Mental Lever Page Description

Mental Levers are mini-articles. They answer key questions and present important libertarian and voluntaryist ideas in bite-size chunks that are easy to share. They are grouped in the following Collections:

What is a post-statist?

Post-Statism
Looking forward to consumer-controlled governance.
Post-statists advocate a forward-looking approach, where history has discarded The State in favor of consumer-controlled governance.
Post-statists are voluntaryists. On both moral and pragmatic grounds, voluntaryists believe there should be no exceptions to the Zero Aggression Principle and the Equal Liberty Rule. All relationships should be voluntarily chosen and mutually maintained.
On this basis, post-statists make a specific recommendation about any and all governments: They should be consumer-controlled. After all, you have more power as a customer than you do as a citizen.
Statists, on the other hand, seek the power to control and punish others. They come in liberal, conservative, green, and socialist varieties. Even some libertarians believe in a “night-watchman state.”
None of these labels truly fit those of us who believe in voluntary order, leading to consumer-controlled government. We’re post-statists!
The post-statist…

  • Doesn’t long for a lost, Edenic time, when things were allegedly better
  • Envisions a day when political domination is held in low regard, like communism and the divine right of kings presently are
  • Sees The State as an illegitimate provider of governmental services, due to its threatening and violent behavior
  • Considers empathy to be the path to a more civilized future.

The post-statist wants to create new institutions of governance based on reciprocity and the Zero Aggression Principle. These include both organized and informal methods of regulation and adjudication.
In a post-statist society, each person will be free to pursue their dreams and do what their conscience tells them is right. A post-statist culture will shun threats and initiated violence to achieve personal or social goals, no matter how noble-sounding the objective.

If the post-statist vision inspires you, sign-up below.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

Facebook Twitter Google+

Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

Facebook Twitter

Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

Subscribe form for Lever Pages

 

Show Comments 27

 

  1. I’m curious did you guys invent the term post-statism? I can’t find any other examples of it, and I like the term. It’s one I’d apply to myself.

  2. I’ve seen Amish communities at work, close-hand, and was pleasantly surprised to see how well this sort of governance works. The Amish cannot use force against another person…NOT EVEN in self-defense, to follow their religious beliefs. This has interesting consequences for how their communities are run. Amish folk habitually ask for consensus, when a decision impacts several people. The statism-influenced culture that surrounds them, is more likely to adopt decisions made by a leader and imposed on the followers.
    Despite a great deal of persecution by statists, the Amish communites continue to function and grow. This demonstrates that the Zero Aggression concept is feasible.

    1. The Amish are totally self contained but their downfall would be their lack of defending their way of life from aggressive forces. They depend on others to do it. They shun the modern equipment to protect their way of life. If they fix that they could make it work possibly.

      1. Indeed, the Amish, while I admire them, would eventually cease t exist if they did not defend themselves, i.e. any tyrant could simply eradicate them.

  3. Isn’t this what the Constitution is all about? To me if politicians didn’t push an agenda for more power and the people get fooled into it. It sound almost exactly what our Constitution provides except for the representative Republican type government. Representitive, not direct democracy.

    1. Hi Christian. The Constitution actually authorizes the initiation of force in a number of areas. Thus, by our standards, the Constitution does NOT create a legitimate government. It creates a State, which we view as illegitimate. Legitimate government only uses force defensively. It never initiates force.

      1. Yes, Perry, I agree. I also think that Marc Stevens has a point. He asks: What factual evidence do you (prosecutor, judge, IRS agent, politician et.al.) have that the constitution and law apply to me just because I am physically present in some geographical location like Colorado, Montana et.al.)? They don’t have any factual evidence that they have forced you into their control, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”(14th Amendment) as they would have violated the 13th Amendment. Honest prosecutors refuse to prosecute traffic tickets when the Marc Stevens question is put to them. Of course crooked judges, like John Mercer in Beaverton, Or., ignore the fact that they lack jurisdiction and so proceed to run over defendants who pose the question. Lysander Spooner’s missive: No Treason No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority, as of course you know, is a well written explanation of why we are being deceived by the politicians and their cadre of overseers in the use of the constitution to herd us on their plantation state. Thank you for this excellent work.

  4. It would be instructive to analyze the Amish system for strengths/weaknesses. One glaring contradiction is their repudiation of all violence. Their refusal to acknowledge self defense as consistent with a repudiation of violence is strange. But since it is only logical I can speculate many Amish questioned this moral stance. I would be curious to see the result of a break from this policy. It is probably rationalized as dictated by their religion. But what if some Amish challenged this flaw? What would they do? Probably shun. If this shunning could not be overcome by reason and debate, possibly because faith is not based on reason, then they would recognize a bigger problem. Human action dictated by faith is not conducive to a healthy, life enhancing, evolving social system. It is inflexible, not open to intellectual criticism. Therefore mistaken beliefs cannot be corrected. That is because faith requires belief on authority, not on conscience, i.e., personal reflection.
    Unfortunately, the psychological need to belong is so strong that most will sacrifice their conscience, i.e., their mind, to their culture’s practices. Few, probably less than 2%, are independent thinkers with the courage to speak out and be ostracized.

