"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." ~ Frederic Bastiat
The Stateless Society: Some Ideas on How to Get There
In my last article, I briefly touched upon the nature of political outreach and how it could be beneficial in the eventual creation of a stateless society. In this piece, I have decided to expand upon this ideal and discuss methods of actually creating a market anarchist society.
We would all have to acknowledge that the world is overwhelmingly statist at present. However, if (or when!) our time comes, how should we actually implement our ideals? How should we properly institute the stateless society?
The breakdown of the US federal government
Stefan Molyneux, a market anarchist writer and podcaster based in Canada , has predicted within his podcasts that the downfall of the state could occur relatively soon. His rationale is based upon the actions of the US federal government. Since the national debt is continually increasing without check, Molyneux believes that the federal government will default on this debt and collapse, permitting the establishment of a genuine anarcho-capitalist society.
Molyneux's theory is intriguing, still I have some reservations regarding it. Would a market anarchist USA indirectly influence other areas into abolishing the state? It could, considering the economic and cultural predominance that America enjoys today. On the other hand, the collapse of the world's only superpower could destabilise the world economically, leading to an increase in state power elsewhere in the world. I remain unsure whether my own country (the UK ) would revert to a less intrusive government, if the USA caved in from excessive governmental burdens. However, if a market anarchist America proves to be a successful, prosperous, safe and happy society then this may aid in converting other parts of the world into market anarchy.
Shrinking down to "constitutionally limited government"
The approach of creating a constitutionally limited government, as a stepping stone towards a market anarchist society, has been advocated by some. The late, great Harry Browne was a believer in this method, since he felt people could discuss how to further reduce the size and scope of government once the state fitted "inside" a constitution. Granted, the ideal of "limited government" is an oxymoronic one. Nevertheless, as an interim step, it could have some benefits.
A government contained or "chained down" by a constitution could make the larger population accustomed to a libertarian society. In this sense, the average person could learn how to live in a free society, based upon completely voluntary interaction. It could also determine how governmental lands/assets are to be sold off, and generally tie up the "loose ends" of the state prior to the complete eradication of government. I have written a draft 'limited government' for my own country, which can be viewed here.
In the end, I feel that outreach remains the greatest tool in regards to spreading market anarchist principles. But what would outreach entail, exactly?
1. Appealing to people directly at public events
In a fashion similar to the Advocates for Self-Government, market anarchists could man stalls at public events in which they disseminate information about market anarchy, recruit new market anarchists and talk to people pertaining to increasingly intrusive government. People would then be aware of alternatives to the statist status quo.
2. Organise periodical gatherings, events and parties
This would aid in creating a 'community' of market anarchists. Such people could network, share ideas and perhaps create new methods of achieving the stateless society. These activities may also make people realise that they aren't alone in their views, and that others possess a great distrust of the state. It would also help in securing the next generation of market anarchists.
3. Make media appearances
Appearing in various media, be it TV, radio, the press, etc. can also be beneficial in presenting market anarchist values to the public. When hearing such views, some may be inspired by them and seek to advance market anarchist principles.
By utilising outreach, we would be gearing for a long-term struggle. Over time, enough people could be 'converted' to market anarchist values, for a 'public demand' to arise for the installation of a stateless society.
As market anarchists, we have to recognise that we have lost, for the time being. Still, it's up to us to create viable strategies of bringing about the implementation of our beliefs. I'm hopeful that, one day, the world will see a genuine and successful stateless society.