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L. Neil Smith's
Number 579, July 18, 2010

"I eventually came to the conclusion that the police didn't
actually know anything about the laws they were enforcing."

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What Is to Be Done With the Statists?—Part 2
by Paul Bonneau
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Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

(The following article was written for another outfit, but fell outside their submission guidelines.)

Following up on my original article on this subject, the question comes up: how would multiple communities of diverse types of governance, or no governance, interact? Can we imagine a stable scenario that is tolerable or even good?

I believe a few "rules of thumb" would spontaneously appear, although they might eventually turn into laws as well. Here are some that occur to me.

1) Observe the local laws.
Normally, if someone from Anarchyville takes a trip to see his mom in Statist City, he's going to have the sense to "blend in". His open carry will become concealed carry. He won't smoke pot in public there. He will drive a car with up-to-date registration. This just makes sense; most people don't want to tangle with the authorities or other gangs.

2) Free, unhindered passage.
Different communities will have different laws, or no laws. Occasionally a vehicle will be pulled over for violating local laws, such as a lack of license plates. A custom may develop that allows passage through town if the vehicle never stops anywhere in town. I have put together a little story to demonstrate how this works:


Shiny new Officer Dudley Doright pulls over a car driving on the main highway through Statist City, and calls it in before approaching them. He reports, "Ah, I've got a Ford Taurus with no license plates. I'm going to arrest and I'll need a tow vehicle."

Dispatch responds, "He's got nothing at all for a plate?"

"Well, there is a plate, but it's just got a black flag on it, nothing else. It's obviously not state-issued."

Dispatch: "Is there a TIAA bumpersticker anywhere?"

Doright: "Yeah, how did you know?"

Dispatch: "Do not, repeat, do not approach that car! Leave them alone! We are sending backup!"

Two minutes later another cruiser pulls up, and Officer Jones walks up to Doright. Before the latter can get a word out, Jones snarls, "Are you out of your mind? Don't you know the drill yet?"

Doright: "Drill?"

Jones: "You know you are not supposed to arrest or bother the Mayor and his family, and other mucky-mucks, right?"

Doright: "Uh, OK..."

Jones: "Not if you have any sense. And you don't arrest cops, even if you pull them over for DUI, right?"

Doright: "Well, sure..."

Jones, in a whisper: "And you sure had better not arrest the honchos in the local drug gang. Half my income comes from those guys, and I will personally kick your ass if you mess with them."

Doright: "OK..."

Jones: "Well, you can add Anarchists to that list. That's what the black flag means, idiot! Especially ones with 'Terminally Ill Assassins of America' stickers on their bumpers. People from Anarchyville almost always have a black flag for a license plate. Leave 'em alone! You know the custom, or should anyway! They get to pass through town. You can follow them to make sure they don't stop, but that's it! Geez, Doright, do pay attention when people bring this crap up, back in the department! Now take your gunbelt off, and go over there and apologize to them. NOW!"

Doright walks over to the car. The driver is picking at his fingernails with a Bowie knife, and a 1911 is sitting on the dashboard. "Uh, sorry about pulling you over. That was just a screw up on my part."

Driver responds, "Congratulations. You get to go back home to your wife and kids this evening. Have a nice day, officer Barney Fife!" And drives off...


As alternative to free passage through town, there is almost always a way to drive around some town that, for whatever reason, does not conform to this rule of thumb.

3) Don't bring disrepute to your town.
Say Joe Blow in Anarchyville has a thriving cocaine business. He decides to increase his income by marketing to the government school kids in neighboring Statist City. What's going to happen?

Well, he might be caught over there. He will be thrown in jail, and despite some grumbling, no one in Anarchyville will do much to save him, because he brought disrepute to his town. But imagine he doesn't get caught over there; what then? No doubt the Statist City cops have contacts in Anarchyville. All it takes is a phone call to one of them. A few folks will go over to Joe Blow's place and talk to him. They may decide to bundle him up in a nice package and deposit him outside city limits where Statist City cops can pick him up.

Is that perfect, no-aggression anarchy? Hard to say. Ain't nothing in human life that is perfect. It's a reasonable compromise with reality. You don't bring disrepute to your town, if you want that town to get along with others.

4) Don't disparage or demagogue the neighboring town's political structure too vigorously.
One can imagine a politician in Statist City trying to use Anarchyville to boost his political career, by saying, "Something needs to be done about all those criminals and anarchists!" Normally, that would last until he receives a .308 Winchester cartridge in his mailbox with his name scratched on the bullet. If he fails to take the hint, well, one never can guess what free people will respond with. They might go with 'Terminally Ill Assassins of America", or Assassination Politics. Or even just an old-fashioned episode of tar and feathers. The market will come up with a solution; it always does. Demagogues will quickly learn to refrain from picking on victims who bite.

No doubt folks will notice that a lot of this stuff depends on the judicious application of violence, or the credible threat of it. Welcome to reality folks. As George Orwell put it, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." If you're not up to it personally, someone else probably is. That's the human condition.

What is the State itself, if not violence? Yet many people are pretty darn comfortable with it.

After a while, as people get used to interacting with each other without violence, this crude bit of present reality will fade. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Well, what about the Federal Government? It's been demonstrated over and over again that they are willing to put entire cities to the torch to make a point; remember Fallujah? Or the War of Northern Aggression? Or innumerable atrocities against Indians?

That is true, but it's not perfectly true. Fallujah is not in America. Same with Indians, more or less (at least the same considerations apply, in terms of rationalizing mass murder). And the War of Northern Aggression, while it obviously did take place, is not the sort of thing the Feds would resort to lightly. Stuff gets really out of control in a revolution or civil war. It's clear for example, the Feds toned things down quite a bit after Ruby Ridge and Waco. They can't go too far and still appear legitimate to the herd; that appearance of legitimacy is their lifeblood.

It would certainly improve the picture if secession occurred here and there, or at least de-facto increase in state autonomy. The Feds have piles of money (until the dollar tanks, anyway) and piles of money equate to lots of oppression. So yeah, the Feds are a problem; but not an insurmountable one. Once the food riots start in the big cities, they may have their hands full, and won't be able to do much about little enclaves of people who stop paying attention to them. Hell, the federal government may just collapse like the Soviets did.

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