‘Welfare, Minus the State’ by Will Schnack

Aside from offering direct benefits to the members as individuals, mutual aid societies also had a lot to offer culture. Most such groups put great emphasis on the growth of the individual, character building, hygiene, etc. Because individuals were united in community with others through contract, this extended a certain amount of positive liberty to members, who would concern themselves not only with their own lifestyle practices, but, since they were now also responsible— by way of dues, tithe, and other voluntary pooling of resources— for the prosperity of others, also with the lifestyle choices of members of their societies. After all, if you are sharing insurance with someone, it means you pay to solve their problems. This greatly incentivizes looking after the community’s wellbeing, and trying to stop problems before they start.

— Will Schnack, “Welfare, Minus the State