Our society is broken, in no small part due to the fact that people do not assume responsibility for the welfare of the community. The attitude of each man being only concerned for his own private interest, and maybe that of his immediate kin, does not promote liberty. Rather, it puts men in a position of isolation, and therefore of weakness.
Before the advent of the state, society functioned, on all levels, through interpersonal relationships. Politics was a matter of trust between individuals. An oath and one’s honor were taken very seriously. And these ancient and medieval stateless societies were, in many cases, highly sophisticated.
In our time of disengagement and apathy, might it not be edifying to remember the institutions of our ancestors? Might we once more be in a position to rule ourselves, as they have? Not to be subject to an arbitrary rule by bureaucracy, but to stand independent, relying on our own might and on that of our allies? It does not have to be just a dream.
Consider the following. Present this scheme to a group of friends or people that share your beliefs. You will enter into a sort of pact. You will elect an objective you wish to achieve, an aim to accomplish or some function to fulfil. Say that you wish to organize a recurrent cultural event, or you wish to strengthen local identity in your area. Each one of you will assume certain obligations, something that all other members will assign a value to. Be that to spend a definite time on a task when it presents itself, or give a certain amount of money towards a definite expense, to do some work when it is the time to do it. At a bare minimum, the members should assume an obligation to meet regularly.
Not everyone will need to contribute equally, nor will every contribution be equally valued. The members should recognize that some can contribute more than others, and their greater contribution should be recognized in some way. Traditionally, status was used as a unit of account for matters. It is natural that those that contribute the most should have higher status in the group.
As members demonstrate that they can be relied upon, they will be allowed to “rank up”, or recognized a certain higher degree of status. What happens when someone is unable or unwilling to fulfil his voluntarily assumed obligations? He is stripped of his status or kicked out. If there are no sanctions for delinquency, the entire exercise becomes pointless.
How are decisions to be made? Only by consensus. No one will be enthusiastic about working on a project he has reservations against. Majoritarianism and authoritarianism breeds disengagement and resentment. Everyone who contributes should be heard and only once all agree should they be expected to fulfil the obligations they assumed. They are not slaves, and they owe nothing other than that which they have agreed to. Only when all are in agreement and when all benefit can all be expected to sacrifice even more. And that should be the goal. Ever greater investment, ever greater trust and ever greater membership. The goals may start small but they should not stop growing. The ultimate goal should always be a world run by sane, responsible and free men, as is natural.
What effects will this exercise have? It will make evident the importance of negotiation and consensus building. It will build trust between the members and demonstrate the value of responsibility. It will “wash away the chaff”, or the unreliable people and those that don’t take anything seriously. It will also demonstrate what a small group can do, when all do their part towards a single purpose.
Try it out. Take it seriously. Feel free to experiment. This is a work in progress, so stay tuned for more suggestions. My page, Ordonaturalism, is about giving you the tools you need to organize. And most importantly, leave your feedback! A complete strategy cannot be thought up, but will have to be discovered through trial and error.
The relationships you build this way may be the greatest asset you have at your disposal. They will also be invaluable in case of any volatile and chaotic state of affairs. How valuable do you think it is, in those sorts of situations, to know people you can trust implicitly?
Oh, and if you can’t tell by now, unlike Curt Doolitle, I am not a fed.