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Declaration of Separation

There is a declaration that has begun circling around the web and which sounds quite solemn and unique. I wished to share it with whomever is reading in the interest of helping them get heard.
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A Declaration of Separation

To The Governments & People of Earth:

We claim the right to exist, and we will defend it. We do not seek to overthrow anything. We do not seek to control anything. We merely wish to be left alone.

All we ever wanted was to live in peace with our friends and neighbors. For a long, long time we bore insults to our liberty; we took blows, we did what we could to avoid injury and we worked through the system to get the offenses to stop. That has now changed. We no longer see any benefit in working through the world’s systems. At some point, working within a system becomes cowardly and immoral; for us, that point has arrived. Regardless of the parties in power, their governments have continued to restrict, restrain and punish us. We hereby reject them all. We hereby withdraw from them all. We hold the ruling states of this world and all that appertains to them to be self-serving and opposed to humanity.

We now withdraw our obedience and reclaim the right to strike back when struck. We will not initiate force, but we do reserve the right to answer it. We did not choose this—it was forced upon us.

To The Governments of Earth:

You are building cages for all that is human. In the name of protection, you have intruded into all areas of human life, far exceeding the reach of any Caesar. You claim ultimate control of our property and our decisions, of our travels and even our identities. You claim ownership of humanity far beyond the dreams of any Emperor of any previous era. Understand clearly: We reject your authority and we reject your legitimacy. We do not believe that you have any right to do the things you do. You have massive power, but no right to impose it upon us and no legitimacy. We have forsaken you. We are no longer your citizens or your subjects.

Your systems are inherently anti-human, even if all their operators are not. We are not merely angry young people. We are fathers and mothers; aunts, uncles and grandparents; we are business owners and trusted employees; we are mechanics and engineers and farmers. We are nurses and accountants and students and executives. We are on every continent.

This is not a burst of outrage; this is a sober declaration that we no longer accept unearned suffering as our role in life.

For long decades we sat quietly, hoping that things would turn around. We took no actions; we suffered along with everyone else. But after having our limits pushed back again and again, we have given up on your systems.

If our fellow inhabitants of this planet wish to accept your rule, they are free to do so. We will not try to stop them. We, however, will no longer accept your constraints upon us. From now on, when you hurt us, we will bite back. If you leave us alone we will leave you alone and you can continue to rule your subjects. We are happy to live quietly. But if you come after us, there will be consequences.

You caused this because of your fetish for control and power. The chief men and women among you are pathologically driven to control everyone and everything that moves upon this planet. You have made yourselves the judge of every human activity. No god-king of the ancient world ever had the power that your systems do.

You have created a world where only the neutered are safe and where only outlaws are free.

To The People of Earth:

We seek nothing from you. We do not want to rule you and we do not want to control you. All we wish is to live on earth in peace. As always, we will be helpful neighbors and generous acquaintances. We will remain honest business partners and trustworthy employees. We will continue to be loving parents and respectful children.

We will not, however, be sacrificial animals. We reject the idea that others have a right to our lives and our property. We will not demand anything from you, and we will no longer acquiesce to any demands upon us. We have left that game. We reject all obligations to any person or organization beyond honesty, fair dealing and a respect for human life. We will shortly explain what we believe, but we are not demanding that you agree with us. All we ask is that you do not try to stop us. Continue to play the game if you wish; we will not try to disrupt it. We have merely walked away from it.

We wish you peace.

To Those Who Will Condemn Us:

We will ignore you.

We welcome and seek the verdict of a just God, before whom we are willing to expose our innermost thoughts. Are you similarly willing?

We would stand openly before all mankind if it were not suicidal. Perhaps some day we will have to accept slaughter for our crime of independence, but not yet.

Your criticism and your malice are much deeper than mere disagreements of strategy or philosophy. You do not oppose our philosophy, you oppose our existence. Our presence in the world means that your precious ideals are false. Some of you would rather kill us than face the loss of your ideologies, just as those like you have either hated or killed every sufficiently independent human.

You present yourselves to the world as compassionate, tolerant and enlightened, but we know that your smooth words are costumes. Oh yes, we know you, servant of the state; don’t forget, we were raised with you. We played with you in the schoolyard, we sat next to you in the classroom. Some of us studied at the same elite universities. We watched as you had your first tastes of power. We were the boys and girls standing next to you. Some of us were your first victims. We are not fooled by your carefully crafted public image.

