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The Society of Freeholders
The Society of Freeholders, also known as The Partnership of Freeholders, is a NeoViking mutual aid and protection society.
We secure to ourselves and our posterity all the things people wish governments would do, but never quite manage. There
are other NeoViking societies; we are merely one of several.
We do not have a government, we ARE the government. Just like any
group playing sandlot baseball, anyone can call “foul,” and everyone
enforces the rules. People take turns being umpire, and the game goes
With just a bit of forethought, all human society can be run like that, no
matter how large and numerous it may grow, and no matter what enemies
it faces. We’ve put in that forethought.
First, a candidate for the Freeholders must do a tour in the Terraformers.
We roam the world in LifeYachts, which we build ourselves, and someone
who wants to join us must have one and know how they’re built. They
must also demonstrate commitment to a clean planet by Terraforming.
When someone joins the Society, they sign a contract (the Compact) with all the other
members, also known as Partners or Freeholders. Every Partner owns their body and
their property completely, and only yields certain rights specified in the contract, and
takes on the right and responsibility to enforce the contract against any violator. When
a Freeholder sees, say, a mugging, we don’t call the police, we get weapons and
handcuffs, and pursue and arrest. Candidates for the Freeholders train for all this
while they’re in the Terraformers. It isn’t difficult.
Because our system of governance is based on a Freeholder’s complete authority
over their body and their property, it’s called “Omniarchy,” which simply means, “total
Freeholders each have a seat on the High Council, which sets military, financial,
research, educational, and trade policy, and tries appeals of capital Violations of the
Compact. A Freeholder agrees by signing the Compact to attend High Council three
years out of five, and to serve in the military for a certain number of months every so
often. That service continues until Retirement, at which point a Freeholder has all the
rights of a Partner, but no military or governance responsibilities.
There is no difference between a civil and a criminal violation of the Compact: one
either Violated it, or one didn’t. There are also no sentencing guidelines, only two
rules. One, for Violations which can be made good with money, the penalty is twice
the damage. For Violations which cannot be made good with money, such as rape or murder, the penalty will be either
Banishment or Putting Ashore. Penalties of Banishment or Putting Ashore are automatically appealed to the High Council.
Juries are formed by drawing names from those Freeholders who have no conflict of interest in the case. A Freeholder whose
brother, for example, is accused of a Violation will have his name withdrawn from the pool of potential Jurors before the
drawing is done. Once the Jury is drawn, the Freeholder who’s been a Partner the longest is Foreman, and conducts the
proceedings much like a judge in today’s courts, but has no vote unless there’s a tie.
Everyone performing any Partnership business, such as serving on a Jury, is paid at the average rate of income across the
whole Partnership. That rate is established every year by the Finance Council. If we were using this system today in the US,
a Juror, Clerk, or Sheriff would receive about $28 per hour. When a Jury reaches a verdict, the loser pays for their time out of
his or her own money, in addition to whatever penalty is lain upon them.
The High Council may establish lesser Councils, such as a Safety
Council, to set policy on various matters. These Councils may not
make any rule affecting property or persons, only the relationships
between Freeholders, or between Freeholders and Outsiders. A
Foreign Trade Council, for example, may limit certain imports, or
require the collection of a tariff on imports or exports by the
Freeholder conducting the trade, but they may not forbid ownership
of anything, nor attempt to control a thing in any way while it is owned
by a Freeholder. The Safety Council may make a ruling that when
taking passengers, a Freeholder must either supply a functioning
seat belt, or offer to let the other drive, but they cannot require that a
Freeholder have a seatbelt unless and until s/he takes a passenger
who doesn’t want to drive and doesn’t want to waive their right to a
The Society of Freeholders is voluntaryist to the core.
“Voluntary” applies to the signing of the Compact and the powers of the various Councils. After that, there are obligations,
such as military service. The only way to avoid those is to resign from the Partnership, which can only be done while one is in
compliance with the Compact. You can’t, for example, commit murder and then resign to avoid being Put Ashore.
Membership on Lesser Councils is determined by drawing names, also of people with no conflict of interest. A restaurant
owner, for example, would not be suited to sit on the Public Health council. Once a Freeholder has served on a Lesser
Council, they may not serve on that Council again until they’ve served on all the other Councils. In other words, there are no
politics among us, and no positions of power into which the wealthy or unscrupulous might maneuver their agents.
The Society of Freeholders is a sexually conservative NeoViking Society. Sexual relations may only be conducted within a
marriage contract between a man and a woman, and no Freeholder may make such a contract with anyone who is not a
Freeholder. Children and the handicapped are not Freeholders, they are part of the Protected Class. Freeholders who
become disabled are Retired, and Retired Freeholders are still Freeholders, and so have
the right to make marriage contracts. For those wanting a more sexually liberal society,
there will likely be several which form using
Omniarchy as their way of governance;
seek them out.
Money is created by Freeholders putting in
time on Partnership business, whether
that’s sitting on a Jury, painting the Council
Hall, or serving on a Council. There is no
better basis for money than time spent
improving the society, because everyone has the same amount of time, and
creating money based on volunteering that time makes money available to
everyone at the same rate and under the same conditions. The Finance
Council and other Councils establish the amount and type of work available, and
Freeholders in need of money sign up for any of the jobs they’re qualified for. The Finance Council also creates an amount of
money every year calculated to keep the value of the currency stable, with neither
inflation or deflation. Part of that is pay for the Freeholders who attend High
Council, part of it is budget for the military, and part of it is budget for other Societal
Departments such as the Research Council.
Life’s Tough. It’s Tougher If You’re Stupid.
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