DOWN WITH POWER
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L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 1,011, March 10, 2019

Doubling-down only works when you are right

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The Freedom Project by Chris Boehr
a plan of actions
by Jim Davidson
jim@resilientways.net

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

“When the public community authority rests only upon community ownership and thus has no coercive but only free contractual and therefore mutual service relationships with the community members as recipients of the community services, both protective and positive, the entire available life-years of the population can be freely engaged in the production and mutual exchange of services and goods, and in the free artistries of the creative spirit, the emancipated mind.”
— Spencer Heath

For the last several centuries there have been many competing theories on how people on Earth should live, work, and play. The readers of this 'zine for the most part believe that individuals are best suited to choose for themselves how to spend their time, money, and talents. However, nearly every country on Earth is run by people who take a very different view.

Whether you call their approach to having a managed society a religion, a philosophy, a twisted sort of economics, or a type of madness, since about 1898 these people have had their way. They've created central banks, powerful governments, a dizzying number of agencies, lent into existence tens of trillions of dollars and trillions in other currencies, claimed that nation states exist and that the populations, willing or unwilling, are obligated to re-pay those debts, and attempted to micro-manage the lives and property of everyone on Earth. Using names like conservatism, communism, socialism, liberalism, progressivism, Catholicism, and other names, the groups involved have brought power to human institutions. These institutions are, like all works of human hands, fallible, corrupt, and abusive toward others.

Moreover, as I've pointed out from time to time, the concept of central control is not only mistaken because it consolidates power in corrupt, evil, and unaccountable hands, but also because it cannot actually achieve stability. The nature of reality, the economic calculation problem, the mathematical proof of incompleteness, quantum physics, and the nature of chaotic systems all prevent central planning from ever working. No doubt it is rational to suppose that these facts are known to the people who run the corrupt governments involved, and they've no willingness to allow their profits from the suffering of others to be reduced.

 

The Freedom Project

Now arriving on the scene is Chris Boehr, a modest but very intelligent man who has been studying these matters for many decades. He has been instructed in books and classes by Andrew Galambos, Spencer Heath, Spencer Heath MacCallum, Peter Bos, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and many others. A scientist, engineer, and software developer, Chris has a wealth of understanding, as he repeatedly demonstrates in his book.

The purpose of the Freedom Project, as Chris states in the opening pages of his treatise on the topic is, “to maximize the security, liberty, and prosperity of all people. The plan presented employs the intellectual tools of modern science to further develop the ideas of the many contributors to libertarian theory and technology throughout history. The objective is to advance libertarian theory and technology to a level where the optimal society it envisions can be easily, efficiently, and effectively implemented on a world-wide basis for the least cost, in the shortest amount of time, and with the most probability of success.” In other words, to create lasting, resilient communities for fun and profit.

By demonstrating how for-profit enterprises can be used throughout, Chris brings the self-interest of thousands of entrepreneurs, consumers, and innovators to bear on the basic problem: how to live our own lives as we see fit. I have long believed that these ideas needed to be organised into a single great written work, and seen the task as daunting. Chris has completed that task.

“This system is steered by the market. The market directs the individual’s activities into those channels in which he best serves the wants of his fellow men. There is in the operation of the market no compulsion and no coercion.”
— Ludwig von Mises (from Human Action)

Before going into detail on his plan of actions, Chris reviews the functions and purposes of civilisation. To the surprise of none of the readers of L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise, the purpose of civilisation is not to grant power to self-important politicians to run roughshod over the lives and freedoms of everyone else, but, rather to provide for opportunities for people to thrive and flourish. Chris then reviews a number of systems that have been developed for organising things for mutual benefit. Many of those systems have been very successful, especially where they involved free markets and free people who remained free to choose. Some of those systems, such as socialism, have never worked at all, except as machinery to slaughter hundreds of millions of people, which is clearly not a desirable outcome.

