The Common Ground

There is a common ground, and I believe that it is this common ground that is the key to real change, to real progress.

It is, in my opinion, the only way we can replace the injustices and the outright insanity of the current system with a sane and just alternative.
The message of the Nations of Sanity is a simple rally call to all good people to unite under this common cause, to end the insanity of the system we currently live under.

This is not the only voice condemning the current insanity and criminality.
This is not the only voice calling for change, real change.
But while many can agree on many of the wrongs in this world and to the basic idea that we need change, the whys and the wherefores do divide people a lot more.

How we change things, what we change and how things should be (in contrast to how things are) divide us even more, and even when there is consensus on where we should be, how we get from here to there is a topic that is seldom even mentioned, let alone tackled to the extent that an answer is put forward.
But I suggest that there is a common ground and, like everything presented here, you are not just welcomed to challenge this assertion but you are specifically requested to challenge this in anyway you can.

The common ground is the basic understanding and agreement that we all have a right to personal liberty, self ownership and freedom.
The only restriction on this freedom is that we must not infringe on other people or cause harm or loss to another.
We must agree and acknowledge that all people must have the right to this exact same level of freedom and liberty.

The common ground can, and should, be built on the non aggression principle and, in no uncertain terms, oppose the initiation of force.

Surely we can all accept and agree to a solitary law that holds the prohibition against causing harm or loss to another as its only, and defining, stipulation.
And if there is any doubt that this is true, should such a potentially world saving theory not at least be put to the test?

This one law, to govern all others, that prohibits the initiation of force, which can give birth only to laws that prohibit you from causing harm or loss to another, is the only law that can be enforced without using the initiation of force. This is true by definition.

It is our collective treaty to each other, our social agreement, or social contract if you prefer, that our society/societies agree to that one defining condition.
Such an agreement would guarantee our freedom in the most iron clad way conceivable and is quite possibly not just the best way to achieve such freedom but in fact the only way it can be done.

Left vs Right
I’ve listened to the left wing argument and the right wing argument (not the puppet parties that pretend to represent them, I mean the actual people who hold those political allegiances) and while there are obvious exceptions, like people who do not even realise what left wing or right wing even traditionally represents in political terms (a confusion compounded by the insincerity of the political parties) the fact is both the left wing and the right wing have some virtuous ideals and valid points mixed with complete insanity.

If the people of each persuasion took more effort to look at the virtues of the other side and the insanities on their side they may get closer to seeing the common ground that unites them.
They just need to throw away the insanity that divides them, especially when they don’t even really support those insanities, morally speaking, but rather just accept them as unwanted baggage to their political leanings.

The fact that both sides represent such glaring contradictions within their ideology is an indication of what is referred to here.
For example, though many professed “conservatives” or right wing supporters urge for stricter government controls on what they would define as morality and personal behaviour, the traditional right wing political stance is actually to have less government.

Small government has always been the traditionally accepted tenant of the right wing.
While it is not practiced by their political representatives, less government control and more liberty and freedom, in line with free market ideals, has long been a traditional motto of the right wing.

The irony of such liberty promoting rhetoric of a smaller government ethos is that the right wing is also associated with the ultra conservative hard line approach towards personal behaviours and what they deem to be morality, to the point of advocating ever increasing infringement on people’s civil liberties.

Traditionally conservatives have been keen to talk about the need for freedom and liberty when talking about economic policies, the free market, and when condemning social programs like the welfare state.
Yet, when it comes to foreign policy and domestic policies, concerning things like drug use, the cries for freedom become not just muted but actually reversed and a “hard line” authoritarian approach is often embraced.
They reject government interference when it comes to paying taxes to support welfare programs, but are happy to see expansion of government power when it comes to infringing on personal freedoms and supporting aggressive foreign policies.
These contradictions over the importance and relevance of liberty is astounding. And this has given rise to outright criminal hypocrisy.

But these contradictions are simply a result of having virtuous ideals mixed with insanities, which is something that both the left and right wing are guilty of.

The left wing has traditionally been the place for human rights movements, liberal approaches to personal behaviour, like drug use, support for equality and various other declarations of freedom.
They have traditionally condemned aggressive foreign policies and have often represented the more vocal opposition to wars, whether they involve conflicts with other nations or wars on the domestic population through things like the “war on drugs”.
Yet such declarations of freedom and such a professed devotion to liberty is contradicted by the endorsement of state violence and socialism, both of which drive oppression.

The total abandonment of morals involved in supporting state violence is so far from the liberal ideals of freedom that, like with the right wing contradictions, the differences can only be described as insane and illogical.

Like with the right wing contradictions, it does not take much for the left to sort the sanity from the insanity, the right from the wrong.
Just a bit of self examination and unbiased analysing, combined with some pretty basic logic and moral consistency, should illuminate where the virtue lies and where the insanities lurk.

If both sides of this political divide (and please remember I am still talking about the people, not the puppet parties pretending to represent them) simply stepped back and woke up to the insanities associated with their own political leanings, as well as exercising a little empathy to try and sniff out the virtue from the other side, then they would see the common ground that could potentially unite them all.

If both sides woke up to the insanities that have claimed residence under their political wing and left that nonsense behind, taking only the virtuous beliefs they know to be true, then they’d both have a much better chance of seeing through the fog of bullshit that keeps them in this political divide and they may just see the common ground where we can all agree to live.

