Voluntarism vs. Compulsion

The fundamental idea underpinning "offshore" strategies, is that the state has no right to forcefully extract money (tax) for purposes which you do not personally endorse. Whether this is for redistribution to persons you don't want to support; for causes you do not like or abhor; or for wars you do not want to wage - the principle is the same. No one should be able to force you to pay for something you morally disagree with.

Put in simple language "your money is your own, and you have the right to secure your own financial objectives.

Fair payment for goods or services is one thing, but having your pocket emptied to the tune of 70% or more is entirely another!

In other words, if you're sympathetic to offshore strategies, then it's likely that you also have a healthy distrust of big government and are likely to be politically a "conservative", a "libertarian" - or even an "anarchist". Chances are, you are NOT a left-leaning liberal, or a socialist/communist!

However, even amongst the natural audience for information on offshore matters and strategies - there is a striking difference of opinion on many fundamental issues.

So, I'd like to focus on just ONE fundamental difference of opinion - the difference between those who believe in "voluntarism", and those who believe in "compulsion". For this distinction strikes at the heart of what freedom is all about - including financial freedom.

Label-wise, only libertarians and anarchists embrace voluntarism 100%, with others either paying lip-service to the idea, or only accepting it with limited application. However, labels can be misleading, so a more basic means of evaluating someone's position is needed.

Firstly, the "individualism" that underpins "voluntarism" is under constant attack.

It's interesting to note the criticism that is often levelled at libertarians by ideological opponents - on both the "left" and the "right". We are accused of being individualistic in the extreme; that we see only individuals and fail to acknowledge the social nature of human beings, or "society as a whole". The underlying intent of this accusation is to imply that "we" are cruel and heartless, while "they" are caring and compassionate.

Well I want to set the record straight, and uncover the shabby little secret of all those people who use this line of attack.

I don't know of any libertarian who doesn't appreciate the value of relationships. Whether of an intimate or personal nature, social or business. Of course we gain enormous benefits from dealing with one another - that's the whole basis of civilisation. Otherwise we'd all be hermits living in the wild!

There's no doubt that a synergy can exist when people interact with one another - whether it's the intense romance between just two individuals, or the enthusiasm, energy and creativity generated by a group of like-minded people. And who in this world would like to be without friends?

However, the essential difference between anarchists, libertarians and our ideological foes, is that we believe ALL relationships should be VOLUNTARY, while they believe that many should be COMPULSORY. And the reason we believe in the importance of voluntarism is that the starting point of any sort of relationship is the individual person.

Libertarians say that relationships exist for the benefit of the individuals who are part of that relationship - not the other way around (that individuals exist for the benefit of relationships). And this idea applies just as much to personal relationships as to societal and business ones.

Give you a few examples:

Libertarians are against compulsory trade unions. Not because they're against trade unions as such, but because they're against compulsion.

Libertarians are against the drug war. Not because they love or want to encourage drugs as such, but because what a person decides to put in his own body is his own business - and trying to force moral compliance in this way is totally wrong-headed.

Libertarians are against taxation. Not because they want to see people slide into poverty and die in the streets, but because they're against being compelled to fund social programmes they may morally disagree with. In other words, they are against being robbed at gunpoint.

Libertarians are against the "welfare state". Not because they don't care about people, but because they firmly believe that everyone should face the consequences of their own actions. And where someone is suffering for something they are not responsible for (like an accident, or being robbed, raped or mugged), then any help offered should be on the basis of voluntary response.

Libertarians are against aggressive wars. Not because they are pacifists (they are not), but because they believe in the "non-initiation of force" principle - which states that the use of force is only justified in situations of genuine self-defence.

The essence of libertarianism is voluntarism. It means that we support any relationship that is based upon free choice, and oppose all those relationships that are based upon forced compliance.

Our opponents like to make us out to be heartless automatons. In their frenzied attempts to discredit our ideas, they conveniently overlook the mean and vicious idea at the the core of their own thinking - the idea that people should be compelled to do things, even if only for their own good.

Trouble is, who should decide who should be the guardians of the good of others?

I put it to you that people who are driven by this idea of controlling others, compelling others to live according to their agenda, are in fact the genuinely cruel and heartless. It is they who have a twisted view of humanity. It is they who hide thoughts of hate, envy and disrespect for others in their hearts. And yet, it is they who have the cheek to pretend to be the champions of the downtrodden.

What despicable hypocrisy! Especially when you realise that all their "compassion" is achieved by handing out OTHER people's money!

What can be a worse example of such hypocrisy than a stuffed up politician who proudly boasts his concern for this or that - then proceeds to support it from the PUBLIC purse instead of his own!

Don't be fooled by the caring-sharing drivel that comes out of the mouths of left-liberals, socialists and other control freaks (which basically includes all politicians). It's all a front.

And control freaks are a MORAL affront to all self-respecting and other-people-respecting individuals.

Voluntarism vs. Compulsion - that's what most societal strife is about. What I mean is, you can often reduce present societal problems to the issue of free choice vs. forced compliance. And in this way, rather than relying on political or religious labels, you can identify an ideological enemy from his basic adherence to one or other of these diametrically opposed views.

And in this world, you NEED to know your enemy.

My advice? Shun all those who espouse the idea that people should be forced to be good; should be forced for their own good; and should be forced to fit in with the agenda of those, who for some reason, think they are above everyone else and are exempt from such force.

If we could just get people to believe in this right to be left alone, as much as people are willing to believe in God, then perhaps, just perhaps, the world would be a much better place.