Voluntaryism: Reimagining Freedom

Voluntaryism: Reimagining Freedom

The legal system limits our freedom to what it deems morally acceptable but history has proven that this isn’t always in humanity’s best interest. There was once a time when slavery was legal and accepted, a time when women could not vote and most recently a time when homosexuals weren’t allowed to marry. It is common for people to equate morality with legality. However, because we all have different beliefs, the law often differs from our personal moral stances. The problem is that instead of being free to live how we choose, we are forced to obey a system that often lags far behind our moral evolution.

There is an idea gaining popularity with forward thinkers around the globe who feel it is necessary to re-imagine our concept of freedom. Voluntaryism is the libertarian philosophy that all forms of human association should be of mutual consent and, most importantly, never forced. There are two principles fundamental to Voluntaryism by which the ethical nature of all human interaction is determined: self-ownership and the Non-Aggression principle. Voluntaryists believe that all individuals own themselves. This idea of self ownership implies that no person or group can legitimately exercise control over, or place restraints on, the actions of others. In order to uphold this notion of self ownership everyone must abide by the Non-Aggression Principle, which is the ethical stance that violence or aggression should only be used in the case self defense and never to coerce or control another.

Here is a real world example of how Voluntaryism works. Let’s say you want to volunteer your time at a non-profit organization. You make a mutual agreement to follow this organizations rules and in turn you receive whatever benefits this organization has to offer. Of course you are only obligated to work here as long as you want. If you do not agree with the rules of this organization or you simply find an organization that better suits your interests, you are free to leave and forgo the benefits you were receiving. All is fair.

Government on the other hand, works completely different. Without choice, you are born into a certain government. If you do not agree with its rules, there is no way to opt out, but instead you are forced to obey. You have the option to leave but only to join another government that operates by the same principles. All forms of government, of both past and present, can be boiled down to one definition: the territorial monopoly on control, maintained by the use of violent coercion. This opposes the true meaning of freedom.

Voluntaryism offers us the chance to live by our unique personal beliefs without the threat of being forced to live another way. If you are ready to contribute to creating a more free society, I encourage you to learn more about Voluntaryism and share this article with your friends.  It is time for us to imagine a higher code of freedom.

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