Making the State Irrelevant

Much of the pro-liberty movement (myself included) tends to focus on the role of education as the prime driver towards a freer world. Given that, ultimately, any regime is cemented in place by the will of the people, such a world is unlikely to thrive unless people are motivated to embrace their freedom while rejecting all forms of force and coercion.

While the role of education is, therefore, indispensable, thought needs to be given also to another critical aspect: the actual method of defeating and rejecting state power. While the political arena will be a critical forum, we should pay attention also to a seemingly more mundane possibility: making the state, and everything it does, simply irrelevant. Such irrelevance could be achieved by circumventing the state rather than seeking to actively overthrow it. How might we go about this?

Some examples are quite evident already. In spite of censorship, the internet (and increased accessibility to the world wide web through portable devices) has already rendered state control over the flow information much more difficult than it once was – at least, that is, for people who are willing to go searching for it. Indeed it is possible to suggest that any person today has quicker, better access to information than Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton did thirty to forty years ago.

Second, while digital technology is becoming increasingly synonymous with regimentation and control, we cannot overlook the fact that it provides us also with the wherewithal to circumvent the state. While the long term efficacy of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be doubted, it is not impossible to envisage how this or similar technology could make the private movement of wealth (or rights to wealth) possible, rendering state control over currency and capital less effective.

Finally, there is the increased possibility of both hard and soft secession – the former meaning a formal decoupling of a territory from a state’s jurisdiction, the latter referring to the kinds of things we have already discussed: ignoring, circumventing, or otherwise rendering the state inert through building alternative institutions and economies. The latter could even involve taking over parts of the existing state-corporate infrastructure. While, for instance, Elon Musk’s intention to restore Twitter as a true free speech platform is still in its infancy, wresting away the primary tool of state sponsored censorship is certainly a promising step forward.

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