Welcome to our penultimate Secession Week post, in celebration of Independence Day tomorrow. Today’s concept is non-territorial secession, or seceding without moving. For those who are totally unfamiliar with the concept, I offer a brief introduction.
This is not a new concept, and has been proposed by many names and in many flavors, such as:
* Polycentric Law: “a legal structure in which providers of legal systems compete or overlap in a given jurisdiction, as opposed to monopolistic statutory law according to which there is a sole provider of law for each jurisdiction.”
* Market Anarchism: a “philosophy in which monopoly of force held by government would be replaced by a competitive market of private institutions offering security, justice, and other defense services – “the private allocation of force, without central control”. A market would exist where providers of security and law compete for voluntarily paying customers that wish to receive the services rather than individuals being taxed without their consent and assigned a monopoly provider of force.”
* FOCJ: Functional, Overlapping, and Competing Jurisdictions – A reinvention of these 150-year old ideas by Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Reiner Eichenberger in the 1990s, in articles like FOCJ: Competitive Governments For Europe.
* Panarchy: “a conceptual term first coined by the Belgian botanist and economist Paul Emile de Puydt in 1860, referring to a specific form of governance (-archy) that would encompass (pan-) all others …In his 1860 article “Panarchy” de Puydt…applied the concept to the individual’s right to choose any form of government without being forced to move from their current locale. This is sometimes described as “extra-territorial” (or “exterritorial”) since governments often would serve non-contiguous parcels of land.”
Arnold Kling contributes a post about the idea, which he calls Virtual Secession:
The problem with physical secession is that it is very difficult to achieve critical mass. There is probably not much overlap between the people you want to live with and the people who want to choose your particular form of government. The vast majority of us put up with government we dislike in order to live in proximity to people with whom we want to work and play.
With virtual secession, you could still live in San Francisco or Manhattan or Silver Spring while seceding from much of the government at the city, state, and Federal level. You and your next-door neighbor might belong to very different governmental units.
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