What We Believe:

  • #1: Many humans resent the responsibilities that are implied by consciousness. We accept those responsibilities and we embrace consciousness. Rather than letting things happen to us (avoiding consciousness), we accept consciousness and choose to act in our own interest. We do not seek the refuge of blaming others, neither do we take refuge in crowds. We are willing to act on our personal judgment, and we are willing to accept the consequences thereof.
  • #2: We believe in negative rights for all: That all humans should be free to do whatever they wish, as long as they do not intrude upon others; that no man has a right to the life, liberty or property of another; that we oppose aggression, fraud and coercion.
  • #3: We do not believe that our way of life, or any other, will make life perfect or trouble-free. We expect crime and disagreements and ugliness, and we are prepared to deal with them. We do not seek a strongman to step in and solve problems for us. We agree to see to them ourselves.
  • #4: We believe in free and unhindered commerce. So long as exchanges are voluntary and honest, no other party has a right to intervene—before, during or after.
  • #5: We believe that all individuals should keep their agreements.
  • #6: We believe that honestly obtained property is fully legitimate and absolute.
  • #7: We believe that some humans are evil and that they must be faced and dealt with. We accept the fact that this is a difficult area of life.
  • #8: We believe that humans can self-organize effectively. We expect them to cooperate. We reject impositions of hierarchy and organization.
  • #9: We believe that all humans are to be held as equals in all matters regarding justice.
  • #10: We believe that the more a man or woman cares about right and wrong, the more of a threat he or she is perceived to be by governments.
  • #11: We believe that there are only two true classes of human beings: Those who wish to exercise power upon others—either directly or through intermediaries—and those who have no such desires.
  • #12: Large organizations and centralization are inherently anti-human. They must rely upon rules rather than principles, treating humans within the organization as obedient tools.

Our Plans:

We are building our own society. We will supplement traditional tools with networking, cryptography, sound money, digital currency and anonymous messaging.

Our society will not be centrally controlled. It will rely solely on voluntary arrangements. We welcome others to join us. We are looking for people who are independent creators of value, people who act more than talk, and people who do the right thing because it is the right thing.

We will develop our own methods of dealing with injustice, built on the principles of negative rights, restitution, integrity and equal justice. We do not forbid anyone from having one foot in each realm—ours and the old realm—although we demand that they do no damage to our realm. We are fully opposed to any use of our realm to facilitate crime in the old realm, such as the hiding of criminal proceeds.

We expect to be loudly condemned, libeled and slandered by the authorities of the old regime. We expect them to defend their power and their image of legitimacy with all means available to them. We expect that many gullible and servile people will believe these lies, at least at first.

We will consider traps laid for us to be criminal offenses. Any who wish to join us are encouraged to distribute this declaration, to act in furtherance of our new society, to voluntarily excel in virtues and to communicate and cooperate with other members of the new society.

Free, unashamed men cannot be ruled.

We are The Free and The Unashamed.

Digg it here

Comments

 

First post to Libervis. Happy to finally find you.

Referring to "A Declaration of Separation", I've got to say, this reads more like a screed than anything. However, as a longtime (lowercase) libertarian\Objectivist [yeah, I know; it's complicated], I can't find much wrong with it, and it says a lot of stuff I've been saying for years.

Take out some of the hyperbole, and post it to /. :-) Good start. I'll be the retired philosopher running a diner on Route 66.

Ragnar Danneskjold. :-) # Gunboat diplomacy R Us.

Hi and welcome Keeling. I

Hi and welcome Keeling. Smiling

I actually started this site in 2004 when I wasn't yet a libertarian (or voluntaryist and market anarchist more precisely) and have written lots of stuff which I would today disagree with fervently. Just saying in case you see a lot of non-libertarian stuff here written by me..

Anyway, regarding the declaration, this same exact text was copied all over the web. Later I learned it started here. It's not perfect, but as you say it's a start..

I'm probably gonna be building a new site from the ground up dedicated completely to evolution of humanity towards voluntaryism with emphasis on self-empowerment, but I'll likely put more specifically technology related issues with regards to libertarianism and voluntaryism here on Libervis.com so it might be complementary.

Btw, there are more libertarian geeks in our IRC channel. It's currently more active than the site itself, which is a long story (partly involving the site owner going "nuts" and converting into libertarianism thus scaring away socialists from the site which was fringe as it is Sticking out tongue ). Feel free to hop in sometime.

Daniel

 

unfortunately, there are some problems with the idea of private property. If I live in a house that is owned by someone else; if I have work for someone who owns a company, so that I can pay the rent and buy food; if the owner of the company decides to pay me little and the owner of the house decides to charge me much; then how can I be free? P. J. Proudhon argued that liberty could only come from a synthesis of communism and property; there remain problems with his formulation, but I believe it is a necessary one.

