Coercion & Persuasion• There are two primary means of social change. We mix them by degrees. Coercion Persuasion When we talk to people, let’s find ways to get them to confront which of these means they value – fundamentally.
Lakoff’s Mendacious Metaphor• Left-liberal academic George Lakoff once compared taxation to membership dues to a club.• Steven Pinker gave him hell for it. (For good reason.)• Don’t pay your taxes? “Men with guns will put you in jail.”• But what if things were different? What if we accept the best of Lakoff’s metaphor, upgrading citizenship to Civil Association?
Voice & Exit• What if we started thinking of “exiting” as a right just as we think of free speech as a right?• What if we could convince our progressive and conservative friends that we can all have our political cake and eat it too?
Why?1. Democracy is overrated, irrational tribalism.2. Our Constitutional is becoming meaningless.3. Our Republic is being redefined by rent-seekers.4. Tug-of-War politics is unsustainable.5. New social “operating systems” are possible.6. We can eat our politics and have it to.
What’s so great about rules? 1. Allow systems to flow. 2. Let more complex orders emerge. 3. Regularize behavior, predictability. 4. Don’t privilege a person or group. 5. Are not regulations, which restrict flows, control behaviors or proscribe. Some interesting people are picking up on this.
Radicals for Rules…1. Think some rule-sets are better than others.2. Not monolithic about human beings, political systems.3. Okay with people and communities being different.4. Think there’s value in experimentation.5. Are comfortable with local failures; people are imperfect.6. Think there’s value in competition among systems.7. Committed to peaceful, voluntary association.8. Committed to rule of law (versus rule of rulers).9. Think there are too many problems with mere democracy— even representative democracy.10. Understand that institutions (rules) matter.
Definition of a Statista) One who believes that coercive state power can and should be an instrument of good, making the world better than it would be otherwise; andb) Someone who believes that governments should have enforced monopolies over certain goods, services and spheres of activity within some territory.Defined this way, a statist can fall along a continuum.
Anarchy-Leviathan Continuum States exist roughly on a coercion–persuasion continuum (between leviathan and anarchy).Leviathan ? Anarchy Minimal State
Q’s for Your Statist Friends…• Whatever your theory of the ideal state – suppose it’s the U.S. in some progressive Utopia – Should I be allowed to leave in order to live under the system of another country?• If “no,” then we have to assume you believe justice requires a single world government that makes all the rules according to a single concept of justice. (Watch out Canada!)• If your answer is “yes,” then what is it about territory that is so magical? That is, by virtue of what, exactly, does my living in some geography require my compliance with a single system encompassing some bundle of goods and services enforced by the state? We’ll focus on those who say yes. No’s may be lost causes.
What if I like one of these better?Singapore Sweden Switzerland South Carolina Seattle
e.g: Singapore’s Health Care• Healthcare takes up 2-3 percent of GDP.• Full medical savings accounts (MSAs/HSAs)• Large deductibles (even for major surgery)• Health insurance is not coupled w/ one’s job• The very poor receive assistance• Affordable, top-quality care.• One problem… It’s in Singapore.
Public Goods?Back to the question….By virtue of what, exactly, does my living in somegeography require my compliance with a singlesystem encompassing some bundle of goods andservices provided or enforced by the state?Some will say “public goods.”But they’re using an ambiguous term, that means –vaguely - benefits that accrue to a majority of people– maybe helping to solve collective action problems.So perhaps not “public goods” in the strictest sense.
Real Public Goods Rivalrous – Means if I use it, others can’t. Excludable – It’s possible to keep others from using it. Non-Excludable Excludable (Impossible to keep others using) Rivalrous Private Goods Common-pool Food, clothes, healthcare Fish stocks, games, lake, air Non-Rivalrous Club Goods Public Goods?(If I use, others still can) Satellite TV, golf courses Defense?
So not public goods, maybe public benefit. How about “territorial goods?”
Territorial Goods & Services• Let’s be charitable about the idea of public benefit – particularly solving collective action problems.• Let’s focus on the benefits that can accrue to people by virtue of their living somewhere, i.e. within some geography.• Then, we’ll contrast these benefits with another type.
Territorial Goods & Services1. Transportation and Roads2. Defense & Security3. Police, Fire, and Emergency services4. Justice (Criminal, Tort, and Titling)5. Public Utilities (Water and Sewer)6. Penal, Psychiatric, Public Health7. Parks and Aesthetics8. Nuisance Court or Zoning9. Environment and Waste Disposal10. Identification and Immigration
Non-Territorial Systems of Goods• Non-territorial goods make up almost everything else (healthcare, iPhones, etc.)• These are good and services for which there really isn’t a compelling case for either a) solving collective action problems, b) a practical need for local access, or c) perceived need for management by a jurisdictional authority.• Even if you think people are “entitled” to some of these goods, I think we can agree they are not really linked to territory, nor enjoyed (necessarily) by virtue of living somewhere.
The QuestionAnd that brings us back to an important question:• If you’re okay with my leaving the US to becoming a citizen of Sweden, or leaving California to move to TX, why shouldn’t you be okay with my right of exit from any non-territorial system?• OR - If there is nothing intrinsically territorial about a system that provides goods and services in a certain way, why ought I not simply be allowed to “exit” that system in the same way I leave California?If you can’t show us the magic, it’s Territorial Chauvinism
Radical Proposals• Let’s divorce the systems (i.e. separate territorial- from non-territorial systems.)• Let’s make most changes by adopting three fairly straightforward MACRORULES.• Let’s put an end to all this tug-o’-war national politics.
