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Individual Sovereignty

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Basic concept

Individual Sovereignty means that the Individual is the sovereign of themselves, with complete and unrestricted power to rule over their own minds and bodies. In other words to be free from the tyranny of some external 'sovereign'. Support for Individual Sovereignty therefore necessitates opposition to authoritarian dominion over individual choice in thought, sexuality, informed consent, food, medicine, recreational intoxication, religious/magical sacrament and other decisions that affect the individual. It also necessitates opposition to actions such as...

  • Rape: where one individual forces themselves sexually upon another against their sovereign consent.
  • Spiking: where a sovereign decision not to partake of a medicine, or intoxicant, is broken through deceit.
  • Violence: a non-consensual physical attack against, causing wounding to the body, possibly even death (murder).


Relevant Quotes

These quotes reflect the spirit of individual sovereignty although they may leave loopholes to be exploited by those seeking not to respect it. They are included in this article to help

  • One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter. - Bhuddism, Dhammapada 10. Violence
  • Do what thou wilt. - Fran├žois Rabelais
  • Every man has a Property in his own Person. - John Locke
  • There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will. - Aleister Crowley
  • Every man and every woman is a star - Aleister Crowley
  • Do not do unto others as you would expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. - Goerge Bernard Shaw
  • An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will - Wiccan Rede
  • Every man, woman and child (and everyone else) is a Pope! - Principia Discordia


Further thoughts

Individual sovereignty is the principle of extending respectful regard and a supposition of autonomous competency (at whatever skill level) to all encountered beings. It is a pre-legitimizing framework whereby authority is identified and presumed resident to all whom one encounters; a stridently cooperative and exhuberantly supportive advance into an unknown and potentially fruitful xenophilia.

The arbiter of preference and quality being the sanctified and sovereign individual, the internal terrain of a fairly solipsistic and self-negating internal kingdom may be ruled by, and therefore expressing to those around them, an uncouth or loutish demeanor. This being the case, such qualities will elicit a proper and refining response from the forebearant observer. Absent or beyond that, avoidance and exile are also appropriate options selected by the comparably regal.

That is, within the bounds of Individual Sovereignty, personal boundary-setting is distinguished and separated absolutely from moral judgement, pragmatism serving as the primary directive in a cooperative mutual supposition of good will. Taking the moral high ground is reserved for one's personal temple or for jousting social arenas, and the aggressive approach of someone treating others to this in public is seen as indisciplined zealotry. Such behaviour from a guest in one's lair might be interpreted at worst as an invasive and unwarranted offense, and at best a demonstration of one's lack of civil conduct and good sense.

The character of the authority being 'individual' restricts this principle's application to singular organisms (often adults and citizens of nations with mature responsibilities), and away from corporate identities whose numbers or position might otherwise be weighted differentially given social contexts of operation and consequence. One should not expect special treatment from social entities based on this standard of interpersonal regard.

The metaphor of 'sovereignty', derived as it is from social contexts, describes an unimpeded and, to a certain extent, divinely-mandated, authority where the parameters of her personal values, tastes, and opinions are circumscribed. Having been offered up for evaluation, this may subject them to scrutiny of a type inclusive of monarchic respect and honour, regardless of her actual social station or educational stature. Discussion on its own, and displaying the holding of any particular opinion or value, does not forfeit this position for those applying the standard of Individual Sovereignty.

Particular esoteric principles emphasizing individualism and autonomy approximate in kind the character of Individual Sovereignty, and yet they are inevitably co-opted toward debilitating and undermining alternatives with a change of social venue, philosophical exponent, or host character. Modern principles such as 'The Law of Thelema' (reflecting off of Rabelais' "Fay ce que vouldras", a comparable advocation that the one addressed ought or should feel free to as they would like) are turned by their religious proponents into restrained ethical paradigms requiring conformance to some unknown and unseen substitute authority for one's own sovereignty.

Ultimately those principles eschewing offence and encouraging humility are those which, when applied in a mature and rational manner, unhampered by the edicts of hierarchs, come the closest to an application of the principle of Individual Sovereignty. The focus is not so much decorum, as would be described by such authoritative sources as Confucius' "Book of Rites" or other extensive religious codes of conduct, though its outcome of smooth interaction is a comparable aim. The emphasis is not a preservation of the individual integrity at all costs, such as might be dictated by the 'Wiccan Rede' or some other moral injunction(s) that may prove to be hobbling in their attempts to avoid harm, but its reluctance to intrude and interfere in the individual's internal affairs has a similar end at heart. The problem with the 'an it harm none' clause, is that some adherents of the Wiccan Rede use this to justify authoritarian positions on the principle that they 'are protecting people from themselves'.

Just as society may not easily accept the abrogation of responsibility on the part of the individual to respect and uphold the sovereignty of its official, divinely-appointed monarch, likewise those who maintain the importance of the principle of Individual Sovereignty do not easily accept the abrogation of responsibility on the part of society to respect and uphold the sovereignty of the humble, divinely-imbued individual.




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