Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What Scottish Independence Means for Anarchism

by Daniel Hawkins
VIA:The Art of Not being Governed

Something earth-shattering is about to happen.

Tomorrow, the British-ruled country known as Scotland will vote for their independence.
The news has been focusing almost entirely on what this will mean for the UK and Europe. Most people have been completely preoccupied with what this will mean for the area economically. But that isn’t half the story; the trivialization of the matter should not be surprising. In all likelihood, if you’re an American reader, you probably hadn’t even heard of the Scottish independence referendum until the last week or two. But don’t be fooled; this is a momentous and historic event. This vote has the power to change the world forever. This may seem like a long-winded article, but I beg you to stay with it, and watch for the results of what may be the most important vote in history.
To understand why this is so important for you and why this could potentially transform the world as we know it, we have to learn the story behind it. To know why many Scots want to separate from England and the UK, we must first understand why these two countries are so different; we have to understand the history and nature of Great Britain.

First, some lessons in terminology are in order. If this seems elementary to you, I apologize, but most of us Americans are kept in ignorance by our media and schools, so this is important. The British Isles consist of: Ireland, Scotland, England,* the Isle of Man, Ireland, and many surrounding islands. The British government rules over all of the British Isles except for the Republic of Ireland. What we call Great Britain consists of one island divided into three countries: England, Wales, and Scotland. This is the British mainland, stretching from Dover in the south to the Orkneys in the north. The United Kingdom, however, is a little different. The UK consists of: Great Britain (i.e., England, Scotland, and Wales), as well as the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and several other islands. While the Union Jack does not contain the Welsh flag, it basically integrates the countries of the UK into it:
flagevolution


This is their story:

2,400 years ago, war and agricultural pressures forced the Celts to leave their homelands (modern-day France, Spain, and other parts of the European mainland). Sailing north, the Celts peopled the British Isles. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age, they dominated the area.** The marks of their rich and ancient history can be seen all over the Isles, from the Ring of Brodgar to Stonehenge, from the Meath Stone of Destiny to Castell Henllys.
Slowly, the Celts formed their own distinct sub-cultures and societies. The inhabitants of the large island to the west became known as the Irish. On the mainland known today as Great Britain, the Britons occupied the south. To the north lived the Picts, or the Scots as they were also called. The wild land on the west coast belonged to the Welsh. Over the centuries—due to some amount of luck and bloody struggle—remnants of these Celtic cultures have managed to survive in many parts of the British Isles.

Both the Romans and Greeks attempted to colonize the Isles, but to little avail. Upon hearing of its tempestuous sea and its wild people, the Romans were too afraid to enter Ireland. They tried and failed to tame the Welsh, and were repeated repelled by the fearsome Scots/Picts to the north. It seemed their domain would have to remain in the south. After much frustration, the Roman emperor Hadrian built a 73 mile-long stone wall between present-day Scotland and present-day England. For centuries, Hadrian’s Wall was considered the border between the wilder north and the more civilized south. This was only the beginning of the divide.

The Britons and the Romans lived together, sometimes in peace and other times in war. The Romans totally changed the cultural landscape, influencing everything on the British mainland, from law to art to religion, but the Britons still held fast to their heritage. Most historians consider their legacy to be the civilizing of the Britons. Ultimately, though, the land proved to be too distant and too wild compared to their homelands for the Greeks or the Romans to govern. As the Roman and Greek presence in Britain dwindled, another invasion began.

Driven by their own conflicts and agricultural pressures, three tribes from modern-day Germany sailed across the sea and into the British Isles. In the northernmost area of Germany, along the Danish border, came the Jutes. Just south of them came the Angles. From further south still came the most dominant tribe, the Saxons. Cousins to the Vikings who came later, these tribes brought with them a new religion, a new writing system, and a new language. They never quite made a strong impact in Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, or Wales, however. Like the Greeks and Romans before them, these Germanic tribes were mostly restricted to the south. The Celtic lands proved again unconquerable.
Eventually, these three Germanic tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. Their new domain was called Angle-Land, or as we call it today, England. The Anglo-Saxon influence cannot be overstated. The English language owes its existence to the Anglo-Saxons (going back to the writing of Beowulf). We even borrow our days of the week from their religion: for example, Woden (their cognate of Odin) lends his name to Wednesday. As Christianity spread through Europe, it is believed by scholars that some Britons were Christianized earlier than the Anglo-Saxons, but that the Anglo-Saxons played a crucial role in establishing Catholicism as the first official religion of England.
By the 9th century AD, (after about 250 years of rule) not only was their culture unrecognizable, but the style of government in England was completely different than the Celtic lands outside it. While the Celts probably clung to polycentric law and clan chieftains, the Anglo-Saxons created a mix of Germanic and Roman governing systems. What came out was a patchwork of earldoms, with written laws and legal monopolies. While language and religion easily crossed borders, the legal culture struggled to. These differences divided the Celts from the English, and enmity grew between them at every opportunity.

The Viking invasion had a considerable effect on life in the British Isles. These pagan pillagers had little mercy for what was, to them, a fertile land ripe for harvest. Unlike the Romans, they battled the Irish Celts for as long as they could. The threat to the English way of life was so great that the Anglo-Saxon earls united under a high king, establishing, for the very first time, the English Monarchy.***

The Vikings remained there for about 150 years, building permanent settlements in Ireland, Scotland, and most notably, eastern England. The area of England ruled by the Vikings became known as Danelaw. The remaining English lands—Wessex and part of Mercia—could be considered more civilized, but life was not easy for them. The English and Vikings were nearly constantly at war. Some Celts allied themselves with the Vikings in order to push the Anglo-Saxons out of their lands, but ultimately failed. The new English Monarchy claimed control of Wales and Cornwall, forming Britannia.

Danelaw finally fell—partly through war and partly through political alliances—toward the end of the Anglo-Saxon reign. The mark of the Vikings was left, but a new age was about to begin. After the death of King Edward the Confessor, several English earls vied for his throne. As England was weakened, a Norman nobleman by the name of William laid claim. The Normans, including Duke William, were descendants of Viking invaders, but were well integrated into French culture. With imperial ambitions and a name to make, William was about to change the face of the Britain forever.
William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of Great Britain
William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of Great Britain

In 1066, following political scandals involving the Anglo-Saxon earls, William invaded in full force. The Anglo-Saxons fell, and their kingdom fell with it. What followed was a revolution in law and culture. But, we must know, it came at a terrible price. It was not enough for William the Conqueror to subjugate western England. He conquered what remained of Danelaw, as well as the earldoms surrounding Hadrian’s Wall. This was the Harrowing of the North. With a method of Total War, William starved, smoked, and rooted out the English and Celts wherever he could. Moving further north, his invasion of Scotland proved to be a bloody campaign, culminating in the temporary defeat of the Scottish monarchy and clans.

