The American Confederation Society

The American Confederation Society is a proposed organization dedicated to reform the imperial United States of America into a humble American Confederation. This confederation would look more like our confederal government under the Articles of Confederation than our federal/imperial government under the Constitution.

The Confederal Government would be truly predicated on the consent of its participant states – including their right to unilateral withdrawal – and could come to include any states that met our accession criteria, including Canadian provinces or Mexican states. But before we consider enlarging our club, we must first put our own house in order.

All decisions not related to defense, keeping the borders open between states, or settling disputes between states would be handled by the sovereign state governments. Hopefully, those state governments will exercise little force over their citizens, but the plethora of states and open borders will allow residents to vote with their feet if one state goes sour. Affecting policy within a state will be handled by the Free State Society, Libertarian Party, or other freedom-organization of that state. The Confederation Society will be free to make recommendations to state governments on strategies to increase liberty, including the use of sortition and range voting to select legislatures, strengthening constitutional bills of rights, and preventing unions and corporations from undermining the civil power.

The program will include:

• Empower the Senate. If President of the Senate (Vice-President) can command majority of the Senate, then he may represent the Senate. If not, then he will select a President Pro Tempore who can command majority to represent the Senate.

• Disempower President into figurehead. President may select and dismiss Cabinet (Order of Administration) and Supreme Court (Order of Adjudication) only on the advice of the Senate.

• Disband House of Representatives. Senate becomes known as the ‘Congress of the Confederation’ and its members as ‘Delegates.’ President becomes ‘President of the Confederation, in Congress Assembled’ selected by anti-voting (to be explained in a later post) in Congress. President of the Senate (Vice-President) and Speaker of the House merged into ‘Speaker for the Congress,’ commanding a majority in the Congress and directing the Cabinet. Repeal direct election of Senators (17th Amendment) in favor of selection determined by the laws of the States.

• Repeal 16th Amendment, Commerce Clause, and other onerous parts of the Constitution. Disband the Federal Reserve and eliminate federal jurisdiction over currency. Disband the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the NSA, and all other federal criminal organizations. Disband the myriad federal departments that do not deal directly with defense.

• Make federal land and assets available for homesteading in order to reduce federal holdings to those which are necessary to pursue its limited functions.

• Default on the federal debt and entitlement obligations. It wasn’t our fault that our imperial masters sold our futures down the river for their political expedience. Consequences will be limited if we no longer depend on a fiat currency that could potentially devalue.

There is more about the Confederation Society here. I am in the process of drafting proposed Articles of the Confederation Society. Each current federation or large nation-state has its own challenges in becoming a peaceful confederation. Hopefully, I can address a potential program for several of them in future posts. If you believe in this program, please start a local chapter of the Confederation Society, keep me in the loop, and check back for more innovative reform strategies and proposals.

Prometheus Unbound

I just stumbled upon The Prometheus Institute, which closely mirrored a dream I had for a Web 2.0 liberate meeting place. Though it often tries too hard to be hip, the site does employ the sophisticated web design necessary to communicate libertarian ideas legitimately. But guys, not to be unappreciative, but where the heck are the interactive elements? The site doesn’t even have a forum.

I don’t know how many radical liberals have heard of a site called Ravelry, but it is a good example of a Web 2.0 site that serves its niche well. It’s niche happens to be knitters/crocheters, but the fundamentals are the same. Users each have a profile; they can share information in myriad ways; they can create projects and keep other people abreast of their progress; users have spontaneously created phenomena such as ‘testers’ which give feedback on other people strategies and finished works. A libertarian version could allow people to create pages for their local classical liberal societies. We could finally abandon the egregious fees of meetup.com! Or at the very least get people talking on a pride-inducing, flashy website.

On this point, I propose cross-pollination between The Prometheus Institute and Bureaucrash. Both are energetic, insurgent organizations run by youths (if funded by adults). Bureaucrash had the ingredients of the site I envision, with their innovative ‘cell’-based network and fostering of online user identities. They, however, didn’t have the organization, programming aptitude, and critical mass of users to keep the project going. Bureaucrash seems to have lapsed now into an RSS syndicator with periodical original content.

I’m not slamming Prometheus or Crash. Doing something is better than nothing, and both of these players have had a huge impact. I met many libertarian friends in college through Bureaucrash, and they supplied me with my favorite clothing. It was an outlet, and a home, especially because in New Orleans it was hard enough finding the politically interested, much less politically principled. The Prometheus Institute I don’t know personally, but I’ve read that their youthful spirit has caught the eye of major media. Kudos to both organizations, and thank you for existing. But, please, look at each other, and deliver unto me that killer app which spreads liberty like wildfire.