Today I became a member of Shield Mutual. Shield Mutual is the first implementation of a modern voluntaryist defense agency. It is a gray market company that is not incorporated with the state. The defense agency is owned and operated by well-known libertarian activist George Donnelly, whose mission is to be your greatest advocate should you be abducted by state, or non-state, affiliated criminals.
Shield Mutual is in its infancy, so it should be clear that it has its limitations. It is not going to send an armed platoon of mercenaries to bust you out of jail, killing all prison guards that get in their way. It’s not going to capture the law enforcement officers that initially kidnapped you and hold them for ransom until you are released. It’s not going to engage in any retaliatory or defensive violence to protect you from the state. At least not yet anyway.
What Shield Mutual will do, however, is come to your aide in any way it can, such as organizing call floods to the police department responsible, contacting media outlets, fund-raising, hiring a lawyer if desired, posting bail if desired, contacting family, friends, and/or colleagues to inform them of the situation. You name it.
There’s a lot that can be done that usually isn’t when peaceful people get thrown into cages. Often, an arrest can be financially devastating for the individual and family. While most people may have a close group of friends and family that sympathize with the victim’s plight, the sad truth is that there’s little they can do to help. They haven’t got the time, money, or knowhow to do anything effective. So, the victim usually goes it alone with little more than a few pats on the back and gets crushed by the state.
I joined Shield Mutual today not necessarily because I think they’re going to be able to protect me in the traditional sense. I joined for one main reason; I want to send market signals to the world that people are no longer just theorizing about voluntarily funded defense agencies, but actually putting their money where their mouths are. Do I think Shield Mutual is going to become as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola? Probably not. But I do think that if they start making decent money they’re going to get competitors. And as capitalists, we know what that means: greater value for consumers.
That’s not to say that Shield Mutual doesn’t already offer excellent value. In fact, I purchased a year’s membership for only $50(paid in Bitcoin). I hope I never need their services, but if I do I could very easily wind up with several thousand dollars worth of donations raised on my behalf, far exceeding the amount of annual dues. Even if the results of their actions turn out to be underwhelming it would be hard to lament a measly $50 wasted. The dues are so low that it’s essentially throw away money. If nothing else, I can consider it a donation to George Donnelly for actually putting the time and effort into pioneering a substantive market based defense agency.
I encourage you to do the same. It’s a small peace of mind knowing somebody’s got my back, even if in a limited capacity. Furthermore, I’d really love to see some defense agencies competing with each other over who can be a bigger thorn in the state’s side. But that’s never going to happen until the first defense agency gets off the ground.
Sign up today, and tell them Seth King sent you!