William’s attempts to quell the Welsh and the Irish did not prove as successful as his English campaign. However, even after his death, his imperial legacy carried on. Eventually, alliances were made and broken, and the Normans brought their hammer down on these Celtic lands. But the United Kingdom was yet to be born. There remained strong pockets of Celtic resistance in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and their respective monarchs and chieftains put up a fight for another few centuries. Future monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I would follow in William’s footsteps, laying claim to the whole of the British Isles.

In William’s time, however, he exercised iron-fisted control over what lands he could govern. Building upon the heavily Romanized legal system in England, he ordered a massive census to be taken of everyone in his kingdom. This tome became known as the Domesday Book. The event was such a defeat for the free peoples, our word “doom” (and Doomsday) as well as our connotation of “reckoning” come from this act. As a uniform tax code was imposed on his kingdom, William centralized the government in a way that hadn’t been seen since the Roman occupation. As monarch of Britain, William paved the way for even more bad blood between the English and the Celts.
William the Conqueror not only centralized and formalized the law, but also helped to establish the Feudal system. While Feudalism existed in one form or another in the rest of the British Isles, it took a particularly strong hold in England in the form of Manoralism (essentially an aristocratic plantation system). This system was far more codified than any semi-Feudal system in the past or in the Celtic lands. The various dukes, earls, and barons of England often held some influence in the king’s court.

To be an English feudal lord, however, it was usually a prerequisite that one had to have Norman ancestry, since the Normans were the conquering force. This class of British citizenry became known as Anglo-Normans. Beneath them were the un-assimilated Celts and Anglo-Saxons, who often toiled in the fields and were conscripted into wars in the name of their feudal lords. In many cases, the Scots were literally enslaved by the English. This was the Medieval Age in Britain. With its own parliament, court, and monarchy, that special mix of Brittonic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman cultures became what we know today as England.

Scotland, among the other Celtic lands, grew up with its own history. With very little Roman influence, very little Anglo-Saxon influence, some Viking influence, and some Norman influence, the Celtic culture of Scotland remained quite dominant for centuries. While it isn’t as prominent as in Ireland or Wales, Scotch Gaelic is still spoken by 1.1% of the Scottish population. Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era, Scotland and England had a “love-hate relationship,” to say the least. Different Houses of Scotland had different attitudes toward the English nobility and monarchy. Sometimes, a Scottish monarch would simultaneously be the English monarch, and vice versa. Sometimes, they would be separate. The history is complicated, to say the least. In any case, the Scots were never quite comfortable.

To say that the Scots were subject to foreign rule is both correct and incorrect, depending on whom you ask. The Unionist idea is generally that both countries exist on the same island, and the various intermarriages between the royal families forged a de facto relationship that served as the basis for the formal union. But there has never been any consensus on this issue in Scotland. Repeatedly, English monarchs attempted to truly conquer Scotland, but largely failed. In the periods of English rule, bloody rebellions were always sure to come. One of the most notable early wars came in the form of the First War of Scottish Independence, pitting King Robert the Bruce and William Wallace against King Edward (“Hammer of the Scots”) I. If you’ve seen Braveheart, you should be a little familiar with this war. A period of independence followed****, but only for 18 years. Then followed the Second War of Independence, which lasted for about 25 years. Several rebellions were fought in the following centuries. As the English Reformation commenced, Scotland held onto Catholicism and also adopted Presbyterianism. This religious divide represented, and still represents, a massive divide between the cultures of the two nations. A true union between the two nations seemed impossible.
Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. William Wallace and Robert the Bruce remain enormously important figures in Scotland.
Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. William Wallace and Robert the Bruce remain enormously important figures in Scotland.

A union did come, however. When Scottish monarchs held sway in England—particularly the Stuarts—the idea of a union was supported by most of the Scots. In 1603, the Scottish monarch James VI (James I in England) became the first monarch of Great Britain. This drove a wedge into Scotland between those who were satisfied with British rule (as long as it meant having a Scottish monarch to represent their interests), and those who believed that a union, no matter who was in charge, would be ultimately controlled by aristocrats. The divide remains there today.
For 100 years, the debate raged on, as did the English Civil War. However, the general idea (at least as phrased by the Unionists) was that it would be a Union of the Crowns. For the duration of the 17th century, both countries had separate parliaments. Both nations had their disputes with their respective governments, but they were, in fact, distinct. Eventually, the Scottish Stuart line was deposed forever. Still, many Scots believed having a Scottish parliament would act as a bulwark against disconnected, English interests (sound familiar?). But as the 18th century dawned, things changed.

On May 1, 1707, the Union of the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed. If you ask a Unionist, they will tell you that the Scottish parliament and English parliament unified into one parliament—the Parliament of Great Britain, centered in Westminster—consisting of both Scottish and English members to represent regional interests. If you ask a Scottish Nationalist, however, they will tell you that Scotland was utterly robbed of its sovereignty. The Scottish parliament did vote in favor of a Union, but as we libertarians know, it’s hard saying whether or not a parliament truly represents the wishes of its people. In either case, Scottish representation and sovereignty was formally handed over to England for the first and final time.

In the 1740s, a huge group of rebellious Scots—known as the Jacobites—attempted to throw off English rule. This was one of the most significant Scottish Nationalist movements in history. Again, depending on whom you ask, their goals were either: to install a Stuart to the throne of the Union, or to install a Stuart to the Scottish throne and dissolve the Union. After a close fight, the Battle of Culloden signaled the defeat of the Jacobites. The English monarch (in this case the Anglo-German George II) would remain the monarch of Great Britain and the United Kingdom. The defeat was meant to be eternal. The Highland Clearances followed, sometimes with legal blows like the Highland Dress Act and the Disarming Act.
The bloody Battle of Culloden ushered in and solidified an era of Scotland's ethno-cultural cleansing.
The bloody Battle of Culloden ushered in and solidified an era of Scotland’s ethno-cultural cleansing.

