William Otey’s book The Micronation Revolution is a showcase of government injustices and an exploration of possible solutions. Otey takes a strong minarchist position, advocating the privatization of “most” government functions. Further, he envisions this happening via the spread of small, independent communities, called micronations, that will compete for citizens by moving closer and closer to a classical-liberal utopia.
This free-market approach to developing a better government is reminiscent of Panarchy, Zach Weinersmith’s Polystate, and other competition-in-government approaches. Unfortunately, Otey never considers anarcho-capitalism. His libertarian instincts bring him close at times, but ancaps will be amused at his calls for “near-complete political freedom” and recoil at statements like, “of course some government and some laws are obviously necessary and desirable.”
Polystate: a Thought Experiment in Distributed Government
Zach Weinersmith identifies a serious problem in modern society, which he calls the geostate. A geostate is a bounded area of land dominated by a government. The problem with this, as Weinersmith sees it, is that people effectively have no choice in what kind of government they live under. He proposes a new kind of system in which people do not have to be involved with a geostate just because they live in a certain place, but rather may choose from a variety of anthrostates.
These anthrostates are similar to geostates in that they tax their subjects and provide some services. However, subjects may switch anthrostates every year. So two neighbors might belong to different anthrostates. If one anthrostate becomes undesirable for any reason, a person may simply switch to one that is more to their liking. He then defends this polystate system based on the numerous advantages it has over the geostate model.
The most important difference between a polystate and a geostate is not that the latter is location based and the former is not. Continue reading →