The Law is Mere Risk

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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original column appearing most Mondays at, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

Most understand that criminals, like thieves, rapists, and murderers, are, among other things, risks to be mitigated. If we have an expectation of possible robbery, we lock our doors and otherwise secure our homes; of possible rape, we stay with others and arm ourselves with pepper spray or a pistol; of murder, we hide ourselves or otherwise seek protection or the removal of the would be murderer. If the state is a criminal organization, which I consider it so, then its laws are likewise risks to be mitigated.

The Agorist Insight

Agorism is the libertarian strategy of undermining the state through counter-economic cooperation (black/gray markets). One is an agorist when they recognize that every society is free, each with a greater or lesser amount of criminal activity. As a criminal organization, the state is simply one more perpetrator of crime. The laws that it decrees and enforces, and the actions of less organized criminals differ only in perceived legitimacy. The former is believed by many in society to be necessary and proper, the latter is not. The agorist insight informs us that peaceful actions are not criminal actions, and may be performed without regard to their legal status, except as a matter of risk.

Unplugging from the State

Every human being is an individual with needs, wants, and the right to be free from aggression by other human beings. Each of us may do whatever is necessary to achieve happiness. Nobody has the right to prevent that. With this in mind, what is the law if it keeps us from doing as we please with ourselves and our possessions? It is nothing; a mere blotch on a piece of paper; a pixel on a screen; an audible breath from a busybody. The only relevance it has to our lives is its ability to keep us from acting according to our will. When we unplug from our minds the idea that those who call themselves “government” have any right to rule over us, our perception of law changes completely from one of respect to one of contempt, as it is towards any other criminal action.

Final Thoughts

You, I, and everyone has the right to be free from aggression by others. No individual or group of individuals, whether they call themselves a government or not, has the right to keep us from living our lives however we see fit. Their threats of interference are merely risks to be mitigated, risks like petty crime, natural disasters, or accidents. When performing a peaceful action, consider only the risks that come from the state, not whether or not you have a right to do what you intend. Because you do. You always have and you always will. No matter how much a threat the state becomes in the lives of individuals, we all have the right to ignore its perceived legitimacy, and to plan around it.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.