The 19th century was one of relatively absolute English rule. Expanding across the globe, the British Empire now had more than enough power to rule over most of its colonies. With Scotland as its neighbor, this proved to be relatively easy. A few skirmishes broke out here and there, but the Scots mostly deferred to the political process when they attempted to gain more independence. As the 20th century began, echoes of chaos came from the west.
The Irish War of Independence rocked the British Isles. The issue of Irish independence tore permanent rifts within the British and Irish citizenry. Ireland, much like Scotland, was once a Celtic nation, and had developed a completely different ethnic, religious, and cultural heritage from England. Their own wars of independence were fought, and their sovereignty was never taken quite as seriously as Scotland’s by the British government. From 1918 into the ‘20s, the gravity of the Irish desire to break from England was felt by nearly everyone. This history warrants its own article, if not series of books, but to keep it brief: The northern Irish province of Ulster had long been inhabited by both an Irish Catholic underclass and Anglo-Irish Protestant “planters.” The Planters exercised much political and economic control over the area, extending down into Ireland.
Michael Collins, Irish politician and first leader of the IRA. He was ultimately assassinated.
Michael Collins, Irish politician and first leader of the IRA. He was ultimately assassinated.

Because so many people of British ancestry lived in Ulster, when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was finally signed in 1921, Ulster—which from then on was called Northern Ireland—opted out of the newly-formed Irish Free State in favor of joining the UK. The Irish Republican Army (IRA), which had fought for independence, was fragmented into two main groups: those who supported Northern Ireland’s loyalty to Britain, and those who wanted a united Ireland. Fueled by religious and political differences, the two sides formed their own paramilitary organizations and political parties. Violence over this issue lasted throughout the 20th century and into today. It was not contained to Northern Ireland, however, but spread across the water into Great Britain and the United States. While the violence has subsided, the divide remains.

The issue of Irish independence and the violent tenacity of the IRA lit a fire beneath the British government. With a large Catholic populace, many Scots were sympathetic to the Irish cause from the start. Others still (mostly Unionists) supported the Loyalist cause. Scots, for most of the 20th century, were not only preoccupied with being drafted into both World Wars, but generally were disinterested in armed resistance. Like Ulster, Scotland remained (and remains) divided on Unionism. Violence, for the most part, has been out of the question. With the formation of the Scottish National Party (the SNP) in the early half of the 20th century, Scotland gained significant political influence in Westminster. By the 1990s, Scotland regained its own parliament. Most people term this phenomenon “devolution” (you be the judge about what connotation that brings).

As Britain lost its colonies overseas, hopes for Scottish separatism grew. In the 1970s, upon discovering oil in the North Sea (in Scottish waters), many Scots—particularly Nationalists—supported the idea that the revenue from the oil should flow into Scotland. British Petroleum (BP), formerly the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, immediately focused on obtaining North Sea oil. Norway obtained much of the oil, but many Scots viewed the oil as belonging not to Britain as a whole, but to Scotland. With billions of barrels of oil at stake, it’s no wonder that BP is urging Scotland to stay in the Union. The financial concerns of England (well, more accurately, English Corporatists) are taking center-stage. The English aristocrats and bureaucrats are begging Scotland to stay in the Union. The attitude of many of those in the “Better Together” campaign can be called, at times, condescending. The shackles of empire are quaking under the strength of the Scottish spirit of liberty.
union dissolved

More importantly, the breaking up not only of the United Kingdom but of Great Britain itself means that large governments, maybe the State itself, could lose power at any moment. It’s no surprise to anyone that the idea of secession is gaining legitimacy around the world. Kurdish secession, Ukrainian/Russian secession, Venetian secession, Texan secession, the successful South Sudanese secession—even the corporatist propaganda outlets are taking notice. The question posed by these movements is: “If Scotland can successfully break away after 1,000 years of attempted and successful English rule, why can’t we?”

That’s the question of the century. That’s what it all comes down to. One of the many definitions of “nation” (and the one I favor) is: “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nation).By this definition, and by the measure of History, these are two separate nations. Here’s a more important point:

Any human being—regardless of origin, regardless of reason, regardless of political position—deserves to be free. They deserve to make their own destiny. Many conservatives, libertarians, and even some anarchists have been criticizing Scottish independence as silly. Their new government, and the SNP in general, may turn Scotland in to a socialist nation in the style of Sweden or Denmark. This is true. Most Scottish Nationalists lean fairly hard to the Left. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Who knows what will happen to Scotland in the future. Even if it is the case, why does it matter? It’s not my country. They are their own people, each individual Scot is his or her own person. It’s not my place nor is it my desire to tell them what to do.
Whether or not Scotland can be economically viable is a matter of debate, but everyone should note that the same country that churned out world-renowned shakers like Adam Smith and James Watt has a historical foundation to stand on when it comes to economics.

 Many Scots want to be free. They’re tired of the English yoke. They’re tired of being subjects of the Queen and Prime Minister. They’re tired of getting pushed into Britain and America’s costly wars, and tired of sacrificing their freedom in the process. They want to trade with who they choose to trade with. They want to break away and form their own destiny. As Lysander Spooner said about the American Civil War:
“The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded. On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could thereby induced to stay in the Union. The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.”

Secession is a dangerous idea. The failure of secession movements or any rebellion can inspire two things: a renewed faith in large, imperial governments, or a loss of faith in government in general. In my opinion as an anarchist, I am not always disheartened when revolutions fail. The political process, after all, is fundamentally opposed to liberty. If secession movements win, the results are obvious. If this referendum passes, it could mean that the concept of empire, that the concept of government, is in its death throes. As the “libertarian moment” approaches, this could mean the dawning of an era of real, honest freedom. Yes, secession could mean that Scotland could fall under another corrupt government, and yes, I believe that all government is slavery. I’m not a Minarchist. The key difference here, and the reason why I as an anarchist support this movement, is because this is a step toward the right direction. I don’t want the Scots to stop at national independence. I want them only to pass through and go on to better things. I don’t want Scottish Nationalism; I want Scottish Separatism. I want real independence for each and every Scot, for each and every human.
saltire
 “Once one concedes that a single world government is not necessary, then where does one logically stop at the permissibility of separate states? If Canada and the United States can be separate nations without being denounced as in a state of impermissible ‘anarchy’, why may not the South secede from the United States? New York State from the Union? New York City from the state? Why may not Manhattan secede? Each neighbourhood? Each block? Each house? Each person?”
–Murray Rothbard

Soar Alba gu bràth

Footnotes:
*Whether Cornwall should be considered part of England is its own issue. A heavily Celtic area, Cornwall has its own unique history and culture, along with a thriving independence movement of its own.
**A large portion of historians term this area of Europe “Gaul” (the name the Romans gave it), and so term the Celts who moved away “Gaels.” We call their language/culture Gaelic. There are subtleties and debates about this terminology, however.
***It was around this time that Scotland came under a monarch. However, it remained a Scottish monarch for centuries, and most monarchs had considerably weaker control over the clans when compared with the English system of governance. Even after the Norman invasion, Scotland (due to its distance and its distinct culture) was difficult to pull under their yoke.
****While Edward ultimately failed to unite the kingdoms under his rule, he did succeed in taking the Stone of Scone as a spoil of war. The Stone of Scone (also called the Stone of Destiny) was symbolically used as the coronation rock for the high kings of Scotland, and remains an important cultural icon. The Stone was placed under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, where it remained for centuries. In 1950, some Scottish Nationalist students attempted to steal the Stone and return it to Scotland; however, the British police returned it. In the 1990s, in a symbol of amicable union and apology for past offences, the stone was returned to Edinburgh.

