What does it mean to be Sovereign In The City?
First lets define the philosophy of sovereignty, then we can discuss how living this philosophy can be challenging especially in living in a metropolis.
According to dictionary.com Sovereignty is defined as having “supreme power or authority” or “a self governing state.” Generally these terms are applied or more accurately MIS-applied to Royalty and governments.
Individual sovereignty is the natural authority of a person to rule themselves. It is the concept of “self-ownership.”
In politics sovereign states are deemed to have the right to make decisions that serve their own national interest without the interference of outside nations or governments, but the truth is only individuals possess true sovereignty based on their natural rights.
If I don’t own YOUR body, If I have no right to interfere or dictate how you live your life, then how can I vote to give that power to a government to use force to coerce you into living as I see fit? That is exactly what democracy is. The majority instructs government to use force against the minority. The implication is that majority consensus equals moral authority or “might makes right.”
The United States was founded as a “Constitutional Republic” meaning that the majority is prohibited from violating the Constitution which includes a bill of enumerated rights. The Bill of Rights allegedly codifies the natural rights of man-kind. We can easily look at the United States In 2018 and see that the abolitionist Lysander Spooner was correct in the 1860’s when he said,
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
From the point of view of The U.S. Constitution and by extension the Federal Government, “rights” are really just privileges that can be revoked during a state of emergency or some other color of law justification.
So does sovereignty mean we can do as we please? Almost. As a sovereign we must also consider the sovereignty of others. So we are free to do as we please as long as it does not violate the natural rights of others. This philosophy is summed up in what as known as the “non-aggression principle.”
The non-aggression principle or “NAP” is a philosophical stance which says that aggressive use of force is immoral. It is when one sovereign initiates or threatens force against another sovereign or their legitimately owned property. The outcome of that initiation of force is irrelevant, the fact that it violates the free will of the victim makes it immoral and illegitimate. The non-aggression principle differs from pacifism in that defensive force is permitted.
This concept was discussed in the media during the Obamacare debate. It is obvious that health insurance in the current medical climate is a good thing. However government using force to compel people to purchase that insurance or be faced with paying a fine, or jail if they refuse to pay de-legitimizes the good the original law was trying to accomplish. It is immoral for the government to put a gun to your head to force you to eat your vegetables.
So now that we understand that all people are sovereign by way of inherent natural rights, what are some of the challenges to personal sovereignty for those who live in large cities?
Housing is one of the most important areas people are forced to surrender their personal sovereignty. Whether you are a property “owner” or renter you are paying property tax. In effect you are leasing your home from the government which has decided you have to pay for the privilege of living on the continent. Then their are zoning regulations which tell you what you can build, or even what you can plant on your property.
Your health is probably the next largest area where government infringes on our natural rights. In the United States we as individuals do not have the right to choose which medicines or treatments we want to use to maintain our health. Ultimately the Food and Drug Administration decide what methods are available to the public. Want to use cannabis to medicate your anxiety or your cancer? According to the Federal Government you have no right to do that. Many states have now legalized cannabis but you still have to jump through hoops to prove why you need to use cannabis, and in many states the list of approved illnesses is very narrow. You say you have cured your disease by eating healthy? Be careful, according the federal law only an FDA approved drug compound created and patented by a licensed Drug Company can cure disease.
The list goes on and on, our lives are regulated from cradle to grave; from how we use technology to the foods we can legally eat, all under the auspice of keeping us safe presumably from our own ignorance. Regardless of the governments intentions, it is ridiculous that a person can be threatened with being put in a cage for drinking raw milk or selling lemonade without a permit.
Our culture has grown comfortable in trading personal sovereignty for the illusion of security. Americans like to surrender certain rights so the government will take care of them. This is evidenced in some of the memes repeated by the status quo.
“Who will build the roads?”
“Taxes are the price we pay for living in civilized society.”
Remember as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” As you increasingly exercise your personal sovereignty by necessity you will be required to act responsibly. You might not be expected to build a road, but when you live a sovereign lifestyle you will be sacrificing some of the “perks” of the nanny state. Fear not, you will quickly learn that these “perks” are actually chains.
We at Sovereign In The City are committed to the discussion of ideas of how we can increase our personal sovereignty without escaping to live off the grid in the woods. Modern life is complicated and only a few are lucky enough to be able to make the decision to secede totally from the domain of the state, but we can all make small incremental changes to how much we exercise our personal sovereignty.