I just self-published my first book. The title is “If Not Democracy: Essays on the Canton Movement“. If you have already read all the posts on this site, don’t buy it. The book is a compilation of most of the posts I wrote here. What the book does is provide a way for someone to sit comfortably and take an hour or so to fully digest everything that I have to say about what a canton is, and why we should start building them.
Archive for October, 2011
I received an interesting question from Paul Bonneau, Free State Wyoming.
You’ve addressed funding pretty well, but I was wondering about behavioral differences in the cantons. Two cantons in one town, one of which is a gun hating canton, the other an open carry canton. How are the differences resolved?
Paul, your question demonstrates how most people today do suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, identifying with our captors. We are so used to being told what to do in the most minute detail that we seem incapable sometimes of really imagining what it would be like to be free.
I think of government at all levels as a provider of services. In a municipality, insurance companies that insure homes there would probably demand that the municipality have some sort of police department. With cantons, the difference is that, instead of being run by a monopoly government, it is run jointly by several cantons. This situation alone would make the police dept much more responsive to the people of those cantons. Because of this divided funding, the police would enforce laws that the cantons agreed upon. Each canton would need to enforce any other rules it might have (more restrictive gun control in your example) at its own expense, and only on its own members. The other side of freedom is responsibility. An open carry canton must self-regulate its members to be sure that a person too immature to act responsibly with a firearm is never allowed to carry.
Owners make rules about how others may use their property. When government no longer owns us, we begin to live by our own rules, and use interpersonal skills to deal with those with whom we may disagree on certain issues. This is government by cooperation, not coercion. The only exception is the rightful use of force against an initiator of force, spelled out clearly in the non-aggression principle.
Gerald Celente of Trends Research is an amazing guy. He is a trend watcher who seems to be right far more often than he is wrong.
But I have a quibble with one of his latest ideas: direct democracy. Direct democracy means we ALL vote about EVERYTHING. I agree with this idea only in the sense that it does away with representational democracy and recognizes the rights of every individual. But I disagree with the practicality of everyone voting on everything. The very idea of it exhausts me!
Cantons as defined here (not as the territorial subsidiary units found in Switzerland, but as non-territorial, ideologically-cohesive subsidiary units) accomplishes the same thing. Each person chooses a canton for a year to spend his taxes according to his principles and values. The canton management does this for him. At the end of the year, the citizen judges how well his money was spent by his canton, and either retains his contract as is, forces a change in the canton management (if this seems likely to improve things), or goes to another canton. He doesn’t have to vote on every matter all year long. But the results should be pretty close to the same — his money is spent on what he thinks is important.
Mr Celente, please reconsider your call for direct democracy. There is a better way.
We are quickly running out of options. For a long time we had enough money to cover all imaginable expenses. We could have a large welfare state, with everyone covered with a nominal income in their old age, and some kind of medical coverage. We could have a large warfare state, with a military budget larger than the next ten largest combined. We had the luxury to spend many billions more on “discretionary” spending.
The days of such abundance are gone for the foreseeable future. The proponents of the welfare and warfare states in Congress are left to snipe at one another, to defend their ideological fortresses, but not to make any progress to a solution, because there is nothing with which to negotiate.
As a result, we are very quickly getting to a crossroad, where the path we take will head in one of two directions. We will either move in the direction of a consolidation of power in the hands of fewer people, even to the point of dictatorship, or we will move in the direction of a broader distribution of power, into more and more hands.
We seem, at this time, to be heading toward the first path, of consolidation of power, and dictatorship. Cantons would move us speedily in the opposite direction, toward a distribution of power back to the people, in whose hands that power rightly resides.
Which way will we go? The truth is that the choice will always be in our own hands. Will we shrink in fear and lack of confidence in ourselves, and continue the long path we have been on toward dictatorship, handing over our power to others, to take care of us? Or will we finally find our courage to stand up for ourselves, toss fear aside, and take control of our future together? I know which course I choose. How will YOU choose, fellow serfs?