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L. Neil Smith's
Number 591, October 11, 2010

"Privacy is ultimately about liberty while
surveillance is always about control"

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What Is to Be Done With the Statists?—Part 3
by Paul Bonneau
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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

This is a follow-up to my earlier articles, "What Is to Be Done With the Statists?" and "What Is to Be Done With the Statists?—part 2". One question that came up about this idea, was, "How do we maintain anarchist communities, and keep them anarchist?" It is a valid question, worth some more exploration, for these reasons:

1) There will probably be, overall, a lot more statists than anarchists; for a while anyway.

2) Anarchist communities may start to draw businesses due to lack of regulation, lower costs and more conscientious workers; which in turn may draw immigrant workers who are not anarchist. Freedom brings prosperity, and prosperity brings immigration.

3) Anarchist communities will also be a lot more peaceful and crime-free, which also may draw immigrants who might not be anarchist.

What will keep the usual pressures from subverting anarchist ideals over time? We saw a similar process in the evolution of the United States, particularly in the Old West where initially many escaped to a government-free landscape.

I believe two tools may be able to handle the job: shunning, and contract.

Imagine some people get together to found an anarchist community. They draw up a contract, that reads something like this:

Contract for the purpose of maintaining anarchy in Anarchyville

All signatories to this contract, agree to the following:

1) "I shall never favor or advocate the imposition of any involuntary tax, fee or regulation in Anarchyville."
2) "I shall never favor or advocate the placement of a government school in Anarchyville."
3) "I shall never favor or advocate the regulation of firearm use or ownership in Anarchyville."
4) "I shall never favor or advocate the establishment of a city police or fire department in Anarchyville." etc...

All signatories to this contract who do not violate its terms, are considered "Members in Good Standing". Only individual Members in Good Standing may designate other community members as being "Persona non grata in Anarchyville" due to violations of its terms (whether they signed the agreement or not), which fact in turn urges the shunning of that resident of the community. A list of such residents will be available online at all times, along with the number and names of Members in Good Standing who have designated him "Persona non grata"; as well as a rebuttal by the designated resident stating why he should not be considered so (if desired). Residents of Anarchyville may act in accordance with this recommendation for shunning, or not, as they please.

Thus, what we have is a formalized method of shunning, which works pretty well for ridding communities of people who do not fit in, to some minimal standard (modelled on online auctions like ebay and gunbroker). All communities, statist or not, may decide to have some type of contractual arrangement to maintain their character, if their members wish. In this particular case it was structured with anarchism in mind—that is, no statist enforcement mechanism is available. Statist communities of course need not go that route. By the way, I realize the proposed contract could use some grooming to make it more workable; it is simply intended as an example, not a template.

What if, as seems likely, some higher level of government attempts to step in and say this kind of arrangement is illegal? Anarchists would tell them to fuck off, and likely so would at least some statist communities. Anyway, how are they going to stop it? It is virtually impossible to make shunning illegal. If for example, a statist complained and brought suit because an anarchist refused to sell him a home, and the state police came to arrest the anarchist or confiscate his property, the (masked and armed) neighbors would simply encourage these cops to get the hell out of town while they can do so in one piece (this implies a community system for quickly responding to such crises, which almost certainly would be one of the first orders of business in the formation of Anarchyville).

Shunning is not that pleasant for people who end up on the receiving end of it; but it does work, as any Mormon would tell you. If anyone has another idea to accomplish the same end, let's hear it. Of course the existence of such contracts would be well publicized, so potential immigrants would normally self-select to make sure they could fit in to the community; few people would be willing to move to a place they assume would make them an instant outcast.

"People are less than whole unless they gather themselves voluntarily into groups of souls in harmony. Gathering themselves to pursue individual, family, and community dreams consistent with their private humanity is what makes them whole; only slaves are gathered by others."
—John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education

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