Is Property Theft?

 

Is property theft? I used to be a hardcore commie in the spirit of Marx and Trotsky, so one could assume that I would simply say “yes” and go burn down a Walgreens or CVS.

 Of course, if property were, functionally or definitively, an exclusionary principle (this is my rock, go get your own), it would be forgivable for a collectivist to believe that personal property would be something stolen from the collective society. The working definition I presented last post is exclusionary, so I’m not likely to be making any AnCom friends this week.

How could the exclusive nature of property be theft? If one were to assume that the world at large consists of common resources and common welfare, there are certain logical and practical results that follow. Whether these resources are held in common among men, animals, plants, God, Gaia, etc. results in merely superficial differences. Logically, if a river, rock, oil well, or field of poppies is a common resource to all, individuals ought to be disincentivized, culturally, from taking from that resource. In all reality, if one believes that common resources exist (as opposed to either unowned and owned property) the inevitable conclusion is that “property is theft”. The fairy-tales of noble savages, taking only the fruit that had fallen from a tree and living in shelters made of driftwood and caverns seems to be the inevitable outcome of such a position.

I argue that even this outcome is insufficient, though. If we are going to consistently apply this rubric that property is theft by virtue of its exclusivity, than any act which would exclude access to a resource would be considered theft. (Side note to my AnCom friends, this is not a case of affirming the consequent as I mistakenly believed back in my commie days, but we don’t have time for this discussion right now.) By discriminating who I work for, have sex with, or have a conversation with, I am preventing others from having access to the resources that are my labor, body, and mind. Not only is property theft, but so is any form of consumption, work, or even existence… which results in absurdity because letting oneself starve to death would be robbing the collective of one’s intellect and labor.

This description, I guess, is not entirely fair. It is conceivable that one could make an argument that theft isn’t categorically bad and that some level of theft produces sufficient utility to allow for it… but that’s utilitarianism… which is moral nihilism, so we’ll focus on more intelligent arguments. It is also conceivable that a system could be set in place which could allow for collective consensus. Theoretically, if 100% of the collective’s members agree that a particular common resource ought to be invested in a particular manner, than one would be directed by the collective to invest it is said manner. The 100% consensus is crucial to this solution, though. If 99 people decide that a particular roll of toilet paper would best be invested by dividing it between collectivists numbered 001 through 035 but I’m collectivist 100 and I’ve got poo on my bum, I would likely disagree with the majority. If they go through on the plan to divide the roll of toilet paper amongst the senior collectivists, they are preventing me from having access to a collective resource. They are stealing the toilet paper from me. The majority has stolen from the minority and there is no amount of definitional gymnastics that can correct that.

The more inclusive a collective is, the more problematic consensus becomes. If the semi-intelligent collectivists had their way and the only intellectually consistent implementation of collectivism were to extend to all people, then the consensus of property use would be required from, at a minimum, the several billion humans on the planet. Assuming everyone plays by the rules (and that children are capable of consent) the human race would quickly starve down to a population small enough to achieve consensus, because economics. If we are to do as Pope Francis and other hippies do and begin involving God, cows, and soil bacteria in our collective ownership, though, consensus becomes impossible. God, cows, and bacteria are mute; they cannot vote on who gets to eat or clothe themselves. So, thanks hippie god, we collectivists get to starve now.

If I were to not try my hardest to come up with experientially viable premises from which one could conclude that “property is theft” in the vein of collectivist ideologies, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence. The issues we’ve run up against thus far are a result of assuming that one could own property and that collective ownership arises from individual ownership; while this is a standard application of philosophy (building from ontological simples to relationships of greater complexity), perhaps we could try the theological approach and work top-down. What if it is impossible for the individual to own property? Initially, I would say that all things are unowned. If all things are unowned, I’m not certain how something could be stolen. I guess we could define theft as “preventing access to”, and see if we get any new results.

