A personal message from Jim Babka and Perry Willis, Co-Founders of Downsize DC and Co-Creators of the Zero Aggression Project
- Why we created the Zero Aggression Project (ZAP)
- Why we think the Zero Aggression Principle (the ZAP) beats practical arguments
- Why you should make ZAP your main libertarian activity
- How we plan to introduce ZAP 3.0 by telling a story-in-reverse
That story begins here…
You wake up in a world governed by the Zero Aggression Principle. What’s it like?
Three things are missing…
- Men with guns no longer coerce you to pay for government services
- No government service is provided by a monopoly
- No institution of governance initiates force against anyone (force is reserved for defensive purposes only, such as criminal justice)
All governmental services are voluntarily funded. This means…
You now live in a world with consumer-controlled governance!
The politicians are secondary. You are primary! You now have far more power as a consumer than you ever had as a voter! You get to decide whether to fund…
- The U.S. federal government
- State or local governments
- Or other institutions that provide some particular governmental service (see below)
Even better, now you can decide how much money you give to government — you can even give no money at all to a particular government service.
This has completely changed the incentives that control government behavior!
In the old days our so-called government had no incentive to do a good job, because, it got paid no matter how poorly it performed! In fact…
The more it failed, the more it PROSPERED! Politicians constantly used their own failure as an excuse to grab more power and spend more money!
Think about how upside down that was! Failure was rewarded, NOT punished!
But the advent of consumer-controlled governance reversed those bad incentives. Now…
All institutions of governance have to do a good job or lose customers!
Do you remember how…
- People told you it was impractical to abolish violence-based funding (taxes)?
- They said voluntary funding wouldn’t work, because no one would give enough money?
Now, most people think…
The concept of “enough money” is defined by what people are willing to pay, NOT by what politicians want.
People now believe it’s completely impractical to give politicians power to extort money from people. They recognize that it’s silly to disconnect funding from performance.
People learned that the moral and the pragmatic are connected:
- Bad means tend to achieve bad results
- Good means tend to achieve good results
And look at how great the results are…
You get to live the way you want, provided you don’t commit force or fraud against others. You can…
- Participate in Social Security and Medicare, or opt out
- Buy any type of health insurance you want, free from “cronyistic” dictates that once compelled you to purchase coverage you didn’t need or want
- Use FDA approved drugs, or opt out. Now you can seek guidance from other sources, like Underwriters Laboratory or the Life Extension Foundation
Other kinds of product regulation work the same way. Consumer choice — your choice — rules in all things!
You no longer need The State’s permission to…
- Enter or exit the country
- Buy a weapon
- Marry the person you love
- Open a business
- Have consensual sex however you want
- Ingest what you want
- Grow what you want
Groups with different views no longer use The State to gang up on each other. And you no longer need majority permission to live according to your own conscience.
Individual conscience is now respected in all things
As a result…
Decentralized institutions like homeowners associations have become the basic unit of governance. Their accountability means…
- Roads get repaved on a regular schedule (no more potholes)
- Alleys and other commons areas are constantly maintained
- Legal monopolies no longer control who can bring you power, water, gas, and cable
Some neighborhoods have strict property use codes. Others have none at all. That means…
You no longer have to move to another county, state, or country to get what you want. The kind of community you prefer is usually just miles away. Perhaps best of all…
The police are now under you instead of over you…
- The police no longer work for the politicians, they work for you!
- The police are no longer tax funded, so they have to perform well or lose customers
- You can buy police protection by subscription, or pay a premium if you call for help without a subscription
- You can also add a contribution to help those who can’t afford the premium
This means the police now focus on different things:
- NOT victimless crimes — there are none
- NOT asset forfeiture opportunities — there are none
- NOT traffic fines — there are none (see below)
- The police actually patrol neighborhoods to intimidate would-be burglars
- No victimless crimes means no black markets for drugs and prostitution. Criminal gangs are no longer profitable!