Essentially:

Equality of means, though not of comfort;

Law based on necessity;

Independence based on the autonomy of private reasoning;

Proportionality of sentiment, though not of material objects.

Best wishes. Smiling

It is a little hyperbolic, I

It is a little hyperbolic, I give you that, but these kinds of declarations and manifestos tend to be like that.

I very much disagree with you about private property though. I think the fear is unfounded. You ask how can you be free? You're free to make your own decisions. You're free to move out of that house and get a cheaper accommodation or to find another company to work for or to perhaps see if you can start your own business (which is easier without the government nosing into it). You seem to fear that your circumstances would be such that you wont be able to make either choice and survive, but limitation of private property is not an answer to that. In a contrary it leads to even worse situations which you probably aren't aware of. You can't expect to justify theft by the fact that you couldn't acquire what you need otherwise.

But I think most fears of that kind originate from an assumption that without the state corporations would run rampant which is to forget the fact that corporations are the figment of the state. They couldn't exist in this form without it so much of their abuses (which mostly result from being too powerful or monopolistic) couldn't be possible. It's a mistake to assume that without the state corporatism will thrive. It's just the opposite.

Anyway, I've some time ago started a discussion of these issues which I think is relevant. Here is it: http://freedomainradio.com/board/forums/t/21514.aspx

Regards Smiling

 

Quote:

unfortunately, there are some problems with the idea of private property. If I live in a house that is owned by someone else; if I have work for someone who owns a company, so that I can pay the rent and buy food; if the owner of the company decides to pay me little and the owner of the house decides to charge me much; then how can I be free?

If you live in a free market, you're free to take your business to the best provider you can find. If you live in a free market, providers are free to produce the best offering you could reasonably expect to exist, with no bureaucratic futzing by gov't operatives. It's supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. After all, they want your long term business, and you want them to care about the value they're providing for your hard earned dollars. If a business screws its customers, it shouldn't be able to get away with it for long. Cf., Bernie Madoff.

Pure Capitalism is the most symbiotic and cooperative relationship there is next to a marriage. Governmental intervention is what poisons and causes all the problems we suffer. Get the lobbyists, the corporate campaign contributions, and the bought politicos out of the picture, fix the ridiculous breakage in tort law (ambulance chasers), and it'd work. With that in place, "public option" healthcare would be irrelevant.

btw, I'm Canadian. I've intimate understanding of how bad/expensive/ineffectual socialised medicine is. :-P

Hi Keeling

 
Quote:

If you live in a free market, you're free to take your business to the best provider you can find. If you live in a free market, providers are free to produce the best offering you could reasonably expect to exist, with no bureaucratic futzing by gov't operatives. It's supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. After all, they want your long term business, and you want them to care about the value they're providing for your hard earned dollars. If a business screws its customers, it shouldn't be able to get away with it for long. Cf., Bernie Madoff.

I agree, but the operative term here is if. As they say 'if wishes were horses, beggars would ride'. Of course they don't and we don't have free markets. This was Proudhon's point: there can't be a truly free market as long as there are massive inequalities in wealth.

So I don't agree that capitalism is the wonderful system you think it is. In fact, I think it's a confidence trick. Capitalism is actually an elaborate oligopoly which generates state control as a necessary outcome of its functioning. This is because the primary imperative for the rich is to defend what they have by all possible means. This was clearly shown by the recent hand-outs for bankers Barf! . The theory being that it's necessary to help the rich in order to save the system, but the poor should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps of course. Free market capitalism? Laughing out loud .

I also don't agree about what you call socialised medicine. I'm a Brit and like most of us, I support our National Health Service (NHS), which guarantees treatment that is free at the point of care. I don't know how these things go in Canada, but the NHS is a damn sight cheaper than the US model and doesn't try to cheat you out of treatment just when you need it most (when it's a bit too late to change your insurance company). This is despite years of being deliberately starved of funding by a malicious government, followed by a series of badly thought out 'reforms'. It certainly ain't perfect, but show me something that works better.

Best,

John

Capitalism in its broadest

Capitalism in its broadest form is inherent to every system in existence. Capital is simply means of production so everything from simple human labor to machines counts. Whether you have communism or state capitalism that still applies. Even if you somehow have a system without private property ownership people still deal with capital in order to produce wealth, let alone survive.

But you say capitalism is an "elaborate oligopoly which generates state control as a necessary outcome of its functioning". To me that sounds like inverse causality. It would rather seem it is the state which needs capitalism to feed off of, that they are the ones dependent on capitalism, not capitalism on the state. The protection of property you speak off doesn't require the state when it can be done by individual owners themselves or by agencies whom they pay for. Yet if they did defend their property individually or via multiple competing agencies, corporatism would be impossible because there would be no state monopoly (no state) to abuse for power. Multitude of competing interests guarantees an equilibrium, especially if said equilibrium is in everybody's personal interest.

