Problems with Voluntaryism


One problem I notice with voluntaryism is that it doesn’t take into account the natural elitist tendencies of human beings.  Without true democracy, majorities often have a natural tendency to defer to a minority elite.  (E.g. the popular clique in high school vs. the larger student body; the amount of attention models get from the general population etc.)

Voluntaryism that does not utilize democracy, requiring elites (of all fields) to make sure the general public is well-fed and educated, might result in the exact same problem it sought to eliminate.

5 thoughts on “Problems with Voluntaryism

  1. Something to consider…I wouldn’t compare democracy (a political system) with Voluntaryism (a philosophy of morality, human action, etc.) When people advocate for Voluntaryism, we are not advocating for a political system, or to institute Voluntaryism. That’s sort of missing the point. I completely understand the sentiment that if we just put a Voluntaryist system in place, without changing the predominant mindset, people would struggle to get along and we’d be back to square one with some instituting force and coercion over others. When we advocate for Voluntaryism, we advocate for a philosophical shift within all people, an awakening, so that there ultimately wouldn’t be a violent ruling elite. Voluntaryists absolutely recognize elitists (crony capitalists, bureaucrats, politicians, etc.), generally anyone who is part of the system of control, authoritarian law, coercion, force, and taxation. But, we see the philosophy, history, and institutions that make that slave/master system possible. It is not just human nature for some to rule and others to succumb to it. The point of Voluntaryism is to change that mindset within people, so it would be the norm throughout the country and throughout the world to get along peacefully, interact as equals, respect everyone, and trust in ourselves and in others to solve society’s problems without masters. Anyone outside of that norm, either those wanting to take advantage of or control others, would be virtual outsiders, and eventually come around to the predominant and moral way of living. Its just an ideas game; the same way most people no longer believe in direct slavery, or the earth being flat, or in Zeus throwing down lightning bolts. Voluntaryism is just the philosophical idea that we can all get along, all be our own masters, and achieve great things in the world without masters – elitist masters, or the master of the “will of the majority”.


    • I realize people who oppose democracy but condone property that was acquired unfairly and against the will of the majority are just lying to protect the rich now. Thanks for your input.


      • I would only add again, that Democracy is a political system. In its base nature, no different than other political systems, just more people are “in charge”. All political systems require force, coercion, theft, and manipulation in order to be put into practice. An alternative is a change of ideas, of philosophy, so that a political system, and thus force itself is not necessary at all. To put it another way, if we instituted (forced upon people) pure democracy, rule of the majority – nothing would fundamentally change. Instead of getting ruled and taken advantage of by puppet masters, government, and elitists, we’d be taken advantage of by 51% of our fellows (and behind the scenes the same puppet masters). Success is not a bad thing. Success is only bad if we get there by using others in some way. With a change in ideas, we can all seek to achieve success without harming others, without acquiring that success unfairly. We wouldn’t have to use the force of government to get our well intentioned plans out there. In time, as the philosophy changes, those who are now rich and powerful by coercion would cease to exist as they realize their game is up. Their tactics won’t work on a population that doesn’t recognize force and authority.


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