These factors have combined to create an amazing result…
Violent crime has dwindled to almost nothing!
And the prison population has shrunk to just a few murderers, rapists, and repeat burglars (of which there are now few because of the police patrols).
Even traffic safety is handled differently…
Bad driving used to cost you both fines and higher insurance premiums. Now, only your insurance premiums go up. That means…
You’re no longer doubled-fined for making a mistake!
- You’ll still be taken out of your car if you drive erratically. But it’s the bad driving that gets you stopped, NOT sobriety checkpoints.
- Banks, insurance companies and police services are also put on alert about repeat offenders. It’s like having the ultimate bad credit rating. It can become hard to get a car loan or insurance, and whole neighborhoods can ban you from their roads! (Get out and walk buddy!)
Courts have changed too…
- Now the prosecutors work for the victim, not The State
- Convicted perpetrators have to compensate their victims, not The State
- Criminals pay
- Victims are compensated
- There are fewer wrongful prosecutions
Even national defense has changed…
Consumers rule here too!
- Patriots and concerned citizens provide enough funding for a centralized defense, but…
- If politicians misuse the military the funding dries up
And “defense” is no longer monopolized by The State…
- Some people prefer local militias
- Others argue that any centralized defense provides a centralized target, and gives politicians too much potential power to abuse
This latter groups favors a completely decentralized guerrilla strategy for both deterrence and defense. They think guerilla defense makes armies obsolete. And they can point to concrete examples…
- The U.S. in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan
- The Soviet Union in Afghanistan
This idea is spreading — there’s now a worldwide movement to completely demilitarize under the slogan… countries without armies pose no threat to other countries
The Zero Aggression revolution affects compassion too…
“Gunpoint compassion” is now considered a contradiction. Instead…
- Choice and competition have caused an explosion of charitable innovation
- The aim is not merely to sustain lives, but to improve them where possible
- Local charities compete hard to show how they can do the best job of providing both sustenance and improvement
But it isn’t only what you can buy or fund that’s different…
Even money has changed…
There’s no more Federal Reserve monopoly. You can use anything for money — dollars, gold, silver, Bitcoin, or something else. As a result…
The Federal Reserve has to keep the dollar stable to avoid losing customers to other forms of money. That means…
- No more inflation!
- No more booms and busts either
- Prices are slowly falling as constant innovation increases productivity
- People can now live better with less work!
Economic outcomes are more equal too, because…
Cronies can no longer use The State to garner subsidies, bailouts, and bloated contracts, or use rigged regulations to strangle competitors. That means…
- Big business is smaller
- Small businesses is bigger
- No one gains unfair benefits at the expense of others
And here’s the most AMAZING part!
This was all done without abolishing ANY major institution! Nearly everything that existed before still exists now…
- The President
- Social Security
- The FDA
- The Federal Reserve
It all still exists!
But now every institution has to compete with other providers, because the Zero Aggression Principle rules everything.
This is the world you now live in!
Or could live in, if you make the Zero Aggression Project your main libertarian activity.
- How would that make a difference?
- How could you use the Zero Aggression Project to create this world?
We’ll begin to paint that picture in our next message, as our story-in-reverse continues. In the meantime…
If you’re not already a member of the ZAP Founders Committee please consider joining before it closes on April 30th.
Founders will be listed on the ZAP website perpetually.
- Become a Founder by donating on our secure web form. Or…
- If you’re already a Founder, raise your current listing on the roster by investing more (the names are ranked by size, cumulative)
- If you make a monthly pledge, your contribution is automatically “annualized” for ranking purposes
You can take a quick tour of the new ZAP site when you visit the contribution form. Some sections are already open, and some are behind a curtain, to be unveiled after we finish our story-in-reverse.
Please stay tuned for the next installment of that story. And…
If you have libertarian friends who might be interested in ZAP, please forward this to them.
With high hopes for the future,
Perry Willis & Jim Babka
Co-creators, the Zero Aggression Project
an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation