By Kent mcManigal
The recent “slightly stronger than average” winds wreaked havoc at my house. My only tree — a big, ugly elm with which I had expressed displeasure only 24 hours earlier — decided to fall and tried to take my carport down with it.
It was only partially successful.
Within minutes, help arrived and the worst of the mess was being cleaned up. I had friends, family, and a stranger who just happened to drive by, all pitching in to get the situation under control.
The street in front of my house wasn’t even blocked for too long.
I’m not sure how all those helpful folks had planned to spend their Sunday afternoon, but I’m pretty sure their plans didn’t include helping me cut up a big tree in the midst of face scouring, eye-irritating, teeth-coating, ear-filling dirt and sand.
Contrary to the assumptions of those who dismiss the libertarian philosophy of voluntaryism, I didn’t have to threaten, force or bribe a single person to help me. It was total anarchy — and I mean that in the proper sense of the word: no one giving orders or using coercion; just regular people pitching in to help, applying their knowledge, skills and common sense to a situation — and solving it.
It’s not the first time I have been involved in a similar work party.
Even though I would prefer to have avoided the wind damage, I enjoy the almost festive atmosphere that spontaneously erupts when people come together to tackle a problem. It’s a satisfying kind of fun.
Throughout it all I never saw any representative of local government. Neither to lend a hand nor to dole out fines or warnings for having my tree block a “public roadway.” How would we ever survive without their guidance?
Just fine, thank you.
“Sure, but this was only small-scale” you might say. Sorry to disappoint the skeptics, but this is how the world always goes ’round. And I’m glad of it.
Countries don’t do anything, individual people do. Whether it’s helping a neighbor, or being tricked into conducting war against other individuals who are being manipulated by officials of a foreign “government.”
I admit that I didn’t seek permits, check the laws, or ask permission of anyone in authority before doing what needed to be done.
I didn’t try to discover whether the Environmental Protection Agency had declared the downed tree a critical habitat, or see if the local authorities insisted I follow procedure before commencing.
Because: “Freedom and Liberty!”
I didn’t even officially report the individuals I watched “steal” (or so they apparently believed) some of the cut up tree — I wish they had taken it all.
Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: