The right to choose your government.

Intelligent questions raised about panarchy

I recently received a comment at Panarchy South Jersey.

Panarchy sounds great, but there are certain areas that I don’t really understand how it would work… How would real estate be controlled if there is not overarching government to mediate property claims? Whats to prevent a single government from turning its weapons against it’s non-territorial neighbors and becoming a territorial monopoly again? What system is there to ensure that each of the non-territorial states actually allows people to freely enter and leave it? In other words… who watches the watchmen? I can easily imagine this system acting simply to enable thugs to form their own little feudal states. Or are citizens going to have to huddle for protection being that there is no overarching Law and Order away from the courts of their chosen government? Don’t misunderstand, I am a big fan of the idea of Panarchy. These are simply questions that I can imagine others would ask me as well if I were to pitch the idea. If I can’t answer them, then there is no way I’ll be able to advance the cause of Panarchy… Thanks.  Aneiren

To which I gladly respond:


Thank you for your intelligent questions about panarchy. I’ll do my best to respond to them. All the questions you raised are the questions of a timid person, someone who is afraid of the world, looking for an overarching government to take care of them and keep them safe. On the contrary, your description of thugs and feudal states is more in line with how I see our current condition. Government today is a monopoly of force, not for the protection of the individual, but for their exploitation. I do not see government as being on my side, protecting me, looking out for my interests. I see it as a group of thugs, exercising power over me, for their sole advantage. We pride ourselves as having a government of, by, and for the people, but this is the rhetoric of the elite. Instead, we are a people with governments of, by, and for the elites who manage to get themselves elected into that elite. Once in power, they do with us what they want. For the ‘gift’ of our right to vote, all they ask of us is complete obedience and every dollar of taxes they can extract from us. Panarchy is not for the timid, which is why there are so few of us. It will take strength to stand up, without violence, to all the vested interests that work hand in hand with government to keep their monopoly power alive.

If you had carefully read the articles on this site you would have seen that my proposal is not that radical. I am talking about non-territorial governments that largely *cooperate* with one another. My vision for Government A and Government B, for example, is one where only the schools are handled separately by the two governments. All other government services, including the municipal courts and police, are funded and operated jointly. Others might choose to create governments that prefer to do more things on their own, but that is not what I am proposing with Government B. My vision of panarchy involves a great deal of cooperation as well as radical freedom to choose for oneself. I do not believe these two things are necessarily at odds.


2009/10/18 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. ***** This is not directed towards you or your post in particular, it just triggered me to respond to one important aspect of the issue ******

    There is no way this, or anything, can be accomplished without violence. Sounds nice and utopian but completely unrealistic. Violence will ALWAYS play a major role in governments and society — especially when ANY changes are to take place in either govt or society.

    Governments (the elite in power) NEVER give up their kingdoms without a fight. When has a govt ever changed hands without conflict (excluding disasters)? Can you imagine a leader giving up extreme wealth and power without a fight? I can’t, no matter how nicely you ask!!

    Like it or not, violence is the ONLY way the world can be changed on a large scale. Look at America, France, Cuba, Russia, China, Iraq, etc, etc, etc. These changes in govt required massive sacrifice of life and money. ANY future freedom will have to be taken by force as it will not be given to us willingly…..America is no different.

    Either be prepared to fight for your freedom or get busy accepting the way you currently live for the rest of your life. America is one of the most disgusting countries because it operates under the guise of freedom, equality, and justice while, in reality, these qualities do not exist in the USA. America is no different than any other aristocratic/feudalistic society. We have no REAL freedom!!

    You are “free” to do as is expected of you or face the numerous consequences. In this respect, any prisoner can be said to have freedom. He can do anything he wishes within the confines of his cell, though some actions will bring punishment– just as they will outside the prison. Really, we just reside in a very large cell…but a cell nevertheless. You can’t come & go as you please in & out of the country any more than an inmate can leave/return to prison as he wishes. You must have permission, you must be patted down by guards, metal detectors, etc.

    Equality … hahaha, what a joke! I thought equal rights meant identical rights but this is obviously NOT the case. Anyone with even the most basic intelligence knows this is nowhere near a reality. It’s so obvious, I don’t even feel the need to elaborate at all!!!

    Justice … There is supposed to be “justice for all” and equality in the eyes of the law in America. This is so far from the reality that it borders on absurdity. The wealthy and well-connected have a separate justice system than the rest of us. They receive many more rights and priveleges, go thru different courts, are held to different standards, and even have different prisons just in case they are sentenced. A working or poor person will nearly be crucified for an offense that a wealthy person can easily commit with no more than a slap on the wrist.

    It has nothing to do with right or wrong, only who can afford the more successful lawyer. Everyday decent people are falsely punished while the criminal elite can often purchase their way out of the situation.

    Could go on forever but i will summarize my feelings:

    Death to America!!

    Death to the wicked, the greedy, & the tyrants who daily hold us and our homeland hostage and ransom to us our very freedom…. Any day now, Judgement will be upon you!!

    Comment by SerfKing | 2010/01/18 | Reply

    • David,

      One reason to acquire mastery when learning a martial art is so that you do not overreact to violence when confronted by it. Instead, you have enough self-confidence that you can meet the violence with less or none all, deflecting the negative energy, and bringing some good to a bad situation.

      You, young man, are full of negative energy, which, if you are not careful, will do you a great deal of harm someday.

      Your missive arrives, interestingly, on the day in the US when we celebrate the memory of Martin Luther King, someone who achieved a great deal without violence, as was his intention. He himself was devoted to the memory and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, who also, thru non-violence, saw the peaceful turnover of his country from the control of the British. He knew that non-violence, rather than being a sign of weakness, requires an enormous amount of inner strength. While many Americans see our various wars as the appropriate use of force, I see them as so many examples of weakness, since only the weak turn first to violence to resolve disputes.

      As another example of how the “impossible” sometimes happens, consider the exemption of the Amish from paying Social Security taxes. The full story can be found here:

      Here are the bullet points (no pun intended):

      In 1935, the Social Security Act was passed.
      In 1955, it was expanded to include farm operators, thus effecting the Amish for the first time.
      The Amish objected to the taxes (and benefits) because they contradicted their religious requirements to care for their own elderly.
      In 1961, some number of them refusing to pay the taxes, and having closed bank accounts that the IRS would have attached, the government seized property, namely the draft horses used by the Amish farmers to plough their fields.
      The media brought this to the attention of the general public, and the reaction was strongly against the government.
      In 1965, buried in the Medicare bill, was language that exempted the Amish “and any other religious sect who conscientiously objected to insurance” from having to pay the Social Security tax.

      No shots were fired. No one was killed or injured. The ten year struggle between the Old Order Amish and the US Government resulted in victory for the principled few.

      Comment by Dwight Johnson | 2010/01/19 | Reply

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