Immediately, it is apparent that nothing changes from our initial attempt. “Preventing requested access to” might work better. If I discover food as I wander barefoot through the woods, it wouldn’t be theft to eat said food, then. As a matter of fact, by turning it into energy for one cell of our collective, I am contributing to “the common good”. If Cacambo, the man who could not prevent my access to his service as a sherpa, also desires the food I have discovered, I must share. Initially, this makes sense; this actually most closely parallel’s my formerly-held communist beliefs. For the sake of efficiency in such a world, it would make sense to build some sort of Rawlsian socialist government wherein rights are contingent upon the state’s authority. For the ability to say “no” is ultimately the meaning of rights, and the collective consensus would be the enforcer of when it is culturally acceptable to say “no”. Sounds an awful lot like the moral nihilism of Hobbes’ Leviathan, no? Electing kings to delineate and enforce “rights”?

Well, that’s because it is. If one cannot deny others access to resources, even with exceptions granted by Rawls’ utopia, one will ultimately wind up where we are in the American Empire and where we are heading. If I cannot deny my labor (taxes, cake bakeries, etc.), resources that I control and have access to (civil asset forfeiture, taxes, etc.), or even myself (social engineering, social justice cults, etc.), others can be expected to be constrained by the same rule. So, in the absence of 100% consensus, which has already been explored, we encounter the situation wherein I cannot deny your request to resources I am using or labor I can perform and, simultaneously, you cannot deny my request to the same. My request (and yours) is functionally equivalent to denying access to a resource, which is property (by our hypothetical definition) and therefore theft. In this way, we’ve come full-circle. This is moral nihilism because either theft is immoral and merely existing is theft and therefore immoral, or theft is not immoral and, based on our definition of theft and property, I can do whatever I want to anyone.

Therefore, property cannot be theft or, if it is, there is no reason to care. This negative determination, even informed by last post, isn’t entirely satisfying; property is not theft, it is merely that to which one has access and over which one has control. I’m going to take my remaining space allotment to try and expound a positive case for property. All my usual qualifications apply: this case is not a necessary conclusion from the premises already laid out, this is not a categorical anarchist claim but only a claim made by an individual who happens to be an anarchist, I’m making this case for the sake of discussion and reserve the right to change my mind at a later time, etc.

I would go so far so as to say that the soundbite, “Property is theft,” is actually backwards. A soundbite that better fits my definition and determination is, “If it can’t be stolen, it isn’t property.” Of course, like all soundbites, this phrase is practically meaningless, it merely expresses the inverse case of the definition I provided last post.

More exciting and meaningful than soundbites would be the ideas of self-ownership and autonomy. Most anarchists, libertarians, Austrian economists, and the like often hinge their rhetoric and arguments on the principles of self-ownership. One can see why, based on the absurdities encountered while exploring collectivism and the attempted abolition of property, one would conclude that one must own oneself. If property is that to which one can lay claim, have access, and control over, who else could own one’s self? Of course, it raises the question, “Can a person be property?” There is a lot of fodder here for linguistic and semantic inquiry in most extant languages concerning possessives as applied to the self; as much as I enjoy these discussions, though, I just want to make one quick philosophical point.

One definitional point of property I did not address last post is the transmissibility of property. In parallel to my earlier soundbite, if something cannot be transferred from one person to another, I am not certain that it could be considered property. So, if oneself is property, one must be able to forfeit control and access to one’s self to another person. I would argue that, even in the case of slavery, in whatever form, one is merely separated from one’s property or labor while still being oneself. I understand the utility of using self-ownership as a rhetorical shorthand, but, anti-prostitution rhetoric aside, one cannot “sell themselves”; ergo, one does not own oneself.

