The Gospel of Panarchy
according to sinner John
John Zube has given here one of the best short texts on Panarchy. It takes a few moments to read it, a bit longer to ponder about it and an entire life to become really proficient in practicing it.
PANARCHISM : The body of knowledge and thought regarding the theories and practices of such voluntaristic non-territorial and autonomous communities (panarchies), considered as the rightful, peace-, freedom-, property- and reform-promoting alternatives to any attempt to set up or continue coercive, exclusive, uniform, territorial, more or less centralized and supposedly ideal or best possible communities for all, whether their subjects agree or disagree.
Panarchism teaches that panarchies form the ideal societies for human beings as diverse as we are. Panarchy would speed up the development and progress of man and his institutions to the utmost, in a peaceful and peace-promoting way, while permitting and institutionalizing one-man revolutions, and would reduce the incidence of violent revolutions and wars to a minimum while retaining and even increasing the capacity of peace-loving people to resist and defeat violent aggressors.
The following are some principles of panarchism which might be considered as amounting to The Gospel of Panarchy (at least once they have been fully collected and expressed more attractively than is here the case in a first draft):
- You do not have to love your neighbour - but you do owe him justice.
- People are different, and prefer different things, even in the sphere of laws and social, economic and political institutions. Everyone is entitled to their own choices, at their own expense and risk.
- If you can't agree with them, do not join them or stay a member. Secede from them and do your own thing.
- Everyone has the equal right and liberty to live differently.
- Everyone has the right to do his own thing, to live within his own system, quite undisturbed by others, even by leaders, majorities and people considered to be professionals and experts.
- Let your actions be free and let them take you where your thoughts take you - as long as you respect the same right in others.
- Be tolerant towards all tolerant persons, peaceful towards all peaceful persons and leave them alone - while they leave you alone.
- Act only within and up to the limits set by yourself, as long as you let others set their own limits and respect the limits set by others for their own actions.
- Agree only to disagree with dissenters. Leave them alone and allow them to leave you alone.
- Agree only and insist only upon agreement among people who are agreeable to you and your ideas, opinions and institutions. Between you, and at your expense and risk, anything goes.
- Everyone has the right to make mistakes and to act foolishly at his own expense and risk and among like-minded people.
- Everyone has the right to make experiments among like-minded people, even in the political, economic and social sphere.
- Freedom of action for all who respect freedom of action in others.
- Tolerance for all tolerant actions among tolerant people.
- Find, grow, develop and realize yourself, your aims, your methods, your institutions and systems and principles, but only alone or among like-minded people who, with you, volunteered to do so, shutting out all politicians, bureaucrats and experts that are not wanted by you and your voluntary associates for your own internal affairs.
- To each his own; no more, no less.
- Everyone to be the master of his own fate.
- Everyone to be free to pick his ideology, social organization and cooperators and to experiment together with them, at their own risk and expense, in the same way that he may now pick his own friends or religious associates.
- Everyone to be free to pick his own international allies and enemies, make treaties with them or resist their aggressive acts, as he pleases, provided only that he does so within the framework of individual rights and liberties, which reduce indiscriminate warfare and revolutionary actions to rightful and limited self-defence and policing actions against aggressors.
- In other words, everyone to be free to decide for themselves whether and to what extent they want to be at war with each other or at peace and for what rightful aims they are to struggle, if they are to struggle at all.
Non-enumeration of similar principles, commandments or articles of faith in this first declaration does not mean that they are to be excluded. On the contrary, an appeal is hereby made to help find, formulate and include all other formulas and wordings and to edit and improve the present ones, in view of a panarchistic gospel or platform or agreement between all groups striving for and being content with full autonomy on a non-territorial basis. A single expression of panarchistic freedom is obviously not good enough to convey its full meanings, otherwise panarchism would already have been clearly understood and realized long ago. Thus I invite the discovery or formulation or description of all its facets in optimal wording. To sort all these out, in an attempt to find out which are the most successful ones, they might later be arranged in form of flow chart discussions. Or one might merely collect the objections raised to each particular formula and then assemble all those wordings which have not provoked any opposition.
Draft only. John Zube, 10.3.1986. Slightly revised, 13.4.1998.