Like the Darknet, Free or "Black" Markets, PGP encryption, BitMessage, Forth, Puppy Linux, Creative Commons, open source software, Diaspora, gold, silver and Bitcoin, the Covenant does not and will not appeal to everyone—and like all the named items, it is not necessary that "everyone" embrace them. Those who *DO* use them, create their own value amongst themselves without depending on corrupt and collapsing governments, their crony corporate handmaidens and other government camp followers and dependents.

If you are organizing or are involved in a Voluntary Group such as described in Footnote [1], you may find the Covenant a useful way to qualify individuals for membership. The Covenant of Unanimous Consent—or something like it, if such exists—is a necessary, essential and indispensable core document around which small secession groups can stabilize and grow. It is objective law at the very foundation of such societies. [See Post Script]

At Footnote [2] there are links to several articles exploring various aspects of the Covenant. They may be of use during your appraisal and evaluation.

I have encountered a few other Covenant-like agreements[9] but none yet has been as clear, concise and comprehensive.

To live together peacefully and productively:
    Follow the Precepts of the Covenant and no "government" will be necessary;
    Violate the Precepts of the Covenant and no amount of government will be sufficient.

Live long and prosper.
Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory: The Covenant of Unanimous Consent


Post Script

There is an important connection between The Covenant of Unanimous Consent[2] and Customary/Merchant Law[3] and Blackstone's Commentaries[4].

One might argue that the Covenant is too simple and ask "What about 'everyday' laws against theft, murder, fraud, and property and contract issues?" In the past[5], Merchant Law and Blackstone's provided those details—and they continue to do so to this day. In spite of the existence of government "laws" and government courts, many people still resort to private arbitration to resolve disputes!

The Covenant provides the means by which individuals can and should judge particular instances of Merchant Law and Blackstone's,—i.e. the Covenant *IS* Supreme Law. The Covenant—when viewed as Supreme Law—*IS* what the Constitution of the United States was allegedly intended to be, and attempted to provide but failed.

The Constitution of the United States[7] and similar historical documents relied upon "other", delegated people (government) to "make", care for and enforce sensible and rational laws. We are witness to and living with the results[8] that are neither sensible nor rational.

The Covenant expects the individual Signatories to be responsible for themselves and their own actions, and to organize themselves as they deem to be appropriate. This is no utopian expectation! Some groups of people have relied on themselves for hundreds of years,[5] the most recent example being the pioneers who settled from the Appalachian Mountains thru-out the American West and especially in the California mining camps.[6] Merchant Law and Blackstone's Commentaries ALREADY EXIST! There is no great effort needed to utilize them. They are made, cared for and enforced by the individuals who use them and they are excellent tools for Covenant societies and associations[1].


[1] It takes two people or more to form Voluntary Groups such as Friendships; Marriages; Agorist, Anarcho-capitalist, Anarchist and Survivalist Communities; Objectivist "Galt" Gulches and similar Societies; Redoubts; Family/Community Farms; Free State Groups; Temporary and Permanent Autonomous Zones; Supersedure Zones; Sea Steads; Independent Territories; Private Apartment Buildings; Home Associations and Restricted or Gated Communities, ZEDEs (Zones for Employment and Development of the Economy) and more. For details see...:

What *IS* a "Political Statement"? Why is One Needed? Who would Use It?

[2] The Covenant of Unanimous Consent—see attachment below.

[3] The Enterprise of Customary Law [aka Law Merchant*]

  • *Law Merchant...:
    By studying the incentives and institutions of primitive law, it becomes evident that precisely the same kinds of customary legal systems have existed in more complex societies, ranging from medieval Iceland, Ireland, and Anglo-Saxon England to the development of the medieval Law Merchant, and even to the western frontier of the United States during the 1800s. See Blackstone[4]

    Law Merchant developed during the time when humans in Europe REJECTED the existing Roman law and actually managed to live—and thrive—for 1,000 years without big central government!

[4] Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone—also known as Blackstone's Commentaries

  • On the western frontier of the United States during the 1800s, numerous frontiersmen were familiar with Blackstone's and frequently quoted from it.

[5] Living for 1000 Years—The "Dark" Ages?
    —What *IS* so important about 1,000 years of human history that advocates of government need to label it "Dark"?

[6] UNANIMOUS CONSENT in '49ers California mining camps!
     Beginning in 1848, the miners began forming contracts with one another ... There was no government authority in California at the time... The miners' contracts established property rights in land (and in any gold found on the land) that the miners themselves enforced.

[7] A Written Constitution: Protecting the State from the People
     Also see Bill Bonner: The "Social Contract" With the Government Is a Fraud

[8] 2010-January-1st saw 40,627 NEW mandates become "legal" in the USA! Have YOU read them? Ignorance of the law is no excuse!!

[9] I do already know of a plagiarized, abbreviated version of the Covenant that removed, among other things, the essential Supersedure clause which enables the five Precepts.

[10] Picture courtesy of—Creative Commons, Attribute
[11] Graphic by Dennis Wilson
[12] Graphic by Dennis Wilson, available at
[13] Graphic by Dennis Wilson, available at
[14] Graphic by Dennis Wilson, available at
[15] Drawing by Milo Manara

([For original sizes go to linked web pages])
Click image for further details.


[13]To live together peacefully and productively:
    Follow the Precepts of the Covenant and no "government" will be necessary;
    Violate the Precepts of the Covenant and no amount of government will be sufficient.


Mr. Wilson currently resides in Arizona, North America and has enjoyed a long life with several, sometimes overlapping careers, starting with architectural design immediately after college graduation; landlord by virtue of selective property acquisitions; computer programmer, manager and consultant for "mainframe" computers and early micro computers; Forth computer language enthusiast and creator of the Z80 version of FIG-Forth; and commodities speculator.

From the mid 1960s thru the early 1970s, he was the Phoenix business representative for the Nathaniel Brandon Institute and other Objectivist tape lectures. During the late 1970s thru the 1980s, with his two sons and his camera he enjoyed monthly Boy Scout outings thru-out Arizona (including the bottom the Grand Canyon) and Colorado (including the top of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains near Silverton). In 1985 he became a member of Mensa and spent an interesting and enjoyable time as editor of Vidya, the Journal of the Triple Nine Society. Later, (in 2014) he created OnlyOne Agora. Hosted on the Diaspora network, OnlyOne Agora is a free, unmoderated discussion forum exclusively for past or present members of the several 3 Sigma (99.9%tile) or higher Hi-IQ groups

For the 2000 Millennium he visited Ouray, Colorado, the inspiration for Ayn Rand's Galt's Gulch, and created Atlas Shrugged Celebration Day website which contains Judge Narragansett's New Constitution Project and in October, 2003 he became a Signatory to the Covenant of Unanimous Consent.

He is currently converting his large collection of photographic slides into digital format and maintaining his Artemis Zuna Trading Post at CafePress. He also continues to re-design and remodel his adobe residence, piddles at restoring his old (1975-1990) Mercedes Benz cars and retrofitting them with HHO, and is attempting to read the entire written works of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. In addition to all that, he still makes time to write and collect articles about current events and analyze how they relate to the Covenant of Unanimous Consent which he considers profoundly fundamental and essential to individuals and small groups seeking to survive the inevitable collapse of the USA Imperial Empire. Some of his articles have been published on sites throughout the worldwide web. All are available at his personal website/blog at .

His primary email address is
His Public PGP keys are at
His personal website is


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