Bottom line is, you're describing corporatism yet you call it capitalism and you blame capitalists instead of the state when corporations are a state sponsored institution. You're shooting at the wrong target.

Regarding NHS, I'd be willing to bet it's not "cheaper". You make up for it in taxes and/or inflation most likely. I don't believe there is such a thing as free healthcare. It may be "free at the point of care", but you wouldn't make that distinction if you thought it was free in general. Don't confuse the current healthcare system in the US as a product of free market. USA does not have a truly free market. It's currently a corporate fascism.

I would finally counter Proudhon by saying: There can be no free market so long as coercive monopoly (the state) exists. Massive inequality is the result of the state sponsorship of corporations. Remove the state and you have a chance at resolving the problem. Anything else is just chasing fairies.

OK, so we have different

 

OK, so we have different definitions of capital. You say labour is a form of capital. I say capital is embodied labour. Does this matter? Well, I'm not sure, but there is a substantive difference between us. I believe that labour (people who work) should employ capital, you seem to allow that capital should be able to employ labour. That's what I call capitalism, as it allows those who live off their capital, rather than their labour, to rule society (hence their need for the state, to defend their privilege).

Look at it like this: if you come to my house and take my possessions, your a thief; if you come to my house and demand my possessions as rent, your a thief. Ergo, property is theft.

Quote:

I would finally counter Proudhon by saying: There can be no free market so long as coercive monopoly (the state) exists. Massive inequality is the result of the state sponsorship of corporations. Remove the state and you have a chance at resolving the problem. Anything else is just chasing fairies.

Actually, this does not counter Proudhon, as I'm sure he would agree with it.

As for the NHS, of course it's paid for from taxes, but the point is that this works out cheaper in real terms (per capita expenditure on health) than doing it the way the US does it now and it offers me a much better chance that if I get ill, I'll actually get the treatment I need. Of course this is a major obstacle to doing away with the state, so like I say: design me a better system.

The way I see it, there's two kinds of people trying to run my life. Those who want to exploit me for their own advantage and those who think they know what's best for me. There's no easy and straightforward way of getting rid of these people and all the solutions I've heard involve selling out to one group, in order to get the others off my back. To which my reply is 'a curse on both your houses.'

Jalfro wrote:

OK, so we have different definitions of capital. You say labour is a form of capital. I say capital is embodied labour. Does this matter? Well, I'm not sure, but there is a substantive difference between us. I believe that labour (people who work) should employ capital, you seem to allow that capital should be able to employ labour. That's what I call capitalism, as it allows those who live off their capital, rather than their labour, to rule society (hence their need for the state, to defend their privilege).

I don't define labor as "people who work", but as the "work by people" or the capacity of people to do work. It refers to actions, not to individuals. Since your actions can produce things I count them as the means of production (capital) and since every individual can act every individual possesses this capital. Nobody has the right to take this away from you against your will. That would be exploitation. However, if you work for someone of your own free will nobody is exploiting you. You're using your labor (your capital) in exchange for whatever your pay is or whatever your agreement with the other person is.

So no I am not saying "capital should be able to employ labor" because "capital" isn't human beings, but rather action and capacity for action (or work). Humans employ capital, whether it is their own natural capital (ability to work) or machines and other property. So there is no dichotomy between those who live off their capital and those who live off their labor because labor and capital are the same thing. You can redefine capital to "embodied labor", but that doesn't make sense because if capital is means of production then it doesn't involve solely labor nor means that can be embodied into a person.

Jalfro wrote:

Look at it like this: if you come to my house and take my possessions, your a thief; if you come to my house and demand my possessions as rent, your a thief. Ergo, property is theft.

And what are "your" house and "your" possessions if not property? Note that I would agree that coming to your house uninvited and demanding your possessions against your will would be theft, but only because I consider your house and your possessions to be your property. Theft is coercive expropriation of property. If you believe such a concept as theft exists you ought to believe in property.

Regarding rent, if you are in your own house I shouldn't demand a rent from you, clearly. But if you are living in a house that is my own and I rented it to you then clearly I can take rent from you, but this isn't against your will if you agreed to the terms before moving in. Agreement overrides everything. You can't call people asking for your money which you already agreed to give as theft, precisely because you agreed to it.

