Voluntaria: beyond politics!

Abstract: This article looks at Voluntaria, describing some of the differences between Voluntaria and existing volunteer organizations and charities. The article also looks at one of Voluntaria's initiatives: Mailing Lists.


A. Voluntaria

Voluntaria is not a charity or volunteer organization like there are so many others. Instead, Voluntaria is an attempt to shape the ways people live together by encouraging people to take the initiative themselves. Many organizations effectively take over people's lives. While such organizations may have the intention to help people in need, the result is that people become dependent on such help. Voluntaria argues that it is better for people to help each other and thus themselves. For this reason, Voluntaria rejects government intervention. Voluntaria argues that voluntary initiatives can go far beyond what any politician can ever achieve, because a political solution will never be more than a compromise.

B. DonParagon's Vision of the Future

Voluntaria fits in well with DonParagon's Vision of the Future. DonParagon argues that politicians effectively take away control from people. Politicians make decisions on behalf of people, resulting in a complacent and paralysed society that expects politicians to solve all problems. Instead, DonParagon predicts that, in future times, people will more and more want to take decisions themselves that are now taken for them by politicians. DonParagon talks about agreement-based interrelations in which people have choices and will make decicions for themselves that are now enforced upon them by politics.

Voluntaria fits well into DonParagon's Vision, specifically under the keyword interrelations:

Pre-Government Era
Era of Government
Post-Government Era
Family
Politics
Monarchy | Democracy
Agreement
   Keyword

   Interrelations

In Donparagon's Vision of the Future, people will interrelate on the basis of mutually beneficial agreements, rather than under direction of politicians. Voluntaria takes a somewhat broader focus using the keyword initiatives rather than interrelations. Voluntaria advocates initiatives to be spontaneous and voluntary. In terms of DonParagon's Vision, Voluntaria's model could be pictured as follows:

Pre-Government Era
Era of Government
Post-Government Era
Instinct,
selfishness
Society, Uniformity
Faith
Feudalism
Central control
bureaucracy
Spontaneity,
Voluntaria
   Keyword


   Initiatives

Some like to broaden the focus of the concept voluntary even further. Carl Watner has for many years advocated voluntaryism in his periodical The Voluntaryist. But, as discussed in earlier articles, this turns the concept voluntary into an ideology. Voluntaryism is not regarded as an ideology or belief in DonParagon's Vision. Instead, the ideology that goes hand in hand with agreement-based interrelations is optionality - if you like the associated belief of future times will be optionality.

As an example, people with doubts about optionality are quick to point at traffic rules as a justification for the law in general. They will argue that it were more difficult, if not impossible, to drive cars without traffic rules. But pedestrians rarely argue about traffic rules among each other! Even in crowded shopping malls, people will find their ways without need for police intervention. It is only when people's minds become obscured by alcohol or other drug use, or by gang mentality, that pedestrians will start a fight over the right of way. The reason is that it is more trouble to fight out who's 'right', than the trouble it takes to make a side-step. Circumventing trouble makes more sense than confronting it! Traffic rules are part of a confrontational and coercive system that calls for courts, lawyers, fines and prisons. Because such rules are enforced so rigidly, few alternative ways of coping with traffic have been explored. Indeed, traffic rules and the way roads are constructed and operated, are both part of a system that comes with taxation and a huge bureaucracy. The ideology behind the current system is too confrontational for voluntary initiatives to emerge. Someone who voluntarily gives way, while having the legal right of way, is prompted by following cars to drive on. It takes a change in ideology to make this work. It takes optionality to allow voluntary initiatives to be taken. The answer to the compulsion that comes with the law, is optionality!

Voluntaria fits in comfortably with DonParagon's Vision. Voluntaria's initiatives are somewhat broader than the interrelations described in DonParagon's Vision. Voluntaria's initiatives encourage people to relate to each other on voluntary basis, as well as to act spontaneously, rather than on the basis of planning or faith. But Voluntaria does not present itself as an ideology, instead, Voluntaria points at optionality as its most favored ideology.

C. Voluntaria's Initiatives

One way in which Voluntaria encourages initiatives is through mailing or email lists. Voluntaria has started many mailing lists so that people can contact each other, exchange ideas and help each other. Voluntaria argues that many people are willing to do things that would benefit others, but the problem is to find each other. The contact between a poet and a musician may not only be mutually beneficial and stimulating for these two, it may also result in a new song that may please many others. What Voluntaria does is to provide means for such people to find each other, and one such means is a mailing list that would bring together not merely, say, the poet and the musician, but also people who are interested in hearing the result of such contact. In appreciation of this initiative, the Optionality Network now proudly features a page with Voluntaria Mailing Lists.

While it is still too early to predict how Voluntaria will develop further in future, Optionality Magazine wishes this initiative every success!




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