An Intro to Consentarianism
It was a bit of hypocrisy for me to flatly refuse to label my own political beliefs for all these years while I was perfectly comfortable to label those that I disagreed with as "statists."
Now I think I'm adult enough to confront the truth that it really is important to give my views a name and to make some positive statements that can be argued against and even disproven if we're ever lucky enough to get to try out my ideas.
Table of Contents
1 What's in a name?
I'm committing to the word "Consentarianism" mostly because it's not really used by anybody else but also because it's got cute syntactic implications with it.
This document expresses and explores the implications of Consentarian thought as I prescribe it.
2 It's not anarchism
Allow me a brief indulgence to describe what it is that my political beliefs are not.
When somebody self-describes as an "anarchist" all you know for certian is that they oppose archons (ancient Greek word for "ruler"). It's common for people to pile a bunch of other assumptions on top of that word – mostly informed by ahistorical and fictional sources. I feel for anarchists always having to clarify the minutest of details for the intellectually lazy but at this point, I believe that some of the problem lies in the fact that the word "anarchy" is so vague.
Anarchists realize the ambiguity in the word which is why so many of them feel the need to further qualify the word with additional descriptive suffixes. This is why you see Anarcho-Socialist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Anarcho-Capitalist, Anarcho-Primitivist and so forth. It's a thing I've grown to call the "Anarcho-Whateverist" phenomenon.
Just like anarchists, I am opposed to the existence of states. But it seems that anarchists even argue amongst themselves as to what the word "state" actually means.
If you ever say "I am an anarchist because I think X," you're going to get a chorous of other self-described anarchists telling you that you have to turn in your True Scottsman Card right now! They all have conflicting notions of what real anarchy looks like and it's not going to be very helpful to advance my ideas to battle over the meaning of a word.
For this reason, I'm leaving all subspecies of anarchical philosophies alone. I don't want to engage in enternal semantic battles. I want to engage in actual discourse that helps people see the virtues that I am aiming for so they can either tell me in very real terms how my goals may not be possible, or how my proposed steps will not result in the desired outcome.
3 Atomic Component of Property
For the purposes of this document, "Property" is defined as the power to use something, to include others in or exclude others from that same use and to transfer that power of use to any other person with consent.
It is presumed that all persons are the proprietors of their own bodies. A body is the first resource a person puts to use and is the cardinal estate from-which all other property's derived.
The use of another's body without consent or acts which affect one's ability to use their body without consent are described as being one of the following forms of felony:
Other crimes such as fraud, theft and vandalism are similar violations of property rights and are considered less grevious because their effects are less directly damaging to the cardinal estate of the body.
While Consentarianism is not equipped to make moral judgments, one who advocates for the commission of crimes can not be Consentarian because they are in direct conflict with the principle of property which asserts that one's effect on another's property must be done with the consent of the proprietor.
Environments where property is never honored can be describe as barbaric ones. Ruffians that freely harm others for their own gain or amusement do not honor the proprietorship that others have over their own bodies. Thieves who freely take whatever objects they wish do not honor the property claims made by their victims.
In all cases, wherever the rights of property are not honored, that place may be said to be lawless.
The direct opposite of this barbarism is civilization and can be described as an environment where the property rights of others are upheld.
4 Consentarian Law
To protect property rights, Consentarianism proposes a system of dispute resolution caled "Law." Consentarian law differs from other legal systems because it regards property as its impetus and fundamental particle.
It is not reasonable to attempt to define all the ways that property may be established. While John Locke made a noble effort of it from within the context of English Common Law, different cultures may arrive at notions of ownership in different ways. Beyond the assumption of self-ownership, Consentarianism does not prescribe a set of rules defining how ownership is obtained.
It is only when ownership over a resource is disputed that Consentarian thought weighs in. When two individuals claim mutually exclusive power to use the same resource, property demands that one or both must give way to a proprietor. The alternative to proprietorship is the depletion of the resources to nobody's benefit as is observed in the economic principle of the Tragedy of the Commons.
One way to settle property disputes is through the use of force. If one disputing party were to enforce his claim by harming trespassers, it would be an effective claim but this raises the question of whether the trespassers' own property were violated in return. Because this puts unrelated property rights in further jeopardy, it is contrary to the ambitions of Consentarian law and is discouraged.
Another way is to appeal to a third party (a court) for judgment. The parties who make the exclusive claims to ownership both argue their cases to a third party who collects the information and passes judgment as to which of their claims supercedes the other.
This is a common practice in many societies today. Courts are created by state fiat and prescribed as the solitary dispute resolution service for the whole area. To placate people in the face of this monopoly, state courts attempt to project an image of impartiality. But this denies the truth that all humans have biases and it is not easy (if at all possible) to predict which of our biases arise when considering any given dispute.
Because of the harmful effects of monopolies and because courts will always be operated by organic bias machines, Consentarianism proposes an alternative to state court systems; all disputes should be ruled upon by third parties selected by the mutual consent of the disputing parties. Each party is expected to consider the judge or judges that would rule over their case and make an estimation as to how much the biases of that person will harm their case.
This proposition rightly raises many questions that this document will seek to address. For now, it is sufficient to say that property rights can not be upheld when property disputes are ruled upon by a party that is unknowledgeable about the history and important details surrounding the property in dispute. State monopolies are notoriously incapable of making informed rulings simply because many property claims may involve subjects where judges have complete ignorance. It is not reasonable for states to expect their judges to be experts in both software engineering and patent law yet we ask them to make infordem decisions on both.
It is for this reason that Consentarianism rejects the Constitution of the United States as a violation of property rights. Article 3 of the Constitution states that employees of the United States federal government get to rule in all cases involving their employer. This obivous conflict of interests ensures that any property claims that do not directly contribute to the interests of the United States will only be upheld according to the personal biases of the individual justices. The biases of nine people do not form a solid foundation for civilization.