Bridge to Real People, Part 1:
Connecting Freedom to Citizen Empowerment

Looking back to the middle of 2005 when I landed in New Hampshire as sort of a reverse missionary for the Free State Project, I did not realize how wonderful a model for citizen empowerment the FSP could be… and vice versa.  Please refer to the election-day Time Magazine article.

Citizen empowerment?

It’s a new concept I recently encountered to connote real people, acting mainly as enfranchised residents of a country, bringing political and economic power in to themselves as individuals acting in community. 

             ———————-Vision Quest———————

  Intelligent, committed democrats building a network of free,
  largely self-sufficient communities who trade with one
  another.  If the people feel they need a central government,
  then it’s a constitutional republican format with solely
  peacekeeping powers.

             ———————-Vision Quest———————

Now that’s power to the people.

The community empowerment concept is already off and running.  It occurs on a local level where people enjoin the political process to gain more control over their lives, more quality of life.  They almost always aim to improve the neighborhood in some way, e.g.:

“Walmart sucks!”—Fighting centrally powered scorched-earth corporations such as Walmart that come into a community and suck out its native commerce and energy

“Save the living spaces!”—Protect open spaces and commons areas from development cartels, which profit from high-density commercial or residential construction and turn to government welfare to pay—or rather not to pay—the costs of congestion

“Teach your children well!”—Secure private, voluntary-community-funded educational alternatives against central bureaucracies who forcibly sequester and indoctrinate our kids in state schools

“Legalize agriculture!”—Remove barriers to production and trade at the local level, enabling individuals to grow whatever crops they wish and band together in voluntary business relationships without fetter

“Foster healthful, productive work!”—Develop a network of skills and jobs so people can learn to produce wealth for themselves, then store and save it securely against criminal or central-state predators

Here’s where concepts in my book New Pilgrim Chronicles can help.  The concept from NPC that I feel the empowerment people can most benefit from is what I call the Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP):

  The Sacred Nonaggression Principle is basically the standard
  nonaggression principle—no one is allowed to initiate physical
  force on others for any reason—on steroids.  We make the
  nonaggression principle the highest and most venerable
  quality for all people in their political lives.

By incorporating the SNaP in their arguments the empowerment community can accelerate the demise of threats to their quality of life, as in: 

  “Gee, Mr. Mayor, I realize the eminent domain taking is not
   for the benefit of Corporation X (this time) but it violates our
   common highest principle of humanity—the SNaP.  We
   cannot steal property from individuals for any reason.”

The SNaP becomes positively Gandhian in removing any pretense of morality from partisans of political/economic coercion.  They back off.

Possibly more important, the abstract libertarian gets a jolt of “life on the street” from the citizen “empowerers,” and often climbs down from his ivory tower to contribute to the community and join in the fun.


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