Bracketing centuries of metaphysics, what is a “self”? A materialist will tell you that your body and your self are identical. A dishonest materialist will tell you that your consciousness is your self and that it is an emergent property of the material arrangement of brain stuff. A lazy Christian will tell you that your self is your soul. A more rigorous Christian will at least say that your self is the unity of your body and soul. These answers, for all of the disparity in substance commitments seems to provide a consensus that the self is the specific arrangement of things that one has direct control over and access to and could not exist without. Based on that consensus, I would say that self-ownership is likely impossible, or problematic at best, but self-autonomy is a viable alternative that also fills the role that self-ownership does in AnCap philosophy.

TL;DR: Property cannot be theft. There is no way one could define property, or argue for collectivism, in such a way that does not quickly unravel into absurdity. If one finds oneself in a situation where people are shouting pithy one-liners at each other, a decent response to “Property is theft,” would be “If it can’t be stolen, it isn’t property.” Closely tied to issues with property and collectivism is philosophy of identity. In all reality, the breakdown in communication between collectivists and anarchists hinges on divergent commitments concerning identity, but that’s a huge piece of work I’ll have to chip away at slowly.

 

Towards a Definition of Property

 

Before I can argue about intellectual property, we must first have a working definition of property at large.

 Property, like the other concepts I’ve tried to define in this blog, is an idea that nearly everyone uses daily without much self-awareness. Of course, the precedent set by previous posts will be upheld here; my definition is going to be functionally approximate to common use, but counter-intuitive. A good starting place would be to identify the common understanding of what property is and what function it serves.

Property, in its common conceptualization, is simply an item, process, idea, or region of space to which one lays claim and society acknowledges said claim. Usually this claim comes in the form of a title, deed, or bill of sale (receipt) issued by the seller or government and the acknowledgment takes the form of deference to property and licensure laws (and all the violence inherent therein). Of course, an anarchist would be disinclined to use such a convention. Before throwing it out, though, we ought to explore the function of such a convention.

What function does property convention serve in contemporary culture? Ostensibly, it is a determining factor in the acknowledgment of rights and liabilities. If some thing is one’s property, one has the right to do with it what one will; if said thing is not one’s property, one can only do with it that which is permitted by the acknowledged owner. Of course, if this rhetoric is to be used as a definition of property, the state is the owner of all property by virtue of laws concerning what uses are allowed for all property. As a function, though, this idea serves as an excellent starting place for defining property.

What could be necessary and sufficient conditions for an item to be considered property, with an eye to producing a functionality similar to that mentioned above? I am not confident that I could fully formulate them here, but I must at least begin the discussion.

One such condition I believe to necessary is the discrete nature of the object in question. This is both a practical and a definitional concern. Where one could indicate a clearly defined object and lay claim to that specific object, it would be nonsense to indicate something nebulous or unconstrained and lay claim to it. For example, I could lay claim to a specific apple as my property and the claim could be easily constrained to the perceptible material boundary of the apple’s flesh, but it would be practically and conceptually impossible for me to crop-dust the line at the DMV and then lay claim to the fart cloud permeating the room and everyone’s nostrils. Another possible example would be for me to fence-in a distinct and limited area of land and lay claim to it and it may be a legitimate claim. Barring that being a legitimate claim, I can at least claim that the fence is my property…. which, given the basics of property rights, would be more or less functionally equivalent to claiming the land inside the fence.

However, laying claim to “all the land between this ocean and the next” or “from sea to shining sea” would be as absurd as, and logically equivalent to, claiming “all the apples”. It may be possible that, by way of trade (purchase) or labor, I may successfully acquire all of the known apples or all of the known land, but this is a circumstantial quality of that claim, not an essential or necessary one. What this means is that an apple or piece of land could be discovered to which I have not yet laid legitimate claim and I would then no longer own all of the apples or land, whereas, a categorical claim to “all the things” would mean that if a new “thing” were discovered, it would automatically be incorporated into my property.

