Among libertarians, there is a large minority, those of the “consistent” kind, that advocate or hope for the abolition of the state. Each of these abolitionist can tell you exactly why the actions of the state are unethical. Each can tell you why it is within your rights to destroy government property. None make arrangements for the order that would replace the state.

There is no real use for this “holier than thou” attitude, of saying taxation is theft, voting is rape etc. Moral proclamations or calls against logical or performative contradictions carry very little weight in the real world. There is also very little use for “Sedition Subversion and Sabotage” (a title of “an irregular warfare manual” against the state, by Ben Stone, of if abolishing the state will just lead to chaos.

As I believe to have demonstrated in my previous article, *an order* will have to be established even after the state is abolished. It would be a stateless, or “natural” order, but it would be an order nonetheless. There is no reason to think that simply abolishing the state would lead to a desired outcome, one of peace, order and prosperity. To believe so is to believe in a version of the Rousseau’s “noble savage”, or that man “not corrupted by the state” is naturally a moral man. For most of our past humanity lived in stateless societies. There was no shortage of brutal savagery in these stateless societies, nor were people always secure in their life and property. Abolishing the state is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition in creating a working free society.

The state provides us protection. It provides us with expensive protection of low quality, but it provides us with protection nonetheless. Would you be able to provide for your own protection? Do you have neighbors you can rely on, or neighbors you would need protection from? Would you be able to protect yourself from a burglar? How about a roaming gang of robbers? How about from your state? How about from the United States government? If you were able to protect yourself form the government, you would already be free, and there would be no need to have a conversation on libertarian strategy. The fact that we are helpless in the face of the state rule means that we must organize.

(Justice of Trajan, by Eugène Delacroix, 1840)
Be prepared to beg for justice, if you are unable to bring it about yourself

Even when we only discuss secession we must ask ourselves if the one or several seceding states will be able to work together to protect themselves as efficiently as one larger state could. And is a serious question that cannot be brushed aside. Aristotle recognized that to be free, one needs to have certain qualities that distinguish him form those who are “naturally slaves”. Some of those qualities are dependability, bravery, concern for justice, and above all else, being able to fulfill assumed obligations. That is true for individuals as well as polities, and even states.

The only way to protect against powerful states is to seek the aid of other men. And if we are to rely on others, others have to be able to rely on us too. We must demonstrate to each other that we are the kind of people that can be depended upon, that can be trusted. We must somehow demonstrate that we are willing and able to carry our part of the burden, when the need arises. We must also demonstrate that we can get along with others, that we can solve conflicts in a relatively peaceful way. If we cannot solve our disputes without involving the state, our calls to abolish it can and should be laughed off.

To be truly able to abolish the state, one must provide it with a working alternative. We must start building that alternative, that “natural order” right away, in the relative safety of the state order. Say what you may about state law, but presently we need worry about the roaming barbarian hordes that will dot the post-state landscape, if natural order is not strong enough.

To resist the state, one’s own state, foreign state, hypothetical state that would or would not emerge in anarchy, any state or even a barbarian horde one needs to organize. One needs to be a part of a grassroots network that will be made out of people that have demonstrated their willingness to come to the aid of each other when he is threatened. That is how rights are established, in the real world.

By not organizing, you consent. That is the reality. In common law, which is largely a reflection of the natural law, to be able to claim a property, you need to “act as if it was yours”. That includes resisting violations of it, in any way. If you consistently act as if you are not free, as if the state owns you, you lose the right to be treated as a free man. That is the reality. Your freedom is your responsibility, and if you are unwilling to fight for it, you do not deserve it.

Do not trust that corporations will be establish anarcho-capitalism for you. In South Africa, there are more private security than military and the police. Yet the private security firms are not thinking about overthrowing the government. And there is no reason that, in an event in which the state collapses, that the private firms would want to establish anarcho-capitalism over any other system. There is no reason that they would not create a statist system, or perhaps a version of feudalism, where we, the disorganized masses, will be allotted as serfs to one corporation or the other. Establishing freedom, and especially, freedom for yourself, will be your responsibility and your responsibility alone.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here