One solution posited.

Tastes will vary of course.

This is neither an endorsement or a rejection of the thesis by me. Just letting you know it\’s out there.

21 thoughts on “Secede!”

  1. A bit baffled by what entity he thinks should secede. Contextually it can’t be England (since a seceded England would still be multiracial, would feature benefits claimants, political correctness, etc), but he never clarifies what it could be. The Southern English counties excluding major cities, to form Midsomerland?

  2. John B, why does it need to be a geographical secession?

    Tim plays a considerable role in the UK despite physically being in Portugal. It would be fairly straightforward to repudiate the current framework: to pay taxes to a new regime, to be subjected to laws only from the new regime, and to obtain services from the new regime only. A simple bilateral treaty with the ancien regime could sort out the practicalities to do with sharing roads, local policing, etc.

  3. A simple bilateral treaty with the ancien regime could sort out the practicalities to do with sharing roads, local policing, etc

    I say it again and again and again, but libertarians really don’t understand where the state came from, the historic process where authority was centralised, formalised, bureaucratised and normalised. Without that knowledge I don’t see how they’re ever going to surplant it.

    Read some Charles Tilly, Bin Wong, Michael Mann and Mancur Olson, please.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Kay Tie – “why does it need to be a geographical secession?…. A simple bilateral treaty with the ancien regime could sort out the practicalities to do with sharing roads, local policing, etc.”

    Rather like the Ottoman system of millets. The Communists flirted with the idea of non-territorial jurisdiction for national minorities. Stalin chose otherwise.

  5. Lefty Outside, we know exactly where the state came from: the imposition of an invading French Duke, mutating over time to be acceptable to the governed.

    Read some history.

  6. Stalin chose otherwise.

    And Stalin’s victims didn’t get any choice at all. This is the reality of the state as advocated by the Left.

  7. non-territorial jurisdiction for national minorities.

    Sharia law for those who choose to be bound by it. We choose laws and jurisdiction for contracts, why not our own bodies?

  8. We actually had two states that occupied the same space for a while. The secular state & the ecclesiastical state. Different laws, different taxes.

  9. Lefty Outside, we know exactly where the state came from: the imposition of an invading French Duke, mutating over time to be acceptable to the governed.

    Read some history.

    That is one part of the state formation of one small country in one small corner of the world.

    What about state creation in Asia?

    What about the effects of warfare on the optimum polity size?

    Why did Italian city state go from being the richest, most powerful european political formation to redundant from the 16th century onward?

    Why did the hanseatic city league vanish, to be replaced by the baltic and germanic states that usurped them?

    What role did europe’s competitve system of states play in encouraging the creation of an effective bureaucracy vis a vis the larger empires of asia?

    What role did the creation of a strong state in response to war, and war like threats, have in creating a system which could adequately enforce private property rights?

    Unless libertarians can answer those questions, rather than refering to one relatively inconsequential bastard they won’t have much to add on what role the state has, should or can play.

    I’ve given you your reading list, one that answers pretty comprehensively many of those questions: Charles Tilly, Bin Wong, Michael Mann and Mancur Olson. I’ll probably add Douglass North, Karl Polanyi, Patrick O’Brien and Ken Pomeranz to that too.

  10. I actually didn’t specify a geographical region because I’m not in a position to pick and choose.

    I’m merely trying to start a debate about solutions to our ills. We talk far too much about the problems, but never address the answers.

    As distant a success as it may very well be, I think secession is the answer solely on the basis that I can’t see anything else standing a chance (as I explain in the pamphlet).

    🙂

  11. Lefty Outside, I’m not interested in how the Chinese run their own lives: I’m interested in my life,which is in this locale. I want to secede from the current political body controlling me in this locale.

    Apart from a list of terribly boring sounding people, is there any specific point you’d like to raise about why we shouldn’t be able to secede?

  12. The pamphlet starts with the American Declaration of Independence. Wonderful, stirring prose that gets quoted a lot in libertarian circles.

    Anyone willing to do what those colonists did? Fight? Buy your freedom with the blood of those who would deny it you? Not “lay down your life for the cause of freedom” but ensure that your oppressors do?

    If you haven’t the stomach for it, the rest is all bollocks because that’s the only way you’ll get it.