In addition to being a discrete object, one must claim it in order for it to become property. A rock in a forest, unseen by man, may as well be a planet in the Andromeda galaxy: undiscovered, unowned, unimportant. A rock in my hand, though, is mine (unless the rightful owner has handed it to me… whatever). Of course, if two parties lay claim to an object, there must be some principle by which to determine whose claim is legitimate, but that problem should be explored later.

There are those who claim that whatever object is claimed, it must be a limited resource in order to become property. I hear AnCaps assent to that claim, but only because they believe it to be a tautology; all resources are scarce, only the degree to which they are scarce is in question. I also hear liberals and liberal-leaning individuals assenting to this claim. However, I believe this claim is assented to solely because it can serve the liberal agenda of eliminating property; in a post-scarcity world, property couldn’t exist. I am inclined to agree that such a condition for property is tautological, but for a different reason than the AnCaps. In laying claim to portion of even a non-scarce resource (such as a bucket of seawater or a fistful of sand at a beach), one creates a particular type of scarcity. The sand owned by the individual in question is scarce by virtue of being his sand. It can be argued that such a distinction is meaningless, that his sand is indistinguishable from any other which is non-scarce… but the industry of religious and cultural relics would argue otherwise. Of course, this scarcity only exists so long as one cannot lay claim to the entirety of a resource, scarce or not, as I addressed above.

The next condition is complex and may be considered the deciding factor by which property is defined. Property could be considered an object to which one has the most full control over and access to. While this principle sounds straightforward and implies a Hobbesian brutality, it is far more nuanced and just than it sounds. Some examples really are simple and Hobbesian. If I wander into the woods and find our previously undiscovered rock from before, I can pick it up and claim it as my own. It is mine by virtue of being in my hand. If I bring it home and place it in my yard or home, it is mine by virtue of being on my property and in my control. If I were to claim it as mine, drop it in the woods where I found it and walk away, never to return again, anyone could claim the rock because I have forsaken control over and access to said rock.

This is where simplicity breaks down. What happens if I loan said rock to my neighbor, or rent it to a client? I abdicate physical control and access to someone else, how is it different from simply having gifted or sold it to someone else? An easy answer, which I reject, is “contracts”. Contracts, as readers of this blog will know, are as fictitious as the law in my mind. A lease or renter’s contract amounts to nothing more than a promise with a written reminder of that promise. Which, incidentally, serves as an excellent launching point for my suggested solution. So long as my neighbor honors my wishes regarding the rock (contractually state or not), I still exert control over the rock, if indirectly. I may lack access to said rock, depending on the nature of my agreement with my neighbor, but insofar as the nature of that lack is temporary, my control of the rock serves as a substitute.

If my neighbor decides he values my rock more than his friendship with me, he may decide to violate our agreement and claim the rock as his own. In which case, he takes control of the rock and renders my lack of access to it permanent. These two factors being the determining factors of property would render the rock as his property. At this point, the Leviathan of social acknowledgment reawakens and rears it’s many ugly heads. One method by which I could prevent or mitigate such an event would be to publicly establish my claim to the rock before lending it to my neighbor. At which point, if my neighbor steals the rock, I can call upon our community to place social pressure on him to return my property. I could also alert the community that I intend to retrieve my property at any cost, in order to dissuade the virtuous men of my community from interceding on my neighbor’s behalf if such an attempt were to escalate to violence. In this way, the social forces I can bring to bear could still be considered “control”.

There are many technologies that lend themselves to this solution, though. Branding, titles/deeds, third-party records-keepers, smart property, remote bricking, social conventions, etc. have all come from the long-standing intuition of social acknowledgment. Even with such technologies, as a principled anarchist, I believe the utility of such solutions may be insufficient justification in light of the potential for abuse. One can turn to fictitious accounts of the wild west for examples of abuse of the contract/social acknowledgment solution to theft. These flaws are sufficient to encourage me to look for a better resolution, but this is one stopgap measure that seems to parallel the average person’s intuition and lend itself to marketability. Other options have been explored and are in use today. I believe that a small enough community would have no need for such technologies, especially a community centered on anarchist principles. In the case of larger communities, I recommend reading Spooner, Rothbard, or (oddly enough) Proudhon for alternatives. Again, I believe in letting a thousand flowers bloom and seeing what works, but this particular issue and resolution is raised this time for definitional purposes.

