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Today we are going to talk about Austro-Libertarian territories.  In the article When Countries Dissolve, we explained how the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system will start to take countries over as they start to fail. And so, we will end with Austro-Libertarian territories of our own. Irony? No, reality.

We need to be fair and to fully acknowledge that in the short term this event has a good chance to become reality. Actually, it is closer to certainty than to a chance.  However, in the longer term, we really don’t know because this calculation of ours is also a linear historical assumption and linear historical assumptions have the tendency to be wrong.

In order to continue with our analysis, we will take a leap of faith and assume that nothing revolutionary will show up along the way and history will develop as expected.

 

COUNTRIES DIE

We are not sure about the exact destiny awaiting governments and countries, but we do know that at some point in time people will simply start to ignore all of them. This will happen when people realize that governments and the concept of country are doing nothing for them and at the same time, those entities are powerless to impose anything on them. Governments will simply stop enforcing every law or rule in the country, including political boundaries.  We know that this will happen because it has happened before. 

If you look at or study any other empire, you will notice that their decay or decline always started at the edges and moved progressively into the center. This has been true for just about any empire that ever existed, and that includes the Romans.  As empires begin to decline, boundaries will be the first to decay.

 

CHAOS USHERS AGREEMENTS

As frontiers begin to dissolve, people will try to reassert their properties. This is only natural.  If they had a property, they will mark their boundaries it in order to keep it. If they want to take over an abandoned property, they will do so.  In the beginning, there won’t be any sort of acknowledgement or implementation of an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system. People will be too busy trying to keep what they occupy.

Eventually as more and more people claim properties, these properties will become more populated.  The owners will soon realize that it is in their best interest to have some sort of rule set by which they will not interfere with each other. Something that they can all consider fair.

This will be the moment in time when a Master Contract or something similar will come into play.  People will be looking for a set of rules that will help them to coexist. It may be the Master Contract or it may be something different, but a document will be agreed upon.

Before you say anything, we know. This sounds like a new constitution. It seems like we have come full circle, but let us assure you, nothing can be further from the truth. There will be a key difference, a very large difference indeed. People will be living day after day inside a decaying country. They will intuitively understand that the old model does not work. They will not tie themselves to something similar.  There is an old saying in Latin America: “el que se quemo con leche, ve una vaca y llora”, or loosely translated “those who got burned with hot milk, see a caw and cry”.

This will have the effect of people rejecting a law system (with its impositions to everybody) and will not be able to agree in most anything. This will be good because they will focus on the very few things they can agree on to coexist: a Master Contract or something similar.  

This will also be good because they will want to keep as much freedom as they can for themselves. This will push them to agree that acceptance of those terms will be strictly voluntary.  In other words, your rights to your property will be absolute and you will want other people to have the same rights. This is so because the only way to ensure your rights is to give all participants the same benefits. Everybody will have a stake in this position and therefore everybody will be ready to defend it. Freedom by self-interest. It works!

 

AGREEMENTS CONCEIVE TERRITORIES

Through those agreements, territories will naturally come into existence. People will have created them without even realizing it.

What is a territory? The concept of territory is actually very simple. A territory is composed by the properties of all the owners who abide by the agreed rules. 

It’s principle of operation is simplicity itself:  If you walk into such territory the rules agreed upon by their owners apply to you.

We now have to take a small detour and ask ourselves, is this compatible with the principles of Absolute Austrian-Libertarianism? And the answer is yes. How is this possible? Simple. You, as a person external to the territory, have the option to enter or not to enter. If you enter, you also voluntarily agree to a contract. You will abide by the rules the owners agreed upon and in return they will do the same.  Quid pro Quo. Voluntary agreement. The Absolute Austro-Libertarian way.

We could also ask if this isn’t perilously close to the concept of country.  The answer would be no.  However, in order to understand why, you will need to move on to the next sections of this lesson.

 

TERRITORIES ARE EXTERNALLY SUCCESSFUL

How would this concept of territory function operationally?  What would be the differences with the traditional concept of country?

For one, the adoption of coexistence rules will be purely voluntary.  If you have a property in a territory, you may decide not to abide by those rules. Therefore, there may be a section of the territory that won’t be under those terms and conditions.

This means that territories may not have fixed boundaries, depending upon owners’ acceptance or rejection of those rules. People may change their minds and simply reject those rules. There may be islands inside of the territory where agreed upon contractual terms and conditions do not apply. This necessarily implies that those very same conditions will be very very flexible and very very minor because it will be of mutual self-interest to remain together. If those conditions are inflexible or imposing, people will simply reject them. Economies of scale. Unity by self-interest. It works! 

How about territory protection or border protection?  First off, if your property is on the border of the territory, that is essentially your problem.  Therefore, how you handle it is up to you.  Remember that anybody outside the territory it is not bound by a Master Contract. Would you want to be protected from outside people? That depends entirely from you. It is your cost / benefit calculation. There are no impositions.

If you want to feel more secure, you may sign a contract with a security company to patrol the external edges of your property.  If other people with properties in the same condition feel the same, they may sign too. This would generate a traditional border patrol system, which is cost-efficient.

However, what happens if you don’t feel threatened by external people? Or maybe you want other people to travel through your property because it is good business. This is exactly what most successful city-states throughout history did. Maybe you will convince your fellow owners to follow your example, in which case no border patrol would be necessary.

