Warm greetings, dear Reader!
Today, Sunday, January 25th, 2009, seems like as good a time as any to open the doors of our new school, announce it to the world, divulge its purpose, and break open a bottle of champagne in celebration. (Only a statist would waste a perfectly good bottle of champagne by actually breaking it across the bow of a death-dealing vessel of war!). Settle into a comfortable chair while I put the champagne on ice...
The Anarchy School is a school for all free-thinking, open-minded individuals who yearn for freedom in our time - people like you, dear Reader. Its goal is to stimulate your imagination, provoke discussion and new ideas, and ultimately to formulate actual working plans to create a society completely free of coercive government. Together we will work out solutions that will get us from here - a world of freedom-crushing nation-states, to there... not Utopia, but a real, dynamic, and prosperous free society, the first of its kind in world history.
Lest you think this is pure fantasy, an unworkable dream for misanthropic malcontents, consider the following: as we shall see, there have been semi-anarchic societies in the past (e.g., ancient Iceland), and they exist today (e.g., Somalia). Consider also the current world-wide economic meltdown, and understand that it presents a golden (perhaps literally golden, in our new economic system) opportunity to secede from the States, which may well be collapsing all around us. We must be ready to seize the moment if and when it comes, possibly in the next decade. By then we will have graduated from this School, and have issued our Declaration of Independence.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself. Our first lesson today will be an exercise in free thinking, imagining what a free America would be like if the mistakes of the past could be rectified. Indulge me as I create an alternative history for America, beginning just after the victory at Yorktown...
Imagine that the secret Constitutional Convention never took place, and America remained a Confederation of truly independent states. Imagine further that free citizens of the several states managed, over a period of several decades, to institute voluntarist, tax-free societies through means that we will develop in our classes. How would America have evolved under those circumstances, with no Congress, no Supreme Court, and no President? With no tariffs, and no taxes at all? In an anarchic society, all money exchanges and all labor is voluntary; the early Americans would first have to abolish the slavery that existed, so true anarchy would have to wait until the economic conditions were right. We'll come to that shorty, dear Reader.
The year is now 1800...
With no federal budget to lard, we can assume no standing armies and no offensive wars take place. Thus, no War of 1812. There is also no Louisiana Purchase, of course. Lewis and Clark still get together and explore and map the West, seeking their fortunes. Wars with the Indians are avoided at all costs, as the settlers negotiate property rights with them, and acknowledge the Indians' property rights as well, for example to sacred burial grounds and hunting grounds. Indians are encouraged to help develop the new lands and share in the wealth, and eventually they're accepted as true American natives. The Americans expand westward in peace and harmony, and no new states are formed; the new lands are known simply as the Free Territory.
Meanwhile, free market capitalism fuels invention after invention, and prosperity is everywhere. As their experience, confidence, and wisdom grows, Americans gradually dismantle the old state apparatus, and abolish all forms of statist impediments to progress, including monopolist inventions such as copyrights and patents. The result is the dramatically increased pace of progress; by 1850, Americans have developed fully mechanised farming, and all slaves have been freed, as slavery is now economically as well as morally untenable. Progress is slowed slightly until the properties of petroleum are discovered, so steam engines dominate for a while, but soon the petroleum powered car is developed, and the first airplanes are invented. Private roads and airports are constructed or expanded to meet the new demand. Toll roads and bridges are everywhere, but tolls are extremely low to facilitate commerce.
The year is now 1865, and no Civil War occured to slow the advance of civilization. No Reconstruction foists tyranny on the former slave states. The gold standard has become fully institutionalized and accepted by this time, and no monetary crisis occurs due to bimetalism. America is the envy of the entire world, and a school of economics known as the American School is universally admired and studied. The benefits of anarchy and sound money are not seriously disputed, but governments are still entrenched in most of the world. The danger of war with foreigners remains very much on American minds.
There are many other problems, of course; anarchy does not cure all the faults of human beings. Murder, rape, robbery and fraud still exist. Human monsters still walk the land. But the problems and criminals are dealt with locally. The citizenry is universally armed, to keep the monsters at bay (and prevent them from forming gangs and governments!). The anarchic tradition grows stronger, and America thrives. The 1876 Centenial is a celebration of the greatest century of man's existence. What lies ahead?
Ah, dear Reader, we're coming to the really good part! But the rest of this alternate history story will have to wait for our next class. Be sure to visit again tomorrow, and bring your open, curious mind, with lots of questions.
That champagne should be good and cold by now. To your health!