There are many who have recognised the puppetry of modern politics and have argued that a more profound and fundamental change is needed.
But even in this more enlightened arena, idealistic divides have prevented us from recognising our common ground.
For example, just as there is a political left and right for those who still play that game, there is a similar divide in ideology even among those who wish to leave the current system.
A divide that has many similarities to the political influences of the left wing and the right wing.

There are the resource based economies proposed by movements like the Venus Project or Zeitgeist movement or even the moneyless society proposed by groups like the Free World Charter which seem to be born more out of left wing virtues and ideals (despite being far removed from them in many ways).
Alternatively we have the stateless free market society ethos and anarchist or libertarian ethos promoted by libertarian philosophers, which, despite the left wing connection to libertarians, actually appears to have more in common economically with traditionally right wing ideals, particularly regarding the virtues of the free market.
Regardless of such stark contrasts and fundamentally different ideologies, both sides can unite on a common ground.

If those still trapped in the political divide can wake up, and I insist that they can (regardless of whether they will), then the more aware, awake, educated and morally motivated people in the “change” movements should be able to push aside their fundamental differences and find a common ground where they can move forward together as well.

The solution proposed here should please both sides, regardless of political backgrounds, leanings or sympathies.
It should be something that all the “change” groups can embrace with ease and enthusiasm.
Even the most sceptical should see the logical strength of this proposal, even if they doubt the practicality.

Indeed, I strongly believe that all reasonably decent and intelligent people can, should, and hopefully would, support and recognise this common ground for the pure and simple sanity it is.

When I look at the two contrasting ideals where one movement/ethos proposes allowing the free market to be the new unmolested driver of society, finally free of state interference, where as other movements propose the more socialist like societies of the resource based economy or the money free societies where people work together for mutual benefit, I see no reason why we cannot have a fundamental agreement based on the non aggression principle that prohibits the initiation of force (basically what Nations of Sanity is representing and promoting) so that both ideals can be pursued, along with any variants, combinations or alternatives.

Is that not what freedom is truly supposed to be? The freedom to pursue happiness how we see fit? The freedom to work together in communities if we want or the freedom to go it alone, independently taking ownership over our own efforts, if we choose?
The freedom to live how we want and do what we want.

As long as we are not hurting anyone else, who can rationally argue that such a freedom is anything other than a sane, reasonable and just demand?

Those who believe free trade without the interference of state violence is the answer can persue that ideal while those who wish to form collectives or even create money free societies are free to do so too.
As long as neither party violates the non aggression principle then no one can have any complaints.

This same ridiculously simple principle (ridiculous that it has not always been the governing principle in society) can be applied to every situation and to all concerns.
Religious freedom gets to reap the exact same benefits as long as it abides by the non aggression principle, as do all lifestyle choices and beliefs.
To use an obvious example, Muslims are free to practice their religion but are not free to impose on others.
If they want to wear burkas they should be free to do so, but if they want to impose Sharia law on others, they are not free to do so.

It is quite simple. On the common ground presented by the Nations Of Sanity you are completely free as long as you do not cause harm or loss to another, as long as you do not impose your way of life onto another or violate the rights of others, you are free to do what you want and live how you want.
This level of freedom would guarantee the freedom of religion but it will also grant us the freedom from religion as it would reject any claim of dominance or rule.

Free expression must be absolute. Freedom must be absolute and for all.
So it doesn’t actually matter who is right about the best way to use our freedom and the optimum way to live our lives.
What does matter is that we actually obtain our freedom, so that we are all free to pursue the way of life that appeals to us the most.
That is the consequence of true freedom.

You see regardless of whether you think that the free market is the embodiment of freedom and liberty and the self sustaining regulator of society, and that money free or resourced based economies are socialism inspired utopian fantasies, that cannot work in the real world, it simply does not matter.
You have no power to impose on them just as they have no power to impose on you.
Likewise, it does not matter whether you believe such cooperative systems and communities are the only way to evolve as a society and it is the inherent greed driven flaws of capitalism allowed to flourish in a free market that will hold people back, you are free to pursue what you deem a greater path, but you must not force others to take your path.

Once again, the freedom that protects you from capitalist rule and imposition also protects them from socialist oppression and control (and vice versa).
Regardless of which side of that philosophical debate you land, or whatever ideas and ideals you think should shape your way of life, you are free.

As long as you do not impose on others, as long as you do not interfere with or violate the liberties and personal freedoms of others, you are free to do what you want, individually and collectively.

The only thing that matters is that those who embrace the free market understand that no amount of money or capital gains will buy them the right to initiate force or cause harm or loss to another.
Just as those pursuing community driven collectives and money free systems cannot ever resurrect the state, and its inherent violence (not even with the use of democratic processes) to violate the non aggression principle by using state violence and coercion to sustain its programs and collectives.

Everyone is free to embrace and pursue whatever way of life they choose and the only rule, the only law, the only condition that we must all swear to live by is “thou shall not cause harm or loss to another”.

That’s it. Not only is this one condition, this one agreement, this one and only defining law far easier to agree to, abide by and sustain, but it is the only moral answer that can possibly grant us true freedom.
It is the only sane choice.

Can anyone argue with such a principle?
Can anyone say that a society governed by that and that alone is anything but a representation of sanity, long overdue after centuries of insane oppression?
If anyone thinks they can, then they are invited to take the challenge and make their case. 
But so far this proposal remains unshakable in its moral foundations and its practical viability.

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