The issue of theft gives rise to the last condition I have found to be necessary for a thing to be considered property; legitimacy of claim. My neighbor claiming the rock he borrowed from me as his own is considered an illegitimate claim and, therefore, theft. There is an overabundance of issues and theories concerning legitimacy of claim. Most straightforward of these issues and solutions is that of homesteading. It’s a very involved discussion that I will explore further at a later date. A quick overview, though, is essentially thus: the first person to use or add value to an unowned object has a legitimate claim of ownership. After one establishes such a claim, one may give or sell it to whomever one so desires.

By extension, then, if one purchases property from someone else, one then has a legitimate claim to it. Of course, if the seller has stolen said property, there remains the issue of whether the original owner’s claim or that of the unwitting purchaser is (more) legitimate. Thus far, I have not read or synthesized a categorical answer to this particular problem. Perhaps discussions with you, the readers, will help me to do so. In the mean time, I’m inclined to give the pragmatic case: don’t let your stuff get stolen. If it does get stolen, get it back before the thief sells it. If you fail to do so, there’s little cause to steal it from someone uninvolved in the crime. Maybe, if you ask nicely, you and the new owner can work something out.

This answer is clearly unsatisfying, so I will venture two cases that each have their own flaws, but may prompt appropriate discussion. If ownership is some metaphysical attribute that a person or piece of property has, then the claim of ownership that the original owner makes would be more legitimate than that of the thief or the unwitting purchaser of stolen goods, as theft would not transfer the metaphysical ownership from oneself to a thief… or we wouldn’t call it theft and expect the thief to return the stolen property or equivalent goods. If, in fact, ownership is merely a term we use to describe a practical state of affairs, the purchaser of stolen goods has a legitimate claim to the property by virtue of having engaged in a voluntary exchange of goods, trading something of approximate value for something else of approximate value.

There also arises the issue of homesteading abandoned property, which closely parallels the limit cases of theft. I feel I’ve taken enough of your time this time around, and I believe any satisfying answers would have to be informed by the limit cases of theft and their resolutions, so we’ll save that issue for later. For now, titles, records, blockchains, receipts, deeds, etc. are useful tools to try and avoid finding oneself embroiled in such an issue.

TL;DR; My working definition of “property” is, “any discrete object to which one has access, control over, and a legitimate claim by virtue of homestead or acquisition from the previous owner with the owner’s assent.” This definition needs improvement and exploration, especially in establishing a principled resolution of theft and homesteading abandoned property.

 

Voting With My Feet

I recently spent a long weekend in New Hampshire. Despite the overall trip being fairly unpleasant for personal reasons, it confirmed my decision to migrate there.

There are a great many pros and cons involved in the process of migrating to the Shire. Some are philosophical, some are practical, and some are personal. I don’t have the time or motivation to cover them all today, but I’ll move through the highlight reel as quickly as I can.

Picture

The Shire is less un-free than anywhere else I’ve been in the country.

There is no such thing as half-free, but there are varying crime rates by locality. I make no distinction between public and private sector crime or institutional and individual criminals. In the Denver area, crime is out of control. I witness roadside robbery daily and armed gangsters prowl the streets in uniform, non-stop. I, personally, have been mugged several times in the last couple years. This is a comparable set of data to the statistics I have seen published. This is secondary, though, to the systemic oppression in the form of legal violations of rights. For example, taxation, gun control, vehicle and property regulation, licensure, insurance, drug policy, zoning controls, etc. present an unending litany of minor and major roadblocks to achieving human flourishing. Additionally, no amount of ethical or practical gymnastics can justify the threats of murder used to enforce these roadblocks. Southern California, Boston, Las Vegas, Arizona, Florida, Wyoming, and other places I’ve been seem to be comparable in both experience and statistics.

