The Erosion Of Freedom Of Association And Social Breakdown


It’s about 25 years now that I’ve been a pretty philosophically-politically libertarian guy, classically liberal in key areas, you might say, in the spirit of The Enlightenment. When this shift in ideas came about for me, I read, and I read, and I read some more. Then one day, I’d had enough of reading and began writing things myself.

During this time since, I’ve been involved in every debate over political philosophy and public policy imaginable, most topics in the dozens or hundreds of times and in retrospect, much of that history seems like a blur to me, now.

But one thing is very clear without exception I can think of: every single political, philosophical, or policy argument or debate I have ever engaged in has one key element. I’m always arguing, fundamentally and by all implication, an absolute right of Freedom of Association (and its logical counterpart, disassociation). By contrast, every opponent, without exception I can recall, is in some way or another arguing for coerced association or disassociation—usually because unless you force people into social and trade associations against their will, or bar them from certain associations they might seek, some “bad thing” happens.

Consider all the “bad things” that would happen if freedom of association wasn’t outlawed, which it is; there are only legally permitted and prohibited associations and disassociations pretty much worldwide, now.

Think on it, without me providing a list. How very many social problems are fundamentally the result of people, groups, and businesses being either coerced into associations they don’t want, or barred from associations they do want.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Karl on July 17, 2016 at 15:22

    Prime example: marriage.
    To me, the problem with humanity is the allotment of the earth to groups that claim, for a variety of reasons this or that part of the earth to be theirs. You would have thought that by now humans would have been smarter than other animals and found a solution for the inconveniences of the basic instinct to protect your territory as an individual or a pack. Basically we are still little mammals that mark our grounds by pissing on the borders, with the difference that it is our “dear leaders” that decide where to piss and which borders we consequently have to respect. And within these borders we have to follow rules that get crazier every day.
    Meanwhile the same dear leaders are allowing a group of backward religious fucktards in their territory of whom we know that they seek to take over the world and they give them allowances. Because we have to help cute kitties.
    It’s either this or that. Either I can go to mekka and have drink with friends and then they are welcome to perform whatever funny ritual they feel the need to do in my home, OR they exclude themselves from the modern world, abstain from drink and fun (hahaha, as if they could) and stay where they are and we won’t bother them. If all these people in backward land ( Califate to them) are happy to follow their rules, let them happily cut of whichever body part they like, enjoy stonings and whatever vile fantasy they can come up with.
    Ok, a bit off topic, but, on the other hand; freedom of association: it would be a good time for governments all over the world to associate with the right kind of allies. I mean USA and Saudi, not so much. Restart the shale oil and gas and expose the Saudis for what they are, refuse another drop of their only reason for existence, oil. And make sure nobody else will get the oil either.

  2. Audacity17 on July 17, 2016 at 21:47

    Yes, our courts have destroyed the right of association. It needs to be restored and ‘live and let live’ needs to become a thing again.

  3. Lisa Truitt on July 18, 2016 at 14:23

    Hi Richard. I was searching your blog on different topics today. In one article I think I remember seeing that you said you decided not to market your fiber formula and that you would post the recipe for it instead. Is that right and did you? If so could you help me find the post?


    • Richard Nikoley on July 18, 2016 at 14:56

      Hi Lisa:

      Actually, something is coming very soon around the corner on that score. All I can say, but very exciting.

      Won’t be long. Probably mere weeks.

  4. Todd on July 18, 2016 at 15:14

    There’s a certain all or nothing element involved as well. People/organizations get offended if you don’t buy-in completely. You can’t take just this or leave that.

  5. Bret on July 19, 2016 at 04:07

    I notice this erosion of freedom big time with regard to blacks and gays. Being political special interest groups, they are always being painted as victims, and the remedy from dear leader Democrats is to force everyone to play in the sandbox together.

    Asians are also minorities, but never used as political props or the subject of collectivist social engineering. In spite of this lack of “help,” they appear to be doing just fine on all measurable & subjective fronts.