  13. is there any specific point you’d like to raise about why we shouldn’t be able to secede?

    Well, there’s the obvious point that basic civil order and protection from external invaders are provided by the nation-state, and therefore “seceding” in the way you use the term rather than as a geographical unit is meaningless. At best, you’re being *permitted certain exemptions* by the state whose control you still live under.

  14. Lefty Outside, I’m not interested in how the Chinese run their own lives: I’m interested in my life,which is in this locale. I want to secede from the current political body controlling me in this locale.

    Apart from a list of terribly boring sounding people, is there any specific point you’d like to raise about why we shouldn’t be able to secede?

    Two points. One, you won’t be allowed. You think the state represses you now? Wait till you try to secede.

    Two, if you are allowed you appear to have no idea of the historic process of state formation, so you would have some problem forming a new, minimal, state.

    Looking at the experiences of places like the Ottoman empire or Qing China (or the Waring States period) would give you an idea of what happens under different institutional arrangement.

    For example, taxation in China was very low, around 6% of GDP, as it was thought that was best for a prosperous, acquiesent peasantry. But taxes were so low that the state was unable to centralise legitimaet authority and a thousand petty power structures sprung up under regional mandarins.

    The Ottoman empire had low taxation too, but no system of incorporation, no law which allowed people to form enduring business relationships. This reduced saving and investment. Would a libertarian paradise have limited liability or corporations? Would the law allow for cooperatives or limited liability partnerships?

    Basically those “boring” people have read more than Worstall’s blog and Atlas Shrugged and researched into what made the world as it is, and how it could have been made otherwise.

    If you want the world to be otherwise, perhaps you should do something similar.

  15. @LeftyOutside

    How tremendously arrogant, and if I may say so, how very stereotypically sneering “intellectual” lefty.

    I’ve read Tilly and Mann, and I’m aware of some of Olson#s work. Mann in particular is extraordinarily turgid, and Tilly is just pages of “well no shit sherlock”, but well done you for making through your tutor’s reading list.

    Apropos of reading lists, you have a post on your blog about job creation in which it is clear that neither you, nor the authors of the paper whose abstract you quote (and clearly haven’t read) understand the proper meaning of the word ‘random’, particularly as it applies (or not) to complex dynamic systems. Read Penrose, Wolfram, Stewart, Cohen.

  16. Arrogant no, I’m well aware of my own shortcomings. But I think I know more about the history of state creation than someone who thinks it ends, or began, with William the Conqueror on some god forsaken rock famous at the time for raw wool exports to mainland Europe, which was itself, in the C11th one, of the most backwards regions of Eurasia.

    You don’t think a knowledge of this history of state creation is important to libertarian politics?

    Given that state creation and the rise of capitalism are intimately related, in terms of legal structures, protection of property rights and the creation of new coercive structures.

    With respect to job creation…

    Random is a very good word for job creation, in fact picturing job creation as random is an incredibly libertarian position. I’m not sure why you have a problem with Alex Coad’s work (If you do, please take it up with him here http://www.sussex.ac.uk/bmec/people/spru/person/269292). I like the snide comment about not reading the paper, very cute.

    I’m not sure why you have a problem with the word random.

    I’m not inferring that it could happen anywhere, I’m arguing that we don’t have enough information ex ante to predict where jobs will come from. Ex post rationalisations may be possible, and a pattern found, but we cannot do that before the event.

  17. Pingback: The State as “Extorter of Last Resort” « Left Outside

  18. @leftyoutside

    Brilliant, there’s enough straw men in that to build a really big bonfire. Feel free to cast your vanity on top of it.

    And if you do get round to writing that dissertation, you’ll need to do a far better job of defending it to your viva panel, they’ll expect you to actually argue with what they’ve said.

  19. I have genuinely no idea what you are talking about.

    Strawmen? Where?

    Read Kay Tie’s description of where the state came from in comment 5. That is what I paraphrase in 16. It is no strawman, I’m referencing something inches away.

    With respect to job creation, I still don’t get your objection. How predictable do you think job creation is? Gibrat looked at job creation a century ago and it seems well approximated as a random process. There are some predictors, but the ones which you’d expect to be best, technological advancement, high profitability, are only weakly associated with job creation.

    TIM! Your commenters are picking on me!

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