In one of my ever fewer forays into /r/Libertarian I found an interesting link by a user who was looking for feedback on a proposted libertarian constitution he wrote. I decided to take a look at it and noticed that it started off with “We the Citizens of the State of New Hampshire…” That brought up a criticism I have of most attempts by libertarians to establish a libertarian society: they have a tendency to based their society on geographic regions.
I believe it’s time to free ourselves of those imaginary lines drawn on pieces of paper. Geographic regions mean far less today than they did a century ago. The advent of efficient and quick transportation technology combined with effective real-time communication technology has allowed humanity to live a more mobile existence than it did in the past. Thanks to modern avionics I can be anywhere in the Continental United States in a matter of hours. Likewise, I can communicate with my associates via e-mail, instant messenger, video conferencing or telephone from wherever I end up. These technologies have allowed me to become members of geographically separate groups. Throughout the year I communicate with my Defcon friends and once a year we all travel to Las Vegas to meet. I would argue that I’m more of a member of the Defcon community than I am of the Minnesota community. The same goes for my membership in the shooting, gun blogging, agorist, and anarchist communities.
Communities, when all said an done, are groups of people who interact with one another. The Internet has allowed these interactions to take place regardless of geographic separation, which has rewritten the rules on social agreements. Libertarian societies, in my opinion, should take shape in the form of mutual aid societies. What other reason would libertarians get together other than for mutual benefit? Libertarian philosophy, especially when you begin moving towards complete anti-statism, isn’t based on geography; it’s based on voluntary interactions. Those interactions can largely take place regardless of physical location. If one of my fellows is in need of assistance I can transfer a quantity of Bitcoin (or pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents) to him instantly and he can use that to access needed resources local to him.
There are times when geographic agreements make sense. A group of people living around a lake, for instance, would likely benefit from laying down some common mutually agreeable ground rules. But general agreement between fellows one voluntarily interacts with need not be so restricted.
It would do the libertarian community well to toss off the shackles of physical location. We live in a great big world that floats around in a great big universe. Why restrict ourselves to infinitesimal points in a practically limitless area?