    The political attention given to the former is what has kept them repressed, by far. It gives them every reason to assume that any setback or unmet expectation is the result of deliberate oppression by a corrupt “system,” rather than viewing the situation as a problem to adapt to and overcome, like anyone else with a disadvantage (real or perceived) would have to do. Instead, the solution that springs to mind for many of them is to go wave posters, scream a lot, and demand even more political attention. It’s a tragic, disgusting waste of human talent, intellect, and motivation.

    You’ll never in a million years hear that analysis from a left leaner. Despite the Asian paradox, lefties will insist, and vehemently, that blacks, gays, etc would be far worse off today if not for all the enabling political action.

    • Jen W. on July 19, 2016 at 06:01


      Sonnie Johnson, the black conservative who writes and does podcasts for Breibet, has been trying to bring what you said to the black community’s attention for some time.

    • Bret on July 19, 2016 at 08:58

      I’m glad there are blacks out there setting the right example. It is unfortunate that they have to compete against the likes of Al Sharpton and Barack Obama, who seem to have way more people’s attention.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2016 at 09:39

      Here’s a pretty damn fine, short speech by Milo, who emphasizes enlightenment principles, from the perspective of a Brit.

  6. Woodchuck Pirate on July 19, 2016 at 09:43

    Taxation is theft. Thieves make worst leaders.

    “Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters.” – Bob Dylan

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

  7. Jennifer Wilson on July 19, 2016 at 22:01

    I used to argue with people about politics. I spent many hours devouring propaganda so I could rattle off statistics and catch phrases that would make my opponent shiver in his/her boots. And then I realized… wow. These are all just distractions. I mean, the mainstream news, even the indie news outlets rarely report on the TPP. The NDAA went off without a blip on the radar. So what’s the point of following? Seems to me, much of this is just orchestrated to take our focus of the real goings on. Also, it reeks of 2-minute hate.

    Anyway, you’re for Trump, aren’t you? He’s going to win, so you know. Good publicity, bad publicity… whoever has their face in the news the most gets elected, you should know by now. Also, you should know, it won’t make a lick of a difference, because the president holds no real power. No, even the executive order requires permission from the overlords. Believe it! Or don’t. Merlot.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2016 at 00:29


      You are singing and shouting my tune in ways. Not in others.

      I have always been rather idealistic. I voted for Reagan in 1980, barely old enough. That’s what young and dumb amounted to, back then. It took until about 1992 and my vast support of Perot to cure me of politics.

      I gave half-hearted effort to Harry in ’96.

      Nothing will ever change.

      No, I am not for Trump, I’m just against Cunt.

    • LaFrite on July 20, 2016 at 02:41

      Bread and games, as they say.

  8. Hap on July 20, 2016 at 08:47

    Politics may be disgusting……but it is inevitable. That’s why our founders labored to create a structure in an attempt to limit the destructive proclivities of unchanging human nature and concentrated state power. They worried about tyrannies. They did well with what they had. They understood the institutions they created and those they hoped would check them i.e. The media…..and education would not become thoroughly corrupted. They knew it was imperfect and inconsistent in ways with the stated ideals. They did not comprehend the murderous utopian fantasies to come…..but we were warned to be on guard, to stand up, and not be shouted down by bullhorns and slogans.

    The merely good is not to be presented as the enemy of the perfect and no self loathing or apologies necessary. We had one civil war…..that should have been enough. What has been lost through politics…in our system must be regained by politics and forceful opposition…yes it is disgusting. Checking out is a short term strategy. We are left with our attempts at individualism and our political devices. Against the c***.

    • Woodchuck Pirate on July 20, 2016 at 15:55

      Hello Hap,

      I’m not interested in seeking your conversion. Regarding your paradigm on “founding fathers” as represented in your post, could you please tell me what percentage of your statement(s) is “leap of faith”? I sometimes wonder if those who have diametrically opposite opinions to mine have simply traded truth for faith. I wonder what opportunity cost is being paid by them or me, as the cost of diametrically opposite opinions is by definition disparate.

