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Disagreements w/ DOII Expressed in Personal E-Mail

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  • Kitty Antonik Wakfer
    [The following is an excerpt from my response to a personal email over a month old to someone with whom I correspond on a semi-regular basis and have known for
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2003
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      [The following is an excerpt from my response to a personal email
      over a month old to someone with whom I correspond on a semi-regular
      basis and have known for many years - the writer was told later that
      I would post this message here at MoreLife Yahoo and was sincerely
      welcome to post any follow-ups desired - the response was positive.
      The lines not preceeded by ">" are my original response.

      >I know that the two of you have and are continually putting alot of
      >energy, thought and passion into what you are doing with the Self
      >Soverengity program, as well as other projects. Not everyone you
      >meet or talk with is going to have the same passion, interest, or
      >desire that the two of you have. I have read over your documents on
      >the MoreLife website and found the statement:

      We never expected that our ideas would be accepted by everyone and
      that even those who do would be as enthusiastic as we are. But for
      those people who are serious about liberty for themselves and loved
      ones, we are hoping that, with time, as we make more of the Self-SIP
      documentation available - and finalize after discussion online with
      interested others resulting in improvements - more people will
      realize that the world of government intervention is not a necessity
      for an orderly society. And that
      [I failed to finish the sentence before sending. **Kitty]

      >"However, we are not interested in diatribes or mere statements that
      >this whole approach won't work or that some other approach is better
      >unless a strong argument for your position is included."

      >It sounds like unless I have a strong argument, you wish not to be
      >bothered with what I might say. What is considered 'strong'? I
      >don't wish to 'argue' the points I do see weaknesses in the idea,
      >the fesibility of it, the practical application of what may seem
      >good written down. I do not attempt to come across as a slap you in
      >the face with my ideas, I will say that since I have a fundemental
      >difference in certain moral beliefs, this does have an effect on my
      >view of the documents.

      Diatribes are mere statements without reference to particular
      points of disagreements with pointed reasons provided.

      [What the writer here did not appear to understand is that the word "argument" has more than one meaning. It can mean "heated, antagonistic, shouting match", but its original meaning was and is merely a logical presentation of one's reasons for taking a certain position or having a certain viewpoint, *rather* than a mere statement of an opinion. Still, the point regarding "strong" was well taken and we will remove that from the text.
      The problem with the writer's comment was that s/he did not specify any of the: "weaknesses in the idea, the fesibility of it, the practical application of what may seem good written down" which s/he "saw" as problems. It is this sort of "opinion" comment which we have stated is of no value to us, or to anyone else for that matter. --Paul]

      >In the following quote,
      >"that whenever any human or group of humans, whether calling
      >themselves a government or not, becomes destructive of my self-
      >sovereignty, as a human my individual purposes allow, nay even
      >require me to resist and to terminate this destruction by whatever
      >means I decide, and, together with other adults of like mind, to
      >mutually bind ourselves to a contractual relationship which shall
      >seem to us most likely to effect our safety and our potential for
      >I came to the same realization that the essence of the sentences was
      >a sucession of the individual from the state. If such a sucession
      >was to be carried out, how then would the individual pay for
      >services? What currency would be used, how could he justify using
      >state funded roads, schools, utilities? How would he travel, as
      >using a state issued driver's license or federal issued passport is
      >necessary in the existing situation.

      Your questions are typical of many of what we expect people who do
      not have much experience with libertarianism will ask. This is
      because most people are so ingrained with the idea of governments
      that they truly can not imagine a free market approach. And if you
      read any of Paul's answers at MoreLife Yahoo over the past month
      to some people already, you will find that it is a slow "withering"
      of the state that is expected AND desired. Even a non-violent
      revolution - a drastic quick change - is not desired by either of
      us; what we are hoping for is an *evolution* - fairly slow as a
      result of well-considered principled change of fundamental ideas.
      Yes, the process is a slow secession from government. It is akin to
      the process that a child/teenager goes through in growing up and
      separating himself from his parents - at least this is what should
      happen. Children should become independent reasoning adults not
      just physically mature dependents.

      This [following 2 paragraphs] is from the Introduction to the Social
      Contract still in progress:

      "In order to accomplish such a naturally ordered, maximally free,
      minimally restrictive society of maximally happy and productive Self-
      Sovereign Individuals, what is needed is a clear delineation of a
      minimal social framework under which such a natural order will
      occur. It is not enough to simply eliminate governments everywhere
      and then let the free market take over as some anarchist
      libertarians appear to think. Without such a framework (which I have
      termed the "social meta-needs" of human relationships) to guide the
      marketplace, I think that the result might well be chaos (at least
      for quite a while) as all the critics of anarchist ideas contend,
      and I, for one, am not prepared to take a chance. The major problem
      here is that the level of size and complexity to which civilization
      has grown without free market ordering institutions in place is
      simply too large for these to emerge naturally in the timescale
      needed to prevent chaos upon the immediate withdrawal of government
      imposed order. That is why social chaos and the welcomed imposition
      of some order by a strongman even at the cost of some loss of
      freedom would almost inevitably happen. This can only be prevented
      if a social order without government tyranny can be gradually
      achieved. Only such graduallism without violence will be conducive
      to the development of market institutions to provide the natural
      social order required.