First, political parties have to die. They can be replaced with Civil Associations
Civil Associations: Macrorule 1 Right of Exit Anyone may exit a Civil Association at any time as long as he or she has honored his or her end of any membership agreement.
“What form of government would you desire? “ Paul Emile de Puydt (1860)“Quite freely you would answer, monarchy, or democracy,[Democratic, Republican, Socialist, Libertarian] or any other. […][W}hatever your reply, your answer would be entered in aregister arranged for this purpose; and once registered, unlessyou withdrew your declaration, observing due legal form andprocess, you would thereby become either a royal subject orcitizen of the republic. Thereafter you would in no way beinvolved with anyone else’s government — no more than aPrussian subject is with Belgian authorities. You would obey yourown leaders, your own laws, and your own regulations.”
What is a Civil Association? “It is simply a matter of declaration before one‘s local political commission, for one to move from republic to monarchy…or even to Mr. Proudhon’s anarchy – without even the necessity of removing one‘s dressing gown or slippers.” Imagine :You join a system with a set of rules,not a party. When systems compete,you win.
Civil Associations… • Are a non-territorial form of association. • Can include or exclude people. • Allocate non-territorial goods/services in any way they choose (including collectively). • Members must abide by terms of membership – including dues (taxes). • Let you put your money where your political mouth is. • Give strong incentives for people to be civically engaged. • Compete with one another for members. • Work according to persuasion (contract), not coercion.
great Now, we need a inversion.Power needs to be pushed down, so we can keep an eye on it.
Territories: Macrorule 2 Principle of SubsidiarityState functions, if any, should be handled atthe most local feasible level.
Jefferson - 1821“It is not by the consolidation orconcentration of powers, but by theirdistribution that good government iseffected. Were not this great countryalready divided into States, that divisionmust be made that each might do for itselfwhat concerns itself directly and what it canso much better do than a distant authority.Every state again is divided into counties,each to take care of what lies within its localbounds; each county again into townshipsor wards, to manage minuter details; andevery ward into farms, to be governed eachby its individual proprietor…”
Why go local?• Accountability is easier.• Democracy is less irrational by degrees.• It’s much easier to vote with your feet.• You get more experimentation and therefore more chances of replicable success.• People with local knowledge carry out tasks better.• Screw-ups are less titanic/widespread.• Subsidiarity tracks with information processing.• Resources stay closer to home.
Core: Macrorule Number 3In Randy Barnett’s term, a presumption of liberty shouldanimate a new Constitutional Order.As long as they do not violate the rights of others (as defined by thecommon law of property, contract and tort), persons are presumed to be"immune" from interference by government. This presumption meansthat citizens may challenge any government action that restricts theirotherwise rightful conduct, and the burden is on the government to showthat its action is within its proper powers or scope.At the national level, the government would bear the burden of showingthat its acts were both "necessary and proper" to accomplish anenumerated function, rather than, as now, forcing the citizen to provewhy it is he or she should be left alone. At the state level, the burdenwould fall upon state government to show that legislation infringing theliberty of its citizens was a necessary exercise of its police power—that is,the states power to protect the rights of its citizens. As long as they donot violate the rights of others (as defined by the common law ofproperty, contract and tort), persons are presumed to be "immune" frominterference by government.
The 3 Macrorules 1. Right of Exit 2. Subsidiarity 3. Liberty
Enter: Panarchy• We’re suggesting something here that is simple but profound.• If each one of us – progressive, libertarian, conservative or liberal – were willing to give up territorial chauvinism, we could each have almost any system we wanted, within reason.• None of us gets the system we want now. You might get the temporary high of your chosen candidate winning. But that high is contingent on factors completely beyond your control. Panarchy changes things.• In the status quo, our ideals - whatever they are - will always be muddied by compromise, corruption and horse-trading. That is the nature of a representative democracy with territorial monopolies.• Your party affiliations may satisfy something tribal in you, but implementation never satisfies your deeper ideals – that is, the beauty, elegance and pragmatism of your chosen system.
A New Territorial Order Federal – National defense, supreme justice, national roadways State – Conflict resolution between municipalities, interstate roads, etc.Jefferson’s Ward Republics Municipal – All other territorial goods
Organic Unity• Balances diverse perspectives, but keeps people unified under a basic framework.• Reduces “friction” among people, creating a far less polarized society.• Ex uno plures and e pluribus unum
What would the world look like?• Government continues to exist, but radically localized. (Polycentric law prevails)• “Territorial goods” might be privatized eventually.• Could be an intermediate stage to peaceful anarchy.• Politics becomes a truly local phenomenon.• Virtually any political system is possible as long as people don’t exit and the system remains solvent.• Persuasion becomes the primary instrument of social change. Use of coercive power is, at least, checked.• Competition among systems replaces most king-of- the-mountain or tug-of-war politics.• True self-determination and self-gov’t is realized.
Prime Virtues• Private Morality/Conscience• Toleration• Veneration of Macrorules