Fiume: The last Pirate Utopia



During the golden age of piracy in the 17th and 18th century, heroic rebels plundered the lucrative shipping routes between Europe and the New World. They operated from free ports, the so-called pirate utopia’s on islands and along unreachable coastlines, outside the grasp of civilization. From these anarchist enclaves these free men organized unseen raids with which they undermined mercantilism and the upcoming system of worldwide oppression, slavery and colonialism.
One of the last of these pirate utopias was founded in 1919 by the celebrated poet and well known Italian national hero Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938). He gained fame during the First World War, where he fought in the Italian army, but refused, as did so many of his generation, to conform himself back to civilian life after the war. Therefore Italy became a pool of nationalist and revolutionary aspirations after the war. Futurists, fascists, anarchists: all tried to create a ‘new’ Italy, based on heroism, national glory and overcoming the class struggle.

DAnnunzio_1

Fiume (now known as the Croatian Rijeka) was part of the Habsburg Empire for centuries, before the First World War made an end to this. And although the city was then claimed by the Italians, it was given to the Slaves in Versailles by the Entente. D’Annunzio did not agree with this and moved from words to actions by marching from Ronchi di Monfalcone to Fiume in September 1919 with about three thousand deserted Italian soldiers. The city was conquered without even firing one shot and D’Annunzio and his troops were warmly welcomed by the population of the city.

DAnnunzio_4

After the Italian government refused to annexate the city, Gabriele D’Annunzio pronounced Fiume to be a Free State and for sixteen months conducted a revolutionary reign. With this Fiume became a social experiment and pilgrimage for all kind of freethinkers, artists and revolutionaries. Together with the national-syndicalist Alceste De Ambris he created the ‘Carta del Carnaro’, which served as the new constitution of the newly formed Free state. The absolute equality of men and women, freedom of religion and a comprehensive social system based on corporatism were the essential principles of this new constitution. Gabriele D’Annunzio wanted to develop a new civilization that was different from the corrupted, shiftless, vulgar and outplayed politicians of western civilization. His free port had to set the example to create a new spiritual storm which would radically change the western world. This new civilization would no longer be based on mammon and power, but on heroism and individual freedom.
D’Annunzio thought it was of a crucial importance that the population of Fiume introduced a new way of living. Each day parades were held, bonfires were ignited and theatrical speeches were given to inspire the population. A participation-democracy was realized with a decentralized government and many forms of direct democracy. This social experiment became the starting point of departure for universal rebellion. And under the leadership of the futurists, revolutionaries and other adventurers that en masse came to the city, it seemed this could work. After a trade-blockade by Italy to undermine the economy of Fiume, D’Annunzio developed an alternative system which was mainly based on piracy. His land- and sea robbers he called ‘Uscocchi’, after the infamous Slavic pirates from the past, who raided the region. One of the most well-known actions of the Uscocchi took place on the 18th of April 1920, when they robbed 46 expensive thoroughbreds from a riding school of the Italian army. The Italian government was furious and threatened with hard sanctions against Fiume, after which D’Annunzio promised to return the horses. However instead of returning the stolen thoroughbreds, D’Annunzio returned 46 emaciated peasant horses to the Italian government. A provocation which inspired many people.

DAnnunzio_2

Gabriele D’Annunzio was ahead of his time when he noticed the newly formed League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations) was a conspiracy of thieves and scammers. As an alternative he founded the ‘Lega di Fiume’, a league which had to unify and liberate all the oppressed peoples of the world. Within this league there would be place for the Irish, the Palestinians and other Arab peoples, Asians and of course the Slavic peoples who were oppressed by Serbia. However, these plans came to an abrupt end when in the December month of 1920 the Italian army made a definitive end to D’Annunzio’s pirate utopia, This day became known as ‘Bloody Christmas’.
After the fall of the Free state Fiume, Gabriele D’Annunzio retreated to Italy, where many of his ideas found an entrance in the rising fascism of Mussolini. Although he supported some fascist ideals, he strongly rejected others. The poet supported the corporatist arrangement of the economy and the strife for a new society based on heroism, action and nationalism. However Mussolini’s alliance with the foundations of the ‘old’ Italy – the monarchy and the church – could of course not get his approval. The Free state of Fiume was by no means an example what Italy could expect for the coming two decades. The Free state of Fiume was a social experiment in which the anarchist principles of direct democracy stood at the basis, while the fascism of Mussolini degenerated into a conservative and totalitarian dictatorship. Where the population of Fiume knew an unprecedented individual freedom, many Italians totally forgot the meaning of freedom after twenty years of fascist oppression.
Every attempt to qualify D’Annunzio’s regime as a rightwing or leftwing phenomenon is deemed to fail. The great force of the poet was his ability of acquiring support from a colorful and very diverse companionship that was capable – be it for a short period of time – to create their own reality. With the fall of the Free state of Fiume there came an abrupt end to the glory time of the pirate utopias. In a time in which the influence of modern society seems to be insurmountable and the State seems to influence all aspects of human life, the prospect on such a Free state seems further away than ever before. However, it is exactly because of this that we have to keep on pursuing the ideals of D’Annunzio and other spirited rebels. Only by realizing Free spaces outside the influence sphere of the State – how big or small they maybe -, we can show the people that real freedom can still be achieved.

