How the Lack of Consent has Made Us All Victims
By Joe Jarvis - January 02, 2018

Nothing should happen to your body without your consent.

Seems pretty straightforward. Yet our society is predicated on ignoring consent.

Recently we have heard all about famous and powerful people ignoring consent when it comes to sexual advances.

But consent is just as important when it comes to labor, for instance. Completely forced labor is slavery.

Taxes also amount to a less intense form of forced labor. Taxes forcibly take part of your money, earned through labor. Just because you get something in return doesn’t make it consensual. And if the government benefits were worth the price, why would they need to force us to pay, instead of simply offering us a product?

You also should not be forced to stop doing anything that does not harm someone else. If you have the consent of everyone affected by your actions, it is wrong for someone to stop you. That includes punishment for victimless crimes; everything from drug possession to building on your property without a permit.

Yet the media can’t seem to figure out what is making all these powerful and famous people act out sexually without consent. In 2017, a lot of terrible people were exposed for their disregard for consent when it came to sexual advances.

But what was the long-term solution? Giving victims a voice, and scaring powerful people into behaving properly is a good start. But it doesn’t address the power imbalance that allows for non-consensual interactions.

Why not make 2018 the year that we get to the root of the problem?

The very fabric of our society is nonconsensual. The way the government operates violates consent at all turns.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can live in an organized, peaceful, and prosperous society where people are not systematically violated.

Secession is Just Another Way of Saying, “I Do Not Consent.”

Secession is a way to say “No” to an unwanted advance. No thank you, I do not want your services, your products, or your laws.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow any rules. Once you break the law of consent, you will be confronted with a suit. That is how common law works. First, a problem must occur. Somone must allege than another person has harmed them (or someone for whom they are advocating).

Common law is a system based on resolving problems, settling disputes, and avoiding violence. The remedy is decided based on the circumstances.

Yet the way man laws works right now, it creates conflicts, rather than solves them. Regulations and victimless crimes ignore consent and force victims to act in a particular way, even when they have harmed no one. This creates conflicts–raids, arrests, confiscations, fines–despite the alleged purpose of such statutes being to avoid conflicts.

And it all comes back to the lack of respect for consent.

If we don’t get along with someone, or a bunch of someones who make up a government, we should be free to go our separate ways.

For instance, if I own a piece of private property, why can’t I just retreat to it and do as I wish? Keep in mind, if any actions I take while on my private property affect others without their consent, I can still be brought to justice. I can’t dump raw sewage in a river or let the smoke from burning trash waft into my neighbor’s yard.

But why shouldn’t I be able to, say, grow weed, build a house without a permit, or run a business?

If I step back onto public land or others’ private property, I must then follow the rules of the government or the other property owner.

Doesn’t this sound like a better basis for law than arbitrary government edicts that do not need the consent of the governed to be enforced?

Why don’t we all just stop associating if we don’t get along?

Do you spend your time campaigning against a restaurant that gave you bad service, or do you just stop going there, and warn others with a review? You don’t need to ban the restaurant to get back at them. They cannot take your money if you don’t voluntarily go there.

If the wants and needs of your state do not match the federal government’s, why shouldn’t the state simply go its separate way peacefully, without being dragged violently back into the fold?

The state of Texas could simply become its own country if it thinks it has a strong enough military to stand alone or form voluntary alliances with other states. The state of California could become its own country if it thinks raising taxes to 90% will benefit its economy. Texas can ban immigration if it wishes, and California can ban guns. And that way you don’t have Californians forcing their way of life on Texans, and Texans forcing their way of life on Californians.

Things are more peaceful. Fewer conflicts happen.

But currently, federal laws generally trump state laws. Wouldn’t everything just be easier if we let each state do what it wants?

With 50 nation-states Americans could shop around for the best fit. But with an overbearing federal government, we get the worst of both worlds.

No matter where we go, we still have to pay for the largest military on earth. Yet we still need to know each state’s laws, lest we wind up in prison for a decade because we brought legal pot from Colorado over the state line.

A legal marijuana business in Washington state cannot safely put its money in the bank, because of federal laws regulating drug sale revenue. And New York City residents have to pay to secure Arizona’s border with Mexico.

States could be as secure or as lax in their borders as they want. They could be as cooperative or isolated with other states as they see fit. The best tax policies for the economy would quickly show what type of government people want: even now people are fleeing California over their high tax rates.

Progressive states won’t be limited by Bible-belt voters or burdened by military expenditures. Conservative states wouldn’t have to pay for liberal welfare programs or have their gun rights threatened.

If governments are controlled by the people and empowered by the people, doesn’t it make sense for those people to voluntarily start their own, smaller state that is a better match?

And if a state is free to secede and disassociate with the old government, why not a town? Those people should also get to give or withhold their consent for state and federal policies.

And if a town makes a decision that some residents don’t agree with, why can’t a neighborhood also secede?

Then why not a single household?

Why not an individual?

Each secession is a declaration that they do not consent. Ignoring this declaration is assault. If we allow consent to be ignored at all, what philosophical ground do we stand on to truly solve problems like sexual assault?

We must be consistent, or we arbitrarily choose when we can violate an individual’s consent.

And can we really get to the bottom of the root cause of sexual assault when we pick and choose when consent gets to be ignored?

Which people–when, where, and why–have no right to say, “No! Stop. Get off me.”?

If any of the people inhabiting these places step back into “your” society on “your government’s” land, they will again be subject to that government’s laws, same as it is now. So why not let them disassociate and stay away if they choose? Why not let people do whatever they want on their own land, and take issue only if their actions start to negatively affect others?

The true nature of government.

They need you, they need us, because we fund them, and we contribute to their control and power. We are not free to disassociate, we cannot just walk away and say no thanks, we cannot take our business elsewhere.

We are held hostage, with a percentage of our time spent in forced labor for our masters. This sounds an awful lot like slavery.

So if consent is required for all human interaction, the following holds true:

  • Any state is free to secede from a larger government.
  • Any size state can be formed and fracture from a larger government.
  • An individual can secede from any and all states, and become sovereign.

(Because of advances in technology, individuals organizing themselves into a new government need not occupy the same or adjacent lands.)

On the other hand, if consent is not required for all interactions, the following can be true:

  • Might makes right. Whoever has the most guns/ biggest military governs.
  • Slavery is okay under certain circumstances.
  • People can be forced to associate with others against their will.
  • Sometimes it is okay to force yourself on people.

Of course, this all would suggest there is no inherent right to say “No.” As such, consent is required only under certain arbitrary circumstances.

What do you think, could 2018 be the year that consent is required for all human interaction?

Or will we keep addressing symptoms–like sexual assault–while ignoring the underlying problem?

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