Comment: Setting aside ...

(See in situ)

Setting aside ...

... the absurd Armageddon scenario, we can see examples today of communities where large numbers of people must be forced to agree with the local rules, and yet they can never leave. Look no further than Cuba or North Korea.

Yet, we can also see examples of communities that follow the liberty model. Look no further than the 55+ community developments.

A developer buys some land and builds a community. He sells ownership in units to people who are 55 years old or older. In order to buy, they must agree to the deed restrictions, known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions ("CCRs").

Within the CCRs, we find that an owner can leave his unit to his heirs, but those heirs must agree to the CCRs or forfeit the property. Among the conditions are that they must also be 55+ to live there, or they can rent (this might or might not be allowed) to someone else who is 55+, or they can leave it vacant until they meet the requirements. If they don't agree, they have a period of time to sell, or else, their property is foreclosed.

Every single person who bought into the community did so on a voluntary basis and agreed to all terms of the CCRs. There is also a homeowners' association ("HOA") that meets monthly. Decisions of the HOA are by majority vote; perhaps major decisions are by super-majority. If there is a vote to replace the roof and charge each owner on a pro rata basis, some people might vote no and still be obligated. They accepted that this could happen when they bought into the community. They can also sell and leave the community anytime they choose.

Now, let's say the developer decides that this project was a huge success and he wants to expand. He buys adjacent property and puts up many times more units. Again, each new owner joins voluntarily, understanding and agreeing to the rules of the CCRs.

Let's say there are 2,000 owners. This is far too many people to be involved in the monthly HOA meetings. So, many of the people decide to appoint a representative. Now, there are two ways to go here. The community could decide to appoint representatives by majority vote, and those representatives would be the ones attending the meetings and making decisions. This is the statist model.

A better solution would be similar to the corporate shareholder model. Each shareholder can attend, or he can appoint someone else to attend on his behalf and vote by proxy. The individual still retains the power to vote (directly or by proxy), while also having the power to delegate his vote to his agent. Each owner can choose who he likes as an agent. Maybe there are 50 people who act as agents and each owner can choose whomever he trusts to act in accordance to his wishes. Or, he can choose someone else or attend himself. Several owners who agree with each other could also form a voting trust, with one person acting as trustee to cast all their votes for them. There are many possibilities, all voluntary, and all with each individual retaining control.

The idea of a representative who is completely independent of his employer is absurd. Since nobody even knows who voted for whom, there is no such thing as an agency relationship in the statist model and, therefore, the statist concept of "representative" is a misnomer. He represents no one but himself. Corporations have solved this problem with voter proxy, and that is what would likely happen in a free society, as well.

Now, let's take it a step further and see what would happen if the government around this community (local, state, and federal) fell apart, Somali style. Now, the people living in this community not only need someone to clean the pool, they also need police, fire, criminal justice, and military protection.

There are a number of ways they could go about doing this. The simplest solution is to hire those private companies that spring up to provide these services. There are already private security companies, legal arbitration companies, and firefighting companies.

In such a world, these companies would expand their services and new companies would come into existence. The HOA would find the ones they liked best and hire them. Although HOA dues would go up, taxes would be zero and people would have more money to spend on other things.

In such a world, people who are under 55 would form similar communities. Over time, new communities would spring up and old ones would decay and be turned into rental properties, where the owner of the buildings would hire the various service companies, so renters would also be covered -- just like many do today with cable TV.

Ultimately, everyone would voluntarily join whichever community best met their needs. Those who inherit property in a community would either agree to the terms of that community or sell and live elsewhere. Since there would be no estate taxes, wealth could grow throughout the generations.

Eventually, there would be rating companies that rate the various protection services, giving people a chance to decide to go with the best that meets their needs, and avoid those with bad reputations. Protection companies would find ways to work with one another for mutual benefit, just as cell phone companies and internet providers/backbone/etc. do today.

There have been articles written about Somalia that show that the people living there have an overall better standard of living than their neighbors, despite the lack of government for 20 years. The problem in Somalia is that there are gangs that want to become the new government, as well as outside governments (like the US) who are backing certain groups over others and causing problems for the people who want to just go about their lives.

If a society decided that libertarianism was the best way to go, they would be doing it from a philosophical perspective, not just because the old corrupt government left town. In such a society, liberty would produce a safe, prosperous society relative to what we see in the world today.