      From my viewpoint cleansed of patriotism-statism-obedience-dependence, I’ve not any percentage of motivation to extend charity to statism at any point in history per its obvious and diametrical opposition to freedom. No government has ever been created to establish or maintain freedom, and the so called “founding fathers” were slave owners not by coincidence but by purely evil intent. Neither am I in the collectivist camp that says children are not born into the original state of consciousness where interconnectedness is a homogeneous trait. As a child I refused to learn that slave owners were not monsters. That refusal remains consistent. Invoking reason suggests if faith were not implemented would they not be referred to objectively as “founding slave owners”? Is faith not a vehicle for system slavery? Is not every leap of faith a tax on consciousness? This is my paradigm and diametrical opposition, and I could not void it for money or another breath of air. So you may see. I am curious by nature. I see no mystery in the human condition. I wonder if the majority is obsessed with self hatred, and if so, how caustic must the environment devolve before shattering the obstacles they maintain rejecting enlightenment. Is this really the outcome of “founding slave owners”?

      It’s always been obvious to me that I was led by evil people through gov’t indoctrination, confirmed with every lie told to me about “founding fathers” and by what existed outside the window. Training sessions to leap and hide under my desk left little doubt that “school” was just another component of hell. The only hell I knew for five years prior to kindergarten I called home. Despite “home hell” being only a quarter mile away there were no bombs falling and no bells ringing there. Neither was there any goofy ritual of standing with hand over heart memorizing a chant directed at the colorful cloth hanging on a pole in the corner. The grown up hell was deliberately demented by many people, not just the two freaks I called Mom and Dad.

      I studied so-called “grown ups” and their twisted ideas enduring a stolen childhood. Never did I accept their command to “leap in faith”. I remember 1971, 12 years old 7th grade, walking out of school disturbed by the day’s final “lesson” that love of country was the highest love of all. I can revisit that moment standing on the schoolyard looking across the road at the boneyard and knowing I had heard everything I ever needed to hear from “grown ups”. It was done. I was on my own and there was no security that I would live to be eighteen years old. One of my classmates hung himself that year, obviously the “control” was a myth and I preferred the role model Alice Cooper over anyone and everyone. Five years later I left home three days after my seventeenth birthday with nothing but a gym bag full of clothes. My stepdad hunted most the night but nobody would tell him where I was and the law was against him. I’d run out the clock a year early. He’d break no bones that night. I knew freedom in that very moment I walked out the house that morning, and I never met anyone in my life that knew more about it than I did and do now. I owe the founding slave owners nothing. Fuck the monsters. I’ll make no excuses for myself or anyone else. Politics is not inevitable any more than system slavery is. One follows the other.

      Enjoy your evening, I really enjoyed your post.

      Woodchuck Pirate
      aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

  9. hap on July 21, 2016 at 08:47


    Appreciate your thoughts and mind exercise for all our benefit. Do I sign on.? Sorry no…..but I do not completely disagree either. You speak of various paradoxes which should always suggest a reexamination of essential premises. Our solutions differ but I admire your passion for freedom.

    • Woodchuck Pirate on July 22, 2016 at 12:34

      Hello hap,

      Thank you for your reply, it was helpful. I awoke before dawn with our conversation on my mind. While waiting for the sun to arise I collected my observations and share them with you now. Have a very nice day.

      My passion for freedom manifests from validated thought processes implemented through exercising my virtue of selfishness.
      Civilized man (system slave) is obsessed with rejecting freedom and selfishness, committed to the fallacy of civilization.
      Civilization is never sustainable; the snake eats its tail.
      The smallest government will always grow to be the largest.
      Civilization manifests as suffering for system slaves, a natural devolutionary response to eradicate system slavery.
      Enlightenment can not be withheld or given away, one can only free the animal within.
      The uncivilized man awakens daily to freedom and animalism.
      The collapse of civilization is sustained by infinite truth.
      The undifferentiated brutality of history is vengeance.

      Woodchuck Pirate
      aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

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