      "Moreover, by providing such a minimally-restrictive compossible
      framework it may be possible to unite all those desiring maximal
      freedom behind one strategic practical approach, and to confound all
      the critics at the same time. The rational anarchist cannot object
      because he is completely free to have his competing protection,
      defense, court and law agencies within this system. The minimal
      governmentalist cannot object because there is a single overriding
      set of rules and procedures to which all Self-Sovereign Individuals
      must adhere - a kind of minimal government, if you will, but one
      which in fact has *none* of the characteristics of a government,
      because it is nothing more nor less than a voluntary contract! It is
      our sincere hope that those in the various branches of the freedom
      movement will seriously examine these documents and our plan for
      achieving their implementation and will give us their questions,
      comments, criticisms and suggestions for improvement so that we may
      all together build something with which we are all satisified and
      which will eventually achieve our common personal freedom goals. I
      am convinced that if this can be done, there will be a time in the
      not so distant future when people will look back and realize that
      most of those working for freedom today were actually far too
      limited in their ideas for the enlargement of possible choices which
      could reasonably be attained."

      Only where there are government monopolies - areas where the
      government forbids or makes extremely difficult for any one to
      compete - will a person in the interim justifiably use a government
      run operation. Gradually (I can't even estimate how long), services
      and properties owned by governments will be sold (making it possible
      to reduce government debts). In a totally free society all property
      is privately owned - there is no entity as government. This is
      difficult for many people to imagine, especially the first time it
      is brought to their attention as a real possibility.

      Your questions concerning applications are quite reasonable and
      appropriate, and your use of quotations is exactly what is needed to
      make any discussion meaningful.

      [While Kitty answered above in very general terms, I will be more specific wrt the particular points that her correspondent raised.

      >If such a sucession was to be carried out,
      >how then would the individual pay for services?

      Anyone making a Declaration of Individual Sovereignty simply is not going to be able to opt out of current society without either leaving the country (to where?) or becoming a hermit in a cabin in some deep wilderness area (again where?). Thus, he will continue to use the government service that he *must* use in order to live. He cannot even purchase food or anything else without paying hidden taxes so even if he can avoid many taxes he is not in any manner sponging off others, especially when they (through support of the government) give him no choice. So he will use private services (and pay for them) whenever he can but will continue to use government services when and where he must.

      > What currency would be used,

      Currency is something which the market place can certainly provide. If you examine the history of money, it has many times been done privately. The main reasons the governments monopolize it is to give them the power of inflation.

      > how could he justify using state funded roads, schools, utilities?

      The Declarer would try not to use them to the best of his ability. Where he cannot exist without doing so because no alternative exists, he is justified because of the government distortion of the marketplace which makes it impossible for private alternatives to arrise. In addition, as I stated above, he is paying for them many times over in all the hidden taxes and government burden costs of everything that he buys.

      >How would he travel, as using a state issued driver's license

      On the only roads that exist, of course. There are already people around who drive without a license. They just make sure they are never stopped. Or if you must, then you use one because you really have no choice.

      >or federal issued passport is necessary in the existing situation.

      Yes, it is truly unfortunate that one cannot travel between countries without being a citizen of one of them. So if you continue to, do what you must. But that does not mean that you like it, condone it, sanction it or in any manner want it to continue! --Paul]

      >Also, in regard to this statement:
      >"Government actions prevent or restrict each adult from providing or
      >using whatever services that he determines are in his best interest
      >and which do not by themselves harm any other person such as: a.
      >prostitution, b. pornography, c. abortion, d. cloning, e. sale of
      >human organs, and f. all services which require certification and
      >licensing. "
      >I take serious difference. Several of the listed activites I find
      >against what I believe in (moraly) so therefore don't condon them
      >being unrestricted.

      You are missing a very important part of liberty - that any time or
      under any circumstances that one person is prohibited from doing
      something that is not force or fraud, the groundwork is being laid
      for others to be denied similar freedom of action. Whatever a
      person finds reprehensible he will, under a totally free society,
      never be forced to support it. Allowing others to engage in an
      action *between themselves* that they decide is of mutual benefit to
      them, does not mean that others condone that action. It only means
      that their liberty is not being abridged.

      [In fact, you are perfectly free (or should be) to be intolerant and socially unfriendly to any people who practice activities which you think are "immoral". The whole point of liberty, however, is that if these activities do not "force" you to do anything, then they must be "allowed" to take place. That is, you have no entitlement to use force (or get others to use it) to stop them. --Paul]

      In a free society, someone will never be required to support
      anything - he will only trade a value of his own for a value that he
      receives from someone else. (See MoreLife Value for Value page and
      latest MoreLife Yahoo Post.) That is far from what is the case in
      the very mixed societies that exist now - mixture of force and
      freedom, with growing loss of the latter.