In the handful of days I was in the Shire, I saw a total of four cops. (I saw six times that number in the drive from Boston to the Shire, but that’s why I’m not moving to Massachusetts.) That is the number of cops I see in Denver, daily. Of the cops I saw, two were assisting in traffic direction for an event in downtown Manchester, one was helping change a tire, and one was engaged in highway robbery… but in a really half-assed way. Anecdotal and statistical data seems to support this disparity in my experiences, so I’m not totally delusional in thinking life would be less rife with criminal interaction if I were to move to the Shire.

The most prominent body of anecdotal data is the numerous examples of law enforcement having been “trained” by activists in various towns in the Shire. By “trained”, I mean that being held accountable at all times by activists armed with cameras, knowledge of the law, and a culture of resistance has rendered law enforcement very cautious and professional. The Keene police department is rumored to be one of the most professional and benign criminal gangs in the nation, limiting a majority of their services to activities that would be carried out by private security in a post-state society. Of course, less coercion, murder, and rape is still coercion, murder and rape.

Picture

In Denver, it is illegal to collect rainwater, grow sufficient crops or livestock for either sustenance or profit. The area is rife with laws restricting basic liberties, especially gun control, licensure, labor unions, zoning, building codes… oh, and the taxes. Everything is taxed, heavily and repeatedly. The Denver law enforcement (and their bureaucratic accomplices) is often very vigilant for opportunities to enforce these laws, often quite zealously so. I’ve had “visits” from police because I was walking around my own apartment without a shirt on, for facebook posts I’ve made, and for driving an older vehicle. Weed is nominally legal in Denver… but that hasn’t kept a few friends and acquaintances from spending time in jail. Conversely, there exist fewer laws restricting what one may own, what one can do with one’s property, what methods of self-defense one may implement, and how much the state can steal from any individual in the Shire. Couple that with the mob enforcers being “trained”, and the case in defense of the Shire being less un-free is mostly complete.

I’m not alone in my decision.

The aforementioned disparity in the scope of government between the Shire and elsewhere is due to two phenomena which are related. The first is a cultural heritage. The state’s motto, “Live Free or Die” is unequivocally liberty-oriented and has been taken seriously throughout history. Despite geographic proximity to the of the most misanthropic, powerful, and far-reaching empire in known history, the Shire has resisted gun control, moralistic legislation, and a number of other American hallmarks to this day. Because of this pre-existing, yet insufficient, culture of resistance to tyranny, the Free State Project decided to focus its efforts in the Shire.

The Free State Project is two distinct but entwined entities in itself. One such entity is the company by the name of “The Free State Project”. I am not a believer in or supporter of the company for many of the same reasons I do not support the Libertarian political party; but the company spawned the second entity: the people engaged in the project itself. The stated goal of the FSP is:

“The Free State Project is solely an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”

A great many people have decided that such a migration is a beneficial move for freedom-minded individuals (sorry about the pun). The FSP is, broadly speaking, an attempt to incentivize people like me to concentrate in a geographically local area and experiment in anarchy. I have met several people of outstanding moral, intellectual, and social quality in the project who have moved to the Shire. I would be remiss in not pursuing a relationship with them and assisting in their project as well as taking advantage of the fruits of their experiments.

These experiments are as numerous as the number of people migrating. People are running for public office as open anarchists, and enough people are voting for them to actually win elections. People are trying, with varying degrees of success, to live entirely off of alternative currencies, such as gold, silver, and Bitcoin. Permaculture, microfarming, and a cornucopia of sustenance and market farming practices are being used and promoted. Peaceful parenting, unschooling, free-range kids, nonviolent communication, the trivium and more and more efforts are being made to improve interpersonal relationships and self-awareness. Constant in-person, social media, and public content debates, arguments, and friendly explorations concerning the principles of liberty and alternative lifestyles are ongoing throughout the Shire and internet communities centered on the FSP participants.