Chris also reviews terminology, libertarian philosophy, libertarian theory, demolishes sundry myths for why the state might be thought necessary, examines the origin and evolution of states, and then looks very closely at libertarian or liberating technologies. For me, the ideological issues are prelude. The really interesting part is the techniques for bringing free markets, insurance policies, and the private production of security and judicial services to the world. If you're like me and read rapidly from chapter two to five, do please dive deep on chapters six and seven. There's a lot of goodness in them.

 

Wendy's Research on Gulches

In the pages of this very publication, way back in the late 1990s, one of the most prolific authors of libertarian books, essays, and articles, Wendy McElroy, wrote extensively about the search for Galt's Gulch. She profiled pioneers like Josiah Warren and wrote extensively about intentional communities formed all over the United States. Some of them were more successful than others. The better successes included opportunities for using a barter or trade scrip that provided a community money circulating locally. She also noted that having the opportunity to eat meals together helped bring the community together. You should look for all her articles on this topic.

Needless to say, many people were inspired, not only by what Wendy wrote, but also by Spencer Heath's work and the writings of many other authors. A soap magnate, Werner Stieffel started an Atlantis Project in the late 1960s to build a free country on an island or an offshore platform. A few years later Mike Oliver organised funds to raise some sub-sea mounts into islands through dredging, and put aids to navigation on them. They were conquered by the Kingdom of Tonga. Early in the 1990s, Eric Klien started another Atlantis project to carry out the building of platforms at sea for a new country. In the mid-1990s, the Laissez Faire City project was started in Costa Rica and, I believe, infiltrated by deep state operatives who I've named in other essays.

My own work focused on certain ownership strategies for a Libertarian Real Estate Investment Trust. In 1998, I worked with an entrepreneur in Nevada to organise funds for a Gold Dollar Ranch which would have been built on land in Esmeralda County which we visited. At the same time, I worked with a Dutch diplomat, Michael van Notten and his friend Spencer MacCallum on a Somali free port and toll road project. Earlier this millennium, several people put funds into a Galt's Gulch Chile. Since then, a FortGalt.com, a project in Burma, and La Estancia Cafayete, among others, have gotten started. There has, in other words, been considerable interest in starting things.

 

Multi-Use Real Estate

Way back in the early 1980s, I took a course in the history of city planning at Columbia University. Interesting topic. At the time, I imagined myself involved in the future in building cities in space or on other planets. Since 1991, my focus has been on finding a free country, and since 2002 on creating one or more.

My transition from space activist to entrepreneur was motivated by the false arrest in February 1991 of myself and David Mayer for running a lawful sweepstakes to give away a trip into space on a Soviet rocket to the Soviet space staiton Mir. In May 1991, the prosecutor's office in an agreed injunction stipulated that the activity was a sweepstakes all along, and enjoined David, our company, and me from ever conducting sweepstakes in Texas. They also dropped the charges.

A friend of mine gave me a job in real estate development. I helped with the planning of a large multi-use development, while doing many of the quotidian tasks involved in converting raw land into three subdivisions of homes in Friendswood, Texas. This latter work involved building roads, grading lots, having utilities installed, and selling “finished lots” to home builders who built houses on them and sold those homes to families. Everything needed to build a small town, mitigate the drainage changes due to the pavement and homes, and handle the needs of hundreds of people for access, shelter, and utilities was completed in only a few months. All these functions took place without a single dollar of government expenditure.

 

Resilient Communities

It is my firm belief that, based on the ideas in Chris's book, it is possible to build a video game that shows people how to build resilient communities. Based on ideas from Tiffany Lach, the game would involve role playing in a free market environment, accumulating assets, acquiring land, building markets, and developing relationships. There are also games like SimCity and Civilisation that may be the basis for elements of the game.

Of perhaps greater significance in the future, Chris's ideas can be used to implement a series of open source freedom communities linked in a laissez faire network reminiscent of the Hanseatic League of early Renaissance Europe. And, given the enormous opportunities for profit, not only from the sale of real estate and the development of active markets, but also in bringing about peace, prosperity, and harmony, I am determined to be involved.

How about you?

 

Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and follower of the teachings of Jesus. He is working on new business plans and has been active with the CaledoniaTribe.com folks.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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