      >In regard to services requiring certification and licensing, I know
      >that in order for me to be a teacher, I had to pass the necessary
      >certification process, also, in order for me to be a practicising
      >nail technician I needed to pass a state borad and have a license. I
      >have seen too many situations where unqualified technicians have
      >caused serious harm to clients. These were unlicensed technicians,
      >who had not met the standards required of the cosmotology board and
      >practiced illegially.

      The individual in a totally free society in which interactions are
      by contract - the essence of the Self-Sovereign Individual Project -
      individuals will be more responsible for their actions then they are

      [They will have learned to be so because they will bear the full brunt of the responsibility for restituting their victims for any harm that they do. --Paul]

      Private registration companies - ie. Better Business Bureau
      and Consumers Union - would operate more plentifully and with more
      ability to inform then they are currently where governments support
      the status quo. And each adult individual will be able to choose
      services and products based on his judgment of what is in his long-
      range best interest - not be forcibly limited by the actions of a
      government. His choices will be greatly increased and his
      opportunities for happiness.

      >These quotes :
      >" that as a self-sovereign individual, I no longer
      >sanction, nor have any duty to obey the laws, regulations or agents
      >of any governments, and that all power of government agencies over
      >me, is and ought to be totally dissolved;
      > "It is important to note that the declarer is not saying
      >that he definitely intends to break any laws and regulations. All
      >that he is saying is that these laws and regulations have no moral
      >validity and that he reserves to himself the freedom of choice to
      >decide whether to obey them or not. Though I decided not to use the
      >term, the declarer is, in effect, formally "seceding" from the
      >state. All forms of voluntarily enjoined contractual service and
      >servitude should be permitted. Only fraud, the non-contracted
      >initiation of a violation, contracted initiation of violation to a
      >party not involved in the contract, should invalidate a contract and
      >require restitution for any harm actually done"
      >This is where I see the word seced used by Paul. It does seem to say
      >that the individual says, this is what is right for me....and so be
      >it. It sounds as if there would be NO reason to have laws, set up by
      >any government, as the individual would be his OWN regulator of law.
      >So, if I felt that I could handle driving me car at a speed higher
      >than what is posted, because of my extreme skills, I could? That
      >would be putting myself and others at risk, not a safe idea to me.

      The individual is ultimately and completely responsible for *all*
      his actions in a totally free society. When people understand this -
      especially when children are raised with the idea - you can be sure
      that they will think carefully about the actions that they take.
      This means that he will have to make restitution for the damages
      that he causes. And if he, as a Self-Sovereign Individual (Freeman),
      refuses to do so voluntarily and after a trial finds him culpable he
      continues to refuse, he will lose his status as Freeman. This means
      that he will be in a much reduced status in regard to all other
      Freemen, since they will preferentially deal with each other (a
      stated item in the Social Contract Paul is still honing as he writes
      the annotated/explained version). But each and every action will
      *not* have to be carefully considered each and every time once the
      *principle* is completely understood and accepted. It is this
      understanding of principles that is often an initial stumbling block
      for many. See the latest MoreLife Yahoo post.

      [In addition, the writer had a contradiction in her thinking in the lines:

      >So, if I felt that I could handle driving me car at a speed higher
      >than what is posted, because of my extreme skills, I could? That
      >would be putting myself and others at risk, not a safe idea to me.

      Either the person *can* drive safely at higher speed or s/he cannot. If s/he can, then by definition there is no higher risk involved. However, as Kitty said the crux of the matter is being held fully responsible for one's actions. If people learn as they grow up that they will be fully responsible for restitution of all harm that they do, then they will learn to judge and minimize risk much more effectively than they do now.
      Furthermore, this example has another important method of solution which is not much different than that of today. Someone will always own any road that you are driving upon, and it is the entitlement of the owner to impose whatever rules for use of his property that he wishes. When you drive on his road, you will do so under a contractual arrangement with him which could impose fines or loss of privilege to drive on his road. What these *cannot* impose is jail terms, unless you also agree with that upfront. --Paul]

      >So there you have some of my thoughts on the matters you have asked
      >me about. As I said before, there obviously has been a tremendous
      >think tank going on for the two of you over these matters.

      I have to smile at that one ;>) We do think of ourselves somewhat
      in that vein, although neither of us has ever used the word, nor
      thought of it. We definitely enjoy thinking. You may enjoy the
      latest Kitty Reflects just uploaded. Actually Paul likes the
      problems he's having with the Social Contract writing much more than
      I do - it's the mathematician in him. Some make my head spin - they
      are an order of magnitude more difficult than those you've asked
      about with the DOII. At least many of those have been written about
      by other libertarians. The precise definitions needed in the Social
      Contract are what is taking so much time, but then Paul has been an
      expert for some time at writing contracts. This is the ultimate
      contract - but it is really a "meta-contract".

      Your questions above are quite reasonable and I would have welcomed
      you posting them at MoreLife Yahoo so that others could benefit from
      our discussion. You are still welcome to do so and Paul and I will
      answer them much as I've done here. Our answers at MoreLife Yahoo
      (as are most of the writings on MoreLife - I do much of the Personal
      Section alone, though he does review some for typos and often makes
      improving edits) are a joint effort. Here though, I've not asked him
      to review anything for accuracy.
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