But maybe you won’t convince them of such benefits. If that happens let’s say that you believe that border patrolling is too expensive on you properties and you stop paying for such service. Then, an opening in the border may appear, but this is not your problem any longer. It is other property owner’s problem.

Now that your property border is open, anybody can enter and through your property access other properties in the territory.  Again, this is not your problem. You are OK with it. It is other people’s problem. Now they will need to make a decision whether or not to patrol their border, leaving yours outside. Or maybe they will pay the cost of patrolling your border for you. Or maybe they will reach some other sort of agreement.  Voluntary agreement. The Absolute Austro-Libertarian way. They work!

Absolute Austro-Libertarian territories are not countries and they don’t have governments.  Everything is determined by the rights of the property owners.  There can certainly be societies and organizations, perhaps for border protection and if necessary for security arrangements. However, the beauty of it all is that anybody can walk away from those arrangements any time they want.  You’re not bound by them. You are not under a tyrannical imposition. You can opt not to renew a contract or re-negotiate or break it. It is always your choice, unlike in democracy where it is never yours.

 

TERRITORIES ARE INTERNALLY SUCCESSFUL

Let’s assume that the remaining edge-property owners may join you and decide not to patrol the external borders. This has worked in the past giving rise to enormous economic empires.  These empires were not such big military powers because they didn’t need to be; the real power was economic. Nobody would mess with them precisely because it wasn’t in their best economic interests to do so. 

How would these territories then enforce the rules? Through mediators and mutual agreements as explained in several other lessons.

How would these territories provide minimal physical protection to their inhabitants? Through some sort of internal security force which will be small indeed.

But how would that force operate?  Whoever wishes to be protected would sign a contract with a security company whereby transferring to them the privilege to guard their property, including their bodies.  This would mean that if somebody would try to harm or steal from protected people, the security company would have the privilege to stop them.

However, this security company can only act as far as the privileges that has received allows it to go. They are powerless to impose anything onto anybody unless the property of a protected person has been breached. They cannot enforce “majority” laws or regulations. Furthermore, every protected person can withdraw said privilege anytime they wish to do so.

Notice the radical difference between a “police” force and a “security” company. The former enforces tyranny upon everybody; the latter protects personal rights of property only if infringed.

It is worth mentioning again that as the company has received a privilege from you, you have the right to cancel it at any time and want. Furthermore, because this is a privilege and not a right, it cannot be used against you. We explained the differences in the lesson Rights Responsibilities And Privileges.

The logistics of such a security process is not known at this time, but we are sure  that a simple process or combination of technologies will be found. We know this because it was implemented in the past. For example, we can take a look at how private firefighter companies operated in the far past.

They would mark different streets and different houses with special labels and so they would know if the house was protected by them or not.  Something similar can very easily be done with people and properties.  Companies could easily use existing RFID devices or tags.  Such tag would inform the security company which people and properties are protected by them.

Another question that we need to answer is this: Why would anybody want to agree to those minimal terms and conditions?  Because the benefits outweigh the obligations. The protection and guarantees they confer are too good to pass on. Typically, these protections will deal with breaches of property or interactions with somebody’s property without a voluntary agreement. This goes to the core of everybody’s interests: their properties.

Such a minimum set of practical rules, almost entirely dedicated to protect our own properties, carry too much weigh to simply be ignored. They are too good to discard. Too profitable to ignore. Hence, they won’t be. Coexistence through self-interest. It works!

A simple example. Let’s say that my property is inside a territory. I steal a watch from my neighbor, hide in my house and reject the rules of the territory. I can do so, there is nothing stopping me from doing so. However, if I do so, other people from the territory won’t be bound by those rules in my property. My neighbor can enter into my property by force, beat me, steal whatever he likes and there will be no repercussions. Territorial rules do not apply to him.

The concept that my body is my absolute property and hence inalienable, no longer applies for my neighbor.  The concept that I am only indebted to the worth of the watch, no longer applies. My neighbor is not bound by those rules anymore. 

The same will happen if I steal something and I run away from the territory; territory rules no longer apply.  Somebody may hire people to kidnap me and bring me back.  Or to shoot me or enslave me and there would be no repercussions because the rules no longer apply. 

Of course, I could set-up other rules inside my property and set them up so that if somebody enters in my property, they agree to abide by them. Those rules may state that I am untouchable for whatever deed I may have committed. I could do this. Therefore, if somebody would to enter my property and beat me and steal my property, this person would be liable. But then again, who will enforce my own rules?  Furthermore, those rules only apply in my property. How would I bring the infringer back into my property to enforce those rules? The answer in most cases is that I can’t. It is not logistically possible.

If I want to have maximum protection I will want to stay within those rules.  Even if I steal something, being bound by those rules is still a better choice. Within those rules, I have a large number of options open to me. I can negotiate with the person to whom I have this debt, I can sell my property or I can do all other kinds of things. Whatever happens I will know that it will never come to violence, they will not hurt me.

On the other hand, if I am outside I am not protected and anything goes.  This is a huge incentive to stay inside the territory. 

 

CONCLUSION

The concept of Absolute Austro-Libertarian territories benefits everybody in it and protects them against people that break coexistence rules. At the same time, this very concepts allows maximum freedom; freedom which is ensured by the fact that anybody can rejects those coexistence terms anytime they want. It is simple, the rule of majority vote has been replaced by the rule of minority walk. It is up to coexistence terms to demonstrate their usefulness, not up to you to submit to them. They either work or are ignored. That is your right.

That will be your choice. Get ready. The future awaits you.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

 

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