A submitted response to the questions posed in “What Do You Want, Exactly?” – NCS
Hawken, your thoughts on the desirability of a coherent set of principles to guide the mobilization of patriotic defense against the ongoing insurrection is right on target. As you well know, sustained support from ordinary people is essential to building a productive society. That flows from clear principles to guide the interactions and priorities of the people. In short, a political manifesto that defines “who we are” and “what people like us do”. Think 10 Commandments. We are people who follow this God and the first 4 commandments define that relationship. The last 6 commandments define how we interact with one another; what people like us do (in a negative rights way because it lists things people like us don’t do).
As a practical matter, Americans are unlikely to support a theocratic philosophy. Many are religious, they just don’t want a government based on one particular religion. And for many good reasons. So, we need something else.
Your proposal of No Domination and it’s supporting 12 points are good ones. I applaud your effort, despite some of the Negative Nancy comments that border on a terminal case of Karen! “Let me speak to your manager because good enough isn’t perfect”.
Your approach skirts the boundaries of traditional Libertarianism, which is far different from the anarchist anything goes versions portrayed in popular media. There are only a few principles.
First, Voluntary Association. No one is forced to associate with or engage in business with anyone they choose not to. It’s a fundamental liberty that underpins everything else and eliminates the need for all mannner of redistribution or obligations for every citizen. Mutual Aid societies are great and encouraged, so long as everyone voluntarily agrees. Folks won’t want to associate with bad people, so they’re left out until they mend their ways and assimilate. Harsh, but practical. The idea extend to freedom of contract, etc., ensuring no one is obligated to engage in practices they disagree with but also ensuring if you don’t work then no one is going to feed you unless they choose to. It assures property rights lie with productive people and groups.
Second. No force except in self defense. This supports the voluntary rule of interaction. You can always defend yourself against aggression or claims on your property.
Third. No fraud. Fraudulent representations undermine the voluntary principle. Fraud Disputes are resolved through arbitration.
That’s about it. Adults do as they like and bear the consequences. It’s a system fit for a moral people, and designed to produce a moral people.
It’s not anarchy. There’s a need for government to do a few things that are best done uniformly and collectively.
– maintain a constabulary or military to protect the territory and the people from foreign incursion or organized insurrection. (Defense against force or fraud is necessary and good).
– establish laws to ensure property rights and courts adjudicate disputes. There is potential for trouble here because men are not angels and tend to use legal maneuvering for personal advancement. Still, it’s helpful to have a body of agrees procedures for conducting honest business and a way to punish those who won’t follow the simple principles of No Force,
– Establish and maintain sound money to facilitate exchange. This really means no fiat currency that distorts the real value of economic activity. Precious metals work just fine until the too clever crowd starts engaging in fraudulent speculation.
It’s all fairly straightforward and consistent with our founding principles. These bumper stickers avoid the baggage and implications of just invoking the constitutional firms that have been distorted over the generations. No room for imposing obligation on one group by declaring rights for another group, etc etc.
Bracken points out that near term defensive requirement leave little time and attention for philosophy. That’s probably true for the physical force advocates. It’s also not sustainable. War fatigue is a real thing, even for hard core purists.
A dual track approach is always needed for a sustainable movement. The main effort can and does shift as new factors emerge and develop.
At bottom, a physical force approach is needed for defense. This may often be the main effort. It’s also resource intensive and literally taxes those not directly involved in defense. Physical force can never be the only effort because it eventually consumes itself like the Jacobins.
A Coherent political program is always necessary. One based on simple and broadly agreed principles is good. You’ve taken a great step toward crafting one that probably fits your AOR well. Thanks for sharing it.
None of this is intended as a lecture. Just a conversation of sorts and a way of saying that many other people have and are grappling with this beast. Keep working at it and don’t be discouraged by naysayers or folks that think the bullet and the bomb are the only solutions to a problem. Getting the philosophy right is essential to winning hearts and minds. Lord knows we mucked that up in recent wars and ended up with irrelevant programs that disappointed everyone. We can’t afford to makes those same mistakes in our own neighborhoods.