DAnnunzio_5

Oxymoron and Utopia are Capitalist

 
by Leon Darío
Founder and Spokesman
Section Iberian National-Anarchist Movement. 
namseccioniberica@yahoo.es
WE often have to endure the destructive comments from skeptics who describe us, the National Anarchists, as well as our movement in general, as an "oxymoron," including our intentions, rationale and objectives as a form of Anarchist "utopia". Before going ahead with this article, I must cite and quote something which corresponds to the official definition. Firstly, in relation to oxymoron:
"The oxymoron (the Greek ὀξύμωρον, oxymoron, Latin contradiction in terms) within literary figures in rhetoric, is a logical idea that uses two concepts of an opposite meaning in one expression, generating a third concept. Given that the literal meaning is the opposite of an oxymoron, 'absurd' (eg 'an eternal moment "), this forces the reader or listener to understand the metaphorical sense (in this case: a moment that, by the intensity of a lived experience, makes you lose track of time)."
We can also generally use oxymoron to relate to something "impossible" or "a miracle."
Secondly, regarding Utopia: "The utopian concept refers to the representation of an ideal or ironic world that is presented as an alternative to the actual existing world, through a critique of it."
To our critics, we must reply that both oxymoron and utopia represent the system and capitalist society in which they live, think and act, as well as the yearning to grow and "develop" as individuals, but in which the condition of individual release is null and rather function as human beings that are subjugated to the interests of the State and all of its relevant and unfolded structure (political, police, judicial, bureaucratic, ecclesiastical, business ...)
National-Anarchism is not an oxymoron, quite the contrary. The oxymoron is the belief that you can infinitely, plunder, pillage, plunder and exhaust all resources offered by Mother Earth, putting a price tag on our forests, oceans, flora, fauna and the thousands of species that co-habit this planet called Earth, but in which human beings, educated under a capitalism that sustains our respective states, we "erect" lords and masters and so we act and proceed as their respective colonisers, exploiters, looters and predators. oxymoron is defiling and despoiling our ancestral identity and our customs and traditions in favour of a globalised, amorphous, grey world, which in the name of "progress", erases the traces and signs of the identities of All Nations and which truly make up the wealth of this planet we inhabit.
Utopia is the belief that you can infinitely gorge on capitalism and believe yourself free in a society in which you are really a slave to its dictates and absurd fashions, its drugs, alcohol, junk food, film, political-parliamentary system and belief in the change or achievement of "welfare" through the system-trap of the ballot box and supposedly selecting mutually independent political candidates, although they are really nothing more than sides A, B and C of the same face, the same electoral structure of the same repressive state.
Oxymoron is the absurd and utopian ideology of ultimate "citizenism" or "citizenist"... an ideology which has a devotee voter and obedient servant, a submissive slave who is happy and peaceful, a state that oppresses its parliamentary political system, an indoctrinated believer of the various media and political parties of the state which meet their vested interests and which does not exceed the mere creation of "approved" schools of thought within the system, and remains confined to the internal area of that which is permitted and the rules established by the state; the state has its police and judicial apparatus to ensure that this is appropriate.
Returning to the oxymoron, this is perfectly reflected in the "mirror" of Detroit (and in the wild "crisis" shaking much of the West in general), which, until recently, was the birthplace of the automotive industry and where Henry Ford could build his first automobile in 1904 ... And now, in 2015, Detroit has succumbed to the crisis and wild lies and finds itself dying of a "capitalist overdose", where vegetation flourishes from the ruins of hundreds of mansions and factories long past their "golden years".
We, the National-Anarchists, warn that the earth can no longer withstand the blows of the capitalist cancer and that capitalism itself is now entering a phase of collapse (as is evidenced by the case of Detroit) and when this process of collapse is complete, only those who are rooted to the land can survive, by cultivating the soil, living in rural areas, having an awareness of belonging to the land and not vice versa... The "withdrawal time" is crucial; a progressive abandonment of the great capitalist cities, this corrupt and degrading modern world where technology advances unabated and humans are becoming less human and more "robotic", with dependent keyboard-addicts with their screens and virtual conversations who completely lose the artistic, creative ability. A true independence of humanity will be attained through the return of the people, a respect of that which we inherited from our ancestors, with the collectivisation of land and various resources, integration and respect for nature, and the establishment of all individuals in human communities, following common factors of an ethnic, cultural, linguistic and spiritual character. In these times of usury, we must raise the revolutionary flag of the N-AM and initiate the revolt against the modern world from our neighbourhoods, towns, lands and mountains; let the indispensable and fundamental work of proselytism and activist agitation, dissemination of our mottos and ideals, become manifest until the final advance is unstoppable in the struggle for human, animal and earth liberation.

See also the recommended National-Anarchist articles on similar subjects here, and the related articles of interest below the N-AM manifesto, here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Proxy Violence: On Killing with "Clean" Hands

 From our Inception, We Have Been a Species at War.  I strongly feel that the anarchist/ libertarian non-aggression principle to be rooted in utopian fantasy and to operate as an ideal, rather than a historical reality.  (I fully expect written refutations to this in my mailbox.)  It is not non-aggression that has fuelled most technological nor moral/ philosophical advancements that culminated in this “modern” age, but I'll save more in depth discussion of this for another day.   

On many levels, there has been a centuries-long, collective drive - by academics, philosophers, and just ordinary men and women, to move away from this incessant infighting and toward a more Star Trek-style utopia – ultimately devoid of war and sickness – where humanity can work together to improve its existence on this blue-green marble we call Earth.  The way Western Civilization has flourished, it has made perfect sense that many of the old ways would be left behind.  Much of the world we see today barely resembles the more organically-tribalistic patchwork of nation-states that ruled and defined our ancestors for most of human evolution. 

But violence has always been a necessary part of this succession.  It is the constant and implicit structure which has guarded the perimeter, and watched over the darkest nights so that artists can draw, singers can sing, and workers can work without worrying about a face-painted savage (and I mean “savage” in the most complimentary and empowering way – savagery becomes a virtue when negotiations have failed and violence is the only option which remains,)  driving a spear through their cervical spine or a hail of bullets through their thoracic cavity.

Today’s political landscape sees many minority groups petitioning for, and in many cases rightfully obtaining their rights under the law.  Indeed, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution promises Equal Protection under the laws for all citizens.  This is necessary for the supreme law of the land to maintain its legitimacy.

Organic Tribalism: However, there are great divisions in our country – fractures along ideological and geographic lines.  This only makes sense when you consider that for most of our species’ existence, we were organized in tribes, and drew strength, comfort, safety, and even our very identities from our fellow tribesmen.  Because of limited technology, and because of simple organic tribalism: that tendency of homo sapiens to group together for survival and assume identities therefrom, that this flourished.  I largely see such differences and many political movements through a tribal lens - political movements adopt similar slogans, speech patterns, logos and insignias, assume a common identity and their own value sets.