Jalfro wrote:
Quote:

I would finally counter Proudhon by saying: There can be no free market so long as coercive monopoly (the state) exists. Massive inequality is the result of the state sponsorship of corporations. Remove the state and you have a chance at resolving the problem. Anything else is just chasing fairies.

Actually, this does not counter Proudhon, as I'm sure he would agree with it.

I am countering him in the sense that I point to state itself as the main problem, not property ownership. He seems to think, as you do, that property depends on the state. I say it has nothing to do with the state whatsoever. State in fact violates property and that is the entire problem. Property isn't theft. State is theft. And it would seem that state is our common enemy, but so long as you also want to deny property (against your own personal experience of it even) it's hard to really fight side by side against the state.

Jalfro wrote:

As for the NHS, of course it's paid for from taxes, but the point is that this works out cheaper in real terms (per capita expenditure on health) than doing it the way the US does it now and it offers me a much better chance that if I get ill, I'll actually get the treatment I need. Of course this is a major obstacle to doing away with the state, so like I say: design me a better system.

Unfortunately by denying property rights you are denying the basis of a better system. If property is theft then what are taxes? If property is not theft then taxes are theft and therefore immoral. And I don't buy into utilitarian justifications for immoral acts. The reason national healthcare is cheaper is because the state regulates and taxes the private providers of healthcare while forcing everyone to pay for it in taxes whether they need or want it or not. If you have coerced an entire country into being your customers, of course you can offer a cheaper service! And then there is inflation; when there isn't enough money to pay for it, just print more money. This is unjust.

You want a better system? Then allow individuals the liberty to work on better solutions, through a free market. Free market is not a system itself, it is merely the blank slate, a basic state of freedom, that can allow people to come up with solutions that do not involve mass coercion. I can think of a bunch of solutions all working side by side and meeting specific demands. Private companies competing to offer the best healthcare for cheapest price. And for those still left poor, private specialized charities dedicated to offering healthcare free at the point of care while funded by successful companies who want to increase their reputation by being seen as patrons to such charities.

The USA system isn't a free market, but corporatism. Healthcare providers are heavily regulated and are at that corporations which enjoy special privileges awarded to them by the state. This is a lot different from what I'm proposing.

Jalfro wrote:

The way I see it, there's two kinds of people trying to run my life. Those who want to exploit me for their own advantage and those who think they know what's best for me. There's no easy and straightforward way of getting rid of these people and all the solutions I've heard involve selling out to one group, in order to get the others off my back. To which my reply is 'a curse on both your houses.'

It's true there exist those types of people, but your definition of exploitation seems skewed. Exploitation can only happen if you are coerced, but if you enter into an agreement with someone in which you agree to provide one thing in exchange for another that's not exploitation, but trade.

I advocate no selling out to one group. I advocate that you be a free individual that makes his own decisions and runs his own life. But you simply cannot do that if you deny property. "Your" life is your own. It is your property, not somebody else's. Your body, your mind and everything that you produce by applying them as effects are your property. Deny that and you're denying your self, not to mention inviting other people to violate and exploit you more than you can imagine.

Check out this amusing comic for a nice humorous illustration: Property as theft.

Regards

Quote: Check out this

 
Quote:

Check out this amusing comic for a nice humorous illustration: http://anarchyinyourhead.com/2009/03/04/property-as-theft/

Nice one!

But note the discussion (the comment by Tristan).

Proudhon often argues through paradox, but there is reason behind it. His position on property is that it cannot be a natural right. Liberty is a natural right: we are born free ("Liberty is the original condition of man; to renounce liberty is to renounce the nature of man.") But if property were such a right: "all that belongs to me by virtue of this right is as sacred as my person: it is my blood, my life, myself [...] My income of one hundred thousand francs is as inviolable as the grisette's daily wage of seventy-five centimes; her attic is no more sacred than my suite of apartments."

The paradox is resolved by distinguishing between: possession, which is established through occupation and use; and property, which depends upon legal title and ultimately requires state coercion to enforce it.

In other words, if you shit on my bed you are offending against my person, but not against my landlord's person, only against his property.

A similar problem arises when you conflate labour with capital. I do understand your definitions, I'm just not ready to abandon mine.

The NHS example is another paradox which is generated by property. If a state managed solution proves to work better than a market generated one, then there must be something wrong with the market. This cannot be due to distortion directly introduced by the state, since the state is active in both markets (indeed, more in the UK than the US). I suggest that the distortion comes indirectly from the state, through the medium of private property. This leads to two major distortions: massive inequality of income and wealth through legal title; and unfair competition (cheating) due to the pressure to acquire property. The former means that many people cannot afford treatment, the latter means that even if they can and they've paid up all their insurance, they may still be cheated out of it.

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