Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is Voluntaryism Treasonous?

Carl Watner asks this question in Issue 30, in an article titled “If This Be Treason, Make the Most of It!” and this excerpt shows how he answers the question:

“All of this leads me to ask: Is voluntaryism treasonous? Are voluntaryists guilty of treason and/or sedition? Is THE VOLUNTARYIST a seditious publication?

Undoubtedly the answers to these questions are "Yes," particularly if treason and sedition are viewed in their broadest scope. Although treason in the United States requires overt action (levying war or in adhering to the enemy) against the State - actions which voluntaryists and THE VOLUNTARYIST are clearly not guilty of – we are definitely guilty of attempting (through education and other peaceful, non-violent means) to weaken the power of statism in this country and every other country in the world. It is in this sense that we are treasonous and seditious: we oppose not only specific states, (such as the United States) but the very concept of the nation-state itself. Without the State there would be no compulsory institution to betray. One is not accused of treason when one quits Ford Motor Co. and goes to work for General Motors. But it is generally considered treasonous to renounce one's citizenship (as when one attempts to become a naturalized citizen of a country that your country is at war with) because allegiance to the State was historically deemed perpetual and immutable.”

When I think about the forming of our current nation-state, I’ve always wondered what it must have been like for the “founding fathers” and everyone else living at the time who supported the break from England.

There they were, working so hard to break free from King George and of course if they had lost, many would have likely been killed for treasonous acts. But they won. So what did they do? Well, they created their own nation-state and a document that specifically includes treason as a crime against the new nation-state.

This tells us that the battle was not really about liberty as a general concept; it was only about liberty from the King of England. Yet, we are not taught about it that way. We are told it was indeed about liberty in general – right after we are told to stand up and pledge allegiance to the nation-state.

Maybe they really had no choice. Maybe this was simply a necessary step in the evolution of civilization. After all, they did succeed in moving from the idea of a monarchy as legitimate rule.

But all they accomplished was to create a special class of people who still claim the power to rule over others. As a result they needed a treason clause to maintain and legitimize this aggression. Too bad they couldn’t see the truth that if your idea of a free society necessitates a treason clause, then something is not quite right.

This is why I’m drawn to voluntaryist ideas. Voluntaryism is working to develop community where people are free to voluntarily associate with others; where there isn't much need at all to even discuss the idea of treason. Sure, people may still hold personal allegiances and create contractual relationships but the difference is that everyone would be free from the (forced) rule of others.

So if you believe in the legitimacy of nation-states, then yeah, I guess that is a treasonous idea.

1 comment:

MamaLiberty said...

Excellent! Far too few people are even willing to examine the "loyalty" to the state they've been conditioned to believe is necessary for civilization to survive.