All the GPS, live podcasts, and HDTVs haven’t really changed that.  Organic tribalism resonates in many familiar areas of life today – police departments encourage tribalism by donning uniforms.  So do sports teams.  Even when part of a larger organism, such as a branch of the military, smaller units nonetheless display tribal behavior by donning particular insignia, and taking great pride and sometimes even great risk to bring honor to their unit above and beyond the military branch as a whole.

Vicarious wrath and Proxy Violence:  Jack Donovan rightly points out (I’m paraphrasing here, but the essence is the same;)  that an overweight “tough on crime” conservative raising his fist as his TV screen and “feeling tough” about his hard stance against crime is really a sad joke.  In reality, he isn’t standing against crime at all.  He is merely railing in favor of a “low level government employee” pulling a trigger or a switch, or pushing a button.  (If you dig this, you should really follow that link - Donovan is much more articulate than I.) When the switch is pulled, sending electricity pouring into a doomed criminal’s nervous system, that conservative may very well be face deep in a Philly cheese steak, happy about the taking of a life he had little to no part in taking.  This person doesn’t combat the crime himself.  He is content to allow others to do the dirty work so that he can prostrate himself before his God with clean hands.    

The same can be said of certain liberals who cry incessantly for strict gun control.  Make no mistake,  these people are NOT against guns.  The disarmament agenda they vocally and with vitriol espouse cannot operate without the aid of guns.  These talking heads are merely advocating for certain people (who naturally have guns) to barge into the homes of other people and disarm them on threat of death and imprisonment.  

When I have asked many of them if they themselves would be willing to kick down the doors of their fellow gun owning citizens, I generally received some copout about how “they pay taxes” so, naturally, they are entitled to having other people do it for them (as if any amount of tax money is worth a human life,) or occasionally, A poorly thought out script about being pacifistic and against violence in general.

Newsflash: it is very easy to be a pacifist when others stand ready to do violence on your behalf. 

"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

- George Orwell

This idea of keeping one’s hands clean, while relying on others to do violence on their behalf is proxy violence.  To some degree, I acknowledge that it is a necessary evil.  There is certainty and predictability in a civilization where vendettas are the exception and not the rule, and where a law enforcement system can track notorious criminals such as serial killers and child rapists in distant states, far from where a husband or father’s retribution could ever reach them.   

The Proliferation of Proxy Violence in the “Modern” Age: However, there is something equally disturbing about the increase in proxy violence in our society, and more disturbing: the comfort at which many of our civilians espouse.  (I adore Heinlein’s model of civic virtue, and appreciate his contrast between a citizen and a civilian.  also acknowledge that this may be an easy philosophy for me to don given my background.)

Warrior-types – whether military or law enforcement instinctively prefer their generals to lead from the front.  Street police are much more comfortable with a road boss who had extensive experience on patrol and/ or time on a tactical team than they would be with a more "bookish" supervisor.  I definitely did.  There was a time when this was the norm – that any leader worth his mettle could only lead his men from the front.  Today, this sort of valor is predictably frowned upon, as the gears of war and order-maintenance become more technical, requiring perhaps less "balls" and more "brains."  But make no mistake – the spirits of men have not changed as fast as our technology, and are yet still compelled to follow courageous leadership.

This movement toward proxy violence manifests in some ways which I consider to be quite ugly – one is the so-called drug war.  There are too many people in this country who are fine with armed and armored SWAT teams throwing grenades into homes of people suspected of smoking marijuana or hiding cocaine.  I try to live a healthy lifestyle, but if someone else wants to do drugs and aren't hurting, abusing, or neglecting another as a result of their addiction, leave them be. 

While I am a proponent of police militarization, I am only such if (1) tactical teams are used as a last resort, (2) tactical teams are used extremely sparingly – such as in response to the events at Columbine, or the North Hollywood shootout, and (3) they are balanced by a citizenry of free men who also retain the right and the ability to militarize should they need to overthrow a future despotic or rogue government, as was (what I firmly believe to be) the true spirit and purpose of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. 

(For non-American readers, I make many references to American governance because that is where I reside – if you have any equally compelling doctrines in your nations, feel free to message them to me – I am always appreciative of different ideas regarding this subject matter.)

One of the worst effects of proxy violence is the rise of the defenseless ostrich-men – who have grown with no “street sense,” no ability to defend themselves or others, and who rely solely on the (hopeful) presence of better men than themselves to swoop in and rescue them should violence ever threaten them. 

Rape whistles.  Cell phones.  These are the tools of the unprepared.  Small knife (make sure it's legal,) concealed firearm (make doubly sure it's legal,) now we're talking.  I hope they step it up, because  there are bad and very real people out there who would try to harm them should their paths cross.

I worked in law enforcement for eight years before I was injured in that car wreck, and I can tell you from personal experience that police more often than not arrive to photograph blood spatter and stab wounds, and to load victims into ambulances.  It is less often that we are actually around to intercede in the few seconds that elapse during an assault.

Never have I hoped that an ostrich would back me up when I was fighting a suspect high on PCP.

Implied Violence in the Rule of Law: Law by its very nature cannot rule without the threat/ implication of deadly force for those who resist.  Otherwise, it’s not law at all...merely a suggested behavior protocol.  There exists a commonly reviled but equally necessary political and legislative process by which to amend it, but it often seems clumsy and slow.These are some of the factors that have driven me toward social libertarianism – that fewer laws regulating victimless human behavior are preferable to more laws; that groups of people can assemble peacefully and be at peace in forming their own organic tribal identities.  If one tribe decides that it wants to smoke hashish after work, they shouldn’t fear boots and bullets if they do so.  If another decides that children should be taught to hunt or fight at a young age, that they have the liberty to do so as well, so long as they do not hurt others with such skill sets.

I am of the strong feeling that if you are not willing to swing the axe or pull the trigger yourself, you are living in a fantasy world, and aren’t actually “anti gun,” or “tough on crime.”

It is also very easy to say “well, I would pull the trigger if I had the chance.”

 Let me tell you, I have been in situations where I would have been legally, and perhaps more importantly, morally - under my personal code,  justified in pulling a trigger, and I didn’t.  It isn’t that easy, and I probably sleep better at night because of that choice.   

After having myself, committed proxy violence on behalf of many, many people who I will never meet, I can tell you, it changes the way I look at people.  I was their sin-eater – they got to traipse along knowing that if the going get tough, that I would be the one to see the tough get going.  Don't misunderstand - I accepted that position willingly (quite happily, actually,) and don't regret it at all, it just widened my perception.

Next time you start raving: “kill all those Arabs/Jews/Atheists/blacks/whites/gays/whoever,” think long and hard on whether you would really be willing to commit that violence yourself, or if you are just being a loudmouth and expecting others to do it.  Chances are, you're just being a loudmouth and should knock it off.