  5. I’m all for ZAP and the philosophy of “Post Statism.” Good job Perry and Jim. That said, the nation states of the world have created powerful forces of violence and it is difficult for me to see how We The People of the United States could unilaterally dismiss political government and all its equivalent powers in favor of pure voluntaryist relations and not present a “plum ripe for the picking” to some very nasty, violent aggressor warmonger. Of course the colonists rebelled against the tyranny as they perceived it but I think the situation has changed with the advent of nukes and other “modern” weaponry. Of course I don’t like being held captive/slave to the commie socialist politicians and their cadre of fawning, sycophantic, obsequious, clapping seal, loot A to satisfy B demanding bootlickers. I like many would prefer to escape the tyranny of political government without having to endure the tyranny of some replacement. What say you?

    1. I, at 12, in 1954, started “unilaterally” rejecting taxation/govt. by taking evasive actions, which I continued throughout my life. As I witnessed others doing the opposite, e.g., accepting taxation as unavoidable as death, I judged them to be self enslaving fools, or as you put it, “a plum ripe for the picking”. Therefore, one of us has it backward. But aside from the financial rewards, I profited more psychologically by fighting for myself, my money, and not giving in despite the risk of being targeted. Ironically, the times I did get directly hurt by govt. were when I was not doing anything risky, which taught me I was at risk the same as an obedient slave, in other words, obedience is no protection. Which brings me to your second point, nukes, and other modern weapons. I find nukes to be an argument for resistance more than without them. Nukes are too big a temptation to psychopaths. They can’t resist. Already we see third world nations being attacked by the US Empire. The attacks are unprovoked, and when the excuses (WMDs) are shown to be lies, the carnage continues, unabated, and no anti-war movement ensues. Sooner or later, one way or another this violence will come home. When it does, all will suffer. Being a “good citizen” will not protect anyone.
      Attacking the root of tyranny protects against “some replacement”. Attacking the concept of initiation of force, and replacing it with a voluntary system as the new paradigm guarantees permanent change, unlike all the past rebellions that changed faces, not the system.

      1. Do you think the people of the US would be safe from attacks by nuke armed aggressor nations if the US unilaterally disarmed?

        1. Hi Jack. I see no reason for us to unilaterally disarm. All we need to do is take the initiated force out of the funding for our defense. Use voluntary funding instead of taxation. It would cost very little to maintain an nuclear umbrella.

    2. Thanks for the question Jack. We’re not proposing to get rid of systems of defense. We’re simply proposing to make their funding voluntary, for reasons both moral and practical. The moral argument against taxation is obvious. The practical argument is that we want to give consumers more control. This would make it harder for politicians to misuse the military, because doing so would result in the loss of funding. As for specific mechanisms of defense…
      Voluntary funding could easily cover the low cost of a nuclear deterrence, especially if we moved all our missiles onto submarines — land-based missiles are just targets inviting a first attack.
      I personally don’t think we would need much of a centralized military beyond that. Our oceans protect us, and I also think the threat of a decentralized guerrilla defense would be more than enough to deter any would-be invaders (Conquest is uneconomic in any case.) But others will disagree, and they would certainly be free to write checks to fund as much of a military as they want.

  6. Thanks for the responses, alles. I like the idea of voluntary funding of nuke defenses and it would be helpful to have an estimate of what it might cost me. What say you?

    1. Hi Jack. We’re about to add a “Machinery” collection to our Mental Levers articles where we will describe the machinery of a voluntaryist society. I’ve put it on the list to consider a Mental Lever about voluntary funding for a nuclear umbrella, and what that would cost. We also need to figure out how to do that in the context of incentivizing general nuclear disarmament.

      1. I like where you are heading. I’m guessing that a large majority of people will voluntarily pay for some nuke defense cost if the expense is well within their budgets, especially if their overall FED taxes vanish or are less than 20% of the current thefts. So, when a number can be put to the per-person cost of voluntary funding of nuke defense, then I see people armed with the knowledge to make better decisions, i.e. whether they really nead forced taxation or not.

        1. The knowledge needed to make the decision to be taxed (forced taxation is a redundant term) does not come from details like how much for what. First, once the principle is established that some may take others property, the amount and the exact purpose, is irrelevant. Right to property has been denied. Without the right to property, life is impossible to maintain. Therefore the right to life has been denied. This is the root of all rights. It is where to begin when defending liberty.
          Few, if any, are persuaded by arguments about the details. Certainly not a philosophically grounded statist. They know the root of the issue. And that is their strength. They can defeat a voluntarist who does not, even though they start from a false premise. That is how socialism has spread around the world dominating every culture. The intellectuals who expound it know every trick of psychological manipulation, every appeal to emotion over reason, and they have no ethical restraints.
          This is life or death for humanity, for what makes us human, our minds. And we are losing.

Leave a Comment:

Fields marked with * are required