Two people do not have more rights
than one person, or two hundred, or
two thousand, or two million, any more
than they have more intelligence or decency.
VONU but not Invulnerable
by Jim Davidson
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
“Vonu, simply defined, is the hardening of one’s
lifestyle to such an extent that an individual could be said to have
rendered himself nearly invulnerable to coercion; in other words, vonu is
the comprehensive application of security culture to every facet of your
life. The word, “vonu,” itself is the awkward contraction of the phrase
“VOluntary Not vUlnerable,” which means that just because something is
voluntary does not therefore mean that it must also be susceptible to
coercion. If there were a formulaic way to express the most important facets
of vonu, it could be written:
Survivalism + Voluntaryism + Frugality — Reformism = Vonu”
—Vonu: The Search for Personal Freedom
This week I was asked about my views regarding Vonu. I first heard about Vonu sometime after 1987 when RW Bradford had published about an article by Wally Congre about it in Liberty magazine. One of my friends in, as I recall the conversation, Tucson L5 Society was in Houston to talk about the space launch services purchase act, and whether we could sufficiently reform NASA so that the private sector would open the door to space.
Vonu presented an alternative, he said, to the concept of reformism. Simply put, he did not think we would ever succeed in reforming NASA. Today, about 30 years later, I feel confident that he was correct. We have indeed not reformed NASA, it is just as evil, focused on death merchant defence contractors, and unwilling to open the door to space despite our having gotten Congress and the president to modify the NASA Charter to require them to do so.
Vonu also represents an alternative to what the author, Rayo, called “bullshit libertarianism.” In other words, reformism hasn’t actually reformed the federal-ish government of the United States. The government is even more out of control, more over budget, more violent, has more people in federal, state, and local prisons and jails, is more corrupt, and is engaged in more wars than ever before. The Libertarian party has utterly failed to reform the government, probably because the Libertarian party is itself has corrupt and inept people involved in running its operations.
I’ve started calling myself a #Collapsitarian which is a hash tag of some amusing threads on Twitter these days. Others like Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com and his buddy Skip have promoted the term. A collapsitarian is not trying to bring about the collapse of government, nor the collapse of civilisation as it is currently seen, but is, rather, convinced that nothing we can do will prevent those things from collapsing. All a collapsitarian wants is to live through the opening phases as prepared as possible, so that we can pop some popcorn and watch for what happens next. Mordor-on-the-Potomac will not be lamented by any of us.
When I was first approached about this idea, and I think it would have been roughly 1988, I felt that the frugality and lack of technological possibilities shut out any chance of me ever flying in space or building that hotel on the Moon that I’ve wanted to build since I was a child. And in the thirty years since then, I’ve had my nose rubbed very forcibly in the fact that reform of even the city of Houston’s government is impossible, and I am never going to get permission to fly in space. So if I’m going to the Moon, it will be despite the governments of the world being against me doing so.
Which is completely fine. This idea that I was never going to fly in space by trying to reform the system was brought to my attention in 1988, and that proved to be true. I felt then that I should try to fix what was broken. Clearly I was wrong.
There is not much time left before the system collapses. Whether that collapse results in a collapse of civilisation depends on whether there is anything besides that system to describe as civilisation. Since the system is very much not civilised, it does make one remember the words of Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilisation, that he thought it would be a good idea.
Perhaps these guys involved in this new Caledonia project will create a some aspects of a civilisation. They certainly seem to have interesting ideas.
Jim Davidson is chief financial officer of DialogueKey.com and is working on several other ventures. He is an author of 4 books and has even written some poetry.
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