Some say that we can control the material world with our minds. I don’t know how literal these people are being when they say this. But to some extent, it is true that you have to have a vision of the future if you ever hope to affect the change you want to see. Sometimes just planting the seed of how the world will progress can make it so, if it becomes reality in enough minds.
So here is my brightest prediction of the future of freedom, while still remaining realistic.
Cushioning the Collapse
People are already beginning to organize themselves into like-minded communities where they can collectively resist bullying from the government. These communities still follow most of the laws, and will for some time. At first they will continue paying taxes when they can’t easily help it, but simply refuse to be caged or murdered for victim-less crimes like trading among themselves with goods like raw milk; or using cannabis, whether recreational or as medicine.
- The Free State Project, Liberstad, and Fort Galt are just a few examples of free market mini-societies of like-minded individuals popping up all over the globe. Countless others exist that we don’t even know about, or are more loose in their structure. ICHA is an example of one such organization supporting, networking, and growing these bold experiments in societal organization. This process will only accelerate when people need protection from thugs or government, especially as the line blurs between the two.
Already the tax burdens on these communities will be relatively low, because they will use bitcoin and other alternative currencies as well as trade. Such currencies and advanced internet based systems of trade will become even more prolific as the United States draws the world into the largest economic meltdown of our time. But behold, the innovative “enemies of the state” will save the day. Alternative currencies will cushion the collapse of the dollar, as will internet technology that makes honest trading of goods and services viable without government interference.
- Block-chain technology as well as peer to peer markets like bitcoin, Uber, airbnb, ProudSource, Peacekeeper, and the Silk Road are all examples of current businesses and technologies that will out-compete the need for government services, organization, and regulation. If the government becomes weak, these entities will become stronger and more prolific, picking up the slack of any “good” services the government previously provided. If there is profit to be had, it will get done, and in the age of the internet, quickly. I have total faith in the multitude of entrepreneurs to think of creative ways to deliver services and even more ingenious ways to fund these services.
Without the dollar, the federal government will wane in power. They will threaten, and throw tantrums, but these will be ignored as people will have more important things to worry about. There will be a small time of relative turmoil, but as people quickly restructure their lives, this will abate, and the free market will step in to save us all. Though the government will at first attempt to arrest the market, wholesale shunning of the federal government will be the standard as everyone realizes they only stand in the way of prosperity. With their power effectively gone, they will fade, disperse, and either cease to exist, or be reduced to the actual basics which they can convince people are needed.
State governments will rise. Some will be better than others, and some will completely withdraw from the United States government, further collapsing the central governing system. If the United States government remains, it will be an impotent shadow of the past empire; little more than a diplomacy firm used by the states, and perhaps some courts.
Taxes may even be restructured so that the funding for the federal government may be provided by state governments: the federal government will work for the states, mostly in a military defense capacity. But since the states will be strapped for funding already, wars of aggression will stop overseas. The United States government will withdraw from the rest of the world.
- Places like Texas and New Hampshire may secede, though for different reasons. Texas would see itself as a strong viable government being bogged down by the feds, while New Hampshire would see itself as independent and hardy enough to survive and thrive without a central state.
People will flee the states that attempt to resurrect the old ways of governing, and people will move to states that allow the free market to lift us out of the worldwide depression. Conversely those who believe in a large government with socialist tendencies may relocate to places like California or New Jersey out of fear. This will hasten the self-organization of like-minded people into voluntary groups. The internet will provide security options for those who wish to group together virtually, without having to change geographic location, like insurance pools.
Quickly people will learn that invasion and terrorist attacks do not occur in places where the government does not limit what honest people can protect themselves with, nor forbid companies from providing those security services. In the most libertarian states, viable free market alternatives for all government services will come into existence, and the state will effectively be unable to collect mandatory taxes. People will realize the state that governs best, governs least.
Governments will still exist on donations and fundraising, but start resembling advocacy groups and charities more than coercive regulators. Previous governments may still hold elections and charge member fees in order to raise money for things like helping the poor, infrastructure, parks, or interstate diplomacy. But their decisions will have no power over others who choose not to participate. The courts will be the last government entity to transition, and eventually compete against other arbiters when disputes between companies and individuals cannot be settled.
Autonomous regions of these states will rise, seceding from the states, with the precedent set by states seceding from the federal government. Some states will have squabbles, but war in the former Unites States between states will quickly become political (or career) suicide, as it bankrupts the people and creates unneeded death and destruction. When people must fund their own wars, their appetites quickly shift away from violence when it may directly involve them. What weak states there are left will be effectively stopped from taking up arms against neighbors and peaceful innocents, except in isolated incidents. In these isolated incidents, those responsible will be prosecuted by agencies acting on the victims’ behalf, and no one will stick out their neck to protect the guilty (unlike in current government: think Janet Reno, the ATF, Hillary Clinton etc).
The Rise of Free Cities
Finally the markets in the freest autonomous stateless regions will boom, propelling living standards past the highest point the world saw under government. This will be due to a few factors: (1) the productive will keep (or control) all of what they earn, leading to more production, and resources placed where they will continue to produce; (2) there will be no coercive (non market) regulations, therefore adoption of things like new transportation or promising medical leaps will accelerate exponentially; (3) there will be no crimes without victims meaning large subsets of wealth will be steered towards more productive endeavors as opposed to jails, needless patrols, and excessive court systems.
With the merit and success of voluntary society finally proven, the world will quickly abandon coercive government, in favor of peace and prosperity. It will take another century before governments disappear completely, and another century after that until people stop trying to form governments, realizing that it is a death sentence for their short lived regimes.
Crime will not be completely eliminated, rather we will enter the next phase of advancement. We will not see prison populations grow to crazy numbers, because there will be no more victim-less crimes, due to the fact that security companies would be working for the victims rather than funded through taxation. Crime insurance and security companies will become innovative in how they resolve crime (with a heavy bent on prevention) in order to save on internment costs, further reducing crime rates.
Just as insurance companies currently seek to lower the risk of having to pay out, security insurance companies will seek to solve poverty and other things which lead to crime, in order to pay out fewer claims. This will keep more wealth in productive sectors of the economy, and increase the standard of living for everyone, further reducing crime.
Unforeseen crisis will arise, and quickly be solved by market forces when the government does not force its way into a situation, waste money on ineffective solutions, and end up prolonging the crisis, or creating new ones in the process.
And this is how the world will transition to a truly free society, with relatively little turmoil and violence. The age of slavery is almost over.