Boundaries not Borders


By Pasquale Zoro Pulella
NATA-NY

The point of this article is not to propose a belief of any kind on whether or not to have an open border, my idea is to transcend beyond that paradigm. I am not for or against open borders policy I simply propose an alternative to both. If you regard my article as “racist” you haven’t understood it, in which case I would hope that you would read it a second time and try to pretend you are a Martian examining the human race form a scientific point of view.

An anarchist is someone who believes that any form of hierarchical violent authority is immoral, illegitimate, and must be removed. As an Anarchist one would naturally believe that certain unnatural systems that depend on an organized system of hierarchical violence are also immoral regardless of its purpose. As an anarchist one would naturally believe that the borders imposed by government are also themselves an immoral act, and an unnatural human conception. In a nation state one would travel to close proximity to a border from a main road only to find violent agents of the state regulating, tracking, fining, or restricting your right to travel. However the purpose for borders is dualistic in nature. The Nation-State border is used to restrict travel but also to preserve culture. An example of what happens when borders are not enforced can be seen in the southern area of the United States. For better or for worse people from south of the border have been moving across the border; Mexicans, Cubans, Haitians, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing nor is it necessarily a good thing however some people may have their opinions on this fact either way. For those who propose an open border policy or for anarchists who oppose borders entirely (such is the case for me) one might say that an enforced border would restrict someone’s right to travel and find greener pastures, also they might say that the people who oppose the open border policy are “racist” regardless of whether or not it is true. One who advocates for an enforced border proposes either that the aforementioned “illegal” immigrants are coming to take the peoples jobs OR they would say that they are coming and transfusing their culture into that of the so called “natives”.

The question for an anarchist is therefore what would be the case in a free society? If both Mexico and the US ceased being Nation-States and began being Stateless-Nations then the reason for immigration becomes lost because the uneven distribution of wealth and employment created by global state-capitalism disappears. However say for example the US became a stateless society and Mexico continued being a Nation-State wouldn’t the immigrants continue to enter into the territory once called the USA? Yes they probably would because there is no border and no State to enforce one if there were one. However the “taking of jobs” would no longer be an issue because the lack of taxation would mean that the cost of living would be drastically reduced therefore the higher paying jobs would not be as necessary. But the second (Legitimate) reason for the border still remains, the preservation of culture. If one was a Nationalist American who loves apple pie, Johnny Appleseed, and George Washington and does not want the influence of outsiders in their culture. These people do not need a government to preserve their culture, they can simply set up an enclave where they have the intention of preserving their culture, this idea is not a Border it is a Boundary. The difference between a border and a boundary is simply a tribal issue and it is not unnatural at all, it is simply the way of nature. The main difference is that a Border is enforced while the Boundary is not enforced also that borderlines are considered property of a nation state.
Border: a line separating two political or geographical areas, especially countries.
Boundaries: a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line
(Dividing line between groups of people) 

Different packs of animals in the wild tend to live with their own, weather that means traveling together in packs, or living in a certain territory. Hippopotamuses are very territorial, Chimpanzees, and gorillas as well. As for migrating species that travel in groups there are Buffalo, sheep, and geese. Even certain groups of fish tend to travel in their groups. Different herds of Humans tend to do the same; gangs have their territories and even mark their territory with graffiti. Whether or not we should have boundaries is of no consequence, the fact is that people have a natural tendency to trust their tribes and be weary of outside tribes, therefore boundaries will exist. And groups of humans will always be in conflict.



 An example of a boundary would be in Native American culture where they had “territory’s” in these territory’s the natives had no state to force people to stay away from them but rather to make known that they were in the land of a certain tribe. If for example one was to walk in an enemy tribes territory they would not be confronted by tribal border police but rater they would be entering land where he knows that he is not welcome and he is running the risk of  being attacked.  However say for example you were in an allied or neutral tribe’s territory what would happen is you would be left alone or at most questioned in a friendly manner by the home tribe. They would ask if you wanted to trade, share stories, smoke, engage in rituals, etc. The idea of a boundary does leave room for bigotry and hatred to continue however it would only happen if such hatred already existed and by enforcing borders and “togetherness” bigotry will only worsen. My question for anyone who refutes the idea of boundaries for example would be, if you have two groups of people who hate each other would you have them live near each other? Like gangs of today? Or would it be better if they lived apart; they don’t have to like each other, just leave each other alone.

Africa is a perfect example of why Borders are bad and boundaries can be good. The problems in Africa today arise from tribal conflicts. Tribal conflicts had always existed in Africa; take the expansion of the Zulu tribe as an example. The Zulu tribe had conquered many other tribes and has become the biggest tribe in South Africa, due to its aggression against its neighboring tribes. However when the European empires had begun to expand into Africa they made the problems worse. The Europeans had formed borders around the African people regardless of ethnic boundaries and forced people of opposing tribes to live under the same government and many times as neighbors. The African conflicts today are so much more devastating and destructive now that they are forced to live together. The people of Africa had lived in a much more balanced lifestyle before the Europeans had conquered.

Not all boundaries have to be ethnic in origin. Some boundaries can be places to protect the environment for example. In some areas people can shun the activity of fracking so they can do their part in protecting the earth’s crust from man-made destruction. Other places can be a safe haven for nudists (people who don’t want to wear cloths). Still other places can be places where they shun the use of electricity (such as Amish communities). If someone does not want to partake in the idea that the community is promoting such as nudism or Amish lifestyle, they can communicate their concerns with the community and they can work something out. If the individual and the community do not strike and agreement, they can choose to dedicate a land as outside the boundary or leave the area completely. A community based on a religion or ideology can be formed, if there is someone who is anti said religion or ideology they know that that is a zone of conflict for them. There is no limit to the kind of living spaces people can create if we just eliminate the enforcement mechanism of state borders.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Libertarian View of Nationalism, Secession, and Ethnic Enclaves


Situación_etnolinguística_de_UcraniaBy Murray Rothbard

[Editor’s Note: This is a Selection from “Nations by Consent:Decomposing the Nation-State”]
The “nation,” of course, is not the same thing as the state, a difference that earlier libertarians and classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Albert Jay Nock understood full well. Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic  group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a “country.” He is always born into a specific historical context of time and place, meaning neighborhood and land area.

