Men are not islands, but their thoughts are isolated, their feelings are separated from each other’s by a wall of skin, an eternal gap that cannot be crossed. It is in the fact of Man’s subjectivity that we build all other ideas from. Objective truths, although never fully actualized in this lifetime, are come to by solidarity. Men come together to build truth claims, and hold ripe opinions in their own bodies. It is this appearance, that the individual is created. I am me, and not you. I cannot be you, nor do I feel as you feel. This is the basis of liberalism, that each person is a separate and autonomous author of their own will, despite any ruler or deity. The deity is pragmatically silent, and the ruler is himself an autonomous self-author, who has taken the birth-right of others and has wielded power over them. In each man, there is the capacity to rule over himself, and to rule over others, whether through physical, mental, or emotional means. But a universal rule of the individual can allow the same amount of liberty and the same amount of power to each Man, if they so choose it. My right to be a self-author and to have power over myself is absolute in so far as I allow the same for all Men, and they the same for all Men. This conditional is true as long as people adhere to its truth. It is a tautology. If I do not adhere to my own principle, then it is true, because within the conditional all the options lie and every option shows the truth of the conditional. If it is not the case that I adhere to the equal treatment of all Men, then it is not the case that I accept my own equal treatment. So, with liberalism, at its base containing a tautology, so long as that base is held, the ideas that spring up from it remain to be, at least, possibly true.
So, what then is society? Society is primary, but also second to the individual. Society is the start, before the individual is actualized because of natural processes (birth, familial and paternal instincts, the need for cooperation as a means to survival, etc.). This primary and natural society does not adhere to the subjective tautology of the individual. But once a level of normalcy is met, one where each person’s basic needs are fulfilled, those in the natural society accept the tautology of the individual. But upon acceptance of this belief, there is social conflict. Power has already been gained by some, and power is not easily relinquished. So, in order to equalize power and liberty, a political society is constructed. If one confuses the political society as acting for the natural society, the basic liberal principle is not adhered to. If the natural society attempts to fulfill political societal needs without first accepting the liberal principle, the political society is not legitimately constructed. Like all buildings, the foundations must be set before building upwards. So, if a political society is to be legitimate, the individual must first be actualized. If a political society is to remain legitimate, the individual must remain actualized.
If a political society is to be constructed, first the natural society must fall into a normalcy which meets the basic needs of each person. If the basic needs of each person are not met, it is possible that the political society will begin to lose legitimacy in such a way that the basic needs are seen a priority over the individual, and that the political society, does not allow the individual to remain actualized, in order to meet basic needs instead. This leads to the decay of a liberal society. To prevent this, basic welfare and the use of limited force to correct wrongs can and should be part of the political structure. Voluntary association is one of the basic pillars that, from the tautology, we construct a complex and robust political society.
No person can be forced to associate, trade, offer a service, or give of their wealth without their voluntary acceptance of a political contract. This contract does not need to be written or unwritten necessarily. Coercion to fulfill a basic need for another, or to associate in predetermined ways is just as much force as paying for a Woman’s dinner and expecting her to sleep with you is. The non-aggression principle is a secondary pillar at which, from the tautology of the individual, a proper liberal society can be constructed. These are two concrete blocks which ensure the tautology is adhered to. IF aggression towards a non-aggressor, or involuntary action (forced association, trade, service, etc.), then the individual is not being actualized. These two pillars can be chipped at from many different angles. If I am told to pay a tax, which I have not agreed to, then the voluntary pillar is not being adhered to. If I am drafted to fight for a society and it has not been agreed to by me, then I am being aggressed. Aggression, force, coercion, and involuntary service of any kind, so long as I am adhering to the tautology, is not legitimate, because it mean whomever is aggressing, forcing, coercing, or pressing me to involuntarily serve is not adhering to the tautology, which make the action not legitimate, in a political society.
So, what does a society built on voluntaryism and non-aggression like? Well, no one can be forced to pay a tax or give to charity if they do not conscientiously agree to do such. However, that does not mean that a need will not be met. A source of taxation can still be agreed to in a flexible and individualistic way. For instance, it may be that if an individual is under a certain age it can be shown that they are not of sound capability to make the best decision with their wealth that they have acquired through labor. It may be that instead, a family can democratically decide an amount and a time frame for any giving of wealth to the poor or towards a public construction. It may be that instead of a fixed income tax, a person can decide in which capacity a set amount (let’s say 30%) is taken out. I may feel like I will be spending much more this year so I will opt out of all sales taxes, but pay a base 30% income tax. Perhaps I will not be spending as much but wish to do some savings so I allow for a higher sales tax, coupled with a lower income tax, so that I still have a projected giving of 30%. Perhaps this is too much. Perhaps this will always be more than people are willing to pay, so, the fat of some social programs would have to be either cut, or the cost driven down. But regardless, why should a representative have the power to decide what my money is spent on, when I am a self-author, and at the base of our society is a principle of this idea, coupled with principles of voluntaryism and non-aggression. Perhaps there is a better way, a way where the individual preference is kept, but the robust necessity of taxation is also met.
If we saved money on elections, and did not have to waste the time dealing with campaign finance laws, this society would choose for itself, each individual, where and how their money is deducted and spent. A minarchist society with a basic liberal principle of self-authorship and with strong pillars of non-coercion, and voluntary association, can still meet social goals (justice, redistribution, a basic income, welfare, protection of the least class, etc.) without becoming illegitimate. We just need to get creative.