Picture

  These communities and discussions exist elsewhere and online (which is technically everywhere), of course. I’ve participated in “Anonymous” protests, home school co-ops, Bitcoin meetups, philosophy clubs, and microfarming in Denver. However, each one of these communities were totally distinct and separated from each other and require a fair amount of effort and travel to find and participate in these things. Even in these groups, too, I exist in the margins. “Anonymous”, for their anarchist imagery and organization structure, are very SJW-leaning in their activities, for instance. Another example would be the philosophy clubs, which tend to focus on and endorse the clearly post-modern and statist metaphysics of Searle. In the Shire, a great deal of these communities overlap and exist more locally as a result of the intentional community of the FSP.

Picture

As great as I make the Shire sound, it’s not the ultimate goal.

I often say that I’m going to New Hampshire to “find my liberty legs”. If it hasn’t been clear in my blog posts, it is certainly in my book: I argue that belief and will exist solely in action. If I believe the things I write in this blog and, for example, will myself to be free, I must necessarily “walk the walk”. If paying taxes and obeying the law are moral and ethical evils, as I claim to believe, then I ought to do what it takes to cease doing so; the same is true of my beliefs that pursuing independence and human flourishing are ethical and aesthetic goods, if I believe that, I must necessarily pursue those activities. In the Shire, I will be far less likely to find myself in a kill-or-be-killed circumstance as a result of avoiding evil and doing good, but it is still too great a risk, given the ultimate nature of the costs associated with such a risk.

As such, migrating from the Shire to somewhere else, further away from imperial influence, is in order. Perhaps central Mexico, rural Greenland, Liberland, Cambodia, or anywhere with a weaker government that is less-interesting to the American Empire. Of course, such a move is incredibly risky. Without a solid grasp of local languages and customs, the laws that do exist in that region, and the skills necessary for self-sufficiency and freely living, my family and I would likely wind up destitute, imprisoned, drone-striked, or in any number of unfortunate modes of being. My time in the Shire is intended to be an attempt at learning the requisite skills, locating the next stopping point, making connections with other liberty-minded people, and possibly recruiting others to go the “the promised land” and found an intentional community there.

Remember, anarchy is a philosophy of personal responsibility.

Responsibility is impossible without reason and knowledge. Fear stands in opposition to all three of those things. One must avoid acting out of fear if one wishes to make rational and beneficial decisions. I bring this up because people have accused me of “running away” because I’m afraid of “they/them/those” and I’ve been accused of having not already moved to Somalia out of fear that I’m wrong. I have done all I can to rationally pursue cost/benefit and risk/gain analyses concerning these goals as well as engendering a spirit of discernment, and only time will tell if my analyses were correct.

I have taken on responsibilities and made investments throughout my life, and the goals and methods of achieving those goals that I have decided upon are directed at maximizing those investments and my ability to uphold my responsibilities. Maybe I’m mistaken; maybe, once I arrive at the Shire, I will discover that such a goal is best served by finding a state of being “free enough”… who knows?

Picture

TL;DR: I’m moving to New Hampshire because the cops are less evil, the laws aren’t as far-reaching or draconian, there’s fewer taxes, and there are more people there that think like me and value the things I value. I have a job lined up there that will start in about a year, and I’m applying and interviewing for temporary jobs to fill the time between now and when that other job will start. I would love to put my money where my mouth is and go to the Shire today, but I have a family to care for and must therefore be responsible in my pursuit of freedom, even with regards to interim steps towards it.

P.S. I initially produced this post before the NH rulers’ decision to defund Planned Parenthood, granting them yet another feather in their hat as far as setting an example of how to pursue “liberty and justice for all”.