The minute you tell someone that you are a tenther, they assume that you are a conservative, because the Tenth Amendment has a lot to do with state’s rights. This much is true – tenthers are conservatives. But a different kind of conservative.

It is the kind of conservative that may believe in laws that regulate our behavior, but really doesn’t care what laws people implement in other states. A tenther assumes that I can ban drugs in my own state, but California is free to do otherwise. It seems to resemble libertarianism, but even some libertarians are OK with allowing a single government to rule over the entire society. And because of this they attempt to implement their ideas on that level.

A tenther can be a communist, a liberal, a conservative, a social conservative, or a libertarian. A tenther simply embraces the idea that everyone shouldn’t live under the same political authority. This allows different political positions to exist under the banner of tentherism, as long as each ideological position adheres to the idea that political authority is limited to a small geographic area within the larger society.

Each one of these positions will naturally dissolve in favor of individualism, because the minute you realize you are powerless over the entire whole of society, you stop attempting to use the political authority to make other people conform to your will. It becomes pointless to change the world through political power if that political power doesn’t exist over the entire world itself.

Tentherism allows individualism to flourish, because at the heart of individualism rests the idea that no authority exists over any individual. All men (and women) are created equal. This allows us to live in freedom because no earthly power can inhibit our own free-will. Dissolving a single political authority into several smaller ones, each governing over its respective area, moves us closer to that famous credo, because no jurisdiction can pass laws over the other. You can say that those jurisdictions have been created equal with respect to one another. The power of each collective to pass laws is limited to that collective itself, which means each collective lives free of the political authority of others. The people of one jurisdiction can’t tell the people of another what laws they are to live by, and each collective remains equal in authority to every other collective.

Imagine what would happen if you divided each collective in half repeatedly, and each half had the same political authority as before. Those new collectives would still possess the same freedom and equality as the previous larger one, and at some point you would have a collective of two people. Once you divide the remaining pair, it becomes impossible to divide in any further. You would have the smallest political unit possible – a “society” consisting of one person.

That person would maintain the same political authority over their own being as their previous collectives held, which would mean they would have the same immunity from other political authorities. That liberty would not be a collective liberty that made it immune from other collectives, but an individual liberty that has the same authority as the previous collectives.

This defines individual liberty. It assumes that a single person has all the same political authority over their own being as an entire society has over itself.

Edward Browning Bosley
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