Voluntaryism…..Can It Survive?

First $2 bill issued in 1862 as a Legal Tender...
First $2 bill issued in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is time for another batch of questions for everyone to consider.
I can almost feel the responses from the two opposing positions now. On the one hand, shouts of “Anarchism can’t work, it will lead to warlords and oppression!” On the other, “Of course it will survive. It will thrive because it is the only way to fulfill the potential of all people by giving them the freedom to make the best choices for themselves.”
Let me start with the thought process behind my formulation of this question, and perhaps some minimal parameters. I am thinking of the federal government of the U.S. and not so much of the state and local levels. I am also equating it to the geographical area. I want to focus on the transformation which occurred between the 18th century and today.
It can well be said that with the establishment of the United States the world saw one of the closest attempts to date to having a voluntary society. True, it certainly was not voluntaryism, but it was arguably the closest thing to it at the time which had been tried at such a scale. Yes, I agree, some of the state and local governments of the time were incredibly intrusive and oppressive in some areas, but in the beginning the federal level sought to force few individuals to comply, choosing instead to ignore, for the most part, those who did not wish to participate, being mostly concerned with interactions with the individual states.
As time went on, however, the size and scope of the federal government grew, being transformed from an entity which had little time or desire to deal directly with individuals to one which today seems to be almost fanatically obsessed with our individual lives.
This metamorphosis from a semi-voluntary system to a mandatory system happened for a reason, and I see three areas to look for this reason, either in full or in part.
The first area, and the first part of my question, is in the formation of the system at the beginning. Were there faults or deficiencies built in to the system which caused the transformation which has led us to the mandatory government with which we are inflicted today? Were there weaknesses which could be addressed which led to the loss of whatever amount of voluntaryist ideas once were be taken for granted?
The second part of the question might have been asked too often already, as it involves the seemingly omnipresent “warlord argument.” Simply put, how is it possible to prevent power hungry individuals or groups from gaining enough power and influence to subvert the whole system? Is it possible at all?
Last, we all can easily enough understand the danger of a large group of people intentionally deciding to forego their own personal responsibility, and placing their welfare in the hands of another, and by doing so giving that other the power to make decisions for them. Is there any real chance of eliminating, or at least diminishing, the tendency for people to place their welfare in the hands of another? Is there any way to prevent a large number of people from doing this, and by so doing undermine a voluntary system by inadvertently handing too much power to one of the above “warlords?”
Hopefully, enough people will take up these questions and continue to ask them, thereby furthering the debate. I may be proven wrong, but it seems to me as if they are the skeletal questions of the whole argument, and all other questions must be related to these in some fashion. Am I wrong?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s