The modern European nation-state, the typical “major power,” began  not as a nation at all, but as an “imperial” conquest of one nationality-  usually at the “center” of the resulting country, and based in the capital  city-over other nationalities at the periphery. Since a “nation” is a complex of subjective feelings of nationality based on objective realities, the  imperial central states have had varying degrees of success in forging among  their subject nationalities at the periphery a sense of national unity incorporating submission to the imperial center. In Great Britain, the English  have never truly eradicated national aspirations among the submerged  Celtic nationalities, the Scots and the Welsh, although Cornish nationalism seems to have been mostly stamped out. In Spain, the conquering  Castilians, based in Madrid, have never managed-as the world saw at  the Barcelona Olympics-to erase nationalism among the Catalans, the  Basques, or even the Galicians or Andalusians. The French, moving out from their base in Paris, have never totally tamed the Bretons, the Basques, or the people of the Languedoc.

It is now well known that the collapse of the centralizing and imperial Russian Soviet Union has lifted the lid on the dozens of previously suppressed nationalisms within the former U.S.S.R., and it is now becoming clear that Russia itself, or rather “the Russian Federated Republic,” is simply a slightly older imperial formation in which the Russians, moving out from their Moscow center, forcibly incorporated many nationalities including the Tartars, the Yakuts, the Chechens, and many others. Much of the U.S.S.R. stemmed from imperial Russian conquest in the nineteenth century, during which the clashing Russians and British managed to carve up much of central Asia.

The “nation” cannot be precisely defined; it is a complex and varying constellation of different forms of communities, languages, ethnic groups, or religions. Some nations or nationalities, such as the Slovenes, are both a separate ethnic group and a language; others, such as the warring groups in Bosnia, are the same ethnic group whose language is the same but who differ in the form of alphabet, and who clash fiercely on religion  (the Eastern Orthodox Serbs, the Catholic Croats, and the Bosnian Muslims, who, to make matters more complicated, were originally champions of the Manichaean Bogomil heresy). The question of nationality is made more complex by the interplay of objectively existing reality and subjective perceptions. In some cases, such as Eastern European nationalities under the Habsburgs or the Irish under the British, nationalisms, including submerged and sometimes dying languages, had to be consciously preserved, generated, and expanded. In the nineteenth century this was done by a determined intellectual elite, struggling to revive peripheries living under, and partially absorbed by, the imperial center.

First, we can conclude that nor all state boundaries are just. One goal for libertarians should be to transform existing nation-states into national entities whose boundaries could be called just, in the same sense that private property boundaries are just; that is, to decompose existing coercive nation- states into genuine nations, or nations by consent.

In the case, for example, of the eastern Fredonians, the inhabitants should be able to secede voluntarily from Fredonia and join their comrades in Ruritania. Again, classical liberals should resist the impulse to say that national boundaries “don’t make any difference.” It’s true, of course, as classical liberals have long proclaimed, that the less the degree of government intervention in either Fredonia or Ruritania, the less difference such a boundary will make. But even under a minimal state, national boundaries would still make a difference, often a big one to the inhabitants of the area. For in what language-Ruritanian or Fredonian or both?-will be the street signs, telephone books, court proceedings, or school classes of the area?

In short, every group, every nationality, should be allowed to secede from any nation-state and to join any other nation-state that agrees to have it. That simple reform would go a long way toward establishing nations by consent. The Scots, if they want to, should be allowed by the English to leave the United Kingdom, and to become independent, and even to join a Gaelic Confederation, if the constituents so desire.

A common response to a world of proliferating nations is to worry about the multitude of trade barriers that might be erected. But, other things being equal, the greater the number of new nations, and the smaller the size of each, the better. For it would be far more difficult to sow the illusion of self-sufficiency if the slogan were “Buy North Dakotan” or even “Buy 56th Street” than it now is to convince the public to “Buy American.” Similarly, “Down with South Dakota,” or a fortiori, “Down with 55th Street,” would be a more difficult sell than spreading fear or hatred of the Japanese. Similarly, the absurdities and the unfortunate consequences of fiat paper money would be far more evident if each province or each neighborhood or street block were to print its own currency. A more decentralized world would be far more likely to turn to sound market commodities, such as gold or silver, for its money.

One obvious problem with the secession of nationalities from centralized states concerns mixed areas, or enclaves and exclaves. Decomposing the swollen central nation-state of Yugoslavia into constituent parts has solved many conflicts by providing independent nationhood for Slovenes, Serbs, and Croats, but what about Bosnia, where many towns and villages are mixed? One solution is to encourage more of the same, through still more decentralization. If, for example, eastern Sarajevo is Serb and western Sarajevo is Muslim, then they become parts of their respective separate nations. But this of course will result in a large number of enclaves, parts of nations surrounded by other nations. How can this be solved? In the first place, the enclave/exclave problem exists right now. One of the most vicious existing conflicts, in which the US has not yet meddled because
it has not yet been shown on CNN, is the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian exclave totally surrounded by, and therefore formally within, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh should clearly be part of Armenia. But, how then, will Armenians of Karabakh avoid their present fate of blockade by Azeris, and how will they avoid military battles in trying to keep open a land corridor to Armenia?
Under total privatization, of course, these problems would disappear. Nowadays, no one in the U.S. buys land without making sure that his title to the land is clear; in the same way, in a fully privatized world, access rights would obviously be a crucial part of land ownership. In such a world, then, Karabakh property owners would make sure that they had purchased access rights through an Azeri land corridor.

Decentralization also provides a workable solution for the seemingly insoluble permanent conflict in Northern Ireland. When the British partitioned Ireland in the early 1920s, they agreed to perform a second, a more micro-managed, partition. They never carried through on this promise. If the British would permit a detailed, parish by parish, partition vote in Northern Ireland, however, most of the land area, which is majority Catholic, would probably hive off and join the Republic: such counties as Tyrone and Fermanagh, southern Down, and southern Armagh, for example. The Protestants would probably be left with Belfast, county Antrim, and other areas north of Belfast. The major remaining problem would be the Catholic enclave within the city of Belfast, but again, an approach to the anarcho-capitalist model could be attained by permitting the purchase of access rights to the enclave.

Pending total privatization, it is clear that our model could be approached, and conflicts minimized, by permitting secessions and local control, down to the micro-neighborhood level, and by developing contractual access rights for enclaves and exclaves. In the U.S., it becomes important, in moving toward such radical decentralization, for libertarians
and classical liberals-indeed, for many other minority or dissident groups-to begin to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amend- ment and to try to decompose the role and power of the centralizing Supreme Court. Rather than trying to get people of one’s own ideological persuasion on the Supreme Court, its power should be rolled back and minimized as far as possible, and its power decomposed into state, or even local, judicial bodies.
[Image credit.]