Learning From Pandemic, Laura Ebke, And Lysander Spooner – How Will Our Recovery From Covid-19 Impact How We Govern Ourselves?
Excerpts from and extensions to an illuminating social media dialog with one of my favorite Libertarians, Laura Ebke:
My friend David took a comment and turned it into an article!
I keep hearing stories of innovations here in Nebraska that are being unleashed because of regulations being lifted. Maybe we don’t need so many regulations in the post-COVID-19 world!How will we recover from the Corona pandemic?
David Pratt Demarest:
Thank you, Laura! Nice segway and critical incremental step to nudge the needle toward freedom.
Laura, I agree. Opportunities come in many flavors and abound for those who turn failures and crises into learning, teaching, and commitment moments. Like you, a “gentle housecleaning” day of reckoning is coming as I approach the 5000 limit on Facebook friends, thanks to our expanding online horizons as we “shelter in place”.
On the more serious side, the pandemic and all its implications will be a huge opportunity with many challenges, not just regarding our health but how we govern our relationships with each other. Will we remain nations of sheep and allow authorities to continue mismanagement of our affairs that put us at risk to pandemics and on a path toward mutual economic and social destruction?
Or will we wake up, act as individual leaders by example, make and keep commitments, take back our personal responsibilities, and put governments in their place by showing them how it is done by effectively governing and conducting ourselves like the rational self-aware species that we are?
That is indeed a tall order. But this is an opportunity to change the polarity of the needle and start incrementally moving our reality in a different direction toward freedom.
Where to start? First things first, we must recover from the Covid-19 pandemic with our economy, society, and personal lives intact. This will require much brainstorming and soul searching to create health solutions, adopt adjustments to our behavior patterns, and take the bull by the horns to show government how self-governance can work better to address societal challenges as we recover from the pandemic.
As our species fills up and crowds all corners of the earth, we know that more novel virus pandemics will be coming our way. The next challenge will be to build on what we have learned and behavior adjustments we have made in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Today, we have all of our eggs in one shrinking basket, planet earth. However, diaspora to other planets will not solve all our problems either here on earth or wherever we disperse to.
Ultimately, our challenge is to take the next big step for mankind, the transition from authoritarian rule to self-rule to avoid the alternative threats of chaos and authoritarian mud-hut poverty, misery, and conformity.
I choose to fight institutional authoritarianism every step of the way to intelligent self-governance. Will it be easy? NO!
The good news, however, is that the biggest leap will be accomplished when we realize that most of our personal relationships and our constant interactions in a variety of social and economic free markets are already lived successfully under self-governance.
We don’t have to rely on government to tell us how to handle our personal relationships and free market transactions. We already know how to get along with each other, both socially and economically. We just do it, each guided by our own personal ‘government’ if you will, our mutually developed set of rules that govern our personal and commercial relationships and transactions.
And by golly, our personal ‘governments’ are working so well that our species continues to survive and make progress despite the worst that authorities can throw at us. When our ‘personal governments’ clash, we work it out for mutual benefit.
Those who have difficulty making win-win mutually beneficial agreements usually get the picture rather quickly after even just a limited exposure to voluntary individual economic and social positive reinforcement and negative ostracism incentives. Hell hath no fury like social ostracism. Those who would make do with incarceration cringe in the face of ostracism, shunning, and exile by friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, colleagues, and society.
It turns out that we don’t need to change our behavior very much. We just need to change how we look at it by realizing that we are already almost there. Once we let government know that we have reassumed responsibility for our personal destinies, game over.
Will authorities defend their power, perks, and ill-gotten gains? Of course they will. But we have morality and the determination to be free on our side. Our intelligent application of determination will make the difference in the face of cowardly threats of force.
Our first task is to undermine their source of revenue, the theft of taxation. A succession of secession-lite incremental baby steps will start the ball rolling. These baby steps might include jury nullification and other localization initiatives like legal sanctuary cities, counties, and states on a variety of issues beyond just immigration and abortion. Other tipping point sanctuary incentivizing issues might include health care, education, war on drugs, retirement savings, protection, conflict resolution, and the like.
Secession or the threat of secession demonstrates the POWER OF EXIT inherent in freedom. The act of refusal to cooperate through nullification, civil disobedience, and taking the bull by the horns to accomplish our goals our way speaks louder than words and sends a powerful message, teaching moment, and learning opportunity to authorities to either clean up their act or get the hell out of the way.
I, for one, intend to liberally exercise the power of exit as I leverage the tragic Corona pandemic to assert my right to self-governance through nullification, peaceful civil disobedience, and secession-lite localization baby steps to undermine authorities source of revenue. How about you?
D. Pratt Demarest, April 3, 2020