Something I struggle to understand is why everyone needs to be told what they can and cannot do. Why everyone wants to simultaneously be told what to do and tell others what they can do. Why people feel the need to impose their will on others yet can’t even think for themselves. It sounds harsh but hear me out.
I don’t really think that everyone can’t think for themselves, but it does confuse me when people say they wish they could do something but can’t because it’s not allowed. Looking to authority and even inventing authority when they can’t find one. It really is a weird feature that we have as humans. It is kind of the root of religion, conjuring authority figures who we then let dictate rules to us. That same strange need is also what leads us to create governments.
It is a double edged sword. On the one hand we seem to need an authority to tell us what we can and can’t do, but then we also like to swing that authority at others to tell them what to do as well. People just seem to love to get in other people’s business and that really is the root of what I find odd. Why everyone needs to be involved in how everyone else’s life.
That is why I find myself embracing anarchy. Anarchy is not chaos, rather it is the belief that no person and no god has mastery over the self. I can’t impose my will on others and I won’t let others impose their will on me. At the micro level that can be bosses, corporations, neighbors or family. At the macro level that means governments and religions. I don’t need a god to tell me what to do and I don’t need a “leader” to tell me either. I chose what I want to do or what I don’t want to do.
The other side of this is that I don’t feel the need to interfere in other’s lives. So long as no one is hurting anyone else I say just let them be. Let them live. Why do people feel the need to interfere in how everyone else lives? We have invented these massive organizations just to meddle in other people’s affairs. Just to impose our wills on others. We vote for parties that share our beliefs so that those beliefs can be forced on other people under threat of violence. When our side loses we then grumble under the boot as the other side does the same to us.
That is what government and religion do, they allow weak people to enact violence on others for not sharing what they believe. Even on a small and petty level. Here is a simple hypothetical.
Let’s say Mildred doesn’t like that people ride bikes past her house on Sundays. Sunday is God’s day and Mildred thinks everyone should be home worshiping, not out and about. So Mildred finds a local politician who shares her belief or something as close to it as she can find. She finds one that wants to ban bikes on roads under the auspices of safety. Close enough for Mildred.
So she votes, gleeful that in a roundabout way she will get others to conform to her belief that people should be home or at church on Sundays. She tells her friends and family to vote for this politician and they end up winning. Bikes are banned from roads and now Mildred stares out her window every Sunday, calling up the bylaw officers to come ticket people that ride past her house.
She has used violence to impose her will on other people. And the system she lives in allows for this, in fact the system encourages it. The violence is in the form of the tickets these bylaw officers issue. Maybe it’s a small amount of money, but people issued the ticket are then forced to pay that amount. If they don’t the penalties gradually increase to the point where they will be arrested and confined against their will. All because Mildred didn’t want people riding past her house on Sundays.
It’s not her fault, we have all be conditioned and trained to think this way. We all want to control other people and over centuries have built systems that allow for even the weakest of men to do that. I don’t know if it is a human urge or one that comes from the system we are raised in but this strange need to be involved in others lives is what gives rise to all of our problems as a society and as humanity. That is where I have been confused my whole life. I don’t really feel this urge. Unless someone is hurting someone else I have never really cared what people do. I despise when people harm others and have always been drawn to protecting people from harm, but other than that I have not really felt the need to control others.
That also has led to me pushing back when others try to control me. I hate being told what I can and can’t do. Unless you are paying me, and that pay is high enough, I don’t like being told what to do. Even with work, eventually the pay is not enough and I start to resent the job to the point where I will quit and move on to something else. The best job I have had is one where what I am doing is something I would do any way. Right now I get to help people and get paid for it, that is where I find my ideal way of earning a living. It also helps that I have a boss I like and respect, someone who gets in the trenches with his people rather than barking orders.
I am also stuck under a government that feels it needs to tell me what I have to do. I don’t consent to be governed, but still the government keeps pressing. I harm no one, yet they want to confiscate my property and throw me in a cage. I live a quiet peaceful life, and they want to send men with guns to punish me for not living it the way they deem safe and appropriate. That is where the core of Voluntaryism lies, in the idea of consent.
It is anarchy for all, because I think the word anarchy carries a lot of baggage. People think anarchy is violence and chaos, but it really is the belief that all humans are free and all interactions should be voluntary. That all humans have a fundamental right to consent to all interactions with others. It is a much less loaded term.
Voluntaryism is the belief that we don’t need a government or religion and all participation in society should be voluntary. That means no imposing your will through violence or coercion, no banning bikes on Sundays. All parties involved must consent. No central authority and really no authority at all. It is a belief that we are all free and should all be left alone.
What I fail to understand is why this belief is in any way controversial. Why people feel the need to get involved in what other people do. Why, if no one is being harmed, do people want to inject violence into something in order to get their way? Maybe it’s because I am autistic but I really can’t comprehend this need to control other people.
If someone wants to spend their life shooting heroin that is their right. Sure you can offer help and support but if they don’t want to get clean that is their right. And the person selling them the drugs should be left alone too, as both the addict and the dealer have made the choice and are consenting to the transaction. And in reality if there was no government interference the heroin would be safer and cleaner as a good business person wants their client satisfied and alive.
If someone wants to transition genders that is also their right, it is their body and they have to live in it, they have the right to do that in a way that makes them happy. If someone wants to get vaccinated or not they also have that choice. If someone wants an abortion that is also their choice as it is their body and no one has a right to it (even if that person is a fetus). If someone wants to marry someone of the same gender as them and they both consent then no issue. If someone wants to shoot guns in the woods or own a full auto belt fed then that is their right. People can own whatever they want as long as it is not harming someone else. People have a right to defend themselves.
It all boils down to just staying out of other people’s lives. If they aren’t hurting anyone then why do people feel the need to get involved? If you don’t like drag show story time then don’t bring your kids to it. If you don’t like guns then don’t buy a gun. It is quite simple.
I think it is a concept that most people agree with. When you tell people that all interactions between people should involve consent from all parties most people agree with that. But I think living in a governed society for so long muddies the waters and people struggle to see how simple the concept is. We are all really anarchists, but we have been conditioned to believe and behave otherwise.
Maybe that is where this need to interfere in others lives comes from. Not from human nature but the nature of a few humans. Naturally the minority who feel this need to interfere and meddle in other’s lives would form organizations that allow them to do so. Over millennia this just becomes the strange norm that we all accept. But it is not the norm, it is not how most of us live. We have just been conditioned to think it is.
Really the need to control and command others is only a feature of a small portion of humanity. We need to remove that portion and ignore them, we need to live for ourselves and remember that we never agreed to this. We never consented to be ruled, so don’t let yourself be controlled and instead embrace anarchy.
Voluntaryism, anarchy for all.