A Non-State Within a State?
By Arnold Kling
Panarchist society could emerge and proliferate at the same time current society is in place. The community I referred to above would not directly change the coerced wage and trade agreement that we might be subjected to when we walk out the door and go to work.
Thus, there would and could emerge a truly pluralistic situation where people might be members of coercive society at the same time they were members of voluntary society. While voluntary society expanded, statist society could remain in place, evolving and accommodating to the newly emerging political realities.
But none of this requires that libertarians ask statists for permission to have liberty. And none of this requires that libertarians ask statists to change their ideology or political forms.
Read the whole thing (it’s a comment on a blog post). I’ll toss in random comments below.So, the suggestion is to start a non-state within a state. Have the non-state grow until, as Marx would put it, the state withers away.
But we have non-states now, and that does not seem to do the trick. Religious organizations are non-states. Corporations are non-states. ATM networks are non-states.
Elsewhere in the post, Knott indicates that having a marketable non-currency is important for a non-state. If frequent flyer miles were perfectly tradable, would we have a non-state then?
There are laws on the books which, if enforced, would make a non-state a non-starter. For example, one of the attractions of a non-currency in a non-state is that one could evade taxes. But technically, all transactions, including barter, are subject to the tax laws.
Actually, my sense that there are enough laws on the books for prosecutors to send anybody to prison. It’s pretty much a matter of convention what gets enforced and what doesn’t. Whether a non-state could make progress would depend on how convention evolves as the non-state starts to become a threat to political leaders.
A major point of Knott’s post is that he thinks it’s pathetic that libertarians should have to ask permission to obtain a right of exit from the state. I think that it’s inevitable at some point that you will have to ask for permission. If the non-state is a non-threat, it probably is a non-event. By the time it becomes a threat, things will get, er, interesting.
But that does not mean it is not a good idea for Knott to try to create a working model of what he would like to escape to. With entrepreneurs, I’d much rather see a working prototype than a business plan.