To Stay or to Leave

David — November 23, 2010

Should libertarians stay put and try to fix the system, or should they establish a free society elsewhere? History has shown that as much as it is important to fight for liberty at home, sometimes one needs to leave and establish a better way of living elsewhere.

Consider the Europeans who left their continent to come to the new world. They faced the classic dilemma: stay and work for change, or start a new society elsewhere. Many groups were forced out of Europe as they faced intense religious persecution. The Huguenots were one such group. They were forced out of Catholic dominated France for their Protestant beliefs. The Puritans left for the Americas because of religious persecution as well. Economic reasons forced others to journey to the new world. Thousands of Irish came to the US because of the Great Famine in the 19th century. Whether for economic or political reasons history has shown that mass migrations or an unfortunate reality when times get tough.

Although the situation today is not as immediately dire as in the past, governments we live under grow increasingly authoritarian. While the Europeans of days past could set sail and come to the Americas where there was vast amounts of untouched land, we face a problem of land constraints: governments have claimed everything. However, working within constraints is beneficial as they force creative solutions and provide a path to completion. For instance, the medium an artist chooses helps them to bring to life their vision. They will use paint brushes not clay; blues and greens, not reds and yellows. Constraints force decisions and decisions move one closer to solution.

The following ideas, albeit impractical, are meant to be suggestions that work within the constraints of our day. As crazy as they may sound their purpose is to get one thinking about what the future could hold and to spark ideas. It is cheap to generate ideas and expensive to execute on them so iterating through as many concepts as possible is beneficial.

From the improbable to the impossible:

Floating City

A city floating on the ocean

With the oceans its playground the floating city has the most potential to exist of the following scenarios. Food would be harvested from the ocean and energy derived by the sun. The city would need to dock at friendly nations from time to time but besides that it would be a free land floating on the ocean blue.

Castle in the Sky

A colony of attached hot air balloons floating in the sky.

Hundreds of hot air balloons would be connected together on the ground and then floated into the skies above. Supplying this floating village with food and energy would be difficult. It would need a host of friendly nation states to trade with. The colony would float above the air space claimed by governments. With the earth as its footstool the hot air balloon colony would be free to roam the sun lit skies.

Commune on the Moon

An off world colony on the moon. Sun and earth can be seen in the background.

Although an impossibility at the moment the idea of forming a colony on the moon is increasingly becoming a reality as space technology advances. The moon holds the closest off earth refuge for those looking to leave the home world. A commune would be difficult to establish but bring large reward to those who risk the journey.

In short libertarians should continue to engage our enemy at home (big government) while working on a side plan at all times in case the situation gets dire.

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Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.